8_bit_magic: (arashi)

I have been thinking long and hard about what songs to include in this post, and I decided only yesterday to reduce my list down to twenty of my favourite b-side songs. My choices are based on which ones get the most frequent plays on my iPod and the songs which have me jumping around the room whenever I watch their concert DVDs.

Here is my top twenty (ones in bold are my most played):
1. Koi wa Burekki [Breakin]
2. Kimi ga Iinda
3. Gorimuchuu (this song performed live has me jumping madly)
4. Harukaze Sneaker
5. Kiss Kara Hajimeyou
6. Itsu Made Mo
7. Snowflake
8. How To Fly
9. Boku ga Boku no Subete (this song is extra special to me, and it was my first ever Arashi ringtone)
10.Tokei Jikake no Umbrella
11. Super Fresh
12. Boom Boom
13. Full of Love
14. Monokuro [Monochrome]
15. Sync
16. Love Wonderland
17. Onaji Sora no Shita de
18. It's Good To Be Bad
19. Bang Bang
20. Kono tenohira ni

Before I forget, I must make an extra special mention to Sketch which is only available on the Ura Ara Mania special four-disc CD (which I am so blessed and thankful to own a copy of). Sketch is another most played song, I can never get enough of listening to it. I know it has special significance to the Arashi members as a commemorative song but for me I love so many things about it. When they sang it live for AraFes (2012), I was so happy I was actually in floods of tears!

I have to say I am happily exhausted after thinking up only twenty songs for this post. There are so many Arashi songs which lift my mood and make the monotony of my daily life so much easier to deal with. I still surprise myself today that this Japanese band has changed my life so dramatically, even though I don't always understand what they are singing! *blush* I am still eagerly learning the language, watching as many Japanese dramas and Arashi variety shows as I can to grasp all the phrases and words. Every day I proudly tell my daughter that I have learnt a new word and she sweetly smiles back at me (I love how she humours me!).

Without Arashi in my life, I would just be a broken shell.... sad but true *clap your hands two times* [Sakurai Sho, Rock You]
8_bit_magic: (arashi)

Here ends my three-part list of favourites from each studio album. I am contemplating a favourite b-sides post but do I really want to put myself through that much pain having to decide on a mere few in number? Probably. I will consider it a little further.

I confess I've been putting off writing up this post for two reasons. Firstly, having to choose only two tracks and one single is going to be like a dentist visit. It will be the most horrendous and possibly painful experience and one I am not willingly putting myself through! Secondly, I'm losing the enthusiasm to blog because of so little in the way of feedback. I have been a writer/blogger for many years in a different forum (family history) and I guess after having done it for so long where I receive instant written feedback, I've been somewhat indulged and spoiled. With this LJ blog I've barely had any incentive to keep it up. But as somebody recently said to me, write for yourself first and foremost. Wise words indeed, and somewhat true for me (I still prefer feedback, it's just who I am).

ANYWAY.... moving on. Here is part three (I can put it off no longer, I will stop whinging):

Popcorn (2012)
Waiting For You
Cosmos

Face Down

Sore wa Yappari Kimi de Shita (Ninomiya Kazunari solo)

Love (2013)
P.A.R.A.D.O.X
Sayonara no Ato de

Calling

Yozora e no Tegami (Aiba Masaki solo)

The Digitalian (2014)
Wonderful
Hope in the Darkness

Bittersweet

Stay Gold (Matsumoto Jun solo)

Japonism (2015)
Miyabi Night
Japonesque

Sakura

Akatsuki (Ohno Satoshi solo)

Are You Happy? (2016)
Drive
Ups and Downs

Daylight

Mata kyo to onaji ashita ga kuru (Ninomiya Kazunari solo)

This was sooo hard! Please don't make me choose ever again!! The last three albums especially, as they are all so good and so precious and so amazing. All of their albums are in their own special way, but the last three are the most recent. Plus I became a fan when each one of them was released so I lived through all the up-to-the-minute hype with my Twitter friends and the Arashi fandom in general. It was really hard to choose but I went with the ones which make me the weakest when they come on my iPod shuffle. I tend not to skip them as many times and they have given me the widest smiles and inner pleasure.

