I can get the association between idols and lolitas; they’re cute. But, what do bodybuilders have to do with either of them? As a matter of fact, what does any of this have to do with Jrock? In the genre-melding world of Jrock, we see a lot of things that a good amount of people would consider bizarre. Back in 2010, a new kind of idol group formed. With tracks like Megitsune, they eventually took the world by storm. As Jrockers, we have a certain insight on these things. However, it wasn’t long until this group of idols was performing on western talk shows. BABYMETAL was doing something fresh and interesting, so interesting that it opened up people’s minds to something completely new. Perhaps due to their major success, fans of their music would soon be able to experience similar artists. Fast-forward to 2015, a hot new idol group surprised us yet again. Their name was LADYBABY. Again, we witnessed a fusion of cute and metal. However, LADYBABY stood out from BABYMETAL, due to one key component: the ever so elegant Ladybeard. Muscular Ladybeard in the middle during his time in the group LADYBABY. Rei Kuromiya on the left side, and Rie Kaneko to the right. At this point in time, we have the metal kawaii juggernauts that are BABYMETAL and the new-comers LADYBABY vying for everyone’s attention. This part of the story we all know. Thanks to the staff here at JROCK NEWS, most of this information has been made available for all of our awesome readers. However, back in August of 2016, we were met with a shocking announcement. Ladybeard, the centerpiece of the idol group, left the band. Since then, we were informed that LADYBABY was no longer going to be LADYBABY. Of course, this makes sense as there is no LADYBABY without Ladybeard. However, this lead to the formation of a new idol group with just Rie and Rei. This new idol group would adopt the name “The Idol Formerly Known as LADYBABY”. With the loss of their bodybuilding companion, the girls stayed strong and continued to put out releases and perform for their fans. For international fans, the simplest way to follow the new idol group would be to visit their official YouTube. Though don’t search too far, the old LADYBABY channel is now home to The Idol Formerly Known as LADYBABY. In fact, they recently released a new track called Pelo. The track is an odd one, but still captures the oddly deep themes that we have come to expect in songs by the idols. But what about Ladybeard? This is a question I never hear because I have no friends. However, if you happen to be reading this, you may have this thought go through your mind. Ladybeard is actually still active. Possibly more so than his old idol-mates. Enter DEADLIFT LOLITA! Ladybeard is back, and he is not alone. Joining the man behind the skirt is Japanese wrestling cheerleader and bodybuilder, Reika Saiki. The duo made their debut recently with the release of their first track SIX PACK TWINS. DEADLIFT LOLITA, with Ladybeard and Reika. I just wish she would strangle me or something! Let’s not forget, Ladybeard is not the only member of LADYBABY who has a new project going now. Of the original kawaii duo, Rei has her own side project called BRATS. With much more of a punk rock feel than anything else we have seen so far from any of her associated acts. Have a listen to the now fully available Nounai Shoukyo Game. For more information on this track, you can read the first story presented by our fearless leader. BRATS also released a track late last year titled Ainikoiyo (Come See Me). With the way they are pairing their songs with popular media (Movies and Anime), it may not be long before we can see this spunky all-girl act touring the world. Alas, we can only hope. The world of Japanese rock is a crazy one. In my time I have seen many bands form, I have fallen in love with them, and then had my heart ripped out and stomped on. Not in that awesome masochist kind of way either. It’s a depressing world out there where not every band survives. Aside from it all, it is great to see how the seeming death of an idol group led to the formation of two new idol groups and a new punk rock ensemble. Whatever the future holds for the Japanese music industry, I will always have my depressing nagoya kei and kawaii idols. Seriously though, imagine the pain she could put me through with those beautiful muscles. [drools]Bonus image: Hairy legs of doom LADYBABY: Official Website YouTube Facebook Twitter BRATS: Official Website Twitter YouTube DEADLIFT LOLITA: Official Website Facebook YouTube Give us your opinion!