I side with Elon Musk when he (subtly) complained about the comparison of what SpaceX has accomplished with what Bezos tweeted about landing a (part of a) rocket, back when Blue Origin announced its feat. I think we cannot overstate the difference between landing a big thing that’s in freefall at near zero speed at its apex with landing a big thing that’s traveling at something like Mach 7. Or however fast 16000 kilometers per hour is. And that’s just its lateral velocity.
This is what I feel stands between IM@S and Love Live. They are both about fake idols and are media-mixed IPs with the usual attachments to them. But in rocket speak, IM@S is somewhere between finishing its second stage burn and going to the third, far beyond its Max Q point. Love Live on the other hand is still rocking that main burner. And I suspect the two idol ships are not even going to the same places, taking the same trajectory.
Maybe that’s just how far it takes to go beyond the glittering future.
I think we will want both to do well. And not only these two, but WUG, Aikatsu, Pripara, SB69, whatever you got, right now, floats all boats outside of Japan. Because the west doesn’t get idols. Those who think so somehow understand it only in the context of the infamous AKB and all the drama that name brings. But we have to realize while the 48Gs revolutionized what that concept is in practice, they are not the idol industry nor are they even representative of it outside of the very mainstream. And mainstream Japanese entertainment was never really relevant to the West anyway, speaking on aggregates with broad strokes.
The more people who get LL, and it doesn’t matter if they get into LL or not, the better it is for everyone else. I think East Asia generally gets it; Koreans are a good example of improving on some of that formula, while sticking to what works for them. But it’s also different than the kind of less-glamorous, oddly homely and otaku-friendly version of these things. Still, writing as someone from the USA, it is a change welcomed.
With Love Live’s Tokyo Dome event on the horizon, and how the movie release shattering late-night anime records, I hope this is just the beginning of something more wonderful for everyone, not just livers. And I think while it’s okay to get nervous and jittery about going to LL 6th (RIP if you are attempting), don’t worry. If it was as awesome as IM@S 10th, you will be in for a treat, and it wouldn’t even be that severe to score tickets.
I have posts to write, but I don’t have that much time. We’ll see. One thing for sure all those “Year in Review” posts will come after Christmas.