I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, July 2, 2018

BiS - nerve

Anyone who follows my Twitter is aware that I've been, let's say... fangirling about a new genre of idol groups, the alternative ones, especially BiS.

While some may know BiS as the rock/punk group who coined the term "alternative idol" (after its first use referring to Togawa Jun in the 80's), the current identity of the group is a bit different. While they're still not traditional idols, they're milder, less reactive than the original girls. Back in the day, BiS released music vídeos mocking AKB48 "scandals"; now they even use similar gimmicks for promotion, splitting the group in two teams with line-ups chosen by fan election.

Still, the group freely plays all their repertoire, and one song that can't miss any decently-sized setlist is nerve. Released in 2011 (and re-released many times over the years), it is BiS' signature song. And yet, it's just about your quintessential idol song; which is interesting for a group who took so much pride in their anti-idol stance.

The song was composed by miifu and originally arranged by Schtein & Longer. The team did a good job making a catchy tune while still incorporing some rock and electronic beats that make the song more modern and unique-sounding. The lyrics by Kubota Yoji (久保田洋司) tell the feelings of a girl whose boyfriend can't seem to have the nerve to take their relationship to the next step. Yeah, about as stereotypical as you could think.

When BiS disbanded, people around the Internet made a tribute by covering the song (specially the choreography). Above is Oomori Seiko's version (with a cameo by former BiS member Koshouji Megumi, now part of Maison book girl).

As BiS continues to exist with different members, and is now part of an agency/supergroup called WACK, we can expect the song to be played for years to come. By the way, my favorite member is the short-haired, cute-and-tomboyish Gozeela.

I'm more about the current line-up but I can't hide how much I love the old BiS, especially right before disbandment. You can still follow the antics of those members as they all have their personal projects (BILLIE IDLE, Maison book girl, Tentenko), as well as a YouTube channel created by founder Pour Lui. It's cleverly called BYS (Brand-new Youtuber Society).

I'm excited to dig more into the idol hole but I like to remember that what got me into it in the first place were Showa idols. I love having this broad view - it definitely puts several things into perspective, and it's nice to see the evolution of this unique field of entertainment.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, Joana.

    Thanks very much for your latest article, this time on BiS. Yes, "Nerve" has an edgier feeling to it when compared to some of the other alphabet group songs, but I was surprised that it was one of their earlier singles since my impression through their other videos and photo shoots was that BiS pushed some boundaries, and the members in the "Nerve" video looked very much typically aidoru-like.

    Speaking of the video, I think I know why they filmed in Odaiba, Tokyo. I can see the Tokyo (Bi)g (S)ight in the distance.:)

    I'm sure that there can be a good essay written up on any comparison between the Showa and Heisei aidorus...with the latter soon to end when the new Emperor takes charge next year.


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