Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What the Hell Is Happening to BiS?

Brand-New Idol Society is an enigma to me.

I've known about them for awhile. Like a majority of other Internet wotas, I came upon them with their highly-controversial PV My Ixxx. In case you've decided not to watch the video (or you were dumb enough to put you Youtube age as under 18) then it's basically three girls running around in the forest slashing paint on each other. Naked. Crazy and audacious as that sounds, the song is decent and I actually thought the camerawork was done very tastefully and in a way that wasn't merely exploiting the girl's bodies. But after that I just kinda forgot about them. Sure, I subscribed to their channel and occasionally I looked at something done by them but overall I'd pretty much dismissed them as something that popped up on the Internet and quickly faded into the other indie idol groups barely treading water. I probably shouldn't have done that. Once again, BiS has shown back up after losing a member, gaining two, and just a little something called a major label. This is a huge step for them because at least it gives them solid ground and they're threatened by the threat of forced disbandment.

So far I've created three theories about BiS:

A. The entire group is based on the gimmick of being "non-conformist idols" in an attempt to sell well.
B. They literally have no idea where they've going with their image so they draw themes out of a hat and just go with it.
C. Someone went crazy.

Do you know what the sad part is? At this point, I'm not sure which one explains the most. When I first looked into the group that's what I had originally dismissed them as. Because seriously, some of the stuff they've done (like primal) is pretty much designated to be shock value and/or a way to do something creative with little to no budget. Hell, they've even stated in the past that their goal is to do music and other stunts that no idol groups want to do and their name is Brand-New Idol Society. But I wonder... how much of that is genuine and how much of it is for show? Did these girls just go in wanting to be idols but realized the only way they'd be able to keep the group afloat was if they tried new and shocking images/videos to get attention and revenue to keep making music? Or did they all get tired of groups like AKB48 dominating the idol world with a boatload of idol cliches and create the group as some kind of defiance against the natural order of the idol world? If it's the latter, then I do find that kind of awesome. I will say real or fake, you never really see idol groups like this rise into prominence and it is kind of neat to see something on the opposite end of the idol spectrum. But I honestly feel like this is more a gimmick than an actual desire to do something rarely done with idol groups. It's kind of like hipsters non-conformists!

The latter two theories are probably a little more far-fetched but the things this group does are far-fetched. Some of their latest PVs have left me with my mouth hanging opening trying to figure out what the hell I just watched and the why the hell I even bothered watching it. Because that's what this group is to me: an enigma. I'm not sure what they're trying to pull in the idol world because every time I think I've finally figured them out they throw another curve ball at me. I think they're going to do soft rock songs and music videos with earthy undertones and simple settings. They release a hard pop song with a gross-out PV. I think they're reverting to something more sane. They only get more insane. I think they have a stable lineup. They add more members. See what I mean? It's frustrating to be nearly wrong about everything a group does! And I should probably mention their most recent stunt.

About a month ago, the group that made a PV looking like this:


The PV was about 3 minutes and was probably the cheapest looking piece of drek to come from BiS. The picture pretty much sums up the entire feel of the PV but I admit I was rather surprised initially when I first saw it. I thought to myself "They finally succumbed to the mainstream gimmicks, huh?" After thinking about it more I realized how out of line this was and thought maybe, maybe it was a stealth parody. But either way I pretty much forgot about them and moved on to other groups I was interested in. But then the real PV came out and BiS revealed the first PV was all a joke and changed their image to this:

Yeah. They also released a rather hardcore PV that was very obviously meant to be a stark contrast to the cutesy-cutesy-kawaii desu song. I do enjoy parts of the real song like the chorus but overall it's just a little to screamo-metal for me; I'll stick with my beloved techno trio who I need to stop bringing up in posts. Anyways, I was originally just going to screen cap the PV and talk about the song and have it all happy and done with but I'm not satisfied with doing that. I can't even emphasize how much this group confuses me and   their many career choices including their most recent one. So I've decided to dig a little deeper into some of their possible motivations and try to figure out why the hell Avex has decided to pick them up. It's not that they're a bad idol group because they have a concept (of what I'm not entirely sure) but in other areas they're just... not as polished. Their dances are weird and their vocals definitely need some work; two major things Avex prides in their idol groups. And I admit the girls' personalities definitely stand out but not exactly in the way I'd see Avex approving of ("Sometimes I use dirty words to excite the audience!")

But apparently they did something right! Because now they have gotten signed on to Avex Trax to start making singles and albums that actually have a budget and production values! But here's the thing with Avex and idols... aren't they known for making the cutesiest, most idol-y, disgustingly sweet, and marketable idol groups? Okay, to be fair TGS and Fairies aren't terribly idol-ish but one look at each group and it's pretty obvious that they're still idols. So why would this group who's so hell-bent on making sure they play against the sterotype of idols signing on with the record company that produces some of the most cliche (but still awesome) idol groups? My theory? Money. Isn't that why idols are made in the first place? Because no matter what as long as you have yourself some cute teenage girls with decent voices there will be a fandom for them no matter how big or small it is. A fandom that will eagerly lap up anything said idols produce and spend buckets of cash on this group. So with what I call "the Avex treatment" will BiS succeed in making money for themselves at the cost of what made them known? Maybe. Maybe not. And maybe BiS really did want to be the idol group that stood out from all the other idols in the very large market for them. But it obviously didn't work out. Their album and singles failed to chart on the Oricon and it was said there was a lot of tension building up in the group and disagreements with the management and between the members. So the obvious solution is to sign with a company that will make sure the group sells at least a few thousand singles even if it's possibly at the cost of the group's individuality. Now with two new members and getting some shiny new Avex outfits shown at the top of this post what does this mean for the indie group who tried to hard to stand out? 

And there's my textual block of musings. Can you see why they fascinate me so much now? I literally have no idea what they're going to pull next. All I know it's probably going to be audacious and it's probably meant to grab my attention but at least that works. Following BiS is like taking home the fluffy dog you found at the animal shelter that keeps spazzing out every few minutes. So who knows? Maybe Avex will acknowledge what put made them get a little bit of fame and use that. Maybe they'll turn them into just another failed idol group to add to the ever growing pile. Only one thing is for sure: these girls are definitely on my radar. It just depends on how long they'll stay there...

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