Birds of Paradise with Cherry Ice Cream Smiles…

As I’m writing this, there may or may not be a football game being played in Rio de Janeiro (and by the time you read this, no games will be playing there). Oh wait, that’s not what this Rio is named for.

About two years ago, I got hopelessly hooked onto an old 80s hit: Duran Duran’s Rio. With a cool and tropical sound with a pretty girl as a metaphorical subject, the English new wavers pretty much serenaded their desire to win over American audiences. (As you can tell by the fact the song is now an 80’s classic on both sides of the Atlantic, they did. You can see (or rather, hear) why.)

Going back to the song, the song was just as much manifesto to expand as it is a love song to a beautiful dancer girl.

How does this relate to idoldom or general Far East Asian music? I think a better question is how can it not?!

What with Morning Musume’s upcoming New York show and the various shows, it’s no secret that MM’s conquest of Japan has come and gone (and it coming/has come again). To help keep the Morning Musume and general Hello! Project brand afloat and make things easier for their inevitable Peripheral Demographic, UFA finally decided to release content to Western digital stores. (Of course, hardcore Western wota still op to buy the physical materials as to better help sales, impact the Oricon charts, feel equal to their Japanese counterparts, and get the unique feeling inherent in getting that idol swag!)

We’ve seen our favorite idols travel to foreign lands like America (with an anticipated show happening in a few months), France, and Thailand to meet their fans. One group was so beloved by the Thai public that a single was virtually released towards those wota and anyone else in that market.

(In a sense, wasn’t this the same international/xenophilic sentimentality that spawned the now-infamous Hello Kitty single?)

We’ve seen auditions for international branches of our favorite groups in locales such as Taiwan, South Korea, China, and Indonesia. Of course, the only ones anyone remembers nowadays are the 48G groups (with the possibility of more, particularly covering turf previously under-utilized by UFA*), but the effects are still there. J-Pop has been expanding like… this is a blog that I am keen on not getting flagged as “mature” so use your imaginations!

Now, after all of this, you’re probably wondering what the heck this has to do with summer?

Aside from the summery sound of Rio, this video also contains summer staples (beaches, boats/water, ice cream, etc). Just close your eyes (or not) and imagine them with idols instead (and/or with Duran Duran being you, the wota). After all, the entire concept of the video involves fantasies.

I now realize that in hindsight, instead of worldwide expansion, this post should’ve been about something else but still related to “Rio”…


Her name is Riho and she dances around the stage…

Come back next week for another magically meteoric summer refreshment!

M3 Meditation Mantra: …I can’t think of one. Oh wait, I’ve got it! What is a surreal moment when your favorite Far Eastern act graces the shores of your land (or the inverse: when you travel to see your “Rio” in her native home)?

– Magi-Kat

*My apologies to 48G fans.

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