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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:25 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
The "goddesses," i.e. the 1st-generation, founding members, of SNH48 performing a nice & meaningful number w/ the representatives from their various teams in their 4th anniversary special concert at their debut venue just earlier this year:



Like what I said here at the time, that small-scale concert was pretty private & wasn't broadcast live like their other concerts. :)

[EDIT]
^ Their performing an old song of those "goddesses" - note that it was done by the representatives from the non-1st-generation members in all their current five teams at the start, & then joined by the 1st-generation members themselves:



The concert was full of nostalgia. :)

I've messed up the dates: the concert was actually held just earlier this year, not last year ^_^' - now corrected in the above-quoted post as well as the quote above.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:50 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
A prominent member of BEJ48's 1st team doing that awesome "face changing" performance from the traditional Sichuanese operas of her native province, & then a brief but sexy performance of a stage number w/ another leading member of the team, at her birthday special theater performance today:




An official report on that birthday special theater performance as well as her birthday party w/ her fans at the cafe inside their exclusive theater just before that (click the pics to view them in their original large size):

http://www.bej48.com/news/show-370.html

^ That red mask seen during that "face changing" performance reminds me of Darth Maul. lol

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
And they've released the MV of the single right on the next day today: :oh:



^ As also shown in the MV, which features some rare, never-before-seen behind-the-scene footage of them, the song is actually about themselves. The center girl, who also did the narration at both the beginning & the end of the MV, is their comedian in their 2nd team (currently ranked #2) - it's actually her very 1st time being the center girl of their songs. :)

She's also produced & directed this MV for a current stage number of their 5th team, featuring herself & a prominent member of their 4th team whom she cast (that stage number playing in it is also covered by themselves), & released today:



^ Looks impressive & professional, even like an official production. :oh: :cool: There're a number of group members who love filming stuff & some of whose works I've also linked here in the past, but this one is among the best I've seen so far.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:46 pm 
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^ Regarding the plot setting of both that stage number & MV, here's an outline:

- A scientist (played by herself in the MV) created an AI robot.
- The scientist died later.
- The robot then created another one, which looked identical to the scientist, as its new companion.

So the song, which title means "she & she" (yes, it's got a lesbian innuendo), is actually a lil bit sad one, despite its fast tempo.

Should've mentioned the above last night, but forgotten & it was pretty late at the time. lol

[EDIT]
Three heavyweight 1st-generation members of SNH48's 1st team, including the team's captain & their "sexy queen," performing three of their popular songs at a music festival today (the latter part of the clip features their being interviewed by the MCs on stage after their performance, & may be skipped if you don't speak Chinese):


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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:33 pm 
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The 2nd team of GNZ48 is gonna debut an original new stage, which's also the group's very 1st original stage of their own, as the original stages of their other two teams are all adapted from SNH48's. Here's the stage's dedicated HP opened today (right-click those horizontally scrolling pics of the stills from the promotion video for the stage, near the bottom of the page, to view them in their original large sizes):

http://www.gnz48.com/event/g013/

^ I really like the team's brand new stage uniforms for the stage, shown in the page's banner. :cool:

The stage is conceptually based on gaming, & will start later this month.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:04 am 
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For me I personally think the downfall and declining popularity and appeal of Jpop overseas is contributed to several factors, and it's not just for 1 particular reason.

But 2 of the main reasons I think are:

1. The rise of idols and idol groups, during the last decade or so Jpop and the entire Japanese music industry has been monopolized and dominated by less talented idols and idol groups that are mainly marketed for their image and reputation and most of them lack real music & singing talent, they are all mostly about image. They may be popular in Japan right now but their lack of talents makes them much less appealing to most foreigners outside Japan. Unlike in past decades when the Japanese music industry was full of artists and musicians who actually have real talent and can actually sing and perform and make real great music, nowadays most of these talented artists and musicians are sadly being overshadowed by these talentless or less talented idols with crappy music most of the time :blue:
I have been a fan of Jpop for many years, and I love many of the talented Japanese artists and musicians, once people overlook all those idols and idol groups, they'd notice that Japan actually has many very talented artists who make good and even great music. But sadly most people who are unfamiliar with Jpop don't bother, nowadays when most foreigners think of Jpop, they would only know idol groups like AKB48 and the Johnny's groups mainly because of their fame in Japan. But in fact, idols and idol groups like them only account to about 30% or even less of Japan's entire music industry. Therefore many foreigners are just very ignorant of Jpop and all they know about Jpop are pretty much just a few idol groups they've heard about, and are largely unaware of the many talented Japanese artists who actually can sing and make good music. As a Jpop fan for many years, it really saddens me to see the Japanese music industry declining so much in quality and popularity and exposure :blue:

