QUEENS Came out Pretty Dang Cool

From the ashes of PIIIIIIIN, QUEENS (Twitter) have entered into the world. This is known! I had been on the fence about whether to feature them outright, given that, obvious advancing maturity aside, this was a unit that was going to be emphatic less on the rock and more on the cool. And they are! The sound and style are described as “dance rock,” which is totally fine and in fact connects directly to one of my very favorite idol things, but it can’t always be about the Maniac behind the site, you know?

The simplest of things, man

“Dance rock” is right, though; it’s like a defused version of OG Osaka Shunkashuto, or if somebody paid a vocaloid composer* to write something a little funkier. Those instrumentals are absolutely killing me.

I’ve been keyed in on QUEENS ever since I found out about them — ex-PIIIIIIIN will do that to you — so you may have seen some of this stuff in the Weekender, but I figure that it’s worth adding here for that fuller Queens experience:

Plus more on Soundcloud!

See? Idols much more normal than homi, though pleasant enough overall. There’s an emerging trend for idols of this flavor, too, so I could see them having a pretty good year.

*I’m looking directly in winter mute’s direction

Well, BLACK NAZARENE Is Off to a Good Start

True story: This was the first post that I called “We Are All Incredibly Easy Marks” because I couldn’t believe how very little idol could get people (including yours truly) so excited. I decided to wait to see how it turned out. How the tables have turned now that there’s meat on the bone!

Much like with XTEEN, the arrival of BLACK NAZARENE (Instagram!) to the wotaing world was met with some nice buzz. There was even a teaser! However, also like with XTEEN (and other than the note described above), I wanted to see something pan out before jumping to too many conclusions. Name? Cool. Description? “THUG + kawaii.” Interest piqued, so what does having a name like a Swedish blackened death metal band and a self-brand that some might more align with, like, RHYMEBERRY or something, ultimately give us?

The teaser, for one thing

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I’m Ready to Love Gu-Gu LULU

It took a little while to prep, but new Aqbi idols Gu-Gu LULU made their debut on Sunday. I was leery, I’ll admit; though Tanaka-san has a great track record with his projects, nobody bats 1.000, and some combination of the name and what I thought might be a draw toward that emerging weird-for-the-sake-of-it slice of idol had me backed off, expecting something potentially cool but also potentially off-putting.

Video from the debut was on the Internet faster than … well, very fast, and I was gratified to see that my fears were unfounded, and this is a group that’s going to be fun to follow:

Here’s a reverse angle, if you wanted one: Continue reading

Yuzuki Goes Way Beyond Q’ulle

So after that last little bit of Q’ulle, I was scrolling through their feed for an overview of what all they’ve been up to lately (besides owning so hard, that is), and my eyes caught something that’s what you would probably consider to be a little atypical for the elegant, fashion-line-owning dance idols:

What the heck is that! Why, it’s a solo project from Yuzuki, naturally! Continue reading

And They Became maboroshi.no

Quick update, thanks to your friend and mine (and Corenament champion!) Viz Major — do you remember that whole neat business with Maboroshi Karen GeNE becoming a new, independent follow-up project? This is the result, which is going by maboroshi.no (the dot is not silent):

I’m not even going to pretend to know how to handle that song, which has so many likable things in it, nor where Maboroshi takes things from here, but this is a really good launchpad. Idol sometimes sticks the landing!

Get a Gander at These New CHICKEBLO Songs

The last time that Daichi graced us with the developing musical repertoire of CHICKEN BLOW THE IDOL, reviews were a little mixed, mostly because people wondered what was the point of this thing when 2& was still in existence and Daichi and Saki were known to still be working together.* For these two songs (plus lyrics!) dropped yesterday, you may … well, I guess it depends on your perspective.

Here’s the one that I liked:

This is for your more mellow moods: Continue reading

Her Name is SOLEIL

I’d like to strongly urge you readers to do yourselves a favor, and open up Spotify or Apple music and look up the just recently released album “My Name is SOLEIL”

SOLEIL, you see, is a band, but it’s also the name of the band’s lead singer, and together they’ve released an uplifting and exciting album that recalls Shibuya-kei and the 60’s rock genre known in Asia as “Group Sounds”. And if you also love the classic girl-group era and the heyday of French ye-ye pop, well, herein awaits a tasty treat as well. To call this recording pure joy is a trifle bit of an understatement. This is a captivating concoction of nostalgic vibes bursting at the seams with fresh modern energy, it’s just really that good.  Continue reading

Here’s a Totally New Thing That’s Totally Worth It: ASTROMATE

It turns out that Terry was just as late-night post-making the other day as I was, and bless him because there was no way in hell I was going to follow up on anything of less than the utmost importance. Like, following idols gets to be kind of a grind sometimes — there’s only so much of what you come across that you really, truly want to keep up with, and only so much of that that you can stay invested in. Hell, I have a fancy idol website, and it’s friggin’ exhausting!

The point is: Thank you, Terry; I think I’m going to pay attention to this one:

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Maboroshi Karen GeNE Is Evolving

Does that pun work? I feel like it works, but in a really cerebral less ha-ha kind of way. Leave me alone.

Anyway! A little while back, Krv informed me that a long-time presence in the chika scene, Maboroshi Karen GeNE, was being disbanded. Boo, quoth I, as Mabokare have always been good if not as out-and-out noticeable as one might like. Which happens! There are a lot of idols, and even good stuff and projects that you enjoy can get a little lost in the shuffle. But, Krv continued, Mabokare as we knew it was going to go away, but more in the way that a particular species of lizards got left on an island and evolved a completely new way of eating within a handful of generations, that kind of way.

That’s a long way of saying that Mabokare is soon to be no more, and instead:

How new is a unit when it’s old members with a new name? Well, I mean, we already have PINKYCASE to demonstrate that new is nonetheless new! And the new unit is still so wedded to the old identity that not only are they almost totally literally called The Idol Formerly Known as Maboroshi Karen GeNE, but they’re just continuing straight on with the old brand while I guess they figure out exactly what new steps look like:

More obviously to come, but don’t you just love it when idols go “naw, we’re not actually done yet” and just keep on truckin’? We find out full next steps no later than April 14!

Let’s Welcome PINKYCASE to the Party

And speaking of things that people are all HEY YOU JERK YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THIS about, I submit to you not a new maturation of idol rock, but a new realization of kawaiicore that’s presently* giving vigorous side-eye to all who’ve come before:

That’s PINKYCASE (Twitter), and it suddenly feels like much of the loudol world is turning to peppy pop punk numbers of which I wholly approve**. Here’s a ((very)) (new) live digest: Continue reading