Well … okay, so it’s mid-February, actually. But yeah, February 1, 2016, was the day I chose to flick the lights on for this ol’ website. I’d been “building it” for several months at that point, collecting assets and planning out a content strategy and the like, and then started writing a backlog of posts in October 2015. I hadn’t quite sussed out how Idol Twitter worked, nor had I found more than a handful of other Westerners to try to connect to, but I had a mission and a fairly decent idea of how to accomplish it.
On that first day, I think I had something like 5 total page views, and they were frankly probably all bots and/or people googling “Kuromiya Rei”. Because I have a background in analytics, I’d hover over the numbers in the early going, checking in at least once per day, trying to measure what did and didn’t work, what people did and didn’t seem to respond to. Not so much because I was trying to have a Popular Idol Blog or anything, but because dammit, I’m actually kind of a professional, and if I was going to do this thing I was going to do it right. There was an objective, after all: LEVERAGE WESTERNERS’ GROWING FASCINATION WITH BABYMETAL TO GET THEM TO LIKE BIS AND STUFF TOO.
I have no idea if that was ever actually successful. Yeah, there are anecdotes from people who are like “I saw a thing on YouTube and liked it and Googled it and I found your website and now I have a Zenkimi tattoo,” but how many are there really. My personal measure of success was always going to be whether a handful of certain acts came to the Americas and/or Europe/West Asian/Africa to perform, and while we’ve been so graced to welcome NECRONOMIDOL and Yukueshirezutsurezure and Oyasumi Hologram and 2& and Yanakoto Sotto Mute and even Chiaki, bless her, to Western shores*, I am shamed to say that not a one of the groups that I originally tagged for U.S. appearances has actually done so yet despite some of them being fairly significant acts not just in Japan but elsewhere in Asia.
So has the project failed? In that regard, it really has! But with five full years under our belts, and really just an absolute ton of development in idol and the fandom and even how casuals connect to it, I think that’s worth talking about a little, no? Continue reading
Oyasumi Hologram’s been kind of quiet lately, and that stands to reason in times like these (Kanamil’s birthday notwithstanding), but as always be careful what you wish for, as quiet can also be a harbinger of bad things. And so it was when I perked up earlier at seeing a new tweet from OyaHolo official, which was precisely the wrong damn reaction to have to seeing this particular tweet:
In other words, 8-chan’s out effective tomorrow — as a friend, not a foe, and will probably be around to some extent — but OYSM now consists just of Kanamil, and what that future looks like is up for discussion. Continue reading
I think a lot of people have been generally optimistic, albeit somewhat apprehensive to totally give in, when it comes to New BiS. I’ve personally been very willing to embrace them on their own terms (I dig the music quite a bit, after all), though whether I could always take them seriously as a thing called “BiS” has nagged at me. And so far, the release of ANTi CONFORMiST SUPERSTAR has followed that pattern perfectly, with perfectly solid music that I’d happily accept from just about any other idol, but this weird feeling that it’s just not BiS.
And then today, to commemorate the release of the EP, they drop the “full, 5-hour version” of the MV for “CURTAiN CALL”, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s five hours (well, like 5:02:22) of “CURTAiN CALL” on loop, interminably repeated until the arbitrarily selected interval of time had been reached, the members singing and dancing with surprisingly little flagging the entire time. Just:
Hit play, then mark the point at which you get tired of the song … and then imagine how the BiS members felt at the same time
A lot of people took a deep breath when this popped out the other day:
I think we all anticipated the other shoe to drop in that timeframe, and last night did/not disappoint: Continue reading
Good lord, never take a break from a hobby that involves constant evolution of the subject. I just learned — by accident* that WORL’S END is actually reboot/branded Marionet, which upon that revelation makes all the sense in the world and I’m simultaneously laughing and looking for a bucket of paint to drown myself in out of humiliation.
It was a pretty hot post, though, you guys. I won’t share all of its remnants because I’m not a masochist, but it involved repeated declarations of having no prior knowledge of this idol thing that had been around for a couple of years, and outright disbelief at that fact because “I like to think that I had almost all idols of note doing the Fat Wreck Chords thing prior to mid-2019 at least referenced in some memory hole somewhere” which, wew. Yeah. And it was all celebratory about this tweet that I will reference here with no other commentary but may as well at least acknowledge so that you can see the source of my (today’s) idiocy.
The real tragedy here is that I don’t get to use this sentence:
if you ever wanted that guitar tone played like the soundtrack to the kewlest caffeine-free pool party of the summer between your sophomore and junior years of high school, and then added only the shiniest, happiest vocals possible on top of it, friend, you got yourself a stew going right here
In reference to the actual thing that spawned me writing this in the first place:
Although, hey, it looks like I did get to write it, and with context! Holla!
I am an embarrassment to this profession. Cancel Homicidols. Feh.
*It involved the phrase “Oh shit, that’s Fumimi”
The beautiful thing with THE BANANA MONKEYS is that they never fail to stress out and confuse me.
Translation by the wonderful Pat
To be filed under “Items That Maybe Should Be in the Weekender But Naw” comes this tale that I just now removed from said Weekender because I was looking at it and thinking to myself, nothing about this makes me think that it’s either that big a deal nor not a deal at all, and sometimes stupid things need to be demonstrated as being stupid.
So the story, such as it is, is encapsulated in a very low-key way in this blog post from the Cursed Idols:
tl;dr version: Chunpi was quietly carrying on a relationship of some sort with some fan, against the rules, and was caught and apologized in that unique way that only idols can and cleared up with the fan that this totes wasn’t romance bro and everybody walks away feeling just fine, with producer-san vowing to keep a tighter leash on things. Continue reading
Well, that happened.
Much like the rest of the western WACK fandom, my feelings on this are complicated, but I think it can be summarized in three main points:
- Oh, Watanabe, please, stop feeding me so much Friday Fun fuel, I just made a WACK fun last week!
- Whatever happened to “I can’t handle more than four groups,” now you’re going to try your hand at running an entire UK Secondary School too? Good luck.
- CALLED IT.
It’s Memorial Day here in the USA, amigos, which in addition to military this-and-that (and gods help me, Rolling Thunder) means that it’s also National Hamburger Day, which means that it’s also Maniac Is Going to Eat a Lot of Meat and Drink a Lot of Beer Day. There’s solemnity, naturally (the whole memorial business), but also the unofficial start to summer, so ergo fun, and while I love me this site and idols and everything, I want to keep it light.
So what better way to do that than by resurrecting a stupid contest thing that people seem to enjoy! Continue reading
I didn’t watch the WACK Expo. After the thing had been announced, and the overall shape of the auditions made, it was pretty obvious how the whole shebang would be conducted and concluded, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I allowed myself to selectively enjoy the auditions from extra-afar, taking it all in via Twitter and the occasional side conversation; once my girl Trivago was finally, mercifully euthanized, I didn’t care enough to even do that.
When I woke up today, the event was all in the past. Things had been done, reactions had, tears shed, etc. Was Twitter buzzing? It sure was! Were the takes flying? They sure were!
And all according to plan. Like any good wota, this is our moment to MIX, to respond to the ainote, to play our part in the interactive ritual that is being an idol fan. We happily separate ourselves from our money to experience closely controlled environments of put-on cruelty and manicured triumphs. We call out the things that are bad or stupid, and hand over cash, attention and appearances of generalized support in exchange. We are all incredibly easy marks.
Anyway, what happened: Continue reading