SagSousuke continues his series exploring the theoretical building blocks for idols, and it doesn’t fail to disappoint. First up is a response to my own IW write-up to the first part of SagSousuke’s series. He further explains his definition of idols and welcomes AV idols as being, indeed, idols in their own right.
The real meat, though, is the look at different kinds of idol personas in the second post. It’s more of the taxonoomy process, but again is robust enough that I strongly believe it will open up future theoretical discussions of idols and idol dynamics. Once again, SagSousuke is quite open about his methodology and how it starts from his personal fandom, but from there the results are clearly more rigorous, thoroughly worked-out with helpful examples to illustrate his points.
Five main types are listed, with various sub-types to further differentiate each. Some would be obvious to any idol watcher, while others are more intriguingly quirky and unusual. I find this especially true for the Transitional type, especially since recent discussion of Atsuko Maeda may well place her in the shy category. I also love that one sub-category is actually named after The Gooch – that is, Mari Yaguchi. I’m not sure if she’s the first of her kind of idol, but she certainly exemplifies that type now; she probably did so, the first time she did her Sekushi Beeeaammmmm!
As before, implicit in this taxonomizing is the fluidity of these categories in any one idol. After all, Yoshizawa Hitomi can be placed as both a Tomboy and as half of a Manzai duo. And of course, the arc of a career can change things as well. An idol can start as a loli but if she hangs around long enough she won’t be able to stay one. And I’d even argue that Yagu didn’t become a Yagu type UNTIL she did her Sexy Beam. I can’t think if there’s any more idol types that can be offered or sub-types, but certainly I’d say SagSousuke is open to suggestions anyone would have.
Let me stress: what we have here is essential reading for anyone who cares about idols and the concept of idols. Do yourself a favor and read it, ponder it, see if there’s anything you want to add or clarify. This is a service to the wotasphere as a whole, and we can all do our part to help SagSousuke along.