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!

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