If you had told me, a year ago, that within the next 12 months I would get to see Morning Musume and AKB48 live in concert without setting foot in Japan, I would have laughed in your face.
Then the Summer of Idols happened, and like a certain basketball player on the Boston Celtics, I now believe that “anything’s possibllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeee.”
There was a time, maybe, when Japan was this wondrous alternate universe with their own made-up entertainment industry that did strange and amazing things that you’d only get snippets of IN AMERICA. Like you’d see what crazy-ass cartoons they made up. And their music sounded a lot like Western popular music ONLY DIFFERENT. And they would have books and TV shows and movies and everything except it was in this crazy moon language and we’d all be on the outside looking in, marveling at the sheer alternate-ness of this universe.
But one by one, the barriers have come down, and beings from the alternate universe keep sneaking over IN AMERICA to reveal that they, in fact, exist in the same dimension as other human beings.
And that’s where things get mysterious. It’s easy to predict where J-pop is headed in the context of J-pop itself, because it’s such a highly regimented industry controlled by an oligarchy of record labels (and INBOU). But in assessing Japanese-American relations as far as popular music goes, there’s always a bit of a wild card factor, because the whole “Which famous J-pop artist will visit America this year” business tends to happen on the whim of record labels, managers, promoters, convention staff, and how many teenage and twentysomething girls you can fit on a plane. So, what can American fans look forward to in J-music in 2010?
Are Momusu/H!P or AKB coming back this year?