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What changes in the Idols' ages would you like to see?

Miki -> 16
Miki -> 18 or older
Azusa -> 18 or 19
Chihaya -> 16 or older
Makoto -> 16 or older
Takane -> 18 or older
Other (specify)
I have no preference or opinion about the age of any of the idols

Author Topic: The Idols' Ages??  (Read 3101 times)

TTB

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The Idols' Ages??
« on: May 13, 2012, 07:56:55 AM »
Kotori 2?(>5)
Azusa 20
Ritsuko 18
Takane 17
Makoto 16
Haruka 16
Yukiho 16
Ryo 15
Eri 15
Chihaya 15
Hibiki 15
Miki 14
Iori 14
Yayoi 13
Ai 13
Ami 12
Mami 12

Does anyone know why these particular ages were picked? Even for Jupiter the age goes from 14 to 20.  ??? So while for Ami and Mami they're so young looking and bratty that it's believable that they could be 12. But Miki 14? Before I looked it up just now I could've sworn she was at least 16. Makoto too.

I mean each of these numbers were deliberate and thoughtful corporate/artistic decisions made by group consensus of a number of directors/executives/chiefs entrusted with the success of the franchise. I have no idea though what compelled them to choose this range or make certain decisions regarding the ages that seem contrary to the profit-motive.

In other words, I'm familiar enough with Iori and Yayoi to think that they also should be younger, but they could have been 15 or even 16 and still be believable. But Takane, Makoto, Chihaya, Hibiki, Miki and some others could easily pass for 18 (Especially Takane, until I looked it up just now I could've sworn I had read she was 19 from somewhere). Why make them younger?   :-\ Why make Azusa 20 when she could be 18? What reasoning could there be for such a decision?

So in considering some possibilities I thought: well what if they were assuming a demarcation of 16, then maybe the system they were operating with is something like:

18+ Ladies
16-18 Young Ladies
>16 Girls

Which still doesn't explain how Miki is 14? I mean individual physical traits vary greatly and certainly some kids look younger or older than they really are. But why make the conscious deliberate decision to make Miki 14? Are they trying to fill every single number from 12 to 18 or something? They already have variety of personality and appearance, does variety of "numbers" count for something?

Because consider the $$$ angle, wouldn't idols be more marketable if they were at least the age of majority? (It's 20 in Japan but they plan to (reasonably) lower it to 18). Is there some stigma for girls over 18?  ??? I mean I know Christmas Cake (<25) get picked on in fiction as well as IRL, but 18??

Is it that they are going for the whole family-friendly/acceptable thing, so for a SFW game the agency employs females of any age including below or above 18 and everything is fine? But then how could that working paradigm be justified with G4U?  ???

I just looked it up and AKB48 is also 14 to 20+ ??

The idea I'm thinking of but can't really believe 100% is that the stories for the characters (including ages) were written beforehand, and for once (because it's SOOOO rare) the corporate-types kept the original ages for the sake of artistic faithfulness....? But the idea of corporate-types doing anything that could reduce profit seems laughably unlikely... Or maybe the word idol/アイドル itself is of a certain age group, thus justifying the variety? Other than that... nothing else comes to mind...

Maybe the veteran fans here have some ideas about this? (And here's hoping this topic doesn't become another fudgestorm!! *crosses fingers* >_<)

Here is a chart I just found (lol 9 to 31...), although it seems all the numbers are bigger by one compared to the info on the wiki:



Again this is not criticism or discontent, I'm only curious if anyone knows what the reasoning could be behind such arguably anti-profit decisions? Nothing negative, only curious!

***EDIT*** Dangit I messed up the poll and hit enter by accident and I don't think users can vote for more than one option... and I don't see any way to change that attribute in the "Edit Poll" section, unless a mod would be kind enough to enable voting for more than one choice.  :-[

***EDIT***  Ok BIG THANKS to Yunabeco for fixing the poll! I reset the votes to 0 so now you can vote again for more than one choice. Thanks again to Yunabeco!  :)

« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 09:17:03 AM by TTB »

RoninatorMarx

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 10:38:48 AM »
The answer you seek is a bit complicated, so expect a lengthy reply. But if I have to condense it to one word, it'll be "demographics".

First up, age range. There's no general age that everyone likes, because players would naturally be of different ages. And even then, people have different preferences. So how to ensure a profit in an idol simulation game? Make a big enough cast, then spread the age among them. This is merely the characters identifying themselves by age to the idols, or at least exploration of their interests.

