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Image: Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education
entertainment

Tokyo police create public service warning about kids obsessing over their favorite male idols

17 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

A lot of the youth-oriented public awareness posters and fliers made by the police in Japan deal with the same topics that concern parents in other countries. Always check for traffic before crossing the street. Say no to drugs. Be cautious of suspicious strangers. Things like that.

But there’s also a public service announcement from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Juvenile Development Division that addresses a very Japanese issue: warning kids and parents about the danger of youths becoming obsessed with and exploited by idols.

Screen-Shot-2022-10-30-at-11.37.46.png

“Is your oshikatsu safe?” asks the flier/poster, referring to activities related to having an oshi, or favorite idol. Specifically, the warning is about menchika, itself a shortened version of “men’s chika idol” or “underground male idol,” male idol singers who exist in the gray area between professional and amateur musician status.

As they haven’t yet achieved mainstream fame, admission to underground idols’ concerts tends to be inexpensive, or even free. There’s also a higher degree of direct interaction between performers and fans, due to the smaller scale of the events, which can create the feeling of a more meaningful bond between a fan and their oshi. 

However, the flier warns that this combination of factors can lead to trouble for young fans, since it’s common for underground idols to offer things like a chance to take photos together for a fee, and, according to the flier, even agree to going on a date with the fan for the right price.

Screen-Shot-2022-10-30-at-11.39.06.png

The sequence of events pictured above starts with:

● Menchika concert

Fan: “Wow! Free concert!”

Idol: “You can take a Polaroid photo with me for 1,000 yen. How about it?”

Fan: “Yeah! I want to take a lot of pictures with you, so I brought 10,000 yen.”

● Kind words from the oshi

Idol: “A-ko, you’re really cute! I want to see you again.”

Fan: “I want to take more photos with him! I want to go on a date! But I don’t have enough money…”

Up until this point, you could apply pretty much all of this scenario just as easily to boys who become infatuated with a female underground idol. The next part of the flow chart, though, highlights something that’s societally seen as a bigger threat to girls than boys, the temptation to turn to enjo kosai (“compensated dating”) or papakatsu (finding a sugar daddy) in order to get the money, so that they can then give to their favorite idol.

● Papakatsu, enjo kosai, and stealing money from home

Fan: “Now I’ve got lots of money to spend! I can see my oshi!!”

● Trouble escalates

Papa katsu

Neglecting schoolwork

Of course, there are also plenty of ways to spend money on oshikatsu for famous idols too. However, with a major, mainstream unit, there are usually a few more layers of separation between fans and performers. With underground idols, not only is the interaction more direct, the perception by fans that their favorite is just on the cusp of making it big, and really needs that individual fan’s financial support specifically.

Those factors can combine for a uniquely compelling argument that the young fan should be giving their oshi as much money as they can, so it’s probably a good idea for parents to be aware of the potential scenario and make sure their kids’ oshikatsu is OK.

Source: Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education via Hachima Kiko

Images: Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Support your faves and avoid oshikatsu burnout — advice from our resident otaku

-- Oshi kamidana – Literal altars you can build to enshrine your favorite anime character or idol

-- Some important Christmas shopping advice for parents of otaku and fujoshi kids

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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like a chance to take photos together for a fee, and, according to the flier, even agree to going on a date with the fan for the right price.

Just like common scheme that being done by any other idol, trying to make money in any way they could from their fans, merchandise, pictures, CDs and many others.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yes. This is dangerous. Happen to me. I was in love with Marsha of the Brady Bunch. I travelled all over America and Canada to see her. Took many pictures with her. Neglected my school work, dropped out of university, homeless. No money. A common story worldwide.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Maybe they should be warning idols of creepy middle-aged guys who obsess over them instead.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

quote: Maybe they should be warning idols of creepy middle-aged guys who obsess over them instead.

Don't worry. As a non-creepy middle-aged guy I can assure you we keep a watch out for the creepy ones, and chase them away.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Speed: "Maybe they should be warning idols of creepy middle-aged guys who obsess over them instead."

