New Music, New Direction for Ishido Natsumi

Doop-dee-doop, scrolling through the Twitters. Hello, what’s this?

Why, it’s a new single-plus from long-time underground solo idol Ishido Natsumi, in MV form, and oh man it’s really just the beginning! Like, in less than a minute of looking into that, we find her suddenly going off on a whole new trajectory. But first — here’s the trailer for the whole thing: Continue reading

More, uh, Nue Idols, You Guys

You would not believe how many puns I left on the cutting-room floor

Well look what the cat kind of very slowly but eventually dragged in, you guys! After previous existence*, previous hiatus and pretty solid radio silence, Nue (who you may actually be following, who knows!) (Twitter) is not just back to being a thing, but doing it in a way that says, hey, here we are and now it’s serious business. In fact, they did it basically in one shot, and if you weren’t paying attention already, maybe now you will be:

Continue reading

You’ll Melt More! At Their Best Is Better Than Anything Else

So we’re in a little bit of an idol lull. Typical for this time of year, sure, and yeah I could probably do more with new debuts don’t you judge me but what I, as a fancy guy with a fancy idol website, really want is to fulfill the mission statement, which is To Uplift Girls in Skirts Who Scream On Stage. However, with a dearth of suitably loud and vicious tunes to celebrate, maybe it’s appropriate to talk directly about the latest from one of the very best things to ever emerge from the primordial chika ooze*, a project still going stronger than most can ever fantasize about and with a higher standard of quality than more than most can hope to achieve. I’m talking about dang You’ll Melt More!, people!(!)

I don’t know why they elected to release this MV yesterday, but it also doesn’t matter why. Did anybody ask Michelangelo why he chiseled the David from a perfect block of marble? Of course not!** So don’t ask the sheer idoling perfection that is You’ll Melt More! why they do a video with magic and a very important guest start. Just enjoy it!

Continue reading

I Can DieDieDie Happy

Chika idol has a lot of room for a lot of things, and it’s possible that no project has grasped that flexibility quite as well as DAIDAIDAI, the DEMON TAPES-generated Osaka (of course) underground electro-pain merchants who’ve built out, built up and built strong the sonic legacy founded by PSYBOU KANOJO. Now approaching their third anniversary, the group has been incredibly steady — more on the music front than membership, but this is idol — while reaching for all manner of sounds and influences and visuals to keep every person who’d encounter them on their toes.

Speaking of membership, there is that (future) mass departure to acknowledge, but also a new single that we are now, friends, so lucky as to have it appear in our lives. I think this is what happens when a composer and producer get together to brain up a summer single for an idolcore group. Soak it in! Continue reading

Man, Malcolm Mask McLaren Makes Music Mucho Merry

Vintage MMM with Ai and Mone and Nao was one of my low-key favorite things in idol (and Ai was one of my favorite people), and they established the formula (beginning around here IIRC); the new members had big personality shoes to fill, but getting right as distinct an identity in a field that’s all about identity? Bigger job. They’ve done it well so far; now does the latest single hold up?

You’re darn tootin’! Continue reading

This New BiSH Got Me Feeling Things, Man

I have entirely too much to say about the new BiSH song-and-video move while at the same time saying very little about it at all, so bear with me a minute. It’s like I saved all the words that I didn’t write over the past couple of weeks just for this one post!

Necessary intro: New BiSH MV. New album coming in under a month. Me? A mix of eager anticipation and total trepidation. Like most everything BiSH has done going back to 2017, one gets the feeling from the available evidence (or: they skipped ahead and bought the EPs) that Their latest is going to have the same uniformly good collection of music as always with one’s own levels of satisfaction thereof determined largely by whether they preferred the first or second promo single release.

Yesterday was time for the full, amalgamated album to get its turn in the marketing chute, and thus to use was born “DiSTANCE”:

Ah, a powerful ballad that doesn’t sound entirely like the other ones! Continue reading

Cinema & Boy CQ Elevates Idol Beyond Our Preconceptions…

Sokichi Osada had a plan for his own idol group that would be a unique and daring take on the genre and he created, produced, and managed a group with that mission in mind. That group, Shoujo Kakka no International, was probably born too soon to really enjoy the fruits of the underground boom of nontraditional, experimental idols, but they were certainly legendary among those in the know. As many great and daring projects go, the financial stress of running an idol group proved to be unprofitable and difficult, and so it came to an end. Sokichi took time to write a series of essays titled “The Idol Suicides” about his experience for a web-magazine that’s no longer around, but thanks to some reaching out from our very own Papermaiden, we were given the privliedge of republishing the essays on this very blog.

But despite Girls Excellency International’s collapse, Sokichi’s creative idol bug wasn’t out of his system yet. Almost immediately, he began work on forming a new idol group that was even more experimental and unique than his first brainchild. A group with an intriguing vision, or has he put it into his own words…

Cinema and Boy CQ make some of the most consistently interesting art  in the entire idol genre, and on multiple levels, they challenge and shatter nearly every pre-conceived idea of what idol music is. Continue reading

This tipToe. Song Rocks

And speaking of things that I noted in passing and then set aside so that I could focus on much more holiday weekend-appropriate things, you guys simply must check out the latest MV from former Dots consipirators / Homicidols Dot Com 2018 award winners tipToe., who with a name like that and an image even more like (points at them) somehow manage to be one of the most regularly impressive rock-oriented groups in idol. It’s amazing what a touch of art, a touch of class and a good budget can do!

Anyway, the MV:

Continue reading

Minna no Kodomo-chan Kicks off Summer with an Inexplicable Home Movie

I knew there was a reason to get out of bed today!

I don’t know if 2019, for idol, can truly be salvaged. After the huge run of beloved personalities and groups hanging it up just in the first quarter and a sudden paucity of particularly great releases, here we stand at the unofficial gateway to summer needing some kind of savior. Might we remember the year for the two BiSH EPs-turned-album? What about NECRONOMIDOL’s upcoming record? Or maybe something out of left field, yet to come?

Or maybe what two-time Corenament champions Minna no Kodomo-chan, who got me so very eager to see what they were going to be able to do with five straight months of new music when they … announced that that they were releasing five straight months of new music. Have mercy. You’d think that idols who consistently dominate the international popularity contests epic athletic contests annual contests that I definitely don’t rig Corenament would have just this enormous battery of digitized content for we humble gaijin fans to embrace, but it’s just not true — the best way to describe MV releases from the Children is “semi-annual.” (Or at least that’s the case for their history so far!) Rather, as we learned with “The Walls” a couple of weeks ago, they hold those cards close so as to unleash their full power at opportune and always impressive moments.

So this string was going to be special, you know? With five months of fresh material in the offing, it’s reasonable to hope that at least one track would get video treatment. And, brother, that hope was not in vain, though you may lose all hope by the time you reach the end:

Continue reading

Melon, Who Gonna Melon, Does Melon: New Single

I’d been very curious about what Melon Batake a go go were going to do with their next (major) release. At first, those thoughts centered around the whole business of their recent international work — what’s well and truly next at that point? Where do you take things? Where do you aim? Within the concept, what’s possible?

Well, the new single is out in June, and the MV is here, and now we know:

Continue reading