Do You Think You Can be a - Wota??
As the saying goes, "Different strokes for different folks". And nowhere is this more evident than in the wide, weird, yet wonderful world of J-Culture.
Indeed, even amongst Otaku, there exist many different subgroups that make consistent proud efforts to distinguish themselves from the rest. One such group is that of the Wota.
A Wota (ヲタ) is a term to basically described idol-otaku - people obsessed over idol groups such as Morning Musume, Momoiro Clover Z, and of course, AKB48 (and its various spin-off groups).
But there's way more to being Wota than simply putting Heavy Rotation on your iPhone once in a while. Wota-ing is serious business!
Do take note that all these points I'm making are all from my personal observations of this subgroup!
- Knowing every little facet of your favourite group - and sticking to it!
This might sound like a no-brainer, but there's so much more to this than meets the eye.
Any Wota worth his or her salt needs to be able to know every notable member of their idol group of choice. Not just their names mind you, but also little details like their hobbies, likes and dislikes, their status in the groups they belong to, and especially their nicknames. Naturally, knowing what rivals your favourite group(s) have is important too - whose side will YOU take?
- Buying merchandise - especially the ones that matter!
From 'bromides' (collectible photographs) to posters, keychains, CDs and what have you, merchandise plays a BIG part of being a Wota. Plenty of merchandise of more popular idols is almost always in short supply - and their prices can change dramatically in their aftermarkets!
Not only knowing what to buy is important, but knowing when to buy it too!
- Keeping your own network of fellow Wota!
Aside from the usual 'the more the merrier' mantra, having your own group (or groups) of fellow Wota is extremely important. Whether if it's knowing when performance dates are, who the next rising star is, and especially when a new batch of limited edition merchandise is up, having your own posse of peeps is invaluable!
- The Complex art of Wotagei!
The other major part of being a Wota? Why, knowing how to support your favourite idols during their performances of course! And there's no other way to do so than through 'Wotagei' (ヲタ芸)!
Basically referring to a type of dancing and gesturing, Wotagei is far more than simply punching the air. Jumping, clapping, arm-waving and most importantly chanting slogans; are all key ingredients of the perfect Wotagei.
Moves are chaotic, yet precise. Chants are seemingly random, but very intricate. Knowing whom to cheer for, and HOW to cheer for your favourite idol, is essential!
Feel like taking a dive into the idol fandom yet? Be vigilant and be prepared, for it's not just a mere hobby -Â– it's a commitment!