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01 January 2014 @ 03:03 am
Okay, so I promise I'll post a real Countdown reflection (I hesitate to call it report because especially since I don't know half the groups I won't remember the song names or what was performed in what order, but I'll write up the highlights according to me, as usual), but I do have to say one thing:

2014 has barely started and I can cross one thing off my bucket list: being in the arena for a Johnny's group debut announcement. In case you haven't already heard, "Johnny's West 4" (ジャニーズWEST4) is now a group, consisting of Kiriyama Akito, Nakama Junta, Shigeoka Daiki, and Kotaki Nozomu.

♞ It wasn't the people I wanted to debut
♞ What about Fujii and Kamiyama...?? And Hama-chan...?
♞ Name is super uncatchy...??
♞ I have absolutely no interest in them
♞ Johnny has officially gone senile and debuted a four-member unit that wasn't a Junior group, which is unprecedented for a non-volleyball group debut post-golden age.

♘ It wasn't the people I wanted to debut who got broken up and shafted!
♘ I will be so rich with the money I don't spend on their debut
♘ I was there when it was announced
♘ Lower likelihood of Kansai being involved in the 2015 volleyball debut (maybe?)

So there you have it! I'm actually pretty apathetic about the whole thing, but I wanted to post about it as soon as possible since I was there in the flesh when it happened! I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts, especially people who are Kansai Junior fans!

And happy 2014 from the future!
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: Hey! Say! JUMP//Ride With Me
xanithofdragonsxanithofdragons on January 2nd, 2014 10:36 am (UTC)
That makes sense. Since SHARK was announced before Johnny's West 4 was, I was probably thinking about it backwards from how it was actually decided.

I kind of interpreted 2020 as a response to the popularity of the 48 groups in a way, and since who's popular in female idols seems to shift faster than who's popular in male idols, I really expect their popularity to have passed well before then so people aren't really sure why anyone thought up of 2020 by then. ^^;

I haven't been a Kansai Jr. fan for very long, so my feelings probably aren't as strong about it as some other fans' would be, and if I were to say what I was most invested in, I care more about BAD as a unit and only individual members of 7 West more than I care about 7 West as a unit, just in who's caught my attention so far. So I think about this group in a, "not what I was expecting but still gives me most of what I want" way.

Their name is kind of... uncreative? for a Johnny's name. But at the same time, it's not like Kanjani8 or Kinki Kids were creative names either, so maybe Kansai groups just get really straightforward names. xD
ミランダ (大丈夫): Jun: thougtfulfaded_lace on January 2nd, 2014 10:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really feel like big debuts like that must be decided a long time before they actually happen. Since Kotaki was ready in the kankeisha at Countdown while Fujii and Kamiyama weren't present, I have to think they all knew. An interview with Yabu has revealed that he knew long beforehand that Ya-ya-yah would be broken up and he and Hikaru would be put with JUMP, too. So... I feel like the whole thing with SHARK is pretty comparable to Bakaleya.

I mean, I definitely see it that way, too XD; So that's why I don't think 2020 is ever going to come to fruition. It was Johnny's idea, and I highly doubt Johnny will be able to be fully active in a managerial position at 88 years old, even if he is still kicking. But who even knows... I guess I'll just hope that they'll realize abandoning the small to mid-sized group platform that got them so far is a bad idea by then. XD;;

I see. I honestly don't mean to criticize anyone, and if my friends are happy, then I'm happy for them, but it just honestly was surprising to me, from the way I personally see Johnny's. In case it hasn't been clear from all these comments, the idea of "the group" is really important to the way I enjoy Johnny's, and so when groups are broken apart, even when I know it necessarily has to happen sometimes, it's still upsetting to me. And I don't even like 7West! XD;;

Fair enough! When they announced the debut I immediately thought "oh, they're copying Kanjani8" XD;
xanithofdragonsxanithofdragons on January 2nd, 2014 11:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, it definitely seemed like at the very least the 4 debuting were informed before the announcement so they knew why they were there (and honestly with the split-up, it'd be too awkward if they were informed on the spot).

I tend to think that around 5-6 members is kind of the sweet spot, with anything more than that a bit harder to balance and anything in the double digits to be way too many. With larger groups, it seems harder to have a solid group dynamic or even a real group identity, so yeah, I'm really hoping 2020 doesn't actually happen, or even if it does, for it to kind of fade away after the olympics or split into more reasonably sized units.

I've seen people upset by 7 West splitting up, but it's kind of mixed in with people who're sad that older Kansai Jrs. got passed over, and it all seems a bit more focused on the other members not getting to debut than on the group splitting up for the debut. But I also get the feeling that a lot of fans are just so excited over any Kansai Jrs. debuting even if it's not exactly in the form they wanted it.
ミランダ (大丈夫): Nikaido: contemplativefaded_lace on January 2nd, 2014 12:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I agree, though what happened with Ebi when KisuMai's debut was announced was pretty darn awkward... >__>;; So idk how much Johnny's cares about sparing others' feelings, but yeah.

