Waratte Iitomo conducted an experiment where the regular hosts gave a live lesson to 100 gradeschoolers. Rino Sashihara’s class was titled “How to become a member of AKB” for the children who wanted to become idols. She said that there are 3 points to keep in mind if they wanted to join AKB. The first one is “There’s no need to practice singing and dancing”. Sashihara was originally an idol-otaku, but she bluntly says:
“Girls who can’t dance are cuter. They make you want to root for them”.
“Most idol fans these days are old men, right? These old men actually find the girls who can’t do anything cuter, and they’re happier when they tell a girl that ‘You’re totally no good!’. I think people are more attracted to idols who are giving it their all despite being really bad at it”.
And because of this, idol fans are split between their opinions. According to a woman in her 20s who used to be an AKB fan but is now a Momoiro Clover Z fan: “There may be truth in that, but I don’t think an idol herself should be saying that. It’s kinda irritating since it feels like she’s taking advantage of the weakness of her fans”.
A man in his 20s who hates AKB and is a Hello!Pro fan comments: “I actually understand that kind of feeling where you want to support a girl who can’t really do anything properly”.
Erina Ikuta of Morning Musume apparently said something similar to what Sashihara just said, but her fans feel that it’s a part of her character. “If a girl who obviously isn’t putting any effort says this, then you’d feel that she’s just trying put herself in the right. But I think that’s fine as long as you can see her efforts”.
On the Internet:
“Japan’s top idol said such a thing? wwww”
“That’s an insult to Johnny’s, Hello!Pro, and all the other idols.”
“I can’t believe Japan’s #1 group has this sort of a tepid opinion. I hope you’re all finsihed!”
“It’s definitely wrong if there are members who think that they can win as long as they persevere, especially since that group consists of 100s of members.”
“Those who look for singing and dancing talent will just go look for singers and dancers. Idols just need to be moderately good. That’s not what their fans are after anyway.”
After Sashihara’s class came Shingo Katori’s class on “How to become a member of SMAP”. He said, “Practice singing and dancing as if your life depended on it!”, which drew laughter from the studio.