Monthly Archives: November 2014

Idol Invasion, NYC 2014

Airi Totoki

Five idol acts attended NYC in the span of about six weeks: Cheeky Parade, Morning Musume 14, Miku, Babymetal and now Perfume. That runs basically the whole gamut of today’s Japanese visible idol scene north of indie. And if some indie JP idols dropped by NYC during the last 6 weeks, I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t know them. I didn’t even make it to Cheeky Parade’s free show at BCGC because *effort*.

And I think this is important. Japanese idols, the post 1999 kind of thing, is a maligned if entirely foreign creature. It’s too easy to liken them to boy or girl groups, because that’s what they are. But that entirely misses what makes idols the engines of Japan’s entertainment industry today. Too many geeks and nerds and “otaku” (US ver.) turn their noses to them. I’m not sure why there’s so much resistance for Americans against Japanese idols, but that’s how it feels.

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Autumnal Miscellany, Unconfirmed Hearsay for Lantis Fest Vegas

You would think for the month that I stop going to cons I would blog more. Nope. Forcing myself through the trials of conventioneering pushes thoughts through the grey matter in the forms of traveling stimuli, from the basics like flying through the sky or walking in a sea of cosplayer, to meeting new people with new ideas, it all adds up to the basic substance that drives my fan-like behavior. This relaxing Autumn air, on the other hand, keeps me contemplative and chill.

If it was a normal Autumn, being contemplative is all good for blogging too, as I consider just the simple stuff we watch: the life-likeness of Shirobako, the tricks up the sleeves of Sora no Method, why I don’t enjoy Parasyte, is Gundam Build Fighters Try still as magical, why is FUNi’s streaming business still a pain to my interests, what not. All stuff I can talk about. Except I have no energy or time to. I don’t even know if I can revisit my M@STERS of IDOL WORLD write-up now that I am giving the Blu-rays their third time around.

I still want to write that Eventer Manifesto thing about 2.5D emergence. Maybe I can do it as an Otakon Vegas panel.

Sphere

Over the weekend I heard from Nekocon about Puchim@s getting a North American release with DVD+subs only. That’s cool. It’s puchimas so you aren’t really getting THAT much more with a Blu-ray. I ought to be importing it anyway. Since FUNi has posted about this, we have confirmation. What tickles the mind is their eventual treatment and localization of Ping Pong. How do you localize that? It feels like opening the Ark or scratching your fingernails on a blackboard, trying to change Japanese into English, you hear that, Mister Fukunaga? Isn’t it some allegory to American, white-washing cultural imperialism? Or a sad reflection to the American consumer culture? This is not some General Tso’s chicken at work here.

Similarly, I heard that Lantis Matsuri Las Vegas will finally start something maybe this week. There will be a VIP tier. The shows may be 3 hours or so long each day, featuring 7 different artists. I wasn’t at the con so all of this is hearsay. Otakon Music Fest was 3 different artists and ran for about 3 hours as well, so I really wonder about this. More on that note: there will be collaborative events between Otakon Vegas and Lantis Matsuri, that much we have indirect confirmation via the Otakon forums. What we now know (by hearsay) is that some artists will stick around on Sunday and have some event at the con. There won’t be autograph sessions as far as I hear, but panels probably. I was actually quoted a flight time: if it’s after 5:30pm on Sunday, you are OK. Vegas airport is quite close to the main strip, so that is believable.

I can also foresee the incoming gnashing of teeth regarding Lantis Fest promo. I mean, seriously, they have to do a better job. For example it’s roughly 2 months away until the festival, and we only have unofficial confirmation of 3 of the 7 guests. One is the same Nekocon guest, Sayaka Sasaki, who leaked her own attendance at Vegas (unofficial official announcement?). The other two are (un)confirmed via the ANN Lantis Fest Kanto interviews. Common sense would also indicate Jam Project’s presence. But if they don’t tell us who the heavy hitters are by the time VIP tickets go on sale, there will be people straddling that line, because Lantis carries some big time guests where a number of people would drop everything for. Com’on u’s! Com’on StylipS! Com’on IM@S ML! A Sphere Is Fine Too! Among others.

I’m going to chalk up the delay on Lantis Fest Tohoku that’s coming up this weekend. I suspect after that wraps up, we’ll get some info pronto.