December 20, 2010

happy birthday, Shoon!

This is the longest we've been without news of you. How are you doing? And how's Reon? I wouldn't be surprised if he were a lot taller than you now. And how's university? Only a few months to graduate now, right? I wonder what will happen then. Whether you'll try to go back to the entertainment business again, or whether you'll try to find a job related to your university degree. You said you were closing the blog and website "for the time being" to focus on your studies, but so many things can change in about eight months... Look at Johnny's. Now there's a Johnny's Jr. site -with videos too!- and the Hyakushiki site now has a picture of Inocchi and the boys, and Johnny's is opening up to the foreign fans. Who would have said? All those things came too late for you and us, your fans, didn't they? Pity.

Back to you, much though I want to hear from you again, I would understand it if you decided to remain an anonymous citizen from now on, like most of us. Sometimes we settle for something we hadn't planned on because our expectations seem too hard to meet, or maybe we realize how much we enjoy something we never had the time for before, or that we are interested in exploring other possibilities. You're just 22 after all! My 22nd year of life was one of the best so far. I met many nice people, learned a lot of new things, had loads of fun, felt more alive than ever... Whatever you do, I hope it will be the same for you.

As the header says, not a day goes by that I don't think of you. You popped one day into my life, unexpectedly, slided silently into my heart... and you will always have a place there, a sunny, bright one. I wonder if you'll be curious enough to go online to see if we remembered your birthday and I hope that, when you see we haven't forgotten you, that beautiful smile of yours will touch your lips. Happy birthday, dear Shoon, be well.


追伸: 翔央くんがジャニーズ事務所を辞めたから、ファンレターをJFCに送れませんでした。なので、4月に岡本圭人くんにレター送りました。レターをあなたに手渡するように依頼しました。でも、彼はそのレターが届いたことは知りません。

December 02, 2010

happy hatachi, Hikaru!!

Why is it that I ALWAYS forget the exact date of Hikaru's birthday? =_= Seriously, for some stupid reason my brain is convinced it's December 13th and not December 2nd and then every year it jumps on me and I have to hurry and conjure up a birthday post and header hastily. ^^;;; Though this time the header doesn't look too bad if I may say so. :p

It's been months since I last made a post here. Fandom-life feels strange now I'm pretty much out of the fandom. I hear people mentioning the new Johnny's calendars and it means nothing to me anymore. No excitement, no anticipation, no nothing. No sadness anymore either, but I wonder if it will ever stop feeling so weird. I suppose it's because I still have this fragile thread connecting me to it all.

I will always have warm memories of the years I was an active part of the JE fandom, as a fan and a blogger who updated regularly. I want to honour those memories, and I'm determined to squeeze Ya-Ya-yah and Shoon in between work and life, the two things that keep me so busy that I can't seem to find time for anything. *shakes fist*

And that includes not forgetting the birthdays of the Fantastic Four ;) ...even though I should be working right now... ahem XD;;; Hikaru is 20 already, lo and behold! I wish I had the time and inspiration to type a long, deep post, but as it is I'll just be content to say: Happy birthday, Hika, I keep you in my thoughts, carry you in my heart and wish you all the very best, ALWAYS.

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June 30, 2010

I'll be waiting

Dear Shoon,

we barely said 'welcome back' and now we have to bid you farewell again. I'm confused. And a bit worried as well about the reasons that might have prompted your decision to close your website and blog. What happened? I don't want to dwell on that now, though. My feelings evolved as the hours passed, from hurt to understanding and then to gratefulness, and I've been blogging all day long in my head, as I do when I'm too busy to actually blog. Pity how many blog posts never leave my head! And here I am: it's nearly midgnight and I have to get up early tomorrow, but I needed to write this.

I was starting to cherish Shoon, the blogger (so bubbly and talkative), as much as I cherished Shoon, the idol, and I was eagerly waiting for a new post. It was going to be, for me, the only bright spot in a rather bad week so far because of work problems, but when it came something cracked inside of me... again. These past weeks I'd lived in a sort of daze, not quite daring to believe what had happened: you had returned. But now you're leaving again. They don't lie when they say happiness is a fleeting thing, do they?

But this time it's somewhat different. At least you got to say goodbye this time, you didn't disappear into thin air, as you did last February. Also, supposedly it's a 'so long', not a 'goobdye', or that's what I'm holding on to from your 'for the time being' (当面の間). *please, let it not be a goodbye* In many comments to your previous two blog entries people asked things like 'Are you under a new agency now?' or said they wanted to see you again on TV or in some play or whatever. Naturally I wished for those things too, but for me it would be more than enough if you just kept on blogging, even once a month, or once in 2-3 months, so we could hear from you and know how you're doing.

That was the best gift these past weeks have given us. To know that you're well and happy... that made up for the anxiety and sadness of the past three months. I will always be grateful to you for that, for the way you reached out to us, for giving us the chance to tell you what we always wanted to tell you. It may seem crazy for a person to read over 3000 comments, but if I know you, even just a little, I'd say you will. Before I thought you were kind and considerate (and awesome in general), but now I think you're definitely one of the sweetest persons I've ever 'met'. I want to hear from you again, whether or not you go back to the idol life. I'll be waiting.


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June 17, 2010

Shoon & Reon strike back!!!

I'm so excited right now that I'm actually trembling! All this time it seemed impossible to me that Shoon would disappear just like that, and I kept hoping. Shoon doesn't give up easily. ;) Guess what? Him and Reon have opened a website, The Flying Sheep's Cafe (so cute!) and a blog as well!! I wonder if this means they've signed up with another agency or something. It's very exciting all the same, and I feel so happy I could fly. And aren't they dreadfully handsome? :) Reon looks so grown up and Shoon is just... gah, I can't be coherent right now. My heart started thumping the moment I saw his pictures. ♥♥♥♥ I can't yet believe this is happening! お帰り翔央くん、お帰玲央くん! Welcome back, Shoon, welcome back, Reon!! ^______^

PS: Wonder why Reon has changed the first Kanji of his name. ^^

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May 05, 2010

actor with a crush on Taiyô

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
One of these days I'll have to change the header. For some reason I don't want to let go of this one, and I'm going through the same with the header of the Shoon community. *sigh*

Anyway, the subject of this entry is Taiyô again, and I must thank dreammyst@LJ for the heads up. It was thanks to her that I found out about the existence of this clip. I managed to find a raw, HQ version of it as well, lo and behold!, so I asked my partner in crime Yuu-chan (unvrknow@LJ) to help me with the translation, and she did an awesome job. :) Oh, and thanks also to Kako (kokokako_831@LJ) for helping with a line we were unsure of!

