While browsing Facebook I noticed an article from Chuu Sugoi! Idol entitled How to be a good fan and support our idols and enjoy H!P concerts or performances more/better~^^~!!! Ignoring the rather shoddy use of English (Me thinks that is not the author’s native language, but at least it’s better than our pal Phil at the UFA Facebook/Google+ page) it brought up an interesting idea.
The original article is a little too fangirl/fanboy for my tastes so I have taken it upon myself to bestow upon you my pearls of wisdom on this topic in the classic Selective Hearing style. This is not meant as a parody of the source article since at its heart it has many helpful points. Instead, think of this as an alternative take on the subject matter.
As always, the opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of the other Selective Hearing staff or Selective Hearing’s affiliates.
How To Be A Good Fan & Support Our Idols.
1. Know Thy Idol
This is a given. I mean if you’re going to get into this whole idol fan culture you’re gonna need to do some homework to know what people are talking about. For some this is going to be the biggest pain in the ass, especially if you’re joining in the middle of a group’s run of popularity or their decline. There will be a lot of names, nicknames, quirks and gimmicks that you’re going to have to learn. So many that it’s going to be overwhelming and may bring back nightmares of long nights studying for exams.
If you plan to go even deeper you’ll be spending a lot of time with more experienced fans asking a lot of questions about whoever or whatever you’re interested in. You’ll be advised to watch many performances that could be a huge time sink in your personal and even work life. But you have to be dedicated if you’re going to be part of the entire fan culture you choose right? It’s not like you NEED a social life, contact with actual humans, see the outside world and breathe the fresh air right?
Okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit but you get the idea that this whole idol world isn’t exactly as simple as it appears on the outside. Of course if you’re too lazy to invest that much time in all of that the very least you can do is learn your new found idol’s names. That should be sufficient enough to not get too beat down by the wota.
2. Love Thy Idol
There are many forms of love. In relation to idols we must look at the definition of what an idol is:
a. An image used as an object of worship.
b. One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
Don’t think of wota as the stereotypical creepy, old motherfuckers who do nothing but devote their lives to these (often young) females. I mean yeah, there are going to be a low percentage of those people out there but for the most part fans are fairly normal people with a unique interest that is seen as kind of abnormal to outsiders.
With that said. When we use the word “love” we’re really talking about being supportive. Through good and bad, better or worse, significant other or not. Some people are going to force you to follow the so-called “wota code” and devote yourself to only one idol for life. (Or until the idol of your choosing graduates at which time you may be free to choose another to devote your life to.) To that I say, “Fuck that!”
Love as many idols as you like and spread your devotion and hard earned money across a wide spectrum of girls. (or boys if that’s your thing) You’re doing the idol agencies a favor by increasing their revenues and maybe your favorite(s) will get more screen time, lines in a song or whatever because of the overwhelming support. Of course, if the idol just plain sucks, nothing but divine intervention will help them.
But don’t let that stop you from loving whoever you want regardless what of what others tell you.
Stalk Follow thy idol
If your favorite idol(s) happen to miraculously appear anywhere remotely near you to perform or to shill some shitty goods/movie you best get your ass to where they are. You have tuition, bills, child support or debts to pay? Forget all that. Your priority should be to get as close to your idol(s) as possible & show your support in person.
What if you’re in some middle of nowhere hick town? Simple. Go to Japan. How? That’s up to you. Get a job or sell bodily fluids or parts. Whatever it takes.
If you can’t physically follow your favorite idol(s) there’s always social networking. Bombard their Twitter accounts with accolades and words of love and support. Post frequently on their Facebook and Google+ pages and scream “GOOD MORNING!!!!” louder and more flamboyantly than everyone else. Bonus points are given for using ASCII art and wota code style typing.
The point is to show your love as much & as frequently as possible without getting arrested.
4. Do not disrespect other idols and other fans
If you think someone’s favorite idol sucks I have no problem with you being completely vocal about said suckitude. In fact I encourage everyone to do that whenever possible. I do it all the time to Mitsui Aika and Hagiwara Mai fans. As long as you have a valid reason to back up your dislike of any idol then everything is fair game. This is where the lines of intelligent conversation and blind fanboy/girl-ism get blurred depending on who you’re talking to.
It’s completely fine to debate the merits of certain idols as long as it’s done in a civil manner that doesn’t end up in someone rage quitting or storming out of the room in tears.
That sounds ridiculous right but you must remember that idol fans can be rather emo about their favorite(s) which is why you must walk a fine line between expressing your opinion & just being an outright asshole.
If you’re afraid to say what you honestly think because idol agencies might read what you’ve written then you’re being kind of paranoid. There is a tiny chance that they are paying attention to the non-Japanese fan base. We’re not their cash cow despite what most fans desperately want to believe.
And if they are paying attention I have a feeling they’re laughing at some of the dumb shit we all say anyway. So mouth off all you want. It’s not like there will be any serious damage done.
As you can tell I have a different idea of what Chuu! Sugoi Idol described as actions for an idol fan to follow to improve themselves. Nobody is right or wrong in this matter and it’s all about how you want to see the world when it comes to living in this particular part of the universe. How you decide to better yourself is up to you. I’m just throwing my half a cent in.