Thursday, October 11, 2012

So You Wanna be a Youtube Idol?

A Youtube idol in its natural habitat.

I'm going to leave a little warning before you read any further: this topic is going to get a little... touchy. I say that because I know there are a good deal of bloggers (and maybe even readers) who do things like cover idol songs and dances. Considering what this post is about... I'd recommend skipping out on this one and reading something else. Yes, I've finally managed to muster up enough stupidity courage to write about the black sheep of the international idol fandom: Youtube idols.

When I say "Youtube idol" I don't mean the groups that cover idol songs at cons and the places of that nature and just happen to post them on Youtube. Actually, I think performing and covering idol music for foreign audiences is a great way to introduce some really cool artists to other people in countries outside of Japan. It also seems like a good outlet to show a fan's love for idol music and to bring other fans together! But these aren't the kind of idols I'm here to talk about. I'm talking about the adolescent Western girl with a video camera and some idol music, dancing and/or singing idol songs from groups like AKB48, Hello! Project, even Perfume with the hopes that doing so will get her a foot in the Japanese music market and transform herself into an idol in the same magical way Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon. For the past two years that I've been into idol music, I would say I've done a pretty good job of distancing myself from this species of fans.

When I first got into idol music, I knew of them and I just decided to ignore them. I thought "What the hell? My version of fun is blogging about idol music and their version of fun is dancing to it. No big deal!" But as time has gone by and I've immersed myself further and further into the wotasphere, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to ignore them, especially now that I rely on websites such as Arama and Tokyo Hive for news to blog about. Every once in a while one of these Youtube idols pops up and like the idiot I am, I click the link and browse through comments and the video itself with this weird... bile fascination. My first initial reaction is "Why the hell am I watching this?" then after a few minutes it's "Why the hell did [Youtube idol here] post this?" and by the time the video is over it's "Did [Youtube idol here] think this was good?" For a long time, this phenomenon has been such an enigma to me and I feel like I can't just ignore it anymore. If I'm going to fully enter the wotasphere, I need to understand both the brighter and... weirder sides of such a diverse fandom. And I think the best place to start is at the root of this trend.

Anyone who's been in the wotasphere for at least a year probably knows who this is: Beckii Cruel, or Rebecca Flint, the little British girl who made the concept of a Youtube idol more than just an obscure hobby. I'm using Cruel as an example because she is the most well-known of these Youtube idols and arguably the one who really made this trend a more widespread viral phenomenon. Look, it was either her or Dakota Rose and I can't talk about that horrible creature without going into a garbled tirade about racism and homophobia and Photoshop. So yes, way back in 2009 when I was jamming to One Room Disco, Cruel was releasing a dance cover to a Japanese meme song titled Danjo. She released several more, they got popular, she flew to Japan, tried to learn Japanese, released some Japanese singles with some other Youtube idols I don't care about, and has generally been making more and more of a fool of herself ever since. There's a better, less biased documentary if you really want to know the full history of this chick. A few days ago, I finally got around to looking into more about Cruel, even looking at some of her dance covers. I suppose they were fine but my general philosophy on dancing is "If it ain't Perfume, it ain't worth looking at."

So then I found out she had released music. I listened to a few songs and... yeah, I can't sugarcoat my opinion, it's bad. Just... really, really bad. Like "I never want to hear this again" bad. And apparently a lot of other people thought so too! Now I don't know what runs through Cruel's mind any more than she knows what runs through mine so I have no idea if she's doing this because she genuinely still believes despite all the backlash against her that she can still make it in Japan or if she has ulterior motives. Who knows? Maybe she's hoping to get money off the earnings of these singles to pay for college! She is still in high school, right? I know if I were told I'd receive a shitload of money in exchange for doing something ridiculous and stupid that would cause the hatred of the Internet to pour down on me, I'd do it! I'd also wear a wig and sunglasses and a trench coat but that's not the point! Aside from dancing and singing (or trying to...), Cruel also appears to do some hair/makeup tutorials that I could care less about. So what have I learned from this? Well... Beckii Cruel is a walking talking embodiment of every single idol cliche you see in Japan. And that I could have spent those minutes watching her videos doing something more productive like cancer research.

