J-Pop Merchandising may be the death of my wallet.
So I’m still waiting to get my alohAAA! package. But since I laid down the money for it, one thought has been running through my head every time I think of it – and in case I didn’t make it clear the last several times I mentioned it:
I bought this thing – spent an entire $60 – just for the T-shirt.
I’m such a sucker for that sort of thing.
The T-shirts that come with every AAA concert? I want those too. Well, with the exception of the most recent one, because I just don’t like that shade of brown. Don’t they refer to that as “poop brown” in Crayola boxes or something?
In fact, back in 2005 when avex was going to release Suzuki Ami’s first studio album with them, I contemplated buying the limited edition of the album – just for the ladies’ babydoll T-shirt with its three slits cut out at chest level. I didn’t, which is good because I still haven’t really listened to the full album yet, but still. My point. (Actually, I also really want her “25th Anniversary” shirt because that snowflake pattern down the right sleeve is adorable.)
I don’t really care for the other goods that might come. Towels? Pass. Uchiwa fans? Pass. Photosets and folders? Pass. Dogtags? Hey, I’ve always wanted a dogtag set of my own, but… pass.
In fact, when you get down to it, most of the tour goods aren’t good for much. How often is an idol fan going to participate in any activity that would work up enough of a sweat that would have them use the muffler towel – if they’d use it in the first place? What good is a stationary set or a glowstick after you’ve used it? Would you actually use the uchiwa fan to fan yourself? The fan design itself isn’t really nice to begin with. And photo sets/posters/figurines are only good for showcasing.
Give me something I can use. Mobile phone case? Okay – though I don’t really use them because of something called pockets. Bag? Sure, as long as it can actually hold my stuff. T-shirt? Hey, even better. Wear it, show off my fandom, look good – why not? I still wear my Pikachu T-shirt bought 7 years ago – it still fits, and I wear it with childish glee.
It’s a bit sad, really. If I lived in Japan, I’m sure a lot of my money would be gone from concerts. Not even the concert itself – I’d probably just buy a ticket to get the T-shirt.
Not just any T-shirt, though. Koda’s latest are glaringly painful to the eyes with their neon color combinations, unless you want the one with her name on it in calligraphy. But give her credit, at least she doesn’t mind going into the realm of panties. Hey, now there‘s a thought.