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Hello from England, but are we being kept in the Ai-dark?

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Posted: Feb 13, 2008 7:26 am Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 01 Feb 2008 Posts: 3 Location: Gravesend, England
Hello everyone! Just before I start, I am new to the whole forum idea, so this first paragraph is just about me saying hello! I've had trouble with forums before where people are more competitive than friendly, but it seems really nice here, so I thought I'd try and get into the whole forum thingy! I'm English and have been an Ai-chin fan since March 2005 (1 year after love punch). My birthday is 9th September 1983 (I'm really not kidding) my bloody type is "O" (really honestly not kidding Smile ) but I am 6 foot! I am a musician and I have my debut CD coming out in Japan in October. I'm not here to self-advertise though, so I'll move on. I'm moving to Tokyo with my music company in just over a year but would very much like to know any English Ai-fans. Especially near London!

My question is simple. Despite being a fan 3 years or so, I have found very little information on her. I have struggled from reviews and things and found out quite a bit, but I often wonder if I really have found out that much. Since finding this forum a couple of days ago I've discovered more by reading your posts then 100 reviews, wikipedia and even her own rather questionnable website has given me! I am a very big fan and I would love to be more a part of the following, but I feel I'm not. When Live Earth was shown I stayed up 14 hours in front of my friend's digital TV skipping through to find Ai-chin's performance. She was one of only 4 artists (and I mean at all venues including the north pole gig) that they didn't show! I was heart-broken! YouTube saved the day, but why didn't we get Ai over here on the BBC? We did get Ayaka. So in short, where do you all find out so much? Is being in England a hold back? Am I not looking in the right places? And will moving to Tokyo next year yield much more information with exposure?

As for merchandise I am doing fine thanks to the wonders of CDjapan and EBay. If you've ever been outbid by "bizarre_collaboration", I'm so so sorry! That's me! I do it a lot! I have more money then sense and have emassed a huge collection of over 20 posters, every single album and single (I went and bought all three versions of love cook) and lots of other bits. For this reason I hope there is something I can give back. I intend to scan the rather large collection of magazines I'm amounting as well so I can give you lots of pictures as I noticed I have 6 or 7 I didn't see here. I also have some TV interviews I obtained as well, including the Utoban show were the magician has her laughing so much she starts hick-upping. I just really want to give as much as I can and be part of the fan-base Nod

Well, thank you for having me on your website and I hope to get to know you all!
pon pon
Posted: Feb 13, 2008 10:00 am Reply with quote
クムリウタ クムリウタ
Joined: 16 Jul 2006 Posts: 1011 Location: Melbourne, Australia
hi dekko, welcome to the forum! i wonder how much your music is influenced by Ai. Wink

as for how the information is obtained... it is sourced primarily from interviews, such as those at forum members with Japanese language skills then translate them and some of the details are put in the Ai Fan Fundamentals thread.

in case you haven't come across it yet, all of her Live Earth Concert performances that were made available for streaming can be downloaded here
Posted: Feb 13, 2008 5:25 pm Reply with quote
甘えんぼ 甘えんぼ
Joined: 11 Aug 2007 Posts: 69 Location: UK
hey.... another Brit Giggle
Welcome to Channel-Ai

I agree, it was a bit of a struggle trying to find info on Ai-chan when I started liking her (music). Tongue
But, when I found ThePPN Wiki (and from that this forum), I found all the info I needed to know.

I was the same with Live Earth, I watched it on BBC and BBC-I but I didn't see her performances what so ever. Mad
(It even mentioned that the BBC will show her performances on BBC2 in the TV Paper)

I say thank god for fansites and DL sites Smile
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 12:01 am Reply with quote
ネコに風船 ネコに風船
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 502
Ai has never appeared on American TV either, at least to my knowledge.
i'm pretty sure it's because she's not "marketable" in places other than japan.
the only place i'm seen Ai in a non-Japanese item is in these piano score books for popular songs in china. i guess "kingyo hanabi" is well know enough among some young people in china to be included in such a score book.
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 1:31 am Reply with quote
大好きだよ。 大好きだよ。
Joined: 20 Jul 2005 Posts: 271 Location: Vancouver, Canada
Hey Dekko,

Thanks for introducing yourself, and welcome to the best site on the Internet for English-speaking Ai Otsuka fans!

You were wondering where some of us get our info; I would have to say that my number one resource for finding out what's new in JPop music is JPOPSUKI, a BitTorrent tracker for all things JPop, with an active forum. My news reader program (NetNewsWire -- Mac only, try FeedDemon if you're on a Windows machine; both are made by NewsGator) watches the RSS feed for JPOPSUKI, and whenever something new is posted on the tracker, it appears in NetNewsWire.

There are many English-speaking fans of JPop living in Japan, and whenever a new album, DVD or photobook is released, or when JPop stars appear on TV shows, someone buys (or records) it, and it gets posted to the JPOPSUKI tracker and JPop fans around the world can download it.

