Japan, known for its kinky quirks beginning at anime/manga and ending with its adult industry. However, in between these two lies a middle ground that is almost endless with the wrong possibilities. One of such lies the idol industry. Within the recent years, we have begun to see how its effects in the States, but its effects can be even more consequential.
From Akihabara to Anime
Akihabara, the town of lights and electronics. Many know the city as an anime haven for all otaku alike, non-discriminatory based on one’s obsession. However, this city is also considered home to AKB48 where almost nightly mini concerts occur for hopeful new recruits. It is almost fitting that where one of the biggest, if not the biggest idol group, has become home to a new type of idol. Anime has begun to embrace the money-making machine as well. Shipping off younger girls to become fantasized by all ages of people. With Love-Live and other anime titles taking hold of the genre is this what we have come to expect? Whether it’s from anime or reality, Japan is slowly being defined by another weird fetish.
Even one of the most controversial images in Japanese Television, Matsuko Deluxe, is completely opposed to the idea. Japan was debating on possible musical acts to introduce at the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A possible JPN48, know as Japan 48 made up from these various idol groups, was to be considered. Matsuko stood against the idea stating that he absolutely did not want the group in the opening ceremony.
While some in Japan want to show the world of this “Idol Culture” many still believe it to be a negative aspect. Japan has enough negative stereotypes surrounding it and idol groups should not be the next one. I do agree that it has a profitable market, but when marketing younger girls (ages 15-25 usually on the younger side) for entertainment some reservation should occur.
Anime Expo 2017
Quite possibly one of the bigger talking points in America this year in regards to idols is their appearance at AX. This year a few idol groups have been making their way over due to its overseas popularity. Over the past few years, idol groups have consistently made their mark here. Yet with their constant exposure, it feels like anime has become defined by two major categories. Either the hot new Shonen Jump anime or whichever Idol Anime has made a debut.
Idol Groups will stay a prevailing factor in Japan and probably in various other countries as well. Despite this, the concept has been taken to extremes with various groups popping up across Japan. Yet with these new groups causing for more idol otakus both in Japan and overseas I find it detrimental in general. If you disagree or agree please comment below. I’d love to hear your opinions on the matter.