Next up, physical traits. You seem to be surprised of Miki's height despite her age. Would you be surprised that Ritsuko's actually shorter than Miki? Anyway, they thought of all this during the concept creations of the idols. Admit it or not, they are expanded characters of standard stereotypes of character (hence we can summarize their personality in a few words). Miki attempts to fit the attraction of gaijin to the Japanese. Genki personalities are mostly preferred on lolis. So are tsunderes. etc. What's nice about Cinderella Girls is that some of them actually break stereotypes.

Oh yeah. As to why they they chose those ages to the main girls? Applying the above, it's more of keeping with the theme than anything else, really.

Poll question: I have no quarrel over their ages. I've learned to love them as they are.

Elixir

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 10:44:31 AM »
25 or older.

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2012, 11:02:33 AM »
The answer you seek is a bit complicated, so expect a lengthy reply. But if I have to condense it to one word, it'll be "demographics".

Lengthy replies are good! Thank you for making an effort :)

Quote
First up, age range. There's no general age that everyone likes, because players would naturally be of different ages. And even then, people have different preferences.

How can anyone have an age preference that goes to single digits? If a fan likes an idol and see they're a year or two or three above or below any number are they going to like them less? Isn't it the case that it's 99% how the idol looks and acts? What amount of change would could a number do to those two factors? There are many characters that look young but get slapped with an "18" or "actually 700 years old" tag.

So if Miki looks like she could be 16 or 18, why deliberately choose 14?

Quote
Next up, physical traits. You seem to be surprised of Miki's height despite her age. Would you be surprised that Ritsuko's actually shorter than Miki? Anyway, they thought of all this during the concept creations of the idols. Admit it or not, they are expanded characters of standard stereotypes of character (hence we can summarize their personality in a few words). Miki attempts to fit the attraction of gaijin to the Japanese.

As I wrote in the OP, physical traits don't absolutely correlate to any specific age number when everyone involved is growing up and going through puberty anyway. And yes the idols' characterization contains many well-known tropes, but none of those tropes are number specific.

Quote
Oh yeah. As to why they they chose those ages to the main girls? Applying the above, it's more of keeping with the theme than anything else, really.

What theme is that? Please elaborate.

Quote
Poll question: I have no quarrel over their ages. I've learned to love them as they are.

There is no quarrel! I'm only asking a question! And I love them too! :)
 
25 or older.

??? You would prefer them to all be 25 or older? So Mami and Ami still look 12 but are actually 25? Or have them actually look like they are 25? Please tell us more.

Elixir

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2012, 11:47:44 AM »
You would prefer them to all be 25 or older? So Mami and Ami still look 12 but are actually 25? Or have them actually look like they are 25? Please tell us more.

I would prefer if they all were 25 or older, looking 25 or older. The target demographic wouldn't change at all... I thought they'd slowly release titles progressing each year, since the sequel is set a year ahead, but it seems unlikely at this stage.

The age discrimination in Japan is off-putting though, where anyone over the age of 30 is "old".

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2012, 12:43:44 PM »
I would prefer if they all were 25 or older, looking 25 or older. The target demographic wouldn't change at all... I thought they'd slowly release titles progressing each year, since the sequel is set a year ahead, but it seems unlikely at this stage.

The first idea is curious, they would all be Christmas Cake (jk) :3

The second idea is fascinating! That would be a great thing to see the idols grow! But very risky and not guaranteed to be lucrative... :(

Quote
The age discrimination in Japan is off-putting though, where anyone over the age of 30 is "old".

It's not just in Japan. I'm in NYC, my little sister is 15 and her sweet 16 is coming up soon. I caught her sighing before and asked her what was up, she said she's getting "old". I told her "I know what you mean", I'm in my 20's and lament my aging, having to worry about my health and what I eat now, no shaving cream with alcohol it dries out the skin and can cause wrinkles, use whitening toothpaste, whiter teeth is associated with looking younger, thank the powers that be I still look young given my general appearance, I could even pass for an 18 or 19 year old as soon as I lose a few more pounds, or look my actual age if I dress with some decorum.

As a guy I'm VERY thankful that we are not cursed with the unjust and unrealistic standards imposed on women by most societies of the present day. And not having to put on make-up or pluck eyebrows or any of that other stuff that takes up so much time.

