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Many Japan Today readers hate AKB48 and insult them every chance they get. Yet the megapopular all-girl group has tens of millions of fans in Japan and Southeast Asia. Why so much hate for the group?

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Basically because you cannot escape them. They are everywhere. On TV, in commercials, in magazines. And they are not that talented or good looking, but once the entertainment industry deems them worthy, we have no choice but to have them around. The music is all written and composed by someone else. I doubt if the girls sing at all. The videos and their performances are so tightly controlled, they way the camera is always cutting and moving to make sure you really see that they are not singing or dancing. As to why many other Asians like them, I guess it is what they are used to, and for some reason there is this idea that Japanese pop groups are the cool thing, so they must like or love them.

11 ( +14 / -5 )

It's not hate, just an intense dislike. More of a phobia, or maybe an allergy. Their ubiquitousness, their lack of any real talent, the fact that millions forgive them for lacking talent because they "work hard" (e.g., are exploited to the full extent the law and public morals will permit), the inspidness of their music--these are all reasons for not piling on the AKB juggernaut. That, and the fact that their creator is widely admired for his accomplishments, chief among them being having generated a fortune for himself and others on the throw-away backs of innumerable underaged girls. He's certainly not the first, but he's certainly one of the worst of Japan's long line of pop impresarios.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I don't have Japanese TV and so I can escape them but I've heard their music. I suppose if you'd have asked the same question about the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls in the past or One Direction now, you'd get the same answer from many - it's just naff. I suppose if I'd have had pin-up boy looks and been approached to join a boy band, I wouldn't have cared about prancing around singing mcmusic. I don't hate them at all but I wouldn't listen to it. Maybe for some who hate them they see it as a chance to parade their more sophisticated musical sensibilities by spitting bile at them. This kind of music has always been around and good luck to them.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

If you really need to ask that question, then you are probably to young to understand the answer.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

I could care less about them, they are just background noise like Gaga, Mikey Cyrus, Bieber, Hip-Hop, etc and easily tuned out.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I don't hate them.

There are a lot of even more annoying groups in Japan. The Johnny's crap stinks as they are all almost identical and downright effeminate garbage most of the time. SMAP is a complete mystery to me, since nobody in that group is any good at anything. They are especially bad at singing.

At least AKB don't seem pretentious, unlike most Japanese musicians.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Equating AKB48 with GaGa is Waayyy off the mark.

One is formulaic fluff, One is dynamic creativity.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

Browny1.

Depends on the your music preferences which are all individual.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Equating AKB48 with GaGa is Waayyy off the mark. One is formulaic fluff, One is dynamic creativity.

I'd say both are formulaic fluff. An attention whore who rips off Madonna is hardly "dynamic creativity".

14 ( +20 / -6 )

At least Gaga can Play the piano and carry a tune

2 ( +11 / -9 )

it's simple.

Not one of them can sing a note They have a bunch of seisha-ins writing their "songs" ("aural attrocities" would be more fitting The absolute over commercialisation - trains, billboards, TV - DAILY Managed by some middle-aged fat perve

Now if we were to start the same topic on that Johnny's jimusho shite, i could quadruple the list no problems.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

They are entertainers. They are like most mainstream singers today that cannot sing that well but people like the sound of their voice. They like the music videos. And I don't know if MarkX is gay, blind or both when he says that they aren't good looking!

And to anyone who says I am a butthurt fan, I don't even listen to their music. I've seen a few music videos in my time and that is all.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Other Asian countries might follow them by choice. We're force fed.

Why must they and SMAP monopolize TV and not give others a go?

It's all about obsequy, the jimusho, and relationships further up the food chain, and damn all to do with viewers (AKA consumers, taxpayers, the electorate).

Barf!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I don't think it is the girls themselves that people despise in most cases. However, so many people are just tired of seeing AKB48 idols everywhere. Also other more talented singers don't get a chance because of the monolithic power structures (promoters, agents, etc.) that exist in Japan. Akimoto has too much power in this country to pick and choose the "flavor of the month/year".

