Ladybaby is coming back to the ol’ USA. Such was the news that came out yesterday. Management of course tweeted about it, as did the host event, Anime Matsuri. I was like, oh man, you should blog a post for that! And then the messages started. Hoo boy, they were not good messages! People who know about things are displeased about this event and displeased about Ladybaby being at it! I of course am an ignoramus, so you only just now get to enjoy this sizzling take.
First, to recap: Ladybaby will be at Anime Matsuri in Houston in June. Are the members excited?
At least as excited as they need to be! Rie, of course, has already done Western gigs in the early days of OG Ladybaby, when they briefly seemed like the Next Big Thing If We Cast A Very Narrow View Of That But Somebody Had To Ride Babymetal’s Coattails And Nobody Else Was Trying. We never did get to see if that was going to be sustainable, what with the group going into slow-motion disintegration not long after. So it goes, usually! But reinvigorations are reinvigorations, and this Ladybaby seems stable and bright, and maybe this is part of a strategy that sees them stick abroad as something more than a novelty act.
However! Full disclosure: Because I pay a limited amount of attention to things that aren’t idols, and especially idols that make loud music, I was unaware until yesterday that people have major reservations about Anime Matsuri. But oh man, do they ever! It’s like a cocktail of negative: alleged non-payment of acts, bad working conditions, sexual harassment, predatory behavior. I’m sure the usual hand-waving about such things is being conducted at this very moment! If that’s you, you shouldn’t do that! When there’s a movement afoot to boycott the show, pay attention, you know?
The lesson here: It sounds like, don’t go to Anime Matsuri, because while I’m sure that the exterior is all sparkly and fun, and Ladybaby will probably put on a pretty good show, we should be actively opposing bad things. It’s a pretty simple formula, I think. If you want to see Ladybaby, or really any other idol act, within the boundaries of your not-Japanese country, there are a lot of ways to accomplish that, and you should encourage those things instead.