‘Oh I don’t want to sing anymore’ – Some thoughts on the JPop Scene and Me

My mom was never a big fan of electronica, but she had a soft spot for Daft Punk. She particularly liked ‘Instant Crush’ by Daft Punk featuring Julian Casablancas. It’s an odd song to pick, as more people are fond of ‘Get Lucky’, or other more upbeat productions. Particularly, she would often reflect on the line ‘Oh, I don’t want to sing anymore’. Her commentary consisting of “I think if I ever heard a musician I like say that I would cry”.

I never particularly disagreed with her on that. For my family and I music isn’t just a hobby, but an extension of ourselves. We make the time to see the artists we like, and support them any way we reasonable can. Hell, we all have built vacations around going to a concert or festival an artist we like is performing at. So when a group ‘ends’ it’s like losing a loved one. While we have vastly different tastes, the loss, dramatic as it sounds, is palpable to us.

Which is a very long pre-amble to me talking a bit about JPop as it stands at the moment to me. I took a fair amount of time during my time off (back in April FYI) to think about what blog topics I’d like to cover next. When I first started out I fully intended to start out as a Japanese pop-culture blog, and then shift more into Visual Kei and Japanese music at large. I had a nice google doc with bullet points and transitional moments, and just never really got around to doing that.

I realized this was due to a few ‘pillars’ of my particular music curation had shifted in the short time since I started blogging.

2019 was bomb shell after bomb shell. January, Arashi annouced they’d go on ‘haitus’ starting in 2020. November of that year Flower, one of my favorite girl-groups ever disbanded. December came and then E-Girls too annouced that they would be disbanding at the end of 2020.

The beginning of 2020 wasn’t much better especially since live events were all pretty much cancelled. January was AAA, one of the most successful co-ed groups of all time in the JPop scene, announcing their final tour and hiatus of the group. In mid-autumn after postponement of their final live, member Shinjiro Atae announced that he would be leaving the music scene entirely. Finally at the end of 2020 with E-Girls disbandment it was announced that Sudannayuzuyully (SAYY) would be disbanding as well.

Now, I’m going to say something odd, but true: I wasn’t a super fan of any of these groups by any means.

As you can expect I followed their official SNS accounts, listened to their music, watched their music videos or TV appearances when I could (aided and abetted by living in Japan), even bought physical albums from time to time. Of course, I liked the groups and the music they produced. But I wasn’t that dedicated, at least not in the same way other fans were. I couldn’t tell you much about any particular member aside from their specific ‘color’. I wasn’t blocking my free time by their TV appearances, nor could I justify joining any fanclubs for any group mentioned. I didn’t spend too much time creating fan content or re-watching a particular guest appearances on TV.

I think my biggest claim to fame is that, aside from Arashi, that I by means of incredible luck, had managed to see all these groups live before these announcements. I will never pretend like that isn’t a huge feat since I know all too many fans aren’t as fortunate as I in that sense. Hell, I even had multiple tickets thanks to a friend in the fanclub to see AAA’s final lives. On my own merit I had a ticket to E-Girls/SAYY final live as well.

And now, it’s mid-May 2021 (when this was written). I’m still stuck on episode 17 of 24 of Arashi’s Netflix documentary. I can’t seem to motivate myself to finish since it’s truly the last piece of media where they appear as five. Their hard fought for Youtube and Instagram accounts are silent, and I can’t get myself to unfollow because that means it really is “over”. It feels a bit like a cruel joke since I know they aren’t “done”. Minus leader Ohno Satoshi, they’re all busy in their own ways outside of the Arashi label.

E-Girls, it’s been hard. The final live DVD went on sale last month, and well it’s sitting on my shelf waiting to be played. Considering I watched their pay-per-view concert twice before it was pulled from streaming and wailed like a child both times: safe to say that won’t be touched for a bit. I’m glad to say that all the former members seem to be doing well and looking busy with their new activities. I’m still keeping tabs on them, but not nearly as much as perhaps I did before.

