Daemon is traveling this week, so as to not break the impressive streak of 352 consecutive weekends, I’m in charge of the weekender this week! It’s been a rocky week, so click through for some happy news, less happy ones and, as always, good music
I think at some point the Homicidols team developed an unspoken understanding that now matter how hard we try to keep up with chika idol and process things as they happen, we simply will never get to talk about everything that deserves attention. Sometimes we even get a mildly snarky comment about these injustices of omission, and I have to lower my head in shame and think, “Yeah, I know…”
I’ve got a mental list in my head a mile long of groups that I want to try to cover more, and here’s a big one right at the top: NILKLY. I went back and looked and there’s only one single article about them on the entire site that Maniac Emeritus had the good wisdom to write. What a crime!! I’m sorry to the group and I’m sorry to all of you!
It’s not every day that we get new long form content from the underground idol scene, especially now that we are in this whole sanitary disaster. So it was with great curiosity that I rented Derek Vasconi’s first episode of his documentary series Flowers of Passion.
Derek Vasconi has made his mark in the idol scene through several ventures: he organized the East Meets West Music Festival, and went on to create the idol merch website Idol Underworld, which aims to make idol merch more accessible for overseas fans, as well as producing original merch, like the many idol exclusive photobooks. Idol Underworld also has a sister site called Cheki World, a second-hand market to allow oversea fans to sell and trade their covetable idol polaroids. Flowers of Passion is his first foray into film and his first documentary.
The hour long episode, first of a series of five, seems centered on the production and self-production aspect, as well as the historic roots of idols. It revolves mostly around Asakura Mizuho via Bellring Girl’s Heart & Saka-Sama, NaNoMoRaL, Usakura Beni from avandoned, and finally, Merry Bad End.
In a final ICYMI from the long weekend, I call your attention to the latest progeny of Aqbi Rec boss Tanaka in the aftermath of the demise of flagship project (and chika royalty) THERE THERE THERES, who in turn were by the end basically just Bellring Girls Heart Redux with a membership twist anyway, but also kept the look and music of the original as well as core personnel. Hell, even the Cleveland Browns had a cleaner break!
But in the aftermath of the TTTS breakup, Aqbi announced various spin-offs for the former members, just as had been the case following BRGH, and happened to mention that Mei was staying with the company, and that she’d have her own project to lead. Said project is NILKLY (Twitter), NIL by MEI apparently, and they had their debut live the other day, which was extensively covered by the very hardcore wota who remain dedicated to the Aqbi family the way that I’m dedicated to gardening and auto repair.
This was the scene:
I was just like everybody else when There There There’s announced their disbandament. A little disappointed, a little confused, and a little worried about where all our favorite ravenesque girls were all going to go. Thankfully, most of it worked out well, with some former members like Rere and Mei staying with AQBI, and in a completely appropriate and perfect twist of serendipity, Mizuho and Kai seamlessly joining the roster of TRASH-UP!! Records, which is also a home for another former AQBI mainstay, Yoneko, who’s working harder than ever as a self-produced idol.
But this post is all about Kai, (!) the delightfully deadpan idol who, despite her detached demeanor, somehow easily connects with her fans in her very own way. I’ve always really liked Kai and her rather non-idolish approach to being an idol, and I’ve been looking forward to see she how adapts to the stage as a soloist, so let’s check out her first MV, a number called “Moonlight Tokyo”…
How about this song? It’s no secret that it’s an easy sell on me when you go 80’s retro, so that’s certainly no complaint! It’s a terrific tune that I’ve listened to on repeat several times already since it debuted. I have no idea if this synth-dance-groove thing is an indicator of her future work or just a one-off tune, we’ll just need to see, but I’d be totally cool with Kai becoming a neo-city-pop queen and making a regular gig out of this sound. All the same, I have an equally positive feeling that with TRASH-UP!! at the helm, she’ll be trying out other genres as well and testing some unexpected waters for the benefit of all of us.
And what about this MV? I enjoy it’s quirky VHS (or is it Betamax?) look, complete with an old-school aspect ratio and it’s blown-out-saturation. Also, the video brilliantly tackles a classic debate that even the idol world contends with: Are you a cat or dog person? I keep telling people, “Why not both?”, and it makes me pleased-as-punch to see that Kai agrees with me!
The video also answers another anticipated question: Would the TRASH-UP!! incarnation of Kai, with her newly colored hair and a wardrobe other than black crow costumes, maintain the classic Kai personality-type we’ve come to know and adore? It sure looks that way! She’s just as endearingly disconnected as ever, coming off as the sort of person who’s far more comfortable with a couple of cute pets than a room of chanting wota, and doggone it (see what I did there.), that’s the Kai we love! Would you really want it another way?
