Talk:AKB48

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"Unnecessary info", "Fantalk" and other friendly buzzwords[edit]

Shame to see someone trying to erase my addition to this article by resorting to flimsy excuses like this, but since I was "kindly" asked to debate the usefulness of my paragraph, let me paste it in here for scrutiny and approval.

AKB48 and its sister groups boost their record sales by a variety of marketing strategies. Like many other contemporary musical acts, the singles and albums are released in different editions and types with alternate album-cover pictures, B-side tracks, video DVDs, collectible member pictures and event tickets. In conjunction with the annual general election contest, voting coupons are also contained inside the single usually shipping during the summer period, although there're always multiple ways for fans to cast their votes without buying a specific edition of the single. This can be done by logging in one of the official fanclub mobile applications and the like, basically allowing up to 10 "alternate" ways of voting not bound by any CD purchase.[1][2][3] In spite of a widespread misconception that these votes must be inevitably tied in with a rise in CD purchases, third-party market researches actually revealed that over one third of the votes every year are cast through mobile applications and not using CD ballots.[4][5]

My question is. How is any of it "unnecessary" or "fantalk"? Since there's a paragraph analyzing how AKB operates with their sales promotions, shouldn't it be necessary to clarify how these elections actually work, instead of stupefying the reader with misconceptions ("one must purchase tons of CD to access these elections", FALSE) and articles bordering on urban legends ("fans reportedly bought thousands of CDs to yadda yadda", but in reality none of the sourced articles contain any firsthand confessions and are written by people whose knowledge can't possibly go further than simple Internet hearsays).

To add even more irony to this revert, while removing this part from the article Rka001 felt like reinserting a whole paragraph in the Controversy section about a fat comedian calling AKB "shame of Japan" (?) during one of his ungenuine tirades.

Now, I want you to tell me: which part is the informative one and which one "inflates the article with unnecessary info" that we could frankly do without? Answer me sincerely.

Addendum: To top it all, Akimoto never advanced the idea of an "all-star" group to perform at the Tokyo Olympics. In reality, this was just a wild Internet rumor which unfortunately happened to grow its own pair of feet, and which was debunked and officially denied many days before that crass Guardian article was even published, as proven by native Japanese reports such as this and this. So, in other words, not only the (dis)info is not "verified" at all, unlike what Rka001 boldly claims, but it all makes Matsuko Deluxe's reaction more uncalled-for and absolutely NOT worthy of being recorded inside an encyclopedic entry if not out of simple malice. Now, if you please, I'll delete that eyesore from the entry, since the only reason for it to be there has been proven wrong.

