2010: K-Idols vs. J-Idols

K-pop idols

In the last half-decade, Tokyo shopping building Shibuya 109 has slowly but steadily taken back its place as the most central site of Japanese female culture. But in its recent reincarnation, Shibuya 109 has become the primary clubhouse for delinquent provincial girls to celebrate their own culture in the middle of the capital rather than a place to for the bridge-and-tunnel set to breathe in metropolitan values. And in general, the stereotypical 109 girl has always been obsessed with extremely local culture over anything with a hint of international flavor.

So how odd is it that in late November the giant poster for gyaru style bible Popteen gracing Shibuya 109 was taken down and replaced with a Christmas-themed illuminated advertisement for the Korean pop group Girls Generation (SNSD, 少女時代). This music group’s explosive rise over the last three months has become national news in both Japan and Korea and signaled the start of a second hanryu (韓流) boom for Korean pop culture. The first hanryu, of course, involved lonely 50 year-old Japanese women fawning over the idealized Korean gentlemen in Winter Sonata and boy bands like Toho Shinki (aka TVXQ). This time, however, it’s young Japanese girls flocking to formerly consumer-unfriendly, Korean-ethnic neighborhood Shin-Okubo to buy Girls Generation CDs and posters.

While the Shibuya 109 takeover is meaningful in terms of pop cultural hierarchy, we should note that the Japan-obsessed gyaru have not suddenly abandoned their heroes Hamasaki Ayumi and Nishino Kana to bow down to Korean goddesses who look nothing like them. From what I have seen, the core Japanese fans of Girls Generation have been “normal” girls without much subcultural leaning (black hair over chapatsu), and at least in my immediate circles, the Korean group has also attracted a few post-hipster girls looking for something to replace their semi-ironic appreciation of Arashi.

The Japanese idol factory, although subdued in recent days from the music market’s staggering decline, still manages to launch dozens of new young female singers and girl groups. So why have Japanese girls suddenly gone crazy for a nine-girl Korean act? The nationality aspect of Girls Generation’s success is certainly unprecedented, but that is not where the distinction ends. The Japanese industry has always told us that consumers like barely-trained, not-too-good-looking, off-pitch idols, but it turns out Japanese consumers may have wanted something completely different the entire time.

SNSD members sing and dance with a military precision. Their latest singles — produced mostly by European producers like DEEKAY and Alex James from Blur — sound slick and modern in comparison to the stagnant and repetitive J-Pop idol sound. Unlike sexy rivals KARA or hip-hoppers with ‘tude 2NE1, the Girls Generation girls are sweet and un-threatening, yet style icons with slender legs up to here. And some of the girls, especially Yoona, can be said to be more attractive than the average female, which used to be the reason these singers were called “idols.”

So with all these rare gifts, Girls Generation have worked to tap a latent demand in young Japanese consumers, finally providing the aspirational superwomen who have long been buried under the needs of gyaru’s “just like me” icons and the otaku’s desire for helpless — and intentionally not too attractive — little girls.

In Korea, Girls Generation were originally marketed to men. This may seem unbelievable, but Korean males have evidently have fallen pray to the weird fetish of enjoying attractive, slender, and sexy women in contemporary outfits and chic haircuts.

The new dominance of idol collective AKB48 on the music market suggests that the Japanese male music consumer has been infected with a quite different disease. This giant 48-girl group, formed in 2005 but reaching peak popularity this year, is the latest brainchild of pop Svengali Akimoto Yasushi. This is the man who brought you the ’80s spectacle of mass girl group The Onyanko Club — a huge number of wholly uncharismatic young women whom he had sing unabashedly dirty lyrics for a snickering male audience. So Onyanko started the “idol collective” trend, but we didn’t hear much from the concept until Morning Musume and all its various spinoffs in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Yet Musume’s producer Tsunku’s spin on it was to take out the direct sexuality and make it infantile and creepy, theoretically to make it marketable to a young female audience. The idea of very average looking girls, however, stayed core. (Or more likely, a truly exceptional looking idol becomes a model and solo artist, and all the agency leftovers are formed into collectives to provide the management company a paycheck.)

