April 3, 2019 is what happened. All in one day, we’ve got a lot of moments that just happened, all from premiere releases to a few updates to event announcements. For sure, this is one of those really long What’s Happening? posts, so there’ll be a lot of writing for me on this one. No, this isn’t a late April Fool’s post, although I’ll write a bit about April 1st later in this post. It’s not about April Fool’s Day because this particular something isn’t really a joke. In fact, it’s an important day for me personally and my connections and relationships with MADKID. 1
“FAITH” MV Released
Here is the day we’ve been waiting for: the new 2nd anime opening theme for the ongoing series The Rising of the Shield Hero: FAITH. Please watch:
Their biker leather outfits really do reflect the feel and concept of FAITH, which as you can see, is a lot darker and edgier than the music video for the previous single RISE. Hours after the release of this MV, Episode 13 of Shield Hero will also premiere this 2nd opening theme (and its English version on the English dub version), as well as the new ending theme, also performed by the same artist as the previous ending theme.
I’ll let you all be the judge on what you think of both the song and the music video. A lot of the comments I’ve seen on the MV on YouTube still preferred RISE over FAITH, but that’s natural and expected. We would say the same thing that the previous ones are a lot better because it was just newly released. Eventually, as we listen more, we get to appreciate and even like this song as much as we did with the previous.
Personally, for me, I have no preference between the two songs. To be honest, I’m not a super huge fan of rock in general, but I do like some rock-concept songs in general. Both RISE and FAITH included. Both songs are composed and performed by MADKID, as long as it’s MADKID, that’s all that matters. I may be familiar with Shield Hero before the light novel series became an anime, but MADKID is my priority here.
So many chains of events are happening during the MV that I had to re-watch it several times to finally get the picture. After giving up a bit, MADKID Twitter finally explained the message behind the song and the visuals of the MV. The visuals depict the members being tied in chains in different ways. Reflecting this to the Shield Hero storyline, Melromarc is tying him down the second time with another nasty criminal case 2. However, at the same time, it also represents us tying ourselves down to our negative thoughts and beliefs, just like how Naofumi still has issues trusting anyone, especially those associated with the Melromarc Royal Family, like Mel, for example. The clown mask that we see in several scenes in the MV represents these negative thoughts/beliefs that has been clouding our mindsets. The choice to break out of the shackles is up to us. You can remain clouded with these negative thoughts by being tied down and leaving the clown mask on your face or you can break out of these chains and free yourself.
The song also just landed moments ago in the YouTube Music Hotlist for Japan, so it really is well worth listening and watching it. This same day also, if you live in Japan, the theme is now out on iTunes. The rest of the platforms will release this song on the 12th. Otherwise, wait on the 24th for the digital edition of their upcoming album, CIRCUS.
“FAITH” is BREAK OUT’s April Opening Theme
If you have been an Axcel around the time of last year’s release of their 2nd major single Summer Time, you should recall that male artist-oriented TV talk show BREAK OUT featured Summer Time as their opening theme for the month of June 2018. This year, FAITH is now featured as the April 2019 opening theme. Along with that is also MADKID’s guesting in the show to talk about their upcoming release of their first major album and their upcoming live tour, CIRCUS.
There was a feature during the episode in this BREAK OUT released a preview of yet another music video coming from the album with the title song, CIRCUS. We don’t know when this MV will be released, but my speculation may be on the same day as the album release or sometime in early May to promote their live tour. We’ll just have to wait and see.
“CIRCUS” Album CD Jacket Visuals
And they’re here, they’re out, and they’re hot!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars! April 24th.
The Return of MADKID RISING HOPE
The continuation of MADKID RISING HOPE radio show picks up today also, with KAZUKI, LIN, and YOU-TA. Catch them every Wednesdays (until July) on the JFN PARK app!
April 1, 2019 – April Fool’s Day
Every year, MADKID pulls up their own brand of April Fool’s joke. Last year, they announced that MADKID will have a sixth member, who turned out to be one of their managers, Yokota-san.
This year, MADKID announced that starting on that day, the members have swapped roles. The new roles were:
SHIN – rapper
LIN – vocalist
YOU-TA – rapper
KAZUKI – main vocalist
YUKI – vocalist
To prove that this was for real, they even have an alternate version of RISE with the guys assuming their new roles. You can watch the entire video on MADKID Instagram’s IGTV, 3 but you can watch the preview on their Twitter.
