I hope you all got a good kick out of seeing the community’s Best of 2019 yesterday — now we get extremely heavy-handed and drop the absolute knowledge bombs that are the Team Homicidols picks, which is way more interesting than when I used to just rag on you all. As you have no doubt figured out, we are people of eclectic tastes, both relative to the community and to each other, so while there are a few things (Kai) that we all mostly agree on (Dots/RAY), we are among ourselves really all over the map. That hipster comment yesterday? Pertains!
Anyway, here are the staff picks for 2019, preserved for eternity.
Daemon: It is still heartbreaking that a neck injury turned the final live of Minna no Kodomochan’s first nation-wide tour from what should have been a celebration of one of the most creative and productive periods of the unit’s existence into a graduation show for Honoka.
Kerrie: I don’t think I really need to go into detail about this pick, considering I wrote an entire article earlier this year complaining about it. All I can really add to this is, in 2020, can we all just be nicer to idols? It doesn’t matter if they’re your oshi or a member that you hate, just, be nice. Please.
Chris: RHYMEBERRY deciding to split up rather than play Monster of Dolls.
Maniac: I was the one who nominated the podcast’s demise — the community needs creators, and that was a big loss all at once — but that’s really just my honorable mention because the biggest letdown for me, hands down, was my personal inability to fancy-idol-blog the way I used to. This is immensely frustrating.
Brian: Ano leaving YOU’LL MELT MORE! in such an abrupt and unceremonious fashion.
Daemon: For me, Chaotic Harmony’s “Get to Know BURST GIRL” video was the source of some of the year’s brightest comedy gems. Rei-chan’s description of her date with NECRONOMIDOL’s Himari (starting around 8:45) is pure kawaii comedy gold, and the interview also gave us this moment:
I’m just gonna put this here. pic.twitter.com/GQRssmgrFo
— Daemon ☠ Aimless (@DaeMetal) September 17, 2019
Kerrie: Banabathwater. I don’t know what’s funnier; everyone’s reactions to THE BANANA MONKEYS selling their used bathwater, Banamanagement’s insistence on how their water is hygenic because “idols only poo marshmallows, duh”, how quickly said bathwater was taken off Mercari for obvious rule violations, that a certain popular influencer then did the exact same thing and totally stole Banamon’s thunder. Either way, bathwatergate sure was the gift that kept on giving.
Chris: Banamon selling their bathwater, which prompted concern from one fan concerned about bits of Banapoop and Banatoejam floating in it, culminating in the infamous proclamation from management: “IDOLS DON’T POO. ONLY MARSHMALLOWS COME OUT”
Maniac: I knew it was a good idea to invite Chris to join Team — he immediately gave our overall sense of humor a new depth. Then he went and published this guide and I’m still laughing at the idea of getting a cheeky with my yoshi.
Brian: Yoneko practicing her English by diving right into the vulgarities.
Chris: Senanan announcing a surprise marriage and surprise baby, and then carrying on idoling as if she hadn’t just torn up the idol rule book.
Daemon: That Boss would leave BURST GIRL to front a punk band and sing songs about her dog. It shows what I know: I thought Rei-chan and BURST GIRL were ride-or-die.
Brian: Gotta give it to Amuse, bringing in Riho Sayashi as a Babymetal alternate was a pretty surprising play.
Kerrie: As a long-term Hello! Project fan, of course it had to be Rihometal. Seeing Morning Musume’s former ace who suddenly disappeared into the ether, just reappear years later without warning as Yuimetal’s part-time replacement? Surreal! Totally surreal! Seeing her name written in Metal Hammer? Confusing! Seeing her on stage at the legendary Glastonbury Festival? Bizzare! I have my fingers crossed that I’ll get to see her in person at Babymetal’s UK tour in February so I can be even more pleasantly baffled!
