Idol Bullying ;_;


I should continue with the 30 day idol challenge, but there was something that happened at the Flying Get handshake events that bothers me very much, and I really want to talk about it, so I’ll get around to the challenge later or maybe tomorrow if I don’t have the time to do it today.

Several incidents occurred in this event, in case you guys don’t know about the mechanics of the event itself I’ll explain it briefly:

Handshakes are events where the fans can participate and shake hands and exchange a few words with the AKB girl of their preference, they’ve been around for pretty much as long as AKB has existed, but now that they’re famous they have become huge and usually thousands of people go to have a chance to meet them in real life. You can get handshake tickets by buying their CDs.

Anyway, the girls have to stand all day long shaking people’s hands and smiling and being polite, trying their best to remember each of their fan’s faces and usually succeeding at it! They are incredibly dedicated to their fanbase because they remember where they came from, and this is why this incidents upset me even more.

Three major things happened, here’s the full translation of the events in AKB Journal, but to sum it up, Fujie Reina of Team K blogged about how people had said mean things to her like “Uzareinyan” (annoying Reinyan) even though she had specifically posted in her blog before that she didn’t want to be called that, or that they came looking for pimples (!). Reinyan is a very young girl, but she’s been an idol for a long while already, so the fact that she’s made this public means that it’s becoming very mortifying for her.

reinyanblog

She tries to complain about things playfully in an idol-y way “Banzai for harassment (/ω\*)” and tried to imply that it was affecting her enough to change her behavior toward fans “Tomorrow if you say it again I might ignore you” while lacing her words with a bunch of smilies to make it look less serious, but just the fact that she’s pointing this out means that it’s getting to her, and it’s completely understandable. I remember when I was growing up and people would give me a nickname I hated, it’s pretty annoying to be called that, let alone by the people who are supposed to be her fans and that she’s supposed to be looking forward to meeting.

And the pimple thing is just being a fucking asshole. Considering how much girls worry about the way they look at her age (she’s 17) and especially because they are idols and are under the spotlight all the time, being compared to their peers and being pressured into looking cute all the time. I can’t even express how upset this makes me.

The next victim was Team B’s Kasai Tomomi. Recently, she has been wearing a bit more revealing stuff, and she has a sexy aura that’s been pointed out even by Akimoto Yasushi himself.

kasairose

So, apparently, some “fans” thought it was appropriate to call her out on her “erotic” behavior and say it to her repeatedly during the latest handshake event. Sure! Make her feel bad about her outrageous actions! Who said a girl can wear whatever she wants and express her sexuality however she pleases? NO! She must be a slut!!!!!

Ugh.

They made her feel really bad, so she decided to tweet about it, saying that it hurt her to be called “ero” that much, and asking them if they would say that to a friend, a family member or a girl they liked? Obviously it was a big deal, she also asked to please think carefully before saying such things as a joke because they might be hurtful, and they obviously were to her, considering how many times she tweeted about the things she was told. You can kind of see how she was trying to hold back at first, just making a small reference, but afterwards she couldn’t hold it in anymore and asked for people to be considerate.

Apparently, those weren’t the only bad things people told her at the handshake event, since she says “many words that were said to me made me sad today” and even wonders if she has done something wrong to deserve being treated like that.

She realized afterwards that as an idol maybe saying these things out loud are a bad thing, and so she tweeted again to clarify that she was very happy to be able to meet her fans, and afterwards to apologize for complaining (!)

No, Tomo~mi-chan, you haven’t done anything wrong. People are just assholes some times, and it’s important to speak about those things because people need to have common courtesy and stop being so rude and horrible.

It makes me feel really sad that these girls are working so hard (and many times they are wearing what they are told to by their stylists, jsyk. And even if they are her own choices, she can wear whatever the hell she wants to goddammit. This is outrageous.) and some people are going to these extents to insult them and making them feel bad.

And it also bothers me that she felt like she needed to apologize afterwards, even though I understand that it could be seen as being ungrateful to the fans who went to see her and were polite and decent and kind, but idols are normal human beings, they also have feelings and they are devoting their whole life to their job, sacrificing many things in the process, it’s really fucked up to treat them like that in return.

Finally, there was yet another incident, this time involving Team K captain, Akimoto Sayaka.

sayakabig

Apparently a casual fan asked Sayaka to do something and she refused so he raised his middle finger at her. Sayaka got really mad and shouted that she wanted him to come back and apologize. Apparently, the guy had to go all the way back to where Sayaka was and she scolded him until he apologized, afterwards she shook his hand and smiled at him normally.

