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25-Year Old Promises Kept! 80s and 90s Idols Who Fulfill the Dreams of Their Fans Through Mutual Trust!

80、90年代のトップアイドルが見せた、25年経っても消えないアイドルとファンの信頼関係
| Idol | Posted
25-Year Old Promises Kept! 80s and 90s Idols Who Fulfill the Dreams of Their Fans Through Mutual Trust!

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If your favorite idol were to perform in concert 25 years from now, what do you think it would be like? Do you think you’d be able to look at them with the same feelings that you have for them now?

The emotions that I received at Nakano San Plaza almost 25 years ago, came flooding back to my life the other day. It’s proof that being able to support idols with unchanging feelings is indeed possible.

On February 20th and 21st at Shinagawa Stellar Ball, “NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY ~Minamino Yoko’s 30th Debut Anniversary Concert~” was held. For these 2 days, with
afternoon and evening shows, two performances were held on each day. All the seats were sold out! The venue was filled with fans who felt nostalgic for the old days when “Nanno” (Yoko Minamino) was performing as idol.

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On February 20th and 21st, with 2 performances each at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm, “NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY ~Minamino Yoko’s 30th Debut Anniversary Concert~” was held. The 6:30pm performance on the 21st is an additional time slot. 2016年2月20日と21日、それぞれ14時と18時半開演の2公演ずつ開催された「NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY~南野陽子デビュー30周年記念コンサート~」。21日の18時半の公演が追加公演だ ©️HIRO SATO

The 30th anniversary concert was actually a comeback for “Nanno” from her 24-year hiatus that began in 1992. Surely, there have been a lot of fans waiting for this. Even so, filling all the seats at Shinagawa Stellar Ball (800 seats) for all four shows is a big deal for idols. On top of that, she is solo idol. Even for many of the younger idols active today, organizing that many fans together is no easy task.

Her fans had such high expectations for this concert, the biggest reason of all was because it is no one else but Yoko Minamino’s concert. Her fans believe that if it’s Yoko Minamino, then she will definitely give a performance that her fans will surely love. Such a sentiment that endures for 25 years is truly amazing.

Living up to those promises, concerts that exceeded the fan’s expectations were held at Shinagawa Stellar Ball.

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Decorating the entrance of Shinagawa Stellar Ball was a “NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY ~Minamino Yoko’s 30th Debut Anniversary Concert~” poster. On the bottom right of it were messages written on postcards, and many fans were taking pictures of it. 品川ステラボール入り口に飾られた、「NANNNO 30th ANNIVERSARY~南野陽子デビュー30周年記念コンサート~」のポスター。右下のポストカードにはメッセージが添えられており、この前で記念撮影するファンの姿が多数見られた

“Nanno” was a unique idol compared to others, as she was known to be very close to her fans at that time. To put it simply, she understands their feelings. As she was one of the top idols, she did not have handshake events or any events where she could have met fans in person but, through her radio shows and interviews, she became known for being very honest about her private life. She thinks of her fans so much that she makes sure to keep them in mind when coming up with concepts. In this 30th anniversary concert, the deep understanding of her fans’ feelings was felt strongly.

To begin with, several important goods were displayed at the entrance lobby. Posters of products she endorsed in the past, or magazines she first appeared in, and other nostalgic goods were available for viewing and picture taking. Making one’s way from the entrance towards the hall, the sensation of traveling back in time grow even stronger. It is especially important to note that these goods belong to “Nanno” herself. She is well known for keeping her own goods, and the fact that she chooses to bring them out for her memorial concert is something very Nanno-like for her to do.

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This is the corridor from the lobby of Shinagawa Stellar Ball leading to the hall. There are posters decorating both sides, all possible for viewing and picture-taking. 品川ステラボールのエントランスロビーから会場へ向かう通路。その両脇にポスターが飾られており、自由に閲覧・写真撮影が可能だった

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Various posters. These are her posters from her singles. The front poster is her debut song, “Hazukashi Sugite”. 飾られているポスターたち。こちらはシングル曲のポスター。いちばん手前は、デビュー曲『恥ずかしすぎて』のもの

As one may see from the goods, especially with the posters, this is how amazing the popularity of a top idol in 80’s & 90’s was. Not only has she been the face for various products, she even starred in many movies. Solo, at that. Whether it would be somewhere in the city, on television, or in magazines, it is not an exaggeration to say that you saw “Nanno” everyday. It’s like the famous actresses you see now, they’re actresses but actually hold the title of being an idol.