Papermaiden: Nonamera’s departure from Kaqriyo and the industry at large, marking (for all we know from her last communications through her withdrawal announcement) her retirement from the industry. I’ve said it before, mostly in private conversation, and I have whole drafts about it, but I think the bulk of Nonamera’s work is the essence of what idol is. I think Nonamera, under all her different previous names, writing lyrics, composing music and her way of performing is the essence of what idol is/should be. When you look at Kaqriyo Terror Architect’s discography, even if she was not composing the lyrics nor the music, you can see it draws directly from what she likes to do. The whispering/ASMR? She’s done it before! The rapping parts? Also done before! This person clearly loves music, and I hope she can happily live this passion in one way or another. And that she is happy wherever she is right now, because she more than deserved her break, too. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing articles about the 9 layers of the Nonamera experience who might see the light of day at one point.
Daemon: I will miss ・・・・・・・・・ but I won’t miss trying to search for them or their album title that was just a space between quotation marks you sadist of a manager-san.
Brian: I was really accepting of Dots calling it a day, because I knew it would be evolving into something new, but Billie Idle coming to an end feels like an historical upheaval.
Kerrie: Billie Idle were one of my first forays into the alt-idol world. After discovering the recently-disbanded 1st generation BiS, I was eager to follow the current projects of all the former members, with Billie Idle quickly becoming my favourite. So, losing them this year really does feel like the end of an era. I’m grateful for their five years of existence, but, this one will be hard for me to personally get over.
Papermaiden: I feel like saying dots, but we got RAY out of it. I also felt like saying Hamidasystem, but I like the current duo better and the birth of Crossnoesis was worth it. However, you know what’s sad? That Billie Idle has half of the OG BiS final lineup and yet still wasn’t profitable, leading to their disbandment. It feels especially wild as a foreign fan because Billie Idle seemed like one of the big players, their music is excellent and their MV are entertaining / do not look expensive. So, Billie Idle, I tip my hat to you and wish you a shallow grave.
Maniac: I remain in semi-regular communication with the Candye Syrup team, going back to the original iteration, and the real permanence in death for this project gives me a certain kind of sad. Yeah, what the others said, those were all sad things, but Candye was personal in a way that those weren’t. I’m going to miss uijin a lot, too, even if we get one extra week out of them.
Daemon: Honoka was not just half of Minna no Kodomochan onstage, but perhaps its biggest creative influence behind the scenes. The primary motif of “walls” that informs everything in Kodomochan from lyrics to costumes originated in Honoka’s mind, and she encouraged the selection of Jin Tanaka as the group’s composer. That she is also Cinnamon’s real-life role model and best friend made Honoka’s graduation all the more heartbreaking.
Brian: I’ve come around to mostly not being sad over graduations since I know most idols have planned to move on to new things, but Honoka leaving Minna no Kodomochan due to an injury is genuinely a shame.
Papermaiden: Futamaruya Shidare’s sudden graduation takes the cake for me. In many ways, it drastically changed my personal life (spoiler alert: surprise trip to Japan to see your oshi one last time do break the bank. Don’t take me on as a financial advisor). But Shidare was just… so good. At her graduation concert (which you can see over at their international fanclub if you register), she really gave it her all, but if you had seen her before, you could tell she was tired. Tsurezure went on to a second very strong era with Mei as leader. Shidare has more than earned her return to civilian life, but I do miss her, including her impeccable selfie game and kodomo dragon-like smile (when she goes :> ).
Maniac: Lost in all of this BILLIE IDLE stuff is the almost-certain eternal loss of First Summer Uika, who is was and will always be human perfection in my eyes. Of course she’ll be on Twitter and Instagram forever; I’ll miss her hamming it up through entire albums and kicking the shit out of handsy wota, though.
Kerrie: God, remember last year when everything seemed to be looking perfect for Kaqriyo Terror Architect? Not saying that their resurrection as KAQRIYOTERROR is bad, not at all, but OUCH. Kotetsu‘s departure, as the first, wasn’t too devastating as she’s still powering her way through Yukueshirezutsurezure to this day. But then you get Yamakomaro departing for health reasons, and, which was personally the most gut-wrenching, Nonamera‘s sudden disappearance. Especially because it was likely caused by my previously-mentioned letdown of the year, especially because we didn’t even get a graduation show or a way to say goodbye, and ESPECIALLY because she’s still missing to this day. I hope she’s doing okay, at least. Overall, losing the entirety of the original Kaqriyo Terror Architect, who had such an incredibly strong start, in the span of just a couple of months? That hurt.
