Hello, my name is Adrianne. I am a 40-something-year-old web developer, blogger, artist, and an enthusiast of a lot of things. I’m a Filipino-American born in the Philippines and raised in the U.S. I speak English, Tagalog, some Spanish, and almost-fluent Japanese. The gist of who I am can be found in the About section.
As an intro to this new section, first, I’m re-introducing myself again. Sure, I already wrote about myself in the About section, but I never really talked about how I encountered MADKID at the beginning that made me a fan today and how I was inspired to build this site for non-Japanese Axcels like myself. Therefore, this is what this post is about.
2017: A tale of bubble teas
How did I discover MADKID and eventually became a huge fan? I didn’t. It was the other way around.
The year was 2017. End of 2017, to be exact.
It all started in my personal Instagram account. The majority of my IG account were all food, random things, and landscapes and scenery, mainly because I’m a hobbyist photographer. I used to take photos using my 35mm Micro 4/3rds camera with the precision of all the details from the macro shots to elevated shots. But, IG is primarily my photo gallery toyed and manipulated with just my phone alone. I’ve had various smartphones for the past years from the cheapest ones to my very first “high end” one 1, but I haven’t been quite active with my hobby photography for a while now for other things.
Back at around 2014-2016, I used to take plenty of bubble/boba tea shots. I used to work at a bakery cafe franchise in my hometown area that gave me access to blending and making bubble/boba teas that gave me some inspiration to go around local bubble tea places and taste and drink. I even used to make my own blends of cold teas used for bubble teas from milk teas to stand-alone freshly brewed teas. So, in short, I’m a boba tea addict.
Sometime around the end of 2017, I started gaining likes from a random IG user who may also be equally addicted to bubble teas. This one particular person somehow discovered my old bubble teas and just liking every single of them, at least with that one particular month alone. He stopped liking them when 2018 kicked in.
I got curious eventually and checked his IG profile. I didn’t really pay attention much to his profile pic or his IG photo grid, maybe just a glance, because I simply wanted to know who this person was and why, of all my food pics, landscape pics, random things pics, he only liked bubble tea pics. I got the quick keywords from his post:
SHIN #MADKID, #SHINCHAN_STYLE
At that time, I was on my 10-yr hiatus from J-Pop fandom because of new interests and real life just became busy. I didn’t know what he meant by the hashtags except that I knew his name was Shin. I ended up letting him go through whatever my bubble tea shots I had on my IG grid and just move on forward.
In short, I ignored him then.
2018: And then came APRIL FOOLS DAY
I don’t remember what I was doing on YouTube at that time, but I think I ended up running into a tweet of one of my friends on Twitter and shared a music video of a J-Pop girl group. I forgot which one it was. Was it FAKY? BananaLemon? E-Girls? Happiness? Yeah, I couldn’t remember anymore. It was at the end of Holy Week 2 and the end of March 2018.
I may have lost touch with the entire J-Pop industry and fandom but I did miss listening to them and got curious. You know how YouTube algorithms go nowadays when they start showing you recommended videos based on the videos you’ve recently watched. At that time, J-Pop boy groups started coming out from the recommendations list. Because I used to be a boy groups fan in J-Pop in the last decade, why not?
I watched a number of EXILE TRIBE groups, a number of EBiDAN groups, and other “independent” groups like FlowBack, Da-ICE, and even co-ed groups like AAA 3 and lol.
Finally, I came across MADKID and their debut single music video, Never going back. I was amazed by the song and the entire group. I’m usually not much of a fan of EDM-style or “neo”-hip hop styles like trap, but the song was very well-done, very catchy, plus the members of the group were all packed with talent. I was more of a rapper-type of fangirl and I was already eyeing on both LIN and YUKI, but I still needed to search more of them so I can be more familiar of what type of group they were, what types of music they would normally perform, and of course, memorize the names and faces of each member.
I waited till Easter (April 1, 2018) to watch some more. I ended up watching Stuck on U, their earlier ones like I don’t care, PARTY UP, and their half- MVs like Going Around, Stay with Me, This Love, etc. Eventually, I ended up going back to watching Never going back MV again. I started downloading their songs from Apple Music.
