November 2
I am writing up the first part of this post on the eve of their 20th birthday celebrations and I'm a nervous wreck to say the least. This is the eve of a bigger-than-goliath occasion. The eve of their YouTube livestream, the eve of their introduction into the big wide world of SNS ~ already my Twitter timeline is brighter than E.T's finger phoning home, with talk of new accounts opening left, right and centre and I'm happy about it but I am also goddamn apprehensive. For twenty years, Arashi have been virtually hidden from the world, available to nobody but the Japanese. Now, twenty years later, they are slowly but surely opening themselves up to the world (even though us clever Arashians have opened ourselves to them for years now haha). I do want them to enjoy a more worldwide audience, of course I want that, but at the same time I've been enjoying my little illegal, underground, secret, hidden Arashi bubble. Please don't burst my bubble now with all these new accounts: Youtube,Twitter, TikTok, Weibo, Insta........ ARGHHH! SLOW DOWNNN ARASHI MINNA SAAAAN!

Okay, but *cough* the A.RA,SHI anniversary/birthday/celebrations. Twenty years since they blew up a storm (pardon the pun) on the television screens of Japan, wearing those now iconic transparent suits with white shorts underneath (but with bare chests that made their way into our hearts and minds). I only discovered them five years ago but what a wild ride it has been for me in that short time. I have had to cram twenty years worth of content into those five years and I still have a long way to go before I catch up. That is part of the reason why I've decided to horde as many Shiyagare and VSA episodes as I can, so that I can watch them all during their break..... Okay, I will stop here and write the rest tomorrow, after the YT livestream.

POSTSCRIPT: November 3
It has been just over an hour and a half since the YouTube livestream ended and I am still shaking. I was an absolute wreck in the lead up to the press con, it was and still is such a surreal moment to actually see Arashi officially online (and I could watch it without guilt or having to hide away!). I don't really know what else to add to this post now to be honest, I guess I am feeling the anti-climax after all the hype, nerves and excitement. But I am absolutely thrilled to pieces for Arashi, and for the new single "Turning Up" which will air live tonight at 8:00pm JST.

Happy H A P P Y birthday/anniversary to my beloved boys. I will continue to support you, love you and cherish you. Thank you for 20 years.
💚 ㊗️ 💜 ㊗️ 💛 ㊗️ 💙 ㊗️ ❤️ ㊗️

5 x 20 Anniversary Day! (嵐結成20周年)

Arashi 1999

From their lofty beginnings, five brooding and nervous teenagers on a yacht in Hawaii, their shaky and innocent voices announcing their debut and vows to take on the world, to today having gone from strength to strength, experiencing the highs and lows of fame, Arashi are now celebrating their twentieth anniversary. *Congratulations Aiba, MatsuJun, Nino, Ohno and Sakurai*

I have only been a part of the ride for a quarter of that time. When I first became aware of them as idols they had already notched up ffiteen years of entertaining the masses. The Digitalian had only just been released. Five years on, and their 57th single Brave was released this week, and I am still as loyal a fan as ever but in all honesty, some things have changed for me in that time.

I wish this anniversary post could scream of nothing but upbeat postivity and unabashed, gushing adoration but sadly it isn't in me at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I love and adore Arashi and I always, always will. My love for Arashi will remain firmly loyal and true. What has killed my mood is the general atmosphere within the fandom this past year. The changes in people that I have witnessed (particularly on Twitter) has all but crushed my motivation to stay in the fandom BUT I don't want to spread hate and negativity on this momentous occasion so I have taken to this post with some severe editing scissors.

💚 💜 💛 💙 ❤️

Not to sound like an overused cliche but I am deeply, deeply proud of Arashi. They truly have come so far in twenty years, and they have achieved greatness. And it's not over yet. Until their hiatus at the end of next year they still have so much more yet to give us and so much more yet to achieve. For me personally, I want to sincerely thank them for the sheer happiness they have brought to my life for the last five years. My home has become lovingly filled with CDs, DVDs, books, and merchandise which I proudly display and profoundly cherish. I am truly blessed to own what I do have (let's face it, my shop photo obession hasn't abated in five years and it probably never will). Arashi put colour back into my battered heart ~ five colours to be exact.

