At Last, Negicco’s “Canale no Madobe” is Subbed

Greetings!

At last, I have done the subbing process of Canale no Madobe. Special thanks and heartfelt apology to Tomomi who has been really really helpful in translating and explaining the lyrics and also waiting very very long for this release, which the blame is totally on my side m(>_<)m.

Anyway, it is another great song from Negicco. Calm and comforting melody, suitable to accompany your lazy evening. I think the lyric is quite sad, hinting that the singer has been left by her lover. But being sung in a cheerful mood by Negicco made me think like they meant to cheer those who felt that way. “It’s sad, we know, but it’s okay! Remember it as good memory and move forward!”, something like that. And it also has some Niigata hint (the city described is possibly Niigata according to Tomomi).

I also want to apologize for the MV quality degradation. I still do not understand what part of my subbing process caused it, maybe the sub burning activity.

Nevertheless, please enjoy and share!

Unwilling to Let Go Just Yet

I dislike the notion that human will always prefer to get something for free, even if illegal mean is required, than to pay the price. I think a lot of factors are involved in our decision to make a purchase and far more complicated than just “human nature”; a lazy answer. One example is about music. The government and parties with vested interest on copyright of such cultural product incessantly accuse consumers with piracy allegation. That without strict law on copyright, harsh punishment for piracy, and protection mechanism (remember that hellish DRM?) consumers will naturally download for free. I will not support such notion because I believe that people will pay for what they value more than or equal as their money.

Fast fact: I have just purchased another set of CDs. What make it different is this is probably the first instance I make my purchase on a brick and mortar music store.

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It is Harika Music at Ciputra Mall

I browsed a while and guess what I found!

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Two CDs of Ten2Five. I listened to their songs over and over again when I was in Senior High. Nostalgic!

It is an interesting experience. The store was small with some seemingly cheap shelves and only guarded by a person; a far cry from music stores on their heyday. Most of the collections are Indonesian and Western CD songs, concert and movie DVDs, and cassettes (yes, cassettes!). They also had collection of songs you expect to find at the wet-market (or antique shops?) e.g. songs of Nicky Astria, Gombloh, etc.

I know. The availability of online music stores which are capable to sell digital copy or ship physical copy as ordered are ensuring the unfortunate fate of brick and mortar music stores. But denouement is not here yet and the play is still ongoing. Society should control their ignorance over those who are vanquished by progress; considering death of a type of establishment is perfectly normal. There is a risk that they might be too late to realize that once it is gone, it will probably will never come back; extinct together with its possibly hidden benefits (how many species of creatures have we left to extinction? how much damage such extinction has caused?). This type of music outlet gives satisfaction to those who prefer going out of their room and travel to a certain building. Furthermore, physical music outlets offer their costumers a certain degree of privacy. So until the fat lady sings, until the last breath of this sickly old type of establishment, I suppose I will stay by its side and prevent the doctor from pulling the plug.

Maybe we can not change the tide but let’s enjoy our time together until the very last!

 

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There is something in physical medium that makes it different from digital copy. A sentimental sensation or evocation of memories coming from a concrete object of affection that you can actually touch and, in the most uncomplicated, easily understood way, possess. Plus, you can get bonuses like the artists’ letter of gratitude and the art of the case itself.

CD Industry is Holding Strong in Japan

You might have thought that physical storage media of music are pretty much doomed since the dawn of digital copy and internet. If one can get a song easily (and often freely) with a click and can store it in all devices one has, why would one ever want to put extra effort and hassle with an old-fashioned medium? Who would do that? Hipsters? Possible. They will always be the minority though.

But in Japan, CD is still the king.

While CD sales are falling worldwide, including in Japan, they still account for about 85 percent of sales here, compared with as little as 20 percent in some countries, like Sweden, where online streaming is dominant.

— Sisario, Ben, CD-Loving Japan Resists Move to Online Music, nytimes.com, 16 Sept. 2014.

How does the Japanese CD industry defend their bastion so well for so long against the assault of online music? As an outsider who has been interested in this matter, I want to share my view on it.

Oricon Chart

oricon chart

Long story short, Oricon Chart is the list of most popular music in Japan that has been used as an indicator of how successful an artist is. Sounds normal? Here is the catch: the data for the chart is based on “physical media sales” and taken from “physical music retail outlets”. Compare it with Billboard Hot 100 which is based on radio play, online streaming, and sales (physical and digital), Oricon Chart puts heavy emphasis in CD (and other physical media) sales figure by outlets as a big factor in determining the names in the chart.

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How the chart looks like on their site.

Did I mention that Oricon Chart matters? It matters A LOT for artists. And not only being number 1 in the chart, but the sales figure collected also holds great importance for them. Which means artists will have to encourage their fans to buy their CD-s at the CD stores to put their name on the chart, and fans will have to buy their favorite artists’ CD-s at the CD stores to support their favorite artists; buying or streaming the digital copy is just a waste of time and money in this matter.

