The Cyclone is a small black box theater in a Shibuya basement which, according to the posters it uses for wallpaper, has played host to gigs by just about everyone over the past 20 years, including Cthonic, Crossfaith, Abigail Williams and every chika idol unit you’ve ever cared about. This past Saturday, it also hosted Yukueshirezutsurezure’s Emergency One Man Live, the emergency being Futamaruya Shidare’s sudden exit from the group.
The Cyclone’s capacity is 300, which seems to have been determined not by some safety conscious fire marshal, but in response to a challenge to see how many people one could stuff into the space, shoulder-to-shoulder, wall-to-wall.
I don’t usually like to do bias* too hard around here, you guys. It’s not fair to the huge population of idols idoling away in idoldom to be too terrible discriminate in who gets shared and to what extent and with how many words in the intro to make the post longer. But when it comes to Tsurezure, and when it comes to Shidare, and when it comes to the chance to witness a farewell live from an official source, well, I’ll go ahead and endorse those fan club dues all day.
So in the Great Idol Purge of 2019, one of the key casualties for lovers of the dreamy pop sound and highly ambitious multimedia art projects was HAMIDASYSTEM, my personal Idol of the Year for 2018 and a growing presence among the I-like-good-things set. The announcement was a really sad one — how could this just up and go away? we cried through gnashed teeth.
Well, as it turns out, we might need to re-tool those expectations just a little bit, because it seems like the result is more of a “oh okay, neat” than a “/throws self into traffic”.
First up! HAMIDASYSTEM, or something called that, is, uh, kind of sticking around: Continue reading →
Caleb has been so kind as to translate Shidare’s long message, as well as allowing us to post it on Homicidols. The original can be found here.
I, Futamaruya Shidare have decided to withdraw from Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. First of all, I’d like to say thank you and apologise to those of you I have upset with such a sudden announcement, to those who were looking forward to next meeting me, and those who supported the direction we were going in. The 28th November 2018 was 3 years since I had been announced as an initial member of Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. It was 3 years of thinking, worrying, trying, hesitating, fighting and pushing myself as to how we could make Tsurezure a good group, how we could make our concerts good. However, in some respects I’ve realised I found myself thinking I can no longer stand here, or keep walking on. Even so I pushed through and came to where we are now, but now that Kotetsu and Takara have been so kind as to join us, I came to the conclusion that perhaps Yukueshirezu Tsurezure has a better chance going forward without me, and decided to withdraw. It was my dream as a member to show you Yukueshirezu Tsurezure’s songs and worldview. I still believe Tsurezure’s songs have the power to save people. Our weak yet strong songs embrace a lot of people’s isolation and darkness. However, I feel it regrettable and vexing that I overwhelmingly lack the actual strength to convey our worldview, and if I think about it I might have always been stuck in the same place. And before I knew it I had trapped Tsurezure in my negative loop. I, who wanted to be part of a group, had personally confined Tsurezure. And going on, I thought of the possibility of me changing. However the more I thought about it, I decided to stop clinging on as now I have lost the confidence to dedicate everything as a member of the group; as Yukueshirezu Tsurezure. I originally also thought “what if I could change through our tour that begins this February”. Throw away every part of me, kill it, as if it were life or death and if even then I couldn’t change then I’d think again about quitting. However, as the other members are going into this tour frantically trying to climb higher, I found myself in a completely different direction. I felt that this was a betrayal to my other members and the gunjou who so kindly support us. There are many ways of grasping betrayal. To everyone who was looking forward to the tour, I’m truly sorry. Those of you who said you’d celebrate my birthday in February, those who anticipated Yukueshirezu Tsurezure as a 5 member group, and you who said you’d always support me, I’m sorry. I’ve gone so far as to do this for over 3 years, so I have no regrets. Also, I’ll be looking up from here so Yukueshirezu Tsurezure can continue to shine. I pray I can see Tsurezure and the gunjou smiling from here. Thank you for allowing Futamaruya Shidare into your lives, for letting me live. Yukueshirezu Tsurezure, thank you. Do your best, don’t be defeated, take care.
