46 comments on “Really though: why does H!P have so many female fans nowadays?

  1. > 9. 名無しプロジェクト 2015年04月28日 00:13 ID:cj8Lu.EC0
    > I don’t think there are that many “pairing” wota. The only fans who view them like
    > that must come from an anime otaku background or something.

    This might be a really good point!

    • There are tons of exotic fish species out there and if she looks like a fish, it’s fine to me.
      Bluefin Tuna is one of those exotic fishes, it have perfect, shinny, streamlined (and delicious) body.

      :P

  2. 33. “On the contrary, I wish they’d go back to their old style of wota T’s, and that they’d bring back °C’s old logo.”

    This person knows what she’s talking about. Juice=Juice, ℃-ute, Hello! Project in general… is there a time in the last few years they’ve introduced a replacement that hasn’t been much more boring?

  3. I was going to say something like,

    “are some of the japanese fans *seriously* bitching about this?”

    //which really was a stupid question looking back on it\\

    but then I got to the pictures

    and I pretty much forgot that there had been anything else in the blog post

    …..!

    ………..!!

    …..but I’m pretty damn certain that this is a good direction for H!P

    >_>

    *looks up current price of airfare*

    ==================================
    [regarding Henkka’s remarks]

    “my girlfriend (more recently, wife)”

    //you forgot the AWWW YEAAA and/or *wink* afterwards\\

    • > “pseudo-lesbian thing”
      > What’d I miss?

      Quite a few of the UP2BOY photo shoots, quite a few of the member blogs, as well as a lot of “self promoted” combi’s: PonPon, HoneyCho, Yuu & M.E., Maimi/Mano, OdenPon, GakiPon, MonkeyDemon, etc.

      • But hasn’t this been around for a very long time? Even before they starts to write blogs?

        I remember eri and sayumi was one of the popular once, and Airi and Kanna was quite popular too

  4. Being from Finland, do you remember Tiktak? lol They were all-girl band when I was in my early and mid teens, and every one of my female peers hated them. To the extent that when they performed in my home town, someone spit on one of them. Which is horrible. But thinking back on it, they were all pretty, Petra was a legit great vocalist (she was born the same year as me, too) and they even had some catchy songs. I mean, not worse than any other pop stuff! But you couldn’t think that when they were your age, in your teens. Nuh-uh. That would have been the worst, most uncool thing to do.

    … So, I think there could be a little bit of truth to your theory, just a little! Some feeling of “competition” or whatever – I think when I was a teen though, the most uncool thing that you could do was to really care about and put effort into something, which Tiktak members did. How dare those pretty young girls perform music! That is the lamest thing ever!

    Anyway. I think there are a lot of things that can influence someone’s attitude or approach towards something. I’ve noticed though, that if there is a member I “hate”, I’ll end up making a complete turn and end up loving them. In my case indifference is more ‘dangerous’ than hate, because hate can be flipped around. >_> Hate means you are already emotionally involved, but at the same time, why spend so much energy hating if you genuinely don’t care for it? I think there is a seed inside every hater, and they just don’t know it, and they would never accept it, until that dreadful moment of DAIKIRAI DAIKIRAI DAIKIRAI DAISUKI – AH~. Hahahaa… Yup.

  5. Thanks for the great translation as always Henkka!

    And wow! Your comment regarding your wife suddenly becoming a fan is a very touching story. So cool! Props to converting her into an H!P wota :D

  6. I attended a Morning Musume handshake event in Tokyo in early 2014. I was amazed at the amount of girls there – outnumbering the creepy guys I expected to see. As a decent looking white guy, I had some fun conversations with a few female wota. Ikuta seemed most popular, followed by Kudo.

    As the day went on (my tickets were spread throughout the day), the ratio changed. It was more older guys. So that was interesting. They tended to like different members than the girls.

