Sunday, 20 July 2014

Me, My Blog & Idols Q&A (Vol. 2)

Thank you all for sending in your Questions once again! I am immensely happy that you have taken an interest in this Q&A session I am undertaking, even if it is still a little surprising that you've wanted to query me on certain things! I'm feeling a lot more positive about myself right now thanks to this Q&A series, I don't know why. It's possibly because, when I set out to do it, I thought that no one would want to ask anything. I've been proven wrong, so I think it's made me feel a lot happier that I have realised you guys are interested in what I have to say, so... thank you, thank you very much <3

So, with that all said, I will take on Vol. 2 of my Questions and Answers session that I have decided to take on! I had a tough question in here, one which I really did have to think about and it took a few days to finish answering completely, but they were all fun to read and then talk about! Actually I had a few tough questions, but one of them... yeah, it was a nightmare in a sense, but I loved that it got me thinking and made me sit down and tackle the question properly, rather than just... saying what was on my mind at the time. It's hurdles like this that I appreciate, because it allows me to evaluate my original answer and thoughts, and finally think things over properly.

Okay, talking and typing and all that mumbo-jumbo over with, let's tackle this Q&A session once again! Today's set of Questions have been submitted by SophieShiori, AimxAim and thenumber244! Thank you for submitting your Questions, I hope I have given you decent answers! So, please do enjoy, and read on...~

The following Question has been submitted by SophieShiori:

Q: If you could choose to be any idol, who would it be? AND on which day would you be that particular idol? Eg a graduation day, special concert...

A: Oh gosh, way to give me a hard question! XD I've never really thought about which Idol I would like to be, really; I've always been happy enough sitting here, at my computer, watching over them and basically enjoying what the give during performances. Still, when I thought about which Idol I would choose to become, I took into account who I think I would like to get to know the most, or at least figure out what goes on inside their head...

It's a toss up between Paruru and Masakins, if I'm honest with you xD With the both of them, their characters are quite intriguing. Paruru seems to be someone who hates human interaction from what people have said to her, whilst Masakins is the exact opposite! I want to get into their heads and basically get a look at what they're thinking of, especially Masaki, because she's... something else XD

On the given day I would want to experience how they work, it would probably be a Handshake event for Paruru, because that's a lot of human interaction, isn't it? It would be fun to see how she prepares herself for it, and then how she acts backstage once the event is over. It would be interesting, to say the least!

With Masakins, I would probably want to experience how she acts during a typical day at home. I want to see how she relaxes, what she does and how she interacts with her family rather than the fans. We all know she's a bit of a nut-ball, so many fans have expressed how they view her eccentricities, so I want to see her in her natural habitat. That, and I kind of want to meet her parents too, see which parent she takes after. xD

The following Questions have been submitted by AimxAim of Janakya Mottainai:

Q: If you could be the producer for any Idol group/agency who would you chose, and what would you change?

A: ... What's with these difficult questions? XD I have so many groups I like, though admittedly I wouldn't swoop in to manage or produce any of them if I could help it because, truthfully speaking, I suck at that kind of thing. Still, if I had to choose one, then I'm going to say Sexy Zone and Johnny's Entertainment.

If I had done this Q&A around a year or two ago, I would have actually answered with Morning Musume, because I feel that UFP sucked in general with everything they did for the group. Thing is, they're fine now, but some of the groups in JE aren't, and even if I'm not an avid fan of the groups there, I think that some of those groups need saving from the clutches of Iijima.

After posting my rant on the group above, I was told a little more about Julie and Iijima, and how the groups are basically split between the two, with Julia being the fairer of the Teams. So, as a producer, the first thing I would do is kick Iijima out, period xD That, or just give Iijima a lower rank within the company. I can't say for certain what I would to be honest, I don't know JE that well, but I would probably try to promote all of the groups fairly and give them a lot more evenly shared screen time. I know for groups like Arashi and Kanjani8 this isn't a problem at all, but I would like to attempt to make things better for the groups of Johnny's Entertainment so that they're all given their fair cut, rather than being handed an unfair amount of what they were promised so to speak.

... I hope I answered that one well enough!

Q: Do you think once you hit a certain age you'll stop liking idols? And if so, what age?

A: I've asked myself this question before, and I try to ignore it a lot as well because the idea of hitting a certain age and suddenly thinking 'yeah I want to quit liking Idols now' is pretty damn sad if you think about it. I mean, that's like me suddenly deciding that Fairies aren't real (which they are, of course) or that reading Fantasy books is a childish notion. It's hard to think about, and really, you don't cross that bridge until you get to it.

