I checked out for the longest time. For the past two years, I withdrew from all things J-pop. I worked my butt off and turned 26. Holy shit time flies. Having made plans to go to Japan, I thought I'd revisit old obsessions and it led me here. Of course it did. I began catching up on things, over weekends and after hours. It is truly a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
I thought it would be interesting to do a little update on something. It is like seeing an old boyfriend again. It is familiar yet foreign.
We'll start with NTV Best Artist 2013 then. Of course Arashi started and ended the show. Of course. What did you expect? It is like they now own Japan. I mean, sure they do not dominate the Oricon yearly charts now, because, well, fanboys. AKB48 deserves it, they are building a fucking army. If they marched over Arashi, the five men would be in the ICU.
But you know the good thing about being Arashi? They don't have to sing their debut single every year, as opposed to other Johnny's boybands. Think TOKIO, think V6. I feel sad for those men. Do note that I refer to them as men now, because, well, the obvious.
Arashi - Wild At Heart
I think this is a lively song, though I don't wake up wanting to listen to it. Actually, I don't want to listen to it at any particular time of the day. If it were on TV or radio, I won't switch channels, but it surely is not something I'd play had I the option of another track.
If I remembered correctly, I'd start commenting on their outfit. Red tartan highschool jacket. Really guys? Really? I mean, last year, I donned my schoolgirl outfit for the very last time as a farewell bid to my youth. I was 24 going on 25. Then, there was a themed party, but that was fine because I had no choice. Guys, no. Just, no.
MatsuJun did grow up to be a fine man though, did he not? He's matured considerably since his Do-S days and I am glad. It was just a rebellious phase it seemed, he mellowed down circa 2007, right before Arashi's surge.
Kanjani8 - Zukkoke Otokomichi
What is that, Nishikido? Do I see a little Akanishi in you? Yes I do. I always knew about the Akanishi Gundan, but seriously honey, does he think that guy is a good role model? He's surviving, but, honestly, going nowhere. Now, now, don't act like a little bitch, please.
Play along with your team, because they deserve that much. I mean, sure he is the breakout star. You can easily spot who's who in the boyband. But I don't see MatsuJun acting like a little bitch once he's well passed puberty.
Always enjoyable song, but god, Maru, tone it down by five notches, please.
Hey! Say! JUMP - Ultra Music Power
It still amazes me how I am able to properly punctuate these band names. Welp, the kids have grown up. Honestly, I don't remember some of their names.
I remember Chinen Yuri, poor boy got his growth stunted a bit. Acrobats and dancers - and weight lifters often find themselves in the same predicament. Remember when Takaki Yuya was pegged the next big thing because of Gokusen 3? Well that didn't go so well I presume. Why is that fat-in-the-face kid always front and centre. I want to punch him.
Okay, now I remember how to do this. Years down the road and I have not matured a bit when it comes this shit. The outfits... what are they? Magicians?
V6 - Music For The People
Can you feel the enthusiasm from the men? It is practically seeping through my screen! God, can you imagine being asked to perform your debut song in three to four year end specials every bloody year? How does that feel, being told you are past your peak?
Still though, Okada Junichi, hottest hands down. Not even just in V6, in Johnny's Jimusho. No one else comes close. Though, I am telling you, I have a thing for Morita Go. He still does it for me. Crazy right? With Okada there, I still feel it for Morita. Bloody hell. Nice costume too. If anything, V6 has had consistently nice costumes, very suave, very nice. Houndstooth for the win.
... and I shall skip the rest to arrive at KAT-TUN and NEWS.
KAT-TUN - Keep the Faith & Kusabi
Remember when I really disliked KAT-TUN, said something about it here and got a nice backlash as well as unprecedented traffic flow here? I did. It was hilarious and fun and amazing. I don't dislike them anymore. If anything, I feel for them. It feels like they have got about three humble pies shoved down their throats. They appear defeated and slightly desperate. I truly feel bad for them and wish them all the best.
If anyone deserved a comeback, it would be these guys. It was nothing but bad luck and a smooth downward slope from their glory days. Real Face was a great, great song for debut. Keep the Faith was not bad either. How did they get from selling 1 million copies to selling just over 150,000 copies? Well, it was not Arashi's Pikanchi Double - that was sad. But still.
No one tries harder than Kamenashi. He tries so hard, you have to pity him.
NEWS - I don't care what song this ways, it sucked because I had to lay eyes on Tegoshi.
I am sorry, but if you are not Adele, you best not be making that fucking I-have-to-fucking-close-my-eyes-and-frown-cos-my-voice-my-feelings-this-song kinda face. Please, give me a break NEWS. How did they sell better than KAT-TUN? Granted, the tunes were decent, but honestly, why are people not more put off by them.
I mean, sure, they had it hard. When Pi and Ryo left, they had it hard. I am not saying that they did not work hard. But that sort of attitude they are displaying up there, what is this? Fake it till you make it? Who do they think they are, really? Duds.
Sorry, no love. No love for them. I could take Masuda, but darn it, it is too hard.
TOKIO - Love you only, Ambitious Japan and new song, I think it's Lyric
Well, these people should be over 40 by now eh. Well, at least they are playing instruments? I watched SMAP on FNS Kayousai and honey, we'll be talking about age and boybands soon enough. But if I could go one year without seeing them perform Ambitious Japan on these year end specials, I would be happier for them.
Also, Matsu-nii is the best, isn't he?
Arashi - Breathless, Happiness, Meikyuu Love Song
When I first heard Breathless, I was amazed, then hooked, then it was playing nonstop, and that became the primary reason for this entry, so that I can talk about how good it is. Darn it that song is good. It is like Truth, but better. The PV was good too. It turns out, I had that PV for a while, I just didn't bother to watch it.
Now, Arashi has been my favourite since early 2007. I didn't like them when they were selling horribly because I was busy with J-Rock. Then I saw Happiness and I was like, "Who are these idiots? I gotta get me some idiot loving." Then the rest was history. I can't say I liked them before it was cool, because, honey, let us face it, it is never cool to be a fangirl to begin with.
But their astronomical success is a sight to behold. Never since SMAP did Japan see a boyband dominate like this. Did you notice that prank where fans would kneel in front of their photos. Hilarious. Doesn't change the fact that they still can't dance for shit. But this was the first year end special. They did much better during the Kouhaku.
Ohno has been carrying drama after drama, steadily. His confidence was on an upward hike, that much was apparent. He's done well. I am happy.
Nino is still Nino. Honestly, with all the shit about Sho being smart, frankly, to me, he still doesn't hold a candle to Nino. The man's quick and witty.
Jun has grown up fine. It is like watching someone mature over the years and it is very rewarding. I am happy here too.
Sho. Well, I read he spit on a fan. That's hilarious. We can also play spot the double chin. Anyhow, still liking him as part of the group. But honey, go to spas with MatsuJun, thank him later.
Aiba-chan. Um... I used to have a soft spot for Aiba-chan. It hardened. I adore the group and its dynamics very much though. It is fine. I am happy here too. He's also been carrying drama after drama. I am proud.
Now let us watch Breathless again and do watch the performance of this song on Kouhaku and note Nino's powerful performance.
That's all, I am spent. This is so much effort.