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Old 2017-12-09, 12:06   Link #1
MisaoFan
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Why idol anime gets some hate and overcriticism?

Apart from Idolm@ster, UtaPri and some other series that are extremely popular, what's with all the hate and disregard that many idol-focused anime receives regardless of quality? This reminds me of a lot of hate and criticism that high school harem series get since late 2000s, only more blatant from what I've seen. Not to mention idol series tend to flop even in Japan.

I'm curious about the answers.
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Old 2017-12-09, 15:16   Link #2
Akuma Kousaka
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To divorce the question from the ubiquitous answer that applies to any genre, it is more likely a projection of the questionable practices that pervade the IRL idol industry to a noticeable degree. For each individual show, I would like to know the nature of the grievances leveled; perhaps it is frustration at the controversial parts of the business that many idol shows do not acknowledge?

or you can stop taking a certain someone's blog at face value
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Old 2017-12-09, 16:24   Link #3
IceHism
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Is this actually a thing.

Cause i'm pretty sure there isn't some unique reason for idol anime to get criticized more than other popular genres like mecha, battle shounen/seinen, harem, etc. Idol anime also doesn't teach you about irl idols and i doubt westerners know much about them to any in-depth level
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Old 2017-12-09, 17:37   Link #4
Triple_R
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I haven't seen idol anime get hated on a lot, but there does seem to be a fairly large segment of the western anime fandom that's just not interested in it. This probably boils down to two main factors:

1. Just not liking J-Pop idol-style music. This is perhaps not surprising given that it's pretty different from pop music/stage performances in other countries. While there's certainly more to idol anime than just the music, many of the big highlight moments of an idol anime are J-Pop performances. So if someone just doesn't like this genre of music, then that can really hurt. It's kinda like how a sports anime can be very well-directed and well-wrote in general, but if you're just not into the particular sport it's displaying, it can be hard to maintain interest in this anime in spite of its overall quality.

2. Some anime fans might find idol industry shenanigans boring, or offensive. There are some idol anime that I think have managed this well, but I did find this aspect of the original iM@S anime to be a little overdone for my liking. Part of why my favorite idol anime is Love Live is because Love Live (mostly) gets away from the idol industry side of things.


But hey, look at the bright side. There are a lot of idol anime fans now, including in the western fandom. Probably a lot more than there was a few years ago. The cosplay scene now features a lot of idol anime characters, at least from what I've heard and seen from some of my friends. So I think idol anime has carved out a decent spot in the general anime fandom, it's just that it's probably not for all anime fans. An idol anime will probably never reach the overall fandom heights of a NGE or a Code Geass or a Madoka (unless you count Macross, maybe).
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Old 2017-12-09, 17:55   Link #5
Sheba
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There is also a part of the western fandom that have seen Perfect Blue, uses it as measuring stick for EVERY idol anime and expect every idol anime to be like Perfect Blue. So, they comes in Idolmaster or Love Live expecting, or even demanding, couch casting, drug addiction, idols cast in pron movies, well all the darker side of the entertainment industry.
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Old 2017-12-09, 19:56   Link #6
Marcus H.
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Also, there's the hate generated by idol group fans against the fans of other idol groups.
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Old 2017-12-09, 19:58   Link #7
Triple_R
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It's been ages since I watched Perfect Blue, but I remember liking it. I thought it did a really good job of telling the story it was looking to tell. It was good psychological thriller!

But I'm definitely glad not every idol anime is like it.

Still, maybe some anime fans do want that very grounded and gritty "SRS BSNS" approach to idol anime.
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Old 2017-12-09, 21:18   Link #8
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheba View Post
There is also a part of the western fandom that have seen Perfect Blue, uses it as measuring stick for EVERY idol anime and expect every idol anime to be like Perfect Blue. So, they comes in Idolmaster or Love Live expecting, or even demanding, couch casting, drug addiction, idols cast in pron movies, well all the darker side of the entertainment industry.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Still, maybe some anime fans do want that very grounded and gritty "SRS BSNS" approach to idol anime.
White Album (the first one) kinda did it and I like it overall. It doesn't have to be as extreme as Perfect Blue to get me invested in idol anime. Some genuinely interesting intrigues and insight would suffice.

On the other hand, I've tried watching a couple episodes of The idolm@aster and it bored me to goddamn tears. And this is coming from someone who enjoys slow-paced SoLs like Amaama to Inazuma, K-On! & Flying Witch. Following the daily lives of idols where everything is happy and cheerful with only sparks of minor difficulties here and there and characters backpatting each other almost constantly is such a bore. Ironically, I enjoy idolm@ster: Xenoglossia (which fans of iM@s franchise largely dislike) a lot more coz interesting things actually happens in that anime.

