ZOC Is Here to ZOC Your Socks Off

For almost any idol group that debuted last year, during a great-enough-to-be-noteworthy glut of new projects, to stand out after the fact was going to require unique efforts and angles. Some of them, like we saw from Toricago the other day, are all in on creative updates on familiar tropes. Others looked to up any of a series of antes — to be more something than thei r peers — while others did enough to catch the eye and now face a long road ahead.

Arguably the greatest move that anything in idol could have done last year, then, would be to be in fact the creative side project of a modern musical legend who would lend credence, gravitas and much-needed artistic credibility to the whole in addition to that all-important name recognition. Yes, of course I speak of ZOC, who may have had the most enthusiastically received debut I’ve ever seen despite being more notable for instant member drama than anything they did musically. Basically, it was super idol.

A few months in, though, ZOC has been active and working and stable, and now with a single on the way next week, it was time to really show us what they have to offer. The MV for “family name” tells the tale:

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The New Toricago Is Hype

We’ve gone through quite a bit as loudol fans in these early months of 2019. Hell, being even passingly familiar with the idol scene in general has been an invitation to a shitshow lately. It’s wild, and a lot of the established names and faces that helped to form our community’s sense of stability have been through a brutal wringer.

Things do have a silver lining, though, and maybe this year’s apocalypse of loss and sadness and rage can be laid next to the ongoing emergence of a new generation of talents who are stepping up in all kinds of interesting ways. And in that group we can include Toricago, who I would be remiss to not point out as being just barely over a year from their debut but are operating on such a professional and well-executed and sort of nouveau-fresh level that I’m shocked that they haven’t completely conquered all before them yet.

Folks absolutely went off on Saturday when the group dropped this latest MV, which isn’t connected to their most recent (excellent) album, but is a limited single (until the next album, obvs) that necessitated heading to Hong Kong to shoot apparently. I had to skip it for two straight days because I was going in too many directions at once to try to put real attention on something, but now I’m here and brother am I ever glad I am:

Now, it took me almost 48 hours from the first hyperventilating accolades bursting through my feed to actually get to watch this, and goodness knows that I have a mess of hype-worthy things to deal with right now in like all media, so one must as a matter of simple psychological survival temper all that hype with a strong dose of counter-hype. “Oh how good could it be” is one such coping tactic! Continue reading

Shihatsu-machi Underground Out Here Raising Stakes and Devouring Human Flesh

Shihatsu-machi Underground has been on absolute fire these last few months. This is relative, of course, given that 2019 will already be remembered for its rash of stunning and terrible graduations and has been short on great releases so far, but let’s not take anything away from this delicious project and the work they’ve put in and one of my favorite pieces ever written for this site being about them.

Anyway, on top of all of the little promo clips that they’ve spent literal months trickling out in an attempt to get you to notice them senpai, today was the drop of an MV that absolutely nobody in my tiny sample size has had anything to say about yet because they’ve been too busy hyperventilating:

And that right there, friends, is one of your early contenders for a whole mess of awards! Continue reading

Osaka Shunkashuto Can Definitely Still Deliver a Rock Song

Well, maybe it’s going to be 2016 Week here at Homicidols Dot Com, what with the C-Style yesterday and today the reappearance of an old favorite that I’d all but given up on. Of course I’m talking about Osaka Shunkashuto!

What I’m about to show you is shocking. On the one hand, it’s by-the-gods Osaka Shunkashuto doing their bread and butter, a by-the-gods rock song with a delicious hook; on the other hand, it’s … well, it’s the theme song for an anime called FAIRY TAIL, aka SSFW’s new single, which is itself actually called “NO-LIMIT”:

There are also versions with subs in English and Chinese; also go listen to the whole thing

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Come Listen to C-Style

There’s this subset of idol groups that I don’t so much follow as I do try to maintain a general awareness of, and at that almost entirely just because of deep-set personal loyalties going back to when I was first digging in. Some of them are fairly active; some of them are only active in the sense that they haven’t been officially disbanded yet. And then there are the groups that are actually extremely active but are idols in the very traditional sense, not musically or behaviorally, but in the sense that their activities are localized and/or community-focused, such that putting out records is less the point than being at lots of events and doing tons of gigs and slapping their fans in the face.

