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Old 2004-08-02, 03:59   Link #48
Gomen asobase desuwa!
Join Date: Nov 2003
Age: 37
Originally Posted by phoenixfire92983
Wow, I never realized that there was such backlash in Japan for adults who watch anime. I'm curious now, because kj said that people basically aren't gonna talk about animes and mangas unless its at a specific club. But this brings on a dilemma does it not for the following reason. Let's say that your favorite band is doing the opening song for anime. Assumming its ok to talk about japanese bands with your friends publically, can you mention to them that a singers upcoming single is also gonna be part of a anime? Is that socially acceptable to mention or will you get labeled as a possible otaku? I always thought it was a big honor to do a opening or ending for a anime, but maybe I'm wrong.
Okay, let me give you and example how this music thing works in Japan.

Japanese music artists are tied mainly to the music labels. Music labels go out and find what is the best way to promote their singles in order make money. They have several ways to do this:

A. Tie that song as an image song for a commercial
B. Make it an OP/ED/IM theme to a show (it could be any show, from anime, to drama, to variety shows)
C. other

Let's start off with A first. Suppose some company wants to make an ad for their new product lineup - let's say some car company introducing a new sedan. They go to an ad agency to get some famous talent to introduce the car (or, pay several million dollars to some washed out Hollywood actor). Ad agencies then decide on a theme, and they choose a newly upcoming release single from several music labels that best fits the theme. The ad agency calls the music label, tells them that your so-and-so artist's upcoming single was selected as the image song for this commercial. Music labels then promote the upcoming release as "the music as seen as on this car company's commercial." If the ad agency was right in choosing the song, everyone will make millions - the car company because their ad becomes famous for it's catchy song, the ad agency because royalties comes in from both sides, and the music label because its artist's singles are selling like hotcakes.

Now let's say B. I won't go into detail what it used to be like over two decades ago (that'll be another lengthy explanation), but nowadays TV stations have high control over which songs get selected for OP and ED themes for their shows. Let's say that a big-budget drama was made, but the TV station is kind of worried if it'll get the ratings they've invested heavily on. Their decision is then select a big name artist to do the OP (and or ED) song for that drama so people will become hooked "as that new drama with that big-name artist doing the OP song." A correlation is also true if an already established big-hit show selects a new OP theme as people will remember them as "those upstart music artist had the honor of being selected as the new OP theme for that big hit variety show."

HOWEVER (big however at that), is that this does not hold true for most anime shows. While true that there are major artists doing anime songs for anime, they are rather restricted to major-hit anime that people know about. Shows like "NARUTO," "ONE PIECE," "Inu-Yasha," "Detective Conan," "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi" will get major artists because - both the TV station knows that these are major hit animes that people (children) watch and are rating grabbers (hence they are on really good time slots), and music labels know that promoting their artist with such famous shows makes good money (popular shows such as these usually release dozens of related CDs in which their artist's song is used several times in several anime albums).

But for the general "mature" audience, no one really cares who did the OP song for a certain anime or not. One good example is this certain conversation I've overheard on a train ride during commuting several months ago:

High School Girl A: "Hey, you listen to that new single by L'Arc?"
High School Girl B: "You mean 'READY STEADY GO' right?"
High School Girl A: "Yeah, that music is awesome"
High School Girl B: "Hey, look it says here that it was used as the OP theme to an anime called 'Hagane no Renkinjutsushi' "
High School Girl A: " 'haga'-what? Never heard of it"
High School Girl B: "hmm, it's kinda odd how L'Arc is doing a kids show"

Conversation explained: no one gives a rats ass about who sings what song in a certain anime unless you are a kid, or an anime nut. But of course, "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi" is a pretty popular anime show and L'Arc did get high rankings on the Oricon charts when they released "READY STEADY GO," - but it gets lesser attention than L'Arc doing an OP theme to a popular drama. Would I've gone up to them and explain what the show "Hagane no Renkinjutsushi" was about? Hell no. Will I tell them if I see them again on the train that Asian Kung-Fu Generation is doing the new OP theme to that show? Once again, fuck no.

On the other hand, are those ubiquitous shows that are shown late at night which TV stations could care less. They know no one is going to watch them late at night except for otakus, and they could care less who they use for the OP and ED songs for those shows. These shows tend to have more leaning towards anime related songs sponsored by anime-related music labels such as Lantis and Geneon Music. Let's face it, while most otakus know Ishida Yoko, Kanno Yoko, Yonekura Chihiro, and KOTOKO, no one in the mainstream Japanese populace knows or has ever heard of them. They are (and I say this bluntly which I don't want to say but I will say it), second-rate artists that cater to a minority group and cannot even compare to big name artists under a more "established" music label.

Is it an "honor" to do an OP and ED theme to an anime? If it is a major hit, somewhat yes - but it pales in comparison to being selected to being the OP theme to a major big-budget film/TV drama which is more "universally" acceptable.

Or, it can also be taken in the worst case - you used to be a big hit artist, but you are now washed up that you can only do anime songs....namely, T.M. Revolution singing OP songs for GundamSEED and Aikawa Nanase doing Samurai7. They were big hits back in the days, but hardly ever come up in charts anymore (even if they do, they do so only for a day or so). The music labels know they are washed-up, so they brush these artists to the cheapest bidder - anime shows. For GundamSEED, it is widely known that the only reason T.M.Revolution got the selection was because the director himself was (stress the point was) a huge fan of T.M.R.

The reality is: the image that all you have of anime in Japan, throw them away. It's all an illusion.

Last edited by kj1980; 2006-05-14 at 11:28.
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