Anyway as for your last line about perceptions of over 30 being old, I would adjust those numbers of what societies are thinking to -

America:
Female =
Baby 1-4
Girl 5-12
Teen 13-16
Young Lady 17-21
Lady 22-25
MILFriend 26-39
Ma'am 40-59
Grandma 60+

Male =
Baby 1-4
Boy 5-14
Teen 15-19
Guy 20-29
Man 30-64
Gramps 65+

Japan:
Female =
Baby (Youjo) 1-4
Girl (Bishoujo) 5-12
Teen (Josei/Oneechan) 13-15
Woman (Onna) 16-23
Why is she not married yet... *suspicious* (Ke-ki) 24-26
Wonder how much prettier she was when she was young... (obasan) 27-32
Invisible unless you're family (Kusobaba) 33+

Male =
Baby (Otoko no Ko) 1-4
Boy (Shounen/Boku) 5-15
Guy (Seinen) 16-23
Salaryman (Ossan) 24-39
Gramps (Ojisan) 40+

Again this is not what I personally think, but my feeling of where the societal boundaries are at approximately; it's a distinct double-standard and widely prevalent and horribly unfair. As for the U.S. numbers being lower, my little sister and her friends are stylish and smart, and this is their attitude pretty much, the numbers are getting smaller.

P.S. the lady in your avatar is really sexy, what is her name :3
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 12:57:42 PM by TTB »

RoninatorMarx

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2012, 01:42:18 PM »
Sorry. I've structured my reply that you get one big answer if you piece them together. Anyway...

How can anyone have an age preference that goes to single digits? If a fan likes an idol and see they're a year or two or three above or below any number are they going to like them less? Isn't it the case that it's 99% how the idol looks and acts? What amount of change would could a number do to those two factors? There are many characters that look young but get slapped with an "18" or "actually 700 years old" tag.

So if Miki looks like she could be 16 or 18, why deliberately choose 14?

Age preference that's of single digits? Simple. Lolicons. That, or young players. Like 10-12 young.

In retrospect, not a lot of people care about age. At least, it doesn't stop them from their usual fan-tasies. [/lame pun] But if I have to guess, Miki's age was set to 14 just to reinforce the gaijin-are-fast-growers thing she marketed since debut.

As I wrote in the OP, physical traits don't absolutely correlate to any specific age number when everyone involved is growing up and going through puberty anyway. And yes the idols' characterization contains many well-known tropes, but none of those tropes are number specific.


Exactly. None of those tropes are age-specific. Hence the age thing is just more of making it sound convincing to the audience than anything else.

What theme is that? Please elaborate.

Sorry. I should've said "themes". And by that, I mean the traits and stereotypes.

P.S. the lady in your avatar is really sexy, what is her name :3

Reiko Takahashi, a Cinderella Girl. (Look again in your chart- She's at top)

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 02:03:38 PM »
Sorry. I've structured my reply that you get one big answer if you piece them together. Anyway...

I'm not sure what you're posting sorry for, but I appreciate the thought! Thank you! :)

Quote
Age preference that's of single digits? Simple. Lolicons. That, or young players. Like 10-12 young.

Um... I thought we could get banned for discussing such things... hopefully I've misunderstood...

With regards to persons with such chronophilias, does the number really matter to them (down to a specific age, not tolerating a deviation even more than a single year)? Do you truly believe that these executives/directors sat around a boardroom table reviewing and finalizing the details of this production and the key data for the characters that will sustain their multi-million dollars invested project and this dialogue happened:

Executive Producer: "Just checking but, Miki looks at least 16, why is the number 14 being put next to her name again?"

Chief Marketing Consultant: "Remember we have customers for 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 and so on, each number has to be represented to cover all our bases."

Executive Procuer: "Oh right, I forgot that our operating principles included: 1. That a not insignificant number of the target customers will care about such minutiae. And 2. That in recognition of these... precise... preferences... we will be changing details to address such... concerns... Thank you for reminding me, otherwise a large number of potential Miki fans would have been lost if the number next to her name had been 16 or 18 instead of 14."

Art Director: "The only ones who will fret over such details are those who are intimately concerned with the specific numbers. Everyone else who notices any discrepancies will just shrug and forget about it. It's a safe way to hedge our bets."

Intern thinking: "lol my glorious Nippon... what happened to you...?"

/EndScript

Why would younger players care about age? Is a 12 year-old boy going to lose his crush for Chihaya if she's 16 instead of 15? Kids that age don't generally think that deeply about such things as the fantasy age of a fantasy character in their romantic fantasy... right?

