Open Post

It’s Friday, so it’s Open Post time! Feel free to chat with your fellow readers about whatever you like! Enjoy!

  • Comments

    • Question of the week: I used the Ayumi Hamasaki header to ask this question: Is Arama! Japan too hard on Ayu? People have said this before, and someone said it again when they saw the nominations for The 2017 Arama! Japan Awards, where she’s nominated for Flop Of The Year.

      I’ve also been watching a lot of old Ayu videos recently.

      By the way, I’ll be Paris in 3 weeks, reenacting the “Mirrorcle World” video.

      • Wow, this is a really difficult question. Personally, I really love what Ayu has contributed to the Jpop culture and she’ll always have a place in my heart as an icon. I think what’s concerning is how she’s reacting to her star fading. But then again, maybe we’re the ones in the wrong. You always hear of ageism and some of the things that’s she’s accused of are examples of that. It’s just really hard to see her trying to hold on to any relevance that she may have left, especially when you consider all that she’s done should put her above that.

        • hasawa

          Getting shotgun marriages and willingly exposing your private life is NEVER cool whether you’re in your 20s or in your 30s. It’s normal people have higher expectations in the way popstars hold their career when they’re experiences showrunners their 30s than when they’re foolish newcomers in their early 20s. It’s not ageism, it’s people popstars to keep their asses on check when they should have the maturity to do as such lol

          For my part, I never held derogatory terms against Ayu age which has never been such a big factor about her fadding relevance in the music scene or Japan’s public opinion imo. Her bad career decisions did.
          Although I agree Japanese netizens tend to be quite harsh about any female celeb who’s hitting their mid 20s deeming them as “deteriorating” (understand: they don’t look like children anymore), most concerns I’ve seen on Arama so far were about poorly she’s managing her career and her discutable fashion style lol. I feel like she grew back on people’s heart with M(A)DE IN JAPAN which was a decent album after a string of very mediocre releases for years and cringy ass phases.

          • But her marriages we’re never shotgun ones (aka she was never pregnant and forced to get married) and a lot of entertainers have Twitter and Instagram accounts. So that’s not the issue. Her love life is a mess though but besides the grass eating cow she broke up with, they haven’t been in your face.

            • hasawa

              By exposing hr private life I didn’t mean having social medias accounts but more about informing the paps of her arrival on the airport with her new gaijin toyboy to make her new relationship public. (this move screamt ‘attention whore’ all around). “Super Manuel” was…super embarassing.
              Forced shotgun marriage or not, marrying (then divorcing) some random dudes so quickly is still cringy.

              There have been rumors about her refusing to go to the studio as much as Avex would her to do so I’m not really sure about the theory of Avex pressuring her into some work she’s not willing to make – I actually think that’s the other way around. I feel like she’s really doind what she feels likes, and I actually respects her for that.

          • Let’s not forget the whole going deaf and ignoring doctors and continuing to work thing.

          • yamakita

            ‘Japanese netizens tend to be quite harsh about any female celeb who’s hitting their mid 20s deeming them as “deteriorating”‘

            But they chastised Koda Kumi for stating something to that extent… hmmm

            • Ash

              Not sure anymore. When you’re talking about idols, yes. But it seems more and more musicians are getting starts at older ages these days, particularly if they are songwriters.

              That said, how many people here are sitting up for any newcomers?

      • surfboardt

        Eh, I wouldn’t say we’re too hard on her per se, but some people do forget about Ayu’s legacy. I mean, the bottom line is that she’s flopping hard these days with no signs of recovery because of career decisions on her/avex’s part. But at the same time, some people are forgetting that she was extremely relevant with a lasting impact on the Japanese music scene. Like, you have some of these 48G fans (Not saying all of them, but it was the most recent case that happened on Arama) going “AKB48 broke Ayu’s record because they accomplished more than the old hag and worked harder than her” and it’s like “BITCH, HOLD THE FUCK UP”.

        ALSO, YOU’D BETTER DELIVER WITH THOSE MIRROCLE WORLD REENACTMENTS.

