Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More on being an idol fan/wota...

I originally wrote this in response to a comment by Yonasu on this post, quoted in its entirety here:

"Honestly I couldn't care less about the agencies behind the idols. I like certain idols of H!P, and I like certain idols in AKB, they live together in harmony in my world. But my favorites are from H!P and that will never change since they've had many years to grow on me.

My all time favorite is Eri Kamei, and whatever happens to H!P she will always remain my favorite^^ And my favorite from AKB is Atsuko Maeda (although she might not even make the top 10 of my overall idol faves). I consider myself an Eri wota, I guess, but really I don't need a title, I just care about loving whoever I love :) People are free to hate on me and the idols I love, I really couldn't care less about that either, haha.

In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense.

Peace out."

However, my comment ended up REALLY long (I basically ended up rewriting/updating the original entry Yonasu was responding to) and there were some things I said that I felt warranted another post, so here it is. I was responding specifically to one paragraph in his comment.

"In the end, this discussion is really the same stupid thing as arguing about Windows and OS X. Just use and love whatever you love, why should you care about what someone else likes? It doesn't make any sense."
In the example of Mac vs Windows, I agree completely. It's just an OS...find what you like and use that, screw what everybody else is doing. In fact, the "OS wars" is one of my least favorite things to talk about...ditto for the video game "console wars".

However, with idols, we're not dealing with something so trivial. The difference between idols and just about every other hobby out there is that there is a relationship with living, breathing people here. Supporting your favorite idol is not the same as supporting your favorite video game company or band or OS developer or whatever because supporting those things does not explicitly express love for another human being. For me it is not just entertainment...I am truly invested in my idol, as much as I would be invested in someone I know in real life, if not even more so. I suppose for most gaijin idol fans it's difficult to take it that seriously...after all, most of us never really have the chance to build a "real" relationship with these girls because they obviously live across the world (or, at least, in a different country :P). If everyone could have the opportunity to go to FC events and talk to the girls one on one, shake their hands, etc on a regular basis I get the feeling things might be different.

But here I am, living in America, and I still take my relationship with my idol as seriously as I would were I able to interact with her regularly. I want to be the best fan I possibly can for her sake.

Going back to what you asked, I care about what other idol fans like because I want them to be the best possible fans for these girls as well. Honestly I don't particularly like being the person pointing his finger at everyone, but it aggravates me when I see the approach many Western fans have. These girls deserve more devotion than that.

And that's not to say that Western idol fans are not passionate. Many of the people I've met really do love these girls a lot. However, as I said earlier I feel that the relationship between a wota and his/her idol is very real...and I don't feel it's appropriate or respectful to have relationships with more than one person at a time.

I don't mean that you can't like more than one idol...I like all the members of Morning Musume - some of them a lot - for different reasons. But Aichan is the only one I love, and the one I consider to be MY idol. I have only a casual interest in the others. Personally I think that's how it should be if someone wants to call him/herself a wota. Actually, I feel that this kind of dedication may very well be what separates a fan from a wota, which is why I get so agitated by casual use of the term 'wota' - it's not a word to be taken lightly...

Of course, I can't reasonably expect everyone to take this approach. I've come to realize that there's nothing wrong with being a more casual fan (and I don't mean that everyone who isn't a hardcore wota is "just a casual fan"...as I said earlier, there are certainly non-wota idol fans who love these girls a lot - they are just comparatively more casual fans). Some people are simply not willing or able to have this kind of dedication, and to an extent I can't blame them...it's really hard. Sometimes, honestly, it sucks. But the good times are so incredibly rewarding, and I feel that I am capable of doing so much more for my idol, when I take this approach. As I said, I want the best fans possible for these girls and through my experiences I've come to believe that singular dedication fosters that kind of fan. I may not be able to convince everyone to join me, and I may even make some enemies along the way (I have already, actually x.x)...but I feel that this is a cause worth fighting for and I hope that I can inspire others to join me.
- cfb


johpan said...

