For those of you who do not know, this weekend, two idol groups (NECRONOMIDOL and Yanakoto Sotto Mute) and one solo idol (14Generations Toilet hanakosan) will be coming to America as a part of the East Meets West Music Festival in Anaheim, California. While I unfortunately can’t make it, I’d like to write an introduction to each of them for those of you who are going or just any English speaking idol fans who might be interested in learning about them. If you haven’t read my Hanako-san introduction post, check it out here and if you haven’t read my Yanakoto Sotto Mute post, read it here.
This time, I’ll be talking about NECRONOMIDOL!
History & Concept
NECRONOMIDOL started recruiting for members in February on 2014 and was started as an idol project by producer Ricky Wilson, who is from America. Ricky was working in advertising and event management in Japan when a superior needed his help to secure a big idol group for a Japanese festival in Malaysia. There wasn’t enough money for a big idol group like his superior had hoped, but on his hunt for idol groups, he discovered Bellring Shoujo Heart. Ricky realized that they were doing something completely outside the “typical” idol scene and that one guy was running everything. He thought: I could do that and spent a few months getting a website created, establishing an image, coming up with ideas for stage costumes, and creating a few songs. In June of 2014, the group released their first single Ikotsu Moufubuki and had their debut live with four members, including Risaki Kakizaki and Sari.
In November, they had their first one man live. Hina Yotsuyu joined in May of 2015 and in September of 2015, NECRONOMIDOL performed in Taiwan, their first overseas live. January of 2016 marked their first album release, NEMESIS, and in March, the group toured France, their first time performing in Europe and outside of Asia. NECRONOMIDOL toured Thailand in August and in November, Rei Imaizumi joined the group.
The first couple months of 2017 were big, with Himari Tsukishiro joining the group in January of 2017, their second album DEATHLESS releasing in February, and the group returning to Thailand in March. In July, NECRONOMIDOL toured Europe, returning to France and going to England and Italy for the first time. NECRONOMIDOL were able to go to Ricky’s home country, America, for the first time in December of 2017, where they toured the West Coast and performed in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco. In 2018, the group toured Europe again in June, returning to England and France and performing in The Netherlands for the first time. The group is returning to America this weekend for the East Meets West Music Festival in Anaheim California, where they will be performing with a number of Japanese, American, and Japanese-American idols and bands, including Yanakoto Sotto Mute and Hanako-san.
The group can be described as a darkness themed idol group inspired by Japanese horror and H.P. Lovecraft. The name itself is a combination of the H.P. Lovecraft fictional grimoire in his stories called the “Necronomicon” and the word “idol”. There are many subtle references to H.P. Lovecraft that show up in the group’s songs. The group’s visuals are mainly inspired by horror and surreal artists and the members’ outfits are used to accentuate their characters. For example, Risaki’s outfits are inspired by shounen manga, Sari’s lean towards gothic horror, and Hina’s are inspired by magical girls.
The group’s sound has covered a lot of different genres and is inspired by many diverse influences. Some genres the group has covered and draw inspiration from include black metal, post metal, NWOBHM, darkwave, D-Beat, witch house, German metal, and analog synth. While there’s a current trend towards “loud idols”, groups that have more of a focus on metal based songs and vocals, NECRONOMIDOL don’t see themselves as fitting into that category. They aren’t traditional idols and do have metal songs, but they make their own path and don’t fit into any of the current scenes or molds perfectly. Another thing is that usually these “loud idol” groups have harsher vocals, but while NECRONOMIDOL often has harsh, grinding backing music, they use undistorted, more “natural” vocals of the members. NECRONOMIDOL’s diverse sound and influences allow them to fit in with a lot more groups than a standard idol group would. Sure, they can play with other idol groups, but they have also played with hardcore bands, metal bands, EDM groups, and avant-garde theater troupes. They’re always on the lookout for new scenes or shows to break into and constantly trying to evolve.
