TOP 10 IDOL MV – April 2021

TOP 10 IDOL MV - April 2021

After all this time, you should know what happens on this site at the beginning of a new month: yes, a new top 10 of the best MV. As it often happens, April gave us a lot of incredible idol music and videos, so let’s check them out.


10) どーぷちゃん (Dope-chan) – stargaze

The starry MV for the aptly titled “stargaze” gives a chance to get more of that electronic hip-hop sound by Dope-chan. Even if the song seems a quiet and a bit dark-sounding one, it finally explodes in a party-like tune towards the end, while also keeping that nocturnal atmosphere. Once again, nice job from this trio.


9) あまりりす (Amaryllis) – 群青シンセシス (Gunsei Synthesis)

The intensity of “群青シンセシス” (Gunsei Synthesis) by Amaryllis is something you can’t really ignore; really, how would you forget about the fast and powerful beat accompanied by a trance-like bass? And how about the some cute and catchy vocals on top of them? Fans of EDM-oriented idols will surely enjoy this one.


8) THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO – 東京パレード (Tokyo Parade)

You’d expect “東京パレード” (Tokyo Parade) to be a parade-like song… and that’s exactly waht it sounds like. The first MV by THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO brings us the five girls in suites singing over a marching band sound. It almost feels like some sort of Christmas commercial, except Santa is on holiday and sent his favorite idols in his place.


7) ミズシラズ (mzsrz) – ノイズキャンセリング (Noise Canceling)

In case you needed some more electro-pop idol music, mzsrz brought us their latest MV. Created with the help of Vocaloid producer DECO*27 “ノイズキャンセリング” (Noise Canceling) is a very high quality EDM-inspired song with a memorable hook and a really nice synth melody.


6) SAKA-SAMA – 抱えきれないわ (Kakae Kirenai Wa)

Introduced by some calming piano notes and quiet vocals, SAKA-SAMA‘s “抱えきれないわ” (Kakae Kirenai Wa) quickly turns into an experimental art pop song. Despite being a bit short, it contains a lot of interesting elements such as glitched noises, background reverberated vocals and a childish/playful tone throughouy the song. The video also features some nice shots, enhancing the artistic feel of the song.


5) 神使轟く、激情の如く。 (Shingeki) – BAD CAKE

Once again, Shingeki went mad with their genre-bending music. Besides the very colorful video which is already impressive by itself, “BAD CAKE” blends alternative metal intensity, hardcore elements, hip-hop beats and rapped vocals, a jazzy piano and a bit of catchiness in the chorus. Yes, the usual Shingeki.


4) デビタント (DEVITANT) – Drink out

The night atmosphere of “Drink out” made me fall in love with DEVITANT. Featuring some very nice bass lines and many hip-hop and R&B elements, the song is the perfect musical representation of going out at night in a big city; and the MV, of course, helps recreating that feel.


3) 誰もシラナイ。 (Daremo Shiranai.) – エンダー (Ender)

Although apparently they can’t stick to one genre, Daremo Shiranai. keep releasing very enjoyable songs and “エンダー” (Ender) may be one of their best ones. Made by a refined and yet intense form of post-rock, the music feels very emotional and follows the classic highs & lows formula of the genre, with calming piano notes suddenly leaving room to a powerful rock chorus.


2) TOKYOてふてふ (Tokyo Tefutefu) – cry more again

Considering how I wasn’t that much impressed by their previous videos, I wasn’t really expecting to put Tokyo Tefutefu among the top three MV’s of April. But “cry more again” immediately blew my preconceptions away, with a progressive-oriented and aggressive metal/rock sound featuring some twisted and a bit gloomy keyboard melodies, which also go totally nuts at some point.


1) KOTO – BACK TO THE UNIVERSE

The last MV from the legendary KOTO absolutely deserved to be at the top of this list. Through the synth/electro-pop sound of “BACK TO THE UNIVERSE”, she managed to turn a sci-fi Z-movie into a masterpiece and the bizarreness of both the song and the video are an awesome way to say goodbye to this incredible idol. We are definitely going to miss her, that’s for sure.


Honorable Mentions

THE FLOWERS OF PASSION: Stories from the Underground Japanese Idol Scene – Ep. 1

THE FLOWERS OF PASSION: Stories from the Underground Japanese Idol Scene

Idol Underworld is finally releasing their documentary about underground idols titled The Flowers Of Passion; here’s a review of the first episode!