Bullpup11 (talk) 02:08, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Regarding the 10 alternate voting methods, can you provide the specific articles that illustrate this? Your references are just pointing to the main election page for each year. Also how do you distinguish between someone using their mobile app to register their vote having purchased their CD/digital download single and these other methods? Is there a subscription fanclub where members get to vote without having to buy the single, but having already purchased the app? If there are other methods like signing up for a service, or using AKB48 frequent buyer points, that can be briefly added but I don't see how it can replace the existing paragraphs. -AngusWOOF (talk) 02:24, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Well, what I actually linked are the pages of the official election website pertaining to the voting methods. In the case of the 27th single homepage, I admit I should've provided a straight link, but the section explaining how to vote is still there and can be freely reached by clicking the menu on top. By clicking on arrow/plus signs on the side of each voting method you are redirected to a page or a drop-down box with further details on how to use each -- to make a long story short most these fanclub apps are subscription-only with a cheap monthly fee, they are normally used for booking theater tickets and accessing premium content (such as interviews, videos, etc... in the case of the Live of Demand service it's entire recordings of theater performances) but during the period of the general election they provide one extra service, which is allowing the owner to cast one vote per app. As for a graphical illustration on how to perform the task with each app/subscription service, I think nothing is more official than the instruction videos they published on their own YouTube page for their fifth and sixth yearly election (it seems a guide for their fourth yearly election was also posted on their profile once, but it is now set to private, hope the other two are sufficient enough). As you can see in order to vote a fan has to access through a completely different site for each of these methods, which makes it easy to detect how the vote was cast.
Bullpup11 (talk) 03:40, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
It is correct, one can vote via several methods, but this doesnt add a bit pf usefulness to the article. The article is very inflated anyway, and where is the extra benefit of adding all voting methods? There is none. Please read WP:Fancruft and WP:Not. We have agreed long time ago that the article does not need information that only fans would benefit from. About Matsuko Deluxe, please be aware that Wikipedia is only reporting the issue, we are not taking sides. We also do not review the role of "fat comedians" (a very gross statement to begin with), we do review that a very reliable source (The Guardian) reported about an issue that made it to several japanese news outlets. Its a controversy that made it to western news - so you might reword it as you like, but do not remove sourced content from reliable sources, because you dont like it. Rka001 (talk) 08:09, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
User:AngusWOOF explained it quite well with his last edit. We are interested in Yui Yokoyama becoming the next GM, but we are simply not interested in Takahashi stating she would stay a year longer to let Yui adapt to her new role. This is a prime example of unnecessary fan talk. Rka001 (talk) 08:09, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I found an article that summarized the fan club voting rights. [1] so I put that line into the article. -AngusWOOF (talk) 15:17, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
1) The mention of multiple voting methods dispels much of the bunk reposted in this article regarding the necessity to buy CDs, if not hundreds (!) of them, in order of access the election. The fact that market researches revealed 1/3 of the votes every year come from such mobile apps and not by inputing coupon codes shows that it makes up quite a big chunk of the voting process, which should be hard for anyone to ignore, beyond all simplistic English-language reports written by less than brilliant journalists. Since CD sales for this group seems to still be a hot button topic for many outsiders, then it would be necessary to actually lay down the facts as they are. The fact that many of the aforementioned journalists failed to take the first step of checking the official website for informations and instead kept propagating the misconception that elections means buying tons of CDs is, if anything, proof that English reports about Japanese showbiz are not reliable enough to be trusted. Then again, why do we need to rely on English articles when the group is Japanese, works mainly in Japan and is aimed at a Japanese audience?
2) Gratuitous television dissing, especially if not spurred by any official statement from AKB or its managemente is NOT encyclopedic material, no matter how much you sugarcoat it. It adds nothing informative to the reader, not to mention that a "controversy" is something more than someone belching out unpleasant words on a blog or a TV program. Also, in case you don't know, for years Matsuko Deluxe's job on television (other than dressing in a drag, of course), has been pretending to be a contrarian about everyone and everything, which makes this time's utterance nothing special or newsworthy. I don't see anyone citing "his" statements regarding politicians and showpersons on their respective entries, so why this should be an exception for such a trifling remark? You are so concerned about the content of this article growing exponentially, yet you seem too care too much about adding such a meaningless fluff paragraph.
3) I repeat, the content and premise (Akimoto proposing an "all-star" group to perform at the Olympics) has been proven bunk many days before the Guardian source, and the rest of the article reads pretty much like a low-quality tabloid filler rather than a Pulitzer-winning newspiece (es.: "One user [on 2ch] said...", "A commenter on Japan Today wrote...", who are they kidding with this garbage?). This alone should tell you something about what sort of piece of trash you're defending here. It may have been made to the Western media, but beyond the irrelevant content, the way it is presented makes it even less worth of being remembered on an encyclopedic entry for the years to come. This Guardian article has a reliability that numbers in the negatives and it only exists for cheap click-baiting, make no mistake.
4) If you are so desperate for a "critics" opinion to be thrown into this entry (as I presume is the reason you are so adamant about keeping that tabloid-esque Guardian reference but not, say, an explanation of how the election process really works), then I can provide you with tons of better citations from real pop-culture experts like Uno Tsunehiro, Kobayashi Yoshinori or Sayawaka, you don't need to pick up the first thing that the cat dragged in.
