December 29, 2007

catching up

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
[EDIT]: Found out just now through Happy Town that Yabu and Hikaru will appear in the 300th special episode of the Hadaka no Shounen show (on Jan. 5th, Saturday 16:30-18:00). ^___^ That's wonderful, isn't it? =D

I can't believe it's been so many days since I last updated. But then Xmas is being really hectic and I wanted to answer all the comments from the previous entry before making another... and there were a LOT! I wanted to thank all those of you who left a comment. ^___^ I'm very happy this blog has become a space for other fans to voice their feelings and thoughts. Judging from the length of some of those comments and from how many there were, it seems I wasn't indeed the only one who needed to let some things out. =]

Anyway. Now I need to catch up on so much stuff. ^^; So... Yabu and Hikaru had their debut with the rest of HSJ, and I swear it was the oddest debut ever, because from what I've read it wasn't very different from the Daibouken concerts were it not for the fact that the HSJ members were the ones who sang the most obviously, but the other junior groups were there too and sang, and they were on the concert pamphlet as well. O__o??? Please enlighten me: did this kind of thing happen when any other group debuted? Did they have junior groups in their debut concert pamphlet too? HSJ looks more like a junior debuted group than a debuted group. And... lo and behold, not only were the junior groups in the pamphlet, but also other juniors without a group, like Reon... and Shoon.

If you're a member of the Ya3 LJ comm or of the Shoon LJ comm you'll have seen the pic Yui posted of the page with both of them (see pic on the left). [Also, if you're a member of the Shoon LJ comm, you can see a bigger version of the Shoon-Reon picture here]

Now, the curious thing is that, while Reon was at the concert backdancing, as reported by some Japanese fans, Shoon wasn't. It makes you wonder, doesn't it? I've been thinking about it, but of course I've only come up with hypotheses.

Take your pick:

a) Shoon was scheduled to appear at the concert but suddenly felt ill or something prevented him from going. ?__? Yeah, right. =/
b) The pamphlet pictures were taken weeks ahead, and at that time he was intended to appear at the concert, but later somebody decided against it, because it might make people think of Ya-Ya-yah. There I go with my conspiracy theories again. XD
c) Shoon was scheduled to appear at the concert but in the end decided he did not want to be in it because it was too much. Hmmm... If that was the case he would have quit, I think.
d) Shoon was never intended to appear at the concert; they just put his picture on the pamphlet. Possible?

No Ya-Ya-yah song was sung, which was to be expected I guess. Thinking of it now, debuted groups don't sing songs that belong/ed to junior groups. I mean that it would be very weird if, say, Arashi sang Kisumai's Fire Beat for instance, wouldn't it?

And it seems that the fan plan to sing Te wo tsunaide yukô at the encore dissolved into nothing, which, sad though it is, was to be expected as well. After the HSJ debut was announced Ya-Ya-yah disappeared into thin air, and since then, little by little, hopes have been crushed, and a blanket of silence has fallen. No explanations given, no official word of Taiyô's resignation, no nothing... and the show must go on, so everyone in JE acts as though nothing had happened. It's understandable that the Japanese fans must have got discouraged little by little.

I can't imagine a thing like this happenning in my country. The fans would scream murder, and the press would hound the entertainment company day and night for an explanation. But then it's Japan we're talking about, and it's Johnny's Entertainment we're talking about.

What else has happened in the last days? Oh, yes, the Shounen Club Christmas Special. There's only one thing I want to comment on, and you can probably imagine what it is: the moment when Hikaru read that postcard with the request for a clip of Te wo tsunaide yukô. Since I was being completely honest on my last entry, I'll admit now that there have been moments, since the HSJ debut was announced, when I've felt rather frustrated and hurt at Yabu's and Hikaru's apparent indifference. I wanted to see them sad or angry, I wanted to see some sign that they were bothered by what had happened because I was sad and angry. I needed some sign that would reassure me that I wasn't overeacting by crying and feeling murderous towards JE. Instead, when you see them, it would seem they have accepted JE's decision without a problem, that they are even happy.

There are times when I think they look somewhat sad or angry, but other poeple don't see it, so at those times I also wonder if perhaps it's just my imagination. I wonder if I just see the things I want so badly to see. How are they really feeling about all this?

wordplay712 left a comment on the previous entry mentioning that old SC clip in which it was mentioned that "Kawai had played a prank on Hikaru, telling him he was going to quit JE, and Hikaru said he stayed up all night crying and had paid 500 yen to a shrine and prayed for him not to quit." As she says, if Hikaru reacted that way then, how must he have felt when he learned Taiyô was going to quit? It's impossible that he didn't feel anything, that he's perfectly happy about what's happening, and the same goes for Yabu. And indeed, as wordplay712 says, these things make you "wonder how much goes on behind the scenes of JE". A lot indeed, most likely, because I certainly can't believe that they have been unaffected by all this as JE is trying to make us believe.

Also, it's boys we're talking about, not girls. Girls tend to be more emotional, to show their feelings, while there's this idiotic, unspoken rule that it's not manly for boys to let others see them weak. Plus it's showbiz, of course, as Takki reminded us in this Xmas special, telling the boys once and again to smile. If you smile on screen, everything should be just fine.

