AKB48 Election Voting and You

electionvotingmain

Voting is under way in this year’s AKB48 General Election. The preliminary results are out and there have been quite a few eyebrows raised at the way things have panned out thus far. Perhaps even the final rankings might not be as predictable as everyone thought they would be.

 

That’s not what this article is going to be about though. You can go look up any number of news websites if you want to hear people freaking out about Sashihara ranking first in the preliminaries or asking who this Shibata Aya girl is. I could honestly care less about who ranks where, even in the final results. I’m more interested in looking at the mentality behind the fans who turn out to vote in great numbers every year.

For those of you who haven’t heard the headline making news, AKB48’s “Sayonara Crawl” shipped 2.3 million copies to stores ahead of its release this week. This saw an increase of around 300,000 on the group’s previous record of 2 million shipped copies. The important thing to distinguish is that this is merely the number of copies shipped and not sold. However, since they’ve already managed to shift around 1.6 million in the first few days, it’s a safe bet that they’ll manage to get through a majority of this stock.

“So, 1.6 million people went out and bought this single in the first couple of days? That’s pretty impressive!” Well, kinda. You see, there’s 3 different version of the single and each contains a different b-side so if you want all 3 then you’re buying 3 copies. That’s not even taking into account Theater editions which serve to muddy the math even more. “So, 533,333 people went out and bought this single in the first couple of days? That’s still pretty impressive”. Ehh, well then there’s the whole matter of voting and handshake tickets which see people buy large quantities of each single so the number is probably somewhere around 5-10 times lower than that as a very rough guesstimate. Still, they sold 1.6 million copies so I guess who bought what and how many isn’t a huge concern to management.

Basically where I’m going with this long-winded tangent is that a lot of people buy a lot more copies than they could ever really have a need or use for. The reason for this of course being to obtain either handshake tickets so they can meet their favorite idols for a few seconds or voting tickets so they can vote for them in the election each year. A very solid and well thought out marketing strategy on the part of the group’s management that’s for sure. I’m sure a lot of other groups wish they had the kind of marketing and mainstream appeal that the 48 conglomerate has at this present moment.

Okay so I realize that as a foreign fan I’m somewhat detached from the whole situation. I don’t live in Japan so I’m not going to handshake events every other week/month/whatever and naturally it’s harder for people like me to have the same emotional attachment as those on the “front lines”. Even so, I just can’t get my head around the vast amounts of money that people pump into these elections. Surely even by wota standards, the kind of cash that AKB pulls in from these elections is insane. Maybe I’m wrong but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

At this point I should clarify that I’m not really talking about the people who just go out and buy say each version of the single. They like the songs, they want the complete set and they get a couple voting tickets as part of the deal. Nothing wrong with that, they’re getting more theoretical value from their purchase than they usually do. Hard for the average fan to argue with deals like that right?

Instead I want to focus on a couple of things that I’ve seen around the internet over the past few days that made me really stop and think about the extremes that some people go to in this fandom. You can think I’m picking on people for supporting their favorite idols if you like, I really don’t care. I’ve just seen some amazingly stupid things these past few days and I wanted to comment on them.

The first of these things is something that maybe some of you have heard of. Some person in Japan made a series of tweets showing off their “Sayonara Crawl” CD haul. Nothing too out of the ordinary there but said person then went on to claim that they spent nearly 2 million yen on the acquisition. Maybe I’m the crazy one here but isn’t that quite a lot of money to be spending on voting tickets? I say voting tickets because there’s no way this person just wanted thousands of CDs to use as coasters. A very quick currency conversion puts the value of the purchase somewhere around 19,000 USD.

On a slightly smaller scale, I was browsing a forum the other day, something I do from time to time and I was checking out their election thread. All of the comments were pretty standard until I came across one where a person was telling of how they had to take out a personal loan so they could buy a bunch of CDs. Now, I don’t like loans at the best of times but if you’re taking one out to buy voting tickets then perhaps you should be reevaluating your life choices instead. You could argue that a sub-1,000 dollar loan (which is what I think it amounted to) isn’t that much money but given the context of the situation it just seems absurd to me. That’s just my opinion though, I could be wrong.

