About Boyish Style

「天才的にかわいい子が ボーイッシュスタイルで 売ってるよ ちょっとした 心境の変化で...」

In the idol world, image is everything. Your popularity, credibility and fame all rely on how you present yourself, and even if this portrayal is simply an extension of your actual personality, it becomes a major focus and a means of recognition amongst the many, many idol faces floating around in the sea of alternative entertainment subcultre. For some, this means amping up the cuteness or sexiness, and for others, it means awkwardly adjusting their glasses and hoping someone likes shy girls.

As for my taste, I always tend to lean towards girls who act a little more natural and unique. I love a cute face or a nice pair of legs as much as the next person, but what makes an idol legitimate to me is a feeling that, were this person my co-worker or next-door neighbor, I could relate to her after a few short chats.

When I was fifteen, I was no stranger to the world of what many would call "legitimate" Japanese pop music. I'd even seen a few concerts (despite them being at ~*anime conventions*~), and had always had a fondness for cute girl groups in particular. One day, my ex-girlfriend mentioned a group called 'Morning Musume' to me over the internet, and linked me to a Music Fighter live performance of their single, Mr. Moonlight ~Ai no Big Band~. To those unfamiliar with Momusu's work, this song is done in the style of a Takarazuka-esque revue number, and features three girls crossdressing and singing to the rest of the then-massive lineup about how they wanted to be in love and eat hamburgers and stuff. I was intrigued.

And then, I saw Yoshizawa Hitomi, and my heart was snatched away.

I spent the following months devouring every scrap of information I could dig up on this 'Morning Musume' group, along with its larger umbrella corporation, Hello!Project. I began learning faces and names, teaching myself songs, and watching concerts and TV programs. All the while, Yoshizawa was my focus, and there was no secret as to why; she was not the bubbly, squeaky-voiced, big-haired girl-next-door I had first imagined when I had been introduced to the concept of idols- she was an awkward, silly little tomboy who spent half her time off-camera flirting with girls and making dumb faces. I was completely charmed by her, because she was able to be an idol and still be herself. She really shaped my interest in idols as people, not just as performers.

Several years later, once Yossi had graduated from H!P (along with nearly everyone who made me love it as passionately as I did), and the quality of music and production went down, my attention began to wane. I stopped voraciously combing the forums for details on new releases, and began to focus on other things. It wasn't until last Spring that I finally got to see Yossi perform live in what will remain in my mind as one of the most perfect weekends of my life. Shortly after this, I visited a convention in New York City, where I was fortunate enough to stumble across tickets to AKB's concert at Webster Hall. Here was the spirit, spunkiness and passion I'd missed so much; and again, in particular, I couldn't take my eyes off of one energetic girl with short, shaggy hair and a crooked smile. Once the evening was over, I rushed home and began the same process of learning, and my first order of business was reading up on this kid.

Sure enough, Miyazawa Sae turned out to fit the same mold as Yossi had, despite being a different sort of person. Still an idol, still a girl, but definitely boyish.

I suppose the idol machine has had its way with me at this point, because I'm as hooked on these girls as can be. But while everyone else is focused on which of them is most darling and feminine, my attention is always drawn to the girls who look best wearing the pants, so to speak. It goes a lot deeper than that, but I can honestly just relate to and develop affections for girls who are able to access both ends of the personality spectrum. I'd say this is a decently common opinion of lady-wota in the idol fandom, but it really is difficult to say, since everyone has different motives when it comes to their favorite members.

The point of this blog is to vent my opinions, feelings, speculations and general thoughts on the various women that have been such a core part of my adolescent life, as is the point of most idol blogs. There isn't much more to it than that, at this point, but who knows what the future will bring. In addition, while the majority of most of these posts will be about the girls and their craft, I definitely want to spend some time picking wotas' brains, too, because the psychological aspects of this whole scene are pretty fascinating.

But for now, ladies in suits. On we go.

Hey, let's have a dance, my dear!

- Ame