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The Eye of the fandom : a british flair

Today we’re looking into an european fan point of view. Well, not anymore since he’s british.

First, introduce yourself : your name (or nickname), age, status (job, student, etc)

My name’s Michael. I’m 28 and am working full time at the finance department of small tech firm.

Do your acquaintances know that you have idols as your hobby? What do they think of it?

A lot of them do know about my slight addiction to idols and a lot of my family and coworkers like idols. My dad and wife are both into Keyaki as well actually, with my dad being a Techi and Memi oshi while my wife is a Zuumin oshi.

How did you got to know Keyakizaka? Were you into other idols beforehand?

I was actually an SKE48 fan before I got to know Keyakizaka. It wasn’t until a closed friend of mine around Late September a friend of mine showed me the Dare yori mo Takaku Tobe MV that I got caught onto Keyaki, in this case Hiragana Keyaki. So I did my research and it went on from there.

Who is your oshimen, and why? What do you think is her main appeal? (Or are you a DD)

My Oshimen at the moment is Moriya Akane and I’m still finding a reason why she is my oshimen. In seriousness, I guess Akanen is one of those people that is an optimist. And it’s a reason why I think she was a great choice as vice captain. I get a great kick seeing her smile. It honestly makes my day, even in my lowest. And her beauty man oh my, she can kill me in a heartbeat if she really wanted to. Also, even though we haven’t seen much of it, her sergeant personality was really unique to me and it’s great to have seen a glimpse of her centering a song, which in this case was Sekai ni wa Ai Shikanai. Which leads me onto the fact that it seems as though she has a great stage presence even though she isn’t the best singer, dancer or actress in Kanji she has that foreboding aura in my eyes whenever she’s on stage.

My first Oshimen was Nagahama Neru simply because she is like me in some ways. I like her calm inviting nature even though she can be a sneaky tanuki at times. Neru is still in my top 3 but yeah.

Others include but are not limited to Sugai Yuuka, Saito Kyoko, Kageyama Yuuka, Watanabe Rika and Takamoto Ayaka.

Have you been to concerts before? Or handshake? If yes, what was your impressions?

I haven’t been to any Keyakizaka concerts or handshakes yet because of my busy schedule but I really would want to go.

Do you collect goods, like towel, glowstick, or cards? How much do you spend for your idol hobby in average?

All I can really say is yes I do collect goods and I don’t think it’s unhealthy to spend on idols but doing so excessively it can be a bit overwhelming. Before I spent a lot on idols But now I spend around £100-150 on idol goods whether SKE or Keyakizaka.

What’s your favourite A-side? And why?

If I could choose two A-Sides it would be Sekai ni wa Ai Shikanai and Kaze ni Fukaretemo. Sekai because it’s a song that gives me hope for the future, makes me believe people will become better. Fukaretemo because it’s a song that contrasts with the other A-Sides really. Kinda like with Sekai it’s a song that gives the listener hope but a different kind of hope, where it’s like even though you’ve gone through something bad with someone you love, you’re gonna have times where you’re going to enjoy each other’s company, that and the girls are in suits. End of.

Where do you get your informations? Social network, video platform, magazine, others?

I mainly get my information from Social Media, particularly Twitter because it’s not only a place I can find news but can interact and share my views on the news at hand not only with Keyaki but with a whole load of other topics.

What do you think of the japanese fandom? Have you interacted with them in real life or just Social network?

I think that the Japanese fandom is great. Without them we would then be able to see their experiences with the members and what they were like in person. I’ve only interacted with Japanese fans via LINE and Twitter but the Japanese fans I have talked to are really nice.

What do you think of the foreign fandom? People being fans of a japanese group, completely different of their culture? Do you think Management should show interest going more global?

I think that any international group that is able to attract global fans is great. I think that it’s someone’s person taste, if someone doesn’t like it they don’t like it. I think management is trying to take a step but they can do more. For example, a Rika and now Sugai-sama as well have photobombs that were shot overseas, Greece and France respectively. The amount of people who are not living in Japan who are fans of Keyakizaka yearn to meet them. Me included. So why not take advantage of it? I would love an international tour though I don’t really think it will happen anytime in the near future.

Recently Hiragana and Kanji are doing more and more activities separately. What do you think of it?

It’s kind of sad to see that their drifting apart. Especially with the closed ties that some members between the two groups. Like Kato Shiho and Nagasawa Nanako. But I’m happy for Hiragana Keyaki to have all the exposure they have now and I think both groups need each other, now more than ever. Even then I really enjoy everything everyone’s releasing. I’m hyped for Ayumi, which is Hiragana’s stage play, their shows and anything else Kanji’s got up their sleeves but without Hirate or Shida within Kanji I don’t know what the future holds for Kanji Keyaki. But I’m on the camp of no matter how many are really there whether 21 or just 1, it would be just as good.

Recently hiragana 2nd gen has debuted their activities. What are your expectation for them?

My main expectation really is for them to be themselves in no matter what they do. I love them already and it’s really hype to see how far they can get. And to see how they synthesise with 1st gen hiragana.

Recently we’ve seen Yuichanzu Wcenter for Glass o ware. What are your thoughts on changing center?

I think it’s great that management decided to do that really. Especially now that the second anniversary lives have happened it’s great to hear that quite a few girls got a chance to shine especially for girls like Habu, Akanen and Yuuka. I love it. However without Hirate, something seems off about the group without their center but I’m happy she got rest and time off because she has had an immense pressure as center for the last two years and 6 singles. But yeah happy but kinda weirded out by this change.

Japanese and Foreign culture diverge on some topic, like love ban rule. What is your opinion on this?

As much as I can understand why the Japanese do it, I just don’t feel it’s right to. I kinda see it as a restriction of freedom for the girls but if their doing it for their own sake then I’m fine with it but if they want to date just like let them or if you find out about their relationship then let them date in secret. At this rate the number of girls wanting to do date when their in a group like 48 or 46 will increase.

Overall, What do you think makes keyakizaka different? What do you think of the current keyakizaka? Doing well or points to improve?

Keyakizaka is a group that goes beyond what typical idol groups do. They challenge societal problems and do it in a great way. Whether it’s Eccentric and it’s meaning of the freedom of expression or Hiraishin and the deeper meaning of the other members being with Techi no matter what, I like it and it’s showing me that there isn’t the continuing theme of being in love with someone in JPop music. That there are groups willing to change that.

Thank you for your time. If you have a shoutout to do, please go ahead.

If you guys have time to check out the No AKB No Life YouTube channel it would be highly appreciated between the guys who normally run it and me, I sometimes appear as a guest in some videos but sorry in advance for my microphone quality lol.