PREFACE: I know I don’t normally post on this day, but since this is just a short blurb, I’m doing it now. Think of it as a bonus!
I feel like America, Japan, and South Korea are a classic rom-com love triangle. America is the boy, whom everyone loves even though he isn’t that interesting. Japan is America’s childhood friend. She gave America anime, the most historically important advancements in videogaming of all time, and popular artists like Yoshiki, Boris, Hikaru Utada, and more; what cherished memories. South Korea, however, is bustier and just appeals to America way more for some reason. Thus, Japan seems doomed to be forgotten… However, she has recently had her redemption arc, and is ready to show America her convictions.
Analogies aside, while BABYMETAL, Ado, and numerous V-tubers have made their way into the mainstream, Japan needs to fight K-pop idols with idols of its own. This is where SG5 comes in. This group is inspired by the popular Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon franchise, and are endorsed by its mangaka, Naoko Takeuchi. Their first ever gig was held at Anime Expo, America’s biggest anime convention, meaning that they are pulling out all the stops to go right for the States’ jugular. Now, after much waiting, they have officially released their first single. Here comes the million dollar question: Is SG5 actually any good?
Positives, they actually caught me off guard. ‘Firetruck’ is not a pop song; it’s a RAP song. Additionally, it sounded extremely and uncomfortably sexual for an idol group. I’ll give them props for sounding almost as cursed as Mili’s ‘Ocean Bby’, a feat I didn’t think an idol group could achieve or want to risk shooting for.
However, positives end there. The idols themselves lack personality with their voices, and it has an aggressively basic beat. More basic than my least favorite BABYMETAL song, even. Going off of this impression alone, I would rank SG5 as my least favorite Japanese music artist ever, only behind Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Scratch that, it might actually be worse. FOR THE RECORD, I am open to good rap music. Mori Calliope does a great job incorporating rap into her music, for example. There’s also the amazing Raoul Kerr from Bloodywood, my potential new favorite band of all time. I’m also getting into a rap-infused metalcore band called Fate DeStroyed, and their music is great so far. In any case, I might enjoy SG5 more down the line, if they can prove to be more versatile; juggling genres and moods around like nobody’s business, similar to Ado and Mori Calliope.
In any case, the biggest issue is the fact that the idol industry as a whole is still this big, considering how its corruption is common knowledge. Perfect Blue has made the industry’s exploitative nature and the psychosis of its fandom very clear, yet we continue to support it and continue poisoning the minds of teenagers (and horny adults) all across the globe. I still listen to my favorite idol groups with trepidation, because despite them being fully grown adults a lot of the time, they could still be suffering underneath those smiles. I have additional concerns with SG5’s safety if they continue to commit to the highly sexual nature shown in this song.
In conclusion, SG5 seems like a shallow new face that’s going to be hard-carried by pretty faces and a familiar brand slapped onto said faces (I can at least rest easy knowing I’m not alone in my opinion, at least from what I found on Reddit). I wish them success, but only as a means to an end; that end being putting Japan and South Korea’s industries on equal footing, as opposed to the one-sided slaughter that’s been in favor of the latter for over a decade. They are better off pushing for existing artists who already have international renown, even if idols are easier money. If you have thoughts on this… collection of music notes, please tell me. I’d actually like to be convinced that what I heard was great.
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