the mind reels


Legendary Idol Eriko was a T.V. show that was actually loosely based on a real idol Eriko Tamura. This is an advertisement for VHS release of a music video and vol. 3 of the show. Newtype issue 12/1989
Eriko Tamura - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Idol Densetsu Eriko Opening ”Textless” - YouTube


Legendary Idol Eriko was a T.V. show that was actually loosely based on a real idol Eriko Tamura. This is an advertisement for VHS release of a music video and vol. 3 of the show. Newtype issue 12/1989

Eriko Tamura - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Idol Densetsu Eriko Opening ”Textless” - YouTube

Posted on July 22, 20149 notes • Tagged: #anime #eriko tamura #idol densetsu eriko

Artist: 김완선 (Kim Wan Sun)

Track Name: Goodbye My Love (Feat. Tiger JK & Bizzy)


Kim Wan Sun - Goodbye My Love (ft Tiger JK & Bizzy)

As arguably the first manufactured “idol” of Korean pop music, Kim’s career foreshadowed both the best and the worst of what was to come in Korean pop music industry. Kim Wan-Seon would dominate the public consciousness through the sheer force of looks, sexiness and dancing, backed by catchy tunes composed by talented musicians. As early as 1994, Kim took her career outside of Korea and found success. Considering that the first outbreak of “Korean Wave” began in Taiwan — indeed, the word “hallyu” was first coined by Taiwanese media — Kim’s successful foray into Taiwan is doubly significant. Yet, like other “idols” that would follow her footsteps, Kim hardly saw the fruit of her labor and essentially worked as an indentured servant. This pattern would repeat itself in Korean pop music industry, long after Kim faded out of the scene. — Ask a Korean! - “50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 19. Kim Wan-Seon

Posted on July 12, 201449 notes • Tagged: #kpop #kim wan sun #reblog

Momoiro Clover Z’s promo Image for the Sailor Moon Crystal opening single “MOON PRIDE” (x)

Momoiro Clover Z’s promo Image for the Sailor Moon Crystal opening single “MOON PRIDE” (x)

(Source: ohmysailormoon, via kittysblues)

Posted on July 4, 2014666 notes • Tagged: #jpop #anime #momoiro clover z #reblog

Periodic Rookie Groups Report No. 3


As always, although especially given 2014 numbers, it is best to start with a recap of the last rookie report. In 2012, 63 new rookie groups debuted, 26 of which debuted between January and June. 2013 saw this number dip slightly with a final tally at the end of the year of only 57 new groups —27 of which debuted in the first half 2013. And of those 57 new groups that debuted in 2013, 21 groups so far have made comebacks or released new music in the first half of 2014, with more to come in the second half of 2014.

As for 2014, 55 new groups so far, which when compared to the above numbers is a number usually more frequently seen with end of the year totals, not halfway through the year. And this is all before summer, which often sees an uptick in rookie debuts, meaning 2014’s total is on track to eclipse 2012’s previous high of 62 groups. Calling it now: 2014 is going to be a record-breaking year for rookie groups in terms of just total numbers.

2013 Rookie Groups Comebacks & Releases by Month: January - June 2014

Note: Only reflects comebacks or releases made in Korea. Comebacks or releases outside of Korea, e.g. Japan or China are not included.

January - Airplane - “How R U” (Single); Royal Pirates - Drawing the Line (Mini Album); Topp Dogg - Arario (Mini Album); K-Girls - Not Bad (Mini Album); Duo Flo - “Winter Girl feat. UV Syndrome” (Single);

February - BTS - Skool Luv Affair (Mini Album); Pro-C - “Love Hurts feat. Ailee” (Single); Ladies’ Code - “So Wonderful” (Single); Pungdeng-E - “Cotton Candy” (Single); BESTie - “Thank You Very Much” (Single); Boy’s Republic - “Video Games” (Single); AlphaBAT - Attention (Mini Album); Ego Bomb - “Still Ego” (Single)

March - TINT - “Wolf is Stupid” (Single); Pascol - “Like the Movies” (Single); Veloce - “That Kind of Girl” (Single); TREN-D - “Crush” (Single); TIMBER & Lee Jeong Hee - “There is No Love” (Single); Ego Bomb - “Reset” (Single); M.I.B. - The Maginot Line (Album)

April - NOM - “You It You” (Single); PASCOL - “Merry Black Day feat. HEYNE” (Single); Joy O’Clock - Purity (Mini Album)

May - M.Pire - “Not That Kind of Person” (Single); Wa$$up - “Fire” (Single); Pungdeng-E - “축구하는데 밥이?” (Single); Egobomb - “Cantabile” (Single)

