The recently released Oshi no Ko anime may be unsettling to watch at times because it frequently functions as a form of social commentary on Japan's real-life idol industry and culture, which occasionally even generates media attention in the West due to how harsh or unwholesome it can seem to English-speaking audiences. Oshi no Ko, however, is a surprisingly dark psychological drama that ties back to the many repercussions of working in the entertainment industry at a young age. This psychological drama can be found beneath the colorful promotional images, adorable character designs, and frequently laugh-out-loud comedic writing.

Oshi no Ko isn't afraid to delve into the darker aspects of the idol industry, unlike the majority of idol anime. Here are some characteristics that distinguish it from other idol anime and how it reflects the real-life Japanese idol industry.

Oshi No Ko Now is available on MangaMonster with high quality scans and updates at speed of Japan.


How the Japanese idol industry's harsh realities are depicted in Oshi no Ko

Oshi no Ko Is a Blistering Social Commentary on Japan's Idol Industry_0

Idols in Japan are required to abide by a number of stringent rules and regulations in real life. They must strictly uphold the wholesome persona they project as idols in addition to the well-known "no dating allowed" rule. They cannot be implicated in any scandal as a result of this. Most Westerners may envision incidents involving drunk driving or using illegal drugs when they hear that word. However, in Japan, scandals can refer to anything that contradicts an idol's upstanding reputation for innocence, such as drinking or having a good time while wearing skimpy attire at a nightclub. In fact, a lot of these offenses can cause idols to lose their jobs.

Because of this, Oshi no Ko's resident rising super idol Ai has to take extraordinary measures to conceal her pregnancy. Ai and her producer go to great lengths to conceal their offspring from the public eye even after they are born. How much more would a teen pregnancy affect one's reputation if it forced most idols to resign after being discovered having an affair and apologize to their fans in public? The fact that Ai's own children are not allowed to attend her funeral even after she passes away is rather revealing and illustrates how idols' reputations can continue to have a negative impact on them even after their deaths.


Oshi no Ko Is a Blistering Social Commentary on Japan's Idol Industry_1

The majority of other well-known idol anime, such as Love Live! and The iDolm@ster, place a greater emphasis on themes of friendship and the influence of music. The darker aspects are rarely discussed, even though these shows may continue to highlight the challenges of breaking into the idol business. Instead, these shows prefer to devote more time to the girls performing entertaining musical numbers, dressing cutely, and fostering their friendships. The most difficult obstacles to overcome are frequently things like outperforming rival bands or growing popular enough to play in the Budokan.

Oshi no Ko's main plot does not attempt to hide the harsh realities that surround it, even though it still includes some elements of the lighter side of the idol industry and the entertainment industry as a whole. Later on in the manga, it is mentioned that an idol's career is relatively brief and that most idols must retire by the time they are in their mid-20s. The majority of the money goes back to the idols' agencies, so they don't receive much in compensation either. Such subjects are hardly ever discussed in idol anime, which typically only features teenage protagonists.

From the very first episode, Oshi no Ko makes it clear that it has something to say, not just about the idol industry but also about the entertainment industry as a whole. This message, among many other things, is what sets it apart from most other idol anime -- and it's what has led to it becoming such a major international success.

Oshi No Ko Now is available on MangaMonster with high quality scans and updates at speed of Japan.