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Robot love
June 28, 2011 3:28 AM   Subscribe

It's no secret that Aimi Eguchi is beautiful and talented. But human? Not exactly.

I don't care if she is a CGI creation. Her composite beauty is enough to make me want to eat her candy.
posted by twoleftfeet (45 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a little unsettling interesting that, while the girl is composed of all the facial elements of the other members of the band, the final product is whitewashed with a skin color that's several shades lighter than any of the composite parts.
posted by phunniemee at 3:38 AM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Idoru.
posted by Splunge at 3:51 AM on June 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Before Idoru, there was Sharon Apple. Probably more besides.
posted by AbsoluteDestiny at 3:55 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why must so many synthetics be made up to resemble meat? DJ I-Robot wasn't ashamed of its appearance. I blame the fans and the industry.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:01 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the regular girls looked better than the hybrid, for the most part.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:03 AM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why must so many synthetics be made up to resemble meat? DJ I-Robot wasn't ashamed of its appearance. I blame the fans and the industry.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:01 AM on June 28 [+] [!]

Eponysterical.
posted by daniel_charms at 4:04 AM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


the final product is whitewashed with a skin color that's several shades lighter than any of the composite parts.

That probably makes it a lot easier to hide compositing lines without having to painstakingly match the skin tones of all 6 girls.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:06 AM on June 28, 2011


Uncanny!

A-and clever too!

In fact, she was not human at all - but a clever computer-generated composite of six other members of the popular girl band AKB 48.
posted by chavenet at 4:19 AM on June 28, 2011


That's nothing, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow was a composite of half a dozen bands!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:37 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obvious people need to watch more Arthur. Binky Rules!
posted by astapasta24 at 5:24 AM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I like how the candy ad "raised suspicions" by explicitly layout out what was down and how.
posted by DU at 5:24 AM on June 28, 2011


I heard she was dating Max Headroom.
posted by snap_dragon at 5:25 AM on June 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh my god, I remember watching that Arthur episode, and being so disappointed that this fictional band that had just been revealed from various plot machinations was not real.

This would likely cause me similar dread.
posted by Askiba at 5:27 AM on June 28, 2011


Before Idoru, there was Sharon Apple. Probably more besides.

Justin Bieber?
posted by Skeptic at 5:36 AM on June 28, 2011


Does she evolve? I want to see lightning shoot out her ass.
posted by pracowity at 5:38 AM on June 28, 2011


The most unsettling part, for me, is the way men seem to be drooling over these (possibly underage? definitely underage in "Aitakkata") young women, who are, you may notice, never seen anywhere near any kind of male presence so that old Japanese men can dream that, whenever they gush about wanting to be with you forever and ever, they're singing about you, yes you!!
posted by Mooseli at 5:45 AM on June 28, 2011


Does she evolve? I want to see lightning shoot out her ass.

Be careful what you wish for
posted by ShutterBun at 5:50 AM on June 28, 2011


Previously. And previouslier.
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:00 AM on June 28, 2011


so that old Japanese men can dream that

Why all the qualifiers?
posted by DU at 6:04 AM on June 28, 2011


I watched the composite link and it looks to me as though they chose the most European features from the girls: the thinnest nose, the biggest eyes, and with the lightened skin the composite ends up looking more European than my half-Japanese daughter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:14 AM on June 28, 2011


Does she evolve? I want to see lightning shoot out her ass.

Be careful what you wish for


See?!? See what we're trying to protect our kids from, Scalia?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:14 AM on June 28, 2011


I read half the article and was increasingly baffled until I went back and reread the headline -- "Oh, 'Fake Japanese Pop Star,' not Porn Star.'"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:15 AM on June 28, 2011


Don't worry ricochet biscuit, your fake porn stars are cumming soon! It's just that the technology must first be deployed for the higher purpose of making women buy stuff to put on their faces.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:29 AM on June 28, 2011


take that lady gaga
posted by doobiedoo at 6:53 AM on June 28, 2011


Ok so now we really are living in a Gibson novel

Where do I get my razor fingernails?
posted by pickinganameismuchharderthanihadanticipated at 6:55 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's just that the technology must first be deployed for the higher purpose of making women buy stuff to put on their faces.

