We Review Things: “It’s a SAKA-SAMA World”!

SAKA-SAMA have been something of a favorite with Team Homicidols since they first formed in 2016, but at the same time, they’ve remained a perplexing enigma of an idol unit. Constantly shifting membership rosters are always part of this territory, but this group seems especially prone to changing it’s line-up with each passing season, with only Kokone and Dr. Mahiru providing consistency as it’s founding members. And the music of SAKA-SAMA, primarily billed as “Low-Fi Dream Pop”, is in truth equally unpredictable, with a wide variety of unique genres and styles that run the gamut of shoegazey indie-pop to oddball quirky country songs and spoken word pieces, making it a rather difficult task to describe what exactly the group does. Mind you, this isn’t a complaint by any means, I’m just trying to clarify why writing about TRASH-UP!!’s in-house idol group is well… quite a challenge. 

So after a couple of years of compilation tracks, EPs, singles, and one live recording, SAKA-SAMA have finally released an actual, honest-to-goodness full length album, titled, appropriately enough, “It’s a SAKA-SAMA World’! I’ve been excitedly anticipating this release since the moment it was announced, and I eagerly snatched it from OTOTOY right away. I came to realize quickly that this is an album that, just like anything related to SAKA-SAMA, has certain unique traits that can’t be summed up after a breezy listening session. This is what we call a “grower”, or a “slow-burn”, wherein one must dig in deeply to truly reap the rewards of the listening experience, and develop an opinion based on multiple takes instead of relying on easy gratification. 

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You Review Things: The Babymetal Graphic Novel!

Here at Homicidols, the only thing we love as much as idols is throwing people into an experience they’ve never had before and get their raw impressions. In this case, our reviewer dived into the freezing waters by himself and we just came by with towels and a warm drink to pick him up. Friday Fun resident contributor Salem Black has graciously accepted to write up a review of the Babymetal comic (Oh? My earpiece is saying it’s a graphic novel). Please enjoy his foray into an unfamiliar medium.

 

Ok, so I been asked to review the Apocrypha: The Legend of Babymetal comic, I mean graphic novel, by virtue of having ordered a copy. I must admit from the outset that I’m no reader of manga or graphic novels, so I thought I would review this coming from the perspective of a Babymetal fan who will basically buy any merch sold in the West, aside from those t-shirts they sell to coincide with the release of everything and anything, like the official t-shirt of this novel, which I didn’t buy and why I had to read it in the nude (lie).

It’s thanks to Babymetal I discovered this very website and all the wonderful groups it’s brought to my attention since. Just think, if I never spotted a 2016 article about Babymetal performing at some festival in the UK on the BBC website, I would have missed out on so much fantastic music and never got the chance to experience the spectacle of watching Babymetal in front of 50,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome and the strange anticlimactic mood that filled the dome after they failed to make their big announcement at the end of the show. Speaking of an anticlimax, lets see what this comic, I mean graphic novel, is all about! Continue reading

That Time OYSM & Necroma Performed At a Mausoleum

The latest adventure in the USA with NECRONOMIDOL (This time accompanied by Oyasumi Hologram.) has come to a close! It’s always fun to take in the experience through the eyes of other fellow fans as these shows make their way across the tour, and get a new perspective of these events as other people see them. As circumstances would have it, Team Homicidols was unable to represent at this tour, mainly because real life is stupid and piles on it’s own commitments. Perhaps one day, idols will overthrow the wicked forces that run this world, oppressively placing demands upon us that distract from what’s really important, which is going to idol mass and paying proper respects to our deities.

Until that day happens, we thankfully have wonderful friends of Homicidols like Killer Cashew. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the Cashew and Asto, his partner in crime, and they’re terrific people who deserve great experiences like this tour. I’m glad that they were able to enjoy the show, and I’m indebted to Mr. Cashew for taking time to contribute an account of the evening in his own words. Let’s read about the fine art and dark visions he witnessed! 