AAA is pretty similar. There’s still an air of unease as AAA has reassured fans that there will be final in-person concerts*. It’s not clear when and where this will happen, although my friend and I agreed to hold on to at least the final live tickets as long as it was viable to do so. Each member has continued on with their solo materials, events, and other branding they’ve branched out to do over the years. Shinjiro specifically has mentioned he won’t retire until his solo tour, and AAA’s last tour have concluded. My friend and I still bring up new solo releases and old funny videos we stumble upon, but there’s that long standing sense of unease that’s made it hard to really get into any of these releases.

At least with E-Girls and SAYY, even though my voice cracks every single time I utter it, it’s over. Their particular books have been closed and they’ve continued on their separate but supportive paths. Their SNS updates reflect as much and the future looks bright. I’ve made a point to not put all my eggs in the single E-Girls, now re-branded LDH girls, basket and branch out to other groups. It’s been hard to try and put that into a blog post, despite how much I want to bring these other groups attention. It looks like it’s going to be another few months before that happens.

With AAA and Arashi being on ‘haitus’, it made things complicated. There’s that lingering hope that it’s a short haitus. That in 2025 they’ll say they missed each other and performing together so much that it’s over. Despite there being plenty of Johnny’s groups and even a few co-ed’s to arguably ‘fill the void’ during the haitus: it’s hard to invest in them, when you invested so much in their senior groups. I have a few groups I’ve been keeping tabs on, but it’s just not clicking. It truly might have been easier on me if AAA and Arashi had something as harsh as “I don’t want to sing anymore” and gone on hiatus, then how kindly they said ‘it’s not over, but…’.

I’m not sure where I was going with this. Originally it was more more of a ramble, disjointed, and overly-detailed then this version. I hope I’ve smoothed this out enough that you can sort of see where I was attempting to go.

I guess the long story short is, I haven’t given up on writing about Jpop here on my blog. I know I’ve changed my schedule a lot, and covered other topics in the mean time. I’m still listening to music, obviously. Dare I say I’ve even gotten into ‘new’ groups. I really do want to make the time to talk about them, it’s just taking me forever to get my feet back under me when it comes to writing about them.

Of course, I miss E-Girls and Sudannayuzuyully like crazy. I’ll treasure the times I saw them live, and what music they’ve left behind for us forever. I’m forever proud of all the members and we’re they’re going as well. For AAA and Arashi, I will always be holding that candle for their return. Trust me, I’ll be among the first clamoring for a live event ticket the minute it’s possible. I’ll probably be trampled for Arashi, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m going to treasure everything I’ve been able to see and do as their fan, and hopefully, over time, be able to invest it in new group(s) in the future.

*AAA actually announced on July 2nd Japan time their rescheduled tour dates. They are planning on having in-person attendance at this time. My friend and I still have our tickets and are working out the details. So that’s a thing I will be covering on my blog at a different time.


  1. I miss the girls so much! I had more or less accepted E-girls disbanding but when SYY announced theirs too, I freaked out and not in a good way. I still follow Yurino, Anna Suda and Harumi Sato because they were my favourite members but I don’t really pay attention to the rest like that. Apart from LDH, I’ve also been paying attention to some other artists outside. For example, I like Yaosobi and Ado. I tried getting into Aimyon and Lisa but my thoughts on them are extremely mixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ugh, the writing was kinda on the wall for SAYY but it still sucked. I actually still follow everyone. I can’t seem to let them go like that yet. I never had a favorite member aside from Shuuka. ^^;

      I’ve been trying to get into other groups outside of the LDH bubble. I’m in the same boat as you with Aimyon and Lisa. Both are so popular but I haven’t found a song I really like. Yaosobi and Ado are really cool too, but they just haven’t clicked with me all the way (yet at least lol).


  2. I loved some of the group and has still listen to their music now. I has been a few year fans as a jpop and kpop fan now but very sad to say that a lot of the member has departed from the music industry or trying different thing out. The only thing I can do just wish them all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s a difficult life as jpop or kpop fan. Groups come and go, some lose members but it’s never the same. I 100% agree all we can do is cheer them on and wish them the best when they change course!


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