fly to high

It’s your money, not love, that matters
June 8, 2010, 10:21 am
Filed under: Jpop, Opinion

No matter what your favorite idols say about your love and devotion, your strongest contribution to them continues to be your wallet. Whether you’re purchasing their records or their concert tickets, it’s your dollars and yen that make the real difference.

It’s something everyone knows but doesn’t want to admit. The record companies are especially adroit at sidestepping the implication of using the fans for their money.  Avex often presses multiple copies of the same release with the exact same musical content, just different covers – just limited editions masquerading as “treats” for fans. Johnny’s presses multiple versions and emphasizes that their groups reach #1 on the Oricon, with a something-single streak – as a good fan, you’d want to get all the songs and support your band, don’t you?

But your love for the artist is definitely #1. They encourage fanmail. When balloting for something, you’re limited to how many you can apply for. We appreciate your money, the record companies say, but it’s still all about how much you love the artist! Your passion, your time, your devotion – how much you buy is just a little extra.

AKB48 goes a little differently – with the senbatsu rankings. While the thought of having fans decide firsthand the direction and fate of their idols, it’s the voting method that’s interesting to me. For the girls of AKB48, it’s not about how many of your fans join the fanclub, and how many devoted hours they spend lining up for your tickets and goods – all they have to do is reach in their pockets and hand over stacks of yen. You could buy hundreds of thousands of copies of their single and make the least popular girl in the company the top star, all by your own power. It’s no longer about how passionate the feelings in your heart are – it’s all about how much money you can spend.

It’s a shady business, it’s cruel to the girls, and it’s absolutely brilliant. Why ARE we limited to one vote per person, per fanclub member? It’s unfair to the fans who don’t have that much money to spend, but it motivates. A guy working in a convenience store who is a diehard fan of Ooto Aika, who’s on borderline for making it into the senbatsu single or not – well, he might just skip lunch a few days and pick up  a second single to submit an extra vote.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your money matter? If I want to pay, why can’t I buy a guaranteed good seat at an Arashi concert? Shouldn’t I be allowed in the audience for Music Station watching Ayumi perform if I actually bought multiple copies of her single? In opinion polls, shouldn’t I have more say if I’ve bought and watched the actual series the idol acted in, rather than someone who just casually caught a few episodes on tv? Idols are a business, and maybe making it a more clearcut, money-based business isn’t a bad idea.

I’m Back, Sort of…
April 5, 2010, 11:12 am
Filed under: Site

Without an announcement, I’ve been pretty MIA from the Japanese blog scene for more than half a year. I’ve been traveling around, having bandwidth troubles, going through interest changes, devoting less time to Japanese entertainment – the bills gotta be paid, after all.

I logged on recently again and was pleasantly surprised that somehow, I’m still getting occasional hits – so to those people who continue linking to me (mostly for those naked Yamapi pictures, but oh well) thanks.

This is a temporary post to announce some revamping around here and I’ll be writing again soon – no more extensive drama overviews or individual musings on singles, but some thoughts here and there. Thanks for bearing with me!

Why You Should Show Love For ⊿
July 5, 2009, 11:32 pm
Filed under: Jpop, Opinion, Perfume | Tags:

I usually don’t do song by song review types or anything like that on this blog, but after the leaks (cough from the normal sources), I’m certain ⊿ (Triangle) deserves attention and praise for what its achieved – both for Nakata and for Perfume.

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Thanks for one year!
January 10, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Site

Fly to High has been running for one year as of today! Thanks to everybody who reads this blog and has supported it to today. (: I’ve put up a new layout – this time featuring the lovely girls of Perfume.

This was my first experience blogging publicly on my own blog. I set up a blog, wrote a little, and decided to see if I would hold enough interest to keep this alive for a week… I never knew I’d be interested in it for a year! While it seems like this “Japanese entertainment blog” is more of a J-pop blog now, I had intended to talk about everything Japanese-related: music, movies, dramas, celebrities, fads… but my interest has been increasingly centered on the music.

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Johnny’s and Permanence
December 18, 2008, 2:22 am
Filed under: Japan, Johnny's Entertainment, Opinion

While youtube-browsing, I came across a clip of Music Station that goes back through the history of Johnny’s. Apart from the fact that their gay, colorful, sparkly outfits apparently haven’t changed for more than two decades, one thing struck as odd – if this is the entire history of Johnny’s popular artists, why is it that around halfway through the video I can recognize every group and song?

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Kouhaku 2008 Artist Lineup

Kohaku’s artist lineup for this year has been released.

Newcomers on the red team (female) are Aoyama Thelma, Akimoto Junko (enka singer who I think made it big this year with her single “Ai no Mama De”), Ikimonogakari, GIRL NEXT DOOR, Perfume, and Fujioka Fujimaki and Ohashi Nozomi (the two men and the little girl who sang the theme to Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Newcomers to the white team (male) are Kimaguren, Kiyama Yusaku, Jero, Shuchishin with Pabo, Tohoshinki(DBSK), Mr. Children, and Mizutani Yutaka (enka singer who made a comeback).

Overall, expected additions for the year. I’m not familiar with enka singers, but the female singers who made it big this year all made it onto the show (Perfume! Yes!). I’m surprised and pleased that Ikimonogakari are finally on. For the male artists though, I’m surprised it took this long for Mr. Children to make it on.

Full lineup is

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What J-Pop Do You Buy?
September 18, 2008, 1:44 am
Filed under: Opinion

Now that my music collection is temporarily out of commission, I’m turning to CDs again – and it hit me how little official Japanese music I own. I love J-pop – I have thousands of J-pop songs by several artists that I love, and I love watching PVs and concert DVDs – but as for the ones I buy, this is it.

Here’s the question: what CDs do you own? Do you buy all releases that you like? Do you buy some releases that you like? Do you only buy overseas versions? Do you only buy pirated versions? Do you not buy anything at all? And if you do buy a lot of releases – how do you afford it?

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