I know, the title’s a lot to take in isn’t it: A band that consists of 88 people, all of which are young Japanese girls, and one of their members has shaved their heads in shame. Your first thought is probably- “that’s mental, why are you making this rubbish up you ridiculous plum”. But when I tell you that AKB48 are one of the highest earning musical acts in the world, and that they made over US$200 billion worth of record sales in 2011 in Japan alone, I hope you might change your tune.
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Here’s one of their pop videos, I can’t tell you the song title because they write all their words in funny shapes, but it all seems pretty pervy if you ask me. It’s a literal school’s worth of children romping about in provocative clothing. I know, I know, that’s not all bad stuff necessarily. But the ages of band members range from mid twenties down to early teens. Are you willing to take that risk?
Yeah you might enjoy looking at the ladies, but you couldn’t know which of them was the children. Buzzkill. I’m sure the innocent young girls of Japan dance about and absolutely love it in an S Club 7 style, but I reckon that a healthy portion of the YouTube hits are people of an age sufficient that if they actually lived out their fantasy they could go to prison for noncing. Odd marketing, but here it is just to prove I’m not making it up:
They actually hold the Guinness world record for being the largest pop group. What makes this large number of artists massively commercially viable (other than the fact it’s a bunch of school girls) is that the girls are split in to three ‘teams’ of 20ish members. This means that technically they could play in three countries simultaneously if they wish, as only one ‘team’ needs to perform at a time. Clever. So they can spread themselves pretty thin and make a real mega fortune for some old Japanese Cowell clone no doubt.
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I am only assuming that last bit about the Cowell clone, I don’t know for a fact if such a person or persons exist. Maybe all of the money earned is spread evenly and fairly between all of the members and their hard working families. Yes, that is possible. In a parallel universe maybe.
A couple of weeks back one of their members, Minami Minegishi, came forward in public to be shamed. She admitted that she’d had some kind of touchy feely action with her boyfriend, and it turns out touchy feely is against her management company’s rules. There must be NO DATING!!!! A fairly Draconian rule in these modern times of ours don’t you think? Minami is 20 years old. She can probs think for herself. In the video she shaves her head as an apology for letting everyone down. She was one of the longest standing members of the crew and I expect she was told, in no uncertain terms, that she would need to grovel to retain her place in the mighty AKB48. It’s so staged. The management firm has relegated her to the ‘reserves’ but I hope she can steadily work her dirty way back up the pop pipe.
Someone is making some cash here. I bet it’s not this silly little lady though:
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