I Feel Like a Little Part of Me Just Died

Oyasumi Hologram’s been kind of quiet lately, and that stands to reason in times like these (Kanamil’s birthday notwithstanding), but as always be careful what you wish for, as quiet can also be a harbinger of bad things. And so it was when I perked up earlier at seeing a new tweet from OyaHolo official, which was precisely the wrong damn reaction to have to seeing this particular tweet:

In other words, 8-chan’s out effective tomorrow — as a friend, not a foe, and will probably be around to some extent — but OYSM now consists just of Kanamil, and what that future looks like is up for discussion.

I saw this hours ago, but honestly I couldn’t even wrap my head around the news until just now. Like, objectively, we’re talking about idol, and in idol idols graduate; it’s such a core part of the universal idol experience that we’re more surprised when graduations don’t happen, or when the well-practiced rituals of graduation aren’t followed. And maybe that’s part of the challenge on this one. 8-chan is not graduating, per se, but simply withdrawing. There is no farewell. Hachigatsu is just gone, out the door, and all we have in the wake is confusion.

That’s tough, but more to the point Oyasumi Hologram has been such an institution in chika idol that I almost can’t fathom their actual place to it. Everybody approaches scenes and cultures differently, but I think a lot of folks share a general timeline with me — get exposed to Babymetal in 2014, start to poke around, hear about one or the other of BiS, Fruitpochette and/or Deathrabbits, and at that point the decision is made to either stop or go deeper, and it was in that window that we found “established” acts that the scene seemed to revolve around. Absolute truths about popularity or time-in-grade or what have you were never as important as what seemed cool and important when you first landed, and so it was that my entire mental model of chika idol is based on Oyasumi Hologram and Bellring Girls Heart and petit pas! and a handful of others, and questions of who matters in idol, for groups as well as individual personalities, are tied to that model. Those are the Acts Eternal, and nothing will ever compare with them.

We haven’t had any shortage of big shocks in the past few years. It seems forever ago, but the absolute bloodbath of graduations and disbandments that gave 2019 its identity is still recent enough that I sometimes forget that X, Y or Z act is gone and go checking up on them. You develop a thick skin after a while, you know? But this one hits different.

Part of it for sure is the singular quirk that August-chan brought into everything she did, whether it was OyaHolo or some other things off to the side, or even putting photos on Twitter. Hers is a personality with gravity, hard to ignore and harder still to avoid once you were in its orbit.

I’m realizing, though, that the bigger part for me is that the institution that is Oyasumi Hologram may never be again. And even if Kanamil says “yeah sure, let’s mix it up a little” and they recruit someone like Younapi or even a sparkplug youngster to pair her with, or heaven forbid multiple somebodies, is it even still really Oyasumi Hologram anymore? It is true that this particular duo hasn’t always been the group’s membership, but it has for as long as I care to remember — they are the identity — and as it goes in branding, you never are what you say you are but what your audience says you are. And, with the loss of that beautiful project that will always be the absolute coolest thing imaginable, so goes yet another connection to those earlier days of wonder and exploration and finding things so singular that it’s silly to think that they can ever be replaced in your heart.

I was going to spend today listening to a bunch of Halloween-appropriate stuff, but I think I’ll switch it up to OYSM, and I’ll spend the time thinking about the missed opportunity to meet them when they were basically just a short jaunt up the road a couple of years ago, and how I’m not even sure that my behind-the-scenes efforts to get the word out about the EMWMF actually helped at all, and I didn’t get to domo arigatou with some absolute legends, and now that chance will never come up again.

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