Momoiro Clover Z is an idolgroupconsisting of five members formed in 2008 under the agency Stardust Promotion, originally named Momoiro Clover and started with various member formations until they finally came up with 6 girls in their major debut. The group is noted for their colour assigned system for each member, super energetic performances, and their attempt to break the cute image of idols.Basically, this idol group concept is an entire Take That to the idol culture in Japan; they dance like crazy and have some unusual choreography, such as doing handsprings, cartwheels and awesome jumps instead of lighthearted cute dances, wear strange and often ridiculous costumes ranging from Sentai outfits to wrestling masks, shamelessly do some strange routines on TV (the komanechi dance and weird faces among others), and continually do homages to other forms of subculture such as Professional Wrestling, 80's Sketch Comedy, and Toku.As a result, they've gained attention and gradual popularity because of their uniqueness. Beginning as Street Performers in Yoyogi Park, they finally got a major debut in 2010 after releasing two indie singles. After their sub-leader's departure in April 2011, the group changed its name to Momoiro Clover Z. Now, their singles have topped the Japanese music charts, they've released three albums, and they have performed in various prestigious music venues in Japan such as Nippon Budokan, Yokohama Arena, Saitama Super Arena, Nissan Stadium and have also done overseas performances in Germany, France and Malaysia. In 2013, a survey showed that the group currently attracted the highest interest level of all the female idol groups in Japan. The group currently holding the banner for Stardust Idols, consist of their little sister groups: Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku, Team Syachihoko, Minicheer Bears and Takoyaki Rainbow.The members can be easily distinguished by their Power Ranger-like colours (Red, Yellow, Pink, Green and ... Purple?) and their unique 3-minute introduction lines. They are as follows:
Kanako Momota, The Cinderella from Tea Plantation, the Red, and, you guessed it, The Leader. Nicknamed for her hailing from Shizuoka, famous for its tea products, and noted for her excessive dimples (her pitfall of love) and wide forehead. One of the original members.
Shiori Tamai, a.k.a Shiorin, Everyone's Little Sister, the Yellow. She is known for being easily driven to tears anywhere, and as such, gained the nickname Spoiled Crybaby. One of the original members.
Their ex-member is Akari Hayami, the Blue. She was originally the sub-leader nicknamed, Momoclo's Cool Beauty, and was mainly in charge of rap parts. However, she left the group in April 2011. Their ex-members at the time during pre-debut formation include Miyu Wagawa, Manami Ikura, Tsukina Takai (went on to SKE 48, and already graduated), Sumire Fujishiro, Yumikawa Runa and Kashiwa Yukina (of Nogizaka46).A character sheet is under construction. You can look up their complete discography on the other wiki.
Momoiro Clover Z contains examples of:
Accidental Idol: Their talent management, Stardust, were famous for their actors and actresses. However, before meeting the girls, they never did any business with idol groups before. The girls were never meant to be idols until they performed in the street as a part of their dance lesson. Upon seeing this, the management thought, "Hey, how about we do this seriously?"
Alter Ego Acting: The group has three: UFI (Unfinished Fantastic Idol) with a slightly altered personality and name for each member, Momokuro-Tei Ichimonnote Written in Kanji that translated into Black Peach Pavilion Family, introduced as mysterious singer for Joshiraku ending and Morifu! an homage to comedy group Dorifu!.
Arc Words: "Kohaku no Mukogawa!"note "Across the Kohaku! was often heard from the girls during their first "arc" before getting into Kohaku (2008-2012).
Zenryoku (energetic) and Shuumatsu (weekend) would often pop up in their songs.
Artifact Title: Their "idols that you can meet right now" thing was named as such because of their ways of interacting with the fans back in their indie days; live performances at local department stores, handshake events and direct advertising. These days, if you wanted to see 'em, you'd have to line up to get concert tickets that'd most likely sell out in a couple of minutes.
Also, the members used to be students and the group was only active on the weekends, hence "Weekend Heroines". Nowadays they appear on TV and even the morning news almost everyday.
Ascended Extra: All the girls started out as junior talent in their agency, and although some of them appeared in many commercials and music videos since their childhood, they were nowhere near as popular as Stardust's actors and actresses. Now, they're probably more popular than their seniors.
Momoka joined Stardust in 2009 and was placed in a lesser known idol group named Power Age before officially joining Momoclo.
Bare Your Midriff: Averted most of the time; Momoiro Clover Z is one of the few idol groups that rarely show any sexiness in their costumes. The most revealing costume is Ahrin's (the self-proclaimed sexy one) in her solo song "Datte Aarin Nanda Mon".
Some straighter examples would be the Koko Natsu and Kono Uta costumes.
Butt Monkey: Despite being the leader, Kanako is constantly bullied by the other members due to her idiocy.
