Idol Battle Royale! Gyu-No Fes Returns to Shin-Kiba 1st Ring!
Photo by Kenichi Inagaki
Despite growing nationalism in Japan escalating tensions across Asia, on February 11, 2016, also known as National Foundation Day, idol fans assembled at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring to witness a double header of intense and refreshing idol performances. Titled “Gyu-No Fes Road to Tochigi! 〜Geki-on Kokeraotoshi 4-Man Gyu-No Kiki-Ippatsu〜” and “Gyu-No Fes Road to Tochigi!! 〜Geki-on Kick-Off Gyu-No Ikari no Tekken〜”, they were the latest in a series of idol events organized by entertainer, farmer, idol event promoter, and all around wild and crazy guy Gyuzo to promote his home prefecture of Tochigi. Appearing in the wrestling ring on that chilly winter’s day were: lyrical school, Guso drop, Zekkyo Suru 60-do, Oyasumi Hologram, Black DPG, Kakumei Idol Bousou-chan (Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker), Koi Suru BEAT, Stereo Tokyo, POP, Jyu Jyu, Death Rabbits, Tochiotome 25, and BELLRING Shojo Heart.
Disclaimer: With 13 groups performing that day, we did as best as we could to report on each group. However, if you feel that we may have overlooked something, please let us know. Not all set lists for each group were available. We will try to do better next time.
Gyu-No Fes Road to Tochigi! 〜Geki-on Kokeraotoshi 4-Man Gyu-No Kiki-Ippatsu〜
lyrical school got things bumping with a power packed 6-song set of their classics that took full advantage of not just the ring but also the main stage as mei and yumi jogged around the ring and on the catwalk. Keeping it mostly old school with tengal6 tracks “Put Your Hands Up!”, “photograph”, and “tengal6”, no lyrical school live would be complete without “FRESH!!!”.
Added to the event right after it was announced that they would be making their major label debut on King Records in the spring, lyrical school were rock solid and added some refreshing variety to a lineup that was dominated by groups with heavy metal and punk influences.
01 Put Your Hands Up!
03 Maybe Love
With a concept for being a “heel” (villain role in pro wrestling) idol group, Black DPG was right at home in the wrestling ring, making their entrance in dramatic fashion, brandishing weapons and jumping up onto the ropes at the corners of the ring as symphonic heavy metal blasted out over the speakers. Gyuzo came into the ring but was promptly knocked from his feet by Miyako Matsumoto.
Smashing their way through a frantic and unpredictable 4 song set, they climbed the ropes and even fought each other several times. The Great Marina was thrown to the mat by Black Moon, Metropoli Chan V hit those standing near the ring with a tail attached to her costume, and Ayachi Zabi climbed to the top rope and jumped down repeatedly as the audience responded by slapping the mat loudly to show their appreciation for the madness inside the ring.
01 Bonkyu Bon
03 Yokoshima 88
04 Zekku Tokyo
After a considerable break to set up the stage with umbrellas and what looked like a giant Tenga, hardcore “soft-prick” idol group Guso Drop whipped the audience into a pit of controlled chaos. Yura climbed the ropes and flipped off the mosh pit and Saki unleashed the first of many blood-curdling death screams as a wall of otaku rose up to cheer her on.
Despite all the mayhem unfolding around the ring, which included Yura whacking fans on the head with a squeaky hammer, Rei swinging a chain overhead, and Anna hitting a gong to end “Toge Onna” things cooled down as the members waved their feathered fans for “Hirari, Hirahira” and took out their glowing umbrellas for “slow rain@Tokyo”. Going for the big finish, the mosh pit cranked back up, eventually swelling to where the fans were running around the entire ring during “Do-Inaka PUNK Modoki Onna”. Dripping with sweat, the audience pounded the mat vigorously in appreciation for Guso Drop’s unforgettable performance.
03 Toge Onna
04 Hirari, Hirahira
05 slow rain@Tokyo
07 Do-Inaka PUNK Modoki Onna
Zekkyo Suru 60-do
Even though both Kai and Montero were both battling colds and in the middle of their tour with 6% Is Mine, having just been in Osaka the previous evening, the masked duo known as Zekkyo 60-do rocked Shin-Kiba 1st Ring with the ferocity of the Antarctic winds from which they take their name. Kai and Montero entered the ring to a punk revamping of “Requiem” from the Ghibli anime Nausicaä, the audience slapped the edge of the mat furiously and rocked back forth as they banged their heads. The mosh pit swelled and the fans began sprinting around the ring, momentarily cooling down the hot moist air. Kai maintained a vantage point standing on the ropes in one of the corners as she sang, several fans being lifted in attempts to get her attention. She and Montero apologized for being under the weather but received loud cheers when they said that they had to be there because they love performing and always give their best effort.
