Internet Go BOOM: Visual Kei’s Deep Throat

March 9th, 2010 by Daniel Morales

This marks the debut of Internet Go BOOM, a series that will look at how topics du jour evolve online in Japan.

The Epicenter

3.1.2010: Tokyo Damage Report posts a nearly 10,000 word anonymous interview with a former executive of a Visual Kei record label. The executive dishes on the state of the industry, exposes harsh working conditions of band members, gives examples of marketing strategies of the executives, and draws a detailed picture of the mob-like connections between different Visual Kei labels.

Between March 1 and March 7 a 74-comment (and counting) discussion ensues between TDR, Visual Kei fans and curious bystanders. DaRC promises to blog further on the topic and interview to “rip holes” in fan girl “dream bubbles.” Mary worries that her money spent on Visual Kei music and merchandise isn’t going to the artists. “Relatively Mature Adult Fangirl” calls some of the interview exaggeration and says that the interview would be more believable if it was about Johnny’s Jimusho. “Don’t want to get kneecapped,” a journalist who covered Visual Kei bands, claims that the rigid control is far worse than U.S. artists experience.

The Aftershocks

3.1.2010: Adamu of Mutantfrog Travelogue, a multi-author blog about East Asian culture and politics, posts a link to the interview. 19-comment (and counting) discussion ensues. Dave worries that sites may be considering the interview actual investigative journalism when it is actually of questionable authenticity. He also notes that the tone of the translation has TDR’s trademark style – casual, lots of pop-culture references, very entertaining. Adamu notes that he called it “a probably true-to-life mokumentary.” In the comments, Roy of Mutantfrog requests David Marx’s opinion.

3.3.2010: Mash Potato Poet, Visual Kei fan and rural poet, expresses mixed feelings of betrayal (on the part of the producers and shadowy label owners) and sympathy (for the band members who are just like sarariimen even if they don’t wear suits).

3.4.2010: David Marx, chief editor of Neojaponisme, a webjournal about Japan, summarizes some of the main points of the interview and shows how the Japanese music industry on the whole shows similar characteristics of 1) total control of artists by management, 2) receipt padding for tax evasion purposes, 3) false creation of diversity, and 4) secret practices of questionable legality. Deep discussion takes place with 25-comments (and counting). Marx, M-Bone, Mulboyne and Jared debate the nature of Japan’s pop culture: Is it merely a commercial vessel? Is there any function to it, or does there have to be one? Adamu is just bummed out that the quality level of popular culture isn’t higher.

3.7.2010: Tokyo Damage Report posts a follow-up entry in the form of a list of bullet points. He admits that the translation was in typical TDR style and that next time it’ll be more serious; he’s still surprised that only Visual Kei fans, and not professional translator Adamu, jumped on the quality of translation. He also points out that the mob is definitely not involved in Visual Kei. Currently 11 comments into a lively discussion. Orestria says Visual Kei fans try too hard.

Movers and shakers:

Tags: , ,

One Response

  1. Koenji Calling has added her two yen here: http://koenjicalling.com/2010/03/visual-kei-is-big-money-making-scheme.html

    She adds an interesting point about the Live House audition scene.

RSS

Recent Posts

  • Ginza Cozy Corner takes dessert into hyperdrive with ‘Star Wars’ cakes

    One Japanese confectionary vendor is about to find the Force deep within a sweet tie-up. Ahead of the December release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Ginza Cozy Corner, which has outlets nationwide, has made a line of “Star Wars” sweets that are truly out of this world. The treats themselves are all based on people […]

  • Warning: This viral video of high school girls might make you blush

    Cosmetic company Shiseido has recently uploaded a YouTube video that is blowing viewers’ minds with a bona fide twist. In the promo video, titled “High School Girl? — The Makeup Secrets of High School Girls,” the camera weaves through a classroom full of drop-dead cute young women who pout and wink like true pop idols. […]

  • Sharp dials up the fan service to celebrate 20 years of ‘Evangelion’

    For those who have always dreamed of owning an Evangelion robot, this might be the closest you get. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the popular “Neon Genesis Evangelion” animated series, Sharp is releasing a special smartphone that pays homage to the show both in the device’s hardware and software. The phone itself is detailed […]

  • Tokyo plugs into Google Play Music

    If you haven’t heard the latest news from Google Play, you may have missed your opportunity to tune into a Google Play Billboard. From Oct. 8-24, music lovers can head over to Shibuya to, literally, plug into a selection of over 3,500 songs. The Google Play Billboard is meant to give visitors a much-needed chance […]

  • J-blip: Ipsa’s Face Melody

    Every face has a name, a story and . . . a song? That’s the idea behind cosmetic company Ipsa’s newest creation. We should, uh, take it at face value, but the company claims that its Face Melody program can measure the user’s appearance and write a unique tune based on their attributes. The application […]

  • Japan celebrates the GIFs that keep on giving

    GIFs — which stands for graphics interchange format, don’t you know — have made the Internet an even more enjoyable place than before, and we have the receipts to prove it. These digital designs were technological wonders back in the days of AOL and Netscape (Google it, kids). But they eventually went from high-tech animation […]

  • Smart absolutions: Send off your sins with just one click

    The two-step method to purification.

  • Attack of the plant hunters, green carnivores and fleshy girls

    Never promised you a rose garden, but how about a fleshy plant or a stag-horn fern?

  • Make 12th-century art using 21st-century tech

    The Choju-Giga, the famed animal caricature ink paintings displayed Kyoto’s Kozan-ji Temple have been captivating people for centuries. The four scrolls, which date to the 12th and 13th centuries and depict rabbits and monkeys getting into mischief, are often cited as the first manga comics in Japan’s history. Now art lovers can create their own […]

  • Fuji Rock bound? Make sure you survive in style

    A few items that will help you stay dry and happy during Fuji Rock Festival’s unpredictable weather.