When Substitution leads to Subtraction.
First things first. KAT-TUN sucks because they’re not shiny enough.
[Okay, onto the real post.]
“There has been a substitution of AAA for Hello!Project and Johnny’s in this fandom (but I’m not quite sure how I want to react to it).” – Kimitsu, completely mangling a Vinton Cerf quote.
Though news from and rumors about AAA releases have been trickling a bit more steadily of late, it can’t be denied. After the massive post-Otakon hype, AAA quieted down for a while and so has the fandom. Can you blame us? We hated it, but we thrived off the constant releases, the endless ATTACKs, and the blog posts.
And then suddenly it all stopped. Considering the next AAA release apparently won’t be until in January, the tour in 2008 won’t be an ATTACK, the blog has vanished into oblivion (we get our AAA hits from when Hidaka posts in the Mother Ninja blog now), and that it was almost two months before we heard any of this; I mean it stopped.
Of course, fandom never dies, it only shifts. (Once obsessive about something, always obsessive about something, albeit not the same thing.) And so a lot of the longer AAA fans are heading to the next closest thing: Johnny’s, H!P, and a few who drift towards the three boys of w-inds..
Unfortunately, I’m a victim of this too. I’ve generally kept an eye on NEWS, but my laptop’s hard drive currently has more space allocated to Arashi than AAA. (So if any JPop fans have felt something unbalanced in “The Force”, that’s probably what it is. The midi-chlorians don’t run so strong within my laptop now.) But between the hype over NEWS’s double-release, and how almost all the current JE groups are or will be crashing releases upon us in these coming two months, it’s just a lot easier to pay attention to them if you need a pretty boy fix. And of course, we can’t forget AAA is a boy AND girl unit. Even with its decline, Morning Musume remains the definitive girl group of Japan, and H!P has its share of AAA fans. You people know who you are. Leave me alone in my corner, ‘kay? I’ve had one non-fan card ripped up already, let’s save the others for the next year.
(By the way, between “w-inds..” and “NEWS’s”, I’m pretty sure I’m making English majors wince. Blame the companies who name them.)
And what is avex going to do about this? For all our complaints, AAA was defined by two things – members being both male and female in the age of pop scandals, and their constant release activity. The latter has stopped, and it seems like in an effort to drum up more interest and popularity in Japan, avex may be looking into developing the male-only aspect of the group.
…wake up, avex. You can take away the blogs, you can take away the “ATTACK”s, you can take away my money. You don’t take away the girls. That’s when AAA stops being AAA and becomes another Johnny’s imitation. Likewise, you don’t take the boys away from the girls – Chiaki and Misako are talented in their own rights and deserve to be more than just expansion packs to a boyband. (So I was playing video games while writing this post, leave me alone.)
But this leaves me wondering what will happen to the AAA fandom. Most fans were already also fans of Johnny’s or H!P prior to AAA’s debut, and the new recruits seem more than happy to eat up the more substantial offerings from the two pop group superpowers without ever looking back. Meanwhile, the newer AAA fans, for whom the novelty has yet to wear off, all seem to be in the same line – either trying very hard to unnecessarily prove that they love the group every bit as much as the ones that came before; or being discontent with the jadedness of the older fans. There is no unity in the fandom anymore.
AAA, where has the love gone? Yeah, yeah, I know. To greener and more active pastures. So you guys enjoy your time in the sun, but avex, can we finish with winter here already?
About that statement at the very beginning of this post: In my currently not-so-humble opinion, they do, but mostly it was flamebait to see whether or not JE fangirls actually read. Not to worry – I have fire extinguishers aplenty… as soon as I can figure out how to work them.