If you follow even just a bit of the alternative idol scene, the name of Derek Vasconi will probably ring a bell: whether it’s for his previous and current collaboration with some groups or his idol-themed web store Idol Underworld, it’s clear that he has been working in this world for a while. Last year, IdolOnChaos did an interview with Derek, in which he mentioned the documentary about the underground idol scene he was working at the time; finally, the documentary is being released and now I’m going to review the first of five episodes of The Flowers of Passion: Stories from the Underground Japanese Idol Scene.

Introduction

Let’s start by giving some context to this work: the underground idol scene is by definition a very niche world — at least for us in the West — meaning it’s something you probably discovered thanks to your deep interest in Japanese alternative and idol music; it’s like a niche scene born from two niche scenes, which makes it not really easy to find randomly. The Flowers of Passion takes for granted that you know more or less how the underground idol scene works and its target audience is people who already know this world and want to know even more; it’s not meant to explain the complete history of idols from the beginning to the modern days, it’s literally what its title says: stories from the scene, told by some of its protagonists.

Sure, there is a nice introduction about how the concept of idols was born and developed through the years in Japan, and it actually explains — although very quickly — how loud and alternative idols came to be in the last decade; but being so short, it’s clear that this is just to put some context on the main content of the documentary.

The Idol Stories

The first episode features a few groups and artists, some of which also appeared in the Know Your Idol interviews; however, instead of introducing them, the documentary goes more in depth about their experiences in the idol scene. I’m not going to spoil you everything of course, but let’s say that if you are interested in idols such as Mizuho Asakura (formerly in Bellring Shoujo Heart and now in SAKA-SAMA), NaNoMoRaL, Usakura Beni from Avandoned (now in FRUN FRIN FRIENDS) and MERRY BAD END, you’ll be glad to get a good amount of unique content about them.

All the artists involved prove that they indeed have their own stories to tell, and they all show the huge effort and the hardships that idols need to overcome; but, of course, there are also positive stories of actually overcoming these hardships. From the harshness of AQBI Records founder Koji Tanaka regarding Bellring Shoujo Heart to the difficult start Chihiro and MERRY BAD END had to deal with, passing through the deep artistic connection of the two NaNoMoRaL members and the interesting thoughts on the meaning of being an idol of Usakura Beni, the documentary delves into all the kinds of different experiences idols faced during their activities.

Interviews aside, you will also get to see very peculiar aspects of the idol life: not only small portions of live shows, but also idols chatting with fans during buppan and cheki sessions. This is something you probably would experience only by attending an actual show, so it’s a nice bonus for people who never had the chance to go in Japan.

Technical Aspects

I’ll be honest, I’m no big expert regarding audio and video quality, so I’m not going to pretend to be one. But let me point out a few things.

First, I was pleasantly surprised of the fairly good sound quality of the live shows and especially of the chatting with fans parts; it’s not something that obvious, and I’m glad that the quality allows us to get a very good taste on these aspects.

At the same time, I want to praise the fact the documentary does a good job at being visually interesting: the interviews are shot like you would expect them in a documentary and the switching between them and the live recordings are made to give you enough time to enjoy both of them.


All in all, judging from this first episode, The Flowers of Passion is an interesting documentary made for idol fans, and by who used to be just another fan and now works behind the scenes of this world. You can buy or rent The Flowers of Passion on Gumroad.

YOIMACHI Festival streaming on YouTube

Yoimachi Festival 2021

On the 17th of January, Yoimachi festival will be streamed on YoutTube on four different channels. Among the many artists, some idol groups will also perform: below you can find the schedule of the idol groups (in Japanese time) and the links to follow watch their performances.

Channel よ

  • NaNoMoRaL @ 15:00-15:30
  • RAY @ 18:10-18:45
  • 一瞬しかない (Isshun Shikanai) @ 20:10-20:35

Channel い

  • ピューパ!! (Pupa!!) @ 13:30-14:00
  • THE BANANA MONKEYS @ 14:30-15:00
  • グーグールル (GuGu LuLu) @ 17:35-18:10
  • ステラシュガレット (Stella Sugarlet) @ 20:35-21:05

Channel ま

  • SAKA-SAMA @ 14:00-14:30
  • 始発待ちアンダーグラウンド (Shihatsu-Machi Underground) @ 16:00-16:30
  • グデイ (Goodday) @ 17:00-17:30
  • Ringwanderung @ 21:00-21:30

Channel ち

No idols


Besides these idol groups, there will also be more artists performing at the festival. You can find the full schedule on the official Yoimachi Festival website.