Today is the 23rd, and I don’t have to tell you that the 23rd is the sale date for the most popular women’s fashion monthlies. Oh, CanCam, your 560 pages last month could hardly hold me over for thirty-one painful days!
I went over to the JJ site to check out the contents and noticed something odd about the cover. Just a white box with the logo? I had assumed this was a temporary solution to some sort of design problem, that the proper cover image would be up in no time. But I went over to the bookstore and noticed something extraordinary: Kimura Takuya from SMAP on the cover, sandwiched between two of the normal JJ models. (See the actual cover here.)
So the blank image was no mistake at all! Again we see the draconian and utterly ridiculous Johnny’s Jimusho policy towards images of its stars used on the internet. Yes, JJ can use Kimura Takuya on its cover, available in newsstands across the land, but no, JJ cannot use its own cover image on the internet to promote the issue. Otherwise, people on the internet may be able to figure out what Kimura Takuya looks like. Or they will be so mollified by a tiny 155 x 193 pixel jpg that they’ll cease buying those 3″x5″s of Kimutaku at idol shops in Harajuku. Or Johnny’s is just so controlling that they even don’t let their talents hang mirrors in the company dorm lest light reflect upon a surface and portraits be viewed without proper payment.
At a decade circulation low of 175,634 copies a month, JJ needs some sort of gimmick to get back in the game, and the Faustian bargain of Johnny’s involvement is a surefire way to move paper. Johnny’s in return gets some nice promotion for Kimura’s newest Hero film opening in September. So Kobunsha can use Kimura’s image to boost JJ sales, but not show evidence of this collaboration on the Internet, where evil dwells and the 21st century naturally eradicates anachronistic and feudalistic business practices propping up the current oligopoly. Johnny’s Jimusho has seen the future, and their genius solution is to completely avoid it.