(1/2) First and foremost, I totally see your side of the argument, cfb. I honestly do. It's just that, even with idols, all of these hobbies are the same no matter what kind of spin you want to put on it: all of it is MEANT to be for entertainment. The idol biz is a business, just like the gaming industry, just like the computer/tech industry. No matter how far you want to push it, no matter how much "love" you want to invest in this, the idol-side of the relationship will only return what it gives everyone else. You kinda have to make up your own experience as you go along since you're not really getting anything no one else isn't. I mean, if you're comfortable with being in a relationship where your "girlfriend" treats you the same way she treats everyone...

You say that "most of us never really have the chance to build a "real" relationship with these girls because they obviously live across the world" and that things might be different if you went to more events. More like none of us really have the chance to build a "real" relationship with any of these girls. Maybe other girls have a chance since there's nothing in the contract that says they can't have female friends, but the second they're seen in public with a guy and there's a picture, things get iffy.

You say that fanboy wars are not comparable to idol worship and that there are living, breathing people only at the end of idol worship. In the case of video games, there are also living, breathing people behind that too: the game developers. You can contact the development studios more directly than you can idols and have more of an effect on patches or future games than you ever could with an idol. Also, with game devs, you might actually get an email in return. Think Valve and Gabe Newell: Gabe is the founder of Valve software and he encourages you to e-mail him on your impressions of their games (his address he distributes vocally in all of their games' developer's commentary and through this contact page)

johpan said...

(2/2) Personally, I wouldn't play the geography card on the whole "devotion" part of the argument. There are Japanese fans who aren't wota. Also, just look at the "devotion" the average teenage girl has over the Twilight fandom. Westerners are capable of "devotion". Also, you throw "love" around in your post like no tomorrow. I've always considered love to be a 2-way street. Idol worship is the furthest thing from it.

Sure, put me under the gaijin idol fan but understanding the psychology behind this doesn't take a native Japanese person or even a psychologist.

So yeah, I can't reasonably expect anyone to take your approach. Though there's nothing wrong with being in a one-sided relationship, it's just a bit excessive for something that's just supposed to be taken as entertainment. I know you see it as more, but there really isn't anything more than that. There isn't anything wrong with being your definition of a "wota" but it's just unnecessary. It's not that the rest of the fandom isn't willing to be "wota", it's just we kinda have lives to live and real people and relationships we want to experience and live within and not just experience with a group of guys getting the same thing. To be a good fan requires 2 things: 1) buy their stuff. 2) have common decency towards them. I don't see the balance of payoff between sacrificing your social life to these "incredibly rewarding good times". There is nothing you can experience with Aichan that a stadium full of people and any fan with a decent internet connection hasn't experienced. You won't be able to convince many people to be a wota the same way you are. You haven't made an enemy out of me but I'll just kinda feel bad for the day you wake up and say "what the fuck have I done with my life".

Maria Catalina said...

Well, I'm not an enemy either, I hate flame wars ^^:: but I'm an AKB fan, and I just wanted to ask, do you dislike AKB so much that you think that these girls aren't, like you stated, "living, breathing human beings"? Don't they deserve to have their fans too?
And if so, why is it that if a fan finds a girl he likes more than the one he previously liked he can't switch? Idols are surrogate girlfriends, but these are our lives and we should be able to decide at least that much, I'd say

I've met my favorite AKB girl, I talked to her one on one for at least 10 minutes, she shook my hand, she called me by my name, she took a picture with me, she wrote a special message in english for me. Still, regardless of all of this and how much I admire her as a person, if a time comes when I'm no longer interested in her work, I'll just go my own way. And I'm sure that it's a 2 way thing, see. How many of the idols we like haven't done the same to us?

Not to bring another heated argument to your blog XD but how about the girls who quit, and decide they don't want to be idols anymore. What to do then?

I think it's great to be passionate about anything you like, but I also think that you have to look at things in perspective. I'm sure the girls love all of their fans, because they wouldn't be able to do what they love which is performing, if we didn't support them, but don't put such a big burden upon yourself, you know. Things are what they are, and this is the entertainment business after all...

CatchFiveBats said...

