I checked out a couple of videos and I just was not sold…I mean at all. No offense, I’m sure they work hard doing choreography and all that, but there is nothing that struck me as different or particularly extraordinary about their singing or dancing. They were kinda cute, I guess, but the whole girly, tiny-voiced, kawaii (かわいい) thing doesn’t do much for me, except for triggering me to flip the channel.
To me, AKB is the quintessential, formulaic, somewhat cliche, cutesy girl J-Pop (Japanese Pop) girl band. I have never really been into the boy or girl bands unless they were doing something that was totally unique. For example, the Jackson 5, would (in many respects) classify as a boy band, right? (minus the Joe Jackson beatings of course). But did you ever hear a kid that young sing the same way Michael Jackson did prior to that group? I hadn’t. Honestly, I haven’t since.
AKB’s music all sounds so similar to me. They’re like “cookie cutter” songs, and I’m not talking about a gourmet cookie either…just a cookie. It’s catchy but no real substance. PLEASE LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED FIRST!!:
With AKB48 I often wonder where their fan base is coming from, because I can pretty much guarantee it’s not coming from the vast majority of elementary school kids. During class, we were working on “I like”I asked the question “Who likes AKB?” I think I had literally one or two children (out of over 200 kids!!)…say yes. I don’t know, maybe these kids are secretly supporting the group. I think the fan base is actually women in their 30’s oddly enough, because I majority of the female teachers at my job like AKB. I’m sure the “men who fantasize about school girls” demographic has a heavy representation as well (that’s a pretty broad group of people though, lol).
Just when I though AKB48 couldn’t get anymore made up/fabricated, I go and read this:
“Japan’s latest rising pop star also happens to be one of Japan’s latest pieces of technology. Aimi Eguchi is the newest member of AKB48, a famous Japanese pop group with 61 members.
Eguchi made her debut in a TV commercial last week and is on the fast track to super-stardom. But Eguchi’s thousands of fans were shocked to find out that their pop idol is literally larger than life.
A video released online shows behind-the-scenes footage of Eguchi’s eerie computer-generated creation. The producers of AKB48 made her by taking features from six real members of the group and recording an actor’s voice. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time Japan fabricated a singer. Hatsune Miku, a singing hologram, has performed in arenas throughout Japan and makes her U.S. debut next month in L.A.”
You can check out the video by clicking here.
So they fabricated the “perfect” J-Pop girl via computer technology, huh? It’s definitely creative and it definitely works. Honestly, I prefer fake singers being a little bit real rather than real singers being a little bit fake, if that makes any sense at all.
Now I know there’s a little bit falsity in most music acts because music is a type of theater, meant to capture an audience, but there’s a distinct difference between captivating your audience and being canned. I haven’t listened to Hatsune Miku, but I will have to take a listen; I am interested to see how similar her style of music is to AKB’s.
Wait! Did that blurb say there were sixty-one members? Sigh. Can you really call that many people a band? That’s not a band, that’s a dance troupe! That’s a choir! If you gave them weapons it’s an army faction! If you line them up right and give them spears and shields, it’s a Greek phalanx (okay, so you may have to remove one). Sixty-one is a lot of freakin’ people, ne?
Are you an AKB48 fan? I want your honest to goodness opinion. If you are a fan, which song is your favorite? If you’re not a fan, why not?
**It’s so funny how the universe works. Oddly enough, not long after writing this post I ended up meeting AKB48 during a modeling gig I did at the AKB Janken Taikai Concert…
Seeing how hard they were working changed made me change my tune a bit. Though I still can’t claim to be a fan of their style of music, but I have to respect their work ethic.**
Donald Ash is an Atlanta, Georgia-born, American expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last eleven years. While in that time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator of thejapanguy.com blog. Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
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