Sunday Blog Roundup: The Economics of the Idol World Explained, Gocchin’s Skankalicious Cover Dissected

Filed in American Wota 1.0

Santos of Idolizing St. Anna astounds us all yet again with a piece about saodake sales trucks which serves as an oblique set-up to answering the question “Why don’t idol groups go bankrupt?”. Santos does an incredible job breaking down the economics of how small idol groups manage to survive financially, explaining in a manner that is informative as well as accessible. (And the pie chart is pretty cool!) Santos always has a good eye for the details of Japanese culture that not only intrigue his readers but also serves as insightful segues to his unique insights on the idol world. Though not strictly related, Santos also has news about a possible miscalculation on the fan base of AKB48.

Going a little further out on the economics of idol life, Asian Sex Gazette writes about idol stage mothers who’re willing to make their kids sexy to further their careers. And taking the tangent just a little further, lolitron has a news piece on padded bras for 6-year-olds in Australia… Do the H!P Kids know about this? Should they?

There’s lots of reactions to Goto Maki’s new single and its eyecandy cover. On MySpace, nishi asks of the new Gocchin cover, “omfg, slut much?”. Over at Tonari dooshi anata to atashi sakuranbo!, Angela likes Goto Maki’s new song but hates the cover. To wit: “I go to H!P for my sugary-to-normal girlpop. I go to Koda Kumi for my skank-fix.” jankenpyon’s Skawt delights in Maki Goto touching some boys and reviews the single favorably. Of the cover, he concludes, “At least this one is a little more cutesy and a little less skank.” And if you’re looking for something a little more butch and rawk in your H!P Idols, check out this Mari image that CJ Marsicano of Stuck in a Pagoda with Motoko Aoyama swoons over.

Also, nishi on MySpace loves the Kitty GYM single and already misses the one-time group. Also on MySpace, JJ looks at the newest Hello! Project updates. Noone of Yossitelua steams things up in her ongoing Momusu fanfic comic, “This love continues to grow” – parts ten and eleven. Yossittelua also has another very enjoyable fumetti, even as she observes, “My stuff here is getting a little… perv”. I dunno, that’s music to my ears, at least.

Ikimasshoi.com notes how Miracle Girl Koharu is doing something solo that Morning Musume hasn’t done in years and Konno isn’t done with wota wallets just yet… Meanwhile, Nacchi has a new single lined up and an acoustic live and Goto Maki officially debuts in South Korea, and Ayaya is working with a live band again! Last but not least from Ikimasshoi, Shaoran writes an interesting thought piece on the similar trajectories of Koda Kumi and Fujimoto Miki – ahh, what could have been with just a simple twist of fate. Craig, one of the magnificent bastards of Your Opinion Doesn’t Count, is now experimenting in creative subtitling, as seen by this SRT file for Hinoi Team’s latest PV. As for the H!P Kids: They’re so cute when they’re young! And by that I mean very, very young. Like, Australian padded bra young in some cases. And for this week’s J-Music Clip of the Week, Langdon Alger chooses Puffy x Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra’s “Hazumu Rhythm”.

pengie of unchained is lost in the eyes of AAA’s Chiaki before examining the relationship between Yui’s new video and Taiyou no Uta. She also does a slam-bang write-up on Miz – very well-written, giving a great overview and intelligently approaching its audience and why they should care about this artist. Aural Candy has PV previews of alice nine and Gazette and again waxes poetic in her frustrations, this time regarding the difficulties of finding limited edition albums. Oh, she makes such torment a joy to read – Lord knows, any diehard fan of any kind of pop culture can sympathize with such difficulties. Karakui reports that Arashiro Beni is sports equipment maker Mizuno’s new image character and links to desktops for the new hiro movie Backdancers. Béné of Béné Blog has a really nice review of HI MA’AM… in French. I studied enough French in graduate school that it doesn’t bother me none. But maybe Béné will be gracious enough to translate this wonderfully analytical piece into English…?