I see your side of the argument as well. You make a lot of good points. Actually, I can see how someone could take either side of this debate depending on how much they're willing to invest and, frankly, how "ronery" of a person they are lol. A lot of this depends on how much social interaction you need to be happy - I'm a very introverted person, the interaction I get at work/school and with the people I talk to online is enough for me.* Since I'm such an introverted person a one-sided relationship is honestly plenty. Say what you will about the lack of returned feelings or love having to be a 2-way street, but for a person like me those don't really apply. I don't want someone to be in love with - just someone to love. At this point it could become a debate of how you even define love in the first place, but let's not get into that :P

The reason I put "real" in quotations, as mentioned in your second paragraph, is because I meant "real" in the sense of the relationship between an idol and wota. And I'll admit that the "geography card", as you called it, is a pretty weak argument. Still, I think regular exposure to your idol - showing your support for her at concerts, talking to her and shaking her hand at handshake events, seeing her perform in person in plays/musicals, etc - develops a different kind of bond between idol and wota that gaijin fans obviously don't normally get...so that's what I meant there. For example AX obviously affected me greatly, I wouldn't be making this argument were it not for MM's appearance there...and I didn't even make it to one of the handshake autograph sessions. I suppose it goes back to what kind of person you are and how much you're willing to invest, but the impact AX had on me certainly says something.

For me personally, buying MM/Aichan merch and buying a video game are COMPLETELY different experiences. As I said in the entry, supporting Aichan - buying her merch, saving up to go to Japan, writing a letter to her radio show - is an explicit expression of my love for her. Buying video games is just that...buying video games. And I'm a manager at a video game store, as you're aware, so it's not like that's something I don't care about. I may admire the game developers and really enjoy their work, but I don't know of anyone who buys a video game thinking about how their purchase supports someone they love. You could get really weird with this and try to say that someone may love a game developer and is buying their games to show that, but you'd have a hard time making the argument that that is the purpose of video games. In my opinion, it's a much shorter leap to say idols exist for more than just entertainment than with almost any other hobby...just look at the level of dedication many wota have and I think it's easy to see that.

At this point the argument I'm making is that idol fandom is certainly one of the easiest - if not THE easiest - hobbies to become this invested in...and it aggravates me to see people who can be so detached in their idol fandom as to think that it doesn't matter how many idols or idol groups or idol companies they support. These girls dedicate themselves wholly to their fans and I think it's unfair to allow ourselves to support whichever idols we want when those idols are essentially handing their lives over for our entertainment. Personally I'm inspired to find an idol who I love and dedicate myself to her in the same way. That is just how passionate I am about this...although I'm sure I don't need to tell anybody that anymore :P

*Not to say I have no irl friends haha - I've run around with the same close-knit group of 10 or so guys since halfway through high school - but almost all of them are at college a good hour away while I live at home and commute to school, so I don't see them too much.

CatchFiveBats said...

@Johpan (cont'd)
I'm not gonna lie, the last paragraph hit me pretty hard. Still...call my approach excessive or unnecessary or whatever, believe me it's not something I've never heard or don't consider at times. But I've made a commitment to Aichan and I'm keeping it, period.

And on that note, I've pondered the fact that someday I may reach a point where I wonder "what the fuck have I done with my life", so it's not something I'm unaware of. I even feel that to an extent with Miki. All I can say is don't feel bad for me...I've chosen this path for myself and I'm fully aware of the risks. Not much more to say than that honestly.

CatchFiveBats said...

@Maria Catalina
My opinion on AKB has changed drastically over the last few months. There's a reason I never explicitly mentioned AKB or H!P in this entry...I'm trying to prevent bringing that conflict into this, it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouths and distracts from what I'm really trying to say. In short, yes I do feel that AKB idols deserve to have loving fans. Personally I can't stand AKB, obviously, but when you get right down to it that's no reason to deny the girls of anything. They're people too. And I hold AKB fans to the same standard as any other idol fan, an AKB "wota" who's into H!P is no different from an H!P "wota" who's into AKB in my book. It's the same lack of commitment. You could even break that down within companies...a MM "wota" who's into Berryz Koubou could potentially be considered the same. But even I think that's too much to ask of people.

See my first comment in response to Johpan for a further explanation as to why I feel it's unfair to allow ourselves to switch idols. In response to "these are our lives and we should be able to decide at least that much"...the idols have lives too, and they don't have the choice to "switch". If we're going to truly support them then why should we?

