November 13, 2007

feelings are forbidden

[letter from the Army JE&Associates to privates Yabu Kôta and Yaotome Hikaru; sent shortly after they were told about their debut]

Welcome to the elite military corps Hey!Say!JUMP! From now on you’ll enjoy certain privileges, but you will also be expected to observe the following rules:
#1 Mentioning the name of your former band or bandmates in magazine interviews is forbidden.
#2 Expressing any feelings of disappointment for not having debuted with your former band is forbidden. You are excited and grateful for this chance you’re being given.
#3 Until new orders are issued, you will act as if your former band never existed.
#4 Regardless how you’re feeling, you must smile and look cheerful at all times.

Best wishes,


[announced over the P.A. system at the lobby of the NHK Hall on November 12th]
Shounen Club no okyakusan: we regret to inform you that no uchiwa or banners will be allowed inside the hall for today’s recording. Please kindly hand them over at the checkpoint. O-tanoshimi ni!

Shounen Club no okyakusan: Shounen Club audience; O-tanoshimi ni!: Enjoy (the show)!


Those two bits above are obviously things I made up, but the sad truth is that they are true. It's the world turned upside down, it's absurd, it's unfair. What the hell, people have feelings, that's what makes us different from robots. JE, however, wants to turn the boys and their fans into robots or better, into obedient soldiers. The question is: shall we let them?

For the boys it's a job, so obviously they have to take things they don't like, unless they decide to try their wings like Moriuchi Takahiro did -and he's doing great. Frankly I think some of the JE boys are so talented they should tell JE they're not taking any more of their crap and quit. Many of them deserve so much more than they're getting.

The fans... Ah, the problem is that we've fallen into the trap. JE knows what fans like, and our little fan hearts belong to one or another of the boys. Who can resist them? They're good looking, talented and endearing each in their own way. JE knows how to choose their boys.

I love Shoon so much that I know I'll keep on supporting him no matter what. For that reason, I understand that if you are a fan of Yabu, Hikaru, Inoo, or any of the other HSJ members, you will support them all the way, even though you would have preferred for them to debut with their former groups. Had Shoon been chosen for HSJ, I'd still hate JE for disbanding Ya-Ya-yah, but I can't deny that I'd be watching each and every show HSJ appear in, just for the sake of seeing Shoon.

Unfortunately, though, not only has my favourite group disbanded, but also Shoon's future in JE is rather uncertain right now. Taiyô just happens to be sharing Shoon's luck -I still refuse to think he has quitted; I'm going to wait to the January magazines and SCs- so us Shoon fans feel closer than ever to Taiyô fans these days. Being in a similar situation makes it easier to put yourself in the other person's place, and I know how much it would have hurt me if Shoon hadn't appeared for 2 consecutive months on SC, so I understand how they're feeling. I've walked that path. When neither of them were in the December issue of Myojo, I feared for the worst, I feared JE had dumped them both, so yes, I understand very well what Taiyô fans are going through.

I'm not saying that the fans of Hikaru, Yabu, Takaki, Yamada... (insert your favourite johnny's name here) don't understand, but it's not the same. Also, it's not the same to be a fan of several groups/johnnys than being a 1 group/1 johnny fan. If you are a fan of several groups/johnnys, you'll still be okay -more or less- even if one of them is disbanded/dumped. For me, if Shoon left JE, I'd most likely stop watching SC and any other JE-related shows. That's why I'm being so stubborn about all this.

Back to the question of turning into obedient JE soldiers that accept JE's decisions and rules... Why should we? We have a brain, don't we? And we have a heart. And we have our pride. If someone tramples on what you love, do you have to bow your head and keep quiet? I won't. And if I lived in Japan, after the prohibition of uchiwas and banners at the recording of the December SCs, I'd go to the recording of the January SC wearing a t-shirt like one of these under my coat:

And if my Japanese wasn't so poor, I'd write a 太陽くんを応援しよう!post (support Taiyô! post) explaining this. ^^ I'd encourage the Japanese fans not to give up, to use their imagination against the tirany of JE. They won't let them take their uchiwas and banners? Well, wear t-shirts, or coloured t-shirts. They could wear orange t-shirts to show their support for Taiyô or red, blue, green, and orange t-shirts to support Ya-Ya-yah. I know Japanese fans are resourceful enough and don't need me to get ideas, though. Uchiwas and banners were not allowed at the recording of the December SCs, but I was very proud to read that when Shoon appeared on the stage they cheered louder everytime. Take that, you jerks!

PS: I meant to post about the December SCs, but this is long enough as it is, so I'll leave that for tomorrow.
PS2: The verses on the new header ("As long as shame and sorrow exist, I'd rather not see or hear, so speak softly and let me sleep") are some verses by Michelangelo -the best artist of all times- that expresses the way I'm feeling, and it's my way of protesting since I don't live in Japan and I can't go to SC. I'm saddened by what is happening, by many things I'm reading, because I can't stand the sorrow JE brings upon the boys and their fans, nor JE's shameful treatment of Taiyô, Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah, and the Ya-Ya-yah fans.
PS3: sorry there are so many comments I haven't answered yet. m(_ _)m These last days have been kind of chaotic. ^^;;;