We Review Things Sleepily: 3776 | “3776 wo Kikanai Riyuu ga Aru to Sureba”

Last week, I was kindly informed that 3776’s Magnum Opus album, 3776 wo Kikanai Riyuu ga Aru to Sureba, was available for free on OTOTOY temporarily. Always one for a freebie, naturally, I downloaded it, and upon listening, I was like “Damn! This is a really great album!” and so Maniac responded, “Then review it”.

Two problems here:

  1. I suck at song reviews. They’ll all painfully boring and don’t go anywhere beyond “This is a pretty good song.”
  2. The album is three years old, making any kind of review totally irrelevant.

So, I had this ridiculous idea; I always come up with the best Friday Fun ideas when I’m half-asleep! YouTube dungeons, not so much. So, what would happen if I attempted to review an album (or more accurately, liveblog the album) on an hour of sleep? It wouldn’t be hard. My sleeping habits are atrocious anyway. As for the whole “three years old” thing? I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t even know this album was from 2015 until halfway through listening. I didn’t even know 3776 existed until OTOTOY informed me of this album’s existence. But one thing I do know, is Ide Chiyono (also known as 3776-chan in this review, as I was too tired to remember her actual name) is, according to her Last.FM profile image, the disaster girl meme.

Brian was invited to provide some input on 3776 as a bona fide expert, but he refused on the grounds that the piece would be funnier if it had less context.

Long story short, consider this shitpost-in-disguise an introduction to 3776 of sorts. As much of an introduction as a shitpost can be. But hopefully, we’ll be covering 3776 more in the future, because this was one of the most fun albums I’ve listened to in a long time.

So, onward with sleep-deprived Kerrie! Continue reading

Homicidols Archives: The Idol Suicides #1

Welcome to Homicidols Archives, an attempt to capture and document the ephemeral and ever-changing entity that is Idol.

Here is the reprint of the first instalment of The Idol Suicides, a column originally written for now-defunct 20hz magazine by Sokichi Osada, the producer of legend-worthy disbanded group Girls Excellency International & currently the producer of Cinema and Boy CQ (Den’ei to Shounen CQ), movie soundtrackers extraordinaire.

The Idol Suicides #01 was originally published in April 2016, in the second issue of 20hz. For an introduction to the series, click here. For the other installments, it’s this way.

The text of the article is untouched and as Osada-san sent it to me. However, the original layout of the article had images and video content to supplement documentary appartés. I was linked to all idols videos, they are presented as they were. All other hyperlinks have been added by the contributor posting this. Continue reading

Damn It All, We’re Losing Babyraids

This is the worst news:

To those who reached out: You are bad friends and I demand that you retract the existence of this. Continue reading

Homicidols Archives: The Idol Suicides | An Introduction

Here at Homicidols, we love to dissect Idol. No, I do not mean dissecting the girls themselves, you sicko, I meant Idol capital I, the essence, the thing, the industry. Consider the widespread misconceptions & ambiguities around mainstream idols common in English coverage. If even the big names cannot be described properly with the profusion of information already translated and shared by fans, emergent groups appeared an unsolvable mystery, unless you were on location, had good Japanese skills and got chummy enough with the manager of the idol group you wanted to know more about. Ricky Wilson, the manager of our beloved NECRONOMIDOL, has shed some light on his experience working in the idol industry, but for a rigorous investigation, you need a variety of sources.

20 Hz Magazine1 was a bilingual music monthly web magazine, backed by Powertap. They published a total of four issues. Starting with the second issue, they published a column titled “The Idol Suicides”. Written by Sokichi Osada, it describes his own experiences, starting when he skeptically followed a friend at an idol live, and against all expectations began producing an idol group himself.

The writing was pleasant to read, but also trifled with details, including the different ways idols are paid. We recommended the article back in September 2016 2, and it became a precious resource for the English-speaking international idol fan community. It became one of my favourite articles to read, the kind you favourite and re-read over and over again, and use it to prove points.

A couple of weeks ago, I settled to do just that and refresh my memory. I needed my dose of “The Idol Suicides”.

But when I loaded the link, the website was gone. Continue reading

Need Help Navigating TIF? We Got You Covered

I keep alluding to this handy guide to the Tokyo Idol Festival, and not really producing it. It might not have happened at all hadn’t Go Go Going Now! reached out a week or so ago about putting together something that would have a what-to-do element to it. That’s smart, I thought. That gets back to the roots of ye olde website.

So here’s the deal: If you’re kind of a n00b but have made the very smart decision to get into idols, and part of your conversion process is a pilgrimage to the annual holiest of holies known as the Tokyo Idol Festival — this year’s biggest idol-dedicated party on the planet runs Friday Aug. 3 through Sunday Aug. 5! — I won’t tell you what to do, but I’ll tell you what I would probably do, and you can take that or leave it or use it as a basis to think about things. It doesn’t matter! Just go and have fun! Also get started by reading Go Go Going Now!’s primer!