It’s appalling how people can be so downright rude! I’m proud of Sayaka for handling it like that. She didn’t just nod and smile at his rudeness but she called him out on that, and I love her for it. There’s no way “fans” should be able to get away with things like this, and the girls are completely entitled to tell people to behave properly, it’s the least they can do!

Hana of Nihongogo has translated Sayaka’s blog entry about the incident here, and I recommend you all to read it. Sayaka is an amazing idol and it’s all in there. I agree with her 100%, just because they are idols who are doing their jobs doesn’t mean that people can tell them whatever the hell it is and insult them and make them feel bad. Her post didn’t have any smilies, she wasn’t playing around and went straight to the point, addressing everything with the seriousness it required and still apologizing for any flawed behavior of idols as well, but without overlooking her main point which was simply telling people that they need to learn how to be decent human beings.

I’m not going to say that Tomo~mi or Reinyan’s approach to things wasn’t right, because they are younger than Sayaka and might’ve felt uncomfortable or confused about how to voice their opinions in a more stern way (or maybe they were a bit afraid of the backlash they might get for even mentioning it at all), and all in all it’s important that the girls don’t keep quiet about these things that upset them, because it also makes the real fans more supportive and gives food for thought to all the stupid trolls acing like douchebags.

This definitely proves that there’s a lot more to being an idol than wearing frilly dresses, bouncing around and winking. The fact that they have to pretend to be glad to see everyone when they are tired or in pain and withstand all this bullying definitely puts their career choice under a different light, and it’s especially strange for me to see the timing of these events: Have the haters grown in number that much recently? Maybe the girls have had experiences like these before but just now they are saying something about it because of how fed up they are?

I know that these aren’t the first cases of fans behaving stupidly, I remember that when Arihara Kanna of C-ute was dating a bunion erh, I mean boy, fans would skip her at handshakes which made her cry, and in the AKB side we have the asshole that took a 2 shot with Kikuchi Ayaka holding a sign that said “3 months together” and a water bottle in his mouth just like her ex boyfriend did in the infamous purikura that got her fired, however I hope that complaining about this unacceptable behavior makes people understand that there’s a minimum level of decency required for interacting with human beings in general, and idols are no different.

ayarinstupid2shot

Things like this simply shouldn’t happen, because most of us care about our idols and appreciate what they do for us, but also because it could simply lead to handshake events being abolished completely altogether or more restrictive to protect the girls, and it would be another case of good things we can’t enjoy anymore because of a bunch of dumb idiots.

Surely you can dislike whatever idol you want to dislike (I have a bunch of girls who get on my nerves) but it’s one thing to write about it randomly in some english speaking message board or blog and a WHOLE new level to go and say it to her face. I would never ever want anything like that to happen to any of the girls who are working as idols in Japan, regardless of how annoying I think they are or whatever. And I really hope this doesn’t mean we’re going to reach Kpop anti levels of insanity because then I just don’t want to live in this planet anymore.

CODA: My heart goes to Kago Ai, one of my all time favorite idols. I’ve always been trying to support her regardless and I know that when someone gets to that point of hopelessness in their lives they need help and all the support they can get, hopefully she can find someone who will be there for her, because it looks like her boyfriend might not be the proper person for that and her family is pretty broken as well. Just like with every scandal she’s had before, I wish her all the best, she has my eternal support and I hope that it all works out for her in the end.



30 Day Idol Challenge – Day 7


Here’s a really tough one :/ I’m going to go ahead and try to answer as best as I can (which is dividing this question in two lol)

7. Favorite Idol Pairing

This is a really tough question for me, as I’m not quite sure that there are any definite idol pairings wrecking havoc and amusing me like the legendary W did, but I have to move on, and look to different horizons. Since I’m kind of dense, I don’t understand if this means pairing in the funny sense of the word (like W) or in the OTP sense of the word, so I’m going to answer both of them 😀

OTP:

saeyaka

I’m not really into Girls Love (because I’m not into anything that has to do with love pretty much. I’m the least romantic person on Earth probably) but when I got into AKB48 and especially when I became a fan of Team K something was very clear in my mind: Sae and Sayaka are soulmates. This revelation came to me naturally, because like I said before, I’m totally unromantic; but I couldn’t help but notice how much they got along and how close they are to each other, even more than anyone else I can think of in the 48 family (Maybe AtsuMina come close, but it’s not quite the same) They have voiced their love for each other in many ways, and I think it’s pretty cute how they are completely different yet that only seems to bring them together.

It became such a natural thing for me that when I was explaining to my cousin how AKB works I said “This is Sayaka, she’s the captain of Team K, and this is her girlfriend Sae” That’s simply the way it is for me.

Funny / Charismatic Duo

I had a really big issue with this one, especially because all of the AKB girls are very close so there are about a million pairings.