I am truly sorry Arashi: I feel horribly guilty for posting anything remotely negative on such an otherwise happy occasion. I resisted posting the original, knowing I would only sound bitter and cynical and I didn't want that today. I knew deep inside my heart that if I let this day pass by without acknowledging your 20th anniversary I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself.

🎊 Happy 20 years Arashi! I love you! 🎊

Arashi 2019



It is a cold, very wet winter's day here today but it just came to my attention that ARASHIC was released on this day, in 2006. So, I thought I would write up a quick anniversary post to warm myself up a little. This album was arguably the turning point in Arashi's popularity, the year Hana Yori Dango made their success raise a few notches, Many fans were "Jun-baited" thanks to Hanadan. I really wish I had known Arashi back then, but I didn't come to know about them until seven years later........ *sob*

For this post I will just acknowledge the playlist, and the album itself which, according to wikipedia, was released not only in Japan but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and South Korea. This was the first Arashi album to gain sales (and attention) outside of Japan and within the next 12 months they would go on to tour other Asian countries for the first time. Also around this time period, Nino went overseas to star in Clint Eastwood's movie Letters from Iwo Jima. Who knew that this epic year would bring the winds of change their way, and that their lives would change so dramatically to bring us a further wonderful 13 years worth of music, movies, dramas, variety shows and five-dome concerts!! (Is it any wonder they need a break? *justsaying*)

Anyway, the playlist: my favourite songs on this album would have to be Cool & Soul, I Want Somebody, and Runaway Train. I also really like Caramel Song, and Ready to Fly. On the regular edition there was a bonus track, Love Parade. This song is beautiful as a stand-alone time piece, I always envision a smoky underground jazz bar and they are standing on a tiny stage in suits with canes in hand Fred Astaire style.... Sorry, my imaginaton ran away with me just then.

Happy Anniversary ARASHIC; and thank you for giving us such memorable concert songs like Wish, Kitto, and not forgetting Carnival Night Part II. (And Cool & Soul at ARAFES '13 omgggggg *doki doki*)

arashi, ninomiya kazunari, birthday

Random 5x20 MV Thoughts

So, I wrote this on my Twitter two and a half hours ago:

"Okay, so I prepared my heart and sat down to watch the 5x20 MV on my big screen TV. Big mistake was I wasn't even remotely prepared. My chest racked with the heaviest, loudest sobs I've ever had since joining the fandom. Truly, my tears fell like somebody had died.
No other group has EVER made me feel this deeply, this STRONGLY, this emotionally bonded. No other group has openly shown each other, and their fans, such deep love, gratitude and mutual respect. I LOVE YOU ARASHI"

Since then, I have wiped away more tears than I ever thought it was even possible to shed. I have cried so hard my eyes are still literally stinging over two hours later.

What got to me the most about the 5x20 MV was:
1. The whole MV got me blubbing, let's face it.
2. I started off weeping silently until I saw the camera pan from Ohno to Nino when they sing "Demo/Bokura wa..."
That shot was B E A U T I F U L L Y  D O N E
3. Then the Juntoshi moment when MatsuJun looks at Ohno as they sing "Koe wo kiita dake de"
4. Then the moment when the camera locks on to Nino when he sings "Love, love for you"
Let's be honest here, I  D I E D ! !
5. When the song ends and Nino looks up towards the Heavens... and that look on his face!!! His eyes, his mouth, his whole expression and the thoughts conveyed in that one moment!! I screamed out loud N I N O O O O O ! ! !

5. But then I wailed like a baby, you know... one of those real ugly and out loud cries? when Aiba says "Anou sa... Arigatou, ne"
W H A T  A R E  Y O U  D O I N G  T O  M Y  H E A R T ? ? ? ? ?

arashi, ninomiya kazunari, birthday

Happy Birthday Nino!

Whether he's left-handed or right-handed; playing a guitar, piano, pulling off magic tricks, kendama tricks, gaming, wielding a sword or a baseball bat, molding clay, or just simply slurping ramen noodles, one thing Nino always does well is knowing how to entertain and charm us with his hands. His agility, patience, and persistence is just one trait I admire most about him.

