June 10, 2008

do dreams come true?

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
I'm a bit down, and I shouldn't be updating now, but I thought a little blogging might help me cheer up.

What does your regular johnny dream of? When asked, the answer is almost invariably "I want to debut". And, if possible, debuting with his group of course. Debut sounds like such a big thing, doesn't it? Concerts, CDs, DVDs, appearing in lots of music shows, being featured in lots of magazines, but... does a debut make them happy, does it fulfill their expectations?

Yabu's and Hikaru's dream of debuting didn't turn out as they had thought it would be, did it? One of the things I'll never forget about their debut is Hikaru's shock and disbelief: "When we were told about it I asked: "But why are Yabu and I in this?"." However, it seems that by now they have come to terms with Ya-Ya-yah's break-up, and are enjoying their debut. Perhaps we delude ourselves a little as fans. I'm sure that Ya-Ya-yah's break-up wasn't harder for anybody than it was for Taiyô, Yabu, Hikaru, and Shoon, but they probably have a more pragmatic view of it because after all - leaving aside for one moment the emotional attachment - it's work for them. I don't mean to say they were not upset about it, or that it doesn't still hurt when they think of it, but they just have to go on with the show.

It was a bit from a translation of ABC's article in Duet 2008.05 at Tottsurabu, by Princekira what made me reflect on this. [You need to ask her to friend you if you want to read her translations]

There's a part in which they're mentioning that they were split in 2 to take part in Dream Boys and Takki's Enbujou, and Tottsu says: I think some of the fans may have worried about what's going to happen to A.B.C.... What I hope everyone can keep in mind here, is that A.B.C. is not "4 as one", but "4 individual people who have come together".

Reading this was quite of a shock for me. You know, many times Tottsu had said that they only wanted to debut together, as ABC, and this seems to contradict that. I think the recent events might have made them change their views slightly. Tottsu himself was chosen for Kitty GYM along with Kitayama, Inoo, and Hikaru, and it was suspicious that at first they had chosen Tomita Mao instead of him, which made no sense, because the idea seemed to be "1 member from each of the main junior groups". That is Kitayama from KMF2, Inoo from JJE, and Hikaru from Ya-Ya-yah. Tomita Mao had been part of KMF in the past, but at that time he had been taken out of that unit and was just a junior. Somehow I think Tottsu might have refused to be in it, but later JE managed to make him agree to be part of Kitty, and Tomita Mao disappeared from the scene. And now Tsuka-chan is a member of the Butoukan unit. My friend Sohee thinks Butoukan has chances of debuting, and it really wouldn't surprise me. MA seems to be rocky since the Akiyama scandal, and recently their J-web has been suspended. Perhaps Yara might have a chance of a debut with this new group, Butoukan.

Back to Ya-Ya-yah, in Shoon's case it broke my heart a little how in the 2008.01 potato article, after Ya-Ya-yah disbanded, he was asked about his expectations for this year and he replied something like: "Last year I took part in a lot of concerts. I hope this year I will be able to do so again".

I don't think we'll ever hear him say again "my dream is to debut". Like... what are the chances Hasegawa, Toma, Kazama, or Tôshin have of debuting? However, I think they might not want to debut after all. Sure there is the uncertainty of losing popularity one day and get less job assignments, while that's never going to happen to debuted groups, but there's more excitement in not knowing what the future's got in store for you. And there isn't as much pressure, commitments, and expectations from you when you haven't debuted.

Debut is like a highway, where you can get faster to your destination. And you get to ride a expensive car with a chaffeur as well. Going solo and undebuted, like Toma - or Shoon now -, is like taking side - sometimes bumpy - roads and driving your own small, modest car. You can get to the same place but it takes you a little longer and the journey can be more interesting and eventful. Highways are rather boring, while side roads run through little towns and villages and you don't travel so fast, so you can enjoy the scenery. =)

Before, for purely selfish reasons, I wanted Shoon to debut with Ya-Ya-yah. That way I thought I'd be able to see him in lots of shows and dramas, buy their CDs, DVDs... But this year he landed a role in a small theatre production called Full House, and that has changed everything. Sure JE hasn't spent a lot of money on it - just four characters, very simple and cheap sets, a modest promotion... - but I hadn't seen Shoon so happy and excited in a very long time. I want more chances like this for him, chances for him to learn and have fun. =)

I'll just have to learn to make a more efficient use of my time so work won't get in the way, save money for plane tickets and hotel stays, and of course improve my Japanese. If I go to see him in a play I want to be able to fully grasp the plot and... you never know, I might get to speak to him, and I wouldn't want to embarrass myself.