Hi, Killer Cashew here. Normally I’m a quiet follower of the Homicidol community, but due to circumstances, none of the usual contributors were able to attend the Oyasumi Hologam/NECRONOMIDOL leg of the crowdfunded world tour. I was asked if I wanted to share some details of my experience and so here we are…

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We Review Things: Avandoned’s “Lemon Peels” is Certified Organic

Life’s best pleasures are simple things: Walks in the woods, black coffee, dogs n’ cats, and 45rpm singles. And speaking of singles, Avandoned, the delightful queens of quirk, gave us their second release this year, following up the completely fabulous old-school jam “After School” with their latest offering, “Lemon Peels”.

This is their third single on the terrific Vivid Sound label (the first was the nearly perfect “Donut Friends”), which has produced some bountiful musical fruit for Beni and Kotao. The vinyl-oriented label’s been around since 1973, and with that sort of history and experience, they’ve really shown an understanding for what makes this duo unique and tapped into that by helping them align with label-mates like Magic, Drums, & Love, Monari Wakita, and SOLEIL (although SOLEIL jumped into the majors with Victor Records). With these resources, along with their friendships with great retro-rock bands like LEARNERS and The Childish Tones, Avandoned have really come into their own over the past couple of years, and I think they’ve finally arrived at what is truly their own sound, and not simply the vision of outside producers. Continue reading

2D Idols Come to Challenge Necroma on Their Home Base: “Zombieland Saga”

So, it has come to this. As the now-reddish maple leaves are accumulating on the ground, this maiden needs some pick-me ups. And I’ve just found one of the offerings for this fall is most interesting.

As the seasons turn, so does the TV schedule. One of my main para-Homicidols interests being manga (and anime, by extension), I dived into one of the new titles and found myself dumbfounded, as we have the closest thing to an Alt-idol anime there ever was. SO YOU GET A REVIEW.

The title is Zombieland Saga, an original anime series announced this summer as a collaboration between Avex Pictures and Cygames, which just debuted this week. Detailed (spoilerific) synopsis on the first episode under the cut: Continue reading

We Review Things: SOLEIL is Much More than Alright…

One of the most refreshing musical highlights of 2018 was the debut album of the band SOLEIL, featuring vocals by the delightful neo-Ye´-Ye´singer who performs under the same stage name. Released this past Spring, “My Name is SOLEIL” is still one of my top releases of the year. It was an album that encapsulated my love for the perfect idol-pop of the 1960’s that swept across Europe and went on to take Asia by storm, quite literally setting up the basic formula for the modern jpop idols that we adore today.

When you consider how long it takes artists to record, produce, and set free a new album, it was certainly a pleasant surprise that just a few months later within the Fall of the same year, SOLEIL doubles down with an entirely new album. (It was written, recorded, produced, and released within 6 months!) Who even does that anymore? Most current artists dwell on a new recording endlessly by committee with a dozen cooks in the kitchen all eager to stamp their egos on the project, while the record label stands over it all, checking off the marketing buzzwords on their list to ensure a product that meets it’s bottom line. It often takes years to make an album these days. Releasing two albums in a year is just downright audacious… Continue reading

We Review Things: NaNoMoRaL is Long Overdue For a Heaping Ton of Glowing Praise…

I feel like a bit of a wrong has been committed in that NaNoMoRaL hasn’t gotten a proper write-up on this blog, but it’s most certainly not Maniac’s fault. They’ve been on the Homicidols radar nearly from the unit’s beginning, but I kinda-sorta called some claim on this group, and then sat on it far longer than they deserve. But the honest-to-goodness truth is that the reason for that is because I feel strongly that the group is so good, and it’s debut EP is so excellent, that I really wanted to think about this and get everything right instead of just blabbering like a giddy little fanboy. 