Yet I can't bring myself to hate this girl even if I most likely won't touch anything she's released with a burnt-out glowstick. If anything, she comes off to me as rather naive and oblivious to both her own flaws and the criticism she receives. And I can see why; that's what happens when you get a bunch of fame all at once. Let me explain; at a young age, Cruel dabbled in dance covers and hit huge success. People loved her, old guys especially, and the attention she received was most likely more than she had ever been given in her short life and that was the key point in defining her outlook on her career and the people of the Internet who voice hatred towards her. When you have people build you up to such a high level of recognition and adoration, anyone who attempts to defy that opinion no matter how critical or narrow-minded their points may be, you'll most likely dismiss them as jealous "haters." After all, you have Internet fame and a horde of loyal fans; in your eyes, that person has nothing so they obviously must be trying to tear you down to bring satisfaction to themselves.

Too much fame at once is like too much cocaine; once you've had it, you just want more and more until you've become this attention-obsessed person who strikes down anyone attempting to criticize you as someone trying to steal the little bit of fame you've been cradling. You know how Smeagol found the One Ring in the events preceding the Lord of the Rings trilogy and that corrupted him into the creature of Gollum, a being dependent and addicted to the power of the Ring? Well... in this situation, 2009 Cruel is Smeagol, her fame and its influence on her are the One Ring, and 2012 Cruel is Gollum. And I honestly don't think she realizes that but I wouldn't expect her to because once again, that ego that was caressed and pampered so much is probably clouding her vision. Hell, if she comes across this post, she'll most likely call me out for being another jealous hater who happens to be a Perfume fangirl. I won't be surprised if she does; maybe we can have a nice little chat, girl-to-girl.

So why do I bring this up now? Well, a few months ago, Cruel started another idol endeavor titled Oishii Project or "Delicious" Project. Now contrary to the title, this is not one of the many group-dubbing cover channels that are so abundant on Youtube and it also isn't a revival of her other project. The best way I can describe it is it's Hello! Project: Youtube Idol Edition. The project consists of hopeful teenage girls from all around the world singing in front of their video cameras with the intent "to create a group of Net Idols from all over the world who have a passion for Singing, Dancing and Japanese Culture. Oishii!Project strives to create happy and energetic music and performances for everybody to enjoy." And they're trying to go to Japan. Everyone had quite the field day over this news back when it was announced, with accusations of being weeaboos bouncing right and left.

So what is a weeaboo anyways? Well... it's a little hard to describe since the term is incredibly subject. The nicest definition I could find on Urban dictionary is, "A non-Japanese person that either considers themselves Japanese, or wishes they were. Often confused with the word otaku which in Japanese is usually referring to a geek, while in English it usually means someone is obsessed with anime, unlike a weeaboo, who is not only obsessed with anime, but the whole entire culture. They are known to use Japanese words in the middle of English sentences, and they are hated by society." It's basically someone infatuated with Japanese culture, only focusing on certain parts of it (like idols and anime in lieu of Japanese politics and their economic situation), who wishes that they were Japanese despite having an ignorant view of the country itself. A few days ago, this Oishii Project released a music video for the debut single, titled Gametime. When I look at these videos and go off these definitions, all these girls come off as weeaboos to me and a majority of the fandom has the same consensus. They use poor Japanese, they pull out every cute gimmick they can think of, they embody every stereotype of the Moe concept that is so popular in Japanese anime, if I had a litmus test for weeaboos, these girls would all pass it with flying colors.

