Is This Curtains for NEO JAPONISM?

Go ahead and read the title again in the narrator voice from Batman, you know you want to

Well if this isn’t something that I had no desire to follow up on (for sads reasons) and usually don’t even post all that much anymore (for other reasons), but I’ll be danged if I’m going to miss out on an opportunity to publicly air my own dang feelings about a group that I really enjoy probably going the way of like 99 percent of all idol things in history and calling it quits. But: As mentioned before in the Weekender, NEO JAPONISM fairly ominously tweeted about half of the membership needing a break. And today:

Yikes. I mean, that doesn’t outright say “The group is done peace out ya fools,” but it doesn’t look good. Not at all. And it’s just left hanging there in the timeline without supporting information one way or another — the tweet immediately preceding is about a live performance! That is apparently canceled! And we never got that promised update about the members’ status! Unless this is it, and it’s really bad news!

Should I be mercifully incorrect, I’ll be very happy to post that there is a future for one of the coolest and more innovative loudol units going, but I don’t really anticipate that, you know? It’s not really a good sign when they start to offer you refunds!

So, BiS Disbanded, Again

Welp, so BiS just disbanded for a second time.

The initial announcement of their disbandment back in March wasn’t really given much coverage on Homicidols, since it also happened to collide with a gazillion other things both in idol and our personal lives, but I think the general reaction of the announcement was certainly one of anger, confusion, and betrayal. It came straight off the heels of the annual shitstorm that is the WACK audition, in which multiple members (and Trivago, back for more) were fired on the spot for what was ultimately a frustrating sideshow. The remaining members had finally had enough and called it quits, with Watanabe immediately holding casting calls for a third incarnation of BiS mere minutes after the previous audition had even ended. Looking back, it was probably a good thing that none of us were able to write about WACK EXHiBiTiON in the end as the resulting article would probably have just been a mess of all-caps angrish and thinly-veiled threats of revenge towards Watanabe. Continue reading

HAMIDASYSTEM, Rebooted

Ah, friends, the day has arrived! With their official debut as part of Gyuno Fes (today!), my personal Idol of the Year for 2018 who like immediately afterwards announced a mass graduation and then a soft reboot with new members and I say soft because 3/4 of the old members just went on to a new project with the same management, so okay, HAMIDASYSTEM is back!

Go ahead and play the match-faces-with-names game!

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The More Tsurezure Things Change, the More Things Tsurezure the Same

When the Idol Known in English as Not Secured, Loose Ends But Still at Home as Yukueshirezutsurezure Yeah I Can Still Type It teased out a noontime Sunday something yesterday, one could have been forgiven for thinking the worst. In a year’s time, two of the group’s most stalwart members had departed, a ton of previous momentum lost, and while fans have embraced the new order no matter how bitter their tears, I think disappointment is something that we’ve just come to expect from this powerfully underrated outfit.

And instead, thank heavens, it was the MV for their latest “Odd eye” single and not only is that a huge relief, but what a showing out of the new lineup:

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Um… What?

The beautiful thing with THE BANANA MONKEYS is that they never fail to stress out and confuse me.

Translation by the wonderful Pat below:
 

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Owaranaide, Yoru Takes Us Beyond the Night Sky Indeed

Misanthropic post-pop nightstalkers Owaranaide, Yoru are very much on the move, gang, and I feel like a group that’s been teasing a ton of potential since their debut last fall in the aftermath of the original Candye Syrup is reaching that point where their pot bubbleth over. Today is a smorgasbord of good things.

First, and frankly quite importantly for getting a better feel for their total aesthetic, their first real-deal MV:

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Wagamama Rakia Will Release a Sincerely Big-ass Album

Being a Fancy Idol Blogger in the year 10 AB* means keeping up with the latest technologies to follow an ever-moving industry. This is fine. Notifications via various media are the only way to keep it all together. Where this becomes a problem is when you’re clearing up said notifications in a hurry and see certain phrases and OMG WHAT’S THAT! happens.

Such was the case on Sunday morning, as I cleared out a round of various performance schedules and RTs of fans’ effusive praise and the like and saw “Starting Over” dead center on a new tweet from Wagamama Rakia. I of course panicked (who wouldn’t?) and assumed the worst (the only rational reaction) and wondered aloud which of the current three members would be part of the new regime and all.

