Not Just for Young Girls! Ojisans and Obasans Can’t Stop Loving Aikatsu! and PriPara!
Have you ever heard of the anime “Aikatsu!”? It should sound familiar to anime otaku, but it’s not something you would openly admit if you know that Aikatsu was originally a project targeting young girls under the age of 10 years old. Yet, it is very popular among both female and male adults as they have adopted a specific identity known as “Aikatsu Ojisan” for male Aikatsu fans, and “Aikatsu Onēsan or Obasan” for female fans, used to express the creepy and pitiful image of them playing the game in game centers while surrounded by little girls. In Japanese, Ojisan (literally “uncle”) is commonly used to refer to men in their mid 30’s to 50’s. Onēsan (literally “big sister”) is used to refer to young women up until their mid 20’s and Obasan (literally “aunt”) is used for women in their 30’s to 50’s.
This article will explain “Aikatsu” and other works that attract these Ojisan, as well as the pros and cons of being an Ojisan.
Aikatsu!, abbreviated from the words Idol (which Japanese people read as “Aidoru”) and Katsudou (meaning activity) is an arcade card game and anime with a catchphrase of “National Idol Audition game and anime”. The broadcast of the anime was unexpectedly popular compared to the card game. The combination of a bright and courageous story, similar to that of a sports manga, humor that appealed to all ages, development of charming and compelling characters, as well as high quality music by MONACA (a group of music producers who have created music for many famous anime) ended up attracting large numbers of adult fans to this anime about idols.
Instead of activating the card game first and solidifying their intended fanbase of young girls before the anime was broadcast, because it had become popular with adults as well, Aikatsu Ojisan and Obasan were often spotted in department stores mixed in with the crowds of small girls or in game centers during odd hours of the day. The adults playing these games are called as Aikatsu! Ojisan and Obasan. Normal young girls who play Aikatsu! are called “Youjo Senpai” by Aikatsu! Ojisan expressing their respect toward the actual targets of Aikatsu!
The players get one card by entering 100 yen to the machine. The players can save data, such as personal characters or game results, by buying an IC card. Aikatsu! is a game where you can create your own character like an avatar and play with it. The outfits can be scanned from the card which includes many original brands. Aikatsu! is a rhythm game where you push buttons on the screen in time with the music as it plays. It is possible to become a number 1 idol by increasing the number of times you play and raising the scores that you get each time you do. The game is currently available in Japan and Indonesia. Aikatsu! recently announced a huge change for the anime and game with “Aikatsu! Stars”! The anime will start in April of 2016 with the game to be released in May!
There are many arcade games that were intended to target young girls from kindergarten students to middle school students. All adult players are called by Ojisan or Obasan added after the name of anime or game. Pripara, another anime and game franchise is also popular among adult otaku who are fans of the voice actors of the main characters, who are also members of the idol group i☆Ris. i☆Ris debuted from avex group and won many fans from Pripara as well. Pripara was created in response to Takara Tomy losing market share to Aikatsu from Pretty Rhythm, an original anime and game released before Pripara. The Pripara anime is a story set in a world in both reality and Pripara, a different dimension that only girls who receive Pri Tickets can enter. It has a catchphrase of “Everyone is an idol, and everyone is Pripara” which focuses on being an only one and number one idol for everyone.
Like Aikatsu, the player can create their own character which is called “my chara” by editing hair style or color and many more identities, but without saving ID. Instead, the last ticket that you received becomes the save point that you need for the next time they play. A ticket has two parts: “tomo-chike” and “my-chike”, which can be separated. “Tomo-chike” is short for tomodachi ticket which you can trade with your friends to appear on their playing screen eventually. The trading also has a name which is called “pakiru”, an onomatopoetic word for the separation of the ticket. Also, the player can choose their favorite item that will be printed at the end of the game. The game is basically the same as Aikatsu! which is a rhythm game.
Since we have introduced the top two titles, next we would like to introduce the pros and cons of being an Aikatsu! Ojisan or Pripara Ojisan.
Pro for Ojisan
There are basically two pros becoming an Aikatsu! or Pripara Ojisan: one is that compared to Youjo Senpai, there is no limit to how much they can invest into the game, and second is that official events are mostly separated into family events and night events, the latter being the ones available for Ojisan.
1. No Limits in Investing into the Game
Compared to Youjo Senpai who play using money from their allowance, an Ojisan can invest a lot more money and time into the game. To enjoy the game fully, the amount of gameplay is very important in collecting the cards. Also, there are many cards that are available by buying products that require money, giving the adults an added advantage in collecting cards. However, some of the goods with cards are only for small girls like pajamas and socks which are difficult to buy. There are many parents who love the game and the works more than their children, which might be the best situation as they don’t have to worry about strange looks from strangers when they are playing with their children.
2. Night Part at Official Events
There are official events or concerts that are separated into two parts; family part and night part. The family part is for children and their parents which is before the night part, and the night part is for adults. The price is bit higher compared to the family part, but Ojisan thinks it is better than not being able to go at all.
Con for Ojisan
Of course there are cons obviously for Ojisan which is hard to solve. We would like to talk about them, addressing the issues for Aikatsu! and Pripara separately.
The game requires you to create your own character when saving your data on the IC card. It requires to type in your name and age which is mentally tough, especially when there are Youjo Senpai around when they are playing.
The new version of the game requires you to take a picture that would be printed on the Pri Ticket. Compared to Youjo Senpai who enjoy taking pictures and doing cute poses, for Pripara Ojisan, this is like a nightmare since their picture gets printed out. Also, you have to take two poses and choose the best one which is like a public execution. Some Ojisan place something else in front of the camera, but others are very good at taking selfies which is strong evidence of one being a veteran Ojisan.
There are no worries in becoming Aikatsu! or Pripara Ojisan but, you need to have a strong mentality and motivation, and true love for the work when becoming one. Since both titles are still weak in developing abroad, be sure to review the anime and songs before coming to Japan and deciding to become an Aikatsu! Ojisan!
Data Carddass Aikatsu! Official Homepage: http://www.aikatsu.com/
Data Carddass Aikatsu! Homepage (IND): http://id.aikatsu.com/
Aikatsu! Stars Official Homepage: http://www.aikatsu.com/stars/index.php
Pripara Official Homepage: http://pripara.jp/
Anime Pripara Official Homepage: http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/pripara/index2.html
i☆Ris Official Homepage: http://iris.dive2ent.com/
Nogizaka46 Mai Fukagawa Says Her Goodbyes in Beautifully Crafted MV “Harujion ga Sakukoro”
8th Wave of Tokyo Idol Festival 2016 Performers Announced!!