I have watched a lot of anime about idols. I’m an idol group fan myself, a hardcore one maybe. And from all the of idol anime produced each year, I have to say I never expected one where the idol anime protagonist is not an idol but an idol stan instead, a Wota. But god I wouldn’t change it for anything. Now I can say it was time for one.
What is Oshibudo Oshi Ga Budoukan Ittekuretara Shinu?
The premise of OshiBudo (to make it shorter) is very simple. Eripiyo is a dedicated (not to say hardcore) fan of an underground idol group, ChamJam, or more specifically of their least popular member, Maina. She spends all her free time and money on goods, CDs, and event tickets just to support her. Eripiyo is so dedicated to Maina, that always wears the same tracksuit from high school, just because she prefers using her money to support Maina than to buy new clothes for herself. That dedication takes her to be involved in a lot of misadventures (idol related of course).
The anime takes us on a journey into the idol stan culture, more intense in Japan itself than for international fans but still relatable for idol stans around the world. For example, translating her work payment into album quantity, or talking about selling her organs as a current joke in the show when she runs out of money and she can’t buy new albums.
But Eripiyo had a normal life as a salary woman before, breaking the wota stereotypes of only being fat and greasy men. One day she laid her eyes on Maina the least popular idol of ChamJam during one of their free presentations as underground idols and since then she literally ditched the normal life she had.
Eripiyo ends up giving little priority to herself and focuses everything on buying all of Maina’s merchandise, buying all tickets for hi-touch and handshake events, and using different accounts (we never get to know how many) to comment about Maina being the best idol and sharing Maina´s post to make it seem she is more popular than what she really is.
Meanwhile, ChamJam is an underground idol group, which makes it a very difficult journey for them to even make it afloat. Yes, they are very talented, but without media coverage or a big company behind. They are not as popular as mainstream groups like AKB48 or Nogizaka46. In that side, they can only rely on their fans support. Mainly by holding concerts, selling CDs, doing handshake events, and selling merchandise. But the real deal is the limited edition merch they sell and chances of taking a photo with them as idols for a limited quantity of fans (the first ones to sign up for it).
Eripiyo makes sure she’ll be first in line to buy limited edition Maina goods and take a photo with her even though she will be the only one in line to buy them and also the one that buys everything. Yes, she is very extreme and that’s what makes the show even more fun.
Why Eripiyo is so insisting in supporting the least popular idol of ChamJam? Is she in love with her? Eripiyo doesn’t even give it a thought because for idol otakus is an inside rule to never fall in love with the idols they admire apparently. In the end is only “MAINA I LOVE YOU” from the top of her lungs as a fan, for now.
Aside from her, we met other ChamJam stans, like veteran wota Kumasa and the newbie in idol culture, Motoi. Each of the Stans has an Oshi (a favorite member) and have their own way of showing their support. At the end, that’s what we see in Oshibudo, the relationship between idols and their fans.
And let’s not forget about the ChamJam members themselves, who out of the lights of the stage are just normal girls trying to live up for their dreams. Each idol has a story to tell. For example, Reo the veteran idol who doesn’t want to give up, Aya who doesn’t want to fall on the stereotype of the loli of the group forever but fails at it, or Maina, the least popular idol in the group that has trouble making up her feelings towards her only fan Eripiyo and expressing her thoughts to everyone including her only wota.
All of them share an objective with their fans, reach the biggest stage in Japan, the Budokan.
It is the only anime of its kind, a premise never seen in idol anime before. This show is one that will break the usual stereotypes people hold about idol otakus for the most part. As we see Eripiyo, Kumasa, and Motoi as just people who spend their time enjoying the things they love. We see the Kansha events that idols are used to hold after their presentations to connect with the fans. How the wotas exchange photocards to complete the collection of their respective oshis, and their joy of new fans joining. As when Eripiyo discovers another fan that also stans Maina because that means Maina is gaining more fans and she is not the only one anymore, boasting about it as the best thing in the world even though nobody cares (Been there, done that).