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Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans. If they want boyfriends, they should quit being idols.

39 Comments

A male office worker in his early 20s who loves idols and visits Tokyo’s Akihabara area once a week. agreeing with no-dating contracts that talent agencies have their idols sign. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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39 Comments
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Sorry, fans but this is really sad, sad, sad. These idols are not seen as human beings.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Do the fans also sign "no dating" contracts?

(Or do they simply never date because, uh, they are too busy?)

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans. If they want boyfriends, they should quit being idols.

No. You should realise why you need escapism. And get a life.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It makes them think the girls are pure. I am surprised they do not give them virginity tests before signing.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I understand his feelings, and I'm only British. I felt betrayed when I was only 14 years younger than this guy. I think I was 6 when I learned that Andy Pandy was a boy. I'd always thought Looby Loo was a lesbian. The trauma of learning they were a straight couple was shocking. I've never recovered.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

He sounds like an emotionally stunted manchild.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

While this comment is annoying, remember that this guy will probably be a virgin for the rest of his life unless he pays for it.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Boys bands female fans (and bands' managers) are even more demanding: band members have to stay in the closet and pretend they 'like' women, wow!!! Now that's torture! Like idols, they also have to pretend they know how to sing or even better, play an instrument or write lyrics!

firstworldproblems
8 ( +8 / -0 )

I'll call this the market. If this is the market in Japan, then idols have to comply. We can try to pretend such ideas don't exist, but ignoring market reality is bad for business.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

but ignoring market reality is bad for business.

You hit the nail on the head for Japan Inc... Business first, peoples' lives after... maybe...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans. If they want boyfriends, they should quit being idols

This kind of false logic can only be from Japanese guys. Pathetic!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This quote how utter sick & TWISTED a great many are in Japan WTF!

This is just nuts, these idols should be BANNED so these idiots like the one quoted may just MAY GROW UP!!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sorry, fans but this is really sad, sad, sad.

There's nothing else I could say

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Im sorry but this fan needs to get a life. I mean really, you are dreaming about a girl who would probably throw herself in front a train before agreeing to date you. Have some perspective guy. She does not exist to fulfil your bent fantasy. She is a performer. Get it performer! She is also a human being who should be able to have a life that is not violated by idiotic policies to keep twisted lunatics with unrealistic ideas happy.

Plus it is a violation of her human rights to not be able to live a normal life and still keep her creative career. Japan has got to give this nonsense up. Maybe doing so would result in people making real art and music instead of the insipid crap we have to endure from the industry here.

As for this salaryman. Get help!! You are one step away from being a psychotic stalker. Get off your behind, put on some decent clothing and go meet a real girl. But as long as you are a creepy uberfan you are going to die alone and unhappy.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I've always liked the expression "Live and let live"...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

wanna be a priest, then no sex (not even with yourself), take it or leave it.

only difference here is that your contract is signed in blood

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am surprised they do not give them virginity tests before signing.

No need to test the fans.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans. If they want boyfriends, they should quit being idols.

Your opinion might be different if you were said boyfriend. But since you hang out in Akihabara, collect idol photos, and masturbate to internet porn, none of these idols you fantasize about would ever consider going on a date with you (nor would anyone else). Since no one loves you, you can't stand the thought of someone else being able to fall in love. Sad little grass-eating child, you may be physically considered a male, but you will never be a man. And idols, like most other women, prefer to fall in love with men.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

You know.... these are extremely sensitive young men and just the thought that their dream teen might be slightly tainted with another man's scent.... might sicken them. They want a clean and pure girl to fantasize over.... not a girl with a boyfriend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Does 'falling in love' equal sex in this man's mind? Is it the foul thoughtcrime of falling in love or the unspeakable sexual act? Both?

Surely it's not possible for a man in his early twenties to think love and sex are inseparable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Much Ado About Nothing

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiFEB. 21, 2016 - 10:15AM JST I'll call this the market. If this is the market in Japan, then idols have to comply. We can try to pretend such ideas don't exist, but ignoring market reality is bad for business.

Thank you for this post. It succinctly demonstrates everything wrong with working life in Japan. So one random man on the internet with zero evidence decides what the market is, and therefore the idols have to comply? Why is that the market in Japan? Why isn't that the market anywhere else in the world? Why do idols have to comply? Just because you said so?

