People love to bang on about traditions and rites and whatnot. It’s fine! I happen to dig on a little bit of nostalgia myself, especially when I can get invested in some element thereof. And if I invent the thing? Well then sure, I’ll care even extra!
So: Ah, friends, is there any finer tradition in sports, any finer rite of spring than the Corenament? For those uninitiated into its mysteries, the Corenament is an annual competition, spiritually akin to the famed NCAA basketball tournament, but realistically absolutely nothing like it except for a cheap branding opportunity! We set a bracket, we populate it with idols, and we vote, ever so many times over a few weeks, until we have a champion. In order, past champs are Kamen Joshi, Babymetal and Minna no Kodomo-chan. It’s an excuse to fanfic. Good times had by most!
We’ll kick things off on Thursday, which is the day when the real tournament games begin, as opposed to like right now, which is when the NCAA starts things with their convoluted extended field. In fact, we’re going to make things simpler this year than in the past by having a smaller field for once, and by emphasizing real things to compete head-to-head with, and by adding the kinds of random variables that populate IRL sporting events but are usually minimized in a controlled environment like online polls and stuff.
Anyway, your field is:
Or, uh — no, no, that’s not ours. Let’s try again!
Oh right. Still building that bracket. But we have our field set!
Yes, just like in the 2017 Corenament, we’re breaking things out in terms of leagues/conferences, and those all get their own champions that have automatic bids into the Corenament, and everybody else is considered at-large. Were any of these decisions made capriciously? Of course they were! Just like real life.
Anyway, your Leaders Conference is made up of those loud idol entities that exist in a rarified state, wherein they’re kind of above and outside of the scene that made them but also exemplary of it. It’s also easy for me to group these heavy hitters together without guaranteeing them great seeds, you know?
- BILLIE IDLE
- Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da
These are idols who are just plain on another planet, and/or have a legacy or body of work that frankly can’t be touched.
- Oomori Seiko
- You’ll Melt More!
- Yanakoto Sotto Mute
New School League
These are up-and-comers, maybe newbies and maybe not, but representative of a time and place where things just are different — they’re influenced by what came before but are staking out new territory and making influence of their own.
- GANG PARADE
- Kaqriyo Terror Architect
- Minna no Kodomo-chan*
- Atarashii Gakkou no Leaders
In the real tournament, a Cinderella is the unexpected belle of the ball, the competitor that comes out of nowhere and captivates with success that nobody could have seen coming. Any one of these could make a ton of noise in this competition!
- THE BANANA MONKEYS
- Shihatsumachi Underground
The Divisions of Darkness and Light
I had no idea what to do with any of this, but at least they have dual natures and/or being really great at being evil or good or something! Hey look over there!
- SPARK SPEAKER
- Melon Batake a go go
- Mayumura Chiaki
Western Idol Conference
Every Corenament entry here has the distinction of having previously or will soon be performing in the West. That’s … that’s literally it.
- Screaming Sixties
- Not Secured, Loose Ends
- Broken By The Scream
- Candye Syrup
- Maison Book Girl
So that’s the field! And in true Bracketology fashion, I will reveal none of the actual methodology but will instead tease you with what could have been:
Last four in: Shihatsumachi Underground, DAIDAIDAI, Candye Syrup, SAKA-SAMA
Last four out: EMPiRE, GARUDA (with Melon in, she’s too busy to compete on her own), Gu-Gu LULU, WILL-O’
Next four out: BiS, BURST GIRL, SKIRMISH, CY8ER
Voting will kick off on Thursday morning, with a full bracket and all kinds of surprises and agonizing choices. Hold on to your butts!
*Past winners get automatic bids, except Kamen Joshi, whose most notable news for two consecutive years has all been bad things