Code Red: The Blacklisting of J-Pop

Greetings, Citizens of the Universe.

This post is going to be a somber one as it’s dealing with a situation that affects a lot of people (unless you live in Germany where this is familiar and you have already adapted at this point). On that note, greetings to my German readers! (I’ve had 28 this year and 35 starting from the blog’s revival.)

As many of you know, YouTube Red has been rolled out. One consequence is that videos are being blocked in America, due to contractual disputes. Among the casualties are videos belonging to UFA. (One unfortunate thing is that this happens just when the full version of ANGERME’s PV goes up on the official channel. If you’re outside the US, go take a look and feel free to ignore the rest of this post.)

This is quite serious as it affects the enjoyment of the fans, along with bloggers like me who derive their bread and butter from covering these topics. (Indeed, it’s part of what sent me into a spiraling funk over the weekend.)

UFA would have definitely taken notice and taken action as the unavailability of their content to one of the largest markets in the world (read: a small, but valuable niche market situated within one of the largest markets in the world) would certainly affect them. (There’s a reason “big in Japan” is a thing.)

Think about it. Up-Front went through the effort of reaching out to its international fans at least three times via YouTube. C-ute wouldn’t make two hype vids for the Mexican crowd-goers in preparation for their concert.

“But Kat, that’s Mexico. This is about your beloved Murrica. The Americans get everything! If anything, it serves you damn yankees right for thinking the world revolves around you.”

I’m looking at this from a global perspective, as is my instinct. I may be an American by nationality, but I consider myself a citizen of the world. After all, the US is simply the beginning. Also, you didn’t let me finish.

“But it’s viewable in Japan, their main market. Why should they care about you Amer—”

In the words of my netiquette mentor, “LET ME FINISH!”

Anyway, I was going to say that UFA would not go through all this effort towards internationalizing their brand (especially their past efforts in the form of Coconuts Musume, JunLin, and Hello! Project Taiwan/Korea) if they were just going to simply keep it local. Translating the lyrics to English (or any other language for that matter), getting the subs together, booking these overseas concerts and figuring out the logistics….

The idea of doing a convention run gets my head spinning. I can imagine the same when our favorite artists do these international performances and have immense respect for them when they do.

What Does This Mean?

No one knows, really. I’ve seen a plethora of videos about the potential impact, but it’s the effect on the J-Pop community (and the C-Pop/K-Pop communities too) that worries me. People look to these videos for comfort, leisure, and inspiration. Plus, reason we flocked to these channels was because it was a lot better than relying on uploaded ripped videos that could one day be taken down without a notice (and even with one). Also, it just felt good to support an official channel that provides us with said content without middlemen (so to speak).

My friends kept trying to assure me that nothing bad will come of it, but the worries still plague me. I still have a post to do and now I’m not even sure if the Cinderella Revolution Tribute will even get an online debut. (It will be submitted to J-MELO upon completion though so there’s that form of consolation.)

Plus, this came at a time when I just finally have content for my channel, not consigning it to be a desolate wasteland as video is set to be the bread and butter in the future.

I guess we’ll just see. Its official launch was literally today and the bulk of this was written earlier this week. (Indeed, apparently it was announced today that the creators will get a piece of the pie.)

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or hit me up on Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+.

I also recommend reading these posts from Pure Idol Heart, Tokyo Girls Update, TVQC (French) about the topic.

Until the next one, Idol Fans!
— Magi-Kat


5 Responses to Code Red: The Blacklisting of J-Pop

  1. Anonymous says:

    As a German, let me say that I feel your pain. Personally, I ended up getting a VPN to get around the geoblocks. Swiss and Swedish servers usually work reasonably well from here.

    In any case, good luck in getting the mess cleaned up. Really. In the worst case there’s still technical workarounds like I have to use, but maybe getting UFA to take notice and flip a switch will be enough in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

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