But if you are thinking that maybe this Maniac guy has some iota of good sense in that enormous head of his, I encourage you, friend, to read along and think strategically about how to make the most of your TIF experience.

Friday

The schedule

Friday at TIF has, in my experience, always been the water-testing day, where acts that might belong but might not rate as highly show up and do their thing … for the first time; the rate of Friday idols also getting Sunday sets on different stages is high. There are, though, usually quite a few idols who only get one chance to shine, on Friday, when the wota aren’t even warmed up yet. However, Friday evening is a great time; I recall some sick performances at the old HEAT GARAGE in particular.

Idol at Its Finest

Idol has a unique power to send the audience member on a journey; it’s as much theatre as straight-ahead musical show. Take amiinA, who does everything so beautifully, or sora tob sakana, or Maison Book Girl — they’re doing performance art as much as they are song and dance, and it’s incredible. Also incredibly lucky for fans of the performing arts to get to see them at a venue like TIF, considering that a U.S. equivalent would probably shunt them to a side stage at best.

And then there’s the just-plain-great idols in the mix, like Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Dots, Dance for Philosophy and 2017 post-TIF breakouts Task have Fun, all of whom are going to deliver sets that could damn near bring you to tears. This is the day for it! Opening days of festivals, especially opening evenings, are in my opinion the time to find sets that are going to put me into that glowing moment, to see something transcendent that can power me through.

Get into the Pit

Pits at idol lives being unique, wonderful things, it’s kind of hard to say who’s definitely going to have a raucous crowd — especially among the newercomers. There There Theres have legendary ones, though, going back to the BRGH days, and I’ve heard good things about about people at Kaishin no Ichigeki. Otherwise, you should have good pushing and running around during the likes of NEO JAPONISM, PIIIIIIIN SHINGEKI, Shuuengo Buppan, Gokigen Teikoku, ayumikurikamaki, Malcolm Mask McLaren, Panda Mic, RIOT BABY and, of course, the deadliest idols of all, Broken By The Scream, who seriously have to be on loan before heading over to Summer Sonic (what do you mean, they aren’t?).

The thing is, though … do you want to burn yourself out now? I’d try to pick and choose a little bit. BBTS is a one-shot, and a dangerous one for human health at that, as is the slightly less-dangerous Malcolm Mask McLaren, so I’d see if I could catch those two today and spread out the others.

The List of Everybody Worth Seeing Except the Ones That I’ll Post about This Week and Next

Saturday

The schedule

There are a lot of different ways to look at TIF’s sandwich day; I’ve always preferred to think of it as the spotlight, where idols making a breakthrough might get a prime afternoon or evening slot on a stage of significance, and where bigger names who are only partly involved in the whole event usually get their booking. This year is no different! For instance, the WACK family will all be appearing, but only on Saturday. Likewise KOTO, and JyuJyu, and other well-known entities.

For what it’s worth, Saturday is the day to take in a solo performance by Yui ga Dokuson (sure to be a highlight) or catch up with the one-time-only resurrection of SAiNT SEX, now featuring Aya and GOZEELA in place of Puu-sama. Oh, and Aina’s doing a solo set with Kenta, just like that other time.

Power Play

If I were attending TIF (and I’m not!), I’d be trying to load up Saturday with appearances by the big names that I’d otherwise struggle to connect with. PASSPO, for instance, and not just because they’re breaking up. The WACK things obviously; likewise You’ll Melt More! and Dance for Philosophy. What I might really try to get into, though, especially if the stage and time and environment all coalesce, is There There Theres’s set — not only do they never disappoint, but their TIF sets are the stuff of legends.

I’d also be careful to try to catch some of the chika-ier acts that only made it into today, like Sola Sound and Woltanative. Otherwise, I’m saving some strength for Sunday.

The List That’s Kind of Repetitive But That’s Okay Because the Best Laid Plans Fail and You’ll Wind up at the Smile Garden at the End of the Day Anyway

Sunday

The schedule

If Saturday is like the TIF main course, Sunday is the incredible dessert that follows. I may prefer Day 2, yes; to imply that Day 3 is somehow inferior is just silly. For one thing, it’s a good follow-up kind of day — very few idols only do Sunday, so you can catch them now if you missed them earlier — and lesser-knowns are plenty accessible. Things also seem to be a tick or so calmer as compared to Friday and Saturday, given that everybody, from the idols to the staff to the fans, is pretty gassed on the third all-out day of blazing-ass Tokyo summer spent dancing like you just don’t care.

This is where I’m catching uijin and wyenra and QUEENS and Party Rockets as priorities, plus Electric Ribbon (who are great), Devil ANTHEM (who are on fire) and Negicco, because I love them and you can’t stop me. It’s the one chance to see BILLIE IDLE, with the newly added Pour Lui, at least at this event. And, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll at least swing by Bed-In’s set to see what the big deal is. You won’t be disappointed.

