Idols Cover Band Covers Idols

So this is kind of fun, and thankfully narrative enough in its own right to get out the door quickly so that I can do another thing. But hey you guys, you’re all down in some form or another with Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, aka Yamakatsu, yes? If you aren’t, you should be — longstanding rock idol units from the further reaches of Japan deserve all of the respect. I was doing a Twitter dive the other day and saw that ol’ Yamakatsu paired up with a bona fide rock band not to perform a set together, but to high-five around covering each others’ songs:

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Yamakatsu’s Rocking Renewal

The idol gods have seen it fit to bless us with even more good new stuff from good old units, friends. The Idol Formerly Known as Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen — now known as Yamakatsu — dropped an MV in advance of a later-this-month release:

“Survivor” is off of Yamakatsu’s eighth(!) single, “distopia”, the title of which alone gives me a warm fuzzy feeling deep inside. GO DARK, VETERAN IDOLS!

Update: Both MVs! Continue reading

How Could I Have Forgotten about Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen?

The local focus of idol is one of its charms, but also one of the stupidest ways to get idols who you nominally like lost in a shuffle. Me, I’m personally a big mark for Nagoya idols for some reason, with a lot of ancillary respect for Osaka. Of course you’re going to wind up doing a lot of Tokyo-area local stuff, too, when you start looking at idol, given that (pick a neighborhood anymore) is in one form or another an epicenter of idol culture.

Because you do that, see, and then you lose track of the good projects — sometimes it’s just one or two, honestly — in other big cities (Kyoto!) or prefectures (Ehime!), purely because the incessant drone of idol-related media and fandom doesn’t sound as loudly over those spots.

Which brings me to Yamaguchi and Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, or … Continue reading

I Think I Want Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen’s New Album

I feel like I didn’t even know that YKG was coming out with an album soon, but it had been a good long while since their last album (though not that long since we last looked in on them) — maybe if Phillter, the world’s greatest Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen fan, weren’t so busy being all living and working in Japan and stuff, I’d have known about this earlier!

Anyway, NOTE4 dropped the other day (fittingly, their fourth album, following NOTE3, their, uh, third), and here’s the trailer:

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I Very Much Prefer This Kind of Graduation News

I was chatting with Phillter yesterday about odds and ends, idols and life, things like that, and he mentioned that Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, who I believe are literally the biggest idols in the history of Yamaguchi Prefecture, were having some graduations themselves.

Now, YKG does what they do, and they probably do it as well as anybody. They’re not a huge deal, but they’re a big enough deal, and they’ve been going for years. From everything that I’ve seen, they seem like they’re well-managed and treated relatively respectfully (often as good as you can hope for!), and they seem like they have fun with it out there.


I usually prefer to have non-catastrophic graduations in the Weekender, but Phillter felt like doing a little translation job, and I thought that it might be nice to look at what can be the case when idols are ready to leave their group, under normal and acceptable and non-terrible terms. Continue reading

Exciting Times for Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen

This post started off as a little blurb about Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen having an album coming out soon, a fact completely neglected in that business about their big headliner show. But that’s okay, because what happens when idols have albums to promote?

They do release events at record stores?

Well, that too, but I was getting at: Continue reading

Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen Looks Like They’re Having Fun

In a remarkable little coincidence, I had gone looking up YKG the other day to see if they were doing anything notable, and I was happy to see that they have activities planned around their fifth anniversary(!):

You can learn more about that stuff and even look at the … look, idol merch is idol merch; if you want a tote bag with your favorite group’s one-off event logo on it, you know what you’re getting yourself into.

But then your friend and mine, Phillter, the world’s greatest YKG fan, sent this neat little video of them doing a live cover of BiSH’s “Hoshi ga,” and …

Holy shit

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What’s up with Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen?

After having a chance to reference 30POSSE the other day, I got to looking up Yamaguchi’s much more prominent and well-established rock idols. They were at TIF with no real video appearing, and they were at JAM without anything showing up on YouTube. That’s messed up! I know they aren’t up everybody’s alley around here, but they’re legitimately a big deal in their own world (big enough to have their own cover group) and, as that super-long interview that Phillter translated shows, they’re aiming to get even bigger.

I did find this snip from JAM:

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Inside the Homicidol Mind: YKG Dishes on Being Idol

The idol ideal is of young women who say all the right things, smile at the right time, present themselves the right way and, no matter what, glittering away without letting the facade crack for a second.

But as we saw in the past look into the mind of Hug Me, homicidols are somewhat … different.

Take Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen, a self-managed group whose rock-metal-idol hybrid sound has developed a sharper edge over time. In promoting the release of their fifth seventh (seriously, was I drunk when I wrote that?) single, “One,” five of the members and their producer joined Optimanotes for an interview that ranged all over — stage behavior, respect, favorite animals. Here are some choice snips: Continue reading

Show of Hands: Do You Want to Read a Long-ass Interview with Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen?

Friends, our man Phillter has made a very generous offer to the community: Because he can Japanese pretty well and because he’s Yamaguchi Kassei Gakuen‘s #1 fan, he has offered to translate this almost absurdly long interview for us. I at first politely declined; that’s a lot of work! and what if nobody actually wants to read it?

But what if people do? Ergo, if the ayes have it to a respectable margin, Phillter will sequester himself in a quiet room for several days get in some good translating practice and share the results with us as soon as he’s able.

This poll is a simple one: Yes or no. I do however caution that if you do vote yes, you’re basically committing yourself to not only reading the translation, but sending Phillter some very nice words and maybe even one of those fancy wine baskets for the trouble.

And anybody who votes “Maybe So” is a dick.