Oshikatsu,” a Japanese word meaning the act of enthusiastically supporting someone like an idol singer or actor that one feels particular devotion to, is increasingly taking hold in Japan.

Such activities — long monopolized by otaku, or people with an obsessive interest in Japanese pop culture such as anime and manga — have now become a part of everyday life for many people, with such fans increasingly interacting via Instagram and Twitter.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having gone on for more than two years, they are putting even more energy into oshikatsu, which gives them opportunities to think positively again and broaden their mind.