    The NYC show was a lot of (geeky) girls, but that was to be expected. It was an eclectic mix. Then I attended show 1 and 4 of Gradation. Each time, I had an energetic young dude on my left and a quiet young girl on my right. Few creepers in sight! The vibe and intensity was amazing – not just from the members but the fans! I kept up as best I could, but didn’t know the choreography as well. During TIKI BOOM, they dude next to me grabbed me for us to do the group leaning portion.

    But back to the girl fans. I think it’s great! Sexualizing is not a part of my idol fandom, so I like that there are others who more appreciate idols’ hard work, cuteness and skill. I would like to see more girls be energetic, but maybe they just enjoy watching and waving penlights a bit.

    • The reason why I could never get into AKB is because of the way they sexualize them. I don’t think I like idols, I think I just like H!P.

      • H!P has awkward swimsuit photo book shots, and I think some of the costumes are a bit risqué, but it’s not overt.
        I’ve never really strayed from H!P to AKB territory; nothing I’ve heard from them amuses me. And honestly, aside from ANGERME, I only have a few songs each from Berryz, C-ute and J=J.

        I have started a weekly column on my blog called Justin’s J-Pop Jukebox, where I share a song from a Japanese group. I’m making sure to explore the entirety of the genre, not just Morning Musume.

    • and no shit, that J=J song got me hooked on them too even though I used to deem myself that no other idol group than Momusu I wld ever listen to. But since I’m a sucker for music, I’ve been digging other H!P groups as well.

  7. I’m not a female fan, but Henkka’s story inspired me to post my story.

    I was once almost like Henkka’s wife. I used to think this whole scene was creepy. I met a friend in an online MMO that was always into everything idol. Most people, like myself were a little put off by it. That was a good 6 years ago. Over the years he would link a video here, and there. And late in the night when I would go along with, not really understanding what i was watching. He has a chance to attend an MM concert some time back and told me to go. I didn’t and i totally regret it now. A few months back he linked a mashup of each girl’s closeup in Seishun kozou ga naiteiru, this lead me to Yuugure Wa Amaegari. I was hooked on how entertaining the entire scene is. All of a sudden, i wanted to know everything about these girls, hear every song the group has ever done and everything they have to say. At first i was just blown away by Masume, but soon started to explore all of H!P and UF. Similiar to Henkka’s wife’s, “I want to touch them.” I just want to know everything i can about them.

    This has brought my obsession as a foreign fan of everything Japan to a whole new level. Fast forward a couple of months and all i can listen to is H!P and some other groups. Every week I look forward to HaroSute, GR and M+, etc. My friend and I find something to link to each other and it’s never a dull moment. Like i said, hooked

    I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, now i know that when I do, it needs to be when there is a concert I can attend. Oh yea, that friend is Aspenth.

    • Kind of creepy reading a post about the horrible things I’ve done (lol)

      “I want to touch them.”

      also creepy! =D

      You really should have been at that NY concert from MM…I guess I should apologize for introducing you to them too late? lol

      (they’ll be back in another 4 years I’m sure…)

    • I thought those Seishun and Yuugure fan vids were just recently uploaded haha. Haven’t thanked Aspenth for that because my YT vid got terminated recently.
      Anyways, welcome aboard, mate!
      So who got your interest among Musumes so far?

      • Oh shit, sorry about that…it’s not like I’ve been sharing them on a FB wall or anything prolific, though =(

        Looks like most of the live vids of the NY concert have had their audio tracks muted due to a copyright complaint…how lame.

        This one is still up (for now), and I’m actually visible in it lol…look for the dude with the grey hat-turned-backwards in the front row ^_^

        Shit was mad fun

        • Oops I misinterpreted what you said like I was at fault LOL

          I wouldn’t be surprised if I was though…always a safe bet to blame me >_>

      • Sakura-chan because she is so talented yet still growing into her own; Duu because I something about her voice is addicting, her confidence and I’m a sucker for the short hair cuts :)

  8. Pingback: Recommended Jpop♀ Reading: June 27, 2015 | Idolminded

  9. I quite like acting as a disgusting wota when i’m next to a girl wota in concert/event !

  10. From my viewpoint (Westerner, hardly understanding Japanese language), I’ve always assumed female wota to have always existed. It just went against social norms until idols became more mainstream and thus “okay” to both like and feel safer at events. With the more assertive/idgaf-about-your-opinions females attending, the more reserved ones have less worry about being the “only ones” there lol

    btw, hasn’t H!P been very acknowledging of their female fans? I remember hearing about female fans-only events for C-ute a good while back when I first became a fan.

