When Shibuya and Akihabara meet…

…what do you think you’ll get?

Evidently, an anime theme song cover album featuring a range of artists from Akihabara idols to DJs straight out of the heart of Shibuya’s club scene. Announced at the beginning of this month, I ❤ TOKYO ~FOR ANIME MUSIC LOVERS~ is a novel little compilation disc that seeks to unite these two very different districts of Japan’s capital prefecture. Music news site BARKS wrote it up thusly (excuse the rough translation, please):

When it comes to the new culture of Japan, anime and idols have established themselves on a global scale. Alongside that “holy land” known as Akihabara, there’s Japan’s representative home of fashion and trends, Shibuya. These two places, known throughout the world today as sources of culture, will come together in a concept compilation album set to be released.

Sounds interesting, right? The list of confirmed artists had me at a glance: BiS, RAM RIDER, Nomoto Karia… someone clearly put this together with me in mind! (Or maybe not. If they did, I think there’d be a whole lot more A-bee involved.) Of course, so many mismatched artists in one place creates an admittedly messy impression at first. So, then, how does it work?

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What’s wrong with being naked?

Really.

What’s the problem with it?

That, for those who don’t remember this particular media circus, was the infamous phrase uttered by SMAP’s Kusanagi Tsuyoshi upon being discovered drunk, disorderly and undressed in a local park by Tokyo police. It was about three in the morning when officers found the actor nude and causing a racket, demanding, “What’s wrong with being naked?” Contracts were lost, ads were pulled, and in the end, even Kusanagi himself had no recollection of how he’d ended up stripping in public at some point during that fateful night — or, for that matter, why the myriad illegalities of this had offended him so deeply.

However, that was over two years ago and bears little relevance now outside of the occasional trollish Arama They Didn’t comment. So why am I bringing it up today? Well, if you’ve been paying attention to Japanese pop news for the past week or so, you most likely have some idea already.

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