2. Japan is MUCH too strict with their copyright laws, unlike Korea which is much more lax with their copyright laws, you can find many Kpop and Korean videos online and they are widely available to view for free online worldwide with almost no repercussions. But Japan in comparison is such a stickler for copyright, they are just too strict that it's much harder to find a lot of Jpop videos online, unless they are short music videos uploaded online by the record companies themselves, or from illegal streaming sites that operate outside Japan. However most Jpop and Japanese videos in general still gets deleted online fairly quickly and periodically, there are strict penalties for people who upload these kinds of content. In Japan it's against the law to illegally upload videos of Jpop and Japanese TV shows etc online on streaming sites and people who upload them can get charged and locked in jail for it. The only way you can get Japanese content legally outside Japan is through legitimate channels and platforms that have licenses to air or upload these Japanese contents. But Jpop and Japanese stuff in general is still much less widely available worldwide than Kpop and Korean stuff is, so it's not surprising that Jpop has been declining and being vastly overshadowed by Kpop and Korean stuff worldwide nowadays.
But then again, this could also be because the Korean music industry in comparison is so tiny, it cannot sustain itself, it depends heavily on the popularity of Kpop overseas to make any kind of profit for itself. So Kpop needs all the profits and support from its overseas popularity in order to sustain itself. However the Japanese music industry in comparison is much bigger and it is big enough to support itself. After the US, Japan has the second largest music industry in the world, so it doesn't need profit or fame overseas to sustain itself, unlike Kpop does. Which is probably why Japan doesn't really care much about marketing or promoting its music industry overseas, it is large enough to support itself. But still I wish Japan would put more effort into promoting its music and artists overseas more, even if Japan thinks their music industry is big enough and doesn't need profit from overseas, but it would certainly benefit the Japanese music industry even more if they market/promote their music overseas more, it would definitely help to bring more recognition and support for Jpop overseas.
Japan still has anime which is still vastly popular worldwide today, and in terms of Japanese pop culture, I think anime is still by far Japan's most popular pop culture export to the world. But Jpop? Not anymore unfortunately.

And regarding the whole topic about having more sex or sexy tones in Japanese music nowadays being discussed on the first page of this thread, I think that is a big misconception. There are only a very few amount of Japanese artists and idol groups who use sex or sexy tones in their music or image, Koda Kumi is one of these such artists, but there's really not many of them at all. Although there are some Japanese idol groups that are changing their image into a "sexier" style in order to express a more "mature" image, sadly in Japan, the visual appearance of "sexy" is often superficially considered a representation of "maturity".
But the vast majority of Japanese idol groups and actual music artists I've listened to, do NOT use the image of sex or sexy tones in their music & style, there's only a handful of them who do. And believe me, for a fan who has loved Jpop for almost 20 years now, I have heard ALOT of Japanese idols and artists in my life. It really just depends on who you choose to listen to, it's important to choose carefully and wisely.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:57 pm 
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^ Thank you for your analyses on it. :) I'm sorry that I don't have the time to give my response as detailed as your post, but here're my very brief ones:

- J-idols aren't a new thing, but have been existing for many decades, e.g. the godfather behind AKB48, the biggest one at present tho it's been continuously showing signs of gradual decline in the recent years, was actually also the producer of the then immensely popular Onyanko Club decades ago. And the causal relationship between the predominance of idols & decline of pro singers in Japan in the recent decades isn't clear: it could be the former causing the latter at 1st, or the other way round, or both at about the same time, even tho the vicious cycle of the zero-sum interplay between the two is obvious.

- AKB48 is currently expanding in several Southeast Asian or ASEAN countries by setting up local sister groups over there, tho, & is "coming back" to China after the "failure" of their 1st attempt (they've broken up w/ their sister group SNH48, who, having got some deep-pocket local investors, now operate independently w/ their own original musical works & even own sister groups, who aren't recognized by AKB48), by announcing their intention to set up new sister groups over there again.

- Regarding the sexualization mentioned at the beginning of this thread, it's, as I recall, mostly concerning SDN48, a sister group of AKB48 already disbanded several years ago, who're (in)famously modeled on nightclub hostesses ("SDN" stands for "Saturday night," BTW) - had they been successful, they could've changed the operating mode of their sister groups & even the J-idol industry.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:29 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
^ Thank you for your analyses on it. :) I'm sorry that I don't have the time to give my response as detailed as your post, but here're my very brief ones:

- J-idols aren't a new thing, but have been existing for many decades, e.g. the godfather behind AKB48, the biggest one at present tho it's been continuously showing signs of gradual decline in the recent years, was actually also the producer of the then immensely popular Onyanko Club decades ago. And the causal relationship between the predominance of idols & decline of pro singers in Japan in the recent decades isn't clear: it could be the former causing the latter at 1st, or the other way round, or both at about the same time, even tho the vicious cycle of the zero-sum interplay between the two is obvious.

