November 12, 2008

諦めないで - don't give up!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
This entry includes a little rant, comments and clips on and from this month's Shounen Club episodes, and some old Ya-Ya-yah scans. =)

Sorry about the long absence. m(_ _)m I've been busy with several things. For starters, I'm taking a Master's Degree in Editing that lasts eight months and includes training in a publishing house. Also, I'm starting to get small, freelance proof-reading jobs, and fandom-wise I'm busy with the project for Shoon's 20th birthday. =) Below you can see a couple of pics of our "dreambook" for Shoon.

IMG_0894 IMG_0957

Fandom-wise too I've been a little melancholic lately, and I didn't want to post when I was down and drag people with my mood. Shoon has become a sort of compass for me, and whichever direction he points to, that's where my mood heads to. When he's happy and energetic I can distract myself from the hole in the floor, but when I sense something's bothering him my mood goes down and I start missing the Ya-Ya-yah days all over again and feel the sting of resentment in my chest.

I'm happy for A.B.C. and Kisumai finally holding their own concerts, I truly am, but some things hurt a little. Like A.B.C. performing Higher Fly with Hasshi (on Hi!Hey!Say! and at their concerts) when it was an A.B.C.-Shoon song. Like Hasshi doing Shoon's trademark back-flip - and it hurts too to have to admit that he seems to have mastered it by now, judging from last Sunday's Shounen Club. It also hurts to see the logic behind Hasshi joining A.B.C. Not that I ever wanted Shoon to join A.B.C., but it makes you wonder why Hasshi and not Shoon. Well, Hasshi is younger than Shoon and until now his acrobatic skills were practically zero, but he's a hard-worker and he learns quickly - plus he has the best teacher one could wish for, Tsuka-chan. I guess JE thought that Shoon wouldn't have added anything new to A.B.C. He merged so well with the group when they performed Higher Fly that he seemed just another A.B.C. member. Hasshi is younger and hence malleable, he admittedly has a better voice, and he has a certain Akanishi Jin style that JE clearly wants to exploit.

Also, for some time now I've fully realized the extent to which the amount of attention any junior gets at a certain time is proportional to JE's plans for him, be it for an isolated project (like promotion for a coming drama/play/etc. in which he takes part), or as long-term investment (like they're doing with Hasshi or Shintaro). It's kind of depressing that everything serves a purpose. I mean that when they choose whatever pair for the letter exchange segment on SC, for example, it's always because they want to pimp those two juniors for some particular reason. The only time Shoon has appeared in that segment was in 2005 with Tôshin, and it was a very evident promotion for West Side Story. I've always liked that segment because it allows us to get a peek of the comradeship the boys have behind the scenes, so to say, but it would be nicer if we could get random pairs now and then, without having to wait for some reason for X and Y to be pimped.

Or, to give another example, how is it fair that Shoon gets less screentime than the chibis? ;_; Not that they're not talented, and they deserve screentime too, but... does JE value loyalty at all? Shoon deserves a full solo and not just a few lines, dammit. Sometimes I think he should pull an "Asaka" and quit JE to join another agency. *grumbles* And it was so awkward how on the second episode they made Shoon appear at the very end of the closing song just to say "arigatou". =_= No wonder he looked peeved. Being left out like that is not nice.

Shall he have to wait until he lands another role in a play to get some decent screen time in Shounen Club? I'm curious (and a little anxious) to find out how much attention he'll get next month. Will the pimping of A.B.C.-Z and Kisumai dilute after the concerts, leaving some space for Shoon, or...? I'd rather not think about the other option. ._. I hope he'll remain in Shounen Club as long as possible, and once again I have to be grateful he is a regular in Hyakushiki. Tôshin didn't have anything like that, as far as I know. Ganbatte, Shoon!

