Need Help Navigating TIF? We Got You Covered

I keep alluding to this handy guide to the Tokyo Idol Festival, and not really producing it. It might not have happened at all hadn’t Go Go Going Now! reached out a week or so ago about putting together something that would have a what-to-do element to it. That’s smart, I thought. That gets back to the roots of ye olde website.

So here’s the deal: If you’re kind of a n00b but have made the very smart decision to get into idols, and part of your conversion process is a pilgrimage to the annual holiest of holies known as the Tokyo Idol Festival — this year’s biggest idol-dedicated party on the planet runs Friday Aug. 3 through Sunday Aug. 5! — I won’t tell you what to do, but I’ll tell you what I would probably do, and you can take that or leave it or use it as a basis to think about things. It doesn’t matter! Just go and have fun! Also get started by reading Go Go Going Now!’s primer!

But if you are thinking that maybe this Maniac guy has some iota of good sense in that enormous head of his, I encourage you, friend, to read along and think strategically about how to make the most of your TIF experience.

Friday

The schedule

Friday at TIF has, in my experience, always been the water-testing day, where acts that might belong but might not rate as highly show up and do their thing … for the first time; the rate of Friday idols also getting Sunday sets on different stages is high. There are, though, usually quite a few idols who only get one chance to shine, on Friday, when the wota aren’t even warmed up yet. However, Friday evening is a great time; I recall some sick performances at the old HEAT GARAGE in particular.

Idol at Its Finest

Idol has a unique power to send the audience member on a journey; it’s as much theatre as straight-ahead musical show. Take amiinA, who does everything so beautifully, or sora tob sakana, or Maison Book Girl — they’re doing performance art as much as they are song and dance, and it’s incredible. Also incredibly lucky for fans of the performing arts to get to see them at a venue like TIF, considering that a U.S. equivalent would probably shunt them to a side stage at best.

And then there’s the just-plain-great idols in the mix, like Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Dots, Dance for Philosophy and 2017 post-TIF breakouts Task have Fun, all of whom are going to deliver sets that could damn near bring you to tears. This is the day for it! Opening days of festivals, especially opening evenings, are in my opinion the time to find sets that are going to put me into that glowing moment, to see something transcendent that can power me through.

Get into the Pit

Pits at idol lives being unique, wonderful things, it’s kind of hard to say who’s definitely going to have a raucous crowd — especially among the newercomers. There There Theres have legendary ones, though, going back to the BRGH days, and I’ve heard good things about about people at Kaishin no Ichigeki. Otherwise, you should have good pushing and running around during the likes of NEO JAPONISM, PIIIIIIIN SHINGEKI, Shuuengo Buppan, Gokigen Teikoku, ayumikurikamaki, Malcolm Mask McLaren, Panda Mic, RIOT BABY and, of course, the deadliest idols of all, Broken By The Scream, who seriously have to be on loan before heading over to Summer Sonic (what do you mean, they aren’t?).

The thing is, though … do you want to burn yourself out now? I’d try to pick and choose a little bit. BBTS is a one-shot, and a dangerous one for human health at that, as is the slightly less-dangerous Malcolm Mask McLaren, so I’d see if I could catch those two today and spread out the others.

The List of Everybody Worth Seeing Except the Ones That I’ll Post about This Week and Next

Saturday

The schedule

There are a lot of different ways to look at TIF’s sandwich day; I’ve always preferred to think of it as the spotlight, where idols making a breakthrough might get a prime afternoon or evening slot on a stage of significance, and where bigger names who are only partly involved in the whole event usually get their booking. This year is no different! For instance, the WACK family will all be appearing, but only on Saturday. Likewise KOTO, and JyuJyu, and other well-known entities.

For what it’s worth, Saturday is the day to take in a solo performance by Yui ga Dokuson (sure to be a highlight) or catch up with the one-time-only resurrection of SAiNT SEX, now featuring Aya and GOZEELA in place of Puu-sama. Oh, and Aina’s doing a solo set with Kenta, just like that other time.

