This is a terrible bit of video that ayukuma pushed out; not because it sucks in and of itself, or because I dislike the implications (quite the opposite!), but because Kuma-sama here is clearly giving three of my favorite idols the sads, and I’ll be damned if that’s okay.
But check it out!
I don’t understand why that’s space out so weirdly; blame WordPress
I’m probably missing some important point, but the video is basically the master bear here laying out the quest, such as it is: Ayumi, Kurika, Maki, you are exiled from beardom and will not be fun anymore unless you make it to Budokan by the end of this year. We know of this challenge, and the horrific side-effects of being required to do anime themes instead of bitchin’ party jams; we have all sacrificed at the #SaveTheBears altar.
Implications though! Essentially, this video couldn’t exist if Budokan weren’t pretty much a guarantee; it’s one thing to say that’s your goal, and here’s the stipulation, because there really isn’t an actual downside to “we won’t be bears anymore.” There is, however, a downside to Roads to Budokan that fail, and that is often disbandment, and that’s a bad thing! It’s also a bad thing that doesn’t seem terribly likely, not with real-deal crossover success and all. It is, however, egg on your face if you don’t make it, and it would be a significant knock on ayumikurikamaki as an entity, Japan and reputation and all that.
So, like, this video wouldn’t exist if there weren’t an extremely good chance that the Budokan performance is happening. Like, almost a certainty. Like, it might already be booked and now it’s a matter of setting up the promotional effort to not additionally lose face by getting to Budokan and then selling poorly.
Exciting! Bears again! Hopefully fun music again! I do think that ayukuma, bear form notwithstanding, has a roughly decent chance of catching on with bigger not-Japanese audience, and developments like this (if true!) are very positive moves in that direction.