You may have heard of famous idol groups from Japan such as AKB48 and Morning Musume, but aside from these standard cute J-pop girls, there's a whole wealth of idol units out there representing all manner of surprising themes...

Virtual Currency Girls (Virtual Currency)

Are you confused about all this talk of bitcoin and crypto-currencies? Perhaps Virtual Currency Girls can help! (If you can understand Japanese)

Source: PR Times

Kaso Tsuka Shojo (Virtual Currency Girls) are an 8 member idol group with the aim of educating the public about various virtual currencies. The stage personas are inspired by different currencies, one member is called BCH, standing for Bitcoin Cash and each have the symbol for that currency emblazoned on their luchador mask. We are yet to see what kind of genre their music will be until after their debut. The luchador masks will probably always remain a mystery.

Their emergence has left many scratching their head, but these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to weird acts in recent years.

Drone Venus (Drones)

Source: PR Times

Another group that seem to be capitalising on a new trend is Drone Venus, a six member outfit who all possess the skills to hold a tune and pilot a drone. Here’s a video of them showing off their piloting.

Igo Idol Project (Go, the board game)

Most idol groups are characterized by many members and singing and dancing. However, idols aren’t always musical acts, sometimes they just act as popular representatives for a certain theme. For example, to promote the Japanese board game of Go (Igo in Japanese), an idol unit was set up. Surprisingly the unit is made up of young women who have zero Go playing experience. The fans are supposed to enjoy watching the members' journeys while learning from scratch how this old classic is played.

© Igo Idol Project

Jiji Pop (Elderly idols)

Last year an idol group emerged with an average age of 67.4 years old. Jiji Pop is made up of five young-at-heart older gentlemen. 'Jiji' is a usually affectionate term for an old guy in Japan.

Source: PR Times

They came together due to their shared passion of singing and dancing and their songs spread a positive message of living life to the full despite old age.

Ginzan Boyz (Ikuno Silver Mine mannequins)

This last example is a bit of a joke entry since it’s a tongue-in-cheek marketing ploy to bring tourism to a small historial mining town.

Source: PR Times

The Ginzan Boyz are a 60 member idol group made up of mannequins which serve as stand-ins for the miners of the past in the Ikuno Silver Mine, Hyogo prefecture. So you can see them for yourself if you happen to be in the area! I wouldn't expect too much of an energetic performance in person though...

By - grape Japan editorial staff.