5) It is sad that by hiding behind meaningless buzzwords like "fantalk" we are giving free reins to clueless outsiders to edit thie entry at will -- it's not a wonder that, compared to other Japanese music acts here on the English Wikipedia, much of this article ended up reading like a confused patchwork of insignificant trivia which they came across by mistake on some lazy English-language news site (or a glorified blog still persisting on the "crazy weird Japan" stereotype). Not only it does little justice to AKB48, but it is also insulting for the casual reader who comes to this page thinking he's going to learn anything more useful. Wikipedia should be a repository of vital cross-checked facts, not a place where to dispose of any trivia and "curio" you find on the Internet. To think I was planning on adding in the following days a small paragraph concerning how to access "handshake events" and the difference between 全国握手会 and 個別握手会, since this is another topic surrounded by deep-seated misconceptions that need to be clarified after tons of useless English-language articles poisoned the well. However, I guess that according to the standards set by Rka001 this is going to be "fantalk" not different from writing a whole paragraph about Haruka Shimazaki's favorite ice cream flavor, so if even the keepers of this page care nothing about its decorum, what use is proposing any real improvement?
Bullpup11 (talk) 17:37, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
The fanclub/mobile app is still a more recent voting method. It still does not dispel that prior to that the gimmick resulted in multiple CDs being bought for the purposes of garnering more ballots. If you have stats for 2014 that show that 1/3 of the votes cast were not from purchased singles, that can be added to the paragraph. But regardless, the ballots are still being acquired by purchasing AKB48 product. -AngusWOOF (talk) 17:48, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the Olympics controversy, that Akimoto is on the Olympic committee is encyclopedic and can be kept on his article, as well as its criticism/response, but give the responses due WP:WEIGHT. If one entertainer does not like the appointment, are there others with a similar opinion? However, if he hasn't actually proposed AKB48 to participate in the Olympic ceremonies, then leave it out per WP:BALL for now. He might pull rank on that some time, and by then it will have encyclopedic impact. -AngusWOOF (talk) 18:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
The fanclub/mobile app thing started ever since the first general election in 2009, as proven by the official guidelines published at the time, with more and more voting options being added as new group-specific apps were made available. The official sources I graciously provided prove that JapanTimes (...) article largely incorrect, in that it definitely isn't just a thing that started in 2013 as it purports. The "point-accumulation" part isn't even reflected by any official statement and is possibly a fabrication of the journalist (the lack of any sort of link on that article makes it impossible for me to check where they got it from). Not least, there is no such thing as a "point-accumulation" program in AKB (I remember there used to be one with Passpo, but never with AKB). The closest I can find to this fabled "loyalty program" is a page about a defunct service where points are awarded with monthly renewal, but the "prize" here is downloadable content such as wallpapers and Chaku-Uta tunes. The voting service is provided to anyone with an app installed on their device, as plainly stated in the instructions instead. Again, it is tragic we have to resort to vastly less reliable and vastly less authoritative sources just because they're written in English. - Bullpup11 (talk) 18:16, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Ok, got it. I reworded that sentence to include the fan club and apps and removed the parentheses as that has been there since the first election. -AngusWOOF (talk) 18:39, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
What happened is that apparently some newspaper brought up the topic of a possible JPN48 appearance at Tokyo2020, to which Matsuko Deluxe responded as he did. This made all news outlets in Japan, and then western media as well. If something about AKB48 appears on the Guardian, we want to look at its encyclopedic value anyway. In the end, Akimoto denied any of these plans on his 755. Its a story about how AKB is recepted in and outside of Japan. The reception of AKB48 is definitely controversial, and we might want to reflect on that in our article.
That said, dear Bullpup11, you dont have to defend AKB48 here, as we are not attacking them. We only collect information about the band that we might find useful and encyclopedic. This includes bad news as well. We dont take sides, we report whats on the media. I dont like the subject as well, i think Matsuko is crying for attention, i dont care if AKB48 is going to appear in 2020, as i wont be interested in that group anymore. So, i have included all your criticism in that two sentences. They now report what happened, and i think its of encyclopedic value.
You should definitely read some import wikipedia guidelines. This article has been a prime example of fancruft, and it is now in a more or less acceptable state. With that in mind, a guide to handshake events might be extremely useful for fans - go for wiki48 instead, they accept new editors just now. And btw, stage48 features a handshake event guide already. But a handshake event guide here at wikipedia? Are you serious? Content that is directly and only targetting the fandom? Again, WP:Fancruft. The same is true for the voting procedere. I might add: I know everything about voting, because i have personally organised more than 500 votes for my favourite member in the last two sousenkyos. I even typed in every single code myself. I am a big fan of 48G, and i have spent thousands of bucks on them. But that is not the message. The message is: What is important for the non-fan to know within the scope of this article? The fact that you can vote your favourite members (and songs) once per year, presumably by buying cds. Yes, there are up to 12 different ways to vote. But thats meaningless for the target audience of this article (most of the additional ways to vote are not availabe for foreign persons, anyway). If you want - and i am cool with it - you can add a "among others" to the paragraph somewhere. But listing all extra ways to vote plus a vote distribution chart? WP:NOT. Other things we definitely not need are reverse theory finding. We state - and its a known fact - that sales are increased due to clever marketing. You dont need to add that others do that as well. We know for sure that sousenkyo singles are by far the best selling singles each year because of the voting ticket. You dont need to post a counter-hypothesis, because we dont post a theory, we present facts.
As a last thing: Please try to stay calm on all these things. We had serious cases of vandalism from haters here , incl. severe wrongdoings by a certain anime fan, who has been recently banned, and guys demanding the deletion of every individual member article, because they were not notable. This article is a honeypot, and you wont survive here for long, if you are tilted easily whenever you feel AKB is "critized". Feel free to add anything, but please read the relevant wiki guidelines and be civil. Noone here likes to argue about this article. Actually, it was quite a silent area the last couple of months. Take home message: When you edit wikipedia, forget about your fandom. Free yourself of bias.