No matter what you do, though, if you’re at TIF, you go to see Oomori Seiko on Sunday. She’s part of the TIF/Summer Sonic mashup, and an appropriate connection thereof at that, and you would be a fool to not see one of the greatest musicians in all of contemporary J-music (if not working today, period) when you can.

The By-now-you’re-exhausted-but-you’re-not-missing-BILLIE-IDLE List

  • Up Up Girls
  • Up Up Girls 2
  • Up Up Girls Wrestling
  • amiinA
  • IVOLVE
  • uijin
  • Electric Ribbon
  • wyenra
  • Osaka Shunkashuto
  • QUEENS
  • Gokigen Teikoku
  • Shuuengo Buppan
  • SHINGEKI
  • There There Theres
  • Full Power Girls R
  • sora tob sakana

Anything Else?

Absolutely! Look around on Twitter or in fan communities for the smaller, off-to-the-side concurrent events held during TIF, often right down the road, that are explicitly for the chika idols (or, rather, the chika idols who haven’t graduated to being draws of pinchike money to the main fest). For instance:

I have no idea what that tweet means, but until Melon’s showing up in the official TIF lineup, I’m going to assume that they’re holding down the fort at some day-long gig at LOFT or something. But still, can you imagine the Idols From Outer Space taking over the Sky Stage? Gives me shivers, it does.

The point is, if you’re “at” TIF or merely in Tokyo and TIF-proximate, it’s worth seeing what’s around. Idols who aren’t performing at TIF absolutely flood the area, hoping to catch the eye of idol fans who might be looking for something new, and that’s just scratching the surface of all of the gigs, parties, street performances and so on that you can expect. It’s an absolute smorgasbord of idol — feel free to try new things!

And drink a lot of water! It’s hot out there!

We Don’t Often Cover Idol Rap, But When We Do, We Prefer New Koutei Camera Girl Drei

Kouteca continues to be great.

Adequately timed with  the release of their latest EP, “New Way Of Lovin’“, the ever-changing lo-fi rap idols and buddies of our Papermaiden Koutei Camera Girl Drei have brought us a delightful little MV for a song that, like the best kind of alcohol, can be enjoyed both on a warm sunny day and on a night where you just want to let loose either at home or in a mid-end nightclub. As I prefer my Kouteis at night, it always seems kind of surreal to me whenever I see sunny outdoorsy stuff from them, but if any song from their latest works alongside the sunny skies we’re currently having, then it’s “Slowly World”. As much as Zwei will always be my favourite incarnation of Kouteca, I still always get excited by a new release from these ladies, and this music video and EP is no exception. Try and check out their latest if you get the chance.

I Am Incredibly Happy about Bury

Like, the song that they shared out yesterday is the reason why, which I hope you enjoy as much as I did:

Why is this such a rich year for new and newer idols, when last year was basically just one long slog of bad graduations and me wondering if this whole rock business had crested? Bury’s just doing right things, and every new song that sounds good as hell, every hi-res live photo, every accessibility-enabling development fills me with glee about their prospects. Continue reading

There’s That Zenkimi MV!

Gah, and it’s even for the exact song that I wanted it for!

I have to catch a train but maybe I can update later but my bob is my heart swelling right now. You knocked it out of the park, you ridiculous weirdos. Continue reading

Holy Crap, This NO MARK Song

Did you guys hear this yet? Or maybe the better question is, are you ready to hear this yet? There have been so many sick debuts this year that I’d all but put NO MARK out of mind (after posting about them just a month ago!), which is funny given how much I enjoyed them right out of the gate.

Well, they’re releasing their second digital single on Wednesday, and this is what it’s going to sound like, and /inserts ear plugs:


What a title

Have mercy. The reptilian part of my brain wanted me to retreat to the same spot that I did for that extremely extra YUZUKINGDOM song, but while this tune’s got 18 kinds of things going on, it’s still somehow more coherent than that thing was. My goodness. I hope there’s an MV for it.

Work out with Eren-chan!

Dang, when was the last time that I got to post about one of my favorite solo idols? This long ago! You know how I like to refer to a recent past time that I listened to a thing and thought of a thing and then wham there it is? This is like the opposite of that — I have my Eren-chan CD in my car and like to play it when I enter this particularly troublesome stretch of a particular journey. Yes, I did it within the past month, but it didn’t really make me go, oh hey Eren, what up? It was more, dang, I should listen to this more.

Anyway! Eren-chan, who is cool and good, released an album back in June (I’m so sorry!), and dropped this MV yesterday to get you motivated:

This one’s more wacky than loud, but that’s fine when it’s been almost a year since you last got to catch up, you know? Continue reading