Happy Birthday to This Thing! Two Years and May the Gods Help Us All

I wasn’t having a bad dream, and nothing notable had happened in the house, but I suddenly awoke, completely calm, in the wee hours of the morning. Confused as to what time it was, I checked the clock: 4:44. That feels like some kind of weird sign.

Well, team, we somehow made it two full years. Two years! I thought that maybe I’d write some incredibly long-winded thing, attempting to little effect to say something punchily meaningful, but I’ll be honest: I am surprised at my restraint.

I started to write stuff for this site in the autumn of 2015; I kept it saved in Google Drive because I didn’t have anywhere to publish it, even though I knew that I wanted to do something webby for idols who do loud things. I was still riding that Babymetal wave, I’d gotten deep into BiS post-mortem 1.0, I had fallen stupidly in love with BiSH back when they were still mostly crawling around the indie scene, I had PassCode and that hot newcomer Zenkimi, I felt like one of a handful of people who were in on this NECRONOMIDOL thing, and I dug on a small host of others, most of whom were used over those few months of planning to flesh out some kind of sensible (ha) site structure. I just wanted other people — and by “other people,” I mean/t “not people who were already into idols” — to have an easier way to take the same journey, to hear one thing and want more and bam!, a decent hub for it.

At last count, at least 187 different idol projects, ranging from neat-o alt-pop to full-throated deathcore, have had at least one post dedicated to them; who knows how many others have wound up stuffed into the Weekender, or referenced in passing because why the hell not. As of this writing, more than 2,600 posts have published, with around 7,800 comments that were’t pingbacks or bots. I didn’t quite get all the way to 1,000 Twitter followers by the big day, but that’s fine; clearing 500,000 hits a little while back was a pretty nice bonus regardless. If only all of the change and updates and everything didn’t leave me with a pile of homework so large that I’ll probably never finish it.

There have been a lot (a lot) of debuts in these two years, or practical debuts. Tsurezure happened when I was getting set up, and of course KTA more recently. BRGH split up, made other things, then effectively got back together. WACK toyed with their own stuff as much as everybody’s heads. Yanakoto Sotto Mute were born perfect. Broken By The Scream. DAIDAIDAI. Too many to try to reckon, honestly.

And there have been graduations galore and disbandments … dalore. It’s like a who’s-who of heartbreak — FRUITPOCHETTE, Guso Drop, THE SPUNKY and on and on (also fitting, though, that today’s the day that we get our first look at Shiori’s new solo project and last look at Pour Lui as an idol). Some, like HKFC and Lyric Holic, died and rose again; others were basically wiped from the face of the earth, or still barely cling to existence.

Along the way, loudol has gone big-time, at least to an extent. As of launch, Momoiro Clover Z had already done the KISS collaboration, and Babymetal was well and truly A Thing, and of course various idols had experimented with rock sounds over the years, but really only BiS had done something as big as Yokohama Arena; now, plenty of idols with bite are on major labels, or can boast of being credibly too big for chika while retaining their independence. They tour nationally, even internationally, and you get the feeling that there’s a lot more of that left in the tank. I hope that Homicidols.com had at least part of a hand in that happening.

Despite still having no real shot at ever going to Japan, I’ve nonetheless met personal sheroes, and maybe more importantly have been able to connect with several hundred of you goofballs. A lot of the time, especially during those stretches of the year when idols are doing exams and basically nothing of note comes out, you’re often the only reason that I keep the lights on. I’m glad that you’re here; you tolerate the jokes, you play the Funs, you bite hard on April Fools pranks, you make the Best Of happen, you humor the wild-eyed conspiracy theorizing, you drive the Corenament and other games. I hope it’s fun for you.

So thanks to you guys, and to Kerrie and Krv and Papermaiden and Brian and Daemon and Phillter and Patrick and dofphoto and the patrons and … am I forgetting anybody? Derek. Pure Idol Heart. Viz Major. Terry and Garry and John. Things happen, and we get to have a part in that. I can’t help but think that, though we’re ultimately few, things like this might not be happening if we weren’t doing our damnedest to connect people:

Let’s do some rad shit in Year 3.

Rad shit

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