@Angus: I never have heard of "accumulating points" for the fan clubs. Afaik, you just need to be a member there and gets one vote per membership. Rka001 (talk) 18:48, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

No worries. That was from that Japan Times article where the writer mentioned points, but the ameblo.jp article is a much better RS (even if it's primary) for addressing the content of whether you can vote without buying a single. The specifics of which non-single methods were used every year can vary (whether it uses Docomo or Passpo or a newly created app is not particularly notable). As for the percentage of votes by non-single methods, that can be empirically calculated from the number of total votes cast vs. number of election singles purchased for that voting period. -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:06, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
That was a good edit. Thank you. Exactly as broad and short as we need them. Btw, we state that f.e. in 2014 2.4 millions votes were cast - this exceeds the sales of Labrador Retriever anyway, so the interested reader can already see what is going there. I am however strongly against showing vote distributions. Thats a textbook case of excessive statistics, as described in WP:NOT. This article still needs to be shorter. Bullpup11, you see: Most of your ideas are actually incorporated in the article. Maybe not in the way you wanted them to be, but anyway, the article has been improving since yesterday. I might add that Japan Times has never written an unbiased or good article on AKB48.Rka001 (talk) 19:12, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
As a sidenote, The Telegraph is now reporting on the Olympics issue as well. Its basically the same opinion piece as the Guardian, but we would be terrible editors if we would outright ignore the sheer fact that AKB48 is making western media mainstream with this story, in a very controversial way. With my wording as proposed, we also indirectly correct whats on western news (the "Akimoto has brought it up himself"-storyline). So, i would like to ask you to consider my version of the news as acceptable, before other guys come in and bring that up themselves in a more troublesome way. Thank you. Rka001 (talk) 19:33, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
The reliability of Japan Times and English news blogs like Tokyohive can be brought up as a separate topic. I'm hoping the article can be cited with more Japanese RS'es. But the fact that journalists from RS'es (Billboard, Washington Post, Guardian, CNN) are writing in English and might not have all their details straight doesn't mean they are suddenly unreliable. -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:36, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Heh, what's funny is that the Telegraph article is referencing Wikipedia for its info :), although what they quoted is connected to reliable sources (Washington post, AKB48 video). -AngusWOOF (talk) 19:40, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, mainstream media guy often uses wiki. Thats how this interplay between us looking for reliable sources and the reliable sources looking for us is getting complicated. But anyway, we should not expect all the western media guys getting their facts right all the time. AKB is just not that important for "real research" i guess. So, they mostly write off from each others. But then, things are getting notable, and then we need to react. That said, i do like tokyohive, but i dislike Japan Times for their clear bias. Tokyohive may not have the journalistic profile, but it doesnt have this obvious agenda as JT. But i am not against using them. Just with a grain of alertness. I cannot revert my own edit regarding this now very notable issue back in to the article, as we are now under 3RR, and i certainly dont want to bring a new editor to ANI on their first day. Tomorrow, ill start a new attempt. Maybe they are then listening to reason. I clearly dont see why this shouldnt be brought under controversies. If i have ever see a controversy, then in this case. Rka001 (talk) 19:54, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
The Telegraph manages to be even sloppier than the Guardian article (which, incidentally, it references in a sort of Internet version of the telephone game, or the human centipede if you wish), to the point they even mistakenly embedded a music video by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu thinking it was from AKB. Honestly, this is a great proof of why something written on an "authoritative" news site does not make the news itself "authoritative" by transition and needs to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. It's funny you now want to keep the detail about the gossip here in order to correct the misconceptions that the propagation of such a gossip might have created, but this sort of preemptive damage control also ends up supporting my opinion that the entry has to expanded on how elections, handshake events and other faux-"controversial" matter actually works since they're also the target of misconceptions. Let's not pretend those matters are anything different to the eyes of outsiders and other assorted rubberneckers, please. - Bullpup11 (talk) 20:41, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
You still seem to under some misconceptions about what Wikipedia is and what not. We dont need any expansion on any of the things you mentioned - because we dont want to explain them in unnecessary detail anyway. We need to report that there are handshakes and elections, and this is what we do. But we do not give detailed insights on their procedures because these are not the scope of this article. Especially not in hindsight of anything you might find "controversial". Again, have you read ALL the guidelines that i have recommended to you? Rka001 (talk) 21:33, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Which info are you referring to? We have already included most of his proposals (except for his prosaic member glorification :P). We are certainly not going to have detailed guides on handshakes, and you well know that. Rka001 (talk) 14:43, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't remember anymore... I was just passing by and decided to look at the talk page... (I removed it from my watchlist last March or so. Cause it was too annoying.) --Moscow Connection (talk)