NaNoMoRaL is a duo made up of Amamiya Miku and Paseli-chan. Amamiya is remembered by a lot of us by her stage name “Natsuki” from her time in Avandoned. Natsu left that group in late 2016 and reappeared shortly after in the far-more traditional idol unit Emoquru Scoop (currently renamed EMOP), and then later still, announced she was leaving to become a solo act. But in actuality, she was working with EMOP’s producer, who happens to be Paseli-chan, and so, NaNoMoRaL was created! (Hope you’re taking notes on this.)  Continue reading

We Review Things: NECRONOMIDOL | “VOIDHYMN”

Since their inception in 2014 NECRONOMIDOL has been extremely productive, feeding their fan base six EPs, a single and two full albums.  Despite serving up new material on a regular basis, the current quintet has cultivated a fan base with a very vocal appetite for more. Underneath the striking imagery and Cthulhu mythos is a premier group of vocalists who perform tirelessly in Japan, have brought their intensely joyous brand of darkness to Europe twice and are soon returning to the United States for a third time.  

On September 29th, NECROMA will be releasing VOIDHYMN, their third full album in three years. The new ten-track offering consists of six entirely new songs and four re-recordings of previously released tracks.  

We at Homicidols were lucky enough to be offered an early listen to VOIDHYMN and will be presenting a track-by-track review in reverse order because:

  1. It’s more Satanic that way, and
  2. To first answer the key question in most everyone’s mind: “Why did they re-record ‘Skulls in the Stars’ when the Deathless version already had Himari’s vocals?”

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Kerrie Reviews Things Sleepily: Wagamama Kiite | ‘for my Dear’

Let me tell you a story, while I’m still awake and waiting for my CD to arrive in the mail. A story that starts in early 2017. It was the beginning of the first WACK audition (y’know, the one that brought us Momoland, Pan Luna Leafy and EMPiRE? Yeah, that one) and the happy (but not for long) campers were gradually being revealed on Twitter. The first girl to be shown was “Cent Chihiro Tatta”.

I thought “She’s really pretty, I wonder how well she’ll do?”, as Watanabe continued to reveal more auditionees. One of the next girls to catch my eye was Michihayashi Rio. I thought “Wow! She’s adorable in that sort-of awkward way I love! I hope we get to see more of her!”

More and more audition profiles started, a few more girls caught my eye, I was excited for what’s to come. But then everyone I was rooting for failed the audition anyway, I was bitter, yadda yadda. Eventually, I found out one of the girls I really liked had gone on to do Miss iD and I was happy again. But I was still, in the back of my mind, wondered, “Whatever came of those other audition girls I liked?”

Fast forward to July 2018, in the WACK Discord, where the subject of Wagamama Kiite?? came up. “Hey, did you know a couple of the girls from the 2017 WACK audition are in this group?”

I looked them up and there they were! Tatta (now Moe) and Shirio (now Asaka)!

I was hyped! More girls from the audition out there doing new things! I vowed, “I was rooting for Asaka in the auditions, I’ll root for her in her new career too!” and went on to order their debut EP, “for my Dear”, which only just arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

Anyway, Kiite have a new single out next month, so what better time to review their first release while horribly sleep-deprived? Other than when it actually came out, I mean. Continue reading

Kerrie Reviews Things Sleepily: O’CHAWANZ | “Episode V” or, O’CHAWANZ’s Adventures in Blackpool

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on a real O’CHAWANZ kick as of late. It was to be expected I suppose; Sugarsugar Lala was my Koutei Camera Girl Zwei oshi, so it would have been hard for me to feel let truly down by any future endeavors she got herself into. What I had heard from O’CHAWANZ so far was pretty decent in my opinion, but then the actual masterpiece that was I.YA.DA came along and I was pulled into rice bowl oblivion so forcefully that I could almost feel myself being suffocated by carbohydrates. These girls had got me good.

Anyway, their debut album, Episode V, came out this week, and I was thrilled to learn that it had made its way to international iTunes too! (Big thanks to our own Supreme Nothing for the heads up.) Originally, I was just going to buy the album and enjoy it privately as normal, but, well, the disaster that was 3776-chan’s Wild Ride was a surprise hit for the site, so I thought I might as well take advantage of my crippling insomnia once again. Continue reading