It has been 200+ days since the formation of JO1 back on December 19, 2019. And then, unexpectedly, a global enemy that we all know as COVID-19 has struck China and eventually the rest of the world, so much that we all have to change so much of our lifestyles to keep COVID-19 from spreading. This, of course, includes Japan. Because the virus did hit Japan early this year, the country had to take precautions on containing the virus, which means all public-related activities had to be postponed until further notice to quarantining visitors and those who may show symptoms that they may be carrying the virus. Because things eased up a bit in Japan, though there’s no guarantee that they’re completely safe from the virus, social distancing must be continued to take place. I currently live in a country that’s getting worse and worse by the minute because of the general public’s carelessness in keeping the virus contained and I understand what was needed to be done so that the world may be safe again.
My thoughts about this lack of content coming from JO1/Lapone may be unpopular opinion to most people, considering I have been a JPop fan for 20+ years now, and I’m already used to not being able to see new content daily for several reasons. Let’s take an example of my main group at the moment, MADKID. It has been way too long that they haven’t released any content as a group since the twice-postponed release of their new single this year, Lai-Lai-Lai. Because they’re from the underground, 1 they heavily rely on CD sales, hi-touch events, and weekly live house lives in order to earn their pay and keep going. Along with the social distancing, there isn’t much MADKID could do to release any new content. They’ve already released all the new singles on streaming services. They even released dance practices of all three songs, as well as choreo commentary by the members, reactions of these videos from the members, even lyrics commentary. Now, if they have kept their monthly LINE LIVE show MAD MUSIC like back in 2018 till near the end of 2019, the fans can get engaged. Even then, they can’t get together because of social distancing. I don’t know why they didn’t even think of doing Zoom livestream sessions, but that’s another issue.
So, rather than ranting like the rest of the JAM community on Twitter, I’ll just share a few tips and thoughts.
I hate to admit this, but in the JAM Community on Twitter, at least on my timeline, there’s way too many (I-)Jams who are extremely impatient, so impatient that in about a few seconds, some of them may even drop out of the JAM fandom. Well, I hate to say this, but as I’ve mentioned before, J-Pop agencies don’t work the same way as K-Pop agencies, so if your origins come from K-Pop fandom, don’t expect J-Pop agencies to work the same way.
This whole thing started with the latest virtual online GirlsAward event that not only wasn’t just paid content, 2 but region-locked. 3 And in the aftermath, there weren’t any single mentions, like behind-the-scenes videos or anything similar. Other media outlets did post photos of them at the event. Anyway, moving on.
For one thing, we don’t really know what’s going on behind-the-scenes, and I also feel it’s unfair that these fans demand Lapone to report everything to them, so in a way, we shouldn’t let our impatience get to us and rant their anger towards the agency. I’m not saying you don’t have the right to be angry, but as reality goes, we can’t always have what we want and the other side can’t always fulfill promises they can’t keep. They are not a perfect agency and we’re not perfect fans either, but again, can we all just practice patience and subside our frustrations outside SNS? 4
II. English subtitle approvals
It makes me wonder if they don’t have enough staffing to monitor and manage all the YouTube content or something in the line to get the subtitles uploaded so that non-Japanese-speaking fans can finally understand the content and also pull new international fans into the community. But this is one complaint that I have, like most of the i-fans. My Japanese is decent enough for me to understand what’s going on, but it’s not the same case with other i-fans who know little to no Japanese at all.
I’m grateful that there are translators all around the world who submit subtitles and those who comment with the translations, but not approving subtitles to their videos is a major hindrance. This is something Lapone needs to improve on, or maybe have third-party contractors 5 do the checking and approving the subtitles at least on a daily basis until they’re all caught up.
III. Everything else
I don’t see any problems with the rest. I feel that we got enough content during this period. More than enough, if I say so myself. Not all artists and groups have non-stage/music-related videos as frequent as JO1’s, so we should at least be grateful with what we have. Maybe if there’s a bit more non-restricted content, 6 that would help as well.
Other than the lack of English subtitles, I think that JO1/Lapone is doing well in terms of content and keeping us motivated.
June is nearing its end in just a few days and July is starting. The boys will be extremely busy preparing for their second single STARGAZER, so all these “recreational” content that we’ve been getting may slow down at this period, and this is the time for us to practice patience until August.
I still think those English subtitles need to be approved ASAP.
- even if they’re now considered a mainstream J-Pop boy group for the last two years now…
- I understand why it’s paid content, fashion shows such as GirlsAward and TGC (Tokyo Girls Collection) are never free.
- This is GirlsAward’s restrictions, not JO1’s/Lapone’s or even Abema TV.
- Like some people tweeting, you can send your inquiries via the FC… leave the Lapone official website alone.
- Come on Yoshimoto, use your influence and resources!!
- As in not always restrict a lot of content behind the FC walls or the PM walls…