New Move from Melon Batake a go go: YMMV

This post was supposed to happen on Saturday but Maniac forgot to finish the intro and then suddenly it was Wednesday!

I like that there’s just plain a lot more idol content in the past few weeks than there had been since, lort, February? Highs and lows here and there aside, idol’s mostly been on a slow burn since COVID and all of that. Or, for idol that is; other industries are like, oh you guys just kind of adjusted and moved on? But yes, more new stuff, and including new new stuff from old friends that first excites and then contents. Ah, you say, that hit the spot.

And so it was when one of Western fandom’s ubiquitous favorites, Melon Batake a go go, dropped a neat new number with a new MV (edit: the other day). It was good just to know that it existed, you know? And as I let it play, I had a few different thoughts — It’s been a long time! I don’t recognize like half of these members! — and I realized that for as much as I wanted to have something cogent and/or decent to write about the piece, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

I gave it some replays, typed out various responses, and then thought: A-ha! Let’s get extra input from Team! And that was helpful. Continue reading

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50 YMM MVs Day 52: Candy

Welcome to part 52 of our increasingly inaccurately named “50 YMM MVs” series, but unless they drop a fifty-third one in the next twenty-four hours – a not completely remote possibility – then we have at last reached the finale.

I don’t know whether we won anybody over to the You’ll Melt More! fandom or whether anyone managed to stick with our coverage until the end but we had fun revisiting all their music videos anyway.  We finish with their latest one, from about three weeks ago – Mou Innai Ringo Ame (No More Thanks Candied Apple):

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50 YMM MVs Day 51: Relax

Yes, it was inevitable that if we did a feature on all the music videos of a group well known for being prolific producers of music videos, then there was a high chance of more music videos being released in the middle of our coverage.  So now we enter extra time in our You’ll Melt More! chronicles with the MV for Yuru-bics!

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50 YMM MVs Day 50: Quarantune

Here’s a little back-story on the 50 YMM! MVs project:  We actually started coordinating this quite a few months ago ! We had begun writing the earlier MV articles well-before MV #50 had dropped . So at one point, we were watching YMM!’s social media daily waiting for the 50th MV to finally show up so we could begin publishing. We waited…. and waited….

You know what held us up? Yep, Covid-19.

The virus has indeed changed everything in our routine. Some things are rather mundane and inconvenient, and some have been very heavy on our personal lives. The idol industry isn’t on a par with caregivers, but it most certainly touches our spirits and often means a lot to us, so to see it affected by all this was surreal and often disconcerting. In the case of YOU’LL MELT MORE!, Younapi‘s graduation plans were altered and the possibility of concerts were dashed. And with our quarantine needs interrupting the ability to shoot a bonfire MV, YMM!, and many other idols came up with a new way of reaching out to socially distanced fans: A Quarantune, if you will...

“Thank You For Fighting” is not a traditional MV, and not the usual type of song you’d expect from our girls, but it’s wonderfully thoughtful and kind-hearted. Across the group’s fanbase, the moving images of supportive clapping hands were compiled as the members of the group sang a humble tribute to the most important people in the world right now, the caregivers fighting to keep those we love alive and safe.

The song isn’t slick or flashy, and if it were, it would risk feeling empty and self-serving. What we have here is a side of the group we haven’t seen before, but it’s reassuring and brings just a little sense to our lives. And as the MV makes makes very clear, it’s intended to be a thank you to all caregivers around the world, not just Japan. It feels real and we can all really use a little sincere goodwill.

In addition to the above video, which debuted on May 22, there was also this nifty shot-from-home video (A song Written by Hiro of POLYSICS once again!!!) that was released on May 8th. The song appears on the excellent “Surpriser” album, but for whatever reason, this video was not designated as an official “MV” on YMM’s Youtube channels…

So which one is technically the 50th MV? I’m going with the “Why not both” response!

All of this Covid anxiety is an especially difficult challenge for YOU’LL MELT MORE! at this moment. Here they are, trying to adapt to a new line-up and acclimate their two new members, and this major real-world event isn’t helping. We’re not out of this yet, but the group has continued working hard.

And guess what? Since they won’t quit, neither are we! That’s right, we’re not just stopping this project at 50 MVs. They’ve created videos since, and we’re going to keep going and cover those as well! It’s onward and upward, friends…

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50 YMM MVs Day 49: Newbies

Sadly after over three years with a stable line-up, Ano suddenly withdrew unexpectedly from You’ll Melt More! in late September 2019.  We were left to wonder what the future held for the group after the loss of such a popular member.  Then on New Year’s Eve, we got…this thing:

The hell was that?!  Anyway we’ve decided not to count it in our list, not because it’s, er, special, but because the group’s Youtube account filed it under their commercials/announcements playlist and not their MV one.  Instead YMM MV #49 is Surpriser, from February of this year.

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50 YMM MVs Day 48: Unexpected

We’re almost at the end of our journey, so what better way to celebrate than by being launched into space to dance with You’ll Melt More?

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Perfect Vibes from the Latest EMPiRE

“Oh gee look at all of these draft posts to try to address this morning” I said to myself as I flipped over to Twitter about 15 seconds after this hit the top of the timeline:

Plans? Canceled. Other than a very quick crash course from Kerrie and Cal, I’d managed to avoid just about everything WACK in the past few weeks — by choice, mind you — but this aesthetic, coming from EMPiRE, clearly an MV, subtler reasons galore, you follow me yes of course I shunted my other plans aside and gleefully steepled my fingers in anticipation.

