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A New Style of Idol From 3 Different Versions of “Silent Majority”: Keyaizaka46, Seiko Oomori, Rina Ikoma (Nogizaka46)

3つの『サイレントマジョリティー』から見る新しいアイドル ——欅坂46、大森靖子、生駒里奈
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A New Style of Idol From 3 Different Versions of “Silent Majority”: Keyaizaka46, Seiko Oomori, Rina Ikoma (Nogizaka46)

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“Silent Majority” has already become an idol song worthy of being called an anthem. Seeing 3 different versions of “Silent Majority”, I am firmly convinced of this. The original song by Keyakizaka46, the cover by Seiko Oomori, and the 46 & 48 dream team version, in which Rina Ikoma acted as a center. Comparing these 3 versions of “Silent Majority”, I would like to discuss the new style of idol.

img_keyakizaka46_silent_majority_042

It is not necessary to explain too deeply about the song “Silent Majority”. It was released on April 6, 2016 as the debut single of Keyakizaka46, reaching #1 on the Oricon chart, and being selected as the bestselling idol song of the year.

This song has a message of, “Don’t be ruled by adult people! Resist!” By singing this song, the idols act as agents of resistance. Although it is strange that idols, who must obey producers and managers, recognize themselves as belonging to a resistance, it is this paradox that made them top stars in Japan.

As for the lyrics of this song, idol writer, Akimasa Munekata writes, “This song is so strange. The sound, which is created by acoustic guitar and clapping, somehow evokes a Spanish taste. Through a verse of the lyrics, ‘President of some country say (…) We cannot tell our will without action’, we image the SEALDs, who is a student activist organization in Japan that organized protests against the ruling coalition headed by Prime Minister.” And he says, “From the scene in which they sing ‘Where are you going wearing the same clothes?’ with the same uniform, I recalled the words ‘manufactured girl group’ which Noel Thomas David Gallagher used in his blog to discuss AKB48.”

The politics and the self-denial that is put in the lyrics, they see themselves cynically as those who must dance and sing in the world which is made by adults. Have we ever seen such idols who sing such an ironic and antisocial message? We can find the novelty of them there.

“Silent Majority” is a counter song for teens. Now, Seiko Oomori, who is of course not teenager, covered this song and the MV attracted considerable public attention. In the MV, 24 idols appear on screen, wandering in the darkness with weary expressions on their faces. At first, no one knows what they are searching for. This is followed by a scene of Shibuya River. Shibuya River is a place which is used in the move “LOVE & POP” directed by Hideaki Anno. This river symbolizes the dirtiness of the city. Gradually, they come to Shibuya River and at the head of them is Seiko Oomori giving them the spirit. Then they become awakened one by one.

From this MV, I feel that the idols shown in the video are like drop outs of society. It is same as Seiko Oomori who sings “Silent Majority” while walking through the sewer water. In short, seeing the idol who is outside of society singing, “Don’t be ruled by adult people! Resist!”, people realize they are unconsciously subordinate to the adults of society.


“Silent Majority” is full of strong feelings of resistance against society, because the members of Keyakizaka46 are young enough to not yet be incorporated into society. On the other hand, “Silent Majority” by Seiko Oomori is a song for people who are already incorporated into society. Although both are same song, there is a big difference between them.

seiko-oomori-silentmajorrity

Finally, I would like to talk about the 3rd “Silent Majority”. This was sung by the 46 & 48 dream team on the TV show “FNS Uta no Natsu Matsuri” on July 18, 2016. Unfortunately, there is no official movie. If you are interested in it, you need to search for it on the Internet. The center of the dream team was Rina Ikoma of Nogizaka46. Frankly speaking, she was excellent. Their “Silent Majority” was full of strength and pulchritude of women mixed with the antisocial message. This “Silent Majority” is also different from the former two.

Rina Ikoma commented on this difference in an interview. She said, “Since Keyakizaka46 are teenagers, ‘Don’t be ruled by adult people!’ can become meaningful. Their ‘Silent Majority’ is a song for resistance. However, we are already ‘the resistance in the past’. Because of this, our ‘Don’t be ruled by adult people!’ has another meaning. We cannot become the true resistance.” She said, while Keyakizaka46 is now the resistance, Nogizaka46 “used to be the resistance”. But I would like to tell her one thing. The people who “used to be the resistance” possess a beautiful history to the extent that they have the past of fighting against society. Singing “Silent Majority”, Rina Ikoma rekindled the sparkle that she used to have.

Rina Ikoma (center)

Rina Ikoma (center)

Thus, “Silent Majority” will become an index that indicates a new style of idol. I am looking forward to seeing how the idol which is not subordinate to the adult society will be born.

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Author
KAI NAGASE
KAI NAGASE

Writer, Book Reviewer. Having the degree of MA. (Japanese Literature) I love Japanese Girl's Popular Music, such as YUKI, Chara, Makoto Kawamoto, and Seiko Oomori.

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