I can hear you thinking: "Speak to him? Yeah, right", but... you know, it CAN happen. I'm not at liberty to tell how it happened or give names, but a small group of foreign fans were able to talk to Shoon when they went to see Full House. Since I learnt this I've been kicking myself for not going, but I'm content to know that he's every bit as nice as he seems on the screen. =) And also to know that his hands are as warm as I had imagined and that the pic on the left [credits to the disappeared Moonlightboy.com] is not a thing of the past, that he holds your hand in both of his and looks into your eyes and listens intently when you're talking to him.

He actually mentions this group of fans in the July issue of Wink Up! How sweet is that? It's just one sentence, but I think it's so nice of him! You can see that bit of the article below, and this is the translation of what he says: Also, there were fans who came all the way from overseas to see me, and I've realized that I have the support of many people.

That's all I've ever I've wanted, especially after Ya-Ya-yah broke-up: for him to know that even though there are moments when it seems JE doesn't value him for what he's worth, he's got a lot of support both inside and outside of Japan. =) And he should have fully realized the extent of it if he read the letter I wrote to him. Yeah, well, in the end I've decided to share this with you and trust fate. If something is meant to happen it will happen, if it isn't... hard luck. =_= Thing is I wrote a letter to him telling him ALL I ever wanted to tell him, and sent it to a friend who was going to see the play in the hope that she might be able to hand it to him.

Of course my Japanese is not that great, and I wanted Shoon to understand the letter, so I asked a native Japanese translator to translate it for me. I was kind of worried she would freak out, but amazingly enough she's a fan of Ryo and Yamapi, so thankfully she wasn't shocked at all. XD

So I sent the translated letter to my friend and held my breath for several days until she received it, and then held it some more until she told me she had actually managed to hand it to him. ^______^ And he let out a すご~い! (sugoooi! - "so cool!") when she gave it to him! *grins shyly* I'd drawn an elf lady for him on the envelope, you see. ^-^ Well, actually you can see it below because I scanned it before I sent the letter to my friend.

I wonder if I'll ever get to know if he read it. I mean, it's not likely he'll mention in an article he received a letter from a fan in Spain. Plus my friend gave him the letter in Hyôgo on May 30th, and the interviews of the July magazines were done in mid-May. And johnnys don't reply many fanletters as far as I know. Also, I guess it's pessimistic of me to think so, but perhaps he started reading my letter and thought I was crazy or something and stopped reading. XD;;; Ah, I hope not. I hope it made him curious enough to visit here and to visit the LJ community. I gave him both URLs. And I hope he read the letter through because I also added the URL of the Taiyô tribute site. I hope he'll tell Taiyô about it, so that Taiyô will know he has a lot of support outside Japan too. =) And now is when I stop daydreaming. If you're curious and you want to read my letter - and see what my handwriting looks like XD - click on the pic below. It's both in Japanese and English. A couple of paragraphs in which I mentioned some friends have been omitted.

Anyway. Speaking of the July articles... In Duet there's another interesting bit in which Shoon mentions the Ya-Ya-yah show! ...only he does not say the name, but refers to it as 前に番組 (mae ni bangumi), which could be translated as "in the previous show".

Okay, how weird does that sound? O__o;;; He is talking about his love for do-it-yourself things (like one of his hobbies, making leatherwork items), and he mentions how in the Ya-Ya-yah show they made chairs, a wooden deck, and a tree-house.

This makes you wonder if in his contract it says he can't mention the word "Ya-Ya-yah" or if the magazine edited the name out, because it seems a bit awkward to refer to it as "the previous show". ?__?

Oh, well, at least he talks about it, and it made me happy to see that, so I wanted to share it with you. =) The two pics above are from scans made by my Taiwanese friend Nmeshs. I'll post my own scans at the Shoon LJ community as soon as I get my clippings. ^^v

And for those of you, brave souls, that have read this entry until the end, here are some Ya-Ya-yah scans. =) I have never seen these posted anyway, and it was a request from Ji, who wanted to know where I'd gotten the pics of baby Hikaru I used on his birthday header last year. Ji, click here for those pics in a very high resolution for you (300 dpi).

2003.09 MYOJO - YA-YA-YAH SCANS Please credit me if you repost these elsewhere. Feel free to use them for icons, graphics, or translations. Credits appreciated but not necessary.

A request from Sue: she has made a fanvideo for Taiyô with songs that have the word "Taiyô" in it and wants to turn it into a sort of chain game. You can download the video and add bits with other songs with the word Taiyô and add your nickname. =) You can download the video here: http://www.shareonall.com/Taiyo_video_fwio_wmv.htm

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yahPOST A COMMENT :: READ COMMENTS