November 04, 2007

the lonely reed

EDIT: This morning I finished watching yesterday's SC. I always look for Shoon uchiwas when the camera focus on the audience. Yesterday I was looking for Taiyô and Shoon uchiwas, but didn't expect this at all. It made me so proud of the Ya-Ya-yah fandom, and I suddenly had this knot on my throat and couldn't help but start crying. Oh, God. Four Ya-Ya-yah fans, for grown up women (yay for us old fans!) holding heart-shaped homemade uchiwas of Hikaru, Yabu, Taiyô, and Shoon in their respective colours. T_____T They held them high for Yabu and Hikaru to see when they turned to the audience during the O-tegami itadakimasu segment.

And they did see them. Hikaru wiped a tear with his finger (at 0:00:27 on the clip below), and the second time, when Yabu turned back to the camera, he had the trail of a tear on his cheek (0:00:40). Oh, God. We had different opinions on what might happen if fans really sing Te wo tsunaide yukô at the HSJ debut concert in December. I think this gives us an idea of what might happen. I don't think they looked upset. The first time, when Yabu turned back to the camera, he looked like he was battling with his emotions, waving the microphone in his hand with that taut jaw expression. Hikaru looked grateful, searched for Yabu's eyes, and they held each other's eyes briefly. And I have a feeling the "arigatô"s they were shouting at the audience were not because of the white goat versus black goat segment. After seeing this I'm now convinced that, hard though these expressions of support must be for them in these moments, they also mean the world to them. It would be awful if right now, with all that has happened, the fandom accepted this quietly and didn't show they care. Sorry for the horrible analogy, but it would be like dying and having nobody cry for you.

You may need to download the clip because the streaming video won't let you see these things very clearly: Mediafire :: DivShare

An afterthought: as I was telling Yui on an e-mail right now, I think it's unlikely Yabu and Hikaru will wear any of their Ya3 outfits again as long as they're in HSJ. I believe it's not a coincidence they wore their HSJ red outfits when they sang their solos this time. It felt as if JE wants to brand on the fans minds that now they're no longer Ya3, even though they may still sing some of the songs they sang when they were Ya3.

Also, I uploaded the performances in which Shoon, Yabu, and Hikaru appeared as promised:
2007.11.04 [SC] BEST medley.avi.001 .002
2007.11.04 [SC] gentles + arashi no carnival.avi
2007.11.04 [SC] hurricane.avi

----end of edit-----

Even though it was full of juniors, as always, never had the stage of the the NHK Hall looked more empty at the Shônen Club opening, when the groups were introduced and it was just HSJ, ABC, and KMF2. No Taiyô and no Shoon -he appeared a bit later- around at the introductions was so strange.

And then, I haven't watched the whole SC (I'm downloading it in parts from Clubbox), but if the fan reports are true and Shoon appeared only at the beginning, during the SC theme song, and at the closing of the show, in the ending song... well, from what I've seen it looks like we're not going to see Yabu, Hikaru, Shoon, and Taiyô on stage at the same time for a while.

I mean, in the bits Shoon was there, when he entered the stage, Yabu and Hikaru had already left, and when Shoon left, Yabu and Hikaru entered. It's so pathetic that JE won't let us see them even a few feet apart on the stage in an effort to erase Ya-Ya-yah from our minds. Well, you won't, you mean jerks. Every time I see Yabu or Hikaru, even if they're wearing those red HSJ outfits with the HSJ sign, I think of Ya-Ya-yah. You can't make me forget; you can't erase my memories. You won't.

Shoon was a bit subdued at first, when he entered the stage in his Himawari outfit to join Yuuto and the others, but he gave a smile to the camera when it focused on him. It was an I-don't-really-feel-like-smiling-now smile, but it was a brave thing to do, something that shows how strong he is, and I'm very proud of him. I'm sure it was hard for him, being there without Taiyô by his side and Yabu and Hikaru as part of another group, but it was beautiful to see him show he is up for a fight, jumping up and down on the stage, smiling, giving his all, and how as the show progressed he was more relaxed.

