Konna no Idol Janain?! 10: Greetings
It’s August 31st, the last day of the summer vacation, and Sensei summons all the girls to the clubroom.
Umika is very upset. For one thing, she hasn’t finished her school projects [Japanese students are sometimes busier during their holidays than during regular school time]. Of course her disgusting little classmates have all done their work. Hiroro did everything by herself. Uki, on the other hand, has had the old man next door do the work for her (and this rings true considering the sort of work the girl does IRL).
Sensei shows up and explains the reason for the day’s meeting. The explanation is a fantastic example of tortured logic at its most excruciating. Let me see if I can map this reasoning out:
1) August 31st is the last day of August.
2) In Japanese the last day of the month is traditionally called “misoka”.
3) There are 12 misoka in the year.
4) There are only 2 misoka where you really truly feel the “misokaness” = end-of-the-month-feeling.
5) One is December 31st, because it’s the end of the year.
6) The other is August 31st, because it’s the end of the summer holidays.
7) This means August 31st and December 31st are intimately connected, through this super-misokaness.
8) December 31st is when the Kohaku Uta Gassen musical competition is held.
9) Therefore August 31st is an ideal day to practice participating in the Kohaku Uta Gassen.
10) This is why Sensei has called the girls together this day.
The girls are delighted when they hear this. The Kohaku Uta Gassen competition, where the most popular Japanese musical acts, divided into a male team and a female team, fight each other, is about as fancy as it gets.
Uki immediately says she wants to practice “rooting for the singers”. Kanae says she wants to be an emcee. Hiroro is all ready to be a judge. Sensei says “No”, that’s now what they will practice. Umika is hopeful: “we have to practice singing first, right?”
Wrong. Sensei says what they must learn first is how the rookie idols must greet the sempai singers…
The first key point here is that the rookie idols must greet others with “Ohayo gozaimasu” (the morning greeting) at any time of day.
The second key point is that the intonation of the greeting depends on whether the sempai is male or female. When greeting men, the girls should say “Ohayo gozaimaaaaasu”, pronouncing the “ma” long and with an undulation [Sensei doesn’t go deep into this, but she calls it the 1/f kurari effect, and I’m guessing it’s meant to mesmerize men’s minds through some sort of pink noise].
Women react very negatively to this singsong, however, and so for them it’s best to do a quick “Ohayo gozaimasu” and then add a phrase full of praise, e.g. “I’ve always looked up to you” or “I’m your biggest fan” etc. Flattery, then, is womankind’s weakness.
Aside from the male and female singers, there’s another group of people that rookie idols must be careful when greeting: the assistant directors. The ADs are important for two reasons: a) some of them will become directors and producers in the future, b) they are terrible gossips who tend to talk to the weekly mags constantly. Therefore, a rookie idol will want these people on her side.
“Ohayo gozaimasu” is not appropriate for the ADs. Since they’re usually exhausted, the best way to go is with an “Otsukaresama desu” (awfully hard to translate, but meaning something like “You did very well” and “You must be so tired” rolled into one) and a great big bow. Also, instead of using the 1/f kurari effect, they should go with an idol alfalfa effect, which consists of soft, breathy tones [i.e. utterly moe stuff].