Created By: SheldonDinkleburg on September 13, 2017 Last Edited By: SheldonDinkleburg on September 13, 2017

Alternative Idol

Idol Singer + The Power Of Rock

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Idol Singers are a dime a dozen in the Japanese music scene, infamous for their formulaic bubblegum pop songs, synchronized dance routines, and manufactured and controlled Purity Personified image. But what if you wanted to be an idol without all that baggage? What if you wanted to sing hard rock songs and be a bad girl instead?

Enter the alt-idol scene. These idols are Darker and Edgier than the norm, exploring genres such as metal and punk rock, being rowdier with their crowds, and showing more violent imagery. They are often referred to as anti-idols, but this is most often a misnomer. Many of them are still cutesy girly idols at heart signed on to major records, but are given more creative freedom to shape their image as they see fit, and they often collaborate with more traditional idols.


  • BABYMETAL, one of the two bands credited with originating the genre, was a spin-off of the traditional idol group Sakura Gakuin and became an online sensation for combining the typical cutesy image of an Idol Singer group with heavy metal songs and imagery.
  • Brand-New Idol Society (BiS), the other credited originator of the genre, was built from the ground up by indie singer Pour Lui, who then used it as a vehicle to attack the very concept of an Idol Singer itself. The band openly defied the Purity Personified image of traditional idols with violent, hypersexualized, and gruesome imagery and lyrics while mocking manipulative management tactics and idols' pandering relationship with wota fans. They explored a wide variety of genres and their tone could range from playful and cheeky to brutal Punk Rock. Though they disbanded in 2014, their legacy was continued by Brand-New Idol Shit (BiSH), which used similar violent imagery, albeit with less emphasis on Genre Deconstruction aspect. Eventually, BiSH encouraged BiS itself to reform in 2016.
  • Homicidols is an Anglophone site which covers the scene, including news and descriptions of various alt-idol groups.
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