This past New Years Eve my family and I were invited to the home of some Japanese friends of ours to watch Kouhaku Utagassen, a TV show that NHK broadcasts every New Years Eve where all the year’s most popular musical groups and artists get together for a big concert-disguised-as-singing-contest. Basically it’s seen as a “who’s who” of the music industry: getting invited to sing at it cements your status as one of the years hot artists. This is the first time Ryoko and I were able to see it live instead of bittorrenting it days later (actually we saw it 15 hours later due to time zone differences, but close enough) since we were first dating over 10 years ago.

As we sat and chatted while we watched the show, I came to realize several things I hadn’t noticed before:

I really detest Johnny’s Jimusho. Not just for the business practices of the studio, and the ruthless nature of its head, Johnny Kitagawa (not to mention the fact that he abuses the boys in his employ, making him look like some kind of cross between Machiavelli and Michael Jackson), but because all the boy bands in his employ share the exact same three qualities:
1.) They are all very handsome, bordering on androgynous/beautiful
2.) They are talented entertainers
3.) They can’t sing