The Science of Sakura Gakuin

Hello. Welcome to this special lecture from the Royal Idol Institute in London. I am here to talk to you today about the science of Sakura Gakuin.


For an idol group to be just simply awesome you need one thing and that’s a great leader. Morning Musume have had it several times (Ai-chan and Sayu for instance), C-ute have it, Berryz Kobo don’t. It’s an elusive thing. However Sakura Gakuin have it through the wonder of Horiuchi Marina having already previously had it through the awesomeness of Nakamoto Suzuka. Marina is an unstoppable spazzing energy ball of pure cuteness. This makes her a great figurehead for the group. Allow me to demonstrate. A group with a boring leader will leave audiences feeling like this…


Or this…


Sales will at best be like this


However groups with awesome leaders will have audiences feeling like this…


Sales meanwhile will be all…


See? Now that’s science that is.

And so onto Marina.




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Not peace!


Stand out girl!






Cover girl!

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Ad girl! She’s currently advertising the PS Vita.

This girl has cuteness overload and you can’t help but be dragged along by her sheer bouncy energy. She’s also a busy idol. Sakura Gakuin have many sub-units and she’s in almost all of them. Yes milk it while you can. That’s the secret of success.

Marina was in the now disbanded Twinklestars…


Twinkle twinkle little stars.

The now disbanded Sleepiece…

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The science club Kagaku Kyumei Kiko Logica?


Standing in front of a MomoClo poster just to prove their awesomeness.

The tennis club Pastel Wind…


And of course the school nurse injection club In Your Knickers…okay I’m making that last one up.

Oh and she was an original member of the cooking club…


With Marina at the helm Sakura Gakuin have broken into the Oricon weekly top ten for the first time. Their last single Ganbare! reached weekly number 7. This is the first time Sakura Gakuin have managed to actually come close to the success of their breakout sub-unit BABYMETAL (all in capitals because it just is for some reason. It’s all heavy maaan).

But scientifically you also need a cute idol with a big gob. C-ute have Nacky, Momusu have Haruna, and here too Sakura Gakuin can match this. For in Taguchi Hana they have as good a lookalike of a young Nacky as you’ll ever get…



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Fan of violence. O-o


Cute friend!



Hana comes with the Morningtime “Princess Pretty” seal of approval. So far only Nakajima Saki and Tanabe Nanami have been recipients so it’s cute praise indeed!

Other members who stand out are the BABYMETAL duo Moa and Yui (Suzuka has officially now graduated from Sakura Gakuin but not BABYMETAL)…

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Yui is my favourite of the two. She’s just so cute and little…


Although Moa is a big idol fan and likes Suzuki Airi so respect is due.

Probably my fourth favourite after Marina, Hana, and Yui (and just ahead of Moa) is the cutely big-jugged (EARS! I’M TALKING ABOUT EARS!) Rinon (who is 13 today)…


Numbers 4 and 2 in my ranking.

Then there’s the awkward looking but somehow very likeable Ooga Saki…


And the looks-older-than-13 Shirai Saki…


But of course having the idols isn’t enough. You also need the songs. Sakura Gakuin have them with as much energy as any group could muster. They are quite the happiest, most energetic and uplifting group in idol music today. Sweet, innocent and exceptionally catchy. Plus they have some really good videos. Check out the pv’s to Wonderful Journey, My Graduation Toss, Friends and the slightly odd run-to-Budokan scenario of latest single Ganbare.

Alongside C-ute and Momusu Sakura Gakuin are my favourote idol group. Even ahead of Momoiro Clover Z. Check them out if you can. They are worth it if you need a shot of innocent, happy Japanese pop. And scientists have conclusively proven that if you want a happy, well-balanced life you need a healthy dose of innocent, happy Japanese pop.

Anyway to end my lecture and by way of demonstration enjoy some more pics…

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Cute group!



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The cooking club’s second incarnation!


More violence!

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Linlin lookalike Notsu Yunano.


Idol t-shirts always seem similar no matter what the group.


Ooga and Rinon.

And that’s it. I’m sure next time I’ll be back going on about C-ute or Momusu. Until then look to the (idol) stars and dream.


17 responses to “The Science of Sakura Gakuin

  1. Such a nice post! I think Sakura Gakuin has now become my third favourite idol group as well. I like Momusu and Cute almost the same, then Sakura Gakuin, then MomoClo Z, then probably Juice=Juice. Such a similar ranking with yours. Marina is so adorable! ^^ Besides Marina I’ve been mostly paying attention to Rinon, not sure who else I like yet… Yunano? It’s funny you say she’s a Linlin lookalike, because I do like her looks. Oh and I noticed your Morningtime Gakuin banner!

    • I have several new banners related to Sakura Gakuin or Babymetal.

      Rinon is someone I like watching a lot. She isn’t really pretty but somehow she grabs the attention.

  2. See, I’d say Aichan’s tenure as leader of Momusu matches that linegraph of Berryz. Bunch of boringness and in the middle Nanchatte Renai.

    Still, I agree that Marina’s probably the best of the bunch in Sakugaku atm, though I can see myself oshi-ing Moa just because I’ll end up having to do so in march anyway.