Chris: Ano leaving my favourite group was sad but was eclipsed by Shidare who, for me, was the very heart of Yukueshirezutsurezure.
Best Debut (Group)
Maniac: I haven’t been written a thing about them yet, but while I did love the first look at Zsasz and a few others, I’m very pro NiANiHiL and look forward to what may be coming next. I mean, yes, I think RAY had the best debut, but that’s cheating.
Daemon: As a long-time fan, I am incredibly excited that Utsu-P is making the transition from vocaloid to idol with Zsasz.
Chris: Electric Hearts; why aren’t more people obsessively excited about them? We’re trying…
Kerrie: Being a Codomomental wota this year was hard, man. Losing my entire top 3 members like I was reliving Hellomageddon 2018? I’d be lying if I didn’t say I felt a little discouraged for the first half of the year. Thankfully, Seireki13ya were there to keep me trapped in the fandom. Each of their releases was better than the last, and they even provided a nice bit of drama at the start with the revelation of one of their members being ex-Banamon, which is arguably the alt-idol equivalent of a Jersey Shore cast member starring in a critically-acclaimed Netflix drama.
Brian: RAY was everything I was hoping for.
Best Debut (Solo)
Papermaiden: The Tokyo Tower-like amazoness idol DKI and her quiet cohortmate Noa Rondo. They have complementary hair colors. It’s very christmas-y. The “rebirth” of Codomomental this year with two new Zenkimi members, a new tradidol-like eurobeat group in Seireki13ya, Takara in Tsurezure and KTA’s reboot into KAQRIYOTERROR is impressive.
Daemon: Kai knocked it out of the park with Moonlight Tokyo. All the other nominees are cultivating potential, but Kai’s already scored a home run.
Kerrie: Kai too! I’m a real sucker for faux-80s aesthetic. Especially when it comes to idol, and even more so when it involves my favourite former There There Theres member! Her debut solo EP, Moonlight Tokyo was one of my favourite releases of the year, and I’m currently listening to her follow-up, Paper Diamond, as I write this. Everything from her look, sound and onstage persona are simply adorable. It helps that she works a lot with her ex-BellHeart groupmate turned-Kerrie’s soloist oshi Yoneko to keep me paying close attention. I’m expecting big things for her next year.
Honorable mention goes to Zenkimi’s Akebono, who is simply a ray of sunshine who deserves the world.
Kerrie: I’m not gonna lie, I’m still incredibly salty over the implosion of BiS’ second-generation earlier this year. But third-generation BiS? I have to reluctantly say, they’re pretty good! No-one could possibly replace Kika Front Frontale in my heart, but I can at least say that so far, their musical output has been consistently solid. “DEAD or A LiME” is still one of my most-played singles at the moment. And in true BiS tradition, they even continue to provide more than enough salt. Which probably shouldn’t be a pro in this case, but hey, it’s memorable!
Daemon: Ray as Dots Tokyo 2.0.
Brian: The new avandoned is an absolute gem! I gush just thinking about them…
Maniac: I have not and will not shut up about NEO JAPONISM, who could have easily come back with new members and a blunted edge and instead melted fucking faces on their way to whatever the hell it is they’re going to do. Literally conquer a country? It’s possible!
Chris: Merry Merli, even if it only lasted two months.
Most Expected to Break Through in 2020
Brian: With so much top talent contributing to their vision, RAY is making music that even non-idol fans are taking notice of. If they push outward, I believe a bigger audience is entirely possible for them.
Daemon: I want everyone in this category to go gangbusters in 2020, but if I had to bet on one, the unit with the most consistently stellar team behind them is Ray.