        • yamakita

          You either die young or live long enough to see yourself become a villain. That’s her career.

          • hasawa

            ..but what about Namie?
            I never cared that much about her but I always felt like she was some sort of living testamony for Ayu showing that when you do it right, you can still be hot in scene past 30s with an equivalent legacy.

            • yamakita

              Not a fan of Namie at all… She lost me with that lyric “love you long time.”

            • She’s an extremely rare exception who also had a massive downturn in her career before becoming hot again.

      • Mr.Taxi™

        “I’ll be Paris in 3 weeks, reenacting the “Mirrorcle World” video.”

        A mess lol

      • Moa

        In a way I think people are harder on Ayumi bcoz the impact that she had in the past makes people to have quite a high expectation from her. That people are still talking about her, even if it’s in a bad way, i think is a testament to people still having hope for her.
        I personally think Ayumi is a better entertainer than Namie but Ayumi loss her focus perhaps in the middle of her way? I hope Ayumi can be like Erika Sawajiri who seems to be walking fine now in her return. But in the end as long as she is happy & healthy & don’t care too much about strangers talking too much about her on the web, everything should be fine.

        Tldr: when Ayumi return with her R:[edemption] album, it’s all over for you ;p

      • OMG I forgot how much I loved this even though people bashed it at the time:

        And this is still her best song in ages:

        • surfboardt

          Wait, people bashed Sayonara? Maybe it’s rose-tinted lenses because I was a fan of the song, but I recall everyone going “YESSSSSSSSS QUEEN IS BACK”.

          • hasawa

            I think this is the kind of song which is better to listen to without its MV.
            I feel the same thing about Kate Peryy “Swish Swish” (which didn’t deserve such a mess)

          • I think it was more the video, and those random animal sounds in it.

            • surfboardt

              In that case, yeah, I definitely remember people complaining about the cheesy and unnecessary animal sounds in the music video.

      • hasawa

        You’ll be in Paris?? What you’re gonna do here? Will you be busy? I could give you some tips on nice place to visit!

        • yamakita

          Ayumi is too cliche. Maybe she tried too hard to copy Madonna. I think “sexy” is so overrated. Once you are stark naked, the only way out is up.

        • I’m going for fun. Are you in Paris?

          • hasawa

            I’m LIVING in Paris 8D
            Let’s check that out on the VINE Arama group chat!

      • Puppy Power!!!

        you can respect a celebrity and still laugh at their personal life and how their carrer panned out in the end. she is a legend whose life is just as entertaining as it is notable ?

      • Guest

        I honestly can’t take the Arashi hive’ s opinion on anything seriously tbh

      • Ash

        Ayumi’s fine. Bashing on her seems redundant cause she never was more than a pop star/wasn’t pretending to be high art or anything.

        I’ve had a few jokey articles about her but overall I really have no problems with her. If you care, CARE personally about sales without listening to the tunes, be my guest.

        Flop of the year seems a bit dumb given she had nothing out to actually flop on. But in the end, The Arama Awards as a whole seem a bit meaningless so, eh?

      • SL589

        I was a huge Ayu fan and take no joy in her current situation. Still a fan to an extent (and I will always root for her) although I haven’t enjoyed her recent releases or albums. I still have all the first press limited singles from her hey day, all her albums and singles up to Love Songs and some albums afterwards: remixes, Love Again and Five. I think what made me stop relating to Ayu is a combination of things. For me, I use to really relate to Ayu’s lyrics and music (this was a huge factor in Ayu’s rise was that fans can really relate). However, by Love Again – I could no longer do so and music-wise, it didn’t show any growth for me. I used to enjoy her music videos and productions but then it seem so over the top and her over-acting– it didn’t appeal to me anymore. I still listen to her older albums all the time, especially Duty. I do wish she would take care of her health. I know she is a work-a-holic and a personality that is totally 100% into her career. However, I don’t think she has strong or wise support to guide her and she became lost. Her contribution to JPOP can’t be denied though.

