Our story starts on the morning of the concert. I had been doing a spot of sightseeing in Bologna…
I promise that I will never look away again.
On Team Homicidols, we’ve been distracted a lot lately by art house groups and hi-concept math-punk units or idols that make you stare at your shoes and weep. But now that we gazed so hard at ・・・・・・・・・ that they vanished back into the ether from whence they came, it might be best to sink back into basics for a little while. Like a nice, simple “you got chocolate in my peanut butter” blend of J-pop and Metal.
I wonder what LADYBABY has been up to?
Screaming, growling, rapping, clean choruses and djenty guitars: that’s some back-to-fundamentals kawaii nu-metal right there, and a perfect illustration of how Team LADYBABY have stayed relevant though all of the unit’s formations and turmoil. They get the basics right and they do it incredibly well. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially when the output is this ferocious and enjoyable.
I have a feeling that this MV will earn stock-image status for any future profiles of alternative idol. It’s practically iconic.
This new release has especially got to excite everyone heading to Monster of Dolls next month in Italy as this track is going to be an absolute banger live.
LADYBABY – MELONBATAKE A GO GO – JYUJYU – SARI – ERIKO…
— Monster Of Dolls (@monster_dolls) February 19, 2019
Just a few months ago, Homicidols published a profile of fans-turned-promoters bringing alternative idols to the Western World. Looking back now, the article is a bit embarrassingly anglo-centric. Unbeknownst to us at the time, a group of Italian-speaking fans were putting the finishing touches on their own considerable efforts to launch an alt-idol festival in Italy. When the final lineup for the event was revealed in mid-February, it was clear that there was a new and significant player in the business of importing underground Japanese idol to the West.
Seemingly overnight, the hardol diaspora had grown another tendril.
On May 11th in Bologna, Italy, Monster of Dolls will play host to alt-idol A-listers LADYBABY, the Western debut of JyuJyu, and an appearance by the legendary Sari of NECRONOMIDOL fame. The event’s biggest coup, however, is scoring the first ever overseas live for perhaps the hottest chika idol act in Tokyo: Melon Batake a go go.
The appearance of this top-tier alt-idol festival, seemingly out of nowhere, was the most pleasant of surprises. Our curiosity was piqued, not just about the cost of plane tickets to Italy, but also about the festival itself, the brains behind it, and about the Italian-speaking fandom whose presence we had been totally ignorant of until now. So we reached out to our new Italian allies in the quest to bring alt-idol to the West in the hopes that we could learn all we could.
We think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Did I miss something out there? There’s been a definite feeling that LADYBABY was about to do something significant — and I very Mandela Effectively could have sworn that I’d seen an announcement for a new single in the last few days — what with the ExEx gigs going down and, I don’t know, more chatter than usual on their channels? Something was up.
It turns out that something is a new MV! With a great big contribution, performatively and creatively from Emily and from HAJIMETAL, and Rie’s fingerprints all over the production. And what a trip it is:
Folks, a new idol event has sprouted from the fertile soil of Western music fandoms, and the time has arrived for all details to be known and tickets to be available.
Monster of Dolls, a one-day event (May 11) in Bologna, Italy, is bringing as fine an assortment of idols and personalities as you can shake a stick at:
MoD 2019!! ✨
THIS IS THE FINAL LINEUP! 🔥
FOLLOW THE LINK ON OUR FACEBOOK EVENT TO BUY TICKETS! ~ LET'S GO! 😎😎😎https://t.co/IGjJSYfCtf#MoD2019 #Monsterofdolls #idol #concert #event #アイドル pic.twitter.com/X8qHensqKi
— Monster Of Dolls (@monster_dolls) February 16, 2019
Ladybaby is coming back to the ol’ USA. Such was the news that came out yesterday. Management of course tweeted about it, as did the host event, Anime Matsuri. I was like, oh man, you should blog a post for that! And then the messages started. Hoo boy, they were not good messages! People who know about things are displeased about this event and displeased about Ladybaby being at it! I of course am an ignoramus, so you only just now get to enjoy this sizzling take.
First, to recap: Ladybaby will be at Anime Matsuri in Houston in June. Are the members excited?
LADYBABY’s sort of surprise-springing this digital single on us, but I doubt that too many people are going to complain. This is a group that’s pretty much always done what they wanted, and damn the man, like they exist within this idol milieu but also somewhat apart from it. Frankly, more groups should probably operate that way!
I don’t have enough cultural context to make this work in my head, and would therefore appreciate some tutorial about why I’m wrong, but let me preface this by noting just how high my eyebrow arched when I looked at the description stuff and saw “KAWAII-DEATH” and “something something Showa era songs.” Like I don’t get entirely where they’re going with that, but … well, I presume that this is what that means:
Don’t take the title as flippant, friends: I was very limply trying to figure out what the heck was going on with this release because, you know, Ladybaby hasn’t announced a new record or anything, and nothing in the dang announcement suggests that it’s a digital single or anything. It took me a minute to realize, hey, this is from that single they released a little while back, the one with the Ladybeard collaboration, and they’re just now getting around to releasing video for it.
As a chronic procrastinator, I can relate. And as a person who can do math, I can see one thing from Oomori Seiko and then another and see a light bulb, you know? It makes its own kind of sense.
Ladybaby’s renewed, Rei-less form didn’t, I think, need to call back too hard to the group’s point of origin — it’s written all over everything they do, ever — but given that what seems like a fairly successful first release includes a third track, and hatchets can be buried and money made, it’s clear that we could all live our best lives if the updated roster could maybe get together with ol’ pal Ladybeard for an MV.
The trailer is here. I stared at my screen and contemplated whether to post now or wait; my dedication to the gods of chaos won out.
— LADYBABY (@ladybaby2015) May 30, 2018
I have no comment whatsoever.
How long ago was the Showroom or whatever live recording of the newly reformed Ladybaby’s first single hit the Idolnet? It’s been a few weeks, right? I’d nearly forgotten about it save for those wondering aloud online if the release had happened (soon!) and if there was video (also probably soon!). Me, like how I’ve been avoiding the new PassCode single like the plague until something official arrives*, I stayed away from recordings of all types because I wanted one, pure, this-is-what-we’re-doing-now full-on multimedia assault. And today, Ladybaby finally delivered:
What a weirdly put-together song! The way that thing was going, I thought it was going to crescendo toward something other than an idol death pop kind of chorus; I also expected less … pick-me-up lyrics. The overall sound (minus the harsh vocals) reminds me of something that OG Himekyun Fruit Can might have done; structurally, is anybody going to get mad if I say that I thought of Kamen Joshi? Yes? Great. “Growly days” for the win, then! Continue reading