13 comments on “Let’s get philosophical about idols

  1. 1. I can’t define it but I know it when I see it. (western celebrities are NOT Idols)
    2. I definitely think there’s the virtual girlfriend thing going on with some wota. Add in the huge amounts of money that hardcore wota spend and that’s why you get this possessive attitude.
    3. You bring your own meaning to Idols, just like any other hobby or form of entertainment.

    Poor Haruka, it’s a wonder she didn’t quit right then and there.

  2. Tsunku♂s philosophy of the “fourth” had me thinking.

    “Even with Momusu, he would always try to pick like the “fourth prettiest girl in class.”

    What kind of class has Sayumi as the fourth prettiest girl? What would that even look like?

    As for the 3 questions proposed at the beginning of the post, #49 gets all 3 right. I still love idols anyway.

    • Sayumi used to be more chubby when Tsunku chose her. From a later standpoint, she definitely would’ve been in the top 3 but thinking back, she was a bit awkward and had more visual flaws back then, so it’s likely that he saw her as no.4.

      • Sayu wasn’t actually “chubby”. She had a lot of baby fat in her face which she lost quite late (most girls lose baby fat in their mid-teens; Sayu was 23 before it disappeared) and a Makino-esque lower body (some abdomen fat, fuller than average hips and bottom). Those three things together appear like “chubby” but aren’t. Those arrangements of weight were actually an excellent clue as to what Sayu will look like when she’s pregnant… which should be delightful, really.

  3. 1. Idols are nice, hardworking girls who love to perform and make people happy.
    2. I get upset because they could lose everything for a boyfriend. They’re half-assing idolhood if they risk it like that. It can ruin a group too, when some disregard the rules while others take it seriously.
    3. It couldn’t be meaningless if I’m still here after 7 years. I just love following them and seeing their smiles, plus I love the music. Maybe cheering them on helps me cheer myself on too.

  4. Question 1: What are idols?
    Idols are mostly young, innocent people who try to do their best and find through experience out who they are. They get the chance to show and find their character and charms, while being sometimes scolded, but often praised. An opportunity a lot of people won’t have in their life. They basically show their growth. It’s about growing up and showing your charm. Some of them will probably be relatable or you’ll end up liking them.

    Question 2: Why do wota get mad when an idol finds a boyfriend?
    Some are worried that the girls don’t care anymore about their job. Others are probably very into it and think that their main source of happiness betrayed them or something, because they give their everything and spend money, they expect the idols so stay as pure as possible too, so that they only please fans, because these wota only try to please their idols too and don’t have a lot of other things in life? (which is maybe one of the reasons why Ayacho said everyone is responsible for their own happiness and it’s not her job to take care of other people’s lifes).

    Question 3: Is it meaningless to be into idols?
    Is anything meaningful and makes sense? Do we know? Is something that makes you happy and helps you getting through a tough life meaningless? For me, idols have been the best and most amazing escapism I’ve experienced. It’s just an uncommon hobby. They are living what I can’t live and couldn’t in my youth. Yes, without forcing somebody to live my dream through them, I look at these strangers who happen to have the same/ a similar dream and cheer them on, when I get their charm. It makes me really happy. Also really ENJOY the music!

  5. 1. Idols are people who become such that fans love them for who they “are” (or appear to be) as opposed to the results of what they do. Death of the Author is a preposterous notion for idols, because the author is the thing that matters more than the content they made.

    2. Don’t care about this question. Empirically, a lot of fans don’t care about it, so it really only matters for the unpopular idols. Also empirically, PR relationships have been just as much a part of the appeal of some idols, so the “they must be single!” model is actually a relatively novel thing.

    3. Consequentialist answer. It’s not meaningless for people who got something out of it. But it is on each individual to decide if their fandom has become a detrimental thing to them, and that applies to any fandom.

    Honestly, these are really softball questions, for a topic supposedly getting philosophical about idols. I’m more interested in things like how idolling blurs the veneer between performativity and truth, and how that’s a microcosm for broader social relationship trends, or questions about how we perceive youth, and how idolling both empowers and neuters it through things like the Christmas Cake rule, and of course the mechanics of popularity politics.

  6. 2. Young wota don’t like it when an idol gets a boyfriend probably half because it spoils the fantasy and half because some wota (as randomidolfan noted) spend so much money on oshi merchandise they become unconsciously possessive. Older wota, I think, don’t like it because it inspires paternal concerns. I HATE the idea of Masaki (possibly) dating, because I could never imagine anyone being good enough for her. (The fact that she’s close to Sashihara, and Sashi’s background with men, make this especially angst-ridden.) Same for Ishida, same for Ikuta, and don’t you dare get near Makino, Yokoyama, Kaga, Akane, and Nonaka, or I’ll beat you to death, slowly and painfully, with blunt items. And these are the girls who are close to my age. Now consider Okamura. She’s young enough to be many wota’s daughter. If she ever started dating, I think a lot of older wota would probably feel the heartbreak/anger/angst that any parent feels when their daughter enters young adulthood and wants to experience external love for the first time. TL;DR: the reasons to dislike when an idol dates depend on the wota’s age.

  7. On a totally unrelated but equally interesting note, the Pandas had…nice…panda-ettes, didn’t they? Also, slightly shige-Michishige was nice to look at, too…

  8. That Duu photo (and the infamous s/mileage one) makes me wish handshake events for idols weren’t a thing.

  9. 1.
    Technical – Japanese embodiment of the French Ye Ye Girls.
    Personal – any person with supporters / fans that would sacrifice valuable things to ensure the person’s own (before the supporters own) personal goals can be reached.

    Technical – Because they are dumb as fuck.
    Personal – It has the potential to really mess up the career decisions of the idol (ie. Yamaguchi Momoe – retired, Nakamori Akina – suicide attempt). It can be bad for business.

    Technical – Yes
    Personal – Yes, but all of life is meaningless, so doing meaningless stuff in a meaningless life cant be that bad…

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