Obviously, their sound, visuals, and concept make them unique and the members each have their own unique charms (which I will get to later), but to me, there are three other things that really make the group stand out in a positive way. One is the level of care that Ricky has in the group. I get the impression that Ricky really wants to make songs and put on performances that both he and all of the members of the group can be proud of over making money. I’m not trying to say he’s the only producer or that they’re the only group like this, but there are a lot of groups that try to go in whatever direction will make them the most popular and focus on making the most money with the least amount of money spent. These groups don’t focus on quality songs or frequent releases because they feel they can make more money by just having a lot of live shows and advertising the members as much as possible. NECRONOMIDOL isn’t like this at all; they are always looking for new influences and trying to frequently release high quality new music.
Another is the input that the members have on the group. We’ve all heard the saying that idols are disposable. And, well, it’s true that a member leaving usually won’t bring down a group. This is even true in NECRONOMIDOL’s case; two of the original members are gone and two members who joined later have also left the group. Some groups treat their idols as disposable and may even tell them directly or allude to it in order to get them to adhere to their strict rules and stay in unfavorable conditions, but in NECRONOMIDOL, the girls are consulted with and Ricky seems to want each of them to be the best they can be. When the group does the vocals on their side, Ricky will work with Risaki to come up with a good vocal part. He says that she has a great ear for melodies and helps rework things that are difficult to perform live. She has also choreographed dances for several songs. Sari is excellent with words, so after Ricky writes the first draft of the lyrics, she’ll go over them and change some things around. Ricky thought that a solo career on the side for Rei would be good for her to shine and show off what she can do, so she started playing solo shows on the side in a different environment. It always makes me happy when members are involved in a group and when a producer clearly cares about the girls.
Finally, as an international fan, it really stands out to me how much they care about expanding their fanbase outside of Japan. Almost every group is delighted to hear that they have international fans and would love to play abroad, but NECRONOMIDOL is the only underground idol group I know of that plays outside of Asia this frequently and is this easy to follow from outside of Japan. At this rate, performances in America and Europe are looking to be a yearly thing, whereas getting your favorite underground group in your country (if you live outside of Asia) is usually a one-time deal. Lyrics translations are posted on music videos, there are a lot of English interviews out there with the group, and Ricky posts any pertinent information in English as well as in Japanese. The group has an online store that is all in English and ships internationally, as well as an international fan club that you can sign up for on Patreon. While the members aren’t strong English speakers, they are improving and are very willing to use the English they know in fan interactions and overseas MCs. They’re even getting a weekly billingual reality show that will be streamed on Twitch and YouTube live! It’s hard to support most idol groups financially outside of Japan, but NECRONOMIDOL makes it easy and rewarding.
A bit more on the group: NECRONOMIDOL is often called Necroma for short (ネクロ魔) and fans are called Ma Wota (魔ヲタ). The group catchphrase is “Anata no ikinone tomechau zo!” which JpopRocks translated to “I’ll choke you to death, my dear!” and before their lives, the girls say “shuudan jisatsu”, which translates to group suicide. NECRONOMIDOL’s Japanese fan club name is Ankoku Kyodan and they call the international fan club The Hermetic Order of the Black Dawn. Fan club members are called shinjya, or devotees.
I’ve already established that NECRONOMIDOL has a very wide variety of music from many different genres. They currently have seven singles: Ikotsu Moufubuki, Reikon Shoumetsu, ETRANGER, EXITIUM, from chaos born, DAWNSLAYER, and STRANGE AEONS. They also have two albums, NEMESIS and DEATHLESS. A new album is set to be released soon. Besides that, they recently re-released their first single Ikotsu Moufubuki and have released vinyls of both albums, cassettes of from chaos born and NEMESIS, and CD-Rs of LE TOUT EN UN ET UN ET TOUT and RE:DARKNESS. LE TOUT EN UN ET UN ET TOUT was sold in France and contains French versions of Skulls in the Stars and ‘UMR-AT-TAWIL.
It’s hard to recommend songs because there’s so many good ones and also because they’re so different, but I think you should start with Skulls in the Stars, Ithaqua, and DAWNSLAYER. Skulls in the Stars is what I’d describe as their main live “hype” song. It’s fun, there’s a lot of calls, and the audience gets really involved in copying the dance moves. I made a call guide for it too, if you’d like to learn:
Ithaqua is probably my second favorite NECRONOMIDOL song. It’s one of their more well-known songs and I think it’s a beautiful and chilling song. DAWNSLAYER is another one of their more well-known songs that I think most people will like. The guitar is great!
