Hello sweeties <3
Recently I was rewatching AKB0048 and it made me rethink my opinion about the AKB48-system. If you don't know AKB48 it is a really popular girl group from Japan originating in Akihabara (thus the name ;D) that should originally consist of 48 members. Now they have several "undergroups" in Aichi (SKE48), Osaka (NMB48) and Fukuoka (HKT48) and over 100 members in total if I remember correctly. See the wikipedia article for more information ^.^
As the group is highly popular in Japan they also have their own anime called AKB 0048 set in the distant future where entertainment is nearly totally banned and AKB 0048 is trying to bring it back through Guerilla Lives on planets with the entertainment ban, as entertainment aka music is hope. Sounds weird when I read it now but it is really fun to watch and I have to admit the songs are catchy as hell. Also it sheds more light on what AKB48 means in Japan today.
Until no I thought it was somewhat creepy that mostle men in ther 30s and 40s were attending the concerts like schoolgirls but rewatching the anime I realized that the girls in this group are really like a ray of hope for most of their fans. As they are no superstars like our western singers they seem more attainable. They are like the girl next door and through all the little events, that not only consist of standing on stage and singing, but also handshakes and meet-and-greets, they stay really close to their fans. I think this also is really important :)
Even though it might look weird from a european/western point of view I think in Japan the existing of groups like AKB48 makes sense as even though the country is so crowded many people are alone even though they are living in Tokyo etc. And groups giving the illusion of closeness help a great deal coping with the loneliness.
What are your thoughts on AKB48 and their music? Are you creeped out or can you understand why groups like that exist?
Hope you have an awesome weekend :)