Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
Sometime last month, Chiima celebrated her 5th anniversary as a blogger with a post and an accompanying contest. The latter is “simply” to answer the following question:
Why Am I An Idol Fan?
That’s a question that was on my mind. I was on and off about whether to enter or not, but I might as well. Who knows about the competition and who knows if I’ll win.
One big part of my answer is that idols provide a source of positivity in the face of increasing negativity. Case in point:
This is why we listen to idols indeed.
Just the other day, I was having a down moment and showing some subbed MVs to friends. While doing so, I thought to myself, “these messages of positivity. This is why we listen to idols. This is why I love them.”
Just look at them:
So let’s start answering the question…
Why Am I An Idol Fan?
To Start Off…
I’ve been a longtime fan of celebrities, everyday people thrust into the limelight for their talents (or lack thereof for some). I suppose it goes to my love for mythology, legends, and fairytales. This is furthered by the Internet and my knowledge of the reality we live in.
My interest in idols (particularly J-idols–by which, I mean Hello! Project, because as much as I want to focus on other collectives, they’ve been the only one I’ve followed that remained) also coincided with my interest in the cultures of the Far East. 2000 was the year I dipped my fingers into K-music, courtesy of my Korean teacher and her sharing her culture with her class. 2001 was the year I began to teach myself Japanese, which made it more accessible to me than K-pop and C-pop. (Forgive me.)
While I had tastes of it in 2002, I got into Hello! Project (and idols) in late 2003 for a rather silly reason. (The short answer is an episode of The Powerpuff Girls.) I continued to be a fan because of the great music. It’d be years before I really got to see the other side of idols (like 2004/2005) and even longer before I discovered there were communities dedicated to these things (2007, which happened to be the year I began blogging).
As a fiction writer and someone with a heavy interest in media, I’ve always been enchanted with the character arcs of the idols and the members therein. Sometimes, the idols themselves provide inspiration for my own projects. Morning Musume played a role in the development of one of my own characters and this blog’s mascot was inspired by a fandom in-joke involving an (eventually former) ANGERME member.
I had a hard time during the fall, all of these changes including the YouTube RED blockade made me seriously think about my blog practices. Many (some would say “too many”) of my posts are YouTube intensive. Seeing Morning Musume lose another member soon (something I should be used to at this point) soon and then ANGERME “gift” us with a graduation announcement leaves the heart heavy. I sometimes wonder if my fandom is reaching its twilight days, just as I’m getting the courage to blog again.
However, I remain because the idols are such beacons of positivity. Many of these songs carry messages of things like motivation (“Dosukoi! Kenkyo ni Taitan”), individuality (“Desugita Kui wa Narenai”), and hope (“Aruiteru”).
A while ago, a friend had a bad day and I showed a series of Hello! Project videos to cheer him up. For example, the below video:
As you might’ve expected, this did the trick. (In fact, I was in the process of doing a list of MVs of a similar effect.)
The Neverending Story
Even if one girl graduates, the story of her mother group keeps you glued (provided you’re still interested as there are those cynical and made bitter). I mean, I can’t help but be curious about what the group will put out next. I know there are some who say it’s not the same Hello! Project since Tsunku stepped down.
However, I’ve seen my share of changes. Very few people I know from when I came into the fandom are around anymore (and I have yet to memorize the faces of the Factory Workers).
The Meaning of Life
So… why am I still here? Why am I still an idol fan when most of the idols I knew have either dated, married, or had babies at this point? Shouldn’t I abandon this childish thing and get a beau to bump or other, better things? I mean, I have an art career to think of (which does impact my posts at times). What the heck am I doing talking about idols? Why do I still idols?
My answer? Why does the Transformers fan continue to follow TF news? Why do we binge on old shows and cartoons on Netflix/Hulu/etc? (I know a portion of you reading this do. Don’t you dare hide it!)
Because we do and we can. Why do I love idols? The long answer is what you’ve read. The short is because I just do and I can.
Until next time!