The Battle to the End for Kobushi Factory

The Battle to the End for Kobushi Factory

A few days late but here is the latest Battle of the Bands! I am a bit late as I been taking some vacation time and catching up on some sleep. Because of the coronavirus, I haven’t had any classes to teach since March 5. And since I am quitting my job at the end of this month, I had a lot of paid leave and used it to have an extended vacation. It will be odd when I have to return to work in April for the new school year as I been on vacation for most of the month.

But, let’s talk about the newest Battle of the Bands. The last battle revisited the 2000 Color Shuffles from the Japanese idol supergroup Hello! Project. This time around, I am going to mention another Hello! Project group which will disband by the end of the month. I love this group to bits and sad that they are disbanding.

The group?

Kobushi Factory.

Who is Kobushi Factory?

Kobushi Factory in the Beginning
Kobushi Factory in the Beginning

Kobushi Factory got its start in 2015 when a new group was announced in the 2015 Winter Hello! Project concert tour. The members came from Hello Pro Kenshuusei (which are mostly young girls who are training to debut in a group in the future), which were Rio Fujii, Ayaka Hirose, Minami Nomura, Rena Ogawa, Ayano Hamaura, Natsumi Taguchi, Sakurako Wada. and Rei Inoue. This 8-member group was later named Kobushi Factory. Kobushi (コブシ) is a variety of magnolia. “Factory” comes from the former Hello! Project group Berryz Koubou (工房 or factory), which Kobushi Factory was supposed to continue their legacy.

The group released their first indies DVD single, entitled “Nen ni wa Nen / Survivor”, on March 26, 2015. The single was sold during the run for the musical Week End Survivor, which the girls starred in. Their major debut happened about six months later with the release of the triple A-side “Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan / Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san no Uta / Nen ni wa Nen (Nen’iri Ver.)”. The release helped Kobushi Factory to win the Best Newcomer Award at the 57th Japan Record Awards at the end of 2015.

The girls continued onto 2016, releasing more materials while starring in musicals and performing at various concerts. They even starred in their first movie, JK Ninja Girls. All was good as Kobushi Factory was riding high on the successes in their various endeavors. That was until May 2017.

5-Member Kobushi Factory (mid-2017 and on)
5-Member Kobushi Factory (mid-2017 and on)

Many fans believed that the second half of 2017 lead to Kobushi Factory’s demise. In May 2017, Rio Fujii announced that she would be graduating from the group as well as Hello! Project at the end of summer. However, she was fired from management in July 2017 as she failed to follow their rules. At the same time, Rena Ogawa announced that she was taking a break as she had “anxiety neurosis”. She eventually graduated from the group in September. Before the end of 2017, Kobushi Factory lost one member as Natsumi Taguchi was fired by management as she failed to follow the rules too.

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Kobushi Factory was now a 5-member group and continued to release materials and perform at the concert venues. But, it wasn’t the same as many fans thought the group lost three essential members.

Kobushi Factory 2020
Kobushi Factory (2020)

It was announced January of this year that the group would disband at the end of March as each member wanted to pursue something different outside Hello! Project, except for Rei Inoue as she wanted to stay in the supergroup. Sakurako Wada will retire from the entertainment industry, Minami Nomura will become a theatre actress, Ayaka Hirose will go to school for school writing, and Ayano Hamaura will go onto to become a model and actress.

Why Do I Like Kobushi Factory?

8-member Kobushi Factory (2016)

I love Kobushi Factory because I believe that the members are talented vocally. One of the things that I enjoy about the group that they are not just an idol group, but also an acapella group. That is right! These girls can sing acapella versions of their songs and other Hello! Project songs with their own vocal percussion. You should listen to their version of Morning Musume’s most famous song “LOVE Machine”, it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I seriously wanted them to do an acapella album and tour because they are amazing at it.

I also enjoy a lot of their songs. They had some great songs like “Sakura Night Fever”, “Osu! Kobushi Tamashii”, “Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Daitan”, and many others. Their songs are catchy, but also displays the girls’ vocal abilities. Just listen to “Osu! Kobushi Tamashii” and hear the talent! They are a very talented group and they will be missed dearly.

About The Featured Songs in This Battle

It was hard to decide what songs I wanted to use for this battle. Did I want a battle with 5-member Kobushi Factory vs. 8-member Kobushi Factory? Did I just want to feature two songs that I absolutely love, regardless of how many members were featured in the song at the time?

