Voting’s totes closed, amigos. Thanks for playing!
We’re on a record-shattering pace for total votes this year, gang, and thank you so much for being part of this. The Homicidols Best Ofs aren’t meant to be the Awards That Maniac Wants to Give, or even Gee What Does Team Like; they are and always have been based in the community, meant to reflect the community. Well, you all are showing up and it’s making a big impact! I can’t wait to publish the results. And Kerrie probably can’t wait to finally be done with it all!
Our final ballot is here, with some of the really big awards. Think about how you may have voted before, and think about what it means in context. We’re talking “who’s the best in idol this year” and “this stuff is why I bother with this wild-ass industry” and the like. May the best idols win!
A big part of going wota is getting your heart broken, your expectations dashed. So much depends on hype that letdowns are, frankly, endemic — and yet, some emotional burials are more intense than others. Or! the scale is just that much grander. From this list, whether it’s a group of staggering promise constantly falling on its face (or suddenly imploding), or fan expectations being met with a dull thud, or an iconic figure literally disappearing, there’s no shortage of “oh, damn.”
As mentioned yesterday in the B-side section, a good second song on a record can elevate something marketable to being something great. But what about when the title track didn’t take any prisoners, either? What about a pair (or trio, sure) of songs that just knock your socks off? These finalists include very familiar stalwarts plus old friends getting new levels of respect … and one of the strangest idol solo projects you’re ever like to see that just so happened to be notable, memorable and really great from the jump. Who really deserves to take the crown, though?
A new category for this year! We asked ourselves, what can we do to honor those who maybe aren’t idol per se, or maybe aren’t all that … well, shifting and amorphous definitions of “homi” being what they are, maybe let’s just leave all that stuff implied. But look — every act here connects with our side of idol in a unique way, supports the screaming loud girls, influences them, etc., and just so happens to be crushing it in their own way. The question is, who deserves what could be considered something of an achievement award? Who deserves to stand out for all of that support and respect? I have my favorite, but who’s yours?
Maybe my favorite category, though I think this year the most debutante-heavy since these awards got started. Which group, through its growth and activity and undeniable quality of product, seems like they’re most likely to break through — not necessarily to the mainstream, but definitely to a much higher level of recognition and respect — in 2019? Previous years’ winners Maison book girl and EMPiRE both undeniably did just that (though EMPiRE was cheating, come on). Who might be joining them? Hell, all of these acts might join them, so at least who’s the most likely?
Which individual group member or solo idol stood out the most in 2018? It seems like an easy question until you remember all of the different ways that wota work, and all of the things that they stan for. Hanako-san and Saki and Kai, it’s not just that all three of them went abroad this past year; they’re all total scene grinders with excellent social presence and a small army of fans, too. I wasn’t prepare for the response to Chiaki when I first posted about her, but it turned out that she’s quite literally beloved by a fan segment that we don’t always interact with. The same could be said for Coco, who I think also doubles as the idol that a lot of fans wish they could be if they could swap bodies. It’s interesting how this fall into place, and it’ll be even more interesting to see who ultimately wins.
The big enchilada is one of my most cherished things. Here’s why: It doesn’t reflect total raw popularity, and it doesn’t act as a cipher for Western fans vs. Japanese ones; instead, it’s shown itself to be a marker of respect for a total body of work within a fixed period of time. 2016 was BiSH’s big breakout. 2017 was NECRONOMIDOL going big internationally and releasing a stretch of great material. For 2018 … wew lad. We have Hanako-san performing abroad and releasing a criminally under-released record. Kaqriyo Terror Architect slapped the rest of Codomomental silly and dropped an album and an EP that are Best Of nominees. Necroma ran sort of a repeat of last year, with the bonus of an ever-growing profile. HAMIDASYSTEM released one of the most ambitious multimedia projects in idol, pushing themselves to a new level in the process. Maison book girl? Back to the West, great releases, new tweaks to their sound, great MVs; Yanakoto Sotto Mute, already among the very best in quality, topping even KTA’s output and then showing Americans what they’re really all about.
It’s a hell of thing to decide, but we have to. Who takes home the biggest honor of all?
Now go vote!
Sorry everybody, we done for this year!