    As for the whole “omg girls are so competitive with one-another” BS… well, I just called it BS so that expresses my view of that theory lol -especially- in such a vague way to describe or try to explain something.
    Like, obviously it depends how they’re brought up and how society regards them. Japan is very sexist (among other things) so I can see them forcing “competition” amongst women. Such as “this person is the ideal beauty, you are so far from it that you’re disgusting!” or “this is what a woman should be and aim to become, wtf is with you and not liking skirts or make-up you’re not a woman at all!”, that kinda toxic stuff. Doesn’t even need to come from a direct source, it can just be the subtle message from magazines and such, but it’s of course gonna be worse if someone they trust or regard highly of ever say such toxic, messed-up things.
    But, yeah, no to the whole “girl competition”. Not as a “base” for reasoning (beyond what I rambled a bit above). Your now-wife sounds like she knew the creep factor that came with idols, and I’d say that deep-rooted understanding is what drove her hate (or a different factor to it). When you have something in common with someone that gets something you yourself are disgusted by (eg a teen girl and a teen girl idol, both desired by both pedos and creeps alike), you end up not wanting anything to do with it: you want to be as disassociated as you can get from it, so it doesn’t reflect upon you or – heaven forbid – be acted upon you. Of course, I dunno your wife or what she was specifically/generally disgusted about idols over, for all I know she could indeed have envied something and hated them for it lol

    For my own self, I would only use the term “competitive” if to describe how much they inspired me. Where their hard work makes me want to become better at various things. Of course, me personally becoming an idol was impossible for me (funds and laziness lol), so I just kept to having fun following and singing poorly in my room.
    As those closer to my age graduate and fresh blood properly debuted, I’ve started to watch them all mature. Some mature in completely different directions than I had expected, usually for the better. I’m always glad whenever they’re having fun, if they seem to be able to live as honestly as an idol can. I always hope that the company won’t throw them (intentionally) under the bus as well since we all know H!P and Up-Front are just… yeah, lol
    Of course, with being an online hobby/lifestyle for me, I’m able to be detached from the toxic elements idols “thrive” in. I don’t need to deal with the creeps or be associated with them or, as it seems most female fans (potentially) deal with, risk being bothered by the creeps. It’s not so embedded into my culture to where the creeps are the only ones expected lol, tho of course places like conventions can gather them. But, like female wota, it’s gotten tons “safer” for females to go to certain places pertaining to their interests as they’re definitely no longer “rare” in attendance.

    TL;DR: Females have long-since liked similar if not the exact same stuff as males, there’s not some inherent “competition” between us unless you foster that toxic environment (so don’t assume that as default behavior, that’s weak), and female fans gaining more confidence will only naturally encourage them to take your tickets away lol

    • Just to clarify: what I wrote was not by any means proposed as the universal, default reason some females have a strong dislike of female idols. I was only thinking in terms of one individual, based off of discussions we’ve had regarding idols in the past while she was still a “hater” — even then, like I wrote above, she did not necessarily fully agree with my assessment. I do not in the least assume what I wrote to hold true for all women.

      Hell, I’m a guy. I can hardly claim to be an expert on the subject of women.

      • Ah, didn’t mean to insinuate that as “the default” more than it’s just how you phrased the situation, including your wife not fully agreeing with it. I’m usually sloppy with typing, sorry.