10 ( +10 / -0 )

They are ubiquitous, and their songs are not very interesting. That's basically it.

Even within the realm of idol-style music or pure junky pop, their stuff sticks out as being pretty bad, to be honest. Extremely simple melodies and song structures.

I don't hate them at all, and there are a few of the girls with talent (one of them is also a decent Enka singer) but we need to get some balance, some other pop music played everywhere.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People often hate what they cannot understand.

-20 ( +4 / -24 )

Pandabelle - She is going to have to better if she want's to pass herself off as an "Enka" singer if we are talking about that same fortune cookie nonsense with a typical "Japanese-y" sounding arrangement. The arrangement does not an enka singer make - its all about the voice and it is no different from any poppy young artist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's not the hate towards the group, but hate towards the fact that so many adult men are into them. Get a frickin life and stop running after barely legal girls with mini skirts!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

See :)

Isn't irony interesting!

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

because they are rubbish, the end.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Because some people enjoy complaining. It's a worldwide phenomenon, there are cranky old farts back home with nothing better to do than write weekly hate mail to the local rag.

It's not the hate towards the group, but hate towards the fact that so many adult men are into them. Get a frickin life and stop running after barely legal girls with mini skirts!

Why do you know how old they are? I don't get this - I'm not interested in them so I'll look up their details...? Perhaps you are doing "research"?

Some are quite pretty, but being at least twice their age and not into that genre, I just zone them out. Sailor Moon that sings.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

They are the Morris Marina or Hillman Avenger of music. Manufactured, though shoddily, barely capable of functioning, and forced on an unfortunate public starved of better options.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Because some people enjoy complaining.

This x 100

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

It's Me - my comment has nothing to do with preferences.

I just said you can't lump the 2 re level of creativity.

I didn't say one is better than the other.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I do not hate them at all, actually I find them entertaining as heck. So does my wife and her sister.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tokiyo - I just had to look her up, apparently her name is Iwasa Misaki? Anyway I don't know much about it or her, I just heard one of her Enka songs (as a solo artist, not an AKB song) and it was pretty decent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh, where to begin? I hate that they have raised over 1.25 billion yen for earthquake and tsunami relief, and that was as of February 2012. Also, I hate that they are in commercials for the Red Cross, and they were on posters to prevent teen suicide. I also despise how they went to the affected areas after the earthquake and tsunami and performed free mini concerts to encourage the communities. I hate how every year when they are ranked, all their speeches are very humble and sincere. Well, joking aside, one thing that I really don't care for is how young some of the members are. I'm a fan, but I only like the older girls, some fascinations I see on fan sites creep me out too. I'm also a man who likes care free bubble gum pop, so they are right up my alley. I also don't care for the love ban crap, let them love and do what they want. To not experience dating because of a career is stupid.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

i don't hate them directly. but i hate the system that exploits an "image", and uses it non-stop, on every single opportunity, over and over, 24/7. you see these girls on advertisements everywhere, all the time. thus, i wish they disappear. wow, japanese people have the greatest endurance in the world, they love the constant repetition of the same old same old image. somehow i find repetition to such extremes extremely offending intelligence. it's simply idiotic.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Because it's the internet, it's all anonymous, and some people just like to hate women.

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

"Tens of millions" of fans? Seriously? Sounds like pretty bias statistics.

Anyway, the reason people hate AKB is because they literally have no talent. They are just little girls, with some of them adults, who are put in lingerie and danced about for middle-aged men to salivate over. They are not a band, they are a gimmick, and are among the worst sell-outs in a culture where selling out is something you strive for; commercials, muzak, talento shows, posters, and even porn of late (for some 'graduated' members).

3 ( +12 / -9 )

It's not entertainment, it's a genre of soft core pornography. The girls are treated as products and objects. It's not about the music, it's about packaging them as a commodity for men who are into that kind of thing.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

@Ignacio Heredia

Thanks for reminding me of their charity work. I've changed from "not really caring one way or another" to "mildly liking them".

