I can barely remember my first contact with Japanese entertainment, but I think that it should be in the year 2000. It was after the girl group Speed broke up that I got to know and like them. Its like how kids nowadays look up to like... I don't know... Miley Cyrus?
Speed was formed in 1996 and the youngest member was just 12 while the oldest, Hitoe was... 15. The four girls were picked up from the Okinawa Actor School, they were juniors of Amuro Namie. Anyways, my brother bought their compilation album, Moment, and I wasn't really hooked yet. xD
Then there was their Final Dome Live tour thing where they performed and then they broke up. I consider their break up an extremely stupid thing to do. They broke up, and then they came back together again after several years, trying to revive their dying careers. Well, it didn't work did it? Even Namie, who tried to make a comeback after the childbirth couldn't find the success she achieved before the pregnancy.
I remember playing that album in the car over and over again. Back then, I had no freaking idea AT ALL what they were singing about. But I repeat the songs so much, I could actually memorize the songs. On the way to school, I would listen to the songs and stuff.
Speed was made up of 4 girls. The star would definitely be Shimabukuro Hiroko or nowadays better know as Hiro. The lead singer, the youngest, the most popular. She wasn't my favourite though. According to Wiki, she dated Macchan. Downtown's Macchan. Fuck no, really? Geez, that is just totally freaky. xD Oh yeah, apparently she had this relationship with this dude and then somehow it led to Speed's break up. Whatever. I am crap at these description things.
Imai Eriko. Another lead singer. The other two are just dancers and occasionally sings a line or two and that is about all that they do. Eriko... she is just there. xD Never really paid her any attention.
Uehara Takako. Ah she's my favourite. Although she can't sing and stuff. xD Its normal for a little girl (8 years ago, I was one) to pick a favourite based on looks alone. She's the hot one that men went gaga over. She was rumoured to be dating Akanishi Jin for a while. Well she can do better than that. Like Hiro, she went on solo after the break up and did a few albums, but it was her photobooks that sold a lot wasn't it? I don't know, she's pretty and that's about all to her, I guess...
Arakaki Hitoe. The oldest, the shortest, the one that dances like MatsuJun before MatsuJun debuted. She dances like... kinda robotic and too overdone. I guess that is why they call her the best dancer. I think she's a yoga guru now...
Well, that was Speed. Hiro was the voice of the group, Takako was the pretty face of the group, Hitoe the 'best' dancer and then there is Eriko.
My favourite songs are "My Graduation", "Alive", "White Love", "Nettaiya", "All My True Love" and a few more... ah... nostalgia.
Take note that this girlband was not just any girl band. They were incredibly successful and sold a lot for a girlband. They were out jumping about before Arashi was Arashi. Even before KinKi Kids decided that oh you know, I should just go ahead and released a GuinnessBookofRecords-worthy series of number one singles. Ah... anyways it was hell of a long time ago.