Monday, November 25, 2013

お誕生日おめでとう, 大ち ゃ ん (Happy Birthday, Oh-chan)

This is going to more visual than textual, so I hope you enjoy seeing Riida's pouty face over and over again!

Ohno Satoshi turns 33 today (since it is already Nov 26 in Japan), and I'm sure the other members have prepared a surprise for him at the LOVE tour. I'm hoping it's a cute prank :-) like when they gave MatsuJun that sparkling jacket as a gift. Who knows?

Riida debuted when he was 18, and he's certainly grown up a lot from the awkwardly reticent, long-haired teenager on that Hawaiian cruise ship back in 1999. For 14 years, he has been a part of fans' lives, singing us through difficult times with his powerful voice and offering us the rare word of wisdom in an odd magazine interview every now and then. He may be the quietest in Arashi, but his presence is like a warm blanket that covers the sets and stages; it envelopes us and reassures us. Everything's going to be all right; Riida has got your back.

Yoshi! On to the pictures!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sakurai Sho - The Adorkable Honor Student with A Versatile Rapping Voice

Now it's time to present Arashi's resident intellectual: That's Right! Sakurai Sho-kun!

Sakurai Sho: every girl's dream senpai.
He graduated from Keio, and yes, you can watch him interview famous people and commentate on serious real-world news items every Monday on News Zero (if you live in Japan, that is). He's probably the one in Arashi that would look most in place in a salaryman suit, and there's no denying that he has superb work ethic as both a newscaster and an entertainer. In fact, he is known for being a workaholic just like MatsuJun; he reads three newspapers a day to keep up with current events and writes all the rap lyrics for Arashi songs. His co-workers at News Zero have revealed that he always prepares very thoroughly before interviewing anybody. But you'd be in for a big surprise if you think Sho's just a straight-laced Mr. Goody Two Shoes who always gets A's on his homeworks. See below.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arashi - LOVE Album Review

I finally got my album in the mail from my trusty old I could only get the Regular Edition, because the Limited Edition sold out. Sigh. I kind of wanted that PV of P.A.R.A.D.O.X. but I suppose I'll just have to live with the short teaser version (which, by the way, is already heart-stoppingly smooth and dangerous) and the screencaps that any generous fans may post on the internet.

So now, on to the album.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Intergalactic - Arashi Song Review

Earlier this year, Arashi released their most recent single, Endless Game, which is a pretty solid track, though still not quite close to beating their phenomenal Face Down of 2012 or the 2013 double A-side Calling/Breathless. Arashi's been really into a more synthetic club style recently, adding some techno elements, a very danceable beat and favoring melodies/lyrics that are on the edgy mysterious side. All these singles fall into this category, which makes sense, since they're all theme songs to very edgy, suspenseful dramas/movies (I mean, things like Troublemaker or Love So Sweet wouldn't exactly make for suitable theme songs to dramas like Kazoku Game or Platina Data, ne?). Arashi's pushing into some seriously kakkoii territory, and I'm loving it! I've decided to review one of the coupling songs for Endless Game here, mostly because I actually like it a lot more than Endless Game itself, and also because I am terribly upset that it didn't get performed at the 2013 ARAFES and just thought I'd bring some more attention to it (we all know how coupling songs tend to get lost in the obscurities of time due to not being performed or collected into an album. Sigh). So without further ado, I give you Arashi's Intergalactic

The first thing you need to know about Intergalactic is that it is out-of-this-world sexy. From every aspect. It's like everybody involved, the composer, the lyricist, the sound engineers, and most importantly, Arashi themselves, had an ultimatum handed to them: sweep those fans up at warp speed and give them a throbbing hot eargasm in a dark, bad-ass corner of the galaxy. And boy, do they de-li-ver...

Monday, November 4, 2013

リフレイン (Refrain) - Arashi Song Review

I'm still waiting for my copy of LOVE to arrive in the mail, so instead of drumming my fingers on my desk and rewatching old episodes of VS Arashi, I've decided to write a little review of one my all-time favorite Arashi ballads: リフレイン, or "Refrain" in English. It's a track from their 2010 album 僕の見ている風景 (Boku no Miteiru Fuukei), so I've been listening to track for over three years now, and call me sappy, but it still hasn't lost its appeal. This will be a quick one, so please forgive and feel free to point out any errors in my listening. 

In one word, melancholy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Matsumoto Jun - Takes Himself Seriously, Loves Arashi Selflessly

So before anything else, you need to just look at this guy. Get ready for electrifying paralysis of all body systems except your toki-toki hearts.

You're welcome, girls.

The intimidating and magnetic stare that Jun
is so famous for.  
Because I can't resist putting another
sexy-and-I-know-it Jun pic here...
I never skip over the Lucky Seven opening credits because
of, well, this. 
Here's a gentler Jun-gaze to ease us into the mecha-kakkoii
subject that is Matsumoto Jun.
Aaaand here it comes. Matsumoto Jun-sama. It was so difficult to condense his character into a little phrase for the title here. Certain words thrown around in the fandom came to mind: Princess, Diva, Stoic, Concertmaster, DoS, and of course, we have to keep in mind that Jun, unlike Aiba, Nino, or Ohno, changed quite a lot in both appearance and personality since Arashi's debut; he's grown from that cute spiky-haired kid with the idiotically wide smile to the sexy brooding gentleman who's always in demand for romantic lead roles in doramas. So what phrase could encompass all these sides of our beloved Jun? In the end, I settled for a title that is quite lame. But whatever, it sort of fits, as Jun is stoic to a fault when it comes to perfecting his art and takes himself very seriously. You don't see him chuckling at silly things as much as the others, especially after 2009 when he really matured. And he really does love Arashi like it's his soul, soul; the other members have all, at one time or another, pointed him out as the one who cares most about the group. He can be just as yasashii as Riida when you get past his intimidating superstar aura!