What If Idol Anime Took a Darker Turn?

So, I stumbled upon an interesting video yesterday related to Japanese idols. I’m not sure if it was because of the Love Live! shit I keep searching, or if it’s currently trending on YouTube, but my curiosity made me watch it.

This Exists is a YouTube channel that specializes in searching and then presenting the more hidden and interesting things in pop culture that not that many people really know about. And I’ll admit that this particular topic was something that I did not have a clue existed. The video is called “Anti-Idol: Japan’s Beautifully Bonkers Pop Movement”.

What this man in thick-rimmed glasses is discussing in this video is how the origin of the Japanese idol groups, where they are more cutesy and fun, evolved into now, where there are some groups that take their talents to a more darker tone with violence and intimidation.

It’s not like I’ve never seen a trend change into something else, but after experiencing so much of the fun type of idols, this interesting discovery surprised me quite a bit. I mean, like the video showed us, some idol groups go as far as to show blood, for example, and it can be a little creepy.

So, after looking at this drastic change from what we all are used to, this made me come up with an, at least I think it is, interesting question: What if we see these kinds of idol personalities in an anime?

When we look at idol anime like Love Live!The IDOLM@STERBanG Dream!Wake Up, Girls!, Locodol, and PriPara, they are suppose to be fun, flashy, comedic and a show to enjoy. We do not expect some dark and possibly political things to be mentioned. Sure, we can say that maybe some idol groups made one or two dark based songs or a character with a “fallen angel” personality, but those are still supposed to be cutesy and not serious, unlike what I saw in the video above.

Image result for yoshiko tsushima
Yoshiko Tsushima from Love Live! Sunshine!!

So if a show revolved around an idol group that does not comply with the things we are used to in idol based anime, I think it would be criticized heavily. People would drop it, bash it and never look at it again. Sure, some people would like and some people even fucking despise the cute idol culture, but the fan base of this unique dark side would be scarce, and not even the normal anime watcher would enjoy it.

To add on, I don’t think a sudden and drastic change of cute to dark would be a nice transition that people would want to go through. Sure, maybe the story of the anime would be interesting and decent but incorporating horror aspects and political messages into song and dance… doesn’t sound very appealing.

Image result for dark love live

However, the glasses guy did say that those unique idol groups were a massive success in Japan. Okay, the Japanese may enjoy that kind of stuff, you know. Japan loves a lot of unusual things. But in a different country like the United States of America? The majority of people (people who watch anime or not) here are probably not into that insane kind of stuff, judging by the lack of popularity of goth or heavy metal musical groups. Nowadays, Americans eat up modern rap and trendy pop.

Even with idol anime lovers in the states, we’re too deep into the cutesy tone of Love Live! or Idolmaster, and as I said, not used to dark musical groups in general, so I would assume that not that many people would join the dark side of idols.

Image result for dark idolmaster

In conclusion, I don’t think an idol group and anime that is turned upside down, personality wise, would work out, at least with people who watch anime. Even though there are a good amount of people who really enjoy horror based anime, combining that with singing and dancing, which the standard of that is suppose to be cute and fun, it does not mesh together. We’re so used to the flashy and kawaii tone of these kinds of shows that we just wouldn’t get used to something that is technically the same, but completely different.

Just an FYI, I might be talking nonsense here since I wasn’t exactly sure of what I was writing today, so if this post didn’t make sense to you, I apologize lol

What do you think? Would a more unique idol group and anime work out? Would you enjoy the dark or political tone, rather than a fun and cutesy one? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading and tomorrow, I’ll probably review Gamers! or somethin



3 thoughts on “What If Idol Anime Took a Darker Turn?

  1. you sound defensive, as if you know this kind of thing will actually pick up steam, and that’s a correct assumption. As the video above, and thank btw for the video because I enjoy it to death, one idol group does not appeal to a universal taste. The same goes for anime. You overlooked Madoka when you disregard how people will dislike an over saccharine genre or medium turned over its head. If done right, anything can really work.

    I’m personally not an idol fan though, so I can only speak as an avid anime watcher, and yes, I actually want an anime covering anti idol culture. Give it to the Urobutcher and have Studio Trigger produce it, I swear to gawd this can work. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I didn’t take Madoka in consideration while I was writing thing, that is an excellent point.

      I believe that something like this would definitely come up as an idea, and I even bet someone has pitched a dark idol kind of show do an anime studio or two. But, personally (I probably shouldn’t have assumed that EVERYONE would dislike a more darker idol anime, I apologize) I don’t think I would want to see an animated scene or music video of, like the video showed us, girls dancing and singing while blood is being splattered onto them and we see camera shots of guts on the ground; or a scene of girls running around naked in a forest that is known to be a place where people take their own lives.

      Of course the blood is not real but I don’t think anime studios would want to go that far (take my thoughts with a grain of salt) when dealing with something like idol culture. Like you said, it has to be done right and I absolutely agree with you that there is a chance that this change of idol culture would work, I won’t try to argue that. If they made it Madoka-tier, where it’s dramatic and dark but on a level where it’s enjoyable, I, personally, would at least give the show a chance.

      I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and making a great point 😀


      1. I totally understand where ou’re coming from, especially since you’re such a fan of the idol culture. the anti idol culture is just too much, and they do go for shock factor above all else. it totally spits in the face of respectable idols like Love Live.

        But the idea of an anime capturing the shock factor anti idol culture is really fascinating. once you get over the shock, the idea of idols running happily in the suicide forest is pretty genius. it recognizes the limitations of what idols can do, but they’re still considered idols by simple definitions. it tells us that the idol culture is very gimmicky, and I know there’s a respectable story to be had here.

        But yeah, execution is important and this idea has a 90% of failing, especially if its an original anime not adapted from anything,.

        Liked by 1 person

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