First the facials. Then the facials.
posted by pracowity at 7:06 AM on June 28, 2011


Need more biru.
posted by zephyr_words at 7:07 AM on June 28, 2011


Everything else being equal, S1m0ne was kind of a terrible movie.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:08 AM on June 28, 2011


Slightly creepy, though not necessarily more creepy than the pouty/submissive/on-the-verge-of-tears-then-back-to-kissy faces that is the stock in trade of your average underaged Japanese idoru.
posted by modernnomad at 7:11 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can tell it's the future because 'living in a Willian Gibson novel' became commonplace and meh
posted by Tom-B at 7:43 AM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The most unsettling part, for me, is the way men seem to be drooling over these (possibly underage? definitely underage in "Aitakkata") young women, who are, you may notice, never seen anywhere near any kind of male presence so that old Japanese men can dream that, whenever they gush about wanting to be with you forever and ever, they're singing about you, yes you!!

These groups are mostly popular with tween-to-15 year-old girls.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:48 AM on June 28, 2011


There are many, many things about AKB (and its sister groups SKE48, SDN48, HKT48, and NMB48) that creep me right the fuck out.

Here's one of their first songs, Skirt Hirari (Skirt Flutters). At least one of the girls in that video was 12 at the time.

Another early song - Seifuku ga Jama o Suru (My School Uniform Gets in the Way), which certainly seems to be talking about enjo kousai.


Their 16th single, Ponytail to Shushu (Ponytail and Scrunchie).

And Heavy Rotation.


AKB is promoted as 会えるアイドル - idols you can meet. If you go to their theater in Akihabara (or Nagoya, Hakata, or Osaka) where they perform every day (and twice a day on weekends!). the one in Osaka is constantly surrounded by guys hanging around in the alley next to the dressing room entrance.

CDs often come with a ballot to apply for handshake events, signings, or photograph events. For a while, when AKB was first starting out, they had a promotion with one of the cell phone companies where you could call a number, for a fee, and ask one of the members a question and they would answer it. Live. Not recorded.

And then there's the Senbatsu. Fans vote to rank the members - the top 40 (out of about 150) are the only ones who appear on the cds. The top 12 will do the media promotion work, the top 21 participate on the single, and 22-40 only appear on the B-sides. It's designed to keep fans buying cds so they can vote for their favorite member, and it creates a huge rivalry between the girls.

And who votes in the senbatsu? Who applies to go to the handshake events, the signings, the photograph events? Not tween to 15 year old girls. They like the songs, sure, but the group isn't being marketed towards them and they're not the ones buying all the cds and goods. (They're spending it all on Johnny's, or one of the Korean idol groups, but that's a different post.)

No, it's mostly men who are attending all the fan events, and paying $30 to watch a live broadcast of the senbatsu at a movie theater, and voting in the senbatsu, and hanging around outside their dressing room doors.

tl;dr version, thanks to my friend when we were talking about this subject while I was typing this up: UGH THE MISOGYNY AND EWW
posted by emmling at 8:14 AM on June 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


The most unsettling part, for me, is the way men seem to be drooling over these (possibly underage? definitely underage in "Aitakkata") young women, who are, you may notice, never seen anywhere near any kind of male presence so that old Japanese men can dream that, whenever they gush about wanting to be with you forever and ever, they're singing about you, yes you!!

IIRC, in CS Lewis's (otherwise misogynist and reprehensible) That Hideous Strength, he writes about a society on the moon where when people marry they have sex with basically robot copies of each other because real human bodies are too coarse for their "delicate lusts". Honestly, that's where we're headed - inevitably, if humans can have a fantasy creature that gives then exactly what they want, that's how things will end up. Of course, no one will ever question "what they want" - it will be rationalized as natural while being intensely artificial - and the needs of wealthy men, straight first and then queer, will be catered to in the most detail and with the most social applause.

