One of my favorite moments in The Flowers of Passion documentary series comes at the beginning of each episode where CHiHiRO of MERRY BAD END sings a subdued, acapella version of their song, “Restart”, while the opening credits roll. It is a mesmerizing yet imperfect performance and the delicate smile she gives the camera at its conclusion epitomizes, in miniature, the portrait the series attempts to portray: that while underground idol lacks perfection, it comes from an earnest and genuine place.
CHiHiRO, for her part, is kind of the break-out star of the series. Aside from providing the series’ opening theme song, she is featured in most of the episodes providing valuable access and articulate insight into the backstage workings of the idol unit she created and leads. Episode four, entitled, “Idol Grind”, focuses on the daily scramble of idol life and the long hours required to put those acts on stage while taking care of the other responsibilities and priorities in their lives. Continue reading →
The super-idol-unit APOKALIPPPS is dealing with the trials of Covid 19 just like the rest of us, trying to stay healthy and safe by staying home as much as possible, and maintaining social distancing to help turn the tide of the pandemic away so we can get back to our normal lives of eating, sleeping, working, (or studying) and supporting idols. It hasn’t been terribly easy for many of us, and it’s pretty tough for the idol industry too of course. The needs required to get through this crisis contradict their inherent business model!
So to help fans remember that they’re still here for us, and to also cheer up our anxiety-ridden spirits, these most delightful riders of the APOKALIPPPS put together an MV from the safety of their own homes…
Idol supergroup APOKALIPPPS have been active for a while now, but unfortunately a bit out of reach for us Western fans. The group is still very much an indie thing and their previous singles haven’t been terribly assessable due to their limited distribution, so supporting the group has mostly consisted of cheering the group on from afar…
Well, cheer up peeps, because the APOKALIPPPS is finally reaching worldwide!
The wonder group has self-released an EP, “APOKALIPPPS ONGEN”, and it’s also seeing a digital release via the major streaming networks, so you have no excuse to sleep on it! I eagerly decided to give a listen…
Enter APOKALIPPS, who’ve been together for what, like a year and a half? I call that “more permanent,” seeing as how this is idol and all. A group of indie darlings and chika powerhouses has high potential to be a complete disaster, but they’ve never disappointed. Part of that is that they don’t make a ton of stuff publicly available enough for an outside observer to become disappointed, true, though it’s also easy to manage expectations when you expect little and everything you do get is interesting at minimum.
Anyway, there’s a new MV today, and I’ll be damned if I don’t wish they’d released it a few days earlier so that I could really pun like hell on their name: Continue reading →
I have to be honest, it’s nearly been a full year since APOKALIPPPS made their debut and I’m still not really sure what to make of this group. When their promo photo was first posted with those cool-looking steampunkish outfits, I thought we were getting an idol supergroup with a bit of (small to medium) financial pull behind them. At the time I anticipated a high-concept media push to go with the group’s name and the costumes. Shoot, I’ll admit I even secretly worried a little bit about Chiffon and Beni leaving two of my personal favorite groups in the event this new group should take of. (Talk about an apocalypse!) But instead the group actually seems to be a pretty casual gathering of idols moon-lighting to have some fun when not at their main gigs.
Adding to the confounding nature of the group, recordings and videos of the group are scant, and in the case of their live show, I myself have yet to see anything at all. (Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place?) Their singles have little accessible distribution, so I don’t have those either, but I really do dig those Kiss solo-style album covers and covet eventually getting those for the artwork alone.
So as I mentioned, it’s been almost a year to the date of when the APOKALIPPPS was heralded, and lo and behold here’s a new MV for us to enjoy!
I love low-budget videos! They’re often way more interesting and fun than big-time over-done opuses. (You’ll Melt More! perfected this art.) It looks like they rented that room for most of the day, and had some time after practice to throw an MV together, and that’s totally okay! When you don’t have a pile of money, you rely on personality and creativity to sell your product, and there’s personality for miles in this thing. There’s Beni in all her royal twee-ness, Chiffon’s utterly spot-on wotagei impression, and one-half of the legendary (and greatly missed)Namahamu, Miss Nishi herself, killing us with that wink at the end. Everybody is bursting with playful vibes here. It’s good wholesome, fun stuff that isn’t too heavy, but there’s never anything wrong with some delightfully earnest fluff.
A year ago, I greeted the coming of the APOKALIPPPS with a mix of curious enthusiasm and mild trepidation, but today this MV has sealed the deal for me. I’m going on record as now being fully on board for the APOKALIPPPS, and now is as good a time as any.
PS: As I was writing this, I played the video multiple times, and I realized this song is totally Yurumerumo! material. I know nothing about the behind the scenes of this group, but I’m thinking that a YMM! producer/songwriter is helping out musically? (Which would make sense with Chiffon, plus the name and the costumes.)By all means, if you have further information, feel free to share in the comments. I’d appreciate it!
Would anybody be mad if, say, you were at dinner with friends, and the discussion turned toward idols (as it naturally must), and people started to talk about their favorite chika supergroups (happens every day!), and that special someone turned to you and asked for your opinion on APOKALIPPPS, and, after weighing the likelihood of a call-out should you try to fake your way through this one the same way you did when appealing to the dominant in-group and its devotion to Local Sports Team #2 (we all know how that went, guy, how do you endure the humiliation), you decided that discretion would be the better part of valor and, smiling, admitted that you had never actually heard any of APOKALIPPPS’s music? Yes, Lord Stuffedshirt would no doubt pop out his monocle in feigned, overwrought shock, but that guy’s a jerk and everybody knows it, so who cares, it’s that special someone whose opinion really matters here, and look! It turns out that the question went to you because you know so much about idol and they were hoping that you knew more about APOKALIPPPS than anybody else might!
That’s some fortuitous circumstancing right there, friend.
That’s* an incredibly long way of implying that APOKALIPPPS, who were announced with a certain degree of fanfare almost a year ago, finally have dedicated own-channel material online, and I actually wrote this before listening to it, so let’s take that journey of discovery together, shall we? Continue reading →
Finally! Pure Idol Heart shared the original preview for this new project a couple of weeks back, and I literally forgot about it until it came back up this morning because they finally made their debut.