IDOL NEVER DIES: Help Create this Film about Idols at the End of the World

Gyuzo of the Tokyo Shock Boys but better known around these parts as the mad genius behind the Gyu Agricultural Festival aka Gyuno Fes aka the best recurring series of chika idol lives on the planet is making a movie!!

Tentatively titled IDOL NEVER DIES, the movie is described as a “youth fantasy” about an idol unit struggling to complete a music video on the day the world has been predicted to end. The cast of idols shooting this MV in the face of the apocalypse will include some familiar faces:

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SIPP Shines in Second Single, “The Same Old Sun”

A few months ago we first featured SIPP (Super iDOLS Pops Punk),  a new unit out of Osaka that sprinted from obscurity to song-of-the-year contender on the strength of their debut single, “dawn”. With an introduction that unbelievably good, we were trying not to let expectations for SIPP’s follow-up run too irrationally high. There have been any number of groups over the years that stormed in with a dynamite debut and then just faded into the ether.  Still, during this week of A-list music releases, the most highly anticipated song for many of us was the second single and MV from these rookies:

It’s time to get irrationally excited again. Continue reading

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Michi Shito: Codomomental Ties Up Loose Ends in New Artist (Re)Introduction

It’s been four months since the dissolution of Yukueshirezutsurezure and the group’s legacy in the canon of underground idol seems to grow more legendary with each passing week. Since their genre-shaking departure, Mei Yui Mei and Kotetsu have continued their careers as members of Zenbu Kimi no Sei da while Takara’s Twitter feed went silent after farewells and hints that she would return. The blonde member’s Twitter account simply vanished altogether.*

When it was posted that Codomomental’s President Imamura would be holding an impromptu livestream on YouTube this past Saturday, speculation ran the gamut. With new COVID restrictions fomenting chaos in the live houses, there was little hope that it would be good news. Then again, in the last ad hoc livestream called by President-San, he shocked the chika idol world with the unexpected return of Nonamera. On the Richter scale of idol drama, this one proved to be even more earthshaking. Continue reading

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Dark Idol Debut: NECRONOMIDOL Initiates Three New Members

NECRONOMIDOL debuted their new lineup last night at The Music Apocalypse, in a set sandwiched between Burst Girl and Broken By The Scream. This follows Sunday’s announcement of the addition of three new members, making the group a quintet after the recent withdrawals of Shiki Rukawa and Roa Toda.

Joining veterans Himari Tsukishiro and Nana Kamino onstage last night were: Continue reading

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Japanese Idol Industry to be Dismantled after Insightful Critique by Westerner

Every idol unit across Japan announced mass graduations today after a scathing yet revelatory indictment was leveled against the entire industry via commentary on a Western website. “We had no idea our entertainment culture was so flawed and toxic”, said an industry spokesperson. Continue reading

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ATARASHII GAKKO!: Freaks, Out

ATARASHII GAKKO! dropped an MV for the new song “Freaks”, featuring Indonesian rapper Warren Hue and whole heya of sumo wrestlers.

Once again utilizing the square, Instagram-friendly aspect ratio, the members display mini-super powers as they battle sumo wrestlers in a battle to see who’s most goofy. Continue reading

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Let’s Discover Some Idols: SIPP (Super iDOL Pops Punk)

Brand new idol unit SIPP have introduced themselves to the world with, “dawn”, a startlingly brilliant debut single and MV. If you aren’t yet quite convinced that 2021 contains promise, here’s some definitive proof:

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Weekend Livestream Spotlight: IDORISE!! vs. Gyuno Fest – PIGGS, BURST GIRL, MIGMA SHELTER, CROSSNOESIS and many more

I haven’t done one of these in while since updating The Calendar and streaming idol lives every weekend has basically just become the routine. This weekend, however, seems a bit special as we have two festivals going head-to-head among other A-list options. To help sort through this plethora of premium livestreams, I thought we might want to talk this one out.

To kick off the weekend, IDORISE!! Festival is going head to head with the Gyuno Pre-Spring Festival but, unless you are huge DESURABBITS fan, round one goes to IDOLRISE!! Continue reading

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We Review Things: The Flowers of Passion – Episode 04

One of my favorite moments in The Flowers of Passion documentary series comes at the beginning of each episode where CHiHiRO of MERRY BAD END sings a subdued, acapella version of their song, “Restart”, while the opening credits roll. It is a mesmerizing yet imperfect performance and the delicate smile she gives the camera at its conclusion epitomizes, in miniature, the portrait the series attempts to portray: that while underground idol lacks perfection, it comes from an earnest and genuine place.

CHiHiRO, for her part, is kind of the break-out star of the series. Aside from providing the series’ opening theme song, she is featured in most of the episodes providing valuable access and articulate insight into the backstage workings of the idol unit she created and leads. Episode four, entitled, “Idol Grind”, focuses on the daily scramble of idol life and the long hours required to put those acts on stage while taking care of the other responsibilities and priorities in their lives.  Continue reading

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We Review Things: The Flowers of Passion – Episode 02

Episode 02 of Derek Vasconi’s documentary series, The Flowers of Passion was made available for streaming on Friday, and I dug into it almost immediately. 

The episode packs a lot into 73 minutes, giving us XOXO EXTREME’s thoughts on the history of idol and the difficulties of holding a place in it, some dramatically personal insight into what it is like to be 14th Generation Toilet Hanako-San, footage from a special acoustic set by NaNoMoRaL, and a behind-the-scenes look at LiLii Kaona’s creative processes including the birth of their incomparable tune, “Rust”.

This is all delivered via extremely candid conversations and intimate performance footage capturing the action both on stage and in the studio. So far, the strength of the series stems from the presentation of the interviews and performances largely without external narration or commentary. Other than the first several minutes of episode one (which we reviewed here), the only editorial context comes from infrequent captions that usually serve an introductory purpose. The end result is that what we see and hear is almost entirely the unfiltered thoughts of the idols and their management or production staff.  Continue reading

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