I remember coming back from hiatus last summer and getting run through the various goings-on in idol over those several months out. Graduations? So many! Debuts? Some good ones! Almost the entire membership of an iconic chika unit graduating en masse, reuniting with an old friend and starting something completely new? True as can be!
So yeah, following MANACLE from what you might call a curious distance for the last little while has been an interesting experience. Once I heard that the tea spilled over Okaki et al’s exodus was pretty tepid, I settled myself into a “this is fine” kind of scenario, like not really caring how or why but just accepting the reality of it all and hoping for the best overall. NECRONOMIDOL has obviously had some challenges; MANACLE, despite the circumstances, is plugging along and building momentum, and the release of their first album is occasion for a real-deal MV to show off what they can do:
That’s some quality work right there. You don’t hear quite so much of this take on idorock so much anymore, like it’s on the heavier end without being heavy-heavy, and it’s synthy enough that you might mentally file it under some kind of -wave designation, and it’s got a great hook that practically makes you give up and call it a pop song. Give me more of it, preferably via IV. Continue reading
They warned us! MANACLE, that is; they did it right and built anticipation for the dropping of two new tracks (which was actually yesterday, sue me), which you should go find and listen to via the streamer of your choice, and then let’s all get back together to talk about them, okay? Okay.
I’ll take “Huhen to Huhen” over “Cursed EXIT” myself, but I wouldn’t be mad at you for going in the opposite — I am a well-established stan for jangly guitar in idol rock songs, and “Huhen” reminds me a lot of the musical moves that were prevalent in 2014 and 15 when I was first getting into this stuff. “EXIT” is cool as a dance track, period, regardless of whether anybody intended that for it.
I was worried that MANACLE wasn’t for me because they didn’t immediately leap out of Spotify and promise to enslave my soul like a certain original group. But that’s okay! So far, so good, and they’re steadily producing for their fans, so we’ll no doubt be seeing plenty more from them as time goes on.
This is a three-day, holiday weekend in Japan with the observation of Respect for the Aged Day on Monday. I can’t think of a better way to show our great esteem for the elderly among us than with some chika idol livestreams. There are lots of options on The Calendar, but here are our top recommendations:
Two of the best units going, NaNoMoRaL and Shihatsu-machi Underground, start off the weekend with the latest installment of the beyond excellent Tribu .pre live series over on Twitcasting.tv.
In perhaps the most anticipated debut of the year, MANACLE held their inaugural performance this weekend. Their introductory set premiered two songs and employed the old punk practice of playing their best song twice. The best part, of course, was seeing Okaki, Ray and Hina performing on the same stage again. Newcomer Maon also impressed.