Arashi Embracing The Internet
The last couple years of the decade has been quite eventful for Johnny & Associates. Allowing their images to be used on the internet, Johnny’s Jr. getting a YouTube channel, Johnny dying…but the big one for me was Arashi’s internet dominance. Even if you don’t care about Johnny’s, this was huge. Opening social media accounts was one thing, but I never would have imagined their catalog also being available for streaming globally. Pretty interested to see what they, and the rest of the industry, do in the future.
Namie Amuro Retiring
The day Namie announced her retirement I was in Shanghai. I saw her on TV in the mall I was and thought to myself, “Oh cool, there she is!” Shortly after I got a message with the bad news… Namie was one of the reasons why I was drawn into JPop in the first place, and I think her retiring did leave kind of a hole in the industry. I really wish she ventured outside of Asia for her final tour. I wonder if we ever will see her again, or if she’ll become the next Momoe Yamaguchi.
48 Group Dominance
I remember seeing, and taking part in multiple discussions in like 2007 – 2009 about how girl groups in Japan were dead and a thing of the past. Well as it turns out… See, this is why I don’t really see the point in trying to predict trends cause they can be quite unpredictable, and literally no one saw this one coming. It still blows my mind how they’re selling so much. Yes, multiple versions and handshake events are a thing, but 48 groups aren’t the only ones doing that? Anyway, my favorite thing about this would probably be the senbatsu election. I still think it’s cool concept, and following it in the beginning was exciting.
Maki Goto’s Life
Of course, I have to mention God. This decade was quite turbulent for Maki. Losing her mother to suicide, dealing with her brother’s legal troubles in public, and her marriage issues, but nonetheless I do like to believe she’s happy right now. Still kinda salty at how avex handled her career before her marriage, but I’m thankful she’s still active in the industry. Put down Monster Hunter and do a concert in the 2020s please! <3
It’s been interesting to watch Japan’s slow acceptance of YouTube. While overall I still think they have some ways to go, things are pretty amazing for us right now. More MVs being uploaded are nice and all, but I think it’s interesting how many celebrities (mainly comedians) and talents like Nozomi Tsuji are utilizing the platform. I would love to see a high profile actress or actor open their own channel. I’d also like to see variety programs make use of it more, uploading clips etc. My dream is for Music Station to have their own channel. Imagine a catalog of all their old performances!