Himekyun Fruit Can

Like an idol Van Halen.

Idols are diverse. If I’ve learned anything from the process that began with “what else is like Babymetal?”, it’s that there’s no one way to look at idols, and an idol can be a punk just as readily as she can be pop star in a weirdly cut pastel-colored dress.

So with an idol being capable of any kind of music and any kind of performance, it makes sense that there’d be someone out there occupying that permanent middle space — far from a typical pop group, but safe enough to introduce to your parents. Like Nickelback, only, like, good.

And that, for me, is Himekyun Fruit Can.

I don’t think that it makes a whole lot of sense to pretend that they’re anything that they aren’t. They’re an agency creation in the purest sense, with auditions held in 2010 leading to the creation of two different groups, one of which no longer exists (but may have been spun off to make the small army of sister groups — Fruitpochette, nanoCUNE and AiCune). After scoring big sales as independents, they eventually got signed to a major label and assumed what seems to me to be the dominant position in the rock side of the idol scene.

Of course, as idols, they’re required to have a weird gimmick (in this case, every member has their own fruit), but that stuff’s actually pretty understated. Instead, the focus is on the rock.

And rock they do! Their sound is nicely on the harder end of the rock spectrum, with more than a few songs definitely qualifying as metal and most utilizing a pretty nice hard rock/J-pop hybrid sound. In fact, the songs included here and on the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist are mostly included for demonstration purposes; you could make an argument for any of a number.

HKFC have basically become mainstays at this point, with slick pro production and a seriously heavy discography. And, just for what it’s worth, between their look and their organization (the sister groups are technically part of Himekyun Fruit Can), they’re sort of arch-idol as far as the heavy side of things goes.

They’re pretty successful so far, and they may have the highest ceiling of anybody in the game.

What they sound like

Like the apotheosis of idols doing hard rock. And this is hard rock, too, with quite a bit of their music technically qualifying as metal. Hence the Van Halen comparison — for a pretty long stretch, was anybody doing radio-ready hard rock better than Van Halen?

You’ll like them if

If you’re coming at this from a purely Western perspective, you’re good if you can dig everything from Halestorm to Maroon 5 and also kind of had a Pussycat Dolls thing for a while. If you’re already acquainted with idols, the nearest approximation is probably Kamen Joshi or Osaka Shunkashuto. If you’re into J-rock at all, more Doll$Boxx than Gachapin, but you know what I mean.

Entries on the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist:

The above, plus:


Okumura Mayuri (leader)
Okumura Mayuri of Japanese rock idol group Himekyun Fruit Can
Tanio Sakurako
Tanio Sakurako of Japanese rock idol group Himekyun Fruit Can
Okamoto MaiOkamoto Mai of Japanese rock idol group Himekyun Fruit Can Kono HonokaKono Honoka of Japanese rock idol group Himekyun Fruit Can Kikuhara YuriaKikuhara Yuria of Japanese rock idol group Himekyun Fruit Can


“Renai Energy Hoson no Housoku” (single)
“Koi no Prison” (single)
“8-bun no 1 no Breath” (single)
“Koi ga Tomaranai” (single)
“Koi no Binetsu” (single)
“Tatoeba no Monster” (single)
Renai Miracle!! (album)
“Killer Tune” (single)
“Buzzword” (single)
“Andante” (single)
Jounetsu, Emotion. ~REAL IDOROLL GIFT~ (album)
“Moratorium” (single)
“Harukanata” (single)
“Paradigm” (single)
“TEAR DROPS” (single)
Dengeki Princess (album)
“Kakusei Mirai” (single)
Tengoku Gimmick (album)