[Utada Hikaru] ʕ•̫͡•ʔ A Vacation for Only Two Hours in the 55th thread ʕ•̫͡•ʔ - Page 9 - Ayumi Hamasaki Sekai
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  #161  
Old 16th October 2016, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-baptiste View Post

Distance is, in my opinion, Utada's lesser album.
I agree. I love Parody because I think it's such a fun song and kind of an affable slap to the face of her own career like 'yeah, yeah, I'm famous. So famous someday I'm going to release a music video of me doing the dishes for four minutes and you're going to love it. Now go away.' But the rest of the album is just... not for me? I suppose.

Actually Fantome is my new favorite of hers (still can't get over the amazingness of this album). Ultra Blue is a near second.

-------------------------------------------------------
Anyway, I just wanted to randomly say: I had no idea A BEST had six different covers. I thought it only had the one with the tear. I wonder how Ayu felt driving around everywhere seeing all this advertisement for an album she didn't even want released. (Though I'm sure she was too busy/exhausted/in pain because isn't that when her ear problems began?) to even care all that much. But still.
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  #162  
Old 16th October 2016, 02:57 AM
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^Here are you can see those six different covers (just scroll down a bit).


Quote:
Originally Posted by thinkingoutloud89 View Post
^thats not quite true. Ayes peak was with the A single and the 2nd and 3rd album...after A BEST compiled everything she went down.
Nope. She started getting popular around the time she released a bunch of singles like LOVE~Destiny~, Boys & Girls, etc. A was the one that determined she's popular enough to be a rising star. LOVEppears was great but it was just over a million copies on the first week. (And FYI, Addicted To You released on the same week and got over a million copies as well, as a single. That was the first time I went to oricon, so I remember so well lol). She was really popular at that time, but not stable enough to considered as the queen. So her next new releases (not counting kanariya and fly high, since both were album cut) were doing so-so (vogue got about 300-400K on the first week, Far away got below 300K on the first week). It wasn't until the release of SEASONS (over 500K on the first week), where she got back on her feet. Duty was definitely the stepping stone to climb to the peak. It was a hype during that moment (even tho... all ayu fans at that time were a bit disappointed that it only got 1.6 million copies on the first week. We really thought she could compete with Mai Kuraki, who got 2.3m copies on the first week a few month ago). The hype died down a bit between Oct and Nov (AUDIENCE was released btw). Then the hype came back with the release of M, and the release of Limited A Model TU-KA phone (sigh I remember that I wished I had that phone). Then the story continued back to the release of A BEST).
I know why you think her peak was at the 2nd and 3rd album, as both sold better than I am... and RAINBOW. But I can tell you that both were yearly no. 2. This means at that time, all album sales in Japan declined. Also, you would still not be able to avoid seeing ayu everywhere during 2001 and 2002. She was still on her peak until 2003 I think. Remember that H was the yearly no. 1 album, and that was released in 2002. It was the only single that could sell over a million copies in that year. (I know... three limited editions and one regular edition, then one called "million copies celebration edition". Still, if her fans were not that crazy, she wouldn't be able to achieve that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jean-baptiste View Post
All that and yet...didn't Utada get #1 the first week? Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Distance is, in my opinion, Utada's lesser album.
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Originally Posted by Tio/Tayumi View Post
She got #1 in the first week but it in the second week it was Ayu with around 500k copies sold.
Distance got no. 1 on the first week with over 3 million copies, while A BEST got..err... 2.96m I think. The second week was interesting. A BEST only got no. 1 on the first day of second week, and for the rest of the week, Distance was no. 1. Yet, in the end I think A BEST sold about 50K more than Distance. It's such a mystery that ayu could win that week with only getting no. 1 for a day. And normally the first day of the week was probably the weaker sales day. Still, I can't complain since I'm a fan of both. Lots of hikki fans said avex did something to make ayu getting no.1 for that week tho.

And I agree that Distance is my least fav album....

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Originally Posted by ahtka-chan View Post
Distance had that LP version, wasn't it? I guess it was released together with the normal version...
The Vinyl version didn't release until July. I can't remember if the vinyl sales counted in the cd sales though.
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  #163  
Old 16th October 2016, 03:11 AM
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I really hope they will release Fantome on vinyl before the year's end! I know they skipped the vinyl versions with ULTRA BLUE and HEART STATION but Fantome NEEDS one!
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  #164  
Old 16th October 2016, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bluegie View Post
^Here are you can see those six different covers (just scroll down a bit).