The last major thing I saw came by way of eBay. Everyone’s favorite international auction website. Now, eBay is pretty well known for its overinflated prices (at least I hope everyone knows those prices are overinflated) on idol goods but the people selling voting tickets right now really take the cake. A brand new “Sayonara Crawl” CD costs what? $15 or so? Well, I’ve seen quite a few auctions for voting tickets over the last few days and the average price seems to be in the region of $16 each. I’ll just let you do the math on that one, and yes people are bidding on and buying these tickets.

There was some other small stuff like people being really self conscious about making sure they had proof that they’d voted for their oshi or whatever. Pretty inconsequential stuff at the end of the day. However, I can see why they’d want such evidence. One look on Tumblr and various other cancer inducing fandom communities dictates that if you don’t vote at least once for someone then you’re not a “real fan”. It’s pretty much the same toxic rhetoric that has been around for a long time now. Voting in a meaningless election doesn’t make your opinion any more valid than anyone else’s and it doesn’t make you a truer fan of anything. No matter how hard anyone tries to convince you that it does.

At the end of the day, I just don’t understand how people can throw all of this money down the drain on voting tickets. That’s not to say that I’m telling people how they should spend their money but come on! That person that spent 2 million yen on voting tickets could have bought a car for that kind of money. At that point isn’t it getting just a tiny bit ridiculous?

Maybe that person just doesn’t spend their money on anything else. I guess that’s fine if it’s their one major expenditure on their hobby for the year. However when I’m reading about people taking out personal loans (those things have crazy interest rates by the way) to buy tickets, surely we can all agree that that is just going way too far. Right?

I almost feel as bad for people like that as I do for the people buying $16 voting tickets from eBay sellers. For one thing, those sellers technically don’t have to give you a working code for your money. It’s not like Paypal have a particularly good track record when it comes to resolving disputes after all. Then of course there’s the fact that you’re paying the price of the CD for….well, not the CD. Maybe you just want the voting ticket but I’m just pointing out that you can get the physical CD, a voting ticket that you can use and an insert photo that you can probably sell to recoup some of your outlay for the same price.

What I’m really saying is if you honestly have that kind of money to spend on something so frivolous then perhaps consider donating it to charity or using it for something more worthwhile. That kind of money could really make a difference to someone’s life, in a much more positive way than applying an arbitrary ranking to some Japanese girl that isn’t going to matter in a month’s time. SKE48’s Takayanagi Akane even came out and said that it doesn’t matter where you rank because nothing really changes in their careers after the fact.

All of this isn’t even taking into consideration how much damage people must be doing to the environment by throwing out the hundreds of CDs that they don’t want. You can literally walk down the street in Japan and pick theater editions up off the curb after most AKB single releases. A lot of it probably does end up getting recycled but really, it’s a huge waste of paper and plastic. Maybe you don’t give a fuck about the environment, that’s your decision but seeing stuff like that happening just really annoys me.

These are just my opinions. You might agree with them, you might disagree with them. The important thing is that we talk about stuff like this and don’t just accept it as people or Japan being crazy or whatever.

 
If you feel like discussing anything I brought up in this article then go ahead and leave a comment, send me an email at garry@newschoolkaidan.com or hit me up on Twitter @Mage77. As always, I’ll try to respond to every comment that gets left. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

About Garry

Senior editor, content writer and podcast personality.
  • missingno15

    While I see what you mean, and I personally would not spend that much money on cds, it’s their money and as long as they have it.

    Also since I don’t have space or the need for hundreds of CDs, I took the opportunity to buy voting ticket codes from someone who seems trustworthy enough from a forum for a little less than what the theater edition costs so I ponied up $80 for 10 codes. All the codes worked so it was an awesome deal for me.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      Glad to hear you had a positive experience. Thanks for reading.

  • Jeff

    I agree with the general idea of the article: it’s crazy that people are (capable of) pumping in so much money for this election. Then again, the varying degrees of emotional attachment in the fandom lead to varying levels of blindness and lack of logic. And there’s just nothing that can be done about it until it’s too late.

    That said, it’d be nice if those who bought 5 million copies of the single donated them to charity or something instead of just leaving them on the side of the road; would put the singles to much better use for those who just want to listen to the song or even those who can’t buy the single in the first place.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      Yeah, the emotional attachment plays the biggest part in all of this I’d imagine. There’s probably better things in life to be so passionate about though.

      The amount of waste involved is probably the thing that I hate the most in all honesty. That’s just my viewpoint though. I know not everyone particularly cares about that kind of thing.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment. I appreciate it.

