In Memoriam: Idols In Tough Times

First of all, an apology and an explanation. I moved to this new blog on Intlwota and I’ve lately been neglecting it, at least more than I did on my blogspot blog. It didn’t go unmissed, but it wasn’t really something I felt up to this past weekend. The reason being, and I don’t want Happy Disco to get into a sob fest or to get too unhappy, is because this morning my Grandpa passed away. This wasn’t a surprise, because he’s been struggling with Lewy Body Dementia for a while now, and this was inevitable given his disease.

To be honest, I didn’t think I would be blogging about this. I thought I’d take some time off, get happier and be able to move on. Initially, when thinking about this in the nursing home while sitting with my Grandpa, idols weren’t really on my mind. I actually thought about the character of Kate Beckett from the show Castle, who had to deal with the death of her Mother. I told myself to “be strong like Kate” and that did help me through.

However, one song and PV in particular jumped into my head at various intervals. I didn’t try to think of it, and it was tough to think of (I initially started to cry again when I thought of it) but it really fit my situation.

AKB48’s Sakura no Ki ni Narou. Now the lyrics seem to be a bit more ambiguous, but the PV’s definitely not. The PV features Jurina as the friend of the front girls who has died, but is still there with them. Some people might be all “Jurina’s a ghost!” (even though I haven’t seen that reaction) but I tend to think it’s more symbolic, to show how the people you love are always there with you, even if you’ve lost them. In the wide group shot, the presence of an empty chair is in my opinion one of the most poignant things I’ve seen in an idol PV. It really shows that when it comes to people you love, when they leave that absence really cannot be filled in your life.

It’s a beautiful PV that came to mind, and while I can’t say it made me feel better, necessarily, it made me feel a bit of comfort in that how I feel now has been felt before.

Last night, when I came back from the nursing home after sitting with my Grandpa, that’s when idols came to my aid and comfort. I was depressed, knowing that things weren’t going well with my Grandpa, but there was nothing I can do. The one thing that made me feel better was idol music, listening to things like Sekai Ichi Happy na Onna no Ko and Wagamama Collection and watching Oota Aika’s confession scene from AKB48 1/48 Idol to Koishitara.

I’ve seen people get not necessarily upset but criticize idol music and idols in general for being escapist, for idol fans to use idols as a way of escaping their drab lives. I’ve seen this most as people criticizing idols for being “fake girlfriends” or something like that. I’ve even seen this said by AKB48 fans, wishing that AKB would go back to edgier songs like Keibetsu Shiteita Aijou and Seifuku ga Jama wo Suru. And yes, I’d say that idols can be escapism. But you know what, I say “So what?” If giving me a few moments reprieve from grief, then I accept the escapism with open arms.

Idols are chiefly about happiness, at least that’s what I would say. That’s part of why I love idols and why I named this blog Happy Disco. Like Aoi Usa said in her post I covered for IW, idols can be friends when you need them. And when I needed some happiness yesterday, I was able to turn to idols.

So thank you, AKB48, C-ute, Momoiro Clover, Morning Musume, and all the other idols I hold dear. I appreciate it.


3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Idols In Tough Times

  1. Pingback: Happy Disco Writes About Idols In Tough Times | International Wota

  2. I totally agree with you.

    Throughout my teenage years, I was going though depression, was kind of a loner, and was pretty much suicidal… That is, until I found out about J-pop and the happy feeling that I got listening to it.

    Listening to idols and having that idol-like feeling that everything was happy and colorful and wonderful was my escape to what I dealt with at home. Without idols, I don’t think I’d be around today.

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