I became an instant fan on April Fools Day. I thought I was being fooled but also kept in mind that it was also Easter, meaning, it’s a day of renewal and refreshing yourself for a brand-new year… and a brand-new life.
I ended up discovering fan cams of MADKID from their sidewalk lives to their smaller events and I was completely focused on the members’ faces and remembering the names. While I was busy enjoying LIN’s and YUKI’s solos until I got to see a fancam of them performing Rain. From there, I started giving more attention to the vocalists.
There was redhead leader YOU-TA, high-toned vocalist KAZUKI, and then that other vocalist guy with powerful dance moves who looked familiar to me for some reason then: SHIN. I rewatched and rewatched the non-upbeat fan cams and Stuck on U and Faded Away and then it finally hit me.
I went back to my IG and looked at my notifications section. I went speechless when I checked that mysterious bubble tea guy’s IG profile.
It was SHIN.
It was SHIN…
HOLY CRAP OMGWTFBBQ THE BUBBLE TEA DUDE IS REALLY SHIN!!
Finding and connecting with “moots”
I obviously wanted to get to know more of MADKID, especially the rappers and that one other guy sneaking in after showing his appreciation for my old bubble tea pics on Instagram. Around that time, I got rusty with my Japanese and couldn’t think of the simplest phrases that I wanted to tweet/reply to the guys on their social media accounts, so rather than following them (officially), I went back to the Rain fan cam and left a comment thanking the owner of the live footage. I don’t normally leave comments on videos that I watch on YouTube, but as a common gesture, why not?
I didn’t expect a reply from the owner, seeing how old the video was (about 2-3 months old). I simply mentioned that I’m a new fan and I’ve been going around watching whatever single MADKID video I could find on YouTube. About hours later, the owner responded thanking me. We ended up talking about the video and the owner (let’s call her M 4) also told me her story on how she came to know MADKID and how she even had a chance to speak to them personally after their performance. She described to me how kind and sweet the members are and how much the number of fans who came to see them really show their love and support for them. I can tell that they’re not a super-huge group, unlike the usual Japanese boy groups I knew before 5, but sometimes, the smaller the fanbase an artist/group may have, the more mutual the relationship is between the artist/group and its fans. M’s story really got me peaked that I wanted to know more (non-Japanese) fans who have been following for so long, and of course, wanting to know more about the members.
Based on the stories she shared with me about the members, I started following the MADKID official Twitter and the individual member Twitter accounts. I also did the same for their Instagram accounts as well. And then, M and I exchanged Twitter accounts and we ended up following each other.
By the time we ended up checking each other’s profiles, she noticed my current location and informed me that she knew someone who is a longer MADKID fan than she is and that she lives on the same state as me. She forwarded me to this “veteran” fan, finally introducing ourselves and getting to know each other. It wasn’t just that we both live on the same state, but we also live on the same area, just a bridge 6 away from each other.
If you’re reading this and have been a MADKID fan for awhile like me, you already know who she is. She owns Ongaku Discover and Letters @ AXCEL STYLE. From there, she introduced me to the J-Pop Amino, 7 where she and a small number of MADKID enthusiasts gather together in a chatroom within that Amino. From there, I met a few more and eventually became friends with them also.
Karu-chan didn’t just introduce me to J-Pop Amino and the MADKID chat. She also introduced me to another platform that made me intrigued. Not only do I get in touch with fellow MADKID fans in one place, but I also have the huge opportunity to meet the members themselves…
… on a livestream app called 17.
Chillin’ and Stalkin’ (Online) is Mutual
I went back to watching the same (and more) MADKID videos and finally adding them to my “Liked Videos” list. Because my personal YouTube account 8 was connected to my personal Twitter account, a notification tweet is automatically tweeted on my Twitter. Some moments later, I received a like from that one single YouTube notification tweet.