    • yaccha “JoinAramaDiscord” itai

      80s tv stages… so extra… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf9ffct44r4

      • That bubble era aesthetic and budget…

      • yamakita

        When idols could actually sing…

    • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

      As I binge on Vevo and watch the Disney actors/actress music careers take off. It makes me wonder, despite all the gravure, JAV rumors and late night anime voicing. The idols music direction never changes. While Demi Lovato is slutting it up in lingerie singing latino music or Nick Jonas going full out hipster party, the average idol don’t change their music direction to something more debauched.

      Do you want to see idols make that 180 degree change as best described by Bojack Horseman’s Prickly Muffin Episode?

      • You forget that there is an entire alt-idol scene…

        • hasawa

          Aren’t chika idols a bit “linear” in their own genre? Everytime I hear about any of them it’s always about some random stunt for attention and then nothing.
          Their music can be somehow interesting tho

          • Well they’re idols, so there’s only so much they could do. I don’t know why people on go about idols developing and whatnot when that’s not really their point. Go listen to artists if you want that.

          • Kanjo Maru

            BiSH has turned it into real popularity and I don’t remember any recent stunts from them.

            At least they seem popular from the inside.

        • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

          To me akb48 is the disney of idols.

      • hasawa

        “the average idol don’t change their music direction to something more debauched”
        Is it that bad, though..?

        • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

          Thats part of the fun of the celebrity culture. Its a deadpool to see how long before the innocent disney actress/actor isnt so innocent.

          • hasawa

            I wouldn’t deem it as “funny” but it always found this almost systematic image turnover quite interesting. Almost like a rite of passage…

            There is something pretty suspicious about Zendaya that I’ve never been able to pinpoint. She already lost some ‘woke princess’ points after her half assed reaction when people called her out for being a Weinstein/Marchesa doll for quite some time after the scandal broke out.

            I’m scared for the Stranger Things kids too. All these people (esp on Tumblr) literally obsessing over them is creepy af. And the sexualization of that Millie girl is sickening.

    • yamakita

      Is anyone watching the new taiga Segodon? I’ve never been excited about a taiga, but I am a huge fan of Suzuki Ryohei. His casting gives me hope that something _is_ merit-based. I watched the first episode, which of course had to start with the main character’s childhood. I wish they would change up the formula a bit. I liked the opening sequence–different and nicely done. I didn’t like that the story began with the present time. I didn’t watch the first episode closely because it’s mostly about the childhood, but I’m looking forward to this week’s episode because it looks like Suzuki will make an entrance.

      • yamakita

        Speaking of Suzuki, watch Tenno no Ryoriban for HIS performance, not the main character’s! I get teary just thinking about it.

      • I never attempt taiga since I find them extremely boring lol. I once try Atsuhime and man, the slowness is killing me. If I want to watch historical dramas, I always rely on Kdrama Sageuk since the quality is usually A+. I may like Jdramas better than Kdramas but Sageuk are just better plot and quality wise imo.

        Will definitely watch Tenno no Ryoriban! I read good reviews on it and some said it is a tearjerker so you have no idea how this whole thing make me more excited. :D

        • yamakita

          It is very much a tearjerker, but I like drama about food so this was a good watch for me. I have to say, I like the first half better than the second half. I’ll let you figure out why :)

          • I will be looking forward to it! First I will finish Fukushi Sota crime drama and I will watch this one after that.

            Is it because Suzuki Ryohei’s character died in the middle of the drama? (hehe)

            • yamakita

              Oh which crime drama?? I like him, too, even though his acting is not the best :D. I want to check it out.

              • His acting didnt distract me at all so I dont mind lol. And it is not hurt that he is so pretty. I usually dont find Japanese actors attractive but he is one of the exception haha

                Its Aishite tatte, Himitsu wa Aru. Japanese are usually excellent at making crime dramas so Im excited to start it! They said the drama has unexpected ending so I hope its unexpected good ending rather than the opposite. :P

    • aoivsc

      Pretty happy with Ryuji’s solo release. I know chances are low since I doubt the members have much say in the songs produced, but I’m hoping he brings back the soul in 3JSB someday ’cause now we know he’s got it in him https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yu3gqLFVd_Q

      • CyDo

        OMG ❤ He is Backkkk
        Is his vocal chord alr fully cured thou?

