Fans in J-Pop and K-Pop come in many flavors and some of the more outspoken and noticeable are Anti-Fans in K-Pop and ultra competitive Wota of J-Pop idol groups. These kinds of fans have been brought up in previous articles but nothing to this extent. With that said the staff were asked to simply state their opinion on these particular fans.
Anti-fans & ultra competitive wota are a segment of the Asian Pop fan base that can be very scary to outsiders & are an accepted pain in the ass for fans that don’t fall into those categories. Who are these people exactly? What motivates them? Why do they even exist?
Let’s start with anti-fans. They are commonly found in K-Pop and usually are an organized group of haters against a certain popular artist or group. They spend their time and resources telling the world how the object(s) of their discontent should be scorched from the face of the Earth.
The methods used to spread their message include use of social media (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), forums, chat rooms and word of mouth. Whatever it takes for them to let you know that they have an extreme dislike of one artist & that you shouldn’t support them in any manner.
When they decide to show their contempt it can be displayed in many ways. For example, the previously mentioned YouTube is a popular forum for the anti-fan to spit their venomous messages to the world. Their feelings can be expressed through video logs, uploading defaced videos or through commenting on the existing videos of their hated artist.
Anti-fans also make personal appearances at concerts to publicly display their contempt. They perform actions such as turning their backs, turning off their light sticks & screaming hateful chants. Others are more like a vicious strain of paparazzi who stalk their targets & make their lives a living hell. In some cases artists have been verbally and/or physically assaulted or have their lives endangered by “gifts” sent to them.
Antis are often well researched & know even more than the actual fans of the artist(s) they hate. They can back up their attacks with well documented facts that justify their actions in a strangely rational way. Because of what they are capable of they are considered real security threats.
I know that anti-fans exist outside of K-Pop. During the pop boom in the U.S. there were many groups of fans who openly expressed their dislike of certain female solo singers & boy bands. Even today they exist in the U.S. pop scene with many Justin Bieber haters making their voices heard. Antis also exist in J-Pop, with the entirely stupid AKB vs. H!P fan “war” that still plagues normal, sensible idol group fans. But never have I ever encountered anything like the antis in K-Pop.
I think these people are taking their fandom a bit too far. Everyone has the right to not like certain things & express their opinion. After all, we all can’t universally agree on everything in music. But these folks seem to revel in crossing the line to prove some sort of point that only those of similar mindsets would get. What does doing harm to entertainers prove really? Outside of showing that you’re mentally unstable.
Is there a point to making these artists shut down or privatize their Twitter accounts and blogs? I guess only antis and those who think like them see it as a good thing. The rest of us fans only see their actions as a nuisance.
I figure these people won’t stop until those they hate are unceremoniously ejected from the entertainment industry or they bow to the pressure and leave on their own accord.
Ultra competitive wota are those who make other wota say, “What the fuck is wrong with those people?” The worst ones tend to have an air of superiority (& entitlement) and have no problem pushing their way to the front of autograph or merchandise lines by any means necessary because they’re bigger fans than you ever will be and deserve first dibs at everything.
Some (not all) will brag about how much they know instead of sharing that information with newer fans in a productive, helpful manner. I don’t see how being a supposedly bigger fan really means anything. We all love the same thing so how about you stop being dicks & spread the love instead.
Others happen to be the biggest whiners bitching like a 2 year old on a tantrum when they get denied access to their beloved idols and get extremely defensive when anyone questions the success of those they adore. Whether it was actually implied or not, it doesn’t matter. Their idol(s) honor is a stake and they must come to their rescue.
At the moment it’s taboo to mention a certain 3 letters in a sentence without the required fan gushing or absolute praise. Deviate from that and see what becomes of normal, rational people. An intelligent discussion (or an attempt at healthy debate) is quickly degraded into a slap fight. (such as the one below)
Is it necessary to get so competitive over idol groups? Is the name calling, taunting and questioning others supposed loyalties or musical tastes really going to result in anything but more pointless bantering? Hasn’t this road been traveled enough already? Really.
Unless your livelihood absolutely depends on these idol groups being successful there is no reason to get all psycho over what is supposed to be a fun, escapist form of entertainment. Stop overplaying the hate card and pouncing on people when they don’t necessarily see eye to eye with you about certain idol groups or parts of idol fandom.
Okay understandably people have their favorites in music and they do push them in front of other groups. I have observed the hate between fans that has been developing (i.e. H!P vs. AKB) and other K-pop groups facing off against each other. Is it worth their time to get on the other team and find every single flaw about them? For people outside of the action, if you do that, you are an asshole in every single case.
Now, I have to admit, it takes time to understand other groups, I have been learning about AKB, SNSD, Wonder Girls, After School, etc. I have learned they all have some type of flaw and from what I know in H!P and the American music scene, most never gets solved and they would take probably a long time if they want to fix their flaws.
However, are you a jumper or a dedicated fan? Now answer that question and do not take a shot about the other groups out there. I can probably say it is hard to find flaws in what you like and pick on the other groups. For me, I think I found the particular flaws in what I do like and why I like the other groups for.
However, these people really do have nothing else to do and they just complain about the other group and boast about theirs. That has been the way for everything, just to prove their point. Now, I have to say stuff in a way where I might get on people’s nerves and I guess its quite hard to put it into the words that will not hurt and make my point. People out there have to keep it open, I have noticed a lot with keeping their fans together and rallying of sorts. No group is any better than the other.