- AKB48 is currently expanding in several Southeast Asian or ASEAN countries by setting up local sister groups over there, tho, & is "coming back" to China after the "failure" of their 1st attempt (they've broken up w/ their sister group SNH48, who, having got some deep-pocket local investors, now operate independently w/ their own original musical works & even own sister groups, who aren't recognized by AKB48), by announcing their intention to set up new sister groups over there again.


I know Japanese idols & idol groups have existed for decades in Japan, but my point is that they did not dominate the Japanese music industry in the past in the way that they do now, sure some idols have been popular in the last several decades in Japan, but they did not dominate the entire music industry in the way that they do in recent years. In previous decades, there were also many actual music artists and musicians who were very famous and successful and shared the spotlight alongside some of the most popular idols & idol groups from the older generations. But nowadays just in this recent decade or so, the vast majority of the artists and musicians are generally overshadowed by the idols in the industry. That's the problem the Japanese music industry have now, it is just too saturated with today's "idol boom" in Japan, even though the total amount of idols & idol groups in Japan only account to a minority amount of the entire music industry, but these idols greatly dominate the industry nowadays, and that was not the case in past decades. And that's what annoys me about the japanese music industry nowadays.
And I used AKB48 as just an example, even though their popularity has declined in Japan in recent years, but most people worldwide still recognise them as one of Japan's most well-known idol groups, because of their previous huge success and for the fact that they were the original idol group that spawned all the other "48" sister groups all over Asia. And when many foreigners think of Japanese idols groups, AKB48 is usually one of the most popular and common examples that foreigners know.

But I will point out that unlike today's new generation of Japanese idols, idols and idol groups from older generations were much more talented, this is because the standard for idols in past decades were much higher than they are now, and the music talent for idols back then were higher. Many of the older generation Japanese idols & idol groups actually have real singing talent, such as Pink Lady. Their talents would be generally considered on the same level as actual music artists in today's generation, or maybe even better than some of today's new generation artists, depending on which idols and artists you compare them with. Older generation idol groups like Pink Lady would be considered a 'music group' or 'artist group' by today's standards.
But nowadays the standards for idols and idol groups in Japan are so low that practically anyone can become an "idol" in Japan nowadays, you don't even need to have real singing abilities to qualify, you just need to have the looks, because the new generation idols are all just about image, they are just merely performers, they're not actual singers. Whereas in past decades, idols were actually singers and they did actually have real singing talent.

Quote:
- Regarding the sexualization mentioned at the beginning of this thread, it's, as I recall, mostly concerning SDN48, a sister group of AKB48 already disbanded several years ago, who're (in)famously modeled on nightclub hostesses ("SDN" stands for "Saturday night," BTW) - had they been successful, they could've changed the operating mode of their sister groups & even the J-idol industry.


and that's my point regarding sexualisation in the Japanese music industry, from the discussions on the first page it sounded like people thought many Japanese idols and even music artists are using sexy tones or sexualising their music & image nowadays, so I had to comment about that. And it's a great exaggeration, a few idols and artists do not represent the entire Japanese music industry.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:04 pm 
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^ I mostly agree w/ your observation on the current state (the predominance of idols in particular) of the J-pop industry, & would also like to point out that such state also directly reflects the state of the Japanese society at present, especially the overall quality of the general population, as it's basically the result of the interaction between supply & demand in the entertainment market.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:40 pm 
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An official birthday poster of a 1st-team member of GNZ48 for her birthday today, posted by their official blogger on the same day:

http://wx2.sinaimg.cn/large/006c5eFZgy1 ... 28gqhk.jpg

^ She looks & feels like Mako to me, w/ her strong-looking face, her tall height, her legendary cooking skills, & even her talents :oh: (those aren't apparent on the poster, tho, as they're well hidden under her current formal uniform lol ).

[EDIT]
Forgotten to say that all those SNHG members selected to work on their upcoming summer single & its MV have all finished their 10-day shootings in Australia & flown back to the various home cities of their respective groups just lately. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:12 pm 
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[Re: The former part of the preceding post] Her posing w/ their group ace, who's also her teammate, & a caricature of herself in a stage costume on a cardboard stand made by her fans, at the backstage of her birthday special theater performance today:

http://wx1.sinaimg.cn/large/006jARhJgy1 ... 1e0b2a.jpg

http://wx4.sinaimg.cn/large/006jARhJgy1 ... 1e04qq.jpg

^ Their group ace is hiding behind that cardboard. lol

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:45 pm 
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^ That caricature is actually designed & drawn by herself :oh: :cool: - here's a full image of it:

http://wx1.sinaimg.cn/large/006cuo0Ggy1 ... 2pf13x.jpg

There're a number of members in the SNHG groups who can draw stuff, & some are even majoring in visual arts or graphic design, but I wasn't aware that she's one of them. ^_^'

