17 September 2011
AKB48 Handshake Event Incidents
For those uninitiated, AKB48 CDs come with handshake tickets. Hard core fans will buy multiple copies just for handshake tickets and show up on the fated day several hours early to wait in line and handshake his/her oshimen and hopefully say a few words before going back in line to do it again.
Now hopefully common courtesy remains intact. Fans will typically say a few things like "ganbare" or "daisuki" or even just a "konnichiwa" (good luck/work hard, I like you, hello, respectively). As they cycle through the line, the idols hopefully will remember their faces, clothes, and maybe even put together a full conversation.
A handshake event is the closest a fan will get to his/her oshimen. Unless one shows up on your doorstep and makes you a omelette rice for a television program but thats highly unlikely. So when fans act badly, its a big deal especially in etiquette-conscious Japan.
Incident 1: Fujie Reina
Fujie Reina is a teenager. As a teenager they tend to be conscious about their looks especially one who has to go in front of cameras all the time and sometimes there won't be a handy dandy intern on hand to photoshop out every blemish. So if she asks you not to look for her pimples, and not to call her annoying, please do not show up at a handshake event and do that.
Incident 2: Tomomi Kasai
From Dakishimeraretara to Oshibe to meshibe to yoru no chouchou, Tomomi uses her low, fluttering voice quite well. She's all grown up and is one of the image girls for Heart bras. Now as a female, I can tell you that being told I'm sexy by random strangers is not a compliment, its harassment.
Being told in a handshake event what exactly perverted thoughts went through your head and what you do with your hands in your sad, lonely life is beyond harassment. Tomomi stated that she doesn't like being told that she's "ero", so please don't.
Incident 3: Akimoto Sayaka
This has been talked over in forums and blogs. Some fan gave Sayaka the middle finger during the event, got pulled away by security, and continued to flip her off. Now, I don't know why he did this. Perhaps this fan was an anti-Sayaka, deliberately went out and brought a CD for a handshake ticket, and stood in line just to flip her off. Maybe he didn't like what she was wearing that day. Perhaps Sayaka did not acquiesce to whatever his request was.
So what? Please refer back to the generally acceptable rule of "don't be an idiot" and just don't do that. You don't like an idol, feel free to ignore the idol and spent your time watching televised sports, walking your dog, or folding origami. Now Sayaka took it like a normal human being. Instead of relying on management and security, she called him out and demanded an apology. In the end, fan apologized, Sayaka shook his hand, and the guy walks away in one piece.
So what have we learned from this?
1.) Don't be an idiot.
2.) If you're lucky enough to be in Japan, holding handshake tickets, just handshake with all your heart and tickets and remember the rest of us poor fans who are unable to.