It’s that time again!
As you’ll probably know if you’ve been following the desperate trail of potential Perfume album news, August 26th was a day the Nakata Yasutaka and contemode community is all too familiar with: the day someone posts an unfounded, highly questionable Perfume rumor, whereupon half the members fall for it and begin Shaking & Crying while the other half actually stops and says, “Wait a minute, this album has sixteen tracks. And it’s titled Chemical Love. And this news is being leaked by someone called tokumaspy.”
Can I just reiterate that title?
It’s become so common an occurrence that I’m surprised anyone still bothers to look at, let alone pay any credence to, these posts. And that’s depressing, because contemode is where I arguably feel the most ~at home~ on the Interwebs. It sucks to see the link passed around and decried for being fake, which, while that much should be common sense, ultimately doesn’t reflect well on a community that honestly does provide reliable, up-to-date information on these artists far more often than it spreads rumors.
What’s worse is probably the people who are buying it.
There’s one thing I have to admit in all of this: Perfume fans are some of the easiest people I can think of to troll. Not all of this, mind you, is their fault. When I think about most successful Japanese artists and idols, I can generally pinpoint a reliable, sometimes official source of information to keep people from chasing after every rumor they see. Not the case with Perfume. Their label Tokuma Japan Communications, known more for the death grip they continue to hold on their cash cow than anything else, recently stepped up their game from deleting YouTube uploads and shit-canning illegal downloads to literally threatening places that dared to reference and discuss these things online. Yes, this is how they spend their time. I mean, my own Perfume fandom be damned, I’d love to be one of their secret MediaFire-stalking agents… but this is where they focus their energy when it comes to their highest-selling artist.
While they’ve done an admittedly fantastic job of keeping Perfume relevant and in the public eye since the girls blew up in 2007, Perfume’s management is, in a word, exclusive. In another: secretive. I’d been a fan for less than a year before they decided that the members’ then-public blogs had strong money-making potential in the wake of their unprecedented fame, and moreover, that it’d be a great idea to make no more than the barest possible information available free to the public (the mass hysteria that resulted from Perfume’s incredibly hush-hush L.A. trip is a prime example). When their fan club was instated and everything that had made me feel close to Perfume vanished behind the locked door of “you are not Japanese and are therefore no loss to us,” I turned away from the group’s activities until mid-2008.
What’s funny about all of this, then, is that more Japanese are spreading this so-called “news” than anyone else. Yes, several blogs and a number of users on Twitter are practically eating this foreign gossip up, Google translated titles and all — the fifth proposed title nagusami has been pointed out to be a direct machine translation of the word “amuse,” the name of Perfume’s talent agency. More than just to Western fans, who have often felt discarded and cast aside in favor of Perfume’s more financially viable Japanese fan base over the years, Perfume are seemingly unavailable as artists and performers even to fans in their own country. And while it’s this distance that keeps them performing in tip-top shape like the near-future robots they present themselves to be, it leaves them closed-off and cold in an age where fans desire communication with their idols perhaps more than they ever have in the past.
Though I have no doubt it’ll continue to spread here and there throughout the next day or so, as of now, the rumor’s originator has gleefully revealed his trolling. (Is there really more than one Tokuma spy with a Yahoo! Japan e-mail address?) Big surprise, of course, though he’s been seen elsewhere continuing to insist that it’s real. In a first for a Perfume single or album rumor in my experience, however, it’s gotten its own Wikipedia page. Dedication! Or the sign of someone who has no life. Stated the article before it was revamped:
Chemical love’s release was announced at the 2011 Asia Song Festival.
You mean the one that’s happening in two months? … Oh.
It’s going to be a long, long wait until that new
best album comes out.