Is This SPARK SPEAKER’s Moment?

Do you want to know why the Weekender was late, other than because somebody needed to have breakfast made on account of a little too much carousing last night? It’s because I wanted to add a SPARK SPEAKER note but this was right there in the feed and I needed to get my stuff together enough to watch it multiple times and think of a post to blog!

Anyway, listen, this is very cool and good for the former DINOSAUR BRAIN: Following on the release of THE WORLD IS MINE, the song from it called “REALTA” got picked up as the end theme of a TV show for January, and while this is a really awkwardly grammared sentence it must yet be added that “REALTA” was also given the MV treatment because that makes a ton of sense to do in that situation.

TV show! Theme! MV! Here!

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This Broken By The Scream Live Video? Perfect for Christmas

And let us bring this extravaganza of loosely coordinated narratives about how I suddenly seem to have a completely different day to enjoy peace and quiet after the day when I wanted to have peace and quiet only for it to be heavily (and unexpectedly!) idoled up to a close. In exchange for my forbearance, for my sheer moral courage to stand in the face of so much new and interesting stuff and say “shut up you guys, there’s gingerbread,” I offer you what the literal packaging says is “perfect for Christmas.”

I speak, of course, of Broken By The Scream blasting the faces off of a few hundred very enthusiastic devotees of having their faces blown off by Broken By The Scream:

You know what they say: Every time Kagura shrieks incomprehensibly in the dulcet tones of the blackest of hells, an angel gets its wings ripped off. Won’t it be exciting when BBTS hits American shores next year?

Get a Load of What Will Be a New HIMEGOTO ZETTAICHI Song

And in keeping that stupid narrative thread together (don’t worry, it ends here unless I get bored again), because I’m apparently a chump and did the whole “oh right, Daichi” thing as my Christmas was being ruined by other loud idols, it took no time at all to venture toward for-a-hot-minute former sister group of Guso Drop and never sister group of BURST GIRL but definitely a group that also managed to try to ruin my Christmas except it was actually just their manager HIMEGOTO ZETTAICHI, because that’s how curiosity works, and of course there was something there, that’s how having Christmas ruined works.

What was it? A new song, one that will be Himegoto’s:

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PassCode Bless Us Everyone

Well this should have been done yesterday, but curses be upon those who clog up our weekends with tasks instead of having fun.* In this case, super fun, as PassCode, undeniably one of the funnest things in idol but one that we’re altogether too deprived of over the past 18 months or so, is pretty much announcing that they’re back to full strength and ready to kick your stupid teeth in. Bless them.

For the uninitiated, it’s important to note that it was only a couple of years ago that Osaka’s flagship loudol unit was still very much a chika thing, playing larger clubs but overall a normal, completely accessible idol group that just so happened to be loud as all hell and fairly obvious to all with eyes and ears that they had a bright future ahead. They were one of the big breakout stars from the (epic in retrospects) 2015 Tokyo Idol Festival, which got them their major debut and kick-started what looked like an unstoppable growth phase — nobody else sounded like them, nobody else had a Yuna, and few could compete with the raw intensity of their lives. That they even hit a speed bump was just dumb, terrible circumstance. Anyway, I bring this up to point out that, at this sort-of new starting line, this is what their tour final looks like:

And what’s next? Continue reading

This Is Your First Look at raymay; Hold on to Your Butts

I don’t mean to alarm anybody, but what with the Best of 2018 only recently put to bed and 2019 still more than a week off, I feel like I already have my favorite debut for next year figured out. Yes, it’s raymay, the uijin sister group that got a heck of a treatment in the Weekender because of the way they’d been teasing out their debut MV ahead of their Christmas Eve live debut with their big sisters. That’s the kind of thing that gets a Maniac to notice!

Of course, it’s the music that matters, and it’s to the music that we now turn. What does raymay have for us as an official kick-off?