@smith

Here's your chance to show the Japanese entertainment industry how it's done. I'm guessing from your comments that you are well versed in singing and dancing in front of large audiences. Looking forward to seeing you perform once you start appearing on television.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

No idea. they are cheesy and can be seen as pandering to Japanese idol mania and slightly pervy attraction to young girls. And their music isn pretty poor. but still don't see the need to hate them so. Chubbiness (see JT article below) are way better though.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

At least AKB don't seem pretentious, unlike most Japanese musicians.

And that is why I do not hate them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I just searched for a couple of articles about AKB on this site and I've yet to see a comment that could be described as hateful by anyone able to use the word appropriately. Some critical comments, some positive, most along the lines of "who cares?".

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'd say it's not really hate towards AKB, but towards the monolithic entertainment industry behind them that controls the culture of an entire country, how the ubiquity and blind following of AKB and other such groups lends to a perpetuation of certain perceived female roles in society, etc. etc. It's part of the problem that girls learn from a very early age here from a variety of sources (music industry, TV, perhaps parents, etc.) that they should aspire to be dumb and have no ambition and no real skills and just cruise through life on looks and cuteness, while the hard-working man takes care of the grown-up stuff.

Or it could simply be that their softcore porn mags are just too expensive. yikes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'll tell you one thing, I can really feel the love in this threat!

One thing, though, I've yet to meet one of these 'old man' fans of this group that many posters are always talking about here. Sure, they exist. But, the majority of their fans are young females. Don't like them? Don't listen and don't watch. I can't understand 'hating' anything like this. They are just a music group after all.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Basically because you cannot escape them. They are everywhere. On TV, in commercials, in magazines.

I don't find this to be the case. We don't watch the kind of programmes or read the kind of magazines that feature little-girlie singers/talents. They may pop up in a commercial now and then, but commercials are for putting the kettle on/going to the loo/letting the dog out and they don't intrude to any great extent.

If some people like them, fine. Doesn't bother me either way.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

AKB is easy to hate because their existence is geared towards money-making and not music-creating. And yes, every single musician of all types of music in all countries has to make that distinction, and certainly certain decisions get made for financial gain. But at no time has AKB ever appeared to be something artistic/musical/creative/meaningful. It's all just obvious ways of pulling in money. There's no musical talent (which has been said by everyone above me in this thread), but their crime is that they don't even appear to try. The skimpy clothes they wear? To bring in money from horny men. They "no-dating" rules that we're supposed to believe? To bring in money from horny men. The "get a voting ballot inside our CD case" games? To bring in money from everyone. I knew a guy who bought 500 (not a typo) of their CDs in order to vote 500 times. I don't think the comparisons to the Backstreet Boys of the Spice Girls or et al. are fair - at least those bands made an effort to present themselves musically or stylistically. AKB basically holds up a big sign that says "We just want your money!!" and their fans line up and shout "OK! Here you go!!"

13 ( +15 / -2 )

ReformedBasher: guess what? A lot of people sing in front of large audiences, and many actually have talent. Doesn't mean AKBAR automatically does, and they don't. Not at all. They are a group of girls, some literally, assembled by a company out to make a quick buck. Do they play instruments? Write their own lyrics? Not lip-sync? All they do is stand on stage. That does not require skill, fortunately for them.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Ignacio Heredia: Oh, where to begin? I hate that they have raised over 1.25 billion yen for earthquake and tsunami relief, and that was as of February 2012. Also, I hate that they are in commercials for the Red Cross, and they were on posters to prevent teen suicide. I also despise how they went to the affected areas after the earthquake and tsunami and performed free mini concerts to encourage the communities.