  • Datalanche

    I agree with most of this. I’m pretty used to people overreacting to this election and/or overvaluing the act of voting in it, it’s happened since day one. But this year, reading that post of someone taking out a personal loan to vote makes me sad. This stuff is for entertainment purposes only, and it annoys me to see the fandom get more and more obsessive. What’s so fun about debt and worrying to death about idol pop music?!

    To each their own I guess, but like you I just don’t understand some of what’s going on in this fandom lately. Good article.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      I guess it’s all worth it when the person you vote for thanks “you” for voting in her blog or whatever. I could pretend to be the girl and write the same thing for free but hey, it’s their money right?

      The western fandom seems to be devolving into a state of who can one-up everybody else. Maybe it always has kinda been like that but to me it’s becoming a lot more prominent lately.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • OMG_Reo

    Partway through the article, I can recall several tweets about the environmental impact 1,000+ unnecessary extra copies of the CD a single fan would have, AND then you brought up the financial morality of fans taking up loans to make such purchases. That’s definitely on the extreme END of this fanbase, if one were to measure and scale it.

    I can only assume if there was another means to buy a vote, without negative affects on the environment – it would’ve been offered already.

    As an example, using the suggested cost of a brand new Sayonara Crawl CD at $15USD.

    With the Japan Red Cross Tsunami Donation having been extended to March 8 2014 – for every donation of $15 to JRCS would generate a single electronic voting code. Clearly, this avenue of vote sales would not benefit AKS nor its partners, however it’d have a positive social concerns.

    Alternatively, they could use the same Sales Drive platform similar to Humble Bundle with a suggest minimum for a Digital Copy of the CD, some other Digital Exclusives, & you decide which portion of the sale price go to whom (AKS, Charit(y/ies), and Vote Code provider). The amount of Vote Codes earned would be calculated using Users Final Sale Price / $15USD = Number of Vote codes. If you visit the recent Humblebundle and check out the highest paying contributor shelling out $2,500.00
    USD – he’d have bought 166 Vote Codes. How the Vote codes are released is a different math I can’t think of at this time.

    AGAIN, I’m reminded we don’t live in the Hakuna Matata kind of world.
    Thanks for the article; I’ll go back and finish it. Thanks Garry.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      Yeah, I would have suggested some kind of Red Cross donation in the article but I’m pretty sure I came to the same conclusion that AKS wouldn’t want to do that. Not that they have to or anything but I can’t help but wonder if all of that money couldn’t be put towards a greater cause than lining some company executives’ pockets.

      Maybe that”s just where I am in my life right now that I think like that. Everyone is going to come at it from a different angle at the end of the day

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Kairi

    If I were one of these wota who spend every single yen in their bank account, or even went to the point of taking out loans for these voting tickets, the least I could do is go to the areas affected by the 2011 Touhoku disasters and give away all the CDs out to people.
    I guess as an AKB wota, and seeing the members go to these areas and perform…I would feel like…I’m giving a little bit of joy for these people still recovering.
    I think I feel good abt it. I think this gift giving on a whim would become an experience that I would never forget.

    It may seem ego stroking, idk, but this is what i would do.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      If you’re going to go visit the affected areas then I’d suggest offering to help out in some way while you’re there. I’m sure the people would appreciate that a lot more than an AKB CD.

      That’s just my opinion though. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  • chewybacca

    Participating in the idol fandom can, and almost always does, usually transcend rational thinking. There’s little to no tangible benefit to yourself and, unlike donating to a charity or the environment, it doesn’t really benefit the social good either.

    But it’s more often than not, an emotional argument. Fans derive their satisfaction and value from seeing their favorite idol happy, even if said idol doesn’t have anything to tangibly benefit from the election outcome. (Unless you had a million dollars to throw around on 100,000 votes, in which case it *would* likely have an impact on the future career of the girl you voted for. But that’s an extreme case for argument’s sake). You’re as much of a part of it as they are, sharing in the happiness of the result. Even Yuko herself made the remark that votes are a sign of love and admiration. A show of moral support, if you like, in the girl’s career as an idol. It almost taps into the same emotional psyche as with purchasing cars – why buy an Alfa Romeo when a Toyota will do the basic job of getting you from A to B just the same? This is where marketing strategy comes in: to tap into your inner emotional attachment and squeeze as much out of you as possible (cynically speaking).