See, the future is a fickle thing. We can never be sure when our passion for something comes to an end. Like, I'm no longer a hardcore fan of Anime and Manga, but I still read and watch it when I'm in the mood for it. I've not abandoned my love for that aspect of Japanese culture, and I hope I never do, and it's the same with Idols I think; slowly I may stop following it as actively as I used to, but I highly doubt I will ever stop liking or loving it. It will always be there, no matter what, and unless I suddenly get amnesia or an idol does something to me in my personal life that jeopardizes how I view them, I really do doubt I'll ever 'stop' liking them completely.

Q: What is the aspect of the Idol business that you dislike the most?

A: Favouritism, sexualising under-age girls, making money out of an Idols humiliation... I really hate things like that. When it comes to the whole idea of favouring certain girls over others or sexualising a girl under the age of 16, the reason I dislike it is down to my own upbringing and how my own country works regarding morals and how we view anyone who is a minor here. I know it's the same for other countries within the Western community, and Japan is on a whole other level to us when it comes to the Entertainment industry, but I do find it wrong and immoral for a girl under the age of 16 to be doing bikini photoshoots or dancing around on a beach for the sake of appeasing the fans. Thing is, that's normal for Japan, and whilst I'm sure others agree with me to a certain degree about how we see this sort of thing, we can't do anything about it.

Favouritism is nothing new, much like sexualising girls regardless of their age isn't, but I disagree with it still; I don't like seeing certain Idols overshadowed for the sake of another Idol who the company thinks is better or will generate more money. And with humiliation, it's pretty much the same thing for me. I dislike seeing any Idols, popular or not, used as a tool for the sake of humiliation and to create a reaction from the audience or to up views. It's downright horrible to the Idols involved! Yes, fun and games is fine, we have games that are used to humiliate people here too on TV sometimes like throwing goo on them or something, but humiliation like kicking someone in the face or dragging them across the floor because it's funny to 'punish' the annoying girl is really horrible to watch! I feel sorry for the members of the group who have to go through this just for the sake of trying to be noticed more and to get their group name out there. It's one of the reasons why I don't watch Japanese shows a great deal, actually.

But, like U-15 Idols and favouring the popular girls over the ones who are likable but not as well received by the fans as others, it's all quite common in Japan; I don't like it, but it's something I can't stop either. Still, I really dislike these aspects of the Idol business.

Q: What is your main hobby outside of Idols?

A: It's actually writing, sometimes reading. I really love stories and the written word, it's a great escape when I'm stressed as well, and I've always enjoyed doing both of these things since I was about 6 or 7 years old. I like how an imagination can grow through reading a book and the adventures it basically takes you on, and with writing I like how you can expand your story into whatever you want. Both writing and reading are, if you haven't guessed, really important in my everyday life.

Is it any surprise that my desired profession is to become a writer? Like, a story book writer XD

Q: Which Idol concert do you want to attend the most?

A: No competition, it has to be...

HouPri! I threw in a rhyme there, so I feel clever right now! XD

Seriously though, I do want to attend one of their lives the most. If I had been asked this question a year ago, it would have actually been Morning Musume, and whilst I desire to see them desperately, I have a less likely chance to see HouPri perform live than I do MoMusu in a way, so therefore I am going with HouPri. (I love the group to death too, so that helps)

When I watched their concert DVD, I was overwhelmed by their performance as a viewer. It made my desire to one day see them perform live grow, more than the desire to see Morning Musume in concert actually. I suppose it's because I've invested a lot more time into the group than others in a way, because I'm always finding things out about them and constantly trying to spread the word about this group I adore, but it is also because I actually genuinely enjoyed their performance when I watched it; the girls are fun to watch, like most groups are, but also I really liked how their fans seemed to interact with the songs. I kind of want to be a part of that crowed, and I want to experience the true feeling of a Houkago Princess live!

The following Questions have been submitted by thenumber244 from the number 244:

Q: I'm interested in the differences between fandoms and the ways in which each gender interface and interact with their fandom.

What do you think are the differences in the ways that men and women engage with Male Idols? Female Idols?

A: Okay, this question is difficult, I really think this is my most complicated Question so far. I have a feeling I will get this answer really damn wrong but, whoo, here goes...

It's difficult to express how each fandom engages with either Male or Female Idols, because for one, I am not male, so I can't exactly express how my mind works in that field. Also, despite being a female fan, I don't have the desire for Male Idols like other girls do sometimes, which is quite perplexing in a way because when I do look at Male Idols, the only thing I see them as is eyecandy more than anything, which I admit is a bit degrading, but there we go.