Power Play

If I were attending TIF (and I’m not!), I’d be trying to load up Saturday with appearances by the big names that I’d otherwise struggle to connect with. PASSPO, for instance, and not just because they’re breaking up. The WACK things obviously; likewise You’ll Melt More! and Dance for Philosophy. What I might really try to get into, though, especially if the stage and time and environment all coalesce, is There There Theres’s set — not only do they never disappoint, but their TIF sets are the stuff of legends.

I’d also be careful to try to catch some of the chika-ier acts that only made it into today, like Sola Sound and Woltanative. Otherwise, I’m saving some strength for Sunday.

The List That’s Kind of Repetitive But That’s Okay Because the Best Laid Plans Fail and You’ll Wind up at the Smile Garden at the End of the Day Anyway

Sunday

The schedule

If Saturday is like the TIF main course, Sunday is the incredible dessert that follows. I may prefer Day 2, yes; to imply that Day 3 is somehow inferior is just silly. For one thing, it’s a good follow-up kind of day — very few idols only do Sunday, so you can catch them now if you missed them earlier — and lesser-knowns are plenty accessible. Things also seem to be a tick or so calmer as compared to Friday and Saturday, given that everybody, from the idols to the staff to the fans, is pretty gassed on the third all-out day of blazing-ass Tokyo summer spent dancing like you just don’t care.

This is where I’m catching uijin and wyenra and QUEENS and Party Rockets as priorities, plus Electric Ribbon (who are great), Devil ANTHEM (who are on fire) and Negicco, because I love them and you can’t stop me. It’s the one chance to see BILLIE IDLE, with the newly added Pour Lui, at least at this event. And, if you know what’s good for you, you’ll at least swing by Bed-In’s set to see what the big deal is. You won’t be disappointed.

No matter what you do, though, if you’re at TIF, you go to see Oomori Seiko on Sunday. She’s part of the TIF/Summer Sonic mashup, and an appropriate connection thereof at that, and you would be a fool to not see one of the greatest musicians in all of contemporary J-music (if not working today, period) when you can.

The By-now-you’re-exhausted-but-you’re-not-missing-BILLIE-IDLE List

  • Up Up Girls
  • Up Up Girls 2
  • Up Up Girls Wrestling
  • amiinA
  • IVOLVE
  • uijin
  • Electric Ribbon
  • wyenra
  • Osaka Shunkashuto
  • QUEENS
  • Gokigen Teikoku
  • Shuuengo Buppan
  • SHINGEKI
  • There There Theres
  • Full Power Girls R
  • sora tob sakana

Anything Else?

Absolutely! Look around on Twitter or in fan communities for the smaller, off-to-the-side concurrent events held during TIF, often right down the road, that are explicitly for the chika idols (or, rather, the chika idols who haven’t graduated to being draws of pinchike money to the main fest). For instance:

I have no idea what that tweet means, but until Melon’s showing up in the official TIF lineup, I’m going to assume that they’re holding down the fort at some day-long gig at LOFT or something. But still, can you imagine the Idols From Outer Space taking over the Sky Stage? Gives me shivers, it does.

The point is, if you’re “at” TIF or merely in Tokyo and TIF-proximate, it’s worth seeing what’s around. Idols who aren’t performing at TIF absolutely flood the area, hoping to catch the eye of idol fans who might be looking for something new, and that’s just scratching the surface of all of the gigs, parties, street performances and so on that you can expect. It’s an absolute smorgasbord of idol — feel free to try new things!

And drink a lot of water! It’s hot out there!

This Year’s TIF Is Next-gen and Looking Cool as Hell

The second or third most wonderful time of the year is almost upon us, folks! Yes, the Tokyo Idol Festival, the happiest place on earth, is in the process of announcing the confirmed acts (a process that will continue almost until the festival itself happens), and this year’s lineup not only includes lots of faces fresh to the public at large but possibly familiar to us, but is lousy with opportunity to take loud idol stuff in general to a whole new level.