Anyone performing works of charity ought to be commended for it. Anyone performing works of charity in a highly publicized way which promotes their own image ought to be ashamed.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They pander to the 'lolicon' set, who have a thing for underage girls. Fine if teen idols are for teens but most of the fan base are grown men who get excited by the idea of a 14-year old girlfriend. There's a lot of guys out there it seems who want to love the impossible fantasy rather than have a real relationship with a real woman.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They are not a good role model towards young kids, they have no real talent except looking pretty, they are not allowed to date, which is just human and should be encouraged - particular in the country with lowest birth rate on earth.

I think a group like this has a responsibility towards the young generation who might look up to them! And because there is no way that there way of life is desirable they are not very liked. Unless by grandmothers who sometimes dream of being young again.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They are a group of girls, some literally, assembled by a company out to make a quick buck.

Oh the shock and the horror! Companies making a profit! And those poor exploited girls! The unwanted fame and money they must endure!

Do they play instruments? Write their own lyrics?

Your point is? I know plenty of musicians who do both but are crap as far as I'm concerned. I don't jump up and down about it though.

As far as I can tell, they are able to sing and dance to an extent. What extraordinary talents do you have to be in a position to look down on them?

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Anyone performing works of charity in a highly publicized way which promotes their own image ought to be ashamed.

Yes... but these girls/women have no control over what they do. They remind me of the army... regimented dance drills, ranks, uniforms, with total obedience to those in charge demanded at all times.

Sure, they could quit whenever, but how many eirhteen-year olds are going to walk away from the glamour and fame that AKB offers? I know I wouldn't have

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I am sorry but it is not just this fine and decent group of dedicated performers who get lots of hate posts it is a general problem with many topics on Japan Today. There appears to be a number of people who are very negative and have rarely anything kind to say about anything. The group is sweet and do their best. I suspect there is a cultural problem as many of the negative posters are I believe westerners who just won't accept Japan on Japan's terms..it is a distinct, remarkable, unique and quite wonderful culture but it takes acceptance and understanding to appreciate it..and the girls of AKB48. I hope that people can become kinder and happier in their posts for their own sake and for the benefit of our discussions.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

They lack musicality, the proof being the fact they don't sing in muli-part harmonies nor do they move their hips in time with the beat. Someone in the entertainment business once told me they don't even sing on their records.

In order words, they're phonies, and phonies don't (and shouldn't) get respect.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

No hate here, no love either. It may be for the younger people, so I don't mind.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Anyone performing works of charity ought to be commended for it. Anyone performing works of charity in a highly publicized way which promotes their own image ought to be ashamed.

Ridiculous. Why should charity not also benefit the person helping the charity? The best arrangements are when all sides prosper. Does the charity not still receive the money whether the person gets a boost in their image? By taking your stance, many charities would suffer, as people who may be willing to help the charity would decide not to.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I still do not get the reactions. Personally, I have never heard a whole song or seen a full song performed on TV or the radio. Why? I'm not interested. It is not for me. However, that doesn't mean I have to hate them or people that like them. I still do not get that reaction. I mean, why listen or watch if they annoy you so much? Why even look at an article or discussion about them if they irritate you so much?

Yes, I guess I still do not get it. Don't like it? Don't watch and don't listen. Nobody is forcing you to.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

CrisGerSan,

Well said.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Because they don't put out hahahahaha

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Okay, AKB48 are not musicians but they are entertaining, music is catchy, and the girls cute to look at!! but to answer the question, maybe our Japan Today readers are miserable boring lot.....apart from me

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Agree AKB and similar entertainment designed for all the senses.

On average I don't care about the looks or onstage show for a musician sexy body, dancing is not why I buy music.

Granted Vanessa Mae and many others acts are easy on the eyes. ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, Vanessa Mae is talented and cute. But apparently you just need to try hard to get ahead in life. Talent should be recognized ahead of this stuff, there are plenty of talented musicians that can't get a leg up because we are inundated with Johhnys and Girl "Units"

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't really know why so many JT posters hate the group. I mean why hate them for being successful? Why always accuse their fans of being perverts? Why do people constantly bleat on about underage (when just over a quarter of them are under 18)?

