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Idols: The Image of Desire in Japanese Consumer Capitalism

  • Patrick W. Galbraith

Abstract

On 22 November 2010, fans across Japan rushed to purchase Tomochin!!, a collection of photographs of Itano Tomomi, a member of the popular female idol group AKB48. Of the 148 pages in the book, 64 were manga; drawings of Itano and a fictional story about her accounted for 43 percent of a photo book bearing her nickname and presenting her to fans. While the reaction was not entirely positive, it is interesting that such a conflation of images could occur at all. This was not an isolated incident. Just a few months earlier, the members of AKB48 began appearing as characters in their own manga series. As Tomochin!! makes clear, for some perhaps uncomfortably so, fiction is part of the makeup of an idol. The association of real and fictional images exposes how idols are made up and how they are imagined.

Keywords

Image Video Viewing Position Grand Narrative High School Girl Object Relation Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Patrick W. Galbraith 2012

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  • Patrick W. Galbraith

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