Tuesday, 20 May 2014

A member's mother cries out bitterly……A 15-year old underground idol withdraws with a 「Large amount of money」cited as areason, creating a stir

From Otawara Yuka's official blog
The reasons behind the withdrawal of Otawara Yuka (15) from being a member of high school idol rap unit, Rhymeberry, has sparked discussion among idol fans.

In 2011, Rhymeberry originally started off as any other idol group with 4 members in junior high. 

In 2012, they made their CD début with their 1st single 'Hey! Brother' (Aries Entertainment), singing about 'their awakening feelings of love towards their brothers'. In 2013, they released their single 'R.O.D. / Sekaijuu ni I Love You' through T-Palette Records, an idol-centric label managed by Tower Records. They made an appearance at Japan's biggest Idol Fest 'Tokyo Idol Festival 2013'. Their rising popularity culminated with a one-man live in August of last year, and then they ceased activities for a while.

Yet, on Rhymeberry's official blog post on the 11th of [April 2014], they announced that they had separated with their previous office T-Palette Records and that they were starting with a new company. At the same time, it was announced that member Yuka was withdrawing, and it was clear that their activities thereafter would involve 3 people.

On Yuka's blog on the same day, her mother submitted a message to the fans. The reason for withdrawing was explained clearly: 'We discussed the resumption of Rhymeberry's activities, but a large amount of money would be involved for Rhymeberry to continue. We understand that it is appropriate, but we have decided to abandon continuing with Rhymeberry due to the financial circumstances of our family.' It created a ripple among idol fans, bringing up questions such as 'Why do idols have to pay money?', 'It might be company policy, but it's depressing', 'So it means that for the remaining members, they clearly had to pay 'a large amount of money' for their activities...'

'It is unknown why the mother would make a clear statement under the pretence of 'a large amount of money'. But this blog post has exposed the financial problems of underground idols, which has even been noticed slightly by idol fans. I don't understand the circumstances for Rhymeberry, but in the world of underground idols, lesson fees and company registration fees, publicity photo costs, clothing costs, are often laid on the family of the members. Naturally, there are many members who gave up due to the accumulated financial burden. On the other hand, from the perspective of the company, it isn't feasible to only do idol management, so there are many companies that are involved in real estate and marketing as well. So, it isn't rare for companies to depend on management trust fees and publicity photo costs from the members.' (A person connected to an entertainment company)

Ever since AKB48 made their break, countless numbers of female idol groups have been formed. In order to bask in the spotlight, should it be the case that 'a large amount of money' would be needed?

Source: NicoVideo

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