On Idols, Dating, and Friday

I can’t even recall the last time I wrote something that was meant to talk about issues outside of music promotions and concerts. Must’ve been ’09 when I hated on everything, to be honest. But I’m digressing already.

So, as you may or may not have heard already, our wonderful ex-Morning Musume member Takahashi Ai has been Friday’d!

Now, usually when it comes to Friday, fans are smart enough to realize to take these articles with a grain of salt, regardless of their track record against other idols, especially under the UFA historical collection of scandals. Actually, regarding this particular “scandal” with Ai, fans are for the most part, taking it pretty well if it’s true. But what exactly are we being fed here?

Seems like the ex-idol has been spotted around with an R-1 celeb that’s 12 years her senior, rumored further to be living together and such. The lucky man happens to be Abe Kouji, whom Ai had worked with previously on her stage play “Hamlet.” Just because I can, check out some of these lovely unearthed evidence pieces dug up by our friends at 2ch.

Anyway, before I get accused of being no better than a devil’s advocate for the rumor mill, let’s get this out there: Good for Ai. For real. If it’s true, I’m glad she’s up and about and putting herself out there, because it’d be a crime otherwise. She’s always struck many as the type that seemed very work-driven and career-oriented like her senpais Abe Natsumi and Ishikawa Rika, and I personally doubt that “dating” will change any of that. Celebs need love, too after all.

Which brings me to the meat of the matter, finally. As aforementioned, I’m totally down with idols dating and engaging in blossoming relationships and what have you, because they’re only human. I’m sure several others feel the same way. But there will always be those fans that don’t take it so well, and well, that’s their issue I suppose.

Hopeless devotion can be such a scary thing and some people do tread that fine line sometimes. Perhaps not so evidently in jpop, but other such fandoms. I remember when it started becoming “cool” for kpop idols to come out with being in relationships and not having to be so stealthy when it came to personal times and dating their loved ones. Of course, there will always be those fans that cry out, “NO OPPA WHYYYYYY!?!?!” or something on a similar vein, and again, that’s all on them. Eventually with time, most fans outgrow that period of no acceptance and eventually “ship” it, anyway. Besides, going over to a male friend’s house to play a round of playstation is kind of cool these days, anyway.

I feel as though I’m preaching to a crowd that doesn’t need it. We’re all relatively mature fans when it comes to idols/celebs and their personal lives. High five, everyone! Personally speaking, I just love the seemingly dramatic differences between how jpop/kpop artists deal with these types of “issues” (if you can even call it that…) in relation to each other and in relation to the international fanbase, most specifically the states. From personal observations, Americans tend to make it a game, if you will. Like, “How long will so-and-so be together with so-and-so? Let’s place bets!” It’s a laughable gamble, and it’s kind of a shame that we take relationships and love for granted around here. It’s not something I’m particularly fond of. And perhaps the over-exposure and the severe violation of their personal lives is even worse and just makes fans and spectators even more jaded.

Luckily, kpop and jpop aren’t as extreme, though I suppose that’s arbitrary. Perhaps the most noise we hear are from those fans that might need a little reality check, but aside from that, most people tend to take it rather well and respect the couples for the most part when it comes to their relationships and private, personal lives. Even idols in particular (the ones that aren’t dating openly) tend to keep personal matters to a bare minimum on their respective blogs and twitters, and fans as a whole are generally accepting of that and respect it. It’s fun to observe the stark differences various countries have regarding privacy.

Besides, sometimes we all get caught up in the whole “scandal” issue that we often forget these idols are human. Sometimes we take their personal feelings and desires for granted since they have been placed on the highest unattainable pedestal as a piece of virginal carnage meant to be adored for their sense of purity and innocence. But hey, even idols get that urge to touch and be touched, to be held by someone, and to share those lovely intimate moments with their significant others because sometimes even they want to make all those cliche romance scenes a reality. It’s a fact of life.

So some final words for Ai and all those former idols, current idols, and celebs out in kpop and jpop world: You only live once.  As fans, we only wish you the best, and hope that your special someone treats you with all the love you deserve.

EDIT: To appease those fans that aren’t all too happy with the news, Sanspo has just recently dropped an article confirming that both sides have denied “living together” and that both of them are “just good friends.” Whatever the matter, whatever.  The girl’s got nothing to hide, and I’m sure whenever she’ll start dating, she’ll be more than happy to let us know.