Taste in music is subjective - just because someone doesn't like AKB doesn't mean they are awful, all it means is that the critic just has different music tastes. I hate Rap and R&B for example, but I don't go on about it. I have nothing against AKB... I just prefer the likes of Scandal.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

ReformedBasher: "Oh the shock and the horror! Companies making a profit! And those poor exploited girls! The unwanted fame and money they must endure!

"Your point is? I know plenty of musicians who do both but are crap as far as I'm concerned. I don't jump up and down about it though."

I would have thought it was self-evident. Point is they have no talent. Obviously you cannot deny that.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

As far as I am concerned, they were the only saving grace for the Kohaku Uta Gassen this year. They at least helped me get to the two hour mark before I packed up in disgust and dismay.

They look good.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Tamarama: "They look good."

They're only 'skill'.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As many have pointed out, CORRECTLY I might add, there is little to no hate for the members of akb48 etc.

The problems lie in the exploitation of them by their pimps, sorry "managers"..........no lets leave them as pimps!

And the music biz in Japan which controls 99% of it makes for a really bleak sound scape & with akb the pervasiveness of it is really grating, just spent two days in Tokyo & its hard to take 10steps without some exposure to akb its insane!!

And for the life of me the pedo aspects of it & its wide spread acceptance I find disturbing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

After 30 minutes of watching various AKB48 performances on YouTube... I now think I understand them and the industry. Its the same as Professional Wrestling. You know its all fake ( except for the mistakes that cause injury ) but you still like the personalities and storylines.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

girl group has tens of millions of fans

That is the problem! I hate AKB48 and all girl cutesy groups. Why? They made JPOP genre a joke! Now everyone around the world thinks JPOP is all about untalented cutesy girls. What happened to Utada Hikaru, Namie Amuro, Ai, Anna Tsuchiya, Ayaka, Ikimono Gakari, Superfly etc etc. ? Why they don't belong to JPOP anymore? And what's even worse is that Anti- Japan posters of Japan Today constantly using this idea of NEW MODIFIED IMAGE OF JPOP to bash Japan. (Hint: KPOP).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

actually...I'll Take AKB48 over Miley Sirus any day of the week, if only because they aren't shooting for bottom of the barrel. That said, they are kinda like Muzak to me. Just sort of there. that and they need to work on their signing a bit

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good to see young people able to earn a living. Plenty can't. They are basically temps but so are a very large proportion of young women. I'd like to see them unionise. Akimoto doesn't treat them well.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don't care at all that they make loads of dosh. I care that they promote an infantile mindset and behavior.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Annoying and talentless group. Which is a really cold thing to say. Why? Cause some of them might actually be talented but are not allowed to play an active role in their music.

Words like scripted, contrived come to mind when I hear AKE48 or any of the spinoffs.

It's the the pedophile like fans and AKB's producer that I hate. Men who wish for naive women that can be controlled or manipulated to their whims. Disgusting.

Not to mention the spammed exploitation of this group. I pray they will be gone before the 2020 Olympic Games.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

CrisGerSan: I am sorry but it is not just this fine and decent group of dedicated performers who get lots of hate posts it is a general problem with many topics on Japan Today. There appears to be a number of people who are very negative and have rarely anything kind to say about anything. The group is sweet and do their best. I suspect there is a cultural problem as many of the negative posters are I believe westerners who just won't accept Japan on Japan's terms..it is a distinct, remarkable, unique and quite wonderful culture but it takes acceptance and understanding to appreciate it..and the girls of AKB48. I hope that people can become kinder and happier in their posts for their own sake and for the benefit of our discussions.

A. Who cares if they do their best, and who cares if they're sweet? Those are points for judging your children on. We're talking about rich, powerful public figures - that means they get held to a higher standard. B. How is this a cultural problem? This discussion isn't critiquing Japan or its culture. It's critiquing a "musical" group that happens to be Japanese. The same critiques would exist if this group were from any other country. Please explain to us what kind of understanding and acceptance is required to appreciate AKB48.

