True story, or true to my knowledge: An old friend of mine had spent the majority of his young adult years in the military, posted abroad in that era when the United States wasn’t at war with like eight countries at once. He was bored a lot, and so tended to get into local drug cultures wherever he was. By the time I met him, there was very little in this world that he hadn’t tried; or, more accurately, probably more that he was actively avoiding for the rest of his life than he hadn’t tried previously, if that makes sense, and his brain was somewhat addled. Think of a literal man-child — he had the body and intelligence of an adult, but the personality of a wound-up adolescent. Kind of amazing.
Anyway, the one thing that my friend avoided more than any other was red wine. Why? I’ll never understand the hows and whys, but his attested reason was that he’d spent the better part of an extended stop in Spain taking a lifetime’s worth of acid and drinking Spanish reds, and though he also vowed to never do acid again, he’d found that even the crappy pink box wine that sometimes showed up at parties was enough to give him acid flashbacks. And just specifically red wine! He had no trouble with white, fruit wines, stuff like that. Just red.
What does this have to do with IVOLVE? Absolutely nothing, save for the fact that I heard “Wannabe” here and got back a feeling that I used to get — and love — in an earlier era of idol coverage, and enjoyed it, and decided to write about feeling flashbacks and was reminded of my friend. This is why you shouldn’t let people like me have websites! Continue reading →
Every so often, especially back in the early days of the site when every idol giggle felt like a momentous event that had to be shared with the world, I used to share audition information. Here’s a great example from way the heck back in the day. Then and even now, the process by which agencies refill their rosters with talent, and how groups sustain themselves through the inevitable chaos of teenagers’ whims and managers’ improprieties, is fascinating. Also alarming sometimes!
Now, friends, thanks to the unique generosity of Tanaka-san and Aqbi Rec, you too have an opportunity to join an all-male idol group under the There There Theres brand, as long as you’re between the ages of 15 and 22 and aren’t a total jerk:
【祝1stアルバム発売記念】 ゼアゼア曲をカバーする期間限定“メンズ”アイドル「HERE HERE HERES（ヒアー・ヒアー・ヒアーズ）」メンバーを募集します！
Just like there are “dog people” and “cat people”, there is a binary in the alternative idol fandom: Those who think Maison Book Girl’s sound is homogenous enough to believe it’s the same track on loop, and those who think “wow, this is such a new direction for them, I’m impressed” every time they have released a song since their major debut.
Obviously, this author is part of the second category and was once again in awe upon listening to “Okaeri Sayonara”. The music video was released today, along with the announcement of a new album, Yume, coming on November 21.
I have always associated Maison Book Girl with rain, and this MV validates that feeling. While the group has returned to light-colored costumes, the ominous feeling of the lyrics is reflected in the clear inspiration from hospital gowns. Continue reading →
As if 2018 hasn’t already been absolutely lousy with great idol debuts, along comes every idol’s greatest champion, Oomori Seiko, with a unit of her own. Like, when this was announced, I thought, oh neat it’ll be cool if she stands in as producer and writes some tracks — I didn’t expect that she’d don the skirt herself and step right the hell up as leader.
Given the quality of this pre-debut teaser, I’m guessing that she just didn’t want to feel left out:
And this is just the intro! There’s precious little info about where this project is heading (even Natalie.mu is stripped down to the basics of them debuting tonight). That means speculation — the stupider the better! — so I’m going to go out on a wild-ass limb and say that it’s time to go all-in because: Continue reading →
Don’t take the title as flippant, friends: I was very limply trying to figure out what the heck was going on with this release because, you know, Ladybaby hasn’t announced a new record or anything, and nothing in the dang announcement suggests that it’s a digital single or anything. It took me a minute to realize, hey, this is from that single they released a little while back, the one with the Ladybeard collaboration, and they’re just now getting around to releasing video for it.
As a chronic procrastinator, I can relate. And as a person who can do math, I can see one thing from Oomori Seiko and then another and see a light bulb, you know? It makes its own kind of sense.
