I’m Rectifying a Longstanding Omission: Wagamama Kite

Now, before I start to actually blog this post with all the decorum and professionalism of a person who goes by Maniac online, allow me to acknowledge that this is so incredibly far from being a hey-look-what-I-found moment, but a I-know-you’ve-been-bugging-me-about-this one. Who hasn’t brought up Wagamama Kiite (Twitter) at some point in the last couple of months? And I get it, they have a sound and a fun name. They should get attention!

So here’s attention. In fact, attention ever since you started to point at them and scream, you animals, because I don’t know when I started to Twitter and Soundcloud follow them, but it was definitely long enough ago to forget that it had happened, and now look, there’s a new track on Soundcloud, platform of champions, and we’re going to sit here together and enjoy it:

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Let’s All Say Hi to POPPING EMO

Doop-dee-doop, scrolling through Twitter … hello, what’s this?

Pro tip, friends: There are lots of ways to stumble over new idol stuff, but the most reliable will always be what other idols tweet about, especially when it’s groups promoting mixed shows. In this case, it was POPPING EMO that stood out in particular, because what a name. A few clicks later, and: Continue reading

IVOLVE Made It Better

Some idols get boring after a while, to the loss of us all; others keep getting more and more interesting, and it’s a neat journey to go along with.

IVOLVE, who are normally just the sort of idol that’s worth following for occasional updates, are making cool and good positive growth moves, and that warms me right the hell up.

For instance, their second single, releasing next week:

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The New JyuJyu Could Stop You Dead

Golden Week isn’t actually over yet, and though there are some things to be expected very soon from some big-time idols, it’s safe to say that the real rush of the week is just about over. JyuJyu’s going to be wrapping it up, in fact, with a one-man on Sunday, their fourth. And at that show, in addition to this grim spectacle, they’ll be rolling out this new one:

It’s funny, I was reading the Hammer’s review of the new Dimmu Borgir just before I came back to listen to this again, and now I’m like, this is what Dimmu Borgir would sound like if there were idols involved. Continue reading

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!

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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:

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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.