Strangerland: Ridiculous. Why should charity not also benefit the person helping the charity? The best arrangements are when all sides prosper. Does the charity not still receive the money whether the person gets a boost in their image? By taking your stance, many charities would suffer, as people who may be willing to help the charity would decide not to.

I'm not saying that they don't benefit, and if you didn't take that sentence out of context, you'd see that I did mention that they ought to be commended for doing charity work. There's a person on my Facebook feed who volunteers every Saturday - and I respect him for that. But every Saturday he feels the need to casually mention it to the world, in a way that gives this "Look how great I am" humble/brag sort of way. And that makes me lose a ton of respect for him - despite the good that his volunteering is doing. Anonymous philanthropy impresses me much more than people looking to polish their public image through it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think hate is too strong a word. I think it's more of a strong dislike from people who do not have any interest in them and yet they seem to see them on TV and ads everywhere they go. It seems like they can't escape them.

Their music is no different from most manufactured pop from other countries, only with a J-flavor. People need to chill and remember that these girls are ordinary people, too, who have goals and are just using the idol path as a stepping stone to realize their dreams. Some of them are even attending university at the same time. Eventually they 'graduate' and leave the group to do what they want to do. I find them mostly harmless and even enjoy some of their shows like Manabu-kun (Kansai) educational and interesting. As GW stated, the problem is the J-music business structure and the exploitation that occurs with J-artists in general. Most, if not all, have no choice but to work within the system or not work at all. Sad but true.

Like Onyanko club in the 80's--also from Akimoto--and most trends in Japan, eventually this idol phase will come to pass. Most of the girls realize this and are just riding the wave while it lasts. I think that's smart of them to do so while they can.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And that makes me lose a ton of respect for him - despite the good that his volunteering is doing.

I don't know your friend. But I do know I have been inspired by the good deeds I've known others to do.

Anonymous philanthropy impresses me much more than people looking to polish their public image through it.

I'm not trying to be facetious, but how could you ever been impressed by something you did not even know existed.

My feeling is that groups like this performing for the people of Tohoku had a double benefit of making those people feel better and continuing to remind others of what the people in Tohoku were and are going through.

This should be commended regardless of what one thinks of the music.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I don't care at all that they make loads of dosh.

I strongly suspect that they hardly see any of the money themselves.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If we liked things that are mainstream we wouldn't have an interest in Japan. Japanese people tend to like things that are popular. It's just a big difference between the two mindsets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's a person on my Facebook feed who volunteers every Saturday - and I respect him for that. But every Saturday he feels the need to casually mention it to the world, in a way that gives this "Look how great I am" humble/brag sort of way. And that makes me lose a ton of respect for him - despite the good that his volunteering is doing.

I think the fact that you would be lose respect for someone because they are talking about the good they are doing says something about you, not them.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

There's a person on my Facebook feed who volunteers every Saturday - and I respect him for that. But every Saturday he feels the need to casually mention it to the world, in a way that gives this "Look how great I am" humble/brag sort of way. And that makes me lose a ton of respect for him - despite the good that his volunteering is doing.

I think the fact that you would be lose respect for someone because they are talking about the good they are doing says something about you, not them.

I think the fact that you felt the need to judge him for his honesty about how he felt says little for you. And the fact that I just commented on your comment says little for me. Now where do you think that leaves us?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

AKB48 are moderately cute girls with little talent working as Lolita puppets for their minders and ad agencies. Unfortunately because the media follows them so much, as they follow the smell of money (as they do with Johnny's male puppets), not much attention gets paid to Japanese musicians with actual talent, which is annoying. There is more to music/entertainment in Japan than idols. Also their overseas popularity is overblown. Despite millions spent on establishing them in Singapore, they only created a modest following. And across Asia K-pop is much bigger.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

because the japanese entertainment industry is exploiting underage girls

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Simon Foston

I strongly suspect that they hardly see any of the money themselves.