My favorite song of their’s is 4.7L. It’s one of my most played idol songs as of late and I highly recommend giving it a listen.
Rei recommends Ithaqua and MIDNIGHT DOMINATOR with their backing band. I already linked Ithaqua, but here is MIDNIGHT DOMINATOR:
Rei also likes Psychopomp because she thinks her feelings are able to show the most in the song and when she’s strong, she is able to be expressive and bring a lot to the performance. Psychopomp is one of my favorites too, it’s hauntingly beautiful.
Lately, Rei’s favorite has been STRANGE AEONS. It’s the lead track off their newest release and pretty different from most of their other songs. I’d say it’s maybe the most idolly song they’ve ever done.
Himari’s favorite NECRONOMIDOL song is SARNATH. It’s a special song to her and the lyrics towards the beginning really resonate with her.
There’s so many choices that I asked someone I know who is a big NECRONOMIDOL fan for some of her favorites. She said Vulture was her favorite and she listens to it every day, but she also really likes Skulls in the Stars, Azathoth, Ichor, Strange Aeons, and Witching Hour. I’m not going to link all of these and some of them I’ve already linked, but here’s Vulture:
Videos & Live Performances
While I linked all live videos for NECRONOMIDOL, they also have a number of MVs. Currently, they have MVs for Atai no Tsumeato, KHOLAT SYAKHL, LAMINA MALEDICTUM, Skulls in the Stars, psychopomp, ITHAQUA, DAWNSLAYER, and ABHOTH. Atai no Tsumeato and KHOLAT SYAKHL have a creepy, black and white, Japanese horror feel to them.
Skulls in the Stars is a really cool and unique PV. It’s done in the style of old school video games and the girls are depicted as pixelated video game characters making their way through Aokigahara, Kholat Syakhl. and Tokyo-IV. I would totally play it if it was a real game and it’s the NECRONOMIDOL music video I’ve watched the most.
Lamina Maledictum is a live performance MV mixed with behind-the-scenes shots.
psychopomp was shot in Aokigahara and I like how it’s really vibrant and beautiful while at the same time still being unsettling.
ITHAQUA looks absolutely stunning and was shot in the snow. It works really well for the song and although I’m not sure where it was shot, the girls have talked about how it was the coldest they’ve ever been and how you can see them shivering in the video.
DAWNSLAYER is definitely their most high-budget looking video and from the description, you can see they had a huge team working on it. It paid off and I think Sari especially stands out in this one.
ABHOTH is their most recent video and documents the group’s shironuri march with their fans through Tokyo, along with featuring live footage.
One thing that’s really unique about NECRONOMIDOL, like Yanakoto Sotto Mute who I recently covered, is that at all of their lives, you’re allowed to film and take pictures. Both of these things are banned at most idol lives in Japan, so this is really rare. Almost all of their shows are uploaded on YouTube by someone and I think this makes them a lot easier to follow from abroad. Even special shows, like one man lives and birthday shows, usually have at least some highlights uploaded. Not only can you see their songs live, you can also watch their MCs and get to know each of the members better. Just search “NECRONOMIDOL live” or something like that and you’ll find a ridiculous amount of live content. If you filter by length, you can find a lot of their longer lives that people have uploaded. Personally, I recommend anything from their birthday shows and band sets.
I think this is an interesting live because it’s a fan voted setlist and one of their longer lives you can find on YouTube:
Here’s their first performance in the United States:
I find Lunatic Dawn does a great job at uploading lives, so check out their channel for a wide variety of NECRONOMIDOL content.
Now that I’ve covered the group’s history, concept, members, and lives, let’s talk about the members!
Call at lives: Okaki
Color: Rhododendron (pink)
Blood Type: A
Hobbies: Looking at floor plans, decorating chekis
Okaki is the ace of the group, one of the original members, and the group’s leader figure. She’s great at both singing and dancing and like I mentioned earlier, has worked on the group’s melodies and choreography. She has always been a decent singer, but started getting serious about her vocals when was a member of an idol group before NECRONOMIDOL and decided to dedicate herself to improving her singing in hopes of getting more solo parts. Okaki describes herself as having the most neutral character of the group and says that she was never a social person before she joined NECRONOMIDOL, but being a part of the group has helped her to open up and work as part of a team. I’d describe her as a very dedicated and hard-working idol. Before a live performance, she stretches, listens to the songs they are performing to get the right pitch, and does vocal exercises. At home, it’s hard to practice dancing, but she watches recordings and practices singing in the bathroom.
