Do You Want More Accessible Idol Merch?

Hello friends! You like idols, right? And you like idol merch, too, probably? But you don’t like how much of an expensive pain in the junk it is to acquire idol merch from Japan, do you?

I mean, some of you might be weird enough to get some kind of weird sex high from adding fee on top of time to your merch orders, but I think the vast majority of folks would prefer to:

  • Have an easier way to get idol merch
  • Have a(n arguably) cheaper way to get idol merch
  • Have a faster way to get idol merch

Fortunately, the anguished cries of gaijin wota have been heard by the fine people at Chaotic Harmony, who have been doing this kind of thing for a while with visual kei acts. They’re interested in meeting some of that Western market demand for loud, good, cool idols, too, but they need to hear from you all about what your interests and needs and whatnot are. Fortunately, they put together a survey! Continue reading

Help Me Figure out a New Dumb Thing to Do

Were you on Twitter yesterday when this happened?

Or immediately thereafter, I guess? I got a lot of feedback, all of it completely agreeable, and the reason that I say that it was agreeable rather than “a bunch of nice ideas!” or something is because, as I shortly thereafter explained:

Continue reading

Phase II Prep: Who’s Viable

It’s been a little while since I’ve referenced Phase II and made a bunch of mouth-off-shooting promises about it, but some things happened and damn it all, I only have so much time around here. But we are getting closer to being able to try out a few things, and, with the Homicidols Census results being what they were, our options are actually pretty wide open.

So. You may have seen that Maison Book Girl is in Canada:

You may also wonder why I don’t do anything with MBG on here, and the answer is a good one; ask me later

That’s great for Maison Book Girl; usually, idols need to be pretty widely popular among J-music people (or popular, period), or attachable to somebody else’s tour, to be able to visit North America. Aiming for Western audiences takes investment that, with evidence of support often lacking, is difficult to reckon in an industry with as narrow of margins as idol.

But that’s always been the point of this here website, actively connecting artists with new fans by making use of the fact that there actually are a lot of us, and we can make a difference if we’re able to work together. I’m weighing what you might call strategic considerations, how and where would be the best to connect, and there’s always the question of Who. Continue reading

YSM vs. NSD: Who Ya Got?!

Update: We have a winner!

Congratulations, NEVE SLIDE DOWN. In the minds of the readers of (12 of them!), you’re going to win this battle against your future best frenemies in Yanakoto Sotto Mute. Savor victory while it lasts!

Continue reading

BiS Kokugikan Documentary Available, and Help Choose the Next Project

Our friend boans added in the forums the other day that the BiS documentary we may have helped crowdfund has been subtitled and is ready for your eyes.*

Our crowdfunded English fansubs for BiS Road to Budokan: Kokugikan are officially ready for public consumption!

The link to the most up-to-date public release will always be here on GitHub.

You can probably right-click and save from that link, or you can download it in a zip from the GitHub repo here.

I believe the subtitles are ready for everyone to check out and share around, but you can still contribute edits and improvements at any time!

Thanks again to the donors who made it happen, and fishpockets from JPS in particular who did basically all of the timing!

The one that lives in a trash can

And now that that project is out of the way, boans has asked for input on which might be the next of these projects:

Continue reading

‘MONSTER’ vs. ‘MONSTERS’ Actually a Bloodbath

Didn’t see that one coming! A little over a week ago, I found that a joint media appearance by Q’ulle and BiSH would be a fun opportunity to pit their two similarly titled songs against one another. The results are in!

And I did not expect that! Like, BiSH is great and all, but I’ll cop to voting for Q’ulle on this one because the choruses and entire second half of “MONSTER” is as top-tier as it gets.

Maybe now you’ll feel like contributing to the power rankings?

‘MONSTER’ vs. ‘MONSTERS,’ Who Ya Got?

There was a media event yesterday that featured both BiSH and Q’ulle

… which is neat on its own. But you know what else is cool? Pitting idols against idols for our own amusement! Continue reading

#GuDroChallenge Over, a Shocking Winner, and Lessons Learned

Time to come clean: I’d been waiting for a reason to have a group vs. group competitive poll situation for a week or so, and Guso Drop inadvertently presented a prime opportunity.

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, a poll geared toward Westerners that included Babymetal in a race for Most Anything was won by Babymetal. By the time this summer is done, there’s a very good chance that they’ll have the most name recognition in the West of any Japanese artist, period, and they’re already in many ways the backbone of the international alt-idol fan scene. As such, they have a very well-built-out Internet fan presence (that’s full of people with a chip on their shoulder, but that’s not for today); as soon as the poll was shared to the Babymetal subreddit, this thing was over.


So, lesson #1: Find ways to minimize Babymetal’s influence on these things. 🙂 But there’s a tautological factor at play, too, which is that most people are going to come to this site via interest in Babymetal, at least through Phase 1 (Did I never mention that there are phases to this? There are phases to this. Why? Because I work in digital strategy and that’s a thing you can do.), so how to balance that out?

I’ll actually employ a very simple bit of statistical modeling, structured properly but with a lot of number-fudging because I don’t feel like combing the entire Internet to manually count a bunch of 1s and 2s: I’ll “adjust” the results to account for proportional exposure and size of fan base and incoming traffic sources; if you like sports, especially baseball, you’re probably familiar with the idea (ERA+, DVOA, etc.).

In the end, then, the winner is neither Babymetal (who got all the votes) nor Guso Drop (who went and started all of this), but Fruitpochette, who managed two votes despite having absolutely no real online presence. That’s cool!

Which, lesson #2: There’s more awareness and appreciation of these groups than I think we appreciate. Between me and some zealous fans, Guso Drop and Necronomidol and Babymetal supporters all got some encouragement to come and vote; other than initial tweets this morning, neither Fruitpochette nor Haloperi Doll nor Hanako-san nor BiSH (who, come on) nor Party Rockets got any promotion in this at all, but they all got a vote and ergo have at least one huge fan who’s connected with the site. Even Screaming Sixties got a write-in. Nobody took the bait on Kamen Joshi. Smart!

So, lesson #3: There’s potential to actually make this work.

If you’re reading this and made it this far, be forewarned: March Madness begins next week, and we’re going to have a little tournament of our own. I’m still working on the concept and design, so it might not launch at the same time as the NCAA tournament, but we’ll get it going. If we can get the groups to promote, it might actually be kind of fun!

GuDro Proclaims Selves Most Heaviest, Will Now Fight It out in this Poll

All right, you bunch of poll crashers, this thing is now closed. Check out the results!

In what appears to be a reaction to BiSH management banning lifting and some other wota activity at their shows, Guso Drop has flat-out declared that not only will they do no such thing, but they are “most heavy idol in the world.”

Yurapiko’s smile does kind of take the edge off the attitude in that photo, however.

That’s a bold claim! Hardcore-as-hell or not, Guso Drop, you can’t just say something like that without objection. This must be settled by blood, or an Internet poll at the very least. Continue reading