I didn’t get much sleep the morning of June 30, 2010. I had decided the night before that I was going through with a crazy decision to drive down to Los Angeles on a whim, but as I went to bed doubtful thoughts invaded and wracked my mind all night. Should I just save my money and chill at home? Should I fulfill my still-fresh desire to see the City of Angels once again? It didn’t help that my previous journey to SoCal turned out to be one borne out of desperation and miscommunication, journeying for a chance to see Ai Kago only for her to no-show and incite wonder if she was ever supposed to be there at all.
A phrase that would become the bane of oversensitive pseudo-nerds and butt-hurt basement dwellers in 2012 served as the nudge that finally pushed me towards making the trip: You Only Live Once. That’s the motto that motivated me to finalize that hotel reservation at the downtown Clarion on Olympic Boulevard. I hastily packed by bags, stocked up on some energy shots and Vitamin Water, filled the gas tank of my still-smelled-like-new-at-the-time Civic Si, and hit the road.
In the future, basketball shorts will be replaced by miniskirts
Fun fact: one of the strangest things I did to acclimate myself into the world of H!P in my early moments of fandom was developing a habit of imagining Morning Musume as a sports team, with its members playing different positions based on line distribution and their roles in the group for any given
Sunday single. It seemed like a logical thing to do, as Morning Musume operates similar to a sports franchise with members coming and going to carry on the team name, and being an idol requires being in top shape like any athlete in order to keep up with all the singing and dancing and exciting. For some reason I initially picked American football as the analogous sport, maybe because it was football season when I became a fan and had a craving for it in lieu of no longer closely following the NFL due to being disheartened by how that league is run. But later on I realized that basketball was a much better sport to assign to Momusu, as the specialized roles of football positions didn’t quite line up with how these girls work while basketball requires all players to do a little bit of everything, just like idols. Plus basketball is a much more fun sport to watch, play, and think about.
What’s even stranger is that to this day I still do it! Not just positions but also playing styles, and not just with Momusu, but with other H!P groups too. It’s to the point where I actually once had a dream that Ai Takahashi was the starting point guard for the Utah Jazz (why that team I have no idea). Could you imagine her making plays and racking up assists like John Stockton? I can…and maybe you can too after reading what I have in store here.
So, in honor of the NBA’s annual All-Star Weekend coming up, I present to you my Morning Musume and Hello Project basketball all-star teams!
Times like these always provide a good opportunity to stop for a bit and question stuff. Question the idols. Question the system. Question the fans. Question yourself, even.
THAT SHIT just might be CRAY
Much has already been made amongst idol fans regarding a certain AKB member’s recent hair-razing (see what I did there?) shenanigans, especially with international mainstream media outlets actually finding it newsworthy, but I never really had planned to comment too much about it, especially with this being a H!P-centric blog and my own minimal interest in the AKB world. Still, considering how the news itself and the reactions to it reflect on the idol industry as a whole, it has definitely encouraged me to once again take a look at my own place in the fandom and how I got here in the first place.