Sadly the Dailymotion clip doesn't show the colors I added for each person's speech with aegisub, so please do download the raw and subs. :) There's so many people speaking in this clip and they speak so fast! XD;;;

It's a 2005 clip from Zubari iu wa yo!, a show in which Takki used to be a regular. On this occasion the guest was Hagiwara Nagare (萩原流行), an actor who worked with Ya-Ya-yah in Stand by Me. :) During the interview, the hosts unveil statements about him on a board, and suddenly there comes a shocking one: "He's 50 but chases after an idol". Now, who would that idol be? XD

This entry is dedicated to all the Taiyô fans out there! :) Click here if you can't watch the clip below. Please do not re-post, and please do not upload this clip to YouTube or similar unless you make the video private.

2005.03.15 zubari iu wa yo - Taiyou.avi (24MB - 640x480) soft subs
(these soft subs are best viewed with Windows Media Player)

PS to Yuu-chan: I solved the 'Martian' mistery! Hagiwara was born in April, and according to astrology people born in April are under the influence of Mars. XD And the Zubari iu wa yo! lady is sort of a witch, so that's why she said that. About the cat thing, I think it should be the same as the English expression 'like the cat that got the cream', ne? :)

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April 08, 2010

Taiyô's 'photo debut' (2003)

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
One whole month without Shoon. Still feels strange. So far my daily Google search has only resulted in a couple of Japanese girls randomly spotting him (and Reon) in the street, and mentioning it on their blogs. Otherwise, nothing. But then Shoon strikes me as a very private person, so I suppose it's unlikely that a pic of him in a birthday party or friend reunion will pop up on the blog of one of his friends as it has happened with Taiyô twice. But I'm sure he's just fine. :) Should have started his 4th and last year in university this month. Ganbatte, Shoon!

These days I'm busy with work, but on my spare time I'm also busy checking and searching for data for the 'Shoon history in Johnny's' series I'm posting at the Shoon LiveJournal community. I'm preparing a history of Ya-Ya-yah as well, and the other day I came across something curious.

There are some Japanese concepts that amuse me in the use they're given in the fandom, like 'graduation' and 'debut'. When a johnny stops appearing in Shounen Club, fans say he has 'graduated from Shokura'. Apparently it applies to any show, because Shoon's current profile in the Japanese Wikipedia says he 'graduated' from Hyakushiki in February. ... ??? O-kay. The concept of 'debut' is rather strange too since for instance a group may not debut (like Ya-Ya-yah), but they can have a 'CD debut'. Well, I just found myself smiling when, a few days ago, I was checking a 'biography' of Taiyô on a Japanese blog, and the blog owner had typed: "2003.07.25 Taiyô debuts in Hanamaru Cafe (only a polaroid photo of him)". LOL

I just had to find out what she meant by that, so I started searching for that show, high and low, and when I finally found it I thought it was so endearing I just had to share it with you all. So. Yamapi was a guest in the show, and he had brought several photos of things/people significant to him, and the host asks him to talk a bit about each. One of them was... a photo of Taiyô! (signed by him too! - Taiyô used to draw that tiny sun next to his signature) Thanks a gazillion to Yuu-chan (unvrknow@LJ), who kindly helped me with the translation of this clip! :D 2003.07.25 Hanamaru Cafe - Taiyo.avi (4MB - raw) (if you want the whole show, just ask)

To watch with the subs, when the video starts playing, click "pause". Then hover the mouse pointer over the video. Then click on "CC subtitles" at the top, and when you see "EN (English)" appear on the video screen, click on it and then click "play" again.

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March 25, 2010

life in the void

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
More and more I feel as if I were living in a void inside the fandom. However, unlike in Lord of the Rings, there IS life in the void. It's slightly different and strange sometimes, but there is life. There's a kind of madness floating around in the void too, which is like a living entity, and it's hard to escape from it. It pervades everything and gets into your lungs and ends up flowing through your veins. Sometimes the void is a bit suffocating, other times it's so silent that all you can hear is your own thoughts, and there are other times when you find a strange fascination in watching life outside the void from the vantage point of a detached spectator.

There's madness in asking yourself questions to which you will never get an answer, questions that probably only matter to you and those living in their own voids too, those who visit you and whom you visit. There's madness in remembering, in all the things you find yourself missing, and in all the things you realize you'll never do again.

I still ask myself, for instance, when did Yabu, Hikaru, Shoon and Taiyô know that Ya-Ya-yah was doomed, when did they know the show was coming to an end. I find myself analyzing their facial expressions when I rewatch the last shows, when I look at their pictures in the last magazine photoshoots. It doesn't matter now, and it just feels like torturing myself, but somehow I can't help it. I don't know why I do it. I keep on trying to pinpoint the time when Shoon left the agency, I wonder how long has he been 'gone', perhaps without me noticing. My latest theory is that he might have left on the exact date of his 9th anniversary in Johnny's (January 21st of this year). It would make sense, wouldn't it? They might have a contract that is to be renewed yearly. Taiyô's anniversary was in October 6th, and he disappeared practically after HSJ's debut, in September of 2007.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who, after breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, right before they were about to marry, spent several months going through the same questions over and over in her head: why didn't things work, when did they start having problems, did he ever truly love her... It's madness that leads nowhere, but for some reason you can't escape it. Maybe it's part of the healing process; maybe it's necessary.

The madness in remembering... It's so amazing how the smallest things can remind you of a person! A few days ago I went out for a walk, and I was surprised to see the first signs of Spring already: the flowering plum trees are in bloom. They're not real plum trees because they don't bear fruits, but the flowers are just as beautiful: snowy white or soft pink. When I saw the flowers on their branches I thought of Shoon because it reminded me of the episode in which Hikaru, Shoon and Massu made bread and stuffed a few flower petals in each loaf. (2007.08.11 Ya-Ya-yah show) Shoon was the one who went to pick the flowers, and I always remember that when I first saw that episode I thought it was just fitting because flowers are pretty and Shoon is pretty and, um... I'm mushy, okay? XD;;;

So yes, it seems that every where I go there's something that reminds me of Shoon these days, be it flowers or the post office.

The madness in all the things you find yourself missing, and all the things you realize you'll never do again... There's such a long list of these! On Tuesdays, of course, the day on which Hyakushiki airs, there's always something missing. On the first couple of weeks after Shoon disappeared, out of habit, I'd automatically check J-Net to stare at the page blankly the next second, when I realized his name would never pop up there again. A few days ago I came across a Shokura report on my LiveJournal friends-page, and I felt the same sting of jealousy I feel everytime, remembering the times when I excitedly checked those reports even to just find out there would be a few seconds of Shoon in the closing medley. I feel sad when I think there will be no more new articles of Shoon to look forward to every month. Even creating the 100shikiTV community was so hard to do. Making choices, changes, saying goodbye to things you've been doing for 4 years... it's strangely difficult for this being just fandom. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't feel so strongly about every little thing, but then, if I didn't, I wouldn't be me.

