Look at MANACLE Out Here Playing for Keeps

I remember coming back from hiatus last summer and getting run through the various goings-on in idol over those several months out. Graduations? So many! Debuts? Some good ones! Almost the entire membership of an iconic chika unit graduating en masse, reuniting with an old friend and starting something completely new? True as can be!

So yeah, following MANACLE from what you might call a curious distance for the last little while has been an interesting experience. Once I heard that the tea spilled over Okaki et al’s exodus was pretty tepid, I settled myself into a “this is fine” kind of scenario, like not really caring how or why but just accepting the reality of it all and hoping for the best overall. NECRONOMIDOL has obviously had some challenges; MANACLE, despite the circumstances, is plugging along and building momentum, and the release of their first album is occasion for a real-deal MV to show off what they can do:

That’s some quality work right there. You don’t hear quite so much of this take on idorock so much anymore, like it’s on the heavier end without being heavy-heavy, and it’s synthy enough that you might mentally file it under some kind of -wave designation, and it’s got a great hook that practically makes you give up and call it a pop song. Give me more of it, preferably via IV.

The sheer volume of shade, though! “Let’s name ourselves in a way that’s incongruous with our aesthetic, as if to imply a previous carceral situation, and then go so far as to name our debut album Liberation — is that too subtle?” Please allow me to state that it is the Official Policy of Homicidols Dot Com that interpersonal beef can be saucy and spicy and delicious, but it is also interpersonal, so as long as neither malice nor injury were involved, feel free to let those tongues wag as much as you want as you discuss juicy gossip, but don’t, like, take sides or cast aspersions or what have you. People had a falling out. It happens.

Anyway, I’m sure that MANACLE would prefer to be addressed and discussed in the context of what they’re doing now, so let’s do that. Nice song, good hook, that choreography basically just wall-to-wall wotagei stuff. Team chat was a-flutter about the location, questioning whether Japan does in fact have multiple vacant warehouses, whether it’s all One Warehouse, whether said One Warehouse is actually a soundstage, etc.

The takeaway, I think, is that MANACLE has now been at this for longer than a year at this point, and they seem pretty committed to making true indie idol work; that they put actual money into the production of that MV is all I needed to see. And their content is good! Not exactly what I line up for, but I’m not turning it away if it’s offered, you know? I hope the album sells like hotcakes.

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