An Actual 2016 Year in Review in Review

Hot damn, amigos, 2016 finally died the cold, inexorable death that it deserved, and it’s already being remembered as what the cool kids these days are calling a “corker.” Inexplicable election results! Shocking losses of beloved personalities! Confusing and sometimes discomfiting international developments. And that’s just in the world of idol!

With everything that happened, including this here website (/thumbs to suspenders), I figured that just recapping the best of it would be kind of boring, so we can do that and also talk about all the gawdawful shitty things, too.

Sound fun? Great.

Good Things!

I’m proud of the fact that everybody who nominated or voted in the Best of 2016 process can claim (as if they’d want to) to have been part of a really big and transparent community project. None of the winners refused to accept their award (yet), so good on us. I even got to chime in a little bit, though it should be well-understood by now that I’m kind of a weirdo and you should never, ever listen to me.

But there were other good things!, for instance, was born. It was not an easy birth — if you look back through the archives, there’s “content” dating back to October 2015, which is when I first started to write pieces and plan for the site launch … which was delayed several times for various reasons, ultimately coming into real-deal public being on February 1. I think there were like 20 total hits that day, 18 of them by bots.

Growth was fortunately pretty steady, and people started to comment regularly and participate in the goofy games and whatnot. Thanks for the validation!

The most popular posts since launch, if you can believe it, are all related to either Babymetal or the Corenament. SO WEIRD! But outside of those obvious things, the two most trafficked items were the Zenkimi bombshell, the original post on THE WiLD TRUMPS (which took the hell off on Facebook), a good number of the profiles that are in sorry shape because I never update them, the BiS training camp megathread and the item on Kurohara Yu-ri going ham on her former managers. BiSH and NECRONOMIDOL and PassCode pieces tend to do well, too, but a lot more broadly.

Friends were made! For one, you guys, who are cool and good people. I don’t want to single out too many folks for fear of missing great helpers and supporters; I hope that I’m able to express my gratitude for your help, from finding new stuff to sharing new stuff to translating new stuff to organizing fandom efforts to reporting from big-ass shows, when we interact directly. The idea here was to have a community website more than a blog, and we’re genuinely building good things on the strength of your willingness to share info, record broadcasts, nurture Facebook groups and talk about idol stuff here with me and others. I’m not the religious type, but blessings be upon you all nonetheless.

In no particular order, some releases that I really loved: bi bi bi bi bi — Billie Idle; Beyond — Bellring Girls Heart; “MISS UNLIMITED” — PassCode; “ALIVE” — Q’ulle; from chaos born — NECRONOMIDOL; KiLLER BiSH; Post-Catastrophe; “Ray of Hope” — Tsubasa Fly; Herz ueber Kopf — Hauptharmonie.

Favorite debuts: Dots; DAIDAIDAI; Yanakoto Sotto Mute; Heart ni Pochicon; 969.

Things That Sucked!

For every good thing that happened in 2016, it seemed like there were just as many gut-wrenching graduations and disbandments and hiatuses and all-around fan disappointment. The last six weeks or so in particular, it was like this terrible rolling string of news designed to make us hate everything.

Statistically, our collective biggest hatefest was the Zenkimi Scandal. The SiS stuff, while shorter in duration, got our hackles up pretty good, too.

The least popular forum topic of the year, if you can believe it, was this one on Hanako-san’s album release. Yeah, that happened ages ago when I was happy to break 100 non-bot views a day and was still figuring out the best ways to promote content, but still, Hanako-san stuff in general tends to get a good bit of attention for a dead girl who screams in basements.

The biggest shitshow of the year that had nothing to do with Corenament voting going haywire toward the end was that whole business with Rei from Ladybaby/BRATS; despite being well-received for the most part, it pricked a few people enough that I actually locked comments for the sake of keeping things reasonably sane (that ish was getting personal).

In a personal lowlight, if you were following the A-to-J podcast the other night, I mentioned my failure to nail down the interview of my dreams, with Pour Lui herself, after initially being told that it was a go. That was unpleasant. I also failed to secure press credentials to Babymetal when they were in DC (not a surprise, this site was brand-spanking new at the time) and even struck out on an interview with Anna from ICE CREAM SUICIDE and ex of Bellheart.

Dearly departed: Bellring Girls Heart (kind of), Haloperi Doll, Mugen Regina (probably), Frefre CHIME Fes, Lolisyn v. 2, Ladybeard, Hug Me, Mina, Rumpochette, petit pas!, Watanabe’s originality.

What Other People Are Saying

You know who did a really great YIR? Literally one of our very own, the ever-helpful Pukovnik Krv. This bad boy ventures from the 48s to Abbath to Devin Townsend to Hauptharmonie; it’s definitely worth your time. Also, my dude, you should blog more.

I’d be remiss to not include A-to-J’s extensive best-of list as well, especially because we talked/argued about it mere days ago, but also because you’ll notice a trend as to which idols had the biggest 2016 of all.

Our pal Alex from Land of Rising Sound did this top Japanese albums rundown. From our previous experience together, it should not surprise you to not see Metal Resistance on there!

Kimi Kame’s list is all video, and it’s all good regardless of the flavor of idol you’re looking for.

The ever-interesting basugasubakuhatsu, who I don’t link to enough for want of time to check out the reviews, added this rundown on J-music in general that covers some stuff you may know and like:

Among idols, I got a kick out of the Dark Girls leader, Kakizaki Risaki, and her recap of what all they did, especially the shade thrown at Tokyo Candoll and the funny little tribute to Ricky.


Other than the raging bag of fun that #2017IdolPredictions has proven to be, what does 2017 look like?

Big year ahead: The Codomomental sisters, Zenbu Kimi no Sei Da and Yukueshirezutsurezure; Screaming Sixties; Osaka Shunkashuto; every WACK group; NECRONOMIDOL; Guso Drop; Yanakoto Sotto Mute; PassCode; Oyasumi Hologram.

Rooting for: Fruitpochette; THE SPUNKY; the Bellring Girls Heart return; PiGU to get to TIF; Hauptharmonie to keep releasing amazing things; PLICPROCK.

A bit of a letdown, probably: Babymetal (how do they even match 2016?); the continued life of ANFORT idols; Corenament participation; NATASHA’s inevitable more-than-a-single release.

Let’s have a great year, amigos!

2 thoughts on “An Actual 2016 Year in Review in Review

  1. I think my blogging style is kinda outdated now 😛 Just have to look at the difference between old-school wota blogs like mine, Hello!Blog, WotakuNow, and Beat Laments the World (not that it exists anymore) and the new breed you, NSK, TGU and the others represent. We were based on opinions, backed up by either perversion, music knowledge or a mixture of the two. Nowadays it’s more based on analytics, promotion and cultural impact. Sign of the times changing I guess. Henkka from Beat Laments The World saw it coming and moved onto Wota In Translation, so I guess he knew where the money was.

    • But your opinions are good opinions. Trust me when I say that total newbies benefit a lot from being able to look at veterans and say “oh, so that’s how that’s done.” I had bad role models myself.


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