Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are You A Sakura Gakuin Fan?

So, are you a fan of the Japanese idol group Sakura Gakuin, or just another fan of one member of the group only or perhaps one of the subunits?  Many people on the Internet are fans of one girl in the group or a certain subunit, but I seriously doubt many are fans of the whole group and all of its subunits.  I have read many comments on the Internet, most of them not friendly, that say how much they love a part of Sakura Gakuin, but not the whole group.  As someone who loves all the members of the group and all of the subunits, this disturbs me.

It’s very normal for anyone who discovers a music group that performs music they enjoy listening to to have a favorite member.  It’s normal to have a favorite song, too.  But dismissing all the members and songs they don’t like seems a bit counterproductive.  Not every song is going to please you, but why are you dismissing the other members who aren’t your favorites?  Did they really do something so horrible that you can’t find even one kind word for them?  Or is it that you just aren’t a very nice person and have no sympathy for anyone other than your absolute favorites? If you really aren’t nice then I suppose nothing I say will get you to change and you will continue your pointless hatred for the foreseeable future.

In the case of the Japanese pop music idol group Sakura Gakuin, there seems to be a division among fans of not only who is the best singer in the group, but which subunit is the best.  These subunits are a few of the members who are in a “school club” (as Sakura Gakuin is a school-themed group) that sing songs with lyrics revolving around their subunit’s theme.  Some of these subunits even release singles and make music videos.  For reasons that I can only guess are commercial, the most popular Sakura Gakuin subunit is BABYMETAL.  BABYMETAL sing a combination of pop and heavy metal, and often incorporate other styles of music as well. BABYMETAL do release singles and make music videos, although they are not the only Sakura Gakuin subunit to do so.  Twinklestars were the first Sakura Gakuin subunit to do this, and Kagaku Kyuumei Kikou LOGICA? have also released a single complete with two music videos.

BABYMETAL’s popularity seems to stem from the fact that their sound is different for Japanese idol groups and that the girls in the group are young.  Older female teens and women singing aggressive music is not new, but younger girls seem to stick with softer forms of pop and rock music.  BABYMETAL also incorporate various dance music sounds (trance, hip-hop and dubstep) in their songs which are very commercial and appeal to young audiences.  This could explain why their music is so popular, especially with young fans of pop music.  BABYMETAL are somewhat of a heavy metal group, although their metal sound is closer to modern nu-metal rather than the more classic heavy metal sounds originated in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Nu-metal is most popular with younger heavy metal fans (I’d say those who are under the age of 30), which again makes BABYMETAL a group mostly for young people only.

Obviously Japanese pop music idol groups are mostly for young people to begin with, not adults. However, due to the fact that adults find many Japanese girls to be attractive explains why idols have fans that are really too old to be listening to their music.  But no matter what your age is, there is one thing about supporting this type of music that needs to said.  The reason to support Japanese idols should be about liking the music and respecting the talents of the singers, and not how pretty the girls are to you.

Here is one thing about the fans of BABYMETAL that really bothers me.  Many of them, as I have already stated, like to post unfriendly comments on forums, Facebook and YouTube that basically belittle Sakura Gakuin, the members of Sakura Gakuin not in BABYMETAL and the other Sakura Gakuin subunits.  Even the fans of Sakura Gakuin, the non-BABYMETAL members and other subunits are constantly belittled by BABYMETAL fans!  This seems absurd and totally counterproductive.  Why waste time writing nasty comments about something you apparently don’t like when you could be writing nice things about what you do like?  I guess what these fans of BABYMETAL don’t realize (or don’t care about) is that the three girls in this subunit, Nakamoto Suzuka, Mizuno Yui and Kikuchi Moa, are also in Sakura Gakuin.  Yui and Moa are also members of the subunits Twinklestars and Minipati.  Suzuka was once a member of the junior idol group Karen Girl’s with Sakura Gakuin’s original leader Muto Ayami.  If you really have the respect for the girls in BABYMETAL, then you should respect the main group - Sakura Gakuin - and the other subunits and groups they are or were involved in.  If you really don’t like or respect these other groups and subunits, then you are clearly not a fan of the girls in BABYMETAL.  If Suzuka, Yui or Moa knew about all the nasty comments overseas fans have posted belittling Sakura Gakuin, the other members of Sakura Gakuin and the subunits of this wonderful idol group, they would be ashamed of you!  You are belittling them and their friends by doing this.  Why would you say you love BABYMETAL and then talk trash about Sakura Gakuin or a subunit that isn’t one of your favorites?  Suzuka, Yui and Moa would not want you as a fan if you are doing this.