Quote
In retrospect, not a lot of people care about age. At least, it doesn't stop them from their usual fan-tasies. [/lame pun]But if I have to guess, Miki's age was set to 14 just to reinforce the gaijin-are-fast-growers thing she marketed since debut.

Ahh! Gaijin grow fast and have ample bosoms! I had forgotten about that trope! Yes that makes sense! And you just reminded me of a line from Ep 1 where one of the girls says to Miki after she goes "afu" and plops on the couch asleep again: "nerukko wa sodattsu ne" "They say sleeping girls grow faster"

Quote
Exactly. None of those tropes are age-specific. Hence the age thing is just more of making it sound convincing to the audience than anything else.

Hmmm, what do they need convincing of? Does the number somehow affect the appearance personality or character of any of the idols in some way? I suppose you're stating that the designers of the game operated on the principle that a number of their customers think it would indeed have an effect...

It really seems like a constructed and unrealistic detail to be concerned with... In other words that the number doesn't really have any kind of definite effect.... that Chihaya for example wouldn't necessarily be a different character just because the number 16 instead of 15 was next to her name in her profile.

Quote
Sorry. I should've said "themes". And by that, I mean the traits and stereotypes.

Roger that.

Quote
Reiko Takahashi, a Cinderella Girl. (Look again in your chart- She's at top)


Thank you! Wow she's at the top of the chart!? I will look into her character, OLs are nice  8)

***EDIT*** Oh hey she really IS at the top of the chart! lol!  :D
« Last Edit: May 13, 2012, 02:45:31 PM by TTB »

Daverost

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2012, 08:47:02 PM »
Here is a chart I just found (lol 9 to 31...), although it seems all the numbers are bigger by one compared to the info on the wiki:

I don't know if anyone addressed this, but the ages on the wiki are from the original series and the ages on the chart are from 2nd Vision (iM@S2 going forward).

SakuraMaxX

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2012, 09:00:53 PM »
Because Cinderella Girls was established after iM@S 2, along with the fact that the Cinderella Girls cards use the iM@S 2 character designs.

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 09:32:27 PM »
Because Cinderella Girls was established after iM@S 2, along with the fact that the Cinderella Girls cards use the iM@S 2 character designs.

Two quick questions if I may:

1. Is that a male character in your avatar?

2. So the official canon is that the idols have now aged in this Cinderella Girls?

SakuraMaxX

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2012, 09:38:09 PM »
1. Yes

2. Yes.  I think from every 2ND VISION product (excluding Dearly Stars[?]) onwards, the new character designs and ages take effect (I don't think LIVE in SLOT counts as a section of 2ND VISION).

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2012, 09:41:42 PM »
1. Yes

2. Yes.  I think from every 2ND VISION product (excluding Dearly Stars[?]) onwards, the new character designs and ages take effect (I don't think LIVE in SLOT counts as a section of 2ND VISION).

Ok, thank you! So the idols are aging... I wonder what other changes there will be in the future...

I can't imagine how they could possibly make Iori's hair any better so hopefully they will leave that alone.

RoninatorMarx

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 05:43:50 AM »
Um... I thought we could get banned for discussing such things... hopefully I've misunderstood...

We can't talk about real child porn. Outside of it, there are rules for that.

*script*

Wouldn't be surprised if somewhere, some time ago, that happened.

Why would younger players care about age? Is a 12 year-old boy going to lose his crush for Chihaya if she's 16 instead of 15? Kids that age don't generally think that deeply about such things as the fantasy age of a fantasy character in their romantic fantasy... right?

Like I said earlier. Preferences. Some like them along their age. Some like older ones. O:

Hmmm, what do they need convincing of? Does the number somehow affect the appearance personality or character of any of the idols in some way? I suppose you're stating that the designers of the game operated on the principle that a number of their customers think it would indeed have an effect...

Some people care for realism, apparently.

It really seems like a constructed and unrealistic detail to be concerned with... In other words that the number doesn't really have any kind of definite effect.... that Chihaya for example wouldn't necessarily be a different character just because the number 16 instead of 15 was next to her name in her profile.

Exactly.

TTB

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Re: The Idols' Ages??
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2012, 06:01:13 AM »
Ok RoninatorMarx makes the case for a perceived lolicon customer base influencing decisions made about the age numbers.

No one else has been brave enough to volunteer any other possibilities :P