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She has been on posters for various products, dramas, and movies as image character. At that time, even the theme songs used for commercials, dramas and movies were all by Nanno. イメージタレントとして活動していた商品のポスターや、ドラマ、映画のポスターなども飾られていた。当時はこうした商品のCM内の楽曲、ドラマ、映画の主題歌など、すべてナンノの曲が使われていた

Going back to the concert, above all else, the performance is short of amazing. “Sukeban Deka 2, Shojo Tekkamen Densetsu”, was the TV drama that has showered “Nanno” with a lot of attention. The iron mask breaking and revealing her face in a close-up is a famous scene from the drama. For the opening of the concert, the said scene is shown on the curtain in front of the stage. Just as the fans began to feel a wave of nostalgia, just as her face gets a close up, the screen goes down, “Nanno” appearing on the stage and singing the TV drama’s insert song, “Sayonara no Memai”.

Along with the time travel at the entrance, it felt as if the 25 years of her hiatus had passed in an instant.

The first thing that came to my mind when “Nanno” appeared was, “It’s ‘Nanno’!” Moving, dancing, singing, to witness such a thing in person feels like such a dream. This feeling that existed way back in the 80’s and 90’s was revived, and it was awesome enough to stop time. It felt as if the concert 25 years ago was starting. It was, indeed, surreal.

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This is the scene of the stage during the “NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY ~Minamino Yoko’s 30th Debut Anniversary Concert~”. The neon lights at the background and terraced stage give off a feeling of Takarazuka. 「NANNO 30th ANNIVERSARY~南野陽子デビュー30周年記念コンサート~」でのステージの写真。バックのネオンライトと階段状のステージが宝塚を彷彿とさせる。25年前に中野サンプラザで見た姿が、そのままそこにあった ©️HIRO SATO

The setlist consisted mainly of songs from her singles, with most of them being shortened versions. It felt as if she wanted to get through as many songs as she could given the short period of time she had to work with. During the costume changes, songs used in her commercials were played, keeping the audience conscious of how things were 25 years ago.

Aside from that, the performance of the live band accompanying her live vocals, the overwhelming costume changes that focused on the dress, the flamboyant stage and lights, the aura of concerts held years ago were transported into the present. “Yes, yes, that’s ‘Nanno’ to us!”, was probably what majority of the fans felt. The feelings they had from the concert 25 years ago remained unchanged and remained strong even during her 30th anniversary concert.

At any rate, I feel that it was a concert that was completely planned with the enjoyment of the fans in mind. To put it another way, it is precisely because the fans anticipated such a thing that they gathered together, even after 25 years had passed.

It is amazing that such relationship of trust with the fans had never been lost. It’s not surprising that the foundation of such relationship is destined to overcome 25 years.

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The booklet that comes with a diary sold at the venue was likely to have been prepared to make the fans happy. Also, a collection of thumbnails from her concerts and CD jackets, as well as unpublished images, fan call lyric sheets, as well as the setlist, everything made this concert full of things to look forward to. コンサートグッズとして販売されていた『ダイアリー付きパンフレット』は、特にファンをよろこばせるために用意された商品だろう。これまでのポスターやジャケット写真のサムネール、それら写真たちのアザーカット、当時の親衛隊のコール用紙、今回のコンサートのセットリストなど、見どころ満載な内容となっている。

Current idols, compared to those from the 80’s and 90’s, are known for their closeness with the fans. However, it doesn’t directly mean that they can establish such relationship of trust because of the closeness.

“This person will surely make a concert worth enjoying”, “These people will surely come to the concert and have fun even after 25 years”, do such mutual feelings between the idol and the fans exist? If it does, just how much?

It’s been said before, but establishing such relationship is difficult.

Top Idols that pursued solo careers in the 80’s and 90’s are definitely not just for show.Through this concert, I realized that it is important for idols to make sure their fans enjoy themselves; which is something that has not changed since then.

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Anyone who purchased more than 6,000 yen worth of goods received special presents; and one of them was a keychain which was sold during her concert in 1990. One would probably think, “These are surely just unnecessary!”, but receiving such nostalgic goods from way back then made me very happy. I plan to treasure this along with the telephone card I got from her concert in 1988. コンサートグッズを6000円以上購入すると特別プレゼントがもらえたのだが、それが’90年サマーコンサートでのグッズのキーホルダー。明らかに在庫だろ! と思ったが、当時のグッズがもらえるというのは懐かしくもありうれしかったので、’88年サマーコンサートで手に入れたテレホンカードと一緒に保管しておこうと思う

Featured song: Sayonara no Memai – Minamino Yoko

Related link
Yoko Minamino profile page on Sony Music site : http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/artist/YokoMinamino/

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Author
Toshiro Arai
Toshiro Arai

A producer of website "TOKYO IDOL NET", which "photography" and "idol" is its concept. He also writes for Tokyo Idol Project, and so on.

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