SanMyu is a 9-member group. The members all got their start on NicoNico Douga, and formed in July of last year after a viewer voting project selected the final members out of 18 candidates. They made their debut at a charity event for those affected by the Tohoku tsunami. They are the first idols to debut with the Sun Music Group in 21 years, and the very first idol group. It is because of this, and the tragic history of the Sun Music idol whose song they are covering, which makes this group one I'm excited to watch.
SanMyu's debut single "Kuchibiru Network," is a cover of 80s idol Okada Yukiko's final single. Okada was a bright star in her time. Called "Yukko" by her fans, Okada had a bright smile and an even brighter future (and was also a dead ringer for Tsugunaga Momoko: yeah I know, anachronism and all that jazz). She was an ambitious girl, and from a very young age, she auditioned for everything she possibly could to kickstart the career she wanted in TV and music. After winning a talent competition called Star Tanjou!, she debuted in 1983 with the single "First Date." Her music was well-received by both critics and the general public, and she went on to win several awards and appear in two movies.
"Kuchibiru Network" was released two months before her suicide at age 18 in 1986.
The cause of Okada's suicide is still unknown, but her memory lives on in a very big way. I think it is quite significant that this group was chosen to cover her last single, and that's why I'm really excited to pay attention to them. Beyond the history, "Kuchibiru Network" was created by a star-studded pair: "eternal idol" and singer/songwriter Matsuda Seiko, and brilliant neo-geo amazeballs god of all things instrumental Sakamoto Ryuichi, who is known for creating some of the most beautiful and moving pieces of music known to humankind. (Don't believe me? Go watch Babel or buy the soundtrack, or listen to his album "Chasm." Most incredible album in the universe.)
These girls were given a huge privilege with their debut, but I think they do quite nicely with it. Their debut short-version PV was recently released on Pony Canyon's YouTube channel, and the single will drop on 1/23.
CDJapan link: Kuchibiru Network [Regular Edition] / Sanmyu