I call my obsessions with genre’s “moods.” The appeal of the idol genre of anime showed itself to me when I was in a mecha mood. I walked into Otakon’s panelist lounge. They had a TV showing the latest anime of that season. I saw a bunch of glowing light and heard singing. It was the most colorful things I saw at the con, and anime conventions are already pretty colorful. I turned to someone and asked what this was.
“Oh. It’s AKB0048.”
“They have an anime?!” I said. I didn’t know much about them, but I did know they were very big.
“Yeah. Colorful isn’t it.” they replied. I captured this moment in a comic after the con.
This comic represents what idol anime has done. It had mecha, catchy songs and cute girls designed to be cosplayed. How could you look away from a 17-year-old with a taser hair bow and a light saber microphone. The idol flavored haze consumed my brain and I haven’t looked back. I want to see you. I want to see you. I want to see you. YES!
Needless to say, AKB0048 became my flavor of the month. Against the 2nd season came the 1st of Love Live: School Idol Project. At first I scoffed at it because it was more on the slice of life (see also: sitcom) genre of anime. Slice of Life was something I actively ran away from because of its closeness to the moe` phenomenon the decade before. But that show was also pervasive and started its domination of my twitter timeline with its widely available phone game. I got hooked by a nico nico nii.
When I found out about other idol shows like The Idolm@ster, I realized that this is a much bigger thing than I thought. One of my fandom activities is doing panels at conventions. At the time, my big panel was Beyond Pokemon, a part clip show, part talk about how Pokemon popularized the mon genre. I thought, why not do the same with idols. At the time I already did a panel with Froborr about AKB0048 called Reading too Much into AKB0048, so I thought idols would be a good topic. Then the surprise happened.
Holy crap! This goes even farther than Creamy Mami. The first time I ran the panel Anime Idol was at Otakon 2014 well, but needed fixes, namely the name itself to not be confused with the singing contest. So I renamed it The Idols of Anime and gave it at conventions everywhere. It always got a very great audience who were engaged and recommended some more things to add. One con goer gave me Aikatsu cards!
In the past, when I owned a camera I did the show Viga Loves Comics. I still plan to do more with it, but it gave me the idea to adapt older and retired panels to video. Video can lift the restrictions of an hours time to infinite time. I decided Idols of Anime would be my first pick. I picked well, because it’s estimated at 30 parts. As of today, I’m on Part 6.
Another reason is that in the panel version, I didn’t get to explore a question to find the answer. That is, how does idol culture in real life effect anime idol shows. The lines are more blurred everyday with what AKB48 and μ’s have done. Maybe it was always blurred since the first media mix. Also the fans, the WOTA for these anime I believe are more like the idol otaku than before. I want to find those answers and think of more questions.
I’m Viga and I like animated idols. A group in a circle around her says “Hi, Viga.” in a room with a sign that says: WOTA Anonymous.