At Last! Visual Confirmation of the Existence of Sola Sound

Anybody else remember a little while ago when I put out a bounty for video of Sola Sound, who’ve spent at least a year being some kind of unreachable, inaccessible idol object who nonetheless are on like every bill in the greater Tokyo metro area at once? Well, it turns out that they earned that bounty themselves, because their official YouTube channel sprang to life this morning and gifted the world with a live clip of “no doubt”:

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You Can and Maybe Should Get the New REGiNA KiSS Singles Today

So for the handful of individuals other than John and me who pay attention to poor, benighted REGiNA KiSS, you may be aware that they’re simul-releasing their third and fourth singles literally right now (or, rather, have already, because Sunday is now over in Japan because spheres). Other than all of the times when I definitely tell you what you should be doing, I’m not going to tell you what to do (on the presumption that you’re an adult and have agency), but I will tell you that you need to at least give this multi-preview a listen. REGiNA KiSS tends to surprise people who put in the effort!

That listen:

As you might imagine, I’m endorsing the fourth single, “Ikenai xxx” for the sole reason that the B-side (of course it’s the B-side) cranks. I’m sure that its actual subject matter makes sense with the title, but there ain’t a single 50/50 thing about that — it’s just loud and going for it.

Thank you for humoring me and for giving REGiNA KiSS a chance. You may all go back to whatever it is that you like to do on your Sundays.

It’s Our First Somewhat Detailed Look at Under Beasty’s New Single

Ah, Under Beasty, as good and pure and true as any rock idol act in the game, all bootstraps and try-hard until they got picked up by a real-deal agency, and … well, I guess things are roughly the same still, except now their outfits are a little sharper.

Anyway! They had teased their upcoming single a little while back, with the live debut and everything, but now there’s a teaser version of the MV to sink your teeth into:

… and it’s apparently swinging as all hell! Continue reading

Yanakoto Sotto Mute Somehow Continues to Only Get Better

The only good thing about the end of daylight saving in the parts of the United States that are especially insane for doing it in the first place? There’s a brief window in autumn when you’re awake extra-early because dawn comes at an obscene hour, and that time is surprisingly useful. Like when your favorite idols release stuff!

For instance, Yanamyu, whose every tweet carries with it the potential for me to wet myself with glee. Here’s the very aptly named “HOLY GRAiL”:


That is, if a perfect idol unit is your holy grail …

This is one of the tracks from the single (like, double A-side?) that they’re releasing at their big one-man next month. I love the point at it’s coming for them, like 1.5 years, and they’re so much more than The Nadeshiko Show now (though Nadeshiko remains one of the least appreciated greats in this whole business). Mani obviously deserves a ton of credit for emerging in her own right, but I feel like Ichika has made huge strides over the last couple of releases, too. A group may only be as strong as its leader, but a great leader can only take a group so far on her own, and Yanamyu’s in such good shape for … for, well, what we’re going to do the Fun about later!

The songwriting here’s off the damn chain, too. Did you hear that bridge? It’s a good thing that it’s so short; somebody might get hurt. YSM isn’t the only unit doing grunge/post-grunge/SEATTLE out there, though they are the best at it by a mile, and a big part of that is the serious commitment to getting the whole shebang down pat. Jeff Ament recently hosted this “Origin of the Seattle Sound” segment on Lithium, and among the topics covered was the real birth point of that insta-recognition guitar tone and halfway-distant sound in production — Yanamyu gets that stuff so right.

Lest we forget, too, that BUBBLE is easily one of the top releases this year, and I will now also take the opportunity to remind you that Yanakoto Sotto Mute are just about my favorite damn thing and I will fight you if you so much as suggest a negative in their direction.1

Oh Sure, AIBECK, You Can Come Along, Too

In all seriousness, there was supposed to be a recap/pre-voting Best Of nominations post going up in this very time slot this morning, but it won’t because I’m not done with it yet. It did get me thinking about some things that may have been left out so far, for various reasons, especially around debuts (there were a lot of them!), and one that I kept half-remembering but not so well that I wanted to make some big intervention was (drum roll) AIBECK.

Serendipity thereupon ensued:

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Would You Like to Meet the New Himekyun Fruit Can?

All right, confession time: Who out there (raise your hands) thought that the plan to have all of Himekyun Fruit Can — unofficially but kind of really the longest-running hard rock idol unit in the business — graduate following a long farewell run-down, and then replace them with totally new and fresh members, was going to be run about as well as just about everything else from that company over the past couple of years, and we’d get a reboot roughly on par with … I was going to give an example, but I have too much respect for the people in question, so let’s just say, a reboot that would not be well-executed.

My hand is up!

Well, let’s all just maybe lower those suckers and look, because Mad Magazine may have gotten this one right:

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Forgive Me for Being All Optimistic about ODORO

I love when friends see things and share things and then we all get to enjoy the good things:


Of course, via the incomparable Mr. Viz

That’s ODORO (Twitter), which is precisely the kind of idol name that I have to ask for help for because I can’t kanji at friggin’ all. That’s not important, though; what’s important is that here’s a tremendous example of the unending recycling job at the heart of chika idol — Kuroneko no Yuutsu! DOPING BERRY! Strawberry Syndrome! Etc.! — entering the art idol side of the fray.

Here’s just a little bit more about that creative bent:

It’s understated, and definitely not Kuroneko nor DOPING BERRY nor a lot of other idol things — frankly, they’re closer to SAKA SAMA in a lot of ways than most anything else. And, true to form, their YouTube channel is the kind of thing that you might want to follow, as the live … there’s gonna be a lot of live, and random stuff, and truly the things that make idol worth following.

How Is It That People Aren’t Going Nuts about This Track from Kanamiru?

I swear it, at even my most apprehensive about the state of idol’s interesting, Oyasumi Hologram can almost always get me to perk up and realize that saviors do indeed walk among us.

In this case, it’s Kanamiru, who’s releasing a solo maxi single that, as far as this release onto Soundcloud would indicate, just plain goes full garage:

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I Genuinely Like the New Banmon Track

I swear up and down, I originally didn’t have much to say (or even think) about Band ja Naimon!’s latest. It was going to be a Weekender addition, no less, a little look in at the latest goings and comings of a group that’s merited a few mentions ’round these parts but is firmly in that grey area between Rocks A Lot and Does Not Rock At All. I mean, they’re always fun as all hell, but so’s Negicco, and I wouldn’t dare suggest that the Onion Idols of Niigata “rock” so much as “ooze damn perfection,” so.

Anyway, Banmon:

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Gekijo-ban Has a Message for You

Everybody knows how idol works by now, the synergistic relationship between idol and wota, the oft-unrealized mutual draw to one another resulting in either a meaningful existence or complete dissolution*. But while every White T-shirt Guy spends hours and gold on his idols, what does he get in return? A few moments of chit-chat and an insta photo? All the wota ever wants is recognition that the idol cares about and respects them as well!

Gokigen Teikoku to the rescue!

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