TRASH-UP!! Records Presents “Idol & Art 3”!!

One of my personally most-anticipated idol events of the year isn’t TIF, or Jam Expo. It doesn’t even even feature performances for that matter. For me, it’s the annual collaboration between TRASH-UP!! Records and Tokyo’s Mograg Gallery, “Art and Idol”, now in it’s third incarnation! It’s a simple and irresistible premise, an art show where all the art is created by idols. Now it’s it’s third edition, it’s fantastic to see this event be so successful and well-regarded.

When you think about it, it’s a perfect idea because the idol world is packed with wonderfully artistic talent who are always pursuing multiple ways to express themselves. As it’s been covered before in this blog, idols, especially within the chika circles, are multi-layered creatives who consistently deliver an entire package of intriguing work beyond singing and dancing.

With previous showings, it’s been the practice to keep the artwork under wraps until the opening, and then after a few days, images of the participant’s artwork pops up online via social media. I find it fascinating to see what the idols came up with, and in some cases, it’s illuminating to see their creative output because it offers a new peek into their personalities. Other times, it’s just cheeky fun. (Like the time the Dot-chans presented miniature terrariums with chirping crickets inside!)  But regardless of what they do, it’s never boring. Continue reading

Miss iD2020 Semifinals: Familiar Faces and New Favorites

Miss iD, the annual “not a beauty pageant or freak show”, recently announced their semifinal field of 158 girls-at-heart (age ranges from teens to 30s). Familiar faces currently competing for the Miss iD2020 Grand Prix title include chika idols:

  • YONEKO (current soloist, former Bellring Girls Heart and MIGMA SHELTER)
  • Komachi Fujinomiya (current GuGu-LuLu, former MIGMA SHELTER)
  • Yulian (XTEEN and Heisei Haka-Arashi)

YONEKO, who has made several overtures to Western fans in the past few months, has personally appealed for our assistance:

To vote for a semifinalist you will need to download the Cheerz Fan Community app. The app is fairly intuitive to use and the search function works with Romaji so you can find who you are looking for pretty easily. Continue reading

WACK is…Nice?!

We’ll get to the BiS MV in a bit…but first:

Yep, I basically assumed (and perhaps secretly hoped) that when the inevitable next installment came out, it would be “WACK is C-Word”.

But what a twist!

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SENANAN Makes Some Life Changing Announcements

Yesterday SENANAN, our favorite unstoppable ball of Monster Ultra Blue-fueled energy, took a break from her 300 active projects to make a few surprise announcements. First, she’s gotten married.

The lucky groom is OFFPACO, drummer for the rapcore group HOTVOX. Continue reading

Tsurezure Makes Us All Feel Something Different with “ssixth”

Yukueshirezutsurezure will be dropping their uncharacteristically upbeat single, “ssixth”, this coming Wednesday, July 3rd. To prepare us for this imminent release, these barefoot angels of yami kawaii blessed us with a chilling MV that inspired dueling interpretations around the Homicidols press room. 

In it, Mei Yui Mei and the adorable Kotetsu portray gleeful bullies documenting their torment of a passive Takara. Left battered and restrained, Takara is rescued(?) by  opportunistic predator or compassionate fellow victim Komachi.  This is left a bit ambiguous in the blood spattered end as is their final fate. Continue reading

NILKLY Is as Close of a Spiritual Successor to BRGH/TTTS as We’re Going to Get

In a final ICYMI from the long weekend, I call your attention to the latest progeny of Aqbi Rec boss Tanaka in the aftermath of the demise of flagship project (and chika royalty) THERE THERE THERES, who in turn were by the end basically just Bellring Girls Heart Redux with a membership twist anyway, but also kept the look and music of the original as well as core personnel. Hell, even the Cleveland Browns had a cleaner break!

But in the aftermath of the TTTS breakup, Aqbi announced various spin-offs for the former members, just as had been the case following BRGH, and happened to mention that Mei was staying with the company, and that she’d have her own project to lead. Said project is NILKLY (Twitter), NIL by MEI apparently, and they had their debut live the other day, which was extensively covered by the very hardcore wota who remain dedicated to the Aqbi family the way that I’m dedicated to gardening and auto repair.

This was the scene:

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The Italian Job: One Englishman’s First Idol Concert

Our story starts on the morning of the concert.  I had been doing a spot of sightseeing in Bologna…

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Minna no Kodomochan Launch Five Months of New Music with “wall”

Kodomochan, fresh off of their back-to-back Corenement championships, has released the first deliverable of their recently successful crowdfunding campaign. As promised, from now until September, Everyone’s Children will bless us with a new song each and every month.  

May’s entry is the minimalistically titled continuation on the group’s core theme: “wall”

“What potent blood hath modest May.” ― Ralph W. Emerson

The doom metal pacing is is a perfect set-up that drives right into a synth-pop transition to… more metal. It’s like Iron Maiden invited Flock of Seagulls over to jam (think “I Ran” meets “Run to the Hills”).  Like many Kodomochan songs, it contains a glorious aural revelation that is worth staying around for before devolving into a reckless and manic finish including one last metal drop. Continue reading

Here’s How Yoneko Ended The Heisei Era

Does Yoneko ever stop and take a break? Apparently not, because she’s released yet another new, self-composed song and music video to commemorate today’s transition from Heisei to Reiwa era. Directed by Kai, of all people, in the first in what I hope will be many collaborations by ex-Bellrings who jumped to Trash-Up records. 

The song itself reminds me of Bellring gone lo-fi. And the music video fits pretty well, matching both Yoneko and Kai’s recent forays into retraux aesthetic. I’m not going to lie, through about half of the song I was expecting a sudden burst of clear vocals and thrashing guitars at each break, but nope, she sticks to the quiet, fuzzy audio quality for the entire track. But after I got used to it, I really began to appreciate the simplicity of one girl and her electric guitar. Would I say this was a good tribute to the ending Heisei era? I’m not really well-versed enough in Japanese culture to know for sure. But it’s a quality, chill, lazy-day track that I could easily imagine myself listening to alone in the garden on a sunny day, or in my bedroom on a late night, and that’s good enough for me.

Now, where’s that Kanra/Kai/Mizuho reunion single we all want?

I eye AYEAYE. Aye, I like them verrry much.

All over Japan there are young women doing idol performances for enthusiastic local wota, however we here in the wider world rarely get to hear of the acts outside of the Tokyo and Osaka scenes. Unless they decide to make an MV to show the world what they are all about.

So welcome Sapporo’s AYEAYE (Website | Twitter), a thirteen (or possibly even seventeen?) strong idol group whose Twitter has been around since 2014 but have only just released their first single. It may disappoint some to know that they are not a pirate-themed unit performing sea-shanty influenced metal or something – my guess is that they are named after the perpetually surprised-looking lemur species – but there’s a lot to love about this catchy little tune, driven by dark, brooding guitar with alternately smiling and glowering young ladies chanting over the top of it.

Aye aye aye my life until I die.

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