Archive for August, 2021

The Japanese Idol Group that spawned Babymetal, Sakura Gakuin, comes to an end today. The announcement was made on September 1 2020 and the farewell show was held two days ago at the Sun Plaza Hotel Concert Hall in Tokyo. The last eight members of Sakura Gakuin graduated and special guests included three successful graduates from the very early days, Ayami Muto, Ayaka Miyoshi and Airi Matsui whom all left the unit on March 25 2012. As usual, the show was filmed and I assume that fans will be able to buy a DVD/Blu-ray later on. On May 17, Sakura Gakuin put up their last music video on YouTube, a song called “The Days”. Efforts to save Sakura Gakuin has been made by fans but it seems to be over. I can confirm that interest in Sakura Gakuin is healthy. Even today as I write this I notice that my blog post about the end from August 31 2020 (no, I do not have a time machine, it is the time difference between Sweden and Japan that can result in me posting news seemingly before they do…), “Sakura Gakuin To End In 2021”, has good traffic (and have had visits nearly every day since which is very unusual). Had it not been for Sakura Gakuin I never would have discovered the joy of Japanese popular culture (outside of movies). And had it not been for Sakura Gakuin we would never have had Babymetal. Followers of this blog will know that I dived into the Fox Hole with all my heart when I discovered Babymetal in March 2017. The whole experience – and I would include Sakura Gakuin in this for sure – has been utterly wonderful. So today I would like to say Thank You to everybody that has been involved in Sakura Gakuin. The reddit support page, Sakura Gakuin – The Cherry Blossom Academy, will continue to exist and to follow all 33 graduates on their journeys. It is a wonderful source of information and joy. Also, I predict more releases under the Sakura Gakuin name. Would not a full documentary on DVD/Blu-ray be a good idea? I think so. We shall see. As for the farewell show, rumours have it that the girls from Babymetal were there. I have no way of knowing details but if this is true it says a lot about Japanese culture that nobody has posted a picture or two on social media. Only in Japan…

More Sakura Gakuin and early Babymetal history on Trinkelbonker: “Spot The Girls That Became Babymetal” (April 15 2017), “Japanese Idol Magazines” (April 27 2017), “Roots Of Babymetal” (May 20 2017), “Fly To The Future” (May 30 2017), “Ave Babymetal – Live Legend 1999 1997 Apocalypse (2013) DVD Review” (June 29 2017), “Essential Babymetal History (Sakura Gakuin DVDs)” (July 14 2017), “Twinklestars” (July 15 2017), “The Ultimate Babymetal Collectable (Sakura Gakuin CD)” (July 15 2017), “Minipati” (July 15 2017), “My Generation” (October 14 2017), “Babymetal Live Legend IDZ Apocalypse” (November 9 2017), “Suzuka Nakamoto Graduation Book” (December 2 2017), “Words Of Wisdom” (February 4 2018), “Suzuka Nakamoto Autograph” (March 13 2018), “Sakura Gakuin 2015 Graduation Book Arrives” (March 15 2018), “Sakura Gakuin 2012 Photo Book” (May 27 2019), “Early Sakura Gakuin Compilation” (August 28 2019), “First Babymetal Article In UK Rock Media (Kerrang! 1509)” (February 16 2000), “Babymetal Nostalgia” (March 7 2020), “Babymetal World Tour 2014 Apocalypse” (June 17 2020), “2013” (August 4 2020), “Sakura Gakuin To End In 2021” (August 31 2020), “Collecting Babymetal (Metal Hammer 267)” (October 7 2020), “Sakura Gakuin 10th Anniversary Book Coming Up” (January 27 2021), “Collecting Babymetal” (March 1 2021), “Collecting Babymetal” (July 16 2021) – Please note that Babymetal has its own tag on this blog.

(My shot of Sakura Gakuin era Babymetal spread – Big One Girls Magazine 11, printed in 2012)


Tex Willer Action

Posted: August 30, 2021 in Books, Comics, Cool stuff

These Norwegian Tex Willer books popped up in the mail today (issues 683-682). 232 pages of action.

(My shot of said books, cover art by Claudio Villa)

Crazy traffic on the blog this weekend. The big draw was the August 27 post about the current Deep Purple success in Germany. Nice.

Babymetal has added a new video from the upcoming “10 Babymetal Budokan” DVD/Blu-ray on YouTube. The song that has been chosen to promote the release (which is planned for late September) is one of the earliest Babymetal classics, “Ijime, Dame, Zettai”, a song against bullying. The song was originally released as a video back in 2012 (over 27,000,000 hits on YouTube) and they also showcased a live clip of this track from the Sonisphere show in 2014 later on, so you can follow the progress as they have grown up. The choreography is fantastic in this song, no doubt about it. Fused with furious in your face metal, it is very powerful and entertaining.

The Phantom 1692

Posted: August 28, 2021 in Comics

Bought the Swedish edition of The Phantom (issue 18-19, or 1692 from the start), one of these 100 page specials with four adventures from different eras (in this case, 2021, 1952, 1956 and 1986). I think this is the format they should go with on a permanent basis.

(My shot of said cover, art by Luca Erbetta)

This is a bit of a bombshell. The two current Deep Purple live albums “Live In Wollongong 2001” and “Live In London 2002” has both entered the Top 10 in Germany, at number eight and nine. At first I figured it was the rock charts, but it really turned out to be the real charts in which you compete with the biggest stars of today. Germany has always been a strong market for Deep Purple but this is still pretty outstanding. If you consider how many live albums that there has been from Purple over the years, and that these two represents what they are now (and not say, classic 1970s era Purple), this is pretty mindblowing. It is proof of the love for this band and that the respect is still there. The German market is one of the biggest in the world so this is important right now. I have to say that this is a surprise.

(Seen here is part of the cover of Deep Purple Forever! 27 – Steve Morse shot by Michael Johansson – and a shot of Ian Gillan from the “Toolbox” days by Ola Bergman)

ABBA Teaser

Posted: August 26, 2021 in ABBA, Music (general)

I blogged about my suspicion that ABBA is up to something on July 15 on this blog and today they told fans to register their interest on a site called ABBA Voyage ( The only information we get is a date when something is going to be rolled out; September 2 2021. Interesting.

Sad to hear that Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones has passed away. He always struck me as being the nice guy in the band. Never met the man but Facebook is full of tributes from people that did. Of course The Rolling Stones were a big part in the musical revolution of the 1960s.


Posted: August 24, 2021 in Books, Cool stuff, TV & Movies

I just want you guys to know that this book exists, a must have for anybody that enjoyed the movie. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – a novel” by Quentin Tarantino (Phoenix, 2021). This is the UK edition. Nice cover too.

(My shot of said paperback – the cover has more yellow in it than can be seen here)

Here is some nice nostalgia. Conan The Barbarian Epic Collection 1 – “The Coming Of Conan” (Marvel, 2020). 350 pages (of which over 300 are in full colour). Material from 1970-1972. This comes with a lot of background stories about how it was all created back in the day.

(My shot of said title)