I choose the latter. Though 5-member Kobushi Factory may have great songs, my heart will always a big fan of 8-member Kobushi Factory. For this battle, I featured two songs: “Sakura Night Fever” (from their second single) and “Yami ni Nukegare” (from their fourth single).

Listen to both songs and choose your favorite by commenting below. I can’t wait to see who wins!

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“Sakura Night Fever” (2016)

“Sakura Night Fever” comes from a very strong single that also has some great songs like “Chotto Guchoku ni! Chototsumoushin” and “Osu! Kobushi Tamashii”. The song was also written and arranged by some of Hello! Project heavyweights. This spring song was written by KAN, who has written countless songs for Hello! Project and has had his own successful music career. The song was also arranged by DANCE☆MAN, who produced a lot of Morning Musume’s biggest hits like “LOVE Machine”, “Koi no Dance Site”, and “Renai Revolution 21”.

This Sakura-themed song has been one of my favorites by Kobushi Factory. It is a very upbeat song about my favorite season: Sakura season. The music video is also really cute with the sakura-theme apparent throughout. It is my go-to song when walking around the neighbor, viewing the sakura trees.


“Yami ni Nukegake” (2017)

“Yami ni Nukegake” (闇に抜け駆け; Rush Into Darkness) is a b-side for the fourth single “Shalala! Yareru Hazu sa / Ee ja nai ka Ninja nai ka”. This ninja-influenced tune was used in the musical JK Ninja Girls and the movie version, which the members starred in both productions. I can admit that I never saw JK Ninja Girls (or in fact any of Kobushi Factory’s production) as the musicals are mostly in Tokyo and DVDs for the movie and musicals are expensive. But, I am inspired to watch JK Ninja Girls now, all thanks to “Yami ni Nukegake”.

This ninja-themed tune is a super powerful one and you can hear it at the first note. Also, it displays the girls’ talented vocals as well as the personality of each member (or character from the musical). It is also has a ninja musical theme, which is pretty cool, don’t you agree?

Translated Lyrics

Here are the lyrics translated into English by me:

I will never give up any victories
We! Us! Me!
Running through the darkness that doesn’t allow us to pass
Ninnin JK Nin Ninja Girls!

There’s a battle that we can’t lose to
Which every adult has said, however
With the love that you want to clinch
And also that promise
That only girls know about

Deliver this feeling as much as you have
But the caltrop is tough!
Look at my stealthiness!

Anyways, I will throw up a thick smokescreen for a while

I can’t give the future to anyone
We! Us! Me!
Running through the darkness that doesn’t allow us to pass
Ninnin JK Nin Ninja Girls!
JK Ninja Girls!

Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Igniting the heart, tick tick beeow, with a fire technique
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
Absorbing your soul with a water technique
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Hair flutters by the wind created by a wind technique
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
Let’s go steadily with a raging jump created by an earth technique
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong! Dong!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!
Breakout!

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Deliver this feeling to as many whom you challenge
But, isn’t it crazy or not?
Look at my brave feet!

Anyways, I will throw up a thick smokescreen for a while

I will never give up any victories
We! Us! Me!
Running through the darkness that doesn’t allow us to pass
Ninnin JK Nin Ninja Girls!
JK Ninja Girls!

I will never give up any victories
We! Us! Me!
I can’t give the future to anyone
We! Us! Me!
Running through the darkness that doesn’t allow us to pass
Ninnin JK Nin Ninja Girls!
JK Ninja Girls!
Ninja Girls! Do it!

Who Will It Be?

Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor? Tell me in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!

I am also part of the “Battle of the Bands” blog collection. After you vote, please visit the other battles:

🌞 Visit TOSSING IT OUT by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit MIKE’S RAMBLINGS’by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CURIOUS AS A CATHY by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE SOUND OF ONE HAND TYPING by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit JINGLE JANGLE JUNGLE by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit ANGELS BARK by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit THE DOGLADY’S DEN by clicking HERE.
🌞 Visit CHERDO ON THE FLIPSIDE by clicking HERE
🌞 Visit STMoC PRESENTS BATTLE OF THE BANDS by clicking HERE.


The Winner For “Hello! Project’s Battle of the Colors 20 Years Later

Thank you to all who voted in the Color-themed battle between three Hello! Project Shuffle Groups from 2000: Akagumi 4, Kiiro 5, and Aoiiro 7.

The Winner of the Battle is…

Kiiro 5

Here are the results for anyone who is curious:

Hello! Project’s Battle of the Colors 20 Years Later results pie chart

Although Akagumi 4 didn’t win, I want to mention about English cover of Akagumi 4’s song “Akai Nikkichou”. It was covered by Kurk Harrell, who has composed many R&B songs like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and Rihanna’s
“Umbrella”.