I think I'm making progress though. I've started a series of posts about Shoon's history at the Shoon comm, and I plan on doing the same here with Ya-Ya-yah. I've also started -finally- a certain big, ambitious Ya-Ya-yah multi-chaptered fic project which I'll soon be sharing with you all, and I'm determined to leave behind the sadness. Just yesterday I changed the framed picture of Shoon I have at my 'office' at home. I still love the one I had before, because Shoon looks in it like the perfect knight (and resembles so much the mental image I have of the protagonist of my epic fantasy novel), but he is so serious in that picture. So I changed it to one in which he's smiling brightly and placed the frame on my desk so I can look at it whenever I feel down. It's working wonders!

I have this stubborn belief that I can turn the void into a livable place, that maybe I can push the madness outside of it or at least hone it into something different, something useful. You can make blackened silver shine again by polishing it, the stories in books come to life when you start reading, a tune can take you back to a past time while you listen to it. Then why shouldn't I be able to survive here, in the void?

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March 09, 2010

where to now?

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Where to now? - 今どこへ?翔央くんへ、
今どこへ? 翔央くんは今勉強に集中しますか。違うタレント事務所に入所しますか。今はおそらくあなたの夢の旅をしているでしょう。どんな事をしても、幸せな将来であるよう、願っています。あなたがいなくなると、とても寂しくなります。どうぞお元気で。輝きつづけて下さい。大好き。私はこれからもブログを書き続けるわ。このブログを通して、翔央くんとYa-Ya-yahが忘れられないように努めますよ。

[Dear Shoon: Where to now? Will you focus on your studies now? Will you join another talent agency? Perhaps now you will be able to go on that dream journey. Whatever you do, I wish you all the best in the future. I will miss you very much. Please take care and keep on shining. I love you. As for me, I will continue blogging, and through this blog I will try not to let you nor Ya-Ya-yah be forgotten. Yours, Irea]

'Where to now?' is a question that I too am asking myself right now. For 4 years Shoon has been the North to which the needle of my compass pointed, and now he's disappeared the needle has gone crazy, spinning around and around, not settling on one direction.

I think it keeps searching for him. Last night something odd happened. I had gotten into bed, turned off the light, and grabbed my alarm clock to check if the alarm was on. When I pressed the light button the clock face read "12:20", the date of Shoon's birthday (December 20th), and probably it's just a coincidence, except that my clock is never set on the 12 hour mode, but on the 24 hour mode, so it should have read "00:20". I suppose I accidentally changed the time setting the day before when I set the alarm, but it brought Shoon to my mind... like so many things do. And that's not a bad thing at all. It's pleasant to think of him and conjure up his smile on my mind.

I don't know if I'm on a rollercoaster mood or I'm doing better. Just a couple of days ago I was feeling down and googled up his name, trying to find some news about him -any news- and got a little frantic when I didn't find any, and today I feel calm, as though he was, somehow, here with me. Friends are also helping me so much to cope with this. Thank you all. I love you. Hopefully this current mood will hold. I don't want to go depressive again. I feel so lucky that Shoon passed through my life. He has had such an influence on me and has been such a huge inspiration too. I want to honour that.

Thing is that I know where the needle of my compass should point to, and probably the best way of honouring all Shoon has given me would be to focus on the course I set myself last year and continue sailing in that direction until I get there. In the past year I've made such big progress. Shoon's example made me want to keep on fighting, and when I was tired or down watching him on Hyakushiki would comfort me and make me forget about my worries for a while. Now I'm sad, but I know I can rely on myself to toughen up and look at things from another perspective, and I can still draw strength from the memory of Shoon. The other day I came across this quote: Immature love says 'I love you because I need you'. Mature love says 'I need you because I love you', and realization dawned on me. There was a time when I held onto certain people and things in my life because I needed them, like a child needs their mother, but now I've learned to cherish them without becoming dependent on them.

That's why for this post I've chosen the clip below, which is a song from the anime series Tenkuu no Escaflowne, which is one of my favourites (both the song and the series, actually). Shoon would have made such an awesome Van Fanel in a drama version of it. *sigh* I think it's the perfect parting song because it conveys the unavoidable pain but also reflects this idea of 'mature love' (which incidentally Shoon talked about in his last Duet article as well - such a beautiful interview).

PS: Thanks everyone for your comments! *hugs everybody and wanders off to reply them*
PS2: I've been thinking that I don't like the word 'quit' at all for Shoon. 'Quit' sounds like 'give up', and that clashes frontally with Shoon's motto: 諦めないで! (akiramenaide! - don't give up!). I'd rather say he decided to leave.
PS3: I just took this silly test called 'Are you a blogaholic?', and I'm glad I can say I only scored 40/100. This is the 'diagnosis' I got: You are a casual weblogger. You only blog when you have nothing better to do, which is not very often. There's nothing wrong with that. But if you'd post a little more often, you'd make your readers very happy. LOL I'd rather say I only blog when I have something worthwhile to say.

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March 05, 2010

no hiatus whatsoever

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
This morning I received this comment from one of the readers of this blog and thought I should make a post to reply it because perhaps more of you were wondering too:

Is there a particular reason why you changed the header back to the Valentines Day header? I like this one too but the picture of the Ya-Ya-yah members smiling looking at pictures from the past was really sweet. By the way, I really love these headers you make, the pictures are very cute and the writing is deep and lovely. Is it possible for you to update your "previous header" section? (...) I'm just wondering it a possibility that this blog will go on hiatus some day soon? If you’re too busy I understand and that will be fine, and I am guessing that there’s going to be fewer things to write about, so well just wondering. -Kako

The reason I changed the header back to the one I made for Valentine's Day is that I have this maybe somewhat silly hope that Shoon might check this blog now and then, if only out of curiosity -he has the URL after all-, so I use the header to sort of 'send' him messages of encouragement, congratulations, worry... and love and admiration mostly. Right now I just want Shoon to know how much I love him, so that's why I'm using the Valentine's Day one again until I find the time to make a proper one that will convey the way I'm feeling right now. To those of you who are not members of the Shoon LJ community and haven't yet heard the 'news', Shoon's name was removed from the Hyakushiki site as well last week, he didn't appear in this week's Hyakushiki, and it doesn't look like he will be back, meaning, most likely, that he has truly left Johnny's Entertainment. I intend to make a long post about this, but first I need to sort some things out. However, I didn't want to worry any of you, so that's another reason why I'm making this post.

This has been a hard blow and I'm still feeling down, and in spite of my efforts, I still find myself crying at random moments like when I read the comments to my latest entry on the Shoon comm, the lovely, caring messages friends are sending me, and when I let my mind dwell on the events of the past days and on how empty the world seems right now and -ack, I'm starting to tear again. *wipes tears* BUT I'll be okay and I'm not going anywhere. No hiatus plans whatsoever. I've just said goodbye to Johnny's Entertainment, but I will continue blogging about Shoon and Ya-Ya-yah, continue working on the Shoon community, and sharing whatever I have to share. My biggest reason for staying, though are all the wonderful friends I've made, you, the people who follow this blog, and the members of the Shoon community. Talking to you all and keeping myself busy is helping me enormously to cope with this.