Call Back / Continuity Nod: Done on the B-Side of their "Rodou Sanka" single, "Santa-San". Near the end of song, they change the lyrics in the refrain into the lyrics to "Koko Natsu", another B-Side single, due to the similarity in the chorus melodies, notably in the refrains. In the Music Videos, they've even burst in with the "Koko Natsu" outfits, recording style and settings.
The lyrics to "Z Densetsu" is a nod to their introductory line. The dance in Momoka's part also references a move that she often randomly does. They even reference Akari's departure with the narrator's announcement of "BLUE!" and the group answering with a confused "ah?".
Calling Your Attacks: In a fighting scene at Summer Dive 2011 live. They went from (relatively) standard stuff like, "Good Day Punch!", and "Cheerful Feeling Kick!!" to more ridiculous-sounding stuff like, "I'm Hungry Cutter!!", and "My Dimples Are Pitfall of Loveeee dive!!".
Catchphrase: "We are the Idols that you can meet right now, the weekend heroines, Momoiro Clover Z!" note :Watashi tachi ima, aeru aidoru, shuumatsu heroine, Momoiro Clover Z
"Ahrin da yo!"
Chewing the Scenery: "AKAKU AKAKU HIKARU ANTARESU NO YOU NIIII!!!" . Actually, the rest of "Mouretsu" gives the impression that the members would rather shout their lines then sing them. And then there's Reni's random yelling.
Christmas Songs: "Santa-San". Their limited singles for Momoiro Christmas ("Kimiyuki", "Shiroi Kaze" and "Bokura no Century") also counts.
Cool Mask: Just look at all of the promotional material for 5th Dimension.
Cover Version: See Anime Theme Song above. They also did m.o.v.e's "Words of the Mind", Harajuku Launcher's "Kibun wa Super Girl", RAMJET PULLEY's "Hello Goodbye", and "Daisuki!", a single by Power Age (Momoka's former group).
Cross-Cast Role: In "Mirai Bowl" music video, where Akarin played a dandy guy named Danny, his rival leader played by Ahrin, and his henchmen Spare, Gutter, and ...thehenchman played by Shiori, Momoka and Reni, respectively, leaving only Kanako to act as a girl named Sandy, the love interest for both Danny and Leader.
Cute Clumsy Girl: Momoka is the clumsiest out of all the girls. She even got the highest score in cuteness on one variety show just for being barely able to stand up after a long sit.
Dubstep: Believe it or not, yeah; both "BIRTH BIRTH" and "NEO STARGATE" have elements of this. note "BIRTH BIRTH" has a random Dubstep break in the middle of the song. "NEO STARGATE" is actually closer to half-time Drum 'n' Bass (Drum 'n' Bass with the snare placed on the third beat rather than the second and fourth beats), often referred to as "Drumstep" by DnB/Dubstep fans.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Inverted in this case; they were normal girls during the pre-major single times, with normal outfits, dances, lyrics and songs just like yet another idol group.
Even the Girls Want Her: The girls are popular among Japanese girls. They've even held an annual women-only concert called Onna Matsurinote Girl's Festival. In the 2012 concert in Budokan, they managed to garner an audience of freaking 10,000 women.
Flashback: 2012's live Momoiro Christmas opening VTR shows their documentary in past 5 years, including when they talk about reaching Kohaku together and Akari's resignation, cue the tearjerker moment.
Girlish Pigtails: Shiori often had these before her haircut in Battle and Romance era.
Girl Group: Naturally, but they're not just your average idol group.
Gratuitous English: Akari's introduction: "My smile will change the world. You decide my future. Can't stop". What?
Heavy Sleeper: Reni. Even playing loud electrical guitar right between her ears can't wake her up.
Henshin Hero: Granted, the lyrics in Kaitou Shojo mentions about this and their dance strikes a henshin pose. But it takes about a year until they're literally transforming into the costumed heroines in "Z Densetsu".
Hey, It's That Guy!: If you're Japanese, you will utter this line every time you watch their live concerts. To name a few, Keiji Mutoh of AJPW, Marty Friedman, and Rino Sashihara of AKB48.
Complete with the PRIDE opening theme (see Real Song Theme Tune below), the renowned announcers of PRIDE FC: Lenne Hardt, Kei Grant and Fumihiko Tachiki above also rang their voices across the stadiums in the the live concerts.
Their "Ze!!" is the Catch Phrase of Ichiro Mizuki, the singer of Mazinger Z opening and narrator of "Z Densetsu".
Every single of their big live concerts are announced and narrated in a fashion similar to Professional Wrestling matches and even done by the actual match narrators. Their manager is a big fan of pro wrestling; their nicknames, such as Electric Girl and Little Giant, are common practices in wrestler names. The most blatant of these homages is in their first album title, Battle and Romance, named after a Japanese wrestling promotion, "Wrestling And Romance" (WAR).
