edit: I finished the others!! Next project after Tuesday's presentation will be Duet, along with Aiba's motorcycling article also from Potato.
FRESHEN – ARASHI
Simply put, Arashi’s activities of 2007 were, in a word, “wonderful.”
And, there’s no mistake that they’ll show us their radiance with much further progress in 2008.
They should perfectly respond to all such anticipations. Right, Arashi-kun!?
In the special year end sports program “2007’s Greatest Sports Thanksgiving Festival in History(TBS)” I participated in the Final PK match with Badminton’s Ogushio-san (Ogura Kumiko-san and Ushioda Reiko-san) on the “Badminton Smash Showdown”, but that was cool. I was the goalkeeper and Ogushio-san hit smashes. It was fast, at least (laugh). Besides, it was fun to be able to play just a little badminton with Japan’s representative athletes during the recording breaks. It was around my first or second year of middle school when I played badminton in a club. I went all the way to city-wide competition for doubles, but lost after the first match (laugh). I feel that I didn’t really regret it even if I lost at that time, due to the fact I wasn’t thinking that I wanted to win so intensely. Because I feel that badminton has kind of been sealed into my past, I’d be happy to play it like this on television again.
I think I’ll eat osechiryouri [Traditional New Year’s food] and relax for New Year’s (Interview was in December). But because I’ve been busy these recent years for the year end and year beginning, it’s golden to be able to relax on New Year’s. It seems you can pass through it with easy feelings. Right, right, I said at the time of the FNS Song Festival that I wanted to go to the hot springs with the others, but if I really think about it, because we’ve gone to big public baths together while on tour, it’s okay if we don’t bother going to the hot springs (laugh). I want to go if possible, but well, it’d be nice to just have a relaxing meal with everyone.
Because I like doing lives with Arashi, of course I want to do a lot of lives, since there are still many places we haven’t been on tour to. I went to Okinawa as a background dancer for SMAP when I was a Junior, but I haven’t gone as a member of Arashi yet. Since there were places we performed at in 2007 for the first time, I want to perform at new places on the next go-round, too. Outdoor lives are good as well. We went through that at Hokkaido, but if I’m not mistaken, it had rained. There are various happenings outdoors, like drone beetles and various other insects participating with their illuminations. But, there’s excitement if you’re in the great outdoors, isn’t there? Arashi’s regular work is also fun, and I’m going to do various things in 2008 as well.
Right now I’m hooked on fishing for my hobby. We fished on location for “Shinsengumi Travels“ on “Arashi’s Waza-ari”[Waza-ari: Used in Judo, literal meaning, has skill.] some years before , but I want to try that again now (laugh). At that time, the location of the fishing was toilsome and tough, so we were thinking if the “filming” would end late (laugh). It’ll probably be more different locations now, won’t it?
Messages to the members:
Nino: Love doesn’t change~(laugh). Shall I say it more? Love, for all eternity… (laugh)
Sho-kun: As it’s impossible to be the president, please become prime minister. Since I've left it to you!
Aiba-kun: How about changing the character ‘Ai(相)’ in Aiba-kun to ‘Ai(愛-love)’? (laugh)
Matsumoto-kun: If you want to be comforted, come on over to my place (laugh)
Self: It’s about time to… behave properly and hold high regard for comments! (laugh)
I went on location to Barcelona, Spain for the special year end program “2007’s Greatest Sports Thanksgiving Festival in History(on TBS)” and it was my first time in Barcelona where it was considerably colder there than in Japan. Because we were there on location for two days, there was scarcely time for sightseeing, but we went to the Sagrada Familia (The Holy Family Church) because the manager said he wanted to see it (laugh). Though he wasn’t really interested in its structure. Spain’s food was delicious. The paella is famous. But, it’s different from eating in Japan, and only in Spain are there so many assortments of paella that it’s overwhelming. So, I don’t know if what I ate was really paella or not (laugh). Because I just like the atmosphere of Europe, it was good, even though I was only there for a short time.
As a recent happening, I played in a match with the Jimusho baseball team for the first time in a while. Ah, it was cold, so cold. So now I know why pro baseball is in its off-season (laugh). It’s fine if it’s soccer, but baseball is impossible in the dead of winter. It was so-so as I was 1-for-3 [1 hit for 3 at bats].
My goals for 2008? I really have a problem being asked this whenever the end of the year comes around. Because I don’t have goals, wishes, or desires by nature. These kind of things are different among individuals, and I think it’s fine that respectively there are people who carry goals and people who don’t decide on goals. Besides, I don’t deny that either. As a basis for 2008, I want to continue the ongoing things as is. Though I think that 2007 was certainly substantial, it doesn’t mean that it turned out that way by thinking we’d thicken it ourselves, and we only did the same things we do in a typical year. We’re here right now without even thinking about anything, but one day we might establish a goal out of the blue, and besides, we don’t know what lies ahead. Although I said in the previous issue that I was going to be a generous person, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t live up to that because I don’t really have encounters with people (laugh).