Gail of the impressive Himitsu gives us her regular look at Jpop releases and reviews the new w-inds single. Thea of Made in Paradise celebrates the highest Oricon rating ever for AAA with “Let It Beat”. While The Great Swifty Speaketh! isn’t written by the legendary Swifty Lazar – a good thing too, because he’s been dead a while – it does feature an interesting two-person review of Otsuka Ai’s career, followed by an equally interesting solo review of Hello! Project. WEBmikey has a good short review of Tamaki Nami’s new album, appreciating how well she does on the included DVD’s live performance. jariten of HALCALI day by day looks at Halcali mashups and writes about a new shopping show for Halcali. Huh? Will gorillas and doughnuts be involved?

Go of jrocknyc reviews a L’arc en Ciel re-release, scar’s latest release, mucc’s Utagoe bonus DVD, and Ruiza’s new E.P.. Another of YODC’s magnificent bastards, Tsuji, looks at Kpop at his solo blog Tsuji no Uchi. In a similar vein, miyounghee of !ricebox is less than impressed by Bi’s new single, concerned that he’s buying his own hype. She then goes on to praise AI’s performance of “I Wanna Know” on Bokura no Ongaku – a show she also singles out for particular praise in how it puts real singers to the test. That said, there are some very particular misgivings voiced about the show:

it seems to me that the entire enterprise is shaped by our longsuffering romanticized notion of “organic” music. Bluegrass, jazz, rock and roll: all traditionally abstaining from digital treatment, something that defines mainstream J-Pop. The new wave of female singersongwriters like Otsuka Ai and YUI takes advantage of our knee-jerk reaction toward certan types of music. Regardless of the actual quality of the songs or the talent of the performers, if it strums, then it’s accorded an immediate validity based in nostalgia.

Christ, that’s insightful and well-written, with honed cadences and clever rhetorical set-ups. Beyond that, the issue of complicity as a mode of criticism – that is, the author’s ability to provisionally agree with the stated assumption even as its faults are exposed – is a delicate rhetorical dance that leaves me in awe. On a personal note, it seems to me that the Free Noise Manifesto is as guilty of this romanticized notion – at least implicitly – as other modes of understanding music, much as I champion that particular view of popular culture. So there’s food for thought there, as well…

Pata of Irresponsible Pictures provides a handy link guide to the recent Tokyopop online exclusive controversy. usagi of the usagi incidents continues her formidable stream of anime and quality live actions show reviews, this week including Firefly and Black Blood Brothers – hey, wasn’t that a movie starring Richard Roundtree? lolitron looks at the new Evangelion movie series and makes a point of what improvements can be made. Akiramike of the mighty HampsapSukebe reviews the latest episode of Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, while WEBmikey reviews Vermillion Pleasure Night Volume 2, observing a turn towards the sinister.

On the eyecandy front, Barely 18 Movies asks a rather obvious question and notes the latest Ogura Yuko DVD release. Cute Cosplay Angels has a Ran Monbu photoshoot that is actually pretty adorable. If you prefer boys over girls, I suggest Gail’s latest scans for Himitsu of various luscious male rocker types. 74x reports on a collaboration between Sanrio’s Hello Kitty and… Hoshino Aki? Is this for that six-year-old padded-bra audience in Australia again?

And on personal notes regarding bloggers near and dear to American Wota, Jarret of I’m bad at naming things is back in school, which hopefully means he’ll be back to blogging as well, while Johnny of The Mind is stopping overnight at Narita before finally returning home from his vacation.

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3 Responses to “Sunday Blog Roundup: The Economics of the Idol World Explained, Gocchin’s Skankalicious Cover Dissected”
  1. Craig says:

    I’m against padded bras in principle 🙂

  2. Whoa, hey man, thanks for the link, very flattered. Both Justin and I had been reading your blog for a while. i’ll do a Speed review next 😀

  3. Bene says:

    I’ll do the translation of my article tomorow !

    Great Sunday Blog Roundup ^^