... Well, that's how I view a group like Arashi, at least.

Not to say I don't enjoy their music, because I do, but... yeah. Yummy xD

Back to the question at hand though... I think with women, when it comes to Male Idols, we see them either as men we want to date, or boys we want to become mothers to; our maternal instincts actively kick in, though that does not ring true to all women! It's just what I, as a fan, have experienced. We also like their music and their performances, don't get me wrong, but I do think their looks or how they portray their personalities are about 90% of the reason why we follow them. In groups like Arashi or SMAP, even AAA to a degree, we look for the men we eventually want to date, or the men we desire. With a group like Sexy Zone or DISH///, we probably look for a brother/son type of personality. Basically, these guys are here to fulfill a desire we have... well, that's what it seems like to me.

With female Idols, it's probably a little different; I find as a person, I follow the girls that I think are cute and awkward, someone to cheer on as they try to make their way to the top. Others may have maternal instincts towards certain girls, wanting a daughter like the Idol they support wholeheartedly, whilst some girls aspire to be like these girls, or they want a girl like that as a sister or best friend, maybe a potential lover. In a nutshell, we want someone to look up to, or like I said about male groups, we want someone who can fulfill a desire of a future daughter, sibling or even a wife... you get my drift, I hope!

When it comes to men, this is a tad more difficult for me, because I'm more a third party viewer than anything. From the fans I have interacted with who are male, I think how they view female Idols can go either way; they are either seen as sexy, ideal girlfriends, or they are viewed as potential daughters or even daughter-in-laws. Basically, paternal instinct can kick in, especially with the younger Idols.
 With older male fans, I actually think how energetic a female Idol or a group is becomes a great factor in how much they like them, it's really something that they enjoy greatly I think. Well, this is from the fans I have talked to at least, but there is no denying that appreciation and joy for a young girls ambition and energy is there. I think that's something older male fans probably appreciate more than female fans sometimes, the fact that if a group has energy, they really want to support them. If they're quite young, fine, that just means a few more nut-balls added to the fan radar! So I feel like, with men, they can be attracted to the girls in a way that they want her to be a potential girlfriend, or they look at them and feel like their youth is really energizing and special, something to continue following because they want to support their happiness and energy.

With boy groups, I feel like I can't say much... I know barely anyone, if no one at all, who follows Male Idols that are male fans! I suppose male Idols can be seen as a threat sometimes, given that they cater to teenagers or young adult women a good chunk of the time, but really, I have no clue... I think it could become the same case with women towards female groups, though, seeing the boys in a group as potential brothers or even good friends, maybe even friendly rivals for affection with Idols, who knows? It's difficult though, trying to decipher how male fans feel about male Idols... I may need to talk to some of my friends about it!

Q: In the personal department: tell us about your favorite desserts?

A: When I saw this question I was like '... Okay, do I go savoury or sweet?' because I'm half/half with savoury and sweet foods, I kind of love both! But honestly, I have to answer with...

Froyo!!! Actually, I love most cold desserts like Mint Choc Chip ice cream and also sorbet, but I really do adore Frozen Yoghurt! When I was in Holland, there was a Froyo and Ice Cream store near to my friend Sarah's house where I was staying, so I insisted on going there a lot whilst I was with her. I think she got annoyed with me, because I was always wanting Froyo XD I kinda have an addiction for it, though I can't find it near my own hometown easily... -cries-

Q: If personal wealth and family were a non-issue, where would you like to live? Reasons?

A: Ah, now, here's the clincher; my family is my life, and I don't ever want to leave them (even if that's exactly what I am doing in order to go to University... Oh my xD) but if personal wealth and my family weren't an issue, then I guess I would want to live in...

Well, there we go XD Aye~

Now, I've never been to Canada, nor have I been anywhere else aside from my own country and now Holland, but I've always wanted to go to Canada and live there. I don't know why, but the desire has always been there. That, and I want to see Niagara Falls, too. Also. MAPLE. SYRUP.

'Nuff said (stereotypical tourist, here!)

But honestly, I think I would like the people and culture, but if Canada wasn't in the cards, then probably Holland XD It's so economical and clean in Holland, and the people are nice as well... but given I've barely gone anywhere, I don't think I can properly answer this question yet!


So, this about wraps things up for Vol. 2! I didn't want to go overboard on how many questions were answered once again, because long posts, especially those by me, can become dull! I know I typically do long posts anyway, but I really want to try and distribute everything for a more convenient, easy-to-read format with this Q&A session.