References

romaji[edit]

AKB48 (Hepburn: A.K.B. forty-eight) ...

Is the parenthesis at all necessary? Is it even honest to describe forty-eight as a Hepburn romanization of 48? If it's pronounced in Japanese as (quasi)English, maybe the Hepburn spelling ought to be something like ekebi fotieto. —Tamfang (talk) 07:51, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

  • I hope this deals with it sufficiently. I believe the parenthesis is necessary to show that it is not pronounced as "A.K.B. Yon-ju hachi" or "A.K.B. Four-eight" or "A.K.B. Yon-hachi" or whatever. --Moscow Connection (talk) 12:29, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Even better: [2]. (Also see the edit summary.) --Moscow Connection (talk) 13:04, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree it does not need to be Nihongo'ed as the term is in English and they don't publish a standard Hepburn romanization. Other options presented:

The second option is a nice gesture but the "River" song where they announce their group name right away sure sounds like regular English to me. So I would go with (read "A.K.B. forty-eight") AngusWOOF (barksniff) 13:44, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Citations needed for chapter expansion[edit]

I feel the impact of AKB48 and its sister groups on the entertainment industry hasnt been really touched. We basically only have "In addition to dancing and singing, members are promoted by the Japanese mass media.[5] AKB48 regularly hosts "handshake events", where fans can meet the group.[5]" in the concept section, which is a bit small given that during their heyday it was entirely impossible to avoid AKB48. It would be interesting to have statistics about total tv appearances (total hours per year), commercials (a list of brands would be sufficient), standings in the Nikkei Power Rankings, big talent agencies signing AKB48 members, and such. If we find the sources, we can also state that this impact is already declining. Rka001 (talk) 14:22, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

