Edited for clarity on Pour Lui’s statement
After last week’s bombshell, there were predictably a lot of questions from fans of Japanese music, period. A lot of really good questions, in fact, like the nature of the new BiS, Pour Lui’s group’s relationship with BiSH (which had been created to fill the void in a BiS-less world), how and where and what and on and on.
Watanabe Junnosuke, the former manager of BiS turned creator of BiSH presumably also returning now to BiS, seems to have heard the various scuttlebutt around how BiS’s phoenix move would affect the hard-charging heirs currently building their own legacy, and he tweeted this:
— 渡辺淳之介 (@JxSxK) July 8, 2016
BiS is BiS. BiSH is BiSH. Separate entities. Couldn’t be clearer. Chitti herself retweeted it; basically, no cause for alarm, everybody, just take a step back from the ledge.
But of course a bunch of people had to go sticking microphones in Pour Lui’s face, and she unleashed a real corker:
(if that doesn’t render properly for you:
“I hate BiSH”
“I want to break much things, BiSH included”.
These are the words pronounced by Pour Lui, who has just refounded the legendary alternative idol group BiS, in her last interview published by Ototoy. (link below).
This situation, is BiSH going to quit soon?
Are Pour Lui’s sentences just part of her show?
What do you think about a coexistance of the two project, when one was born in substitution of the other?
There’s also this straight from the horse’s mouth:
— プールイ (@pour_lui) July 8, 2016
— sean＠ムクドリの会 (@the59thsecond) July 11, 2016
This statement has caused a lot of consternation in the West, given the “I hate BiSH” part was better translated than the “I appreciate that this door is still open because of them.” This is Pour Lui that we’re talking about; if you told me that a prominent idol had an official enemies list, she’d be the first person that I’d guess. But with this statement, she sounds appreciative and willing to be conciliatory if she needs to be; one of Pour Lui’s better attributes has been her willingness to sort of lift up others and reach across the aisle, so to speak. “I hate BiSH” is the natural consequence of a competitive, driven person who saw somebody else pick up her mantle and (arguably) benefit more from it than she ever did.
I might also be being really generous. Again, this is Pour Lui that we’re talking about. For all of her fearlessness and creative power, she’s also proven to be a huge PITA to work with, very capable of cutting off her nose to spite her face. I personally would love to see a BiS-BiSH joint venture of sorts — musical quality alone, that’d be something, and you know that somebody would wind up getting hurt — even though I know that the odds of Pour Lui allowing that to happen are practically none.
It’s all really interesting, and very easy to take in from a safe place several thousand miles away with a very imperfect knowledge of the history and inner workings of WACK and the dynamics between the people involved and then Have An Opinion. I just think that, with the excitement having died down a little, being able to look at everything that’s shaken out so far doesn’t actually answer questions so much as raise different ones. What does this mean about BiSH? It means that BiSH will keep on going just fine, but that Pour Lui may have a grudge there, and won’t it be fun to see how things shake out? Will BiSH members move to Pour Lui’s new BiS? Very unlikely, but the question of membership in both groups is going to be up in the air as long as:
- Hug Me is technically available; family emergencies tend to stop being emergencies
- Ex-BiSer Mitchel, who’s now done Billie Idle and BiS reunion work in the last few months, doesn’t outright say “I’m not going back to that world”
- Idols known to be fans or admirers graduate from other groups, as was recently the case with Maplez
- There aren’t any announcements about members from the BiSH camp; it’s been a little while since auditions closed, after all, and while I get that they’d normally want the timing to be right (like at the Less Than Sex tour finale), one could argue that making announcements well ahead of New BiS’s roster reveal would send a strong signal about the health of BiSH
- Watanabe Junnosuke is involved
There was this very interesting retweet on the day after that BiS rose from the ashes:
— #寺嶋由芙@9/21アルバムリリース (@yufu_0708) July 8, 2016
If you aren’t familiar, that’s Terashima Yufu, or “Yuffy” from her BiS days. I think most people would agree that the second full iteration of the group, the Quintet, was BiS at the height of its powers, and Yuffy had a big hand in that. Unfortunately, she and Pour Lui hated each other’s guts, and Yuffy left and sort of precipitated the beginning of the end. For her part, Yuffy has been working as a solo idol for the last few years and doing okay for herself.
This ass-kicker of a song being a good example of BiS 2.0’s work and the inspiration for this post’s title
So why was the official BiS account promoting her? I have no idea. An old contractual obligation that wasn’t ever fulfilled, or an accident that nobody bothered to undo, or even just a favor to an old frenemy on a day when fans were being switched on. Could be anything. And even with it, given that Pour Lui would probably more like to run a knife into Yuffy than invite her to get the band back together, I doubt that it presages much. Pointing again at Junnosuke, it could literally be him being a dick.
As for BiSH, I can definitely say that there’s no reason to worry about their future right now. Their major label debut album is coming in just a couple of months, they’re on their biggest tour to date, selling out Zepps and doing big-ass shows with the likes of Hysteric Panic:
— BiSHオフィシャル (@BiSHidol) July 4, 2016
One could make a really great argument that BiSH isn’t just continuing BiS’s work right now, and isn’t just fulfilling it, but they’re leading the next step in the vision where, as PassCode’s Nao said, there aren’t band fans and idol fans, but music fans.
Like, BiSH is a big deal now. They’re important in their own way. A lot of what happens in idol looks and feels like pro wrestling, but that’s not how the actual business decisions are made. WACK isn’t going to fold up a super profitable property called BiSH just because Pour Lui decides to come back and has a temper tantrum in the meantime.
At any rate, it’s been an interesting few days.