Anyway, believe it or not this post was supposed to be about this month's Shounen Club episodes. ^^;;;

This first clip is a comparison between Arigatou sang by "Ebikisu" and by Ya-Ya-yah in June of last year. I so missed Ya-Ya-yah when I was watching that! ;_; The thing about Ya-Ya-yah is that they sang soooo many songs both on their show and SC that almost every song reminds me of them. ;__; Also, I know comparisons are always unfair, and I suppose I'm totally biased, but I liked Ya-Ya-yah's version much better. Ya-Ya-yah had such a unique sound! =)

[DOWNLOAD 2007.06.10 arigatou.avi]

This second clip is a mix of several things:
1) Shoon being introduced on the first episode and blowing a kiss to the camera ~
2) The bit of the V6 song The Light in Your Heart Shoon sang solo, which I absolutely loved - the song fitted him really well. =D
3) Yabu's short appearance in the theme medley of the first episode.
4) A short bit from the Junior League in which Shoon didn't get to do anything =( but he did guess one song correctly, and I suspect that often, in Hyakushiki too, he knows the answer and doesn't dare say it in case he's wrong. You should have more trust in yourself, Shoonie-kun. ^o^
5) the ending bit I was mentioning before, with the boys saying "arigatou" to the camera.
6) Shoon performing Kansha shite with Kitayama and Fujigaya. I would have preferred a solo, but you can't have everything, right? ^^ And Shoon gave such a sweet look to the camera at the end ~ It also made me very happy that Shoon sang this song because it was one of the songs Ya-Ya-yah performed in their show when they were younger, and they sang it in September of last year in Shounen Club as well. I suppose it's just a coincidence, but Shoon was wearing the same white suit last time. =) And once again theirs was a beautiful performance, especially because the beginning was sung a capella. ^__^ I've included that old performance at the end, and I've left the so very suspicious performance Daybreak in too... suspicious at the time because Yabu and Hikaru sang it with Keito. ^^

I'm not posting them here, but I want to mention at least how much I enjoyed Fujigaya's performance of Ne, ganbaru yo and Kitayama's Kansha kangeki ame arashi - those two sing so effortlessly; they should get solos more often - and how impressed I was with Uekusa and Taiga when they performed a full song with Massu and Tegoshi. I was telling somebody a few days ago that for some reason -several, actually- Taiga reminds me a bit of Taiyô, and it makes me happy when he gets some attention. He's a good dancer, but I didn't know he could sing so well too! I hope they'll pimp him more from now on. =)

[2008.11.02 Light in Your Heart.avi] [2008.11.09 Kansha shite.avi]
[2007.09.09 Kansha shite+Daybreak.avi]

And finally I'm posting -how could I not?- Yabu's performance of School kakumei. They should give Yabu happy, childish songs like this all the time and forget about the ballads -he himself has more or less admitted he's sick of them after all. XD And it's so obvious that's what he enjoys singing the most; you just need to see that big smile he can't hold back, as if he was a child again, about to do something naughty. It's so odd to see him so grown up, with those loooong legs and still smiling the exact same way he used to when he was a child. Also, I wonder if it's weird of me that when I see him clad in jeans and a short denim jacket like that, he reminds me so strongly of a girl. ^^;;; It's not just the long, model-like legs and the hips; it's also the way he stands and holds his knees together. XD

[DOWNLOAD 2008.11.02 School Kakumei.avi]

On to other things... I've been scanning more old articles. =) This time I bring you both the Japanese and Taiwanese editions of the 2003.12 Wink Up issue. ^^v (see preview below)

2003.12 Wink Up - Ya-Ya-yah scans (Japanese & Taiwanese editions)

They are, as you can see, different except for one page. I'm saving one of the pics of this article for the next header, but the one I'm using today has Shoon in it, because I think he needs more support right now. The text is a translation of a poem you may have read before somewhere else:

Don't Quit

When things go wrong,as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low
and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a person turns about
When they might have won had they stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow.
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failture turned inside out
It's pressing on past fear and doubt
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

I've also added a little gadget to the side bar in case you want to listen to some music while you read. =) Those are some of my fave songs, and I'll change the selection every now and then.

Oh, and I really am sorry I'm not updating as I often I'd like to of late, but if you want to keep up with me you can subscribe (use the subscription box on the side bar) or you can get updates on your friends-list through LiveJournal if you friend this blog's LiveJournal extension.

Okay, back to answering comments! ^^b Take care everyone!

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