AKB48 was founded based on the "idols you can meet" concept. Its members range from 14 to 25 in age. They are not allowed to have boyfriends, and must be "well-behaved." If they "misbehave," they may be expelled from the group. When members get older, they "graduate" from the group and are replaced by new members. _____________________________________________________________________________
Analyze the following AKB48 music video ("Heavy Rotation" youtube.com/watch?v=lkHlnWFnA0c, each of you focusing on your assigned item. Be ready to present your analysis next class meeting in a minute or two.
1. What do the facial expressions tell you? Be specific.
2. What does the clothing tell you? Be specific.
3. What do the props tell you? Be specific.
4. What does the choreography tell you? Be specific.
5. What does the camera work tell you? Be specific.
6. What do the lyrics tell you? Be specific.
7. What do the interactions between and among the women tell you? Be specific.
8. What do the opening and closing tell you? Be specific.
9. What does the food tell you? Be specific.
10. What do the microphone stands tell you?
11. What does the set tell you? Be specific.
12. What do the colors tell you?
If you have trouble deconstructing this video,
imagine that the performers in it are male rather than female.
What then would the message(s) of the video be?
"Horrible Combination" by Kana Y. (Doshisha Women's College, 2012)
Today, there is an endless stream of painful news about vulnerable victims, in other words, girls, thus parents must keep their sharp eye on their children at all times. However, it can happen that they inadvertently expose their children to dangers. What I will introduce as one example is a case of teaching AKB48 choreography to girls.
To begin with, AKB48 is a popular Japanese idol group, which a number of girls and women romanticize and whose dance routines are imitated by such people. But, in fact, AKB48 choreography is exceedingly sexual, which has the power to give licentious feelings to males. Furthermore, AKB48 effectively utilizes some props to emphasize their pornographic performance. For example, in one shot, members stroke the microphone stands, and others sandwich them between their legs. And their costumes, such as short skirts and even lingerie, are designed to arouse male lust.
When girls mimic AKB48 choreography, including the groups and clothes and prop use, they adopt a sexual front not shared normally by children. As a result, they boost the libido of the men who have an interest in children, called “pedophiles,” and with that the rate of grim news continues to increase. The combination of sexualization of girls and infantilization of women is indeed horrible and dangerous.
Parents should recognize this risk and eschew any opportunities for their daughters to learn AKB48 choreography, assuming they hope that their daughters will not become victims of “pedophiles,” who are truly foul and despicable people. [Word count: 260, Time: 5:30 hrs]
Freeewrite response (10 min.) ____________________________________________________ . . .
"Is no one woman good enough for the average man?" by Terue S. (Doshisha Women's College, 2011)
I think the average man probably isn’t satisfied with one single woman, because recently, there are many virtual girls and women who fascinate men. These virtual women and girls are made by men. These men think virtual women and girls are the most pretty and best. They actually want these women and girls. But this is very strange because these virtual women and girls are actually something nonexistent in this world. They are not real. However, men, especially Japanese men, like these virtual women and girls more than any real, single woman. It is a very shocking thing that men think virtual women and girls are more interesting than real women, but I think these virtual women and girls are not perfect. Virtual women and girls have no emotions and are not human.
I think real women are more beautiful than them because we have different emotions, such as happiness, sadness, and anger and we have good points and weaknesses, too. Nobody is perfect, so we are unripe and develop as a person, and fall in love with each other. This is human. This is animal, life. This is just a beautiful thing.
In conclusion, people -- men and women -- should accept that nobody is perfect. Everyone has good points and weak points. And men shouldn’t try to make perfect women. We all should see women and men as individuals. Everyone has beautiful characteristics. [236 words]
Freewrite response (10 minutes)_______________________________________________________ . . .
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