Many are rushing to buy his stuff before the publishers decide to wipe him out of existence.

On 13 February, musician Noriyuki Makihara (also affectionately known as “Mackey”) experienced some of the best sales on Amazon in perhaps his entire recording career. His albums Bespoke, The Best of Listen To The Music, and Smiling: The Best of Noriyuki Makihara shot up to the top of the charts occupying first to fourth place. A further four albums appeared in the top 25, resulting in a sales blitz seldom seen for a single artist.

▼ Even a day later, his albums are still dominating the music category

Unfortunately, Makihara was too busy getting arrested for possession of 83 milligrams of a stimulant to fully appreciate it. This is the second such arrest for the 50-year-old singer-songwriter, after getting picked up in 1999 on similar charges and serving a suspended sentence.

This time things are different, however. Last year, fellow musician Pierre Taki’s cocaine arrest resulted in getting pretty much everything he touched pulled from the shelves and online distribution platforms. This involved video games getting overhauled and his voice redubbed over in Disney’s Frozen, despite the delicious irony that he played a snowman in it.

So, expecting the same to happen with Makihara, people are flocking to Amazon and buying up as much of his stuff as they could before the great purge. Surely many were fans seizing this last chance to get his CDs and DVDs, but many others were no doubt investing in some soon-to-be rare memorabilia to resell.

▼ Warner Music’s official YouTube channel currently still has his music up, but it may disappear at any time

It would seem hypocritical to completely wipe one artist from existence, while leaving the other untouched. And even though these publishers and studios seem to have no problem being heavy-handed and compassionless to people possibly suffering from substance abuse problems, being hypocritical is a whole other ballgame, so Mackey’s disappearance is very probable.

▼ However, this is made more complicated by the fact that Makihara wrote Smap’s “Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana,” one of the most popular Japanese songs of all time

Nevertheless, many went online asking for mercy, and for such a beloved musician not to be taken from their lives.

“Please do not seal his past work. The songs did nothing wrong.”
“I like Makihara even if he was arrested. I’m going to revisit his stuff now.”
“I listen to Mackey a lot more now than I used to, but he’s got to stay off the drugs.”
“Crap! I only had all of his stuff on MiniDisc.”
“Didn’t any of these people buy his stuff before he was arrested?”

Some of these comments bring up an interesting point. In terms of sales, we can safely say that Makihara was at his peak in the ’90s, and while still active, never quite returned to that same glory until just now. So in a way, this drug arrest could been seen as huge boost to his career.

To put it another hypothetical way, imagine Afroman was Japanese and got arrested for possession of marijuana, and as a result his 2000 smash hit “Because I Got High” would never be played or sold again. After the initial shock that Afroman would ever get mixed up in drugs, we’d surely all rush to get a copy of that single we haven’t heard in years at the same time. Thus, “Because I Got High” would once again top the charts like a phoenix rising from the pot ashes.

If I was such a devious person, I might even suggest that in Japan’s rabidly anti-drug climate, getting busted on a minor possession charge could be a lucrative business move for some artists and labels.

In fact, downloads of our website’s theme song have been sluggish recently. It might be time to show Seiji a shop with some great poppy-seed bagels and then ambush him with a urine test.

Source: Amazon Japan, Hachima Kiko
Photos ©SoraNews24
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