Maybe I will try writing up a favourite b-sides post. If nothing else, it will be interesting for me to look back on in five years time hahaha


8_bit_magic: (arashi)

This Valentine's Day I am alone in the real life sense, and have been for a few years now. I don't especially buy into the whole commercialism surrounding Feburary 14 because love should be honoured, cherished and celebrated every day regardless. That may be an unrealistic, old-fashioned viewpoint but that's me. I have always been a hopeless romantic and at my age that isn't going to change. So it stands to reason that I am thankful for Arashi in my life, and especially thankful for my ichiban Ninomiya Kazunari, and I try to spend at least some moments each day honouring their existence in my life. I even made six Instagram posts this morning (including the one for Nino, above); one for each member and a group one!

To mark this glorious day of celebrating love I am honouring my love for Arashi, and in so doing, I've come up with a quick list of my top 15 romantic/lovey dovey Arashi songs. These are songs that really make me squeal or swoon with love and I'm so glad to have them in my life.

Yasei wo Shiritai
Sketch
(I know it's not romantic but it's a song that celebrates their love for each other)
Dear My Friend
Itsumademo
Snowflake
Kimi ga Iinda
Te Tsunagoo
Kiss Kara Hajimeyou
Refrain
Tokei Jikake no Umbrella
Ai no Collection
Mr Lonely
Wonderful
Love Wonderland
Full of Love


And, not forgetting, these are my most favoured romantic solo songs:

A: Yozora e no Tegami
M: Naked
N: Sore wa yappari kimi de shita
O: two
S: sugar and salt


This is not my image; found on Yahoo! Japan
8_bit_magic: (arashi)

As Ninomiya said on Vs Arashi back in March of this year, "Nihongo Wakarimasen". And this was to be my first hurdle in becoming a full-time, fangirling, Arashian. I didn't understand Japanese!

When I started watching Vs Arashi on SBS Television, I had subtitles to help me. It's hard to explain but back then I just took it for granted that I understood what they were saying because watching subtitles was second nature to me. I am a lover of foreign films from France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Korea. But when I branched out and started watching and listening to Arashi's music/pvs and live concert DVDs, I came undone. Suddenly I had no subtitles to help me! Why did I stick with it and become obsessed anyway? That's a good question. I will get to that in a minute (I hope).

When I was a teenager my cousin of the same age was learning Japanese at school. I had a long background with French and a year of Italian so when she kept speaking to me in Japanese, I was actually jealous she knew such a pretty language. Later in life, two of my most significant partners were both interested in all things Japanese. The first grew up learning Karate and Taekwondo and when we were together we slept on a futon mattress. The second grew up learning Jujutsu and was obsessed with Japanese anime and manga. So when you think about it, it's really no accident that I fell into the Arashi fandom. I had already been well trained and well prepared haha

In all seriousness though, I have honed, crafted and nurtured my very own deep and special love of Japan and the Japanese language through watching doramas and movies. As I have had fifteen plus years of Arashi to catch up on, I have had a mighty long list of shows to watch - for each member! I still have a long way to go but so far I have watched Aiba, MatsuJun, Ninomiya, Ohno and Sakurai shine beguilingly on my television screen (All thanks to lovely people who are kind and patient enough to subtitle them all). My growing love and interest has even expanded to non-Arashi Japanese actors, and subsequently it's been months since I watched an English-speaking movie! I can't fully explain it but my all-consuming love for Japan and the Japanese culture really blossomed out of watching Arashi members' doramas and movies.

Learning Japanese hasn't come easy to me, and as far as fluent conversational Japanese goes I am still very much lost. I have picked up many keywords and phrases this past two years though. Some however have been quite funny and I have had many silly laughs with one of my Arashian friends. Take for example this little anecdote: The song Troublemaker. When I first heard Arashi sing "sweet" in the chorus, to me it sounded like "sui-suicide" so that has become an in-joke between us which has stuck. The other word is "saikou" which means the best. To my English speaking mind, I thought they were saying psycho hahahaha

My daughter is currently in her third year of learning Japanese at school and she is incredibly astute at it. In her year and her class she is the top student for hiragana and katakana, and this year she even took on Kanji which is the hardest writing system to learn. But will she teach me basic Japanese? No way! I have even tried to bribe her with gifts of her favourite anime characters but she still won't budge. She's funny though, she quickly corrects me if I pronounce anything wrong hahaha

In the meantime, I will continue my journey of watching Japanese doramas and movies. Next time I will write an individual post for each Arashi member's doramas and movies that I've watched so far. I will do it in AMNOS order to be fair because the temptation will be to write reams and reams about Nino's accomplishments, and really...who would want that? ;)

Thanks for reading this far!

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