Arama They Didn't

4:36 pm - 07/04/2010

BENI disappoints fans at Anime Expo AX 2010 in LA

Fan report:
First of all, her management is made up of Nazis which I guess I should have expected.
No common people pictures (though I did manage to sneak in two crappy ones), no asking questions before they "approve" them, no physical contact with BENI, etc etc etc. I had planned to ask BENI to sing something on the spot but I was told no.

Anyways, as for BENI herself, she did seem kind of stuck up. When asked what her favorite anime was, she answered "I knew I was going to be asked that" in a very irritated, exasperated way.
She didn't seem too happy to be there and especially seemed disdainful of the silent crowd (more on that later). I definitely saw a lot of the "bitchy" mannerisms a friend pointed out: head tilts, dismissive glances, and pursed lips abound. Then again, I couldn't exactly blame her for being pissed off. If some sweaty fat nerd asked me what my favorite fruit was, I wouldn't give him a very nice answer either.

Now for the crowd...It was clear that more than 90% of the near-empty room had no clue who BENI was. There seemed to be more press, who were confused at the lack of attention of an "A-list Japanese pop star", than actual attendees. Most of the actual attendees seemed to be there because they:
1). Wanted to reserve a seat for AKB48 (the next panel),
2). Sheer curiosity/boredom, or
3). Had fallen asleep in the room the night before like a homeless bum and had just woken up. The atmosphere of the panel was silent, dead, and awkward. I can't count the amount of times the host had to step in to ask something just to fill the silence.

Highlights of the panel:
-BENI decided to cut her hair after she was playing on some iPhone app and thought it looked cute.
-Wikipedia is wrong. She's a sociology major.
-No one on her staff knows English. If she wants to make an English version of her website, she'd have to translate it herself.
-The "Call Me Beep Me" Kim Possible music video is emberassing for her to watch. Can't blame her.
-Her favorite fruit is mango.
.....The rest of the questions seemed to be pretty basic. I'm sure a full transcript/video is out there somewhere.

Autograph Signing:
Not very long and I'm sure after 10 minutes it was deserted (leaving poor BENI looking bored for 50min). I talked around and most of them seemed to be newly converted sheep. Only one guy actually knew who she was before the Con.

When I finally got to meet her, I told her that I loved "Kiss Kiss Kiss". This actually got her to stop and look up (with a pleasantly surprised expression) because "Kiss Kiss Kiss" was one of the songs not mentioned on the booklet. She thanked me in return and asked me if I was going to attend her the concert. I told her I wasn't (to a sad look that was clearly mourning the loss of $30) and she told me "maybe next time" and then that was pretty much it.

Throughout our brief but pleasant conversation, BENI seemed to be perfectly polite and friendly. She even seemed kind of happy when talking to maybe but that may have been just because she could tell I actually knew shit about her.

Or maybe I was the only one who was outgoing enough to actually talk to her *shrugs*.

Source: kisekigurl@jpopforum

OP: Why is there no BENI tag in this comm?
dreamtiny 4th-Jul-2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
"Most of the actual attendees seemed to be there because they:
1). Wanted to reserve a seat for AKB48 (the next panel),
2). Sheer curiosity/boredom, or
3). Had fallen asleep in the room the night before like a homeless bum and had just woken up."

1 and 3... wow.

Anyway: Japanese artists need to STOP relying on anime cons, especially if they're not associated with anime :/ They should do what the Korean artists do and have one giant concert in the US every once in a while (Hollywood Bowl). Now if only the Japanese artists would actually work together to let that happen... lord knows Johnny would never go for it but I'm sure some other artists would do it...
exit_halo 4th-Jul-2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
Yoshiki kinda started this with JRR but welp XD wasn't there supposed to be a second one of those eventually?
harmlessbondage 7th-Jul-2010 01:38 am (UTC)
they (meaning artists and organizers) actually lost a lot of money on JRR. yoshiki funded a lot on his own. it's just too expensive to bring a ton of japanese bands over to america, and at only $60 a ticket (for two days). from what i hear they were expecting to make a ton back on merch but that didn't happen, either. unless they're filling stadiums it's really not economically feasible.
exit_halo 7th-Jul-2010 01:53 am (UTC)
I didn't know that D: damn
harmlessbondage 7th-Jul-2010 02:06 am (UTC)
yeah :\

i wanted to edit this into the original comment but you're quicker than i am :X the TL;DR of it:

so what this comes around to is that the reason they often play at anime cons is because the cons will guarantee some amount of money, like a booking fee and accommodations, in hopes of attracting a band. that + potential ticket revenue + potential merch revenue is far more enticing and fiscally manageable than trying to put on an independent show where you have to rent the venue and then further have to split the cost among other bands.

JRR, where there were 9 bands, cost $60 for both nights and was only about a 2,000 capacity venue. assuming this was sans fees because i can't remember, that's $120,000 in ticket revenue. pretty sweet. but divided by 9 bands at an average of 4 people per band (give or take), it's $5000 gross per band member. ASSUMING it is divided evenly (which it often isn't; there's a sort of seniority among bands based on seniority), ASSUMING all travel & equipment transport/rental, accommodation, and other relevant overhead costs were already covered by a third party (e.g. management or yoshiki), disregarding however much management takes as their cut. hell a round trip ticket from japan, economy class, is around $1000, and a week in LA will likely set you back around $700-$900 in lodging, $150-$300 for food... i mean, this is all forgetting that all the bands have staff they need to pay, staff who also require plane tickets, accommodations, food... from what i've been told, they didn't sell as much merch as they had needed to, to cover all the overhead costs.

of course i don't know the numbers exactly so take this for what it's worth, but it seems pretty damn difficult to pull off. i'm sure many bands who play cons aren't exactly thrilled to do so, either, but you do what you can and what you have to. :\ i'd love to see a repeat of JRR, especially if it involved at least some of the indies bands i used to see all the time in japan. but i'm not holding my breath :(
quizzicaldragon 5th-Jul-2010 01:51 am (UTC)
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