The revival of Ohmiya SK at concerts in 2008? That’s right~ It was really interesting when we happened to watched the Ohmiya DVD for the first time in a while (laugh). We draw lots to decide if we’d do the Ohmiya SK for lives. Before concert meetings, Ohno-kun and I make a lottery and decide on “do” or “not do”. But, when the two of us aren’t in the mood, we draw the lottery three times on purpose, and cheat, saying, “Because we completely failed this time, we can’t do Ohmiya SK, can we?” (laugh). This is the process.
Though I don’t have messages to the other members… it’s okay because every year after the countdown’s finished we give our usual greetings to each other (Interview was in December). I say those kinds of things directly. Messages to the members through the contents of a magazine on the contrary is embarrassing and I can never say it (laugh). Because Leader was saying on FNS (Song Festival) how he wanted to go to the hot springs with everyone in 2008, I might kind of want to go, too (laugh).
In 2007, we put out three singles, our regular variety’s form changed, we got to do many lives, and it truly turned out to be a substantial year. So, with various meanings, I’m thinking it’d be nice if we can continue 2008 with the same kind of form. It’s true that we have two movies we’re starting to do solo-wise at the present moment, but we want to enrich the activities we do the five of us, and it’ll surely take a good shape, wouldn’t it, I wonder? I also want to continue to think about what I can do for the fans, and moreover, I’m thinking it’ll be a year where we’ll move through various things. It’s not that we’re too defensive, offensive, or at a standstill… It’s good to try our hands at a new genre, but we might even be able to unfold things different from the things we’re doing now.
When it comes to doing the work you’ve received, it’s best to be able to do it pleasantly, but, ultimately it’s not only that, right? Ultimately, it’s whether we properly did or could do the things we should do. Although that’s true for any kind of job, you won’t know unless you try standing there doing it in some kind of manner. It’s case by case. Because there’s hardly any things that go just as you had imagined they would. In such situations, it’s whether you could do it properly or not.
I have the filming for my movie until the very end of the year (”The Hidden Fortress”: Release May 10, 2008), and I still haven’t thought of anything in particular about things like visions for the new year. “The Hidden Fortress” will be finished within the year, and when we get into January, the plan is to enter filming for “Hana Yori Dango Final” (Releases June 28, 2008) a little at a time (Interview was in December). That will probably go on until around March sometime.
It seems that “The Hidden Fortress” has a representation of being action entertainment, but I myself don’t really have action or theatrical combat. Because I don’t have the role of a samurai, my word usage is normal (laugh). I don’t say things like “We’ll make it through somehow” (laugh). And, outside of it being presented right now, I’m surprised at the awesome performers who are appearing. When I set aside time from filming for about two days for Arashi’s regular work and then return to the scene, the castle town set is changed dramatically, the art is amazing as well and provides the sensation that you’re in an extraordinary place, and it’s a surprise every time. This is the third time for “HanaDan”, and above the teamwork we’ve established, what kinds of things will we add to that? Regarding this, I think it will turn into all sorts of surprises (laugh).
Okay, new year messages to the members:
Ohno-kun: The truth is, you know, Ohno-kun, there’s a picture among your works that I really like, but how much would you sell it to me for (laugh)?
Sho-kun: I’m looking forward to “Yatterman”. Also, what would be good for a birthday present?
Aiba-chan: While you were saying we should go drinking in 2007, we didn’t fulfill that, so, let’s go early on in the new year.
Nino: You worked extremely hard in 2007, didn’t you? Do your best in 2008 as well.
Self: Put your room in order this year.
2007 was really full and substantial. On the basis of 2008 alone, I want to make it another good year. But, actually, we went throughout Asia in 2006, and though we were thinking we’ve never had such fullness, the next year ended up being an even fuller year. So for 2008, it’s natural to fulfill the work that’s been decided on and we’re thinking we’d like to put out many more accomplishments if possible.
For Arashi, 2007 was a year of concerts, pure and simple. And because it turned out to be an important year, I think it’d be nice if our concerts can be seen by so many more people in 2008. We truly were able to receive comments from many people that Arashi concerts are enjoyable. It becomes an incentive, doesn’t it? So from now on, we have to do it so we won’t be told out of nowhere that Arashi concerts are boring (laugh).
