Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's about children - Arashi's Believe / Kumori nochi Kaisei

If Arashi seemed active in 2008, they'd only get more so this year since they've reached their 10th year anniversary in 2009. The first single they released this year carries two theme songs, one for Sakurai Sho's Yattaman and the other for Ohno Satoshi's Uta no Onii-san.

Yattaman is a movie for the family and long time anime/manga fans, acted by a star studded cast and based on a hugely popular manga series of the same name, it's a movie you won't want to miss.
Uta no Onii-san is a comedy drama series about a jobless young man becoming the "dictator" of a children's TV program. From a jobless bloke to a star and a dictator to a successful host, this is a story about dreams and a lot of gag.

Because of the two shows' association with children, the songs are both fast paced with a fizzy pop feel and memorable melodies that you can hum to.

While the songs are wonderful as standalone works they are even more interesting when you associate them with their respective drama or film. It's hard to classify what kind of artist Arashi, or the Johnny boys, at large, are, since they are required to dance, sing, model, act and do acrobats.

These boys are chosen at a young age during an audition and is put into a school designed especially to train them to enter the world of entertainment in the Johnny's way. There are times when I could not help but think that they are the male version of Takarazuka (especially after seeing clips of the boys doing stage plays).

Each member of Arashi specialize in something, the leader Ohno Satoshi in dancing, Sakurai Shou in writing lyrics, Aiba Masaki in sports (and constant mistakes in reading, talking, etc), Ninomiya Kazunari in writing music and Sakurai Jun in his dramas.

Although its mambers have acted in various roles, e.g. the sinister lawyer in Maou, the rich boy Doumeiji in Hanayori Dango and are no longer the youngest group under Johnny's entertainment (there are Hey! Say! Jump! and the Johnny's Juniors), they always give off a whiff of youth that is easy on the eyes and the ears.

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