Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pick a Side, Any Side

It's the question in the world of idol fans. You probably have or will run into it at some point. It's unavoidable, but really, in my opinion, it's one of the most stupid questions ever. Why do I have to pick a side?

Of course, I am talking about "Which do you like better, AKB48 or Morning Musume?"

I don't understand the rivalry between the two groups. Can't I like both? Are they really that alike that you HAVE to like one or the other more?

With the recent announcement of the 60th Kouhaku Uta Gassen invite list, everyone's been talking about two groups in general.

"Oh my god! AKB48 and Morning Musume, on the same stage!"

"They've got to hate that! It's going to be so awkward!"

"I wonder what's going to happen!"

They aren't rappers, for god's sake. Sure, if they were two American artists who obviously hated each other, you could expect SOMETHING to happen. But this is a formal New Year's special, not the MTV Music Video Awards. And have you all forgotten? They have performed on it together before. Two years ago, during the 58th. Morning Musume opened and AKB48 got MM's original spot. "Well, that's a reason for tension", you may say, but what does it matter? It's an honor enough to be invited.

I really hate the "rivalry" between the groups. Mainly because I believe there is no rivalry. Morning Musume probably doesn't see AKB48 as rivals any more than Hamasaki Ayumi, GACKT, Amuro Namie, the Johnny's boys, or any of the other high-selling artists out there. Hirai Ken and Morning Musume will be sharing a stage, it's gonna be a bloodbath! And why isn't there a supposed rivalry between Perfume and MM? It's because the rivalry is between the fans.

You have to like one or the other. You can't like both equally. Maybe I'm a bad example, because I care for Hello! Project more than AKB48, but at least I like some of their songs.

I remember reading a blog post a while back, I can't remember by whom (and I can't seem to find it) where the blogger compared AKB48 and Morning Musume by certain aspects (dancing ability, singing ability, personality, looks, and I think one or two more). Of course, seeing as that person was an AKB48 fan, they ranked higher. How biased is that?

I try not to say that one is better than the other, because it's all a matter of taste. They both have their redeeming qualities.

I find that AKB48 has idols. Their girls look like idols. They act like idols. They sound like idols. They are idols. Yes, there's probably more to them that I haven't seen, but they are idols in the end.

Tsunku has a habit of picking unusual girls. You know, girls who might not be as a pretty, or as good at singing. But they all have their own charisma, and therefore they appeal to different people differently. They seem human and unique.

I'm not saying that AKB48 are fabricated to be the stereotypical idols, but that's what I see when I see them. The school uniforms, the bikinis, the revealing clothes and mature poses... They're idols, through-and-through.

Morning Musume has Biyuuden, yes. AKB48 had Chocolove. They both have aspects that resemble each other. But really, when I think of Morning Musume, I think of hilarious episodes of Utaban, of Junjun's girl crush on Tanaka, of ridiculous, good-natured singles like Hyokkori Hyoutan-jima. AKB48 just seems sexual to me.

Let's compare the two most recent singles, shall we?

Morning Musume's Kimagure Princess. While many people complain that it is a mash-up of two many other singles, its sound is a refreshing change from the past three singles. It's random, but kind of creative in a strange way. With its suggestive lyrics and dance, it is a step in a different direction for Morning Musume. Many people have protested the less-than-innocent lyrics, it works.

AKB48's River. Everyone has been raving about this single, and so I had huge expectations going in. But really, I think it's crap. The rap is sloppy, uncharismatic, and ruins it. The whole song is noisy and disjointed and is a complete, utter mess. It does have some redeeming parts that I don't mind, but it's too much. I thought the same of Namida Surprise. It would have been a great song if there were better vocals and it stopped jumping all over the place. It's a barrage of sound, and it sounds like five songs are all playing at the same time. And worst of all, it's the stereotypical AKB48 song. Nothing unique about it at all.

But the point of this entry is not to voice my opinions on which group I like better, but to explain that opinions differ. This stupid rivalry between the two fandoms should stop, because it's just our taste in music. I think River is the worst thing to come out of the group in ages, and the rest of the internet loves it. There. My point is made.


  1. I agree a lot with this post!!
    I think that these kind of arguments should end. It has happened, and sadly it will happen again, whether it is Ayu vs Koda, or MM vs Perfume, Jpop vs Kpop, etc. It's sad for me to see how the artists have more respect between themselves than the fans.
    As far as MM and AKB, I follow both groups closely and know their members. I can't decide which one I like the most! I love AKB, and I don't care what people says, I love 9nin Musume aswell! If anything, I'd reccomend you to check AKB better :D They have a select number of girls who are showcased the most (the 'idols' you said), but everyone else has lots of personalities, and since they perform together almost every day, they build very close friendships, which is very nice to see. Their "stage" songs (performed at the theater), are also much better than the singles, and they have very nice outfits and actings to go with them :D
    But the best part if their tv programs, which are hilarious, and the daily performances. I think MM and AKB compliment with each other, and I personally couldn't live without them.

  2. Wow...i was amazed at how good your "analyze" of River was...i totally agree!! Its like 5 songs are playing at once, and the rap was really out of place and not well done at all. The song shined like once every 30th second...but yea..thats it... the beat was wack!

    And Kimagure was different, and random yes...Tsunku used the chipmunk effect in a song...really?!?! He might be a good producer but his time is certainly over, only producing lame techno beats

    Love Kram