24 September 2012

What's Your Age? (Ramblings from an older Johnny's fan.)

For various reasons the topic of the ages and idols and of idol fans has been on my mind recently. Like do idols of certain ages have to have fans around their age and have their fans age with them? Or are there set age limits for all that. Should there be? Or can there be fans of all ages for idols of all ages without older fans being automatically being considered creeps if they actually like the younger idols for non-sexual reasons.

I know I have never stated my age, but have pointed out that I am an older fan yet I know that is an ambiguous statement as when some of the fandoms you are in are known for having many fans in their teens and early twenties. But honestly as someone older than that and a fan of younger groups I know by being honest about my age will invite people in making judgments about me even though they are not true. But honestly at this point I do not think it matters. I like what I like and I have been in fandom long enough I think people will have a good enough idea of who I am and what my views are going to be.

I know there are fans that do not seem to understand how it is difficult for me to think of idols like Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri as sexy, and even now I am very borderline with that, with most of the time still consider them just cute and nothing more. In fact I can remember some exchanges with other fans who seemed offended that I did not find their favorites sexy or found them to just be simply cute. Honestly it is because teens usually do not do anything for me. A lot of that is probably do to the fact that I am thirty-one and if I want to look at idols that I find sexy I have Nagase Tomoya and Matsuoka Masahiro to top my list.

My interest in the Juniors and younger groups are more because I enjoy watching them grow up and get better. As well as because they tend to fall into the things I like because they are cute with cats, Hello Kitty, Stitch and Pikachu. But it is mainly the former as I have always loved to watch things change over time. Like being able to open up the first volume of a long running manga series and compare the art with the most recent volume that has come out. There is just something about seeing improvement or change over time that interests me, and with the way Johnny's is set up it gives me the chance to see their idols from the start grow and improve in the hopes of one day debuting. I enjoy it in the same way I enjoy American Idol, because you get to watch these journeys of people trying to follow their dreams and how they change and grow throughout the season as they go through performances and receive different feedback. The Juniors to me are in the same vein but you get to watch them for longer and of course some of them are much younger.

That said while I cannot see the younger Johnny's or idols in general as sexy I can appreciate them for being attractive. The two are not mutually exclusive and when it comes to the younger idols they are different things for me. They are attractive in a cute sense for me and when they are older and have lost most of their younger features is when I feel okay at beginning to look at them in a different light. But even then very few idols are the type that I find actually sexually attractive. Which of course can be seen that I prefer Nagase and Mabo over other Johnny's for that.

That being said I do not hold it against the younger fans if they feel like idols like Yamada or even Sato Shori are sexy to them, because they are closer to their ages so it makes sense. I know back when I was in my early teens I had no trouble thinking of other teens as sexy, but it was something I outgrew as I grew up. And I think in the early teen years is when some concepts are beginning to be understood, like sex, though usually not perfectly but enough that teens will want to show they understand these things as the believe it will make them more adult. I know, I was once there.

I mean I can understand if there are younger fans that are okay with the name Sexy Zone or Sexy Boyz for those groups, but personally I think it is on the creepy side of things for adults not to at least do a double take when seeing how young the group is. It may not be such an issue when the members are older but right now the youngest members are under 13 and assigning the "sexy" label to them should be eye brow raising at least, as there is a chance of the members not being able to understand the concept of it themselves, which is usually very telling when they do magazine articles.

I do not think it is enough to stop someone older from being a fan, I do like the members of the groups but there is no way I will be able to look at those names without embarrassment. And I think I am better off being an international fan as I would not be able to buy their releases in stores. I have no idea what to do about the posters they keep releasing as the first press bonuses as there is no way I would ever hang one up with those names on them, if just because I do not want to have to say everything I have just written every time someone new happens to see them.

I guess to sum everything up, I think there is a place for older fans like me to be a part of these fandoms and to be fans of the younger idols. Sure there will be questions that I will have to field about being my age and being a fan of those idols but I think my reasons for liking them have nothing with them that will send up red flags with others. And honestly with how anonymous the internet is having people be wary of older fans (and when I say older I do mean fans that are 30 and over) being into younger idols is not a bad thing as you do not really know who the person on the other side of the screen is, and sometimes they can be potentially be dangerous, sometimes not but one honestly can never know.