But you see, that is already common knowledge. The key here is to try and stop the creepiness from starting at a young age and the kids developing into total creeps. Keeping the middle-aged creeps away (and plenty of women, too -- just ask Fukuyama or Kimtaku how fans reacted when they got married) requires companies to stop exploiting the artists and forcing them to do signings and what not with minimal security, and that's a much tougher sell.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Yes, there’s really a strong bond and attraction between young people and their idols. When we were young we pushed a whole state away into history books (East Germany), just to buy records, fan goods and to see live concerts, abroad in countries that were prohibited to visit as well as music concerts held later in our freed cities, of groups like Depeche Mode or The Cure etc. Of course that has never been officially considered a reason of the reunification of Germany, but I tell you, it was quite an important and decisive one among the other more political and renowned reasons, especially within almost the whole young generation.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have never personally seen this.

My son is an actor on a weekly TV show and in multiple theatre productions.

My daughter works in AI computer science but on the side is a fairly successful graphic manga/novel under a pen name ( overly freaky stuff in my opinion).

Despite both using either a stage name or pen name obsessed fans have figured out that they may be living at home and who I am (their father).

I have a business open to the public the entrance leads to both the store/workshop and the house.

I regularly get "fans" coming to the store looking for one of my children ( note now both mid 20s ) and have even caught a few trying to sneak into the house section of our place to look for one of them.

I have even had to call the police to remove a few fans.

The young girls looking for my son are rarely a problem.

It is the Obasans in both cases that are the most obsessed.

Older women either obsessed with my 20 something son or obsessed with some character in one of my daughter's creations.

It is a little creepy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yes. This is dangerous. Happen to me. I was in love with Marsha of the Brady Bunch. I travelled all over America and Canada to see her. Took many pictures with her. Neglected my school work, dropped out of university, homeless. No money. A common story worldwide.

LOOOOL !!!..

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The crush in Seoul seems to have happened in part because people trying to get to a place to see a local celeb.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

All I see is that the Tokyo Police have too much time on their hands. Instead of wasting time on useless and needless projects like this poster, why not do everyone a public service and apprehend all the train gropers, child abusers, sexual predators, and family murder-suicide individuals etc. that keep making headlines in Japan? While they're at it, maybe create posters that and PSAs that stop the sexualization of young girls in school uniforms.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

I felt after returning to Japan after living abroad most my life, Japanese people are much less mature than in other nations.

Everything gets done for most kidz, society also babies them, little freedoms, list goes on.

Falling in love with celebrities is also a problem with the 40-50 year old group. How the kidz gunna learn when the Dads reading cartoons and the Mom’s obsessing over BTS

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I have a 22 year old son who is a WELL known actor here in the states and he has no life. No matter where he goes he is followed, if it is not TMZ, its the tabloids. When they found out where his parents lived they started parking in front of the house, then coming into the yard. Its crazy we get followed can't go out and have a descent meal without someone coming to the table asking for an autograph and then when they get an autograph they follow the car so we just go directly to the police station where we leave my son and he usually get a ride in an under cover cop car. It still doesn't solve the problem because they know where we live.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes. This is dangerous. Happen to me. I was in love with Marsha of the Brady Bunch. I travelled all over America and Canada to see her. Took many pictures with her. Neglected my school work, dropped out of university, homeless. No money. A common story worldwide.

No love for Jan?

”Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!!! I’m tired of being in Marsha’s shadow all the time!”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OMG = O My God...! This could lead to prostitution & all varieties of crimes. OMG...!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The answer is simple. Put an age restriction on who can attend these concerts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kids obsessing over their favorite male idols

what? Lol what kids?

Who’s paying any money to go underground and take pics with random pretty boys?

Idol: “You can take a Polaroid photo with me for 1,000 yen. How about it?”

Fan: “Yeah! I want to take a lot of pictures with you, so I brought 10,000 yen.”

who says this?

do these said kids have jobs? What kid has 10,000 yen to blow on taking Polaroids?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Of course, buying twenty copies of the same AKB CD so you can vote twenty times in their "election" is not exploitation. Not when its kerching for corporate Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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