The Japanese version of this article already has a "tie-in" sub-section listing all the commercial campaigns in which a certain AKB song (and AKB members, along with that) has been featured. This is not to say that it's all the commercial campaigns where AKB appeared, but it's already a comprehensive resource, seeing that the overwhelming majority of CMs featuring AKB had obviously also one of their songs used as background music. This site also keeps track of the commercials currently on air on Japanese TV (by clicking on the link, you'll be taken to the "Idol" category where AKB pretty much dominates the rankings). It's somewhat hard to browse through, but by clicking on the idol names, you'll also be taken to their personal profile, where is a short history of the CMs in which they appeared individually along with a tally of their total appearances.
Edit: Looks like the Japanese wiki also has an article with a complete list of all CMs AKB has appeared in. So feel free to ignore the previous paragraph and use this other reference instead. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bullpup11 (talkcontribs) 15:27, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
I think lists of the members' individual talent agencies are already available on the Stage48 wiki and 48pedia, as part of the team members' overview. All we need to do is just to check the individual agencies' homepage one by one and link to their "Female talent" section if you need any official reference.
Regarding the statistics about total TV appearances, there's this other site calculating the number of TV shows and total air time. The calculations for 2015 are, obviously, still in progress, but you can browse the rankings for the past years just by clicking on the arrows. Again, this is the idol section but to claim the impact is somewhat "declining" (enough to crystallize the statement in an encyclopedic entry, where there's only room for fait-accomplis) is somewhat ridiculous. AKB is at the top for 3 consecutive years, with a number of TV programs still 2 or 3 times greater than the second best competitor.
Finally: "If we find the sources, we can also state that this impact is already declining". I'm sorry, but I have to say it irks me quite a lot when people make "contributions" to this article only to add negative details, or slant the perception of the reader toward a negative bias by citing dubious "sources" (a la JapanTimes). I don't see these sort of remarks happening on other entertainment entries, so I'd rather avoid doing it here as well. There's also many people out there who, so to speak, are trying to sell the bear's skin before the beast is killed, and it's quite silly to give any sort of empty self-validation to their equally empty claims. So, no, thank you. Bullpup11 (talk) 02:52, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Well we don't need a fully-detailed list of CM products and sponsors for AKB48. If there are major ones, that can be summarized in a paragraph with the appropriate references as with Michael Jordan. As for the TV time and supposed decline, that should be referenced so that we're not drawing the connections. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 15:54, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Of course, I don't say I want (nor do expect) the article to include a complete list of them. Just a summary with a stress on those brands and companies that AKB had endorsed for multiple years in a row would be more than enough.
Speaking of sections that need improvement and expansion, the "Musical style" is another. As of now it's laughable to say the least, and even somewhat insulting. Some parts are even plain wrong (I don't know who this Monica Hesse is, but I don't remember any member sporting pigtails -- even the closest thing to it, twintails, is far from prevalent, which makes me question her knowledge about the rest). The truth is that AKB has experimented in more genres than some snobbish journalists are willing to admit (to name a few major examples off my top of my head: Sakura no Shiori could as well be a church choral, Give Me Five and a few theater songs experimented with live instruments played by part of the members, Heart Ereki is an open throwback to 1960s Group Sounds, not to mention the countless rock instrumentals in stage songs), and I think it deserves an abundant acknowledgment.
I'm just throwing proposals out for now, but if no one is willing to pick up the task, I'll endeavor to do it myself whenever I have the time. Bullpup11 (talk) 04:35, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

2015 election[edit]

Speaking of Japan Times, need a different citation for the total vote count for this year's election if you don't like that source. I also removed the synthesis regarding that the 2nd and 3rd place got more votes than Mayu Watanabe did for 2014. AngusWOOF (barksniff) 15:54, 24 June 2015 (UTC)