Hey friends, remember when we did a big crowdsourced ranking project and I said I’d post the results the first week of May? Well, May came and went and I was all over the place and that didn’t happen, but I’m not going to waste your considerations or my own goofy idea, so now here we are: The inaugural Homicidol 25 will be for June, and I’ll publish on a rough quarterly basis.
Welcome to the Homicidol 25! This is a very rough measurement of who in the wide world of heavy idols is currently most on top of the scene, or as much as such a thing even exists. We are, after all, mostly approaching this from thousands of miles away, soaking it in via YouTube and Twitter and only the vaguest of understandings of sales, actual popularity, etc. I thoroughly encourage arguments about this: It’s meant to be something to discuss, not a be-all end-all absolute ranking.
As we enter June 2016:
It should surprise absolutely nobody that Japan’s #1 musical export to the West is in the top spot. They won the fan voting in a walk, their second album is still selling like hotcakes, they’re packing houses everywhere they go, their video views are counted in the millions, they’ve been in the biggest music media on three continents other than their own and they’re getting mainstream attention in a way that probably no Japanese artist, let alone an idol group and definitely let alone a metal band, ever has before. They’re the reason for the season for a reason.
2. Kamen Joshi
The Alice Project’s supergroup has an overwhelming ubiquity; by being the underground’s theater group, they’re grinding it out every day, from live shows to video, and their output is oddly prolific. Media coverage includes photo features and popping up in many of the “idol is so weird!” articles that are appearing more and more all the time. International dates? Check. Oh, and they’re still thriving on the strength of a #1 single that’s now well over a year old and the sales of a DVD for a concert that happened six months ago. Nonetheless, this is what hard work and dedication will get you. And by winning the Corenament, they’ve managed at least a few dozen more fans than they had before!
The direct inheritors of BiS‘s chaotic legacy, they’ve had a mixed-up last few months: “Deadman,” their major-label debut, did pretty good business, and they’re about to embark on their third one-man Japan-wide tour ahead of the release of their third album in about 18 months of life. That’s incredible. Unfortunately, it’s coming at a price, as original member and sentimental favorite Hug Me is currently saying her farewells. Nonetheless, they’ve been doing nothing but going up from Day One, and the most controversial moves they’ve pulled to date have centered on how badly they want to beat their spiritual mother’s level of success.
The fan voting had them and BiSH all of one vote apart, which fits with how the voting between them went in the Corenament, and let’s not kid ourselves: PassCode‘s pretty much on top of it right now. A nice run of videos prepared the way for last week’s release of their second album, VIRTUAL, and their tour to support it is kicking off soon. Considering that their defining sound is a blistering mix of EDM, digital hardcore and chiptune, it’s almost shocking that they’ve made it so far, but everything they do is just plain enjoyable.
5. Bellring Girls Heart
These twisted, de-tuned alt-rock ravens hold a bizarre spot in the hearts of many, though there’s no denying either their popularity or the respect that others have for them; they’re even joining BiSH and PassCode at the top of Gyu-no Fes‘s bill. Add to that the very successful release of Beyond a few months back and an inspired performance at the Tokyo Dome City Hall, and you have an enduring leader of the scene still on top of its game.
They weren’t this high in the fan voting, but who’s having a better run than these adorable party rocking bears right now? Even after moving on from their saku saku hosting gig, all they’ve done is release a well-received (and hot-selling) album and get their own national one-man tour moving. Bonus points for absolutely owning Twitter helps.
7. Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da
Opinions on the Queens of Yami-Kawaii (don’t argue) vary, but nobody who blends A-pop with hardcore and the shattered emotions of heartbroken psychotics … actually, there’s nobody quite like them. Yami-Kawaii IMRAD did well for them a few months ago, but they’re really making waves on the strength of their recent single, “Untitled Choir” and its life-changing B-side, “When You When You Want.” And if you haven’t figured out the theme yet, their own one-man tour with new music along the way (and another single in about six weeks!) could prove legendary.
8. petit pas!
One of the underground’s most enduring acts FINALLY got around to releasing an album and making a big-deal debut, and what a debut it’s been: In the week since Refrain hit stores, they’ve out-sold some of the biggest names in idol. There’s a lot to be said for quality, period, even if your stated objective is to be the “cutest idols in Tokyo.” Whether they’re that is up to people who care about such things to decide; me, I’m calling the quality of their music and their sudden bloom on their potential worth everybody’s attention.
