The Japanese idol industry is built on a combination of musical talent and illusion. These idols have to possess a certain measure of singing and dancing ability, but it must be packaged in a way that seems like they are singing to individual fans.
This bit of illusion fosters a connection between fans and idol, which has led to the creation of a billion yen industry. Fans are willing to attend concerts, purchase merchandise, and go to meet-and-greet events. Oh, and the songs have to be really catchy!
Aside from that, some fans can act a little odd towards their favorite idols. Kaori Matsumura, a member of SKE48 (a sister group of AKB48), appeared on Ogiyahagi no Busu TV and shared a disturbing story involving stuffed animals.
The 27-year-old idol says she has received stuffed animals in the mail on multiple occasions from fans. While it seems like an innocent gesture, Matsumura is aware of the possibility that a recording device could be hidden in the gift “I always hit the stuffed animals many times and shake them violently to make sure there’s no device hidden inside.”
It’s disturbing that Matsumura has to worry about stuffed animal housing a recording device, but that’s not the worst part of her story. Matsumura continued, “sometimes the stuffed animals have stains on them…like, whitish-colored stains.”
It’s incredibly gross that certain fans are sending “used goods” to Matsumura. Hopefully, she threw those out immediately while wearing gloves.