Did I know that former gas station attendant Ayuni D was being hooked up with a solo project? And, unlike Chitti and Aina, it’s a standalone EP? (/checks notes) I did not! It’s a total surprise! And yet, here we are, and the dang record drops tomorrow and oh my goodness where the hell has this song been?
Also, I didn’t know that she could play the bass better than me
You know, I spent all this time thinking that Aina’s various solo projects, and then Chitti’s getting one of the most legitimately nice songs that I’ve heard in a while, that these were harbingers of big changes. Hell, when Ayuni D joined BiSH two years ago, I said in some conversation elsewhere that those two were probably going to be the next to go, to seek greener pastures than idol stages, and that BiSH would be “Atsuko and Ayuni D’s group in a couple of years.” (Yeah, I remember that but I can’t remember … Anyway.) Continue reading →
Anyway, I kinda-sorta knew this video was gonna happen, cause Ashley and myself are both unabashedly devoted Avandoned fans, and a while back I dropped a not very subtle hint that I’d love to see them do this song. (Actually, I think I said “PLEASE DO THIS SONG!”) It turned out Ashley was already intending to do it anyway, cause she’s cool like that, so this video is something I’ve been looking forward to for quite a bit. So without further ado, here’s Ashley and Bekah saying “Hello”!!!
Daemon‘s had himself one hell of an idol-meeting August, friends, and the still-not-last entry from his fine run of work is this interview with SENANAN. Kudos to D, thanks to Hailey at Chaotic Harmony for booking and translating, and of course big thanks to Senanan!
There is a Circle K in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, down the street from the Sheraton Grand Hotel that hosts Saboten Con each year over the Labor Day weekend. Many customers and con-goers who happened to pop into the convenience store during this past convention encountered a stunned clerk who could not stop telling each and every one of his customers about his unforgettable encounter with an energetic young Japanese woman who had reacted to the place like it was a Disneyland theme park. He would tell how she had come into the store like a tornado, about her joyful exclamations in Japanese to all the glowing lights and colors, how she marveled at the 12-foot-long fountain drinks bar before purchasing a mountain of Monster energy drinks, all pink or blue food items on offer, and then bounced off into the darkness.
The young woman the clerk had encountered that night was Senanan (stylized, SENANAN), who also documented her Circle K adventure on her Twitter feed. That this five-minute encounter turned into an unforgettable moment the clerk was compelled to share with anyone who would listen (possibly, to this day) should not be surprising. While Senanan is a singer, DJ, model, fashion designer, and social media personality, at her core she is primarily an unstoppable ball of charismatic energy.
Fans of chika idol may have become aware of Senanan because of her connections to the creative team supporting kawaii-punk idol unit Candye Syrup. She is highly active on several social media platforms, often with (former) mermaid-blue member Mai-chan in tow. She is also a manager and buyer for Candye Syrup boutiques and well known for cultivating a unique fashion footprint in the hyper-competitive world of Tokyo Street fashion. Senanan’s aesthetic infuses traditional Chinese fashion elements with Western sportswear and yume kawaii. It’s a unique, and comfortably wearable, combination of Western kakkoii and Japanese kawaii with the Chinese elements providing a playful, throwback twist. Continue reading →
Indulge me this morning, folks, for I have seen a live video and I want you to see it as well. The reasons are simple: I want you to feel about it as I feel about it, and to get that swell of “I need to support this!” inside, and to want to make impulsive purchases through international grey markets in the act of that support.
Wagamama Rakia (no, not the other Wagamama, this Wagamama) release this the other day, and I set it aside purely so that I could get the feeling down in full. To whit:
These videos aren’t new, friends, but I had this guy right down here sitting there in the Weekender, and I was like, you know, it’s kind of rude to just leave this here. Remember the good ol’ days, Maniac, when you used to just about zing straight out of your clothes like in an 80s cartoon any time favorite idols of yours got a total bootleg fancam video uploaded to YouTube and you just had to blog a post? Those were good days. Exciting days! And NECRONOMIDOL was one of the most featured things in those days, before they got all big and swanky and stuff and before you realized that there were like 7,200 idol groups to cover.
I originally just published the videos for one thing, but right as that was happening came along a preview of “SAMHAIN”!