If you’re on Twitter, you’ve no doubt seen these random videos popping up in various idols’ accounts over the past week or so:
And it’s not all-pervasive; it’s just some groups, but they’re all doing the same song.
Welcome, friends, to the 2016 Idol Matsuri competition. Let’s help a friend of ours win the thing.
Zac, who’s one of our on-the-ground-in-Japan connections, provided the details:
It’s a contest that started with each group submitting their own video cover of an old anime song (the ending theme from an anime called “Himitsu no Akkochan”) – that’s all the videos on each group’s page. The groups think up their own dances and all that.
Right now is the voting phase, and you can vote for one group from each area every two hours Japan time (so from midnight-2AM, 2AM-4AM, 4AM-6AM, etc). The points from votes, plus points assigned by judges who will evaulate the videos, will be combined to determine who within each area can go to compete in the third stage (top six groups).
The third stage is based on a live performance, with judges determining one final winner from each area. The criteria they’re judged on is vocal ability, dance ability, originality, potential, and staging. Last year the results were announced up to top 3, but only the number one group moved on to the next stage.
The winners from each area will then all go to Tokyo and perform in the same manner as stage three, evaluated by judges to see who are the top three groups.
That’s basically the whole process, although the only part that really matters right now is that you can vote once per two hours Japan time for any one group from each area of Japan.
What do they win? Does it matter what they win? Hell no! This is about pride, dammit. This is about somebody we like getting to upstage all the nice idols in the frilly dresses and glower menacingly from a momentary center of idol culture.
How to do this
- This phase runs through July 14.
- Go here.
- It’s in Japanese! That’s okay. This is still pretty easy.
- Find the red rectangular button at top right; on mouseover, the link will be “/login/”. Click.
- You’ll use Facebook or Twitter, your choice, to create your account. Select as appropriate and tell the application Yes when you need to. It’s okay. It’s safe.
- If you’re like me and can’t Japanese, now is a good time to switch on translation, because there’s a little form to follow, asking for your name, age and prefecture (you can select Other, the final option). Submit that.
- You’re done registering! Now go to 参加アイドル in the navigation, or just click this.
- You are now looking at ALL OF THE IDOLS PARTICIPATING, grouped by area. See Zac’s notes above: You can not vote for any in an area, but you also, I think, can’t vote for more than one per area during your two-hour window.
Who to vote for
Whoever you want! Go ahead and peruse that big-ass list. You may have idols that you really like in each area, or you may have several in one and hate that you have to play favorites but that’s what we all do with our own kids (be honest)* and that’s fine.
But because there’s a particular type of idol that this site covers, and you presumably share an interest in those idols, here’s a handy voting guide:
- Hokkaido Area (北海道エリア): No favorite.
- Tohoku Area (東北エリア): No favorite.
- Hokushinetsu Area (北信越エリア): No favorite.
- Kanto A Area (関東Aエリア): Yandoll OR C-Style
- Kanto B Area (関東Bエリア): FreFre Chime Fes OR Kitakaze Impact
- Kanto C Area (関東Cエリア): NECRONOMIDOL
- Tokai Area (東海エリア): THE SPUNKY
- Kansai Area (関西エリア): PiGU
- Chogoku, Shikoku Area (中国・四国エリア): 30POSSE
- Kyushu-Okinawa (九州・沖縄エリア): No favorite.
Look! Multiple veterans of Tokyo Candoll!
When you click on each of those links, you’ll be taken to that group’s page. Seriously, although the end result will be that fucking song stuck in your head for the rest of your life, watch the videos; at least among this lot, some of them are pretty original and/or well-done. Like, I really liked 30POSSE’s. I’m also still recovering from seeing Yandoll kinda-sorta non-ironically do kawaii. C-Style involves pipe-cleaner vertebrae and, of course, violence. Kitakaze? Harsh vocals.
When you’re on the page, you can click the little heart+ symbol next to the group’s name to favorite them (don’t mind the BRIGHT ORANGISH button that pops over the page; that’s just a confirmation), and then click the red button below the video to cast your vote. You’ll then get a counter that tells you when you’ll be able to vote again (possibly much shorter than you think, because it’s two-hour intervals, not every two hours). Repeat at will. Watch your impact on the rankings.
Of course, you can do whatever you like. Vote for one, some, none, whatever. I’m not your dad. But come on.
And now to imprint this in your brain forever, here it is by Idol Matsuri ambassadors Dempagumi.inc: