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.

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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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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Beautiful Girls from This Girl’s Point of View
August 30, 2008, 8:22 pm
Filed under: Aragaki Yui, Opinion, Otsuka Ai, Perfume

First things first: with some computer problems, I haven’t really been too caught up on the scene and what’s happening – which means I haven’t been blogging much and probably won’t be blogging much for awhile.

But just for fun while I’m borrowing a friend’s computer, here’s a list of the ladies in Japanese entertainment I want to look like the most. I found that many times, talent and popularity doesn’t equal me exactly wanting to look at them – and women that male fans (and some female fans) drool over don’t seem so hot to me.

So based completely on being shallow and judgmental on looks for once, here’s my top ten girls:

10. Toda Erika

Toda Erika used to look a little weird and awkward to me, but it’s mostly her fashion that caught my attention. I’ll admit, I only started liking her after I saw her in her drama Liar Game with a great colorful costume, bright tights and all. Also, recently she’s been going for a more sexy look – and it’s really working for her.

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Ohno’s Pot and Threesomes?
July 27, 2008, 2:28 pm
Filed under: Arashi, Johnny's Entertainment, Opinion

When my roommate said to me that Ohno Satoshi of Arashi had a marijuana and threesome rumor, I laughed, because come on, that just sounds unbelievably ridiculous.

And it still sounds unbelievably ridiculous. From what I can gather from the little bits of information over at the Arashi community at Vox, there’s information of Ohno having participated in a threesome and that he was caught at a club smoking pot – which is bad, not only because Ohno is in a drama and the group that will be promoting the Olympics on NTV, but because pot is really, really illegal in Japan, and so the police will be investigating into this.

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