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Why Don't Idol Groups Work In America?
In Japan and Korea, idols are a huge deal. The fandoms surrounding idols and idol groups are massive, with a ton of merch, lingo, events, etc surrounding the entertainers. So why isn't that happening in America? The UK tried it out with One Direction and we have a few girl groups like Fifth Harmony and Little Mix, but for the most part the classic pop group ensemble faded away in the early 2000s. Here are a few reasons why it might not work: I'm not saying either opinion is correct - just stating how the general public views celebrities in America vs Korea/Japan. I'm not an expert on either so please share your opinions as well! 1. The Concept of Being An Idol Sure, celebrities in the US know that they are role models, but do they really take this as their job?! In Japan and Korea, a single slip up can mean public humiliation (such as when an AKB48 member had a boyfriend - she had to shave her head as an apology) while in America celebrities insist on their personal rights to do whatever they want. In their opinion, just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you aren't allowed a personal life. They should be able to be in the lime light but also have a lot of personal life that shouldn't be judged by the public, In Japan/Korea, every aspect of an entertainers life is analyzed and people know that is just part of the job. You must be a model citizen at all times and any bad behaviour (whether its on or off camera) is bad for your company, your career, and your fans. 2. Company Loyalty In America, we know the big companies like Warner, Sony, etc, but we rarely pay attention to what label each artist is on. And even if they're on the same label they don't really work together so its hard for fans to be loyal to one company. The closest I think we can get to that is waaay back with Motown Records or more recently the bands that came out on Fueled By Ramen. Smaller hip hop labels still keep this group style too! We could actually see the connection the artists had on those labels and could support the label as well as the artists. Now in Korea, we all know that companies are a big deal. YG Family, JYP, Cube, SM, etc. They do things together like concerts, Christmas songs, etc. We are able to anticipate the company's new project or collaboration. It's easier for the fans to get hyped over multiple groups at once. 3. Pre-Packaged In America, bands are usually put together by the band members. Whether they start in a garage or they put up flyers to find members, it is the band that forms first, then the label that signs them. In Korea and Japan however, we have a TON of trainees all hoping to be perfectly placed in a group. Think of the show Produce! Perfect example of prepackaging :) One Direction is an example of that happening where the boys were somewhat put together by a label, but musical and personality differences got in the way :/ 4. Training Idols train a LOT. Sure, in America entertainers practice, train, get vocal lessons, learn new instruments, get prepped for interviews etc but they are not forced to practice for 12 hours a day. Living in dorms without cell phones or internet, being forced to learn languages, dances, public speaking, etc - its totally normal in the idol world. Because of this, idols should be pretty prepared for anything. I'm not so sure American entertainers would be up for this style of training. Can you think of other reasons why the "idol" style of the music industry doesn't work in America?
Satoshi Ohno, A Developed Artist In The Overrated Group
"Painting and sculpture are very archaic forms. It's the only thing left in our industrial society where an individual alone can make something with not just his own hands, but brains, imagination, heart maybe." - Philip Guston - Satoshi Ohno of Arashi (the most popular idol group in Japan), was inspired by his classmate's Dragon Ball illustration when he was in the third grade. Since then, he has been drawing his own artwork and making original figurines. In 2008, he held an art exhibition called Freestyle, along with a photobook of the same name which released weeks before the exhibition. Freestyle exhibits Ohno's works which created before he had entered Johnny & Associates, Inc (a Japanese talent agency which trains and promotes groups of male entertainers like SMAP and Arashi). Freestyle took place at Omotesando Hills, Tokyo, on 21st - 29th February 2008. It was synthetically produced by Ohno. Freestyle displayed Ohno's paintings, clay models, photographs, big objects d'art, and more. There were about 100 small figures and 20 paintings that were inserted in the photograph collection, a big, golden object d'art which was modeled after the artist's face, a robot, and a chair made of rubbish.  In May, it changed its name to "Freestyle All Around Japan". The exhibition traveled to Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, Sapporo and Fukuoka, all in Japan. Freestyle has made Satoshi Ohno the first and the only talent from Johnny & Associates, Inc who held the exhibition and displayed his own artworks. Ohno's artworks in Freestyle show the manly and womanly figures. It can be seen from the face, eyesight, accessories, and clothes of the objects in his paintings and clay models. Freestyle II  After looking for something new to develop, in 2015 Satoshi Ohno held his second art exhibition called Freestye II, along with a photobook of the same name. Freestyle II took place at Omotesando Hills, Tokyo, on July 24 - August 23, 2015. Freestyle II displayed paintings, illustrations, and 3D artworks. Ohno also held his first overseas art exhibition “Freestyle in Shanghai 2015” in Shanghai, China at the Shanghai Johhan Art Museum on July 9 – 29, 2015. The exhibit in China displayed pieces from the first FREESTYLE (50 – 60 sculptures and 20 paintings). Ohno's artworks in Freestyle II embrace the oddity of his surreal objects and show the real beauty of his innocence objects. Japan Airlines In 2015, Ohno was given the opportunity to design a Boeing 777-300 plane for Japan Airlines "Fly to 2020" campaign. Japan's strenuous efforts to promote the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics reached an even higher level with the introduction of Japan Airlines' "Fly to 2020" campaign and its special aircraft. The limited-edition plane is the first of JAL's initiatives as the official airline partner (along with All Nippon Airways) of the 2020 Olympics, with the Fly to 2020 campaign aiming to help the tournament bring hope and energy to the country, while also commemorating the past – JAL transported the Olympic torch to Tokyo the last time the city hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964. Ohno's design includes numerous drawings of flowers, along with a depiction of the evolution of mankind, while also including Japanese elements such as Mount Fuji and the natural beauty of the country's four seasons.   Below Ohno's colorful artwork are the faces of the five members of Arashi and the words "Fly to 2020," also written by Ohno himself.  Surrounding it all is a rainbow representing Arashi's five colors – red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. JAL's Fly to 2020 aircrafts operated from 27th June 2015 until 10th April 2016. The aircrafts service three domestic routes: Tokyo (Haneda)–Sapporo (Shin-Chitose), Tokyo (Haneda)–Okinawa (Naha), and Osaka (Itami)–Okinawa (Naha). Other Contributions Ohno has designed the charity T-shirt for NTV's 24-hour television telethon three times, making him the first artist to do so. He was in charge of designing the T-shirt for the first time in 2004.  In 2012, Ohno collaborated with Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara and their design sold 764,198 copies, setting a new record. In the following year, Ohno collaborated with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to design the T-shirt for that year's telethon. It sold 1,244,469 copies, making it the most successful in the history of the telethon. On April 24, 2011, Ohno hosted a four episode documentary for NHK entitled "Jakuchu Miracle World". The documentary focused on analyzing artwork by a famous Edo era artist named Itō Jakuchū.  On July 28, 2012 Ohno hosted another documentary for NHK entitled "Everything Is For The Sake Of Delivering Dreams ~Walt Disney Trajectory of Creation~" on August 22, 2012. In commemoration of Walt Disney's 110th anniversary, the documentary explore and reveal the secrets behind the origins and processes of Walt's creations. "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter." - Oscar Wilde -