Since I couldn’t pick well at all, here are some runner ups for you (lol)

1. Takamina x Yuko: The “chibis” are a super dorky pair, and it gets hilarious whenever Yuko teases the tiny captain.

2. Komorin x Sasshi: Whenever Mikapon appears, laughs are coming for sure. But if you mix the weirdest AKB member with the outrageous Hetare queen, it’s comedy gold.

Aaaand my favorite duo would have to be:

sasshiyui2

Sasshi x Yui! They are a recent duo, but they make up for it with their hilarious antics. Even though Yuihan is a bit shy and demure, Sasshi manages to bring out her mischievous side and they click together perfectly making silly jokes and giving each other nicknames and just generally being fun to watch whenever they are together.

Here’s a picture to show what I’m talking about better:

sasshiyui1

Sasshi took this picture when Yui was sleeping and sneakily posted it on her blog xD I hope they get more chances to showcase their weird humor because they’re great at it, and now that Yui’s character has been coming through more and more in AKBINGO and Ariyoshi and the such I think this isn’t the last we’ve seen of them!

CODA: Since I’m sure some people might be wondering, I’ll preemptively explain why KojiYuu isn’t in any of the categories. I don’t know for sure if Haruna plays hard to get or if she really has no interest in Yuko (they’re obviously close friends, but I don’t think there’s any more than that at least from Haruna’s side) but while they can be cute, I don’t find them as funny as purely comedic pairs or as fitting as an OTP (especially because I think Yuko’s feelings are totally unrequited). Like I said, this question was really hard since AKB is full of pairings in whatever sense of the word there is.



30 Day Idol Challenge – Day 6


Alright, let’s keep going with our regular schedule, today is time for Day 6 of the idol challenge:

6. Favorite subunit

notyet

I bet nobody saw this coming, right 😀 My favorite subunit is Not yet and even though I’ve waxed lyrical about them, I’ll give a little summary of why I love them so much:

1. The members! They have my 2 favorite girls, Yuko and Yui and their other 2 members (Sasshi and Kitarie) happen to be in my top 10 as well! These girls are all very energetic and funny, and extremely talented at MCing. They also have great chemistry with each other and are always joking around which makes them fun to watch.

2. The music: Not yet’s music isn’t technically amazing, but it serves its purpose well. With only 2 singles they have already shown that they can make peppy love songs or nostalgic ballads and I like how fresh their songs sound regardless of the genre they’re venturing into. The lyrics of their songs are also pretty cool and differ a bit from most idol-y tunes.

3. Their dancing: All of the girls are very good dancers (even though Yuko is miles ahead of the rest xD) so their performances are full of high energy and very pleasing to watch. I’m definitely looking forward to the subunit festival that’s going to take place next year because I can’t wait to see more of Not yet!

So yeah, that’s pretty much why I love Not yet in a nutshell. Please give them a chance if you can and listen to their cute songs and watch their lively performances, you won’t regret it!



Newsflash!


Small newsflash people!

NMB48 Team N members Yoshida Akari and Matsuda Shiori have requested a suspension from the management and are going to be away from all activities for an undefined amount of time. They claim that they are exhausted and need to take a break before resuming their idol activities, but there’s a rumor out there saying that these girls along with Kondo Rina and Watanabe Miyuki invited some guys over to their hotel rooms (!) I’m imagining a wild Play Station night Nacchi style, huh girls? Just kidding, since most of them are under 15. Anyway, it is weird that they were suspended instead of put on “hiatus” or anything, so maybe they are nipping this rumor in the bud before it becomes a big problem like the Shimarena situation.

Also of note, Kondo and Watanabe are left unharmed, fans suspect that it’s because of their popularity. I’ve said enough about AKB’s scandals in the past month, and these ones fit the bill as well *sigh*

EDIT: More information has appeared, Kondo and Watanabe have been taken out of the senbatsu for NMB’s second single 😮 This is pretty shocking since Watanabe is pretty much the second most popular NMB girl and Kondo is a frontgirl as well. Apparently, there must be some truth to that rumor or something is compelling the management to yank the girls out of senbatsu even though they are top members :s I feel bad about this because I like Milky (Watanabe Miyuki) and I really liked her as co-center. Who knows if they will regain their status as main members or fall into obscurity.

yoshimatsu

The other bit of news is that Itano Tomomi of Team K is going to stop singing for 3 – 4 weeks because she’s been diagnosed with vocal cord nodules. The doctor has said that surgery isn’t necessary, but she needs to rest anyway. Here’s wishing for a speedy recovery for Tomochin and for the girl’s agencies to book them some goddamned singing lessons so they stop hurting themselves while they do their jobs (Yuko had the same problem and had to have surgery because of it in 2009 ;_;)