Launching into “3-nen Days”, Montero shouted to the audience to get more excited as they were already clapping and bouncing while shouting out her and Kai’s name to the the buzzing of power chords. Finishing up with the heavy electronicore “ONLY PLACE WE CAN CRY”, fans began crowdsurfing, and the air grew thick as bodies crashed into each other. After Kai and Montero left the ring, a musty haze remained, causing Gyuzo to jokingly exclaim, “The venue smells bad now! Otaku stink!”
01 Nausicaä Requiem
02 (song unknown*)
03 Utsusemi no Hana
04 Gyakushuu to iu Na no Senritsu
05 Dai-senji Bocchi Sensou
06 3-nen Days
07 ONLY PLACE WE CAN CRY
Despite it being their second time at Shin-Kiba 1st Ring and their reputation for attracting a wild crowd, Oyasumi Hologram were fairly conservative in their antics. Kanamiru and Hachigatsu-chan took a few laps around the ring high-hiving the audience as they waded through the thick wall of sound titled “Drifter”. Getting the crowd jumping with “Forever young”, Kanamiru ventured outside the ropes but stayed on the edge of the ring before turning her attention to Hachigatsu-chan and unsuccessfully tried to start wrestling with her.
Visibly agitated during the next song “Plan”, Kanamiru lifted Hachigatsu-chan’s skirt and spanked her before locking her up in a sleeper hold. Slowing things down with “Dareka no Niwa”, Hachigatsu-chan lead the audience in waving their hands back and forth and Kanamiru plopped herself down on the mat, staring at the ceiling. Finishing with the dense fuzz guitars and feedback of “strawberry”, the camera and phone screens glowed in the darkness, pictures of Kanamiru and Hachigatsu-chan snapped each time they approached the edges of the ring. Even though Kanamiru’s new blonde hair looks quite nice, she isn’t as wild as she was back when it was red.
04 Forever young
06 Dareka no Niwa
Gyu-No Fes Road to Tochigi!! 〜Geki-on Kick-Off Gyu-No Ikari no Tekken〜
Bucho appeared alone as he walked towards the ring with a rocket launcher on his shoulder, causing the fans of Death Rabbits to shout at him for trying to steal the spotlight from the much younger and cuter members who scampered out behind him after a dramatic pause. Spraying a fine mist out of the toy gun, he lurked in the background as Yuzu Okawa, Emi Mochizuki, and Karin Yasui bounced around on the ring. Fans called out the girls names when they introduced themselves and there was complete silence for Bucho. Trying to show how cool he thought he was by bouncing off the ropes ended in embarrasing failure as he fell flat on his face.
Punching imaginary speed bags and jogging back and forth with the fans, Yuzu, Emi, and Karin feigned enthusiasm as they made spirit fingers for Bucho’s long-winded growling vocals during “Zangyochuu ni Ramen wo Susuru”. Festival season came early with their final song “Omatsuri JAPAN!! Kokuhaku Night” as an impromptu Obon dance broke out around the wrestling ring.
01 2nd Attack
02 Zangyochuu ni Ramen wo Susuru
04 Omatsuri JAPAN!! Kokuhaku Night
Koi Suru BEAT
Entering the ring with giant daikon raised high above their heads, Koi Suru Beat were full over fighting spirit, calling Gyuzo to come out and face them. He scolded them for being so brash as they were youngest group to appear, calling them “baby birds”. Determined to show their determination, they hit him with double lariats that left him hanging on the ropes before sending their feathers and hats flying with “Mystic Days” and “Joshi Vampire”.
While some might be quick to compare Koi Suru Beat as mere imitators of BELLRING Shojo Heart, especially with their black outfits and feathers but, with their aggressive punk rock sound and carefree performance style, it should only be a matter of time before they’re more well known.
Thankfully, Koi Suru Beat uploaded a video of their performance to their YouTube channel. Unfortunately, it was announced on February 20th that Mamiko Kido would be leaving the group in April.
01 Mystic days
02 Joshi Vampire
03 Donut no Ana no Toko
05 Vanilla Sky
Cursed idol unit Jyu Jyu appeared of the darkness accompanied only by the frantic slapping of the mat of the wrestling ring. The audience began bouncing along the dark synths and menacing bass of “idoll” as Neu and Shirai flailed their arms and moved lightly around the ring. Fans linked arms and hopped from side to side and banded their heads in unison to the militaristic groove of “Shoku”.
Raising their hands high above their heads and moving delicately around the ring to “Itoshisugite”, Neu and Shirai’s jet black hair whipped about, their pale slender arms chopping through the air in triangular motions. Ending with “Jyujyu” as their fans slapped the mat thunderously and shouted out loudly, Shirai and Neu’s haunting voices floated above the dense and chaotic metal instrumentation. With only a brief introduction, Jyu Jyu let their dark performance speak for themselves. Sadly, it would be Shirai’s first and last time to perform in a wrestling ring as she announced her graduation from the group a few weeks later on February 27th.
