Monthly Archives: December 2015

Musk-Style Idoling

Bin1 sure loves its crossovers

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.

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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.


Cinderella Chiaking; Wives; Miscellany

I was reading this translation of Takahashi Chiaki’s write-up on the seiyuu business, her career and some notable past stories she wanted tell. It occured to me, the way she talk about seiyuu is really similar to how IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls works.

Pilot + seiyuu doesn’t quite exist in CG universe, or is there? Maybe in SideM… I guess, it’s okay to be the best French or Russian or Esper or Rock or Mushroom or Creepy or Smiling or Flutist or Dairy Farmer or whatever. You get the idea. Who knows what will happen to you?

Just to talk about Chiaking a bit more, recently, she participated in the Aice5 Reunion as a part of the Sore ga Seiyuu event featuring Aice5. There was the drama about her torn achilles heel, possibly a stress injury as a consequence to her knee problem from a couple years ago. It happened during the Aice5 event rehursal, and people were obviously upset over that. The silver lining was that she was very much up for the event regardless, and there was enough time between her immediate recovery and the event to plan around having a Chiaking who can’t walk unassisted. Namely, a cool couch and someone to push it around.

It’s pretty neat.

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Nonohara Akane, Happy Birthday!

I searched my blog to see when and how often I use the term “waifu.” The first hit date was in 2010. Recently more and more I feel otherwise about the term, however.

The bottom line problem here is that waifu is equivocal to the “yome” in “ore no yome.” Japanese otaku claim their wives, 2D or 3D, it doesn’t matter, in this way. But this is not exactly with that tinge of irony that a weeaboo-ized term of the same literal meaning carries. In this sense you are just declaring your wife in that otaku context. It still can be ironic, but this is not why it’s done. But I think when westerners co-opt this concept in “waifu” we do it in a way how we use “otaku” to equivocate “fans.” And I mean this is the super-gate-keeping, lock-us-up-and-throw-away-the-keys kind of way. It really should only mean “hardcore fans” at the most, but that’s not how marketing out west handles it. Obviously in glorious year 2015 of our Lord the O word no longer carry the thick stigma of yore in Japan, but when a blessed nerd finds and declares wife (or husband), this is done without irony, East or West. Because it would be disrespectful otherwise.

And this is why I find waifu problematic. The term is built-in with irony. Like, at best, we use the term to signify the context in which a wife is declared, like an anime nerd and his or her animu character. But this context is always never positive; maybe it’s pretty much neutral usually, but why even bother? If you call Shimakaze your wife I don’t think anyone will be confused, or at least no more than if you were to call Shimakaze your waifu. So why the linguistic twist? What does it mean?

If people were calling their wives ironically in Japan I don’t think I would be as bent over this. Or maybe I just don’t have the same notion about marriages in general, since I probably lean conservative in those topics? I don’t think that even matters.

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It’s that month of the year. I have stuff planned. Will write. God speed in Deresute.