Then I bothered to actually look up the message in question and saw that, Oh, that was actually just the name of their one-man with the kind-of-new lineup, and it’s like their new theme: Continue reading

The Cycle of Life in Aqbi Idols, Part Deux

It feels like we just did this

In keeping with today’s apparent theme, let’s take a few minutes to acknowledge the death of one of the true giants of our scene and the life that’s springing forth from that destruction.

The other day, THERE THERE THERES held their final performance, a joint show with their longtime besties in You’ll Melt More!(.) You can and should watch the literal whole thing:

Heck, here’s a bunch of photos, too: Continue reading

This Is Where le biglemoi Stands Now

A little while back, if you’ll recall, I had an itch of curiosity about a once-up-and-comer from the chika ranks, a certain le biglemoi, and decided to look them up. The timing was good! The group was reshuffling and re-starting, and had some new music to share.

Flash forward to yesterday, when I was trying to contribute to a project of Kerrie’s and was wracking my brain for idols that fit a certain description, and remembered le biglemoi and again found myself looking at their feed, which was … well, frankly, not all that exciting. It was like nothing had happened since the last time, and that’s fine, man, idol needs to idol on its own time sometimes.

However, as it turned out, in this case I was actually a tiny bit early, and le biglemoi had some stuff to share, just a few hours after I’d arrived:

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Despair Not for the Dissolution of our Dearest Dots

Before dashing off this article too briskly, I took in the last evening to ponder yesterday’s announcement that the dot-chans have scheduled what will be their final live, do a little research to understand what I could, and also to reflect on where we go in a world without the beloved shoegaze idols we’ve come to know.

I know that most all of you who follow the group are already aware of the impending closure, because I heard from a number of you about it, some in personal messages, and others from reading your reactions online. It speaks to the unique specialness of this group in the way many of you expressed your thoughts with a feeling of personal loss and perhaps a sense of disappointment. Oshi-loss, as Kerrie refers to it, is a very real emotional reaction when you’ve connected to an idol who’s graduating or a group that’s dissolving. And although these dot-chans have largely maintained a sort of aloof anonymity, they still touched a part of each of us fans. It’s also very notable to point out, as this article from Matt Bedford of Muso Japan demonstrates, that the group succeeded in gaining followers outside of idol circles.

I did reach out to Japanese fans, and I also read the group’s blog entry containing the chan’s statements. I can tell you that amongst the fans, the announcement was a surprise, and there is no obvious tangible reason for the dissolution that’s been given. I can also tell you that the dot girls of Tokyo are going to remain just as mysterious as they’ve been right up to the end. Everyone is very much remaining in character, and I not only appreciate that, but I love that that’s how they’re going out. The more I think about it, I’m less interested in finding out the “why”, and more interested in celebrating what we knew. In their blog statements, the members of the group seem to be upbeat and positive to travel into their futures. I get no sense of sadness.

The group’s primary manager/producer/visionary also kept the mythology going, explaining that the ethereal manifestations that took the shape of girls will inhabit those forms for only a limited amount of remaining time, and then the end of that time on Earth is here. The dot-chans were always meant to be impermanent, and so they move on to new planes of existence.

If you really want my non-mythology theory, I believe the dots are disbanding for the very best of reasons: Because they’ve largely achieved what they set out to do. Now they can go explore new things in their lives which may or may not include obsessive fans and metaphysical concepts. (There’s also the matter of this being a nearly no-profit industry, but I think that’s a given with most art-driven projects.) Some time ago, it was hinted that there was a new project underway that I thought was going to be a sister-group to the Dot-chans. That project is still happening. So far, almost nothing has been revealed about it except that it’s continuing the innovative high art concepts that Dots have broken ground with. I believe a torch is being passed, and it’ll be exciting to see what’s coming as this new project takes a tangible shape.

I want to tell you dear people reading this: Do not anticipate this event with despair, but rather look forward to the new things to come. Don’t miss the Dots with sadness, but remember them fondly with affection. This is the way of things, and like a passing satellite in the sky, it’s something you should cherish for simply having seen it.

The dot-chans will have their final live on March 24. They will also have additional activities building up to the last show. And since they still have unreleased recorded material and more songs, including another great tune written by Azusa Suga of For Tracy Hyde, (The video posted above!) I also suspect that they’ll have some more musical output to be consumed as well. I know the fans will support the group to the fullest and send them off in celebratory style, because they deserve it.

Now let’s thank Dots for what they gave us and wish them the very best.