And I strongly suspect you are wrong. Think about it.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I think the fact that you felt the need to judge him for his honesty about how he felt says little for you. And the fact that I just commented on your comment says little for me. Now where do you think that leaves us?

I don't know where it leaves you, but I'm not going to hold back the truth because it may cause someone to think less of me.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Strangerland: I think the fact that you would be lose respect for someone because they are talking about the good they are doing says something about you, not them.

Well, if it says that I value humility over self-promotion, then I hope so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Strangerland: I think the fact that you would be lose respect for someone because they are talking about the good they are doing says something about you, not them.

Well, if it says that I value humility over self-promotion, then I hope so.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@those who insist they're underpaid

Google "akb 給与"

While your at it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel_word

sigh

0 ( +3 / -3 )

smith

They're only 'skill'.

But it's a very important 'skill'.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just like a fungus growing up the side of a tree.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Again don't hate the girls they are only doing what they are paid to do. ITs their JOB and if people pay for the entertainment then it is what it is. Don't hate the players hate the GAME!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tamarama: "But it's a very important 'skill'."

Exactly. Same as prostitutes.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

personally think a lot of them symbolise a lot of things wrong with their system now. always liked Utadah Hikaru, Ayumi Hamasaki, and the girl from Okinawa…can't think of her name at the moment. Even morning musume was a bit better than them I think. Nothing wrong with their looks, its just something about the vibe and energy they give off... how do you explain it. with the other artists, there was this sense of skill and internationalism they projected. Behind the Akb48 performing on stage, I feel there are a bunch of corrupt punks and who just put money out for something in return... They all have their necks tied with a leash willingly to these devils. Little daughters of these hissing producers that put things up that is harmful to the eyes. remember japan, the world will have 2020 vision. and hopefully they will see clearly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They are trite, overtly commercial and kawaii to the extreme. If people enjoy them fine, but I doubt there are too many people who listen to Sadao Watanabe who cross over to AKB48. But the media keeps touting them as serious musicians. I disrespectfully disagree. I lump them right in there with Justin Bieber and his ilk.

Plus their policies on dating, marriage, and age are offensive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Because they don't understand what AKB is about. They are oversimplifying everything about AKB and don't even try to understand them.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Many reasons, including one that will not be admitted: self-loathing. Many of those teen girls are quite hot, and all the while looking even younger than they really are. Many men are caught between their natural attractions and the modern social unacceptability in English speaking nations of being attracted to teen girls.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Sugar Bowl

I'd say there's a bit of truth in what you say. The frantic protests raised by some posters does seem off, doesn't it Smith?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Icecreampolitcsfova - exactly what is there to oversimplify?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The frantic protests raised by some posters does seem off, doesn't it Smith?

Ouch!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I dont hate the group at all. But as a mother of a soon-to-be-teenage girl, their fan base leaves me distinctly edgy and uncomfortable. Would they have legions of middle aged males idolizing them if they sang exactly the same songs but were all male? I dont think so.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@NathalieB totally agree, young women dressed and exploited as young girls. and you wonder why pedophilia is rampant in Japan. look at Korean girl groups, young women dressed as sexy young yomen, Japanese girl groups, young women dressed as young girls in short skirts. BIG differance

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Would they have legions of middle aged males idolizing them if they sang exactly the same songs but were all male?

I have never seen any proof of this contention, but some people love to make it (for a myriad of reasons like I mentioned earlier). As far as I know, their fan base is comprised of people about the same ages as the group, 25 to 16 or thereabouts.

I cannot help but think that some people got professional photographers and journalists confused with fans.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Lots of AKB defenders have mentioned that critics "don't understand" the group. Could someone please explain what kind of hard-to-understand complexities are being missed here?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The same reason why we hate most pop stars because our music growing up was much better. I believe my dad said the same thing to me when I was younger and his father told him when he was young.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have never seen any proof of this contention, but some people love to make it (for a myriad of reasons like I mentioned earlier). As far as I know, their fan base is comprised of people about the same ages as the group, 25 to 16 or thereabouts.

