Here at Homicidols, we love to dissect Idol. No, I do not mean dissecting the girls themselves, you sicko, I meant Idol capital I, the essence, the thing, the industry. Consider the widespread misconceptions & ambiguities around mainstream idols common in English coverage. If even the big names cannot be described properly with the profusion of information already translated and shared by fans, emergent groups appeared an unsolvable mystery, unless you were on location, had good Japanese skills and got chummy enough with the manager of the idol group you wanted to know more about. Ricky Wilson, the manager of our beloved NECRONOMIDOL, has shed some light on his experience working in the idol industry, but for a rigorous investigation, you need a variety of sources.
20 Hz Magazine1 was a bilingual music monthly web magazine, backed by Powertap. They published a total of four issues. Starting with the second issue, they published a column titled “The Idol Suicides”. Written by Sokichi Osada, it describes his own experiences, starting when he skeptically followed a friend at an idol live, and against all expectations began producing an idol group himself.
The writing was pleasant to read, but also trifled with details, including the different ways idols are paid. We recommended the article back in September 2016 2, and it became a precious resource for the English-speaking international idol fan community. It became one of my favourite articles to read, the kind you favourite and re-read over and over again, and use it to prove points.
A couple of weeks ago, I settled to do just that and refresh my memory. I needed my dose of “The Idol Suicides”.
But when I loaded the link, the website was gone. Continue reading
Brian, the Thoughtful Voice among Western idol fans, added a great post this morning over at his very own supremenothing.com. What’s it about? If the headline weren’t a dead giveaway, I’d tell you, but you can read and are intelligent!
The gist: If we want idols to cater to us, market to us, make things available to us, come visit us, etc., we have to show them our numbers. And though we’re up to some other efforts to prove our existence, the actual simplest thing to do is to buy international releases — not Japanese domestic, though CD Japan and whatnot appreciates it, but the stuff that is specifically being sold to us. Like:
The realest point:
When Babymetal’s first album debuted at number one on iTunes international metal charts, that was an event that made their record label and their management take notice that there was a very real market underway here. The eventual worldwide success of Babymetal, and the reason why it actually became feasible to see them live on your soil, started becoming a truly tangible thing that day. It made news over here and in Japan. It made Senpai notice us, you dig?
So go read the whole thing, nod vigorously in agreement with what Brian wrote because it is correct, leave an encouraging comment that may or may not include swears, then come back here and continue on: Continue reading
Here’s another one for you fine people to chew on.
Brian turned me on to this translated blog post at Babymetal Newswire, originally by anime director Yamamoto Yukata, that’s interesting in a lot of ways for its ruminations on the Tokyo Dome performances from an artistic perspective (if you missed Daemon’s Red Night and Black Night dispatches, there’s another chance).
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.
Fascinating, and also true. Continue reading