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The Ultimate Facebook Band

There is a pop music phenomena in Japan called AKB48. It consists of more than 60 young girls that are divided into four teams. The public votes for which girls make it into the “band” and 1.4 million people vote annually.

Japan isn’t the only country to have these mass girl pop bands, South Korea also has a version. Although, South Korea also has dance teams organized in their prison system that do a mean interpretation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

Is this mass girl pop group thing a musical version of Social Networking? Would this concept work in America, would it work using males rather than females? Or is this just one more example of Japan’s obsession with teenage girls?

It is very strange to see our own pop culture synthesized through another country’s culture and fed back to us. Sometimes we can’t even recognize it as our own but if you really pay attention to Asian pop culture you should realize that it is not the natural evolution from ancient Asian culture but a version of Western pop culture. It’s like seeing somebody dressed as you going to a Halloween party. It could be flattering or insulting but it’s almost always rather creepy.

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