"But Nia!" hypothetical-you cries out, "How could you bash these poor, innocent girls when you don't even KNOW them!? You soulless harpy!" You're right; I know nothing about these girls but you know what I am right about? No one else knows them either. The only thing we have to go by is the image these girls are projecting of themselves and when the image is that of a weeaboo, then that is how they're going to be perceived by the people of the Internet. What can I say? We're all horrible people on the Internet, myself included, who won't hesitate to rip someone apart if they set themselves up for it and weeaboos are pretty much the lowest of low in the idol fandom. Ironic, isn't it? When I was younger, my parents told me that it didn't matter how I looked on the outside; it was what was inside that counted. Well, on the Internet the opposite is true: outside is the only thing that matters. Anything you say, anything you broadcast will be scrutinized. Hell, my writing on this very blog attributes to how people see me. I don't think a majority of these girls realize that, seeing the criticism in the same way that Cruel does by shooting it down and going back to prancing around their bedrooms in school uniforms and remaining oblivious.

Granted, I'm certain a portion of the vocal hate they receive is just hate but there are probably people who have tried their best to give constructive criticism only to have it swept under the rug as "You're just a jealous hater!" So why do these girls latch on to this weebish and narrow-minded view that only represents part of the multi-faceted country of Japan anyways? Well... okay, say I wanna go to France; I'm a complete and total francophile. I think France is the greatest thing ever with its cute little berets, Eiffel Tower, infinite wineries, haute couture, you get the point. Hell, I don't want to just go to France, I want to be French. However, the only thing I can say in the French language is "Je m'appelle Nia!" and I know little to nothing about the state of their economy, their extensive history, life in France, customs, anything, just the parts I like about France. I think these Youtube idols see the country of Japan through rose-tinted shades, focusing on the parts they like (anime and idols) and ignoring all the nastier parts of the country (enjo kosai, Yakuza dominance, alarmingly high teenage suicide rate). This skewed outlook makes them incredibly ignorant about the country and their attempts to display knowledge of the Japanese culture are met with disapproval and cries of being an inaccurate and annoying weeaboo from netizens.

So why do this? Why take the risk of making yourself look like an ignorant fool? Why even bother taking on such a convoluted idea of becoming a Japanese idol via the Internet? That really baffled me when I first started looking into these girls but now that I've I thought about it, I've got a few possible theories. I can't be certain because once again, I don't know these girls, but I'm coming from the viewpoint of a very Western teenage girl myself. Now I've never had the desire to become a Japanese idol via the Internet but I've had other hopes and dreams that were sadistically crushed by reality! Like when I was eleven years old I auditioned for my first play ever: The Bad Seed. I was so convinced I was going to be cast in it that I had little fantasies about rehearsing and performing it in a crowd of one thousand people. I didn't get cast because, big shocker here, I wasn't good at all but no one told me that. I had to find that out for myself and then I had to try my hardest to grow and improve as an actress. I think the biggest factor in a girl deciding she wants to be a Youtube idol is idealism; that was what so foolishly convinced eleven-year old me that I had the acting ability of Meryl Streep.

Idealism is a cruel thing really; it wraps itself around your thoughts and clouds your vision with idealistic pursuits that are fantastically unlikely. This is what drives a Youtube idol: the hope that she just might be one of the small handful of foreigners to be remotely famous in Japan. And I can see why foreign girls would be so convinced that they could make it in Japan. Most likely, they think that because they're from a different country, they can use that to their advantage. They can be the "shiny Western toy" to put it roughly that the Japanese can fawn over with fascination and adoration. The reality is Japan doesn't want Western artists but the possibility, that narrow possibility, lights up the eyes of these girls who try so hard to break into Japan with little to no acceptance from the country itself.

Personally, I think being a Youtube idol is fine if it's just a hobby. I love hobbies, they're awesome; writing on this blog is one of my many hobbies. They help keep people stimulated and stable-minded. I think if a girl is just doing it because she genuinely likes to dance to idol music and doesn't have some crazy motive of going to Japan and becoming the real life version of Hatsune Miku, then let her have her fun. She'll grow out of it in her own time if she wants to. These Youtube idols need to stop acting like it's a profession they're going to use when they take their pilgrimage to glorious land of Nihon and become the next super idol. They're not; most of them won't even make it past a couple views on Youtube. What these Youtube idols need to understand is they're a 99.9999999% chance that they're never going to break into the Japanese market let alone become a Japanese idol. If you're a Youtube idol still reading by this point with the hopes of traveling to Japan, sorry to be the one to crush your dreams but it's true. Even mixed races such as Crystal Kay and May J. have a hard time in the Japanese market; a 100% non-Asian person with little to no grasp of the Japanese language, pronunciation, culture, etc. has a slim chance of making it.

