January 08, 2008

Shounen Club without Shoon

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Again I haven't updated in a while. ^^ The Xmas frenzy had taken its toll on me (here in Spain Xmas lasts till Jan. 6th), then I got busy with work and stuff, and then Shoon was absent on Sunday's SC, which was so depressing. -_- That's the reason for the new header.

Honestly, what game is JE playing at with Shoon and Shoon's fans? ;__; If you prick us, do we not bleed? There are moments when I think I won't be able to stand much more of this uncertainty. Yui says she read somewhere that he was going to be in the SC again next Sunday, but as she says Shoon doesn't seem to fit anymore on SC being as he is now a junior without a group, and the SC staff doesn't seem to want to put a remedy to it. At first I was hopeful, seeing he got to sing bits of medleys with Hasshi's nameless group and bits with random juniors in the closing song, but little by little he's been given less and less screentime, and then last Sunday he wasn't there at all. ;___; Honestly this is worrying. And what has worried me even more is that nobody -except Yui and the Japanese Shoon fans whose blogs I read- mentioned Shoon's absence. Is HSJ's glitter numbing people's minds or what? O_o

There are moments when trying to be positive doesn't work, because I remember what happened with Hoshino Masaki and Yoshikazu Tôshin, and it scares me that something similar might happen to Shoon.

When Akama Naoya disappeared Hoshino remained in Ya-Ya-yah... but it wasn't for long, and Tôshin stayed around on SC for a while when his group disbanded, and he performed now and then with ABC, but then he stopped appearing on SC altogether and has focused on theatre plays, which obviously are not aired on TV, so you can't download them from the Internet unless it's a fancam.

I don't want Shoon to be the next Hoshino, and I don't want him to be the next Tôshin. I want Shoon to be the next Ikuta Toma, who has no group either, yet has starred in a number of dramas and theater plays and has gotten really popular lately after his role in Hana Kimi. However, perhaps that's asking for too much. .__. A few days ago I googled for more info on Toma, and Shoon and him are very different and their careers have been quite different too.

For starters Toma was offered to enter JE when he was working on a variety TV show for kids, while Shoon had to audition. I don't mean to say by this that Toma had it easier than Shoon; just that JE has had an interest in him from the start.

JE's interest in Shoon seems to be rather inconstant. There have been moments when he has been given important chances, but at others it's like they forget he exists.

By the way... googling for info on Toma I found out that 4TOPS was only one year in existance (2002-3). I think that makes Ya-Ya-yah's break-up much more shocking and tragic by comparison. I mean... Ya-Ya-yah were together for almost 6 years (2002-7, except for Hikaru who joined in 2003)!

I guess the break-up of 4TOPS must have been very hard for the fans because they clicked so well together and because they were so popular everybody thought they were going to debut together, right?

Back to Toma... he has his own J-web, it seems, and he has a corner in Wink Up too. Also, I think he's never been in a second-line position like Shoon has been all these years within Ya-Ya-yah with Taiyô. If I'm not much mistaken I'd say Toma was the Hikaru in 4TOPS while Yamapi was Yabu. Sort of. You know what I mean, I imagine.

What things does Shoon have in his favour? He's still very young. When they both starred in West Side Story Toma was already 19 while Shoon was 15 (going on 16).

Shoon has also been in a weekly TV show for 5 years and has been in which has been the leading junior group since KAT-TUN debuted. He's well-known as can be seen from the fact that he gets recognized on the street... even y foreigners as he tells in one of the February mags! And he has a solo too, which is not a minor thing, I'd say.

He wasn't on SC last Sunday, but he was at the countdown concert, and he was grouped with ex-3TOPS (Toma, Kazama, and Hasegawa Jun) and Tôshin to backdance for TOKIO. That made me really happy. Okay, so he just backdanced, but there he stood like an equal with Toma and the others, who are all older and have been working solo for a few years already. It also reminded me of the time when they were all together in West Side Story and Shoon seemed content and at ease. He probably relates to them more than to any of the other juniors now, and feels they can understand what he's going through; especially Tôshin.

Toma got to sing at the countdown concert, and that gives me hopes too. He's 23 now. Shoon is 19. Perhaps in two or three years Shoon will have found his ground too and will be as popular as Toma is right now. For that, though, he needs to be given some chances, and I hope JE won't make him wait long, because I imagine for him this must be as frustrating as it is for us, his fans.

PS: Please remember that the deadline for Taiyô's b-day contest is this Friday! Here you can check the entries submitted so far, and here you can submit your own entry or tribute. Also... I'm holding one last final contest this year: the contest for Yabu's 18th birthday. If you're interested, please click on the banner below to learn about the prizes, rules, etc.

PS2: I've uploaded Yabu's and Hikaru's pics from the February issues of Duet, Potato, and Wink Up. Credits to HAPPYTOWN for them all.

PS3: Here's a late New Year present from me. These scans are from a 2003 issue of a stage magazine called Look at Star, and it's an article about the first time Ya-Ya-yah staged Stand by Me. I bidded for the mag just because of these pages. ^^ But it was worth the while. Taiyô looks so adorable in these! They all do. ^^B


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