At initial glance, you might mistake Higashi-Ikebukuro 52, Japan's latest mega-member idol unit, to be a sister-group or spinoff of other popular acts such as AKB48 or Keyakizaka46. Outside of having a lot of singing (liberal use of the term) and dancing members, they're actually unrelated, though. That's because Higashi-Ikebukuro 52 is an idol group made up of a credit card company's employees!

Source: YouTube

Many Japanese Idol groups also have a sports-team sort of representation of areas in Japan (such as with AKB48 and Akihabara), and that's no different with Higashi-Ikebukuro 52, who represent Eastern Ikebukuro in Tokyo. The 24 member group is comprised all of employees for Japanese credit card provider Credit Saison. The "52" in their name doesn't actually refer to the number of members in the group, but the floor number of Ikebukuro's Sunshine 60 tower, where Credit Saison HQ is located.

While none of the members of the group are professional singers or dancers, their debut music video "Watashi Saison” (I Saison) shows them working through a typical idol song-and-dance number, all while showing off the sights and sounds of Eastern Ikebukuro.

There's also a video released of them practicing and learning how to dance like actual seasoned idols by a professional crew of music video directors. As a clever professional maneuver, Credit Saison customers can use saved up credit points to get different CD covers.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.