One of the really fun parts of being a non-Japanese idol fan is trying to come to grips with something so far outside of your own cultural experience. Yes, one can always draw parallels to something familiar, but idol as cultural phenomenon is often almost incomprehensible to Western minds.
So of course the collision of two countries’ pop culture phenomena would give me a friggin’ headache.
I don’t know what’s happening in California these days, but it’s apparently infecting people’s brain waves. Those silly people at A-to-J Connections are having me on the A-to-J Talks podcast again tonight.
The money quote is Babymetal being at “the forefront of contemporary art,” as the title suggests, but it’s the reason that gets me: While Babymetal may not quite hit all the right notes all the time or be quite as perfect in their stage performance as often seems to be the case, its in the commitment to this thing they’re doing, this creation of personae and acting within them, that makes them perfect idols, and attaining that level of idol is an art in and of itself.
Stop your complaining! These days, if it isn’t BiS/H, it’s Babymetal, with sprinklings of other stuff. It’s not my fault that a whole bunch of the idol world is just doing a bunch of shows and festivals right now, or having heartbreaking last one-mans; if I want to keep things moving, and ON A SUNDAY, I gotta get creative.
“IDOL” is not only a prototypical heavy idol song, it’s also the most quintessential BiS thing I can think of.
In the lead-up to the single’s release in 2012, the group (then comprised of Pour Lui, Hirano Nozomi and Terashima Yufu) uploaded a music video to their Youtube channel that featured the trio clad in cute maid outfits, cheerfully bopping through choreography for a typical idol pop song. The promotional campaign around the video’s release encouraged fans to “buy the same CD over and over again.”
I was kind of excited about this. You’d have a hard time making me a case to include geek idols Avandoned on this site as a regular thing, but they’d be a central part of the sister site. Not only are they cool as hell, but their tour in the U.S. was basically under the guidance of their collaborators/friends Hijokaidan, and if you get a chance to see Jojo Hiroshige and company do their thing all of 45 minutes from your house, you do it.
Adopt-An-Idol may be taking a little break to reassess, but we can still be happy for our pilot subject’s first time doing their thing on stage. I just wish we could hear that brutal song come out of those tiny, tiny people.