Same old, same old

13 Sep

ImageI apologize that it’s been a long time since the last post; my life is not the most interesting now that I’ve gotten into the routine of work, and so I’ve been neglecting writing about it.  As always, the main spark of interest in my day to day activities for the past two weeks or so has been (you guessed it) preparations for another concert in Tokyo.  

You may remember that I mentioned going to a concert called Summary at Tokyo Dome City Hall in Tokyo at the end of August.  I mentioned this was a Sexy Zone concert (for the third time, yes, I know, awful band name), but actually, Summary is an event that Johnny’s holds every year in Tokyo Dome City Hall.  The group that hosts the Summary concert is different every few years or so; it originated as a dual concert for the two popular groups NEWS and Kat-Tun (if you’re familiar with Japanese pop music, you may have heard of them) and has been hosted since by Kis-My-Ft2, ABC-Z, and Hey! Say! JUMP.  However, this year, Johnny’s changed things up a bit, and Summary was actually hosted by four different groups depending on the date: it started in early August with ABC-Z, switched to Sexy Zone for late August, and then, for one weekend at the beginning of September, the concert was held by two different Junior groups for three shows each.  

ImageWhat’s a Junior group, you may ask.  Because Johnny’s and Associates is an agency that puts together groups (think N*Sync from the 90s), they naturally need a group of talents to select from.  For this reason, as well as functioning as an agency for popular debuted groups, they also manage a trainee group known as Johnny’s Juniors.  To become a Junior, kids audition in dancing and singing and, once accepted, become backup dancers for debuted groups, as well as participating in stage plays and acting in dramas.  More popular Juniors often get interviews and spreads in idol magazines.  In essence, as a Junior gets more and more popular, he reaches almost the level of a debuted talent, except for the fact that (as far as I know) he’s not under contract, so he could disappear from the entertainment world at any moment.  Within the mass of Johnny’s Juniors, there are also Junior units, which, when popular, are sort of like any debuted unit, except for the fact that the agency could decide, through one of many moneymaking schemes, to break the group up at any moment for any number of reasons or outcomes.  

So, basically, six Summary performances were held by impermanent groups of undebuted talents.  The reasoning behind this, as far as I can tell, is that the most popular member of one of the groups, Uchi w/ Question, and the six members of the other group, the Bakaleya 6, are starring in a movie that’s in theatres in August.  S and I have minimal interest in Uchi w/ Question, but since we really enjoyed the drama upon which the movie is based and the talents acting in it, we managed to get (highly overpriced) tickets to see the Bakaleya 6 performing.  

ImageNaturally, as always, we made some uchiwa, but this set came out looking possibly the most ridiculous.  My favourite member of the group, 高地優吾 (Kouchi Yugo) is mostly represented by the first kanji of his first name, 優… which, you might remember from an earlier post, is the kanji I was most dreading making into an uchiwa.  However, S’s favourite member, a half-American talent named Jesse Lewis, clearly has no kanji and thus is simply signified by the Japanese for his first name, ジェシー (Jeshii).  As a result, my uchiwa was all decked out with a very complicated kanji, whereas S’s simply used phonetic characters, and they looked fairly amusing next to one another (and for those interested, the back says “please make a peace sign!)

I also painted my nails for the concert.  I’m a big fan of nail art, as I’ve mentioned, and a particular popular look in Japan is the glitter gradient.  In the US, I’ve had trouble finding polishes translucent enough to execute this look, so I had fun finally using the Japanese polishes made specifically for this reason!   

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