The best thing these Youtube idols can do for themselves is stop taking this so seriously and realize/accept the fact that it's nothing more than an addition to the millions of covers on Youtube. For instance, I write fanfiction but it's not like I expect it to be published as a sequel to The Hunger Games and read by millions; it's only a hobby and something I enjoy doing for the fun of it. So I really can't emphasize that these girls should just have fun and stop getting all spun up over becoming a Japanese idol; that takes all the fun out of having a hobby! If you know and accept that you're not going to be taken seriously and just post dance covers for the fun of it, then good for you! I think it's great you have a hobby you're so passionate about and you're not wasting time trying to break into a market that will never open its doors for you!

So... anyone still there? You've actually reached the end of this post! Yay! Sorry about the blocks and blocks of text but I just have a lot to say on this subject and now that I've gotten this out, I feel much better! If you're reading this and happen to be one of those Youtube idols I spent paragraphs just talking about, then the only thing I can say to you is this: if you love it, do it. Just be wary that posting it on a networking website with millions of visitors each day has its consequences. If you feel like you can take those consequences and look at them objectively with a calm head, then have fun doing what you love. I'll continue doing what I love (writing about idol music) and you can continue dancing/singing to said music and we can keep going our separate ways. Peace out or as a Youtube idol would say "バイバイ~"


  1. FINALLY someone who shares the same opinion as I do! Like you, I'm not a hater, but it frustrates me to always see cover after cover of a song I'm searching for on YouTube. It's starting to get really annoying that every female fan is starting to jump on the "become an idol" bandwagon. Really, sometimes I wonder if the fangirls are in the fandom because they like the music or mostly because they want to gain Youtube idol fame lol. I enjoyed reading this post alot, thank you!

    (beckii cruel is one thing but omg dont even get me started on dakota rose)

    1. There really is quite the astounding amount of covers on Youtube; I feel like it gets bigger by the month! Oh well, as long as it's all in good fun, there's really not much harm to it. It's just when a few of those cover-ers are so very hell-bent on becoming Japanese idols, I can't help but cock my head and go "What the what?" Oh well, each to their own I suppose! And yeah, I'd say something about Dakota Rose but if I do, my blog will get banned via a "copyright violation."

  2. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. I've hated on Beckii Cruel more than once on my own blog, so I seriously appreciate another blogger with the same opinion (especially, because like you said, many bloggers ARE youtube idols themselves).

    Oishii Project disgusted me. I agree with everything you've said. As a Japanese language major more than half way working on her Master's in the subject, this topic frustrates me more than you know. These stupid little weeaboo girls have no idea. No idea. They need a crash-course in reality.

    1. You're welcome! I'm happy you enjoyed it! I don't now, I feel like I can't hate someone I don't even know... can I say I strongly dislike the image she portrays? Like I said, Ms. Flint comes off as very ignorant to me. She doesn't think the same thing though; I posted a link to this post on Tumblr for promotion, she subsequently got word of it and currently she and her followers are on me like a swarm of locusts XD. Oh well, I guess I dug my own grave on that one; I just didn't think she would check her own tag!

      And that's quite an impressive major; it must be the quite challenging to learn such an expansive language! Good luck!

  3. What a great post :D I couldn’t stop reading Nia! You’ve given me a bit of inspiration too!

    Beckii Cruel is a walking talking embodiment of every single idol cliche you see in Japan. And that I could have spent those minutes watching her videos doing something more productive like cancer research.”

    Good point.