And everybody is different of course. Yabu is every bit Heero Yui, the perfect soldier. He's very hard to read, and he usually manages to keep his emotions under control. Taiyô and Shoon are another matter. For both of them it's difficult to hide it when they are feeling sad or irked. Hikaru, on the other hand, seems the type of person that resorts to joking to avoid awkward and tense situations.

I'm glad it was Hikaru and not Yabu the one who read that postcard. Yabu was perfectly composed reading the one they gave him, and probably it would have been just the same if he had been given the one Hikaru had to read.

It was kind of beautiful, the way he had to make a pause before he actually said "Ya-Ya-yah", and the way he said it, as if the name itself held for him so many cherished memories that to him it's something almost sacred. And it was beautiful to see him stumble over the words after the cheer from the audience. And it was very moving too to see him a bit shaken when he was asked to give the go to the clip. Those of you who cried watching this, raise your hand. *raises hand*

Saying the name aloud on camera must have been sort of a liberation for him. He looked a bit as if he was thinking "I can't believe I'm actually going to say it". Hikaru-kun, Yabu-kun: sorry for those times that, even for a single second, I doubted you. m(_ _)m I think you must indeed be very strong, as you probably have to battle with your feelings and memories most of the time these days. I can't bring myself to follow you thoroughly in this new stage of your career, but you have all my support. 藪くん、光くん、これからも頑張って下さいね。

Watching that clip and the Ima susumou one was something bittersweet for me. I was glad they played those clips, but also sad at how it seemed like an invisible hand was closing a book after turning the last page.

Ya-Ya-yah is definitely NOT a thing of the past for me, nor will they ever be. The book remains open. In fact, I don't know about you, but I love re-reading books. They say reading a book is like making a new friend, and I always say that re-reading a book is like meeting with an old friend and spend the evening chattering. =]

There are a couple other things I need to catch up on. The first one is the scans from the Feburary Myojo and Popolo Yabu-Hikaru scans, which I actually upload to the album a couple of days ago, and some of you have already been browsing them. For those who haven't, here are the links: 2008.02 Myojo (credits to HAPPYTOWN) 2008.02 Popolo (credits to ZANSANHANE)

The Myojo one has this photoshoot in which some of the HSJ members face the camera, while the others stand with their back to it. I know it's mean of me, but I couldn't help thinking: "it would be so much easier for me to look at the HSJ pictures if all were like this. XD ".


I also won clippings of the January Shoon pages, so I've scanned them at a higher resolution for those of you who are HQ freaks like me. XD Plus they don't have the blurry edges scans made from mags have:

There also a collage of little pics that came with the clippings. They're the "best of 2007" from Duet, Potato, and Wink Up, and those little pics are different from the ones posted in the mag issues they belong to, so I thought I'd scan them too. There's even a tiny clipping from the February issue of Popolo (that has come out now in December) on which they mention Shoon's birthday. Isn't that a very sweet gesture, taking into account the fact that he no longer appears in that mag? Popolo, I love you! ^^B Oh, and I also scanned a page Zansanhane did not scan. It has a very cute pic of Shoon with that beautiful smile he has, and another one of Reon. =]

If you want to post them somewhere else it's okay as long as you credit me for the scanning. No need to credit if you want to make icons, graphics, or translations. Also, no hotlinking, please. Thanks. =]


I also want to post on this entry, before I forget, the things some of you posted in the comments of Shoon's birthday entry, so everybody else will see them. There's Yui's beautiful and yummy birthday cake, a colourful b-day banner by shoonmassu, a very cute drawing by hakai_kun, and a cool animated banner by bakahachi. ^__^

Now it's time to focus on Taiyô's birthday (please keep posting your tributes to Taiyô at SunDay! ^o^) and Yabu's countdown. ^^ *rolls up sleeves* Yosh!

POST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

December 21, 2007

to be honest...

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
These days there are moments when I feel as if I’m going crazy. I feel as if I’m at a party and there’s a huge hole in the floor, right in the middle of the room, and everybody acts as if it’s not really there and they smile and laugh, yet they avoid it carefully every time they go near it.

The party is JE, the people at the party are the juniors, HSJ, Koyama, Nakamaru..., and the hole is the absence of Ya-Ya-yah.

I study everybody’s faces, looking for a sign that they’ve noticed the hole, but their faces don’t give away much. Sometimes I think I see something, but then I wonder if it’s not just me, imagining they’re actually bothered by the hole when perhaps they’re all okay with it being there and ignoring it.

I’m not crazy, dammit, the hole is there. I try to be positive, and I don’t want to say these things because I know they don’t lead anywhere and I don’t want to bring anybody down, but they are screaming inside of me and I need to shout them out or I’ll really go crazy.

I miss Ya-Ya-yah. I miss Taiyô. I miss seeing Shoon every week or every two weeks at least. I miss his voice. I miss seeing him more than a few seconds on Shounen Club. I miss the Ya-Ya-yah show. I miss Ya-Ya-yah photoshoots in the mags. I miss Ya-Ya-yah in Shounen Club. I miss having something to look forward to every week.

