Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.
I don’t get a ton of time to casually scroll through Twitter anymore, but when I do, I tend to stumble over some good stuff. It’s good luck, I guess. Usually, following half of all idols makes for a bloated, disjointed mess of a feed, but maybe my eyes got used to it or something. The point is, there I was, doop-dee-doop, minding my own business when … hello, what’s this?
Have I ever mentioned the “Idols That Maniac Frequently Forgets Exist, Ranked” list? That started off as a pretty okay joke post, then became alarmingly serious as I worked on it — I seriously forget about a lot of idols. I’ll probably never publish it. But for real, BLACK NAZARENE is on there, which is a shame given the self-driven wota hype about their debut earlier in the year.
And it was a good debut! The deflation was less an issue with BLACKNAZARENE than it was wotas’ inability to sensibly respond to stimulus. Nonetheless, while the group has in fact been developing nicely and carving out their niche over the course of the year, they’ve been below the radar because they aren’t the most prolific thing in the world. Maybe they’re making a move now, though, because (as Andrew pointed out) they dropped themselves a new MV today, revealing and unacknowledged but apparent semi-abandonment of their “THUGxkawaii” image:
True story: This was the first post that I called “We Are All Incredibly Easy Marks” because I couldn’t believe how very little idol could get people (including yours truly) so excited. I decided to wait to see how it turned out. How the tables have turned now that there’s meat on the bone!
Much like with XTEEN, the arrival of BLACK NAZARENE (Instagram!) to the wotaing world was met with some nice buzz. There was even a teaser! However, also like with XTEEN (and other than the note described above), I wanted to see something pan out before jumping to too many conclusions. Name? Cool. Description? “THUG + kawaii.” Interest piqued, so what does having a name like a Swedish blackened death metal band and a self-brand that some might more align with, like, RHYMEBERRY or something, ultimately give us?