Distance got no. 1 on the first week with over 3 million copies, while A BEST got..err... 2.96m I think. The second week was interesting. A BEST only got no. 1 on the first day of second week, and for the rest of the week, Distance was no. 1. Yet, in the end I think A BEST sold about 50K more than Distance. It's such a mystery that ayu could win that week with only getting no. 1 for a day. And normally the first day of the week was probably the weaker sales day. Still, I can't complain since I'm a fan of both. Lots of hikki fans said avex did something to make ayu getting no.1 for that week tho.
Thanks for the link! I've seen those pictures before but just thought they were more promo for A BEST but didn't have actually anything to do with the album.

Now with that bolded part. That would not surprise me in the least if avex did something like that. I mean, it's obvious with all their promotion they REALLY WANTED Ayu to beat Utada while Utada was just chilling and flossing like Captain Picard. I mean, they put so much money into those promotions and work for Ayu at that time, you can bet your good money that they wanted to get her an 'official' number one no matter what.

I mean, like you said, I'm fans of both too so it really shouldn't bother me but it kind of does. xD

But, you know, this could all be hearsay. I shouldn't even be adding to this theory but the forum-loving side of me had to say something. Besides, this was fifteen years ago. It's not like it matters much now.
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  #165  
Old 16th October 2016, 04:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Miduhyo View Post
Thanks for the link! I've seen those pictures before but just thought they were more promo for A BEST but didn't have actually anything to do with the album.

Now with that bolded part. That would not surprise me in the least if avex did something like that. I mean, it's obvious with all their promotion they REALLY WANTED Ayu to beat Utada while Utada was just chilling and flossing like Captain Picard. I mean, they put so much money into those promotions and work for Ayu at that time, you can bet your good money that they wanted to get her an 'official' number one no matter what.

I mean, like you said, I'm fans of both too so it really shouldn't bother me but it kind of does. xD

But, you know, this could all be hearsay. I shouldn't even be adding to this theory but the forum-loving side of me had to say something. Besides, this was fifteen years ago. It's not like it matters much now.
In the NTV special, Ayu said herself that she made the decision to schedule her promo and purposely overworked herself during the promotion of A BEST as she naively believed at the time that it would be her last album. I remember in an interview Ayu said she released in the early morning of March 28th (the release day of A BEST and Distance) that she had been up working for 40 hours and that was becoming a martyr.

More about March 2001 - http://deliriumzer0.com/?p=189

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  #166  
Old 16th October 2016, 04:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ExodusUK View Post
In the NTV special, Ayu said herself that she made the decision to schedule her promo and purposely overworked herself during the promotion of A BEST as she naively believed at the time that it would be her last album. I remember in an interview Ayu said she released in the early morning of March 28th (the release day of A BEST and Distance) that she had been up working for 40 hours and that was becoming a martyr.

More about March 2001 - http://deliriumzer0.com/?p=189
20 albums later.... xD

But I can totally see Ayu having that type of mindset and thinking 'if I'm going down, I'm going down with a bang.' Luckily it wasn't her last album. I don't know what my life would be like if I hadn't heard the album I am... that brought me here and introduced me to Ayu. (but that's a conversation for a different thread)

But it's good that things have cooled down for her/for them both. I've been learning a lot about this time from this conversation and I find it a lot more interesting than I did before. I didn't realize just how much was 'at stake' (in Ayu's mindset at least.) and I'm gaining more appreciation from these artists and why Ayu is so protective of taking control of her career. I knew that she bashed with avex at one time but I didn't know exactly when it was and why. Now I do.

and thanks for that link as well. It's an interesting read.
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  #167  
Old 16th October 2016, 05:30 AM
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She has been bashing avex for like... a few years, and we must admit that avex squeezed every single energy from her during those golden years. Of course, ayu got benefits from those as well (fame, money, prizes, etc.), but at the same time we saw her cracking voice got worsen from early 2001 to the mid 2002 (Arena tour, then Stadium tour. Lots of promotion, etc...)

