Where do idol events go from here? AKB48 attack forces rethink on how handshake events are held

Where do idol events go from here? AKB48 attack forces rethink on how handshake events are held

In the wake of the saw attack on two members of AKB48 and one man working with the venue, many readers of the news couldn’t help but think, “It was just a matter of time before something like this happened.”

Handshake and high-five events give fans and idols a daring level of closeness compared to pop stars in other countries. However, for years they have gone on relatively incident-free, which is surprising considering the thousands and thousands of people who participate around the country.

Despite the nagging feeling that something could go very wrong, these promotional events were hugely lucrative in an otherwise stale music industry. But now the company behind AKB48, as well as those handling other idol units who rely heavily on these events, have to find a way to ensure their stars’ safety without losing the sense of intimacy they’ve had with their fan-bases.

_________________________________________

“The AKB handshake has become a hot topic, but here, look at the Hatsune Miku’s handshake event.”

AKBの握手が話題になっていますが、ここで初音ミクの握手を見てみましょう。 pic.twitter.com/QMPRavU80F

— 柳葉魚ノ瀬@スパイダァァメエェェン (@THShishamo) May 25, 2014

_________________________________________

On 25 May, about 5,000 fans flocked to the Iwate Sangyo Bunka Center for an AKB48 handshake meeting. The idols who attended were divided into four separate tents, each with a separate line-up. Participants wait in line to get a few seconds to meet their idol of choice, shake hands, say something witty, and then be guided out the back.

To manage the crowd, 100 security guards were on hand. Inside each handshake tent, two to four guards were standing by to enforce time limits and watch for anything out of the ordinary. However, according to other participants, only palms were checked and bags were not inspected at all before entering the tent.

According to police, the alleged attacker Satoru Umeda had kept the folding saw he used to attack the girls inside his bag for roughly four hours and was never once checked. Since the incident, the AKB48 Theater has been closed until 31 May, and sister groups NMB48, SKE48, and HKT48 have only just begun to resume events.

_________________________________________

“There was bloodshed at an AKB handshake event, but let’s look at Miyuki Torii’s handshake.”

AKB握手会での流血事件がありましたが、ここで鳥居みゆきさんの握手会を見てみましょう pic.twitter.com/vP3dYDfYZL

— 胃下垂@福島PT (@CVUKey) May 25, 2014

_________________________________________

During the hiatus the managing company behind AKB48, AKS has been mulling over possible ways to increase security yet still maintain the intimate meet-and-greets that have lifted them to the top tier of Japanese pop-culture.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have advised that the AKB48 Theater install a metal detector, increase the number of guards, stop the high-fives between performers and the audience after shows, and leave the first row empty to prevent anyone from rushing the stage.

Security experts in the media have largely agreed that controlling a handshake event can be a nightmare on many levels. Of course there’s the mere arm’s length of distance between the young idol and hundreds of random strangers. Also, tickets are simply given out bundled in with CD singles which are sometimes binge-bought and thus distributed even more randomly at conventions or flea markets. This method makes finding the identity of a ticket holder virtually impossible.

With that avenue closed, the popular recommendations have been doing regular bag checks and full-body pat-downs of attendees. Many have also suggested putting an acrylic panel between the idol and guest much like at a gas station or liquor store.

_________________________________________

“About the recent AKB handshake event incident, many in my timeline are asking if it’s safe any more. And so many are debating whether it should be done more strictly, but take a look at this handshake event, held with complete freedom.”

今回のAKB握手会事件を受け、TLでは今後いかに安全に、そして厳重な方法で行うべきか討論されてますがここで解放感あふれる握手会をご覧下さい pic.twitter.com/f2zrYNdpx8

— ゆっころ (@attoyukko) May 26, 2014

_________________________________________

The shape handshake events take from hereon in will largely depend on the fans. In the modern era of Japanese idols, fan-access has become a very valuable commodity. It’s quite possible that all of the idol agencies will agree that stricter safety measures are needed and start putting up plastic walls across the board.

As long as the fans aren’t turned off, the business will continue like in this way, but if the bottom line starts dropping too much we may start seeing the walls come back down. One the other hand, even if the idol corporations maintain rigorous security successfully there’s always a chance that a hungry up-and-coming unit will go back to the old style and the cycle will just continue again.

Source: Asahi Shimbun via Hachima Kikou (Japanese)

“From now, AKB48 handshake meetings will have to be like this.”