EDIT: In a bizarre turn of events, HoriPro, Tomochin’s agency, has announced that it isn’t true that she needs to rest, and she’s releasing a new single on october 12. This is really weird since Tomochin herself has blogged about her condition. Could it be that HoriPro is overworking her?

tomochinchin



30 Day Idol Challenge – Day 5


Today’s question is:

5. Your favorite idol group

akb48_1

Another extremely simple question! 😀 As you all know, my favorite idol group is AKB48, and it’s been that way since 2007, I don’t see it changing any time soon. I must clarify, that I’m only an AKB fan, not SKE, NMB or SDN, sadly. I wish to change this fact and care about SDN, so I’m eagerly awaiting a DVD release from them so I can get to know the girls.

The reason why I stick to AKB and practically ignore SKE, NMB et al. is because I don’t have time to watch all their concerts, TV shows and so on xD I have a really hard time only following AKB as is, let alone the sister groups. I’m a casual fan of their stuff and there’s a handful of girls I like in each group, but that’s pretty much it, since real life is a bitch and won’t let me spend all my time fangirling like back when I was a carefree student ;_;

Anyway, I’m a fan of AKB48 first and foremost because of their music. I am aware that it’s not some artsy groundbreaking sound, but it’s simply music that makes me happy, or music that I can relate with and sing along to, as simple as that.

That’s obviously not the only reason why I love AKB though, maybe it’s the one that made me their fan, but what made me stay were the girls, I find all of them incredibly endearing in their own ways, they are regular girls with cute little quirks and amusing things to say, but they are also very real and face problems and get discouraged like everyone else does. In this way, I feel like I’m closer to AKB than I’ve ever been with another idol group: You see the girls working hard every day, but their blogs and the stuff they say on TV is very honest as well: We can hear about Sasshi’s fears of her group falling from grace, of Acchan’s pressure to be a perfect girl, of Mayu’s reluctancy to display her otaku side in fear of alienating her fanbase, of Yui’s story about how she was bullied in elementary school.

While all of these elements often make it seem a bit like a reality show, it’s the honesty of the young girls that keeps it from being overly sappy and pathetic: They have problems, but they’re not here to whine about them, they encourage each other and move forward without mulling over things to much or falling into self pity. They are strong, maybe not individually, but supporting each other all the time they know that they are on the way to make their dreams come true and that’s inspiring to me (as corny as it sounds).

Another thing I like about AKB is how they all get along well enough. I’m sure there are squabbles occasionally, but most of the time you can notice that they like being around each other, they are genuinely close and hug, make jokes and smile comfortably like a big family <3 I remember one time at Music Japan, the Perfume girls said that they had accidentally gotten inside the AKB transportation bus and they were shocked to see that all of the girls were holding hands while sitting in the bus, Takamina and Yuko explained that everyone is very close in AKB and I can definitely see it, and I like that. I don’t like bitchy or difficult people, so I’m glad my idols don’t behave in that way.

I have mentioned it briefly above, but I really respect and admire these girls because of their hard work. It upsets me when people don’t acknowledge this, but whatever. As an old fan, it’s really rewarding to see everything they’ve done up to this point finally pay off! They’ve been performing non stop with smiles on their faces, being grateful all along and selling under 20K, getting dropped from their record label and facing being finished before they finally made it big time. I’m proud of them because they never stopped believing even against all odds, and even after they became famous, they never forget where they came from and are very humble and still super grateful to their fans who helped them get where they are.

Also, their marketing strategy is genius, and they really make sure that you’re getting as much bang for your buck as you possibly can. I have a decently sized AKB collection even though I only started buying their stuff last year (I didn’t work before so I couldn’t afford it) and it’s really pleasing to see that you’re paying for a quality single that includes freebies like pictures or trading cards and also a DVD with all of the PVs, including PVs for the B-sides! And well, with all the attention they pay to details, everything turns out being quite pleasing on the eyes and even if the song isn’t your cup of tea, you can find something you like and something that will keep you entertained! The PV collections they have released are also greatly appreciated by fans like me! I wish all the groups I follow did this (*coughPerfumecough*), especially the Bluray collection they released this year, definitely a must!

Another thing I like is their concepts that empower the fans a bit in deciding where the group is going or what songs they want to hear (namely, the elections and the Request Hour concert). i think it’s great that finally a management has decided to officially listen to the fans, even if just for a bit and even if it doesn’t make any difference in the long run, because after all we’re the ones paying for the swag!

I could probably find a million more reasons but I’ll leave it like this. AKB48 will always hold a special place in my life and I hope to be a fan for many years to come (unless they start sucking lol)

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