Minna no Kodomo-chan Kicks off Summer with an Inexplicable Home Movie

I knew there was a reason to get out of bed today!

I don’t know if 2019, for idol, can truly be salvaged. After the huge run of beloved personalities and groups hanging it up just in the first quarter and a sudden paucity of particularly great releases, here we stand at the unofficial gateway to summer needing some kind of savior. Might we remember the year for the two BiSH EPs-turned-album? What about NECRONOMIDOL’s upcoming record? Or maybe something out of left field, yet to come?

Or maybe what two-time Corenament champions Minna no Kodomo-chan, who got me so very eager to see what they were going to be able to do with five straight months of new music when they … announced that that they were releasing five straight months of new music. Have mercy. You’d think that idols who consistently dominate the international popularity contests epic athletic contests annual contests that I definitely don’t rig Corenament would have just this enormous battery of digitized content for we humble gaijin fans to embrace, but it’s just not true — the best way to describe MV releases from the Children is “semi-annual.” (Or at least that’s the case for their history so far!) Rather, as we learned with “The Walls” a couple of weeks ago, they hold those cards close so as to unleash their full power at opportune and always impressive moments.

So this string was going to be special, you know? With five months of fresh material in the offing, it’s reasonable to hope that at least one track would get video treatment. And, brother, that hope was not in vain, though you may lose all hope by the time you reach the end:

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Withdrawn Wednesday #6

Want to hear Cococo’s new project?

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Because the World Needs More Like buGG

It’s quiet out there. Too quiet! Somebody went and twisted around the spring timeline to drop us into the middle of idol doldrums right smack dab in the middle of what used to be a pretty exciting time. Boo on that! So let’s get back to fundamentals for a minute and do what Homicidols Dot Com used to be really good at — looking at new and of-limited-discovery idol projects!

Here’s one that’s been on my personal radar for a few months (this draft was in the queue as of Dec. 28, 2018!), one that quite literally popped up due to a recommendation-by-affiliation with some personal favorite stuff but that I, being occasionally dense and consistently lazy, didn’t draw out completely until much more recently. They have a fun name (that reminds me of this, you’re welcome) and seem like a fun time and in fact aren’t “new” at all so much as they’re probably unfamiliar to most of us — it’s buGG (Twitter), and here’s their newest song!

Here it is live: Continue reading

Your Homicidols Weekender #131

Good morning! I hope you all had a good week, and have fun plans ahead. I’m gassed, but entirely for good reasons, and now I’m letting myself be convinced that it’s a good idea to go do a bunch of physically demanding stuff despite the fact that I feel like I ran a marathon just this morning. You’re supposed to slow down a little as you age! Yikes.

This was a pretty good week for idol, wasn’t it? It wasn’t April-good, but it was definitely better overall than a lot of what we’ve been seeing, and there’s plenty of fun summertime stuff ahead. Despite that, though, still my favorite outcome from the week is from right here in this very HTML universe, especially Chris’s Bologna recap.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s plenty of good stuff for time-wasting below (also: the Fun), and I have … oh good dogs, just so much crap to do. Have fun!

It’s Never as Fun as You Say

You remember ONEPIXCEL, right?

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We Over-Analyze Things: BABYMETAL | “Elevator Girl”

It was about time BABYMETAL paid homage to David Bowie. I mean, while Bowie crushed just about every pop genre on the planet except Heavy Metal, he was largely responsible for the early creation of Glam Rock.

  • Without Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, we have no KISS.  
  • Without KISS to influence a young Yoshiki, we have no X Japan.
  • With no X Japan, we have no BABYMETAL.

So when BABYMETAL’s new single, “Elevator Girl”, opens by directly channeling the piano riff from Bowie’s early 80s classic, “Modern Love”, the circle of life seems, in some ways, complete. In truth, the direct influence on this single is probably less Bowie’s soul and groove-flavored New Wave, and more the J-Pop fusion of acid jazz, funk and techno that coalesced around the same time period into the broad City Pop genre. City Pop has seen a lot of attention lately with interest from Vaporwave aesthetes, YouTube channels streaming curated City Pop feeds 24-7, and it’s own brief “I didn’t know [insert name here] put out a City Pop album” meme.

City Pop is also heavily influencing a number of current groups in the alternative idol world including early album-of-the-year contenders Atarashii Gakkou No Leaders, GuGu-LuLu and the fledgling OWA Yoru.

(This is a lot of words so far just to talk about a three-minute song. What we are seeing here is an unfortunate side effect when a group as musically fascinating as BABYMETAL only releases three pieces of new material in a twelve-month span. In the absence of an “Elevator Girl” MV to talk about, let’s continue the over-analysis:) Continue reading

Melon, Who Gonna Melon, Does Melon: New Single

I’d been very curious about what Melon Batake a go go were going to do with their next (major) release. At first, those thoughts centered around the whole business of their recent international work — what’s well and truly next at that point? Where do you take things? Where do you aim? Within the concept, what’s possible?

