In her eight years of activity, Himari Tsukishiro has proven herself one of the most determined chika idols in the business; having recently claimed the title of longest-reigning NECRONOMIDOL member, overseeing more member switches than your average football coach, her admitted refusal to take a day off, and in just the last few years, branching into stage acting and a solo career, the latter of which recently commemorated its first anniversary. There are many reasons why Himari has become one of the most recognizable and prominent figures in the alt-idol fandom, and her sheer willpower and dedication in a notoriously-volatile industry is one of the most overlooked.
And yet, I know I wasn’t the only one who worried about her future upon the announcement of NECRONOMIDOL’s hiatus two months ago. While she reassured us that she wouldn’t be gone for too long, the fandom rippled with uneasy deliberations of “But what if this is it?” Lucky for us, though, Himari kept to her word, with the announcement of a US tour beginning later this month. But that wouldn’t be the last we’d hear from her.
Onto that anniversary of her solo debut. Yes, while Himari didn’t start using the Isiliel moniker until earlier this year, her first solo performance took place one year ago this weekend. On a day that must have felt like Christmas had come early for some, fans were treated to an array of treats, starting with a livestreamed solo performance and the music video for her second digital single, Koumyou Kishi.
We wrote a little about Koumyou Kishi in our Songs of the Summer article closer to its initial release, but to sum it up, the track is a darkly powerful and emotional metal work, with lyrics relaying undying love breaking through sorrow. Such a compelling track deserves an equally-compelling music video, and judging from other fan reactions, this doesn’t disappoint. Sharing similar theming to the song’s lyrics, we see Himari venture off into the city on a quest to save her tree fairy friend (played by producer Ricky’s actual daughter, clearly in-training to one day take over the family business. See you at a London gig in 20something years, kiddo), relying on devotion alone to push through the literal ropes and chains holding her back. Sort of feels like a metaphor for her career, but maybe I’m reading too much into it. With how much shibari has been a recurring theme in Isiliel’s visual work so far, I wonder if there’s any kind of significant meaning behind it? Or maybe Ricky’s still trying to burn through the leftover rope from Necroma’s 2019 visuals, who knows? Back to the point, it’s a visually-stunning music video that fits perfectly with Koumyou Kishi‘s lyrical meaning. If you want to know a little more about the video, Himari wrote a blog post about her experience in making it, so make sure to give that a read if you understand Japanese.
The third and perhaps most exciting anniversary gift was the announcement of Isiliel’s debut album, coming early next year. Given what we’ve heard from Isiliel so far, it’s safe to say that this is already one of the most anticipated releases of 2023. While still several months away, fans are safe in the knowledge that, even alone, Himari is unstoppable.
Also, if the album doesn’t come out on 03/21 that’s a wasted opportunity, just saying.