"How many of the idols we like haven't done the same to us?"
I don't want to be harsh, but that's the fault of poor choice on the part of idol fans...and I'm just as guilty. I was into Miki for over a year before AX...she got married during my time as a fan of hers. Obviously that wasn't exactly a piece of cake for me haha...so I had no choice but to move on. It wasn't easy, but that's what had to be done (although she wasn't even an idol anymore when I got into her...clearly I was new to this whole thing at the time ^^;). Which is why I think if you're going to commit yourself to an idol, you should choose carefully. I don't want anyone to just totally commit themselves to the first idol they like. As I said in my first entry on this there's a time span where you're finding out about idols and etc etc. Some people may never want to commit like I have, but when they do it had better be an idol they trust not to hurt them...or they had better be prepared for that possibility (preferably both, honestly). That's one of the reasons I've chosen Aichan, she is clearly very committed to her position as an idol and I have faith in her.

"how about the girls who quit, and decide they don't want to be idols anymore. What to do then?"
From my other post:
"In my opinion, the only point where an idol doesn't truly need her fans is when she has completely left the idol industry and started on a new path in her life. At that point, it is up to the individual to decide if their (now former) idols still need that kind of support."

And similar to what I said in my second response to Johpan's comments, there's no need for concern about me burdening myself. This is what I've chosen, this is where I want to be. As I said in a previous post, my idol is worth it.

Maria Catalina said...

It's ok, it's a matter of personal choice. It's very hard for me to wrap my mind around this idea, but I respect it, of course, and the girls themselves love to have a dedicated person being their fan.

I just... well... wonder about the theoretical aspect of things, more than the practical one, since I know that probably going out to a park and eating an ice cream is more "productive" than watching an idol DVD, this is what we like, so we are happy as long as we can do it.

But in the theoretical aspect of things, idolizing someone to that extent seems admirable, albeit impossible to accomplish for me XD Maybe it's because I'm a girl, and Im straight, so I'm not infatuated with my idol or anything like that, and the surrogate girlfriend concept doesn't apply to me either. I'm very much entertained by the idea of idols, but what really drew me to like them was their music. Easy lyrics that I could relate to, sung in an easy way to sing along too XD I really like singing, but I'm no Pavarotti, so I adored the idea right from the start.

I'm just rambling here, but my point is that I think it depends on how you view the whole idol fandom thing that you can commit on a different level or not. And well, IMO, at least, knowing that my idol will never really know who I am it's a bit too much, it definitely hinders me from being completely devoted.

But then again, I completely understand your POV and I respect it too. I like aving coherent discussions with other idol fans ^^

CatchFiveBats said...

@Maria Catalina
Yeah, this kind of approach is honestly limited to guys (or, at the very least, people who are romantically attracted to girls lol). I wish it wasn't that way because that makes me look like kind of a single-minded jerk when I'm talking about all this...but the 'surrogate girlfriend' (which is a term I'd never heard before but actually like quite a bit - thanks!) thing is a huge, huge part of my approach obviously...so naturally most of what I say will apply only to guys. Still, I write these entries so other people can at least understand my approach. If I can accomplish that I'll feel it was worth writing all this.

"And well, IMO, at least, knowing that my idol will never really know who I am it's a bit too much, it definitely hinders me from being completely devoted."
But you did you say you talked to your favorite for 10 minutes and etc etc? I'm guessing you mean that they won't REALLY get to know you, which I can understand...but what you got is more than I likely ever will. Still, it's not about me...I'm happy just supporting my idol and getting to know her better. I'll be fully satisfied if, someday, she just knows that I exist (which will hopefully be soon-ish, I'm planning to attend a MM FC bus tour if/when Aichan is on one~).

Regardless, thanks for your comments! Nice to have civilized discussion with an AKB fan for once :P

Maria Catalina said...

XD I'm Cat from Aitakatta, BTW. I'm actually quite tired of the idol wars themselves, we all should be able to like what we like, after all, we're all into the same kind of thing in the end of the day.

And yeah, even though I met Yuko, talked to her, gave her presents, a letter etc, I don't know if she knows who I am XD and I don't blame her either, she meets an insane amount of people everyday so its not her fault anyway. I'm ok with her not knowing who I am, because I still admire her a lot and she's the kind of person I'd like to be and all that, but its definitely a different story for guys or girls who are attracted to girls, and I like to think about that sometimes because it gives a different perspective to why we like something and all that.

johpan said...

