Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sphere Agency Conference Leak?

A report on a Japanese blog claims to be leaked information from a conference of Sphere's agency to discuss the group's recent publicity problems.

The supposed leak makes several points:
  •  the meeting was long, and involved many people from both the Music Ray'n agency and its parent, Sony Entertainment.
  • Toyosaki Aki really is living with Tom-H@ck
  • the agency bought paparazzi photos of Tomatsu Haruka to keep them out of circulation
  • it also bought photos of Toyosaki Aki
  • it also bought photos of Takagaki Ayahi, but from a weekly magazine
  • Kotobuki Minako dealt with things very earnestly, cried in the meeting several times, and even suggested the group might break up 
  • Toyosaki Aki took a hard line, supposedly relying on Tom H@ck's power in the industry
  • she was not willing to move from the apartment, and was unwilling to take any blame for the situation
I have no idea if the report is true. As proof, the blog publishes a very unclear photo of what is supposedly a business card from the meeting.

Otaku comments on the story tend to blame Toyosaki. Personally, this seems wrong to me. She deserves to have her own life, separate from either her professional life or the parts of her private life that are used as publicity material.

With their latest single debuting at #4 in the music charts, I think Sphere has a long future ahead of it, and will not be breaking up any time soon.

Having gotten a little sense of her from her radio appearances with Yuuki Aoi, it makes sense to me that Kotobuki Minako might be so emotional about this. She has long looked older than her years, and probably has been thought of as having a more adult romantic life than she actually does. So this kind of publicity for those around her makes her feel vulnerable.

Another story says that Tomatsu and other members of Sphere have said they felt "invaded" by the photos and publicity.

15 comments:

Matteas said...

I'm not buying that until the one who posted it shows something that could prove he is an employee of Sony Music. And even if he did, it seems strange to me that they would discuss the matter in a large group of people. It seems more plausible to me that only some of the higher-ups and some of those who are the closest to Sphere members attended such a discussion, and none of these would reveal anything about it on the Internet. In addition, I can't imagine Aki-chan acting the way the uploader has described.

Let's suppose now that it really is true (only suppose, not believe). On one hand I must admit that I'm glad to have gotten to know something from behind the closed doors. But on the other hand, it makes me sick to learn that there are such people even among their agency who are willing to reveal such secret information on the Internet.

tl;dr: I'm sick of it already. Let Sphere members have their own lives. Btw. Happy birthday, Aki-chan!

Anonymous said...

I don't care about their lives this have happened due to K-ON Otaku fanatics. Anyway, at least the Ro-kyu-bu group is ahead of them in my opinion without controversies, scandals, hearsay, and they are doing job and not making any public life secrecy. Secrets led to this problem. Honesty is the best weapon to remove doubt. I think I need to sing Billy Joel's honesty in japanese.

Andrew said...

@Anonymous: Why would it be a problem if they want to keep their private lives private? The girls know that, unfortunately, certain elements in their lives might damage their popularity due to certain fanatics; what's wrong with them wanting to keep it all secret? And none of this would've happened if some jerk hadn't staked out Aki and Haruka. Like I said about an earlier article; they didn't bring this on themselves, it's not like how Aya Hirano openly told the press about, umm, her libido and helped damage her formerly solid reputation.

Matteas has a bit of a point in that if Sony really cared about the girls' privacy and security, they would've kept this meeting airtight and had the execs swear to secrecy. But I myself can see Minako acting this way and yes, I can also see Aki acting that way in this situation. She seems to me like someone with a strong belief in love, and who would stick like glue to her Mr. Right and would always come to his (and her own) defense no matter what. I really gotta admire her for this stance (if that is what happened) and my advice to her 2ch detractors would probably not be appropriate for the readers' eyes.

I don't really think Sphere will break up (let alone Aki and Haruka get fired), but it would be a crying shame if things even come close to that. Hopefully Aki can still have a happy birthday tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea if all this information is true or whether other people are just out to harm Sphere's reputation. So I won't believe this for now.

Although I admit that I'm quite interested to know what Takagaki Ayahi's photos may be...

Anonymous said...

EPIC agency is EPIC

banger said...

Fun stuff. Who knows if its true based on a blurry picture of a business card (even if it is real it still doesn't prove anything). If its true, its cool that Toyosaki stood up for herself instead of repenting.

I am glad their agency is supporting them and that their new single did well. It seems to me that its a seiyuu's agency that decides if a relationship kills their career rather than the fans themselves. I have no info to base it on but I strongly think that the fans who would boycott a seiyuu based on their "purity" must be a minority (at least in terms of anime - i think idol groups like Sphere are a different story).

As I said in a bunch of other post comments it does make sense tho since they are idols and the japanese idol industry is all about that cutetsy moe appeal to attract the male fans. That is just a large aspect of that industry whether it is ridiculous or not - even though many of us cannot relate to it, there is no idol industry like that anywhere else that I know of (I am american and here the female "pop idols" are marketed primarily to young girls not to guys - I read in a blog post on another site that at Sphere concerts for instance it is mostly guys).

If we take into account that the illusion of being available romantically is a calculated move in the industry over there to appeal to fans, which it seems to be, then leaked relationship info would be sorta like finding out a singer is lip syncing at a concert. I am not saying they shouldn't have relationships - but they should be better at hiding it, haha

Anonymous said...