        But don’t use that cheap excuse of “I’m not expert (on women)”, that’s just an insult: it’s used more for “I don’t want to understand them or even try (but I’ll assert my opinion anyway)”. Women’s (as well as those outside the gender binary’s) narratives are growing increasingly more common and easily heard/watched, it really depends on those that aren’t part of the minority whether they learn anything or not (tho even a decade ago it was ton harder to hear more than a male narrative in most fields lol, culture norms are a huge issue to understanding too btw).
        Anyway, a good example is this thread, both to see who would definitely use the “I’m no expert on women (but)” excuse, as well as women narratives shared from the source and even some that either try to or actually do understand females; the culture norms also were mentioned too lol

        • I don’t wish for either of us to spend any more time or energy on this discussion, so I’ll keep it brief. I did not intend my reply to come off as either an excuse nor an insult. With my tongue-in-cheek line about not being an expert I meant to convey that I am talking out of my ass. I hoped to underline that, although stated, my opinion amounts to nothing. That’s all.

  11. I’m just a lesbian who likes Japanese pop music, I’m probably about as gross as your average male wota. I found some MVs on youtube and started lurking around tumblr, been a fan ever since, which is nice to say since I have a past of shifting my “favorite thing” around every year.

  12. Thanks for that translation. It was nice that there were actual female wota on that thread explaining this time than just male wota talking about how girls would switch their fandom soon again because that’s what girls do.

    I think it’s true that in the past (and even nowadays in other countries) you think you have to compete with other girls of your age group. Maybe that changed because there were so many “weird idols” becoming popular as well though they were not seen as “the pretty ones” but more the entertaining girls and lots of girls in idol groups started to express their admiration for other idols. Also guys started to express their love not only for the most pretty one but also that entertaining akward girl. So all in all I feel like it was more that the whole athmosphere changed and that it’s seen as a good thing to be positive towards all different kind of girls.

    And honestly I think that’s amazing because let’s face it: There is no way most woman can ever get even close to the beauty of an Airi and most guys won’t get a girl taht looks as pretty as a girl like her does (based on general promoted beauty standards).
    And to realize that you don’t need to because lot of different girls are admired nowadays and you just need to find that person that makes you happy and that might also be that confindent akward and weird looking person is amazing, isn’t it?

  13. I agree with one of the reply, I was already a fan of Berryz back in 2004/2005, then I started become a fan of c-ute too when they debut, then become a morning musume fan when jun jun and Lin Lin joined, but at that time I was still in school so I didn’t have much of income to buy their goods or go to their concerts, but I started having a job around 2011, so now I can buy their cd’s and went to c-ute’s concert last year! So I think most girls are the same as me.

  14. I see where the AKB comments are coming from..

    Itano Tomomi was the member that had the most (teenage-early 20s) female fans, after she graduated a lot of us kinda looked for a void filler. I, for example, was like “Ok.. so Itano is out of AKB… Reina is out of H!P… what now?” So these days I just kinda sit at the sidelines waiting for someone to re-capture my attention (while reading funny threads like this). So far Ogata Haruna and Maachan fooling around is bringing my inner H!P wota out again, I thought Berryz had totally drained it out of me after that grad concert XD

    I hope no one got offended by this post, if so, sorry! it wasn’t my intention

  15. Best comment from Henkka I’ve read in a long time. I love your one-liners, but this was a nice read.

  16. i’m a female fan, and from my point of view it has to do with this age, i mean, is like now is ok for women to like idols, because they have evolve they aren’t just sex fantasies for creepy wota’s so their image is getting better at the eyes of the general audience so it has become acceptable for all kinds of people to like them, and in my particular case i like H!P because they put a lot of focus on the music, and the dancing and singing skills, and yes they have gravure pictures but they don’t over do it, and they are really fun to follow, plus Sayu have become a role model for me as well so i feel like they appeal to all kinds of fans

  17. It comes down to this, I think – women are blatantly excluded and unwelcome in all kinds of arenas, from jobs all the way down to subcultures. The tipping point is letting them know-yes, you are wanted as a fan and a participant!

