地下アイドル[chika aidoru]

September 2, 2007 at 12:20 pm (otaku word)

She is kinda famous as a chika idol in Akihabara.

She is kinda famous as a chika idol in Akihabara.

 After I posted on ヲタ芸[otagei], I found something was missing. Yes, I forgot to write about this term, 地下アイドル[chika aidoru], so I shall add it now. Well, you could guess what this means. 地下[chika] means underground, and アイドル[aidoru] means idol. So literally it means an underground idol.

  If you happen to be in Tokyo, just go to the main street in Akihabara on weekend. If you are lucky, you could see such girls or a lot of ヲタ芸師[otageishi]. At any rate, such idols have not made a debut, but they sing or do a photo session.  So that’s why they show up on the street to sing to get more popular. Such girls are what’s called, 地下アイドル(or else ライブアイドル[live idol]). They might show up on the stage of such a tiny clubhouse. And yes, of course otageishi would love such 地下アイドル that they come to tiny events and do otagei or take pictures just like paparazzi…If a 地下アイドル shows up in Akihabara only(or mostly), she might be also called アキバ系アイドル[akiba-kei idol]. Having said that, AKB48 is アキバ系アイドル too although they made a debut. In general, most people seem to put these two kind of idols into the same pot, but technically it’s wrong. Of course, they never forget to introduce themselves on the net. Mostly, they do it on mixi. One more thing, if an idol appears on her site mostly, she might be called like ネットアイドル[net idol]. I am not sure they are really popular among akibakeis.

photo credit by Windbell

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6 Comments

  1. w said,

    So how often do these chika-idols get promoted to real idol status performing large gigs? Do some of them prefer staying small to entertain a tiny but dedicated fanbase? Do a lot of current idols start off as chika idols or are they largely handpicked by agencies?

    Sorry for asking so many questions, but the whole personality culture intrigues me (although it definitely creeps me out a bit too I guess – I just cannot bring myself to get so obsessed over real figures. Anime characters on the other hand… ahem.)

  2. bangin said,

    Let’s see, it’s really very rare for those chika-idols to come out of the underground and get promoted. Of course there’s not much chance to succeed as a matter of fact. Always there are some paparazzi(called camera kozou”カメラ小僧”) around those idols, but agents hardly scout them. So, as you guessed, some chika-idols would prefer staying small(but trying to be famous at the same time) and keep doing for their fans. So most current idols do not have any experience of being a chika-idol. Normally, they got through some hard auditions, got trained, and finally made a debut…like Morning Musume or AKB48. 🙂

  3. w said,

    Hmm, I see. Thank you so much for your kind explanation, as always!

    I wonder how these chika-idols earn money then? Going along with the whole “small” thing, they could sell much less stuff/have fewer performances but as they get very popular they could charge a lot of money because it’s like a limited edition or something.

  4. bangin said,

    I am most honored to be asked and answer, w-dono. 😀

    Actually, some chika-idols belong to such small agencies. In that case, it would be much easier to sing on the stage at the clubhouse. Of course, they don’t have to pay for the stage, and get a little cash(it’s not a well-paid job, though). So the idol group I posted on ヲタ芸, ゆめたまごたん must be belong to the agency, I assume.

    Or else, there are other chika-idols working by themselves. But they have to take care of everything, so of course it doesn’t pay anything.

    So either way, chika-idols can’t earn much money.

  5. Avplaya said,

    So did Chihara Minori performed like this before she was famous for being Yuki? In a street corner like a chika-idoru? It’s pretty amazing how grass-root otaku culture is… people just perform for free to get fame, and there are already fans showing their otagei love. This is how entertainment industry should function.

    Bangin-dono, I really think that otakus in Japan are inventing/creating the entertainment of tomorrow. When Hollywood crumbled, Akiba will stand. ^^

  6. bangin said,

    Yes, she used to do. The last time she did it was a year ago…it’s not so long time ago. She already started her career as a seiyu while she was doing performance on the street. Well, there are some pop-singers who used to sing on the street before they made a debut such as Kobukuro, Yuzu and so on. If she had not had any career as a seiyu, it would have been much difficult to come out of the underground I suppose so.

    Otakus have such potential…it could even change this world. ^^

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