No one can really prepare you for the emotional aspects of joining a JPOP fandom.
When you find an Idol group, even if it’s by mistake, you suddenly become part of a legacy. Something bigger than you think it really is. You don’t yet know that you’ll adapt your personal life to these idols. You don’t know that someday you’ll believe clicking on that music video was the very best decision you ever made.
As you watch this music video you begin to shift focus to a face that draws you in. Whats her name? How old? Is she new? Is she an original member? Why doesn’t she have many lines? Suddenly, you’re focused on someone you didn’t know 4 minutes ago. You have an Oshimen!!
One video leads to another, that video furthers curiosity, and curiosity welcomes you into your new fandom. So, she becomes the member you want to see perform! You notice her flaws have improved and her style has changed. You feel genuinely happy for the group.
Before you know it, 1 week turns into a year.. You know everything by now, you’ve never missed an event, live stream, blog post or anything.
She starts to do variety shows all by herself, magazines, photobooks. She’s finally the Idol she aimed to be. And it’s all thanks to the fans and group.
She’s made friends, foes and bravely fought her own battles.
She stands on stage, infront of thousands of eyes gazing upon her journey. She announces her graduation and time seems to stand still.
“What?” Thats all I could say at the time.
Now you feel it, clicking on that music video a few years ago lead to the emptiness you feel on their graduation. However, you wouldn’t change it for the world. To this day, you’ll never regret clicking on that video.
My ultimate oshimen is Tanaka Reina, became a fan in 2009. Kusumi Koharu had just graduated. From the start I knew it was Something Reina would do too. You just never really prepared for it. The graduation of Kamei Eri, JunJun and LinLin was so sad.. I still didn’t fully understand it until I entered the AKB48 fandom in 2010. Takahashi Ai from Morning Musume had announced her graduation along with AKB48 members and so on.
None of that really prepared me for when Reina left.. Almost three years later, I still haven’t re-adapted to Morning Musume. Despite how much I love Maachan, I’m not sure it’ll ever be the same.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy I have Sato Masaki to ground me into the fandom. Without having someone to cheer on I would’ve left by now.
So, my advice to you
- Enjoy your oshimen now, because “now” won’t be here in 3- 5 years!
- Before your oshimen graduates, find a newer member you like! By the time your oshimen graduates you’ll at least have a reason to support her legacy.
- Its okay to take a break, we all need one.. Just don’t forget how hard they worked to keep the fanbase. Don’t let it go to waste.
- Your oshimen isn’t dying!! They are just changing their career path! Be happy for them!
- Avoid the “Uta Hell” (Uta, a Hello!Project member that graduated early on causing her fans to be so upset). Sometimes fans actually face depression after their oshimen leaves. Its okay to be sad and cry!! But don’t allow your oshimen’s graduation to dictate your health. Remember, she’s a hobby (a HUGELY SIGNIFICANT hobby), not your girlfriend haha.
If you have any other tips by all means add them!!
I should’ve mentioned Miyazawa Sae but the reason I wrote this is because lately the Hello!Project community is even more depressed about Kamei Eri, Yuukarin and Uta as well.. Maro.. Riho.. MeiMei.. Zukki.. stay strong my fellow wotas..