I was in the type of mood yesterday that required an angry girl playlist to go along with it. So I made one.
baby, I don’t hate men–maybe I just hate you
1. Bikini Kill - Feels Blind // 2. Emily’s Sassy Lime - Transistor No Way // 3. the ovens - i don’t owe anything to any dude. ever. // 4. Bratmobile - What’s Wrong With You? // 5. Bis - Kill Yr Boyfriend // 6. Lunachicks - Drop Dead // 7. 7 Year Bitch - Dead Men Don’t Rape // 8. Tribe 8 - Frat Pig // 9. G.L.O.S.S. - Lined Lips & Spiked Bats // 10. Team Dresch - Hate the Christian Right! // 11. L7 - Fuel My Fire // 12. Bjork - Army of Me // 13. PJ Harvey - 50 Ft Queenie // 14. Hole - Retard Girl // 15. The Distillers - Bullet and the Bullseye // 16. Vapid - Hate You // 17. Poison Girls - Revenge // 18. Priests - Suck // 19. Sleater-Kinney - #1 Must Have
The magazine itself is quite big, bigger than LARME and similar to the size of ViVi or Sweet. I like big magazines because bigger pictures (although scanning is a bit harder)! Also there’s 136 pages.
The cover is okay, I’m not super crazy about it but it’s nice.
Anyways, looking inside, the main story is 「Never mind」which features the cover girl Mirai Shida. Like the cover, it’s quite dark and makes use of different layouts, borders and text layouts. The main theme is about being reborn.
The shoot advertises different trends like flare plants and chiffon dresses. The looks will set you back a couple tens or hundred of thousands of yen though, it’s not cheap. On the cover she is wearing a 410,000 yen dress by Rochas. However this shoot, and the first few in the first half of the magazine, are more likely for aesthetics and promoting ‘high fashion’ brands to try to emulate for yourself as the second half of the magazine balances out the price of items.
The next editorial is 「Gemini」. It advertises new collections from brands like Theatre Products and Jill Stuart along with some writing by Erika Kobayashi about twins. Like the first editorial it’s pricey with the aim of looking high fashion. I didn’t really love it and the photography was just okay to me.
Next was 「Vespertine」. There were one or two pictures I liked, but again it was just a high fashion-y sort of editorial with a little bit of superfluous text. And I didn’t really like the clothes.
The last of the high fashion editorials was 「忘れる (Wasureru)」. This one was very artily edited, which focused more on aesthetic than the clothes. I wasn’t enamoured by this one either unfortunately. I think it would have been better without all the graphics around it.
Next was 「UTOPIA MAKE-UP」. It’s about “Mode Feminine” make up, aimed at ladies becoming adults. The main header pictures were really creative and nice with a robotic twist, but the make up wasn’t to my taste - the cheeks are meant to be a skin tone colourless colour. The lip colours were reddy pinks though. The featured make up brands were Anna Sui, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Jill Stuart etc.
Now we come to the divide of the magazine. From here on out the magazine picked up a lot for me and was more affordable, bright and youthful.
Starting with 「Summer Style of Vintage」a book in the magazine (like the little book in book things) which features some questionable fashion choices that nobody would be caught dead wearing - like a shoulder to toe lace bodysuit and a dress that looks like it was made out of blue cling film… But some of it is okay… take it with a grain of salt. Actually the last page promotes a magazine called DOOR which seems to have styled this, so it might just be some kind of PR.
Moving on, next in the little book segment is Products Needed This Summer. It features the model Raimu Taya, who seems to be the main ‘bis girl’. It shows the make up to do in different situations like daily make up and date make up, then shows you how to style your hair and makeup with certain coord items like cat eye sunglasses and bloomers. I actually liked this spread a lot, but wished it wasn’t all taken in front of a grey background, that, and lighting doesn’t make the make up look so great.
Next, a prettier layout for popular keywords for now. There’s even some coordinate examples, to give a taste of the fashion in bis. Some brands featured in this are HONEY MI HONEY, Zara, Supreme.La.La, Faline and Katie. There’s also keywords about skin care, cosmetics, nails and make up.
Now back to the main magazine, my favourite editorial! 「Pretty Things」. It features Haruka Kudo (from Morning Musume ‘17), Raimu and Raika Yumi as three sisters working in a hair salon. The coordinates feature them wearing one of the same item of clothing or accessory and mix and matching with different pieces. It’s easily the best editorial showing different situations like “Selecting Flowers for (the) Salon” and “Scouting Pretty Girls”, and the fashion’s cute too. The most featured brands are Katie and Agnes b.
