What Is So Sad About the ‘Oshi no Ko’ Anime?

What Is so Sad about the 'Oshi no Ko' Anime?

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Oshi no ko is a seinen manga written by Aka Akasaka and drawn by Mengo Yokoyari. It has been published since April 23, 2020, in the Weekly Young Jump, then published in bound volumes by the Japanese publisher Shūeisha. Ten volumes have been released since April 2020. An anime adaptation produced by the Doga Kobo studio premiered on April 12, 2023, with the first season ending on June 28, 2023. A second season has been announced. Oshi no Ko became one of the biggest hits of 2023, and fans worldwide genuinely loved the show. But, despite all of its glitter, the show was quite sad, and in this article, we will try and explain why that was.

The saddest thing about the Oshi no Ko anime is that it depicts a painful truth. Although the story itself is fictional, the harsh reality of the idol industry and the dehumanization of the idols themselves are a truth that is both intriguing from a socio-psychological perspective and painful to watch. It is one thing to know but not see, but when you see how painful this is and how the perpetual lie destroys the idols, you cannot but break yourselves. And that is what makes Oshi no Ko so sad but also so great.

We don’t really have much to add here. The rest of this article will simply expand on the answer we’ve given you and elaborate on our arguments with some examples from the story itself. You will also get an overview of the story’s general plot so that you can directly compare what we’re talking about to the plot of the story if you haven’t seen or read the work. This article won’t contain too many spoilers, so you can be safe in that regard.

The saddest thing about Oshi no Ko is not the tragedy of the main characters, but the fact that the lies presented in it are a dark and grim truth

As we have said above, the Oshi no Ko manga is still ongoing, and while there are still a lot of mysteries to be solved, the general idea of the story is quite clear. The story actually starts with a certain Gorō Amemiya, a gynecologist who works at the hospital in Takachiho, a small mountain town.

He became obsessed with the world of idols after meeting Sarina, a young patient at his hospital who was terminally ill; he especially developed an almost fanatical love for Ai Hoshino, a rising star of Japanese pop music.

She unexpectedly arrives at the Gorō hospital, where she learns she expects twins. Despite the rigorous guidelines of the entertainment industry, which forbid idols from getting married and having kids, Ai still chooses to keep the children by concealing her pregnancy.


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The girl’s stalker, who had learned the hospital’s location and was hunting for information, kills Gorō on the day of the delivery. The twins, whom Ai would name Aquamarine and Ruby and later reveal to be the reincarnations of Gorō and Sarina, are stillborn despite the doctor’s absence.

Ai will sing at the famed Tokyo Dome a few years later after becoming one of Japan’s most well-known idols; however, the stalker who killed Gorō stabs the girl to death. Aqua, who saw the murder, believes that the perpetrator—her real father—is the only one who knows Ai’s secret and resolves to exact revenge on her. Ruby, on the other hand, aspires to emulate her mother and succeed as an idol. The two kids then enter the entertainment industry and encounter its hypocrisy and less desirable aspects.

As you can see from the general plot, Oshi no Ko combines a very grim aspect with a lot of glitter. Ai Hoshino having to keep her pregnancy a secret because of her job and then ending up getting killed is as dark as a story can get, but then there’s also the happy, smiling world of idols and the exquisite love of the fans that keep such a world alive. And that is actually the saddest part of the story.

Sure, Ai Hoshino’s ultimate fate is a tragedy, but it is sad because such a fate was narratively unavoidable in a world where personal happiness was considered to be a sin.

Ai Hoshino claimed that she gave herself completely to her fans, but she did not. She gave nothing. All she ever gave to them was a fake smile and a lie, a lie that consisted of a perpetually happy version of herself, a version that completely killed off everything else except that fake smile.

The saddest part wasn’t that she was forced to do so – this was kind of expected – but that she was so broken that she actually started to believe that.

At one point, as she states herself, Ai Hoshino became afraid of the truth. She was so afraid of it that she decided to lie repeatedly, and that lie, at one point, became the truth. Sure, she was aware of the shell she was perpetuating, but she did it willingly, which made the whole idea even more tragic.

She was so destroyed as a person, turned into the facade she had to present to her fans, that she simply accepted it and did not want to fight it.

But then, Ai Hoshino became pregnant. She was about to be a mother of two lovely children, and the real Ai Hoshino finally started returning. She was happy at the prospect of a family, she was happy that she could be herself, and she looked forward to it so much that she opted to break all the rules of the industry that she had given herself to completely.


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And just when you thought that she could finally be happy and smile sincerely – she was killed. And she was killed exactly because she was so close to being truly happy. Sure, her death was a tragedy, but the reason behind her death – she had to die because she’d finally gotten a chance to be happy – is truly devastating and ultimately confirms why the sparkly Oshi no Ko is actually one of the saddest anime series we’ve had the pleasure of watching.

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