Just when you think Yasushi Akimoto and his minions cannot go any further… they do.
AKB48‘s latest sell-out, a TV commercial for Puccho, sees them dancing to the sounds of their own “music” as they eat the product being advertised. But, this being AKB, nothing is simple and everything is queasy.
The heads of the young girls are pasted in the Most Obvious Photoshopping of the Year Award-winning style onto the bodies of dancing children. Yes, children. This time there is no mistake.
We simply cannot fathom what ad agency chicanery came up with the concept that the juvenile-like AKB should made to appear even younger (how is this making the product look good?!), creating either a sort of Robocop-lookalike bizarre mutant image — or, depending on your taste, every pedophile or Lolicon fan’s fantasy.
AKB are of course famously not a real band but a massive commercial machine designed by Akimoto to make money from otaku or otaku-leaning consumers through relentless spin-offs (propaganda films, sick TV commercials), mountains of merchandise and much-hyped events (hand-shaking, the “elections”). But when will they just go too far and land up in jail?
The reaction among even otaku on Twitter and elsewhere has been horror at the new lows. What can they possibly give us next?
It seems that it’s not just us guys who find Japanese schoolgirls too hot to handle.
Police have arrested a 25-year-old female teacher at a school in Kunitachi, a suburb in west Tokyo. She was found to have nude videos of 11-year-old girls in her class and has been charged with possession of illegal pornography. Not sure what sentence she might get but we reckon it’s safe to say her teaching career is over.
It was in June this year that the young woman, Kaori Yamakawa, apparently made the videos as her own personal, bizarre skin flick. It features female sixth-grade students using a communal hotel bath while on a school trip to Nikko, a big tourist site in Tochigi Prefecture.
This might sound like a big fantasy to many people. But then the teacher got greedy. She apparently was seen taking photos of young girls in the changing room at a swimming pool in Tokyo. This led to a tip-off to police, who searched her apartment and found the videos and photos.
Yamakawa defended herself by saying she just likes to look at and touch pubescent beautiful breasts. 11 years old?! How much a chest could these girls have had? Perhaps someone should have told her about Gravure idols!
Japanese netizens, however, are showing sympathy for Ms. Yamakawa (“we should be lenient to her!”), no doubt because, given her the chance, they would have done the same and find the idea of a young lesbian school teacher rather enchanting, to say the least!
As you know, we are about as liberal as you can get on Tokyo Kinky. And we also think that even just a cursory glance at history and past civilisations shows that concepts of sexuality are not universal but are contextual.
We don’t think you can define what is right or wrong — or normal or abnormal — by simple black-and-white lines.
And so we’ve had a fairly relaxed and non-pensive view on the lolicon (“Lolita Complex”) evident in Japanese society, from its more innocent forms — teenagers like Ai Hashimoto or Aira Mihana posing for bikini shots — to the deliberate “coy virgin seductress” look of AKB and all their ubiquitous spin-offs.
Check out some of Aira Mihana’s DVDs, which even on the cover make no secret that she is just 14 or 15 at the time.
We never judge it but sometimes we do have trouble understanding the appeal. We ask ourselves: What’s all the fuss when there are far sexier girls a little older?
These questions are passing through our minds as we browse the website of Oimoya, an idol shop in Akihabara which specializes in “junior idols”, teenagers (and we mean, really young teenagers) who are models.
The store is one of many bricks and mortars outlets, not to mention digital ones, that sell merchandise related to “child idols” (chidol), in the form of thousands of DVDs and photo books. They also organize events like meet-and-greet sessions
We’re not sure what label to put on some of this — pedophilia, hebephilia, or ephebophilia — and besides, such name-calling is rather academic. Japan is an ambiguous place and always will be.
One thing’s for sure; it’s not our personal preference! And if it never goes beyond these DVDs and photo shoots, does it need to be a problem? Our jury’s well and truly out!
One of Japan’s most popular “entertainers” these days is Mana Ashida, a child actress aged just seven years old.
In her latest TV advertising campaign, some innovative ad guys came up with the idea of having Mana dance in a sexy move reminiscent of Korean girl band KARA.
So we get to see Mana-chan gyrate her “thighs” while wearing a short skirt. K-pop group KARA alone have caused a sensation here and in their native Korea for their too-sexy dance moves. So apparently getting a young infant to imitate their groove was a good idea…
We guess the gimmick is the fun of marrying one popular icon with another booming trend. But boy, did you guys screw this up! This is about as low as it can get — overtly sexualizing a seven-year old just to sell some beauty products!
Presented by Tokyo Kinky