(PLEASE DON’T VOTE FOR THIS SONG. IT IS NOT PART OF THE BATTLE. )


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This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of Kobushi Factory before now, super love the song…I love the tune a lot. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I haven’t heard of either of these bands. I will have to check them out sometime.

  2. Though this group is nice to watch, it’s not music I would typically would listen to. But they’re good at what they do and the music is well done.

    My preference between the songs is for the first one. It’s much catchier. But it did go on for a long time it seemed.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  3. This is a new music group to me. I wish you success!

  4. Despite admitting that I like K-Pop music, what annoys me about these bands is the fact that they are really all the same. The physical aspect is uniform to the point that it seems impossible to distinguish them.

    1. This isn’t K-POP though. And not each group is the same. You need to look beneath the outer appearance

  5. This is the first time I heard about the group and listened to their songs, pretty good they are.

  6. Oh I had not heard of them before but I am here for this!

  7. I hadnt heard of these bands before. They sound pretty awesome though. I always like finding new music to listen to.

  8. It’s always interesting to see the transition that bands go through over the years. Between the songs, I like the second one. I like that you can hear their powerful voices better.

  9. I suppose that’s what happens to a lot of groups after a while 🙂

  10. This is the first time I’m hearing about them. I love how upbeat.

  11. Like many others, this is my first time hearing about them too! Definitely won’t be my last for sure.

  12. There are so many music groups I have NO IDEA about. I don’t listen to much music though so… That’s probably why! ha!

  13. They do have nice voices. I enjoyed watching the videos.

  14. I’d never heard of the Kobushi Factory, such awesome cultural exposure – thank you for sharing!

  15. This is my first time to read and learn about Kobushi Factory, they have amazing voices !

  16. I’ve not heard of Kobushi Factory before but they sound great – their songs are really catchy!

  17. Good for you for getting some vacation time! I have never heard of Kobushi Factory but I love their lyrics–they are so inspiring, especially for kids just emerging into the world. It is sad that they are breaking up, but hopefully they are all moving on to bigger and better things!

  18. I had not heard of this brand before. I am always looking to discover new bands. I do like the sound of their music!

  19. From my own singing experience I must say that Singing acapella is not very easy and if they are able to achieve that, stay in pitch and harmony well then they must be a pretty good group.

  20. From my own singing experience I must say that Singing acapella is not very easy and if they are able to achieve that, stay in pitch and harmony well then they must be a pretty good group!!!

  21. I have never heard of the Kobushi factory. I don’t usually listen to that type of music but I personally like the first.

  22. I think their music is something my teenage son would enjoy. I’m more of a mellow person that I’m nearing my 40s haha.

  23. I think their music is something my teenage son would enjoy. I’m more of a mellow person that I’m nearing my 40s haha. I feel so old now.

  24. these idols are so cute! I don’t really follow this but I enjoyed it

  25. This is the first time I heard about the group. I am listening to them on youtube right now

  26. I have never heard of them before but sounds like they’re pretty great.

  27. Looks like a fierce battle. The winner sure deserves it.

  28. Their music sounds nice I love the beat on their music 🙂

  29. I haven’t heard of this band, however, listened to both the songs and my vote goes to Sakura Night Fever.

  30. I have never heard of them at all but am always looking for new music to try.

  31. Girl groups are always so interesting to me because they seem to be more rare than boy groups. Great lineup!

  32. AMY, to be quite honest, both sounded (and even looked) to me too much like late ’70s / early ’80s American Disco. And I didn’t care for Disco in America back then, and don’t care for the 21st Century Japanese version of it, either. (At least I’m consistent.)

    I guess I’ll vote for the second song, but not really sure why that one over the first.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

  33. What a fun battle! They’re all so good!

  34. I will have to check this band out, as I didn’t hear about them before. Will be interesting to see which song I will like best.

  35. I’ve never heard of them before so I appreciate the introduction. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

  36. That’s the thing about groups. Most of them hardly last long and it boils down to issues among them.

  37. I’m not that familiar with Kobushi Factory but I really find the group awesome after reading this, thank you for sharing!

  38. I haven’t heard of this group but thank you for introducing them to all of us. I enjoyed listening to their music.

  39. I’ve never heard of them before but they sound amazing! Love getting introduced to new artists like this.

  40. Why are they so cute? I love their fashionable outfits.

  41. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

  42. So many girl groups that are pretty and good singers, this one included. My girls are into these kinds of music too.

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