I miss visiting Happy Town as often as I did before. I feel bad when I do visit it, because it hurts to see only HSJ stuff there now. It also hurts to think that maybe Fiona hasn’t taken down the Ya3 banner, the members names, and change the icons on the BBS to HSBest icons because she hasn’t had time to revamp the site completely.

I felt sad that she didn’t mention the fact that Taiyô had left JE.

I feel sad when I check my LJ friends page and I see an entry by Kamichan —which used to thrill me— and don’t feel that much like visiting because now most of his posts are HSJ-related and there’s the HSJ headers and stuff. [Sorry, Kamichan. m(_ _)m I still do visit, as you know, because I enjoy reading your posts, because you always have the latest news, because I like reading people’s comments to your posts, because it’s become a habit for me to visit, and even if sometimes there’s this slight pang in my chest and we disagree on many things, I do visit, and I’ll keep on visiting.]

I felt sad too when Luma updated the info page of the Ya3 comm with the recent changes. [I know you had to; it’s just me being in denial.]

I feel depressed for how unmotivated to reply I am when I visit Chinese forums to get Yabu and Hikaru scans. You have to reply on the corresponding thread to get the scans, and now it’s HSJ scans I almost have to force myself to reply.

I feel weird when I edit the HSJ scans to leave only the Yabu and Hikaru pictures.

It feels like a failure when I realize that not many people want to take part in the contests I organize and not many people vote either. I suppose most people are busy with real life or just not interested. I’m silly for putting my heart into things like that, and I think this year will be the last. Next year, if I’m still around and I have spare clippings, I’ll just give them away directly to friends or anybody who wants them. I should focus on the things I’m neglecting, like finishing the stories I started writing some time ago, instead of devoting so much time to the fandom. I do it because it’s fun, but I end up feeling a bit like an idiot, like somebody who organizes a party and only a handful of people show up. However, you still hold the party anyway, because you’re very thankful to them for coming. =]

I feel bad for not being the slightest bit interested in the Hi! Hey! Say! show when Yabu and Hikaru are there. I feel bad for not wanting to watch the HSB performances.

I feel bad for being so bitter deep down for what has happened to Ya-Ya-yah that I find fault in everything JE, HSJ, and even HSB do.

I feel mad at JE when I listen to Ya3 songs on my mp3 player. Why did they do this? How could they do this?

I feel hesitant about when will it be the right time to post old Ya3 performances at my blog. People felt depressed when Yui posted translations of Ya3 articles filled with “member ai”, so perhaps it’s too soon for that yet.

I feel awkward after posting a long entry on which I poured my heart like I did on Shoon’s birthday. I worry you’ll think “gosh, can she get any cheesier? *roll eyes*” or “does she really believe anybody is actually going to read all that?”. I also worry when my posts seem too fangirly to me, or when I realize they’re not that informative, that it’s mostly me ranting or gushing on this and that, and being as passionate as I am, I often too worry that sometimes maybe I go to the extremes.

I feel mean for being —despite my attempts to deny it and understand— a bit bitter towards those in the fandom who have moved on. I want to ask them badly if HSJ has filled the Ya-Ya-yah void for them. Not in a vindictive way, but out of curiosity. JE fandom is so depressing and empty for me right now, that I wonder if it’s just me, and for most everyody else it’s still fun and exciting. Of late many times I feel like giving up.

I feel mean too for wanting the HHS show to have poor audience rates, and for wishing it will rain cats and dogs tomorrow at the HSJ debut concert. The owner of a Japanese fanblog I read was worrying a few days ago that it might rain that day, and something evil in me made me think: “I hope it will”. Yes, you can laugh at how childish I am if you want. That’s Irea for you: passionate, childish, and honest.

You know? I feel somewhat better after typing all this. I guess I really needed to be honest and let all this out.

POST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

December 19, 2007

happy birthday, Shoon!

Yamashita Shoon, 山下翔央 Ya-Ya-yah
Beware! It's December 20th already in Japan, Shoon's birthday, and that's the day on which I embarrass myself calling Shoon "Puppet" —that's what I call him affectionately— and writing the mushiest post ever.


I'm releasing another bird today. [if you're wondering what I mean by that, and don't understand the meaning of the poem on the header, you probably missed Hikaru's b-day post]

This "bird" is called Yamashita Shoon, and he is... can you guess? Yes, he's a nightingale of course. What other bird could he be?

nightingaleAnd not just because of the romantic connotations Oscar Wilde's tale The Rose and the Nightingale gave to that bird.

Have you ever seen a nightingale? In case you haven't, this is what they look like. *points to the picture on the left* [if you click on it you can see it full size]

They got that name in English because from Spring to early Summer you can sometimes hear them sing at night. Well, the males, that is. The females don't sing.

It's awesome to be lying in bed at night in the summer with the window open, listening to a nightingale sing. Would you like to know what the nightingale song sounds like? I found a nice video clip on YouTube for you to listen to. *points to the clip on the right* Yes, the player is that small because there's nothing to watch as the clip was filmed at night. XD The only thing you can see are a few lights in the distance.