Do you think the new roles fit the members? You be the judge.
When it hit midnight (JST) on April 2, 2019, the members decided to go back to their original roles.
April 1, 2019 – Not Exactly April Fool’s Day
April 1 may be April Fool’s Day to many, but as an Axcel, April 1 is an important day for me.
I’ve tweeted this on my personal twitter and also posted this on the AXCEL STYLE Instagram, but here I am again, being redundant and writing all about it again. This is how much this day is important to me.
There are a lot of stories prior to April 1, 2018, but that would be going off-topic and it wouldn’t be appropriate to write about it, so I’m going to cut to the chase. This portion of this post is all about how I discovered MADKID and all the important details that led me to become a full-pledged MADKID fan, getting involved in coming up with the AXCEL fandom name, joining the MADKID Official Fan Club after two months of being a fan, and finally to building and maintaining the AXCEL STYLE site.
I’ll try to make this short and sweet, 4 but if you don’t like much reading, you can skip this portion and be done with it.
#1 – How, when, and where did you find MADKID?
It all happened two years ago – early December 2017. To clarify things, I didn’t find MADKID, so to speak. MADKID, or rather, one of the MADKID members, found me. The place? Instagram.
I’m a hobbyist photographer and a straight-out foodie, regardless that I’m diabetic. Most of my posts on IG are the food of any kind that I’ve experienced dining. One of the types of food and refreshments that I love to post are different kinds of boba/bubble teas. If you are one of the people who had a chance to know me on social media (Twitter or IG), I’ve already told you this portion of the story. If you have been a long-time Axcel and you follow all the members closely, we all know that among the five of them, only one member who is addictively connected to boba/bubble teas. 😏
On that day in December, I just came home from a local concert to commemorate my old high school friend’s memory. My late friend was a member of an Asian-American boy band that was on their peak back in the late ’90s. I would write a whole post about them and how I’m closely connected to them, but again, that would be off-topic and will not write about that here. But in some way, it kind of explains my affinity to Asian boy bands in general, but somehow I can’t find myself getting attached to Korean/K-Pop boy bands. I feel like K-Pop boy bands are lacking something, but again, that’s another story.
I’m actually working on another blog project that is mostly about Asian pop cultures such as Asian pop music from an Asian-American’s point of view. When I have it done and completed, I’ll let you all know. If you’re interested, please follow my personal Twitter.
Just as I was going to bed, I got a lot of notifications of likes coming from the same person and all the images he liked were all old boba/bubble teas I posted some years ago (2015-2016). I’ve always been opening to meeting new people on social media, especially those who have common ground with me. I figured that this mysterious person is a huge boba/bubble tea fan that I decided to check on his profile. All I got from the profile was MADKID, that he’s Japanese, and other hashtags. Looking at his photos, they were mostly photos of himself. My first impression was that he was some kind of a model or a trainee in the entertainment industry of sort and didn’t really look at his profile carefully. At that time, I was following a Japanese vlogger who shares his love of my old home country, 5 so therefore I have some attachment to the Japanese in general.
Still, I thought of him as a fellow boba/bubble tea lover and completely ignored him. Looking back, I felt really bad, because eventually, this member became my ultimate bias member of MADKID.
And then, my youngest sister’s birthday (March 31) came. We were only watching random YouTube videos until a particular video popped under my Recommendations section. The video? It’s the music video of MADKID’s debut single, Never going back. As I was watching the music video, I suddenly recognized one of the members. I went back to my Instagram to see if it was the same guy that I saw.
To my big shock, it was him. The one I personally called the “boba/bubble tea guy” on IG. My curiosity about him and MADKID got to me and the next day, my research of MADKID began, starting on YouTube.
#2 – How did you finalize yourself as a MADKID fan?
When April 1 (afternoon) came, I started searching for more videos of MADKID on YouTube. I found several of their songs, some were half-MVs, and fell in love with a lot of them. I even began searching for fancams and I found one fancam that a global fan took of their performance of the Never going back coupling 6 song, Rain. I think it was Rain that pretty much solidified me as a MADKID fan. So, I left a comment letting the fancam owner know how I fell in love with the song and thanked her for the fancam. Personally, I didn’t expect a reply, but moments later, I got a reply from her.
