I don’t know how the others start their write-ups so effortlessly, so let me just start with this: It’s so weird that we’re halfway through 2018 already. Time has flown by, but I hope that the latter half of the year goes swimmingly, but not as fast. I really can’t cope with the overly festive holidays being just around the corner.
As a random note, I can’t promise that there will be a chronological order to this post, so I’ll simply write what comes to mind as and when. And in an uncharacteristic move on my part, here ends the insignificant fodder that pads this opening. It’s time to talk, so let’s see what the first half of the year had in store for us all. It’s time to round up the year so far.
First and foremost, 2018’s opening act was one of the lower points of the year thus far. I won’t get into much detail regarding the sad points, but I did stop blogging on my own space for a few months in order to figure things out and to create a healthier lifestyle for myself. Because of the way 2018 started however, I feel like it’s created a more positive and mature side to myself, allowing me to manage my time better and work harder in both my jobs and online. I have also acknowledged that my love for Idols isn’t based solely on my writing, which is a welcome realisation.
A lot of this year has honestly been dedicated to growing my YouTube channel more than anything. Though I also post here and review what I can, I have given a greater focus to my video reactions and reviews than I did last year. It has been a lot of fun working on my channel and giving it the attention it needs, and despite being aware of how much more I could improve on what I create, I am simply having fun and enjoying it as much as I can.
In a similar vein to my YouTube drivel up there, I finally realised the joys of Keyakizaka46 thanks to a request that I watch one of the groups music videos. Through that, I have steadily found myself enjoying and falling for the group. It took some time, but finally I see the appeal of one of many Aki-P created supergroups, and thankfully it’s one of the better lot in the 48/46 pool of idols. Granted, their lyrics are almost always the same, but in terms of their aesthetic and sound, they are a really appealing bunch and one of many reasons why 2018 has been fun.
In terms of idols in general, I’ve been enjoying a fair few. I haven’t branched out from Hello! Project or Keyakizaka46 as much as I would have liked, mind, but I have found a few new favourites. NECRONOMIDOL, 2&, 26-Ji no masquerade, Suzuki Airi and Last Idol are a few who have entertained me so far, whilst BOYS AND MEN, AKB48, Juice=Juice, Tsubaki Factory and =LOVE have either gained or continued my interest with their early to mid-year releases.
With that increasing interest in idols and music, I found myself experiencing two fairly different idol concerts at the beginning of June. Back-to-back, I was able to attend the ANGERME concert in Paris on June 3rd, and then the NECRONOMIDOL BLACK WINDS OVER ALBION live in Manchester the following day. In total, I have seen four (technically five if you count the J-pop cover group AMAITSUKI) live idol performances in the span of two days. Needless to say, I was a very happy fan by the end of it all, and I’m still reeling over all that has happened weeks later.
Both events had their ups and downs, and all four groups I was able to watch perform had their charms, but it was NECRONOMIDOL, 2& and Zekkyo60 that impressed me the most by the end of my two day idol-bender. Perhaps the fan interaction, cheki and overall feel was what made me like it more, or perhaps it was the live itself – whatever it was, I came out of that live exhilarated and a fan of the groups and performers I had seen that night. It was an amazing experience, and I would happily do it all over again.
I met amazing people that weekend and Monday, had some interesting discussions and made a few new friends along the way. This was my most unforgettable experience from the year so far, and I don’t know if I can or will top. Regardless, I had a great time, and I feel like it was one of- if not the – best Idol live I’ve been to. Undergroundand indie idols are incredible, just saying.
In random yearly going-ons, I hit 1,000 posts on my blog, which then prompted me to buy my domain. Secondly, I hit 1K subscribers on YouTube, which I still need to celebrate properly (crying from utter joy does not count). Third, I was able to interview NECRONOMIDOL for their UK live tour via e-mail, and seeing their answers in front of me made me so happy. But above all, I think that speaking to the idols I like and think highly of was one of the highest points of my life as an idol fan.
It’s been a fun half-year so far, and I’ve enjoyed what 2018 has thrown at me. Yes, there has been a lot of sadness along the way, and we’ve already lost a few idol groups since the year began. Cheeky Parade have disbanded (because Avex hates us), PASSPO announced their disbandment for September, and even Houkago Princess will lose two of their energetic members come August, and I am aware that other groups have moved on or gone into hiatus. This is the way of the idol world however, and it is something I have become used to, I am sad to say. Still, from January to June, it’s been pretty good so far. I can’t really fault 2018, and honestly, I feel very lucky in what I have been able to do and what I have accomplished.
As for the second half of the year, let’s be honest and say I don’t know what will happen. I would love to see more idol groups perform, but that requires time and money. I would also like to dedicate myself to Selective Hearing more and become an efficient member of the team for Greg and the others. (And upon further reflection, I realise I have said this about myself in a previous yearly report. Some things will never change.)
Here’s to the second half of 2018, and with that I will have to love you and leave you. Before I head off though, here’s a bit of music and video delight that I have enjoyed from 2018’s crop of releases so far. Enjoy~
Have a good later half of the year everyone. Thanks for supporting Selective Hearing and enjoying the posts. We couldn’t do this without ya. Take care now.