CD Industry Players’ Domination

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Tower Records, a record company that also operates physical retail outlets

Creating a temporary cafe to support the artist, holding special event for artists and fans, and having live performance at the CD Store are some efforts executed by CD Industry players to boost not only music sales but also their bonds with the artists and fans (and to sell more CD-s, naturally). They also have outlets, which often also sell merchandises accompanying the CD-s, with distribution across Japan, gripping the whole country on their hands.

Arm Wrestling Championship among idol groups. Why? Because kawaii goddess demands it!

The CD Industry players are taking active steps in  promoting music and becoming more than just CD seller; they are becoming identical with the music industry itself. And these same players collectively resist “foreign invasion” of music streaming and downloads. No wonder the “invaders” are having hard time penetrating the market.

And did I mention that giant record companies also develop record label specialized in idols?

Idols of T-Palette Records, a  family member of Tower Records
Idols of T-Palette Records, a family member of Tower Records

Strategic Alliance with Idol Groups

Idol groups, a popular format of vocal groups in Japan, are undeniably having a big contribution in shooting CD sales through the roof. They use all their charm and wits to get the greatest accomplishment on the Oricon Chart by having their CD-s sold as much as possible. Their methods are creatively manifold, exempli gratia; placing autographed photo as a surprise bonus for buying the CD, putting special event ticket in the CD case, giving voting right for every CD bought, threatening to disband if a sales target is not achieved, simply asking you to buy with kawaiiness, and many others.

Sakura Gakuin members politely ask you to check out their DVD

Furthermore, idol group fans are a multiplier factor in boosting sales figure generated. Die-hard fans who will do almost anything to support their idols, which includes buying multitude copy of a same CD and holding fundraising campaign to buy more CD. They might be not the majority, but they still buy more than average people and that means more CD sold.

Contrary to what some media try to picture, idol fan does not always have to be unmarried adult male. A photo from natalie.mu above shows a fan, which is a little girl, supporting Negicco, an idol group.
Contrary to what some media try to picture, idol fan does not always have to be unmarried adult male. A photo from natalie.mu above shows a fan, which is a little girl, supporting Negicco, an idol group.

All of those factors ensure that CD (and other physical media) will stay dominant in Japan for quite a long time. But they are all based on my opinion. Do you have anything to add? Disagree with my view? Share it in the comment section below or the chat section on the right.

Update 11-10-2015

Anton’s Radio!

Are you ready to listen to Anton on air?

Basically telling me that no one is listening to my radio so just shut it up already
Basically telling me that no one is listening to my radio so just shut it up already

Alas! You might not be able to hear my golden (and kawaii) voice now or in the near future (you should thank God for it). I started this project some months ago and I intended it to be a surprise for you, my dear reader!

I named my radio station: Smoking Flax. Why Smoking Flax? The intention behind the name is to inspire people to not give up; no matter how small the fire is, or even when only the smoke comes out and no fire in sight, please hold on and persevere!

I uploaded some Japanese songs (mainly BABYMETAL and Sakura Gakuin), and Indonesian songs (mainly JKT48, Sheila on 7, and Project Pop). I maintained the station by uploading more songs over time, scheduling different songs for different time, and experimenting with the site’s interface (I’m using Radionomy, btw, and there’s some learning curve to face). I also planned to produce my own show, but I couldn’t find the idea for it and I was kind of nervous with the thought of becoming a broadcaster, and so time moved on without any program produced.

Three months passed and I’m possibly the only one listening to it. Radionomy shut it down with the notification above.

Rewatching Old Sakura Gakuin Videos

I watched old Sakura Gakuin videos again, especially where Ms.Ayami was still the president, and even now, they still amuse me (can you understand the pun?). Their lyrics still cheer me up when I need some encouragement. Check out this Twinklestars’ (Sakura Gakuin’s sub-unit) video!

And all member of that generation graduated already…how years fly away just in a glimpse. Wait! Rinon is still in Sakura Gakuin! Rinon, the last heir of the first dynasty. I’m rooting for Rinon until next year when she will graduate!

Koinaka Could Have Been Better

I have been following a J-dorama named “Koinaka” from the first episode to the finale and I hate it because I like it (I know, I know, it’s a cheesy romance drama and I still like it). The characters are lovable; the premises are interesting; the storytelling is enticing; and the plot is attractive. But, they just rush it! And I hate them for rushing it like that. It’s like playing Fallout 3 and just run to finish the main story without finishing the side missions; you can’t enjoy the real deal of the game. The same thing with Koinaka; so much potential diamond inside it that were left unearthed.

First, the main protagonist (Aoi) and the main heroine (Akari) have not met for years and you just expect the spark to come back in just a very short amount of time (less than a month)? They could have gave them more time to explore their feelings, with more flashbacks of the past, and more intimate events. That would make their strength of love a lot more believable.

Second, what the heck happened after the flashback and before the current events? Time jump? Seriously! I want to know more about them! I want to know what shaped them in those years. Show me how hard Akari’s life was, rather than just telling me she had a hard life with a short dialogue. Tell me how Aoi got through the college and landed his first job. Why Nanami moved with her brother? All of those stories can strengthen the characters and yet again, they just rush it! Zannen!!!

