Stella☆Beats was one of the underground idol groups I met during the Live PLUS Festival. You might remember, they were the group with the kebab invasion.
I didn’t think much of the encounter until I came back home. Souchan asked if I remembered the name of the idol who passed us the flyers when we were eating kebab. I only knew the group was Stella☆Beats but I wasn’t sure of the members. After researching for a bit (also after Wayne points out that her name was actually on the bottom right of the flyer), I learned that her name was Aya.
There were 2 members that got my attention during the Live PLUS Festival, one of them was Aya, who started the conversation with us. But the other one was Mana. She was the first one I noticed back then but I didn’t know her name. The first time I laid my eyes on her I thought she was strikingly beautiful. She was quiet when Aya was talking to us but was talkative during the MC session. I looked her up and started cheering for her in the Cheerz app.
Stella☆Beats consists of Hoshino Mana (Leader), Aya, Sasaki Arisa, Sakuragi Kotoka and Nanase Nozomi. The day I started searching up for more info on the group was also the same day I found out that one of the members is graduating. Arisa’s graduation was set for the 4th of July. A few days later, Aya announced her graduation and her graduation ceremony was set on 29th July. I was only a few days into the group but 2 graduation announcements have been made. I didn’t know Arisa that well but Aya’s graduation saddened me.
One thing led to another, I started checking out their music, followed them on twitter, and checking out their blogs. A few weeks later, a new member joined, Aino Ami. She was fluent in English because she was raised in England. Ami immediately got my attention and between her and Mana, I cheered for them both a lot in Cheerz. After Arisa’s graduation, Stella☆Beats was down to 5 members. Aya’s “LOVE” was passed down to Ami and after Aya’s graduation, Stella☆Beats became a 4-member group.
Around August, I was all in into the group. I watched their showroom channel, listen to their music, tweeted to them, commented on their blogs, bought their merchandise, bought their CDs, and I even subscribed to Mana and Ami’s namamail, a paid service where you can get mails and voice messages from them.
A friend of mine, Hibiki, is a Malaysian-born photographer, who is now venturing out to shoot more idol events. One of his job was to shoot Stella☆Beats’ one-man live event, the very same event that I got the flyers for. He started asking if anybody knew who Stella☆Beats was, and naturally I got very excited.
We started talking and there were plans on bringing them over to Malaysia for a tour. I couldn’t stop thinking of the prospect of bringing them over here. I could meet my favorite idols, in my own country! Thinking back, it was carelessness that made me miss the lottery for HKT’s Hokkaido concert, thus freeing up 31st May for me. It was luck that we could still buy a ticket to Live PLUS Festival, even though we couldn’t book the tickets in advance. It was by chance that I happen to watch Stella☆Beats’ live, with all the other idols around me. But that kebab encounter, that was fate. Out of all the other idols that could have approached me, they did. And out of the idol groups that Hibiki could have brought over to Malaysia, it was Stella☆Beats. I don’t believe in destiny but whatever this is it felt miraculous.
But suddenly, I was hit with Kotonyan’s graduation. And not long after that, Ami announced hers. Her graduation gutted me, as I was just about to get to know her, to know Stella Beats, and I didn’t have the opportunity to even meet her. Not to mention their Malaysia live was near, and she graduated 3 weeks before they flew.
Now Stella☆Beats are down to 2 members, but not for long. They were joined by a new member, Yonemitsu Riko. The three of them are scheduled for the Malaysia Tour. After 4 months of being into the group, I went through 4 graduations and 2 new members. Even though I was just a new fan, it felt like I’ve been through a lot with them.
The Malaysia live is inching closer and closer, and even though the Stella☆Beats I knew initially isn’t the Stella☆Beats I was going to meet, I was nevertheless excited. It’s not every day that idol groups actually come to Malaysia, but not only that, for it to be your favourite group… well, that’s a once in a life time opportunity.