Friday, November 15, 2013

Junior Idols

Back when I was a fan of a lot of Hello! Project groups I liked many of the Hello! Pro Egg girls.  (I'm aware they have been renamed Hello! Pro Kenshuusei.)  These girls were mostly the background dancers at various Hello! Project concerts, as well as performing their concerts covering popular H!P tunes.  Although H!P fans knew of the Eggs, they rarely knew the names of the members.  I’d constantly hear a lot of “Who is the Egg in this video at 2:44?  She’s a great dancer!”  Most H!P fans couldn’t be bothered to memorize the names of the Eggs, as they were usually young and, in the minds of these fans, not worth paying attention to.  This is the type of attitude that upsets me, as I have come across too many comments about how younger idols are not worth the time of your average idol fan.  I’m not sure if older idol fans simply don’t like children or what, but many fans I’ve come across think that idols over sixteen-years-old are the only ones worth watching and listening to.  They have little interest in what is known as “junior idols”.

Junior idols are young singers and dancers no older than fifteen-years-old.  They are also known as “childols” (a combination of “child” and “idol”).  Some children take an interest in music and dance at an early age, and start singing, dancing or even instrument lessons as young as three-years-old.  If they keep up their lessons and work hard, soon they develop a skill that can sometimes rival that of an older person.  Many people tend to forget this, or don’t care about this.  These young children can perform just as well as a teen or adult if they have the confidence to stand on stage and show the audience what they’ve learned.  I’m pretty impressed with a lot of these young kids, which is why I support many junior idol groups and groups that have both junior and older idols in them.  Children do not need to be a certain age to have talent in my opinion.

One thing about these young, less known idols I like is that they keep their image clean.  I often hear about scandals and controversies about older idols in popular groups, but I never hear about such things from young idols.  They have a family friendly image, which is refreshing in today's world filled with sexual innuendos and content.  Family friendly idols are more fun to watch in my opinion.  

It’s very sad that a lot of people I’ve come across on the Internet refuse to see what I see in these junior idols.  I may not get the respect of fans into older idol groups, but this does not stop me from supporting in every way possible the young idols I love.  I see and hear a lot of talented young girls whenever I listen to, and watch videos of, Sakura Gakuin, Shiritsu Ebisu Chuugaku, Caramel ☆ Ribbon, Party Rockets, SpringBell feat. MIKA, Prizmmy☆ and Michinoku Sendai ORI ☆ HIMETAI, or even other young idols who haven’t been signed yet, such as the roster of kids at avex artist academy, including Nakano Yuuka and Sparcle.  I don’t understand why 16 is such a magic number.  Is an idol about to turn sixteen-years-old in two days not worth listening to until she reaches that “magic” age?  This type of thinking seems absurd to me, and I wish the people who think like this would realize it.