        • aoivsc

          Not sure about that. He still didn’t sound too good in the recent music shows like Kouhaku (which I’m beginning to think is because JSB’s current songs aren’t suited for his voice). I really wanna see him attempt this live though, like how Omi had that special live for Wasted Love

    • Puppy Power!!!

      so what was the last
      -movie u saw
      -song u heard
      -variety show u watched
      in 2017??

      lets refresh memories!! how many weebs gave up on their lives to watch kohaku?

      • yamakita

        2018 already feels old. I can’t think that far back!

      • khooni

        —- The 100th Love with You (starring Miwa and Kentaro)

        —- Synthesis by Evanescence was the last album I listened to. Not sure about the song.

        This

        https://youtu.be/QmJxuU7I15A

        Or maybe this?

        https://youtu.be/8OTEK18ZYfQ

        —- Variety : Seventeen’s One Fine Day in Japan

        • I enjoyed 100th Love With You but Miwa is the worst actresses I have probably seen in a long time though.. :(

          • khooni

            I watched that movie because Jeonghan talked about it in an interview :P

            https://mobile.twitter.com/hoshikis/status/945289833714348032/photo/2

            I liked her in that movie. But I guess people who have some degree of familiarity with the language may disagree. Was too busy reading subtitles .. !! It should explain why so many Twilight fans in East Asia think Kristen Stewart’s a brilliant actress. I can’t really tell the good ones apart from the bad ones in dramas/movies either.

            • I usually dont really notice bad acting (I just brushed it off saying that’s the actor’s take on the character) but Miwa’s bad acting is very noticeable, awkward and cringy T____T

              But like Jeonghan, I really like the end song that she sang.

        • yamakita

          Girl, where have you been?!

          • khooni

            I went to Ireland to meet my old folks and celebrate a very specific kind of whiteness :P

            • yamakita

              Your new avatar is super cute!

    • Japanese iTunes

      Hi,
      I remember that the topic has been tackled a while ago, but as I’ve never tried it, I don’t remember how it works.
      How do you do if you want to buy a song/album on the Japanese iTunes catalog? international credit card? gift card? (in this case, does it work with cards bought in another country, or can you buy it on the Japanese site?) localization?
      Any recent experience?
      Thanks,

      • circe154

        You need to make an account on the Japanese store and use a Japanese gift card/credit card. I’ve never done it though.

        • Japanese iTunes

          Thank you very much for your reply!

      • 773

        International credit cards won`t work, so only Japanese gift card is the only option.

        • Japanese iTunes

          Thank you very much for your reply! So, I can buy a Japanese gift card with my international credit card, and then, the download won’t be blocked by my IP?
          Do I also need to give a Japanese mail address or not?
          Have you tried it recently?

          • 773

            I`ve never tried this trick on J-Itunes, only US(I have Japanese account for free apps tho), but I`m pretty sure download won`t be blocked or J-mail needed

            • Japanese iTunes

              I tried to open an account on the Japanese site, but… you have to have a Japanese address and Japanese credit card to do so. Otherwise, saying that you’re living in another country will send you back to your country’s site. Paypal also wants your billing address to match with your country of residence.
              I think that iTunes won’t see the color of my money… Too bad!

    • AoZora

      Any movie/drama recommendations?
      genre: mystery/suspense/thriller,romance,melodrama

      • 773

        Suspect X was good, despite being Galileo spin-off.
        Gokuroku is very interesting, but heavy.
        Doramas: Hokuto, Okaasan musume wo yamete ii deska

        • AoZora

          Right now watching galileo 2,though I liked midsummer vacation the most from the galileo series… I probably will watch suspect X after this..
          I have watched gokuroku and found it good..
          Regarding the drama, I will try watching next weekend.. Thanks for the suggestion :)

          • 773

            np!