A Welcome Surprise from No Suprises

So as mentioned in the Weekender, after a long and butt week in idol in which very little of real interest happened, engines started to warm up a little bit yesterday, and we got something that those of us who are pro-POPiD could be excited about. Yes, it should come as … no surprise (haw) that the Idol Formerly Known as PiGU, called (ahem) No Surprises now and having none of the old PiGU membership but definitely having inherited their Twitter account, dropped their first single, “proof”, the other day (venue-only?), and along with that came this MV:

This post-PiGU project was, of course, going to be carrying over quite a bit of PiGU, and every little bit of what we’d seen from them so far suggested the same. Here, the best evidence yet, delivers in a way that … surprised (heh) me. There’s that little maturation in the sound — which, yes fine, it’s one song, but bear with me, until they turned dark, all of OG PiGU’s punk work was on the brighter end of that spectrum, and no I’m not buying this as “emotional blues rock” just yet — but moving with it is a complete makeover in the group’s look. It’s a good move, frankly, an aesthetic shift without needing to be revolutionary.

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Your Homicidols Weekender #118

Dang it, you guys, this was like the lamest idol week in a long time. Not that I noticed — I’d had to very deliberately carve out time on Monday to do the podcast with A-to-J and Derek (see below!), and even that in retrospect felt like a huge mistake not because I didn’t have a good time and a good chat, but because it was a couple of hours that I could have spent on the mountains of work in front of me. Yes, ol’ Maniac was burning quite a bit of the midnight oil this week, to the point that there not being significant releases or MVs out most days was in fact a huge relief, because I could snag just the tiniest bit more sleep.

But am I thankful? Heck no! It can get to be a chore to keep up with everything sometimes — I have other interests! — but I get such a thrill out of the good work done in this business. Days when multiple things all happen at once are exhilarating. And weeks when I can pepper the Weekender with plenty of that stuff are sustaining.

Not this time, though! I mean, quality over quantity, maybe? We’ll survive. And there’s even stuff to blog about now! So waste little time with this dumb ol’ Weekender, throw an idea or two at the Fun, and then look at other things.

Is That a Self-own?

Re: said podcast:

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I Love You. Now Go Get raymay’s Single

Well if this isn’t a post that happened quickly and with no real plan! But hell you guys, there hasn’t been a ton to write about this week, and I’d been meaning to make good on this one way or another ever since I knew about it, so here we go.

So raymay. You know, the little sister group of uijin’s that sounds like this and was either going to reveal the full extent of their awesomeness (or maybe just ambitions thereof) on this record, or would still leave us feeling pretty optimistic about their future because come on, “pulsar” is ridiculous. That raymay. The debut single is ready for digital download. And while I’d ordinarily just make that a Weekender thing, I’m not here because step one, do one of these things:

Now come agree with me. Continue reading

Payrin’s Blessed Us with Double Video Love Today

Payrin’s! Talk about something that I just plain don’t get to post about enough. If you’d asked me a couple of years ago if that would be the case, I’d call you a silly billy and tweak your nose and laugh heartily, for of course this thing that I liked right from the get-go would be something that would be super active and all over the site. And brother, would I have been wrong!

It’s all good. I take my Paryin’s when I can get it, and today is one of those days. It’s not clear what the occasion is, but I’ll never turn down fresh video from a group that I keep on permanent blast just in case they do something cool and good, in this case a double live shot from December’s year-ending one-man:

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Yoneko’s Living Her Best Solo Life

Her old home of AqbiRec might be falling apart before our very eyes, but at least we’re safe in knowing that Yoneko is still thriving without them.

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Your Homicidols Weekender #117

Good morning! Did everybody have a good week? Idol went and flexed good and hard on us, didn’t it? Plenty to enjoy. And now the inevitable break that, because I for once don’t have anything else to do and could maybe enjoy just bumming around the house a little bit, will surely be ruined by a string of awesome MVs and a graduation that’ll make your head spin. This week’s huge personal loss is Dots, of course. Still trying to process that one.

Let’s all do our best to do our least for a little bit this weekend, okay? Relax. Reflect. Appreciate that this is easily the most boring time of year, and you owe it to yourself to embrace that spirit. I mean, by all means play the Fun, an excellent entry by our most Supreme Nothing, but otherwise let the magic of the Weekender take you to a happy place.

Serenity Now!

WHAT HAPPENED TO CHIITI!

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These Tears of Joy Are for the Desu.Rabbits

Man, looking back, Wednesday was absolutely jam-packed, wasn’t it? And I usually consider it to be the second weakest day of the week, after Sunday, hence I wasn’t anticipating that there’d be this big newsworthy churning glut of MV releases in the span of a few hours, and hence was caught flat-footed and had to scramble to try to cover everything. Alas, “everything” is a metaphysical impossibility, so “something” was going to get left out until considerations could open up later, and in this case that something turned out to be the thing that I might have, on the aggregate, been the most excited about. Luck of the draw!

What was that thing? The title gives it away, but please let me contextualize for the new amount us: See, back when ol’ Homicidols Dot Com got started, I had particular negative tendencies that my stuffed-shirt editorial attitudes for the most part could ignore when called upon to do so, but always failed in the case of OG Ladybaby and the Idol Formerly Known as Deathrabbits. Looking back on it, there’s more of a logical through-line to it, especially seeing as how they’re the only two groups that I ever saw use the “death pop” attribution for themselves and both employed the girls+adult man lineup in extremely similar ways. Without getting too much into it, my general disinterest in both groups showed, and people were happy to call me out for it.

