Well that was fast. Practically mere minutes after announcing the new members of EMPiRE as new members of EMPiRE (stay tuned for tomorrow’s Weekender, as I am being too lazy to copy/paste between posts!), the joint WACK/Avex (WAVECKS) project dropped another new MV:
“Maniac,” I’m sure you’re currently saying aloud, “this is not a rock song.” It isn’t! But it’s a really nice pop song with some cool moves to it, so. I prefer to sit firmly in the middle when it comes to EMPiRE, always willing to share but cognizant of appropriate venue and all that. I’m sure that the intent behind the group was for Avex to monetize for themselves the crowd-pleasing capabilities of Team SCRACK (that’s WACK/SCRAMBLES, if you’re keeping score), but, for the purposes of a person just stepping into this bizarre Idolverse, I think they’re a good bridge act, too, by which their guilt-by-association with the older-school WACK projects can hook in the person who ordinarily would rather be in a circle pit and convert that person into the kind of person who gets into flame wars over the appropriateness of light sticks at idol lives.
Give me a second to admit that I didn’t immediately catch that the dang trailer was the same track as was used for that album/news/trailer thing that happened a few weeks ago, but also give yourself a second to steel your resolve to witness multiple acts of butt-themed urban assault:
Tell that Ayuni D doesn’t look aroused during the cafe scene
I don’t know one way or another what drove the creative decision to sound more like what made SSFW such a must-catch in the first place, but I’m going to flatter myself and many others by saying that it’s because we complained a lot about pretty much everything that Syukasyun’s done lately, especially in the last year. Well, everybody except those handful of you who really liked “NEW ME.”
Also, this is apparently the best that Avex money can do for what used to be one of the hottest emerging talents in idol? Yikes. Maybe that’s why I’m hedging my emotional bets a little bit, though I’ll offer that, if this is the space where SSFW is going to live from now on, I can support that in full — they were always at their best as a fun, party-rockin’ kind of low-seriousness project, and hey, that’s exactly what this is! But damn, totally indie, self-funded idol projects (ahem) manage to creative much more dynamic content.
And yet, here they are on Avex, about two years removed from the jump from the indies to Fujiyama Project, so what do I know? Maybe it’s the spark they need!
Say, do you guys remember the WACK Expo back in the spring, when Saki and Aya got traded and Panluna and Fetus-chan got added to BiS and Watanabe announced that two of the auditioners were being added to a random upcoming WACK+avex project that was codenamed Project aW? And then nothing came of it and I made fun of it?
Now called EMPiRE and at least temporarily clad in some sort of cross between the most ridiculous hood ever, a bad take on a Klansman* Halloween costume and what looks vaguely like a Native American art motif from the U.S. southwest**, it’s the usual shenanigans for a Watanabe-led project — until they have 10,000 Twitter followers (I’m guessing for the group official), those identities stay hidden.
For now, all we get are YUiNA, YUKA, YU-Ki, MiDORiKO and MAYU as names. You can follow them on Twitter (use this). I hope that they don’t all individually need the follower numbers, as that took forever even with Ayuni D.
I was going to say that it’s a step up from the ol’ bare-skin-black-eyes thing, but … it really isn’t. I feel badly for everybody associated with that outfit, possibly except for Watanabe, as I’m assuming that he approved it and should be smacked in the head.
*”Secret Empire”, get it? Holy crap, that better not be the case
**For real, if any one of these things is especially Japanese and I’m just missing the boat, go ahead and say so; I’ll continue to point and laugh a little for the time being