3 Ashita wa MAMONO
POP returned to Shin-Kiba 1st Ring in dramatic fashion as Saki Kamiya appeared on the stage last, holding a hammer above her head while singing her opening lines to “pretty pretty good”. Striking the ringside bell right as the main riff kicked in, she joined the others in the squared circle as they proceeded to deliver one of the strongest performances of the entire day. With the 360-degree view offered by the ring, POP had altered their choreography to maximize its potential and show off their recent jump in performance ability. Rotating precisely during the break before the bridge of “Alarm”, the members looked like they were defending themselves against an attack from all sides that was closing in on them.
Boldly declaring, “The only ones at the main stage will be us!”, they backed up their words with an intense performance of “Plastic 2 mercy” which had the audience erupt into a loud MIX and jumping along. Rotating slowly as they jumped and high-kicked before the chorus, POP made sure that everyone could see the results of their hard work. Keeping things going with “who am I?”, POP bounced around in the ring, stretching out their hands and rocking back and forth and Saki being wrapped up in a group hug to end the song. Ending with “Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky”, Saki and Yua Yumeno skipped around the ring and fans strained to extend their hands in kecha towards Ao Shigusawa and Maaya Inukai as best as they could without breaking the rules.
01 pretty pretty good
04 Plastic 2 mercy
05 who am I?
07 Happy Lucky Kirakira Lucky
Flags from the countries of the world and penlights of various colors began waving in anticipation of Stereo Tokyo’s appearance in the ring but, if anyone who has ever seen one of their live performances would already know that they would not stay in the ring long. Ayaka Shiina barely made it 2 minutes into the first song “PARTY PEOPLE” before she ducked under the ropes to dance on the walkway outside the ring and disappeared into the floor area. During “Sidechain Love”, everyone ended up leaving the ring and were dancing somewhere in the audience. You don’t watch STEREO TOKYO so much as you participate in one of their performances!
During “Endless Dokidoki Mode”, DJ Nanako Miura stepped out from behind the mixer and danced with Misa Saionji who ran around on the outside of the ring blowing soap bubbles before making her way around the ring dancing along with the audience. Crawling back into the ring after the festive chaos of “ANTHEM”, the 4 MCs of Stereo Tokyo began the ritual that is “Buddhist Bounce”. The music continued to play even after they left the stage but the audience kept singing along.
Of course, they recorded a video of their performance too!
01 PARTY PEOPLE
05 Sidechain Love
06 Endless Dokidoki Mode
08 Buddhist Bounce
Named after Tochigi’s famous strawberries highly praised for their sweetness and pleasing appearance, Tochiotome 25 were a refreshing change of pace to the lineup. Opening with the smooth steel drum melodies of “Yu”, their ode to Tochigi’s more than 600 onsen, their fans, clad in bright red shirts ran in circles with them when the tempo sped up suddenly. Tochiotome 25 rattled off facts about strawberries to the frantic dempa-rock rhythm of “Ichigo Hakase” as the fans jumped excitedly.
Moving on to Utsunomiya’s specialty with the piping hot “GYO-ZA Party”, one fan got so excited that he picked up one of the banners and started waving it along to the music. The fans raised their voices, calling out and clapping to “Ano Sora wo Koete～2012～” as the members smiled sweetly and waved their arms back and forth. Swinging their towels and making bull horns with their hands, Tochiotome 25 turned up the heat with “Wagyu Fire!”, a perky shuffle about Tochigi’s richly marbled beef before ending with “Tochiotome 25 no Theme”.
02 Ichigo Hakase
03 GYO-ZA Party
04 Ano Sora wo Koete～2012～
05 Wagyu Fire!
06 Tochiotome 25 no Theme
Kakumei Idol Bousou-chan (Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker)
Starting with founder/director/choreographer Toco Nikaido making her way through the ring and up to the top of the bleachers, she explained how the members would come into the audience and just about everywhere in the venue during the performance and let everyone know it was okay to post as many pictures or videos as possible. Despite her rapid-fire introduction, there was nothing that could have prepared anyone for what happened. Wave after wave of performers in rainbow school uniforms came spilling out from backstage, filling the ring and scattering to every corner of the room, clapping and chanting “uryaoi”.
Throwing confetti, streamers, and candy in the air, waving pompoms, and taking selfies, all while chanting to a rapidly changing playlist of idol and anisong classics like “Bouken Desho Desho”, “God Knows” (Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) and “Kimagure Princess” (Morning Musume.). Tossing cyalumes in the air, their outfits were next, revealing school swimsuits (even for the male members)! Words fail to describe Kakumei Idol Bousou-chan (Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker), the closest description might be “Cool Japan Cirque du Soleil”?
