The trend behind Blouson Chiemi’s popularity: Could it be an indication that Tokyo’s women becoming like Osaka aunties?

■Trends of 2017

Thinking back upon the trends of 2017, it’s Blouson Chiemi, a comedian whose phrase “3.5 billion” was also chosen as a buzzword, who comes to mind. Previously, comedians gain popularity with their catchy phrase. But recent years, comedians including Blouson Chiemi seem being popular with other reason beside this – maybe something Osaka-ish reason.

■Blouson Chiemi’s support base

So who has supported Blouson Chiemi? In some ways, the previously mentioned phrase “3.5 billion” has stood on its own. However, her skit “successful career woman – who can balance her work and love life – teaches how to be loved like her.” is clearly targeted at women. Moreover, the “24 hour TV marathon” which attracted attention to her not seems what children and men seek in to comedian, but it has ignited her support from women. If we look at the ‘Breakthrough Comedian Ranking’ (oricon) for this year and last year, there are ‘Amako Inter’ in 2017, ‘Natsuko Yokozawa’,’Nora Hirano’, ’Okazu Club’, ’Noami Watanabe’ in 2016, and ’Yuriyan Retriever’ in both 2016 and 2017. It is evident that the support of women is connected to the success of the likes of ‘Natsuko Yokozawa’, who employs typical female material as her weapon; ‘Nora Hirano’, who has become popular among high school girls despite the skit themed bubble economy period which they inexperienced; ‘Amako Inter’, who are popular with women thanks to strong-minded, cool member Nagisa; and ‘Naomi Watanabe’, who became a person admired by women on Instagram.
On the one hand, if we look back ten years to 2007 and 2008, there are comparatively more ranked female entertainers; ’Sumiko Nishioka’,’Kanako Yanagihara’,’Edo Harumi’,Miyuki Torii’ and ’Naomi Watanabe’. However, on comparison, while ‘Kanako Yanagihara’ and ‘Naomi Watanabe’ appear to have been well-supported by women, ‘Nishioka’, who play sado-masochist in her skit, ‘Edo’, who targeted at middle-aged men, and ‘Torii’, who was popular for being mysterious and for her beautiful looks, seem to have been popular with men. The fact that ‘Watanabe’ has been ranked again now like this after ten years clearly seems to suggest that women have taken hold of current trends.

■Changes to current talk and variety programs /information programs

So did women not have much influence ten years ago? Here I want to look at talk and variety programs and information programs, which were targeting women and housewives and had frequent opportunities to be watched by them. (This excludes information programs such as nightly news).
Looking at 26 information programs which were being broadcast ten years ago, in 2007, only two programs, ‘SUNDAY JAPON’,’Sukkiri’, were being presented by comedians. This represents 8%. (If you restrict this especially to the weekday, there is only ‘Sukkiri’, which started in 2006).
However, the number gradually started to increase. ’Nijiiro gene’, ’Hiruobi!’, ’PON!’, ’HIrunandesu!’, ’NONSTOP!’ and ’News caster’ adapted comedian for MC in 2017, and ’King’s Brunch’ also changed MC this year.
These changes increase the percentage to 35%. This clearly shows that women’s curiosity and interest in comedians had increased.

(Researched by FRI)

■The situation in Osaka

Incidentally, is this a nationwide phenomenon? Since we’re talking about comedy, we also looked at Osaka (Kansai local) programs. We discovered that the majority of programs in Osaka had a comedian as an MC. Even looking at long-running TV programs ’Ohayou Asahidesu’ and ’Chichin Puipui’, which are hosted by announcers, they are surrounded by comedians. What is different compared with Tokyo (national net) is that this situation has barely changed from 2007 to 2017. Both now and in the past, information programs in Osaka have comedians as MCs.
Looking specifically at these comedians, there are ‘Emiko Kamishima’, ’Highheel’, ’Narumi’, ’Naomi Matsushima’ and ’Tommy’s’ , who are popular with housewives. Moreover, what is impressive is that there are a lot of female comedians. What makes them distinctive is that there are many candid women who don’t decorate themselves much and who are able to say what they think without hesitation.
Perhaps in Osaka, people with whom women can empathize were traditionally sought after in everyday life, and ‘laughter’ was in demand too.

(Researched by FRI)

■Are Tokyo’s women becoming like Osaka aunties?

Putting these things together, we may be able to say that women from Tokyo have started to seek laughter in their everyday lives too, and are becoming into housewives of Osaka…that is, ‘Osaka aunties’. It seems that comedy need to pinpoint what makes women laugh in 2018, as last year.
Also, the biggest difference compared with Osaka is there are no female comedian MCs in Tokyo. This may be the essential difference between Osaka and Tokyo, but there may be value in attempting to challenge this. Looking at the entire country, there are few people like the type of female comedian from Osaka described above, but I believe that Kayoko Okubo (member of Oasiz), who was ranked first in trend rankings as an around-40-year-old star in 2013, may be a possibility.
We often hear that “The sense of comedy is different in Osaka and Tokyo…”, but recently, comedians who it was believed would have a hard time in Tokyo, such as ‘Chidori’, and ‘Amakou Inter’ mentioned above, have started to become popular. Looking at the M-1 Grand Prix in 2017, the top 6 comedians were basically come up big in Osaka. Perhaps the change of Tokyo’s women is starting to fill the comedic gap between Osaka and Tokyo.

Sources:

Oricon’s 2017 breakthrough comedians ranking
Oricon’s 2016 breakthrough comedians ranking
Oricon’s 2008 breakthrough comedians ranking
An in-depth analysis of 2007 breakthrough comedians!!

(Author: Kento Kimura)

Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.

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