... It's also easier to do it this way as well, actually!

I want to thank everyone who has asked questions so far, it has really made me happy to see that you're all interested in what I have to say! I've also been given difficult questions which really make me think, but I am delighted to answer them for you all. I really hope that I have answered them well enough (or at least the ones I have answered so far).

If you want to send in any Questions, please feel free to do so through the comment section, or via THIS post here, where I originally asked for your Questions to answer.

Thank you very much for reading, and I hope to see you all in the next session, which will be Vol. 3!

Much Love,



  1. I love reading your answers to these questions, they're all rather interesting.

    One thing I think I should point out though is that Johnny's Entertainment is just a record label owned by Johnny's & Associates. While it is common in the English speaking fandom to mistakenly use JE to reference the agency it really should be either JA or Johnny's, for the sake of clarity.

    Also I tend to view both male and female idols in the same way, people who inspire me to do my best or those I would like to have as friends. Not to say there is not some that I do view as an ideal for what I would want a future partner to be like, like Nagase Tomoya, but mostly I would rather just hang out and talk with my favorite idols than date them. But with the kids there is definitely that maternal instinct though.

    1. Awww, thank you ;______; <3 Makes me happy! I'm excited for Vol. 3 even more now XD

      Ahhh, I was unaware that it's JA and not really JE... though it seems obvious now, given that this is the entertainment side of Johnny's I see, and not the rest of it, which caters to sports I believe? But thanks for pointing it out!

      I think because I never really followed Boy groups even as a kid, I just never really had that feeling of 'I want to hang out with you' with them, though sometimes with Arashi I would just like to play games with them and be an idiot, I admit XD Still, I have always viewed male Idols, or male artists in general, as boys to fanatasize about. I have a feeling that is to do with how men are marketed in the Entertainment industry here; they have always been shown as 'men to be desired' rather than someone you could be a friend with. In that sense, I am totally like a typical girl XD But honestly, I could probably be friends with a lot of them, same with the girls, however I do drool over them a tad... XD

    2. Actually Johnny's is just male idols, no sports, though they do have a couple of actors. They just are able to get a lot of endorsements that tie-in to sports. But they own two of their own record labels, Johnny's Entertainment is the oldest one and was created when Kinki Kids debuted, then they have J-Storm which was created when Arashi debuted. Not sure how international fandom came to confuse JE with JA, except like you mentioned the name sounds like it could cover all of Johnny's.

      I consider myself a bit of a tomboy, in that I always liked a lot of things that were for boys growing up and had no issue with making friends with boys. But of course it was all geeky stuff, as I suck at athletic stuff. But I also liked girly things. So I guess my view of idols reflects that.

      Honestly I was never into boy/girl groups growing up. I was a bit of a music snob actually and thought bubblegum pop like that was not worth listening to. Of course I thought this as I listened to a lot of Disney soundtracks so I hardly had the taste to back up my beliefs. XD It was not until I decided not to care about what others thought and just like whatever I like did I finally give idols and boy/girl groups a shot.

  2. Hello. I was looking through my daughter's browsing history and saw this blog. It seems to be full of Jpop music. I would like to ask your opinion.

    I am worried about my daughter. For six years she has spent her time obsessing about little Japanese girls. She watches their music videos, listens to their music, and looks at images of them. She has even bought music from Japan. I think it is inane. Even worse, these little girls parade around in bikinis for old men. It is sick. I have seen the music videos. They all prance around singing about lost innocence. She has tried to show me some videos that she claims aren't naughty, such as a song called "wagamam" by some Morning group, but they are all engineered. It is so fake. Of course they know that 50 year old men use them for their sexual desires. Why does my daughter see them as role models? Why would anyone like this disgusting "idol" group. That's all she does- idolize them. Please help me understand because I simply don't get why someone her age would like this borderline softcore porn. I am sick of this. She even wants to go to Japan and see them.

    1. To most girls, it's nothing about the sexualizing thing. Not for me, probably not for Chiima either... It's about the music, it's about the cuteness. It's exotic and it's a very welcome new kind of music-style if you're used to just western pop-music. Which is for 75% about sex, mind you.

      If the ''naughty" themes aren't the part of Jpop inspiring your daughter to listen to them, why worry? Then it's just like listening to any other girl group from whatever country. Here, they sing about sex openly, so I most definitely don't see Jpop as disgusting and naughty or anything close to that.

      They do are very young when they get into this business, that's true, but there are also groups of girls and guys who are well in their 20's. It's not all kindergarten ;)

  3. Thank you for answering! I love your blog ^^