As for the headers you were asking for, Kako, I've uploaded the latest ones to the headers Flickr folder. Sorry I'm a bit slow on updating these things. Also, I only upload there the ones on which I've put some thought and work, so not all the headers I've used are there. In case you want the one you mentioned... there you go. I still need to add descriptions to some of them, but I will get to that when I'm feeling a bit better. Talk to you all in one or two days, I promise. *hugs*

February 26, 2010


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Sometimes miracles happen, sometimes loving something makes you throw care to the wind and voice the feelings you had been wanting to speak out for a long time. I imagine that's what happened to Yabu when he said this in an interview published in fanclub booklet volume 1. (quoted in a Japanese BBS and found by my friend Mabel) edit: thanks to Stevenica for pointing out the right source. Credits for the scan: kk16221@LJ

『デビューっていうのは単純に嬉しかったんだ。やっぱりJr.に入ったときから、デビューはひとつの大きな目標だったから。でも「10人、多いな」とか「エッ、オレ、最年長?」、「BESTと7?」、「あれ、Ya-Ya-yahはどうなるの?」、「オレ、みんなをまとめるなんて、できないよ」とか。複雑すぎて頭がパニックだった。どう説明していいのか、いまだにわからない。ただ、迷うことやビックリすること、いろいろあったけど、その全部が自分にとっては大事だったなぁと今は思う。今、JUMPが大好きだし、すっごく幸せだし。でもねYa-Ya-yahでやってきたときの経験がなきゃ、絶対に今の自分はないと思う。昔の自分があるから今の自分があるんだってことを忘れたくないな』 (fanclub booklet volume 1)

When I was told about the debut... I just felt happy about it because, really, from the day I joined Johnny's, debuting had been my one biggest goal. However I was like... "10 people... that's a lot of people" ... "eh? I will be the oldest?" ... "BEST and 7?" ... "But then... what will happen with Ya-Ya-yah?" ... "Can I pull everyone together? I don't think so." It was all so complicated that I panicked. Even now I can't think of a good way to explain it. However, even though a lot happened, things that puzzled me and things that were a shock for me, now I think all in all those things have taught me much. Now I love JUMP and I feel blessed, but I think that without all the experience from Ya-Ya-yah I wouldn't be who I've come to be. I will never forget who I was because that made me be who I am now.

This is so beautiful and sincere it made me teary-eyed, and really, what else is there to say? Feelings break barriers and like the forces of nature they can't be contained. It's so wonderful that he said THE word and spoke out. Important things need to be said.

薮さん、本当にありがとう。 ♥

PS: Oddly enough, his words feel like a fitting reply to the fictional letter from Shoon I wrote for his birthday.
PS2: Thanks so much, Mabel, for helping me with the translation. <3

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2010.02.24 Hyakushiki

The theme of this Hyakushiki episode was "caricatures", and it was an entertaining episode, though I suppose it probably is more fun to those who actually know all the Japanese celebrities of whom they showed caricatures the boys had to guess. Also, again Keito and Takada got to do a location report. They take a lesson in caricature drawing with a famous caricaturist, and show the impressive results to Inocchi and the rest of the boys afterwards at the studio. I must say I've always envied caricaturists. That easiness they have for capturing a person's most characteristic features. Awesome! Next show's theme is "survival games", and that so brings back memories of onigokko! ^^ None of the boys are shown in the preview, but I hope it will be a location report and not a documentary.

If you can't watch the clip below, click here. If you'd like to have this or any previous Hyakushiki episodes in HD (1024x576), please consider joining the Shoon LJ community.

[480x272 - 161MB] 2010.02.24 Hyakushiki - caricatures.avi

February 21, 2010

2010.02.17 Hyakushiki

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
The theme of this week's Hyakushiki (日本の常識世界では非常識) would literally translate to "what is common sense in Japan shows a lack of common sense in (other parts of) the world", but that's very long-winded, so I chose to call it just "cultural differences". It was fun as it's always interesting (and useful) to learn that, for instance, what is a perfectly harmless sign in one country can be considered as offensive in another. Shoon was present in this episode, and supposedly will be in the next one too, as his name is still on the Hyakushiki site. There's quite a bit of class interaction apart from the usual quiz questions (to some of which Shoon's answers were pretty funny and bizarre) and for the first time in a long time two of the boys (Keito and Takada) went out of the studio. They (Keito, rather) talked to several foreigners asking them about the differences between Japan and their home countries. Also, in the last part of show, they re-aired a few yurugee bits, and I think a couple of them with Shoon and Keito hadn't been aired before. If you take it, leaving a short comment would be appreciated even though it's not necessary. The last show was downloaded 159 times and only 2 people said thanks.

If you can't watch the clip below, click here. If you'd like to have this or any previous Hyakushiki episodes in HD (1024x576), please consider joining the Shoon LJ community.

[480x272 - 158MB] 2010.02.17 Hyakushiki - cultural differences.avi

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February 10, 2010

If you...

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah

Dear Shoon,

your name has disappeared from the media schedule on Johnny's Net, and according to the Japanese fans, so has your profile from 着ボイス on J-Web. I don't understand what's happening, and I'm very worried. Japanese fans think you have quit Johnny's. Have you? I can't quite believe it. My heart still refuses to believe it, so I will do the only thing I can do: wait.

Your name still appears on the Hyakushiki site, which was updated just yesterday, and you were on the show that aired yesterday, but we all know that TV shows are taped weeks ahead, and as a friend of mine suggested, perhaps they'll just keep your name on the site until the last episode in which you were present is aired.

From what I know, Johnny's Entertainment hardly ever makes public statements when somebody quits, so I suppose for me confirmation will come when and if your name disappears from the Hyakushiki site. I just feel I shouldn't wait to say this. Perhaps I'm worrying for nothing, but I don't want time to cool down my feelings with reason. I think these things need to be said.

Some people say you might be on hiatus, that perhaps you're taking some time off because of your studies. In all these years, the only time I remember you taking an official break was in 2006, when Koyama mentioned in Shokura that you were taking a little vacation after the filming of Satomi Hakkenden. I'd love to hold on to that hiatus excuse, but again it just means more waiting. I'm more than willing to wait, though. I'll be here, waiting for your return, the return of the Hyakushiki king, even if months go by without any news of you.

What shocks me the most about all this, is that -if you have really quit- I don't understand why you would want to quit at this point, after all the fight you put up in the last two years, it seems strange to me that you might have decided to give up. I imagine it must be really frustrating to see other people around you getting more and better opportunities from the jimushô, but you seemed to truly enjoy what you were doing, content with any opportunity you might get, ready to make the most of them. If you had looked morose or dissatisfied, I would understand why you would want to quit, but how can I believe that when just on yesterday's Hyakushiki you were giving away the brightest smiles? I wonder if perhaps your parents, tired of seeing you were not getting the opportunities you deserved, tried to talk sense into you, if they asked you to put your feet on the ground and get yourself a real job.

