As noted in the Weekender, yeah, it’s Halloween season, and while idol Halloween is arguably the best event on the Idolverse calendar, what’s inarguable is that it’s just plain not going to seem right this year. Our pandemic-riddled world may be getting better at finding ways to be “normal” (whatever that means) and getting back to business, and that’s true of idol too, but there just isn’t going to be the same concentration of events, the same impetus to have costumed lives and the like, and maybe the mood’s even off. I don’t know! I just know that this is usually the time when we start to see the holiday-appropriate videos and photo galleries come along, and so far I haven’t seen too much.
But that being said, hey, here’s one of my favorite groups come along with what I’m going to call the first unofficial anthem of idol Halloween largely because of my own biases and because doing so confirms them! But yeah, it’s NEO JAPONISM and something that I think they’re doing just because they can: Continue reading
Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.
Whether you have already invested in tickets to Tokyo Idol Festival Online or are considering the reasonably hefty purchase, we have prepared the following resources for you. Continue reading
After a few false starts, I finally get around to writing up something approximating a review for “NEO JAPONISM’s new album” that would only have been accurate if I’d waited a minute to include the second album released a mere week later, and then subsequently two additional tracks that appear on neither album but did get MVs. Correct — I waited myself into complete uncertainty as to what or when anything would happen, and then lost impetus for the project. But now that I think we’re safe from any extra releases, why not dig in and actually talk about this stuff? Continue reading
Gee whiz, gang, now that I’m alive again, which idol should I write about first? I know! Let’s put the giant-ass index that D built into a tumbler and pull out something at random!
/puts giant-ass index into tumbler
///tips tumbler over
Oh no, what have I done
////rifles through entered idol names until I find the one I want
What a random coincidence! It looks like I get to write about NEO JAPONISM again! Continue reading
When the Best of 2019 opens up this week, friends, I fully expect that you’re all going to join me in smashing that vote button for NEO JAPONISM as Best Reboot. They are clearly the best and also recency bias is a brutal fact of our lives, so brutal that you are helpless against it, not to mention helpless before my very persuasive arguments. In fact, the great crime being perpetuated by this year’s voting is that none of these new NEO JAPONISM pieces are in the running for other awards despite their clear superiority to everything. Including this new one that’s technically eligible for all awards because it’s still November for a few hours!
Fight for the Right to what, though
Just listen to that. That’s basically everything good and right in loudol — creative structure, aggressive, pop hook that somehow doesn’t take anything away from the sheer volume, another dang breakdown — and I’m absolutely beside myself that something so good and right exists in my world, a reminder of the peak of what idol can do.
I’ll tell you, if 2019 is remembered as being as bad as it usually feels in real time, I want to be the person who’s all “yeah but did you hear some of the really awesome music that happened anyway AND ESPECIALLY THE NEO JAPONISM THAT SAVED CHRISTMAS?!” After returning to life just over a week ago in what’s rapidly emerging as my favorite event of this otherwise godsforsaken year, NEO JAPONISM has even more jaw-kicking idolcore for us, and friends, I don’t know where they’re going with this, but I’m officially along for the ride:
God damn. God DAMN. I’m not completely sold on marrying that chorus to the verses, but this is the kind of hook to the face that I used to delight in finding back when idol was so new and exciting and nobody had yet invented the word “Codomocore”. FFS, it has a goddamn breakdown in it, albeit one that fits the material more than the occasional wedged-in instances that are often more laughable than laudable.
A week ago, I was loudly demanding that NEO JAPONISM be worked into the Best Of mechanisms and then waving last week’s post in everybody’s face to make sure I was being heard; today, I feel like I’m ready to give them all of the awards (even the ones that don’t pertain!) just so for vindication’s sake. What an absolutely gorgeous return to life they’re giving us.
Everybody’s done the heartbreak thing this year, it seems. Groups and individual idols have dropped like flies, literal icons of the business and the tiniest of unknown chika acts as well closing up shop or undergoing massive changes almost as if they all know something we don’t. I’ve personally had my share of blank-eyed staring into the distance at one bit of news or another, and one that I definitely didn’t make enough hay about when it happened was NEO JAPONISM.
For about a year, they were arguably my favorite thing in the business, this hard-rocking, all-out unit that didn’t pull any punches and seemed to make a mark every time they released something into the world. They were just a really fun group to follow, although harder in a lot of ways to love right because there was so much else going on. But did I miss a chance to lavish praise on them? Absolutely not. And so earlier this year when the ~original~ group disbanded in the kind of mass graduation that has been so typical of 2019, I was kind of floored. Unlike all of the other instances, though, manager-san immediately set the record straight and announced that NEO JAPONISM as a thing wasn’t going anywhere, and there would be a reboot on the near horizon. That gives one hope, which gives one optimism, and when little bits of info started to trickle out, it started to become real.
And that’s where we land now! Here are the members: Continue reading
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!
I like to write posts backwards sometimes. Start with the product, then react to it, then try to contextualize and/or frame, depending. Yes, I realize that The Craft of Blogging isn’t what you’re here for — I’m bringing it up, you impatient nerd, because this is a really good example of how sometimes the intro defies you, so all you can do is start typing and … there it is! Thanks for joining me.
I was listening to this one and I felt this weir twinge of “man, can you even imagine what the idol world would be like without NEO JAPONISM in it?” Which was really weird unto itself, given that they’re still kind of new, you know? But it made me realize that this surprisingly hard-charging group has been responsible for a surprisingly large amount of my favorite idol stuff over the past year and change, and that I always appreciate getting more of it but never really seem to express just how much I appreciate it.
So here goes: I could not be happier or more thankful to have this new one from NEO JAPONISM, and by new I mean that they’re just dusting it off for this tour that they’re on!
Hot dang! Continue reading
For that handful of us that gets irrationally excited every time NEO JAPONISM does something cool and good (for instance right here), this latest stumble-upon of their legitimately impressive, never-disappointing work is really one to pay attention to. Yes, it’s a deviation from what we’re used to from them; yes, at that same time it’s arguably the best thing they’ve put out, and that’s really saying something. Listen to this!
This is just the first entry in a six-day marathon of content drops. I’m kind of annoyed at myself for missing the first few days, in fact, given that this all happened on Friday and the thereafter is littered with excellent live MVs from their Christmas Eve show at Shinjuku Blaze:
What else are we going to get? Whatever it is, it’ll be a treat, and I’ll continue to kick myself for not pushing this always-rising group harder as a real breakout candidate for 2019. Everything they do is at minimum good and often outsizedly impressive.