It’s been brought up before (including in that whole why-does-this-website-exist thing), but it bears repeating that idol isn’t even remotely the same anymore. What was once the domain of the cute, the safe and the wholesome has been thoroughly infested by loud music, body-disregarding performances and gimmicks running from the dark to the profane.
In other words, the kind of idols that we like are here to stay, and the establishment has adjusted to that reality. Thanks, Establishment!
The lineup for this year’s Tokyo Idol Festival (Aug. 5-7) has been set, and our kinds of idols are well-represented throughout the schedule. Check the TIF website for more specific details, but also consider this a little shorthand guide for planning either your own personal trip or your off-hours YouTube sessions:
Appearing All Three Days
You’ll be a very happy person if you’re attending all three days of TIF in the first place, but here are your options:
- Ayumikurikamaki — in human form
- Osaka Shunkashuto
- GANG PARADE — I’m sure they’ll be on their best behavior; getting booked for all three days is a big break for them
- STARMARIE (who I’ll include properly soon, I promise)
- nanoRider — for the unfamiliar, this is the former nanoCUNE that was the little sister of Fruitpochette and Himekyun Fruit Can, now rebranded and sort of getting a national re-debut at TIF with new music and everything
- Party Rockets GT
- Himekyun Fruit Can
- petit pas!
- Babyraids JAPAN
- Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen
- You’ll Melt More!
Appearing on Multiple Days
TIF organizers decided to give me particular fits by including some all-time favorites on the schedule, but only for two days instead of the full three.
PassCode and Bellring Girls Heart will both appear on Aug. 5 and 6, and may they take a moment to reconstruct BellCode for at least one song, and may that song be a PassCoded-up rendition of “The Edge of Goodbye,” because that’d be amazing. MAPLEZ will appear on the 5th and the 7th, but maybe the biggest surprise of all isn’t that BiSH was invited back, but that they’re back for the latter parts of the festival, on Aug. 6 and 7.
Making One Day Count
These performers are only scheduled for a single day of the festival, so adjust your schedule accordingly.
Fruitpochette, either Shiori by herself or New Fruitpochette with a new partner/s, will play Aug. 5. Youth rock unit Maria and terrifying demon idol Pikarin will both play Aug. 6, but the real day to catch will be Aug. 7: Included then will be JyuJyu, Devil ANTHEM, Hauptharmonie, Malcolm Mask McLaren and Phantom Voice.
Also of Interest
There are cool alt-idols and rock idols and even chaos-minded idols who haven’t made their first appearance on this site yet, but they’ll be at TIF and you might want to check them out.
Mad Magazine trainee group AiCune will be appearing on Aug. 5, as will vaporwave solo idol KOTO and the EDM-inspired STEREO JAPAN (who perform on the 6th as well). The festival final on Aug. 7 will include Full Power Girls (who I have scheduled coming up — stay tuned!) and the great queens of denpa style Dempagumi.inc. Appearing all three days are alt-idol darlings sora tob sakana and the villain/hero of the original BiS, Terahshima Yufu.
I’d also wager that her nemesis, Pour Lui, may make a somewhat random appearance like she did last year with Parallel Japan, just to promote New BiS, but that’s a guess that could easily be wrong.
While not a single note has been sung, nor a single step danced, I have to say that the big winner right now looks like Mad Magazine. I bag on them a lot for what’s basically a complete failure to take advantage of Babymetal Fever in the West to really push with Fruitpochette, but they have all four of their units not just at TIF, but very much a part of the festivities, with new music and looks. May this be the beginning of beautiful things for them.