August 8th, 2014
WACK (Watanabe Artistic Creative Kabushikigaisha ; わたなべ あーてぃすちっく くりえいてぃぶ かぶしきがいしゃ; Watanabe Artistic Creative Corporation) is a Japanese music production company specializing in idols. It was founded in August 2014 by Watanabe Junnosuke. It is affiliated with SCRAMBLES.
There are currently 35 idols under WACK, eight main groups and a trainee unit.
- GO TO THE BEDS
- CARRY LOOSE
- MAMESHiBA NO TAiGUN
- PEDRO (Ayuni D solo project)
- GANG PARADE (Part-time unit)
- WAgg (Trainee group)
- TBA (Project WACK-Chin Audition)
- This is not a business
- SAiNT SEX (Shuffle group)
- HOLY SHiTS (Shuffle group)
- BULLY IDOL (Shuffle group)
- BILLIE IDLE®︎*
- Pour Lui (Former BiS, briefly rejoined as a soloist in early 2020 to release Minna no Pour Lui II)
*While listed as an official WACK unit on their website, BILLIE IDLE®︎ had not been produced by Watanabe since 2018, and were not involved in any WACK events or promotions, and were therefore considered separate from the company.
Founding and early activity, 2014-2016
The first two artists signed to WACK were This is not a business, a band that had been formed two years prior, and pla2me, a new idol unit formed by ex-BiS member Kamiya Saki. Another group, BILLIE IDLE®︎ (formed by ex-BiS members Hirano Nozomi and First Summer Uika) were also initially involved but were later separated from WACK despite Watanabe still producing them.
In early 2015, Watanabe decided to "restart" BiS as part of WACK, resulting in the formation of BiSH. On June 6th, 2015, BiSH and pla2me (now POP), ran a 200km joint marathon. At the end of 2015, This is not a business disbanded.
On July 8th, 2016, former BiS leader Pour Lui joined WACK, with the intention of reforming BiS. When further BiS members were added in September, a "rival" group, SiS was formed by runners-up from the audition. However, they would disband after one gig, and merged with POP (which had been renamed again to GANG PARADE).
On October 7th, WACK's first shuffle unit, SAiNT SEX, was formed. A month later, an album featuring all current WACK members, WACK & SCRAMBLES WORKS, was released. With this album, WACK's first general election was held, which was eventually won by BiSH members Cent Chihiro Chittiii and Aina The End.
On January 23rd, a WACK pop-up store opened in Shibuya to celebrate WACK's third anniversary and remained open for a week. Later, a "WACK MUSEUM" opened in Tokyo's HMV Museum from April 14th to May 6th. The museum showcased costumes from various WACK groups, and sold merchandise.
On May 28th, WACK announced the formation of a trainee unit, WAgg. It's purpose would be to train aspiring young idols for an eventual debut in another WACK group. A month later, all WACK members took part in the WACK Shazai publicity campaign. A second subunit, HOLY SHiTS, was formed in July.
On August 4th, WACK held a special stage, WACK presents DREAMLIGHTS in TIF, at the famous Tokyo Idol Festival, in which all artists (including both shuffle units and solo performances by Aina The End and Yui Ga Dockson) performed. This was a major contrast to just three years prior, when both of WACK's idol units at the time, BiSH and POP, were banned from the event for inciting reckless behavior.
On October 20th, WACK released a book in association with Quick Japan magazine.
In early 2019, WACK released a photo book of all its current idols, and the WACK Shop opened for a second limited time, this time within popular music store, Tower Records. From January 10th to March 19th, WACK held it's first all-group live tour, named "Going Going WACK Tour", and the first ONAGAWACK event. Afterwards, another pop-up shop, WACK Presents GO BANANAS, was opened, featuring merchandise designed by various artists.
In early May, BiS disbanded for a second time and most of its members left WACK entirely. Auditions were held for a second reboot of the group, in which several runners-up from that year's WACK audition camp took part. The lineup of third generation BiS was revealed on June 11th.
In the latter half of June, WACK held another publicity campaign, ○○○ to Ieru Yononakao ~WACK ai to Yuuki to 100manen~. It was the first WACK publicity stunt to incorporate WAgg.
On June 19th, a new unit with the temporary name Curry Roux, was formed of ex-BiS members Pan Luna Leafy and YUiNA EMPiRE (who had graduated from BiS at their disbandment a month prior) and WAgg trainee Uruu Ru. Auditions were held for additional members with a planned debut date of Fall 2019.
