Cinema & Boy CQ Elevates Idol Beyond Our Preconceptions…

Sokichi Osada had a plan for his own idol group that would be a unique and daring take on the genre and he created, produced, and managed a group with that mission in mind. That group, Shoujo Kakka no International, was probably born too soon to really enjoy the fruits of the underground boom of nontraditional, experimental idols, but they were certainly legendary among those in the know. As many great and daring projects go, the financial stress of running an idol group proved to be unprofitable and difficult, and so it came to an end. Sokichi took time to write a series of essays titled “The Idol Suicides” about his experience for a web-magazine that’s no longer around, but thanks to some reaching out from our very own Papermaiden, we were given the privliedge of republishing the essays on this very blog.

But despite Girls Excellency International’s collapse, Sokichi’s creative idol bug wasn’t out of his system yet. Almost immediately, he began work on forming a new idol group that was even more experimental and unique than his first brainchild. A group with an intriguing vision, or has he put it into his own words…

Cinema and Boy CQ make some of the most consistently interesting art  in the entire idol genre, and on multiple levels, they challenge and shatter nearly every pre-conceived idea of what idol music is. Their concept is theatrical, graceful, engaging and a bunch of other superlatives that could easily apply in describing them. The truth is, Myself and Papermaiden have actually discussed writing about the group for well over a year now, and the reason why it’s been so long in coming is because the concepts they explore and their potential is so far-reaching that I sincerely have a difficult time articulating their place in idol in a way to do them justice. That may seem like hyperbole, but they’re just that freakin’ brilliant. 

But I do know that really, the best thing I can do is tell you, the reader, to just dive in and try them out. With their latest MV debuting just before the weekend, the moment had presented itself again. How about we take a look?

The song is entitled “Pa.Pa.La.Pa.” (I noticed that twitter mistakes this as a url.) The MV itself was directed by Yukkyun and wonderfully captures the playful theatrics between himself and Ruan, along with the film-school arty vibe that the group personifies. All of Cinema and Boy CQ’s works are inspired by films, and in this case you get some spy-film-noir tropes with a touch of mystery. There’s always a story unfolding with this group, and it’s up to the audience to interpret what it is. 

And the song may seem very simple at first with it’s sing-along flow, but give it a solid listen and you’ll find it’s musically quite multi-layered and sophisticated. The group’s 2018 album, “The Soundtrack of Different Dimension Travel” was a similar mind-trip for me. Back when it came out, I had intended to write a review for Homicidols, but found the task of trying to encapsulate all the nuances and concepts so daunting that I ended up never writing it. It was just a lot to wrap my head around, if you get my drift.  By the way, you can listen to that masterpiece of an album on streaming platforms now, (Spotify and Apple are here respectively.) so you’ve got no excuse to not try it on for size!

And aside from the music and stage show, the group also breaks idol boundaries in many other way, some more immediately noticeable than others. Yukkyun himself even competed in last years Miss ID contest, and the duo is constantly active with an unending array of side gigs. Ruan in particular being an absolutely fabulous fashion icon already, with a packed modeling schedule lined-up with hip labels. These two certainly deserve to a hold influencer status and may very well achieve that end.

Truth be told, Cinema and Boy CQ are probably too esoteric to ever achieve “big-time” idol stars, and that’s okay. The two of them are still quiet game-changers in their way, and it’s always a pleasure to see them work towards that end. If your mind is open and accepting of new concepts in idol (I mean, you’re reading this blog, after all.) then this is a group that needs a firm lock on your radar. One way or another, people will be talking about them years from now, and you’ll understand the praise they’ll be getting a lot more clearly if you explore their world sooner than than later.