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Graduating from the fandom : thank you for those 7 years

Many new resolutions for 2019, and one of them is graduating from the idol fandom.

I’ve started in late 2012, after watching goofy japanese girls getting pranked on TV during my vacation in japan. It was AKBingo! Lot of free time to spare, and i binged on all episodes available on internet. The first idol i was attracted to was…Watanabe Mayu! As unlikely as it sounds, i was attracted to her elegance on “kodoku na hoshizora”, a b-side from AKB release at the time, which was UZA i believe. I was really digging into what i would call AKB peak, when the kami 7 was still around and Acchan doing 3 days at tokyo dome. Many documentaries, many contents (variety) and good music (i was discovering stage songs).

Then i put my focus on HKT48. The difference is that while AKB already settled with accomplished members, HKT felt new and fresh. I felt i was beginning the same time as them. They were funny in variety, cute, and their status of rookie made me cheer for them “against” other sister group like SKE and AKB. I had no relation whatsoever with Hakata. I wanted to find my “idol identity” and rooting for a group different from common folks who would naturally go to AKB. I wanted to be different. With the same reasoning, i started to support Tomonaga Mio, because i didn’t saw many of her fans around and i found her cute and bubbly.

Last but not least, i’ve settled with Keyakizaka46 in 2016. It didn’t started well; there was a nasty scandal right after their debut (harada mayu), i wasn’t in Nogizaka46 at all (imo they were formidable rivals to 48group). And Keyakitte kakenai first episode, the girls looked bland and introduction was not fun at all. But my overall opinion turned upside down with their release of Silent Majority. A game changer song, and incredibly inspired B-side like Yamanotesen. Hirate Yurina mysterious and captive aura really hooked me up. While i oshied tomonaga mio because i wanted an identity to exist in the fandom, i oshied Hirate Yurina because she was fascinating. But i do like the group overall. I’m genuinely saying what made a difference was the music. From Silent Majority to Fukyouwaon, all of their songs were played on a daily basis on my playlist. You don’t lie about those things.

As a fan, i think i’ve lived all there was to live. Starting by being active on idol forums (Stage48), buying official goods to physically go to handshake (unfamous Super saitama Arena) and of course going to concerts. I didn’t stop to that, and tried to write articles about my view on the 48group world. Not just impressions, but insights and analysis. I enjoyed listening to loli songs like “Wimbledon e tsurette itte” as much i enjoyed thinking about Aki-p strategy to idol world domination. (if he hadn’t lost SNH48…almost successful)

The reason i’m hanging up? I think it’s just the logical outcome of a very passive stance i was having for a while. I don’t care of my account followers (i used to), i don’t watch keyakake anymore, and i have no motivation to write anything (writing something decent takes much more energy than what people think). Scrolling endlessly on what others fans react to, was basically what i was only doing these past few days. And to be honest, this is not something you want to waste your time with. Also, from a personal point of view, i’m a business analyst that now focus on helping Start-ups develops effective solutions to fight global warming, and it’s crucial to invest your valuable time to issues that matter.

But don’t get me wrong. Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. I have no regret spending almost 7 years following girls who share their positive energy to heal the world. Idol culture is about dedication, respect, and love. This is the path of finding your true self, but expressed differently. Through songs and stage performance. This isn’t that much different from your daily struggle to succeed in having a meaningful job, healthy love relationship, and overall happiness. We all want to thrive.

This journey was about idols, but it was also about people. I’ve met a lot of enthusiastic individuals who shared the same hobby as mine. Without the community, the journey would have been incredibly boring, and i’m glad i shared a meal or two with them, debating on Sousenkyo results or latest release. For those who continue the idol road, don’t let trolls get through your head, vomitting controversial comments to get attention. It’s just not worth it. Something that i’ve learned, is that twitter is not the right place to have a healthy debate when opinions differs.

Big up (in no particular order) to : HoneyroastedPeanuts, Afrostud, Cristafari, Silenka, Trinu, fatrain, qcBB, Carey, Sunny, Tumblewush, DreamingPebbles, Dejure, Misaki92,Nikache,Kacchan,Shinbaka,Bloud,Jeff, El Willy, Seinin, Hachiko, Moriseille, Oshawa, Na-fushigiyaro, Kojirabu, Amon, Timmeon, Dhrazzar, Hank, rust, rka, joshbox, Ukifune. And many more.

If i have the opportunity, i will go to concerts, because they are my greatest memories. But i’m giving up on handshake, goods, and social network. I will now support Keyakizaka from the shadow. From the silent majority.

Idols are eternal.

-Gocchi