The weird world of AKB48 - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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The weird world of AKB48

For those who don't know, AKB48 are a long standing pop culture phenomena in Japan, a kind of pop group with dozens of members sub groups, off shoots and rankings that I don't begin to understand.

Most members seem to range from early teen and to early twenties, and they are astonishingly popular here, a fixture on many entertainment shows, in the music charts, on the cover of magazines, selling out stadiums with a legion of devoted fans.

So far so typical teen idol perhaps but this clip and the attached story hints at a more sinister side...the girl in this video til now has been a leading ne bet of the group, but was discovered having a liaison with a guy...
http://www.tokyohive.com/2013/01/min...h-shaved-head/

The unfortunate girl comes across like a brainwashed cult member, and its a difficult watch.
In order to achieve their dreams the girls have to sign up to unrealistically strict codes of behaviour and face expulsion or demotion to the lower ranks if they step out of line.

Again this isn't a fringe group...they are basically the biggest thing in Japanese entertainment.

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Last edited by Halardfan; Feb 1st, 2013 at 06:26 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 06:28 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

It's only a matter of time before it all ends in tears, hopefully.

Like a cult now as you say, scary.

And all their songs sound the same, same "dance" moves and all.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

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It's only a matter of time before it all ends in tears, hopefully.

Like a cult now as you say, scary.

And all their songs sound the same, same "dance" moves and all.
It made plenty of news on the breakfast shows but with my very limited Japanese its hard to know what the reaction of reporters was...hopefully outrage at the people behind AKB48 not with the unfortunate girl herself.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 08:56 AM
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I know them and their song "the river"

Dont they work in 3 units performing the same songs in different places? And in their own theater in Tokyo.

I saw they were bestselling artist in Japan in 2012 .

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

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It made plenty of news on the breakfast shows but with my very limited Japanese its hard to know what the reaction of reporters was...hopefully outrage at the people behind AKB48 not with the unfortunate girl herself.
I hope so too. Did you see their annual, televised group paper-scissors-rock tournament? Taken sooo seriously

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoofyDuck View Post
I know them and their song "the river"

Dont they work in 3 units performing the same songs in different places? And in their own theater in Tokyo.

I saw they were bestselling artist in Japan in 2012 .

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Yeah, that's right. In Japan the top 5 singles of 2011 and 2012 were all theirs, each with over a million sales (and even not a single other music act could get 1 million sales for even ONE song). Not to mention most of their song titles are in English but they don't make the slightest bit of sense...

Then there's SKE48, NMB48, Nogizoka48, all carbon copies (not to mention the AKB48 side groups)...

It's purely their image, the "cute, high-pitched, innocent" girl next door image, that is behind their popularity, as somehow this appeals to both (otaku) men and women.

I read their next music video will be 64 minutes long, and one of the biggest TV networks will broadcast a 3-episode special television drama about it. So superficial and lacking in substance, I really don't understand their popularity, i'm just glad that one day people will move on to the next thing!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

One of the many things about Japan I cannot even begin to understand. It's just so extreme...like not even a SNL parody of "fandom" or pop groups would come close to matching what is reality in Japan.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 04:10 PM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

I know a 30+ year old white American man in my Japanese class who actually takes Japanese because he's a huge AKB48 stan and it's actually the most terrifying thing I've ever encountered at university. I'm 22 and I'm already over Jpop, yet he's 10 years older than me and owns everything AKB48. Has all their music, his ringtone is AKB48, everything. The little Japanese woman who is my professor consistently makes fun of him and AKB48.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 1st, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48





So sad to watch ... poor girl!

So apparently she's only 20 and trained for 8 years and now she is back to trainee status

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2013, 02:31 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

Yeah that is freaky, just heard the news today (from my sister who is a huge jpop fan).

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 06:15 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

AKB48 is one of the biggest mysteries I've ever encountered in my life ever since moving to Japan. I just dont get it. Oh well, I guess it is just the logical follow-up of what K-Pop has started/done in the last ten years.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 06:18 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

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Originally Posted by rrfnpump View Post
AKB48 is one of the biggest mysteries I've ever encountered in my life ever since moving to Japan. I just dont get it. Oh well, I guess it is just the logical follow-up of what K-Pop has started/done in the last ten years.
Japan had gigantic super groups (Morning Musume for one) long before K-pop became popular outside of Korea.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 06:22 AM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

I rather mean that everything is reduced to looks and not how you sing and dance. Rarely, you have a K- or J-pop idol that can really sing. Superficial, 100% commercial and 0% authentic music.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

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Originally Posted by Hayato View Post
I hope so too. Did you see their annual, televised group paper-scissors-rock tournament? Taken sooo seriously



Yeah, that's right. In Japan the top 5 singles of 2011 and 2012 were all theirs, each with over a million sales (and even not a single other music act could get 1 million sales for even ONE song). Not to mention most of their song titles are in English but they don't make the slightest bit of sense...

Then there's SKE48, NMB48, Nogizoka48, all carbon copies (not to mention the AKB48 side groups)...

It's purely their image, the "cute, high-pitched, innocent" girl next door image, that is behind their popularity, as somehow this appeals to both (otaku) men and women.

I read their next music video will be 64 minutes long, and one of the biggest TV networks will broadcast a 3-episode special television drama about it. So superficial and lacking in substance, I really don't understand their popularity, i'm just glad that one day people will move on to the next thing!
Yes I saw that tournament...and the big election they have where all the girls are ranked by the Otaku masses...

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 3rd, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Re: The weird world of AKB48

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Originally Posted by rrfnpump View Post
I rather mean that everything is reduced to looks and not how you sing and dance. Rarely, you have a K- or J-pop idol that can really sing. Superficial, 100% commercial and 0% authentic music.
Agreed. I CANNOT stand Kpop. It's even gaining traction in Taiwan which is just

Luckily Taiwanese music hasn't degraded down that far...yet.

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