Plus-sized girl group hopes to make a splash in J-pop market

Plus-sized girl group hopes to make a splash in J-pop market

New plus-sized Japanese girl group Pottya are trying to make it big, literally.

The five-member act gained attention in the Japanese media and online when they held their inaugural press conference last month, with each girl tipping the scales at an average of 76kg.

More than 2,000 girls auditioned to be in this new idol group, but only Risa Oki, Maiko Indo, Mai Yokokawa, Emi Tsukada and Michiko Ohashi made the cut.

And Pottya's producer Takeo Kobiyashi has also set a strict criteria for them, saying they will be dropped if they do not maintain their current weight.

All out to defy traditional societal stereotypes, the quintet said at the event: "We can't be idols if we're not slim? In order to destroy those doubts, chubby girls (like us) came together and formed an idol unit.

"While aiming to become idols who can sing and dance, we want to give dreams to chubby girls.

"There are so many things that we want to do, such as holding live concerts, performing at food festivals and appearing in dramas. In order to do that, we want many people to know about us. Everyone, please support us!"

A two-minute music video of their debut single Po・Po・Po・Pocha Rinko has garnered 377,000 views on YouTube in two weeks.

It shows the girls grabbing desserts from a long table and dancing in synchronised steps alongside oversized confectionery to a catchy tune.

However, while the video is attracting eyeballs, it has also drawn flak from netizens.

YouTube user Leokumai wrote: "Uh... Eating theme for a chubby-themed idol group? Let's try to be more original next time!"

Another user, oil88, added: "Big is ok as long as they eat healthy and exercise, not eating sweets and junk food like this. They should have changed the dishes on the table!"

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