Yanakoto Sotto Mute Get Retrospective While Unveiling the Future in “Layline” MV

In a last ditch effort to demonstrate that we deserve good things in 2019, Yanakoto Sotto Mute are ending the year with an MV for Layline, #3 in their “NINE” series of singles.

Scholars of Yanamute will notice the settings of past MVs Lily, Any, Holy Grail, Awake and Morning pelting by accompanied by flashes of the imagery from “Bubble” and “Mirrors”. This 4:44 MV pays homage to virtually all of the motifs of the past while incrementally constructing a vision of Yanamute’s future. The end finds the trio back on the set of Horoscope, Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s very first MV, as they are joined by their newest member and finally head to the stage as a quartet once again.  For fans, this MV is a seismic landmark and it helps that Layline is one of the best of the “NINE” tracks YSM has been quietly releasing over the past few months. 

The MV though is in danger of being upstaged by the group’s big reveal. You recall a couple weeks ago when Yanamute dropped a teaser trailer on us without even enough info to know how to spell their new member’s name? Now we finally got the deets:

Meet Rin Tsukasa. She would like you to call her, “Tsukasa”.

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Yanakoto Sotto Mute Unveil a New Member

Yanakoto Sotto Mute released a minute long MV on Sunday to tease a new song and, more significantly, their new fourth member.

YSM do everything in style and their newest member fits the mold, stalking the streets in black until she shifts to signature Yanamute white as her hand grasps that fourth mic.

So, meet 「凛つかさ」:

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SUDDENDEATH is Reborn

SENANAN has never done anything conventional. When she told us about her marriage and pregnancy she also announced several active projects that she would be stepping away from. Conspicuously absent was any word about the future of her idol unit SUDDENDEATH.

Now that both SENANAN and Osuzu are back from maternity leave, they are reviving SUDDENDEATH, and they’re bringing the kids.

Their first event will be a “Mom Meeting” at the KRY Cafe in January. Children are welcome!! They also announced a resurrection live in March. I’m not sure if the kids have to stay home for that one. Continue reading

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A Very Good Beginning for MERRY BAD END

MERRY BAD END dropped their very first MV,  “Diamond Ain’t Break Down”, over the weekend. It’s quite the introduction:

I love a good fusion, and this tune has it combining metal-core with euro-pop harmonies and 80’s era hip-hop (think Run DMC meets Ace of Base at Lamb of God’s house). The whole package works, but where they really win me over is with the clean harmonies. This trio sounds dreamy together.

If this is the beginning, I can’t for what comes next. Nice to meet you MERRY BAD END!! 

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We Review Dorama: Dakara Watashi wa Oshimashita

“Say, have you heard of ‘Oshi’?” 

This is the opening line of 2019 NHK dorama Dakara Watashi wa Oshimashita (English Title: “My Favorite Member”), in which a 30-year-old office worker stumbles across a performance by underground idols and is slowly and inexorably pulled down the rabbit hole to chika idol wotadom.  This entirely relatable synopsis was enough to garner the show a high priority on My Dramalist as soon as Papermaiden made me aware of its existence. And as much as I wanted to binge all eight 30-minute episodes as soon the fansubs were complete, I disciplined myself and slowly devoured the show over the course of a few days. 

It was a rewarding effort. The dorama shines as an incredibly instructive, rewarding and, in the end, empathetic spotlight on the world of underground idol. In delivering this detailed insight, the show adopts a mostly naturalistic tone and doesn’t sugarcoat or romanticize the struggles of the idols or wota. Although the story unfolds through a melodramatic plot device, both the idols and their fans are portrayed as real, imperfect people trying to build a better versions of themselves.

If nothing else, the show answers the question I saw posed on Twitter the other day: “Is the ‘w’ in ‘wota’ silent?”  Continue reading

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Burst Girl’s Super Revolution

Change sometimes happens with glacial slowness. Sometimes, it comes in waves. Burst Girl apparently prefers change at the pace of a meteor strike. If a die-hard Burst Girl fan was hit by a bus and spent the week in a coma, they would be forgiven for waking up this morning, seeing the new MV and asking, “Who are these purple-clad punks and why does the center’s smile look so familiar?” 

Burst Girl’s revolutionary week started last Sunday when it was announced that they would be making their Western debut as part of Italian idol festival Monster of Dolls 2020 line-up.

Then Monday saw the graduation of Zero-chan. Though I’ve been overusing the phrase this year, this graduation is an end of an era. Rei-chan was an iconic presence in chika idol and it is hard to remember a time when she wasn’t the BOSS, first of Guso Drop and then of Burst Girl.  
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Twitter Suspends Hanako-san, Incurs 444-Year-Long Curse

Twitter has unwisely solicited the wrath of 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-San.  This weekend, after having solved all other pressing matters plaguing the platform, Twitter suspended Hanako-san’s accounts. They now have only themselves to blame if employees suddenly go missing during visits to the fourth floor restroom at Twitter headquarters.

For a 444-year-old youkai like Hanako-san, saying, “I’m going to bathe in a sea of your blood” is simply her way of saying, “Hello.” Yet Twitter has apparently frozen her accounts for expressing her innocuous intent to kill us all.

She has since opened a new account, so please subscribe to @14Hanako_san.

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We Interview Idols: Broken By the Scream

Broken By the Scream is one of the most unique, talented and loud acts in alternative idol and, over this past Labor Day weekend, Saboten Con played host to their U.S. debut in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Although harsh vocals in chika idol have been normalized over the past few years, most groups still only use death voice elements to provide an occasional emotional emphasis or shock.  Broken By the Scream, however, has flipped this norm, embracing harsh vocals for the lead part in the majority of their songs. Having a dedicated screamer (Io) and growler (Kagura) also lends a signature contrast to the vocal delivery, oftentimes in a call-and-response style reminiscent of a collaborative rap.  In this harsh environment, it is the entry of the clean vocals of Yae and Ayame that oftentimes serve as a purifying and cathartic shock.

Towards the end of Saboten Con weekend, Team Homicidols was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to sit down and speak with the four talented idols whose singular voices combine to make Broken By the Scream the vocal powerhouse that it is. 

Broken By The Scream Homicidols Interview

Yae: This is a genre that you’ve probably never heard anywhere else in the world.

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Screaming 60s Take a Breath

Five years and 1,293 shows later, Screaming 60s capped what has been perhaps the most relentless and legendary run in chika idol history with am exuberantly emotional live at Zepp Nagoya on September 2nd.

As the group enters a period of indefinite (and perhaps permanent) hiatus, the entire chronology of the Screaming 60s saga has been painstakingly documented in a commemorative booklet available for download.

All parties involved have been cagey, carefully avoiding saying that Screaming 60s are finished and only reminding us that nobody knows the future. We do, however, know that Montero’s immediate future largely involves motherhood. Kai, for her part, didn’t even take a day off before announcing her new role as vocalist for a just-launched band, Tentai 3349. Continue reading

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Broken By the Scream Breaks the States

Broken By the Scream made their debut performance on U.S. shores this past Friday night at Saboten Con in Phoenix and it was spectacular. Ayame, Yae, Io and Kagura brought a ton of energy to the Arizona desert and left it all onstage. The vocals were appropriately brutal and angelic in turn, the choreography crisp and emotional. Fans had flown in from across the U.S. and up from Mexico to give BBTS a proper welcome to the West. Altogether, it was a fabulously brutal evening.

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