June - Top Dogg - Amadeus (Mini Album); HISTORY - Desire (Mini Album); Takers - “Wish You Call Me Oppa” (Single); Say Yes - SAY NOW (Mini Album)

2014 Rookies By the Numbers

  • Number of Groups that Debuted Between January-June: 55
    • Girl Groups: 29
    • Boy Groups: 21
    • Co-Ed Groups: 5
  • Month with the Most Debuts: March (16 Groups)
  • Month with the Fewest Debuts: April (5 Groups)

Methodology: Numbers for the 2014 rookies were calculated using the rookie list from the post on K-Pop 101: Who’s Who?: “2014: Rookie Groups and Their Debut Songs.” For notes on the source and calculations for the 2012 and 2013 numbers see, “Periodic Rookie Groups Report No. 1" and "Periodic Rookie Groups Report No. 2

Posted on July 1, 20143 notes • Tagged: #rookie reports #kpop #rookies

AOA, Wings, and the Politics of Likeability


First it was the rookie duo Wings and their debut single, “Hair Short.” Then came the new group Bob Girls whose name according to their parent agency, Chrome Entertainment, is intended to refer to the change that happens to a woman when she cuts her hair short. And now, the latest short hair themed song comes from AOA who returned with their first mini album and the single, “Short Hair.” If the adage ‘two’s a coincidence, three’s a trend’ holds any truth, then it seems safe to say that there is something of a trend happening among girl groups regarding short hair. Although it is not wholly about short hair, as much as it is about the transformation and with transformation such a major theme with girl groups, it is no wonder that they have latched onto it so strongly.

It is exactly this promise of transformation that often leads women to indulge in the post-breakup haircut, a behavior so common it is cliché. Just ask the speaker from whose point of view the lyrics of Wings “Hair Short” who having just experienced a breakup is considering cutting her hair because it will look pretty. This has nothing to do with the breakup, or so the audience is constantly told in the lyrics, yet all this does is lead the audience to come to the opposite conclusion. This haircut has everything to do with the breakup, which has affected the speaker more than she would like to let on.

But old to new is not the only possible type of transformation possible with a short haircut; it can also be cathartic, and a move from one state to another as it for AOA in “Short Hair.” In the video, each member after working a various job — everything from flight attendant to police officer — and deals with the requisite stresses and frustrations of their field, visit a hair salon to unwind. More specifically, they find release in getting short haircuts, the act of which allows them to relax and forget about their frustrations, which is so successful that it leads to an impromptu dance party right there in the salon.

Even the airline passenger who was a major source of stress for Hyejeong the flight attendant due to his increasingly rude behavior is invited to the dance party. After all, to punish him, no matter how harmless it would be, would be to introduce a potentially negative event and AOA wants to keep it upbeat. This is as much a tactical move as it is a reflection of the tone of the song itself. With this comeback AOA has traded their sexier, but controversial, aesthetic for something that is cuter and flirtier and makes them in a word, likable, which is that gold star all idols are after. Likability can be as important, if not more, than vocal or dancing talent, and for a group like AOA who is at a crucial point, having garnered with “Miniskirt” both attention a music show win, whether fans and the public find them likable matters for their success.

This is a relatively new concern for AOA, one that has only cropped up since they shed the rookie label precisely because today’s rookies trade in attention, not likability. That is why AOA could start out as a dual rock band meets conventional dance group, before demoting the band part to a unit group.

This is also why a rookie group like Wings can get away with releasing unconventional breakup songs that eschew k-pop’s stock breakup song imagery for their video. While most videos for breakup songs are characterized by melodrama and emotions, with girls so sad they are literally crying in bathtubs in their clothes, Wings’ video for “Hair Short” is notably devoid of emotion. Neither of the members, who portray twins, show anguish or anger when they catch on separate occasions find a man, played by Ahn Jae-hyun — and who their relationship to whom is never fully explained — engaged in romantic activity with their sister. When they decapitate Ahn at the end of the video it is not exactly clear if this is a crime of passion by the women he has wronged, or for something else entirely, since it never seems to bother them.

Their live stages, while not nearly as dour, do not do much in the way of portraying Wings as friendly and given the story in their video, their point dance of making scissors with their fingers comes off as more sinister than playful. But worrying about how any of this comes off and whether they are sufficiently endearing to audiences is not something they have to worry about now. Their main goal is to garner attention, all of which a music video with substance and a darker story is ideal for, although they tend not to be sustainable in the long-term because they do not, well, breed likability. But for a rookie group like Wings that is not one of their concerns right now.

Posted on June 25, 20144 notes • Tagged: #wings #aoa #kpop