Thankfully, there is a video which was probably taken by someone who was probably sitting near Toco Nikaido. Watch it!
BELLRING Shojo Heart
Ending a long day of amazing performances was BELLRING Shojo Heart, flapping their black wings as they entered the ring accompanied by the frantic drumming of hands on the mat of the wrestling ring. Armed with megaphones and boxing gloves, they shouted out to the fans as they stood on the ropes, Kai crawling around on the outer edge of the ring. Things began to escalate with the second song, “the Edge Of Goodbye”, several fans pulling themselves up onto the edge of the ring and Mizuho beat away on her tambourine.
The audience erupted as soon as the familiar riff to “c.a.n.d.y.” blared out from the speakers, banging their heads, jumping, and running around the ring. Cooling things off slightly with “Chappy” and “Room 24-7”, the temperature started to rise again with the psychedelic “Starlight Sorrow”. Chaos returned with their ominous classic “Circus & Renai Soudan”, the members whipping their hair and thrashing wildly in the ring. During the part of the song where BELLRING Shojo Heart forms a human pyramid, it was none other than the promoter Gyuzo, who ended up being lifted to end up the center of attention when Kai snapped a few pictures as she always does when they perform the song. Things got a little out of control during “rainy dance” as some of the fans got too excited and started pulling themselves up by the ropes in addition to their usual crowdsurfing. Gyuzo quickly went and sat on the edge of the ring to calm things down a little before anything really dangerous happened during the final song “asthma”. Kanra was wheeled around on a cart as the chaos gradually began to subside.
02 the Edge Of Goodbye
03 Hornet ’98
06 Room 24-7
07 Starlight Sorrow
08 Circus & Renai Soudan
09 rainy dance
As much as pinchike have become a problem at certain idol events, so far Gyuzo has been able to keep things relatively under control, despite intentionally gathering together several groups known for their wild lives. Perhaps it’s because his events have a feeling of community to them because they’re held to raise awareness about Tochigi, whether it be their delicious agricultural goods or their cute idols? Whatever the reason, he seems to have a knack for putting together unique events which keep people wondering what he will do next!
Photos by Kenichi Inagaki
Gyu-No Fes Studio Alta Dengeki Jack Part 1
Studio Alta, Shinjuku 3-24-3, 7F, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open: 10:30am Start: 11:00am
Presale: 2,200 yen Door: 2,700 yen (+ 1 drink minimum)
Scheduled to appear: POP, Shiina Pikarin, Maneki Kecha, and Death Rabbits
Gyu-No Fes Studio Alta Dengeki Jack Part 2
Studio Alta, Shinjuku 3-24-3, 7F, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open: 2:45pm Start: 3:15pm
Presale: 2,700 yen Door: 3,200 yen (+ 1 drink minimum)
Scheduled to appear: BILLIE IDLE®, BELLRING Shojo Heart, and Vanilla Beans
Gyu-No Alta Yosei Shiraku・Danshou Futari-kai
Studio Alta, Shinjuku 3-24-3, 7F, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Open: 7:00pm Start: 7:30pm
Presale: 3,000 yen Door: 3,500 yen
Scheduled to appear: Gyuzo, Shiraku Tatekawa, and Danshou Tatekawa
Gyu-No Fes Road to Tochigi!!! Tochigi-ken he no Michi Dai Kick-Off〜Mankai! Haru no Gyu-No Idol Matsuri〜!
Shin-Kiba Studio Coast
April 10, 2016 (Sunday)
Open: 12:00pm 1:00pm
Presale: 4,000 yen Door: 4,500 yen (+ 1 drink minimum)
Gyu-No Fest Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/gyuno_fes
Gyu-No Fest Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gyuzofarmfes
lyrical school Official site: http://lyricalschool.com/
NATSU NO MAMONO /Black DPG Official site: http://mamonodpg.com
Guso drop Official site: http://gusodrop.info/
Oyasumi Hologram Official site: http://oysm-hologram.com/
Zekkyo Suru 60-do Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/zekkyo60
BELLRING Shojo Heart Official site: http://bellringgirlsheart.com/
Death Rabbits Official site: http://deathrabbits.com/
Jyu Jyu Official site: http://jyujyu.info/
Kakumei Idol Bousou-chan (Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker) Official site: http://www.missrevodolbbbbbbbberserker.asia/
Koi Suru BEAT Official site: http://www.koisurubeat.com/
POP Official site: http://www.pop2m.com/
Stereo Tokyo Official site: http://www.st-tokyo.com/
Tochiotome 25 Official site: http://tochiotome25.com/
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