The Morning Musume empire flamed out at some point after monopolizing the charts for a few years, but AKB48 has worked to bring the idol collective into the 21st century by targeting it almost exclusively to the otaku male. The genius marketing idea of AKB48 was to take the girls directly into the heart of Japan’s last remaining dependable consumer group — the otaku in Akihabara — and through daily shows at the theater there, make the men fall in love with them (and just maybe, then buy several dozen of the same CD single to boost sales.) AKB48 thus had to tone down the high-school sexcapade lyrics “I want to have sex before my friends do” and “we really shouldn’t be doing this before class, teacher” of Onyanko, but compared to Morning Musume, Akimoto pulled the lever marked “Eroticism” up a few notches on the mixing board when no one was looking.

The end result is that there is not very much content in the AKB48 oeuvre beyond the super-deformed sexuality. In order for the otaku to not get too confused, the songs had to stay close to the highly-synthesized and bouncy anime theme song genre. And the girls had to fit the stereotypical “little sister” mold of modern day moé. The music is a casualty of the process: the songs are a zombie rehash of J-Pop conventions without any distinguishing characteristics.

The AKB48 videos — recently freed up for wide viewing on YouTube — do not work hard to cover up the “let’s seduce 37 year-old nerds with diminutive young girls” angle. The video for “Ponytail to Shushu” has a two-minute, music-free Austin Powers inspired preamble with the girls stripping off their clothes but miraculously saved from exposure to the audience by camera-blocking props. Finally a chihuahua comes in and chases them into the shower, where they all get drenched — in slow motion. Then a song starts, and the male viewers rewind and watch the locker room scene frame by frame to see if they can’t catch a stray sliver of a breast somewhere. Oddly parts are filmed at a direct low angle (“dog’s eye view”) — a kind of anti-Kubrick vertical squashing to emphasis the girls’ stocky legs and miniature frames.

Likely by accident, the girls of AKB48 have turned out to be much better looking than those of Morning Musume. Maeda Atsuko probably was never in the running for a solo career but passable as the “cute one.” The nerd blogs, however, have been confused that AKB’s Itano Tomomi has turned into a full-scale babe. It must be plastic surgery, they exclaim, not understanding the basic biology that 19 year-old women just tend to be more attractive than 12 year-olds. This just happens to go against their entire dogma that women over the legal age “smell bad” and “become hideous monsters” after their teen years.

The Chosun Ilbo took note of the J-idols vs. K-idols battle in its September article “Why Japanese Girls Go Mad for Korean Girl Bands”. No one can resist explaining the entire thing through the widening gulf between Japanese men and women’s sexual idealization.

Girls Generation’s all-powerful management company SM Entertainment suggests, “Japanese girls who’ve had enough of Japanese girl bands that strictly appeal to men’s protective instincts seem to take bolder Korean girl groups as a role model.”

There should be no doubt that AKB48’s primary audience is Japanese otaku men (the high-earning salaryman has little time for this dilly-dallying). Yet as the group grew in popularity, they did attract a base of 12 year-old girls who look up to the group as peers. The same thing happened with Onyanko. In classic Japanese style “patriarchy marketing,” you first sell to men’s libidos and then young women will eventually figure out that they are also required to follow. Girls Generation messes up this whole process, however, by offering an alternative that appeals directly to young women — and also, scares the living daylights out of otaku. (I can imagine an otaku nightmare where those Korean Rockette legs chase them through Akihabara and kick them into submission.)

Whatever the case, we now have (at least) four parallel tracks of J-Pop, none of which intersect nor come together to form informal conglomerations of “mass market hits.” Otaku and elementary school girls have their S/mileage, AKB48s, and SKE48s; gyaru have their one-step-from-mizu-shobai “trauma-kei” Eurobeat Avex stars; backwater teen girls have their Johnny’s idols; and so-called “normal girls” in their late teens and 20s have awoken as consumers to embrace Girls Generation. Needless to say, none of these acts are “musicians,” and creating “good songs” is not really part of the business plan. Sexual longing has always played a big part in pop music, of course, but it seems now that it’s the only remaining reason why someone would shell out ¥3000 for a CD. Good at least to see the market opening up a bit to offer a diversity of options for aspiration.

W. David MARX
December 9, 2010

W. David Marx (Marxy) — Tokyo-based writer and musician — is the founder and chief editor of Néojaponisme.

79 Responses

  1. jasong Says:

    Don’t know if it’s because I haven’t read comments here (or on any blog) in a while but there’s some great material that made me laugh out loud. Particularly:

    “gyaru have their one-step-from-mizu-shobai “trauma-kei” Eurobeat Avex stars”

    and

    “It should be fairly obvious that people writing in English on livejournal are practically by definition such outliers in the fanbase of the groups being discussed that they have little to no statistical relevance.”

