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!
Krv always writes the most thorough Best Of, and boy oh boy does it span some territory. Read it all to learn a thing or two!
New post: https://t.co/9Zbv6N7XuA 2018 Year in Review. Featuring too many idols to count and quite a lot in the way of metal. I also deleted a lot of crap. Read if you want.
— Pukovnik Krv (@cobranaconda) December 28, 2018
Terry did his own personal Best Of:
Your friend and mine Viz Major put on an epic Best Of thread. Just start here and roll with it:
I can't tell you how long I been waiting for an idol to evoke the spirit of Kurt Cobain. Ayuni's raw & unhinged vocals with both angst & emotion. Hisako's amazing guitar skills. Shota's awesome drumming. Excellent songwriting. "zoozoosea" is a masterpiece https://t.co/v07PdaU96B
— ヴィズ「矢吹奈子's bodyguard」 (@VizMajor) December 21, 2018
Dat Idol put together this comprehensive ranking for 2018:
Get into this thread of Chris’s, as it is magnificent and clever:
I have built the Judgebot 3000, who has processed every album released in the world this year and used Science to give you an objective list of the best ones. Thanks to its analysis with its Quantum Quadraslice Microcrumb™ board there can be no dispute with the results. pic.twitter.com/yOf38AGKnu
— Christmas Tinsel (@toxicbreakfast) December 31, 2018
Away from idol, my favorite annual reviews were from Consequence of Sound:
The year's best songs in heavy music are made up of an eclectic assortment of tracks. https://t.co/aWdoZPug3V
— Consequence of Sound (@consequence) December 31, 2018
and A.V. Club:
— The A.V. Club (@TheAVClub) December 29, 2018
Just wait til these folks get a listen to Broken By The Scream …