Nightingales are slightly bigger than sparrows. In fact, the first time I saw one at the back garden of my family's country house it was from a distance, and I actually thought it was a sparrow.

There's nothing particularly striking about nightingales. They're not brightly coloured, and they don't have a peculiar beak or anything, so seen from afar you might take a nightingale for a sparrow, like I did. However, when you look at it more closely, you notice its bearing is more elegant, more regal than that of a sparrow.

Also, sparrows are rather noisy and you often see them together in groups of up to 10or 15, while the nightingale is much of a loner. You may see a nightingale with its mate perhaps, but not in groups.

When they land on the grass they are quiet, and they stand still for a good while, looking ahead while moving their tail up and down now and then in a very gentle motion. Perhaps it's because of that that when you watch them they make you feel at peace.

I see those same qualities in Shoon: he's elegant, delicate (though strong at the same time), independent, quiet, and there's something peaceful about him, something that soothes [last words stolen from my own fic Kotchan's Story XD].

So fly away, dear Shoon. Pursue your dreams and don't give up. I don't know what the future holds for you nor what you want from the future, but in any case I hope it will be the very best. For me you'll always be Yamashita Shoon of Ya-Ya-yah, and even though now you find yourself alone to fight, you have the support of your family, friends, and fans so, you know?, you're not really that alone. =] 翔央くんは一人でありません。 家族と友達とファンは翔央くんのことを支持します。頑張って下さいね。

PART 2 - LETTER TO SHOON [翔央くんにお手紙]

パペットくんへ、[Dear Puppet,]

すみませんが、英語で書きます。m(_ _)m 私の日本語はまだまだです。そして、これは長い手紙になるでしょう。[Sorry for writing in English, but my Japanese is not good enough, and this is going to be a long letter.]

How I wish my Japanese was not so poor! They say nobody is a prophet in their own land, and it shocks me so much that you're not much more popular in your country than you are. If my language skills were better, I'd blog in Japanese to make a lot more people realize how wonderful you are and convert them into your fans.

Do I come across as too naive? It's actually just that when I love something I want other people to love it too.

Some think you're overrated. I think it's exactly the opposite: you're seriously underrated. You may not be as talented as others are in some respects, but when you are given a task, like a solo performance, for instance, you do your best to the extent that one can hardly find fault in it. Every move looks so smooth, and every note is so carefully delivered that you may not be the best dancer in the world, or the best singer, but it seems like it doesn't take you any effort at all. And when somebody does almost everything right, people usually don't take much notice, which is a shame. They often need to have somebody dragged into the spotlight to notice them. Otherwise they just overlook them.

How can anybody overlook you? For me it's so hard to understand. But then you're the only one I really look at when I'm watching a performance. Sometimes it takes me rewatching it three times to actually pay attention to the performance as a whole. And when I do so I sometimes come to the conclusion that I wasn't really missing that much. I think the most evident case was the 2007.02.04 Shounen Club performance of Kiss de Tsutaete.

I swear I'll never get tired of watching you dance in that performance. I was so impressed that I remember I thought: "perhaps it's just me; perhaps I can't be objective when it comes to Shoon". Just out of curiosity I rewatched that performance like a dozen times, focusing on the other people individually, and not one of them danced as beautifully as you did. There was a certain grace in your movements, a certain elegance, and a certain sensuality the others lacked. Who needs any shirt ripping or provocative gestures? JE needs to learn that. It’s like trying to substitute a real rose with one made of plastic.

I’m not saying you’re the best dancer in JE —there are many other johnnys whose dancing is awesome too—; but in that performance for me you were indeed the one who danced best.

There are also those who say you’ve been given many chances, but made little of them. I've already discussed this here, stating that I completely disagree with that, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately because of the complicated situation you're in right now, and there are a couple of things I failed to mention.

Chances. I think JE has been rather uneven in giving you chances. In the Summer of 2003 and then in the Summer of 2004 you staged Stand by Me with Taiyô, Yabu, and Hikaru, which was definitely one big chance. The four of you were featured in so many magazines with articles about the play as well! We only have the few clips of the play that were shown on the Ya-Ya-yah TV show, but as I've said before, the scene in which you had an outburst and cried was pretty impressive.

Then for a month, from 2004.12.04 to 2005.01.09, you played A-Rab's part in the West Side Story musical, with some Arashi members, Ikuta Toma, and Tôshin. I felt so lucky the day I came across a fancam of the play online. Unfortunately —for us, your fans, that is—, the person who recorded it was an Arashi fan, and mostly an Ohno fan I'd say, so she focused mostly on them, but still I'll always be thankful to her. Otherwise it would have been impossible for me to see you in that, because back then I didn’t even know you existed.