Third, there are other interesting characters that just left there as figurants. They deserved more. I personally like Ruiko and her relationship with Aoi. I think they are best-couple-ish and should have been given more screen time. I wanted to know how they met, why they broke up, and I want to see Ruiko actually give more effort to get Aoi back, rather than that less that half-ass effort she gave and then totally given up even before Aoi expressed his feelings on episode 5 (it’s just unlike Ruiko to give up like that). I also wanted to to know more about that female doctor who had crush on Shota, not just that pathetic scene where she asked Shota for dinner and asked him to treat her when Shota told her that he proposed to Akari. Even Scrat in Ice Age got better treatment in story than her.

They should have done it in 25 episodes, rather than just nine, or cut it on episode 5 and let the audience imagine the rest of the story.

Watched the finale of Hanzawa Naoki

 

Have you heard about Hanzawa Naoki before? It’s great! You should watch it! It’s a serious J-dorama, about an ambitious banker and great turbulence he faced in his job. Totally worth following from the first episode to the last. And I actually agree with the ending. It is a lot more believable that insubordination in a Japanese company received punishment. It makes the story closer to reality. Plus, I think Hanzawa needs to take more time with his family and activities outside work. Hanzawa goes to work early in the morning without greeting his son, ate gyudon in the afternoon, conversing with his colleagues in a bar or sparring kendo in the evening, and went home late at night without seeing his son. That’s not a life Hanzawa-kun! You should learn more from Kariage-kun and Wally-kun!

My Project

I finished my second project on August and… I got assigned to new project on October. So how about September? I guess they love Green Day so much and wait to woke me up when September ends. Not much to talk about, still obscure. Well, I still got paid. I should be thankful. But it made me uncomfortable whenever I conversed with my peers, especially when the question “how’s your project” comes out.

That’s all the update on my life! Ups, actually more is coming!

Thx for reading!

First Comment on Negicco’s MV

Look, who got to be the first one to comment on Negicco's MV ?!
Look, who got to be the first one to comment on Negicco’s MV ?!

Next time I got a question in a work interview: “Describe one of your most memorable success in life?”, I will surely consider this one as an answer.

I am literally, from the whole human race with internet access, the first commentator on Negicco’s MV “Nee Bardia/ ねぇバーディア” on YouTube. And not just an MV a fan uploaded, but an official MV uploaded by the official record company.

What? You don’t understand what’s so special with that? Well, don’t sweat it! No one understands much about Anton anyway.

Check it out!

 

Fun Train Ride

Going back home to Jakarta from Depok requires me to take the train. A dull trip indeed, deadly boring travel. I’m just standing (or sitting when I’m lucky) for almost an eternity. But maybe that’s not absolutely true. Boredom is a state of mind, and you can always make it fun when you see it differently. So, here’s some funny or interesting events I encountered in my previous trips on the iron carriage.

Seems-like-impossible-mission

Some men trying to take out big bamboo benches and ladders. The benches were large and the ladders were looong. I made a bet with myself that they won’t make it, but alas, I’ve forgotten the fact that when you can get them in, it’s almost unlikely you can’t get them out. And yes, they successfully took those bamboos with some funny move, some yells, and a lot of laugh.

Trusting Peddler, Trustworthy Consumer

It is not an awkward scene for many train commuters to have peddlers putting their goods on their laps (or any part of your body they can put their goods on), muttering something (about  their goods or how legal their job is, or whatever), and left. Then, after 15 minutes or so, they come back for their goods and to receive payments if anyone buy their goods.

I think it takes a lot of trust to get into this kind of business. Look at the bad possibilities: runaway customers, stolen goods, payment refusal, damaged goods, etc. And there’s no guarantee that law and justice will be upheld at all on a train. So, for me, it implies that this kind of peddlers have faith in train commuters, which resulted from a good history of clean transactions, which also implies that these commuters are trustworthy.

Toxic Waste Area

Expect a bumpy ride when you ride on a train, that’s why you should get a grip. And guess what?! I saw it with my own eyes: a man picking his nose and stroke his upil (dried snot? idk) on the grip. Gross!!! And I imagined somebody else had done the same thing on my grip. It’s not impossible, since hundreds and thousands had touch this very grip and I don’t think anyone had clean it in a daily basis. So, beware, train is a toxic waste area!!!

Battle of the Bands!!!

Train is like a music festival stage; you can see about two or three live performances in a one hour ride from different bands. There’s blind man band (consists of blind man and his loyal guide), children band (children with rag cloths), seems-like-a-widow and her daughter band, and more serious bands. Their standard equipment is a speaker (imagine that, more classy than the bands on buses) and the more serious band brings about two or three speakers with a mixer, effect, electric guitars, and drum (no kidding, they’re serious after all). Many of them sing dangdut, old songs, mellow songs, but there’s also those who seriously perform rock and pop songs, and I love it when they do so. Hey, a good song to accompany you makes a fun ride, right?