Again, much comes down to the crazy japanese copyright laws. Even during the “peak” between 2000-2010 when DeG toured abroad and many other jrock/vk-bands somewhat gained fame outside of Japan - the labels tried to go after everyone sharing the music online. I remember someone even got sued for uploading some DeG music videos on Youtube. I guess we should be happy that some sites survived at least - probably because you needed to sign up and they didn’t understand english. I know rules are rules but they had such a stick up their asses and needed to be more flexible. It was the rise of a new phenomenon (at least it felt so) but the japanese companies just had to kill it off completely.
But at the same time look at something like AKB48 and the song heavy rotation that was actually uploaded officially on Youtube 12 years ago, it has 173M views today (what a popular kpop act does in a week or so). I don’t want to sound like a creep but in that MV we have cute japanese girls in only underwear and the song is actually super catchy, they also released many other catchy songs after that (I personally consider the early AKB48 as the last “good” idol group) - but did it really become a thing in the west with a proper established fan base? Not really.
Popular mainstream music from Japan can do really good numbers on youtube (for example Yonezu or King Gnu), but outside of Japan no one really seems to care, tbh.
Could it be so that the concept of “cool japan” comes down to anime and manga after all? Is that all Japan has to offer the world when it comes to entertainment? And of course that “other thing” that probably most westerners connect with Japan today, you all know what I mean. It kind of sucks because I think japanese entertainment is amazing overall - the old stuff is always better but the newer stuff is still solid (used to live there).
This leads to me to the question - how many fans were there even of japanese rock/VK during this (for the third time now) “peak”? Was it only a few hundred weaboos or was it bigger?
Someone mentioned that Alice Nine or what band it now was can get a tiktok hit and become mainstream, but no way lol. If the road was this rough up until this point, who will care about japanese men in their 40-50s making up with anime hairstyles?
Japanese rock is so lost today that the only new bands that manage to gain some kind of attention is acts such as Deviloof, because western people will like anything that is broooootal. Its kind of sad actually, and don’t get me going on “The Last Rockstars”…
With all this said it was a fun era while it lasted, I am sure many of you guys in here “grew up” with it the same way I did. I still remembering ordering a physical copy of Clever Sleazoid and thinking the music video was the coolest thing ever created. I forced all my friends to watch it
I will personally keep checking out new releases of the big bands who still release good songs, like 13 on Dir en Grey’s latest album is one of the best jrock songs I have EVER heard. Mucc is often solid as well while but there aren’t many really good bands left that delivery quality, and these band members are getting old. While lowkey waiting for them I will go back and repeat classic from the late 90s and 2000s. I will never check out any new japanese bands anymore because they all suck, to be brutally honest.
At last I give you this gem - cheers to you all!