This is from EMPiRE’s upcoming new EP SUPER COOL EP (bless them), and it might not be my favorite song or video by any means, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t hit in exactly the right spot at the right time: Continue reading

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Your Homicidols Weekender #190

Good morning! I hope you’re all doing well, feeling healthy, staying safe. And, of course, keeping up with idol. I forgot how tough it can be! Like, even when there’s not as much as usual going on, there’s still a lot going on, even just on the musical side — you folks who live and breath actual idol culture, honestly, how to you not get completely exhausted trying to keep up? And then the discourse, woof. But anyway! Yeah dang man it’s a lot. You’ll note, for instance, that this here Weekender has like three things in it that aren’t videos? Why? Because who has time to crawl through Twitter all that much anymore?

Which, being said, I really wish I had time to crawl through Twitter anymore! What a fun and easy way to pass the time. But no, this is the time of year when Day Job (which can be rigorous and onerous at all moments anyway) goes DEFCON 18 and I sometimes forget to eat. Stress piles up, I don’t sleep, anxiety happens, all that jazz. It’s actually what caused Hiatus 1 last year, just trying to do too much and suddenly having a mental block. I learned to manage that better over the course of the year (Hiatus 2 helped!), so now I just look down the barrel of a preposterous workload and think about the things I’d rather be doing and why I like them — like, they’re pleasurable, not obligations — and it’s much better. A relief.

It’s good to be back, yeah. I’ll never again manage that wild workload I somehow carried for like three years, but frankly that’s good. If you aren’t enjoying the thing you enjoy, are you really even enjoying it? Idol’s supposed to make you happy! And on that note, here’s a whole-ass haul of it.

That Doesn’t Sound Good Actually

I’d embed the Soundcloud player for this OWARANAIDE, YORU song but it’s just a clip, so take the lyrics instead:

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Lol I Wrote the Stupidest Post Never Listen to Me

Good lord, never take a break from a hobby that involves constant evolution of the subject. I just learned — by accident* that WORL’S END is actually reboot/branded Marionet, which upon that revelation makes all the sense in the world and I’m simultaneously laughing and looking for a bucket of paint to drown myself in out of humiliation.

It was a pretty hot post, though, you guys. I won’t share all of its remnants because I’m not a masochist, but it involved repeated declarations of having no prior knowledge of this idol thing that had been around for a couple of years, and outright disbelief at that fact because “I like to think that I had almost all idols of note doing the Fat Wreck Chords thing prior to mid-2019 at least referenced in some memory hole somewhere” which, wew. Yeah. And it was all celebratory about this tweet that I will reference here with no other commentary but may as well at least acknowledge so that you can see the source of my (today’s) idiocy.

The real tragedy here is that I don’t get to use this sentence:

if you ever wanted that guitar tone played like the soundtrack to the kewlest caffeine-free pool party of the summer between your sophomore and junior years of high school, and then added only the shiniest, happiest vocals possible on top of it, friend, you got yourself a stew going right here

In reference to the actual thing that spawned me writing this in the first place:

Although, hey, it looks like I did get to write it, and with context! Holla!

I am an embarrassment to this profession. Cancel Homicidols. Feh.

*It involved the phrase “Oh shit, that’s Fumimi”

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50 YMM MVs Day 47: Zubaz

It’s Day 47 of the 50 YMM! MV marathon, and today we’re watching the MV for “Gachigaki”, in which the girls trade-in their Patty Hearst-esque revolution chic outfits and now dress like street hooligans as they deal with the seedy side of late-night urban Japan…

Man, maybe it’s me, but this is kind of like the bleakest YMM! video in their whole catalog, although it does have it’s moments of light. The members of the group are getting by with life in the cynical and cold mean city. It seems Ano is especially struggling, with only her friends and her guitar keeping her head up. Kechon is her especially supportive friend who’ll get a thank you mention on Ano’s eventual singer-songwriter solo album. The girls all have each other but there’s already a dark undercurrent flowing in here…

Anyway Chiffon is hanging out with some dudes who she seems to think are pretty cool guys. (C’mon Chiffon, seriously? One of em’s wearing a Slipknot t-shirt for crying’ out loud.) She invites Younapi out to escape a boring evening at home, and soon the whole gang is meeting up with the two bros in an underpass and wouldn’t you know, it turns out these dudes are actually wretched jerks who taunt the girls and steal Ano’s guitar! What a couple of jackasses!!

There’s a moment of despair as the girls wander the city, disillusioned and hurt that they’ve been bamboozled by a couple of corner-store delinquent wannabes, but ultimately the girls rally together to take back Ano’s guitar. In shock of realizing that they might actually be on the defensive, the hoodlums let their guard down and Ano’s prized possession is recovered! Next thing you know the sun’s come up and maybe life in the city isn’t quite so crummy and ugly as we thought. It’s a story of boredom, loss, finding one’s inner strength and friendship. And fade out!

But aside from guitar theft, the other major crime here is Ano’s Zubaz pants. They were pretty awful the first time they came around, and I’m not sure if wearing them in ironic hipster style is the key to their making a comeback. Good grief, I hope not anyway. Okay, fine, Ano, who know who can pull off these nightmares of casual fashion? You, Only You. 

Get Ano’s Look.

Anyway, I got so caught up in the storyline and the questionable fashion choices that I nearly forgot to say that this song is really terrific. Super catchy chorus and a slicker-than-usual pop vibe than YMM! usually brings, but it demonstrates that they could’ve pulled off being a more-standard idol group quite well if they had chosen that path. Well done!

                     So to recap:

  • The city can be cold mean place without your friends.
  • If you need to steal a stolen guitar back, then a distraction-fakeout is the best play.
  • Zubaz pants are still hideous.
  • Stay far away from skeevy bros in Slipknot shirts.
  • The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar.
  • This is a fantastic song with great production values.
  • My head still hurts from the pattern on those Zubaz pants.

“Hey buddy, nice pants.”

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