Introducing J-pop’s dynamic Girl Power: The Hoopers

Japanese music has been reigning the Asian music scene with new concepts of idol groups and refreshing combinations of music genres. In recent years, girls groups representative of these unique characteristics of J-pop are rising in popularity.

The Fifth Parlour had the opportunity to meet and interview The Hoopers!

The Hoopers with (from left) Haruki, Sena, Makoto, Mirai, Yuhi, Mizuki, Cecil and Tsubasa

The Hoopers first started in 2014 through an audition. Eventually, the group expanded with 8 members and became widely known for their tomboy style inspired from The Takarazuka Revue. In fact, all members of the group are fans of Takarazuka! During the interview, Cecil, the youngest member, was also quick to be the first to acknowledge her love towards Takarazuka since young. It later became a driving factor for her to join and enjoy The Hoopers stage performances.

For non J-pop fans, Takarazuka style may be a new concept. However, Takarazuka has been around in Japan for years and became internationally acclaimed for its extravagant performances. Women dressed in masculine or neutral outfits has also greatly influenced the music industry and perceptions of gender-blending in Japan.

During our interview with The Hoopers, the members appeared to be shy. It contrasted greatly with their performances on stage which is often known to be energetic, lively and powerful. However, as the interview progressed, the group began to shine as each member showed their unique colours and portrayed their bubbly personalities and humour. Here is what they have to share about their own members, starting with their youngest and most cheerful member, Cecil. While she may appear to be carefree, Cecil was described meticulous and always consider others before herself. The group chose Haruki as the best member to embody the tomboyish style of the group. Off stage, Haruki also assumes the role of a mentor who monitors their group performances and points out areas of improvement.

When asked which member appears to differ the most on- and off-stage, The Hoopers pointed out to Sena. Sena was described to be energetic on stage but when she steps away from the limelight, she becomes really quiet and often drifts into her own world reading manga. On the other hand, Tsubasa was described to be the member who remains true to herself on- and off-stage. At the mention of Tsubasa, Cecil took the opportunity to express her gratitude towards Tsubasa for offering great advice to her when she was troubled with doubts and uncertainties.

The Hoopers with (from left) Cecil, Haruki, Sena, Misuki, Yuhi, Mirai, Makoto and Tsubasa

Moving on, The Hoopers chose Yuhi, their sub-leader, as the coolest member and “the mother” of the group who takes great care of all the members. However, Sena shared that Yuhi may at times be pretty silly with her jokes. The group also nominated Misuki as the most hardworking member in the group and Mirai as the most serious member in the group due to her responsibility as the group’s main vocalist.

Last but not least, the group was eager to about share about the eldest member and their group leader, Makoto. Despite her age and position, the members were enthusiastic to share stories about her cute personality. In fact, Makoto receives the honorary title of being the member with the “youngest mental age”!

Since their debut, The Hoopers have released five singles which made it to the top 20 of Oricon Weekly Single Chart. Last September, they released their latest album FANTASIA and received increasing attention for their symphonic and power metal genres.

In the new year ahead, be sure to catch rising J-pop groups, The Hoopers. It will be another year of girl power for them!

The Fifth Parlour would like to thank Hyper Japan 2016 and The Hoopers for the interview opportunities.

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