Minna no Kodomo-chan Is Ready to Break Out

Underdog Corenament victors Minna no Kodomo-chan seem hell-bent on becoming more than just another cool project littering the Shibuya scene. Their first full-length album, World Without Walls (Kabe no nai sekai), is coming in May. There’s nothing to hold on to just yet, but oh man, the cover art alone is filling me with dreadticipation:

And those photos!

Continue reading

233 Ways To Marz – It’s Fumimi’s Birthday!

The storm clouds settled, bringing a sense of spring to the fair isle of Honshu. The salarymen, as is their wont, who wend their way to work whilst watching wacky comedy shows on their portable telecommunications devices, went away. In their stead, the legions of undead sheep that comprise the vast majority in Japan decided to overcrowd the trains because of some flower blooming. You can’t even get stoned from it, so I don’t see the appeal.

On such a day, Hoshina Fumimi’s birthday one-man live was being held. In Marz. My least favourite venue on Earth. Continue reading

SAKA-SAMA Brings The House Down In Their Own Unique Way

It’s something of a watershed for every idol group when they finally achieve a following that allows them to achieve their first headlining one-man show, and the hard work of being an upstart underground unit finally came together for SAKA-SAMA this past March 17!

The venue was packed with assorted fans of all types, including Soze NakamuraAmamiya Miku (you may remember her as “Natsu” from Avandoned, and now she’s part of a quirky project called NaNoMoRaland Hiiro Moe of xoxo(Kiss&Hug) EXTREME in attendance, and of course the TRASH-UP!! Records staff lending their unique vibe to the event! If the gushing praise throughout the quirky corner of Twitter let us in on anything, it’s that the show completely charmed everyone in the venue. And to cap it off wonderfully, Machiko of Bon Voyaaz joined the group (in their new stage outfits!) for an in-the-round and non-amplified encore that really made the night special:

And if you’ve listened to SAKA-SAMA‘s debut EP, none of this is a terrible surprise because this release is simply fantastic. It’s been out for roughly a month now and remains in heavy rotation since the day I got it. Eclectic would be the first word to manifest in my mind, as it goes from electro-fuzz-garage-dance to twee-country-to spoken word to their signature wispy “lo-fi dreampop”.

I’m feeling quite comfortable that this delightful platter will indeed sit among my favorite releases when this year draws to a close. And they’re not done yet: A 45″ vinyl single will be among the hotly coveted items being unleashed for Japan’s Record Store Day. At this rate, we might be about to witness the summer of SAKA-SAMA!

And for further reading, (in Japanese) here’s an interview with TRASH-UP’s founders, taking about the magazine they created that eventually brought them into idol appreciation, and ultimately into creating their own group.

BONUS CLOSING VIDEO: Here’s Dr. Mahiru teaming up with Melon Batake A Go Go’s Soze (She’s EVERYWHERE!!) to enjoy some stage banter and sing a few songs, including covers of Dots and Bellheart. Enjoy!!

Let’s Do This, sugartrap

For shame to all of you clowns (that’s right, clowns!) who didn’t support sugartrap in the Corenament. I’ve been digging them pretty much since the first time I heard them — not as hard-edged as others, nor trying so hard to be hard-edged while still easily being quite noisy and earnest. Who doesn’t like that?

Anyway, maybe this can help to wake you up to them:

Continue reading

Bonnou Paradox Holds One-man, Loses One (wo)Man, Releases MV

It’s usually March 15 that folks prefer to hold in infamy, but sure, three days later is fine too.

Bonnou Paradox, who are as close to vintage Guso Drop as you’re going to find in idol these days, very enthusiastically held themselves a one-man yesterday. It was kind of a big moment for them! It was their first, it was their unofficial kick-off into the never-dull Tokyo Candoll competition, and it was going to be a culmination of things, with a real-deal MV release to coincide and, I’m guessing, kick-start a deliberate campaign to emerge from the ever-churning chika maelstrom.

Here’s that MV, btw.