    I, like you, once baulked at the prospect of wota spending exorbitant amounts of money for handshake events. Having now been to one myself however, I can start to understand why they need to spend a lot. Even before taking into account the technicalities of these events, it all goes back to the point of emotional satisfaction. Sure, there’s no real utility you can derive from spending hundreds of dollars going to these events. You don’t gain anything tangible. But as a fan, there’s no real greater satisfaction than seeing them happy that you’ve come to see them. And the longer you spend with them, (more often than not) the greater intangible personal worth you can derive from the experience. That, to me, is where the value lies.

    So yes, I agree that some perspective on value is needed. Whether you or I think it’s something worth spending on will obviously differ depending on how attached you are to the fandom, and how you value the idol fandom altogether. But the value one chooses to place in the idol fandom cannot necessarily be objectively explained by economic means.

    As for the widely circulated images of boxes of CDs, as happens every year, from what I have heard, the majority don’t use the votes all for themselves. Which is why the secondary market (like Yahoo!Auctions, eBay, etc.) exists.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      I completely understand that it’s an emotional thing. Although I find it pretty hard to see how people outside of Japan can have such a huge emotional investment when they’re so detached from the situation. More power to them I suppose.

      Your Alfa Romeo scenario isn’t quite the same because at the end of the day (barring an unforeseen accident) you’re still going to have a car that you can sell on to recoup some of the initial expenditure. I do understand what you’re getting at though.

      I don’t think going to a handshake event would help change my opinion that much. If anything I imagine that it would just further drive home the absurdity of the whole thing. I just don’t really get off on other people’s happiness or gratitude (real or otherwise).

      The problem that I think I have is that from my perspective, I don’t see any of these girls as “idols”. They’re just regular teenage or twenty-something year old girls to me. I appreciate their musical talents, dancing ability, acting, personality etc but at the end of the day they’re just people in a very privileged position. I have this same problem with famous musicians, actors, etc.

      Isn’t the fact that those people aren’t even buying the CDs for themselves and just so they can scalp the voting tickets even worse than the things I brought up? Isn’t that the ultimate form of waste in this scenario?

      But hey, thanks for taking the time to write such an in-depth comment. I really appreciate it.

      • Darth Slacker

        You’ve seen the gimmicks pushed on Comic Book collectors (Multiple covers, 3-d Holograms, Patches or Pins) – The “Death of Super Man” from the early 90’S was a titanic seller & it was in a black plastic bag that came w/ an armband & funeral stuff – So people bought multiple copies to stash away – only to find out 2 years later that the ink used to dye the bag black would flake & ruin the contents inside- meaning you had to open it & them reseal it in a better bag (but it’s now no longer “mint”) – lol.

        To be honest, I find hat “meeting a famous person” (an Idol) takes the magic & mania away when you see them look you in the eye & see them as “normal person”- you relax & see them as just another human (someone from another “job” or school) and the obsession & fascination ends there. it goes from “That Girl on TV” to that Girl I met at “where ever” – then you tell people, “Yeah – I met her she’s really nice”.

        I think if everyone got to spend 20 minutes in an elevator or room w/ their Oshi in a “Normal setting” (as a person NOT an Celebrity) – they’d cringe at the amount of time & money they wasted on them.

        • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

          As a comic book fan myself I’m well aware of all of the shenanigans that went on in the 90s. I guess for speculators at that time they at least had a tangible product at the end of it. It’s hard to sell votes after you’ve used them. It’s very much an immediate emotional payout and not a long term financial investment.

          Yeah I mean, I’ve met plenty of musicians in my time and after a while the awestruck feeling just goes away. Now I just see them as regular people, albeit with some pretty awesome jobs.

          That’s the crux of the issue I think. People just can’t help but put idols/celebrities/etc on a pedestal for whatever reason.

  • Jessica Crosbie-Watters

    This was a really interesting article, and I totally agree with what you’re saying. I was going to buy votes from a forum member- but having similiar thoughts to you about not getting anything tangible I ended up simply buying one cd of each type. It worked out to be more expensive, but having actual CDs is more enjoyable than more codes.
    I think the main downfall of people buying hundreds of cds is that for people like me, who only have a few votes and couldn’t afford to spend in mass- the votes become somewhat meaningless. My oshi is one of the top girls- a few votes won’t matter to her when she’s already got thousands. I feel like the election becomes less fun when you know that it’s a measure of spending power. So I’ll be giving one of my votes to my oshi and the others to a less popular younger girl- the bottom ranks really are the most interesting.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      Yeah, the fact that it has pretty come down to who has the most spending power really has sucked the fun out of it. Even if I did really like the single and bought each different version I’d still feel like my 3 votes were a drop in the ocean. It’s hard to feel like you’re making that much of a difference.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my article and share your thoughts. I appreciate it.

