Catching Up (Real Quick) With Devil ANTHEM

We’re almost through the Catching Up series! Just in case you hadn’t noticed that there was kind of a Catching Up series!

Today’s entry, and alas the only one I’m going to be able to manage, concerns the delightfully variable pop rock of Devil ANTHEM, who released a new single just the other day, and who of course had the original promo content for that out ahead of time, and I’m talking last week, when an MV was dropped and I caught it and queued it and then — record scratch! — today they went ahead and released an “audio” video for the B-side that’s frankly basically an MV in its own right and wowzers, I actually really enjoyed the hell out of it (the B side is the best side, after all), so I’m end-running my original Devil ANTHEM post to bring you the whole single in one shot, and in reverse order!

Oh yes! Continue reading

Catching Up: So This Is Melon’s New Single

So deep was I into enjoying not doing anything last week that I didn’t even see this latest little bit from Melon Batake a go go until a little bird said on Saturday morning that I should put them on the look-up list. And oh neat, there’s a new single coming what’s now a month from today, plus other stuff!

Oh, and an MV out really early to sell it: Continue reading

Catching Up: I’m Heavily in Like with the New Toricago MV

Excuse me:

EXCUSE ME:

Look, does anybody here really think that I’d deliberately miss out of one of my favorite groups?

Yes?

Come on! Toricago was part of the reason why I felt like I should try to catch up on the week as opposed to just nod at it and move on with my life. Let’s look at it together! Continue reading

Catching Up: Here Are a Couple of New Ones from IVOLVE

All right, let’s get the first couple of these suckers out of the way. I pre-warn you — I’m not even going to pretend to be contributing meaningful thoughts to any of these posts, just quick observations; the important thing is the music.

So, IVOLVE! It’s been a while, and probably for a good reason, as they were also hewing closer to normal idol fare even in their more interesting options, but they’re part of idol’s enduring it’s-actually-like-half-a-degree-of-separation legacy, and I have a legit soft spot for them. There are two new tracks from them in my Soundcloud feed, and this first one had me thinking Weekender —

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I Present to You My Favorite Ever Thing from wyenra

Ah, wyenra, increasingly one of the most interesting legacies in idol. For the uninitiated, picture this: An idol group rises to mid-range prominence over a decent duration together, then does the idol thing and disbands, but immediately rising from that is a cooler, smarter and altogether more earnest self-produced indie project that does what it whats, presumably how it wants, and improves on the whole package. It’s like a fairytale!

That’s the nutshell version of how wyenra came to be, you see. I’ve enjoyed them going back to the very beginning, but in a hit-or-miss way, given that whole “do what they want” thing doesn’t always align with “what Maniac likes” or even “what the virtual persona of Homicidol Maniac likes.” And that’s fine! Artists do not exist to please me. This one from the other day, though? I love it as much as I’ve ever loved anything from wyenra, and there’s no way that I was going to do anything but hold it up and demand that you love it, too. Continue reading

This Is a Sound of Hope

So Minna no Kodomo-chan are tottering into an uncertain future. This has been a savage year for graduations and disbandments, so it follows that we could toss a few more heartbreaks onto the proverbial woodchipper of our emotions and further dilute a scene that, in what feels like the blink of an eye, went from astonishingly diverse to increasingly monochromatic. Sucks.

But yes, we did lose HAMIDASYSTEM, only to gain a new HAMIDASYSTEM, and I’m going to put it out there that “Kizu no Oto” here is probably exactly the track that I needed to hear this morning:

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I Have Happy Feelings about This New One from C-Style

Once upon a time, C-Style held this almost mythic quality for me. They were “out there” in the sense that you’d see their name associated with all of these events, they were known for slapping their fans after gigs, they had this weird samurai thing going on, etc., but they were also kind of inaccessible in that they were a tough group to find in a music-and-or-video sense. I eventually got all of that sorted out, and they were one of my “performance” favorites — I liked the idea of them and what they did far more than was warranted by the limited musical media I could get to — and I made what felt like good-faith efforts to promote them.

That was a long time ago! Like literal years! Since then, reality and the impositions of life have made ol’ C-Style part of the Post If You Can cohort of idol notables. In other words, if they ain’t releasing, I’m a terrible follower and not posting, and this being well-established chika idol, it usually means maybe two posts a year, at best. But this time, friends? We’re breaking a record since the last one.

That’s right! There’s a new single (out when? who knows!), and that begets a new MV, and this is Monday and it’ll put you in a good mood, so watch it: Continue reading

Maison Book Girl Absolutely Crushed This One

Well, right here in this very spot today, gang, was supposed to be this big primer post for the Tokyo Idol Festival, who to see and where and when. You’ve seen them before if you’ve been around for a while. They’re usually fun to put together, doubly so because they inform how I’m going to be taking in the festival myself, via completely legal and legitimate means and don’t you dare suggest otherwise ha. But like so much else these past several months, that fell by the wayside for want of time. Boo.

Good thing for us that one of the very best things in all of idol this year (and frankly maybe last year too) hit the waves a couple of days ago, and while it took me a couple of days to catch up to it, what Maison book girl is doing here is one of their all-time best things, aurally on point and as perfect a visual accompaniment as you’re likely to get, period. I mean, just soak this in:

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I Got a Bug for buGG

I haven’t been following buGG as closely as I probably should*, but I enjoyed them enough out of the gate to keep them in my regular “check up on these girls” queue, and I couldn’t have been happier with how they rewarded that yesterday, especially so in the context of the post immediately preceding this one. But for buGG: They have an EP out next week, and while they’ve been fairly tight-lipped about the contents, here’s some, and if isn’t a straight-up palate cleanser, I don’t know what is:

Cool that they filmed this at the same location as my last camping trip, apparently

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I Don’t Think I Have the Energy to Give This Osaka Shunkashuto Post a Good Title

The hardest part of being a fancy idol blogger is definitely dealing with the disappointments. I’ve pointed out in the past to absolutely zero objection that, if we’re all being honest, a lot of the people covered in this space aren’t terribly talented, and the music, though it undoubtedly has appeal for someone somewhere, just isn’t all that exceptional — but those aren’t the disappointing things. What’s disappointing is when a project is cool and fresh and smart, and the idols have great individual talents that align perfectly with the concept, and it all coalesces into something really great … that then, almost always for bottom-line business decisions, get reduced to a soulless husk. That is disappointment, and it kills your want-to as a blogger.

All that being said, Osaka Shunkashuto, who once upon a time did this, have a new EP coming out next week, and they released an MV, and the song is from that FAIRY TAIL anime that most notably BiSH also contributed theme music to, and stupid me got hype about the release for a minute before I hit play and: Continue reading