Roland Kelts

For Roland Kelts's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

AKB48 turns to an American studio

| Aug 15, 2015

AKB48 turns to an American studio

AKB48’s  commercial success in Japan is often derided as a sign of the culture’s patriarchal infantilization of women, and the girl group’s inability to appeal to Western audiences a sign of Japan’s increasingly isolated ideas about femininity, sexuality and pop music. Put simply: outside ...

Project Anime asks the right questions

| Jul 18, 2015

Project Anime asks the right questions

More than 90,000 attended the 24th annual Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest Japanese pop culture convention, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 2 to 5. The four-day event featured a concert by idol group Momoiro Clover Z, who were joined ...

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

| Jun 20, 2015

Can #socialmedia boost music sales in Japan?

Last week, Line Corp.’s, the operators of Japan’s most popular messaging app, launched an in-app music streaming service called Line Music. Japan is the second-largest music market in the world after the United States, but its consumers have so far been global outliers, clinging ...

Anime oasis of the Midwest flourishes

| May 16, 2015

Anime oasis of the Midwest flourishes

The 18th annual Anime Central (ACen), North America’s third largest anime convention, is underway this weekend in Rosemont, near Chicago. Last year’s event drew a record 29,000 unique attendees, tallying 81,000 in total over its three full days. Organizers expect to breach those figures ...

At last, Japan gets it

| Apr 18, 2015

At last, Japan gets it

The Japanese entertainment industry is finally growing up, says Shin Unozawa, and he should know. Unozawa joined Bandai Entertainment back in 1981, and serves as chair of the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA), co-hosts of the Tokyo Game Show. Now he is CEO of ...

AnimeJapan 2015 sees the big picture

| Mar 27, 2015

AnimeJapan 2015 sees the big picture

For most in Japan, April marks the start of the new working year. But for the anime and manga industries, it all begins in March. Last weekend, the second annual AnimeJapan trade fair overtook Tokyo Big Sight, with more than 120,000 total attendees (a ...

'The Anime Encyclopedia' goes full digital

| Feb 27, 2015

'The Anime Encyclopedia' goes full digital

“The Anime Encyclopedia, 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation” will be released March 3. Editions 1 and 2, published in 2001 and 2006 respectively, have long proved invaluable to English-speaking scholars, fans and writers, serving as reliably exhaustive and often highly entertaining ...

Lantis looks to woo a dedicated fan base with anisong tour

Jan 13, 2015

Lantis looks to woo a dedicated fan base with anisong tour

Fans breach the language barrier at overseas expos of Japanese pop culture as soon as the music starts. Legions of non-Japanese, most of whose knowledge of the language is limited to basic greetings and exclamations, burst into karaoke-style singalongs, mimicking dance moves and waving ...

Sanrio's 'Nutcracker' offers visual experience in 3-D

| Dec 26, 2014

Sanrio's 'Nutcracker' offers visual experience in 3-D

For anyone raised in the West, the year-end holidays in Japan can be a jarring experience, at least for the uninitiated. Decorated trees, illuminated boulevards and carols in convenience stores coincide with Colonel Sanders statuettes remade into Santa Claus and mini-skirted chorus girls in ...