Oshimen Graduation and Me


In which I talk about something that will come to affect all of us eventually. Unless you’re a DD or something, then this article probably doesn’t apply to you.


Some of you might not know this but I do (did?) actually have (had?) an AKB48 oshimen. Maybe that’s surprising to you given my open criticism of the group’s musical output but it’s true. Unless of course I’m not allowed to just like the girls and not the music? Anyway, if you haven’t guessed by the image that I used to open this article, my AKB oshimen is (was?) Komori Mika.

As I hope you all know, Komori’s last AKB theater show was a few days ago and for all intents and purposes her activities with the group have come to an end. I think she has one more handshake event at the beginning of July but she’s all but done with the group at this point. This has left me in a very interesting and confusing situation; what am I supposed to do now that my oshimen has graduated?

My feelings are pretty mixed on the whole subject of Komori’s graduation in the first place. On the one hand she’s my favorite and it really sucks that she’s gone, as I think she has a great personality, which is something a lot of idols sorely lack. She dared to be different and do her own thing in a group which to me has, as a product of its mainstream success, found its members become a bit too politically correct. Having a personality that does not appeal to the masses is a pretty big risk in AKB right now.

Then I remember just how little I got to see her latterly and I guess I can respect her decision in that regard. If the entertainment company you work for isn’t putting you out there enough or your goals no longer match then a clean break is for the best. I don’t know if the whole studying abroad thing is actually her real reason for leaving but hopefully she can further her career now that she’s free of the shackles of mid-tier AKB.

I could spend a lot more of this article lamenting Komori’s lack of screen time or how much I’ll miss her, but this isn’t Tumblr. Like I mentioned earlier, I need to figure out what I’m supposed to do now that she’s gone. There’s a couple of direction I think I could go in so I guess I’ll talk about those a bit.

The first direction I could go in is that I could try to find another oshimen in AKB. That’s a fairly reasonable line to take I think because it will probably eventually end up happening one way or another anyway. It also means that another girl gets my support (whatever that means when you’re thousands of miles away from Tokyo) and I get someone new to root for. I think this is what you call a mutually beneficial relationship?

The other direction of course is that I remain loyal to Komori until the end of my days. I try to follow her through whatever means she allows (blog, Twitter, etc) and just don’t choose another favorite in AKB48. Essentially I’d just become a DD, something that I’m lead to believe is a fairly common occurrence for a lot of people whose oshimen graduate. They’ll support the group as a whole but won’t be drawn on the subject of favorites. I’m not entirely sure it’s for me but I can understand the reasoning behind it.

Of course, the most drastic measure in an instance such as this is to just abandon the group altogether. My oshimen isn’t there anymore and the music for the most part sucks so why should I care anymore right? It’s a pretty easy jumping off point for a lot of people, especially given how emotional they most likely feel over their oshimen’s graduation. Again, I can see why people would choose this path but I find it difficult because there are a few other girls in the group that I do like and am interested in following still.

In all of this confusion and indecision, I find myself wondering if there’s some kind of protocol for situations like this. I mean, there’s god knows how many rules about having an oshimen so what’s supposed to happen when your oshimen decides to peace the fuck out? Is it really an oshihen if they’re not in the group anymore? Do people look down on others who pick a new favorite after their old one leaves? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that explained anywhere online so if someone could point me in the right direction that would be cool.

Writing this article has been pretty therapeutic for me. I’m very aware that none of this shit matters at the end of the day but I like to play along ya know? If you want to share your opinions or experiences on the subject then please leave a comment, hit me up on Twitter @Mage77 or email me at garry@newschoolkaidan.com

If nothing else I think my thoughts are a lot less jumbled and my mind is starting to get a bit clearer on what I should do next.


About NSK

New School Kaidan is a community-focused website for the Japanese idol industry international fan base. Between podcasts, broadcasts, events, and analytic articles, New School Kaidan aims to bring an understanding of idol culture to the masses.

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