Flower (Japanese group)
Flower is a Japanese pop girl group formed by LDH in 2009 and signed to Sony Music Japan. They are a dance and vocal unit of collective girl group E-girls alongside Happiness and three other original E-girls members. The group consists of one vocalist and four performers.
Flower was formed first as a performance group, with LDH recruiting four dancers: Elina Mizuno, Manami Sigetome, Mio Nakajima, and Shuuka Fujii in 2009. They began appearing in Exile music videos and modeling, before amassing popularity as backup dancers for Exile during their 2010 Live Tour alongside sister groups Dream and Happiness.
LDH held a national search for new group members in February 2011 titled "Exile Presents Vocal Battle Audition 3: For Girls", which led to the addition of Nozomi Bando and Harumi Sato, along with three vocalists, Reina Washio, Kyoka Ichiki, and Chiharu Muto.
2011-Present: Debut and changes
As a nine-member group, Flower released their debut single, "Still", on October 12, 2011. The single charted at number 5 during the first week of release, and remained on the chart for several weeks. In November 2011, Flower was confirmed to be joining sister groups Dream and Happiness in the collective group E-girls. Flower continued to release several singles throughout 2012 alongside promoting as members of E-girls.
In June 2013, company LDH confirmed the group would be participating in a competition with sister group Happiness in which both groups would release their singles on the same day, and the winner of the competition would have one of their songs feature as a B-side on a future E-girls' single. Flower won the competition, and their song "Hatsukoi" was included in E-girls' single "Gomennasai no Kissing You".
Leader Elina Mizuno announced her official withdrawal from Flower and E-girls on October 18, 2013, citing her focus on her acting career. Shigetome Manami replaced her as leader of Flower following her departure.
The group announced the release of their first album, self-titled for release on January 22, 2014.
On October 12, 2014, Chiharu Muto officially announced her withdrawal from both E-girls and Flower, deciding to study abroad. The group released their eighth single, "Akikaze no Answer", following this, being the last single to include Muto. Flower announced the release of their second album, Hanadokei (花時計), on February 3, 2015, to be released on March 4, 2015, less than a month after the release of their double A-side single "Sayonara, Alice / Tomorrow Tomorrow: Shiawase no Hosoku".
They released their eleventh single "Blue Sky Blue" on April 29, 2015.
On June 6 2017, Flower's new song "Taiyō no Elegy" (Elegy for the Sun) was used as the ending theme for the anime adaptation of Altair: A Record of Battles. The song's CD single went on sale on August 23, 2017.
On December 31 2017, Fujii Shuuka officially announced her departure from the group and retirement from the entertainment industry due to severe injuries that would take time to heal.
It was announced that Flower's new single, "Kurenai no Doresu", would be released on January 23, 2019.  This would be the first single as a five-member group. It was also announced that their upcoming third album, F, would be released on March 27, 2019.
|Bolded members are vocalists.|
- Studio albums
- Flower (2014)
- Hanadokei (2015)
- F (2019)
- Compilation albums
- This Is Flower This Is Best (2016)
- Flower Live Tour 2015 "Hanadokei" (June 2015, Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka)
- "あらま They Didn't ! Japanese Entertainment News - EXILE's sister group FLOWER to make their debut in October!". livejournal.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "EXILE's sister group, FLOWER, releases track list for debut single". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "E-Girls to release their 1st single "Celebration"". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "あらま They Didn't ! Japanese Entertainment News - Happiness vs FLOWER". livejournal.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Flower leader Mizuno Erina withdraws from the group". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "あらま They Didn't ! Japanese Entertainment News - Manami Shigetome chosen as Flower's new leader". livejournal.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Flower's 1st album to be released in January". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "E-girls & Flower member Muto Chiharu to withdraw from the group". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Flower to advance onto the next stage with their 2nd album". tokyohive.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Member Changes within E-girls Are Announced". aramajapan.com. Retrieved 7 Oct 2015.
- "Message from Flower 市來杏香". www.ldh.co.jp. Retrieved 7 Oct 2015.
- "FLOWER Performs Altair: A Record of Battles Anime's Ending Theme Song". Anime News Network. June 29, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
- "Fujii Shuuka leaves Flower, to retire from entertainment industry".