I can also see Aki acting that way in this situation. She seems to me like someone with a strong belief in love, and who would stick like glue to her Mr. Right and would always come to his (and her own) defense no matter what. I really gotta admire her for this stance (if that is what happened)

Depends. I'm not sure how everything went down, and the summary isn't completely clear. However, her position is pretty selfish if she's depending on Tom H@ck's stature as some kind of work security (i.e. a vocalist spot for her as a clause when producers negotiate with H@ck for a song) even in the midst of scandal that could damage the success of her peers.

I'm not saying she should end her relationship. That's obviously unreasonable. However, if the situation's going to affect the survival of Sphere, there's got to be some compromise for the good of the others, even if it's temporary.

I am not saying they shouldn't have relationships - but they should be better at hiding it, haha

Yup. It's worth noting that plenty of seiyuus have managed to remain scandal free through their careers. Either the paparazzi are more aggressive lately, or some of the younger performers are far less discreet.

Personalities like Aya Hirano aim to defy the image and expectations......which makes sense from one's own point of view and sense of ego. However, in a field where you're selling image (and where the image you've sold is a crucial factor to your success), it's like wanting to have your cake and eat it too.

du5k said...

What's the story with Takagaki Ayahi? Haven't heard anything about her.

Anyway, it probably would have been solved if they took the western approach; make their private lives public. They might not like it, but at least it's better than this. Maaya did that and got respect, but if she was found dating she before she revealed it herself, she probably would have suffered the same thing.

Matteas said...

Yup. It's worth noting that plenty of seiyuus have managed to remain scandal free through their careers. Either the paparazzi are more aggressive lately, or some of the younger performers are far less discreet.

Unless someone invents the invisible cloak, I can't think of any possibility how to prevent stalkers from tailing them. Well, if they wore turban and sunglasses, nobody would be able to tell it's them, but there's no need to say that's not an option. If they don't want to stand out, they can't disguise themselves too much. So the only option left would be... hole up at home? Nah, it would be okay to hang out with other seiyuus of the same sex, but any form of interaction with seiyuu of the opposite sex could lead to a "scandal", so in order to prevent such a thing from happening, seiyuu would have to cut all their ties with seiyuu of the opposite sex, and of course, people of the opposite sex in general.

I can also see Aki acting that way in this situation. She seems to me like someone with a strong belief in love, and who would stick like glue to her Mr. Right and would always come to his (and her own) defense no matter what.

Defending? Yes. But not in a way that someone could say her attitude was hideous. Unless that person has a screwed up point of view, of course.

hashi said...

@du5k -- I have no idea about the supposed Ayahime photos. She is a little older than the others in the group, and her dark complexion leads 2channelers to think of her as a "gal" (hoodlum teen girl). But I have heard nothing in particular.

Anonymous said...

How did all these photos get leak out all around the same time? Hmmm....

Bout honesty in entertainment industry, actresses are dependable variants. So i don't see how you can be 'honest' enough. And i dont think how you can hide enough being in the public eye. It's the most changeable (work) nature, you can work really hard and still get no moments. Or you're real lucky but get shown to the door the next hour. I don't know which is worse, to buy out all photos because you don't want it to be annouced or just let it circulate because you aint got anything to hide? And you can't be going around annoucing to the world every date you are going out with, can you? Not knowing if it's leading to anything serious, commitment wise. Relationships are built, it doesn't just happened.

You know you get your moments and you get replaced. I don't have a problem with vanity or gold diggers. Cos they are the 'merchandise' i'm currently looking at and that's entertainment for me, now so to say. It's not so much of a moral issue but that's just the inclination of this work is and in a crude sense it's some form of 'clowning' for the mass audience, I don't they like that part of the work, but somehow it's just a vital part of something larger, in return for a 'comfortable and enriching' life. No shame in that, absolutely. And we get the pleasure.

So no harm in whichever course of way the performer herself has decidedly enroute herself onto, I'm she has done some assesssment herself for all that 'moments'. You get to SING ACT DANCE and PERFORM. You move around meeting unusual people and you get dressed and have your chance on creativity, and all these are going down the memory lane one day. What's to blame? Vain? Money? They are not pastors.

No judgement made, it's just 'Oh, her beau is tom-h@ck' oh alright, so maybe tom-h@ck is her meal ticket but it's only fair, cos I for one would not be there to feed her when she gets replaced, jobless out on the streets.

So what's the next dirt to come? I love to know and have a good laugh at it. And then I will tune in to youtube and sing along with the singers and wears a grin from ear to ear at the jokes and be ridiculously happy like a thirteen year old with the videos and radios and then roll back to the photos and blogs.

Anonymous said...

Though Sphere hasn't put out anything I like lately, I feel sad for the girls. I remember liking Aki as Amuro in Umisho. She has such a refreshing and energetic voice. Hope she'll keep it strong and continue with her voice acting career.

M.L.C.M. said...

Seriously, I don't really believe it 100%. Though I can imagine Aki-san and Minako-sans doing that, I still don't believe it.

Lets just pray for their safety everyone..

Anonymous said...

It's fake.

Anonymous said...

It seems that the photographer was taking that picture at the computer. And the paper the he/she was showing, it seems like a piece of paper that was just thrown anywhere near the company.

I think its a fake news, not buying that..