Last Saturday, the Budokan Idol Expo was held at Tokyo’s famous Budokan Arena. The event attracted over 1000 idol pop performers to do their thing. So how exactly does a group stand out from the upbeat masses at such a gathering.
Well, the group CY8ER’s answer involved a creative get-up for a fan meet-and-greet.
The six-piece outfit donned hazmat suits for a “fan hug” event held on May 6 at the Budokan’s biggie-sized expo. Photos of said fashion choice have managed to get a lot of looks on social media and, subsequently, Japan-centric news sites. As SoraNews24 summarises, CY8ER held a two-hour long session where fans could pay about a dollar to be briefly hugged by each member of the electro-pop unit (about $20 gets you a signed photo, too). Either way, punters had to face away from the suit-clad members, who gave them a brief embrace from behind.
A lot of the online response has been of the “oh idol culture variety,” hovering between “why would you pay for this?,” to “wow they really don’t want to be close to their friends.” But, as SoreNews24 notes, a strong visual representation in idol groups is key, so CY8ER might simply be trying to get some looks (mission accomplished). I’d add that smaller outfits like CY8ER tend to be very self-aware about idol culture — say, about the perceived gnarliness of meet-and-greet events — and are poking fun at it (and I’m sure fans picked up on the goof too). Let’s not pretend idols aren’t aware of the world they are in.
CY8ER are getting a fair amount of attention from this — but who are they exactly? The group formed earlier this year from the ashes of a duo idol outfit, BPM15Q, a short-lived but exhilarating project incorporating the fizzy sounds of future bass into their pop. Their songs were fast-paced numbers loaded up with 8-bit bubbles and traditional Japanese instruments, often produced by burgeoning electronic artist Yunomi.
One half of the outfit left at the end of last year, so two new members were brought in and rechristened as CY8ER. First single “Te To Te” moves at a slightly slower pace, but still features the Technicolor electronic flourishes (provided once again by Yunomi). Three more members joined after its release...and now they are best known for donning hazmat suits to hug people. But check out the energetic “Te To Te” below.
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