Japanese anime pop star Mai Mizuhashi skirts nationalism to build Chinese fan base on Ride the Wind reality show

scmp.com -- May 29
A Japanese singer’s explosive popularity in China after appearing on a top Chinese music show proves that Chinese audiences can separate culture from geopolitics, despite international tension and growing online nationalism, according to analysts.

Mai Mizuhashi, known by the stage name MARiA, was the breakout star of the latest season of Ride the Wind, a female-centred reality competition show formerly called Sisters Who Make Waves that invites public figures over the age of 30 to take part in pop idol format competitions.

The 31-year-old Ibaraki native debuted earlier this month with a high-energy performance of her 2016 hit “Gokuraku Joudo”, a widely popular anison, or anime song, among Chinese fans of Japanese anime, comics and games (ACG). ...continue reading

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