Speaking from a solo perspective, I’m wondering if I will get off to a good start with the program “The Japanese Studies Pocketbook” (TBS) done with a comedic group for an academic team that will be on air early New Year’s Day. Because I can have a break for New Year’s (Interview was in December), I can go to my grandma’s place in the countryside.
My vision for 2008 is to be on the offense. As I’m still of this age, there’s no need to be too defensive, and besides, because I’m the offensive type personality wise, I want to attack it intensely. I just have to somehow think about balance.
Though I think there are people who were surprised when I mentioned the news of the movie (Live action version of ”Yatterman” : leading actor; plan for a Spring 2009 release), to be honest, they asked if it’s really okay (laugh). And, I was at a loss in deciding. If I wasn’t doing news casting, I might not have done “Yatterman”… which means it’s a relation of amplitude. I am of a good age, and I thought it’d be good to open myself up to various images and genres. It’s not necessary to decide my own place right now, and besides, I always want to open myself up to possibilities. It’s set only for adults, but it’d be nice if it ends up being a movie children can enjoy as well.
Aside from that, 2008 is Nihon Television’s 55th anniversary of broadcasting. Because of that, we’re setting up a news special project, and because each news program is following its own respective theme through one year, I’m also taking part in that as a “NEWS ZERO” anchor. This is also worthwhile, isn’t it?
New year messages to the members? Okay then…
Ohno-kun: You’re truly always working hard on creating works, aren’t you? I think those works of genius are amazing and I just can’t compare with them. Therefore, make a piece for me, too (laugh).
Aiba-chan: When you go overseas, you give me souvenirs containing tiger pictures, but it’d be better for it to not be a tiger this year (laugh).
Nino: Because it was fun to co-star in a drama with you, let’s do that together again. I’m waiting for the offer!
MatsuJun: It’s the filming of the “HanaDan Final” from the start of the year, isn’t it? I’m looking forward to its release. Please give me a ticket (laugh).
Self: First and foremost, please do your best with the first movie you’ve done in a while!
I’m returning to the story from a little before, but after my butai “An Unforgettable Person” finished, I went on location to Thailand for “Tensai! Shimura Doubutsuen” (Nihon TV). Bangkok and Kanchanabri… It was probably such a name… Sorry if I’m mistaking it (laugh). Anyway, I’ve come to experience various things at zoos and temples, but I think we captured a masterpiece. I’ve been to Thailand a number of times, but this time the Thai food was really spicy. The Tom Yam Kung was spicy too, but when the second day came, I was used to it and said “Spicy! Tasty!” Because I have the ability to adapt, I can go and live anywhere (laugh). I recalled it on “Shimura Doubutsuen”. A kangaroo’s pouch has really become a popular thing, hasn’t it? (laugh) It seems the number of entrants on the zoo program have also increased considerably. When we first went on location, there were few guests (laugh). Star animal excavation? It takes timing to encounter such an animal of character. It’s useless even if you aim for it (laugh).
While I’m making the most of my adaptability, I’m going to do my best in 2008 as well. In 2007, I was able to do a lot of concerts with Arashi and we released three singles. Even our regular programs were full of changes, and we really made it complete, didn’t we? So I want to make sure I won’t give up in 2008 either. And when you sum it up, the element is to do it “without forgetting our desires to improve” (laugh). And then, you know, because it’s the 9th year that leads to the soon-coming 10th year for Arashi, I wonder if we should all get excited with loud cheering. In order to welcome the better 10th year, I want to make it a wonderful year. Whether as a group or individually, the foundation on top of that is to do our work one by one, and besides, we want to get down to work without compromising saying “It’s okay like this, isn’t it?”
Aside from that, I think dimly about how I want to practice things. I wonder if my view of the world will broaden. But, I have no concrete thoughts (laugh). Languages are nice as well, but… Presently, on overseas locations, I’m learning that it takes “nothing but practice”. Knowing the necessary bare minimum phrases “Where’s the bathroom?” or “Where can I eat?” is okay. My hearing is completely useless and I can’t understand what the other person is talking about (laugh).Well, when I think of lessons and the things I want to do, I have the strength to act, but it takes time until I find things I want to do. It’d be nice if I can do something naturally without straining myself, wouldn’t it?
New year messages to the members:
Ohno-kun: This year, one thing. As Leader, please pull Arashi together, will you?
Sho-kun: I’m relatively watching “NEWS ZERO”. I watch it thinking you have a face that’s different from the times you’re in Arashi. As expected, you’re a pro!
Nino-chan: It seems like you’re hooked to soccer games lately. Let’s play each other next time.
MatsuJun: Do your best with the movie filming, because I’ll be going to see it. My regards for 2008.
Self: Let’s do our best not to upset our health.