How Unsung Heroes Elevate Japanese Idol Groups: The Vital Role of ‘Under’ Members

The role of under members in Japanese idol groups is often overlooked, but they are crucial in providing support to the popular members, connecting with fans, and serving as a backup plan.

In the world of Japanese idol groups, there is a hierarchy of members that is strictly adhered to. At the top of this hierarchy are the “senbatsu” members, who are the most popular and get the most attention. However, beneath them are the “under” members, who are often overlooked and underestimated. Despite this, the under members play a vital role in the success of their groups.

One of the most important roles that under members play is providing support to the senbatsu members. They may be responsible for singing backup vocals or performing in dance formations behind the main members. This allows the senbatsu members to shine even brighter, without having to worry about carrying the entire performance on their own.

Another key role of under members is acting as a bridge between the group and its fans. They often participate in handshake events and other fan meetings, where they have the opportunity to interact with fans on a more personal level. This allows fans to feel closer to the group as a whole, not just its most popular members.

Under members also provide a backup plan for the group in case of unforeseen circumstances. For example, if a senbatsu member becomes sick or injured and is unable to perform, an under member can step in and take their place. This helps ensure that the group can continue with their activities without interruption.

Despite these important contributions, under members often face significant challenges. They may have less time in the spotlight, less opportunities for solo projects, and less support from fans. However, many under members are able to rise above these challenges and eventually become senbatsu members themselves.

One notable example of this is Yui Yokoyama, a former under member of AKB48 who eventually became the group’s captain. She is now widely recognized as one of the most influential members of the group, and has been involved in a variety of solo projects and collaborations.

In conclusion, the under members of Japanese idol groups may not always receive the recognition they deserve, but they play an essential role in the success of their groups. From providing support to senbatsu members, to connecting with fans, to acting as a backup plan, under members are the unsung heroes that elevate their groups to new heights.

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