How They Made Chou Kawaii Go: One

Filed in American Wota 3.0Tags: , ,

They stand all together,
eleven girls in a row,
under the spotlight,
in front of the cameras,
before the studio audience,
hassled by the avuncular host they all grew up with
on the other side of the television screen,
asked by this now-too-real, gently prodding man
the obvious question meant to humiliate them further.

Is this what you thought it would be like?

He turns his faux tender attention to one girl in particular,
Aiko, who smiles weakly and only wants to play along.
She is in her best outfit and her highest heels,
wanting to be as kakoii as she could be for her debut,
imagining herself the cool girl of the still-nebulous group,
the one that other girls would want to be like,
the same way she wanted to be
like BoA,
like Ayu,
and even a little like Kuu-chin.

Well, this is different, she says softly,
and inexplicably the audience roars,
finding irony in something earnest
(or perhaps vice-versa?)
as one of the other girls
(Hitomi? she doesn’t know yet the names)
barely suppresses a snicker.

You were told you’d be in Chou Kawaii Go,
the host chides her, then looks across
that long row of girls,
the achingly obvious minna lag,
one finger counting each girl off,
But there are many more than that!

And Aiko is about to sputter with anger, perhaps regret,
before finding the resolve that warned her from the start
of how tenuous her little girl dreams really were.

I will try my best! she suddenly shouts,
profound earnestness repelling whatever irony exists,
and so the host gasps in mock admiration
while the audience claps its own eager support,
some murmuring to each other, She’ll do well or
She will make it or She has what it takes.

There are many ways to shatter the idol dreams of young women.
The second most effective is to hold it within reach
and then snatch it away, so close to one’s grasp.
Aiko would not let that happen,
she would not lose that way.

Another loud snicker comes down from the line.