It’s late June and so the New Year’s revolutionary spirit that prompted you to go out and buy that guitar—while declaring that you would become the world-famous musician you always knew you could be—has probably waned a bit. Half a year later and you’re not quite Jimi Hendrix, but you’ve mastered the G Chord, so hey, it’s not all bad. What you really need to remember is that every popular school idol ever has faced this exact same problem and look at them now: they’re world-famous, uber-popular megastars! So let’s follow their methods and soon you too will be well on your way to becoming a legendary idol*.
*You may not actually become a legendary idol, due to a lack of singing ability, non-deity status, or having few fans/worshippers, but best of luck with whatever your goals are.
Step 1) Decide you want to be an idol.
This step is pretty key. It might have been your life-long dream, but really your chances of success increase tenfold if you’ve actively avoided wanting to become an idol, scoff at the idea when it is suggested, have never considered it before seeing an errant poster on a billboard somewhere, or caught the end of a clip on television and been enthralled. Be inspired. Ladies and gentlemen, this step was effectively tailored to you and your aspirational, long-discarded New Year’s Resolutions. It’s time to try something completely different.
Step 2) RECRUITING!
OPTION 1 (IF YOU ARE A NATURAL LEADER): Get your friends on board. Some may join you wholeheartedly, while others will remind you of how impractical, stupid and illogical your plans are. Don’t let their pessimism dissuade you, as you are clearly on the path to greatness, and they’ll inevitably join your crew anyway, providing invaluable support further down the road when you begin to question how deserving you are of this meteoric rise to fame following a terrible performance that causes everyone else to abandon you. The power of friendship can overcome this. Believe in yourself and your friends.
OPTION 2 (IF YOU ARE NOT A LEADER): Join your friend on their quest to be an idol. If you are slightly aloof and prefer being separate from the crowds, have a low self-esteem, or have too many familial responsibilities and commitments denying you from following your dreams, do not fret! You are practically destined to be an idol! Chances are that you’ve privately cultivated supreme vocals or a have a surprisingly natural flair for dancing. And even if you don’t have such innate abilities, your fastidious attention to detail and commitment will make you an extremely competent and well-adored addition to the group. Allow yourself to slowly be enticed into joining an idol group.
Step 3) Idol Club Activate!
a) Formally create a group/club. Now that you have all decided to become idols, forego extensive practicing and instead get your club approved from the nearest authority, or go and audition for the nearest music producer.
b) GET REJECTED. Seriously, if this doesn’t happen, there’s not much point in continuing. Your idol dream is a folly. If you are at school or university, the easiest way to ensure rejection is to have fewer members than the requisite five members needed to form a club. There’s no way the student president is going to openly approve of your goals anyway, so you might as well prevent it from legally happening as well. If you are auditioning, bomb the audition. Sounds counterintuitive? It’s really the only way to achieve Step 4.
Step 4) Find a rooftop.
As any popular idol group will tell you, the incipient stages on their road to greatness began with practicing on a rooftop. No matter how they much they were ridiculed when they were persona non grata, unable to find a simple indoor space to prepare, the rooftop was always there for them. Every iteration of friendship-forging, dramatic fall-outs due to external forces, tears, blood, injuries, setbacks and dance-routines occurred on the rooftop. Evidently, the greater exposure to the heavens allows for the rooftop to act as a sanctuary, full of divine spirit that will one day translate into giving your group an ethereal quality that turns heads everywhere. So, basically, find yourselves a rooftop.
Step 5) Practice.
You need to practice constantly; whether alone eating breakfast or together in an ice-cream parlour (why are you in an ice-cream parlour? You need to diet if you’re going to become an idol), always be thinking of lyrics, memorising steps, composing music etc. Chances are, no matter how well-rehearsed or talented you are individually, you’ll be absolutely atrocious together the first time. That’s fine, just keep going. Eventually your team will be sufficiently synchronised to start drawing attention from outsiders.
OPTIONAL: You can at this point still try and recruit members, but you’d do better to rehearse instead, as everyone, including your other friends whose interests are somewhat piqued, will still ignore any pleas you make to them.
Step 6) Have an unsanctioned performance.
Have your rag-tag group of rejects perform in a public arena without any real forewarning. You might not be that great yet, but your improvement will draw a few more people to you, and even those sceptical friends of yours will start hanging around and occasionally join in. If at school or university, you’re bound to have enough members now to finally make your idol club official. In other circumstances, a minor, down-on-his-luck music producer will coincidentally (be destined to?) see you perform and something about your group will spark his interest.
Step 7) Trials and Tribulations.
With greater recognition, comes greater scrutiny. You’ll have to pick up the slack now that your newly appointed advisor/manager is here. Undoubtedly you have much to learn and your amateurish ways have no place in this slightly more professional setting. Training will be hellish, your tests will be subpar, and faith in your burgeoning idol career will be shaken. Do not despair, because your cemented friendships, in tandem with Rooftop PowerTM, will see you through this difficult time. Believe in yourself.
Step 8) Make your debut.
The student council is allowing you to perform in this year’s cultural festival! Producer-san has pulled through and got you a place in an open competition! Carpe diem people! You’ve prepared for this harder than anyone else within your immediate vicinity. So after organising costumes last minute, solving crises regarding the music, ironing out those last few steps of the routine, get up onstage and perform your hearts out!
Step 9) Bask in the radiant glory of your overwhelming greatness!
Why were you so nervous? Not only have you won the adulation of everyone and made the event a success, but every boy and girl in your newly created fan club is asking you for your email address, autograph and photo! You can take it all in your stride, because your soul-mates are beside you.
The best thing of all is that a really famous record company/idol promotion company representative was in the audience and wants to contract you!
Step 10) Congratulations! You’re well on your way to becoming a top idol group!
This is but the first part of your journey towards becoming globally-renowned, but you’re on a promising path. You are likely to encounter hardships and rival idol groups along the way, but in your darkest hours, never forget how much you enjoy working to spawn this booming success that you are now experiencing. Never forgot your simple loves of dancing, singing and friendship, and you will prevail. Embrace your deepest desires and become a person worthy of idolatry!
May your future endeavours be fruitful.
This has been a PSA brought to you by Nomadic Dec, freshly self-appointed life-coach and inspirational speaker to fictional idols everywhere. For an actual authority on being an idol, related anime, and general idol paraphernalia, please contact Dexomega. I’m sure he’d really appreciate the enhancement of his reputation as an avid watcher of idol-group anime and a legitimisation of his effective presence as Anitay’s demi-cat god.