Post your "UNPOPULAR" Japanese music opinions! / aka "HOT TAKES" :P

The infamous MH thread has been revived just for JRO!

If you’ve got any opinions that are controversial, unheard of, uncanny, or whatever the fuck…here’s the place to share them. Of course, this is a discussion thread, so feel free to chime in discuss any of the opinions stated here, and hash that shit out!

So Imma get the ball rolling. This might be too much for yall, but Imma go ahead and jump off the deep end on yall asses…

Here we go:

Opinion #1

You muthafuckas should be grateful that MERRY feels comfortable doing potentially offensive shit like this:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

nah, seriously tho. LEMME EXPLAIN!!! :joy:

You see, I don’t have any charts or data to back up what i’m about to say, but this has simply been a personal observation of mine: In my 13 years of serving the VK/J-rock community (from TW to JRO), Most of the VK fans that I’ve observed and/or interacted with have been VERY liberal or liberal leaning when it comes to their politics and personal ideologies and beliefs. And there’s nothing wrong with that - think and believe however you want. I just find it ironic that a lot of these same “free-thinking” ppl take issue with a band bucking conventions and doing something subversive, even if it verges on being potentially…or even vaguely offensive.

And therein lies the problem. Too many VK fans try to project their western, highly politicized idealogies on to a band that exists far outside of that mindset.

So the point I’m making is this: If VK bands were to hearken to the mindset and the outlook of its western/overseas fanbase, VK would cease to be the very thing its western fans actually love it for.

So again, ppl should be grateful that MERRY (and other VK bands) exist outside of our western, sociopolitical zeigeist.

I know this isn’t exactly apples to apples, but the anime industry is a good example to use here. Over the past 30 years, anime has grown from a relatively niche artform and subculture into a world-wide, mass-produced phenomenon. And a large part of this has to do with the fact that many anime producers recognized that there was a global market for anime, and adjusted their aims to please that global market. As a result, the overall creativity, quality, and staying-power of anime has declined tremendously in an effort to please that global market. No longer do you have the mindblowing narritives of old, but you get the same shit with the same tropes every season now. I mean, you even have fucking NETFLIX producing its own original anime now. Could you imagine if VK got to a point where your local major label was producing its own VK bands? VK bands specifically tailored to cater to western ideals? VK bands created to be completely “Safe” and “inoffensive” to western fans?

I’m being ridiculous here, but I think i’ve illustrated my point. :joy:

Mind you, I’m not condoning any VK band being outright hateful or racist or any of that shit…I’m simply saying that before pulling out the SJW-pitchforks and going on a witchunt for every offense, perhaps it’s better to really contemplate and consider first…there may exist some silver linings outside of whatever perspective you’re coming from. :wink:

But aye, this is just an opinion and i’m just trynda talk to yall. There’s an infinite amount of shit that i’ve not taken into account or considered, so please feel to enlighten me. :sweat_smile: :v:t6:

Or you can post your own “hot take”. Let’s get to it!

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Unsraw were one of if not the most overrated groups of mid 2000s VK. They were decent but they got the saviour’s of VK treatment and were put on a pedestal.

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I don’t get why Japanese has-beens feel like they are doing something appropriating bullshit gender fads to move their shit washed out music, but reading a book on the history of black exploitation is somehow too much work for them?

I lost so much respect for merry considering that creatively, as a music quartet, they’re way past their prime, and I kinda miss the point of them releasing anything at this point.

there will be black people visiting their local HMV and seeing Nero & co greeting them from the flyers and other promo as another reminder of the state of the racial acceptance in the East.

are you referring to glam rock per chance? it came and went and gave us VK.

the current homophobic music industry landscape has no place for anything focused around (((CISGENDER))) androgyny.

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my opinion is that some fans (including people in this forum) never left their edgy phase

please

don’t make your entire personality based off of shit like that :joy:

on the personal, my personal views never influence my tastes in music. certainly i do listen to bands that have done weird stuff that would sit as “wrong”. doesn’t mean i’ll hate them though, but i can certainly say “i didn’t like that” and move on.

also, this merry thing

isn’t it being dragged out too much now? :sweat_smile:

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Let me add some unpopular opinions

  • You do not need to know a whole bands discography to call yourself a fan of them.

