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