The local focus of idol is one of its charms, but also one of the stupidest ways to get idols who you nominally like lost in a shuffle. Me, I’m personally a big mark for Nagoya idols for some reason, with a lot of ancillary respect for Osaka. Of course you’re going to wind up doing a lot of Tokyo-area local stuff, too, when you start looking at idol, given that (pick a neighborhood anymore) is in one form or another an epicenter of idol culture.
Because you do that, see, and then you lose track of the good projects — sometimes it’s just one or two, honestly — in other big cities (Kyoto!) or prefectures (Ehime!), purely because the incessant drone of idol-related media and fandom doesn’t sound as loudly over those spots.
I feel like I didn’t even know that YKG was coming out with an album soon, but it had been a good long while since their last album (though not that long since we last looked in on them) — maybe if Phillter, the world’s greatest Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen fan, weren’t so busy being all living and working in Japan and stuff, I’d have known about this earlier!
Anyway, NOTE4 dropped the other day (fittingly, their fourth album, following NOTE3, their, uh, third), and here’s the trailer:
I was chatting with Phillter yesterday about odds and ends, idols and life, things like that, and he mentioned that Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, who I believe are literally the biggest idols in the history of Yamaguchi Prefecture, were having some graduations themselves.
Now, YKG does what they do, and they probably do it as well as anybody. They’re not a huge deal, but they’re a big enough deal, and they’ve been going for years. From everything that I’ve seen, they seem like they’re well-managed and treated relatively respectfully (often as good as you can hope for!), and they seem like they have fun with it out there.
I usually prefer to have non-catastrophic graduations in the Weekender, but Phillter felt like doing a little translation job, and I thought that it might be nice to look at what can be the case when idols are ready to leave their group, under normal and acceptable and non-terrible terms. Continue reading →
This post started off as a little blurb about Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen having an album coming out soon, a fact completely neglected in that business about their big headliner show. But that’s okay, because what happens when idols have albums to promote?
In a remarkable little coincidence, I had gone looking up YKG the other day to see if they were doing anything notable, and I was happy to see that they have activities planned around their fifth anniversary(!):
You can learn more about that stuff and even look at the … look, idol merch is idol merch; if you want a tote bag with your favorite group’s one-off event logo on it, you know what you’re getting yourself into.
But then your friend and mine, Phillter, the world’s greatest YKG fan, sent this neat little video of them doing a live cover of BiSH’s “Hoshi ga,” and …
The idol ideal is of young women who say all the right things, smile at the right time, present themselves the right way and, no matter what, glittering away without letting the facade crack for a second.
Take Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, a self-managed group whose rock-metal-idol hybrid sound has developed a sharper edge over time. In promoting the release of their fifth seventh (seriously, was I drunk when I wrote that?) single, “One,” five of the members and their producer joined Optimanotes for an interview that ranged all over — stage behavior, respect, favorite animals. Here are some choice snips: Continue reading →
Friends, our man Phillter has made a very generous offer to the community: Because he can Japanese pretty well and because he’s Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen‘s #1 fan, he has offered to translate this almost absurdly long interview for us. I at first politely declined; that’s a lot of work! and what if nobody actually wants to read it?
But what if people do? Ergo, if the ayes have it to a respectable margin, Phillter will sequester himself in a quiet room for several days get in some good translating practice and share the results with us as soon as he’s able.
This poll is a simple one: Yes or no. I do however caution that if you do vote yes, you’re basically committing yourself to not only reading the translation, but sending Phillter some very nice words and maybe even one of those fancy wine baskets for the trouble.
This is their new single, and it’s a good direction for them to be moving in. I also like the juxtaposition of being able to share this on the same day as the release of the F13 podcast with A-to-J and our deep discussions about bullying, violence, soul-eating and sex.
There’s just something about songs called “One,” isn’t there?