Thursday, 7 March 2019

An Alternative to The Conventional Idol: An Introduction to NECRONOMIDOL

Cross-posted with Selective Hearing (once again including a spiffy image gallery, a lot less obnoxious commentary, and fewer videos)

An Introduction To is a series of articles on both Selective Hearing and Okay! Musume Time that aims to introduce readers to various groups and musicians, regardless of their time within the industry. Whether they are indies or major, unknown or even relatively well-known, this series is here to give readers an insight into who is who and what they do.

Today's group is an Alternative to your generic and conventional idol. Say hello to NECRONOMIDOL!

*Please note that I am no expert on NECRONOMIDOL, and do not claim to be. I also want to point out that I may have some facts wrong, though I have done my best to ask other people about various facts regarding the members / group. At the end of the day, this is all for fun and from my own research on various fansites, websites and more. This document will not be perfect, but nothing ever is.

The Origin Story

Though I had been aware of NECRONOMIDOL some time before I eventually became a fan of the group, it was not until early 2018 that I started to take notice of the group. After being tasked to review the album DEATHLESS for JaME UK, I came to appreciate the variety and style of NECRONOMIDOL's music, and eventually found myself booking tickets to see the group for their UK tour in June of that same year. It was a rather risky decision, I suppose, especially as I was so new to the group, but it was a risk I was willing to take. Since then, the rest has been a short piece of history, and I am now somewhat dedicated to the group (as a sideline fan).

Now, shortly after my beginnings as a fan, the group has since changed its lineup after the graduations of Sari and Yotsuyu Hina, and with this change I decided that now would be better than ever to create an introduction post for the group. So, without further ado, let's take a look at NECRONOMIDOL, the wonderful alternative to your everyday idol.

Imagined by Ricky Wilson in early 2014, NECRONOMIDOL was originally advertised as an 'occult and paranormal' themed group in February 2014, and the recruitment process began. Just under a month after advertising for members, Ricky interviewed 30 applicants before finalising the lineup with eight members - Kakizaki Risaki, Henmei Setsuko, Tachibana Ruu, Sari, Kaede, Nagata Kagura, Miyano Aisa, and Maeda Rio - four of whom left the group within two months of the audition process for various reasons. With this, NECRONOMIDOL would officially debut in late June of 2014 with four founding members: Risaki, Setsuko, Ruu and Sari.

With a few lineup changes under their belt, six official singles, four albums (one mini, three full-length) as well as a few collaborations, NECRONOMIDOL have truly evolved in both sound and image. True to their ultra dark idol group inspired by HP Lovecraft and Japanese horror image, NECRONOMIDOL has incorporated various styles into their music from the very beginning, from traditional  folk themes mixed with Black Metal, to Dark Wave and Synthwave music to create a catchy and atmospheric piece. In terms of their visuals, the group began with a traditional Japanese shrine maiden image meets paranormal activity, before delving into the aesthetics of the occult, Japanese and Western horror tropes, as well as the Cthulu Mythos.

Now a five-member unit, NECRONOMIDOL is comprised of members Kakizaki Risaki, Imaizumi Rei, Tsukishiro Himari, Kenbishi Kunogi and Michelle. The group is still self-produced by Manager Ricky - as well as his team members - but despite this, the group has become well-known both in Japan and around the world for their stage performances, otherworldly choreography and concert experience.

Their motto is: 'We are NECRONOMIDOL, and we will choke you to death!'.

And with their fifth year coming up in March 2019, NECRONOMIDOL are currently planning their next moves both with music and tours. Though they already have a set of sponsored lives lined up, as well as plans to tour abroad more - the group has already toured eight countries since their humble beginnings! - the year has only just begun for NECRONOMIDOL, but it promises to be a big one as they head towards their 5th anniversary. But what more can they do when they have already accomplished so much?

That is a bridge we will have to cross once it appears, but for now let's take a look at the members of NECRONOMIDOL and get to know them a little bit. Are you ready to see what this group is all about?