    Hilarious!

    Arama once looked at an article I wrote that David commissioned on J-movie actors (including Ninomiya, which was key). The degree to which it was vivisected (and in some cases eviscerated) was fascinating.

  2. Durf Says:

    @JasonG, your piece reposted on LJ in full and blasted by fans who were certain that you couldn’t possibly know what you were talking about is exactly what I thought of when I saw this latest deal. It’s fascinating to me that there are these populations of kids overseas willing to get that worked up about these Japanese corners of the global entertainment industry.

  3. Leonardo Boiko Says:

    > The only thing I’ve heard about the AKB clones is that they exist. There’s some Enka version, right?

    Is this an actual thing or just rumors?

  4. Chuckles Says:

    I’m not demanding anything – just pointing out that if Marxy is going to make like JPop is full of clones: single acts and idol collectives, then its surprising, in this essay that that possibility is not mentioned with respect to the success / prospects of an outside group – a challenger if you will. Remember, Marxy has a problem not just with specific acts or groups, but with the entire industry machine – which, again, produces clones. Its not happening, fine, but remember, this is a basic structural feature of JPop, according to Marxy – so if he is discussing Girls Generation in the entire context of the JPop machine, why doesnt he mention this? Just surprising. No demands.

    I never claimed that such drowning was actually happening, what I said was that such ability existed in the machine and Marxy insinuates that it exists, but its not discussed wrt to the success of Girl’s Generation.

  5. M-Bone Says:

    “populations of kids overseas willing to get that worked up about these Japanese corners of the global entertainment industry”

    It really is nuts. I get hit up for anime recommendations all the time and will occasionally throw in an American film only to be met with “I don’t watch those.” Or a novel, only to hear “I only read manga.”

    It isn’t just a Nintendo/Sega thing, however. Anime, manga, and J-pop all provide life fantasies – Japan is “better” and people cling to the idea of it as a utopia. The video game flames are more about how much you know (specs) or how “real” you are (my mom plays Wii, lol). Part of the attraction for young male nerds is that Japanese pop culture tends to do slutty and chaste at the same time so people get the moral high ground, the esoteric cred at being into something different, the keys to the kingdom (of Japan, 地上の楽園), AND the 12 year olds in bikinis (or man rape). Marxy and Jason’s pieces get bashed (yes, bashed, the majority of the posts over there make no point and we even have teenagers from the UK of US suggesting that Marxy is just another gaijin hater who couldn’t possibly understand Japan!) because they undermine a fantasy Japan and if Japan isn’t perfect, obviously the fan isn’t the super smart master of the global cultural now that they thought they were. You wouldn’t see that much bashing unless the original piece hits an identity nerve.

  6. Dave Says:

    @M-Bone

    The term you are looking for is Weeaboo

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Weeaboo

    :D

  7. gotchi Says:

    SNSD’s music really isn’t that great…it just ends up stuck in your head and the dance choreography becomes infectious like how the entire world was doing the Suzumiya Haruhi anime ending dance on Youtube.

    The Korean music industry is like flooded with all these Kpop idols and they market them so much more as they show up in so many Variety shows + end up MCing a bunch of entertainment shows too. it ends up showcasing so much more of the idol’s personalities and people end up liking them more due to so much of this exposure.

    I’m kinda glad to see these Kpop groups enter the Japanese music industry– cuz I think Jpop needs to consider some changes and innovation and Kpop might just be the thing to jump start some new ideas. I am looking forward to 2NE1’s debut not only in Japan but in America as well.

  8. M-Bone Says:

    Dave, let me hate in detail!

  9. Today In Music News: Mon Dec 13 | Says:

    […] products are down 5% quarter-to-quarter from 2009. There are still viable mass-market stars of the girl-pop, “pretty boys,” and nerd-exploitation-pop varieties, but fewer and fewer of them can actually attain any meaningful level of popularity. And the […]

  10. jasong Says:

    @Durf Despite the ‘net rage about who I left off the list and a general dislike of my “tone” I don’t recall anybody demanding the removal of names, at least.

