REIRIE, the most highly anticipated, and surprising, new unit of 2023 dropped their debut MV yesterday. REIRIE marks the reunion of two of the most highly revered talents in chika idol, Rei Kuromiya and Rie Kaneko, who first endeared themselves to the world with LADYBABY. The re-assembly of this well-loved duo was announced on New Years Day, which makes the title of their first single entirely appropriate for this Year of the Rabbit.
We are nearing the time when we start wrapping up 2022 which, as I’ve mentioned a few times in the Weekender over the past few months, could be dubbed The Year of the Solo Project. While we saw an enormous increase in the number of new idol projects in general versus the last couple of years, the sheer number of idols striking out on their own was something new and particularly noticeable.
The origins of chika idol are not well documented, at least in readily available, English language sources, but the apocryphal tales out of the late 90s are of solo, self-produced idols trying to attract audiences to small, basement stages of clubs in Akihabara. Perhaps it was the self reflection driven by the isolation of COVID that kindled a desire in so many idols to stand on stage alone and turn the genre back to it’s fabled roots. Whatever the reason behind the phenomenon, the end results have been pretty stellar.
Ilie is a solo project of Rie Kaneko who we know and love as the only original member of LADYBABY whose tenure lasted for the duration of the unit. At some point after hanging up the leather and lace of her former death pop group, Rie signed on with the ultra-hip ekoms production and management company (home of Qumali Depart, CROSSNOESIS and the dearly missed Maison book girl). She debuted as Ilie back in July with this MV for “aimai”.