1. How do you define an oshimen?
An oshimen is a favorite member. Although part the term comes from the word meaning “support,” it still boils down to who you favor the most. If you favor someone, you’re going to support them. You’re not going to support other members more than your oshi.
Yoshi: I can’t argue against that. I think the term has a general definition that most people understand it as but it definitely depends on your interpretation. Vu and I share the same definition of the word.
2. Name up to three of your oshimen(s) from up to three different idol groups.
Takahashi Minami (AKB48)
3. How long did it take you to pick your oshimen(s) after discovering the group or your oshimen?
It usually takes a while as it depends on how much exposure they get and how much media reaches stateside. In the case of AKB48 and station♪, about a year. I picked my nogizaka46 oshimen almost immediately after profiles were released.
Yoshi: Vu seems careful in picking an oshimen but it looks like he is not consistent in how he picks his oshimen. His examples produced two ends of the spectrum by taking a year for two of them and then almost instantly for one. I wonder if someone who picks their oshimen the same exact way every time will come around.
4. When did you first take notice of your oshimen(performance, photos, TV shows, etc)?
I first noticed TKMN since she was always near the center of every AKB48 performance and took lead vocals in a lot of singles. But it was really through AKBINGO where I started taking a liking to her.
Station♪’s nenechi I also noticed through performances. Not much else to go on since they’re still small fish.
Nogizaka46’s Hashimoto I noticed through her member profile.
5. How do you keep up with following your oshimen(TV shows, blogs, etc)?
I keep up with my oshimen by subscribing to as many media outlets as I can, such as blogs, social networking sites, and member-specific threads on forums. Also, those guys at newschoolkaidan.com do a good job of spoon-feeding me all the latest happenings in the idol world.
Yoshi: He has the right idea in following NSK LOL. I think as foreign fans we have to grab at what little we get. The easiest access coming through the internet.
6. Can you see yourself having a romantic relationship with your oshimen if you had the chance? Are your oshimen more so about supporting them than it being about dating them?
I can see it, but that’s a whole different story than making it the basis of my fandom. I’ve actually told a now ex-gf (jokingly) that I’d stick her in the face if it meant I could have a date with my oshi. Of course, the feeling was mutual with whatever boyband-crush she had at the time, so it worked out. Don’t act like you wouldn’t do the same.
That said, a romantic relationship with my oshimen is something I almost never fantasize about. The idea only comes up when questions like this are posed. Not only is it unrealistic, but it could very easily be an unhealthy obsession. I’d say that’s where people would need to take a step back and rethink their fandom and what they expect to get out of it. Maybe it would be ok for an adolescent because that’s what they do. Even still, if you’re looking for a date, you can get one much more easily than going after your oshi.
Yoshi: This is a bit of a touchy subject since your fandom is up to you on how to go about it. Vu has the right idea in making sure that this fandom does not become an “unhealthy obsession”. I think the Western fans that I know of do a good job in separating fantasy from reality. I think Japan caters very well to those who want an escape from reality and provides intangible connections to people through anime/manga, idols, etc. May be part of the reason why the hikikomori issue is prevalent in Japan. Dae mentioned this on a post he did about having a healthy diet of the fandom.
7. Name a few reasons why you picked them as an oshimen? Do any of your oshimens’ qualities match up with your other oshimen or what you look for in a real woman?
I picked Takahashi Minami as my AKB48 oshimen because I see a lot of myself in her. Her qualities line up with what I value most in a person. Not coincidentally, they are the same values I strive to live up to. And a lot of her fail points match up with mine. Not to mention, she has great taste when it comes to food and friends. How could I not support a girl who reminds me of myself? In a sense, my AKB oshi pick can be seen as some kind of narcissism.
As for station♪, there just isn’t a lot of media out there about them to make a well thought out oshi decision. Also the fact that they’re such a small group, the idea of having an oshimen isn’t as significant as in AKS. What sealed the deal for me was seeing their show live at the kami tower. Nenechi is the one member that stood out to me because she brings the hype to the performance. While all the other girls are focused on their singing and lip-syncing, nenechi is out there getting the crowd going and calling for cheers.
In the case of nogizaka46, I picked Hashimoto Nanami using my gut instinct. I’ve always been partial to girls with short hair, so she almost immediately stood out. Then I saw that we shared the same birthday. Dunzo. Idol fandom isn’t always serious, and neither are oshimen picks.
Yoshi: Vu brings up an interesting point about narcissism. Can you pick an oshimen based on your “best” qualities and give yourself some sort of ego boost? I think that’s very possible. There’s some ego stroking whenever anyone says, “I share this with my oshimen”. I’m not sure if I share anything with Nakagawa Haruka. Maybe it’s because I didn’t really act like a child during my childhood so my fantasy is to “seishun” with ex-Harugon? Who knows.
I think Vu is the ideal idol fan. Someone who has his values set in stone, doesn’t overreact or act emotional and can enjoy idols in a healthy manner.
If you’d like to be featured on this series and would like to be analyzed by me, copy the questions from this page and submit your answers through our contact page and put “Oshimen Analysis” on the subject line. I hope you enjoyed reading Vu’s “Oshimen Analysis”!