Probably being robbed here, but I couldn’t completely ignore the fan voting that had her in the middle of the pack; Shiina has a unique place as a solo idol on a major label who happily goes the blood-and-guts-and-sex route. Her most recent single did well, and she’s right out there at most of the big events for the scene.
You might think it’s crazy, but here are true facts about Q’ulle: They sell much better than you think, including their most recent work, and they’ve dispensed with the whole nationwide-one-man thing in favor of a tour of Asia. Also, nobody in the business dances better, and they bring the rock in a way that everybody from you to your kids to your parents will appreciate.
Another one hurt by the fan vote, but the pyon little bunnies just released a pretty darn okay album that, when paired with the video for “Usagi Stream 2,” showed that these tweens are growing up fast, and the long game may pay off in the end.
I find that Necroma has a very weird place in the hearts of you all, and this is right about where they fell in the voting — smack-dab in the middle. The New Caledonia tour was a cool move, yes. Maybe they’d be ranked higher if their upcoming EP were yet in stores? Or maybe we just need to hear more from it. After all, for pure creep factor and maturity and accomplishment of what they wanted to accomplish, NEMESIS is still in the running for album of the year.
13. Osaka Shunkashuto
I almost couldn’t believe how well they did in the voting, but facts are facts, and one gets the feeling that they have something big planned. They did have one of the best 2015s of anybody, and the lack of new material is compensated for by a ton of appearances. Also, they’re like all 17, so cut them some slack.
14. You’ll Melt More!
This was the biggest fall of anybody from voting to reality; yeah, we all love them, but facts are facts, and You Are the World is now officially old news and oh yeah they just lost a lot of important weight.
They decided to get around the curse on their third position by expanding to a four-piece, and all indications are that “Antino Ideology” did pretty well, all things considered. That they have Kiminosei in their corner helps, but people who get exposed to their Girl, Interrupted style of … whatever you want to call their music, well, they love it. Already a fast riser, and goodness knows what’s next.
16. Guso Drop
The heaviest idols in the world haven’t released anything new in a while, but that dance video was straight fire, and the release is pretty much right around the corner. Also, they’re great. They won’t be this low for long.
17. Party Rockets GT
Their big news is that they finally had their post-reboot one-man. Unfortunately, that’s all they got right now, a months-old single and that fun month-long #DailyPartyRockets thing notwithstanding. You all love the crap out of them, though, because you have good taste.
18. Screaming Sixties
I’m not sure that I can get behind this ranking, but I also don’t know who I’d bump. This is actually a promotion over where they were voted, which I think says that their problem isn’t output (new single, solid song, fine video or quality, randomly including Maina from SSFW), but awareness. And that’s what this site is for!
19. Himekyun Fruit Can
The unofficial deans of idol rock put out an album that did pretty well, but that was all the way back in February, and they’ve been quiet since then. They did manage to avoid the shakeup among Mad Magazine’s groups, and maybe they’re just biding their time for the next big thing.
Speaking of Mad Magazine’s shakeup! Even including Babymetal, it’s possible that there isn’t an overall better combination of idol and metal in the business; the problem is that they haven’t released anything in a long-ass time, just lost half of their membership and have their remaining member working with others on management’s roster. New music has been teased, though, and TIF looms …
21. Billie Idle
Here’s another that doesn’t resonate well with you all (maybe you don’t like punk?) — arguably the best of the ex-BiS projects and hosts of the Anarchy/Idle Is Dead? tour that just wrapped up are, in this Maniac’s opinion, deserving of way better than this ranking, but what are you gonna do? Their 4 in 1: The Official Bootleg EP did only receive mixed reviews.
22. The Spunky
The voting was very split for these little pop punkers, with some submissions putting them much higher than this and others almost completely eliminating them. Which is a shame; our Corenament #3 might not be taking the world by storm, but they’re working as hard as anybody to stand out in a tough Tokyo scene. Unfortunately, Seira’s graduation does hurt their rank.
23. Dissenter Dolls
The votes have them higher, and my heart wants them there, too, but facts are facts, and DisDol is a very frustrating group to fan for. Release something, already!
They barely made it in, and nobody on this list gets less attention on posts about them, but there’s just enough latent Kamiya Saki love to keep them moving. Which is odd, because while POP aren’t a big-big deal yet in Japan, they’re actually way ahead of where we think they are.
I was so happy that they crept in with just enough votes to warrant being in the rankings; now let’s see them arouse as much attention with new music as they do with their very amusing face-slapping videos.
Others Receiving Votes
Ladybaby, & Crazy, Bokura no Oyugi, Yandoll, Parallel Japan, Malcolm Mask McLaren, Under Beasty