More Thoughts On The Recent AKB48 Scandal

The Universe Has it’s Own Little Way of Thinning the Herd – Chuo Dori
My two cents – idol love

CK and Danielle are both stunningly gifted writers, and these articles are worth reading just to see how carefully their minds pick through the details of this latest scandal kabuki. They’re sharply introspective, honest about their personal motives as fans, and reach conclusions that are both commonsensical and deeply insightful.

Though he doesn’t quite tread this ground in the actual article, the title of CK’s post immediately made me think of the Darwin Awards. Are scandals a way to root out the weak idols from the strong – another audition level, but on a broader level? That is, if an idol lacks both the fortitude to avoid getting a boyfriend AND the inability to avoid prying eyes, are they really that viable as an idol?

As it stands, both CK and Danielle cover basically the same ground, though from very different perspectives – and each in their own distinct writing styles. Both discuss why they’re into idols, with the emphasis on the fantasy that idols create for their audiences. CK considers how there’s a fine line an idol can run when creating that fantasy, singling out Meetan for going close but never crossing over. Danielle wryly observes the irony of seeking refuge from having to please others by seeking out idols, whose whole point is to please others.

Both bloggers consider that scandals are often overblown – CK notes how the supposed offenses are exactly the kind of things many teens do, while Danielle explains why she doesn’t begrudge idols relationships. But again, it comes down to the realpolitik of idols and the expectations fans place on them: contracts are there for a reason, and if you get caught breaking them – and I think the key word for most of us is the “caught” part – then a price has to be paid. We’re back to the Darwin Awards for idols, for being a canny enough player to flaunt the rules.

And it has to be said: if you’re an idol wanting to keep a boyfriend, avoid photographic evidence and don’t use social media. Aya Hirano could tell you a thing or two about leaked photos, and she’s far from the only one. (Though let’s face it, she’ll remain the scandal standard for a while.) Honestly, keep it old school and just keep a written diary and some Polaroids, preferably locked in a safe.

CK and Danielle are sad at the turn of events and how it impacts everyone involved. However, both are also philosophical enough to wonder if this worked out for the best – CK noting that they still have careers ahead of them if they want it, Danielle musing on whether or not they were happy being idols. In a weird way, it’s like the past few days have been running the Kubler-Ross gauntlet and here we wind up, at Acceptance. That makes for a good coda to a scandal that should hopefully quiet down now.