That was certainly another big chance; no one can deny. It was a small part, but there you were with Ohno, Sakurai Sho, and Matsujun. I’m sure you must be very proud of that. There were articles about it on several magazines too, and of course in the “JE” mags as well. There was this article in 2004.12 Myojo that makes me ponder when I look at it. 翔ぶときが来た。“Tobu toki ga kita.” “The time to fly has come.” [note to readers: 翔ぶ is actually a pun between 飛ぶ, “tobu” (“to fly”), and the first kanji of Shoon’s name 翔 [sho], which can also be read as “to” (as in Nakajima Yuto)] [These scans are courtesy of our wonderful Yuantim (thanks again!) and you can find the whole 2004.12 Myojo set here]


It looked indeed like the time for you to fly had come. I think it was actually pretty amazing that being just 15 years old back then, the youngest one in the cast, your dancing and acting were almost every bit as good as those of your senpai. Yet nobody seems to think of this as extraordinary or at least I haven’t heard anyone say so yet. As I said before, I think people tend to underrate you, which is just so unfair. Watching you dance with the rest of the cast one might think that you’re a great dancer, capable of matching up the abilities of people several years older than you, or that you spent many hours practicing. That will always be your best guarded secret, I guess. ;-)

tubame107-img450x600-1192786118syoon1It seems your starring in that musical attracted the attention of the press as well, as can be seen from this newspaper article. I lost the auction of this page on Yahoo!Japan auctions, and I slap myself mentally every time I remember it. I think that if the media took an interest in you then, it might very well happen again if you were given more chances like that.

That was not the only time a publication unrelated to JE and idols took an interest in you. In 2006 you had another small role in the TV drama Satomi Hakkenden along with Takizawa Hideaki, and a lifestyle magazine called Hanako West published an interview with you in their August issue of that year.

hanakowest2006.08Together with that gorgeous pic of you in the 2007.02 Kindai, I think this is possibly one of your best photographs to date... and I have won an auction of this magazine. ^_____^ [meaning that I’ll make a nice big scan of this page as soon as I get it] Back to Satomi Hakkenden, you had a small role in it, but in the few scenes you had you managed to convey the traits of the character you played: a slight arrogance, obstination, braveness, and a wondrous childlike essence underneath. Even in the last scene, in which you don’t utter a word, you have such a great screen presence, that regal bearing I mentioned before.

Translated and subbed by Nya!Fansubs

Unfortunately though that’s where the chances end. JE-wise your main chances have been the Ya-Ya-yah concert in 2005, the Ya-Ya-yah show, a solo, and not much else. By “chances” here I mean chances other juniors have not been given. Also, it must be said that those chances were not half the same for Taiyô and you as they were for Yabu and Hikaru. For starters you two were always on the sidelines, and then Yabu and Hikaru were given other chances you were not given at all, like taking part in Takki’s One and in his Enbujou for two consecutive years. It will always remain a mystery to me why you two were excluded from those events. It’s just so strange. You were the only juniors who didn’t take part in them. O__o???

I want more chances for you in 2008. You deserve them, but more importantly you need them. Other juniors have their groups, but you are on your own now, and as far as I know there are no solo artists in JE. If you want to continue in JE you’ll need some chances to follow the path of juniors like Ikuta Toma or your friend Yoshikazu Tôshin who are now acting in dramas and theatre plays. Jimmy Mackey left —according to the rumour mill— because JE had nothing else to offer him, and I’m praying that won’t be the case with you.

Here’s hoping that this new year of your life will be full of projects and success, but above that I hope of course that you’ll be happy and well. That’s what really counts in the end. お誕生日おめでておうございます、翔央!素晴らしい日を過ごしてくださいね。[Happy b-day, Shoon! Have a great day!] ずっと ずっと 大好きだよ。  

イレアより [Yours, Irea]

PS: バースデープレゼントを持っています。^__^ 以下の絵をクリックしてください。[I have a birthday present for you. Click on the picture below.] [to readers: please finish reading the entry before clicking this; especially if you don’t know what a どこでもドア (“doko demo door”) is]

PS2: 翔央くんがもしこれを読むなら、このペンダントをまた着て下さい。↓↓↓ このように、外国のファンは、翔央くんが、私たちが翔央くんを支持していることを知っているのを知るでしょう。 ^___^


The theme for Shoon’s birthday contest this year was “Give Me a Reason”. Contestants had to write a short text giving other people one reason for liking Shoon. All the reasons submitted have been posted at a site I created some time ago called “101 Reasons to Like Shoon”, and the winners will be announced later today there and at Shoon around-the-Clock, at midnight GMT+1.

Not long ago somebody wanted me to explain to them why do I like Shoon. I replied that it would take me so long to explain for them to understand, that I was not sure it would be worth it —especially as this person and I seemed utterly unable to come to an understanding on anything. It was as if we were from two different planets or something.

Every day I find new reasons to like love Shoon. There are a million things about him that make me smile, that move me, that warm my heart, that impress me..., the kind of things that made me want to know more about him in the first place.

However, if I had to give somebody a reason for liking Shoon, I guess it would be that Shoon himself is more than enough of a reason. It sounds like a riddle, but it’s actually quite simple. Just like music is meant to be played, like flowers are meant to be admired, and children are meant to be cherished, just like that, Shoon is meant to be loved.


