Six-year-old Ai-chan is getting the full idol experience at a young age: the singing, dancing, meeting fans, and even the occasional hatchet-job by the media.

Ai-chan Roku-sai is the purported “world’s youngest idol,” who started at the age of four by performing various anime and children’s songs. And like any idol, Ai-chan has her following of adult men watching and enthusiastically clapping along to her rendition of Omacha-cha-cha-cha. To her credit, I have never seen a six-year-old work a crowd like this little pig-tailed entertainer does.

It was this unusual juxtaposition of age groups that drew the attention of the Fuji TV program Furutachi-san, which ran a segment highlighting the unusual idol. Titled Why Is a 6-Year-Old Idol Popular with Adults?, the program’s reporters followed Ai-chan as she got ready for a performance and then hit the stage.

Afterwards, they also interviewed fans and asked why they enjoy watching a little girl sing on stage. Some people said that with Ai-chan, they don’t have to worry about any kind of scandal ruining her image. Others said that it made them feel like parents themselves, rooting her on and hoping she does well.

▼ “Hi. Come on down to my show today!”

It was a potentially touchy subject, but they managed to navigate this part of the program without incident. Even Ai-chan, who was watching at home when it aired on 15 January, was pleased and very excited to be on TV. However, what happened next would utterly crush her spirit…

After the recorded segment aired, a panel began discussing it. During the talk one woman said, “By the way, when I asked Ai-chan ‘Is there a boy you like?’ she answered that she liked [name removed]-kun.”

The host, veteran newscaster Ichiro Furutachi, added, “Well I’m relieved Ai-chan is a normal girl, but this [name removed]-kun must be a special one!”

As these words traveled through the airwaves and into the home of Ai-chan she became instantly mortified. Anyone who has been to school and had a secret crush can easily relate to how devastatingly embarrassing it must be to have it announced on national television.

▼ NOTE: This is NOT her actual reaction to the news. This tweet was from before the show while she was still happy.

However, to make matters worse, the revelation apparently wasn’t even true. According to Hidenori Okuma of Rainbow Entertainment, the agency to which Ai-chan is attached, the idol’s mother was chatting with the crew during taping and mentioned the name of a boy with whom she gets along at school. Meanwhile, when asked if there was anyone special in her class, Ai-chan had said unequivocally “No.”

Okuma also said in a series of tweets, that Ai-chan was still crying during the morning following the show and had not attended kindergarten for two days and that her mother is very worried. Scores of people responded online showing support for Ai-chan’s well-being and chastising Furutachi-san for reckless reporting.

“That’s a really touchy subject for a girl her age.”
“You have to be careful, this kind of trauma can haunt her for the rest of her life.”
“What kind of a monster would make a kid cry like that? Have you no common sense?”

News website J-Cast contacted Okamura for an update on Ai-chan’s condition as of the 18th, and he said that although the initial shock had passed, she was still in low spirits. She could not comprehend why the people on television would tell lies about her, but she wanted to thank her fans for their support during this difficult time.

Okamura also said that Fuji TV was considering ways to avoid this kind of mistake from happening in the future. J-Cast contacted Fuji TV asking if they would issue a correction and apology to Ai-chan, but they refused to comment until they knew all the facts.

But with Japan’s “youngest idol” in stasis following an irresponsible comment, we can still rest assured that Japan’s “oldest idol group” with an average age of 86 are still going strong. At least, I think they are…

Come to think of it, I haven’t heard anything from them since 2015. Someone really should check in on them.

Sources: Twitter/@aichan20100725, J-Cast News ,,
Featured image: Twitter/@aichan20100725