We ended up following each other on Twitter. However, she noticed the location on my profile and advised that I should also meet another long-time fan who has known them since their early years. She also turned out to be a local and only lived some 30 miles from where I live. She now happens to be the owner and translator of the AXCEL STYLE subsite, Letters @ AXCEL STYLE, and my closest friend within the Axcel Family, both online and now in real life. We don’t just talk and fangirl about MADKID. Because we’re locals, we talk about other issues too, from personal to the things that happen around our hometown.
When I first met Karu-chan and got to know each other better, she first informed me that MADKID members do individual livestreams to talk and chill with their fans and wanted to introduce me to the guys. I was nervous at first and I really didn’t expect that as a new MADKID fan that I can get a little deeper than where I am. I’m not new to being a fangirl of Asian (mostly Japanese) boy bands, and I’ve set my limit to being just a fangirl, listening and buying their singles and albums, and oogling over my favorite member(s). At that time, I didn’t have any favorites, as I have yet to get to know the members based on their profiles, short clips, etc.
But, to learn that these guys do livestreams? I was seriously nervous but didn’t want to show it. I was nervous for several reasons: I haven’t spoken, read, and written in Japanese for years and second, the age gap. 7 I waited for the time that I can get a chance to meet at least one of the members if not all. I thought I would wait for a while because of their busy schedules.
Turns out it didn’t take that long for me to meet a MADKID member. It happened the next day.
#3 – Talkin’ and Chillin’ with MADKID on Livestream
MADKID has a monthly web show on LINE (LIVE) called MAD MUSIC, but I missed the April episode because I was still brand new and exploring around MADKID from the members to the work they’ve done in the past. But, the members also do their own personal livestreams and fans can get to talk and hang out with them, near and far.
Karu-chan introduced the 17 (now known as 17 LiveAF) livestreaming app to me. I had a cheap smartphone then and that it had a lot of stuff in it. I was able to download it, but the memory was so low that it wasn’t working for me properly. The first member I (sorta) met was KAZUKI. The video was running but the comment box wouldn’t appear that I couldn’t type anything, not even a short hello, but I heard KAZUKI calling my name many times and I felt bad that I couldn’t respond, so I just relayed my messages through Karu and then to Kazuki. Once again, because of the phone issues, I decided to get my phone to work properly again.
A few days later, I was able to get the app going and I noticed that I missed a lot of notifications: I see YOU-TA, YUKI, SHIN, and KAZUKI being online, and I was a bit upset that I missed a lot of them. Luckily at that time, YOU-TA was online, so I joined his stream. When I went there, he was singing karaoke with requested songs, which meant that he wouldn’t be able to read my comments, even my single hello. I think that was the last time that I’ve been to his livestream because he halted livestreams right after that time. After YOU-TA, I noticed that KAZUKI was still on, so I went to his stream and finally introduced myself formally. He remembered me and was glad that I finally was able to get the app working.
I said to myself that the next time, now that I’m prepared, whoever comes on first and I get to catch him, he may end up becoming my bias member. Two days later, that particular member turned out to be SHIN.
If you haven’t figured it out yet to this point, “boba/bubble tea guy” is none other than SHIN. 😅
When I first introduced myself to SHIN, I was kind of nervous. I actually greeted him with ohayou gozaimasu instead of konbanwa because of the time zones. 8 Right with that comment alone, SHIN already figured out that my location isn’t in Japan and began asking me questions about my location in English. He also began memorizing my name by repeating it to himself, so that he doesn’t forget me next time.
Because I was nervous at that time, I even apologized to him by saying that my Japanese isn’t that good. He responded to me with a smile saying “My Japanese is not very good also.” Somehow, I felt at ease at that time and I knew that he only answered that so that I would feel more at home. We chatted, exchanging comments, about my hometown mostly (because he was curious) and a bit about me, what I do for a living, etc. His stream ended early, an hour later, and I was a little sad that it ended. But, when I said “goodnight” to him, I remembered him responding with “Thank you for coming. See you again!”
Definitely, I would be seeing him again.
Eventually, I met YUKI last. Despite his cool and fashionista exterior, he’s also a fluffy puppy underneath, just like KAZUKI and SHIN. Like with SHIN, he spoke to me in English, he even complimented my Japanese even though I wasn’t that confident. He even commented that “Nobody speaks perfect Japanese anymore, so you’re good.” That gave me a bit of ease that I can become more confident in commenting.
As days go by, I started going to their livestreams and hang out. Among KAZUKI, SHIN, and YUKI, 9 “boba/bubble tea guy” won my attention and my heart. Even if that’s the case, I still talk to all of them when I can.
