I Could Not Be More Excited about the Return of NEO JAPONISM

Everybody’s done the heartbreak thing this year, it seems. Groups and individual idols have dropped like flies, literal icons of the business and the tiniest of unknown chika acts as well closing up shop or undergoing massive changes almost as if they all know something we don’t. I’ve personally had my share of blank-eyed staring into the distance at one bit of news or another, and one that I definitely didn’t make enough hay about when it happened was NEO JAPONISM.

For about a year, they were arguably my favorite thing in the business, this hard-rocking, all-out unit that didn’t pull any punches and seemed to make a mark every time they released something into the world. They were just a really fun group to follow, although harder in a lot of ways to love right because there was so much else going on. But did I miss a chance to lavish praise on them? Absolutely not. And so earlier this year when the ~original~ group disbanded in the kind of mass graduation that has been so typical of 2019, I was kind of floored. Unlike all of the other instances, though, manager-san immediately set the record straight and announced that NEO JAPONISM as a thing wasn’t going anywhere, and there would be a reboot on the near horizon. That gives one hope, which gives one optimism, and when little bits of info started to trickle out, it started to become real.

And that’s where we land now! Here are the members: Continue reading

When That Solo Life Is Looking Promising

Once upon a time, I made an editorial decision that this site wouldn’t cover solo idols. The reasoning behind it, while not necessarily sound, did actually have a sensible motivation: I actually used to think that I needed to put definite rails around what was and wasn’t idol in addition to the poorly defined musical boundaries, and I considered solo artists as being too much in a grey area. But then Hanako-san and PSYBOU KANOJO broke that down, and past my own pretenses I could see plenty of unsung solo artists (mikicco, Ophelia 20mg, fucking Lein) doing cool and interesting work and idoling at the same time.

That’s a very long way of saying that I still sometimes get surprised by how much I like certain solo idols even though all logic says that I shouldn’t. And with plenty of solo idols coming out of fairly well-known groups as their relative point of origin, it only stands to reason that good would beget good, etc.

Which is a slightly less long way of saying that Chirimen, formerly of long-term Homicidols Dot Com not-secret crush 969, has in fact made good on that solid background and her own talents to strike out as a solo performer, and this is her first piece and I’m very excited about this: Continue reading

Let’s Talk about a Fun Debut: Zsasz Is Here and Also a Palindrome

I think our brains could use the little bit of relief, don’t you? Like, you watch all of these graduations and suspensions of activities and whatnot and think, man, idol must be in a terrible tailspin, if only there were something that could add some new life before chika becomes a literal graveyard.

Then let me present Zsasz (Twitter)!

Yes! Continue reading

More, uh, Nue Idols, You Guys

You would not believe how many puns I left on the cutting-room floor

Well look what the cat kind of very slowly but eventually dragged in, you guys! After previous existence*, previous hiatus and pretty solid radio silence, Nue (who you may actually be following, who knows!) (Twitter) is not just back to being a thing, but doing it in a way that says, hey, here we are and now it’s serious business. In fact, they did it basically in one shot, and if you weren’t paying attention already, maybe now you will be:

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I Think Hys Is Gonna Be Fun

Hey, you know what? Let’s do a new idol thing. Haven’t done too much of that lately, but I have minutes and I am motivated!

I like when you guys ping me with idol things. One, I get to vicariously experience your excitement; two, I like learning about new idols, especially now that I don’t get to spend time on the scroll like in the good ol’ days*. So thanks Andrew! We’ve been waiting on this group to make something shareable happen for a very little while, they having very slowly come into being since, well, we’ll get to that part. But January basically. And now they have a true PV!

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NILKLY Is as Close of a Spiritual Successor to BRGH/TTTS as We’re Going to Get

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:

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CROSSNOESIS Could Possibly Save the World

So I don’t know where all of the good idol stuff went over the past several days*, you guys, but I’m kind of thankful for the moment’s peace. I told myself even yesterday that maybe I should just let the week ride itself out and only feel like I need to respond at all if something genuinely cool and big happens.**

Well, the best thing happened, and we finally got a look at the post-HAMIDASYSTEM project of the former members of HAMIDASYSTEM, who are not at all the new and current HAMIDASYSTEM, but are veterans of maybe the coolest, most creative, impossible-to-overrate multimedia art project to have ever struck idol. Specifically, we get music and some light visuals!

That was the fastest smashing of the Subscribe button in my over-enthusiastic history

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The Cycle of Life in Aqbi Idols, Part Deux

It feels like we just did this

In keeping with today’s apparent theme, let’s take a few minutes to acknowledge the death of one of the true giants of our scene and the life that’s springing forth from that destruction.

The other day, THERE THERE THERES held their final performance, a joint show with their longtime besties in You’ll Melt More!(.) You can and should watch the literal whole thing:

Heck, here’s a bunch of photos, too: Continue reading

I See That Debuts Are Still in Fine Shape: Meet LAST IN MY CULT

Okay, shut up, I’m late to the party, so sue me.

So a lifetime ago (Saturday), a buzz swelled up and over the wota scene like

Is … is that a kazoo?

Yeah, folks were popping off about these girls the other day, and for good reason — we get our share of punk idols, but not many who sound like the second coming of punk rock itself with idol as an incidental feature. If I didn’t know any better (time travel isn’t real!), I’d swear that I already own some of their music on a compilation CD somewhere. Continue reading

This Is a Intro Post about Dooshite Tomodachi GA inainoka

So funny story, I apparently started to blog this post almost two entire months ago, saved it in 90 percent-complete form on a day when I clearly thought “ah ha, I will complete this over lunch at work, I am very smart.” And then the joke was on me, because here I am two months later finding it in my drafts queue while looking for something else! Yippee!

Anyway! You may or may not have encountered Dooshite Tomodachi GA inainoka in your idol travels. That would be appropriate, as they’ve been around for long enough to be a regular on plenty of well-populated idol bills, and I’m pretty sure that their pre-debut was noticed and discussed. What caught my eye, though, wasn’t so much that as the fact that the group includes Urara from senritsumelodious and the Original and Only Adopt-an-Idol Poroporo Baroque, and if there’s an idol in the business who’s cursed, it’s Urara.

Let’s get down to it. Continue reading