About 9nine9nine is a 5-girl Jpop girl group in Japan signed under Sony Music Japan and are branded as “performance girls unit”. One of the most interesting things about this group, this group was not a new girl group, but a revamped girl group.
Many of us may not know of 9nine here in Singapore, unless you are a big fan of Anime, as their first two singles were the Ending and Opening songs for “Star Driver”. Recently, they caught the attention of many retro Anime fans due to their upcoming singles, “Chikutaku2NITE“, the Opening Song for the Ranma 1/2 Live Action. The single will be releasing on 21 December 2011.
The original 9nine was a similar concept as to AKB48, just smaller in numbers; however, the revamped 9nine concentrated on quality rather than quantity, by simply cutting down to 5 members and had them focus on their strengths and individual traits.
Idol groups in Japan
While AKB48 gained tremendous popularity, they also set trends to the Jpop industry in Japan, both healthy and unhealthy. Healthy was the uprising of more idol groups within the industry, however, that is also the unhealthy part, creating groups such as Kamen Rider Girls and massive “48” girl groups such as SNB48 and NMB48, which focus too much on quantity rather than quality.
9nine, however, removed that tradition that they initially was, and revamped themselves to provide fans with more of quality performances as compared to quantity in group members.
At first, the revamped 9nine did not leave a good impression on me due to their unique “arm twirling” dance moves during their first single, “Cross Over”.
However, it was their own TV show, “Go Go 9nine”, which runs from October 2010 to March 2011, which changed my perception of the group. Throughout the show, 9nine showed great team spirit, example, doing their team cheer everytime before getting into performances, and also going through vigorous training not just for their group performances, as well as strengthening their individual traits that make them unique within the group. Considering the fact that 9nine’s average age is merely 16 years of age, it sure is hard to imagine the tremendous amount of effort these girls had put in for the group.
Having revamped for only a year and releasing just 4 singles, 9nine is still a growing idol group. But with the opportunities given and their desire to outshine their competition, 9nine may one day before one of the top idol group in Japan.
It has been a really long while a girl group caught my attention, of which since SPEED. Although 9nine may never match the kind of standard SPEED created for the industry then, they should still be seen as a new standard for future generation idol groups.