You're trying to argue that because a tiny niche of employers in the market found a way to exploit women to make money, those women are just obligated to give up their human rights and comply so that someone can make money off of them. But they are literally the most important source of value in this economy. So why aren't they the most important actor in the system? Why do they have to give up their rights and their freedom to be barely paid anything while some old manager guy gets all the money and all the rights and all the freedom?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, this shows you the level of emotional maturity in operation here. That is a highly idealised, divorced from reality, emotional immaturity you might expect to find in a slightly maladjusted 14 year old.

The thing that sits more uncomfortably for me in all of that is that the girls are so willing to get involved in it. Sure, they themselves are young and inexperienced, but they know what they are signing up for, so it does cut both ways here.

It's a bizarre little symbiotic relationship, that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Well, then, fans like this clown shouldn't be allowed to meet the idols in person because he no doubt considers himself a 'boyfriend' of sorts in his immature mind. The mentally here towards celebrities getting married -- even adults, and I'll never forget how many people cried and felt 'betrayed' when Kimtaku got married, or more recently Fukuyama -- is ridiculous enough, you don't leave slave conditions in the contracts to boot.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@katsu78FEB. 21, 2016 - 01:17PM JST

Thank you for this post. It succinctly demonstrates everything wrong with working life in Japan. So one random man on the internet with zero evidence decides what the market is, and therefore the idols have to comply? Why is that the market in Japan? Why isn't that the market anywhere else in the world? Why do idols have to comply? Just because you said so?

He is a single man speaking his personal opinion, but it is shared by the companies that are running these idol groups under generally the same rules, and making or losing money based on their reading of the rules.

The capitalist market is not a rational thing. A simple example of this would be how having certain words on a watch or bag (brand name) will automatically raise its value 10-fold.

You can try the above justifications and refuse to play by these rules. But you can't force people to hand over money, and so you have to expect to get less and/or work harder. You may have to try and enter the media business as a professional female actress rather than an "idol".

Also, there is a fairly widespread opinion, at least in JapanToday, that the average Japanese idol isn't that talented (I'm not that picky about say singing quality so I can't comment). If we accept this premise, then in a sense they are being overpaid. Something must be justifying this overpayment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

twisted form of reality backed up by corporations

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiFEB. 21, 2016 - 06:41PM JST The capitalist market is not a rational thing. A simple example of this would be how having certain words on a watch or bag (brand name) will automatically raise its value 10-fold.

Let's not waste time with shallow capitalist platitudes. The fact that there is a market for something is not in and of itself an excuse to say it's okay. After all, there is a market for marijuana in Japan, yet that is illegal. There is a market for sexual slavery in Japan, yet that is illegal. There is probably even a very tiny market for murder in Japan, yet that is illegal. Japan is a country of laws where people have human rights. Yet far, far too many Japanese people think they can ignore those laws and those rights in order to squeeze a little more money out of someone. Your arguments here support those people.

Also, there is a fairly widespread opinion, at least in JapanToday, that the average Japanese idol isn't that talented (I'm not that picky about say singing quality so I can't comment). If we accept this premise, then in a sense they are being overpaid.

You cannot make this argument without first knowing what they are paid, and how that pay compares to other people doing similar work. So let's ignore this distraction until you come up with hard data and instead break it down very simply: You are a young aspiring idol. I have a media company. Can you make a career without me? Yes. It's certainly hard, but a savvy entertainer who knows how to use the technology of the 21st century can bypass the media structures of the past. Can I make an idol group without idols? No. So I need you; you don't need me. Under capitalism, I have to make working for me appeal to you in order to get you to create value for me. - Unless, like so often happens in Japan, I game the system. If I collude with all the other media agencies to shut out anyone who doesn't play by our rules, if I try to lobby the government to lock out technologies that threaten my strangle-hold on the industry (as the hotel industry did to AirB&B), I can hold onto my power over people who create value even though the more I restrict access to the market, the less I'm facilitating your creation of value. Eventually, I become nothing more than a parasite, sucking wealth out of the value you create without contributing anything to you other than an intangible and undefinable sense of "access", which only exists in the first place because me and my friends have an unspoken monopoly on the market that keeps people out.

Is it any wonder why the Japanese economy has been stagnant for more than two decades when such impediments to business are permitted by a passive population?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He's basically saying "I can't 'pleasure' myself by fantasizing my idol when the thought of her boyfriend came into mind, can't I ?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

100% agree, just because the market says something is good does not make it moral or right. Child labor is a positive economic imperative for capitalism since it reduces the cost of production and maximises profits. Does that make it right? Of course not.

These girls have human rights that should be protected under the law. No human being should be prevented from having a normal life in order to have a job. Contracts requiring such absurd ideas should be banned.