I'm sorry that my last line hit you hard. I'll admit that my comment was meant to be an attack on you and your chosen lifestyle but after reading your reply, I can't help but feel just a bit bad.

Here's the thing: We both understand each other's point of view. As much as I attacked, I really do understand how someone can feel the way you do since I have felt similarly about other things in my life.

I think the only difference is that I've learned that I need something in return to be able to give that much of myself for someone. Shit happens, we learn and adapt from it. That's what happened to me anyway and I chose to follow a more balanced approach to my love life. While I was bashing on your approach, I can, at the very least, see that it works for you for the time being and I can't really hate on that.

Another difference is that I didn't start anything with trying to prove that my way is better than anyone else's.

As much as you cringe at people "misusing" the term "wota", it's gonna happen whether you like it or not similarly to how the majority of people with computers don't even know how to use it and I cringe at those people. Ah well. Just as long as I don't have to fix their errors.

Three more points I just wanted to nitpick at from your response...

"In my opinion, it's a much shorter leap to say idols exist for more than just entertainment than with almost any other hobby..."

I agree in that it'd be a shorter leap except that there's no obligation to make the jump in the first place. I guess those who take that leap (of thinking that idols do more than entertain) can use the term "wota" but the whole naming / domain purchasing of intlwota.com was out of our hands so we can ignore that.

"idol fandom is certainly one of the easiest - if not THE easiest - hobbies to become this invested in..."

Has anyone died due to over-wotaing yet? Maybe some have committed suicide after their idol was confirmed to be in a scandal or something but we can ignore those since those cases tend to involve people that are mentally unstable to begin with. I'm just going to say that MMOs have led people to extreme malnourishment and child neglect, in both cases, causing death. That's what I call investment.

"These girls dedicate themselves wholly to their fans and I think it's unfair to allow ourselves to support whichever idols we want when those idols are essentially handing their lives over for our entertainment."

That's really the glass half full approach to looking at it. A lot of idols actually just use the biz as a launch pad for bigger and better opportunities: acting, modeling, Avex (lol). Ai said that it's her dream to join that all-female acting/singing troupe. Once she joins that, she'll no longer be an idol. What then?

I'm not saying that all idols are shallow or just use idoling as a side thing that was a better option than school (not saying idols aren't educated, just saying that enough of them have been know to quit school once they've got signed and just do the manditory education for their contract, etc) and just waiting for bigger things to come around.

If you want to talk about a girl who's dedicating her life to being an idol, look up Sato Amina. I don't want to give you a history lesson on her but if I were to be a wota for a girl, it'd be her.

wendychi said...

lol hi CFB. I'm sure you're raaaaage at me for ditching Hello!Project. I WANT TO EXPLAIN MYSELF. (Hope you don't mind. :P)

Over the past few months, I've realized something. While I was focused on Hello!Project, I had favourites, but that's all they were. Once I got into AKB48, I found MY IDOL (Watanabe Mayu of Team B). While it's bad that I left my other idols, I didn't have that connection thing going on with them.

So, I now pretty much understand how you feel about Aichan because that's how I feel about Mayuyu. No other idols even compare to her in my mind. I care about her more than practically anybody even though I've never personally met her and I want to see her happy + see her succeed more than almost anything.

I hope you can not hate me for switching groups? I didn't have that dedication for any idol before. Not even Risako. And it's not my fault. I didn't choose Mayu, I just know that she's my idol and that I absolutely love her.

(But something in this post stood out to me more than the rest. "However, as I said earlier I feel that the relationship between a wota and his/her idol is very real...and I don't feel it's appropriate or respectful to have relationships with more than one person at a time." I think that this is... an interesting thing to say. I mean, idols have tons of fans/wota. I understand the connection you have with Aichan, but... do you see what I'm saying? Technically they're cheating on their fans too. XD Also, I personally am dedicated to ONE IDOL more than other idols, but some people aren't. It's not really their fault, though. From what I've seen, when people find their idol, it's more like YOU JUST KNOW rather than you make a decision. Like me before, I couldn't pick an ultimate favourite. [There was Risako, but sometimes I questioned if Airi was more of a favourite.] Lots of people can't do that, either. I can't hold it against them.)

