Because everyone has one, right?
Being it that I finally got to watch from beginning to end an entire Arashi concert, that being the 5x10 one, on a big screen TV in surround sound, blasted all the way, I felt it only necessary to bring this telling of my story now. Think of it as my own personal thank you to the stormy boys, and everyone and everything they have given us.
However, unlike a lot of other stormy stories, mine doesn't start with a distraught time in my life. Actually, it starts out with something actually great. I started Hana Yori Dango. (Yes, I was Jun-baited). However,that's not the reason my life was going great. I had just started months before that a relationship that was making my life wonderful every day. Though there were set backs, like his unconditionally traditional Filipino parents that still wont let him date as his age, we always felt like we could "make it" through. My friends and I had just started getting into Asian Dramas, like Taiwanese ones (Devil Beside you, Why Why Love, etc.) and had heard the fuss about Hana Yori Dango.
Of course, we know that this story leads to me spazzing over Oguri Shun and eventually learning about the wonderfulness that is Jun Matsumoto. But as life went on, Arashi did as well. I followed them not religiously, but greatly, through my junior year in high school, and of course my senior year.
My life wasn't lacking love, but it did lack time. And I always felt like I was running out of it. Running out of time to be with my friends, running out of time with my boyfriend (as if he was going to leave me, which almost three years later, he hasnt) and running out of time each and everyday with all my different responsibilities. Having a job, a little sister with no babysitter, being involved in lots
of clubs, I found myself sleeping 3-4 hours a night and it would start to catch up on me.
I start not believing in myself, and everytime I needed a push, i'd pop in an Arashi mix CD. In my senior year, to get away from it all, I started watching Arashi shows (old ones like Mago Mago, C&D&G and newer ones like AnS, HnA, VSA, etc), and though it took away from my sleep just as much, It gave me something to be happy about while everyone else was taking life in stride and I felt as if I was the only one experiencing this excessive amount of stress and lack of leisure time.
As I learned more about these men, I learned more about myself. Senior year being a pivotal moment in everyone's lives, I was in a bit of a pickle. What's my college major going to be? Will it be good enough for the people around me? What about my future with Rodney? So many questions I didn't have the answers to, but there was always Arashi.
There was always Arashi.
Jun Matsumoto, who is passionate about everything and anything he does. Who puts his all and tries his hardest, and when he fails, he apologizes. Being one of the most mature people in show business I have ever seen. He who has proven to me and everyone else that though he may be apathetic about a lot of things, and seem like he doesn't care about you and your world, he is ALWAYS thinking about it. He is always thinking about how to make his self better and always working harder to not inconvenience the people around him. His passion and effort make me want to work harder to make my life better and to fulfill my goals as strongly as possible.
Sho Sakurai, who is the "smartest" being a university graduate and all. Who has accomplished more than the average ACCOMPLISHED person. Someone who is the RESULT of hard work, and makes it completely evident in everything he does. Balancing a life between university work, idol work, family responsibilities, and all his other jobs make my life look like a piece of cake. And if he can do it, well I can do it too. Sho never complains and he doesn't ask for more time, nor does he ask for help most of the time. He just believes in himself and knows that it'll come out alright in the end. His talent and his knowledge encourage me to work hard because it WILL pay off. It WILL work out, and dreams DO come true if you work hard enough.
Aiba Masaki, who loves his friends more than life itself. Always being the "crybaby," and always looked at as either extreme, whether it be the cutie or the blazing hot model. He is a man of many faces. He has many sides to him, and everyone believes each and every one of them. He is an idol to many who wouldn't act or be expected to be an idol, and everytime you turn around; he is something different. Aiba makes me believe in myself and all the different sides to me there is. His lack of care for the rest of the world, and ABUNDANCE of care for his friends give me hope that my many relationships with people and with my boyfriend will last as long as I keep loving them, and believe in them to love me back.