  • Darth Slacker

    Well Garry- interesting read…

    As an Anime fan first (meaning before I entered Idol-land) I’ve seen similar if not stranger stuff. Honestly, I appears AKB48 Idols get off “light” compared to the rabid fandom (horror stories) I’ve heard & stories I read about stalkings of various Seiyuus or Anime-related singers.

    I’ve seen dozens of 2-D characters birthdays be celebrated by elaborate shrines with 9 million collectables of the same character & God knows how many posters & hug-pillows all to surround a modest cake w/ 1 candle. The retail price of Otaku’s rooms must easily be in the thousands USD. These aren’t even “Idols you can meet”. A few times a year you read about some Seiyuu that was stalked or view a 20+ pic collection of destoryed anime goods because the Voice Actress dared be seen next to an un-related male (or actually had a boyfriend) – it’s disturbing.

    My purchases on Idols would be extreme if I won the Power Ball but in realistic world I think fandom boils down to what you get out of it. That’s what youre paying for right? Would I pay $25 for a quality Paruru T-Shirt (Yeah), will I buy multiple copies of the same CD/DVD – Never. Would I buy a Paruru, Yuko, Mayuyu, Kojima figure/doll? Maybe (if it looked like them & was under $50).

    Would I buy a giant cardboard standee – No
    Solo CD of just them singing various songs – possibly
    Large Wall hangs – ehhh- gotta be really cheap
    T-Shirts – God Yes!
    Beach Towel, Socks, Bag, hand-Fan – God NO!
    Beer Mug – Sure!
    AKBingo season #? DVD w/ subtitles ($100) – Hell yeah
    Pics of my Oshi – probably not.

    In the end the $$ is more important than the Idol. I need something “tangible” or something I can show off. I would buy flowers or small stuffed animal (something under $20) to give to my Oshi if I was to meet her.

    Ultimately for me Money = Value. I will pay top dollar for a rare & unique Idol item as opposed to buying a lot of smaller inconsequential common items. If I was in Japan – I would go & meet my Idols ONCE (I might 2 extra tickets being it’s a 1st time) and then maybe do it again a year later. I buy cheap food to store in my house so I can buy more expensive “take-out” & I’ll buy pants at Goodwill so I can buy 3 $20 Anime/Comic T’s (that I will wear for 3-6 years) online or a mall.

    I mention all these unrelated purchases to help you understand the “mindset” of some of these AKB48 Wota’s – Perhaps for them THIS Election means THAT MUCH to them because they thrive & enjoy AKS material all year long (on TV, The Net, ect which is somewhat “Free”) & they see the election as their chance to be “involved”- This is cathartic for them. It’s the only way to stave off their “mania”? – I don’t deny it’s CRAZY but I think these are people who need something to “fill a hole” in their lives and if it wasn’t AKB it would be something else. The money doesn’t matter to them because the “Reward” is worth the price to them (In their mind). I’ve seen people dump 2-3 thousand on a Webcam Model they will never “meet” let alone date.

    Lastly, an American example of a Hobby- My Sister goes to Spring Training for her favorte baseball team every March just to watch them “practice” for 4-6 days. Airfare, Lodging, Food, Assorted Incidentals not to mention time “Off Work”- did I mention her share of “Season Tickets”?- Win or Lose that money is GONE when it’s over. Convert my sisters baseball expenses into a dollar amount & see how many AKB votes she can buy- is it that crazy to spend all that on simply baseball? The value is worth the price apparently. She also works 2 jobs, has Truck payments, & smokes – This is how she spends her money

    As Americans I doubt you or I will ever really understand the Japanese mindset when it comes to money or the power & allure of their “manias”

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      I feel incredibly bad for anime seiyuu. They aren’t even idols (well, most of them) or the character they voice but the fans of said character hold them to impossibly high standards. A seiyuu being married or having a boyfriend should in no way impact how adept she is at her job.