Hikki is luckier in this aspect, because she has her dad to manage her music business. So she can do whatever she wants. She's also lucky that most Japanese like her (or at least, respect her). I can't remember who mentioned it awhile ago in this thread. There were not many artists (esp femaes) that could escape from negativity when they got divorced. Hikki was pretty much one of the rare exceptions. Her popularity actually bounced back. Her popularity has already gone downhill since BML, and Ultra Blue couldn't pass a million copies. Her single sales were not that great and I was expecting her to get dimmer as time went on. But when FOL released, she got popular again. And the moment she announced her divorce, it was around the time she went on MSta. Then the sales on weekend bounced back and every media said it was a rare thing to see. She's quite a Godtada...
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  #168  
Old 16th October 2016, 08:29 AM
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Hikki is luckier in this aspect, because she has her dad to manage her music business. So she can do whatever she wants. ...
I believe she didn't want single collection vol 1 to be released.
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  #169  
Old 16th October 2016, 08:48 AM
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I thought she didn't want her best of compilation of English songs released.
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  #170  
Old 16th October 2016, 09:28 AM
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^ Yeah, I didn't hear she didn't want SC1 to be released. I just know she didn't want UTADA BEST to be released.
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  #171  
Old 16th October 2016, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bluegie View Post

Hikki is luckier in this aspect, because she has her dad to manage her music business. So she can do whatever she wants. She's also lucky that most Japanese like her (or at least, respect her). I can't remember who mentioned it awhile ago in this thread. There were not many artists (esp femaes) that could escape from negativity when they got divorced. Hikki was pretty much one of the rare exceptions. Her popularity actually bounced back. Her popularity has already gone downhill since BML, and Ultra Blue couldn't pass a million copies. Her single sales were not that great and I was expecting her to get dimmer as time went on. But when FOL released, she got popular again. And the moment she announced her divorce, it was around the time she went on MSta. Then the sales on weekend bounced back and every media said it was a rare thing to see. She's quite a Godtada...
That seems to be true and this is something that seriously bothers me. Someone like e.g. Ayu gets critique for marrying foreigners, living partly outside of Japan, getting divorced. And Utada does the same, even living permanently overseas, and nobody in Japan cares much about it. This is such a hypocrite attitude.
But why do I wonder, I also don't understand the special appeal Utada's music seem to have in general.
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  #172  
Old 16th October 2016, 09:39 AM
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I was so bored out of my head yesterday that i downloaded Fantome. Utada was never my cup of tea, but I've got to say the years did some good stuff to her voice. That whiny thing she used to have was nagging at my nerves quite a bit back in the day. This is much easier on the ears, actually lovely, it's still a bit whiny, but i don't mind that flavour at all, since it's more subtle and gives the voice a bit of spiciness. The songs? I still don't hear anything groundbreaking. It's pleasant and light on the ears even though quite monotonous as a whole piece, however it makes a nice relaxing background music with pleasant vocals. I'm not mad at this at all, i might grow to liking it a lot, but i don't think I'd do backflips over it, i don't think it's a masterpiece. It's a simple, safe and light album. There's nothing wrong with that. I think it's been so long that people were craving it enough to be jumping out of their skin for it. The anticipation had a lot to do with how the album is received by the audience.
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  #173  
Old 16th October 2016, 09:43 AM
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^^ Some people are congenial/popular, or easily attract others. There's no reason behind. It's all about fate. Or if you really ask why, maybe because hikki is more low profile than ayu? And hikki was never in Japan in beginning. She was born and raised in the US until maybe 13 or 14?
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  #174  
Old 16th October 2016, 12:39 PM
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A few years ago a couple of japanese friends told me that Utada was so successful because japanese people really love western things. Her songs had so much (good) English with a native accent that it felt like listening to both japanese and western music.

They also said that she has kind of a privileged status in the minds of japanese people: she's one of their own but at the same time she can't be judged by their standards because she grew up abroad. Kind of like a foreign family member.
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  #175  
Old 16th October 2016, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Corvina View Post
That seems to be true and this is something that seriously bothers me. Someone like e.g. Ayu gets critique for marrying foreigners, living partly outside of Japan, getting divorced. And Utada does the same, even living permanently overseas, and nobody in Japan cares much about it. This is such a hypocrite attitude.
But why do I wonder, I also don't understand the special appeal Utada's music seem to have in general.
Okay. So this has been bothering me for a while too and when I saw your remarks I decided to take a swing at answering it. (I've never been so nervous posting something to be honest )

I have to warn you guys though, under this spoiler is a LONG message. I go off topic a lot, blabber, and may even have some facts wrong or just downright confused since I don't necessarily follow gossip as well as I follow music. Anyway, this is my essay as to why Hikki doesn't get all the backlash Ayu does even though they both pretty much have done the same things:

Spoiler:
It's totally because Hikki is more low-profile. Controversial gossip in Japan is not good. Not like here in America. We love it here. We'll sit our butts on the couch, eat popcorn, and watch celebrity gossip channels going "oh my gawd, she did not just say that? Nuh-uh no way. What? Brad and Angelina are getting a divorce OMGGGGG" I mean for God's sake, Chris Brown beat Rihanna until she was black and blue and he's still famous. Why? Because controversy garners attention and attention garners media and media garners fans and fans garner money. That's what it all boils down to here. You make money for your company, you can be as big of an ass as you want.

