Now please enjoy the last of the member posts ^.^ Douzo!!
The big joke you'll hear over and over again about Ninomiya Kazunari is that he's looked like he's 17 since he was, well, 17.
|Nino in Oct. 2013 (from the PARADOX PV)|
|Nino in the 2010 Monster PV|
Nino was born on June 17, 1983, making him the second youngest member of Arashi. Though the younger three (also known as the kaze trio) are all pretty much considered to be of the same generation since they were all born within a year of each other and joined the jimusho at a similar time (Aiba being a December baby and Jun being just two months younger than Nino). He joined Johnny's under the bribery of his mother, who was afraid he might hang out with the "wrong crowd" and decided that J&A was a more respectable after school activity. He admits to being a bit on the antisocial side throughout his childhood, but he made friends at Johnny's (the most notable one being the ever cheery Aiba, his train buddy), and became popular enough that Johnny selected him for debut after just three years in the agency. Nino has an older sister. Nicknames: the most prevalent one is Nino, and he's been called that since elementary school. Occasionally, someone (or himself) will refer to him as Kazu or Kazu-chan as a joke or gag, but Nino is probably the one with the least amount of nicknames. He is, of anything, the one who calls the other members by unique nicknames the most; he calls Jun J, calls Ohno Samii, calls Aiba Aiba-shi...
Nino is known as an incorrigible gamer, once spending over 24 hours in his room playing video games. I bet he was super excited to be endorsing Nintendo!Perhaps because of his inner otaku-ness, he has a slightly slouching posture, and an old injury to his left hand has also made his muscles there weak to the point where he can't do sports like rowing or even hold a mic for extended periods of time (he changes hands frequently at the 3-hour long Arashi concerts). He has also complained of aches in his back, so in that sense, he's more of an ojisan than Ohno or Sho! Nino needs to get out there and work those stiff shoulders more. We, as fans, want him to be dancing to Ohno's choreography well into his forties, but he has mentioned that he doesn't particularly like to exercise, only doing it when he needs to lose weight for a role. He's shown off his "one-pack" abs at least twice on Arashi variety shows. For some reason, Nino always gets the most outrageous outfits from the staff when they're on their VSA. Perhaps he's just the one member who is easiest to coerce into wearing just about anything? Because MatsuJun once also gave him a ridiculous holey sports jacket which he wore as pajamas. See below.
|A random sampling of the brilliant works of Nino's wardrobe staff. The holey jacket|
in the upper middle pic was a present from Arashi's resident fashionista Jun.
Within Arashi, Nino is very definitely firmly on the side of the tsukkomi (the "straight man" as opposed to the boke, who is the "idiotic role" in Japanese manzai). He is very rarely on the receiving end of Arashi jibes, and usually when that happens, it's pretty obvious that he was set up for it by the staff (like the routine where Sho would make fun of Nino's outrageous VS Arashi outfits). Usually, Nino is the first to point out any shortcomings of his bandmates with due glee. Not even the stoic Jun has escaped his sharp squinty eyes! Of course, that's all because Nino is just too clever to let the others catch a hold of his Achilles heel. He isn't daydreaming like Ohno or baka like Aiba, he's not vain like Jun or fail like Sho... So basically, he appointed himself the right to make fun of everyone else, and hilarity ensues.
|Who better to endorse JCB than penny-pinching Nino?|
And because Nino is just that sassy, he's also built up a reputation of not using the appropriate honorifics when addressing his senpais. Tut tut tut, Nino. Such rudeness would never come out of the sweet lips of Sho or Jun, the good two shoes. But Nino leaves out the "-san" suffix when talking to members of Johnny's senpais like TOKIO or V6, and calls some elder comedians directly by their first names. And he frequently forgets to append his sentences with the polite "desu" or "masu." To add oil to the fire, his tongue sometimes "slips" and he'll address a senpai with "omai" (a very casual for of "you"), which of course is just fodder for comedic bursts of rage from the offended party. Nino's lack of proper manners has led to his nickname of "brat" in the English-speaking fanbase, and it's certainly caught the attention of the Arashi programming staff, as there was a SP of ANiShi where comedians pointed out each member's faults, and of course, Nino's was "not being polite to senpais." At least Nino had the grace to look moderately embarrassed in that episode.