ANYWAYS. I just wanted to maybe give another perspective on people who switch groups. I'm not saying AKB48 is a better group or anything, I'm just saying that my idol happens to be in AKB and so that's where I'm focusing all of my attention now.

P.S. I have a tendency to ramble and not really make a point, so if this is ridiculous, KNOW THAT ATLEAST I TRIED. x_x

CatchFiveBats said...

@Johpan (1/2)
Sorry for the wall of text...

Really, no big deal about your last paragraph...it's better I hear things that may bother me a bit and think about what I'm doing than face no opposition and become stagnant :P I appreciate you sharing your opinion and have enjoyed the exchange, for the most part ^^

"Another difference is that I didn't start anything with trying to prove that my way is better than anyone else's."
Obviously, trying to prove the superiority of my approach has accomplished very little and is coming back to bite me pretty damn hard (although I knew that would happen from the start haha). I can't say that I regret that as it's part of what brought me to where I am, but I definitely see now that I was at fault.

"As much as you cringe at people "misusing" the term "wota", it's gonna happen whether you like it or not..."
At this point I don't really care that much about fighting over the use of the term 'wota' (I still stand by my definition for the most part, but there's more important things to worry about). I'll have to accept that as it is and let it be just a cringe factor rather than get all worked up over it.

"I agree in that it'd be a shorter leap except that there's no obligation to make the jump in the first place."
You're absolutely right, and I've come to realize that. Right now, rather than tell people "THIS IS WHAT MAKES A GOOD FAN" (because, I must admit, I know now that it's not...), I would like to explain my approach and hopefully get people to understand it...plus it always makes me happy to see other singularly devoted wota and it would make me even happier to inspire others to possibly make this choice. But...it is a choice that must be made carefully, by people who are willing and able to stick with it. I realize now that I don't want everyone to do what I'm doing because for a lot of people this approach is, as you said, unnecessary or excessive. But I feel there may be some fans out there who will see my approach and want to find an idol they want to dedicate themselves to. That possibility is why I write so passionately about this (of course, I realize now that what I've written thus far has been completely off...I'm doing what I can to hopefully rework my writing style to be a bit more encouraging/friendly and less accusational orz).

CatchFiveBats said...

@Johpan (2/2)
"Has anyone died due to over-wotaing yet? ... That's what I call investment."
You got me haha, but I still feel that idol fandom stands as one of the easier hobbies to become emotionally invested in ('emotionally' being the key word...).

"A lot of idols actually just use the biz as a launch pad for bigger and better opportunities: acting, modeling, Avex (lol). Ai said that it's her dream to join that all-female acting/singing troupe. Once she joins that, she'll no longer be an idol. What then?"
I've said before that if Aichan made it into Takarazuka I'd be ecstatic for her. Obviously that's a dream of hers and I'd be a crappy wota if I wasn't happy for her if/when that happens (although she's said recently that that's not very likely because she's so short D:). Still, I don't feel that she will have used or abandoned MM or her fans/wota at that point (there are idols who do that, of course...but I do not feel that Aichan would be one of those). In fact, if possible I'd like to try and keep following her career after that...not sure if I could continue to consider myself an Ai wota since she'd no longer be an idol, but I'll figure that out if/when it happens.

Also, I did some research into Sato Amina and I understand the example you were trying to make (and my bad if I'm misinterpreting what you were trying to say). But when I said "handing their lives over for our entertainment" I was talking about the fact that any girl who signs up to be an idol is essentially signing away their social/romantic life until they leave the idol industry. Obviously some may not know what they're in for and it ends badly (Kago being the obvious example lol, although I think there were more things going on there), but there are certain girls who have the drive and passion to stick it out and remain faithful as an idol...and I feel that kind of person deserves the intense devotion I'm always talking about. Personally I think that most of the current members of MM are very passionate about their work and love Morning Musume/H!P enough to remain faithful...at the very least, I can say that about Aichan - that's why I chose her, amongst many other things of course. I didn't mean that an idol's number one dream should be to become an idol and that's her entire life...just that she take her position seriously and really put her everything into her work.