  • Can older fans have a bit more patient, compassion with newer Fans using the wrong words? Instead of straight of making fun of them or bashing them for using the “wrong” words?
    Dude it took me 14 years to figure out that wasnt called para para but furitsuke. But nah new fans nowadays gotta get everything right, before they are allowed to say a word about the bands they like.
    (Havent seen it here by the way, but i have seen it on twitter a lot.)

I am tired of the witchhunts yeah, i do think its good to make them aware if they do something wrong, because otherwise they will get away with any sh*t one day.
But yeah the useless and brainless “lets report their social media” is just exhausting.

It seems to get normal that stuff like that gets dragged forever.
It took weeks or longer for the whole stuff with Ai to finally quiet down. (Maybee that was also thanks to the backpackers on twitter constantly having to answer to any hater)

Now something JPop related
LDH fans have to stop complaining that LDH doesnt take proper care of their artists, just because they dont shut down every little hater on the internet.
Most LDH artists have frequent check ups with psychologist to take care of their mental health, thats more than most other labels do.

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Part of the problem is that many people are functioning on two incorrect assumptions

1: that the bands are concerned with their image internationally and their international fans, but they are not.

2: that countries outside the Euro/Anglosphere fully understand any material they are borrowing or being inspired by, because they don’t

There are exceptions, of course, but they are EXCEPTIONS. I have been living in South Korea for almost 5 years now, and this is what I have observed in the culture here, and believe that Japan is extremely similar.

Being so far removed from Western issues like racism towards black people, people in Korea and Japan are AWARE of it, sure, but do they know much about it, or do they care do learn about it? Nahhhhh.

This is where you’re giving them too much credit. I am 99.999999999% sure that Merry did NOT do this as a form of social commentary. It was probably something like “hey I saw this weird picture of a black person” and someone decided to go with it for……reasons??? I mean, even in a vacuum, it looks stupid as shit just aesthetically. There is no ~subversion~ or ~risk-taking~ here, because this is legit something that Japanese people just won’t know about.

Now, they 10000% have the ability to learn about this and why people aren’t cool with it and why it’s maybe/probably not a great idea, but THAT IDEA WILL NOT OCCUR IN THEIR HEADS. Black issues are just not a big enough issue for the general Japanese public to care about, unfortunately, and that’s just the truth.

This is something you don’t realize until you live in a country with a vaaastly different culture to yours. It’s very, very easy to say in your head that THEY SHOULD CARE, but that just isn’t how it works. Until black issues become a BIG deal in Japan (which I don’t see happening anytime soon, unfortunately) shit like this will continue.

TL;DR
was this a product of ignorance? yes
can we fault them for that ignorance? not really
should we call them out for the racism anyway? YES
will they care or change in the future?…….no

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Opinion: cheki are the saddest, most pathetically obvious cash grab in an industry that i can imagine,

Opinion: seeing vkei fans commenting on twitter is….hard to watch, seeing just how dependent some of them are on these parasocial relationships they form with the noodles. it’s one thing to comment sometimes, but the girls who comment and retweet EVERYTHING……

These kinds of fandoms that encourage the formation of parasocial relationships are really fuckin toxic, tbh, and it makes me kinda sad that it seems to be the bread and butter of vkei :pensive:

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the visual kei fandom in japan is a lot nicer and accepting of foreigner interest than what i’ve read for years online. i can see that it may depend on how well you conform to the rules and etiquette but i was, and still am, pleasantly surprised.

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  • J-pop idol groups are vapid and unstimulating. They’ve been musically stagnant for the past 10+ years with unison choruses, bland harmonies, and corny-ass music videos. Their supposed “saving grace” is their representation of growth and focus on relatability, but that doesn’t translate to good music.