バッヂ ￥200 pic.twitter.com/Q2D3KbjUQH
— trashup_records (@TrashupRecords) April 21, 2019
At present, I haven’t seen any word yet on any actual releases for Kai yet, digital or otherwise, but I think that’ll happen soon. Currently she’s preparing for her live debut and cooking up some merch that she showed off (see above) on twitter. There’s also an official website for her solo work, appropriately with the perfect domain name all-kai.com, cause this 100% pure Kai, and that’s just what we the people need!
I think we’re off to a good start here! And we still have Mizuho’s upcoming idol group, ATOMIC MINISTRY (Which is an awesome group name!!) currently in it’s audition phase to still look forward to. I keep repeating it for the people in the back, TRASH-UP!! is the real future idol dynasty to watch out for, and I’d recommend paying attention to all the exciting things they have in the works.
If you’re looking for a good time with very little commitment of your precious time resources, you could do a lot worse than discovering whether you’re definitely going to be picking up the new There There Theres album, BRICKS, or whether you’re almost definitely going to be doing so. It’s just a question of personal hype level, isn’t it? In spirit if not in fact continuing on the BRGH legacy of being the queens of chika means that TTTs releases are events, man. You gotta step into that and let it hit you with all due severity.
And especially when the rapid-fire nature of the it could leave an adult human staggered and gasping for relief! It’s a lot like Arguably Greatest Punk Collaboration Ever Short Music for Short People, a glory of 30-second songs. TTTs absolutely destroyed that standard in setting a new record in Getting to Know Music By Hearing It in Tiny Snips!
Every so often, especially back in the early days of the site when every idol giggle felt like a momentous event that had to be shared with the world, I used to share audition information. Here’s a great example from way the heck back in the day. Then and even now, the process by which agencies refill their rosters with talent, and how groups sustain themselves through the inevitable chaos of teenagers’ whims and managers’ improprieties, is fascinating. Also alarming sometimes!
Now, friends, thanks to the unique generosity of Tanaka-san and Aqbi Rec, you too have an opportunity to join an all-male idol group under the There There Theres brand, as long as you’re between the ages of 15 and 22 and aren’t a total jerk:
ゼアゼア曲をカバーする期間限定“メンズ”アイドル「HERE HERE HERES（ヒアー・ヒアー・ヒアーズ）」メンバーを募集します！
— THERE THERE THERES (@TTTS_AQBI) September 17, 2018
『AQBI DIG 05』
— MIGMA SHELTER公式 (@MIGMASHELTER) June 3, 2018
So at last night’s AQBI DIG event, it was announced that Kotejun, Popopo Po Po Jr. and Amari will graduate from MIGMA SHELTER on July 8, the same time that the group’s official hiatus begins.
We all knew that there would be a membership shake-up once the hiatus ended, however, the initial announcement led many of us to believe that the current girls would at least be safe and that this would simply be an update to fill the gaps Yoneko and Seisei left behind, rather than an almost total do-over of the current system. So it looks like the situation might just be far more dire than expected. Right now, it brings to mind two situations: Continue reading
It took a little while to prep, but new Aqbi idols Gu-Gu LULU made their debut on Sunday. I was leery, I’ll admit; though Tanaka-san has a great track record with his projects, nobody bats 1.000, and some combination of the name and what I thought might be a draw toward that emerging weird-for-the-sake-of-it slice of idol had me backed off, expecting something potentially cool but also potentially off-putting.
Video from the debut was on the Internet faster than … well, very fast, and I was gratified to see that my fears were unfounded, and this is a group that’s going to be fun to follow:
Here’s a reverse angle, if you wanted one: Continue reading
Tanaka-san really has a penchant for the dramatic, doesn’t he? A year ago, 2016 closed with the death of Bellring Girls Heart and announced yet-to-be-detailed future projects for a number of the numbers; as 2017 had its too-well-earned death rattle, of course it was time for the Aqbi family to drop a few more surprises on us.
Last week, Karin announced that she was graduating, basically effective immediately. Fans did weep. Today/tonight, she graduated/s:
最後のツイートです。私緒倉かりんは本日をもってゼアゼアを卒業しました。最後のライブ楽しかったです！賞状もらっちゃった✌🏻️ありがとう！私の歌声が誰かに届いてたらいいな〜！みんなが私のこと忘れても私はずっと忘れない！10ヶ月ほんとにありがとうございました。ではまた！おぐ( ◜௰◝ )おぐ pic.twitter.com/H5BREc2wnF
— 緒倉かりん／TTTs (@KARIN_TTTs) December 31, 2017
Stupid wraparound time …
There was speculation as to how long it would take to replace her, or for the notoriously graduation-heavy group to be overhauled. I had a take:
Tanaka usually has a reserve of auditioners; I bet it won't take long
— Homicidol Maniac (@homicidols) December 30, 2017
Well. Continue reading