Beloved Japanese idol group Momoiro Clover Z
performed the Tokyo stages of their 15th anniversary nationwide tour, which served as its finale, on October 14th and 15th. Starting in July and weaving in summer festival appearances, the commemorative
tour spanned four months, featuring a total of 12 shows, with all of them being sold out.
On a bright October Saturday, an outbound rapid train departing from Shinjuku was bustling as usual, but with one remarkable distinction. Many of the passengers were sporting the colors of their favorite Momoiro Clover Z
via merchandise; Kanako Momota
’s red, Shiori
’s yellow, Ayaka Sasaki
’s pink, and Reni Takagi
’s purple. All were journeying to the same destination; Momoiro Clover Z
’s 15th anniversary tour finale show.
The contrast became even clearer after getting off the train at the station closest to the night’s venue. Groups of fans carrying Momoclo
merch were everywhere, and it didn’t take long to understand this unusual scene was proof
of the inclusive community for fans regardless of age or gender, as they celebrated their reunion and shared the excitement of this much anticipated day.
As the clock approached the start time, the stage lights gracefully receded, unveiling the quartet on stage. Elegantly attired in sleek black dresses, they departed from their iconic multicolored uniforms, underlining the tour title QUEEN OF
. The concert kicked off with the 2011 classic Hashire!
, which had been newly arranged for this special tour. The energy of the Mononofu (the name for their fans) already reached its peak as they enthusiastically chanted along with
the song, a common closing number for the group's performances.
Following was Momoclo
's renowned fight song, DNA Rhapsody
, accompanied by six dancers clad in white. The atmosphere resembled a Broadway performance more than a traditional idol concert, proof of the unique artistry they've
developed over their remarkable 15-year career.
“Let’s enjoy the night,” the four members said as they pumped up the crowd and hopped on top of moving platforms to approach the fans on the opposite side of the venue. Navigating through the audience, they performed concert anthems like Gorilla
Punch -ZZ ver.-
and Nightmare Before Catharsis
, both of which were also highlights from their May show titled Yoyogi Mugendai Kinenbi Momoiro Clover Z 15th Anniversary LIVE
The concert line-up went beyond their classic tunes. A standout moment of the night was undoubtedly the newest single MONONOFU NIPPON
, which was made in a collaboration with iconic Japanese guitarist Tomoyasu Hotei
As they switched their outfits to align with their individual member colors and delivered a flawless performance of the song, the fans reciprocated with an escalating level of energy in their chants. Throughout this four-month tour, the bond between the
group and their fans has grown stronger, cementing a deeper connection even when performing the newly released track.
Seasons also changed during the tour and the four group members revealed to fans a side of them that’s more in line with your average millennial than one of a scene-leading idol group through their stage banter. Sasaki
talked about her current challenge
with autumn hay fever, which she didn't experience the last time they performed at this venue in August. On the other hand, Tamai
expressed her enjoyment of the season, particularly the scent of the plant osmanthus. Momota
about the days when they used scripted stage banter, meticulously memorizing every word. However, they've since discarded scripts, embracing spontaneous dialogue during their performances.
As the concert neared its grand finale, the energy surged even higher. Following the relaxed and seasoned banter, the audience was treated to a medley, offering a nostalgic journey through the group's history, with music video footage from
their debut onwards. Within the medley, an array of songs spanning their career were showcased, from early classics like Momoiro Punch
(2009), Pinky Jones
(2010) and Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi Yo
(2013) to their 15th-anniversary
(2023). Additionally, significant milestones from their career, such as their 2012 debut at Nippon Budokan and their 2014 National Stadium performance, were featured as part of the backdrop. It wasn't just a journey through the evolution of an idol group; it was also a testament to how teenagers transformed into top artists, enduring numerous challenges along the way. It effectively illustrated the message from the lyrics of The Golden History
(2018), featured in the medley, which talk
about growing stronger with every passage through different eras.
Though fans may have encountered the group in various eras or through different songs, they all gathered that night to commemorate the present state of Momoiro Clover Z
. It was a moving experience for more than just a few fans,
some of whom were brought to tears.
"Nothing feels right other than ending our 15th-anniversary live tour with the song we’re most attached
beamed before they proceeded to perform their major debut single, Ikuze Kaitou Shoujo
. This song marked their TV debut and symbolized the immense time and effort they invested in their early years.
Within the two and a half hour set, the four members showcased footage from across their 15 years together over 25 songs. "You're not alone" is the theme running through their songs, and the four members embody this concept perfectly. They have established
a warm and inclusive community that embraces fans of all ages, from young girls to parents and their remarkable effort to instill the belief that "illuminating the world with smiles and music," a bold aspiration in this complex world, is not
only possible but essential.
As the quartet left the stage, the Mononofu resumed their chants for the encore, creating a magical atmosphere with hundreds of glow sticks shining in a mix of colors. What came as a surprise was that they announced a new single, Chikai Mirai
written by Yujin Kitagawa
of Japanese duo Yuzu
, which was just released on October 27th. And the audience was lucky enough to witness the very first performance of the song.
After sending off the dancers, the four members remained on stage to deliver their final song, Hoero. Momoclo
gave their all in their signature style, and the Mononofu responded with an eruption of cheers, concluding
the show on a particularly high note.
However, the anniversary show didn't mark the end, as a mysterious teaser appeared on the backdrop immediately after the performance. This teaser heralded the start of a new chapter: the production of their seventh album in the coming year. Momoiro
didn't conclude their anniversary celebration with a sense of nostalgia. Instead, they left their devoted fans with a surge of anticipation that would persist until the moment they reunited with the Mononofu another weekend.
The music videos for MONONOFU NIPPON feat. Tomoyasu Hotei
can be viewed below.
Links to download and stream Chikai Mirai
on various music platforms are available here