I was really thankful to Yuuto, for making eye contact with him when they were singing Hoshi wo mezashite together. Okay, so perhaps he did it for no particular reason, but to me it meant the world, because I think that with that look he made Shoon feel part of what was happening on the stage when he was probably feeling like the odd one out.

I was very thankful too to Koyama, because I'm positive this gesture of encouragement was aimed at Shoon. I'm sure for all the four members of Ya-Ya-yah Koyama must be a bit like a big brother to lean on, so I'm glad too that he's with Yabu and Hikaru in the new show, Hi! Hey! Say! I'm sure having him around is making all this a bit easier for them.

I guess we fans sometimes worry too much for our idols. I don't mean that they're not having or have had a hard time with this -I'm convinced they've had a lot more time to come to grips with the disbandment, the new group and all than we have had-, but we often forget that on the backstage everything is still the same for them. JE can divide them into groups, but groups mean little on the backstage. In the mags, Yabu has been making mentions of things that show the close friendship between him and Tottsu since 2004 at least, and I'm sure the absurd JE politics and decisions will never break that friendship nor the bond between the Ya-Ya-yah members.

So yes, of course it must have been very hard for Shoon to appear on his own on the stage, stranded from those who have been his groupmates for almost six years, but from now on, whenever I start worrying for him, I'm going to remind myself that he's strong, and that he has a lot of friends around him that care for him and know and understand the way he's feeling, because they're all on the same boat.

Shoon's favourite actor is Tom Hanks, and watching this Shônen Club reminded me of a quotation from a movie he starred in, You've got Mail. It's something Frank tells Kathleen (Meg Ryan) when her little bookshop is starting to sell less and less becuase of the competition with Joe Fox's (Tom Hanks) family business, the chain of mega bookshops Fox Books: "You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."

Well, so is Shoon. He's a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of showbiz. Also, I was googling for that quotation 'cause I didn't remember the exact words, and I came across some nice verses by an anonymous person called Duane Aiuppy that go perfectly with Shoon as well:

Finding hope where none existed,
Bringing joy to those in need
Something special among the ordinary
Standing strong, the lonely reed.

What follows is part of the SC theme medley. When Medetaiakaru posted a translation of a Japanese fan's report I misunderstood and thought Shoon was going to sing some lines with HSBEST in that medley. It's the medley that is called "BEST" because that too is the SC theme. ^^;;; Naive me. I'm sure they won't let Shoon near Yabu and Hikaru for a good while. Oh, well, it was still good that Shoon had a part in this SC, even though it wasn't big, and I loved seeing him jumping up and down when, together with Koyama and the yet unnamed group made up of Hasshi, Kamei, Kato and the others, he performed Weeeek (how many e's is that supposed to have? ^^?). He really needed fast paced songs more than ever, so it was great he got to sing in that one and in Hurricane at the end. =]

Hikaru and Yabu were great as always with their solo performances - oh, how I'd missed you!! T____T - and it was wonderful to see them so relaxed, enjoying themselves. However... I wish they'd let them change into the outfits they usually wear for those songs. Arashi no Carnival is not as sexy with the red HSJ outfit. =p I must say though, that all the thundering and ligthning before the song started was really cool. XDDD

The hurricane performance would have been nicer if Yabu and Hikaru hadn't fled from the stage before Shoon entered, but it was nice that Shoon got some screentime a couple of times - in the pre-HSJ SCs they hardly even let him sing a line. And I was so glad Hasshi and him were standing near each other. ^_^v Oh, and Shoon wore his black suit! That's my favourite outfit! And he wears it so little! *pouts* He looks awesomely handsome in that one. ^^B

Anyway, I'll leave you with the performance because my, look at the time, it's almost midnight and tomorrow it's Monday. @__@

Goodnight dear readers, goodnight Lonely Reed. ^^B

PS: Will upload all these clips tomorrow in case somebody wants to download them. =] And I'll reply unanswered comments too. ^^v
PS2: The first entry submitted for the Shoon b-day contest is up already at 101 Reasons to like Shoon. I'm ridiculously excited and I can't even take part in the contest as I'm the one organizing it. XD;;;