Pop Idol News

Pop Idol is a anime/manga concept
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AKB48
AKB48

Thanks to YukiYoshi Sawada for the notice.

The famous Pop Idol group, AKB48, and Case Closed have this wonderful commercial for Glico's "Real Ice" fruit candies.

For those of you who are new to the Case Closed anime series, here's the plot summary.

It's about a young detective (Shinichi Kudo) who get attacked by some men in black and forced to take a drug. The drug cause him to revert back to a child. In order for Shinichi to get back to normal, he has to live with his childhood friend, Ran Mouri, and her father, Detective Kogoro Mouri, under a fake name, Conan Edogawa. Along the way, he solves every mystery while keeping his identity a secret to a few individuals. Once in while, Conan gets a chance to uncover secrets behind the organization that made the drug.

By the way, Atsuko Maeda plays Conan Edogawa's role.

Please enjoy the video!

Sources

Edit: I can't seem to find my Case Closed banner I uploaded months ago.

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Hello everyone!

Inspirations: A few weeks ago, I was doing dub cast blogs for Gintama's movie, Deadman Wonderland, and Kore wa Zombie desu ka? anime series. The discussion I had with the community was excellent because we're debating on which VA is good or not. Plus, Kelleth was uploading a lot of Pop Idols images at the same time. Also, I remembered MadPierriot's blogs on Japanese culture and anime, and the survey blog for Anime Vice (started by Superevill225) that showed that the community wants more topics on Japanese culture. This is why I did this blog to satisfy the community's demands.

Banner notes: If you guys and gals have some rad banner skills, please feel free to replace this one. I don't have the skills.

Background

I did some research, but it's not complete. I apologize for that. This is where you guys and gals come in and share your comments and patterns you see among Japanese Idols and Hollywood Celebrities. I will put down all your comments in this blog because this is a community driven blog. Thank you for help, everyone!

Since I'm a naturalized U.S. citizen, I used mostly prior knowledge of U.S. celebrities from TV and the internet. For Japanese Idols, I did some research on them. Together, I did my best to piece patterns for this blog. Plus, I'm not in tuned with both celebrities in both cultures.

Note: For the Japanese Idols, I feel that I limited this blog to covering female stars. Most of the time, Japanese Idols are female, but there are a few male stars. For the picture, I originally intended to have a group of Japanese Idols and Hollywood Stars. For some odd reason, I can't seem to find a group of Hollywood stars with more than 3 people. Instead, I get single shots. If you guys and gals have a great picture of a group of American Celebrities. That would be great.

Before we start, I will apologize in advance if any of these comments appear a bit ethnocentric. I will fix and make them neutral.

Patterns

I am amazed at how big the world of Japanese Idols and American Celebrities is.

Similarities

  • Medium: Their medium is the television, radio, and the internet. Both Japanese and American mainstream culture, the celebrities come in different types: musicians, movie stars, models, TV stars, etc.
  • Rise to Stardom: This is a bit difficult for me and remains a question as well. A lot of U.S. celebrities go through auditions, TV shows such as American Idol or America Got Talent, or the use of the Internet such as Youtube. You have U.S. singers using Youtube to gain popularity and soar to stardom quickly due to the mass social media. This is where I hit the wall in my research on Japanese Idols. I heard of talent agencies in Japan where a young girl has to pass her audition. I don't know if the use of Internet in Japan is a strong catalyst in helping young girls become Idols.
  • Maintaining a Good Public Appearance: Both celebrities strive hard to maintain great public relationships and a good reputation. Public images of celebrities can be tarnished quickly by gossip, scandals, and certain comments that the person had stated on national TV.

