We have hit the half-way point of our attempt to capture some of the greatness that the alternative, indie and underground idols of Japan have contributed to the world over the past ten years. If you would like a recap of the methodology we used to arrive at the album rankings, please visit week one’s installment. If you missed last week’s post or want a refresher of the albums that placed 31st – 40th, you can find that here.
Now, on with the next ten albums in the countdown plus one honorable mention that fell just a little bit short of the top 50:
The perfect modern idols have a new single on the way! That isn’t new-news, but I needed an easy intro. So: New single. Next week. This is excellent. I’m genuinely surprised every time I see it referred to as their second major — the timeline’s broken, see — but not half as surprised as about the live-fan-comment-MV-clip-reveal thing they did last week*, a neat gimmick if nothing else.
The official release is Wednesday, but yesterday we were graced with the MV and of course it’s just the most YSM thing you can possibly imagine:
Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.
Whether you have already invested in tickets to Tokyo Idol Festival Online or are considering the reasonably hefty purchase, we have prepared the following resources for you. Continue reading
Once upon a time, the plan was for this to be a bucket-list-level weekend. I was supposed to wake up in Tokyo this morning and hit Cinema and Boy CQ’s second anniversary live in Shimokitazawa before heading off to Hanako-San’s Death Day celebration and album release event. After a good night’s sleep, I was going to spend Sunday at day two of the Gyuu Agricultural Festival, aka Gyuno Fes (chika idol’s answer to Coachella) which was celebrating it’s fifth anniversary with an epic line-up of 50+ units that read like a Who’s Who of Homicidols.
That was before the international travel warnings were issued, concerts were cancelled and new terms were added to our vocabulary like “social distancing” and “PPE”.
The only upside to all of this pandemic brouhaha is the dramatic increase in the number of chika idol live streams. So, even though I didn’t get to fly to Japan and attend Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s major label debut concert in person, I did get to watch it live from my living room.
And now we can all experience Gyuno Fes the same way!! Although the two-day festival has been postponed indefinitely, the organizers will be broadcasting a defiant “IDOL is STILL ALIVE” version of the event live on Nico Nico several hours from now. Continue reading
Yanakoto Sotto Mute make their major label debut tomorrow (March 25th) and, to celebrate, have invited us all to a live band set!! Can’t make it to Japan? No problem! Because of stupid corona virus the concert is a live-streamed event via the Internet and you can buy tickets with PayPal.
At midnight Japan time, Yanakoto Sotto Mute released the MV for their major label debut single, “Afterglow”.
Bask in it.
The costumes. The strings. Nade-chan eating a rose; Mani eating marbles; Ichika hitting the high notes; Tsukasa with a bucket on her head. It’s all gorgeously absurd and near perfection. Continue reading
In a last ditch effort to demonstrate that we deserve good things in 2019, Yanakoto Sotto Mute are ending the year with an MV for Layline, #3 in their “NINE” series of singles.
Scholars of Yanamute will notice the settings of past MVs Lily, Any, Holy Grail, Awake and Morning pelting by accompanied by flashes of the imagery from “Bubble” and “Mirrors”. This 4:44 MV pays homage to virtually all of the motifs of the past while incrementally constructing a vision of Yanamute’s future. The end finds the trio back on the set of Horoscope, Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s very first MV, as they are joined by their newest member and finally head to the stage as a quartet once again. For fans, this MV is a seismic landmark and it helps that Layline is one of the best of the “NINE” tracks YSM has been quietly releasing over the past few months.
The MV though is in danger of being upstaged by the group’s big reveal. You recall a couple weeks ago when Yanamute dropped a teaser trailer on us without even enough info to know how to spell their new member’s name? Now we finally got the deets:
Meet Rin Tsukasa. She would like you to call her, “Tsukasa”.
Yanakoto Sotto Mute released a minute long MV on Sunday to tease a new song and, more significantly, their new fourth member.
YSM do everything in style and their newest member fits the mold, stalking the streets in black until she shifts to signature Yanamute white as her hand grasps that fourth mic.
So, meet 「凛つかさ」:
The perfect modern idols have released three PVs in coordination with their announcement of a May, 1 DVD release. THE GATE Live at ZeppDiverCity was filmed at their January 2019 one-man where Yanakoto Sotto Mute performed with the backing of a full live band.
The PVs include two songs from their recent Humoresque EP trilogy as well as and their signature hit, “Lily”, from the now-classic Bubble album. Continue reading
Dropping with the delicacy of a pure snowflake carrying all the weight of a blood red brick, Yanamute’s new MV for Stain lands hard and leaves a mark.
Uh, guys? I think Rena needs an ambulance.