It turned out that YUKI was the one who gave me that like. But, a like on a notification tweet? I started to ponder what type of people the members were towards their fans and (probably) random people interested in them. I continued on doing the same thing on YouTube and I was still getting likes from YUKI on YouTube notification tweets. I started to wonder if Yuki was the only one who takes his time looking up tweets that tagged MADKID, himself, or any one of the members. 9
Just about a day or two days later after I met Karu-chan and some of the few members from the MADKID J-Amino Chat, she gave us notice that KAZUKI just came on doing livestream on that app called 17. I had a very old and very slow smartphone at that time and I had to clear up so many of my apps, just to download 17 and finally get to meet at least one of the MADKID members. Because my phone then was nearing the end of its life span, 10 the 17 app wasn’t working properly for me and I couldn’t even leave any comments. But, I could hear KAZUKI talking and was also calling out my name 11 and wondering if I’m okay. I then informed Karu that I will tweet him instead to let him know that I was there and heard him, but my app was very slow because of my phone’s poor performance. Eventually, after the broadcast ended, I tweeted him formally introducing myself after he asked me to tweet him directly. Once he received my tweet, he gave me a like, acknowledging it.
I worked my way through doing some diagnostics on my old phone and prepared myself. I eventually met YOU-TA next on 17, but at that time, he was singing karaoke and wasn’t really reading comments. But I did enjoy his wonderful performance on his song covers and he was seriously the real deal. No lip syncs and no fluff. I left a “Hello, I’m from the U.S., thank you, goodnight” comment just a few minutes after he signed off.
I studied the 17 app and how its features work. There were gift points that can be generated into revenue for the streamer that viewers/commenters can contribute, but you would have to purchase them with actual money. Good thing that I’m a working adult. I said to myself that the whoever comes on among the five members 12 that he may become my bias. To be honest, I was kind of torn between the two rappers 13 with a third one sneaking in between 14 for a favorite member. 15
A few days later after these “preparations,” SHIN came on streaming. I’ll write more about my encounter with SHIN (and YUKI) on another post at another time.
A J-Pop group who is truly something special
As the heading states, MADKID had become a J-Pop group who is truly something special to me. It’s not every day that you discover an artist or a group of a certain pop music genre whom you can still reach out easily through social media and livestreams to them as if you were just hanging out with them. It’s also not every day that you get to directly tweet or reply to a tweet to any one of your favorite artists and then you receive some kind of response in return. 16 But don’t take this the wrong way.
I fell in love with MADKID because of their songs, their talent and drive, their personalities, and their openness to connect with fans from all around the world. Sure, they are currently serving their own country at the moment but they do have the intention of reaching out worldwide, which is why they are also open to non-Japanese fans as well. To be honest, as a fan of many artists and groups in the past, I’ve never experienced what I’m experiencing right now with MADKID compared to the past groups/artists I’ve become a fan of. I’ve done my share of love and support for them and I will continue on doing so by any means I can come up with.
Of course, I plan on meeting them in real life 17 and watching them perform on stage. I’m still waiting for that day to come.
And that’s my story about how I got to know MADKID and my ongoing relationships with the group altogether. The story still continues from this point, of course, as long as they’re around and I’m around. And I’d like to share these experiences with new and current Axcels so that they too can experience some of the same moments I have with the guys.
It’s a wonderful time to be an Axcel, even if it’s today, tomorrow, or in the near future.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- I’m Roman Catholic, so look up what “Holy Week” is on Google. It’s the week before Easter.
- I loved them when they debuted back in the mid-2000s
- for privacy’s sake…
- Johnny’s, etc.
- Oakland Bay Bridge
- Download the Amino App and search “J-Pop”
- Filled with some video game “playthrough” videos.
- A more known term for that is ego-surfing.
- It was a cheap last-minute HTC Desire phone. Today, I am a proud owner of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
- After Karu introduced me to him
- at that time, I wanted to meet Kazuki again, just to make up for that booboo the first time
- Lin and Yuki
- As a side note, there is nothing wrong with becoming a fan of a group without a favorite member. I would’ve been that person if all five of them gave me an equal impression, but there definitely was something about Lin and Yuki, while there’s a “wrecker” squeezing his way in between, who also gave me an impression too.
- a like or an RT or in the rarest cases, a reply. More on this at another post.
- through a pre-live/post-live handshake, photograph, and autograph sessions…