Tag Archives: idols

How Girl Groups Make it Big in Japan

Girl groups in Japan largely exemplify the genius of Japanese marketing. In fact, becoming an idol or “tarento” (“talent”) in Japan is less about actually having talent than it is about having a “presence.” The late 1990’s saw the beginning of girl groups with a huge number of performers. People liked seeing the cutesy girls bounce around on TV shows and sing and dance in their music videos. With these mega-groups, hopefuls are now required to do competitive rehearsals in order to become a new member. The youngest in such a group (℃-ute) joined at age 11. To make it big in the East-Asian pop scene, it seems like the main thing is not just to be young and cute, though that is certainly a big part of their appeal. No, it is more about the marketing of “talented mediocrity,” wrapped in a pretty pink package.

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