Happiness According to Idol Fans Part 1: Getting a Response is a Matter of Life and Death

アイドルヲタにとっての幸せとは 第1回:レスがないから私は死んだ
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Happiness According to Idol Fans Part 1: Getting a Response is a Matter of Life and Death

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Every morning, when your favorite idol sends out a “Good morning!” tweet, do you reply back with your own “Good morning! (^_^)” and a mention? My apologies for shouting but…AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!!

Well, as it turns out, there are people out there who are like I used to be- so totally desperate to get a response from their favorite idol that they can’t stand it. Just how desperate, you may ask? I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said they are desperate as someone wanting a drop of water after walking in the scorching desert heat for 3 days. That’s right, I plead guilty having been a part of the so-called “res-chu” (“hungry for a response”) crowd.

For those of you that regularly visit Tokyo Girls’ Update, you might be aware of the sticker we sell with the slogan, “Resu ga nai nara koroshite kure!” (“No response? Just go ahead and kill me!”). I’m the one that came up with it. Or rather, at first, it was a phrase I’d often yell out during concerts. At the BiS concert that took place on April 11, 2012, it was something I called out as I climbed onto the front row-center railing. I shouted so much that I remember getting a huge migraine. Have you heard? If you get too desperate for a response, it’s like not having enough air to breathe, and you can get a headache or migraine attacks. It’s a curse.



Although I used to be part of the “res-chu” crowd, currently I don’t send tweet after tweet with mentions to idols on Twitter any more. Even when I do happen to send them a mention, I often find myself hovering my cursor over the delete button before I do. I’ll explain why with the following two reasons.

The first reason is that, because I sometimes work with idols, I don’t want to draw attention to myself. Also, if I’m interacting with idols on Twitter, there might be other idol fans that see it and end up left with a bad taste in their mouth that “some poser got a response”. Basically, I don’t want to cause any trouble to the idols themselves. You could say this reason is a rather mature one.

Secondly, it’s not always guaranteed that a response will come from the idols. My love for idols is endless, and I used to want to be the kind of idol fan that was like the sun. However, that wasn’t possible. There’s a part of me that inevitably seeks out a reply from them, but it is a childish one.

That’s why, when I see idol fans shooting off mentions to idols, when no response is guaranteed, it leaves me with a strange taste in my mouth. Perhaps somewhere inside, I’m secretly envious of them.

I have a friend who has seen AKB48 more than 100 times, and whose name is written on the wall of their theater. He gave me this piece of advice. “Those who are ‘res-chu’ will not be happy in the long term.” At the time I couldn’t understand what he was saying. It was like he was speaking to me in an alien language.

However, I understand his advice now. If idol fans want to keep their sanity, they must give their love freely, without expecting anything in return, or they can only become fans of idols that give them the responses they crave. Those are the two options. So which one is life, and which one is death? It feels like they might both lead to death.

Right now I only go to get a response from idols at concert venues. Just being able to talk with them at a handshake or cheki event is enough for me. By not trying to get any responses on the Internet, we can have peace of mind. Even when idols write something like, “I’ll be sending out responses now!” on Twitter, I don’t react. That would be like sticking a needle full of drugs in my arm. I’ve opted to learn from my experiences.

For me, becoming “res-chu” is like death. Therefore, I don’t seek it out very much in the way of a response.

However, for those of you idol fans abroad reading Tokyo Girls’ Update, I imagine that Twitter provides you the most opportunities to communicate with idols.

What do you consider to be true happiness as an idol fan?

I believe some of you are coming to visit Japan in order to attend the TOKYO IDOL FESTIVAL 2016 from August 5 – 7. If you see me at the festival, please come and say hello! I’d say that my English skill is that of a 3-year old but I’d love to try my best and hear your honest feedback.

It's me.

It’s me.

In this series, I’d like to think about what idol fans consider happiness to be. Since idol love knows no borders, it should be said that borders are of no consequence when it comes to seeking out a response from your favorite idols.

So I’d like all of you to give it some good thought. What do you consider to be true happiness as an idol fan?

Akimasa Munekata Twitter

Watanabe Junnosuke Idol Wo Kuri Eight Suru / Munekata Akira Susumu / Cho
Watanabe Junnosuke Idol Wo Create Suru
Munekata Akimasa

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Born in 1972, Akimasa Munekata is a music critic who has written for MUSIC MAGAZINE and Record Collectors for rock in Japan after HAPPY END, pop, the flow of western rock and pop after Beach Boys, world music, and folk music. Recently, he has hopped on the bandwagon and begun writing about idols as well.

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