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10 responses to “On Idols, Dating, and Friday

  1. I dissagree with Kpop being less extreme, those fans make dead threats to the girl their oppa is dating, send her dead animals and other nasty things. I dont see that as not being extreme.

    About Aichan, good for her if she’s really dating that guy. I’d prefer the girls not to date older guys thiugh, but let’s be real here, just because she’s in the car with some guy doesn’t mean they’re dating. That’d be like me dating all my friends that drive me home sometimes.

    • I feel so disconnected with Kpop that I can’t even properly judge the fanbase anymore. I do recall the fans that send blood letters and shit like that to their oppas LOL That was a f*cked up hoot when that trend started LOL

      And I totally agree that Friday really can’t accurately speculate what they’ve stated based on a few chance encounters, but I think half the fun of it is the speculation. Besides, if driving a friend home meant I was dating/banging them, well, I might as well be a street whore.

      Regardless, only time will tell, won’t it? =D

  2. at current, does this bother me? not really. would it have bothered me back in 2006 when my fanaticism for H!P was at a peak? even then still no. unfortunately things have gotten to the point, and it’s even easier now with celebrities tweeting and on social media sites everywhere, that it’s easy for fans to feel like they are a part of peoples’ lives. sure they are, to some extent, but not as much as they think they are. and i think this is part of the root of the problem, it’s fans who do not realize where that line stands between obsession and interest. it is also partly just due to how they are marketed, but at the same time the reason they are marketed a certain way is because they know that is the easiest way to get people to respond to what they offer. “Oh they love purity, that moe, that innocence, ok we can give them that”.
    While i understand many peoples’ management’s issues with inter-celebrity dating, in that it could pose distractions for them at a time when they could be spending more focus and time in advancing their careers and gaining popularity with fans, something that could be lost from the fans in the event of discovering that their idol is suddenly “out of the market”. even then, too much emphasis is put on this.

    tl;dr – this is not that big a deal, understand where to draw the line and where you really are on said line

    - on another note, good article, as always

  3. I don’t think anyone REALLY cares post idol career if you date… just whether it’s in your contract. Ayaya had a boyfriend, after all. This should be thought of less as “ooh scandal” and more like when Britney Spears was dating Justin Timberlake. Is the word scandal even mentioned by the article? I mean, gossip rags EVERYWHERE talk about who’s dating who…

  4. Well I certainly don’t find it scandalous. And I suppose the only people that care are the ones that escalate the matter into something bigger than what it really is, but otherwise yes I totally agree with you on the whole “JT/Brit” thing.

    Perhaps I just hang around arama and omona so much that their tendencies to comment and critique and judge have somehow delved into my freakin’ mind, but whatever the reason, I think people just want something to talk about and leave it to Friday to get people going. If she’s dating, that’s cool. If she’s not, that’s cool, too. I’d much rather hear about what the weather will be like tomorrow, or how the economic crisis in America will be solved by the presidential candidates, but you know, that’s just me =P

    • Again, I agree. No one should even really care anymore, and her fans certainly are aware that because she’s graduated, she’s free to date if she so pleases. That’s their own damn problem if they can’t deal with it, but I do believe that’s a minority, if at all existent.

      But often times I’ve found that the media will take what it can get and it will run a mile a minute with what it’s got. It’ll run all the way home until that crap is published and whatever. No one is really at fault here, but I do believe the media scrutiny that she and several other celebs have garnered over their years in the biz (whether it be jpop, kpop, whatever) has conditioned the fan-next-door to become so damn needy to be in the know. Blogs/twitters/ and other areas of the social network media platforms are just not enough for them. Though, I’m sure this does not apply to everyone, I’m just saying there are people out there that just feel this need to fill up their empty lives with gossip that doesn’t even remotely pertain to them just because we’re so used to filling our heads with that crap, and it’s all thanks to the media. So really, if I am pointing a blaming finger at anyone, it’s the stupid gossip magazines and blogs and shit like that for doing such a damn good job of “brainwashing” (if you will) the masses and conditioning them to crave and want more.

      Now I’m just talking conspiracy theories LOL

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