    “2009 Cruel is Smeagol, her fame and its influence on her are the One Ring, and 2012 Cruel is Gollum. “

    Haha I laughed so much because to be honest, it ‘s a harsh but true comparison.

    Honestly I still don’t like Oishii Project or the idea of it. I don’t know how to describe it but it seems they want to make a career out of it but will it work? I doubt it.

    And what you said about your comparison to France and there’s to Japan is actually why I believe so many are trying by (and as you said) focusing on the things they like about Japan. Because let’s be honest, I’m sure you could ask a majority of them something about an issue in Japan that needs to be solved and they wouldn’t know.

    “Most likely, they think that because they're from a different country, they can use that to their advantage. They can be the "shiny Western toy" to put it roughly that the Japanese can fawn over with fascination and adoration.”

    Don’t get me wrong, when you described it like that you can see why they may be trying. I for one thought I could try when I was 14/15 but never had the courage until I was 17 to start dancing on YouTube but I see it more as a hobby to dance on YouTube, show what I can do and improve on my dancing, I don’t strive to be Japan’s next idol.

    And you’re right! Even Crystal Kay and May J. (I love her! Surprised you put her name down) have such a hard time in the Japanese industry and from what I’ve seen lately, they aren’t doing too well. :/

    1. Thank you for reading it! So you do covers? That's cool! You should cover Perfume someday! And I'm totally not saying that because that's the only dancing from a group I really notice or anything silly like that...

    2. I will try and do Perfume oneday! :D Don't worry!

  4. Hey there! This is actually, a person from O!P ohohohoho who could I be? you shall never know ~(=w=)~ unless it's obvious already? idek pfff-- Anyway! I found your blog here most interesting! (Naturally coming across it on Beckii's tumblr of course haha) I quite enjoyed it! It is a very mm... i wouldn't say wake up call because personally I don't seriously think I'd ever break the japanese market.. nor am I actually very familiar with idol culture at all believe it or not haha meaning, i think i do have a good grasp on the realities here haha! But! It certainly keeps one grounded :) You are right, I think the lot of us are quite crazy to put ourselves out there like we do haha! But life is short and, for me anyway, it's all good fun at the end of the day. Cause i'm definitely not ignorant to the fact that i'm probably not "idol" material at all lol! But I can't live without singing, and Japanese happens to be my fav. language to sing it for one reason or another. Idk, this whole experience is all in good sport i think... creating something of our own using the jpop influence... it's interesting to me.. BUT ANYWAY I digress, I hope people don't give you too much grief on this post and try to understand your views (even if they may not agree) and i simply wanted to say thaaaaat I'm not offended, and it's silly for anyone else to be either. Just as well, I'm happy i discovered this post :) it makes me... a bit relieved lol! is that weird? ah.. i'll stop rambling now, as we Youtube AI DA ROOS say... バイバイ~

    1. Damn you, Tumblr! I'm joking, it actually helped generate a lot of infamy for my article and hence a lot of view. No such thing as bad publicity I suppose! Anyways, I really should have emphasized this more but if you're just doing it for the fun of it, then I see absolutely no harm to it! Everyone has hobbies and for my article I was focusing on the idols that took it beyond just a hobby. I'm glad you have your head on your shoulders and I hope you continue to enjoy what you're doing!

  5. I am almost certain that was Kelsey (KimonoTime) the speech pattern is very recognizable. I'm sure she feels confident enough to say that because she is more-or-less the second most well-known western anime dancer after Cruel.

    And yeah, I really agree with this, all of this, perfectly. Its like you said everything I could have said, except you're more cultured than me so you used a lot of really good literary terms and referenced a lot of stuff I would not have thought of!

    And one thing that really surprised me is how they don't understand that idols cant have boyfriends, not just anyone can have the idol look, and electronic music + high voices do not equal a good hit. And I felt a bit embarrased for them, actually, when I saw them stealing some choreography from Galaxias, Perfume, and I believe I saw some of Kyary's moves in there. Idk if you caught that or not. It was kind of funny actually, Oishii performed at MCM earlier and danced Galaxias and GameTime almost back-to-back.

