Hey, who else remembers PIIIIIIIN? I sure do. Of course, right about the time that I started to get more into them, their end was imminent. So goes idol!
The uninitiated may be asking, who is this group with all of the I’s in the world in its name, and why is it italicized, and why are we remembering them? In reverse order:
I can’t speak for the italicization, but just like how jerk-ass gym teachers will always remind you that there is no “I” in “team,” but in reverse, PIIIIIIIN included an I for every member of the group. So there were seven of them, natch.
The PIIIIIIIN story began in 2013, which makes them one of the rare rock units from none of the boom years to go on to a relative degree of success; a ZEPP show isn’t like conquering the world, but it’s a hell of an accomplishment for an idol unit, especially at Diver City, and PIIIIIIIN pulled it off. Along the way, they connected with a lot of the bigger names in the idol game. If you’re wondering why some of their tracks sound like Kentacore, it’s because they are Kentacore.* They also earned the respect of a lot of their similarly situated peers, successfully rising out of the underground for the most part and taking on some pretty plum stages along the way.
For instance, here they are at the (in retrospect, amazing) TIF 2015:
You may also enjoy this video of them doing the “nerve” dance cover as part of that massive all-idol BiS tribute in 2014; again, just given the song, I’ll go ahead and question the choices of all of the adults in the room, given that the average age of PIIIIIIIN members at the time looks to have been about 14, but that’s fine, it’s just a dance cover.
PIIIIIII was ultimately undone by nothing more circumstance, near as I can tell. As the members aged up, there was the inevitable turnover; maybe the (pretty cool, actually) public-input auditions didn’t really work out the way they’d hoped, or maybe everybody collectively realized that they’d kind of had it, but, like Tsubasa Fly and many others, they decided to quit while they were ahead.
Here’s one of their final appearances, from an Idol Koushien event:
And, I think, their final MV:
If you’re wondering why I don’t have anything real from the farewell live, it’s because it seems to have only ever existed in photographic form. Sad!
PIIIIIIIN wasn’t always great, but they were always pretty fun (which was pretty much the point), and they can retrospectively looked at as pioneers in both higher-quality idorock and kawaiicore, ultimately only being outlasted in the latter by Party Rockets GT, who have, notably, all but given up on the sound. For real, go listen to their Soundcloud and tell me that their disbandment wasn’t a loss for the world.
Where are they now? It may surprise you to learn that the Official Twitter is still active, promoting former member Hara Ayano’s band project and what I’m taking to be a newish related project, Queens, that I currently (coincidentally! I had no idea!) queued up. Sister group (even older, in fact) PPP! PiXiON is still going, too. PIIIIIIIN, though, is dead, so let’s remember them fondly!
*I have never said out loud, but considered internally before discarding, a notion that Kenta and SCRAMBLES used to flirt with production with other idols, including Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen in addition to PIIIIIIIN, as a way to test out sounds that they’d later turn into much of the modern BiS/H catalog; I share now because it’s not only topical, but ongoing evidence that I’m an idiot