The "Chai Maxx" pose is an homage to professional wrestler Keiji Mutoh's signature pose. Some dance parts were also inspired by Alistair Overeem's moves. Also, Reni is shown dressed as Danpei, the coach from Ashita no Joe in this mixed martial arts themed Music Video.
The music video of "Ikuze! Kaitou Shoujou" shows the girls fighting an obvious Expy of a Kamen RiderMook, Shocker Combatant.
"Morifu!" is an homage to an 80’s comedy group called Drift ("Dorifu" in Japan). Some dance parts in this song and "Chai Maxx" also borrowed from them.
The bear-themed device suit that shoots gas worn by Kanako in "Z Densetsu" is named Bearda, an homage to the suit often worn by WCW wrestler Vader ("Bearda" and "Vader" sound same in Japanese).
The Momobro trading cards released in 2012 is an homage to showa era idol, a number of poses and costumes also based on several '80s idol singer single or album covers.
The song "Kuroi Shuumatsu" is a homage to Black Sabbath, which is the English translation of the title. Reni even copied Tony Iommi’s coughing from the beginning of "Sweet Leaf" song, not to mention the line "cabbra sadabra" (a Shout-Out to their song) and Ahrin's "All aboard! Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa!".
To 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just watch the "Mouretsu" music videos. The three random letters muttered in "LOST CHILD" also resemble HAL 9000's screen codes in the film.
Lettered Sequel: The Z was added after the lineup change by their staff because they thought this is a cool idea, and also serves as a homage to 70's anime Mazinger Z, their single after the name change also spams the Z line throughout the song.
List Song: "Momoclo no Nippon Manzai!" lists all 47 prefectures in Japan along with each region specialty. Of course, the Kansai Regional Accent is also played with in this song.
Long Title: The full title of Mouretsu is "Mouretsu Uchuu Koukyouku Dai Nana Gakushou: Mugen no Ai"note Furious Space Symphony the 7th Movement 'Infinite Love'".
Lucky Charms Title: "Koko Natsu" and "Mitte Mitte Kocchihi" are both stylized with stars in their names.
Mentor: Kawakami, as their manager, is portrayed as one. He often literally pushes their backs before shows.
Yumi-Sensei, as she is the only choreographer for their songs since their debut.
Hyadain can be counted as one as well.
The Merch: Aside for standard idol merchandises (photos, bromides, photobooks, t-shirts and so on), they're the only Idol Group that saw an exclusive and limited releases action figures release by Bandai (yes, that Bandai) in Chibi-Arts line back then when they're not so famous.
Music for Courage: "Rodo Sanka", as mentioned above, is dedicated to labor workers. "PUSH!" and "DNA Rhapsody" as well.
My Beloved Smother: Ahrin's mama is described everywhere else by this and doubles as Stage Mom. Ahrin even has the whole solo song about her.
Mythology Gag: What comes after "Hashire!"note Run!? "Motto Hashire!"note More run! by Ebichu and "Mou Chotto Hashire!"note A little bit more run! by Team Syachihoko. The three also have Shout-Out songs with Stardust in the titles, "Stardust Serenade", "Stardust Light" and "Stardust Bowling".
Pie in the Face: Done in the "Mirai E Susume" and "Santa-San" music videos.
Phantom Thief: "Kaitou Shojo" is all about this. They're not interested in those sparkling diamonds, though. All they want is to steal your heart.
Pirate Girl: The members dressed as space pirate girls in their single "Mouretsu".
Playground Song: "Mite Mite Kocchichi". The lyrics are even written entirely in Kana.
Portmanteau Couple Name: There are official duet unit groups called MomoTamai (Kanako and Shiorin) and DekoMayu (Kanako and Akarin). Other fan ships include AyaKanako, AhriNyasu, MomoTakagi, and so on, equal to combinations of 2 people out of 6.
Pun-Based Title: Hoo boy, here comes Hyadain, "Mirai Bowl" to Mirrorball, "Koko Natsu" is a pun on Coconuts and its literal translation "Here's Summer", "Santa San" is all about Fun With Palindromes, "Nippon Banzai!" can be read as either banzai! or manzai and Beta in UFI's "Beta is the Best!" can mean cliche or better.
They pulled off a nice combination of this and Bilingual Bonus in their 2013 Haru no Ichidaiji concert titled Hoshi wo Tsugu Momo -Peach for the Stars-. Hoshi wo Tsugu Momo is a parody of a manga adaptation of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam titled Hoshi wo Tsugu Mono, which translates to reach for the stars.