Yeah, I guess I'd say more like 5-10 is a good number, with the right management, especially after time. I agree with you that balance and identity are important, but as a JUMP fan, I think that they actually have managed to maintain those things and have also had advantages to a large group, like not having drama between two members because there are plenty of others to buffer everyone out, which I think is a problem in groups of five or six who are really just stuck with the same members day in and day out. But more than 10 is definitely out of the question, and I honestly would feel bad for the kids stuck in a 40 member unit since basically about 35 of them would never get any promotion whatsoever. So yeah, I really agree with you on that.

I think it's pretty hard for people not to focus on that sort of thing, though. Debuts are few and far between, and for me, the disappointment outweighs the happiness if a few people I like debut and others I like are left behind, especially at first. It really hurts to have someone you're a fan of passed over for debut while others in their junior unit are debuted, and I think a lot of people sort of feel like they'll have forever with the debuted ones now, but their days being able to enjoy the undebuted ones may be numbered. I guess it just varies, because I feel like most of the people on my flist, etc, had a sort of feeling of "well, it sucks for Fujii and Kamiyama, but oh well." I know I'm really abnormal, because a large percent of the time, I'm a fan of the underdog, but I really just felt bad for those two to see so few people, be it the fans standing around me at countdown or the Japanese fans on twitter or the people LJ or the bloggers across the internet, spare much thought for them.

But I know that my feelings are really coloured by my own opinions and experiences, so... I think I just need to step back and ignore the whole thing for now. XD; I'm not a Kansai-anything fan, so at the end of the day, what I think definitely is secondary.

Sorry that I keep posting so many words >__>;; Thanks for always putting up with my wordiness and having detailed conversations with me, though! XD;
xanithofdragonsxanithofdragons on January 2nd, 2014 01:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they might not care much about sparing others' feelings, but I think they at least want to give them enough prep to get them to put a happy face on for tv. ^^;

Sorry that it wasn't clear in that when I was talking about balance and identity I meant more in the 40+ members category. But yeah, I see what you mean about more members being able to buffer drama.

I agree that the overall response to the debut announcement seems oddly skewed towards the positive side all things considered. But I guess time will tell with this group, both in whether the negative feelings might come out later, and how everything goes for them with debut.

I think I stick with lj even though so many other social media sites are out there partially for the wordiness and the conversations like these. On a lot of other platforms, this depth of conversation isn't really possible either because of the platform limiting how much you can say (e.g. twitter) or the culture kind of discouraging it (e.g. tumblr). So I'm really glad when people are active on lj and open to these kinds of discussions.
ミランダ (大丈夫): Fuma: hmmfaded_lace on January 2nd, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
Fair enough XDD

Ah okay, yeah. I mean, I think it's valid to say it's hard for, say, a 15 member group or something to have as much identity and balance as a 5 or 6 member one, so I wasn't doubting that XD Just that I think JUMP is pretty okay, too. And in terms of balance, a lot of time it's a management marketing choice rather than that they can't give everyone screen time.

Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I also wonder if the feeling of desperation for a Kansai debut, like you mentioned earlier, might also have something to do with it. But... only time will tell what will happen, I guess.

I basically agree with you 100%, and I'm happy to hear you say that! I hate tumblr and twitter and essentially don't use them for that reason, and it really bothers me that so much of fandom seems to have shifted from wanting to put any thought or feeling into what they do anymore. So I'm also really glad when people are active on LJ and want to have these kinds of lengthy discussions! ♥
xanithofdragonsxanithofdragons on January 3rd, 2014 12:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I totally agree that it's often management more than numbers that affect balance, since I've known groups with the same or more members that give each member screen time better than some mid-size groups, and some small-size groups with only like one member who gets any attention.

I still use twitter because it's often useful for getting information fast and for short, quick interactions, but I used tumblr for like a year and then got totally bored with it because the level of interaction amongst users seemed so super low. And it felt really disorganized sometimes too. On lj, it's so much easier to actually get to know a person (if they're at least somewhat active).
ミランダ (大丈夫): Keito: picturesquefaded_lace on January 4th, 2014 12:29 am (UTC)
Twitter stresses me out too much, because everything is so real-time, and if you miss a conversation or something, you just miss it. On LJ, if you don't have time to respond to a comment, or want to think first, it's okay to wait. But yeah, I really feel the same way about tumblr. It also is a really easy way to steal things by reblogging parts of translations or out-of-context images without any credit or linking back to the original. I feel like actually, when a few lines of a translation get reblogged, sometimes people who don't speak Japanese and don't really understand the situation get the wrong idea, and then things get complicated. And I definitely agree that it's much easier to get to know someone on LJ, especially when a lot of people on tumblr use tumblr to get out of any accountability for their actions.
xanithofdragonsxanithofdragons on January 4th, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
I know what you mean. There are a lot of times when I think about replying to a tweet I've seen, but decide not to because it's from several hours before. Or if I tweet when none of my followers are on, I don't get any feedback.

In the end, I think I couldn't identify with the culture of tumblr as a whole. The way I want to do fandom and interact with people on the internet is not the way fandom works on tumblr or the way people interact (when they interact at all) on tumblr.
ミランダ (大丈夫): Shori: shyfaded_lace on January 4th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
Yup, I feel exactly the same way about tumblr. So I'm really glad there's more people who feel that way out there! Nothing annoys me more than when people scoff at me and tell me "fandom's all on tumblr" like I'm stupid for staying on LJ. Sigh.