That’s not Idol!

No, this is not idol, but if you have a penchant for the aforementioned genre, you might find something to like here.

The Pipettes

A former UK trio, backed by band The Cassettes. The group garnered a cult following on the basis of their energetic live shows. Unfortunately they split some time ago returning as a duo for a poor second album.

The Barberettes

Korean vocal trio, in the vein of The Crystals.

The Bandana Splits

Yet another vocal trio, this time from the U.S.A. featuring solo artist of note Dawn Landes.

Shonen Knife

Long standing Osaka band, retaining one third of the original line up. Frequently tours both in and out of Japan.

Charan-Po-Rantan

Vocal and accordion duo, often accompanied by their all female band, playing a mix of circus and cabaret music.

Wehraboo Idols

Just when any reasonable person would think that AKB48 could not become any more hateful, an article on The Guardian reports that spin-off group Keyakizaka46 performed their Halloween concert garbed in uniforms with an uncomfortable resemblance to those of Nazi soldiers.

Fan of semi-naked girls and twitter user tmato30kcal produced this useful comparison image


The strongest point of comparison is undoubtedly the peaked caps with birds not unlike the Nazi Reichsadler.

I am uncertain whether to consider this a single (remarkably stupid) incident, or to take it as being indicative of a larger apathy to war crimes and ignorance of WWII in contemporary Japan. This is certainly not the only instance of the veneration of Nazi military uniforms. Furthermore, Japanese relations with Korea and China are still  strained on owing to the refusal of the Japanese state of acknowledge war crimes.

Producer Yasushi Akimoto managed to remedy the situation by explaining that he was not aware of the costumes doing precisely the kind of work he is employed to do. Lets all hope that in the future, Nazi uniforms are only worn by those intellectually and morally qualified to deal with the ramifications of such an act… Such as Prince Harry.

Creatives MVs

Lets talk about something positive. Much of idol, like independent music, finds funding to be a limiting factor when producing media. So how does one, with a restrictive budget, produce a memorable MV? Here is a short list of some which stand out to me.

  • A surprisingly (and uncharacteristically) interesting MV from the sub-par Up Up Girls.

  • You’ll Melt More! caught my interest when they released a track arranged by Polysics front man Hiroyuki Hayashi. Here is their (relatively) new choose your own adventure VR MV.

  • This example from GUSTO era Especia stands out, with its faux analog effects and frugal appearances of the groups members.

  • The square format nostalgia of this Sayopony MV is the quintessential example the Japanese veneration of school girls. Directed by photographer Yuki Aoyama.

  • And of course, this brief list could hold no credibility without mention of Lyrical School taking control of your phone.