You may have seen the news that, for the first time in more than four years, Osaka Shunkashuto* is losing a member. That’s sad for them! But it also rekindled a thread of discussion in Team chat last week about Syukasyun, about whether they are in fact still good or are now boring. I thought this warranted investigation!
Background: I loved Osaka Shunkashuto. During that formative I-want-to-hear-it-all period, my first exposure to them was the incomparable “C’mon!”. Of course I wanted to hear a lot more from them after that. Sure, the indie work wasn’t all hits, but that era of the group, doing fun rock covers and channeling throwback R&B and soul in a way that nobody else was while old boss Soezimax helped them develop gripping video content, they felt undeniable and inevitable.
You know who else loves Osaka Shunkashuto? Chris does. I recall that some of our earliest interactions were about the group, including during the period that I believe began in earnest only after they signed with Avex but maybe during the time with Fujiyama Project, which is when the shade began. Not from Chris; oh no, the man is a true believer. From me, you see, and I feel like my increasing frustration with the group that really began around the “New Me” single and definitely peaked with the SSFW album was perhaps a little too pointed and vocal, for Chris would chastise me for it. He would also insist that no matter how much kvetching I did, SSFW was in fact good and fun.
Nonetheless, this argument was broached against last week, when Chris asserted (no, I will not give you context) that if only we/I would give Syukasyun another chance (now, at least two years since I wrote them off forever), then we/I would see the truth. That this was asserted in the context of allowing that yes, the case was undermined by recent-est work, only served to embolden my commitment to the assertion that SSFW is boring. However, being the kind and generous and extremely handsome Maniac that I am, I deigned to quite literally hear the two competing arguments as to whether Osaka Shunkashuto is boring and then render a flawless, beautiful verdict that cannot ever be questioned.
Bring on the evidence! Continue reading
It is incumbent upon those of us who like to follow newly emerged loudol acts to continuously follow those newly emerged loudol acts. Some make it easier than others, yes, and there are always plenty whose inevitable two-months-later demise elicits the “Oh no! Anyway” meme more than any actual upset, but I think it’s necessary for a person in my exalted position to routinely revisit the promising newbies, try to drive some energy their way, bolster the ol’ get-up-and-go, you know?
So, among my personal favorite 2020 debuts that I was kind of late to the party on we have Hikicomo Teikoku, the shut-in idols whose very existence is so meta that I can barely stand it. They have a new single, obviously, or rather did two weeks ago, but I haven’t done a thing yet to make you all want to hear it or potentially later buy it from them, so let’s talk about it, and also check in more while we’re at it! Continue reading
Cheese and rice, it’s Wednesday? How did that happen? And where the hell has all of the cool new idol stuff been this week? That’s usually what gets the posting gears going, and once they start then it’s a lot easier to pick up a Let’s Discover or something otherwise waiting in the queue for an easier opportunity. BUT WHATEVER. I’ve had this track from Satanic Punish sitting in my personal New list on Spotify because I was afraid that if I played it, it would go away and I’d forget, so let’s talk about it.
I mean, first things being first, we have established that Satanic Punish owns, and that they should have way more fans and attention than they do. Great, good job. The second and more immediate piece of business is listening to this song, which they teased back at the turn of the year, but for the sake of argument let’s pretend is happening completely anew all of us, so we enjoy together as a team effort:
I can’t even remember why I wrote “Himego” in my little running notes document — smartphones! — a few days ago, but it definitely did act as a prompt to look up the never-followed-enough-come-on-you-guys HIMEGOTOZETTAICHI and have several lovely surprises in a row, and I’m going to share them with you even though the first has been completely ruined by the post title.
First! Holy hell, of course there’s a physical release on the way, but I had no idea that Himegoto was dropping digital singles all over the virtual airwaves, like almost one every two weeks since the start of the year:
Good morning! I don’t have a whole lot to say by way of intro because I want to do most of the work in the next post that just so happens to be a milestoner, so I’ll refrain from the observances. Instead, let’s acknowledge the we get the rare weekend Valentine’s Day this year … while in the middle of an unrelenting pandemic and the dead of (northern hemisphere) winter with various assaults by cold and ice in the mix. DID YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENED IN TEXAS! People shouldn’t be allowed to drive. If you’re valentinesing it this weekend, have fun and be safe.
And now to avoid getting too deep into reflections and stuff, let’s get to it!
Abrupt Shifts Are the Work of Lazy Minds
Well this was originally going to be a different post about not all of the things in it, but some of the things, yes, which is an excellent lesson in why it can be good to wait — completely unintended consequences of the thing you didn’t even mean to do can work out!
Which brings us to GRATIA-ALA, for whom I’ve always had a nice packet of love tucked back in the chika-reserved corner of my heart, but from whom we don’t always get a ton of media. Well, friends, let me tell you that we are currently in a glut — yes, a glut! — of GRATIA-ALA video, and I see no reason to further forestall getting into that.
The first, the most recent? My personal favorite:
Well gang, I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to discover all of the idols worth discovering this year before the gate closes in a couple of weeks, so let’s expedite
all of my personal favorites only the very best toward the front of the line.
A few weeks ago, while doing that thing where you look at the bills from random taibans for idols you haven’t heard of yet, and drawn like a moth to flame by the magic word “idolcore,” I went on a little riff through as-yet-unknown-to-me Osaka-area idols and found myself staring one act right in the face. Their name sounded kind of cutesy, but the limited photography of them didn’t line up with that. I figured, hey, part of why I’m doing this is to have something new to listen to for a little while, let’s see what it’s like. And oh my friends, what a good decision that turned out to be:
That’s Sugarpills, and on the strength of two whole songs they might be my favorite debut this year. Continue reading
The best way to discover idols, I’m told, is to follow Homicidols Dot Com; the next best way to discover idols, then, must be to do it organically by endlessly scrolling social media while bored and/or avoiding other obligations; and the worst way of course is to get referrals from your friends. Yes, this is all on the up-and-up.
But yeah, I can’t tell you exactly how Re:INCARNATION came into my life a couple of months ago, save for it being one of those times that a tweet from one thing got pushed into my feed because other people had liked it (see: anybody who follows Viz Major always having gravure in your feed!), and one thing led to another:
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
It came as a significant surprise to me that the idol group sitting as subject of this post, who you have by now successfully identified as DIE/NING, has previously received a single solitary mention on Homicidols Dot Com, and at that merely a Weekender item as opposed to even a compulsory getting-to-know-you post. Homicidols Dot Com sincerely regrets the error!
I’m not here today to make up for lost time or anything; I presume that if you need to know DIE/NING, you are then in fact already aware of them, as this weird-ass project has been around for goodness knows how long in one form or another. Not a lot needs to be said! So let’s tell this story as simply as possible. Continue reading