As it turns out, Kuromiya Rei’s taking a break from Ladybaby performance due to throat issues was a more ominous development than anybody reckoned; for that and other reasons, she’s withdrawing, and the whole Ladybabyverse is in an absolute tizzy:
黒宮れいがThe Idol Formerly Known As LADYBABY脱退、及びツアー中止
— LADYBABY (@ladybaby2015) November 17, 2017
Rei: Out immediately. Rie: Wait and see. Ladybaby: On hiatus, but effectively done.
And thus goes one of the fastest-burning lights in the heavy idol game. It’s weird to think about now, given the ridiculous amount of stuff that happened in the interval, but it’s only been a little more than two years since “Nippon Manju” caught people by surprise and came within a hair’s breadth of turning into the next “OMG JAPAN IDOLS LOUD” viral sensation — which doesn’t say enough about its actual popularity. Then the Beard was out in a contract dispute, the project went into hibernation and came back, guns proverbially blazing (because the girls favored knives), about a year ago.
And what a year! They didn’t release a ton of material, but having Oomori Seiko on your side is a great way to compensate. And regardless of how you feel about the usual Ladybaby joint, “LADY BABY BLUE” is undeniable.
Now the whole thing may as well be done, and do you know how I feel about that? I think it sucks.
It is correct that I am not a Ladybaby fan per se. I’ve always supported the members (even Beard!), but disliked the project and particularly disliked the management (and really all management related to Rei, but I digress). But this isn’t a Maniac’s Feelings about Certain Idols project, it’s a Maniac Will Show You Lots of Loud-to-Loudish Idols And You Will Choose What You Like project, intended to help more people get into this world; do you think I genuinely like a lot of the stuff that I foist upon you? Of course not.
So in that same spirit, if we’re talking about gateway projects, Ladybaby always was one. Go ahead and raise your hand if Ladybaby — “Nippon Manju” or “Renge Chance” etc. — was your actual first foray deeper into the idolverse. I know that there are a lot of you!
It’s a loss, particularly if the whole project goes down, which is probable. Rei will go on with BRATS, Rie will continue to do this and that, and DEADLIFT LOLITA will be the last living remnant of what once looked like a project of consequence.