WAGAMAMA RAKIA Ain’t No Joke

The WAGAMAMA RAKIA glow-up has really been something to behold, hasn’t it? I would say that the group was always interesting, albeit kind of lost amid a ton of competition in their early years, but they did seem to be moving in the right direction by 2018. Then they add MIRI, start to shift their sound a little bit, and then last year’s WAGAMAMARAKIA effectively sealed them as major breakouts. And now look at them compared to this — Minami and Rin are still there from the beginning, but it’s effectively a completely different group doing different things and still just way the hell interesting and doing musical stuff that seems just a step beyond the cutting edge compared to their peers.

The SUPERIORITY EP has a certain victory-lap kind of feel to it in that regard. WAGAMAMARAKIA was the hey-look-at-us, and now here’s the follow-up, five more songs from guest writers that have this much more “street”* feel to them, doubling down on rapping and rocking and idoling all in equal measure — it seems like half of all new units anymore try to work in some raps no matter how incongruous, and while Wagamama may not have been the first, they did seem to emerge as the best practitioners.

The MV for the record’s lead, “JOKER”, hit this morning, and … yeah, really, you just have to experience it: Continue reading

I Like When Idol MVs Leave Me Dumbfounded

Subtitle: If Rain gets annoyed about a lot of words saying very little, he’s gonna love this one!

WAGAMAMARAKIA, who kick enormous amounts of ass and therefore it is completely acceptable to be super hype about the EP they’re releasing in a few weeks, dropped a new video yesterday. So as not to bury the lede, suffice it to say that it left me dumbfounded and still kind of does almost 24 hours later. You of course be the judge of your own experience and takeaway. I’ll share mine because it’s long-winded!

So to relate this back to the title, I (in this order) got jazzed about the MV, unintentionally played the MV as background, got really excited for a minute, forgot about it, then actually watched it a few hours later and got that same excitement at the beginning all over again. And yet I felt like I didn’t have anything to say! What a strange feeling — an idol group that I have the utmost respect for, a new bigger-time product from them being rolled out, and really all that I could muster in my mind was incoherence? Isn’t that usually a good thing?? Continue reading

Lest We Ever Forget That Wagamama Rakia Kicks Enormous Amounts of Ass

Pro tip: If you ever choose, like all of us on Team, to become a super fancy idol blogger, just know that while you will of course have your faves and biases and will at times go way out of your way to hold up the things that you treasure most, the fact is that you’re also going to have your head filled with so much stuff, from pure junk to the absolutely sublime, that it almost stops mattering what it is that you like most, because your default setting is to like everything. Like, you feel bad for leveling even the most mild of completely deserved criticisms, and as a filthy gaijin wota you also do so with the trepidation that you’re probably getting things wrong half of the time because of the language and culture barriers. Enthusiasm can only make up for so much! Trust me! And then you feel kind of lousy and step lightly in response for a while and then start running a new gimmick and before you know it, you’re suddenly surprised to re-run back into one of those faves and/or biases you started off with, and you hear them and you’re like, oh yeah, I always liked that! Continue reading

Happiness Is Listening to a Wagamama Rakia Acoustic Album

As very dutifully reported in a recent Weekender, among various other endeavors swirling around Wagamama Rakia, they had a new EP, and an acoustic one at that, heading for release. It hit streaming services on Christmas Day, but I only just got around to listening to it yesterday, and while doing so I thought that, you know, maybe this exactly how we should be closing things out for 2019 — stripped of the usual noise, the songs in this case give the members a chance to really showcase their talents, and the simpler renditions of popular standards gives the group’s work an interesting spin.

Anyway, put this on while you have about 20 minutes of stuff to do, and tell me that your experience isn’t improved by a factor of about 7,000:

To give this post extra heft, here’s their end-of-year message to fans:

This Wagamama Rakia Album Trailer Is of a Tasteful Length

So Wagamama Rakia, who were low-key one of the big breakout success stories in chika idol last year along with temporarily fluid membership situation and goodness knows what all else, I lost track, have an album on the way. Like, imminently. And, as is smart and good and hale and all that, they dropped a trailer for it yesterday. It is, however, one of the more unique trailers that I’ve ever encountered.

The run time is 4:02. In your own personal realm of experience — which of course can vary based on a whole mess of factors — and assuming that all songs on the album are given approximately equivalent feature time in the trailer, how many tracks do you think it contains? tHe AnSwEr MaY sHoCk YoU! Continue reading

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

Dang, Wagamama Rakia’s Been Busy

One of the big surprises of the Best Of was how Wagamama Rakia, who through a series of events emerged as a Unit to Follow after a good long while as a Unit That the Really Dedicated Follow, never even came up in nomination discussions. Not for Surprise or Debut (Layna), even, and that after I’d thought earlier in the year that they would be on the IOTY short list. Them’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes, I guess!

Nonplussed and no doubt completely unaware of the fact that any such awards thing was unfolding before them, Wagamama wanted to get everybody sufficiently hype for their one-man that … um, that’s today, actually. Like right now. Oops! Nice job, Maniac!

Look, the point is, they’re having a one-man, and it’s a band set, and they’re filming the whole thing, and they got these tracks out into the world ahead of time for you to enjoy and spend money on them:

Continue reading

This Is Wagamama Rakia Live with a Band

Indulge me this morning, folks, for I have seen a live video and I want you to see it as well. The reasons are simple: I want you to feel about it as I feel about it, and to get that swell of “I need to support this!” inside, and to want to make impulsive purchases through international grey markets in the act of that support.

Wagamama Rakia (no, not the other Wagamama, this Wagamama) release this the other day, and I set it aside purely so that I could get the feeling down in full. To whit:

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This Wagamama Rakia Ballad Is So Nice That I Want to Buy It Gifts

I keep telling you guys, if it’s not already Wagamama Rakia’s moment, it’s happening. To celebrate their second anniversary as a group, and to show off the new-look-four-member lineup, they dropped a song that I’ve already played twice and will continue to repeat as necessary:

I love the little trip down memory lane, with the old outfits etc. They’ve come so far and now, two years on, are ready to go. Continue reading

This Is a Wagamama Rakia Live Celebration Post

I was all set to just up and walk off for the weekend, you guys. That’s a confession — when there ain’t much idol to idol about, you just leave the idol be. But remember back in the early days, when like every little thing that happened made for a good posting opportunity? I was so naive! Also so eager! Also less busy!

In those days, one of the best and most frequent posts to blog were live clips. After all, the point was to highlight idols in their natural environment and give folks, hopefully lots of newbies, a chance to experience something different. I got away from that after a while, reasons abounding, but I’ve been thinking about the old mission statement of Homicidols Dot Com and how I’ve experienced what the cool kids call “mission creep,: over the past year in particular. And I want to get back to my roots.

That being said, this started off as an addendum to the Weekender before I wised up and decided that the better thing to do was to just blog this post and say some words and give one of this year’s more noticeable movers another highlight. So take it away, Wagamama Rakia! Continue reading