Chika-idol, Japan / 2017-18
"Nanchara Idol", a duo group of "Misami Mami" (24) and "Aoharu" (21) who are active as the underground idol, started about 3 years ago, mainly in a small music club. We call pop idols like them "Chika-idol" in Japanese. About half of the songs they sing at their 30 minute gigs are originals, and some frequent fans send shouts and cheers to them, called “Call". In addition, they attract fans with their live performances in skimpy costumes and swimsuits, and the performance of serving champagne to their fans during the song. When they finish their turn on the stage, they sell their own handmade music CDs and goods in the corner of the floor, and take a commemorative photo with their fans with an instant camera. There is a queue of fans waiting in front of them, and the performance of communicating with each fan feels close to the fans peculiar to the Chika-idol. Unlike existing Japanese teen idols who emphasize appearances in mainstream media such as TV and magazines, Chika-idols whose activities are mainly small-scale live performances at small music clubs began to rise in the mid-2000s. The number of people who are active as Chika-idols now have grown beyond grasp, and it is said that there are thousands of people. Regarding acting as an Chika-idol, the two "Nanchara idol" say, "Of course, there is a desire to become famous and to be seen by many people, but that is not the only our goal. Rather than becoming famous and diminishing relationships with individual fans, the joy of expressing ourself as a Chika-idol and sharing the time and event with the fans in front of us is more important." "Misami Mami", who used to be distressed because she couldn't find anything worth living, and "Aoharu", who had also suffered self-harmed due to mental instability, but they found their place in the world of Chika-idols. At a small music club somewhere today, they are on stage finding their whereabouts. The place they are working hard on may be an important place for the fans too in front of them.