AKB48 “graduate” Erena Ono’s efforts to rescue her independent career with her own especially liberal take on the concept of a “handshaking event” have been causing plenty of shock amongst fans – and more than a little envy.
After “graduating” from AKB48 in 2010, Ono (or “Erepyon”) toned down her public appearances and pursued a moderately successful acting career.
However, with the recent release of her first solo album, the 19-year-old singer-actress has returned to AKB’s classic idolatrous tactics by laying on handshaking events and requiring multiple CD purchases to get in to them – and evidently taken things quite a bit further.
Fans buying all available versions of both the limited and normal editions of the album together received an instant camera and the chance to use it to take two special snaps with Ono.
The extreme intimacy of the shots fans have been making public has turned more than a few heads:
Online many seem rather impressed with the lengths she is willing to go to to win over her fans, and wonder what else she might be willing to do for them:
“This is more amazing that I ever imagined possible.”
“This could well escalate…”
“What is this, some kind of porn star’s event?”
“Looks like she’ll let you do it too.”
“It’s sheer prostitution!”
“How desperate is this girl?”
“I guess she couldn’t get people coming to see her any other way.”
“This is pure sex trade stuff.”
“At 3 copies to get in it costs about ¥10,000, right? I might give her a go.”
“I’m betting all her other patrons basically view this as cheap prostitution.”
“It’s a lot better value than most handshaking events considering what you get.”
“This is touching.”
“10,000 for a touching event ticket is pretty good.”
“This is like prostitution for otaku who can’t use ‘health’ services. Creepy as hell.”
“Seeing her do this with all these guys would just put you off.”
“Expect her to move up to porn after this.”
“Will AKB respond in kind with a kind of price war on creepy otaku events?”
“What is this girl doing? She said she graduated AKB to study abroad but never did, and now she’s back doing this?”
“So this is where AKB graduates end up.”