    Protip: do not dance to a song you've stolen choreography from. You don't have to be wota to use your eyes, LOL

    1. Meh, the other Anon could be the flipping Easter Bunny for all I care. I don't have the time or interest to put names and personalities together with these people. So another Beckii Cruel, you say? Yay. Oh well, it's bound to happen. When one dies down, another one bounces in to pick up the slack. Kind of like reality TV stars...

      Anyways, I'm happy you liked the article! I admit I've never thought of myself as a cultured person... I guess I'll put on a monocle and grab an antique pipe and start quoting Machiavelli or something! Honestly, I just tried to give examples and comparisons that I felt like everyone could relate to on some level. You know, backing up opinions with examples and stuff! I'm glad that worked!

      Yeah, I kind of feel like these Youtube idols have more flexibility on the "idol rules" since they have partial anonymity via the Internet. They can hide the more personal (and even more unpleasant) parts of their lives much like real idols except it's probably much easier for them! I think the appeal of that "idol look" stems from the way an Asian idol looks and it's hard to recapture that look when you're not of that ethnicity. Though there was one girl in the O!P PV who did kind of pull that off (I later found out she is partially Asian so in hindsight it makes sense). It's like me trying to be a giraffe; I can try as hard as I want, but at the end of the day I am not a giraffe. It's also really hard to make high pitched voices work in a song in general, especially when it comes to a genre like electropop. For one thing, often the voice can come out as very strained and tense at a higher pitch than it's used to. That and often if a voice gets too far up, it can come across as very grating and annoying. It's sort of like a falsetto gone horribly, horribly wrong.

      Now that you mention it, the dance did look a little Perfume-esque... Then again, my dancing ability is horrid so I could be just imagining things. But even if it is, I can see why; choreographing is incredibly difficult. Back in seventh grade, I had to help make a dance routine and we literally couldn't think of anything good! If that is the case, I doubt the similarities were intentional; whoever choreographed the dance probably just took a lot of inspiration from other popular dances. At least they took dance moves from good dances!

      Well. I think I just wrote a mini-post within the mega-post. Great!

  6. Hey I read this and I myself want to be an idol but it would be good enough to just be in an indie idol group is what im aiming for. but i dont see why its impossible, let dreamers dream and one day it might be reality, but you cant jusrt count on being an idol you have to go to college and have a job and have a side job as an idol, you dont have to be japanese but you have to have a full understanding of the culture, language, and history. soso i agree some and disagree some

    1. I didn't say it was impossible; I just said it was difficult due to the circumstances stacked against foreigners. If you are expecting to snag a foothold as a foreign idol in Japan, you'd better prepare yourself for a lot of failure. The chances of actually being successful are slim due to a culture that scrutinizes foreigners. Even foreign artists and mixed artists have a hard time supporting themselves. Like any other career, becoming an idol requires a winning combination of talent and luck. But mainly luck. Just look at Beckii Cruel. Still, starting with knowing the culture, language and history is a good first step and how the rest turns out is pretty much based on luck. So with that in mind, good luck!

  7. Hey this is a really smart article! I think a lot of idol fans (myself included) have at one point or another fantasised about being an idol. BUT it's important to recognise it for what it is, a fantasy for most of those with that dream. Heck, most of the kids in Japan learning idol dances and songs and dreaming the same dream won't make it, so why should someone with no grasp of Japan, its culture or language expect to easily generate an idol career for themselves? For those that do work for this, I support them for fighting for such a difficult dream, but it should ultimately be a hobby unless you really have something special (eg extraordinary singing voice) going for you.
    Off topic, but when are you going to post new stuff? Its been over a month!

    1. Thank you! Even I will admit I did entertain the idea of being an idol at some point in time, but never really wanted to be one. I think most Youtube idols/dancers do realize that, but then you have that small minority who are so idealistic that they believe they can make it. And you bring up a very good point; even famous dancers who are Japanese like Cuca have a hard time making it. It might be possible to make it, but I only think that can be achieved if you really have the drive, talent, AND knowledge of Japanese culture to pursue it.

