festivus

It is once again that time of year for the annual Festivus Airing of Grievances. For those not familiar with this tradition it is basically the lashing out at the world about how you have been disappointed by the actions of others.

The yearly tradition continues and I have a lot of pent up anger and disappointment to express. The opinions expressed here are mostly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Selective Hearing staff or affiliates/partners of the site unless explicitly stated.

Your company stinks! (AKS)

Minegishi Minami

It has been an interesting time in the world of Japanese idols, especially for the current national idols of AKB48. The early disappointment was Minegishi Minami and her whole head-shaving incident that resulted in her demotion earlier in the year.

One of the displeasures coming out of this was not the fact that Minegishi was demoted but the reaction of the fans; especially those who vehemently argued that this should be an example of how women’s rights are suppressed in the Japanese idol world.

Don’t get me wrong, I read some great articles this year that articulated the women’s rights issue quite eloquently. I’m not going to knock those who decided to intelligently discuss that side of the argument in a manner that gets one to think about such things. There were many valid points made about the treatment of females in the idol industry.

I’m actually pointing towards one series of interactions on Selective Hearing. The Minegishi scandal was a hot debate during the podcasts that aired at the time. So much that I had to lay the good old ban hammer on one user for taking a few liberties with their “freedom of speech” in the comment sections.

Look, I understand that some of you may have been upset when the incident happened but really, this one individual was stretching for an argument sometimes. I’m all for healthy debate, but when you start grasping at straws to make your point it’s not worth discussing anymore.

To make things clear for all of you out there, Selective Hearing will always be a dictator state under my rule. I’ll let you get away with most stuff, but don’t you dare start taking personal shots at staff or defame their character in any way in the comment discussion threads.

If you want to do that, do it in private. Don’t waste time here or on our social media trying to push your agenda or throw insults at the staff. Otherwise you’re pretty much going to get put on the permanent ban list.

Consider that a warning shot.

The other fallout from this incident was that for a short while Japanese idols went mainstream (for all the wrong reasons of course.) I’m not sure about all of you, but I had a bunch of questions coming at me from those who know I follow this stuff closely.

Thankfully, I had some rather intelligent inquiries about the background of this incident but I bet a few of you out there got a few stupid questions about idols when this news broke. Probably very annoying and broad stroke type of questions too I’m guessing.

I’m not going to speculate on whether AKS management did the right thing by demoting Minegishi instead of shipping her out like many before her. We all know how things turned out in the end right?

Still, this goes down as major grievance this year simply because of the amount of stupid drama it caused within mainstream media and amongst the more emo of the fans who needed a reason to cry that week.

AKB48-Draft-2013

AKS also held their first Draft Kaigi this year, where the captains of each team (except the re-formed Team 4) selected from a pool of girls who survived various rounds of auditions to make it to the final selection group.

This was set up in a similar manner to a sports draft that you would see in one of the major American sports like football, basketball, baseball or hockey except all the teams made a choice at the same time instead of stepping up to the podium and choosing one at a time.

Unfortunately the event was just as boring as an actual sports draft and provided no real entertainment value unless you wanted to see a bunch of audition hopefuls sing AKB48 songs in an awful manner live over and over and over.

I felt like 4 hours of my weekend just flew out the window never to return. I do recall falling asleep while watching it so I guess that pretty much sums up my thoughts on how engaging the event was.

I believe I woke up to see the final rounds of drafting and even then I wanted to go back to bed since it was taking so damn long. If AKS insists on doing this again, make the event way shorter. There’s no need to kill TV time simply because you can.

Your company stinks! (UFP)

Morning Musume

The world of Hello! Project had a rather strange turn of events with the announcement of the re-naming of their flagship group. As of 2014 the group will be known as Morning Musume ’14 and each subsequent year those numbers will change to whatever year it is.

This apparently was done because people who are not of the hardcore H!P fan variety don’t have a clue who is in the group anymore. Well this name change will certainly do nothing to rectify that.

Shouldn’t the marketing department at UP-FRONT have followed up their 1/Musume campaign a little more? I mean, that was a good start but nothing happened after those YouTube videos came out.

Adding a “one four” after the group’s name isn’t exactly the most shining example of promotional brilliance building upon the foundation those videos made.

This name change seems to be more confusing and upsetting to fans of the group. Regardless of how long you have been following Morning Musume you know that the logo below is rather iconic in the world of Japanese idol pop.

Morning Musume Logo

It really makes no sense to change it now. Based on the reaction from various fans online, it seems we finally agree on something. This whole idea is stupid and hopefully only temporary.

The other grievance in regards to Hello! Project has to do with the annual Kohaku program. This is not my personal gripe, but it is something that has been brought up by those who believe that Morning Musume should have been invited to this year’s show, preferably replacing the E-Girls.

Speaking of E-Girls, Sophie has something to say about them specifically.

Sophie’s grievance with the E-Girls

E-Girls

I don’t understand the E-Girls hype. They certainly aren’t terrible, but there are groups that rock the pseudo K-pop concept better (Fairies) and groups that own the subgroup/large group concept (do I even need to name them?). [Insert Picture Here] [Caption: I feel like “wearing the most neon animal prints in a single” does not qualify one for Kohaku] Yet, E-Girls are not only outselling much more interesting groups, they get to perform at Kohaku. Sometimes it sickens me just how much marketing matters in J-pop.

And back to our regular scheduled ranting…

Unfortunately Momusu does not have the power of the EXILE mafia behind them, so forget that idea.

But does Morning Musume deserve the invite? Possibly. They have been way more consistent with this whole Electro Musume sound that has dominated majority of their singles this year. Sales numbers show that people are paying attention to them again.

Then again, it’s too late to do anything about this right? So maybe all of you crying over this should just give up.

The war sadly continues

Every year I post a year-end survey for all of you to partake in. And every year it exposes the sad fact that there is still a great divide amongst the idol fandom. I guess I will never understand why it still has to be this way. Idols are idols after all regardless of whether they are UFP, AKS, indie or whatever.

This year I have come to realization that all the bickering and mud slinging amongst cliques is very pointless and causes just a bunch of unnecessary stress. After having gone through such bullshit this year I feel a lot better after getting away from such wasteful activities and those who instigate them.

God help those of you who still choose to continue wasting your time.

KFC Japan

I want to go to Japan

Lastly I have a grievance with those of you who say you want to go to Japan but never do anything about it.

I’m going to repeat myself like a broken record. I’ve said it on podcasts and in articles here. If you have the means to buy endless idol goods directly from Japan you certainly are capable of saving money to actually go to Japan yourself and buy those items in person.

So stop whining about wanting to go and do something about it. Sacrifice some of your luxuries for the sake of visiting the mecca of all you hold dear to your heart.

Just don’t start a Kickstarter campaign begging for money. I mean yeah, it’s an easy way to make a quick buck but people get no return in their investment of sending someone over to another part of the world just because they tell a sob story. Obviously I sound like an asshole for even bringing this up, but there are people who feel the same, they just won’t open their mouths.

And there’s nothing wrong with doing what you gotta do, I just think it’s more rewarding to go Japan on your own dime.

I will exempt those who have other financial responsibilities of course, but if you are post whoring all your gets every week perhaps you should consider taking the advice written and spoken here countless times.

Conclusion

Well that’s it, or at least all the stuff I could remember from this year and thus concludes this year’s Airing of Grievances. Bring on 2014.