    Often, readers who grew up post-internet go off if you dare “analyze” the contents/personalities that they’ve devoted every waking hour to. That’s not only true of J-contents but they seem to inspire unmatched levels of mania. I assume some of them channel that passion into coming over here and learning the language (and hopefully calming down) — good for them.

  11. Roy Berman Says:

    “the dance choreography becomes infectious like how the entire world was doing the Suzumiya Haruhi anime ending dance on Youtube.”

    At the Kyoto University campus festival a couple of weekend back, I saw on the main stage a group of ~40 cosplay dancers doing choreographed anime dances – including haruhi, which I found a clip of online.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2fjnb3zvZw&feature=player_detailpage#t=128s

  12. Roy Berman Says:

    Sorry, here’s a video of actually watchable quality. Maybe David or someone could just replace the above URL and erase this comment if they get a chance.

  13. Roy Berman Says:

    Errrr – copy/paste fail.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rja3VBXdVQQ&feature=related

  14. Leonardo Boiko Says:

    Weeaboo? Wow, that term is SO 2008, by now it’s almost retro.

  15. lol Says:

    @ M-Bone

    “Marxy and Jason’s pieces get bashed (yes, bashed, the majority of the posts over there make no point and we even have teenagers from the UK of US suggesting that Marxy is just another gaijin hater who couldn’t possibly understand Japan!) because they undermine a fantasy Japan and if Japan isn’t perfect, obviously the fan isn’t the super smart master of the global cultural now that they thought they were. You wouldn’t see that much bashing unless the original piece hits an identity nerve.”

    I’m Japanese, actually, and I was the one who wrote the longest reply. I wrote it because it was factually inconsistent and built on shoddy logic. You can make it about otakus getting mad if you want, but i’ve personally never watched anime in my life, nor do I worship pop music, but the points were asinine, and the condescending tone…hilarious.

    So…try again.

    Anyway, the foreign viewpoint on Japan and the need to express it is interesting. I find that the same thing happens in Korea as well. Many foreigners who live in Korea feel that it’s mandatory to start up a blog and critique Korean daily life from the Western culture mindset, as if they are doing something groundbreaking. It’s humorous to me because all they generally do is whine and complain about Japan/Korea, but at the same time, they are forced to endure it, because many of them are English teachers or something of the sort, and they are English teachers because the standards there are low and they have little job prospects in the USA. Hence, they dwell on misery and start blogs because they have little social lives outside of interacting with other miserable English teachers and then they write things like “Well I have no social life because Asians are racist” or something to that effect. It’s an interesting phenomenon to me. I get a lot of negative feedback about those individuals from “outside” foreigners, as in those who have no interest in Asia, but I ask them what they think about those who go overseas and it doesn’t seem to be positive.

    On a somewhat related note, it’s odd to see foreigners on this blog calling other foreigners, whether it be on LJ or otakus, delusional losers.

    As I am situated overseas in America, I don’t think you guys (writers/commenters here) would be grouped all that differently in western society from those you label delusional losers (otakus?). I have a feeling most of you know this (if you in fact aren’t in otaku denial), and thus are trying to create space between those simply situated or interested in Japan and otakus (negative connotations). That seems to fit with the theme here as well, considering the general disdain in the comments and writing for those who are deemed delusional and optimistic about Japan. Seems that one could also say a large part of the disdain from foreigners comes from insecurity and fear of being associated with those they deem losers, and Japan/Korea/Any Country In Asia, seems to be caught in the crossfire of their mini-pride/disassociation war.

    Interesting views, nevertheless. Misguided, in my opinion, but it contributes to what I had already been observing.

  16. M-Bone Says:

    “and I was the one who wrote the longest reply”

    You also, as far as I can see, ignored the article that Marxy linked about the Girl’s Generation fan demographics.

    “So…try again.”

    Sure, and what about the other 200 posts over there dismissing Marxy’s article in enraged one-liners because he is so BIAS?

    The majority of the posters over there are not “optimistic” about Japan, they are aggressive about defending their fandom. Big difference.

  17. Roy Berman Says:

    “On a somewhat related note, it’s odd to see foreigners on this blog calling other foreigners, whether it be on LJ or otakus, delusional losers.”