Sunday, 13 January 2019

The Quintet's Revival: NECRONOMIDOL Introduce New Members and Reveal Early 2019 Plans

During the later hours of January 13th, 2019, NECRONOMIDOL returned to its quintet status during their sponsored live show, BEYOND vol. 1, held at Shibuya CYCLONE in Tokyo, Japan. With this show, not only were new members were introduced, but announcements for the first quarter of the year were made, marking a busy but entertaining beginning of the year for Japan's ultra-dark Idol group.

Starting with the first announcement, NECRONOMIDOL finally revealed the identities of the newest members to join the group. After much speculation and anticipation, it was revealed that Kunogi Kenbishi and Michelle had joined NECRONOMIDOL, returning the group to its five member formation.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Assault of Yamaguchi Maho

On January 9th, 2019, news outlets reported that NGT48 member Yamaguchi Maho had allegedly been assaulted by two men in their mid-twenties, both of whom had been arrested. Reports included that the men had assaulted the idol and co-captain of NGT48 outside of her home in Niigata Prefecture on December 8th, grabbing the victim's face. The suspects were both released later on without charge.

Further reports from Maho herself include that her attackers had taken her phone so that she could not alert the police. Maho then revealed that during the police investigation, her attackers revealed the name of another member who may have planned the attack and leaked the members' addresses. Maho explained on her SHOWROOM live, held on Tuesday 8th, 2019, that she could have been killed, that she was too scared to even scream out, and that this could have happened to any other member. Maho's SHOWROOM live was promptly cut off during her discussion regarding the incident.

Further police reports have come in claiming that the attackers only covered Maho's mouth because she began screaming, and that they only wanted to talk to her, and have since denied the assault on Yamaguchi Maho. AKS refused to give a comment on the incident.

On January 9th, 2018 during a live performance, Yamaguchi Maho publicly apologised to everyone for speaking out about the assault, and for causing problems for everyone. Fans promptly cried out 'it isn't your fault!' and 'don't apologise!'. Allegedly, one or both of Maho's attackers were standing in the front row of this performance.

News of the assault has been met with outrage within the overseas idol fan community, and fans have been vocal on Twitter and Facebook regarding the incident.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

To Conclude: The Releases Of 2018

Though we have fallen into the realm of 2019, I still want to conclude the year 2018 with my last few posts. So, before I sink into the Year to come and surrender myself to future posts, music and more, let's look back at some of the single and album releases of worth, and even those that are less than worthy from the Year That Was...

Despite already ranking my individual songs of the Year that Was, I did want to take some time out for the Single and Album releases of 2018 as a whole. This means that I will take the full single into consideration - minus the instrumentals - and rank the release as a whole, instead of the just one or two songs, much like I did for the individual rankings.

So, whilst a song might have ranked high or low on the individual songs list - or not at all - means nothing here. I am basing my Single / Album rank on how much I enjoyed the experience of listening to the release, anticipating the next song, etc... as a whole. Likewise, I could still love a song from a certain release but rank the single pretty low or not at all, just because the whole single was a flop in my own eyes.

Basically, the individual rank doesn't matter at this point. All that matters is how much I liked a release in its entirety, start to finish. If it was memorable enough, it will rank, and if it was forgettable... well, that's another part of the list that we will get to quite shortly.

And with that said, it's time to take a look back at the more worthy releases of 2018, at least for my ears. It's time To Conclude: The Releases of 2018. Are you ready to play some music?

Monday, 31 December 2018

To Conclude: The Songs Of 2018

With 2019 just a few steps away, it's that time of the year again where we look back at the music and listen to the songs that made our Year merry, bright and entertaining. With sweet, cautious and beautiful tunes to keep us going, let's listen back to the Songs of 2018 before we conclude the Year that was...

Despite thinking that I was a little out of the loop for the whole year, I have actually listened to my fair share of music. Initially, my track list for this entire list consisted of well over a hundred songs, but after knocking many of them out, I was finally able to manage this list, plus the Special Mentions. Sure, it's not a big list, by any means, but it was hard to come up with and comment on, as per the usual.