Kerrie: If you haven’t listened to the Soundcloud recordings of ex-BiS baby, Peri Ubu, do it now. If Gu-Gu LuLu are bringing back disco, Peri’s bringing back the mid-2000s Avex diva. I’m so, so excited for what she brings in 2020.
Chris: Carry Loose. Not my thing, but I don’t see how they can fail.
Maniac: You remember how a couple of years ago this twee-but-delightfully-goofy group came out of nowhere, got themselves a pretty viral MV, turned TIF into their personal coming out party and then spent the time since being about half as fun as they were then? I’m talking Task have Fun, actually, not Osaka Shunkashuto or ayumikurikamaki. Anyway, that’s what Gu-Gu LULU are going to do in 2020, hopefully without the boring part at the end. Yes, I do always overestimate Aqbi acts, why do you ask?
Friends of Homicidols
Daemon: Sally Amaki performs tradol as part of 22/7 and has never indicated that she listens to underground idol much less has even an inkling of Homicidols.com’s existence. Still, with her attitude and outlook, I think this voice actor accidentally-turned idol would fit right in and has one of my favorite accounts on Twitter.
Basically the waiting room was full of girls talking to each other about how they were able to go deep into the internet to get the dance videos and I had the police on speed dial but I ain’t no snitch and years of watching ONE PIECE made me have a soft spot for pirates so🤷🏻♀️
— 22/7 Sally Amaki/天城サリー(Gintoki/Kuroo Enthusiast) (@sally_amaki) May 23, 2019
I just want all my members & manager to know that I was already out of the house w/o makeup when I got the text that we have to look presentable at work today so….presentable in my definition vs yours I guess🤷🏻♀️ I think I still look fine if we use the grainy filter for pictures
— 22/7 Sally Amaki/天城サリー(Gintoki/Kuroo Enthusiast) (@sally_amaki) May 14, 2019
Chris: Tentenko — you may not dig the dozen or so noise albums she put out this year but all you need is cat.
Maniac: I think he technically isn’t eligible, but who cares, this is my dang website — Derek Vasconi has done as much for the idols and the fans and connecting idols to fans as anybody else, possibly ever, and I think that deserves some calling out.
Brian: For Tracy Hyde (and not just Asuza Suga alone) are contributing songs that really elevate this genre of music to a higher level.
Maniac: I almost forgot about it until it came up on Twitter in reaction to the final ballot, but: Gang, the SPARK SPEAKER split single with 969 was really damn good, and it was idols with idols, which never gets enough attention.
Chris: Features x Yoneko – what a great track from the Pedigree Chum of idol!
Brian: Beni and CHILDISH TONES came out with two highly successful singles this year, and are already actively making plans for 2020. It’s a perfect match!
Daemon: Beni x Childish tones wins this category hands down, but I just want to say that while BABYMETAL x F. Hero generated all the buzz (and somehow revived the “rap in my metal?” outrage 30 years after Aerosmith x Run DMC), for my money the best collaboration on Metal Galaxy is the disco-metal banger “Da Da Dance” with Tak Matsumoto, or even the city pop infused “Brand New Day” where Polyphia’s Tim Henson and Scott Le Page contribute dual weeping guitars.
Kerrie: Features x Yoneko. This was probably my most-played song of this year. Who would have guessed that making the chaotic being known as Yoneko perform city pop would turn out so beautifully?
Papermaiden: Temma Matsunaga dabbling in more or less every idol project possible. Mr. Matsunaga also wins my Tentenko award of the year.
Papermaiden: Performance of the year would be seeing Ray at a taiban and just crying the entire set because it was so beautiful.
Brian: TRASH-UP!! Record’s 10 anniversary was packed wall-to-wall with all the best chika artists, and oh yeah, mother-F’n BORIS too!
Chris: Monster of Dolls, because I was there!
Daemon: This is a tough category. Shidare’s Graduation Live was the most meaningful for me and BABYMETAL at the Forum was just spectacular, but the show I most longed to be at was Indie, Idol and Infamous.