If I could compare THE BANANA MONKEYS to anything at all, it wouldn’t be a banana, nor a monkey. It would be a bottle of Diet Coke. A bottle of Diet Coke that some jackass decided to do the Mentos prank with, then also shook it a few times just to make absolutely sure it would explode in just the right way, once opened. Because, much like a shaken-up Mentos-implanted bottle of Diet Coke, the person/s responsible for THE BANANA MONKEYS is likely a huge jackass. Also, when THE BANANA MONKEYS open up with some news, a whole damn bottle’s worth of eye-raising mess just comes exploding and pouring out and it feels like its never going to stop, until, in the end, we’re left with just a big uncomfortable mess that’s going to be a pain to clean up.
So, first things first. As mentioned in the last Weekender, Karin has decided to jump ship, citing that the general insanity that comes with being a Banana Monkey was just too much for her to deal with. But wait! There’s more!
So, remember that time when newbie Miru left for unexplained reasons, only it turned out she was a “licensed chiropractor”? This is basically a more minor repeat. Minmin (who lasted far longer than Miru ever did) suddenly stopped showing up to events, eventually announcing her withdrawal effective immediately. She claimed it was due to studying getting in the way of idoling, but apparently, it was because she was a cabaret worker? Unlike Miru, whose profile was right there, I couldn’t find anything about it other than the news article talking about the next thing, so let’s just take that one at face value.
So, now Banamon are now three members down, will they keep going as a duo? Of course not, what if they jump ship due to secret side-jobs too? They’re holding a quickie audition! Continue reading →
Though Fall is my favorite season, there’s always a hint of trepidation it’s arrival. The sky gets a little gray, the days get colder and shorter, and naturally, we all know the Winter is approaching by the year’s end. And additionally for us idol fans, we find ourselves anticipating the upcoming new year, because we know good-and-well that some of our oshimen and favorite groups won’t be around by this time in the future, cause that’s what we’ve signed up for the when we got into this subculture.
Last Friday, a little precursor to the change of the seasons and the new year in waiting arrived: Kotori Kotao, the other half of the duo-era of Avandoned, announced that she will be graduating in April of 2019. In a statement, she explained that quite simply it’s too difficult to balance the intensity of idol work with her personal focus on art. This is something I find terribly relatable, so I can’t possibly take issue with it. Kotao joined the group in 2016, at which point Avandoned was closing its previous era with the departures of Nayuta and Konomi and rebranding the group as a trio. At that point I knew very little about her, but she certainly won me over very quickly, to the point where it became difficult to imagine Avandoned without her. As I got to know more about her, I found her endlessly fascinating and talented.
By now, you’ve probably heard the stream of “Starlight”, Babymetal’s first release in (/checks watch) two and a half years, good lord. There’s an MV, too, which we’ll get to in a second. First, though, let’s take these things in meta-chronological order and note: Yuimetal is officially out of the group:
Once upon a time (it was about five months ago!), I was showing ye olde website to a friend. You see, IRL Maniac isn’t always Maniac IRL, and not everybody in the social orbit is aware of this joint’s existence. I don’t exactly hide it — I’ve introduced myself at parties as “owner of North America’s finest J-pop website about punk rock girl groups” on several occasions — but nor do I flaunt it because, well, I know a lot of boring-ass people and choose to not cast my pearls before swine.
In the context of the tale, Friend in Question had heard me talking about a group* and was curious about the description, in response to which I ultimately produced my phone and did a little tour of the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist. As I expected, the original sheen of excitement wore off after a few minutes, but then this particular Kamen Joshi MV popped up and her enthusiasm was suddenly re-piqued.
She wanted to know why the members were dressed the way they were, why the masks, why the song sounded like “something from a Disney Channel movie,” etc. I answered the best that I could, which was interesting because I easily had the least to say about Kamen Joshi than about any of the other groups that I’d showcased. Friend in Question noticed: “You sound like you don’t like this one as much.”
“You know,” I said, “they’re kind of one of those things that you either feel strongly about or not at all.” Continue reading →