次からAKBの握手会はこうなるに違いない pic.twitter.com/cQk9K9C63m

— 足なんとか (@AshijiruP) May 25, 2014

Advertisements
Where do idol events go from here? AKB48 attack forces rethink on how handshake events are held

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

We’ve all been there. You excitedly tear off the wrapper on the new snack you’ve been waiting to try, only to find that it’s half the size of the picture on the box, or doesn’t contain the mint leaf daintily arranged on the image on the packaging. That’s why packaging runs the line “serving suggestion”, anyway – to let the manufacturer show the food at its best without being accused of, erm, lying.

A project from the delightfully named German website PUNDO3000, werbung gegen realität (“Adverts versus reality”) attempts to stab back at food manufacturers with painfully real photos of food items. We’re always on the look out for the gap between jazzed-up photos and the real deal , so join us after the jump for 31 of the best!

On their website , the group’s other wonderfully quirky projects include replacement Christmas tree needles! These are some clever people we’re dealing with here.

▼ First up, it’s a pizza snack! If you will buy something called a “pizza snack”, though, you probably deserve this.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ This next one belongs on cakewrecks , really.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ Noticeably devoid of hacksteak .

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ 45 percent vegetables! … Apparently.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ Red onion soup! Not so red in real life, though.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ A choc chip bun with barely any chips…

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼…and a “cream filling” cake that’s painfully low on cream filling.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ To be fair, if you’re going to eat pasta from a can, you should probably keep your expectations low anyway.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼  I think they got the font size the wrong way round on the words “milk” and “rice”.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ Sweet and sour…something.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ That is some fancy packaging for some sad-looking mortadella.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ Eintopf is a type of German stew! Just add, er, ingredients.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

▼ At least the rightward-sloping bun is the same as the adverts.

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

The project’s website states that all the products were eaten after the photos were taken. While I applaud their efforts to avoid waste, I doubt that chowing down on all 100 disappointing-looking food items made for a very fun after-party.

Source: PUNDO3000 via CuRAZY

31 German food photos that show the depressing gap between adverts and reality

Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

Unveiled earlier this week, the “Tohoku Emotion” is a train unlike anything ever seen before in Japan.

Combining “food, art and scenery”, on board this train the journey itself takes the main role and passengers are able to cruise through Northeastern Japan’s beautiful countryside while sampling food freshly prepared before their very eyes.

The special Japan Rail train is due to make its debut at the end of autumn, and will make trips up and down Northeast Japan approximately 150 days a year, with weekends, public holidays and of course Japan’s “golden week” holiday period in May being its main periods of operation.

Billed as a “travelling restaurant”, the train is able to seat 48 diners at any one time. As well as featuring a “live kitchen” car, passengers can watch the world go by from either the open dining car’s windows or a carriage made up entirely of private box compartments where you can snuggle up with a loved one or try to keep your children under control.

Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

The central kitchen and restaurant will be constructed using both methods and materials from the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan. The food served on board will also be sourced from local areas and based on traditional recipes, albeit with a bit of additional flair and style.

While all we have to go on for the moment are the above concept images, we’re sure that the train will be a big hit with rail fans and foodies alike, bringing a little much-needed tourism back to the earthquake and tsunami-hit areas of Japan while reminding us all that it’s not always necessary to actually go anywhere to take a journey.

Source: ねとらぼ

Images via Response

Tohoku Emotion: Japan’s Newest Tourism Incentive Where the Journey is the Star

161 Dachshunds Rescued From Abusive Breeder in Osaka, In Need of Homes

161 Dachshunds Rescued From Abusive Breeder in Osaka, In Need of Homes
The Osaka Animal Welfare and Husbandry Department announced that it is desperately seeking homes for some of the dogs rescued in a major seizure of breeding dachshunds last year.

According to officials, in November last year, a 44-year-old woman working as a breeder was arrested on charges of animal abuse and neglect. An incredible 161 dogs were rescued from her property and taken to area animal hospitals for treatment, vaccination and sterilization.

Sadly, 20 of the dogs have since died, leaving 141 to be rehomed. Through the efforts of the individual animal hospitals about half of them have been placed, but there are still about 70 dogs looking for homes.

Immediately after the breeder’s arrest made news, many people contacted the department wishing to adopt one of the dogs, but when they were finally made available, only three people applied by the February 22nd deadline. The department concluded that they hadn’t sufficiently spread the word and needed to give the dogs another chance, so they’ve extended the deadline to the end of the month.

Those interested in applying can find the necessary materials on the department’s website . Once the application has been received, a staff member will contact you to arrange a home visit to assess your suitability. If there are no problems, applicants will be invited to an information event in March and be able to take their dog home.

If you are in the Kansai area and thinking of getting a dachs, instead of heading to the pet store, how about giving one of these guys another chance?

Source: Yahoo! Japan
Image: Morguefile

161 Dachshunds Rescued From Abusive Breeder in Osaka, In Need of Homes