But in Japan, you do the wrong thing, you say the wrong thing and boom, you're a target for a lot of backlash. (For goodness sake, remember when Koda Kumi said something about women not being able to have healthy babies after their thirties or something like that? Wooo. She paid the price there. Ripped from all media with a snap of a finger if I remember correctly. And none of us have even mentioned Namie's marriage-because-of-pregnancy back in the later 90's.) Now, yes. Hikki married a man 15 years her senior, but at least she was married for four years. They gave it an honest shot and had known each other for some time beforehand. Ayu's first marriage seemed rushed. They met, probably had some good laughs, apparently some good showers, some drinks, confused infatuation/sex appeal with love, got married. (And wasn't that in Vegas?) Then divorced a year later.

Something like that is frowned upon in Japan. I mean, yes, divorces in general are frowned on there but to meet-marry-divorce in less than a year and a half? Even if there is a legitimate reason?

But here's where I think the biggest difference here lies: Hikki is low profile. The key to not getting mud thrown in your face is to not be standing there in the first place. Out of sight=out of mind. When Namie got pregnant, she disappeared for a year and there's never been any official pictures of her son (out of sight=out of mind). When Koda Kumi had a slip of tongue the promotion for her album Kingdom came to a complete stop as did a ton of her commercial endorsements (out of sight=out of mind). I'm not sure what Hikki was doing at the time of her divorce but I'm sure she didn't really say much about it. Probably just "Got a divorce" then went back to playing Kingdom Hearts. (errr...out of sight=out of mind?)

But Ayumi is a workaholic, so much so that controversy does not stop her. Music is her life and her life is music. She even stated recently in that one interview that she doesn't know how to just sit on a couch and relax. She always has to be working. Which means that she's always in the public eye. Maybe not as much but she's there. Magazines. Tabloids. Commercials. Whatever. She never gave the controversy time to settle and move onto something else.

Then it most certainly doesn't help that it seems controversy just seems to follow her as well. Do I have to mention Maro? The King of Grass in his Cardboard Kingdom? Then the whole situation with the photographer (can't remember his name). And then Manuel's alleged porno shoot? Or whatever that was? (that whole thing has always been confusing to me.) I'm sure there's been more things but the one I remember most recently was: Her own misleading messaging on twitter leading to her management having to take control of her own profile for a while.

All these things keep happening, controversy builds and builds and builds, and she's never stepped out of the spotlight. The things I mentioned in the paragraph above do not even directly involve her (besides the tweet) yet they still end up hurting her. Maro and her were broken up, he was just trying to get his own media. Manuel is a model if he wants to do a porno shoot or whatever that was, all right. Go for it. Now that photographer, as we all know, is just dying to soak in the aura that is Ayumi Hamasaki and get some of his own renowned fame--but, as he attempts to do so, is only creating havoc for her. (I was so happy for her when she 'dropped' him but now he's back...)

All these things, these controversies, that are very frowned upon in Japan and she's never left the public eye. Not even for a couple of months. Now, she doesn't have to if she doesn't want to, but when too much snow gathers at the peak of the mountain, an avalanche occurs. Honestly the best thing for her to do right now is to get out of sight so she can get out of mind. I love Ayu, I love how hard she works, she inspires me to always try my hardest even when I'm at my weakest, but the avalanche has kind of toppled over her right now and I hate seeing it. I really do wish she would step down just for a year--just one measly year--and the difference that would make. We, us diehard fans here at least, would be actually anticipating what she would deliver rather than just waiting. The difference there is substantial and could really save her some grace with the public eye and even with some of us here since her quality of music might up because she would actually allow herself time to think rather than just rush on instinct.

That difference there is what makes Hikki's music so much more interesting to the public eye. One, she's an enigma cause she hides so much and doesn't really indulge that much into her personal life. (Hell, we didn't even know she had a kid until he was born.) Two, (and I'm not putting this here to dis Ayu, it's not her fault where she was born. And I'm definitely not saying one place is better than the other) but Hikki is Japanese/American and Japan loves Westernized music, which Utada brings almost every time and brings it well. Then, on that note, not only do we not know what she's going to bring to the table music-wise, we also don't know when. We anticipate it. I mean, yes, her debut album put her well into the heart of Japan but she's managed to keep it there strategically/self-admitted laziness. With some luck as well. And maybe some very useful help from her father.

