ACME demonstrates the hurdles artists face while seeking to share their truth. Forerunners CHISA (vocals) and SHOGO (guitar) offer a foundation of clout as ex-members of DIV (2012-2016) with additions of semi-fresh faces in RIKITO on bass and HAL on drums (HAL having made contributions to CHISA and SHOGO’s previous duo-project). In the interim between DIV’s disbandment after their ONEMAN LIVE 2016 “DIVE!!!” performance on October 10, 2016, there was a distinct sense that the ex-bandmates were testing the waters as to how best to aim their artistic direction.
Having split into two pairs, ex-DIV members Chobi and satoshi had attempted to make their own project under the moniker “Twelve Apostles”, but prematurely ended in February of 2018 without managing to plant their feet with a full project or even a single. As such, there might’ve been a shadow was cast on CHISA and SHOGO’s endeavors as they had partnered to proceed as a duo following DIV’s dissolution, but at the same time did not enjoy the same level of success as when they were under their previous umbrella.
Perhaps because of management or maybe sheer bad luck, SHOGO and CHISA wound up not releasing any breakout singles during this time. They continued to create music with occasional support from musicians such as HAL to provide instrumentals for new content, but their releases didn’t seem to catch on as quickly as their previous work did.
To be fair, there may have been some performance-based anxiety involved. Hits from the now-deceased DIV such as SEASONS and 12/11 easily clocked in over one million views on YouTube which is a tall order to fill when you’re aiming for the same results with only half of the people who made it happen to begin with.
But, that’s just the thing. These are artists who have already proven themselves. Despite the new banner overhead, they’ve committed to this project with a track record that clearly demonstrates unwavering dedication to the craft.
Even the most baby-faced member, RIKITO, has pushed through serious medical issues in order to contribute to the band. In November of 2017, the bassist had to recuse himself from several performances at the behest of physicians and family. It wasn’t until April 2018 that he was well enough to attempt a public appearance. Doubts remained about how consistently he could perform, but the fact that the least-seasoned member of the group was ready to push through such a massive wall speaks volumes.
ACME’s first, full project “Zesshou Ouka” debuted a couple months ago on August 8th. With that, all three of their resulting singles have showcased the range and potential behind ACME. In ROTTEN ORANGE, you have an edge bound to appeal to the more angst-ridden among us. The titular track, Zesshou Ouka, has a music video that directly contrasts that with gorgeous kimonos and CHISA’s boundless smile while the band cranks out a banger in the background. Then, there’s LAST PRIZE—their most recent single whose MV is crested with a heart-melting chihuahua and sporadically tosses out pawprint imagery just to remind you why you decided to click on the thumbnail in the first place.
ACME is set to make their US debut at Anime Milwaukee 2019, although it seems more like coming home than breaking ground. They’re no amateurs and every piece they put out shows that the talent they started out with has only ripened with years of experience.