Have sex with real people now, everyone who likes that sort of thing - your window is closing!
posted by Frowner at 8:26 AM on June 28, 2011


It's been noted for decades that the successful Japanese models are often the women with more European features than the average Japanese woman. (Male models? No idea. Those billboards/subway adverts didn't catch my eye.)
posted by kozad at 8:35 AM on June 28, 2011


> Honestly, that's where we're headed - inevitably, if humans can have a fantasy creature that gives then exactly what they want, that's how things will end up.

No, No! We learned at the end of Weird Science that men will choose the flawed human women after a period of experimentation with ideal, computer-enhanced living simulations with superpowers.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:36 AM on June 28, 2011


emmling, thanks for providing more background. When saw this video the other day, I didn't have time to look into it more,but I was left wondering about a "band" had 150 girls in it!
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 9:35 AM on June 28, 2011


Honestly, that's where we're headed - inevitably, if humans can have a fantasy creature that gives then exactly what they want, that's how things will end up.

Strange you should say that as I just said mentioned this in another thread.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:39 AM on June 28, 2011


So are there Japanese men who like actual actual grown up Japanese women? I can't help but think that someone like Jane Russell or Mae West has no counterpart in Japanese culture. Are there any strong outspoken women who are popular with men?
posted by doctor_negative at 9:57 AM on June 28, 2011


So are there Japanese men who like actual actual grown up Japanese women?

My father-in-law liked Hiroko Kuniya, the host of NHK current affairs program "Closeup Gendai".

Anyway, this is kind of a strange question because I can't think of many women in western media who are liked more for their age and their brains, rather than their youth or their beauty.

You can denigrate Japanese men for being the main attendees at meet-the-idol events (and it's certainly true that Japan celebrates youth - the younger the better - more than anything else) but I don't see how that is different than taking photos of cosplay girls at comic conventions or whatever.

The only difference between Japan, and, say, the US, is that the Japanese are more open about all things sexual. In Western culture, we have the same fetishes, but choose not to openly admit to them. A quick perusal of any "tube" porn site will show you what I mean.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:32 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Kyoko Date
posted by Snyder at 11:10 AM on June 28, 2011


Honestly, that's where we're headed - inevitably, if humans can have a fantasy creature that gives then exactly what they want, that's how things will end up.

DON'T DATE ROBOTS!
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:02 PM on June 28, 2011


DON'T DATE ROBOTS!

I know, totally, you might end up with Melanie Griffith!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:18 PM on June 28, 2011


tl;dr version, thanks to my friend when we were talking about this subject while I was typing this up: UGH THE MISOGYNY AND EWW

While it may be a bit creepy, I disagree that it is misogynistic. It's simply an extension of "moe" affection/adoration that's been appropriated to sell music. I guarantee that Perfume is the subject of similar moe expressions by a subset of fans, but the way AKB48 is marked and promoted (as well as the lower average age) seems to repel people -- especially Westerners. Frankly, I find the adoration of Johnny's Jimusho and Korean boy groups by middle-aged women to be a bit weird, but it's practically a cliché here.

My father-in-law liked Hiroko Kuniya, the host of NHK current affairs program "Closeup Gendai".

Excellent taste. Though she's a bit too old for my taste I think Maoko Kotani (host of World Business Satellite) is similarly attractive.
posted by armage at 6:03 PM on June 28, 2011


Excellent taste. Though she's a bit too old for my taste

This would have been back in the late 90s when the old man was still alive. Shows what a post-war Showa diet of whiskey, cigarettes and steak will do to you.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:40 PM on June 29, 2011


Where do I get my razor fingernails?

I'm going for the glasses set into my eye sockets first.
posted by ego at 10:41 AM on June 30, 2011


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