The photo above is of a local free magazine specializing in Japanese restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area called "Bento Box". Even 5 years ago when I got back to my hometown after my life in Japan, I couldn't have imagined that there would be so many ramen restaurants, izakaya and J-restaurants that would have generated the industry's own free magazine. Now, it's become a regular pick-up for my place.
"Bento Box" also has pages devoted to various aspects of Japanese culture and on its last page last issue, there was an article on some of the more eclectic acts that have come to visit various cities in Canada. And that would include the subject of this article, the aidoru group Maison book girl which actually had a gig in Toronto last month.
Formed in 2014, musician-songwriter Kenta Sakurai (サクライケンタ) decided to form this new group around one of the members (Megumi Koshoji/コショージメグミ) of the aidoru group BiS which had initially broken up in the same year (until apparently starting up again this year). Three other women, Aoi Yagawa（矢川葵）, Yui Inoue（井上唯）and Rin Wada（和田輪）joined up to complete Maison book girl.
The J-Wiki article for the group stated that the songs were filtered through a merger of contemporary pop and aidoru music. I've only listened to a few of their songs so far including "lost AGE", and I would say that according to that particular song, Sakurai has created an aidoru group that is anti-aidoru. Not that I'm trying to say that Maison book girl is going out of its way to lambaste the current alphabet groups like AKB48 but there is none of the smiling Disney cuteness and jingle-jangle Yasushi Akimoto（秋元康）songs. Plus the choreography seems to be a mix of interpretive dance and something a high school club concocted...it's refreshingly stodgy. Heck, even the video itself is embracing some very un-aidoru-like pallid colours and darkness.
Sakurai wrote and composed "lost AGE" as a track for Maison book girl's first EP, "summer continue" which was released earlier this year at the end of March 2016. The title and the lyrics hint at a schoolgirl going through a rough patch in her life and perhaps becoming a hikikomori, withdrawn and sullen inside the private dimension delineated by her room. The romanized lyrics and their English translation can be found at the website "renai junkie".
Looking at the YouTube comments, "lost AGE" has been polarizing...some loving it, some wanting to throw a rock at it. To be honest, "summer continue" will probably not be on my Xmas shopping list but then again, neither will any of AKB48's discs for the foreseeable future. Still, Maison book girl strikes me as being an interesting creation in a beatnik sort of way...about as indie as an aidoru group can be, I suppose.