    I don’t know if anyone said they were losers. I may have implied a bit of delusion when I suggested that their anecdotal observations of non-Japanese fans of Jpop are of little value in interpreting the marketplace in Japan. That is all. The same argument could very well apply to the individuals commenting here, but some people (like David) are trying to do analysis based on published evidence rather than mere personal observation.

    As for the rest of your rant, I think if you had been reading Marxy or many of the writers here you would realize it applies to a rather different demographic. There’s a big difference between “Bashing daily life” and doing an evidence based analysis of an industry.

  18. lol Says:

    “You also, as far as I can see, ignored the article that Marxy linked about the Girl’s Generation fan demographics.”

    No, I didn’t miss it, but it’s not like any of the “evidence” was a study, nor do any of my points revolve around what their demographics are made out of.

    Again, asinine.

    “Sure, and what about the other 200 posts over there dismissing Marxy’s article in enraged one-liners because he is so BIAS?

    The majority of the posters over there are not ‘optimistic’ about Japan, they are aggressive about defending their fandom. Big difference.”

    Sure, everybody has fandom, but it’s a leap to say they defend AKB48 or Arashi because they are defending an ideal portrayal of Japan. Seems to me they are defending their favorite music groups.

    You would find the same in America for pop artists, would you not? Ever try talking shit about Justin Bieber? Nobody looks at that with wide ranging country idealization overtones.

    Besides, if your only response to my two posts boils down to “well look at the arguments of other people”, then you are basically throwing up the white flag, I think.

    I understand the type you are against, and “normal” Japanese people think those otaku types are losers as well, but it’s a little far reaching to try to connect everything you find odd or stuff you believe is inferior to otaku fandom. Newsflash, fangirls and fanboys defend their pop culture icons around the world.

  19. M-Bone Says:

    You put up the white flag as soon as you contrasted your “Japanese” viewpoint with “the foreign viewpoint on Japan”. You understand what is problematic about this, right? What, for example, is to stop me from using the same logic and saying – “well, you are Japanese so you just don’t understand these foreign fans”?

    It may have been a reach to connect the Arama fans with “defending Japan”, but think about this – there are a fair number of posts over there doing the usual Japan vs. Korea stuff – plastic surgery, etc. That is a bad vibe.

    “nor do any of my points revolve around what their demographics are made out of.
    Again, asinine.”

    Actually, the closest thing that you have to a point in the original post is –

    “delve into exactly zero empirically supported evidence. Any “facts” you include in the article is entirely made up of conjecture and speculation, and unless you can reasonably show that old perverts are buying 500,000 records, I think the burden of proof is on you, not vice versa.”

    Not only is this clearly about the fan demographics – something that you mistakenly deny – It doesn’t work as an argument in the way that you think it does. Marxy has some evidence about SNSD as appealing to large numbers of female fans in Japan. You have no evidence about AKB48 whatsoever. You can call Marxy on his lack of evidence there if you want, but that is all that you can do. It is like you are saying “my lack of evidence trumps your lack of evidence”. I say, at LEAST Marxy had something about SNSD. You want to prove Marxy wrong? Get some facts.

    I’m not actually against anything BTW. If people want to love Japan without ever having gone there, that is fine. However, as soon as people start taking critical writing as an affront to their love and lash out, they deserve a few stern comments.

    Your post is the one exceptioin over there as you point out something worth talking about, but look upthread to my post 26 – I present some numbers to back up an opinion. You should as well.

  20. lol Says:

    Anyway, i’ve wasted enough time arguing this point. The writer of the article said “fair enough” and has let it go, so I will as well.

    As for the rest, I realize you want to defend him, but even your friend or your colleague or your favorite blogger can write a dumb article now and then. It happens.

    None of this likely would have happened if you guys (commenters) hadn’t acted like everybody who disagreed with this post was an ignoramus or a little kid or somebody obsessed with Japan.

    The shock when somebody posted a logical intelligent refutation of the post is amusing, as is your scramble to defend his honor or something.

    Anyway, have fun thinking you know everything about Japan.

    :-D

  21. M-Bone Says:

    It isn’t whether Marxy is right or wrong, it is how he plays the game…. which is to write critically and with evidence.

    I can make your point better than you can with 30 seconds of googling –

    http://www.sponichi.co.jp/entertainment/flash/KFullFlash20101211040.html

    Here’s an article talking about AKB48 marketing now being directed by assumptions about female fan tastes. Plus, the assumption that the “tsundere” archetype is what is driving (gyaru?) fan interest. Now we’ve actually got something to talk about.