At the beginning of this month the international fan community I built for you in 2006 reached 1400 members. I made a banner to celebrate -as I have been doing every time we had 100 new members- and I chose the following motto: "Shine on. The world is your stage".

That will hold true for me whether you remain in the entertainment business or not. There's something that makes you special, something that would take me pages and pages to explain, something that makes you shine and stand out. You have thrilled lots and lots of people with your acting, your dancing, your acrobatics... and even though I think it would be a shame if you never did any of those things again, I'm sure you'd continue to weave magic for those around you. I'd just be sad I wouldn't able to get any of that magic, but I have 9 years worth of it in my memory -the 9 years you have been a member of Johnny's- and I feel immensely lucky for that.

If you have quit I'm going to miss you awfully, and I know I'm going to feel lost for a good while. During these three years I've been holding on to you to hold out, to go through the day in this somewhat greyish, not too gentle world. You have become my comforting cup of hot chocolate after a long, tiring day, my own piece of sun that would turn any cloudy sky into a bright, Summer one. I draw strength from your smile, and it accompanies me everywhere I go. I even talk to you on my mind, quite often, as though you could hear me and you were watching over me. Last year I went through a bit of a rough period, that required quite a big effort from me, and I remember that every morning, when I left home, so early that it was still dark outside, I would start an imaginary conversation with you that would begin with something along the lines of "Morning, Shoon. Or, for you, good afternoon rather, because now it must be past midday in Tokyo", and then I'd 'discuss' with you whatever difficulties lay ahead for me in the day, and I'd get philosophical about life and people and things like that. I suppose this would amuse you if you knew. But it helped me get through it all.

Even now, when I sit in front of the computer every morning to work on my translations, your image greets me with that soft, gentle smile and the clean, earnest look in your eyes. That photo has become such a favourite of mine, that I've had this simple desktop on my computer screen for 7 months now and have no plans of changing it anytime soon. It's just perfect.

You've taught me to be strong, and that's what I'm trying to be - even though I've cried a little over this, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Right now I feel a bit lost, as I said, like a blind man without his cane, but I hope I'll find my way again. I hope you're doing well, and I'm ready to wait, even to the point of despair. I hope you haven't left, but if you have, I hope you will be happy -that, above all else, whatever you decide to do from now on with your life-, and that you will at least consider joining some other agency because it would be a pity to let your talent go to waste. 翔央くん、あなたって本当に素敵ね。私はあなたを心から愛しているわ。

I tend to associate songs with different moments in my life, and this song fits my mood right now. The 'Japanglish' lyrics do not make complete sense, but they make sense to me, because as the saying goes, "If you love deeply enough, you won't need to be loved in return".

If You (天空のエスカフローネ OST - Tenkuu no Escaflowne OST)

If You

Open the door
To a room I've never been before
Counting all the books I've read so long
Something is wrong Where love has gone

If I should cry
Thinking of the love I felt inside
Don't misunderstand nothing's the clue
I cry for you Cause of love its true

When does love
Speak words above evolving pain
Like if these tears turn to rain
Endlessly calms the sea
For you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If want to lean
I'm here for you
If you

When does love
Create the worlds above our pain
Like if these tears were to rain
Endlessly for the sea
Still you and me

If you're so cold
If worlds just hold
If were to lean
I'm here for you
So if you

Close the door'
Cause the room won't need us anymore
Holding our words
Just fill those books
Sometimes love looks
Like if love has gone

So I won't cry
Now I know our love will never die
If I understand the reasons why
When you... if I and you...
Know that love is true

February 06, 2010


山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
It seems there was a slight audio-video synchro problem with the last Hyakushiki (yurugee 8), so I re-converted and re-uploaded it. Sorry about the inconvenience for making you re-download it. m(_ _)m [480x272 - 160MB] 2010.01.27 Hyakushiki - yurugee 8 fixed.avi

Okay, this week's Hyakushiki. It had the oddest theme: "how does it turn out after this?", but it was fun, and Shoon was just awesome. <3 It's nice when they allow the boys to have a more active part in the show, because really, it makes such a difference. I know I'm biased, but Shoon in particular makes everything so much fun. Just his start with that theatrical "What is the thing that falls from the skies?" was so, so much win. ♥ XD Also, I love how much Inocchi seems to enjoy watching Shoon take his place. LOL If you can't watch the clip below, click here. If you're interested in the HiDef version (1024x576), please consider joining the Shoon LiveJournal community. You'll be most welcome, whether you're a Shoon fan or not. =)

2010.02.03 Hyakushiki - how does it turn out after this? (.avi 160MB - 480x272)

January 31, 2010

happy birthday, Yabu!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
That green-eyed monster (a fictional letter from Shoon)

Dear Yabucchi,

at first I thought you were joking when you said you wanted a letter from me for your birthday. 'People don't write letters anymore', you complained to me in quite a big distress. (It's cute when you get all indignant about things like that, things you can't do much about anyway.) You had received the odd postcard from a friend on vacation, yes, valentine cards -more, I suspect, than you're willing to admit-, letters from school or the jimushô, but never a real letter. I supposed it was some romantic notion you got from a movie, or maybe a book. But you seemed so sad about it. You said you wanted a long letter too, a meaningful one, addressed to you.

So here I am, sitting on my bed indian-style, writing in the still of the night, when the house is asleep. This is not my first attempt, mind you. The carpet looks like my class in primary school did when the teacher left the class for five minutes and we started a paper ball fight. The thing is... the thing is this is the first time in my life I write a letter, a real one. After several failed attempts I was rather frustrated, but then I closed my eyes, pictured you in my mind, and tried to imagine I was talking to you.

We don't have many chances to talk lately, do we? I remember how much it amused me when you discovered, a few years ago, that I was 'surprisingly easy to talk to'. I was surprised myself at you as well, couldn't you tell? I still don't know how it happened. It felt as if one day, when I was sleeping, the aliens abduced the whiny, cheeky brat -don't frown like that, you know you were!- and replaced him with this shy boy who was outgrowing me so fast I couldn't help but worry a bit.

Things got awkward -very- and even now I squirm a little when I remember the silly smiles, your quickly looking away from me every time I caught you looking... Then we started talking, for real, and if I had to pinpoint the exact day and moment, I'd say it was when I got both of us lost in Hawaii. I never told you I was a little anxious as it started getting dark and we still hadn't found our way to the hotel. You were perfectly calm, though, and when we finally got there you told the others you hadn't been the least afraid because you were with me. I want to go back to Hawaii with you and get us lost again. I want to get lost with you anywhere.

You should beware; thoughts of kidnap have been going through my head. I miss you. I want something more than a few moments stolen from your busy schedule, want something more than text messages or whispered conversations on the phone when we're both half asleep.