The lineup so far:

Ayukuma! You’ll Melt More! amiinA! Osaka Shunkashuto! Maison Book Girl! Stalwarts, they are. Also, how cool is it that IVOLVE and NEO JAPONISM and SHINGEKI are joining the festivities this year? Who gets to be the first-timer who takes the festival by storm and officially becomes a Big Deal in the aftermath? Continue reading

Task Have Fun Is Very Aptly Named

It was only a matter of time before I finally (finally!) got around to one of idol’s most infectious guilty pleasures. I of course refer to Task Have Fun (Twitter); let’s begin our journey with a certain little video that had a very hot minute a few months ago:


I mean, it’s a legit Video of the Year candidate

Continue reading

A TIF Aftermath Post Because Why Not

The Tokyo Idol Festival has officially ended, and bizarrely quietly; I’m sure that attending it was amazing, but gaijin access was curtailed this year, which is dumb, but did contribute to some really nice adds in the Megathread (thanks guy!).

Best Job by Old Favorites

There are a few sets that I haven’t seen yet, but I was (just like normal) moved like an easily manipulated man baby by There There Theres, who historically (as Bellring Girls Heart) always seemed to make the venue theirs and never missed a beat. They were right on point with that this year, too.


If “Asthma” doesn’t move you, you aren’t human

Continue reading

2017 TIF Megathread

Good morning, everybody! I had a quick chat (logistical) with Terry yesterday because I had just realized that the Tokyo Idol Festival was literally about to happen and it had slipped my mind, and he was actually even more clueless than me. Amazing, especially when you consider the ridiculous lift that went into collecting video from last year.

Anyway, TIF is literally happening when you see this, and has been for hours. It runs through Sunday. It is amazing. This is now a megathread, an I’ll do my darnedest to collect cool video and share it (in the comments). You should do it, too! From there, we’ll be able to have a nice playlist to remember what might be The TIF That Our Idols Took Over.

Don’t believe me? Look at this lineup: Continue reading

Anybody Going to the Tokyo Idol Festival?

It’s apparently TIF time! Yes, friends, the biggest multi-idol event of them all is now coming up fast, and the massive roster necessary to pull off such a thing is starting to come together.

Continue reading

The Epic TIF List Got Destroyed, So I Made a (Now Better!) Collection

If you’ve been following the scuttlebutt or looking back at the Requiem or Megathread, you probably know by now that just about all of the video from the Tokyo Idol Festival got taken down via copyright claims — not just the stuff that @ramenshuriken shared, but everything. And that’s okay! Tokyo Idol Project will start releasing official stuff eventually, and then they’ll stop caring about the under-the-radar things that fans do, and we can always find creative ways to host video.

For instance! Idol 2.0 used the ol’ reliable method of adding things directly to Facebook:

ayumikurikamaki

Fruitpochette

Continue reading

TIF 2016 Requiem

The 2016 Tokyo Idol Festival is now just in the past, but what a trio of days it was! We had new idols, injured idols, sanity-losing idols … basically, it’s a crying-ass shame that TIF doesn’t go on tour, because that would be amazing.

Top news:

  • Fruitpochette revealing a new member (hi, Rum!), new music and death growls to rival anybody else’s in the game
  • PassCode’s Yuna, the current leader in idol harsh vocals, performing with her butt glued to a stool and still managing to shift the magnetic north pole during “Never Sleep Again”
  • GANG PARADE’s Ao graduating on an epic stage
  • BiSH doing “Hoshi ga Matataku Yoru ni” six times in a row in the Heat Garage and giving up all pretense of GAF by the midway point
  • @ramenshuriken was the hero of the weekend, ripping video from the TV feeds; you can watch it all on this playlist: Continue reading

TIF Megathread

Let’s give this a whirl: As things happen at the Tokyo Idol Festival (happening now!) and news gets out — performance video, personnel changes, new members, announcements, etc. — go ahead and add it to the comments here. These idols and more will be doing all kinds of cool stuff, so I’m sure there won’t be any shortage of fun.

I moved the Fruitpochette bit into the comments; here’s some PIIIIIIIN: Continue reading

Prep for TIF: MAPLEZ Live Set

We had a lot of fun with the live sets for petit pas! and Full Power Girls R yesterday; now it’s time to get the MAPLEZ treatment:

I’m particularly fond of how (not here, but Twitter and stuff) they call their CLUB QUATTRO tour “RUMBLING, PULSATION.” That describes MAPLEZ pretty accurately, I’d say.

It’s gonna be a really cool weekend, you guys.