Japanese boy bands: Seriously, what is happening?

Warning: the following is a rant. If this is not your cup of tea, or you take offense with this, walk away now.

Dear talent management agencies behind this five-member boy band and all other similar groups in the market:

Who exactly are you trying to target? What image are you trying to sell? Is cute / feminine / borderline BL what you’re going for?

It feels like watching a direct copy-and-paste job from AKB48, without the extravagant costumes, nasal singing, and overt popularity contests.

Not all their music may be bad, but by gosh, some of the videos for these bands are seriously bad AF. It is pose-y, boring, and easily forgettable. Instead of presenting your band members in a more dignified light, you’ve emasculated them with accentuated effeminate make-up and attire, and left them to look awkwardly stiff.

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Seriously, WHO is your target market?? Are they relatable? Is there a connection? What incentives do fans have to stick with them? Will their music and outlook and image grow up with their fanbase? Or will fans look back on this and cringe? Don’t you want to create a platform for talents to flourish in the long term on a bigger stage? Are we going to see a SMAP beta 2.0 anytime soon?

I’m having a hard time taking this seriously. Your domestic market may appreciate this on nico nico for the past four years, but you’ve got to get your international music game strong enough to compete with the likes of your neighbor.

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