I miss the strangest things, like seeing you wear the ugly outfits the four of us became so attached to. I miss school - or rather, being there and spotting you in the corridors, at the library... I miss going back home with you. I miss watching you during practice, bantering with Taiyô over the silliest thing, fooling around with Hikaru.

These days I'm jealous of everyone that gets to spend more time with you than me. Tottsu, Keito... but mostly I feel jealous of Hikaru, which is so absurd I feel absurd too. I'm even jealous of that horde of screaming fans you have now. The other day, flipping through the channels, I caught the Shokura re-run -I miss that too-, and the screams were defeaning. It irked me quite a bit. They didn't scream that much before you got so annoyingly tall and lean and got that dark, dangerous heroe look... which you spoil the moment that old-man smile of yours shows up.

I wonder how many of them can claim, like me, to love that silly smile, to have liked you even when you had that high-pitched voice you used to have and that terrible bowl haircut, when you were bossy and noisy and not much taller than my waist. Sometimes I worry I'll fade slowly for you, like a face in the crowd, now you're surrounded by so many people and getting so far away from me, now you're receiving so much praise and flattery. I'm scared. Please say you still love me? I love you still the same.


This was supposed to be my entry for Yabu's birthday, but I don't know how it ended up being a fictional letter from Shoon. I don't know if that can be even considered a ficlet, but... This was inspired by a song titled Marble Halls sung by the Norwegian singer Sissel (mainly because of the line from the refrain: "I also dreamt (...) that you loved me still the same") and also by a poem (Rhyme LIII) written in the 19th century by one of my favourite poets, Becquer (mainly because of the last lines: "as I have loved you... make no mistake, they won't love you like that!"). Below you can find the song, and also the original poem and it's translation.

Marble Halls


Volverán las oscuras golondrinas / en tu balcón sus nidos a colgar, / y otra vez con el ala a sus cristales / alegres llamarán. // Pero aquellas que el vuelo refrenaban / tu hermosura y mi dicha a contemplar, / aquellas que aprendieron nuestros nombres... / ¡esas... no volverán! // Volverán las tupidas madreselvas / de tu jardín las tapias a escalar, / y otra vez a la tarde aún más hermosas / sus flores se abrirán. // Pero aquellas, cuajadas de rocío / cuyas gotas mirábamos temblar / y caer como lágrimas del día... / ¡esas... no volverán! // Volverán del amor en tus oídos / las palabras ardientes a sonar; / tu corazón de su profundo sueño / tal vez despertará. // Pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas / como se adora a Dios ante su altar, / como yo te he querido...; desengáñate, / ¡así... no te querrán!


The black swallows will return / to hang their nests on your balcony, / and once again will knock in play / against your window panes; // but those that stopped their flight and perched / to observe your beauty and my good luck, / those who learned to know our names... / those... will not return! // The honeysuckle will return, / to climb the walls in your garden, / and open once again at evening / their even more beautiful flowers, // but those blooms that were full of dew / where we saw the trembling drops / fall like tears of the day ... / those... will not return! // Ardent words of love will return / to sound and resound in your ears; / and your heart from the depths of sleep / perhaps will wake again; // but silent, absorbed, on bended knee, / as men worship God at His altar, / as I have loved you ... make no mistake, /they won't love you like that!

PS: Translation of the text on the header, for the curious: (left) "Fire is the test of gold; adversity, of strong men." (this is a quotation by Seneca) (right) "Someday I want to try and fly into the sky for real." - "Happy 20th birthday, Yabu!"

January 26, 2010


I keep telling myself I should save this for Yabu's birthday, but I really want to share it, because I've rewatched these 2 performances like four or five times already and I love them. I'm referring to two performances from last Sunday's SC in .ts (1920x1088): the BEST medley, and Yabu's performance of Just Wanna Lovin' You with A.B.C.-Z. The part where I share with you the download links will come later in this entry, because -if you will allow me-, first I need to gush about how awesome Yabu and Hikaru are. I wish they could appear in Shounen Club more often and sing solo, or together. BEST is fine with me too. I can think of them as half Ya-Ya-yah + half JJExpress. Takaki is still not my cup of tea, but Inoo amuses me with his perpetual, impish, pixie smile, and Daiki is the gentle, shy orphan type that makes you want to adopt him... or a little lord.

Anyway, back to the performances, the BEST members seemed to heartily enjoy performing the songs that belonged originally to the two junior groups they were part of before they debuted. Ah, that was a long-winded way to refer to Ya-Ya-yah and J.J.Express and it sounded weird. XD;;; And normally when I watch some HHS (Hi!Hey!Say!) or SYYJ (Shuumatsu YY JUMPing) live stage in which Yabu and Hikaru perform Ya-Ya-yah songs there's often a certain awkwardness and strangeness, but on the BEST medley I didn't get that feeling, and I think it might have to do with the fact that they were clearly enjoying themselves, and I was happy to see that. I also liked the thoughtfulness of whoever decided Takaki-Inoo-Daiki should sing Back in Time on their own, at the front, and then Yabu-Hika should sing Stompin' on their own too, and yet I loved seeing Inoo mouthing the lyrics while he backdanced, and it felt right, because the three of them were a large part of the Ya-Ya-yah show.

As a minor complaint of course there's the detail of "we are B·E·S·T, that's right" replacing the original "we're J.J.Express, that's right", which made me wince. I know it would be out of place if they said "we're J.J.Express" when they no longer are, but it's just as strange as the A.B.C.-S (that's for A.B.C.-Shoon LOL) performance in SC in which they finished saying: "we are Acrobat Boys Club". Here's a plead to the old man that Ai Kotoba wa Ya-Ya-yah will never become Ai Kotoba wa Hey-Say-JUMP. m(_ _)m ... *shudders*

Ah, but then there's this look on Yabu's face, right before he and Hikaru step forward, as if he's breathing deeply and thinking "right, here we go", and the old man smile I adore blooms on his lips, and it's the infectious, bright smile we've seen so many times, the smile that says: "Gosh, I love this!". Seeing Yabu smile like that makes me happy.

Hikaru is all kinds of awesome too, and while he has definitely matured as an artist, it's cute to see he still hasn't left his boyish features behind. He looks pretty much like he did two years ago -even his voice still retains that boyish quality- and that's kind of... I don't know, it feels as if he's just the same good ol' Hikaru as always, as though the debut hasn't changed him in the slightest bit. I'm sure what happened made him wiser at the cost of getting heartbroken, but he's still the easygoing, laidback Hikaru of always. =) That, coupled with his impeccable, confident performing style make him stand out. I just wish his stylist would find a fitting haircut for him. ^^;;; A darker shade of brown would suit him better as well.