Though everybody’s trying to sound like PassCode anymore

Say, why are there only four members in that video? Continue reading

What’s New, Wagamama Rakia?

It’s been a nice refreshing breath lately for Wagamama Rakia, who’ve always been good but haven’t always been noticeable (despite this, they weren’t even considered for the Corenament!). On the strength of their good year so far, I started to follow them more closely, with payoff. New things are afoot!

To recap: They have themselves an anniversary live coming up in June, but are also embarking on a two-man tour (neat!) and … are adding a fourth member! And also continue to be loud and increasingly interesting. Let’s keep our eyes open.

Check out Synth de La Eve Uncorking This, uh, Corker

This video’s a few days old now, but I’ll also cop to saving it for a good time to share (rather than just forgetting, as is often the case); whichever one of you goofballs showed me Synth de La Eve turning it up to 11, a firm pat on the back to you!

A lot of folks got a good rise out of the emergence of Synth de La Eve several months back, and they had good momentum for a hot minute before getting a little lost in the shuffle. But they could always go, which is the nice thing, and “Broken the World” here just goes to show it. I particularly appreciate how, as a number of other idols have demonstrated is a good way to build your fan base, they’re straight-up mixing with loud-ass bands at loud-ass festivals in locations around the country:

To the point where I don’t even make the it’s-all-just-loud-music-idol-or-whatever point anymore

After the success of the show included above, they have another one-man coming up in August; good things could be afoot:

Why they’re calling their fans “Adam”, though, that one I could use some help with.

I’m Very Interested in This New Zenkimi Single

More and more, because there’s an ever-increasing number of idol things to do and decreasing availability of ol’ Maniac when it comes to talking about them, I like to shunt announcements about singles and the like straight into the Weekender. There are exceptions, of course, based on either the general level of popularity of the project in question, or the importance of the release (so-and-so coming back! or final release! or something), but are announcements about new singles (and even most albums) really all that stupendous? They are not.

Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da is one of the regular exceptions. They aren’t the most popular of the idols that usually grace these pages, but they are fairly popular, and Codomomental as a company is probably the strong #2 in terms of chika-focused management companies. It’s a neat enough situation that, against all odds, the group who first caught attention by dropping a thunderous denpacore song on us and then graced it with an MV of human suffering and cannibalism has risen to the point that the things they do have real weight. Like, there are a handful of idols, period, who can count on their videos cracking the 100k boundary on the reg, and Zenkimi’s been doing that for a year.

Anyway, their sixth single is coming, and you should be aware of it for all of the right reasons, but knowing that also puts me into a contemplative mood. To whit:

Continue reading

March Will Bring Us HIMEGOTO ZETTAICHI

I hate forgetting about idol units. I particularly hate forgetting about idol units that are part of stables that I happen to appreciate, like Daichi’s A-minor; shorn as it is of Guso Drop and kinda-sorta Saki and Fumimi (and whatever in-between world Zekkyou currently inhabits), there’s still more there than just Chikeblo. And that more? HIMEGOTTO ZETTAICHI!

But did I forget about them? Kind of. One of you kids were sharing them on Facebook the other day, and I made myself a literal head-slap moment because, wtf Maniac, don’t you remember how much you appreciated one of the most disturbed-yet-accessible units out there?

The news is, they’re putting out a single, with a still-indeterminate release date:

The general details:

I have to say, I dig the black/white plus/minus concept. The music’s pretty solid, too; there’s something about the juxtaposition of Daichi’s harder-edged songwriting and very kawaii voices that’s exceedingly extra, and I enjoy extra when it’s properly applied.

This post was held up for a minute because their one-man was over the weekend, and I wanted to see if anything would come of it, like … another one-man!

There’s also something about getting drunk with the members; what the heck is the legal drinking age in Japan?

The one-man:

The Darkness of the Idol World … with Desu.Rabbits!

When last we saw Desu.Rabbits, they were planning a new single with some very interesting art. Yesterday, the MV landed … or should I say MVs! There are two of them! It’s … the title is really long but about the very title of this post, coming at you in two versions!

Dark version:

Light version: Continue reading