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Dang, Wagamama Rakia’s Been Busy

One of the big surprises of the Best Of was how Wagamama Rakia, who through a series of events emerged as a Unit to Follow after a good long while as a Unit That the Really Dedicated Follow, never even came up in nomination discussions. Not for Surprise or Debut (Layna), even, and that after I’d thought earlier in the year that they would be on the IOTY short list. Them’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes, I guess!

Nonplussed and no doubt completely unaware of the fact that any such awards thing was unfolding before them, Wagamama wanted to get everybody sufficiently hype for their one-man that … um, that’s today, actually. Like right now. Oops! Nice job, Maniac!

Look, the point is, they’re having a one-man, and it’s a band set, and they’re filming the whole thing, and they got these tracks out into the world ahead of time for you to enjoy and spend money on them:

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Who Else Was Curious about le biglemoi?

If you’re reading this and the title poses more questions — different questions! — rather than an answer of “me, yes, thanks,” then you may want to first familiarize yourself with what originally looked like one of the best debuts of 2017 that managed to squander a lot of that energy and promise almost immediately because chika gotta chika sometimes. I refer of course to le biglemoi, a project of RIZE, descended from Kitakaze Impact and Kitakaze Impact Choque!(.) They used to have a whole mess of members but had been more recently down to three before all but disappearing … until a couple of weeks ago, when official Twitter woke back up. And they have new material for us!

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PassCode Saw It Fit To Gift Us a New Song, Praise Be

I figure that Papermaiden’s going to take the daily post title award, so I’ll just riff on her concept and completely reject her blasphemy this time by flipping it around and saying YEAH THANKS SANTA THIS IS JUST WHAT I WANTED!

Or, I guess it’s more appropriate to say, PassCode, I’ve been missing you, why don’t you come in, there’s pie and cider and yes, we’re all annoyed with him too, I got him extra drunk on eggnog and now he’s sleeping it off, oh for me? for all of us! Why, it’s exactly what we need to kick this traditional holiday get-together of people in ugly sweaters into high gear! I’ll just put this right on for everybody to enjoy! Continue reading

Shade or Not Shade? Pour Lui’s Spin on BiSH

My friends, while idol is in many ways so akin to other performing arts, up to and including professional wrestling, the one thing that it so often lacks is real, true, genuine interpersonal drama between figures. Idols usually just ganbare-fist for photos and vow to do their best and applaud politely for everybody. It’s neat, and a neat feature, but also a little placid sometimes, especially for those of us who like some good ol’ fashioned beef between parties.

Who better to throw shade and get those hackles raised than OG idol shit-stirrer Pour Lui, who’s original BiS spared no sacred cows the occasional bit of grief? Yes, that’s the ticket. But at whom would she throw her shade, and in which way, and to what ends? And hell, considering how well-orchestrated things in idol tend to be, how can you tell what’s real shade from weak shade from goofy teasing of one’s friends, neighbors and senpai? Fortunately for us, and especially those of us who enjoy the munching of popcorn while pots are stirred, Lui got together with friends to do what can only be described as a BiSH diss video:

Oh man! That’s … that looks like shade! But is it shade? Continue reading

Now It’s Broken By The Scream’s Turn to Come Stateside

Prepare your ears, your families, your adult diapers, your pets and your very ability to exist on this plane of existence, friends. Yes, let’s not bury the lede — idol scream queens Broken By The Scream are coming to the USA, they’re not coming alone, and it’s gonna be awesome.

The venue? Saboten Con, who hosted Candye Syrup and Senanan last year, and this year will be bringing BBTS and visual kei band THE SOUND BEE HD to Phoenix, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2019, at the Grand Sheraton. Doing the honors will be Chaotic Harmony, friendly importers extraordinaire.

Are you hype? You should be hype. I want to have the flesh blasted from my bones by Io, then mocked relentlessly by Kagura’s demon routine, and then have a little dance-off with Ayame and Yae, which sounds impossible as I would be dead should the above come to pass, but come on, if you don’t get hyperbole I can’t help you. Continue reading