To begin with... do you know what a どこでもドア (“doko demo door”) is? Or rather... have you ever heard of Doraemon? *points image on the left* Doraemon (ドラえもん) is a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio, which later became an anime series. The series is about a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to help a schoolboy called Nobita Nobi.

Doraemon has a magical pocket on his stomach, like a kangaroo, from which he takes out the most extraordinary gadgets. One of those gadgets is the “doko demo doa” or “door to anywhere”. It’s a magical door that can take you to any place you want to go to. You just have to think of a place, open the door, and when you cross the threshold you’ll be there. The picture on the left is a picture of a “doko demo doa” that can be seen at Doraemon’s museum in Japan. And all I’ll say is that this kind of magical door has something to do with my present to Shoon. ;-) Feel free to open Shoon's "door to anywhere" (翔央くんのどこでもドア) and take a look around.

POST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTSYamashita Shoon, 山下翔央 Ya-Ya-yah

December 15, 2007

please vote!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
To the members of Shoon around-the-Clock, the Shoon LJ community, who read this blog:

I'm posting this entry in case the one I've posted at the community goes unnoticed in the mass of entries that flood your f-list.

You can now start voting to help me choose the winners of Shoon's b-day contest, which will be announced on the day of his birthday, December 20th. Click on the image to learn what you have to do to vote. =] Thank you!山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah,山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah,山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah,山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

December 13, 2007

ZOMG, I'm alive

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Yes, I am. XD It's just that I'm trying to be a good girl and not procrastinate so much and hand in my translations on time. ^^ Also, I've been -still am- busy with things I'm preparing for Shoon's, Taiyô's, and Yabu's birthdays.

My "cyber-present" to Shoon is ready -I can't wait to show you-, and so is the b-day layout, and some things I need for his b-day entry. Isn't it ridiculous how excited I am to celebrate his b-day?

Speaking of Shoon's b-day... Tomorrow at midnight GMT is the deadline for submitting an entry for Shoon's b-day contest! All the entries that have been submitted so far are wonderful: some are cute, others are funny, others insightful... You can see them here if you want. =]

But there are two other b-days as well. ;-) The next one is Taiyô's b-day. I'm making a blogger site similar to 101 Reasons to Like Shoon that will be the permanent place for all the tributes submitted at SunDay, the LJ community that is the home of Taiyô's 17th b-day contest. There's a Taiyô LJ community already, and it's not our intention to have SunDay replace it, so it will be a short-lived community. However, the tributes posted there will be reposted at that blogger site I'm making. =]

I submitted my own tribute right now. It won't be the only one I'll submit either:(reminder: even if you don't want to enter the contest you can submit your own tribute to Taiyô. Just add [not for the contest] on the subject line)

Dear Taiyô, there are so many things I have to thank you for! So much laughter, so many smiles, so many heartwarming moments... However, as a Shoon fan, there's something for which I'll never be able to thank you enough: being there for Shoon. (read more)

Things are progressing a little more slowly for Yabu's b-day, but there's still time, and it takes time to organize a countdown, plus team work is always a bit more complicated - you know, coordinating efforts, and making decisions, and so on. ^^

So yes, I'm still alive; just busy. =] I'll leave you with some old scans of 6 members Ya-Ya-yah in pajamas (2003.12 Potato) - the Hoshino-Shoon pics are so cute! ^o^ - and 2004.07 Myojo, which has one of my all time favourite Shoon pics (the one on the swings). The small pics of the four of them with their mobile phones are so funny. Shoon looks like a Cheshire cat. LOL By the way, you can win these 2 sets if you take part in Shoon's b-day contest. =]

Comments are very much appreciated. I love knowing what you like about them so we can squee together -that's what fandom is for: sharing and squeeing together. XD All image links below open in a new window. If you want to post them somewhere else it's okay as long as you credit me for the scanning. No need to credit if you want to make icons, graphics, or translations. Please no hotlinking, thank you. ^__^




December 09, 2007

wish upon a star

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Today's Shounen Club theme was 願い (negai), which means "wish". What do you wish for?

I wish JE wasn't so rigid in its schemes. Then maybe they would introduce Shoon, Hasshi, and Kamei at the show opening too, like they deserve, even if now they're isolated juniors without a group.

I wish JE wasn't so rigid when alloting screen time. Then maybe Shoon would have sung in the theme medley, like he did in the previous SC. It feels as if somebody had said: "he'll take part in the junior league; there's no need for him to be in the theme medley too". Yes, he was in the junior league segment, but that was in the latter half of the show. It felt more like a step backwards than a step forward.

I somehow wish Shoon hadn't appeared in the junior league segment at all. I now realize that it's still too soon, that things are still awkward, that he's not very much in the mood for games even though he did his best to smile and act cheerful.

When I was watching this part I wished I could be there to give Shoon a hug. I wished Taiyô was there with him. I wished Yabu or Hikaru had made eye-contact with him even just once at least.

