Second ballot, team, taking us to about the 2/3 point. There were some tough choices and even individual disappointments in the first set, so guess what lies ahead! This is a good group of stuff, though, and what I think some people took to be omissions earlier will start to step forward. Just ask the people of Philadelphia: Trust the process.
So who you gonna vote for?
I’ll officially call this the weirdest group of “new members” and “new idols” we’ve ever had on a ballot, the scare quotes because I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be talking about Pour Lui away from BiS and The Bunny Rabbit Idol Formerly Known as Kanra doing a notable solo project, yet here we are. Lein, of course, was nothing if not captivating (for some, that’s all she was!); on the other hand, not many people name every individual girl who joined SAKA-SAMA in that big amalgamation, but the consensus is that they brought a lot to the group. And what of Ladybaby, all but completely re-formed, and with a female harsh vocalist to boot? It all comes down to how you like your idol, no doubt.
Have we ever had a Performance ballot without BiSH or NECRONOMIDOL? When, truth be told, selecting just one performance involving either is kind of selling them short? Likewise Oyasumi Hologram, for whom I need not describe the process of how it got down to “East Coast” except to describe it as “grueling” and “threatening”, especially when one considers that … those were the shows with Necroma on board! Wild. And yet, and yet! All of the above are still at the mercy of Maison book girl wowing folks in the UK, and arguably the most infamous battle between idols and kindergartners in history, courtesy of TTTS.
This was a much easier category to come together, but of course we wound up with six nominees instead of the optimal five because hey, it was a hell of a good year for collaboration projects! Nobody who heard it could do much more than drool about the split record between tipToe. and Dots, especially this guy. Likewise Zekkyou’s work with The Heana Cat, which took them in a new direction and wound up being a total winner. More “regular,” as if that’s an appropriate descriptor, collabs like the ongoing BYS series by Pour Lui and friends, or any time that Beni and SOZELICA (as big of mutual fangirls as you’ll find this side of Nicki Minaj looking in a mirror) get together, might be more your cup of tea, especially if you like speculation in your coffee. Or, in the one-off department, we have Leaders and almost-annual inclusion URBANGARDE, and the unforgettable project between Aina the End, her butt, and MONDO GROSSO.
I’ll never get tired of saying it: The B-side is the best side. This is where artists can drop whatever marketable pretense they brought into a single release and add something that they really want to do, and idol is particularly great at putting smart, heady, moving music here. I won’t go through the list (thereby saving myself from typing that BiSH thing more than once), but … look, I really hope you had a chance to hear all of these, okay? The total single releases are very good, but these songs stuck out precisely because they’re such a huge part of what made them that way.
And in our annual send-up of wota tears, what a brutal year for graduations and expected ones! In fact, we had a debate internally, whether we should include a certain duo who are still active, but that they’re gone for us now was good enough. Yes, Hina and Sari from Necroma are here to torture us, as of course is many a Western wota’s first oshi in Yuimetal, and many a Western wota’s second oshi in Tsuyame. Or do you prefer your graduations en masse, as in the case of PASSPO leaving this mortal coil, or most of MIGMA SHELTER taking off? I’m tried of thinking about it already!
I not only don’t know what to say about this collection, I don’t even know how I’m going to vote! This is a lot like the EP category from yesterday, right down to the artists in some cases, and let’s be real — what constitutes “best” or “greatest” or whatever is really going to come down to how you like your coffee. The all-but-untitled Dots album was astonishing, but in a completely different way than Walls, which was completely different from Mudai, and so on. The important thing is, you can’t be wrong, so maybe pick the album that you’ll still be listening to in five years.
Now vote! And remember to add contact info if you want to maybe win a thing!
Oh no, the voting is closed! Thanks to all!