Yabu, on the other hand, seems to have turned into a chameleon: he has such a perfect symbiosis with the stage! He thrives on the stage. In the past I sometimes "complained" of his stiffness and slightly forceful moves when he danced, and I also commented that he showed he had managed to pretty much get rid of that with Arashi no Carnival. Well, he has moved on to a higher level, has achieved the perfect balance between great dancing and a very personal style marked by a certain sexy briskness in which every single movement looks well studied and precise. If Gundam Wing's Heero Yui danced, he'd dance like Yabu, I swear. XD But that's not all; there's also this cute, cheeky sexiness to Yabu -like that V sign accompanied by a smile- that reminds you of the bratty, little Yabu with his bowl haircut, who knew he'd get his own way, no matter what.

The Just Wanna Lovin' You performance is simply breathtaking and beautiful, which largely has to do with A.B.C.'s masterful dancing. Z is doing so well too. That's got a lot of merit. It's cute how you can still catch him peeking at the nearest group member now and then, as though to check he's doing it right. ガンバレ、はっしー(・ω・)/ The fact that it's a Ya-Ya-yah song, and that Yabu has performed this song in the She Loves Me musical he's doing these days filled it with even more significance.

In the unlikely case you didn't watch these two performances yet, or if you feel like re-watching them now...

The Just Wanna Lovin' You performance made me teary-eyed and melancholic the first time I watched it. It brought back so many memories in a rush, and I kept seeing Taiyô and Shoon dancing to that song -like they did so many times- on my mind. For me it's a very special song that shows the progression Ya-Ya-yah had. It went from being essentially a Yabu/YabuHika song in which Taiyô and Shoon merely backdanced (together with A.B.C., by the way - I like how A.B.C. have always had such a close bond with Ya-Ya-yah and with Yabu in particular) in 2003, to Taiyô and Shoon getting to do the "rap" part in 2005, and then in 2007 to be a song the four of them sang all together. That's what I mean to illustrate with the clips below. =)

This one is from the 2003.06.08 SC. Taiyô and Shoon only backdanced in this, and it was actually A.B.C. who did the rap part and the chorus parts.

This second one is a medley of Stompin', Just Wanna..., and Stand by Me with Jimmy Mackey from the 2003.07.06 SC. Hikaru is missing in this, but it's one of my favourite versions. Here, during Just Wanna..., again, Yabu sings and Shoon and Taiyô backdance.

Same medley, only in Music Station this time in 2003.06.06, so technically I should have put this before the previous one, but never mind. Another difference is that Hikaru was present in this one, and there's A.B.C.-T (T for Yoshikazu Tôshin). I wonder what's become of Tôshin and if he's still in Johnny's. We haven't seen him since the Countdown of 2007. =( In this one it's YabuHika who do the singing in Just Wanna..., while once again Taiyô and Shoon backdance.

And we fast-forward now to 2005.01.16 SC. Yet another performance of Just Wanna..., but in this one Shoon and Taiyo got to do the rap part. Shoon seemed particularly anxious to get to those few, rare seconds of protagonism because he stepped forward too fast for Taiyô to follow. XD This performance is one of my favourites too, because the difference between Shoon and Taiyô, Yabu and Hikaru -but especially between Taiyô and Shoon- was so striking! Shoon was no longer a child and half-way through to becoming a heartthrob, while Taiyô who was already as tall as him, or even a bit taller, still looked so much younger than the actual age gap between them.

And the last stop in this journey back in time is yet another performance of Just Wanna... plus Itoshi no Playgirl from the 2007.02.11 SC. In this one all four of them sing, and I loved it when the four of them sang together, because the sound was great. Things were moving in the right direction, but just when they were about to grasp the Moon... it turned into a big, white balloon with the laughing face of Johnny Kitagawa on it, and flew away. =/

*sigh* Anyway, back to the present. I said I wanted to share with you those two performances in .ts but, due to recent events I won't get into, I've decided to change my sharing policy in what regards Hyakushiki and any Yabu/Hikaru .ts or rare files I might share here in the future. I don't like rules, and never in my life did I think one day I'd be setting up rules here, but it's this, or watermarking, or sharing the videos privately just with a few friends, and I don't want to do any of those things. I'm extremely sorry for the inconvenience. m(_ _)m Maybe I'm being incredibly naive by doing this, but I still believe people are esentially good, so please don't betray my trust. I'm also aware I'll probably be criticized for this, but in my defense, I'm doing this against my will.


- The last file of each of these performances requires a password.
- If you're a member of the Shoon LJ comm, it's the same password I set for the Hyakushiki HD files, so if you have it already, you can skip this.
- You need to leave a comment to get the password (the comment page is located on LiveJournal)
- I'll send you the password via a LiveJournal private message, so make sure your LJ preferences allow you to get private messages from any LJ user.
- If you don't have an LJ account, send me an e-mail (esarein8 at
- By requesting the password you make it implicit that I have your word on the following:
1) you will not to give the password to anybody else
2) you will not re-post these videos on any community, blog, journal, etc.
3) you will not share these videos through private messaging, e-mail or any other method - if you want another person to have them, give them the link to this entry
- To make things easier for you and me, please paste this in your comment: and type your LJ username where indicated.

To speed things up, I've already PM-ed the password to those of you who regularly leave comments on this blog. =)

2010.01.17 SC HD - BEST medley.ts .001 .002 .003

2010.01.17 SC HD - Just Wanna Lovin You.ts .001 .002

January 18, 2010

happy b-day Taiyô!

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
Happy birthday, Taiyô!!! Hope you're having a great day and that Shoon, Yabu and Hikaru managed to get together with you for celebrating. =)

Taiyô is now one year short of turning 20! Time does fly. It's been some months since the last time we got to see a pic of Taiyô attending a party with some friends (it was so nice to see him again, and smiling and having fun too!), but thanks to Aki we also know now that he's doing well, and that's enough for me. =)

I just wish some things were different and that other things had been different or hadn't happened. The things that I wish hadn't happened you know them already, and I think we all feel the same way about them: the disappearance of Ya-Ya-yah, and Taiyô quitting. The things I wish were different? They mostly have to do with the way things are done in Johnny's.

Sometimes Johnny's feels like a dictatorship, in which you're expected not to ask for explanations, because they will lie to you (who can possibly buy the "he's taking a break to focus on his studies" anymore?) or not give you any explanations at all. They also stifle the fans protests and set bans (like the uchiwa ban on Shokura) they only lift when they're certain the riot has passed. I must say I'm glad it's been two years before they finally decided it was safe to lift the uchiwa ban.

And, pretty much like in dictatorships, a part of the blame lies on those who meekly accept their rules and everything they do, taking whatever they offer, following the path they lay out for them. I know it's just plastic pop and fandom we're talking about, but sadly this kind of behaviour reflects on real life situations too. We should always stand up for our beliefs, in things big or small. Everything counts.

However, of course, you can rebel against a dictator but, being realistic, unless you have a lot of people backing you, you stand few chances of success. But I digress.