Still, I am happy with the final outcome, and even though I feel like I have not branched out that much in terms of sound, groups and the like, I am happy to note that once again, a group that's not gthe usual in suspects comes out on top. Yet again, I have a completely different group Topping my Year End list of songs, and once again that delights me. I rather like it when a group / singer that hasn't won before wins, especially if said group / singer is someone who has never ranked prior to this, or who I never listened to before the year this list is set for.

No matter what, each year always makes for an interesting list.

Anyway, it's time to cut the rambling and move forward this list. So, without further ado let's get into my latest Conclusion for 2018, this time in Song. For the Year to Go, which songs stood the test of 365 days, and which ones only just missed the final placement? Let's read on, find out and pass our judgements.

To Conclude: The Songs of 2018 (at least, according to Chiima).

Sunday, 30 December 2018

To Conclude: The Idols Of 2018

With the Year's End on our tail and a new one set to begin, it is time to take a look back at what the Year Gine By has delivered for us all in Idols, Music and Video. To begin our mini-countdown to January 1st, 2019, let's begin with the ones who made 2018 all it was before we conclude this chapter. It's time to take a look at The Idols Of 2018 and see just what they delivered to make this 2018 so memorable...

So, it's been a year. Despite being inactive here on my blog, my love for Idols has only grown throughout 2018. Yes, it was rocky at the start - I followed barely any music, groups and idols - however, I seem to have made it up during the middle and end of the year thanks to various events, interviews and the like, and have slowly come to understand myself even further as a fan of idols, music and more. So, it has definitely been a year of sorts, one that proved both eventful and uneventful within the realm of real life and Idoldom.

And it is here where I shall wallow in the ups and downs of the Idolverse. From the Idols who made 2018 incredible, to those who have debuted and the ones we have lost to a wave of graduations and disbandments, here lies a look back to The Idols of 2018: A Conclusion (of sorts).

Within this wide idol-sphere, will there be a group you recognise, or will I pass by the ones you loved the most? You will have to read on and find out...~

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Return of LONDON BLUE - An Interview with LONDON BLUE (Part II)

*The interview was conducted via e-mail on October 24th as a look back at LONDON BLUE's Hyper Japan debut and their thoughts on the event, as well as a look at how their current events are going to celebrate their major debut release. A big thank you to LONDON BLUE and Kiyoshi Hayashi for allowing Selective Hearing to have this opportunity once again.

**Unfortunately, due to RINA's hiatus taking effect during the time this interview was conducted, she could not take part in answering the questions alongside the other members.

This post has been cross-posted from Selective Hearing. Please be sure to check out the official post on the website!

Made up of five members with a passion for the UK in both its sound and fashion sense, LONDON BLUE are a group known for their towel-waving moves and guitar-riff fuelled instrumentals in more than a few of their tracks. Though the group has been around since 2013, LONDON BLUE have only recently begun to make a name for themselves within the idol fandom thanks to their recent major debut with the King Records label, a company that distributes music for the likes of AKB48Uesaka Sumire, TeddyLoid, Ogura Yui and more.

Since the groups major debut on September 5th 2018, LONDON BLUE have been actively performing and promoting their single through in-store events and live performances whilst also taking on outside activities to further promote themselves individually. Unfortunately, member RINA announced her hiatus from the group on October 12th, 2018 in order to focus on her current acting projects. Furthermore, the youngest member RINKA announced her own period of rest on November 7th, 2018 in order to focus on her exam period and other side projects. Due to both RINA and RINKA's respective breaks, LONDON BLUE is now operating as a three-member unit and actively promoting their new single to get their name out there.

Now, just months after their UK debut at Hyper Japan Festival 2018 and a major release, LONDON BLUE return to Selective Hearing for a second round of questions to discuss their major debut single, fashion and their plans for the future as a group. What will we learn about the London-loving group today?