By now, I’m pretty sure you’ve been wondering what MADKID has been up to. Maybe a few of you have been wondering what I have been up to and why I haven’t been really talking about MADKID as much as I used to in these past few months and talk about something else. 1 Talking about other groups and artists and anything else that’s not quite related to your fan Twitter account is common though. There’s nothing wrong with getting into and talking about other groups besides MADKID. Even my most dedicated Axcel friends out of all the current Axcels talk about different groups. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that even myself is leaning towards that route as all the other fans around the world on SNS too. 2
In relation to this blog post’s title, we are nearing the end of the 2010 decade. In just a few weeks from this writing, we will be entering a brand-new decade of 2020. Things change rapidly in every decade and that’s just how the flow of life works. We see something new or even decide to bring something buried from the past and re-introducing it to the new decade in this decades-long evolving pop culture. Since I don’t have anything else to talk about regarding MADKID besides my latest post and the posts before that, I’ll just talk about a few of my thoughts about J-Pop in general and that one other fandom that I was closely following since mid-late September, right after I met and experienced MADKID back at the Crunchyroll Expo 2019.
The Revival of Talent Audition & Survival Shows in J-Pop
K-Pop today is also known for their series of idol survival shows such as PRODUCE 101, Unpretty Rap Star, Idol School, so on and so forth. Most K-Pop fans today would probably think that Korea has started these on-air idol training/recruitment variety shows in which the audience get to see the development of one average person into an idol pop star, but once again, as a long-time J-Pop fan, I have to rebuke that. Once upon a time in the early days of late 20th-early 21st Century J-Pop, there were a few named idol survival shows that existed. One such famous J-Pop idol survival show was ASAYAN, which was aired back in 1995 and ended its run in 2002. I didn’t get into J-Pop until I was in university and Korean classmates from my Japanese language class introduced me to J-Pop back in around 1996 with girl groups such as SPEED, Super Monkeys, and MAX. And then I got into boy groups from DA PUMP to Johnny’s idol boy groups. The rest is history. In the 1997 season of ASAYAN, now-famed J-Pop girl group Morning Musume was formed from that season.
Fast-forward till 2019 when MNet 3 sold the PD101 rights to Yoshimoto Kogyo, 4 one of Japan’s oldest entertainment conglomerates and group of talent agencies, known for managing comedians, comedy duos, and top-named actors and actresses, to produce the Japan version of the Korean popular idol survival show as their way of investing into J-Pop. China already has their versions of PD 101 5 and now Japan creates their own take of the Korean survival show with a simple title: PRODUCE 101 JAPAN.
After 3 months of this show, the final group has been formed under the name JO1. Their official debut is slated this coming spring 2020. Now, I want to explain how or why I started following this series besides killing the “hiatus” period with MADKID not announcing anything new at that time. It wasn’t because I’m a fan of PD101 or anything. My curiosity peaked months before that when I caught some MADKID members chatting with some WhiteA members and a few of their other friends in the indie/underground circle 6 about some of their friends auditioning as trainees for PDJP. There was probably more, but they did drop a few names that I decided to be curious and follow them during the show (if they make it in the show then): Honda Kosuke, 7 Shiroiwa Ruki, 8 Uehara Jun, 9 Urano Shuta, 10 Sano Fumiya, 11 and Kawashiri Ren. 12 In the end, among those six friends, only Ruki and Ren made it in to JO1. 13
After PDJP, there is another talent audition survival show called YoruYoung. I created a separate Twitter account for JO1 and explained about YoruYoung. Next year, there is another one called G-Egg, which is a joint survival show between Japanese and Korean idols/artists forming one boy group. There’s not much info on how the format and concept will go just yet, but the trainees were already revealed. Lastly, I even read that Korean/K-Pop agency giant JYP is expanding their operations to Japan and will also be having a survival show of some sort to form their very first J-Pop group under their management. We still don’t have much info about this one.
And so, this is what we’ll be expecting in the new decade of J-Pop – idol/talent survival shows has returned to the J-Pop scene.
If an Axcel becomes a multifan with another group who happens to have strong connections to that Axcel’s MADKID bias, then it’s very easy to become a multifan. At least with Ruki and Ren in JO1, they had a past with MADKID and a lot of their fellow brother groups like WhiteA and the disbanded groups like YsR, that it’s easy for many of us fans of these groups to be able to support JO1. Most of my closest Axcel friends are multifans themselves and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But on the other hand right now, both MADKID and JO1 don’t have much new content. However, this is a good chance for me and many JO1 fans (especially those who are new to J-Pop) to share our other favorite groups such as MADKID to them. Going all competitive against other fandoms of other J-Pop groups simply doesn’t exist. If you don’t like a certain group, you don’t need to show to the world how much you don’t like them. Not only that you’re disrespecting that certain group and their fans, but you’re also disrespecting your own biases and your own fellow fans as well, so please, keep all of that to yourselves and focus on supporting your favorites.
I may be also become a fan of the upcoming group that’ll come out from G-Egg as well. One of the trainees in there, one named Kudo Shohei is from another one of MADKID’s brother groups, SELLOUT. Once again, as an underground/indies J-Pop fan and following most of MADKID’s contemporaries, I’m keeping an eye on G-Egg as well.
I don’t know when I’ll write again. This may probably be the final post for AXCEL STYLE in the year 2019. Hopefully I’d be able to write again with some MADKID news when we get them, hopefully sometime in January 2020.
Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays. Happy New Year as well. See you next year!