Yuka-chan gif made by dochimin@tumblr
Let's face it! It's difficult to be an international fan of a group that belongs to Japan. It's different from Korean Pop and even Western Pop since most Japanese artists tend to be only exclusive to Japanese fans. So, I came up with this post to give you an idea on how you could support your favorite Japanese artists. All insights will be coming from my own experiences. I support Johnny’s and Amuse artists so this point of view will be coming from there. Please feel free to share on the comments below your own insights! If you disagree with me, please feel free to share your thoughts on the comments below as well!
Of course, ILLEGAL is everywhere in every fandom. Download links provided by fans are illegal. Torrents are illegal. A fan livestreaming in a concert is illegal. Fansubbing is illegal. In this fandom where almost all is illegal, how could you show support for your favorite artists?
A Japanese regular single already costs 500-600 Php while the limited edition might cost from 800 Php to 1,000 Php. You could already buy a K-Pop album for the cost of a Japanese single. While, a Japanese album already costs 1,600 to 2,100 Php.This is already expensive especially for students. However, there are alternatives like legal online streaming services like Amazon Japan, Apple music, iTunes and Spotify. They are much cheaper.
Illegal downloading of music is rampant here in the Philippines. J-Pop is no excuse. However, if their music is available in local online streaming sites like Spotify Philippines and Philippine iTunes (Apple music) then it's much better if you stream and purchase from those services. Our team in Amuse Philippines and other Amuse PH FCs do promote the legal way. We make sure that fans do not share download links in our groups and promote Spotify, iTunes and other legal ways. Unfortunately, of course, not all Japanese artists use this service like idols from Johnny's and Associates. You may opt to join closed livejournal communities or forums that share downloadable links. You just have to follow and respect their rules if there may be. For example, rules like "re-uploading is not permitted" should be followed.
Japanese Bluray and DVD concerts already cost from 2,000 to 5,000 Php. This is already way too expensive for me so I don’t have the habit of pre-ordering them beforehand. So, what I actually do is wait until I get a copy.
Just recently, Perfume released their COSMIC EXPLORER Bluray and DVD and I still haven’t gotten a copy yet so I’m trying to resist from spoilers in facebook groups. Of course, downloading is an option if you couldn’t wait. If you love the concert, then of course that’s the time you buy it! If you indeed love the artist and the concert you watched, then you will find ways on how to come up with the total sum. The best and only way is to save money. Some concerts are streamed on national TV in Japan so you could watch them before the bluray / DVD release. If you love them, please do save up and support the artists by purchasing them!
Your favorite idol in a new Japanese variety or drama series? Most of the contents will only be exclusive to Japan so you’ll only be able to rely on videos uploaded by fans who are in Japan. Here are also some sites wherein you can legally stream Japanese dramas. The Japanese dramas are limited however.
- http://avistaz.to - registration is needed
- http://jdramacity.blogspot.com - open to all
- http://nyaa.se - open to all
- http://plotboxes.livejournal.com - direct downloads
How about your favorite artist appearing in a Japanese movie? It’s actually pretty the same with Japanese variety and drama series. The contents can be only exclusive to Japan. You have to wait at least four to six months until you get a copy online. It doesn’t work like the Philippines wherein you can get a pirated copy during its screening. So, we really have to wait for the Bluray or DVD release. Original bluray and DVD copies for Japanese movies cost at the same range as Japanese concerts bluray and DVDs. I actually only have one Japanese movie DVD with me which is Rurouni Kenshin. The movie is so precious to me since this is the first Japanese live-action film ever screened here in the Philippines and Amuse PH held a petition in order for the movie to be screened here. I had to get the original Japanese copy.
Your favorite artists in Japanese magazines? Japanese magazines can also be a hell of expensive since they’re more heavy than bluray, CDs and DVDs. They can cost up to 500-1,000 Php depending on the kind of shipping you will use. It’s actually pretty easy to purchase Japanese magazines now since there are so many local online stores that offer pre-orders for Japanese magazines. They would only cost up to 500 Php particularly for Johnny’s and fashion magazines if you purchase from local online stores found on facebook.
It actually all boils down to following the rules in the J-Pop fandom in order to maintain status quo. If certain uploaders tell you that you cannot re-upload the file, then we shouldn’t re-upload the file. If some subbers include in their rules that their subs couldn’t be uploaded on streaming sites then we should follow it. If we couldn’t follow the rules, then bid farewell to the overflowing treasures that precious uploaders and fansubbers share.
However, of course, It doesn’t mean that showing support already equates to buying your favorite artist merchandise. You could show support just by spreading the love or simply just by sharing info about them which could go a mile since social media is so fast nowadays! You could write news articles about your favorite artists on your blogs or even in Japanese cultural websites such as Japan Info.
If you could afford to buy their goods, then it’s not a problem. Online stores such as Amazon Japan, CDJapan, HMV Japan and YesAsia are among the stores I rely on.
You could show support to your favorite artists in your own little ways like making arts and crafts. You could be creative! You could also make fanarts and fanfics that you could share with your fellow fans.
Any point I might have missed? Please feel free to comment below!
UPDATE: 2017/04/20 4:27pm
- A good friend of mine, Mayel, pointed out on facebook that we could reserve magazines in any visa-free Asian country with Kinokuniya branch if we're going to visit. You could just pick up the magazines from there. You may find the list of branches here.
- And, I love how Salia put her words this way. "Being a kind fan to others in the fandom also helps. Spreading negativity, hatred, and chaos is really an awful thing to do. We need to respect each and every fandom." This is basically true. We do need to respect each and everyone in the fandom.
- According to Cherii, you could also support your favorite idols by availing their blog service through your smartphones. Johnny's Web is for Johnny's idols while Amuse mobile for Amuse artists. You could also send fanletters to your favorite artists through their radio shows or stageplays.
- Mark shared that he was able to sent flowers to his favorite idols. This online store (K's flower webshop) based in Japan accepts orders.
- Cherii Pie of Uehara Takuya Philippines also does send-off greetings for Uehara Takuya when he has stageplays. You can post your greetings on instagram and Uehara Takuya will notice them! We could also do this with artists who have SNS accounts.