Kerrie is a great big fan of Gokigen Teikoku. Whereas I have always enjoyed them and at times felt like they, of anybody, had the potential to really shake up idol from the grassroots, my interest was more academic. For Kerrie, it’s more visceral — she owns one of those epic Ichiho body pillow doodads, for goodness’s sake. And so, it was an incredibly difficult decision to yank this out from under her when she wasn’t able to write it up immediately, and then deliver exactly the opposite take that I’m sure she’d deliver! Ahahahahahahahaha!
So anyway, Gokitei. If you’re newer ’round these parts, they started off as one of the super-indies, having broken with their management (as a different unit with a different name) to idol how they wanted instead. Their whole approach was oddball, putting real (or the appearance of real) personality on raw display (drunk dialing your groupmates!); their music veered left and right but always within the boundaries of fun, enthusiastic and genre-disregarding. They were fun.
And they are fun still. That’s the thing — most other super-indies, as they gain popularity, wind up back in some management company’s loving arms just to deal with the logistics of it all. Not Gokitei! If anything, they’ve doubled down on their independence while continuing to riff on idol tropes, right down to having a trainee unit. It has, though, come at a cost, as the original five-member lineup has ebbed and flowed over the last couple of years and now stands at a trio, with only Ichiho left of the originals. Depending on how you hold it up to the light, I don’t think it’s out of bounds to say that she’s the closest person in idol right now to embodying what Pour Lui was doing with OG BiS, and in fact may be an even greater realization of that vision.
I won’t lie, when I first saw an announcement post followed by news tweets of Ichiho’s face, I panicked a little. Thankfully, it’s nothing to do with my horrible luck when it comes to picking oshis this time around.
Well, I guess I’m the Gokigen Correspondent, too, now, even though I only really got properly into them a few months ago. No, this doesn’t mean I’m starting an “Ichiho’s YouTube Dungeon” column — writing bad BiS fan fiction takes up enough of my time as it is — you can forget me diving headfirst into the years of Gokitei YouTube lore that would be longer than every Harry Potter book combined.
But anyway, lots of fresh new news coming from the Gokitrain this past week!
First things first, Ponto Pero safely gave birth to a newborn purple member! Congratulations!
Everybody knows how idol works by now, the synergistic relationship between idol and wota, the oft-unrealized mutual draw to one another resulting in either a meaningful existence or complete dissolution*. But while every White T-shirt Guy spends hours and gold on his idols, what does he get in return? A few moments of chit-chat and an insta photo? All the wota ever wants is recognition that the idol cares about and respects them as well!
Sebastian shared this on Facebook yesterday, and I had originally drafted up a little post about the fan contest to do their MV (see below), but you know how you get curious about a thing and start looking through members’ stuff?
It’s Indie Idol Wednesday, and what luck that the indiest idols of all, Gokigen Teikoku, released an MV for the song long known as “HKYT” but is here titled “I want to eat yakiniku with people’s money” because okay.
Warning: This is so infectious that you may need to have it surgically removed from your brain.
Happy Sunday, you goofballs. Do you know what time the Super Bowl is?* It doesn’t matter! Instead, let’s just enjoy the fact that Gokigen Teikoku decided that being all super indie in Tokyo was well and good, but to take their show on the road would be even better. Hence, they headed off to Nagoya and graced us with this bit of their live:
Friends, we have a lot of fun with the Monday Match Game. Sometimes it’s punny, sometimes it’s funny, but it’s always, always … sunny? I ran out of rhymes.
Anyway! Last week, yami-kawaii obliterated yume-kawaii despite Tiffany’s protestations that they’re basically the same thing, thereby confirming that we’d rather contemplate mortality than have a heaven filled with fallen angels. Good times!
This week, the Match Game takes on a decidedly germane flavor. We’ve been talking a lot about indie idols, the kind that do it all themselves and make their own success on their own merits. There’s not a silver spoon or institutional advantage (well, probably some kawaii) in sight when these self-driven performers step into the limelight.
In this corner, throwback heavy metal and rock ‘n’ roll idols whose success is so palpable that they even drag their own ex-members back into the fold; in the other corner, goofball stage antics and a musical smorgasbord from idols who actually fired their manager to take over their own affairs themselves.