- Titles: If the Fan Goes to Budoukan, She’ll Die, Je la vois déjà en haut de l’affiche
- Genre: Music, idol, slice of life, comedy, CGDCT but there are male characters, kinda yuri
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: 8-bit
It’s really hard to stand out as an idol group these days, There are just so many talented young idols out there. You probably haven’t even heard of 99% of them. and that’s ok. I,m not saying this to make you feel bad. It’s perfectly normal. Like I said, there are so many talented idols and what’s more, units disband and new ones get formed all the time. No one can keep up. So for smaller groups, all they can do is work hard and hope to someday become popular enough for a big stage like Budokan. As long as they have a few loyal fans, then they have all the reasons they need to keep trying. And that’s the case for Cham Jam. They may not be anywhere near the top but that’s just more reason for trying. Especially for shy little Maina. She’s the least popular girl in the group, but she has her own fan. And Eripiyo is dedicated enough to make up for 100 fans. No 1000 fans!
I had never heard of If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die but it’s the type of show I usually enjoy. A show about fans. I personally don’t know much about idol fandom or even about idols outside of anime so I was curious to see what that world is like.
I like the way If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die looks. More specifically, I think the girls in this show are really pretty. Considering all the male characters are designed to really lean away from classical beauty standards, while all the girls look like supermodel angels, I have a feeling that production was trying to make sure I liked the way the girls look. It worked. Good job.
That’s not to say that there’s nothing to enjoy visually if you aren’t into the character designs. For instance the eyes. Everyone in this show has beautiful detailed eyes with contrasting colours. It really makes them pop and gives off that ultra-anime aesthetic. There are also a number of views of the city that are all in pink and purple pastels. It gives the entire show a dreamy atmosphere. I wish we would have gotten a few more cityscapes, I found them to be one of the visual highlights of the show.
Finally, I thought I would point this out since If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die can technically be seen as an idol show. Although there are a few stage performances, there really aren’t many and they are rather short. More importantly, they are rendered in the same way as the rest of the show. No awkward CG here. Like I said though, there aren’t many performances or dance scenes either so the animation in general is toned down.
Story & Characters
My synopsis could be a bit misleading, although it is completely accurate. The show is about a small idol group called ChamJam as they attempt to become more popular, but it’s really told from Eripiyo’s point of view. So you end up seeing the fan (or otaku) side of that story more than the idol side.
And that’s a mixed bag.
If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die is a really fun show in my opinion…if you don’t think too much about it.
Eripyio is a great obsessed fan character. She’s devoted and goofy and it doesn’t hurt that she’s a very pretty lady herself. In fact, she seems to be the only lady that’s part of the fandom at the beginning of the show. Another girl is introduced later. But everyone else seems to be adult to middle-aged men. I can’t help but think that they picked such an atypical mega-fan type to make the show more attractive to viewers and a little less uncomfortable. When Eripyio is proclaiming her love for her bias, it looks like two evenly matched pretty girls, it might have come off a bit differently if a man twice her size and age were doing the same thing.
And that’s sort of what I mean. On the surface, If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die is a fun, occasionally cute show about what it means to be a very dedicated fan. But when you scratch a bit it can be rather uncomfortable or even quite sad in the implications.
For instance, Eripyio is constantly broke and often very hurt because she works a huge variety of part-time physically demanding part-time jobs. This is presented as comedic. She works all these jobs because in order to be able to attend all of ChamJam’s events, she will often have to spend more or less a whole day in line or drive off to a different city in the middle of the week making it impossible for her to get work with a steady schedule.
Moreover, since fan relationships with idols are heavily dependent on buying merch and essentially paying for their time, Eripyio spends every last penny she makes on ChamJam promotional material, greeting coupons, photo ops, and the like. She will work 3 to 4 jobs at a time when a big event is coming up just to be able to make enough money to participate for a single afternoon. This means that she has no time or resources for anything else. As in no actual job, no other hobby, no friends or lovers, not even time to take care of herself. And that’s not super healthy.
This is a show so Maina, the object of Eripyio’s “love”, actually reciprocates her feelings and enjoys the attention but in real life, it could easily go the other way. These two people have spoken a total of 10 words to each other, if that. That level of dedication and obsession from someone you hardly know can be very uncomfortable, not to mention that there are countless examples of when it turned bad.
If you look at the show in any sort of mildly realistic or objective mindset, you would see it as romanticizing unhealthy and undesirable fan behavior. But then again, you don’t have to look at it that way, do you? Pretty much all fiction requires a level of suspension of disbelief. If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die simply wants you to turn off your critical thinking when it comes to parasocial relationships and mental health. Is that too much to ask?
Unfortunately, the balance is not there. There are a few too many times when If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die pushes a scene just a little too far making it difficult to not have some thoughts on how this would not be a good situation in the real world. And this is the biggest issue with this show in my opinion.
I wrote about Heroines Run the Show and how the finale of that series didn’t sit right with me. How it chose to commend the worst parts of what is reputed to be a toxic and exploitative industry. Well, the entirety of If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die is like that. If it didn’t bother you in Heroines Run the Show, it probably won’t bother you here either.
If you can get over that, then I thought it was actually a pretty cute series. I liked all the characters quite a lot and I could see it appealing to a specific audience.
You might like this anime if:
You like the character designs. You wanted to see an unrealistic view of idol fan culture
My favourite character:
Kumasa – what can I say, I love a nice guy
- Every time Kumasa and Eripiyo hang out not at a show – take a sip
- Every time the narrator chimes in – pay attention
- Every time they mention a fan taboo – gasp!
- Every time Eripiyo buys out all the Maina merch – take a sip
- Every time we see the idol staff – appreciate them
- Every time ChamJam perform – clap
- Every time there’s a Yumeri and Maki “moment” – blush
- Every time Eripiyo‘s broke – take a sip
- Every time Rena shows up – take a sip
- Every time Maina gets all teary – there there
- Every time aya wants to be #1 – the best that ever was
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.