      Luckily for you, I just posted something new! It's just an album review, but with school starting, my backlog's piled up. So right now I'm just trying to balance that with my writing for the Wonderland. But I'll do my best to write more posts!

  8. Actual idol checklist:
    Facial expressions, slim body, appealing facial features, charisma, willingness to take any job, acceptance of constructive criticism, potential failure at getting work, working long hours, dealing with horny fans/haters in a mature way, dancing ability, singing ability, practicing long hours, mastering a foreign language, TV/stage presence, no smoking, no boyfriends, supportive parents, no cattiness/swearing, makeup that works with your face, communication with fans, clothes that work with your body, good camera, good lighting, all around good personality, all around good looks, money, the reality of being in a different country, and a unique idea.

    Misconcepted idol check list:
    some dancing skill, im wearing a miniskirt what do you mean im not cute and thin?, i love japan look I eat ramen and wear a sailor fuku so of course I'll make it there!, Konnichiwa look I know your language!, let's copy Beckii Cruel she made it right? If I copy Beckii Cruel I can go to Japan too yay Japan! I mean yeah I have a picture of me and my ex on my blog but I mean that was a year ago, shoddy white eyeliner to make eyes big, shitty webcam or 100$ point and shoot, ugh I hate that other dancer on youtube she's just SO MEAN.

    This is why there has been no repeat of Beckii Cruel. These girls are elementary school kids trying to write a high school essay without even researching the material beforehand.

    1. Wow, you just summed up in three paragraphs what I couldn't manage to properly sum up in ten! Impressive... I pretty much concur with everything you said. Being an idol is a huge commitment, and to be able to put in the time and money and effort may not even get you there. Because there are so many other variables beyond your control that can and will effect your chances.

  9. I do like Beckii (I'm sorry, but I do), but people like her and Dakota Rose irritate me to the point of hatred at times... (So I guess it's a love/hate relationship?)
    I know a girl named Pei Ton who is actually an idol, and I've known her since we were little kids. She's 10000% more pretty than these other girls and she doesn't Photoshop or hate on other people. She's just all around good.
    And you know what?
    Pei came into the Japanese idol scene at around the same time Dakota Rose and Beckii did, and she was figuratively 'swept under the rug' by these two girls, and no one paid her any attention, despite her talent (she's an actress, a singer, and a model!) because she wasn't a weeb and didn't try to act like one. She speaks pretty much 80% fluent Japanese, and she can act and sing and she's just... wow. But these other girls, who got famous out of luck rather than hard work, stole her limelight, and she was pushed into the shadows.
    I know I sound angry, and truth be told, I am. Pei is actually talented, and no one gave a sh*t *pardon the language* because she wasn't willing to hop around in a miniskirt in front of a bunch of pedos. Yes, she danced live, but it was tasteful. She's a good friend of mine, and it just makes me so angry that she couldn't make it when they did.
    However, she may still make it, because she's younger than both Dakota and Beckii, and as she put it "Once you get old, the fans lose interest. Dakota and Beckii's time is almost up, and when they move out, I'm moving in."
    The main reason I dislike Beckii at times is this:
    Pei auditioned for the Cruel Angels back when Beckii was still a member, but she was 'prettier than Beckii' (I'm not joking, this is seriously what happened) , so they didn't allow her to join. That was the only reason given when they booted her from the Angels, and I irritates me to no end. If Pei was part of their group, I can almost promise that the Cruel Angels would have been a LOT more popular, and might even still be around. But they didn't let her join, and now that Beckii has left, they may come crawling back.
    I'm sorry for the long spammy comment, but I wanted to get this out there, and you're a lovely person and blogger (I've been reading your blog for about three months), I figured you would at least read it. Plus, you're in to J- Culture, and you might end up seeing Pei somewhere, and I wanted to warn you ahead of time. You two are both lovely-- I'll tell Pei to read this post, because she'd appreciate it. Keep up the amazing work!