Next is a “healthy summer” mix and match, featuring Raimu in Vintage Casual and NANAMI in Girly Casual. Some of the brands featured include lilLily, Peach John, Uniqlo, Zara and Forever 21. It shows at most 5 coords for each style for the months between May and August. There’s some cute stuff, there’s some basic stuff. Layout wise it reminded me of ViVi.
Next is a feature on hairstyles for summer. Mostly before and afters promoting different hairdressers to visit and some styling tips. The fashion in this segment is quite nice.
Next is another hair feature, but this time a hair arrange segment. My first thoughts were that it looks a lot like LARME. I don’t know if this ribbon hair stuff is popular in other magazines nowadays though, so it could be the norm. Anyways, it’s nicely laid out and the models are cute.
Next is 「Self Body Care Salon」. If you’ve read something like this in another Japanese magazine you’ve probably read them all! There’s a lot of exercises, stretches, diet tips, massages etc in this part. The theme colour of the pages are baby blue which is really pretty.
Next is the recipe segment. A part of this is also on the bis website. It’s recipes featuring noodles with 0 grams of carbohydrates. The instructions are limited to about 3 or 4 steps so I don’t know how easy they are to follow, but I genuinely want to eat them all.
Next is a make up Q&A. Again, read a make up Q&A once and you’ve read them all; but you do get some summer tips and bis make up recommendations. There’s a question on how to make your eyes look bigger without circle lenses, and flicking through the magazine it seems more often than not that circle lens aren’t used that much.
Moving on to culture, it kicks off with a piece on a short movie that is being shown in the video section of bis’s website. I haven’t watched it yet, and I haven’t read the piece yet.
The next page is on 「Transparents」- clear accessories. I guess this isn’t culture…but it’s just one random double page. There’s some expensive clear accessories which seem like they belong more in the beginning part of the magazine. I don’t know, really.
Next is some promo with Sanrio for Sanrio Puroland. It features some ‘bis girls’ - SAKURA, Noa Sato and Mei Tanaka. I’m not familiar with them, but they look quite young. You can see this PR feature on bis’s website too.
Next there’s an interview with the title “Do you think birds are free?” It also has some illustrations. It’s quite long, so I haven’t read it yet.
Next 「How to grow my wings」with Raimu. It’s a weird layout with text all over the place. I don’t understand it, but I think it’s supposed to be deep. It’s pretty at least.
Turn the page and there’s 「LAKE」. Another written piece about something…It’s from a story about travellers or something.
Anyways, coming towards the end, there’s 「BOY’S CULTURE MODE」. Which is an interview with Kento Nakajima, a member of Sexy Zone. I don’t know about Sexy Zone and I don’t really have any interest in it, so I didn’t read it.
The first of the monthly instalments, 「bis BOOK 」. This month’s book is “Night Flower The Life and Art of Vali Myers”. The other is 「bis FLOWER」. This month’s flower is Dahlia. I like flowers, but I didn’t expect that to be something they’d do every issue. It’s different, that’s for sure. It’d be nice to have a model posing with the flowers though.
Then, fin, telling us the magazine will start to be published in September.
My first impressions are that the magazine is not bad. But there’s a big disconnect within the magazine. The first half is Vogue x Sweet, the second half is LARME x ViVi.Since it’s only the pre issue, it can definitely be hard to get one original ‘bis’ style down of course. However if they maybe spaced out the high fashion parts, or just inserted some high-end pieces into the second half and vice versa, it would be better. It’s too much at the start and it’s boring. I like high fashion editorials but the pictures weren’t enough to make me feel like looking at them over and over again.
The second half is nice, and has some pieces and coordinates I like. I can see it’s a bit more mature even if the models look young.
I also think the very last part needs some work. The culture sections are lacking.
Also, going back to my first impressions regarding the website; the magazine and the website are indeed different. Some things from the magazine are actually on the website in short articles, and some website articles don’t actually feature in the magazine. Everything related to appealing to boys only exists on the website and some of the outfits in the magazine actually go against what’s written on the website - baggy shapeless pants that hide your figure being something boys don’t like girls to wear is actually in coordinates in the magazine. It’s another example of disconnect, with the website giving a sort of different impression. The magazine is definitely more mature than the website.
But overall, as I said, the magazine needs some work. Luckily there’s a couple of months before the magazine launches to make changes. I also think it’s a little expensive. It’s a little less than Sweet which has over 350 pages and always comes with a gift, like a bag. Maybe they should give a gift with it, or maybe it will have more pages later on.
So, for the pre-issue that’s may overview and review. I’m not completely blown away, but it’s not a lost cause. Now’s the waiting game for Autumn! Thanks for reading and I hope this helped! Has anyone else got their issue? What are your thoughts and if you weren’t sure about bis do you think you’d be interested in getting it now?