In truth, I love many things about Nino; what drew me to him initially was his acting but once I discovered his diverse talents within Arashi, a longer list of reasons to love him grew and intensified. After almost five years of being his fan, I still find something new to love about him every day.

Whenever his birthday comes around each year, I sit and think about why I love him, and the ways in which I could best convey my feelings for him. If I'm absolutely honest this post, like all my others in previous years, could never ever do justice to my true feelings for him. In the past I've posted on Instagram and Twitter, or sharing my love for him with other fans, but I think I am still yet to find the best way to show how deeply and sincerely I feel. I wish I could proclaim to the world how much I love him.

I can only say: Nino, I love you so very much. I wish you the very happiest of birthdays, as I wish you much love, joy, good health, and serenity ~ today and every day. Always and forever  💛 You are my last great love.

These gifs are not mine, nor would I claim them as mine; they were found doing random Google searches. Most were probably from the Tumblr site. Full credit goes to them, not me.



This is a quick post to say that I have decided to postpone my new project

I have way too many unfinished projects in my life, and because of my rather irritating habit of not completing anything (known as procrastination) I have decided to put the scrapbook project on the back burner.

First and foremost, I am a writer. This is what writers do, they come up with a thousand and one ideas in their heads yet they rarely go the distance and see it through. They even come up with a multitude of non-writing ideas as an excuse to not complete their writing tasks. This has been a recurring issue in my life, and now I am at the stage where I know my personal excuses and diverting ideas are not going to get my novel and my family history projects completed.

Don't get me wrong, I love Nino. I will always love Nino. He has been a good distraction from the pain/hurt/frustration/loneliness in my real life. But the show must go on, I need to finish my still outstanding writing projects. I need to do this for myself. Only then can I make a start on the scrapbook. I know Nino will understand, and he would say good luck!

NB. This post serves as a not-so-subtle reminder to myself. All opinions about writers are my own.

My New Project

After a long time searching for the perfect scrapbook album online, I finally found the one I wanted last weekend. I was also extremely happy to discover that it was being sold by someone in my local area, so I sent a message to them to ask if they would waive the shipping fee if I could pick it up. They responded one better, they delivered it to me and I got $5 off the asking price! Now I can finally get to work on my 'Strangers on a Train' project. If you feel inclined to read, see this post here.

If you don't feel inclined, bascially at the end of my past blog post I said these words: "Edited: I almost forgot to mention, I am going to make a special 見知らぬ乗客 scrapbook for the tenth anniversary." As this year is the tenth anniversary.... you know the rest!

For this special project I will be using some magazine articles which I won in an auction recently, some postcards, some photocopies from the pamphlet, and a lot of images which are currently in my SOAT laptop folder are in the process of being printed at my trusted photography store. Also I intend to include some of my own personal notes from Patricia Highsmith's book, Alfred Hitchcock's film, and Robert Allan Ackerman's screenplay which Nino of course starred in.

I will try to take more photos as I go along and update my progress on my Twitter account (@ KizunaNino) and when I am finished, I will definitely make a blog post, so stay tuned. I can't promise it will be finished overnight, but it will be finished by July (fingers crossed).

A Brighter Rainbow

I literally saw this image on Pinterest yesterday, and almost burst into tears of joy on the spot. I decided there and then to download the image and edit it to my own taste (I did so using the Line Camera app; made the background white, and added a rainbow sticker).

Why did this image floor me? Because I related it to Arashi and how I have been feeling this past five weeks. Today marks exactly five weeks since the hiatus announcement and emotionally, I have been all over the place!! I have posted tweets only to delete them. I have composed DMs to my Twitter mutuals, only to delete them. I have even posted three blogs here on my LJ (the last of which was supremely emotional) and then deleted them. I have laughed out loud one minute and burst into tears the next. It took me almost three weeks to watch current VS Arashi and Shiyagare episodes but once I did, it really helped me. I listened to Arashi music after a week to ten days after the hiatus announcement and it really helped me. I would even go so far as to say, it healed me. (That is no exaggeration by the way, it really lifted my spirits...).