  10. You know, I'm reading this post again (I made the first comment) and I have one more thing to say a year later: watching the O!P videos, it seems like very single member is putting on this fake facade of strawberry cute princess gyaru. That is not idol-ish. I have yet to see an idol group embrace that concept (unless it's some indie group I don't know about). Idols are successful because they are raw. They have different personalities. They show their true self. And the fans appreciate this and feed off this. On the website, every single girl has curly hair and fluffy ribbons and faces with pink instagram effects. Look at AKB48 and Hello! Project: how did they become successful? Compare that to the mockery that is O!P. I really like the idea and concept overall, but I really think that they could break into the Japanese market by acting like themselves: foreign girls who are working hard to become idols, not girls acting like their misguided image of Japanese girls.

    1. I haven't seen many of the O!P videos, but I think you're right. I'm sure they're all just trying to be as appealing as possible, but it still comes off as very forced. Maybe there are other videos where they show the quirkier sides to their personalities? You have to balance out all that fluffy, sugary perfection with a raw, more real side. It's... it's hard to explain, and you do it better than I do. And you're right, this is a neat concept, but the execution and the people behind it just don't work.

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    1. Thank you! I'm really not that intelligent, but I try at least! I also try to explore both the ups and downs of something, although I think I went more into the downs with this topic. But again, thank you!

  12. Oishii! Project was cancelled then brought back about 2 or 3 weeks ago. It makes me sad because Sneko is a member and I love her. She might even be the most experienced member!

    1. Was it? Well, I can't say I'm surprised. I do wonder how long it'll last. I've heard nothing about O!P, so... I guess they're giving it another go? That's what it sounds like. Whatever they're doing, I don't care.

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  14. To be honest, I've wanted to become a "Youtube Idol" for a long time, not for the fame, but just because I enjoy dancing in my bedroom to Jpop and singing along to foreign music regardless of how horrid I sound. I actually am learning Japanese, and really want to go to Japan, however, my actual dream is to teach English in foreign countries and become an author. For me, being a "net idol", albeit, not a very famous one, would be a hobby. Not something you should pursue as a career. Nice article! :D

    1. Yeah, that's totally okay! If you enjoy it just for fun (and it isn't harming yourself or others), then you shouldn't anyone dissuade you, me included. Same thing for learning Japanese. If you've got the drive and desire, then go for it! It probably won't be easy, but as long as you acknowledge that, then go for it!

  15. Yeah Dakota Rose is a racist and homophobic weeaboo wannabe

    1. I don't know how she is now, but in the past she displayed some pretty offensive behavior. If she'd just acknowledged and apologized for that behavior, that would be better. But she skirted around the issue. Agh, she's a mess discussion-wise; I don't think too much about her.

  16. Sorry for being so late but I read this now
    It's amazing (and inspiring?) because it shows you the reality!
    I've been an idol fan since just 2 years and there WAS a time I wanted to join Hello project or anything such but shortly after I realized I'm wasting my time xD
    I'm just 14 and I'm glad I haven't wasted much time in trying to become what I can never be.
    I do sometimes post song covers just for fun and because I love it. I sing in one or two dub groups but just as a hobby, I make sure I don't kill my precious time in which I can actually set my life.
    I'm all set.
    But there are some (stupid) class girls of mine who have just started seeing the dream of becoming an idol. I've tried to tell them not to waste their time and to be honest they don't sing well at all. They think I'm being *jealous* and all but okay, they're spoiling their own time.
    Now I think I'll have to show this to them. XD
    I agree with EVERY point of yours.
    And after reading the comments. There was someone who said that girls in O!P try to be cute. I AGREE. I don't understand why these people try to be so artificial. Including the classmates I mentioned before. I mean, why don't they stay the real them? Why do they have to be so unnatural?! And they're always praising the groups they say they're a fan of. I am a HUGE Morning Musume fan. But I admit I hate Erina like anything. There ARE songs which I hate. But they show that they are true fans, they love everything, and all. I hate such artificial people.