Go to any concert, practice session, or even online chat room for fans. The practice sessions in particular you can pay to go into are jammed full of middle aged men. A former student of mine (43, single, male) used to go all the time, showed me lots of pictures, told me all about it. They all have their "favorite" member. They all believe the members think they are special. Some of the creepier ones see them as "little sisters" but still have sexual fantasies about them. Remember the "oniichan" DVD??? I saw a promotional concert at a shopping center once. About 80% of people in the crowd were middle aged men. They were acting almost obsessed, jostling each other like cattle with their cell phones trying to get the best shot.

Not saying young girls dont like them too - they do. But there is no denying their sizeable fan base is made up o a large proportion of these men.

DaDude - that did remind me of 1988 and my Dad squinting at the screen and going "Is that a man or a woman?!" (Boy George) and "Thats not music, thats just noise!" (Guns n Roses). Fast forward and my kids were watching something recently and I said "Is that a man or a...oh my god Ive turned into my parents!!!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Icecreampolitcsfova - exactly what is there to oversimplify?

I wondered as well, and it took me some time and effort to find out what is interesting about AKB. You can start by thinking about the lyrics of the songs or by watching them on TV.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Hate? Love? Who cares? They're filling a need, both for themselves and those who feel better when they watch or listen to them. Must be the old rocker in me, or the old rocker I'm sitting on, but hey, it's culture, whatever other name you throw at it. Learn from it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Icecreampoliticsfova- I am quite aware of what they do on TV as well as what they sing about. If that isnt catering to the lowest denominator, I dunno what is. Late night T.V shows where they humiliate themselves on T.V? Rock paper scissors contests? Popularity contests? like it or hate it, its simple entertainment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice group.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Because they are crap.****

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ya know if you think they can't sing then here's a question for you, is it the type of music you like in the first place? that's the most important question if you don't like their type of music then you won't like them. It's as simple as that, now if you actually compared them to american bands who are all flare these days AKB48 has a lot of worth (at least their older songs) when they packed in their efforts into it. Don't look down on the founders of AKB 48 so easily, it's not easy to accomplish what they did, especially more so in Japan with the competition being a lot bigger than in the USA. They went from having 1 stage or even performing outside where there were nobody to being international and a lot of american bands has yet to go international the only thing that supports most US Bands is the amount of money. There just isn't enough skills in america these days if you take a look at things that tries to support talents in America. Guess what it's usually not Americans that wins (Surprise, Surprise) So if you have even an ounce of the effort that they have put into AKB. You should make something of yourself rather than sit down and complain that they're doing so well.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I think everyone who hates this group must read this to understand what AKB is really because I know that no one knows the signification of this group http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2011/12/28/the-man-who-made-akb48/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Elanora- Staying on key has nothing to do with whether you like their type if music or not. It is the very basis of what determines if you can sing or not. By insinuating that no one can criticize them because they don't have music careers is frankly a weak argument one resorts to when they can't come up with an actual argument.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So basically " AKB48 girls are “unfinished.” In other words, they’re still not very good at singing or dancing. The fans are supporting the girls and cheering them on as they gradually get better – as they become the finished article – that’s what AKB48 is all about." So people like the fact they "try" not the fact that they have talent. I see. Elenora, there goes your argument out the window.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

LOL that's why they're joining AKB48. Girl who are really pretty + get real talent/skill won't be need to be the part of this group to become popular. They know how hard the life of an idol. They can easily join agency who will promoting them in various entertainment field.. Ex. Emi Takei & ayame gouriki.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Leave them alone I say, yes I have serious concerns about the way that while business works, but that's no reason to hate on the women themselves. Seriously if AKB48 are your biggest concern, you are not nearly adequately in touch with the serious problems currently facing Japan and the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speaking as an American, it is beyond laughable to see Americans try to trash these wonderfully talented and adorably sweet day-makers. Turn around, friends, and look at the swirling sewer of your own, uh, "stars" -- Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, etc, etc, etc... lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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