Race Against the Clock: Momokuno 60-Minutes is a series of their special live concert program where they had to perform requested songs in 60 minutes. The live will often end abruptly even while a song is being performed.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Their alter-ego, UFI, consisted of a girl who only cares about foods (Tamachan), an overly carefree american girl (Catherine), a girl who always falling in love (Saayan), a girl who loves partying and drinking (Gorina), a mysterious, shy and quiet girl that even couldn't sing (Miss X) and the only sane girl (Momorin).
Rated M for Manly: The main theme for their men-only annual concert Otoko Matsurinote Men's Festival. In the 2012 concert, they feature masters from Kyokushin karate and wrestlers from All Japan Pro Wrestling. The art for DVD cover was even done by the artist who drew Fist of the North Star. Can't get much more manly than that.
Real Song Theme Tune: Their annual winter concert Momoiro Christmas always opens with the opening theme from PRIDE Fighting Championship (a mixed martial arts matches in Japan).
Their record label purchased the rights for "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana for the intro to "NEO STARGATE" (and the 5th Dimension album overall).
The opening video show (VTR) before the concert uses various (so-far) non-Japanese songs, such as "Basket Case" by Green Day in Summer Dive 2011.
Seasonal Baggage: Their annual live concerts: Momoclo Haru no Ichidaijinote Momoclo's Great Event of Spring in the spring, Summer Dive in the... uh...summer, Momoclo Aki no Ni Dai Matsurinote Momoclo's Two Great Festivals of Autumn in autumn and Momoiro Christmas in winter.
A possible nod to "Kaito Shoujo" lyrics: "Spring, summer, autumn, winter, always non-stop."
Also, the music video of "BIRTH BIRTH" is a sequel to "NEO STARGATE".
Shout-Out: Their catchphrase, "We are the idols that you can meet RIGHT NOW!" is a parody of AKB48's promotional concept, "Idols that you can meet".
The lyrics in "Mouretsu" also a variation of this. The line "Even if I turn into the dust of stardust" is a shout out to their agency's name and their position as an idol unit that were overshadowed (or left in the "dust") by their seniors as actors and actresses (the "star").
Also, in "Mouretsu", the line "The child of star will continue to protect you" is a shout to their record label, Starchild.
Silly Love Songs: As is the standard formula for idol songs. Even though they’re famous for many hilarious songs, they can’t escape this. "Hashire!" is one of the earliest examples, and "Mouretsu" is a love song, IN SPACE!.
Singer Name Drop: Becomes a Stealth Pun in "Pinky Jones"; as a Japanese name can have multiple meanings, they make their names a part of the lyrics.
A bit of a variation in "Mirai Bowl" and "Mouretsu", as the member color drop.
Played straight in "Kaitou Shojo", "Z Densetsu", "Momoclo no Nippon Manzai", "Morifu", and their No Fourth Wall solo and duet songs.
Space Opera: Almost entirely all tracks on 5th Dimension, being the Concept Album to represent this trope: "NEO STARGATE", "BIRTH BIRTH", "Mouretsu" note "Furious Space Symphony the 7th Movement: Infinite Love", "Tsuki to Gingami Hikousen"note "Moon and Silver Paper Airship, Soratobu! Ozashiki Ressha''note "Fly! Teahouse Train", "Kasou Dystopia"note "Virtual Dystopia", and "Joukyu Monogatari -Carpe Diem-"note "Story to the Earth-Carpe Diem-".
Also in "MILKY WAY", "Stardust Serenade" and "LOST CHILD".
Spiritual Successor: The idol groups Shiritsuu Ebitsu Chuugaku and Team Syachihoko are officially regarded as their younger sister groups. It's more obvious with the latter, since they have the whole color code system.
The group is actually one to their agency's early attempt to make an idol group, Harajuku Launchers (a.k.a Angel Eyes). These days, Angel Eyes has become the name of their official fan club.
Spoken Word In Music: The narration in "Z Densetsu" and "Ozashiki Ressha", the mid portion of "LOST CHILD", and the whole conversation between Kanako and Shiorin in "Single Bed".
Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Kimiyuki", "Kimi no Ato" and "Shiroi Kaze". Of course, this trope is common with idols and idol groups.
Up to Eleven: A drastic departure from their concept prior to their major debut.
V-Formation Team Shot: Since they're a 5-person superhero parody group, much of their choreography is like this. The pose featured prominently in "Z Densetsu".
Variety Show: Momoclo Chan, their main Long Runner variety show, Bessatsunote SpinoffMomoclo Chan, kind of Recap Episode of past Momoclo Chan with extra footage, Momo-ken, documentary of various company visits, and Momokuro-Dan, a random 2-minute mini show.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Besides Akari, who is now a high profile fashion model and actress, many of their ex-members have never returned to the entertainment industry.