I just realised I am talking in past tense, like I was emotionally bereft but I am not any more. Like, I am now in the acceptance phase when in reality I duck in and out of acceptance and grief so often my heart has whiplash!! Granted, I did have a lot going on in my personal life right at the same moment of the hiatus announcement, and I was a nervous wreck because I had to step right out of my comfort zone and enter into a whole new realm. That was enough to cause me emotional distress for several weeks but now that I am much more settled, I came to realise that I actually hadn't been thinking about Arashi non-stop 24/7. So, if that can be deemed as acceptance, then I guess I have had real life distractions to help me overcome the harsh reality? I don't know, I change my mind too often hahaha

So, when I saw this image yesterday "The greater your storm, the brighter your rainbow" I related it to this: Arashi means storm, and Arashi have been the greatest healer in my life for the past four and a half years therefore making Arashi my greater storm. Arashi are symbolised by a rainbow and many fans make phrases, memes and quotes referring to Arashi being rainbows, and let's face it - Arashi definitely are the brightest thing in my life (aside from my daughter, whom I love dearly). The power of Arashi's presence in my life, the ways in which they have helped and healed me, they have created the brightest rainbow in amidst the mass of storms that real life can dish out. Also, this phrase symbolises for me that Arashi are so great, they will never leave us. Their brightness will never fade away. Yes, they are going on hiatus but they are not abandoning us. They are too great, they are too bright.

Does that make sense? In my messed up, emotional head (and heart) it makes sense to me *hahaha blush*

Addendum: Arashi are my storm, therefore they are the brightest rainbow in my life.


Worst Day of my Life

There are no other appropriate polite words......... I am devastated. Gutted.

I need time to process this. A couple of years won't be long enough to get accustomed to this. They have been my rock. my happy place, my rainbow filled heart. Where do I go from here? Yes, I will continue to stand by them so don't @ me. I love each of Arashi dearly. I just need time to get my head and heart around this news....................

natsu hayate


I have a brand new layout! The blue bubbles layout I had previously was cute and all, but to be honest I really wanted to change it months ago. I've been wanting something that stood out more. So I went for bold! Do you like it? :)

I've been really lazy in the blogging department lately, and before I even blink ~ the Kimi no Uta single was released ~ October is drawing to a rapid close ~ and then it will be Arashi's 19th anniversary for their debut single next week (November 3rd, for the uninitiated *wink*)!!

There were soo many things that I wanted to do in the latter half of this year, and yet I've had ZERO (said in Sakurai Sho style voice) motivation. I still haven't written a blog post review for Nino's Black Pean, even though I have now watched it all the way through twice. I don't think my review post will happen now, suffice to say I truly adored Nino as Tokai sensei. But that goes without saying really.....doesn't it?!

I also wanted to do a review of the Mannequin Five segments from Himitsu no Arashi chan, which I enjoyed immensely. I still might write a post for that sometime though, but it was my initial intention to screenshot each one of Nino's fashion choices but before I knew it, I was more than twenty segments in and going back to the start wasn't really an option I desired. I actually need to go through my HnA episode guide/list and highlight all the Mannequin Five episodes. That might just bring back some of my motivation and make tracking the episodes down a lot easier.

Oh, and I wanted to leave it here that I've now finished watching these Arashi variety shows:
C no Arashi
D no Arashi
G no Arashi
Mago Mago Arashi
Arashi no Shukudai kun
Golden Rush Arashi
Himitsu no Arashi chan

Still need to finish watching:
Nama Arashi
USO?! Japan
Mayonaka no Arashi
Arashi no Waza-Ari

My list excludes Arashi ni Shiyagare & VS Arashi because those two variety shows are still currently airing. I have a lot of gaps where I've seen early episodes and current/recent episodes but with a big chasm of "still need to watch" in between. Especially years 2011-2014 episodes of Shiyagare and years 2008/2009 for VSA.

Hopefully I will get time to post on November 3rd. "You are my soul, soul itsumo suga soba ni aru......."