AKB has had their flaws and yet they have been pushing the envelope of J-Pop compared to Hello! Project. I will confess that AKB has yet to learn the lessons that H!P has learned from all the other groups out there. As a fan, I know people are going to go that I am hating on AKB. So for the fans out there, listen to me with an open mind and say this: “One day my group will cease to exist, because that is how it will be.” Understand? If not, the saying goes, “History will repeat itself.”
I think this doesn’t only relate to music, but to other things necessarily important to people. Sports is probably the next best thing to talk about under this subject and in relation to music, you have the supporters, the critics, and the haters. Supporters support no matter what even if their team sucks at any point in time, critics “try” to stay neutral although their voices really carry out their support or disapproval, and haters are the opposite of supporters because they believe that the team sucks no matter the situation.
Now, I usually would toss my hat into the critics or supporters bin, as being a hater is not my thing in general, but I think if you want to solve it in general, people have to have an open mind and believe that if you can prove their point without ripping people or songs or anything else in general, and stick to facts to why you may not like it. I think it would decrease this problem in general. Until then I think many will keep their opinions out in the open, support what they want, destroy others, and be darwinized towards others.
I guess the whole wota rivalry thing is pretty apparent amongst overseas fans. I used to be one of those guys; You know, the ones that called AKB48 whores and sluts while worshipping Hello!Project. Obviously that time has passed and I’m on the other side of the fence instead. Funnily enough though, ask any overseas wota and they would probably tell you they were into H!P before AKB48.
That seems to be a source of resentment between the two sides, the H!P fans feeling betrayed and the AKB48 side not wanting to identify themselves as ever being fans of ‘the enemy’. One will not find a fan that will admit to H!P being composed of better singers than AKB48, despite the fact that it is pretty much common knowledge. I think mudslinging between the two sides will exist as long as one side still sells singles.
Wota competing with each other is as sure as the sun rising from the East. I’ve gotten more than enough flak for liking AKB48, and it’s just really a matter of not paying it any mind. So maybe your favourite idol is a shitty dancer, or she can’t sing in 7 different keys. But who really cares, right? You like her, that’s all that should matter.
I agree with Mal but I think it may come down to how do you approach these people in general? Are you the one to face up to them or you just stick to what you are doing? For me personally, I think I would avoid a lot of them in general because being a fan is great but once you go overboard I think you are trusting in the “blind loyalty” that has led us to this discussion.
It may be something for people to do in the future or much later on but they have to keep an open mind and fighting will not solve anything and ripping into another won’t make any difference as Mal has stated. However, change is inevitable and you have to try to adapt and if you don’t like things it’s not worth ripping into others.
Well it seems that we’re all afraid of the K-Pop antis aren’t we? =) Well there’s good reason for that isn’t there? After all, J-Pop wota are not known to attempt physical harm. They’re more talk than attempted murder aren’t they?
In relation to Kuro’s point about supporters, critics and haters. Anyone who has been around this site for past 4 years knows how I roll. I fall into the critic category trying to stay neutral enough to let people decide whether something is worth their time. Of course, I can’t help but throw my own 2 cents in if I feel it’s necessary.
Recently I have been labeled a “hater” due to some people’s inability to read things in proper context. I’ll tell you this, if I am one then I am an equal opportunity hater & if something sucks I have no problem letting it be known, even if it’s something from an artist that I really like. Because not everything my favorite artist (or yours) puts out is fucking gold. Everyone drops a turd of a song, album or video every once in a while. If I (or any of the other staff here) were automaton sheep that saw everything as sunshine & roses this place wouldn’t be very interesting would it?
Yeah, apologies for the rant, it goes against my first statement but it kind of had to be said to clear things up. Anyway I try to stay away from the AKB vs. H!P stupidity as much as possible. As Mal stated it comes with territory of being an idol group fan and the competitive thing only seems to be among overseas fans. I don’t think the Japanese fans really get as riled up as we do over these groups. At least not that I know of, perhaps they do but they don’t let it get out of hand like it has outside of Japan. Perhaps one who is more embedded in both the overseas and Japanese fan cultures could shed some light on this.
How does one deal with these people? As the others have stated it’s simply better to ignore them and stick to doing your own thing. Let the antis and the competitive wota fight amongst themselves. Sit on the sidelines and enjoy the circus. Confrontation only leads to fueling the bullshit and I’m sure a lot of us have had enough.
If you insist on joining in, well that’s your choice.
To be honest, I try to resist unless a fact is wrong and I try to correct it. Beyond that I believe in leaving it up to them to fight amongst themselves. Although I think it is a stupid thing at times as we all forgot what made us love the groups we do adore.
I think we should share the ideas and not shove them down people’s throats, and what I said before, applies, you try and if no one agrees just let things be.
So I just got back from a whirlwind week, from meeting some of the most hardcore idol wotas I will probably meet for a while more. I think you could probably say anti-fans exist inside a fandom as well. Merchandise heroes, people that don’t respect the idols, people that step out of bounds.
When you see someone do things like that, it’s hard not to think ‘hey, they’re not real fans’. And that’s where it all starts. It’s hard to fathom how fans of the same idol group could possibly clash, but when there are so many people with so many different conceptions of what a ‘fan’ (or really, what an idol) is, the line you tread between an ‘wota’ and an ‘anti-fan’ is really, thinner than you could possibly imagine.
And this discussion has officially ended.
Some may feel that we have stepped over the line a bit or that we have taken liberties against certain fandoms. We invite you to to add your own comments if you like. Just a reminder to keep it clean and somewhat sensible, there’s no need to get overly sensitive and emo.
If you are unable to keep your emotions in check or cannot contribute anything constructive to the discussion then please refrain from commenting until you are able to do so.
Thank you very much for reading.