Some Year-End Sentiments

The final hours of 2005 will soon be slipping away; "Rakka Ryusui" is spinning as I write this.  At this time of the year, I invariably find myself in a reflective mood.

It’s been nearly a decade since I first began accessing the Internet on a regular basis, and more than eight years since I launched my own web site dedicated to Akina.  Time sure flies!  (And not just when you’re having fun!)

The Internet has certainly come a long way.  In the early going, Akina-related info was difficult to come by, sparse as it was.  These days, there is an abundance of great content to be found on the web.  And, it’s getting better all the time.

I think everyone (and especially those of us who are overseas) would agree that it’s so much easier being an Akina fan now that we have the Internet.  How else could you keep up with the current news, order all the latest releases, and share a common interest with fellow fans all over the world in such a timely fashion and with so little effort?  Indeed, I can’t imagine returning to life as it was before.

One of the things that has really struck me during the past 8+ years is the extent of Akina’s fan support.  While I was not surprised at all that Akina continues to maintain an avid fan base in Japan and other parts of Asia, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she has such a following elsewhere in the world.

Over the years, I’ve received e-mails from Akina fans around the globe (every populous continent–save Africa–has been well represented).  As to be expected, a percentage of the individuals living abroad was comprised of transplanted Asians; yet, among the remaining people, there was nevertheless a sizeable number of non-Asian admirers.

Some of the people who contacted me were not familiar with Akina previously, but had their interest piqued after surfing my site–Akina just has that affect on people!  I am happy and proud to say that several of them followed up by ordering their first Akina CDs and some new fans were born as a result.  It felt good to have a small hand in helping others to discover Akina.

I’m not sure whether it was due to a language barrier, or because my web site’s design was lacking (my earlier attempts were admittedly rather weak), but there were a surprising number of people who contacted me under the apparent assumption that I was Akina.  Now, I would never want to ridicule or laugh at another person’s honest feelings, but I must say these were among the most intriguing e-mails I have received to date.  Included in this group was everything from personal inquiries and complements (I was flattered on Akina’s behalf), to meeting proposals (a few took it a bit further), modeling offers (a testament to her good looks), and… gulp, even a handful of threats!  Of course, it’s not always easy to gauge a writer’s tone or sincerity from an e-mail.  Perhaps (or hopefully, as the case may be) some of those messages could simply be attributed to someone’s idea of a joke.  Either way, I’ll probably never know for certain.

I will confess that one of my fantasies in recent years has involved receiving an acknowledgement from Akina herself.  I realize the chances of that actually happening are probably very slim.  She doesn’t even seem to care about computers!

I did receive a few e-mails from people who have worked with her though, which is the next best thing.

But all that aside, the majority of correspondence has had the positive effect of bringing me into contact with really great people and mutual Akina fanatics (including, of course, my VAMP comrades!) ready to share the common bond of loving all things Akina.   Interacting with this group has truly been a pleasure and I have made some wonderful friends in the process.  In addition to being a lot of fun, I’ve learned quite a bit as well.  My heartfelt thanks to you all!

Let’s have a great 2006.  Happy New Year, everyone!

dannybunny

Akina fanboy since 14. Still undecided which are his top ten favourite Akina tracks as it's mission impossible. Digs "Everlasting Love" a whole lot more than the average Akina fan.

6 thoughts on “Some Year-End Sentiments

  1. Great post CJ, really enjoyed reading it, as I am indeed a non-asian Akina listener, (although I am now transplanted and living in Asia!) Im not sure if I would have been introduced to listening to her had I not had the asian connection but for sure youre right – the internet has made Akina accessible to a much wider audience. I for one very much appreciate all the work her dedicated fans all over the world put into their websites for the benefit of others 🙂 To all here, have a wonderful, happy and prosperous 2006!

  2. Hi,

    You sure help us/ me to keep connect with Akina. Before I moved to US, I can only access to Akina’s news though one Thai’s japanese radio program. I remember my annual back to Taiwan was a big Akina’s shopping and search time.

    After I moved to US, your website are one of the first that I found and love. There were time that I was downed by Akina’s recent work but your website reminded me and made me fond of all good memory on Akina.

    The down side is your website made me want more and more Akina’s stuffs. 🙂

    Thank you and Happy New Year!

  3. Thanks CJ for sharing these sentiments. I am certain all Akina fans think alike in the sense of the internet bringing us closer together and it is great that even in the absence of any news, we are able to get together and fantasize or recollect on the older times to tide us through

    Here’s hoping that we will have more new stuff to share with everyone in 2006 and beyond, and that she will be as active as her past rival, Seiko, who I am flabbergasted to report here has made the HMV’s 7th Best Japanese Singer of All Time (beating other very accomplished singers like:

    9. 井上陽水
    10. 宇多田ヒカル
    11. 大瀧詠一
    12. 坂本九
    13. 沢田研二
    14. 矢野顕子
    15. 佐野元春
    16. 中島みゆき
    17. 矢沢永吉
    18. UA
    19. 忌野清志郎
    20. 竹内まりや
    21. 浜田省吾
    22. 奥田民生
    23. 和田アキ子
    24. 草野マサムネ (スピッツ)
    25. 尾崎豊
    26. 槇原敬之
    27. 吉田美和(Dreams Come True)
    28. 椎名林檎
    29. 大貫妙子
    30. 平井堅

    What did they base this selection on? God knows … Unfortunately, I don’t think Akina will be the Top 5 …

  4. Thanks for the kind words, you guys! I’m very thankful to be able to interact with and to share this great common interest with you all.

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2006! Happy New Year!!

  5. CJ, it has been really about some years since we knew each other through your website in the late 90s. If not for your generosity at that time, I guess I would not be the Akina fannatic today…not knowing so much information about Akina and all those emails with you…you shared tonnes of information about her with me…and also, our common dreams of collection came true as we worked together. Definitely, your internet presence has made a difference for Akina…and also, for many non-japanese fans like us even up to today…

    Thanks for everything that you have provided us with.

    I am indeed very honoured that you accepted our invitation to join us in VAMP today and I am sure, together with the rest of the VAMPires, we will continue to pursue our love for Akina =)

    Happy New Year!!

  6. Happy New Year!!!

    Thanks Ranbi!! I too am glad to have known you these past years. It’s been fun corresponding and sharing all things Akina.

    Many Akina sites have been created since I launched my own pages. I’m pleased to say that several have far surpassed mine in comprehensiveness and sheer passion. I am delighted and grateful to see the collective efforts of so many dedicated fans. If my own efforts provided any inspiration to that end, then I am truly glad.

    Likewise, I am honored that you invited me to join the VAMP group! The pure excitement and enthusiasm generated by VAMP, and all who have contributed to it, is a real boon for Akina and fans everywhere. Let’s all endeavor to keep up the good work!

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