|The Ohmiya crotch-grab on Mago Mago Arashi.|
Still, Nino is not mean all the way through. Like Jun, he is really just a little puddle of putty deep deep down. Because how else could he come up with heartbreaking ballads like "Niji"? Not to mention the super cute song dedicated to his mother in the LOVE album that just came out. He's a guy who really cares about the people closest to him, and I can only imagine how much he loves his family in moments when he's off camera. Nino cares a lot about his bandmates, too. When he was at the Berlin Film Festival to promote his Hollywood movie Letters from Iwo Jima, he specifically told the press that he was just a "guy that is a part of an idol group. [we] sing and dance together." instead of just introducing himself as an actor. He also got extremely homesick during his month-long stay in Los Angeles for the filming, and thought of Arashi a lot during this time. Later, in 2007, he revealed that when he spent that one month abroad in Hollywood, he was feeling lots of doubts because he wasn't sure if he would be able to rejoin Arashi after this (I don't know why he would think that since that was a one-time project, unless Johnny was pushing him to the American fanbase and wanted to line up more projects for him). Though we're probably never going to know the inner workings of the people that decided Nino's career directions at the time, I'm glad that they decided to let him remain with his precious Arashi. In his own subtle way, he puts Arashi first before himself. Like Aiba, he wrote an emotional letter to Arashi, and expressed how thankful he was to have them and how much he appreciated them. Now, know that Nino is not a person who expresses his emotions easily. The other members all say that he rarely cries, and rarely says "mushy things" like Aiba. Even during shows, he's usually more interested in making everything a funny joke than in making a serious atmosphere. So it was pretty surprising to the rest of Arashi when they saw him take the stage with the letter, and of course, tears were shed as well.
Nino also has his adorable fanboy moments. He loves the actress Takeuchi Yuko, who is older than him, but he's been a long-term fan of hers, stating in interviews that she would be his "ideal type" and that he really admired her unembellished tyle of acting. I bet he was super jealous when Jun got the star as Takeuchi-san's love interest in Natsu-Niji. When Takeuchi guested on VS Arashi as a part of the drama team, Nino actually dressed up in a suit and held a bouquet, waiting for her arrival. It was quite comical and sweet at the same time. The thing you have to realize is that even though Nino has the sharpest tongue of the all (a factor that contributes much to his success in his new Nino-san variety show), he is really quite a nice guy and the "mean streak" is part-nature, part just an exaggerated show for the comic effect to please us devoted fans. He is known to be a pretty private person, but fan reports of Nino encounters have all been very positive, and no matter how tired he gets, he's always professional and willing to put in that extra bit of effort (and sacrificing some precious sleep!) to do a tiny Q&A or video message to reach out to the fans. He can also be pretty humble, like when he met game designers at Nintendo (haha of course, Nino).
|Nino doesn't know how he does it,|
but he can do pretty much any role.