Maniac: I didn’t see any idol lives this past year, other than short clips of notable appearances. I did, however, see as many domestic non-idol lives acts as at any point in my life, and let me tell you, Massive Attack’s Mezzanine anniversary show was absolute perfection. Of all the idol lives I wish I’d seen, give me the final Screaming Sixties gig.
Kerrie: Most of my picks have been for purely personal reasons, but this pick even more so than the most. Let me tell you a story of what happened during Necroma’s Birmingham leg of the tour; On my way to the hotel I was staying at, a tall, scary-looking dude followed me, and demanded I gave him a large sum of money, with my only escape route being running into the middle of a busy road. Being terrified and having lost a lot of the money I came with, I was sobbing in my hotel room for hours until I had to leave for the show. Then, as I was riding the bus to the venue, I was pushed on the bus and then had to deal with a creepy dude stroking my hair through half the journey! By the time I got to the venue, I was shaking and miserable! And yet, not even that unfortunate chain stopped me from feeling amazing by the time Necroma’s show was over. They’re just that powerful. Thanks for turning a terrible day into an amazing night, guys.
Daemon: EP (and, perhaps, overall Release) of the Year is, hands down, Kai’s city pop masterpiece Moonlight Tokyo. Since Brian will probably have a lot to say about it, I’m going to take this opportunity to cite my runner up: Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s Humoresques which has been permanently installed in my car’s CD player for the last couple months (displacing Metal Galaxy).
Honorable mention: DON’T TOUCH MY RADIO by Nagoya locals FAREWELL, MY L.u.v.
Chris: cyberMINK, commonsense.
Brian: Kai’s Moonlight Tokyo was my favorite release this year, period!
Kerrie: Moonlight Tokyo, Kai (honorable mentions: scions of the blasted heath, The Music And The Game Creates Magic). So many great EPs came out this year that it was difficult for me to choose. My two favourite groups (NECRONOMIDOL and GANG PARADE) both came out with fantastic EPs this summer, that, in any other circumstance would win hands-down, but somehow the one that springs to mind the most now was Kai’s debut release, Moonlight Tokyo. Granted, I think she won that competition in the same way as that one Mario Party gif, in that while those two were fighting in the corner for my love, Moonlight Tokyo was ultimately the EP that stood out the most. It’s really better explained in my bit on best solo debut honestly.
Maniac: It really was a great year for records of this length, and we can easily keep Necroma in the discussion not for what they won with, but for their collaboration with NEMLESS, but that would ignore Yuki’s impossible goddamn Pizzza Cutter e.p. record that I will honor forever, not least because it covers a DAIDAIDAI song and I’ll do anything I can to mention them in a Best Of. But it’s criminal that Yuki doesn’t get the credit that she deserves, man.
Maniac: I’m cheating to split the difference between two personal favorites, one getting the single and one getting the song, but: I love Malcolm Mask McLaren‘s latest as a full release more than I love either song on it, and I love both of those songs like a mother loves her children. MMM doesn’t always do it for me, but those two songs do.
Papermaiden: “The Forbidden Masturbating“. The fact that we did not get a MV for this borderlines on criminal. While the title song is amazing, “Drying Party?” is my favourite song of the year. Second masterpiece after Cultural Mixing.
Brian: Again, RAY’s “Blue” (See my confusion regarding the b-side.) was an a fantastic release listed as a single, and who am I to argue? “Butterfly Effect” is a revelation of a song …
Daemon: I think the sheer insanity of this category should be noted. The single seems to be the format of choice in chika idol these days and we rattled Homicidols staff were faced with over 60 releases to consider. At the end of it all though, the winner from me was an easy (and emotional) pick: Minna no Kodomochan’s “The Walls”.
Kerrie: “A la mode”. She has the best music.
Daemon: “Drying Party?”. Nonamera and Yamakomaro’s last outing with Kaqriyo Terror Architect takes this category for me. I will miss those signature voices.
