Being a super fan isn’t as easy as it might seem, but you can avoid burnout with these tips!

A recent addition to the Japanese lexicon is oshikatsu, which has a similar meaning to the English slang term ‘stanning’. The word consists of the two Japanese words — ‘oshi‘, which means ‘support’ but is more commonly used to describe your favourite performer or character, and ‘katsu‘, which means ‘activities’. Oshikatsu can involve going to concerts or events, buying related goods and merchandise, or immersing yourself in the fandom your oshi is from.

While it can take up a lot of time and money, oshikatsu can take up a lot of your mental resources too, and someone who knows that all too well is our resident otaku and oshikatsu expert Ninoude Punico.

Following and supporting your oshi is no joke — it can be strenuous and shouldn’t be taken lightly, so with the mantra of “continuing oshikatsu with a healthy mind without being too hard on yourself,” Punico’s compiled six easy-to-follow tips to make sure you don’t suffer from oshikatsu burnout!

Tip 1 — Social media is a place to read news and info about your oshi, not compare yourself to other stans

Social media is great to meet fellow fans of your oshi, but it can sometimes lead to oshikatsu jealousy. Perhaps someone has some limited edition item that you couldn’t get, or went to an event you were unable to attend. Maybe you’re intimidated by how hard they’re stanning your oshi and feel like you’re not doing enough!

Punico advises that social media should be used just to source information about your oshi, not to compare yourself to others!

Tip 2 — Don’t keep track of how much you support your oshi

Oshikatsu life is like a bottomless well — no matter how much time or money you might spend, there’s never a finish line. What matters isn’t how much money you use or how much of your time you commit — the only thing that matters is your love for your oshi!

▼ Some people show their support by dropping large amounts of cash, but simply liking posts on social media works just as well!

Image: Pakutaso

Tip 3 — There’s no set definition of what a ‘fan’ is

Don’t feel like you have to fit into a certain ‘definition’ of what it means to be a fan. You’re free to support your oshi in any way you want!

Tip 4 — Don’t be blinded by your love for your oshi

Instead of adamantly defending your oshi until you’re blue in the face, be accepting of any flaws they may have. Such unreasonableness will only lead to oshikatsu burnout, so be willing to take an objective view of your oshi if necessary. Punico comments, “We are otaku. We shouldn’t act like an overbearing mother who blindly loves everything about our oshi and refuses to see any flaws.”

Tip 5 — Participate in oshikatsu when you can!

There are times when you’re just not in the mood, or when your wallet is feeling the pinch. There’s no need to force yourself to support your oshi when you aren’t up to it. If you’re stanning for the sake of stanning, it probably won’t be very fun. Only do oshikatsu when you want to!

Tip 6 — Don’t feel bad about moving on from your oshi

Maybe your feelings have changed and you have a new oshi. That’s ok, and there’s no need to feel guilty! What’s important is to remember the happiness that your former oshi brought you, and remember them with pride, safe in the knowledge that you supported them to the best of your ability!

Punico has experience with oshikatsu burnout herself, after an oshi she’d been supporting for a long time became more popular, and they got so much media exposure that she simply couldn’t keep up. Having a baby made it tough to do oshikatsu, too, and she felt stressed when she couldn’t keep up.

But after taking a self-imposed break from the world of oshikatsu, she realised how much she missed it, and so decided that this time she’d take things at her own pace, without being too hard on herself.

With less live concerts and events to attend these days, it’s a great opportunity for any fellow otakus to reflect on how hard you want to push yourself when it comes to oshikatsu. There’s no right or wrong way to support your favourite character or performer — just do what makes you happiest.

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