Two years have gone by, and Taiyô, Hikaru, Yabu and Shoon have gone on with their lives and are doing well and seem happy. I'm sure they'll always cherish their years as Ya-Ya-yah members and have left behind the hurt and disappointment for not debuting together, for the way things turned out. For me it's a bit harder, as I think it is for many of you too, because Ya-Ya-yah's disbandment was managed in the worst possible way by Johnny's Entertainment. They could have made a public announcement, let the boys have an official goodbye on the Ya-Ya-yah show, could have acknowledged their hard work of almost six years. We just got silence and a surprise, debut announcement that was supposed to delight us. The uncertainty for Taiyô's fans, when he just disappeared from Shounen Club and the magazines was even worse. It would be nice if JE learned to show a bit of respect for the fans. We are, after all, the ones who fill their pockets.

I'm afraid this hasn't come out as a happy birthday post, but I feel angry with JE everytime I see the trace of hurt and bitterness in some fans because of what they did. Some are now rooting for other juniors, crossing their fingers that this time their hopes won't be crushed, others have abandoned the fandom altogether, others have moved on to debuted idols to protect themselves from further disappointment and hurt, others have stopped blogging. I'm rooting for Shoon and will try to keep the memory of Ya-Ya-yah alive, but I no longer expect much from JE.

I wanted to give Taiyô's fans a little birthday gift, and since sadly I can't pay a paparazzo to stalk Taiyô (I wouldn't either, anyway, poor Taiyô, now they don't chase him anymore XD) nor have any way to contact him, it had to be scans. =) There's a fic in the making too but you know I'm a slow writer. m(_ _)m Anyway, the scans are a bit of a rarity, from the 2004 January issue of a mag called Shougaku Rokunensei, and it has the most adorable pic of chibi Taiyô ever. ^___^ He looks so huggable! I also cleaned that picture a bit with Photoshop, so I'm sharing that as well.

Must-visit Taiyô-birthday posts in case you missed them: (If you've seen some other Taiyô-birthday-related post worth sharing or you yourself have a post you want to share, please leave a comment with the link and I'll add it. =))

+ Wish Taiyô a happy b-day at the Ya-Ya-yah comm and learn what news Aki has from him.
+ Watch a cute sunny video made by Oza for the ocassion
+ Read a sweet b-day letter written by Mokiko
+ Yuu-chan's post with a lovely b-day banner
+ Read Asami's b-day fic
+ Read another fic by ryo_anne

PS: The text on the header says "Happy 19th b-day, Taiyô; never lose that bright smile!" and "The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp." (a quotation by John Berry about happiness that I think fits Taiyô very well because even though it was most likely a hard decision to make, he decided to quit and let go.

2004.01 Shougaku Rokunensei scans
click to view or download

January 14, 2010

Johnny's and the crisis

山下翔央, Yamashita Shoon, Ya-Ya-yah
random: wouldn't Johnny's & The Crisis be a great name for a rock band? XD I wonder to what extent the economic crisis is affecting Johnny's. I've pondered over this now and then in the past months because of different things that have happened, like Kindai (one of the magazines that featured Johnny's every month) closing down, or Asahi TV's cooking show Hadaka no Shounen (on which Johnny's appeared weekly) coming abruptly to an end, or the loooong time it has taken HSJ to release a new single (?!).

More recently I've been wondering if the lack of on-location reports in Hyakushiki might be due to the economic crisis too. Or rather, there ARE on-location reports, but most times they look more like documentaries with a voice over. Then we've also seen Shoon or him and Keito play "yurui games" (aka yurugee)... on the surroundings of the Fuji TV building! (I mean, they could have gone to a park, or an amusement park or whatever.) And now, on Tuesday, it was a crew member (I think the show's director?) who went on-location to tape the report! O_o Maybe I'm mistaken, but I suppose they have to pay more to the boys when they do on-location reports? I can't find any other reason for this. I'm sure that most of the people who watch the show watch it for the cast, and we want to see the boys, not the crew! ^^;;;

Yurugee bookSo yeah, I hope Japan will pull out of the crisis soon (oh, well at any rate I'm sure it will pull out sooner than us with the universal idiot, aka the Spanish Mr. Bean, we have for a president). In the meantime the only thing we can do is support Johnny's in any way we can. Fuji TV is now offering us a way to support Hyakushiki: at the end of this month they will release on the 27th of this month a compilation book of all the "yurugee" they've aired on the show.

It will cost 880 yens and can already be pre-ordered at No idea what the contents are or whether it will include any photos of the boys or not though. You can see the cast promoting it in the video below (at around 01:01 after the yurugee segment). Also, in case you don't know, you can download Hyakushiki every week in MQ and HD at the Shoon LJ community.

I hope they'll come up with more funny things like the yurui games too (which they're re-airing now, by the way - crisis much? =_=). My friend Mabel and I sent a couple of theme suggestions, because sometimes the themes they choose are a bit boring as well, but no luck so far. =/ They could always involve a foreigner in the show; foreigners are fun! 8D No, really. I found the following clip some days ago and I laughed so much I decided I had to share it with you, so I subbed it in English. It's so easy to sub clips with Dailymotion! =) I never tried it before and it's awesome. Originally it was subbed in Spanish, so please excuse the double subs). A Spaniard from Vigo, a city in the region of Galicia, in the Northwest, recently took part in a Japanese TV anime songs singing contest (the subs say it's the most watched show, with over 10 million viewers, but I suppose that's a joke XD). And he won too! It's hilarious to watch and the guy is so funny too. XD [note: he let them believe he was singing in Spanish, but he actually sang in Galician, a language spoken in the region of Galicia. In spite of being such a tiny country, we have five languages: Galician, Basque, Catalan, Aranés and Spanish, and several dialects).] [note2: Mizuki Ichirô was the singer who interpreted Mazinger Z's theme song and acts as judge in the contest. He makes a pun of the word Z (zetto in Japanese) and the emphatic, sentence ending particle "ze".]

In other news, I finally finished my belated fic for Shoon's birthday, (Cross the Line). =) I'm slowly x-posting it to different places.

Title: Cross the Line || Length: One-shot || Genre: Romance || Rating: PG13 || Pairing: YabuxShoon || Summary: It's Yabu's 20th birthday, and the last night he stages She loves me, the musical for which he had been entrusted, for the first time, with the leading role. It was his day, but Shoon had to go and spoil everything the night before with the most shocking and unexpected revelation.

And one of my New Year resolutions was to continue scanning the rest of the Ya-Ya-yah articles from 2002 to 2007, so today I want to share with you a new batch of scans, this time from 2002.05 Wink Up (Taiwanese edition), 2002.06 Duet, 2002.06 Wink Up (Japanese & Taiwanese edition - curiously the Taiwanese article consists of just 1 page! ?_?) You can view the scans individually, clicking on each of the 3 thumbnails, and choose which ones you want to download, or download all in a .rar file (11MB) [it's a bit late now to say it, but this is my first post of the year so... happy New Year! I hope 2010 will be a great year for all of us. Fingers crossed. x^_^x] Next stop is Taiyô's 19th birthday!! =D Talk to you on Monday. ;)