The 2018 Year in Review in Review

Whew! You guys, rather than belabor a ton of stuff, I think I can sum up 2018 as “whew.” It was exhausting!

I remember spending a good bit of 2017 wondering if the loudol ship had sailed, if chika was bending in other directions, if idol hadn’t been exhausted of creative possibilities, if a new trend would emerge and whether I should start to wind things down over here. After all, idols who were loud but also were not Babymetal had come to the West, and I personally met NECRONOMIDOL at the end of the year. What else was there to do, really, especially if the focus would narrow and the excitement would keep waning?

Then 2018 went and took a big ol’ poop on that defeatist attitude. Technically, it was 2017’s strong close that woke me up, but the ridiculous run of debuts didn’t really begin until 2018 turned, and running parallel to that plenty of hope — in the form of releases great and small — that the mainstays were still mainstaying, and that new faces were emerging into something closer to the mainstream. There were, of course, tragedies, from an idol being paralyzed in a freak accident to another girl taking her own life, not to mention the obligatory broad-brush hit pieces that fail to explore the nuances and diversity endemic to idol. That idol, chika or not, loud or sweet and even both, can churn along despite (arguably, even because of) the scrutiny says a lot about its cultural weight, for good and/or ill.

This year also brought us the biggest and busiest year yet in terms of idols venturing to our shores: Necroma of course, but also Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Hanako-san, 2&, Screaming Sixties, Maison book girl, Candye Syrup, SENANAN and TORIENA and Oyasumi Hologram and Kouteca3. It was pretty great.

Where do we go from here? That’s for another post, but if there was a message to be read into how the community selected its Best Of, and then how Team did, it should be one of optimism. The scene is strong and healthy and poised for great things. More idols are on the way for a visit. Things are in good shape.

And now the rest of In Review! Continue reading

The Team Homicidols Best of 2018

Aw, come on Maniac, you can’t possibly make me write my own Best-Of List when my opinions are about as relevant as Peter Andre’s bathwater? Oh, fine.

So, what would the best list look like if I took complete control over Best Of? Probably something like this:

/record scratch

Hold on! Kerrie, I love and value you, but there’s a whole lot of Team! Let’s see what kinds of wildness we can conjure up by seeing where everybody lands. For instance, what about Daemon?

It may be because life just seems more precious after surviving an interview with Hanako-san but, looking back, I’ve had a pretty stellar 2018.  I got to debrief Candye Syrup (version1.0) after their last live, talk to NECRONOMIDOL on their second conquest of the States, spend some joyous moments with a caffeine-fueled SENANAN, and converse with an incarnation of perfection in Yanakoto Sotto Mute.

I was also fortunate enough to see some stellar live shows including East Meets West Fest, a Yui-less BABYMETAL, the BiSH PiL tour, some 2018 favorites like Kaqriyo Terror Architect and Minna Kodomo-chan, and newcomers NaNoMoRaL and GUGU LuLu.

My favorite idol-live moment of the year though  BY FAR goes to Zero-chan pulling me into the pit at Burst Girl. I would believe it only happened in a dream if it hadn’t been caught on video.

NOW WHAT ABOUT SOME PICKS! Continue reading

Your Homicidols Best of 2018

Wrapping up the year’s best always comes with a strong exhalation. Relief. It’s a lot of work to get all of the gears moving, and I’m really just an administrator in the whole thing — poor Kerrie, for instance, even in prior years when she was “just” handling the art and stuff, really has the brunt of it fall on her. This year, she really took over, and Team got uniquely involved, and let’s crib a little bit from Kerrie’s own personal take on the year to explain:

In a vain attempt to keep everything in order and slightly less chaotic than previous years (although lets be honest, Best-Of season is always chaotic) I operated a special record for all Homicidols contributors and friends to add whatever happenings in alt-idol they pleased throughout the year, to make sure nothing got forgotten. Then at the end of the year, we got you, readers, to help us fill any missing gaps! Thankfully, most of your contributions were already in the shortlist, so there probably wasn’t too many hiccups. And what resulted was more varied nominations, a more efficiently managed Best Of list than ever, all with the exact same amount of reader salt over “But why isn’t ____ here!?”

Well done, you goofy weeb

But you don’t care about process — you’re here for winners. And I’m going to give them to you! Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing Team’s takes, which it may or may not surprise you both overlap and hilariously deviate from what you’re about to see, which are the official winners. This is a community effort, and these are the community results: Continue reading

Best of 2018 Ballot #3

Voting’s totes closed, amigos. Thanks for playing!

We’re on a record-shattering pace for total votes this year, gang, and thank you so much for being part of this. The Homicidols Best Ofs aren’t meant to be the Awards That Maniac Wants to Give, or even Gee What Does Team Like; they are and always have been based in the community, meant to reflect the community. Well, you all are showing up and it’s making a big impact! I can’t wait to publish the results. And Kerrie probably can’t wait to finally be done with it all!

Our final ballot is here, with some of the really big awards. Think about how you may have voted before, and think about what it means in context. We’re talking “who’s the best in idol this year” and “this stuff is why I bother with this wild-ass industry” and the like. May the best idols win! Continue reading

Best of 2018 Ballot #2

The only ballot still open is #3!

Second ballot, team, taking us to about the 2/3 point. There were some tough choices and even individual disappointments in the first set, so guess what lies ahead! This is a good group of stuff, though, and what I think some people took to be omissions earlier will start to step forward. Just ask the people of Philadelphia: Trust the process.

So who you gonna vote for? Continue reading

Best of 2018 Ballot #1

Sorry gang, voting on this ballot is closed!

It’s time! It’s time! We got here, friends, and we literally couldn’t have done it without you. After completely crowdfunding the Homicidols Best Of in 2016 and 17 and driving people completely nuts, Kerrie developed a plan to not only better track the best things over the course of the year, but make it easier to drill down to what was the best of the best. And what’s the best of those? We’ll take care of that this week!

Yes, this is the idol awards show that’s pretty much entirely your will. Of course I and Team have independent thoughts, and of course we will share those in due time, but the real awards are the ones that you all, the folks in the community, will elect. Try not to mess it up!

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  1. We’ll run all 17 categories across three different ballots over the course of the week, each ballot staying open for three days
  2. Do try to only submit one ballot per, uh, ballot
  3. Have a favorite? Tell your dang friends to vote!
  4. Or get really wild and tag your favorite idols in a few tweets and see if they mobilize to win!
  5. In the event of a tie, all tie-ers win

And to motivate folks a little bit and make good on a promise that I made a couple of months back, I’m asking (not requiring though!) on each ballot submitted that you share an email address and/or other way of knowing who you are. After all is said and done, I’m going to pull 10 names from all ballots submitted and mail those lucky ducks a … mix tape of sorts. Not like the most valuable thing ever, but maybe something you’ll dig.

Anyway, we have a bunch of Best Of to get through, and time’s a-wastin’. Let’s get to it! Continue reading