We’re talking about this video :
The relationship between idols and fans is quite simple : we interact in handshake, we go to concerts, buy goods.
But how the fandom works itself is harder to describe. You have plenty of footage to follow Keyakizaka and the members, but not so much about the fans. Quite obvious because you need to ask permission to shoot. But thanks to the new era of self-made content through Youtube and their youtubers, fans around the world can catch a glimpse on what’s going on handshake events without going.
This Youtuber Moerin looks quite popular, as she continuously take selfie with other fans or start a chat. The video is quite short, but it’s still enough to learn interesting things:
- Fans go meet their favourites, but fans also go to meet other fans, like a hangout. They go to handshake as groups, and spend a good time. It’s also a valuable time to collect photos and trade. They don’t casually chat with each other, but more like they stay as groups.
- From my point of view, getting visibility through Youtube is a new way to express popularity, helping handshake to become mainstream. Think about it, how would a commoner react if you tell them (handshake events are places where fans pay 1000 yen to shake hands with an idol for 8 seconds). You will come up as a weirdo. But here you see people having fun and enjoying themselves.
- To have female fans going to handshake also break the usual stereotype we have of the fanbase. It’s even more true when it comes to sakamichi series. Fans looks younger, same age as the idol they support, thinking the same way. Perhaps it explain their tremendous popularity? Supporting an idol is a hobby that has no genre.
- But of course it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Fans all have their own way to express their fandom. I know fans who even though they live in japan, they don’t go to handshake, as supporting them in concert or on the internet is enough. Still, having fanmade content about Keyakizaka gives a “raw” aspect, point of view of the group. TV network produced content like variety show are most of the time scripted, or formatted. Here, fans are the star, and it gives a lot of freshness to it.
— GITA (@mnt46suzu) May 5, 2018
I think it’s important to see this side, because this is the core of the fandom. You don’t only watch videos on youtube or listen to CD, you really go see them and interact. I personally don’t know how japanese fans react toward Shunkan bunshun article. All we could do is read internet and make hypothesis. But from this small embedded tweet, you can see a lot of fans support Manaka unconditionally. This is the kind of support that helps idol not giving up on the first bump.
I will try to find more interesting Keyaki fans on youtube and make a wrap up on the website.