Also, I don't mean to confuse remaining faithful to being an idol...and remaining faithful to the fans/wota. Obviously wota are wota, I can admit that most idols probably don't love them or anything (how could they lol). But the wota support these girls' love for their groups and their willingness to give up a normal life in order to be a part of that. I show support for my idol because she's giving her all for my entertainment and the entertainment of other fans like me...even sacrificing parts of her life that most people take for granted. That's what drives my devotion.

Hopefully that clears things up...

WaiRai said...

Real ehh???

So how do real relationships with idols got to do with being wota..sheesh

grow up. Live the world abit and see the world from different view.

Really, I pity you for being a sucker of entertainment biz.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a response to your opinions on devotion to one idol or anything like that.

You can have your opinion on what a wota 'should' be but you can't just redefine a word as you see fit. I am most definitely a wota, I've been to concerts, done wota-gei. I've written letters, I have calendars, PBs lots of photos etc etc. There is more to list but basically I am both a fan of AKB48 and H!P, I prefer AKB48 currently.

To summerize, your difference between a 'fan' and 'wota' is just plain wrong in the sense of actually defining the words.

HarimaKenji said...

This post is a lot clearer on your position than you could make in those comments, and you know, I don't really disagree with you as long as you're putting it as your own opinion (and you are). The only thing I'd really disagree with here is how you consider idols to ask for a completely different level of devotion from fans, when I think I've seen a lot of game/anime/manga otakus who are just as devoted as any wota out there to their chosen object-of-devotion. But seeing how you are obviously biased for the idol fandom, I don't blame you for thinking those otakus couldn't possibly love their 2D girls as much as you do =P

CatchFiveBats said...

Well, that whole "the devotion wota have to their idols is a whole different level" thing, or whatever point I was trying to make, is something I really don't care too much about proving now lol
I still stand by that (especially in comparison to video games - not game CHARACTERS, but the games themselves - but that's already been beaten to death in these comments), although I think you have a point in saying that's partially based in my bias. I've seen and experienced first-hand the devotion wota have to their idols, and have no personaly experience with 2D devotion...I will say that I still have a lot of respect for guys with 2D waifus though, any waifu-level commitment has my blessing :P

HarimaKenji said...

Have you ever tried/seen/heard about Love Plus? Now that's real danger to Japan's population growth rate. And probably the first example I'd think of to counter the "idols are special" argument, but I also don't really care about that. If I got into every discussion of the kind, it'd be a full time job just to counter all the "X is evil!" people out there, so it's pointless in comparison to get into the "X is better than everything else!" argument =P

CatchFiveBats said...

Oh, I know about Love Plus...and I don't disagree. But again, it's the characters and not the game that people are devoted to. Like I said, 2D waifus I can respect :P

It's the idea that someone can get as attached to a game - as in, the inanimate object, the gameplay and story etc - as one can to an idol that I have a problem with. Same goes for people into collecting a certain movie's memorabilia or who like a certain series of books or whatever..."normal" hobbies, so to speak. There's no person there to love, nothing to give you warm fuzzy feelings when you buy something related to your object of affection. There's no "moe" factor there, to get all 2D about it.
Unless you can fall in love with inanimate objects, but that's a whooole other discussion ww

HarimaKenji said...

Hum... I think there's two different points to be made on the hobbies that involve collecting things. First, some of them really have nothing to do with this; there's a whole different post to be made about people who collect stamps, and I'm not getting into that. But, since you accept that 2D waifus count, how do you draw the line from that to a character in a series of books, or movies, or whatever? In both cases the character doesn't exist, i.e., there's nobody there to receive your support. So, if you consider buying an anime DVD or a dakimakura or whatever a valid way to show love to one's imaginary 2D wife, I don't understand how you would separate that from someone buying books, watching a Twilight movie multiple times or whatever it is that that series has a merchandise, to show support to an equally imaginary adolescent vampire. Or should I say, very old but still looking fresh imaginary vampire XD

Of course the object itself that you're buying is not what's giving you a warm feeling; it's not the gameplay and story, it's not the movie memorabilia, just like I'm imagining it's not the 100s of copies themselves that give a wota pleasure; if all your pleasure was about the songs, or the included DVDs, or any of this stuff, then a few copies would take care of it; as you've said the warm fuzzy feelings come from knowing you're supporting your idol, by buying something related to her. The object you're buying is just a symbol, the means through which you do that.

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