Kerrie: “My Life”. This was not only my favourite B-Side of the year, but one of my favourite songs, and probably my favourite song by CY8ER overall. The “fuck my life” lyric in the chorus also generated a minor meme in the fandom, so that’s a bonus.
Brian: Was RAY’s “Meteor” considered the b-side on the Blue single? (Which was classified as a single although there’s no song called “Blue”.) Or was it technically the a-side? I’m not too sure, but I knew it was amazing.
Chris: Migma Shelter: “69”. Epic!
Song of the Year
Chris: cyberMINK, “cyberMINK”. From the galloping hook that drives it to a chorus that plays in your head for weeks after hearing it, what a way to announce your name to the world.
Daemon: “Mayoeba Totoshi” by Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders is an absolute banger, but I fear for it’s chances in the voting since most Western folks exposure to the tune will be its short MV. What takes this song from good to epic all happens in it’s second half where alt-Idol’s OTHER Suzuka (SU-LEADER?) demonstrates her own considerable vocal chops and we get a rare screaming guitar solo in an H ZETT M tune.
Honorable mention: FAREWELL, MY L.u.v, Chikki☆Cheeky☆Daisy.
Maniac: I nominated WILL-O”s “POP’N” (or at least heartily endorsed it) and will stand by it now. Petit pas! is dead, but their sound lives on, and this one capped one of the year’s subtly best albums.
Kerrie: “Salem”, NECRONOMIDOL. Really, any song about lesbian witches should just win by default, but, I cried the first time I heard this, I almost cried when I watched it being performed, I cried listening to it last night when it kept showing up on my “emo-sounding songs to listen to when I feel emo af” playlist. After initially being uncertain of how Necroma could pull me back after losing Sari and Hina earlier this year, this was ultimately what reassured me that they’ve still got it.
Brian: “Moonlight Tokyo” by Kai is the neo-city-pop masterpiece that really made my year.
Best Music Video
Daemon: Minna no Kodomochan’s MV for “The Walls” still makes my jaw drop and is my pick for this year. Honorable mention goes to Kai’s mind blowing “Himitsu no tobira” and the incomparable Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s beautiful Stain (Rena’s performance seems a bit prophetic on reflection).
Kerrie: Nihonmukashi Banana Shi. The first time I watched this music video, I was speechless. On a purely technical standpoint, it wasn’t even a great music video compared to the other nominees, but it managed to succeed by being so bad its brilliant. It may not have been the prettiest music video of the bunch, but it sure as hell was the most memorable and entertaining.
Chris: Banamon, “Nihonmukashi Banana Shi”. Purely for the second and a half of cartoon defecation.
Maniac: I tried and failed to get Team behind raymay’s “Godou” MV, which is unequivocally the best that didn’t win the fan competition, so I’ll highlight the other thing I liked thank you very much. I pointed it out in relation to Marionet, I think, but: 2019 will be remembered for the pain, but it was also a year when MVs really excelled, and producer-sans made excellent choices of what to highlight.
Brian: I loved a lot of MVs this year, but the video for Kai’s “Himitsu No Tobira” is brightest, most beautiful thing I’ve seen in ages, and deserves multiple awards, including being designated as “The Best”.
Papermaiden: Tie between “Romance Sect” by Zenbu Kimi no Sei da (I just think it’s neat) and “69” by Migma Shelter (sukebans. The idol named Brazil in a ponytail.)
Brian: Dots’ Points came out so earlier in the year, putting it at risk being overlooked, which would be a major mistake. Here we are are, months later, and it still holds up among everything else this year as a stunningly solid album that challenges everything we thought we knew about idol. It’s a forever classic!
Daemon: The A-listers put out some great albums this year: the long-awaited Metal Galaxy was excellent, Carrots and Sticks was almost as good as we hoped and Screaming 60s released their eponymous opus, Zetsu. But I thought the freshest and most creative albums of the year came from less well-known groups: GuLuGuLu TUNES by GuGu-LuLu, Legacy from Toricago and my favorite album of 2019: Wakage Ga Itaru by Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders.