Differences

  • Age: This is a big difference. In the Japanese culture, the idols are very young from the age of 14 to 18. This is a rough estimate. Most Japanese Idols I seen are very young when I look them up. In American culture, some celebrities can start off young, but most of times, they start in their twenties. The age bracket in America is much wider than the Japanese's. You have female celebrities who are still working beyond age of 40, and some of them retain their youthful appearances. (I've been trying to find what age Japanese Idols retire because I haven't seen any older idols than age of 30).
  • Perceptions in Media: I find it interesting that Japanese Idols are viewed as the "perfect female form in Japanese society and the ideal symbol of female sexuality." For U.S. celebrities, I didn't see that perception, and they are not seen that way to a lesser extent. For Americans, U.S. celebrities are viewed differently.
  • Animation: In American culture, there are some American celebrities doing voices for animated cartoons. This is the same for Japanese culture. However, the animation world with Japanese Idols are more in-depth and involved. In Japan, idols gain a lot of fame if they sing, dance, and voiced a character in an anime. For U.S. celebrities, there is not much fame with animated cartoons. U.S. Voice actors don't receive the same amount of attention when you compared them to Idols.

Questions

As I research, I still have questions. I hope you guys and gals can shed some light.

  • How do Japanese Idols and U.S. Celebrities rise to stardom? What do they rely on to help them?
  • What is the age group for Japanese Idols? When do they retire?
  • Philanthropy: I know that U.S. celebrities use their money for philanthropy causes and this helps their image. They have a lot of influences in American culture and the youth with their talents and money. Does a Japanese Idol have the same influences in terms of philanthropy?

Sources and Related Topics

I couldn't find much credible sources online that is not too biased. I want the comments to be neutral and clean of any ethnocentrism.

Thanks again for reading this community blog.

Takashichea

Edit:

I keep forgetting that Anime Vice is an international community. If you guys and gals are from Canada, U.K., or other regions, feel free to talk about your respective celebrities. It will be a great discussion. We'll find a lot of similarities and differences together. :)

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So with this blog I’m hoping to pick out some things that people in American might believe are strictly Otaku themed things, but in actuality have entered the mainstream, are maybe just more common then you might think or even simply just aren’t a big deal for, lack of a better term, you might think of as “non-Otaku” people.

The first topic will be AKB48. So about 6 years ago when they were more or less first starting out AKB48 was your prototypical Otaku bait. They were an Akiba niche. Young girls, in schools uniforms, singing catchy pop songs. Back then they were certainly just your basic Otaku group with an audience that was probably 20 and 30 year old guys, but oh how things have changed. Now AKB is the single biggest pop group in Japan with any single they release instantly jumping to #1 on the singles charts (recently also crushing records for sales). They are everywhere, TV commercials and dramas, movies, magazine and comic covers, guests on TV shows, hosting their own TV show. They went from a local, niche pop group to one that everyone in Japan knows of. If all that isn’t mainstream it’s hard to say what is. Perhaps now even more surprising is the audience they are pulling in. Their male audience has broadened to more then just Akiba 20 and 30 something fans, to reach younger and older people and people who wouldn’t visit Akiba. Their popularity hasn’t just spread with males, the number of female followers they have is growing. Perhaps this could also simply do with the fact that the group is obviously getting older. It's not just a bunch of kids singing pop songs. Now you have 20 something girls who are becoming celebrities.

Perhaps one of the most striking realizations of this was during their annual live member ranking announcement. This is where the results are shown of the top 40 most popular members of the group as voted on by fans. This year I believe it was being in the top 22 got the girl a spot in the video for their new single, but being in the top… 16 is key. Now I will say I do like AKB, but I don’t know all the little details. I believe the top 16 have a special name and these are the girls who will be featured in front during videos and live appearances and what not. Being #1 is a huge deal. All that aside though this event got major coverage on nightly news shows… imagine this. Your local ABC evening news is showing video of the AKB rankings event. The best part is that they showed reaction shots from people who were watching it in bars and other areas. It was like when they show reaction shots of people watching the Superbowl in a bar and everyone goes crazy when a touchdown is scored. It was like that, but with idols.

There popularity has spawned a large number of "sister" groups in different cities. There's SKE, NMB, SDN and another group is being added as well. So while their core fans are still what you'd expect. AKB isn't simply just an Otaku only group.

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It's slow, yet it feels... rushed?

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