Rana said...

I'm not 30 but close it ^^ and I happy when has more older fan ^^

dont care about age, I like Jr so much ^^

Anonymous said...

I am above 30 too. I like and support HSJ because of their work ethics and how professional they are. Of course i find them to be cute, but only in the same category as my fave cartoon characters. ^_^

MoonChild said...

I actually feel uncomfortable if ppl think MUCH younger teens are sexy. I'm 23 and I also find HSJ adorable, even though they are not so much younger than me. Maybe cuz I saw them as little juniors, even when they're in their 40's I'll probably think they're cute XD

Irea said...

bit late to comment as I must go to bed soon, but this post made me feel less lonely and less "guilty" about being a fan above 30. :) will come back with a more lengty comment ;)

Thennary Nak said...

@ Rana

It is nice to know that there are other older fans of the younger Johnny's. Makes it seem less lonely.

@ Anonymous

I do think there is plenty to like about Johnny's, and I like hearing about all the different reasons people get into the groups they do.

@ MoonChild

It is hard to make that adjustment when the little ones grow up. I do not think I will ever stop seeing them as kids first no matter how old they get as well.

@ Irea

I hope you have great dreams. I'm glad it made you feel better. While I can understand why the younger fans are wary of older fans I also think that older fans can be a good part of fandom as well if we remember to act our ages.

Smurfette said...

I'm a Kisumai fan and I'm 24 years old (same age with Miyata). I tend to like groups that are around my age or older. A little younger is okay.

Thennary Nak said...

Everyone has their reasons for liking Johnny's and I think there is plenty of room for fans of all ages to be fans of Johnny's of all ages. And I think everyone who comes in with a different perspective should be a welcome addition to the fandom.

AmandaBear said...

I'm 21 years and a lesbian and even I sometimes feel guilty for liking Sexy Zone since I'm not in the target age range for that group (and since I'm a lesbian I feel even weirder for loving them). And yeah, I hear ya about the posters. I don't wanna hang up anything with that name on them since there are people out there who will misunderstand. Sexy Zone is one group I don't publicly flail over because of the unfitting name they have. And it's a shame because I find them so cute and they make me so happy. And when I become a teacher I fear that I'll really have to work hard to hide my love for teenage Johnny's idols since I'll be working with adolescents and I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. *sigh*

I really like the younger groups because they make me happy. They're usually bright and cheerful and entertaining and they remind me of happy childhood things. Even though I'm a 21 year old woman, I almost feel as if I'm living vicariously through them when I see how happy they are. I know JE is a fantasy world, but still. I like to dream.

But yeah, the only people I find sexually attractive are hot women. I find teenage Johnny's idols to be beautiful, though. Gorgeous even. And even though I'm a pretty feminine-looking woman and female identified, young Johnny's boys bring out my boyish side and my inner child. It's a good feeling.

Thennary Nak said...

It is a pity that sometimes it does not feel right to be open about being a fan of the boys. But I understand why people would react the way they would because there are dangerous people out there and it can be hard to tell them apart from those who are harmless. Especially when they are people who are given the trust to take care of other people's kids like teachers.

But at least there is the internet where you can find others that like Juniors and younger groups like you. I know I would be a very lonely Junior fan without that.

I love the energy the boys have as well. It is much easier to find those just happy to be performing than it can with some of the older groups, so it is refreshing.

I understand you there. I also like female idols and while I may find some beautiful I am not sexually attracted to them being straight. But that does not stop me from admiring them all the same. And as a woman who has a strong tomboy side I can find myself identifying with the guys as well.

Anonymous said...

I have over 30 and I'm a fan of several of them, the others hardly paid attention to them until they appeared bakaleya. Now I try to keep up. I'm a fan no matter the ages. My ichiban is younger than me (Yamashita) but hey, I knew the company by him and his colleagues of that era (KAT-TUN, NEWS, Kanjani8) and for them is that I started to go into that world. So no matter how old they are, they are all part of a world that I consider great apart from my love for Japan. Now, i know there are more groups on JE, sempais like V6, Tokyo, Kinki kids, inclusive shonentai, macchy, okamoto kenichi, T&T, so now i wanna know who are next... =D