EMPiRE (EXPLOSiVE MASQUERADES PENETRATE iNSTiNCTS; REDEMPTiVE EYE) are a Japanese idol group formed in 2017 as a collaboration between WACK and Japanese record label Avex. The group currently has six full-time members.
- YU-Ki EMPiRE (Founding member)
- MAYU EMPiRE (Founding member
- MiDORiKO EMPiRE (Founding Member)
- MAHO EMPiRE (Joined March 18th, 2018)
- MiKiNA EMPiRE (Joined March 18th, 2018)
- NOW EMPiRE (Joined March 30th, 2019)
- YUiNA EMPiRE (Founding member, transferred to BiS, May 1st, 2018)
- YUKA EMPiRE (Founding member, graduated March 4th, 2019)
- Kashiwagi Yuki (Special temporary member, joining for one single in 2021)
On April 2, 2017, it was announced at the WACK EXHiBiTiON that the WACK AUDiTiON CAMP 2017 finalists Momoko Gumi Inc. and Gamiya Saki would be chosen as members for a new collaborative group between WACK and Avex Trax, the record company that BiSH (and previously, BiS) were signed to. The group was given the temporary name "Project AW" and auditions opened for more members. Girls who had failed the previous WACK audition were especially encouraged to audition for this upcoming project.
The completed Project AW, now known officially as "EMPiRE", was revealed on August 23. The members' names were announced as YU-Ki EMPiRE (Momoko Gumi Inc.), YUKA EMPiRE (Gamiya Saki), YUiNA EMPiRE, MAYU EMPiRE and MiDORiKO EMPiRE. However, their faces were obscured by hoods until each member reached 10000 followers on Twitter.
When YUiNA EMPiRE was the first member to reach the 10000 target and show her face, the goal was increased to 20000 in response to fans purchasing bot accounts to reach the goal faster.
When all the members faces were finally unveiled, it was revealed that as well as the two members announced at WACK EXHiBiTiON, MAYU EMPiRE and YUiNA EMPiRE had also participated in the same audition camp under the names "Pari Ubu" and "Lisoliso".
On December 6, EMPiRE appeared on the WACK Shuffle album, WACK & SCRAMBLES WORKS, alongside all other current WACK artists. However, as they were still new at the time, none of the members were included in any of the shuffle groups. Instead, they had their own track, EMPiRE is COMiNG, feature on the album, and also participated in the cover of nerve with every other WACK group.
EMPiRE began broadcasting a monthly radio show, FREE ALL EMPiRE, on FM Fuji from January 31.
On March 18, during the WACK AUDiTiON CAMP 2018's concluding WACK EXHiBiTiON, a major lineup change for EMPiRE was announced; audition finalists MiKiNA EMPiRE and MAHO EMPiRE would join the group, while YUiNA EMPiRE would be permanently transferred to BiS.
EMPiRE's debut album, THE EMPiRE STRiKES START!! was released April 11. The track "Black to the Dreamlight" was used as the ending theme for the anime "Black Clover".
YUiNA EMPiRE officially left the group on May 1. Her final show was also the debut for MiKiNA and MAHO. During this show, they also announced their first mini-album, EMPiRE originals.
EMPiRE originals was released on August 26, 2018.
On January 29, YUKA EMPiRE announced that she would graduate from the group during a 24-hour concert taking place in March.
On February 27, EMPiRE released their debut single, Pierce. To promote the song ahead of its use as a theme song for the anime "Fairy Tail", it was also released digitally a month early.
YUKA graduated from EMPiRE at their 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE live on March 4. Immediately afterward, EMPiRE released a digital single, SELFiSH PEOPLE, for free on their website for 24 hours.
On March 23, EMPiRE announced their second single, SUCCESS STORY, on Twitter. During the announcement, they also announced a "Brand-new EMPiRE" with a change in sound and image.
On September 15, EMPiRE pre-released their second single, RiGHT NOW, ahead of its official release on October 16.
In October, EMPiRE announced that RiGHT NOW would be an opening theme for Black Clover, the second time that they collaborated with the anime.
On October 20, EMPiRE debuted a new song and unveiled the album title as the GREAT JOURNEY ALBUM at their first free live "EMPiRE'S GREAT PARTY vol.0". After the event, fans were invited to come to a Hide and Seek event where if they caught the girls, they would be allowed to listen to the new album in its entirety during a limo ride.
November 3 saw the start of the GREAT JOURNEY ALBUM's promo, with the music video for Have it my way dropping and the announcement that the special edition of the release would come with a live album and a rerecording of SELFiSH PEOPLE as a bonus track.
The GREAT JOURNEY ALBUM was eventually released on December 18, 2019.
On April 8, EMPiRE's first live home video release, EMPiRE'S GREAT REVENGE LiVE, was released to the public, alongside two new tracks which were included on the Blu-ray release of GREAT REVENGE. A few days later, these two tracks were released as a standalone digital single, ORDiNARY.
On April 29, EMPiRE released another digital single, SUPER FEELiNG GOOD, for 24 hours only.
EMPiRE's second mini-album, SUPER COOL EP, was released on August 5. This EP combines their past digital singles, alongside four new tracks.
On January 4, released a digital single, ERROR.
EMPiRE will released a 7-inch LP containing re-recordings of Don't tell me why and Tokyo Moonlight on March 17, as part of a partnership with JET SET Records.
A recording of their EMPiRE BREAKS THROUGH the LiMiT LiVE performance, which originally took place on January 4, will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 7.
On March 19, EMPiRE streamed their EMPiRE'S GREATEST PARTY -EAT SLEEP EMPiRE REPEAT- live, t the end of which they announced a new single, HON-NO / IZA!!, for May 12. A week before HON-NO / IZA!!'s release, EMPiRE also released a digital single, I don't cry anymore [Seiho Remix].
In early April, it was announced that AKB48 member Kashiwagi Yuki would be joining EMPiRE sometime in the near future. Further details were released the following month; Yuki would be joining EMPiRE (as well as every other main WACK unit) and releasing a single with them in August, as well as with every other group, concurrently. However, in early June, all seven singles were postponed indefinitely so that Yuki could receive emergency surgery.
On June 26th, all current EMPiRE members were each given individual Instagram accounts.
EMPiRE announced their third studio album, BRiGHT FUTURE, on September 3rd. Leading up to the album's release, a new song, LET'S SHOW, was released on September 5th. The following week, a new date for their collaborative single with Kashiwagi Yuki was also scheduled for late November.
On October 26th, EMPiRE released the surprise best-of album, Teikoku Genjou no Best, exclusively at Tower Records.
- [2018.01.31-present] FREE ALL EMPiRE (FM Fuji)
- As of 2021, they are the only WACK group to launch immediately on a major label without an indies period.
- Prior to NOW joining, the name of every single member in the group began with either an M or a Y.
- The meaning of "EMPiRE" (EXPLOSiVE MASQUERADES PENETRATE iNSTiNCTS; REDEMPTiVE EYE) wasn't revealed until the HON-NO music video, four years after the group's formation. There's a good chance that it's all nonsense the staff made up.
- Are the first and only WACK unit where all current members have an Instagram account.
- See Gallery: EMPiRE