I've never watched Love Live so I can't speak for that one.
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Old 2017-12-10, 09:58   Link #9
SeijiSensei
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For those who have never seen AKB0048, I recommend it as a change of pace from other idol shows. Kawamori Shouji and Okada Mari recast the 19th century Tenpou Reforms into a future universe where galactic forces repress entertainment. The idols stage guerrrila concerts in response. Here's an example from the opening episode:

YouTube
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
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Old 2017-12-10, 10:08   Link #10
Tanuki.
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I think the blatantly commercial nature of some idol shows definitely adds to the aversion against idol anime in general. For example, I watched Idol Incidents (Idol Jihen) this year and at the end of every episode the seiyuu kept begging the viewer to buy their DVDs. This definitely leaves a bitter aftertaste for me, especially, considering that I honestly thought the show was pretty bad to begin with (it even bombed in Japan).

Of course this cannot be applied to all idol anime. But it should be obvious that most of these shows try to appeal to a very specific fanbase (like the idol industry itself) and doesn't always do that in completely honest ways.

Many of these shows also tend to be very formulaic. I've never watched a male idol show, but when I saw the first two episodes of IDOLiSH7, it felt like I had seen all of those tropes a thousand times. Doesn't bother me if the execution is well done, but even that felt pretty generic.

Not saying there aren't shows that have more individuality. But the success of a select few mega-franchises like Idolm@ster and UtaPri certainly led to a ton of cheap attempts to replicate that sucess without trying anything new. I remember how Yutaka Yamamoto said he wanted to highlight the negative aspects of the idol industry much more in Wake Up, Girls!, but the publishers wanted the show to have the same fluffy feeling as other idol shows, so he wasn't given the freedom to stray from the established formula too much – pretty sad, if you ask me, and I'm sure Yamamoto isn't the only case.

Of course that doesn't only apply to the idol genre. Toy shows also often platantly advertise the merchandise they are supposed to sell, and formulaic shows can be found plenty in almost every genre. And they can be good, too! I was seriously surprised how good Gundam Build Fighters is, a show that couldn't be more obvious about its intention to glorify and sell plastic models, but at its heart it's a really earnest, well-told classic shounen tournament show with likable characters, good pacing and without all the baggage that drags down so many other shounen stories.

Last edited by Tanuki.; 2017-12-10 at 11:01.
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Old 2017-12-10, 10:22   Link #11
Mad Pierrot
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I guess it's because in some Gundams they tend to use idols a lot when fans just want to see people punching each other with their mechas. There are also idols in fighting games like King of Fighters but they aren't quite popular.

Still, you gotta wonder the secret of Macross when all of its series I watched are famous despite a lot of promotion of music.
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Old 2017-12-10, 12:07   Link #12
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanuki. View Post
I was seriously surprised how good Gundam Build Fighters is, a show that couldn't be more obvious about its intention to glorify and sell plastic models, but at its heart it's a really earnest, well-told classic shounen tournament show with likable characters, good pacing and without all the baggage that drags down so many other shounen stories.
I'm with you on GBF. It really is top-tier toy-anime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Pierrot View Post
I guess it's because in some Gundams they tend to use idols a lot when fans just want to see people punching each other with their mechas.
When did this happen? There are only two AU Gundams with celebrity female singers in it: SEED/Destiny & GBF. In SEED/Destiny, Lacus is more of a diva than an idol (someone like Celine Dion). Meer is closer to a Japanese idol. And the show've never outsell them. In GBF, Kirara's idol-ness got brushed aside very quickly and very early. She then becomes more of a mascot/presenter/announcer for gunpla competitions in most of the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Pierrot View Post
Still, you gotta wonder the secret of Macross when all of its series I watched are famous despite a lot of promotion of music.
Because Macross has a lot more going for it than just the idol parts. The show has the famous love-triangle, good sci-fi story, strong characters, great lore and last but not least: exciting space-mecha-battle-action which sometimes bordering on ridiculous. Also, Minmay, Sharon, Sheryl and Fire Bomber from various Macross series aren't really idols. The first three are more divas than idols, and Fire Bomber is an actual rock band.
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Old 2017-12-11, 06:26   Link #13
MisaoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanuki. View Post
I think the blatantly commercial nature of some idol shows definitely adds to the aversion against idol anime in general. For example, I watched Idol Incidents (Idol Jihen) this year and at the end of every episode the seiyuu kept begging the viewer to buy their DVDs. This definitely leaves a bitter aftertaste for me, especially, considering that I honestly thought the show was pretty bad to begin with (it even bombed in Japan).
Disappointing, since in the early episodes I really liked the self-aware execution of its ridiculous premise and comedy which slowly get brushed aside. A shame it devolved into yet another "girl of the week" standard idol series with forced drama near the end and didn't like the ending.
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