Recently there’s been some controversy among otaku on both 2ch and 4chan regarding Nagi from Kannagi. A recent manga chapter, or perhaps the minds of the otaku reading it, have posited the idea that Nagi is not a virgin. And this is apparently tainting Nagi in the eyes of some of her fans. However silly you think this to be (in my case very), it brings up the question of how valued “virginity” is for idols, fictional or otherwise.
Idols in Japan are not supposed to have boyfriends to give the illusion that any fan has a “chance.” Is this the same ideal that surrounds wanting an anime character to be pure and virginal? Both the real-life idol and the anime character are for all intents and purposes unattainable by the fans, but notion that a female idol will retain her virginity for her fans is futile at best. Maybe that’s part of the appeal of the anime-character-as-virgin, they can maintain the status forever.
(Actually, in some cases, I don’t think the fans mind. Momoi had a concert where she was already pregnant, and she was still loved by her fans.)
I was in contact with Ogiue fans in Japan back when Ogiue first lost her virginity in the manga. What’s odd, relative to this whole Nagi thing, is that Ogiue entering a clearly sexual relationship did not turn off her fans. It did not push them away, or cause them to call Ogiue a “slut.” It only made them love Ogiue more, not because she had sex but because it was a result of her finding happiness. Perhaps the place where it differs is that Ogiue’s sexual relationship was pretty much the resolution to a story while Nagi’s is background information?