Nino's number one talent (apart from teasing Arashi bandmates) is his acting. He rarely boasts about it, but he has been in a Clint Eastwood movie as a lead role for Letters from Iwo Jima, a critically acclaimed work. Nino's acting was highly praised by even Roger Ebert; just watch the movie and you'll know what I mean. Obviously, the script itself was really good to begin with, but Nino's delivery was so heartbreaking and realistic at the same time. It's a movie that made me cry, and made Aiba, Jun and Ohno cry. Nino is known to be an engiha, or in plain English, an actor who is actually skilled at acting (as opposed to many actors in Asian dramas who are acting because they are idols or singers and therefore employed because their presence brings in ratings for TV stations; and just to clarify, I actually think that while the other Arashi members may have started out as idol-actors, they have quickly matured and are quickly becoming engiha, especially Jun, who can take diverse roles and has proven in several cases that he can act them all out realistically. The only Arashi I'd say is less developed in acting is Aiba, but I don't think that's a cause for worry, since Aiba has plenty on his plate without adding dramas into the mix at the moment). Nino is, above all, really good at realism. Sure, he can do the typical J-dorama with the exaggerated comedy and waterworks (watch Yamada Taro, Ryusei no Kizuna or Stand Up!), but he is most in his element when asked to simply portray a real, everyday character with complex motivations, self-conflicts, doubts and hopes. In I Will Fly to the Sky in a Wheelchair and in Freeter Ie o Kau and in Pikanchi 1, he played these types of characters that are so relevant to a common person's life. There are so many other things he's acted in where he is just the epitome of realism. You feel like he's somebody that you could have known in your life. I don't know which part of his face or body he uses to act in particular, but he always manages to get all the emotions across with even the most minimal lines. When he plays melancholy, your heart will melt; and when he smiles his angelic smile, your heart will rejoice. He just has that same degree of fineness over his emotional expression as Ohno has over his dancing body. Of course, he's had plenty of practice, appearing in dramas regularly even in his Jr. days. He's probably had the most dramatic experience out of all his bandmates. He's also been in the most movies, starring in the sci-fi action Gantz trilogy, as well as the period piece Ooku (where he plays a male concubine in a world where females/male roles are reversed; it's based off a really interesting concept), and there's also Platina Data, an action/thriller movie that just came out earlier this year. Nino's pretty good in action roles; when he scrunches up his brows and purses those thin lips, it really gives the perfect brooding but vulnerable genius look. Plus, he looks hot in fight sequences/holding a gun. I was also glad to see that he could very well hold his own presence in a period piece full of serious engiha actors in Ooku. Though I couldn't stop staring at his hair for most of the time (and I thought the script was too restrained and subtle to allow for character development, but overall, the movie was certainly a departure from the usual projects Arashi members undertake and I was intrigued by the premise of the plot).
"1994*4##111," which is basically him going on full-on cute mode. Yes, beware of the 17-year-old face when he's consciously trying to act like a puppy, because your ovaries may actually burst.
|Nino in the Beautiful World concert 2011.|
|When Nino gets serious.|
Nino also plays a lot of instruments. He can play the piano and guitar very well. His intro in "La Tormenta 2004" has a line about his guitar-playing in it, and he has played both instruments at concerts. But clearly, his afterschool activities weren't just limited to these instruments back in the day. He is a pretty big baseball nut, and not only follows it avidly (with Aiba), but also used to play it. He was quite good at it too. The best baseball player in Johnny's is said to be Kamenashi Kazuya, but Nino is a close second. He had formed a team with Aiba and some other friends to play baseball for fun, but I'm not sure if he still actively participates in those games. Aiba's talked about it on ANiShi a few times, but in certain interviews, both Aiba and Nino have said that they wish they could play baseball together again since it's been a while since they've done that. And sometime in the mid-2000's, Nino also picked up magic tricks as a hobby, often doing card tricks to entertain friends and Arashi members on sets and such. He is allegedly so good that he should really be charging money for his performances.
I'll end the Arashi member post series with some more pics of Arashi interacting with each other, because you can never have enough of rainbow and sparkles!
|Contemplating... socks? on Arashi ni Shiyagare.|
|Aimiya try to placate Ohno, who's upset and playing the stern |
Leader card because Sho isn't taking Falling Pipe seriously enough.
|Everyone remembers when their faces were on a plane, right?|
I was sad I didn't have the occasion to fly anywhere.
|Even big boys like to dress up in bright colors and play with their fingers every once in a while.|
|Haha, I don't know how the tub concept related to the phone, but I applaud it.|
|Throwback to their silly-awesome Shukudai-kun days!|