The Bonkurasu Brigade

Perfume live overseas – thoughts and input


The recent MAMA, or Mnet Asia Music Awards, instigated this post to be up. Perhaps ‘instigated’ is too strong a word, maybe ‘coerced’ would be a better term. XD

Nevertheless, this post is about how potentially a Perfume live may or may not come to be to the rest of the world outside of Japan.

As many Perfume fans know, the MAMA awarded the group with a Best Asian Pop artist trophy. As a few might observe, AMUSE, Perfume’s management company, had shown signs of finally being willing to break out of Japan and attracting the overseas market with their trump card of a group. Even though AKB48 is spreading like a plague (a rather good one for Jpop overseas in general), AMUSE probably thought that this is also a good chance, using MAMA as a start to gain some overseas fanbase data. Also, Perfume is said to be graduating from their varsity courses soon, so they will have more time to concentrate on their career.


But what I’m concerned isn’t too much on whether AMUSE is willing to branch Perfume out to the world – rather, it is if Perfume can gather enough fans all over the world, and gain enough attendees to watch their live concerts.

What I’m going to say in the next few paragraphs is from the perspective of a typical Singaporean with some interest into Jpop culture, of Perfume:

    “Not too keen on their autotune.”
    “Kpop so much better and got prettier girls.”
    “Their dance doesn’t seem that attractive to me.”
    “You sure that they are even singing through those microphones when they are dancing?”

While those are some of the pre-dominant aspects as to why Perfume couldn’t get a stable fanbase locally, there are other issues that Singaporeans faced with Perfume’s hidden gems:

    “Perfume’s stage emcees are hilarious and totally enjoyable”
    “Audience interaction is more than what normal artistes would do”
    “Funny, cheeky, and no need to make themselves sex symbols to market themselves!”

Unfortunately, the girls need to converse in Japanese to ensure the gags and jokes retain their meaning, that’s what makes the live concert much more fun; yet the Japanese language is not a choice of language to study during all grade levels outside of Japan. Also, Perfume’s hiroshima-ben dialect spoken during live concerts shows how earnest they are and how they have never forgotten their roots of their success. That’s even harder for non-Japanese to grasp the full meaning, even if they have studied Japanese to a certain degree.


The abovementioned points also reflect on the situation across the globe and not just only for Singapore. Perhaps with lessons(one recent ontama interview had Nocchi mentioned on Perfume having the desire of learning how to converse properly in English as one of their top 3 to-do lists), the girls can interact better with their overseas fans in time to come.

Time will tell if Perfume is able to attract more overseas fans from hereon. A glimpse of hope is evident, with the reception the girls got during the Red Carpet session they had at MAMA, as well as the amount of converted fans all over Asia based on the postive comments on youtube about their MAMA performance as well as on Korean BBS sites, and maybe even all around the world.

Speaking of which, I can’t help but notice that a-chan looks really sweet and refined in that fitting dress of hers at the red carpet and upon receiving their award.

However it goes, I wish Perfume all the best in their upcoming singles, albums, school life, concerts and other performances and appearances. I don’t really consider myself that much of a fan anymore. Perhaps nearer in terms of ‘learned appreciator and supportor of Perfume’?

For all you guys reading this: what’s your take?


4 Comments so far

  1. generalwu December 20th, 2010 3:09 am

    Yea, we as fans should unite and make companies and sponsors notice of their potentials and bring them here. :)

  2. sentinel011 December 20th, 2010 3:37 am


    Unfortunately, not all fans are cooperative, though I sincerely hope the trend will change. While the crowd in Japan will always be considered the best, locals shouldn’t lose to them either. =)

  3. mlyk December 20th, 2010 10:26 am

    although i love perfume and want everyone to be able to enjoy them, i think it would be best for them to stay inside of japan. the superficiality of the more western asian countries might be hard for the girls to get used to. and, like you said, things that many japanese are fans of them for (their hard work and devotion, and the charming ways they express themselves in their native language) would go unnoticed in countries where the music is more like american music and the artists are mostly admired for their plastic appearances and vocal abilities.

  4. sentinel011 December 20th, 2010 6:47 pm


    Granted, in the western market, Perfume might not be that much of a marketable aspect, or appeal to the western crowd. But I’m mostly giving my perspective from an Asian country heavily influenced by Western culture – Singapore. I can’t vouch much for other countries, as I can say for sure on the perspectives they have towards asian or Japanese pop in general, but as far as I know, it is generally easier for any asian pop to break into the asian market first, followed up by the western market.

    Unless of course, the music any particular artiste produces was planned to attract global fans, especially western listeners, as well. But most companies won’t think that far if they are managing new artistes.

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