After watching SC today I half wished I was an ABC fan. I read a friend's LJ entry about the show, a friend who is a huge ABC fan, and she was so happy. ABC are finally getting the spotlight they so much deserved. Actually I almost wished I was a Kisumai fan, or even a HSJ fan, because they must be really happy today too, but I'm not going to escape the pain that brings being a Shoon fan and a Ya-Ya-yah fan these days. Shoon is going through a rough time right now, as I imagine Taiyô is, and most likely so are Yabu and Hikaru in spite of their smiles and apparently nonchalant behaviour.

I'm going to do my best to remain positive, to wish that things will soon look up for Shoon. I read once that when you wish for something hard enough, banishing all negative thoughts, it creates a vibration. These vibration waves turn you into a giant magnet that pulls what you are wishing for toward you. So getting what you want takes 3 steps: wish for something, believe, and receive. This is based on the idea that whatever you are thinking about, be it good or bad, you will attract it. If you think positively, good things will happen to you; if you are negative, bad things will happen to you. So yes, I'm going to be positive and send those good vibrations Shoon's way.

[I believe in you, Shoon. Go for it. Now is the time to show them what you're made of.]

I'm only going to post another clip from the show, the ending song, just because Shoon was there. It made me very sad that he had to stand at the back, at one end of the stage, but hopefully next time things will be different. They will be different. They're going to be different. *repeats to herself this mantra*

PS: As it was to be expected and I predicted, Shoon was not at the recording of the Xmas Shounen Club special. Only the groups were there (i.e. HSJ, Kisumai, and I presume ABC and Question too). The owner of the Japanese blog Yamashita-ism, who is a Shoon fan, went to the recording, and reports that there were 2 requests for Ima susumou and Te wo tsunaide yukô clips. The audience cheered loudly, but Hikaru looked rather sad when they played them. I find it interesting that she says: 『Ya-Ya-yah』という名前は禁句になってしまったかと思っていたので嬉しかったです。[rough translation: I was starting to think that "Ya-Ya-yah" had become a taboo word, so I was delighted when they said it.] Good to know it wasn't just me. ^^

PS2: I also wish I could be happy for Yabu and Hikaru having a new song with their new subgroup, HSBest, and I wish I could gush about the performance, but today... I just can't. The lack of Shoon in this Shounen "Crap" has brought me down. I know it's not fair to call it that, because all the boys do their best always, and if it wasn't for what is happening I would have enjoyed the show, but... I'm sorry. m(_ _)m You can watch that performance at Kamichan's blog though.


December 08, 2007

scans, Taiyô contest, and SC clips

I wanted to finish answering comments before making another entry, but I imagined you'd be as eager as I was to see the scans of the January mags, so I'll go back to answering comments after posting this.

Taiyô isn't in the January magazines, but I didn't want to leave him out of this entry, so here go some Taiyô shop pics. Some of them I saved them from auction pages, others from forums... so I'm afraid I can't credit. ^^


And speaking of Taiyô... Marz and I have finished the preparations for his 17th b-day contest, "A Tribute to Taiyô". It doesn’t matter if you’re not Taiyô’s biggest fan, or if you’re a Ya-Ya-yah fan but more of a fan of Hikaru, Shoon, or Yabu. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t want to take part in the contest. If you care about Taiyô, please submit something to show your love for him. It can be a few words of thanks and good luck, it can be a poem, or a video, or a drawing, or a fanfic, or that entry you wrote on your LJ when you learned he had decided to quit... whatever you want. He deserves recognition and we’re hoping you’ll help us in making a huge success of this tribute to him. Please click on the image below for details. (credits to Marz for the banner below ^^B)

A Tribute to Taiyô - Taiyô's 17th b-day contest

I'm not going to post thumbnails of all the January mags here, because there are too many, just the Shoon ones, which are just four, for the Yabu-Hika scans please click on the links below. Credits to our wonderful ZANSANHANE for all the scans. =]

2008.01 duet :: 2008.01 popolo :: 2008.01 potato :: 2008.01 wink up


It feels really strange to see Shoon without Taiyô, but... thank God for Hasshi and Reon. ^^ By the way... The trousers Shoon is wearing on the last pic with Reon... Aren't they the same trousers he wore in this photoshoot with Taiyô? I wonder if they are his own trousers, or if they get to keep some of the clothes they use in the photoshoots or what. ^^ *is curious*

I'll only say one thing about the Yabu-Hika pics... The HSJ "please-love-us" pics are evil. You know, those pics in which Yabu and Hikaru are acting in a goofy or cute way, and those in which they appear with the chibis as if they were their pets. I found myself wanting to give Yabu babies. ^^;;;

Somehow I always knew Yabu's hugs would be very warm, but seeing him hugging Chinen with that look on his face turned me into a stupid puddle of goo. Yabucchi: you better marry at 23 as you said you intended to, and stop this. =p It's bad for the fans sanity.