She is also the best at English out of the members. While she’s not proficient, she can understand basic English and carry out a basic conversation without problems. In the past, Okaki did a one month homestay in Canada, but said it was hard to study English during her homestay. Still, it might have helped a little bit. Okaki calls herself a Japanese ninja in her introduction. In her spare time, she likes to watch horror movies, particularly splatter movies. Her favorite is Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Okaki also loves spicy foods, ramen, tapioca milk tea, chocolate, and Kirby. Her favorite idol groups aside from NECRONOMIDOL are There There Theres and BILLE IDLE.
Call at lives: Sari-chan
Color: Transparent (white)
Blood Type: B
Hobbies: Excessive decoration
Skills: Ceramics, Japanese paintings
Sari is the other original member of the group and never had the desire to be an idol, but decided to apply to NECRONOMIDOL after seeing the listing talk about things like abandoned buildings and ghosts. In Sari’s introduction, she says “My life is a show”. Before NECRONOMIDOL, she listened to avant garde composers and went to underground dance events. At these events, there were many people in shironuri (white makeup) fashion. She became friends with them and they taught her all about the subculture and got her interested. Sari has a gothic horror type image and is very into fashion, art, and decoration. Like I mentioned earlier, she is also good with words and helps with the lyrics for NECRONOMIDOL. She decided to travel to India on her own recently in her spare time and bought a traditional Indian outfit on the trip, called a Saree. Sari also enjoys American TV dramas, with her favorite being Orange is the New Black. She said it sort of made her want to go to prison. From what I’ve seen, I’d say that Sari tries to maintain a professional and composed image to fit with her style, but is easily amused and often laughs and smiles. Recently, I saw someone call Sari cute on a NECRONOMIDOL stream and she said, “No! I am beautiful!”
Live Call: Yotsuyu
Color: Blood (red)
Blood Type: A
Hina has a very cute, idol-like appearance and she’s described as having a cat-like personality and being like an anime character. She is calm and probably the most quiet out of the members. Ricky described Hina’s outfits as being based on a supporting character in a magical girl anime. Hina loves anything Harry Potter and also any kind of fruit related food, particularly fruit cakes. She always wears twintails with ribbons.
Live Call: Rei-chan
Color: Dawn (orange)
Blood Type: A
Skills: Piano, sewing, eating delicious things
Rei is very cute and bubbly, has a wonderful smile, and is the most stereotypical idol of the group. She’s been a fan of idols for a long time, particularly popular “standard” idol groups, but thought NECRONOMIDOL seemed unique and interesting, so she decided to give it a go. Rei loves cute fashion, being in Harajuku, and stuffed animals. Her personality is described as carefree and easygoing. She was actually born in London, but only lived there for a few weeks before her parents moved back to Japan. Ricky describes Rei as the “healer” of NECRONOMIDOL. She’s hardworking, talented, and essential to the group, but she doesn’t stand out as much as other types like black mages or warriors. He wanted her to be able to shine and show off what she can do, so he suggested to her the idea of performing separately as a solo idol alongside her NECRONOMIDOL performances. She mostly focuses on NECRONOMIDOL, but sometimes performs solo at more traditional idol live events. Her solo stuff is totally different to what she does in NECRONOMIDOL and her songs are very cute, orthodox idol songs.
Live Call: Himari
Color: Witching hour (blue)
Blood Type: AB
Hobbies: Anime, reading, traveling by myself, eating, my little sister
Skills: Calligraphy, flute
Himari is the otaku of the group and says she lives in 2D. Cardcaptor Sakura is her favorite anime and her dream as a kid was always to become a magical girl. Besides Cardcaptor Sakura, she likes a bunch of other anime, including Haikyuu and K-ON!, and seems to watch airing anime each season. Himari likes collecting anything anime or otaku related and wants to perform at anime conventions/Japanese culture conventions all over the world. Before NECRONOMIDOL, Himari was a member of Bakuon Dolls Syndrome, a nurse themed rock/metal idol group.
