As noted on the BiS profile, that greatest of idol entities went through not just three primary lineups, but sort of three identities along the way. First up was the “yeah, let’s do idol different” roster, followed thereafter by “out for blood” group of talented not-quite-amateurs, and ending with the “let’s create a damn legacy” version.
That is, the final incarnation of BiS was lousy with talented, ambitious young women who had mayhem as a permanent state of being on their mind. And among them was Kamiya Saki.
Following BiS’s breakup, the first non-Pour Lui project to kick off was actually Plastic 2 Mercy, a duo of Saki and Mizuta Mari. BiS fans were hugely optimistic about Pla2me, as the name was properly rendered, largely because of Saki’s obvious talent and on the strength of the group’s first single, “Unit.”
Saki and Mari had great chemistry and complemented one another well. So of course they had to break up.
Mari quit for personal reasons, and let’s leave that alone. But it meant that Pla2me was effectively defunct before they’d even had a chance to release a full album.
Because Pla2me was managed by former BiS and current BiSH mastermind Watanabe Junnosuke under the WACK agency, and WACK wasn’t going to just let a good opportunity go to waste, it was mere hours from Mari’s official departure that a new from-the-ashes group was coming together.
Period of Plastic 2 Mercy (POP) thus began, and …
Well, it’s been an interesting first few months.
We got a good look at POP at the 2015 TIF. They did their predictably chaotic thing, and … were kicked the hell out of the festival, along with BiSH. The official video (and to date the only one available EVER on YouTube, which is super rare) doesn’t show too much tomfoolery, but the members are clearly gassed for this song, so …
… the reports that they were stage diving, and they and the fans basically destroyed the stage, are completely believable.
Nonplussed, though, POP released their first album on the heels of their TIF performance, giving the mayhem something of a pro wrestling air, but a smart move nonetheless.
They also released the video for “Pretty Pretty Good,” which kind of put the whole why-are-they-wearing-garbage-bags look into perspective.
And, like the next day, Saki was kicked out of the group.
See, I don’t want to toot my own horn too much, but, when Saki was placed on indefinite suspension for her role in leading/instigating the TIF madness, I thought the whole thing felt like what in pro wrestling is called a “worked shoot,” that is, a manipulated reality that looks and sounds and feels very real, but is just as scripted and deliberate as any other “work.”
With that in mind, it’s worth pointing out that a lot of English-language BiS and POP fans were in an absolute froth over Saki’s apparent expulsion, and every time POP had an appearance, the speculation machine kicked into high gear. I can only imagine that the situation is about the same on the Japanese side.
When POP had their wargames event in October? (TGU | PIH) Some people thought Saki would be brought back in true puro fashion, to make the save with a chair or something. When POP played this festival or that televised event, people straight-up expected that Saki would be back for that thing.
And the more time that passed, the more pissed off people got. Totally, completely excited-about-this-group-I-love-Saki fans who had been completely behind Pla2me and POP back in the summer turned into anti-WACK ragers. The buzz, plus and minus, was real.
So when it was announced that POP was playing a show on Dec. 5, and that Saki might be able to rejoin the group for it, anticipation was raised …
… until the rest of the announcement said that she was going to have to reprise BiS’s 100km challenge that almost killed Wacky and led directly to the breakup of BiS 2.0 and eventually the whole damn project a year later!
Now, Saki just so happened to have run that 100km with Wacky and Pour Lui, and was the only person to complete it. She’s an athletic young woman in the first place, and obviously in good shape. There were reasons to be optimistic that not only would she successfully complete the run, but she’d do it with flying colors and rejoin the group that she basically founded and all would be well.
There’s also this:
This whole thing was so obviously a stunt that I still can’t believe that people didn’t cry foul over being manipulated.
I love it. That’s super-creative, low-budget marketing that was guaranteed to get press coverage and the attention of music fans. Attention is worth a lot in entertainment (Q rating, anybody?), even if the sales aren’t immediate, and being part of the news churn is a great way to force your way into the conversation and, presumably, sales market. The fact that so many people got the vapors about it since day one is just a testament to its efficacy.
WACK, you clever devil.
Did I mention that POP’s first real single went on sale on Dec. 8?
And what does Saki appearing in group photos and OH RIGHT HERE IN THE VIDEO tell you?
Anyway, that’s the POP story.
If not for WHO they are, I probably wouldn’t have been inclined to include POP on this site, but their BiS and WACK associations hinted at something unique, and it really is there, even if you can’t understand the lyrics — there’s a quiet intensity to POP, a gritty look at the world, an orientation toward music that’s not standard pop fare, but ugly feelings and violence and, well, did you see “Pretty Pretty Good”?
What they sound like
Euro-inflected J-pop, to be honest, or FAKY if you’re acquainted with non-idol J-pop. though “Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky” is done in denpa style. Maybe J-pop currently being remixed by an MDMA dealer in Amsterdam because his squat’s hosting a rave this weekend and the fucking DJ canceled because Deadmau5 needed someone to fill in for that huge party in Barcelona and SOMEBODY HAS TO DEAL WITH THIS.
You’ll like them if
You always appreciated Lady Gaga and wished that she’d do a collab with ADAM or something; you collect bootleg David Guetta tracks; you’re a Dempagumi.inc fan and are just waiting for the day that Moga and Pinky take a darker turn.
Entries on the Ultimate Homicidol Playlist:
Just “Pretty Pretty Good” so far, but it wouldn’t take too much convincing to get me to add more of their produced videos if they existed (and weren’t just denpa). POP is different and cool.
|Kamiya Saki (leader)
“Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky” (single)