And to finish this rather random entry... I finally uploaded some clips from last Sunday's SC! I hate the fact that SC airs on Sundays. The next day it's Monday, and I have to work, and I don't have time to make SC posts on Mondays. ;__; Anyway, just three clips: the medley song, in which Shoon, Hikaru, and Yabu sang bits of songs; the junior league, because guys acting like dorks is always fun XD ; and the closing song, because Shoon is there. I can't wait for tomorrow's SC to see if Yabu and Hikaru will at least make eye-contact with Shoon. I mean, it's so frustrating that in the last 3 or 4 SCs we haven't seen any interaction between them on stage! <=( And when Shoon leaves the stage right before any of the other two enter, or the other way around... it's so frustrating as well! >=( Anyway... here are the clips for those of you who haven't seen them, downloaded this SC, or just feel like rewatching them now. *goes back to answering comments*


December 05, 2007

YabuHika LS & readers corner

Not the SC entry I promised. ^^ Haven't had time to cut the clips, so this entry is a bit of a mish-mash of other things. Firstly... last Sunday's Yabu&Hikaru's live stage on HHS. Well, Ikujinashi again for starters. This time together, which was nicer. And then their solos, Gentles for Hikaru and Arashi no Carnival for Yabu. Is it just me or was Yabu rather serious? He didn't smile once. <=( Arashi no Carnival is not the same without Yabu's adorkable smug smiles, and it's not the same with him in red and not white. =_= No Takaki, Daiki, or Inoo around. Hmmm... Could it be that JE has caught on the fact that Ya3 fans are not very pleased with the changes and that's why they're having Yabu&Hikaru singing their old songs, or maybe it's just the lack of HSJ songs? I'll say HHS livestages are enjoyable when I see Yabu and Hikaru enjoying themselves. So far they don't seem to.


By the way, I completely forgot that I had uploaded the full version of their previous livestage: .001 .002

A correction: in a previous entry I said that, in the Ya3 show, when Yabu and Hikaru were taking part in Takki’s Enbujô, life-size, cardboard cutouts of them were placed at the studio, but that I doubted they would have done the same if Shoon or Taiyô had been absent for some reason. Well, Kamichan left a comment telling me that they actually did that for Shoon when he was doing West Side Story. Thank you! It was in the 2004.12.26 episode, and he's provided a couple of screencaps as well. =]

Well, I must say that was a very nice gesture of the TV Tokyo guys, so... gomen ne, TV Tokyo. m(_ _)m You're not as mean as I sometimes think you are, I guess. XD Still, I can't believe I didn't remember this, and it must be that I haven't watched that episode till the end or something. That... or I'm losing my memory or something. *worries* @__@

Other things... readers corner! =D
Stevenica sent to me some wonderful drawings she made for Hikaru's b-day, and also a nice banner: (click on them to see them full size - the HHS doll is the cutest thing ever!)

17Bday_HikaruDolls 17Bday_HikaruSketch_BIG 17Bday_HikaruBanner

Iris has made a very beautiful tribute to Taiyô on her Xanga site:

beargirl26 posted in the comments to the previous entry a nice poem from Kingdom Hearts that as she says sums up the way we are feeling right now, and what we want for our dear Sun:

Thinking of you, wherever you are.
We pray for our sorrows to mend,
And hope that our hearts will blend
Now I will step forward to realize this wish.
And who knows? Starting a new journey may not be so hard...
Or maybe it has already begun.
There are so many worlds, but they share the same sky:
One sky, one destiny.

And to finish this entry... another poem. This one is by Aki, who is a Taiyô fan too. Marz and I are still working on Taiyô's b-day contest, but Aki has submitted this poem as her entry for the contest already. (Thanks again!) I think it's very beautiful and heartfelt. It's very sad too, but in life there are moments for happiness and moments for sadness, and I think escaping from sadness would be like denying our feelings instead of honoring them. So if you feel sad and need a shoulder to cry on, here you have one, and if you need a place to talk about your frustration/anger/sadness... feel free to do it here. This is Taiyô's home, and it's your home too. This Shoon fan here loves you Taiyô fans very much, and I want to see you happy again, but I understand that it will take some time. *hugs*

The Smile That Drives My Heartbeat

I never liked the color orange
Until you came into my life.
But the sun was always special
And you showed me the reason why.
Now the sun has set upon me
And my world is void of light
I find myself still searching for you
Though I've lost my will to fight.

If only I could know the reason
Of why you live inside my heart.
Why it hurts to live in darkness
And why we are so far apart.
I know that if you had a way
You would show me where you are.
But I must learn to live without you
Hang hopes on another star.

Though you're the one that shone most brightly
Dimmed by clouds that you couldn't see.
I hope your strength far exceeds mine
And you'll be all that you should be.
The wish to see you hurt so much
My heart crumbled in defeat,
But you are the Sun that lights my way
The smile that drives my heartbeat.

The smile that drives my heartbeat.
The smile that drives my heartbeat.
The smile that drives my heartbeat.
The smile . . .

PS: I want to change a little the image link for the recording of the January SC (the t-shirts thing). We can't bring Taiyô or Ya-Ya-yah back unfortunately, so instead of it being a "support Taiyô/Ya-Ya-yah" it could be "a tribute to Taiyô/Ya-Ya-yah". I'm also going to make a "Taiyô's corner" on my blog. I don't know if it will be a regular post I'll make on a certain day of the week -might be SUNday (pun stolen from Kamichan- or a fixed section on the nav bar, but definitely I'm going to do something to keep Taiyô's memory alive. =]