It’s like looking in the mirror: Japanese anime idols we can totally identify with

Being a Japanese idol girl is hard, you guys. If you think it’s tough being a dedicated idol wota, think how it feels for the stars up on stage you’re desperately waving those glowsticks at.

We have zero idea what it’s like to really go through training, debut and perform at regular concerts. But we watch these anime shows about girls working to be top idols, and we can kinda sympathise with some stuff.

(Click the name of any idol or show in the sub-headers to get straight to DEJAPAN search results for merch.)

Kaede Takagaki (iDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls)

Her official hobby is ‘visiting, and relaxing at, onsens’ and she likes to drink expensive wines. There’s a woman after our own hearts.

Kaede’s an older idol, which can’t be easy. Once you hit your mid-late 20’s, you just can’t be as constantly genki as those teenage newb kids. Trust us, we’ve tried doing idol dance covers, and we always run out of breath halfway through.

That age gap hasn’t stopped her – or her fanbase – at all. No other iM@S idol’s made it onto the Cinderella Girls post-election CD every year.

Sonata Shinonome (AKB0048)

Giving people nicknames is fun. Talking in a made-up backwards language to weird people out is fun. She may not have been chosen as an AKB0048 member’s successor, but Sonata stood out in her own ways.

Plus, this kid’s got guts for someone who’s only 11. Some people take rejection and move on – not Sonata. Screw the age requirements! The chance to be an idol (and find your sister, who ran away to avenge your father’s death) doesn’t come around often.

Yoshiko Tsushima (Love Live Sunshine)

Do we identify with Yoshiko for her ‘little devil’ Yohane side style? Nope. We’ve got empathy for this girl ’cause we’re just as unlucky. The downside to being a ‘fallen angel’ is being cursed with the worst luck ever.

If there’s a lottery, she’s got no chance of winning. If it rains, or snows, she’s gonna slip and trip over. She has yet to centre an Aqours single (by vote or otherwise), or a sub-unit song.

We know that pain. We’ve dropped enough breakable things, stepped in enough puddles, and lost enough games of poker. Having no luck’s no fun.

Ichigo Hoshimiya (AiKatsu!)

One of Ichigo’s most defining personality quirks is her love for food.

Yeah, that sounds like someone we’d be best friends with. She can tell the time by her appetite, and recognise types of rice with one bite (#lifegoals). Her name even means ‘strawberry’ in Japanese, come on.

Depending where you read her bio, Ichigo’s appetite is either ‘tremendous’ or ‘humongous’. And both of those are big words. Maybe it’s a tremendous, humongous coincidence that her AiKatsu fashion brand’s got the word ‘sugar’ in it.

Kirari Tsukishima (Kirarin Revolution)

Kirari also loves food – enough to scare guys off. She wanted a feeder boyfriend before becoming an idol, and released a single about the pancakes her dad makes.

How the hell do anime idols stay so thin?

She ended up becoming a top star, but Kirari’s lack of skill with other art forms is something we share. Everything she draws looks like a mushroom, and everything we draw looks like it was drawn by a mushroom.

Get as close to your idols as you can

Follow your anime idol oshis from anywhere, and share in their success! Come to DEJAPAN for help buying idol goods from Japanese websites.

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