Now that all of our other work is behind us, friends, and we’re firmly into 2017, it’s time to bring back the Monday Match Game. This one is … a little different.
Kawaii. It’s the foundation of the idol look, no matter how it manifests; it can be cool, creepy, goth, brutal, adorable and so on. Really, the only limits on how to express kawaii are the limits on the human imagination. And, as something of a culture unto itself, kawaii has its own subcultures, some of which become fashion-forward trends that manifest on the idol stage.
In this corner, the kawaii of illness and addiction, pale and pastel, self-loathing and society rejection; in the other, fantasies that are just a little bit off, like a dreamscape filled with wonders that melt every time you try to touch them. Two definitive trends in idol enter, but only one will survive! Continue reading
In case you were wondering, it’s perfectly okay to think that Phillter’s a big stupid jerk after reading Part I of his long weekend of a lifetime in Tokyo that he’ll get to repeat because he lives in Japan now. But for real, go look at Part I if you haven’t.
The Christmas Day show. This one was gonna be a doozy. Four band’s whose names I had heard before: one that I knew very well; one that I was interested in learning more about; one I wanted to form an opinion about; and one that I didn’t know much about.
The show was at 1:00 p.m., rather early in the day. I arrived at the Rock Maykan Live House in Meguro a few hours early, as usual, and stood around waiting to be let in. While waiting, I caught a glimpse of a girl wearing a medical mask (a very common sight here) with slightly blue hair (a much, much less common sight) walk up to the venue, look around for a bit, then enter and head to the basement where the live house was. More to come from her later though.
Appropriate attire for the day, don’t you think?
Eventually, others I had seen before showed up, conversations happened, small friendships were started, cultural differences were shared. One thing I’ve learned about the regulars I see at these shows is that they are good people in general. They’ll show you the ropes if you’re lost, help you buy a piece of merch if you don’t quite know what to say, and pick you up off of the floor if you fall in the pits. Foreigner or native, no matter who your favorite groups are, we are all one big family … except always make sure you put your stuff in a coin locker, as you’ll see later. Continue reading
Back in August, at TIF, Fruitpochette revealed the new partner for long-timer Zuma Shiori, who’d been performing solo or in impromptu formations since the health-mandated retirement of her partner, Teratani Mina. Rum was a dual vocalist, with passable cleans and very passable growls, and she added interesting, exciting depth to a new EP and, presumably, a fresh start for idol metal’s 1b.
A month later, Rum was out and Fruitpochette was in trouble.
But into the breach stepped a fellow performer with Mad Magazine, a solo idol known as Kyuri (say “Narasaki Yuri” really fast to see why) whose career had begun as a trainee for Fruitpochette. A friend of Shiori’s and a known talent, Kyuri was at least a fill-in solution, and she wasn’t shy about her intention to keep her solo career going either way.
With a lot of performance and now recording under her belt, Kyuri wrote on her Ameba blog about her impressions of where she was, how she got to where she is and maybe where she goes from here. The translation available in the Fruitpochette fan group on Facebook is something else. Continue reading
How was everybody’s holiday? I guess Orthodox Christians and people of religious backgrounds with which I am unfamiliar have/may have seasonal holidays left to get through, but most folks have wrapped things up — extra weight! regret! the existential dread of work! Anyway, I hope you had a nice time.
You know who had a nice time? Our man in Japan, Phillter, who headed to Tokyo for a few days and went on an idol odyssey that most of us can only dream about. This is part I; it’s okay to begin to hate the man now.
Some of you may know me from the Hard Idol-verse. I do translations of interviews and reviews when I have the time. In general, I love this genre and want nothing more than to see it flourish and thrive.
For this holiday season, I decided to take a vacation from the sleepy country region of Tokushima, and go to Tokyo for a whirlwind week of Hard Idol concert after Hard Idol concert. I was in Tokyo for five days and went to five live shows, and thus there will be five of these reports. Continue reading
Our dear, dear friend Garry of IdolIsShit.com added the second installment of his three-part travelogue yesterday. His first report kind of made me hate him a little bit, given how he managed to run through about 2/3 of what my own personal idol vacation in Tokyo would look like, and in the span of a week.
Fortunately for Garry and unfortunately for me, the trip didn’t exactly slow down.
I got a 2-shot with Ayano from Bellheart and wished her luck on her impending graduation/solo career. She was really nice to talk to, a theme that I’m noticing is beginning to develop here.
Son of a–
Afterwards I was able to get a 3-shot with both Hachigatsu and Kanami which was awesome. They were also selling their new album a week early so of course I picked that up. Expect a review on the site real soon. Oh yeah, I experienced my first earthquake when I got home that night.
Nice euphemism, Garry. Continue reading
Our good friend Garry from Idol Is Shit just so happens to have returned from a two-week stint in Tokyo where he got to experience the maddening joy and life-changing spectacle that is idol in the flesh. Literally! He shook hands and took photos with them and everything!
So how does a Scottish idiot abroad find himself awash in seas of idol goodness?
The guy on the door seemed pretty surprised that some white dude with a weird accent was there to see BiSH, but I got in with no problems.
I’m eternally grateful to Shidare from Yukueshirezutsurezure for putting up with my horrible Japanese and being very understanding when we had to bust out Google Translate so we could understand each other a bit better. … [M]aybe they were just jealous that Shidare had her arm wrapped around me when we were conversing …
AND?! Continue reading
And in another reminder that there is good idol news out there, can I just say that I’m actually stoked about a new idol project that hasn’t released a single note of music yet?
Say hi to Alloy (Twitter), who would have me won over entirely on the strength of their excellent outfit and logo design. So chic! So retro-authoritarian! So … I mean, between the name and the look, could this finally be the industrial idols that I’ve been waiting for?
Anyway, that stuff’s neat, but take a very good look at the young women in that banner. Somebody looks a little familiar, no? (It’s the person referenced in the title!) Continue reading
This is pretty cool; if you have a little while today or tomorrow or over the weekend or at some point before the heat death of the universe, give this documentary on the idol underground, the people performing and the people who love them a watch:
Happy Halloween everyone! I bring you the big thing I’ve been working on that wasn’t actually very big at all and Maniac hyped it way too much that now I feel bad. Just go look at the official Homicidols Spotify playlist if you want a much cooler gift from me.
But what Halloween is it without seeing something spooky? Unfortunately, this is an idol blog, so I can’t exactly write about Paranormal Activity or Five Nights at Freddy’s or whatever you kids are into these days, but I can bring you some appropriately spooky idol music videos! Some were submitted by you lovely readers, some I found myself. Lets go into the top 10 creepiest idol music videos! Continue reading
“Gee whiz, Maniac” you often find yourself saying aloud in completely inappropriate scenarios, “I sure do wish there were places where I could go and listen to all of this awesome music that you and all of the other cool kids are always talking about.”
I’m flattered! And also pre-emptively tried to be helpful going back to when I started this project by building the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist, an ever-updating selection of the finest in the heavy, the intense, the weird and the violent in the world of idol.
But that’s not all! Continue reading