entertainment

All insolvent idol group The Margarines to debut; total debt of all members: 127 million yen

23 Comments

Debt is a major problem facing people of all ages today. Many young graduates head out into the world already handicapped by a shrinking job market and crippling student loans while their parents have to deal with drying pensions and stagnant real-estate market. It’s a heavy burden that requires a combination of luck and hard work to pull oneself out of, but with some sensible fiscal planning it is possible.

Or, you could do what the nine young women in The Margarines did and pursue a career in the pop idol industry. Their mission is to sing and dance their way out of a combined 127.7 million yen of debt in an already heavily over-saturated entertainment industry. How could it possibly fail?

■ Dance your debt away Like other idol groups, the members of The Margarines were selected via audition from a field of around 500 candidates. The main qualification of joining the group was to owe money and be between 18 and 35 years of age, but musical ability was probably considered an attractive quality too.

The lion’s share of the debt belongs to member Mami Nishida who’s family is saddled with 100 million yen in arrears after their factory went belly-up. The others have typical expenses such as student loans and expenses from moving to Tokyo ranging from 500,000 to 7,000,000 yen to push the group that little bit further into the red.

■ Big Debt = Big Dreams The theory behind the creation of The Margarines is “people with big debt have big dreams.” So the producers of the group comedian Kayoko Okubo and director Makkoisaito feel that women with nothing to lose and a shot at redemption will work harder than any other idol out there. Although there’s a certain charm to that concept, it also feels as if the organizers are preying on people’s sympathies by trotting out insolvent idols for public consumption.

■ There’s just one rule… The producers of The Margarines have also stated that they want to create a “new idol” group to stand out from the rest. Aside from the debt angle, a unique aspect of these idols is that they are bound by only one rule: move 10,000 units. Beyond that it’s Thunderdome, baby.

Unlike other idol groups who are bound by strict no-dating clauses in their contracts or some that are allowed to date and marry but only in a reality TV setting, The Margarines are allowed to do whatever they want in order to meet their first sales target.

■ “Pillow Business” It’s a risky move to break from the tried and true formula of the idol industry and give complete freedom to The Margarines. Obviously from a human rights standpoint it’s great, but idol otaku can be fickle folk and those restrictions were put in place for a reason.

During a press conference where the group was joined by Okubo and Makkoisaito, remarks were made about them becoming adult video stars. Although jokes about sleeping their way to the top – or “pillow business” as it’s called in Japanese – were thrown about, those tactics probably wouldn’t work out for the group in the end with their target audience. That being said, they’ll have to do something big with their freedom to win over fans.

■ Good Bye Debt Heaven In addition to all this, The Margarines are expected to make music too. Their first single “Gubai Shakkin Tengoku” (Goodbye Debt Heaven) will be released on Dec 17. They will also make their first live appearance on Dec 23 at Yakult Hall in Tokyo, presumably in honor of the emperor’s birthday.

Sources: Shakkin Idol (The Margarine’s Official Site), Sanspo.com, My Navi News, Naver Matome

Read more stories from RocketNews24 -- What do Snoop Dogg, Avril Lavigne, and Kanye have in common? They’ve all canceled on Japan -- How to date an idol: A guide to the highly improbable -- Police officer racks up $5,000 in social gaming debt, attempts extortion

© RocketNews24

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23 Comments
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Unlike other idol groups who are bound by strict no-dating clauses in their contracts or some that are allowed to date and marry but only in a reality TV setting, The Margarines are allowed to do whatever they want in order to meet their first sales target.

Good. They have more options to make big $$$. They can do porn or date old fans. Sexting or making boob-touching events like some did. They can get out of debt faster than just doing "idol" acts.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

How much of the debt is from acting school?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Do they really think their agents are gong to make rich (or even debt-free)?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The main qualification of joining the group was to owe money and be between 18 and 35 years of age

Whiskey.

Tango.

Foxtrot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I can't believe it's not butterface.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good luck gals! I wish I had such options when student loan repayments came around.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Make is available on Google PLay Music and I will buy a copy! No one I know owns a CD player..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, if everyone in Japan gave them one yen, they could pay off their debts.

I'm game.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's the going price for and idol group?

Not much, can I buy my own?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Good luck to these gals.

"All insolvent idol group"

I know a really big all insolvent group - the Japanese government.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Margarines!!? Seriously? So, what's their band member motto then 'easy to spread' ??

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Serrano, I too was thinking of some kind of collaboration with the Japanese government, but then I thought how many bureaucrats would be needed in order to plan and coordinate such a project, and figured it'd probably only cause even more trouble.

Spanki - Very good :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ehh... it seems to me that if the girls were going to go down the "red-light route" to getting out of debt, there are much more anonymous ways of doing it than getting your face plastered all over the place as an idol. I'll refrain from assuming the worst of these girls. After all, the mandate is "to move 10,000 units" and that kind of pillow activity doesn't move units.

The lion’s share of the debt belongs to member Mami Nishida who’s family is saddled with 100 million yen in arrears after their factory went belly-up.

There's something sad about a child being saddled with the parent's business debt.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"So, what's their band member motto then 'easy to spread' ??

Har! But no, it would be "We taste like butter, but we're cheaper!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The idol world is sleazy as can be so this is just a natural progression. Move 10,000 units of WHAT, I may ask. And you can bet these gals will be no 10CC. Just wondering if, when each individual has cleared her debt, they have to 'retire' for another debt-ridden gal to saddle up? There are many many girls in red-light industries who are there getting themselves or their parents out of hock. Overall the idol industry in Japan deserves to be mocked. It's contribution to keeping Japanese women in general where they are is great. It's sexualization of young women and minors is deplorable. On one hand, I can mock The Margarines. On the other hand, maybe they are dragging the sleazy out of the shadows. The Japanese idol version of the SlutWalks!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, they are not selling any autographs on eBay and Google Play music has never heard of this particular "Margarines"... although, there appear to be several who share the same name... and share the same level of success! OUCH!

I want them selling autograph cards on ebay! I want to buy their music on Google.. not on 8 track!

I like the idea of "older" idols! If only there was more than this page to their existence!

The only "Margarines" group on Facebook is closed to fans and looks shady!

I collect autographs! If only this group was doing something instead of just talking about it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spanki The Margarines!!? Seriously? So, what's their band member motto then 'easy to spread' ??

i am fun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stop The Insanity!!! Say no to more "idol" groups!!! Especially those where having a pulse is their only talent/requirement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sensei258: ... having a pulse is their only ...

Looks like more than that. Like willingness to wear pink cutoff shortshorts.

Who's that in back of the photo? Japanese version of evil-fied Daddy Warbucks?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just when you think the concepts can't get low enough for starting up such bands. Do they get canned once they pay off debt from being unemployed?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What next, the "Not interested in politics" idol group? Or the "Took a walk recently" idol group? Or perhaps the "I prefer atakai udon" idol group?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's with the mask on the guy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What's with the mask on the guy

Looks like he's riffing on Super Sonico's manager. "Manager Kitamura":

Sonico's manager, a tall man with orange-yellow flame-styled hair and always wearing a hannya mask and carrying a katana on his back, under his coat. He is particularly protective of Sonico, ready to strike at anyone threatening or attempting something inappropriate with her.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Sonico

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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