    There have always been female fans of any entertainment example, because we’re just people, but some scenes are more hostile or intimidating to women than others. Women are told “this isn’t for you” “women don’t listen to ___/wear ___/like ___” and we hear that we aren’t wanted and we listen to that.

    SO how does the tide change? How does an industry or a fandom let women know they are wanted?

    Some examples from H!P:
    -Sayu, Momoko, and others appearing on primetime TV shows targeted at general audiences (as opposed to only late-night)
    -Kirarin Revolution and Shugo Chara, targeted squarely at young female audiences
    -Hair tutorials, coordination on Girls Live, use of blogs & WEAR to promote girls’ individual styles
    -Requesting female fans to appear as live TV audiences (to show that women attend H!P shows)
    -Featuring female fans on shows like Haromoni@, J-Melo, etc.
    -Lyrical content- Tsunku’s strong talent for capturing real scenes or issues girls are thinking about and expressing them in a way that resonates with women
    -Involving members in production roles- designing goods, theming their own PBs, crafting their own setlists, Michishige Camera, Miyabi styling CG, Chinami judging & supporting KSS, Captain involved in member selection & mentoring, CG being Satoda’s idea with Momoko advising and a female producer…

    Most female fans will ask at some point: “Is it ok for me to like this?” and “Is it ok for me to be here?” UF may not be perfect, but they are overwhelmingly saying more than ever- YES.

    • Yup, you nailed it. And UF definitely deserves some respect for their attempts. I’d add to your list that a lot of UF idols have a variety of personalities, and are encouraged to be themselves – Reina, IIRC has a lot of female fans, and they were always quite attracted to her independent, cool, outspoken nature, even if all of that would go against the typical male idol fantasy.

  18. JPop in general, and H!P more specifically, brought my wife and I together. We met online through mutual friends in the online H!P community.

  19. As I’m not Japanese, I can’t speak for that culture of women. Nor women in my own country for that matter (lol). All I can do is give my own experience as a female H!P fan, and maybe relate it to Japanese female fans and how some of them might feel as women.

    I initially became a fan of Morning Musume’s Platinum Era then most of H!P, because they were around my age. Honestly, I like it best when the groups I like are close to my age (I’m in my early 20s right now). I’ve heard that the Platinum Era brought in a lot of female fans, so maybe it was the same for some of them. Also, there’s a sort of stigma in being a fan of girls younger than you or idols all together (given their fanservice, like photobooks and etc). To me, it’s a little embarrassing to admit that I am an idol fan to friends. It’s sort of a ‘ohhhh, you like ~that~ sort of thing’ deal, and I’m often laughed at for it. It might be a bit more socially acceptable for men to be fans of female idols and women to be fans of male idols, especially in Japan. Women might also feel like idols objectify women, and find it disgusting.

    Also, it’d be a bit awkward to be one of the few women in a mostly male audience. Probably why many female fans don’t attend concerts (lol). All my speculation.

  20. I’m a female fan of 11/12 years, although not Japanese. I stumbled across MM just after 6th generation joined, when I was 14 (my first song was Go Girl Koi no Victory), and I was amazed – a lot of these girls were the same age I was! (Sayumi is actually only a day younger than me xD My birthday today, hers tomorrow) And tbh, that’s why I first became a fan. These girls were my age. I could relate to them, almost. And those who were older than me, like Yossie, I looked up to.

    I’ll also say, though, that to me, they were just singers. I had no idea about “idols”, to me they were simply a girl group like any other. I was actually very, very surprised later on when I found out the vast majority of their fans were older men, as here, most girl groups have predominately young, female fanbases. I assumed this was the same. So yeah, that was a bit of a shock.

    Anyway, I kept on following MM. These days, I’m now older than all the members, and 9 years older than my oshi, Zukki… but now, rather than looking up to the girls like I did when I was younger, I look at them like younger sisters. I feel proud having watched them grow up in the group and seeing their progress. I would say that today, I love MM much more than I did when I was younger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.