The 2018 Year in Review in Review

Whew! You guys, rather than belabor a ton of stuff, I think I can sum up 2018 as “whew.” It was exhausting!

I remember spending a good bit of 2017 wondering if the loudol ship had sailed, if chika was bending in other directions, if idol hadn’t been exhausted of creative possibilities, if a new trend would emerge and whether I should start to wind things down over here. After all, idols who were loud but also were not Babymetal had come to the West, and I personally met NECRONOMIDOL at the end of the year. What else was there to do, really, especially if the focus would narrow and the excitement would keep waning?

Then 2018 went and took a big ol’ poop on that defeatist attitude. Technically, it was 2017’s strong close that woke me up, but the ridiculous run of debuts didn’t really begin until 2018 turned, and running parallel to that plenty of hope — in the form of releases great and small — that the mainstays were still mainstaying, and that new faces were emerging into something closer to the mainstream. There were, of course, tragedies, from an idol being paralyzed in a freak accident to another girl taking her own life, not to mention the obligatory broad-brush hit pieces that fail to explore the nuances and diversity endemic to idol. That idol, chika or not, loud or sweet and even both, can churn along despite (arguably, even because of) the scrutiny says a lot about its cultural weight, for good and/or ill.

This year also brought us the biggest and busiest year yet in terms of idols venturing to our shores: Necroma of course, but also Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Hanako-san, 2&, Screaming Sixties, Maison book girl, Candye Syrup, SENANAN and TORIENA and Oyasumi Hologram and Kouteca3. It was pretty great.

Where do we go from here? That’s for another post, but if there was a message to be read into how the community selected its Best Of, and then how Team did, it should be one of optimism. The scene is strong and healthy and poised for great things. More idols are on the way for a visit. Things are in good shape.

And now the rest of In Review! Continue reading

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Rebirthing a Not-new Normal

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement

Hi friends! I survived my 10 days en purgatorio. And, unlike the hazy, half-lucid promise that I made at the outset, I didn’t even so much as pretend to try to keep up with idol goings-on. Just as the team, to whom I would aimlessly misdirect links sans context or (frankly) effort just because I found five minutes to scroll through a feed. It was rough, in its ways, and I’m ultimately most thankful that I don’t think that I missed anything that I’d regret missing, and Team Homicidols did a great job.

Did I say that Team Homicidols did a great job? Team Homicidols did a great job. It’s an amazing feeling to know that there exist smart, good-taste-having, reliable people whose interests just so happen to align with my own at a particularly critical juncture, and that should I be out on a breather, they’ll be like, hey sure let’s go ahead and blog the posts about the things. Crucial. If I even knew where to start, I’d send them all something nice.

Now. Those 10 days. Continue reading

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ZOC Feels Too Good to Be True

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

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This Is A Whole Mess of Live Video from TIF

Who else remembers that glorious first TIF that we all spent together, in 2016? Ah, those were the days, when streams were free and people could rip video right from their DVRs, or industrious gaijin wota would use screen capture apps to capture everything that Nico Nico could throw at them. Terry had nabbed something like 15 videos that all lasted just long enough for TIP to notify YouTube, and then came the copyright hammer. We probably lost more vital idol-enjoying content in that one fell wave than at any one point up until then, and arguably since. Good times!

Last year’s TIF emerged practically video-less, and maybe TIP learned their lesson, because there’s actually a decent amount of good stuff left over from the Greatest Weekend of the Year. I have way more to do than clog the world with unnecessary HTML, so here’s just a big ol’ glut of stuff.

The biggest glut is the let’s-take-over-Saturday thing that all of the WACK idols did, covering each other’s material and doing solo spots and all: Continue reading

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Kerrie Is the WACK Idol Nostradamus

Well, that happened.

Much like the rest of the western WACK fandom, my feelings on this are complicated, but I think it can be summarized in three main points:

  1. Oh, Watanabe, please, stop feeding me so much Friday Fun fuel, I just made a WACK fun last week!
  2. Whatever happened to “I can’t handle more than four groups,” now you’re going to try your hand at running an entire UK Secondary School too? Good luck.
  3. CALLED IT.