This didn’t really start to change until I was forwarded this Deathrabbits album by their international fan club president, and forcing myself to look at it objectively pointed out that, hey, there are some neat things going on here. It’s not all for me, but it’s also definitely not a bad thing. And so began a gradual thaw toward the group, through their re-brand as Desu.Rabbits and various releases and even that Road to Budokan that– Are they still doing that? I hope so. Don’t give up!

Anyway, to put a bow on this intro, I’d been hoping for a while that the day would come when Desu.Rabbits would show a really mature side of themselves. And when they dropped this MV the other day, there it was: Continue reading

An Enthusiast’s Amateur Exegesis of His New Absolute Favorite Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da Thing

I was late for the train this morning. It was my fault — I stayed some of the usual morning prep to follow up on some personal things that needed attention — but I wasn’t any happier for taking the responsibility. I was late, period, and being late for something as scheduled as a municipal rail line means missing the train, which means waiting for the next, which means tacking extra time onto being late. It’s dumb. I was dumb. I was mad.

By the time I got to the office, I had a day’s worth of email buzzing at me from the smart phone that I now rue like none other, a string of messages re: said personal things that needed attention and now needed more attention, and a good cluster of idol-related tweets that I knew I was going to have to cut through if I were to have any hope of not having my phone crash.

Somewhere around 95 percent of all idol-related tweets in my daily queue are pointless dreck. Oh good, you’re tweeting your entire schedule of single release appearances at HMV and Tower, fantastic, idgaf. Today was no different. Joy, though, often lives in that remaining 5 percent, and so it was when the bottom of the huge-ass pile of Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da messages lay the one that truly mattered. It was MV time!

Yotsu is pretty much everything now

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Bully BULLY IDOL Bully

The title of this post in the spirit of the “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo” linguistic exercise. All lo; points to any who can identify the moral contradiction therein!

The fine* people at WACK bring you their staggering retort to BILLIE IDLE’s playful spin of a variety show appearance via MV:

I really wanted this to be shade, and not just because I wanted to do another “Shade or Not Shade?” post. The idea of there being beef — real, loud, public beef — between WACK and a bunch of ex-WACK idols operating in close proximity but ultimately asymptotically to is simply delicious. Alas, it appears that whatever likely complicated feelings held by one Pour Lui toward one Watanabe Junnosuke, and any of the same held by First Summer Uika or Hirano Nozomi by history or either of the Momoses by association, those feelings are likely mere complications when the chance to leverage existing relationships for potential financial gain are involved.

Bully.

*Here defining “fine” very liberally

Despair Not for the Dissolution of our Dearest Dots

Before dashing off this article too briskly, I took in the last evening to ponder yesterday’s announcement that the dot-chans have scheduled what will be their final live, do a little research to understand what I could, and also to reflect on where we go in a world without the beloved shoegaze idols we’ve come to know.

I know that most all of you who follow the group are already aware of the impending closure, because I heard from a number of you about it, some in personal messages, and others from reading your reactions online. It speaks to the unique specialness of this group in the way many of you expressed your thoughts with a feeling of personal loss and perhaps a sense of disappointment. Oshi-loss, as Kerrie refers to it, is a very real emotional reaction when you’ve connected to an idol who’s graduating or a group that’s dissolving. And although these dot-chans have largely maintained a sort of aloof anonymity, they still touched a part of each of us fans. It’s also very notable to point out, as this article from Matt Bedford of Muso Japan demonstrates, that the group succeeded in gaining followers outside of idol circles.

I did reach out to Japanese fans, and I also read the group’s blog entry containing the chan’s statements. I can tell you that amongst the fans, the announcement was a surprise, and there is no obvious tangible reason for the dissolution that’s been given. I can also tell you that the dot girls of Tokyo are going to remain just as mysterious as they’ve been right up to the end. Everyone is very much remaining in character, and I not only appreciate that, but I love that that’s how they’re going out. The more I think about it, I’m less interested in finding out the “why”, and more interested in celebrating what we knew. In their blog statements, the members of the group seem to be upbeat and positive to travel into their futures. I get no sense of sadness.

The group’s primary manager/producer/visionary also kept the mythology going, explaining that the ethereal manifestations that took the shape of girls will inhabit those forms for only a limited amount of remaining time, and then the end of that time on Earth is here. The dot-chans were always meant to be impermanent, and so they move on to new planes of existence.

If you really want my non-mythology theory, I believe the dots are disbanding for the very best of reasons: Because they’ve largely achieved what they set out to do. Now they can go explore new things in their lives which may or may not include obsessive fans and metaphysical concepts. (There’s also the matter of this being a nearly no-profit industry, but I think that’s a given with most art-driven projects.) Some time ago, it was hinted that there was a new project underway that I thought was going to be a sister-group to the Dot-chans. That project is still happening. So far, almost nothing has been revealed about it except that it’s continuing the innovative high art concepts that Dots have broken ground with. I believe a torch is being passed, and it’ll be exciting to see what’s coming as this new project takes a tangible shape.

I want to tell you dear people reading this: Do not anticipate this event with despair, but rather look forward to the new things to come. Don’t miss the Dots with sadness, but remember them fondly with affection. This is the way of things, and like a passing satellite in the sky, it’s something you should cherish for simply having seen it.

The dot-chans will have their final live on March 24. They will also have additional activities building up to the last show. And since they still have unreleased recorded material and more songs, including another great tune written by Azusa Suga of For Tracy Hyde, (The video posted above!) I also suspect that they’ll have some more musical output to be consumed as well. I know the fans will support the group to the fullest and send them off in celebratory style, because they deserve it.

Now let’s thank Dots for what they gave us and wish them the very best.