“We’ll exert ourselves with the Labor Party!” sound so much more appealing when it’s being sung by young women in high heels and followed by a guitar solo.
Oh the internet. With the sum of all human knowledge available at our fingertips, and people all over the world connected together instantaneously, we have truly produced some incredible creations like… pictures of funny animals, cute girls, and lots and lots of trolling.
And nowhere is our refined internet taste more evident than the latest internet craze in Japan: a girl kind of just doing whatever in front of a camera. In just four days she’s amassed a following of over 100,000 viewers on video and streaming site Niconico, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down from there.
What makes her videos so popular? I think we might have an idea… or two.
Have you heard of Cristina Scuccia? She’s a 26-year-old Italian nun with a gift for singing, famous for winning The Voice of Italy in 2014, then going on to release an album including a music video to her own rendition of “Like a Virgin.”
Recently, she came to Japan to give a performance, and we were lucky enough to visit for ourselves. We have pictures and the full video of not just the sister singing in her divine voice, but also her giving a “mini confessional” by listening to problems from the audience and giving life advice.
Hugely popular idol group AKB48 was founded on the premise of “idols you can meet” and over the years they’ve stuck to it, hosting numerous handshake and meet-and-greet events on top of their live shows and performances at their own special theatre. Sadly, that open, accommodating fan policy was jeopardised last year when two members of the group were viciously attacked at a handshake event by a crazed “fan” wielding a hand saw.
Luckily, the girls weren’t too seriously injured, but the incident shook the entertainment industry and led to increased security measures being implemented at celebrity events, and it was reported yesterday that the individual responsible for the attack has been sentenced to six years in prison.
When the subject of artificial intelligence comes up, people tend to default to “Skynet is going to murder us all!” mode faster than you can say “overreaction.” While we can understand their concern–even Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk seem pretty intimated by the concept of a sentient Arnold Schwarzenegger–this little story goes a long way to showing just how far we are from computers being able to identify and terminate any random person they feel like…
A Japanese Twitter user recently noticed that Google was accidentally identifying a legendary Japanese entrepreneur and beauty researcher as a certain member of America’s pop royalty. Can you guess who?
Japanese audiences love to hear their favourite foreign tunes in their own language, as evidenced by the huge popularity of the Japanese version of Let It Go. But it’s not only Disney songs that are getting Japan-ized. One up-and-c0ming singer has been gaining popularity on YouTube thanks to her self-penned interpretations of English pop hits from the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and more.
J-pop usually brings to mind images of teenage girls dancing in unison while singing songs about…something resembling love. It’s about as saccharine as you can get without actually pouring a sachet of sugar directly into your ear. But there’s an exception to every rule, and we today we have for you some of the most fascinating pop music–and videos–you’ll likely ever see.
Even if you’re not a J-pop fan, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Sputniko!, the artist name of Hiromi Ozaki, and her delightful take on popular music. One of the recipients of Vogue Japan’s 2013 Women of the Year award, this mathematician-turned-artist is not at all what you would call an idol–in fact she’s almost an anti-idol! Her music, voice, and videos, though, are just as enjoyable as anything you’ll find on the radio and far, far more thoughtful. Oh, and did we mention that she’s a professor at MIT?