This week I only got one response, but boy was it one I was excited to get! Vince, a big Super Girls fan, gave his take on the group, the fandom, and promotion/line distribution in the group.
Vince wrote: As for SUPER☆GiRLS, while they have placed Ami, Ruka and Saori up in the front, it doesn’t really feel like you’re missing out if your oshi is another girl. As a Mirei oshi, I’m almost led to believe she’s the ace (or well, 2nd after Ami) when watching CMs or their most recent drama. Even during concerts I feel like they’re filming her literally all the time (and wow did she pick up lines when Kaede left).
There’s also the general consensus that if you’ve got a problem with Ami or Ruka, just close the door on the way out.
Now this is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think Spaga is a group where you just walk in, pick a favorite member and follow only her. While they do have individual activities now and then, I think management spends a lot of effort pushing them as a -group-. The fact that they don’t add new members kinda underline this too.
Fandom isn’t all that large though, especially not in the west.
Sorry for the long rant but, my group you know
Just a couple of things; I’m mostly just excited to see something from a Spaga fan’s perspective, because I don’t follow the group enough to consider myself an expert.
1. I think this brings up the good point of what the lead brings to a group. “There’s also the general consensus that if you’ve got a problem with Ami or Ruka, just close the door on the way out.” I think this is true for a lot of groups, though not necessarily every group. For example, Maeda Atsuko had a lot of antis and people who disliked her, but these people considered themselves fans. However, I know it was hard for me to follow Morning Musume when Aika was my favorite, just because I never cared for Ai or Reina, which lead me to holding off on the group until I became a 10th gen fan.
I do think there are groups, though, where if you dislike the lead it makes it very hard to like the rest of the group. If you want to like AeLL, you better like Shinozaki Ai.
2. The concept of a group being promoted as a whole; I think this is truer for a lot of lesser known groups. AKB is promoted as a whole, but really they encourage you to root for your favorite member. But I don’t think this is necessarily the case for a lot of smaller groups. I feel comfortable having multiple favorites and rooting for every member of Dempagumi.inc, because I feel like they are pushing the group as a big unit. When I follow the groups that are even more indie, like Rev.from DVL and Rhymeberry, while I have favorite members (Miki and Yuka, respectively), I want the group as a unit to succeed, and I genuinely like all of them.
So thank you Vince for your insight; I appreciate your comment. 🙂