This Is Not the Gokitei I Was Looking For

Kerrie is a great big fan of Gokigen Teikoku. Whereas I have always enjoyed them and at times felt like they, of anybody, had the potential to really shake up idol from the grassroots, my interest was more academic. For Kerrie, it’s more visceral — she owns one of those epic Ichiho body pillow doodads, for goodness’s sake. And so, it was an incredibly difficult decision to yank this out from under her when she wasn’t able to write it up immediately, and then deliver exactly the opposite take that I’m sure she’d deliver! Ahahahahahahahaha!

/clears throat

So anyway, Gokitei. If you’re newer ’round these parts, they started off as one of the super-indies, having broken with their management (as a different unit with a different name) to idol how they wanted instead. Their whole approach was oddball, putting real (or the appearance of real) personality on raw display (drunk dialing your groupmates!); their music veered left and right but always within the boundaries of fun, enthusiastic and genre-disregarding. They were fun.

And they are fun still. That’s the thing — most other super-indies, as they gain popularity, wind up back in some management company’s loving arms just to deal with the logistics of it all. Not Gokitei! If anything, they’ve doubled down on their independence while continuing to riff on idol tropes, right down to having a trainee unit. It has, though, come at a cost, as the original five-member lineup has ebbed and flowed over the last couple of years and now stands at a trio, with only Ichiho left of the originals. Depending on how you hold it up to the light, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to say that she’s the closest person in idol right now to embodying what Pour Lui was doing with OG BiS, and in fact may be an even greater realization of that vision.

That’s a post for another day.

Instead, in this case, Kerrie messaged Team Homicidols to say that Gekijo-ban had released a new MV and she’d be happy to write it up way later or tomorrow … if nobody else wanted it. I thought, F that noise, I must do it! And so I cranked up all of my expectations of what one should expect to receive from one of the idol underground’s most self-directed acts, and:

Hmm.

Look, it’s a really nice song. Like, really nice. If it gets its own single release, like for real, I bet it sells a ton of copies. The video’s probably going to make a good bit of noise. And for Gokitei, that’s a really good thing. Let them make some damn money and bask in the glory of ever-burgeoning popularity. I bet lots of fans are watching and re-watching and getting in their Nagi fixes and thinking, wow, I really enjoy this song, because it is a really good pop rock song!

And I’m sitting over here miserable because it isn’t impossibly catchy alt-EDM. It’s a familiar feeling — remember “Promise the Star”? I sure as hell do — and one that makes me feel bad for having, but … come on, man! You guys are supposed to be the different ones! Can the lyrics at least be about farts or slapfights or something? No?

Don’t listen to me, though. I’m just being grumpy. Maybe we can con Kerrie into writing something entirely positive.

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