October 31, 2007

Hey! Say goodbye!

I need to rant about this a little because... seriously, it irked me so much. I’ve been busy and haven’t been able to post before but I really need to rant about it.

How much of a disappointment was the last Ya-Ya-yah episode? Fiona hasn’t uploaded it yet to her clubbox, but you can watch it in 3 parts at smileyuya’s YouTube account [part 1, part 2, part3]. That didn’t even qualify as an episode. *grumbles* Just a bunch of old clips thrown together. Please, any fan could have done that! However, what irritated me the most was that my fears came true: they didn’t let Ya-Ya-yah have a word in between clips, or even at the end to say “thanks for following the show” and goodbye. ;__;

You know, when I was making the fanvideo of the previous entry I felt weird putting those words in their mouths at the end, but something told me we were not going to get that, and now I’m glad I did.

You fail so much, JE. I was ranting about this to Kamichan in the comments to the previous entry, and his words made me reconsider for a moment my opinion on the matter — how do you always manage to do that? XD — , but ended up standing by what I had said.

Irea: Have you watched the last episode on smileyuya's YouTube account? I'm so irked now! How could they do that?! It's all old clips, and they didn't even let the boys say "thanks for watching" or "goodbye"!! For God's sake! What are those people made of? Iron steel? *shakes head in disbelief*
Kamichan: Yes I have. And after the preview at the end of last week's show I didn't really expect anything else. I know it would have been nice for us fans to see them saying thank you and good bye to us. But what would it have felt like on their part? Having a camera pointed at you and being told: "Okay, we're gonna kill you know. Any last words you'd like to say to your friends and family?" No, JE doesn't work that way. If you decide to leave or are made to leave it happens silently. You just dissappear, as if you never existed in the first place.
Irea: I don't think it would have felt like that on their part. It would have been more like: "This show has been an important part of your life. Any words you want to say to the people that have been following the show?"
I know that's the way JE works, but for some reason I had a stupid hope. Do 5 years of a show really mean nothing to these people? Or do they think fans will kill themselves in a bout of collective hysteria if they let the boys say goodbye?
Kamichan: Talking about people killing themselves, Japan has a beautiful tradition of honorable suicide. However, you wouldn't commit seppuku in the marketplace but in the privacy of your own home. If you're ordered to commit seppuku you don't whine about it on national TV. To protect your honour you just silently disappear. I know I'm pretty much alone with that opinion, but the longer I think about it the more convinced I am that having them say good bye on TV would have been crueler on them than not having them do it is cruel on us.
Irea: But thing is they haven't done anything dishonorable, so why should they commit seppuku??? Perhaps the people who messed up the show with segments like The Teppan should, but not Ya3. They should be honored, they deserve recognition, not being pushed out through the back door. And, honestly, there's nothing that people love more than seeing their idols are human and cry too. It would have been heartbreaking but beautiful to see Ya-Ya-yah saying goodbye and shedding some tears, but yes, I know, in the Japanese society there's no space for weakness.

He made me wonder if perhaps I was being selfish as a fan, wanting them to say goodbye, if, as he said, it would have been cruel on them, but I think not. They say that success has many fathers but failure is an orphan, meaning that everybody is prompt to claim their part in success, but nobody wants to acknowledge failure. That’s the case in JE. Success is always to be celebrated in a big way; failure must be hidden and all the people concerned must act as if it had never happened.

For those who don’t know, seppuku (more commonly known as harakiri) is a ritual form of suicide by slashing the abdomen (yikes!), formerly practiced in Japan, sometimes commanded by medieval lords or the government in the cases of disgraced subjects/officials. Seppuku was seen as an honorable act as opposed to the dishonor (in the sense of humiliation) of being executed.

Personally I think there’s nothing honorable in suicide, unless you’re a danger to other people (like rapists and serial killers are) or, as it happened in the past, you country is under siege and you prefer to die rather than being conquered.

If you’ve made a mistake, you have to acknowledge it and face the music, not commit suicide or hide it. The first is cowardice; the second is having a lot of nerve and no consideration for the people affected by your mistake.

If somebody messed up the Ya3 show —we’ll get into that some other day— and audience rates fell, for sure it wasn’t Ya-Ya-yah. Why then deny them their right to be honored, to get the recognition they deserve after five years of starring in the show? Why deny them just a few minutes to show people their gratitude for their continued support?

Even though I don’t like changes I know sometimes they are necessary, and also that other times they can’t be helped. If TV Tokyo/JE were losing money with the Ya3 show, I understand —even though it still hurts— that they decided to cancel the show. However, we humans need ceremonies. Ceremonies celebrate natural transitions like birth, puberty, death, and also transitions that have an important effect in our lives like graduating from highschool or university, marrying... Neglect in honoring the passage of one stage to another gives a feeling of emptiness, of a lack of purpose, of a lack of a sense of closure. I know it from experience. Here in Spain state universities don’t hold graduation ceremonies, and after spending four years studying I felt rather empty when I graduated. I had no sense of closure. I didn’t want some big, boastful ceremony, you know, but... it didn’t feel real when I graduated. I only got a diploma a secretary made me sign and her congratulations. That was all.

The end of the Ya3 show is the end of an important stage in the lives of theYa-Ya-yah members, and it’s very sad that somebody decided they just had to leave through the back door and close the door behind them quietly.

Would it have been so hard to do something special in the last episode? I don’t think so. They did it in the 2003.12.28 episode, in which we got to see Shoon get a little emotional when watching a clip from the very first show, and smile fondly at that memory.

They did it the 100th special (2004.12.12). How nice and enjoyable was that episode? Ya-Ya-yah in tuxedos, Midori-san in an elegant black dress, the show’s guest presenting a bouquet of flowers to Ya-Ya-yah...

Yes, they know how to do it, and the fact that they decided not to do it for the very last show disappointed me even more than the last two Harry Potter books, which is saying something.

On to other things, the Shoon LiveJournal community I co-mod with my friend Akgla, Shoon around-the-Clock, will be holding a contest for Shoon’s 19th birthday (December 20th). If you want to take part in it just for fun or to win one of the prizes we’re giving out, please click on the image below to know more. =]