Well, the new single is out in June, and the MV is here, and now we know:

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And Then We Are Graced with New Shihatsu-machi Underground

There must be some kind of theme going on out there, you guys, because just as I was gearing up to write that other piece this morning about getting something new from a total personal favorite but being underwhelmed by it, up in the TL showed the get-hype letters M and V in a tweet from Shihatsu-machi Underground as well, and I dang near squeed in delight. The result was, again, not quite what I was going for, but I’ll be damned if I don’t shout loudly in your face that you need to listen to this and celebrate everything that the group does. I absolutely can not, will not be capable of supporting them to the fullest at all times and for all reasons, though, and I’m motivated as much by the fact that resources were spent to produce this spot (which means that they exist! in surplus!) and that maybe my inerrant devotion these girls and their work can pay off for them in even microscopic ways. They deserve it, even if the subject in question at all times isn’t necessarily what I wish I were getting, for its very existence is a gift:

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There Was New Toricago for Your Ears and Eyes

I was going to try to make more of this yesterday but flat ran out of time for it, but if you were aware of its release, you no doubt knew in your heart of hearts that this post would be blogged: Yes, Maniac bias Toricago did in fact release a new MV yesterday, and yes I smashed the hell out of that Play button as soon as an opportunity was presented. And what’s the occasion? As far as I can tell: Because they can. Which, hey sure, that’s kind of your MO as a group, and I’m sure that there’ll be more than enough of that attitude on display in this photobook that you’re promoting via image of member wrapped in gauze.

Anyway, the MV:

Full disclosure: I’m personally somewhat less enthusiastic about this one than pretty much everything else from Toricago that I’ve ever had the pleasure of covering. Not because of the song’s character, mind you — if I discounted every culturally homi-viable idol as a result of occasional ballads, I’d have nothing left to write too-long sentences online about — but because on top of having all the teeth of a newborn, it’s surprisingly meek even when it should have more emotional lift. Didn’t expect that from Toricago! I mean, it’s nice and all, but I don’t do this business for nice! I do it for everything but nice no matter how nice a nice thing can sometimes be!

It’s Alive! A New One from Jekyll and Hyde

Well if this isn’t a blast from the past! I don’t know how many of you guys recall when Jekyll and Hyde, my all-time favorite duality idols, was something that I tried to keep up with, but man, those were good times. What a group! They didn’t seem to release much stuff, but they performed constantly and lived in this corner of chika that always seems to produce quality acts that don’t quite crack through to a bigger presence. Most notably, though, they seemed to always be holding auditions, as if there were multiple side and sister projects planned. It was a trip.

And then things happened and directions shifted and before long I’d almost completely forgotten about the group. It’s been almost a year since the last thing, which was itself oddly similar to the thrust of this piece! Shame, Maniac, shame. Thank heavens for YouTube notifications, even when they’re several days late and seem to be completely devoid of context! But as soon as I realized what I was looking at, I knew that this was nothing to Weekender, but something to stick back out there to a group of people who are always hungry for more new idol and for whom this particular more idol just about is new — and in MV form!

Idols should always two-step

Man, that’s some frickin’ idolcore right there. What with all of the arthouse, alt-pop, post-rock whatever have you trends running through idol anymore, it’s awesome to hear a group killing a song in that particular vein of blendered genre-disregarding noise that made me so enthusiastic about this stuff in the first place. Nice hook, good vocals, punchy tune — you could do a lot worse, and they didn’t do bad at all!

So what is J&H up to anymore? Well, despite being down to two members (from their previous, like nine), they unveiled this sucker at their one-man a few weeks ago. This member business appears to be a calculated and fairly recent development at that, though, as photos from said one-man will indicate. Those kinds of changes are usually indicative of trouble, so maybe that’s the whole point of the MV. I don’t know! It’s been ages since I was invested in J&H, so I’m even less on top of things in this case than I am with most of the things in idol that I’m not at all on top of anymore! If you have details, they’re very welcome in the comments!

The Final Episode of “BEYOND THE RED”

This actually happened yesterday, but it being Mother’s Day and all in the United States and Canada, and I being both an excellent son and grandson sort of distracted from the last chapter in NECRONOMIDOL’s serial horror short, which has been … it’s been a journey, man. It’s been a journey. I knew that I was going into it with a whole lot of disadvantages (minimal Nihongo being easily the greatest), but one’s raw enthusiasm for a project by one’s favorites can overcome many things.

Three previous chapters exist, and we got ’em all. I recommend watching the whole thing in sequence, as doing so will definitely help to contextualize things more and avoid the “wait, wtf is that now?” stuff that tends to happen when you don’t have the language helping to ground you. Continue reading