Yes, of course then I refer to C-Style! These gumby-spined veterans of the loudol scene are always a joy to come across in so far as a person who isn’t at their many gigs truly can come across them. Every so often, sometimes to promote a release and sometimes just because they had the money and felt like it, they release some video that makes their discography a little bit more accessible, and it’s usually a pretty good time. That’s what they did the other day, and I’m happy to get a chance to share it:

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One More Track to Get You on that Shihatsu-machi Underground Train

It’s out already, right? Shihatsu-machi Underground’s album? I feel like that’s right. I tend to base these things off of when MVs are released for a whole host of reasons ranging from laziness to shortcuts. But anyway! All of those previews that they teased out over the early course of the year, they were pretty slick, weren’t they?

Shihatsu-machi P apparently wants you to have a little bit more, so get to it:

I want to meet the people for whom that isn’t super enticing. I want to learn about how much they hate puppies and fun, and I want to show them my pity for them to their faces. There are a lot of things to read into that snip, and every single one of them is capable of inspiring happiness.

Some bonus photos because I’m excited for the members:

Get Your Prog On, Says xoxo EXTREME

Pretty sure that I’ve used a version of this title before, so sue me

Man, the first part of this week was absolutely exhausting. Did you know that we set a record, not just for Homicidols Dot Com, but I’m going to go ahead and claim for any Western J-music-oriented bloggy site, period? Yep: In about 12 hours, we issued 10 unique posts, and legitimately only a handful of that was planned April Fools stuff; the rest was because of either awesome pranks that needed to be called out, or just plain awesome stuff that needed to be shared. And we still didn’t get all of it! It was most of the stuff for Tuesday too! Wild as hell. I feel like I’m still digging out.

After all of that, you need a re-charge, and what better serendipity than to connect with something I got a little excited about recently, which is here rendered in all of xoxo EXTREME’s unique live goodness:

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In All Seriousness, Here’s Marionet’s First MV

All right, I think we got that out of our systems. We really sweated it down! Other fitness allusion! Did it work for you? I enjoyed it.

And on that note, let’s get back to serious business! Business that in reality I’m pretty late on, and almost missed until Andrew reminded me, and even then didn’t have the wherewithal to watch completely until Team was neck-deep in putting the finishing touches on this year’s big gag, so unfortunately the first real big visual presentation by Marionet is going to get some short shrift. It’s good short shrift though!

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Eat, Drink and be Merry Merli

When we heard Merry Merli were coming back, there wasn’t a lot to go on, just a short clip saying they would restart on March 13.  So what happened with that, I hear no-one asking?  Their Twitter got reactivated, a website appeared, and the members of the rebooted Merry Merli were introduced.  But I missed all that, until a new MV dropped yesterday.

That’s “Drink me, Eat me” and isn’t it pretty?  I spent my first play through trying to work out why one of the girls looked so familiar and trying to work out what group I might have seen her in before.  Turns out I’m stupid and that group was…Merry Merli, as Maria Otonashi was in the group the first time around and is now the centre — and the producer!  Together with her new cohorts Yumeka and Elise they bring you a group with the theme “Alice in the bright and the dark side” and doesn’t that sound delightful?

Sorry metalheads, if this is all a bit soft and girly.  They can do dark and spooky too, let me find you an old example …

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We Wanted This Bed-In Post to Include Lots of Innuendo But Maniac Won’t Let Anybody Have Any Fun, But Letting You Know about the Bed In Album Would Have Been Pretty Funny

If you haven’t discovered Bed-In yet, now would be a pretty good time to look into them. I wrote a bit about them last year, but 2018 was a fairly quiet year for the duo, as they spent more time touring and being best friends with First Summer Uika than they did releasing any new material.

Thankfully, next month they’re finally releasing their third album, and what better concept for an 80s-themed idol duo to come out with than a whole album of 80s J-Pop covers!

We haven’t got any full-length music videos yet, but some of the songs have already been made available on digital platforms. And if you’re not sure if you’re ready to open Spotify yet, well, Bed In also uploaded some not-quite-MVs-but-not-quite-commercials (teasers?) for said songs on their YouTube:

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