      I will give you that anime otaku are in a lot of cases a lot worse than idol fans. Most of them tend to have a new favorite show every season so I can’t imagine how much money the pump into merchandise every year.

      I don’t think my spending on idols would increase if my financial situation drastically improved. It’s just not a hobby that I feel I need to spend a ton of money on to enjoy. I’ll buy a shirt or CD here and there but I don’t realistically see me ever spending more than that. That’s just not how I am.

      Thanks for taking the time to give so many examples. I guess I’m just not the kind of guy who feels the need to invest a ton of money into his hobbies. I’m also a bit of a tightwad so that probably plays into it too huh?

      I appreciate all of the comments. Thanks for taking the time to leave them.

  • Nicholas Lim

    I think that the original intent of the elections – to let fans have a say in who should front the group – would work very well if everybody just bought the 2-3 singles and channel their votes accordingly to the ones they believe in/reward for good work.

    If you noted the vote numbers over time, its only as the group got bigger and the elections became mainstream news that the vote numbers got sillier as people threw in more votes just to vote in the mainstream members. This in turn also meant more votes just to help everybody else secure a good position within the group.

    Some perspective here:

    The votes that “bought” a 2012 Future Girls slot, would have “bought” a 2011 Undergirls slot.

    On the waste of money on tickets: I would not really call buying even 50 CDs a waste of money, if it is justified on 3 grounds: That the fan can afford it without extreme measures, the fan knows what he is doing, and what he is giving up in life to do it.

    The problem with the fans is that to take out a loan to buy that many albums for what is ultimately a pleasure that is at times intangible does not make for good sense. Also for the money spent on hearing a heartfelt “thank you” to the (crowds) who voted, tons of more personal pleasures could be bought. A new car to get around, a quality hifi to hear the songs better, or even a few months out of debt/a few months of more spending money.

    But than again, who am I to judge on the values of intangible pleasures. The last time I went for an AKB event, the 30 secs of idol interaction (sorta) negated the “waking up at 5:30, queueing for 2 hours, eating packed lunches, and being bored for 5 hours” ordeal of waiting.

    On the CDs going to waste: This is an end result of the “extra content” in pop CDs, which is a double edged sword. On one hand, having such niceties like photocards and tickets make buying a physical album worthwhile in a time of downloads (legal or otherwise). The pride of ownership from having an album in one’s hands is still there, except the reward is in other forms rather than sound quality wise.

    On the other hand, it is a problem when the “extras” get way more valued than the sliver disc of high quality skip free music. I have friends who have never touched their CDs, preferring to use a MP3 download and to keep the physical packaging intact. It’s like, is it no longer about the music and sound quality anymore?

    Maybe its a Japan thing to not want second hand stuff, and who would really want scalped albums (unless you really love the song, in which case you would buy 3 singles anyway), but still, its a sad day when people value the non-musical elements of an album more than the medium containing the song.

    • Darth Slacker

      I agree. It’s like winning the lottery in a way. These cards are exclusive to the this single so you can imagine how awesome it is to get a rare “sought after” Idol or your own Oshi as a bonus for buying the album. I’m sure people in the know – sell the photos & probably gain back 1/2 (more or less) of what they spent on the CD’s – so in essence they got to vote say 20 times but in the end the final cost was only 10 CD’s worth?

      Imagine if you actually had the whole photo collection from Sayonara Crawl – You could sell that & make a profit. How are these CD’s not unlike Baseball Cards or “scratch-off” Lottery tickets – lol.

      Japanese love arcades, games of chance, vending machine collectibles, game shows… This is their way of participating in AKB. This would happen if you made the “Vote codes” available in Downloads. in USA People buy 20 happy meals & toss the food for the Beanie Baby or Toy – collecting stuff is an Addiction.

    • http://www.newschoolkaidan.com/ Garry

      I think we’re mostly on the same page here. I’m not trying to judge people on what they do with their own money, that would be incredibly stupid of me. The taking out loans to buy voting tickets is incredibly irresponsible though.

      I’m starting to accept that I just don’t have the same mindset as these people. The only thing I really take pride in owning is my laptop which I basically use for everything. Everything else apart from the roof over my head is a luxury that I can easily do without.

      Yeah, I completely agree that it’s rather sad that the extra stuff included with CDs have now become more important than the actual music. Maybe that says more about the music than anything else though.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.