It's not fair, I was working on this piece for some time, thinking that it will probably never happen until the next 4 years. Goddamn, it happened faster than I thought. Now I will look like some idiot. What good is it if you make a prediction of something that has already happened?
Procastinating is my greatest enemy.
I'm referring to AKB48's move to create their own rival because they could not find anyone to compete against now. To be fair, AKB48 is NOT the originator of the idea. Hello! Project came up with this idea first, in the form of Dream Musume in which the current Morning Musume were instructed to say that Dream Musume are their rivals in many public appearances. However, their voices were drowned by the enormous marketing megaphone that is AKB48. So their Nogizaka46 idea was more widely talked about than Dream Musume.
So here it goes, in all it's unformatted and raw format, and under-researched. Before it comes true one by one i suppose i better post it here and now.
It is supposed to semi-fictional mixed with some possible outcome of our idol world in Japan.
Idol Flashfoward - 2015-2020
Hi! I am Kato Yuriko, for Bio Channel and welcome to Japan, the land of the rising idols.
Technology has improved in leaps and bounds. So has marketing strategy, the idol bubble in the 1980s are now in history book of schools and colleges. "Idol" is now an official genre on its own along with Pop, Rock and R&B. Idol music has its own unique music format and style copied all over the world, it is so big even Disney has ditched their bubblegum pop to pursue the Idol music style.
Idol music now has a special dress style that is responsible for creating idol-wear that is prevalent in the streets of Shinjuku and Harajuku, there are stores opened like mushroom after rain that sells idol fashion. Visual Kei fashion is not the only one having specialized stores dealing with special Goth fashion. In fact lots of Goth fashion has incorporated maid cafe and Idol fashion. Sailor uniforms are now a hip thing to wear, that in fact major fashion industry even used sailor uniform motif in their designs. Even Giorgio Amarni has their winter Idol fashion collection.
There is only one problem, the percentage of youth in Japan is still dangerously low, and the Japan government still has not found a way to increase the young workforce of Japan. However, with the insurgence of Idol bubble that has seen its prime in the 80's has encouraged many families to favor having more children. Especially girls. An Idol is now an occupation, as common as an salaryman.
AKB48 has announced their 18th generation audition, and their growth has seen no end in sight. In fact they have a rival in town, but they are also under Aki-P's direction, they are called JKS56 - Joushi Koukou Sei 56 or High School Girls 56. Seems kind of a moot idea seeing that AKB48 is already that. But Aki-P said that he wanted to have a group concentrating on school life, and graduation is imminent when the JKS56 girls reach 17 years old. So far they are doing good and their 2nd generation intake is already underway. As for the sister groups, SKE48 is growing really strong and there is talk that they will absorb NMB48 group under them ever since Friday has exposed that almost half of their members have a boyfriend on the side, some of them even smoked. Kago Ai was interviewed and she was quoted as saying "I can understand how they feel, because I've been there." Kago is now happily married with a Filipino oil tycoon almost twice her age. SDN48 is now disbanded due to their age approaching "dangerous".
Morning Musume has now separated from UFA and Hello!Project. A manager Mr S under UFW is fed-up with his company's laxness in managing his favourite idol group and decided to found his own company, struck a deal with UFA and transfered Morning Musume brand under his wing, with a brand new audition to set it up from scratch again. All of the graduated Morning Musume members are enjoying great success as TV personalities. Mr S plans to bring Morning Musume and start them from the grounds of the indies and hopefully one day be able to challenge AKB's stranglehold of the idol market.
The indies scene is now a booming phenomenon. For those unable to join the AKB army, the indies are the natural second choice, and most have been very content with what they are able to do. Dorothy Little Happy is now like the patron saint of indies idols, they are away in Hawaii and Beijing doing their tours but they are still aware of their indies roots. Which is the next issue to talk about - AKB against the rest of the world.
Like Microsoft's Bill Gates, Aki-P is now being sued by a coalition of a party comprised of the rest of the idol companies and communities in Japan for monopolizing the idol market. Aki-P of course, denied all allegations and claimed that there are choices out there but he has proved that he has the superior products. We will see the turnout of this court case, in the weeks or years to come.
The only one defiant major competitor in showbiz that did not join the fray to sue Aki-P is Kpop. They still maintain Pop and R&B as the music style to promote their talent is Korea. Kpop is now omnipresent in many countries including Japan, and are the only other genre to compete against idol genre on Oricon charts on a nearly weekly basis.
But now they may have a 3rd competitor in the works - technology. Scientist have now successfully created singing and dancing androids. Former Morning Musume producer and now an indies mogul Tsunku, is in the process of purchasing the rights to patent and become the sole proprietor of idol androids.
Next we will be talking about the other idol alternative - 4D idols, holograms that are touchable. Which will perhaps set another apex of change in the world of idols. With special guest the eternal idol Matsuda Seiko. I am Kato Yuriko for Bio Channel.
As you can see, the Kpop, MM and android idols parts are under-written. Lack of time to write it up. Perhaps a continuation is in order.
AND perhaps I will not stall my other parallel article and finish it quickly - "[Idol Flash sideways] What If...". We'll see...
>> Read the rest of this article