Continue reading

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Happy Birthday to This Thing! Two Years and May the Gods Help Us All

I wasn’t having a bad dream, and nothing notable had happened in the house, but I suddenly awoke, completely calm, in the wee hours of the morning. Confused as to what time it was, I checked the clock: 4:44. That feels like some kind of weird sign.

Well, team, we somehow made it two full years. Two years! I thought that maybe I’d write some incredibly long-winded thing, attempting to little effect to say something punchily meaningful, but I’ll be honest: I am surprised at my restraint.

I started to write stuff for this site in the autumn of 2015; I kept it saved in Google Drive because I didn’t have anywhere to publish it, even though I knew that I wanted to do something webby for idols who do loud things. I was still riding that Babymetal wave, I’d gotten deep into BiS post-mortem 1.0, I had fallen stupidly in love with BiSH back when they were still mostly crawling around the indie scene, I had PassCode and that hot newcomer Zenkimi, I felt like one of a handful of people who were in on this NECRONOMIDOL thing, and I dug on a small host of others, most of whom were used over those few months of planning to flesh out some kind of sensible (ha) site structure. I just wanted other people — and by “other people,” I mean/t “not people who were already into idols” — to have an easier way to take the same journey, to hear one thing and want more and bam!, a decent hub for it. Continue reading

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A Very Homicidol Night with NECRONOMIDOL

This is all that I could muster after a night that confirmed everything that I’ve been doing about this whole idol business. In front of gods and man and maniacs, NECRONOMIDOL had not only taken the stage and wreaked absolute havoc, but had cut a very different jib in meeting with me, in person, and providing some great insights.

Oh, and Oshi put on the tiara that I gifted her, and all was well. Continue reading

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Yes, It’s Called CHICKEN BLOW THE IDOL

I saw this the other day when Jul RTed it:

Without any context, I thought it was a funny thing that would go into the Weekender, and then I’d back off and continue to wonder if Daichi were secretly seething about BURST GIRLS and throwing epic shade or something. OH BUT NO! Continue reading

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I Finally Get to Honor Amina du Jean

I’m genuinely late to the party (or, I guess, talking about the party), but I didn’t want to let any more time slip away before calling out a person who probably doesn’t realize that she taught me a hell of a lot over the past couple of years, and whose perspective on idol (from the big to the little) has always been an important one to have around. I failed to come back around on the release of her post-idol record, but here’s Detroit’s own Amina du Jean and … I mean, it’s called “Seppuku”, why do you think I’m dedicating a post to it?

Continue reading

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Your Homicidols Weekender #50

A very happy late GOOD FRIGGIN’ SATURDAY to you, friends! It could not possibly be a better day here at Maniac Mansion; this is my time to thrive, and it’s absolutely gorgeous, and there’s an awesome weekend of parties and incredibly stupid costumes and definitely drinking too much ahead of me. It’s gonna be grand!

I highly recommend that everybody have as much fun as the idols are going to be over the next few days. Unless you’re a Celtic pagan, in which case, keep yourself prepared to deal with the fallout of the veil being at its thinnest. The Fun is yours!

Please Don’t Drunk-post, Maniac

Holy crap, new You’ll Melt More!:

The sublime Yajima Mai has another album coming out:

Amazing:

I’m not completely convinced that AIBECK ever actually does lives, actually:

You may enjoy RHYMEBERRY:

Nice live MV from REGiNA KiSS:

Is this the greatest-ever photo of Non?

Yeah, Avandoned’s on hiatus while Kotao does the student thing, but that doesn’t stop Beni from being too cool for anybody:

PLIC PROCK:

The fact that Q’ulle is not only still kicking ass, but about to drop a major label album, gives me strength:

Nice one, notall:

Billie Idol:

A Kupipo graduation:

This Maboroshi Karen GeNE song is so damn nice that I almost forgive them for giving up on being way cooler:

This is seriously funny:

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Protect yourselves from the dead this weekend!

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