Secrets About the Japanese Idol Industry
An ex-idol dishes it all.
It’s all Kayfabe
While I worked and lived as an idol in Japan I soon discovered that solo acts were a considerable risk for companies. I realized I’d have to join a group if I wanted to make it big. When I jumped from dingy solo shows in Akihabara to working with well-produced groups I had a huge shock–most of it was fake. The idols performed with vocal backing. Many groups hire professional television writers to write about on-screen interactions between the idols. Like professional wrestling, much of the Japanese idol industry is a fantasy for viewers. That’s what makes it entertaining.
She probably has a boyfriend
Plenty of idols I met, typically the ones that were self-produced, had no problem talking about their boyfriends backstage. While I was in my group a few of the girls worked as hostesses and many had boyfriends currently(or in the past). The management companies don’t care unless she’s “messy” about it or is dating a fan, which will become messy. The fact that many fans cannot grapple with this is mind-blowing.
She might hate Otaku.
A lot of girls become idols because it’s seen as a quick, streamlined way to fame. As I said previously, many talent agencies don’t want to waste their money or time on a soloist (singer, dancer, actress) who may not become that famous. Yet during the idol boom of the 2010s it wasn’t that hard for an average-looking girl to head to Tokyo or Osaka and find a group to join. With that said, I meant quite a few idols who saw it as a stepping stone to greater fame rather than a genuine interest in being an idol. One of my groupmates would regularly talk backstage about “Gross Idol fans” yet wonder why she didn’t do that well…
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