idol

“Won’t you make a baby with me,” asks barely legal (if that) pop star

Having a virtual baby with a teen idol is truly one of the grossest intersections of Japanese technology and the managers of its adolescent entertainment stars. (Official site).

For those not in the know, AKB 48 is a girl band of forty-eight barely legal (or net yet legal) ladies who are hyper-sexualized. Because they are *the* mainstream entertainment in Japan, many Japanese are shocked to hear a foreigner describe their act as kiddie porn, distasteful, and an embarrassment to their country.

But this new web service fleeces their fans with a new level of shameless fantasy. For 1,480 yen per month (nearly $20), fans can upload their photo and create a virtual baby with one of the girl stars. Promotion for the new service includes the star’s assertion that she’s not really revealing her breast, and also a “birth announcement” that she’s had a baby with the none too attractive current Prime Minsiter (just imagine any of the last dozen PMs if you’re unfamiliar with the current temporary office holder).

Inviting fans to impregnate their idols, and to watch their babies grow up online is possibly the grossest thing I’ve ever heard. Oh, Japan, wake up from your media induced slumber and have some dignity! OK?

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Sakurai Sho & the making of an Ozzie fan girl

Lovely story by Project Me’s Kathryn about how she went from an Ozzie indie rock chick to a Japanese fan girl. I love how she hates when people call Arashi a “boy band.” They are IDOLS, she reminds us. Glad to know that super-vain Japanese boys are spreading happiness to the furthest corners of the Earth. And attracting new energy and life to Japan by inspiring immigrants!

Sui Sui!

Fudanjuku, Rotten Cram School, promotes Kiddy Land

Have you ever heard of a boy idol group called Fudanjuku, or Rotten Cram School? Apparently they promote Kiddy Land, its Harajuku flagship and 44 directly owned shops and 33 franchised shops.

They were in the news because the Kiddy Land flagship is being remodeled and is temporarily relocated. I love how the Japan Times reports that the band’s “stated ages are 16 and 17.” That’s journalistic integrity. Oh, and they also are providing their advice to the shop manager and Kiddy Land’s president.

Korean boy band posters cause JR Metro pandemonium

Tohoshinki's women fans go crazy in JR Metro

A frenzy of cellphone camera wielding ladies, young and “not-so-young,” were going crazy in the Omootesando subway yesterday. I was innocently going from one business meeting to the next when I saw swarms of women excitedly photographing these dewie images of their favorite Korean boy band plastered on the columns outside the fare gates. Two security guards, one with a bright red megaphone, implored them to not obstruct JR Metro passengers.

The band is called Tohoshinki, and they are 5 super-young looking Korean boys who are doing a two day concert at Tokyo Dome entitled “Stand by U.” I was startled when two fans explained that the band has existed for four years. I wondered if the boys, who barely look pubescent now, had started before the age of 10. No, I was assured, they are now in their early 20s. One middle-aged fan was there with her son, who looked mildly embarrassed. The female fans hugged the posters, vamped, and were completely crazed!

Later the same day, I saw a crowd of several hundred Japanese women lined up to see Korean movie star Park Hae Jin making an appearance at Shinjuku’s Kinokuniya bookstore. In both events, not a single male fan was present. I wonder if this female adoration for Korean stars translates into Japanese women romancing or marrying real Koreans. Or is this fantasy merely for “idols” and not for reality? Is it like Boys Love, a fantasy and displacement that is never fulfilled? I *almost* felt sorry for Japanese men.

More photos after the jump.

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Men’s hair, or “Fukuyama, you’re a girl!”

Men's hair, or "Fukuyama, you're a girl!"

Enough about flowers, trees and bombs. Yes, it’s time to re-examine Japanese men’s hair, and to tease the sister-in-law just a bit.

Anyone who follows Japanese male celebrities knows that two men have dominated this field and at any given moment are fronting at least 6 products each, from instant noodles to televisions to hair gel to canned coffeee. The battle is between SMAP idol Kimutaku and singer-actor Fukuyama Masaharo.

Some ladies like one, or the other. It’s rare that anyone likes both equally. As blog readers know, I prefer Kimu, my sister-in-law Fuku. Recently I noticed that as both are becoming solidly “Arafo” (close to 40), they are upping the airbrushing and botox.

Kimu is widely known for his ever-changing hair, generally blondish and curly. Now, Fukuyama seems to be strongly competing as to whose hair is more girlish.

What do you think? Which idol’s hair is more girlish?