Ayumikurikamaki might not have the most imaginative or original name out there, what with it just being the names of the group’s three members strung together, but they more than make up for it with the amount of energy that they put into their music and live performances.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ayumikurikamaki, the group dynamic is fairly straightforward. You have three girls who are unsurprisingly named Ayumi, Kurika and Maki. Ayumi is billed as the singer of the group, Kurika the DJ and Maki the hype-woman.
At this point if you’re new to the group, you’re probably either going “Oh great, ANOTHER rap group” or “Oh GREAT, another rap group!”. Not so, although there are some elements of rap in play here, Ayumikurikamaki are a bit more three dimensional than that. If they weren’t I certainly wouldn’t be writing about them right now.
Their shows feature actual DJ sets, which are almost made a mockery of by the current crop of “idol rap” groups out there these days, as well as the Ayumikurikamaki performing their original songs. If you check out any of their performances on Youtube, you’ll get a pretty decent idea of what to expect when attending one of their shows. Spoiler, it’s a pretty good time.
2015 was a big year for the group, in March they released their major label debut single “Shake Shake Shake”. It’s a pretty decent representation of the group’s musical identity, for those wanting to just jump right in from there. Although it’s definitely worth checking out their releases from previous years too.
This was followed in June by the single “Honey Honey Honey”, which featured as an ending theme for the Punchline! anime. The music video is one of the weirder things I’ve seen in a while, but I get what they were going for. That doesn’t stop the visual of one of their fictional classmates having an actual bear’s head being super jarring though.
Yes, I realize this is completely illogical given how easily I can accept that the group is three girls in bear cosplay. I’m aware.
The year was then rounded out musically in late November with the release of the single “Shinyuu Forever”. It kind of went in a bit of a different direction, being a lot more rock focused than most of their work. In my opinion it was a bit generic but still alright, hopefully it doesn’t represent a complete change of style for the group for whatever reason.
The single also featured the b-side “Mori Mori Mori” which serves as the theme song for the movie “Bittare!”, which also released in theaters in Japan this past November. A pretty decent year as far as the endorsements go I have to say.
Unfortunately, said pretty decent year ended on a rather sour note for the group after they were involved in a car accident less than a week prior to publication of this article. Thankfully nobody was seriously injured but the group will miss its end of year commitments as well as most of the month of January while everyone recovers. I know I speak for everybody when I wish all of the members and staff involved a speedy recovery.
Ayumikurikamaki remain my go-to group for when I need some idol music to get me pumped up. Their songs have a great energy to them that just make you want to get up and move. If you’re into idol groups like that who also have great hooks then Ayumikurikamaki should already be on their radar. If they aren’t, check out some of the singles I mentioned here as well as their “Jet Kumastar” release from 2014 which featured in my top 10 singles for that year.
As for 2016, I’m pretty much expecting more anime OP/ED gigs for the group. That could be good or bad, I’m not sure. In any case, I’m sure we’ll find sometime around March or so.