Late last week, Capcom held a typical and somewhat ho-hum press conference for Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D in Tokyo. The bright spot was when heavy metal band Aldious took the stage. Unfortunately, they weren't they're to play music, but games.
The members dig video games and were there to check out the game's co-op mode. Aldious is an up-and-coming girls rock band. That's not a first for Japan, but from first appearances, they'd look more at home in a hostess bar. Make no mistake, these gals rock.
Formed in Osaka in 2008, indie band Aldious began with Rami on vocals and Yoshi on guitar, but had fleshed out its current line-up by last year. The group released its first CD single themselves, self-recorded and distributed in Osaka music shops, where it quickly sold out. Last fall, the girls released their debut full-length album, Deep Exceed.
Girl bands are popular in Japan, and have been for years; however, they're more prevalent on the indie scene, than in the mainstream, which is dominated by cute, gooey pop music.
Aldious dresses in "Ageha-kei", a style derived from the popular girls' fashion mag Koakuma Ageha, or "little devil butterfly". Many of the mag's models are hostesses, and their working class, hostess-bar inspired fashions fill page after page. The magazine first debuted in 2005, and its popularity quickly exploded, with Ageha models showing up in Sega's Yakuza video games and my book on Japanese game centers, Arcade Mania.
Looks can be deceiving. Evening wear doesn't exactly scream headbanger—but Aldious, a mix-mash of "ultimate" and "melodious", are as metal as one can get in heels and pink bows. Check out the group's music and photos (courtesy of Yoshi and Rami) in the gallery.
Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome—game related and beyond.
(Top photo: Aldious | PR)