It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.
We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of US$75,000.
In April, two members of the unit Aoyama☆St. Hacha Mecha High School (St. Crazy Wild High School), or Mecha High (Crazy High) for short, left the group unexpectedly. Afterwards at an event the group’s producer explained the reason for their disappearance was a “serious breach of contract.”
He added that Miho Yuki (19) and Sena Miura (22) had gone on dates with fans. Later on, the management company told media that a contract was signed by their legal guardians stating that they would “not become romantically involved with fans.”
As a result of this alleged breach of contract the company has sent letters to all parties involved: the two former members, their legal guardians, and the fans. These notices are demanding compensation to the tune of 8,232,400 yen (US$77,000) from the fans according to reports.
Online reaction felt that the company must be mecha high for thinking they can get money from fans who had never signed any contract promising not to get involved with the idols. Many also commented that since it was the legal guardians who signed the contract it was their responsibility to uphold it. Therefore the girls themselves should also not be demanded money from.
However, it seems telling that the management company hasn’t filed any lawsuits with the courts yet. Perhaps a contract forbidding a fundamental part of life like interpersonal relationships would not hold up in a court of law, so instead they went with the intimidating letter route.
We’ll just have to wait and see if they do take it to the courts, because it seems pretty hard to believe any of these people would or could give up eight million yen without a fight. Until then, one thing is certain: This is truly a Hacha Mecha High School.
Source: Yahoo! News Japan via My Game News Flash (Japanese)
Images: Amazon – 1 , 2 , 3