A lot of us die hard Ai Otsuka fans on Channel-Ai go out of our way to buy her CDs, DVDs and photobooks through mail order (from YesAsia, CDJapan, HMV and others), but it tends to be quite expensive to buy things from Japan, and it is pretty hard to find JPop if you don't live there. So, even though most of us would prefer to support the artists by buying their CDs and such, JPOPSUKI is often the only way to get them.

New stuff is usually posted the same day it is released (or aired) in Japan, so even when we order stuff online, you can still get it faster from JPOPSUKI while you wait for your package to be delivered. A notable exception was last year's release of Ai's latest album Love Piece, which was shipped in advance of the release date so that it would arrive on the same day for those who bought it online (which was a surprise, and a treat!).
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 8:08 am Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 01 Feb 2008 Posts: 3 Location: Gravesend, England
Hi again! Thanks, this is all very useful! I know everyone here is really big fans as well, so I don't know if I have much of any use, but I do have a little bit in the way of odd publications and interviews that I will deffinately make sure to scan.... when I find a scanner.

As for her name being mentioned in the newspaper on BBC2 over Live Earth. That was the biggest shock of my life. For those who aren't english, it was the biggest TV time schedule paper in the country. Under "live earth" on that day it said, artists performing will include: Madonna, Linkin Park, etc etc and then Ai Otsuka! Very strange! We must have a fellow fan in the editing section! My heart stopped, and I thought I'd gone mad! Then the BBC just didn't bother to show it!

As for the earlier comment, my music was always better recieved in Japan. That's kind of how I found Ai-chin. So yeah, my sound is now a little influenced by her. I try not sound go too near though, because I don't really want to sound like any one else if I can help it.

I think the reason that J-Pop and Ai-chin especially are so unpopular in England is because our music scene has now become this rather stale fashion statement. There is a need to be cool all the time. Look what happened to Greenday. He's wearing eye make-up now isn't he? I hate them! But the point remains valid. It's all fashion. Ai Otsuka's innocent nature wouldn't be cool in England. I hate the fact that we have culturly turned our back's on good innocent fun. That's why we lost pop to r'n'b in the first place! That's why I'm going to Japan! Oh well, I better stopping going on.

Anyway, please keep any info coming! It's really great!
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 11:42 am Reply with quote
Planetarium Planetarium
Joined: 11 Nov 2005 Posts: 655 Location: Finrando
^Hi dekko, welcome to channel-ai Smile

funny/odd thing that they didnt air Otsuka's perfomance from BBC2, but they did air it out on Finnish Broadcasting Corporation channel YLE TV1 or was it on Yle Theme but nevermind they did air it out on here, and YLE is definitely smaller corporation compared to BBC, Yle basically is the counterpart of BBC here in Finland. But, it could be that they did not air her
perfomance out becouse of the program tablet they had scheduled on BBC that day and they cut her out becouse of the Airtime they were given, and we didnt see all the perfomers here either so necessarily it doesnt probably have anything to do with lack of tolerance in british media towards japanese popular music.

Last edited by kawai-no on Feb 14, 2008 8:24 pm; edited 4 times in total
Posted: Feb 14, 2008 5:06 pm Reply with quote
ネコに風船 ネコに風船
Joined: 10 Oct 2007 Posts: 502
dekko, it's really cool that you're a musician.
i'm an aspiring musician myself.
i'm working towards making some demo tracks that i'll be able to record and hopefully complete this summer.
my music is slightly influenced by jpop, but it really doesn't fit into any genre. my sort of hybrid Smile

would you happen to have any demo tracks available that i could listen to?
PM me if you'd like. thanks.
Posted: Feb 15, 2008 6:58 am Reply with quote
桃ノ花ビラ 桃ノ花ビラ
Joined: 01 Feb 2008 Posts: 3 Location: Gravesend, England
Okay, lots of replying!

As for the finnish broadcast, maybe I'm wrong, but when I was in finland, it did still seem more tolerent. Britain really is a runaway arogance culture. I don't mean to offend any other british people here, they're clearly not arogant as they are on this page, but I do feel concerned we are cutting ourselves off from anything new. None-the-less this website is a gold-mine for me. A real contact to like minded people and I can't tell you how much it's made my week to find you folks! You'll all just have to understand I'm only ever up-to-date with yesterday's news! Nod

Anyway, in reply to Hiro, it's really nice to have a fellow musician around too. I do understand what you say about not fitting into a genre. I currently regard myself as BRIT-J-Pop. All the funky instruments and my shamisen playing is very J-Pop, but the big arrangements and vocals are more BRIT-Pop. I have plenty of music if you would like my to e-mail you some. Just give me an e-mail account to send it to. Incase I can't find yours! I always like working with other people, even though it gives my managers and copywriter a nightmare!

Nod Nod Nod me happy Nod Nod Nod
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