  • I absolutely loathe the anthemic “WOOO-AAAA-OOOOH” in any track, and it totally comes off as filler in any song. (I only include this because it’s had increased presence in Jrock, especially with more westernized bands.)

  • Hosts fare well in a Visual Kei landscape, but when bands come back around and include themes based on hosts/nightlife it’s hard for me to enjoy the concept as much. I may like the song in every other musical regard, but I just find the commercialization of interpersonal relationships really fucking weird. Trust me, get why it exists in Japan, but it’s so far removed from my life experience. Also most hosts are the corniest looking motherfuckers- I digress.

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Not sure if this is an unpopular opinion but I absolutely despise the influence that modern metal / “djent” styles have had on visual kei in the past years and I cannot wait for it to be over. Especially the trope of soulless-sounding over-polished mechanical guitars that stop and start like they were synth hits, random high-pitched guitar noodling instead of an actual melody, and that godawful generic modern metal/core-like rhythm pattern with the one-note guitar “riffs” (so basically this).

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I feel mildly attacked by this lmao

Only hot takes I can think of at the moment are fairly mild: I really hate the “stan” term being used in regards to VK and wish it would go away. I know it won’t tho, so I just grumble to myself every time I see it

And honestly most of the current bands I’ve tried are just really boring

Maybe I’ll think of better hot takes later… :sweat_smile:

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As someone who religiously listened to djent in my late-teens ~ early-20’s, I think djent at its core ran its course a few years ago.

In the greater J-music sphere, I find that when it comes to western musical concepts in origin, Japan has a delayed “sliding window” that has some overlap, but 70% tails everything the West does. It’s like Japanese bands 3~4 years ago just discovered Periphery from 10 years ago for the first time, or rather still found their type of sound trendy enough for a Japanese audience (?)

I’m curious how “stan” made its way to visual kei, considering it’s more of a term from the west that currently has more use ̶i̶n̶ ̶K̶-̶p̶o̶p̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶e̶l̶s̶e̶ in the pop/rap/urban and kpop spaces. (@nekkichi with the correction)

Just to add to that, (another take) being a stan should not have to be pre-requisite to liking any band in general, like at ALL. This opinion has to do more with western K-pop twitter, which while most are teen girls naturally fumbling through life & hormones on a public-facing micro-blog/forum, there are grown-ass adults still actin’ the fool. Still, for any idol, idol-group, band, or any musical entity, being obsessive is NOT a good thing, I repeat NOT A GOOD THING.

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stan twitter recycles their language.

in any pop/rap/urban fanbase.

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Haha, this is so true about the “windows”!

In itself I don’t have a problem with this type of music but for some reason I just can’t stand to see it in visual kei… I guess because when I think of vk I’m thinking of a very specific set of styles and influences, and these more recent/modern metal tropes feel like they dilute the atmosphere to that of any run-of-the-mill whatevercore-metal. Oh god now I sound like those ppl in the mid-'00s who said DEG became too Westernized, I’ll stop now. :sweat_smile:

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QEDDESHET is the best thing that happened to 2010’s visual kei

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I can get behind this one. They’re an acquired taste, but the scene needed someone willing to embrace death grind.

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another opinion: the onnagata role needs to come back
every band is just guys in colored hair and piercings these days

give onnagata, give bands with a theme!!!

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In general, Japanese music is in an extremely stale state at the moment, and I’ll make an explicit exception for soundtrack composers, especially J-VGM.
K-pop, K-Hip Hop and K-rap are way more interesting be it in looks, experimentation and sound. I haven’t tried many K-rock bands so I can’t comment. People shit on K-pop but at least it isn’t stale garbage. This goes beyond BTS who have nothing to offer but dance skills imo, and if you explore beyond idol groups there are so many solo artists worth a try.

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My hot take is more about the fanbase than the music itself.
Even if some VK band would just bang pots and pans againts each other some people would still call it good. There are far too many people that are willing to give pass to mediocrity in this fandom.
If all the band has to offer are the looks I’m not really sorry that it ends up disbanding in a year or two.

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