Ohno Satoshi, the leader. Well if you've ever seen Ohno, you probably wouldn't expect him to be a leader, because he doesn't really yearn for the position, neither does he ignore it. He's not leader because he's the oldest, and though he did win from a match of janken (how arashi, right?), he is warm-hearted, gentle, and the most compassionate of an idol I have ever seen. He is a book you'll never be able to ready entirely. Exceeding in skill through singing, dancing, and acting, without the urge or even desire to BE famous or to BE known, encourages me to be even better in what I do. And to do it because I love it, not because I want people to know about it. To do it for the love and for the knowledge, and nothing else.
Last but not least, Ninomiya Kazunari, who really brings me to my knees in inspiration. Though we joke about our biases and how we think so and so is the cutest and I have said that about Nino. His looks alone dont make this man amazing. Its everything in between, and everything we DONT know about him. Ninomiya is an open book, with pages that are stuck together, that you'll never be able to unglue. He is the perfect person in my eyes. He is picky about what he wants because he'll settle for nothing less than his best. He is one of the most hardest working idols in the WORLD (Letters from Iwo Jima, dramas, concerts, dancing, etc) and you never hear about him throwing a fit or being tired. That is one of the biggest things that strike me. After all the projects and things he does, he always says "I dont like to say Im tired" because it makes hi m feel as if he's taking his gifts and privileges for granted. He should do his best ALL THE TIME, and when he is tired, he should always think "just a little bit more," or "just a little bit harder," and when he finishes a project, it is ALWAYS something amazing. He is also a man of many faces, being able to act in all sorts of genres and receive recognition for them, and being a versatile musician and singer, while his fans are informed of his video game and magic trick habits, you ask yourself "does this man ever sleep?" If he does, he's probably thinking about or dreaming about how to make his performances (acting, singing, magic tricks, etc) better. He is always working towards a better person, a better goal, but at the same time doesn't lose the fact that he knows he's already a great person. But a great person never thought he was great, they just know that they can be better. This is what inspires me. Ninomiya's passion, versatility, vulnerability, love, enthusiasm, skepticism, and flexibility as a person makes him the kind of person I want to be.
Being a film major, while living amongst a lot of asians in a community like San Diegos, I dont really fit the description. I can't really come with a manual, and I don't really have just one side. I am all different things. And in a way, I'd like to think that I am all these people. I am sometimes a Jun when I am currently working on something, I am sometimes a Sho when I am learning something, I am sometimes an Aiba when I am resting and transitioning, I am sometimes an Ohno when I am leading, and I am sometimes a Nino when I am contemplating, or working. I think there's a little bit of each of them in all of us. There's an ARASHI in all of us.
We just have to let the storm out.
And once I let the storm out, I became in love with my life. And when something really terrible and tragic happens. I let the emotions take me over and then I lift my head up and keep moving, because I always know that this is what the boys have done for us. And for me to have learned from that, and act upon it is the best gift I can give back to them.
The many projects they have done, the many songs they have performed, well you can argue has nothing to do with us fans really. I mean, it's made for us and packaged for us by Johnny &the Associates and the five men didn't come together to creatively CREATE it for us. That is what I used to think, but it comes through when you watch something of theirs that is simply like, a concert.
Watching their 10 year Anniversary Tour DVD, I teared up and felt the crying coming. These men didn't necessarily start what they did for their fans, or for their love for it. In fact, they probably hated it when they started. But as they saw people laughing and happily enjoying it, they worked even harder. They worked hard for 10 years and plan to work even harder for more years. As each of them shed tears for their love for their fans, I can see that they have changed over the years and they do this for us now. They keep going, losing sleep, stressing out, wanting to quit, getting frustrated, balancing different aspects of life, to DELIVER us a MESSAGE of BELIEF, of HOPE, of SELF CONFIDENCE, and LOVE, and that with those four things, you can persevere, you can succeed, and the result feels a little something like...