Oh my God, I've been trying to write this for over an hour. I'm going to just abruptly end it here, go to bed, and see what type of controversy of my own I'd've created when I come back tomorrow.

(If any of you actually read this entire thing, I'm very impressed. A lot of it was just me blabbering. I'd give you an award if I could.)
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  #176  
Old 16th October 2016, 02:07 PM
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Give me an award then cuz I read the whole thing lol.

Just to respond a few questions from your paragraph:
- If my memory is correct, Manuel did that "porno" photobook because Leslie Kee lured him into it. He convinced Manuel to do it as a gift for ayu, or he told him that ayu would like it. That was really the first time I thought Kee was cheap and dirty. (And he proved himself by doing lots of thing ayu hated and ended up breaking their relationship, whether friendship or business... But now ayu is back with him and I don't know what's on her mind).
- I think I mentioned above. Hikki was promoting Flavor Of Life when she released the statement of getting divorce, and I think that was the day she had to perform FOL on Msta. The single sales bounced back instead of going down the next day (I know, usually weekend sales bounce back, but it was slightly higher than usual). Even oricon mentioned this bounce on the website. I don't think we can use the word "forgiven" on her because Japanese didn't feel negative towards her divorce.

Low profile is pretty much the key factor for her popularity, even though I think there's more than that. Like you said, lots of artists are low profiles as well (Namie is a good example. Kuu is not, cuz she was practically banned or under suspension from her agency due to that incident. It's not like she has a choice anywayz). Only hikki could actually gain popularity instead of getting trashed by the public.

And I forgot a point when replying Corvina's message: Yes hikki married a foreign guy, but she didn't take him everywhere. I don't mean ayu did that on purpose (obviously she was just hanging out with her husband), but she's so high profile, so probably in Japanese eyes she's doing a show. I think people in Japan are willing to believe that hikki will try her best to maintain her marriage. Meanwhile, they probably think ayu's just fooling around... sigh...

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Anywayz,

10.10: No. 1 - 13,155
10.11: No. 3 - 7,836
10.12: No.1 - 6,053
10.13: No.1 - 7,536
10.14: No. 1 - 5,733
10.15: No. 1 - 7,942

Est. weekly sales: 48,255
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  #177  
Old 16th October 2016, 02:32 PM
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Being low-profile probably helps, but if this would be the key, other artists would be much more popular as well. Also Ayu was just an example, divorce is never really good for female artists.
And isn't Utada having Twitter and posting personal stuff as well? Or is this new for her?

And thanks, dreamalley, this was interesting. But from what I experienced, mixed Japanese people have it harder most of the time, not to mention foreigners.
Guess it really is just a mix of things and good timing for Utada.
Anyway that's just one thing I totally dislike about her, that she seemingly can do whatever she wants without getting negative backlash.
And well, this isn't something she can control, so nevermind.
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  #178  
Old 16th October 2016, 03:11 PM
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We can go back to square one. She's lovable, and people find her congenial. It's hard to explain but probably her aura is like that .

But then, she seldom does stuff that could create backlash. All she does is to post Kuma pics, or completely random weird stuff like a potato, a pair pliers, a wheel cover, etc. She's more like a nerd in people's eyes . And she only appears when she does music, then she goes back to her cave.
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  #179  
Old 16th October 2016, 05:47 PM
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It's really funny how... (I'll call it destiny, fate, but you can call whatever you want) life is, isn't it? Yesterday after my Japanese classes I was talking to my teacher (Japanese from Kyoto living in Brazil for seven years now, female, 29 yo) about Fantτme and she was praising Utada and told me she was not exactly wowed about the many copies it was selling since she is really the queen of Japanese music (her words). And then, out of the blue, she says she isn't like other female superstars like hamasaki, and asked me if I knew her. I told her I really liked her work. Then she told me what is really shines about hikki's career and what ayumi doesn't have as much as utada is female fans. While back in the day utada would have tons of fans both men and women, ayumi used to have a male fan base mostly. I asked her why was that and she said she felt ayumi was too exposed, while utada was more reserved, or in this topics words: she was low profile. Ayumi wasn't (and isn't).
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  #180  
Old 16th October 2016, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegie View Post
^ Yeah, I didn't hear she didn't want SC1 to be released. I just know she didn't want UTADA BEST to be released.
I don't have the interview, but she mentioned that the record company went ahead and released Vol 1 and they did try and fight it before giving up and going along with it.

I think it was one of the reasons why with vol 2 she released a few new songs.

Last edited by Zahara; 16th October 2016 at 09:02 PM.
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