  3. Pingback: Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: November 16, 2013 | Idolminded·

  4. I’ve been a huge supporter of Sakura Gakuin since watching TIF 2010. I love this group more than any other idol group! My favorites are Ayaka, Hinata, Rinon, Mariri and Marina! Marina is the first Sakura Gakuin leader I like. I never got into Ayami or Suzuka. And how dare you say Rinon isn’t pretty! Rinon is one of the cutest girls on the entire planet! I’m not happy she cut her long hair (I hate it when idols do that), but I still would choose Rinon over the more popular girls who are / have been members of Sakura Gakuin. Heck, I’d take Rinon over ANY popular idol! Miyoshi Ayaka, Nakano Yuuka or Fukada Seina are my three favorite idols, but Rinon is definitely somewhere among my top ten favorite idols of all time! Happy birthday to the most underrated Sakura Gakuin member (besides Ayaka and Mariri), Ri-chan! ❤

  5. P.S., Your Berryz Kobo graph was rather amusing. I hate “Dschinghis Khan”! How did song that ever get popular? Of course, I’m not much of an H!P fan anymore…..

    • I think Rinon is cute. Just not what I’d call pretty. But beauty us in the eye if the beholder. She does captivate though and that’s a special quality. I like watching her perform.

      Khan is one of the very few Berryz songs I actually like. Their first single since Piriri to Yukou that was anything other than boring to me. It was fun and catchy and that’s not something I can say about that group too often. ><

  6. I’ll accept you saying Rinon is cute, and yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I also wanted to say thank you for all those great photos. I didn’t have the time at 2:30 a.m. (my time zone) last night when I read your blog to save them into my computer. I just corrected that! It’s good to hear a H!P fan say something nice about Sakura Gakuin. We need more people to give “other idol groups” not at the top of the sales charts a chance since a lot of idols like Sakura Gakuin are pretty awesome and being overlooked.

    • It was H!P that got me into idols in the first place but I do like some non-H!P groups. The problem is that when you support one or two groups in particular it’s hard to find time to support more. So whereas with the H!P groups I like I will buy their singles and albums (and for my favourite members any solo photobooks or dvd’s they bring out), with other groups its then hard to be able to afford to buy too much. However Sakura Gakuin are a group I am supporting as much as C-ute and probably more than Morning Musume. I have all three albums, each single that was released from Wonderful Journey onwards (I was a late starter) and the Suzuka graduation concert and photobook. Thinking about it though it must be hard for idol groups to break through when a lot of fans like me tend to concentrate on certain groups and individuals. But Sakura Gakuin’s last single sold well enough to make the top ten and they seemed to appear on a lot of tv shows promoting it so maybe they can continue to gain the attention of more idol fans. They at least seem to be on their way up.

      Finding photos is quite difficult. It’s easy for H!P groups as they produce photos to buy so often so people scan and upload them to fan sites. With Sakura Gakuin the majority of photos I find tend to be from official blogs and they are small pics.

  7. I’m sorry to carry on a bit here, but you should buy Sakura Gakuin’s debut single, “Yume ni Mukatte” / “Hello! IVY”. It comes with a 28 page booklet and member card (if the cards are still in print). What other 3 song (with 3 instrumentals) CD single has a 28 page booklet? None that I can think of!

  8. They really are a great group and I’ve been listening to their music since pretty early on. However, I haven’t had a chance to learn much about the members so I really liked this post.

    • It’s hard to get the chance to learn much though. As they aren’t too big an idol group they don’t have as much exposure as other groups. It makes it hard to even find decent pictures to post. ><

      • Yeah, I imagine it took you close to forever to collect the pics for this post.

        I suppose it’s somewhat obvious but, what I consider most important is being able to listen to the music. After that, any photos, videos, or other info about the group are all bonus.

    • Well music is the most important thing I agree. But I like to take an interest in the members too. Idol culture gives entertainment on so many levels. The music is obviously first and foremost but the idols themselves are all-round entertainers. Tv show appearances show off their personalities plus a lot of them act too. It adds a richness to the whole fandom.
      With Hello! Project there used to be so much richness. Individual and group dvd’s in places like Hawaii for instance. Some great tv appearances too like on Utaban. These days tv appearances are often very boring and the dvd’s aren’t even talkies. It’s a shame. But the individual idols themselves can still charm and amuse. With Sakura Gakuin though I feel it’s a shame that I can’t even really get a handle on some of them. The music is great anyway but I want to also find out more about the members. And really speaking, for the sake of their careers they probably need fans to too. Although more in Japan than anywhere else. It’s like there are extra layers of enjoyment just begging to be unleashed.

  9. You can find out pretty much anything you want about H!P members or AKB48 stuff but I see your point about groups like Sakura Gakuin. I’ve run into the same thing trying to learn about Ebichu. I also remember that problem with Momoclo and Passpo☆ when they were still indie though it seems like you can find more about them now.

    Of course, I should say that I’m talking about info in English – there may be plenty of stuff about these groups in Japanese.

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