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:26 pm 
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7SENSES, the upcoming newest subgroup of SNH48 comprising their elite dancers, will debut very soon - here's a promotion video for one of that subgroup's seven members, who's the top dancer of their 2nd team, released today:



[EDIT]
Finally, the debut of the very 1st original stage of SNH48's 3rd team is coming near - here's the classy, even a bit artistic, promotion video for that stage, released today:



And a quote from the dedicated HP of the stage, opened today:

Quote:
作为SNH48 Group实现全面原创战略的关键作品,这场原创公演承载着太多的期许,8个月企划制作周期也是五个队伍中最长的,经过一年的SNH48音乐原创之路逐渐成型,为了将歌舞见长的TEAM HII的极限挖掘出来,这场公演也做了一些基本架构的改变,《Beautiful World》的企划着重强化了公演内容的深度,希望通过这场公演可以给观众传达更多含义,更多的鼓励。

^ Some highlights:

- The stage is a critical production in the execution of SNHG's all-original-works strategy, & is given much expectation.
- Its eight-month planning/production cycle is the longest among their five teams.
- Its basic structure has been changed, & the depth of its content has been enhanced.

Like what I've also said here in the past, it's meant to be a milestone in the history of SNH48/SNHG's development. :)

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:23 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
The 2nd team of GNZ48 is gonna debut an original new stage, which's also the group's very 1st original stage of their own, as the original stages of their other two teams are all adapted from SNH48's. Here's the stage's dedicated HP opened today (right-click those horizontally scrolling pics of the stills from the promotion video for the stage, near the bottom of the page, to view them in their original large sizes):

http://www.gnz48.com/event/g013/

^ I really like the team's brand new stage uniforms for the stage, shown in the page's banner. :cool:

The stage is conceptually based on gaming, & will start later this month.

The full version of that promotion video has finally been released today, w/ trilingual subs of Chinese, English, & Japanese:



^ It's got a movie-like feel. :cool:

The stage is also the team's very 1st original one.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Rika-Chicchi wrote:
A compilation of some footage of SNH48's group ace from a current historical drama, in which she plays an intellectual w/ ultra intelligence & photographic memory recruited by an agent of the justice dept. to crack seemingly paranormal, X-Files-like criminal cases in the then-capital during the Tang Dynasty (the biggest city on Earth at the time):



She's the 2nd lead starring in that drama. :)

[EDIT]
^ Ah, while her character seems to be playing a role in that drama like Scully's in The X-Files, her role actually is to use her vast knowledge (she's dubbed the "walking library" in the drama) & logical reasoning/analysis to unveil the paranormal covers of real crimes. lol

A couple of stills of her character in the drama:

http://wx4.sinaimg.cn/large/dab20f8dgy1 ... 1od4qp.jpg

^ Investigating.

http://wx3.sinaimg.cn/large/dab20f8dgy1 ... 1p9qva.jpg

^ At a meeting.

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:27 pm 
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A latest promotion video for the exclusive theater of SNH48, featuring five prominent group members from all their current five teams, respectively:



[EDIT 1]
Rika-Chicchi wrote:
7SENSES, the upcoming newest subgroup of SNH48 comprising their elite dancers, will debut very soon - here's a promotion video for one of that subgroup's seven members, who's the top dancer of their 2nd team, released today:


The next one features their "sexy queen" from their 1st team, released today:



[EDIT 2]
Has come across w/ this nice pic of a leading member of SNH48's 5th team cosplaying in an ancient costume, posted on her blog today:

http://wx4.sinaimg.cn/large/006jCjFigy1 ... 1zkx6s.jpg

^ The background is pretty matching. :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:53 pm 
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[Re: The 2nd part of the preceding post] The next one features the captain of their 1st team, who's also the de facto leader of the entire SNH48, released today:



[EDIT 1]
An official recap on the various teams of GNZ48 working in CBA's (NBA's Chinese version) matches lately:



[EDIT 2]
[Re: The 1st part of this post] A funny behind-the-scene offshot of that, posted by herself today: lol

http://wx2.sinaimg.cn/large/b5d6209fgy1 ... 1nbtwv.jpg

And a pic of a pretty young 5th-team member of SNH48 in her formal uniform of their subgroup COLOR GIRLS, which looks low-key but is actually designed by an Italian fashion house, posted by herself today:

http://wx1.sinaimg.cn/large/006cOrpVgy1 ... 14045s.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: The downfall of J-pop?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:19 pm 
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A blog entry by the group ace of GNZ48 today - its 3rd pic is pretty notable: :usagi:

http://wx3.sinaimg.cn/large/006jARhJgy1 ... a7ikjl.jpg

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