Sunday, March 4, 2012

Surprise! We're Doing It Again!

Guess what? It's rant time with Nia again!

After my Nogizaka rant I thought I'd be good for the next two months but never mind! In my previous post, I sort of touched on my relationship with K-pop. I said that although I can't stand a lot of it because most of it sounds like the crappy American pop music I've been trying to hard to keep out of my life I didn't bring up the fans. Dear god, the fans. Common knowledge about K-pop fans is that they are bat-shit crazy. They are extremely devoted to the point that their love of the group is almost scary? Ever heard of the term stan?  (stalker+fan=stan) Take that and multiply it times a thousand. Anyways, not only does this portion of K-pop fans have a questionable obsession of a K-pop group, it's to the point that any criticism, be it constructive or just trolling, results in the them brutally coming upon the attacker like a pack of rapid dogs and ripping them apart in order to support that group. In reality, every fandom has that one portion that is like this but in K-pop, this group is a little more prominent. Why? I don't know and personally I don't care because I avoid most K-pop fans/videos like the plague because this is where these crazy fans tend to lurk. And so for the past year as the hallyu wave has been overtaking Japan with a varying amount of success, I've managed to ignore most of it. Sure, two groups did manage to grow on me but with everything else I've done my best to avoid it because at the end of the day J-pop and K-pop were pretty much two separate things. As long as one fandom didn't oh say, hurl  violent and disrespectful comments at one of them using the words "die" and "You're not cute" etc., etc. I could put with K-pop. It's not like I live in Japan or anything. I mean, come on, what are the chances of someone saying something that stupid and insensitive?

Oh wait, except some fans totally did.

If you've read about this in Arama, then you'll know what I'm talking about but here's the short version. K-pop girl group known as T-ara (or my nickname for them, the Autotuned Cats) appeared on a show in Japan called Sakigake! Ongaku Banzuke Eight in which three members from Berryz Koubou appeared: Chinami, Miyabi, and Momoko with her Momo attack. Momoko prances in with her usual "more kawaii than thou" schtick, nothing out of the ordinary. Is it annoying? Always, but that's not the point. The point is the reaction from the T-ara fans present at the show. As Momoko was.. well, Momoko the fans grew angry and began yelling comments at her like "You need to die!" and "You're really annoying!". As the rage grew, they even started insulting Miyabi yelling "You're not cute at all!" to her face. After the incident, she left the show with red eyes. I only found out about this today and I'm sure everyone's already given their opinions about it but I have to say something about this.

I don't think I have ever been truly, sincerely angry at these crazy K-pop fans until now. They've annoyed me but they did their own thing by ruthlessly praising their own groups, believing they can do no wrong and attacking any other fans who say differently. Kind of like the little portion of crazy wotas in J-pop idol fandoms, just not as prominent. I admit, I have come across some crazy Perfume fans I won't name but I have never, ever seen such a prevalent fandom that's such a bad representation of K-pop fans. And it's not just T-ara's fans; I've seen bat-shit crazy all over the Internet with groups like 2NE1, Super Junior, SNSD, Kara, Wonder Girls, Big Bang, and that's just naming the ones that are successful. The sad thing is if these fans were criticizing another K-pop group then I probably wouldn't care because that's normal with each K-pop fandom. But this isn't K-pop; this is Berryz Koubou, the cute little Hello! Project group. And because I actually, you know, care about this group and the feelings of the members, I can't help but get highly pissed off when part of a fandom feels inclined to act this way.

In my opinion, you can bitch about a group all you want. You can hate their songs, their attitude, their look, that one member who always gets pushed, whatever pisses you off about them. I'm okay with that. Does that mean I agree? Probably not, but as long as the criticism is constructive and non-life threatening go ahead. But this isn't just some troll comment writing on their blog that Berryz sucks and Momoko's annoying. This was personal, these were real people with real emotions that some immature, spiteful K-pop fans were insensitive enough to hurt without even considering the consequences. There's a difference between talking about someone behind their back and flat-out saying it to their face in front of everyone. Guess which one hurts more? Miyabi left the show crying. These T-ara fans may have just been trying to get their point across but you know what? This is childish. This is hurtful. This is the kind of shit that middle school kids fling at each other with the hopes that they'll leave their victim crying in the school bathroom. And the worst part? Nothing gets accomplished. I've seen this on Youtube videos, forums, everywhere and for a while I've been able to put up with it. But when you drag a group that I enjoy and respect into it, I will not stay quiet. K-pop? Wanna know why you're so poorly received by J-pop fans when you debut in Japan? My guess it's partially because of these bat-shit crazy fans. Leave the hurtful comments on the Internet, where real people can't get hurt like this. Who knows? For all we know Momoko could be sobbing in her room because someone told her to die. I hope not but this shouldn't have happened and I am very, very disappointed in the tolerance and respect level of these crazy fans. 

To the sane fans of K-pop (and any genre of music): I am so sorry you have to put up this shit and I admire you for sticking with the groups you enjoy. Ganbare.

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