Responses show fans have some complicated feelings about their oshi.

It’s no secret that Japan is home to some very loyal and passionate fans. That sort of fandom is such a significant part of the pop culture landscape that in recent years a new term, oshi, has come about to indicate one’s very favorite idol singer, media personality, or TV drama/movie star.

There’s often an element of romantic attraction mixed in with the feelings of admiration fans have towards their oshi, which in turn is why many performers keep their love life on the down-low (provided they’re allowed to have a love life at all). But while the subconscious daydream of “Maybe one day my oshi and I could end up together” is a not-uncommon part of being an idol fan, does that mean fans really want to tie the know with their oshi?

To investigate, Japanese matchmaking and wedding coordination company Tameny conducted a survey of 2,400 single men and women between the ages of 20 and 39, asking them “Do you want to marry your oshi?” The responses were:

● Yes, I do want to marry my oshi: 24.5 percent
● No, I don’t want to marry my oshi: 36.2 percent
● I’m not sure: 39.3 percent

While more respondents answered “no” than “yes,” one in four still would like to upgrade their relationship from fan and idol to husband and wife. It’s also worth noting how large the undecided group is, with nearly 40 percent who apparently have strong enough feelings of affection towards their favorite idol that they’re not willing to completely divorce themselves from the ambition of marrying them.

▼ Not always an easy decision, apparently

Of course, even if somewhere in the 25-to-65-percent range of fans would like to marry their oshi, that desire is going to go unfulfilled for a whole lot of them. At the same time, it’s the nature of show business that idols who are popular enough to earn oshi status are usually attractive, outgoing people, and thus likely to eventually find love. So Tameny also asked the survey participants “How would you feel if your oshi got married [to someone other than you]?”, to which they answered:

● As a fan, I’d be happy: 17.9 percent
● As a fan, I’d be sad: 9.9 percent
● I’d feel half happy and half sad: 18.8 percent
● I’d stop being their fan: 5.8 percent
● I’d rather they get married than retire from performing: 7.7 percent
● I’m not sure: 40 percent

It might feel sort of strange to see only 17.9 percent say they’d simply be happy, since that’s less than the 24.5 percent who don’t have any interest in marrying their oshi. As indirectly alluded to in one of the other responses, though, sometimes idols getting married in Japan coincides with them retiring, or “graduating,” as it’s often called, from active performing, whether due to a desire to focus on their private/family life, projected loss of popularity from fans whose fandom did stem from romantic attraction, or other factors.

Because of that, even fans who like their oshi in a purely platonic way can still be less than wholeheartedly happy when they get married, since it sometimes also signals the beginning of the end of their idol career. With that in mind, it’s not such a shock that mixed or unsure feelings were the two most common responses, since even if fans are happy to see their oshi find true love, they’ll still be sad if that means they can’t see the anymore. Maybe that’s why this Tokyo company lets employees take time off from work to sort out their feelings if their oshi gets married.

Source: PR Times
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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