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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 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)

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.

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)

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!


“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!

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:

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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