Before, I would write both in English and Japanese so that the guys would understand (especially with SHIN, who really want to be better in English). Eventually, I stopped writing in Japanese because SHIN wanted a challenge by reading all my English comments without any Japanese translations. At that time, he has gotten better and better and I’m glad, so much that it motivated me to be better at Japanese. It’s like both of us are competing to see which one of us will be the most fluent in the foreign language we choose to be fluent. Even today, we still do that.
There have been many changes with livestream platforms (especially with SHIN), but eventually, technical-wise, I’ve found some ways to continue communicating with them. No region-locked apps can stop us global fans from not being able to hang out with the members anymore. That’s what I say.
I’d write more about my livestream days, but I want to move on.
#4 – Establishment of the official fandom name: AXCEL
Starting May, I started joining in their monthly MAD MUSIC web shows, commenting like I would with the member individual streams. I also learned that for the last few months that the guys and the fans and even the staff have been throwing out suggestions for fandom names. We global fans on J-Pop Amino unofficially called ourselves the MAD FAM because it had a bit of a ring to it. I wanted to suggest this but it was a little too late and that we didn’t think of that name until much later, so we just went with whatever was already suggested.
June 7’s 10 episode of MAD MUSIC will finally determine the final name for the fandom name. The entire story is actually written in the About section, but basically, I was one of the participants in that episode who voted for the name. I was voting FAM BABY at first because it was close to MAD FAM, but I eventually ended up voting for the name AXCEL. It had a really powerful meaning behind the name that I felt happy to finally call myself an AXCEL.
On that same day, I joined the MADKID Official Fan Club, establishing myself as a legit AXCEL.
#5 – AXCEL STYLE
Throughout those months, starting April 1, it was more than enough for me to finally make my contribution by expanding Karu’s mission to spread the word about MADKID to the world. We’re all aware of how difficult this would be because much of today’s pop culture is immersed in K-Pop, but we can’t let that stop us from introducing MADKID to the masses. These three months was more than enough for me to open a fansite solely dedicated to MADKID.
Because AXCEL was still a brand-new name, I decided to use the name as the domain and even naming the website. Not only because of our close attachments and connections to the members on a (somewhat) personal level but because I find that the AXCEL fandom quite unique. Not very many (Asian) artists and groups would give this special type of fan service of communicating with fans through livestream (let alone being in live events), stretching their reach to non-Japanese fans. To me, it felt perfect. Everything fit together.
AXCEL STYLE was born.
At first, it wasn’t my intention to show it off to the members because it will strictly be in English. I even thought that the members wouldn’t waste their time checking out a fansite that’s made by a fan because you know, too busy, right? Well, I was wrong.
During one of SHIN’s livestreams, a Japanese fan revealed to SHIN that I just launched AXCEL STYLE. On that day, SHIN started asking me questions, such as “When will you tell me about the site? I wanna see!” I eventually gave in and gave him the URL. Much later, it looks like the word has been spread, and I’ve gained some followers and even likes from YUKI (and even later on LIN) whenever I tweet about a new blog post written here.
I’ve made fansites dedicated to my favorite boy bands back then, from ARASHI to even a few Filipino boy bands I ended up liking for a short time, but AXCEL STYLE is the first fansite that the members actually know about. I didn’t want to dare to declare that AXCEL STYLE is the very first MADKID fansite existing, because I know there were more MADKID global fans before me (and after Karu) and some of them probably had a fansite dedicated to MADKID. I’ll never know.
And then in July, I opened a Twitter account and an Instagram account dedicated to MADKID and related to AXCEL STYLE. Just a few months ago (from this writing), I also opened a mini-YouTube channel.
Whew, this post is getting really long, so I’m going to end this post right now.
Thank you for taking the time to read and see you again next time, Axcels!
- Just keep on reading this post.
- kidnapping of the kingdom’s true heir, Mel/Melty, when in reality, Mel decided to stay with the party to protect herself from getting assassinated by her own sister for the claim to the throne
- stand-alone app, you have to download it from the App Store or Google Play and follow MADKID Official Instagram
- I doubt it…
- Again, another story to be written in another blog…
- Japanese term for the “B-side” of a single release.
- I’m probably one of the oldest Axcels around by average, but somehow I may not be…
- It was morning for me, nighttime his time.
- I never really communicated with YOU-TA and LIN doesn’t do livestreams on 17.
- My dad’s birthday, that’s why I remember the date