    You want to disagree, bring something else to the table.

  22. lol Says:

    My other two posts are still “awaiting moderation”, hence, you didn’t get to see them.

    Regardless, burden of proof is always on the “journalist” attempting to make a factual claim.

    You have to be an idiot to believe the burden of proof is on the reader.

  23. lol Says:

    # lol Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I am technically a foreign fan now actually, so I think I understand both sides quite well.

    My point was that if your only argument against me is attacking somebody else’s argument, then why am I even wasting my time, because I can’t beat a strawman logical fallacy. Nobody can.

    Prove him wrong? Rofl. Who is the burden of proof on? The guy trying to pass his work off as insightful and/or journalism, or the commenter refuting that argument? If you’re going to write an opinion piece, there has to be something to base it on in order to come to a meaningful conclusion, or else it deserves to be treated with as much seriousness as I showed it. None.

    My entire point to begin with was that neither side has any “evidence” aside from small sample size cases that they would try to extrapolate into wide ranging assumptions.

    For example, I know young women who like AKB48, but what does that PROVE? NOTHING. He shows a video or a screenshot of SNSD fans having young female fans. Great. What does that PROVE? NOTHING.

    It’s EXACTLY my point. We don’t have evidence to support a claim that AKB48 is liked by majority young female fans, but we weren’t MAKING any claims initially. Sorry, but the guy writing the article is passing it off as some type of foregone conclusion with no meaningful evidence.

    I’m not trying to prove shit to you, I don’t have to. When your argument for an analysis based article is “well you don’t have any evidence to prove him wrong”, when people question the fact that no evidence was provided to begin with, you are fighting a hilarious uphill battle.
    # lol Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    @Roy Berman

    “As for the rest of your rant, I think if you had been reading Marxy or many of the writers here you would realize it applies to a rather different demographic. There’s a big difference between “Bashing daily life” and doing an evidence based analysis of an industry.”

    Yeah, that’s the problem. The evidence based part of your post…

  24. lol Says:

    # lol Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    December 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    I am technically a foreign fan now actually, so I think I understand both sides quite well.

    My point was that if your only argument against me is attacking somebody else’s argument, then why am I even wasting my time, because I can’t beat a strawman logical fallacy. Nobody can.

  25. lol Says:

    Prove him wrong? Rofl. Who is the burden of proof on? The guy trying to pass his work off as insightful and/or journalism, or the commenter refuting that argument? If you’re going to write an opinion piece, there has to be something to base it on in order to come to a meaningful conclusion, or else it deserves to be treated with as much seriousness as I showed it. None.

    My entire point to begin with was that neither side has any “evidence” aside from small sample size cases that they would try to extrapolate into wide ranging assumptions.

  26. lol Says:

    For example, I know young women who like AKB48, but what does that PROVE? NOTHING. He shows a video or a screenshot of SNSD fans having young female fans. Great. What does that PROVE? NOTHING.

    It’s EXACTLY my point. We don’t have evidence to support a claim that AKB48 is liked by majority young female fans, but we weren’t MAKING any claims initially. Sorry, but the guy writing the article is passing it off as some type of foregone conclusion with no meaningful evidence.

    I’m not trying to prove anything to you, I don’t have to. When your argument for an analysis based article is “well you don’t have any evidence to prove him wrong”, when people question the fact that no evidence was provided to begin with, you are fighting a hilarious uphill battle.

  27. lol Says:

    Bleh, I can’t even post my full response, so whatever already.

    Point being, you’re an idiot for thinking the tripe above constitutes “evidence”.

  28. Aceface Says:

    lol:

    Here’s a friendly advice from another”I’m-a-Japanese-and-the-one-who-wrote-the-longest-reply-on-this-thread”type.

    a)Make your account on twitter.
    b)Leave other commenters alone.

  29. Connor SHEPHERD Says:

    We’re going to be re-running this piece, translated into Japanese, on Goblin sometime next week. We can start all this over again! “lol”さん, feel free to keep commenting over there. I don’t agree with what you have to say, but at least you are not an internet robot trying to sell me prescription drugs. And God knows we need the traffic.

    And please follow Aceface on Twitter! How else are you going to read absurdist screenplays about Tohoshinki’s trip to Senkaku, conveniently divided into 140-character chunks?