I was going through some of the recent festival lives the other day, and did the smart thing and kept checking out the YouTube recommendations — how else to waste literal hours at work? — and I saw a familiar face. MAINA. You know, arguably the most talented girl in idol? Tiny little person, ridiculous dancer, more-ridiculous singer, capable of playing instruments and stuff? That MAINA.
Normally, where there’s MAINA, there’s Osaka Shunkashuto, who … did not really impress with their last release, but they’re legit until they stop being legit, and I happen to be a total MAINA partisan and will struggle to keep her and her group relevant (to me, at least) until they’re a full-on R&B outfit, which would be cool in its own way, but not really a thing for Homicidols.com.
Yeah, they released this on their app at least a week ago, and then teased out a download link on Twitter (and immediately deleted it), and I was starting to think that the video would never get a public release because idols can be cruel.
Due to an ongoing conversation with Kerrie about some stuff that we can pull into the Friday Fun series, I’ve had idol performance on my mind a lot lately, and, while this is a music website first and foremost, dance is a pretty big part of the idol experience, and the idea of loudols doing choreographed, athletic routines being a perfectly normal thing is probably an important step toward normalizing idol for the normies.
So! Last week, the Monday Match Game featured a hip-hop beatdown of epic proportions, as the original Koutei Camera Girl flat-out smoked Girl Zwei and Gal by a cumulative 2:1 margin, thereby earning the right to face off against Drei after they debut and get out some material. Good times!
That was a question of beats; this is a question of steps. And twirls. And stuff. And while there are plenty of idols who are good-enough dancers, there are those who flat-out excel at it and have the ability to move on stage and tell a physical story to the music. And among those, there are those for whom dance is the very center of their game.
This week’s participants aren’t just at the top of the world of idol dance; they have something very important in common, too. Yes, friends, this week’s Match Game pits dance-unit-turned-idol against dance-unit-turned-idol. In the red corner, hailing from Osaka and led by the soulfullest voice in idol, a former high school dance unit that added vocals and never looked back; in the blue corner, from some posh boutique that we aren’t cool enough to enter, a former pro dance unit that added vocals, immediately became a thing and is about to make their major debut.
Similar backgrounds, similar timelines and a whole mess of muscle control. When the lords of idol dance enter, only one will survive! Continue reading →
There’s not a lot to say to sell this one — the New Year Premium Party was a ridiculous three-day event spanning multiple venues in Tokyo (in addition to that COUNTDOWN JAPAN thing that ayumikurikamaki was part of). I’m just grabbing video based on what showed up in my recommendations; if you know of more from other days or venues or groups, please share them in the comments.
One of the most obvious glaring needs in idol lately, at least in this Maniac’s opinion, has been Osaka Shunkashuto not releasing anything in a year (that is, basically a lifetime in idol). Everybody knows that MAINA is everything good and right in music, but we want more, period. And more what? Rock songs? R&B? Amiina-esque alt-pop? Friggin’ soul?
Not all idols are particularly great at Twitter, or they don’t care enough to use it, or their manager doesn’t care enough to require them to, etc. Who is great, though, is MAINA, Osaka Shunkashuto’s doll-sized vocal powerhouse and objectively one of the cutest human beings alive.
More importantly, as those of us who count themselves as MAINA marks will tell you until you beg us to stop, is that she’s a ridiculous all-around talent, such that she’s often doing performance work outside the bounds of SSFW, as we’ve seen before.
Proving both points made so far, she very casually shared this on Twitter yesterday:
This is your periodic reminder that not only did Osaka Shunkashuto begin their lives as a high school dance unit, they remain right in the top part of the pile in terms of what idols can do to interpret their music, not just make it:
Literally don’t even ask me how I found this one; maybe it started with this tweet, all I know is that I put it away hours ago to revisit later and right now I’m super tired because I just enjoyed the ever living Christmas out of finally seeing Bad Religion.
But if you love Maina from Osaka Shunkashuto, you need this (skip ahead a couple of minutes).
Crank up your VPNs and proxies, cuz this sucker’s blocked