Sunday Blog Roundup: The Cult of Originality, More Idol Stats, and Groups I Should Be Listening To

Filed in Cult Of Pop 2.0

It was a great week in the English-language Jpop blogosphere, and there’s a great deal of passion and love for Asian pop music from various bloggers. It comes in detailed arguments, graphs, speculation, screencaps, cover scans… The diversity alone is enough to bring me joy.

Once again my favorite entry of the week comes from crs at undoing the mercator projection. This week she provides another huge, well-informed, and thoughtfully-argued essay about Korean and Japanese pop, this time on "The cult of originality and tolerance for stealing". It’s a demanding read, but a pleasurable one as well – there’s a good deal to be learned and even more to be pondered, not just on pop music but on the nature of creativity and the global entertainment market as well.

At Idolizing St. Anna, Santos follows up his original statistical study of idols with a new series of questions: here are chapters one, two, three, and four. Part three was especially entertaining, as it posed Koda Kumi and dream’s careers against each other, considering what may have happened if the situations was different. (And for the record, I opined a while back that Koda Kumi doesn’t have what it takes to be a gravure idol, though Hasebe Yu definitely does.) Of course, there are other what-if scenarios I’ve pondered: not only Koda Kumi, but Fujimoto Miki also tried out at the Avex auditions. So what if dream ended up having those two girls along with the other three? And of course, there’s the possibility of Koda Kumi joining Morning Musume instead of Goto Maki…

Santos also keeps the Irie Saaya flame alive with a screencap look at a recent TV appearance she made. Turns out her parents are encouraging about her career trajectory, which leaves me both impressed and aghast.

Bishoujo Club 31 has a new sub group, D.D.D., with two current Bishoujo members and two outsiders – so why not take in those outsiders and make it Bishoujo Club 33? Anyway, Thea from Made in Paradise, Mark from ikimasshoi, and Musicrakuen cover this new, seemingly SweetS-like combo. These three sites provide other highlights this week, as well. Thea ha a nice screencap look at dream 03 Abe Erie’s new cm, Mark speculates on the impact of Morning Musume’s unexpected switch-up for their 28th single, and at Musicrakuen there’s a whole load of songs and videos to download, with helpful capsule reviews. This includes a clip of Harenchi Punch, a new girl group I’ve heard about and will probably follow up on, along with another new girl group mentioned by Go at jrocknyc, Vitamin Muh. Go also provides a rather horrible – if appropriate pun – as the title for his post on some Itoh Misaki gossip.

Over at Channel Ai, the Hello! Project love from Lainay continues. This week she looks at the first H!P "solo group", Gomattou, and the latest such group, DEF. DIVA. At ami desu, hideki gives some thoughts on SweetS’ 5 Elements while HANABI.1984 of J-Pop CD Cover Art provides some luscious eyecandy from Hinoi Asuka’s too-brief solo career – back when I thought was was seventeen or eighteen. See, the miniskirts in her live performances fooled me – especially the way cameramen tried to angle up it as much as possible; imagine my rather mixed reaction when I heard about Hinoi Team and found out I’d drastically miscalculated Asuka’s age…

In non-Jpop news, Akiramike of HamsapSukebe gives a lesson on using Chinese curse words, while Jarret at I’m bad at naming things provides Part 2 of his Tokyo trip.

And a promising new blog has debuted, What time? Suika time. (That’s the full name of the blog – both a question and answer. Pretty impressive.) Anyway, Suika gives a great review of a PV by Seamo featuring Bennie K – Bennie K being another group I really should try out but haven’t yet. I especially liked this assessment of Seamo: "I could have sworn he was a drag king, small build, thin eye-brows, and facial hair that looked for all the world like pubic hair glued to his chin". This is timeless prose, people – at least, it made me laugh. Hopefully there’ll be more.

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2 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: The Cult of Originality, More Idol Stats, and Groups I Should Be Listening To”
  1. Suika says:

    Thank you for the kind words, Ray! I was surprised XD I’ve also just changed the name of my blog to Melon Pop with a new posting…I had no idea what I was going to do with the whole thing when I created and named it, and now that after some deep soul-searching I’ve come to the realization I kinda want to write stuff in it from time to time, I decided to give it a slightly less…uh, Zen…title. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  2. Suika:

    Actually, I liked “What Time? Suika Time.” as a title a lot. It’s not often that a blog has a name that answers its own question.