In August, WACK presents DREAMLIGHTS in TIF returned to Tokyo Idol Festival, with performances from BiSH, GANG PARADE, EMPiRE, BiS and WAgg. On July 28th, it was revealed through a television programme that a new WACK collaborative song, "WACK is BEAUTiFUL (this is love song)" would be performed at Tokyo Idol Festival.
On September 4th, "Curry Rouxz" was officially revealed as CARRY LOOSE.
In late December, televised auditions for a new unit, titled MONSTER IDOL, was broadcast as a segment on popular variety show "Wednesday's Downtown". The resulting group, MAMESHiBA NO TAiGUN, was announced on December 18th, with four more girls joining WACK.
On January 3rd, Pour Lui briefly rejoined WACK to release her second solo album, Minna no Pour Lui II. She left WACK again after the album's release, to focus on her Idol Kenkyuujo project. WACK also started their second joint concert tour, WACK FUCKiN' PARTY TOUR, and another collaboration with Tower Records, named TOWACK RECORDS.
In February and March, many WACK events, including multiple stops of the WACK FUCKiN' PARTY Tour and WACK EXHiBiTiON, were canceled due to government restrictions being issued to prevent the spread of coronavirus, which had been strongly affecting Japan at the time. As an apology, some groups uploaded full-length videos of previous events (such as BiSH's BRiNG iCiNG SHiT HORSE TOUR FiNAL "THE NUDE") to YouTube temporarily. In addition, the February 23rd performance of the WACK FUCKiN' PARTY TOUR went on as scheduled as a "no audience" live; fans were not allowed to attend the event in person and were instead invited to watch a live stream of WACK artists performing to an empty venue. This was repeated again in March.
In late March, the WACK AUDiTiON CAMP 2020 was held without a closing WACK EXHiBiTiON. At the end of the audition, it was announced that GANG PARADE would be split into two groups; GO TO THE BEDS and PARADISES.
On April 7th, WACK launched a crowdfunding campaign on Campfire to fund WACK FUCKiN' REVENGE PARTY, an event to be held to make up for the canceled FUCKiN' PARTY tour shows. It was followed by further crowdfunding campaigns to cover losses for the cancelled PEDRO tour and Kamiya Saki graduation shows.
On May 22nd, the last founding member of WACK, Kamiya Saki, graduated from GANG PARADE and left the company. After this, GANG PARADE was demoted to a part-time unit, so that the remaining members could focus on their split groups.
On June 1st, it was announced that WACK would hold a new audition, Project WACK-Chin Audition, would be held through twitter. It was suggested that the winners of the audition would form a new group that would debut after the coronavirus restrictions had been lifted.
- All affiliated artists are produced and managed by Watanabe, Matsukuma Kenta is in charge of sound production and Sotobayashi Kenta is in charge of costuming and photography. Idols under WACK typically have heavy input into the songwriting and choreography, with most members having written lyrics to at least one of their group's songs.
- Most songs are made up of many solo lines, and lines that are sung in unison are uncommon.
- All members perform under a stage name. Some early members used their real name, but written in katakana instead of the traditional kanji and hiragana, still effectively making it a stage name. When public auditions are held, finalists are referred to by parody names of past and present WACK members (e.g. "Bug Me", "Second/Third/Fourth Summer Uika", "Yui Ga Jackson") until they debut and an official stage name is chosen.
- All ages are given as being "18 Years Old", regardless of if that member is older or younger. Real ages are usually revealed through external sources such as previous groups, or hints given in interviews.
- Music and merchandise often pay homage to famous musicians such as Queen and Nirvana. Sometimes popular films are also parodied.
- Prior to 2016, radical behavior such as jumping and lifting were permitted at lives. However, this has since been banned, as Watanabe found it annoying.
- Extreme activities such as Marathons, 24 hour-long events and hot sauce eating competitions are often done by members.
- Handshake events and chekis are typically done through CD sales as opposed to traditional ticket transactions.
- All groups except for GANG PARADE have their names written in English romaji, with capital letters except for a lowercase "i". This often extends into other names and titles (e.g. MiDORiKO EMPiRE, GiANT KiLLERS), the exception being if the I is used in the first person (e.g. I can't say NO!!!!!!!) or if it's the first letter of a word (IDOL).
- All groups except for GANG PARADE and WAgg use a black t-shirt with "IDOL" printed on the front with white (inherited from first generation BiS) as official merchandise.