If the protection of the rights of these girls is supported, and they are not held to idiotic standards, the market will adapt. The panting, sweating fans will have two choices, 1. Have nothing to focus their obsessions on or 2. Get used to the idea of being in love with human girls who have lives.

Anyway, why do we need to pander to the sick needs of people who clearly need mental health care? Get them some help instead.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The logic is that of commodification of human beings/relations. As a matter of fact that's the world we live in and Japan's idol culture represents its extreme epitome.

Another very important point is what we think a job/role is. In the West we tend to conflate our 'true self' with our 'persona' (our role). By doing so we create individuals who, we believe, should stay true to themselves and behave the way they feel, no matter what the context is. However, in most places in the world (and Japan as well), there is a very clear distinction between your role/job and your 'real self'. And people in these cultures think the two should stay separated. In Japan this is expressed by the dichotomy honne/tatemae. In the West if a waiter/waitress is offended by a customer he/she feels personally offended, but in Japan people don't think this way.

So in this perspective, the idol girls should perform her role without complaining. We can think this is wrong, but before judging we should try to understand the roots of other culture's morality.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kasuaki is right. A willing buyer and a willing seller. Does anybody really think that these idols would have anything to sell of not the dream to immature man-children? Does anyone think they would make anything like this kind of money for their singing or dancing "skills?"

These girls have human rights that should be protected under the law. No human being should be prevented from having a normal life in order to have a job.

That's silliness. They are not prevented from having a normal life to have a job. They are prevented from having a normal life to have this particular, highly paid and glamorous job that requires minimal education, skill or talent.

This idol job wouldn't exist if it weren't for these silly fantasies that have to be maintained even during private hours. That's the cost of the job. If they don't like it, they can try singing in clubs to get started like artists do around the world, go to school to learn a trade or start their own business.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans.

That's good, because this man's idols are not falling in love: they're just having wanton sex.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's a given that "men" like the young gent in the quote is a bit of a tosser. He just isn't used to dealing with girls in 3D, so he needs to fuel his fantasy life with delusions of exclusivity.

Having said that, it's a free country. If girls are willing to sign away their social life in the quest for the almighty yen, that's entirely their right. In real life, a surprising number of "idols" are actually quite bright and know exactly what they are doing. They are selling an image to their fans. More power to them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

just grown men living in a boys fantasy world, nearly all will never even date an idol let alone marry/have a relationship with one. time to man up and GTFU... losers

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Falling in love is a betrayal to the fans

The fans don't have a right to say a flipping thing about who Idols can fall in love with. You can't force emotions out of existence, and you can't control love. It would be oh so convenient if we could choose who we fall in love with, but then it wouldn't be love, would it? It'd just be another decision. like choosing what you want to have for lunch.

Fans like this a-hole absolutely disgust me. He's not a fan, he's a dictatorial tyrant. Any true fan would simply be happy for the idol, not make pathetic claims of being betrayed. Idols are humans too, they're not robots, and they're not slaves. Guys like this one would be better suited to living in the Stone Age, duking it out with other heartless and possessive savages. This guy will never even amount to being equal to excrement the way he's going. He certainly doesn't deserve to be called human with that oppressive and possessive attitude.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is Japan.... and no matter how perverted these fans are.... its part of their culture and acceptable. While definitely not the same one might compare American's love of guns as somewhat similar.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This guy will never even amount to being equal to excrement the way he's going. He certainly doesn't deserve to be called human

Wow. That's a bit over the top. For a guy who likes to wallow in his delusion. And a bit defensive for a girl who is making considerable money by cynically feeding his delusion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This guy thinks when he buys dozens of the same CD to get tickets to handshake events he somehow has a relationship with the idols he follows, and an ownership one at that. The management companies encourage this delusion to the detriment of all. It's pretty pathetic. Just because you spend money on merchandise gives you no rights whatsoever in determining how other people live their lives. Idols owe the fans nothing beyond hitting their marks during performances. And that is all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is just normal in Japan, especially in the Idol Otaku world. I myself was an Idol Otaku but the Japanese Otaku are much more extreme than their foreign counterparts. They literally buy dozens (sometimes 100+) copies of the same CD just to have a 5 min talk with their idols. A lot of them are really possessive about their idols and once a scandal about a boyfriend arises, they all go wild like they own the girl. They feel betrayed because they spent TONS of money just to impress their idols even though they know its a one-sided relationship. A lot of them are middle-age men who have no history of interaction with women outside the idol world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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