She is proud of her long hair and is one of the members in the underground idol world with the longest hair. I’d describe Himari’s personality as confident and playful. She seems to be easy to talk to and good at fan interaction.
How to Support NECRONOMIDOL
So, if you’re interested in the members, the music, or the group as a whole, what can you do to support NECRONOMIDOL? Obviously, you can go see them in Japan. Or you can go see them at the East Meets West Music Festival!
As it says on the poster, the East Meets West Music Fest takes place on 8/18-8/19 in Anaheim, California and they are also performing with Japanese idol group Yanakoto Sotto Mute, Japanese solo idol 14Generations Toilet hanakosan, American acts, and Japanese-American acts. Tickets are $40 per day or $70 for both days in advance or $100 for a VIP ticket that includes entrance for both days, entrance to the meet and greet, and an unsigned poster and photo set. Higher VIP tiers include things like T-shirts, penlights, signed items, exclusive unique items from each group, a signed large framed photo of the idol of your choice, and a personalized thank you video. With the higher VIP tiers, you can get an exclusive special item from NECRONOMIDOL! You can buy tickets here.
Can’t make the event or fly to Japan but you still want to show your support for NECRONOMIDOL? Well, you can pay $40 for a livestream ticket and watch the livestream of East Meets West while also supporting the event. You can also get the $400 VIP livestream ticket, which includes a signed poster, penlight, cheki set, and signed framed autograph picture of the member of your choice. That’s pretty expensive, yeah, but it’s exclusive stuff that you can’t get anywhere else and whenever I’ve seen framed autographed pictures of idols, they’ve gone for a lot of money.
Aside from that, it’s really easy to support the group with their online store and international fan club. NECRONOMIDOL’s online store is here and it sells their CD releases, CD/DVD sets, T-Shirts, posters, patches, chekis of the members, and more. Sure, you can buy their songs digitally through services like iTunes and you can find their releases and some of their items on other sites, but why not support the group in the most direct way possible when they ship internationally and it’s all in English? You can also join the group’s international fan club, The Hermetic Order of the Black Dawn, here. For $3 a month, you get access to exclusive blog posts and photos of the members. For $6 a month, you get that as well as at least one exclusive behind the scenes video a month. $9 dollars a month gets you everything in the $6 category, as well as more exclusive photos and a special thank you video addressed to all $9 patrons once a month. When they reach $1000 a month on Patreon (right now they’re at $839), they will have a special fan club exclusive show in Tokyo that will be livestreamed for patrons who aren’t in Japan and providing an archived version for patrons to watch it later.
If you’d like to support them for free, you can stream all of their music through Spotify. You can also follow the girls on Twitter and send them supportive tweets. The girls read all of them and really notice and appreciate the support. They will usually like your tweets and often retweet fan art or pictures from lives. Rei and Okaki also seem to reply to a lot of normal fan tweets. Lastly, starting in mid-September, you can watch NECRONOMIDOL’s bilingual variety show, The Witching Hour! It will air on Twitch and YouTube Live Mondays at 12 PM in Japan and the comedy duo Timebomb, which consists of the American member Nick and the Japanese member Shouta Takakuwa, will be hosting. They also plan to have other idols as guests on the show.
Links and Additional Information
NECRONOMIDOL English Info (Facebook)
Rei’s NECRONOMIDOL Twitter
Rei’s Solo Twitter
Himari’s LINE Blog
Note: all of the members have Ameblo blogs, but I only linked the ones that were semi-active. You can find them all of the NECRONOMIDOL website.
There are a bunch of both video and text based interviews with NECRONOMIDOL out there so I’m not going to link them all, but they’re all great and I encourage you to look them up on Google and YouTube. JPopRocks has done a bunch and most are conducted by staff member Derek Vasconi, so I encourage looking at their channel here.
I think NECRONOMIDOL is a unique group with high quality music, talented members, and I think they’re one of the easiest groups to follow from abroad. I hope you will go see them at East Meets West or events in the future!
Have you seen NECRONOMIDOL live before? Are you going to East Meets West? Do you know anything about NECRONOMIDOL that I don’t? What do you think of them? Who’s your oshimen? Let me know!