Welcome to our latest collection of notable idol units that have recently sprung into existence or otherwise just entered our consciousness. The number of new groups being launched in 2022 continues to be pretty nuts. I have a feeling that the New Unit category of our Best of the Year awards will be a blood bath, but in a good way (not that there is any way for a blood bath to be good, but it’s a hot Sunday afternoon as I write this and I’m feeling too lazy to pick a new metaphor).
As I was wrapping this piece up I realized that almost all of the units we’ve included this round hail from Kansai. This was completely inadvertent, but serves as an auspicious reminder that, while Tokyo is the capital of the idol world, it isn’t the only source of exemplary alternative idol. Kansai, the home of PassCode, DADAIDAI, Especia, WAGAMAMA RAKIA and countless others, continues to inspire some of the best in the genre, such as:
NiL, a five-member “next generation hybrid rock” unit, is the brainchild of MISSEMILY (ex the mish mash, LinQ, REV and more). The unit name is derived from the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song “Never Is a Long Time”. MISSEMILY also gravitated to the acronym since “nil” means “zero” and she felt that the group was starting from nothing.
While they may have started from zero, NiL adopted the tag line, “appearing like a comet over Kansai” and took no time at all to hit full speed. The group’s debut live in May was sold out and they have already wrapped up a tie-in deal for skimboards. Their first single, “Ai Ai Ai”, will be released at the end of August but you can watch the MV right now.
One of the more intriguing projects in recent memory is three-member unit yubiningyou. The unit’s name is derived from the 19th century artistic philosophy of aestheticism which valued the pursuit of beauty above all other things.
— 唯美人形 yubiningyou (@yubiningyou77) July 4, 2022
We learned of this unit from Ziensa over on the Homicidols Discord Server. The group’s first regular performance is this coming July 25th, but they just dropped their debut MV featuring a track that would not sound out of place in the NECRONOMIDOL catalog.
Vijon Girl are a three-member unit out of Osaka, but we’re a bit short of details beyond that. Their Twitter account has been active since 2016 but they seem to have re-booted last year. They are managed by EATS MUSIC who also represent The Girl Mannequin who are awesome.
Other than that, the one thing we know for absolute certain is that they just dropped a hyperpop EP called TACO TACO SYNTHESIZER that is one of the best things we have heard all year.
— 幻影少女 (@vijon_girl) June 26, 2022
The three tracks on the EP are by Hideki Tempa who has composed tunes for a number of units we like a lot including the aforementioned The Girl Mannequin, Qppo, and NEMLESS, who they are pictured with below.
ネムレス うてなさんお写真ありがとうございましたт ̫ т ✨✨✨✨ pic.twitter.com/zK6hi3IVGs
— 幻影少女 (@vijon_girl) July 4, 2022
Derived from a combination of “anonymous” and the Latin “clara”, meaning “brilliance”, ANONCLARA is to mean “Nameless Glow.” This alt-rock unit from Osaka debuted just over a year ago and it really should not have taken us this long to find them.
The unit have been very productive since their debut, releasing about a dozen singles, but if you want to find them on your streaming service of choice, be sure to look for them under their katakana moniker: アノンクララ.
— アノンクララ Official (@_anonclara) June 19, 2022
The genre of Japanese chika idol continues to doggedly expand throughout the world. We now regularly report on overseas alternative idol units from a number of countries including South Korea, Thailand, Italy and Australia. It has been recently bought to our attention that we can now add The Philippines to that ever growing list.
Meet Rainbow Signal, a three-member indie idol unit from Laguna, Philippines. The nascent unit has just released their first single and MV which channels some really great riot grrrl vibes.
The song is also on the big streaming sites, so add them to your playlist and support international idol!
Sunday is Rainbow Signal time! Stream Tobu Gokiburi Kara Nigero on these links:
Apple Music and iTunes: https://t.co/hA7nRrZwzm
— Rainbow Signal – 虹信号 song release 06242022 (@nijishingoPH) June 26, 2022
Dinosaur (ディノゾール) came to my attention the most mundane way: through a recommendation by my streaming service. Their electronic influenced pop punk quickly made it into my daily playlist.
After some digging, I was able to unearth the four members of the unit which strives to become the scariest and strongest idol group on the planet: Haku Spinosaurus, Sui Rex, Karen Raptor and Runkeratops.
Historical records on the unit are a bit sketchy, but tracks from the unit’s discography seem to date back a ways, which shouldn’t be surprising for a group channeling the cretaceous period. The current line-up, however, are very active and just dropped their first MV earlier this year.
Be sure to let us know about any new units you’ve recently discovered over on the Homicidols Discord Server.