“Iyo Damashi Otome Bushi” is just another in a long train of HKFC songs that are basically head-and-shoulders above what their most similar peers generate; like sister group Fruitpochette does with metal, Himekyun’s rock music is rock music by idols rather than “idorock,” as it’s increasingly known. I feel justified in calling them the Van Halen of idol just about every time I hear them.
I had completely different non-Himekyun Fruit Can intentions than to even look in this song’s direction right now, but Facebook research got me to HKFC’s Latin American fan page (yes, I can read A BIT of Spanish), and this was just asking me to hit Play. You should, too! And then watch what feels like a rock musical’s entire score be performed in a 5-minute medley, complete with dance.
Finding out earlier this week that the whole Himekyun Fruit Can structure represented by Mad Magazine records was basically being blown up (except for Himekyun Fruit Can themselves, who released an album and are doing quite well, thank you) set off kind of a tizzy. People just plain had more questions than answers. At the moment, we have a another answer. Continue reading →
Idols are diverse. If I’ve learned anything from the process that began with “what else is like Babymetal?”, it’s that there’s no one way to look at idols, and an idol can be a punk just as readily as she can be pop star in a weirdly cut pastel-colored dress.
So with an idol being capable of any kind of music and any kind of performance, it makes sense that there’d be someone out there occupying that permanent middle space — far from a typical pop group, but safe enough to introduce to your parents. Like Nickelback, only, like, good.
And that, for me, is Himekyun Fruit Can.
I don’t think that it makes a whole lot of sense to pretend that they’re anything that they aren’t. They’re an agency creation in the purest sense, with auditions held in 2010 leading to the creation of two different groups, one of which no longer exists (but may have been spun off to make the small army of sister groups — Fruitpochette, nanoCUNE and AiCune). After scoring big sales as independents, they eventually got signed to a major label and assumed what seems to me to be the dominant position in the rock side of the idol scene.
Of course, as idols, they’re required to have a weird gimmick (in this case, every member has their own fruit), but that stuff’s actually pretty understated. Instead, the focus is on the rock.
And rock they do! Their sound is nicely on the harder end of the rock spectrum, with more than a few songs definitely qualifying as metal and most utilizing a pretty nice hard rock/J-pop hybrid sound. In fact, the songs included here and on the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist are mostly included for demonstration purposes; you could make an argument for any of a number.
HKFC have basically become mainstays at this point, with slick pro production and a seriously heavy discography. And, just for what it’s worth, between their look and their organization (the sister groups are technically part of Himekyun Fruit Can), they’re sort of arch-idol as far as the heavy side of things goes.
They’re pretty successful so far, and they may have the highest ceiling of anybody in the game.
What they sound like
Like the apotheosis of idols doing hard rock. And this is hard rock, too, with quite a bit of their music technically qualifying as metal. Hence the Van Halen comparison — for a pretty long stretch, was anybody doing radio-ready hard rock better than Van Halen?
You’ll like them if
If you’re coming at this from a purely Western perspective, you’re good if you can dig everything from Halestorm to Maroon 5 and also kind of had a Pussycat Dolls thing for a while. If you’re already acquainted with idols, the nearest approximation is probably Kamen Joshi or Osaka Shunkashuto. If you’re into J-rock at all, more Doll$Boxx than Gachapin, but you know what I mean.
While I hear that there’s a big ol’ snowstorm rolling through Japan right now, too, we here in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic are dealing with a little devil called Winter Storm Jonas (aka “Snowzilla” here in the National Capital Region). So while I go dig out from what could wind up topping three feet of snow covering driveway, roadside and walk, have a good time listening to Himekyun Fruit Can.
P.S. Can somebody get me one of those jerseys? I love them so much.