Kerrie: GLGL Tunes. It’s about time disco made a comeback.
Maniac: I’ll happily echo D about about Toricago, as I stan them big-time, but naw, put me down for Shihatsu-machi Underground’s opus eponymous, which I felt had almost no real peer on the year and clearly had enough support from you all, too, because I think I was only Team member to vouch for it and it nonetheless made it to the final ballot. It’s so damn good, you guys. Listen to this and tell me that humanity can reach a greater artistic level. You can’t.
Chris: There There Theres, Bricks. All the Bellring Girls Heart albums are up amongst the best of the decade and their fourth one is no exception.
Performer of the Year
Kerrie: Maybe having Himari as my current kamioshi makes me biased, but I swear her stage presence gets more and more powerful every year. If no-one stops this woman she’s probably going to make the whole of Japan explode from galaxy brain in 2020, she’s just that strong. Besides, I know she reads my twitter so I kind of have to give her an award by default otherwise I’d feel terrible.
Daemon: Cinnamon was dealt perhaps the toughest hand of the year with the sudden departure of her partner and bestie Honoka but, by all accounts, she’s transitioned to fronting Minna no Kodomochan all on her lonesome like a champion.
Chris: Chiaki Mayumura. Have you seen her?
Brian: Chiaki Mayumura is an absolute treasure, and also astonishingly talented.
Maniac: I was always afraid of Yoneko when she was Kanra, and then I was afraid of her in MIGMA SHELTER because I didn’t completely trust her act. Then she showed her truest true colors as a solo artist and I was completely smitten. Honorable mentions for Lein and NEMLESSS, and I thought about Chiaki too. Weird how I’m suddenly a fan of soloists.
Idol of the Year
Chris: You’ll Melt More!
Kerrie: Look, I know I said I wanted everyone to vote the ongoing trainwreck that is THE BANANA MONKEYS because it would be funny if they won over nominees who have had a much less cursed existence, but in all honesty, they actually had a pretty good year. Only one graduation (compared to last year where they lost almost their entire lineup and had to literally pick girls off the street and pay them huge sums of money to persuade them to join), performed at Zepp Tokyo, managed to make a name for themselves on the internet in the most eyebrow-raising and unorthodox ways possible (that one I never doubted would happen) and somehow in the summer went from being “let’s do OG BiS but stupider” to actually doing idol satire better than current BiS. Not bad for a group I initially followed to see how quickly they’d fall apart.
Daemon: Hanako-San will always get my nod for Idol of the Year in the hopes that she won’t murder me in the toilet.
Brian: One of the most difficult categories to choose… Kai? Yoneko? Ray? avandoned? I guess I just copped out on choosing one and gave you four. Aw well, sorry, not sorry!
Maniac: I was completely ready to crap out on this, but then I remembered that I’m not trying to be right; I’m trying to alert the world to what I thought was best for the year. There’s no real wrong answer! Well, within reason; the answer is definitely not BiS nor PassCode nor any of the other old mainstays that at best kind of spun their wheels this year. What about upstarts like Broken By The Scream or Wagamama Rakia? They didn’t really do enough, but still worth mentioning. You know who genuinely went big as all hell and crush-kill-destroyed their way through all opposition? Babymetal, that’s who. I liked Metal Galaxy a lot (though it ranks third of the three full-lengths imo), and with that and their return to international acclaim and charting all over the damn place and playing some of the world’s biggest and most important stages? Yeah, they earned it.
And that’s it! Truth be told, I personally went back through all of the posts I both published and drafted on the year just to make sure that I wasn’t missing things, and 2019 really did have a lot going on, that is a lot of good on top of the bad. I personally wish that I could’ve done more for some excellent projects, like DAIDAIDAI and Sorano Aozora and even super chika stuff like Payrin’s, but such is life.
Let’s close the book on 2019 and look ahead to what I think we all pray is a year of all peaks and no valleys in 2020.