Whew! You guys, rather than belabor a ton of stuff, I think I can sum up 2018 as “whew.” It was exhausting!
I remember spending a good bit of 2017 wondering if the loudol ship had sailed, if chika was bending in other directions, if idol hadn’t been exhausted of creative possibilities, if a new trend would emerge and whether I should start to wind things down over here. After all, idols who were loud but also were not Babymetal had come to the West, and I personally met NECRONOMIDOL at the end of the year. What else was there to do, really, especially if the focus would narrow and the excitement would keep waning?
Then 2018 went and took a big ol’ poop on that defeatist attitude. Technically, it was 2017’s strong close that woke me up, but the ridiculous run of debuts didn’t really begin until 2018 turned, and running parallel to that plenty of hope — in the form of releases great and small — that the mainstays were still mainstaying, and that new faces were emerging into something closer to the mainstream. There were, of course, tragedies, from an idol being paralyzed in a freak accident to another girl taking her own life, not to mention the obligatory broad-brush hit pieces that fail to explore the nuances and diversity endemic to idol. That idol, chika or not, loud or sweet and even both, can churn along despite (arguably, even because of) the scrutiny says a lot about its cultural weight, for good and/or ill.
This year also brought us the biggest and busiest year yet in terms of idols venturing to our shores: Necroma of course, but also Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Hanako-san, 2&, Screaming Sixties, Maison book girl, Candye Syrup, SENANAN and TORIENA and Oyasumi Hologram and Kouteca3. It was pretty great.
Where do we go from here? That’s for another post, but if there was a message to be read into how the community selected its Best Of, and then how Team did, it should be one of optimism. The scene is strong and healthy and poised for great things. More idols are on the way for a visit. Things are in good shape.
And now the rest of In Review! Continue reading →