When Idols Meet Fans
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Music, Comedy, Seinen
- Airing Date : January 2020 - March 2020
- Studios : 8bit
Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu (If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die) Introduction and Story (Spoilers)
On one unassuming afternoon, a tall woman is greeted by two young idols handing out fliers and inviting everyone to check out their small concert. As she checks out the idol group, called Cham Jam, singing and dancing in front of a small yet energetic crowd, one idol catches her attention and she instantly falls in love with her. Ever since that fateful event, her life changed and she devotes her entire life and income to supporting her favorite idol. This woman is soon to become known in the Cham Jam fandom as “Eripiyo”, and for better or worse, Eripiyo is the only dedicated fan of Cham Jam’s Ichii Maina, the very girl Eripiyo fell in love with.
Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu, or OshiBudo, follows a group of stans of Cham Jam—namely Eripiyo, Kumasa, and Motoi—as they brag about how cute their favorite idols are, share info on upcoming events or juicy tidbits about the members of Cham Jam, and we see them dedicating their time and effort to supporting their idols—getting in line hours before events despite the unforgiving summer heat, enduring embarrassment when male fans enter a women-centric event just to cheer their idols on stage, and doing crazy stan things because their idol has said something in their blog or in a newspaper interview, like Eripiyo dressing—well, attempting to dress—like someone who embodies what Maina likes in a man.
OshiBudo occasionally switches the story around by showing the daily lives of the idols of Cham Jam—talking about their day off stage, like what their fans were doing during the handshake events. There are moments when we see more of an idol’s personality, like how Maina is a bit of an introvert and can’t express her feelings to Eripiyo when she most needs to. The story of OshiBudo follows both camps—how the stans follow Cham Jam and deal with problems like raising money or showing up early and being the first in line, and how the idols go about their lives off stage and their relationships with the other idols in their group.
1. A Look into the Lives of Stans
OshiBudo, for all intents and purposes, is a slice of life anime focusing on the fans who admire and religiously support their favorite idols with every bit of their hard-earned yen. Eripiyo, Kumasa, Motoi, and Reina are the main stans in the anime and each has their own reasons why they’re a fan of a specific member of Cham Jam, but the one that stands out is Eripiyo and her love towards Maina.
Eripiyo is on the extreme side with her giving up spending her money on essentials like clothes and proper food because she wants Maina to rise in popularity by posting on Maina’s blog as multiple people to improve blog engagement, buying all of her merch from CDs, handshake tickets, photoshoots, and accessories. When money is an issue, Eripiyo takes on multiple part-time jobs at once, often leaving her exhausted or on the brink of death. Why is Eripiyo so committed to doing this? There are no complicated reasons behind her action, it’s just Eripiyo loves Maina with all of her heart (and all of her money, in this case) and Eripiyo wants the world to see how wonderful and talented Maina is.
2. Well-written Cast of Characters
At first glance, the characters are walking stereotypes—Eripiyo is an obsessed fan, Kumasa is a typical fat hairy otaku, and Motoi is a wuss. But if you take a closer look, these characters have their own personalities and own personal motivations as to why they’re supportive of their idols. Veteran stan Kumasa has been supporting Reo long before Reo joined Cham Jam, never missing any of Reo’s events or appearances on TV and radio. Kumasa even quit his job and found a different one that is more flexible. His pay isn’t as big as his old job, but as long as he can go out and follow Reo around, it’s a compromise he’s very proud to make. Motoi is not as experienced as Kumasa and Eripiyo when it comes to being a professional stan, so he stumbles and lets his emotions get the best of him, like taking advantage of his favorite idol Sorane’s online scandal so he can have her for himself.
Let’s not forget about the Cham Jam crew—they’re cute, beautiful, friendly, and talented on stage, but off stage, they’re just normal people working hard to make a living and have big dreams ahead of them. Reo is a veteran idol who dreams of rising to the top and have Cham Jam perform on the biggest stage in Japan, the Budokan. Maina is the least popular idol in the group and has trouble expressing her thoughts to everyone and her feelings towards her only fan Eripiyo. Each idol has their own story to tell and OshiBudo finds the right time to tell them—as you experience their stories and their character, you’ll soon understand why they have fans supporting them.
3. An Interesting Peek into the Underground Idol Show Business
The Japanese idol business is huge and popular celebrities and divas start their career as idols of a particular town or district. What we, Western viewers, don’t see is the underground idol show business—less known idols putting up small gigs and performances in shopping districts, local TV shows, and in small theaters tucked away in a less-than-popular street corner. These idols have a very small following of dedicated fans and these fans are their main source of income—selling CDs, doing handshake events, and selling merchandise ranging from common goods to exclusive and pricey idol photos.
1. OshiBudo is More of Slice of Life and Less Idol Anime
OshiBudo has a cast of idols and most episodes centering around their idol gigs, performances, and a look at their management. However, OshiBudo’s focus is more on the daily lives the idols and their stans and less on the idol fanservice you’d typically see in popular idol anime series like Love Live and The iDOLM@STER with stellar dance sequences, a tracklist of catchy songs, and a cast of colorful (literally and metaphorically), quirky characters. OshiBudo has a sparse tracklist and is hardly memorable because the songs and the accompanying performances are very short compared to the performances of the above-mentioned anime, which usually last more than 2 minutes. If grandiose musical performances with high-quality CGI models is your thing, then OshiBudo lacks in this department.
Oshi ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu is a charming show about a fan’s love of their idol and a great slice of life anime with a cast of interesting characters, be they stans or idols. OshiBudo doesn’t break any new grounds, nor does it try to create a new idol anime franchise because OshiBudo isn’t an idol anime. The lack of a tracklist of catchy music, frilly costumes, colorful dance sequences, and a huge cast of idols will discourage a hardcore idol anime fan, but to anyone who is looking for a slice of life anime about idols and their fans, then OshiBudo is something worth checking out.