it’s known that boa, tvxq, and big bang are korean artists who began the road and maintained their status in (the) japanese market. they developed this new market, spread the korean wave, and created the genre: k-pop. following these artists, who can we count on to lead the next generation of k-pop? five member group, shinee, is in the lead. shinee, a part of sm entertainment, will restart interest in this year’s korean wave. the top singers with the most fan activities in japan, tvxq, are currently enlisted and even big bang is starting to enlist this year. so, everyone is gathering anticipation to see what presence shinee will have in this recently emptied k-pop space.
something worthy of showing this presence, objectively, is their appearance last year on japan’s representative end of the year music program, fuji tv’s fns music festival. this festival, together with nhk’s kohaku uta gassen, are japan’s most important end of the year programs. at the peak of the korean wave, up until 2012, there were many korean guests like tvxq, girls generation, and big bang on these end of the year programs, but then, for awhile, you could not see korean artists. last year’s program finally changed with boa and shinee as the only two korean artist guests on fns.
shinee has already began an arena tour which started last month. the arena’s seating scales are 15,000 - 20,000 seats per auditorium. their arena tour last year drew more than 400,000 fans. the tour this year, lasting until april, plans to go to tokyo, osaka, shizuoka, nagoya, kobe, and more. up to twenty arenas with five more potentially added on, this could increase to twenty five arenas. even though the schedule after may isn’t decided, following the current fervor of the public, there is a high possibility of adding 50,000 seat capacity domes to their tour. the past two years shinee have succeeded with both tokyo dome and osaka dome concerts.
though many korean artists advance into the japanese market and are active, shinee’s success has a different meaning. after boa and tvxq’s success the popularity of k-pop spiked and japanese fans would flock around as soon as they heard the word. like a dream, groups like super junior, girls generation and kara all successfully carried out tokyo dome concerts, and even groups that had only just debuted would have hundreds or thousands of fans show up at fan meetings and concerts. but, when political relations between the two nations deteriorated and an anti-korean sentiment grew around 2012, the interest in the korean wave weakened substantially. when shinee debuted in japan in 2011 the mood of society and the press had completely changed. as they met these difficulties from the start the method they chose to overcome it was to focus their attention on growing close local fans. instead of big events or advertising they held smaller concerts in small cities and districts to create bonds with locals. aside from tvxq, who had a clear path from the beginning, no other top korean artist had used this method to connect with japanese fans. in 2015, shinee finally had their first tokyo dome concert after four years of activities in japan. a marketer of universal music said: “their attitude for a famous singer from a large company yet consistently shown has opened japanese fans’ hearts, and it seems like their fandom has grown strong and distinguished.”
shinee has released a total of fourteen single albums and four full albums in japan, maintaining an emphasis on high quality local activities. after their september 2014 release of their third full album, i’m your boy, they reached first place on oricon’s weekly album chart, and last year’s fourth full album, d×d×d, naturally also rose to first place on the weekly chart. they plan to release their fifth full album, five, on the 22nd of this month. in this new album they will have a quite different concept and mood, especially in their title track, “get the treasure”, which will be darker and more powerful than their usual image.
popular music critic hwang sun eup says: “the thing that differentiates shinee from other idol groups is they’re always creating new results and consistently pursuing perfection in high quality work. by maintaining the balance of a long relationship with their fandom shinee will continue to occupy a larger role at sm entertainment.”
[!!!!! IMPORTANT TRANSLATION !!!!!] WHY PEOPLE SHOULD STOP TALKING SHIT ABOUT SHINee? Here are the answers. PLEASE GIVE MORE RESPECT AND LOVE TO SHINee BECAUSE THEY CLEARLY DESERVE THE WORLD
2008 ✨Debuted in 2008, oldest member was 18, youngest was 14 (not korean age) ✨Known to be a secret project so there were no rumours or public appearances before debut yet they became extremely popular with their debut song and brought ‘skinny jeans’ to men in the fashion world ✨They received their first win less than 4 months after debut along with an official Fanclub name, the same year they received newcomer awards grand slam and there were tons of other groups that were nominees.
2009 ✨Tough, sexy concepts were trendy but they made a cb with a completely opposite concept (Juliette), at the same time as their comeback stage they were nominated as first place along with suju & davichi, SHINee won. ✨Ring Ding dong is still picked as a 'song you shouldn’t listen to for year 12 final exams’ bc it’s so addicting, the song also achieved triple crowns, a fake SHINee group was created in Cambodia after the song was released.
2010 ✨Lucifer was released and it still remains to be well known today, the 'buffering dance’ was also famous. They held their first ever concert 2 years after debut, at the time it was going to be held at the 88 Gymnasium but people complained that the venue was too small so it was changed to the Olympic gymnasium, they also had a solo concert in Japan (before their Japanese debut) and all tickets were sold out.
2011 ✨Debuted in Japan and basically killed the charts, they set the best record out of all loop groups. The number of albums they sold was incredible to the point where the Japanese records association gave recognition to SHINee’s album as a golden album. ✨They performed at London’s last square, for the first time their website went down from the crowded ticket reservation system.
2012 ✨Sherlock was released in Korea after 1year&6months even after the long period of no cb THEY still managed to win triple crowns along with giving the public/Kpop world a huge impact with their choreography and vocals. ✨Japanese arena tours happened, along with continuous tours around Asia
2013 ✨MoY, MoM, MoU became another success ✨Their mr removed performance of everybody became a hot topic as their live skills were perfect even from the tough choreography, ✨Received a daesang award ✨The only group that won 3 awards each at Seoul music awards and golden disk awards
2014 ✨Taemin became one of the very first sm artists to release a solo album his album Ace made it to 2nd place in Bilboard world album charts ✨Short SHINee world tour ✨SHINee fandom in Japan grew bigger with their album releases
2015 ✨Performed at Tokyo dome for the first time, gathering 100 000 fans. ✨Jonghyun’s first solo album became the first ever album in Korea to chart no.1 on Billboard world album charts ✨Their comeback 'Odd’ brought a trend of contact lenses and wide pants to other idol groups and the public. They became the first group in Korea that released a song in the deep house genre, married to the music also showed good results
2016 ✨For the first time after GD’s 'Heartbreaker,’ Taemin became first (high quality artist) in 'Male solos’ His prerecordings gathered many fans, up to 1000 ✨Jonghyun’s solo album received a compliment about musical quality from Billboard ✨1of1, which many people call a 'failure’ wasn’t a failure they became the first idols to attempt a full 90s concept, from music video to clothes and their widened vocal range was shown through Tell Me What To Do, in addition, 1of1 member parts were divided almost equally which gave a strong indication of all members’ strong vocals ✨In terms of awards (the main ones): Newcomer Award in 2008 AT GDA and SMA Popularity award from 2009 to 2015 at GDA (2014 was Taemin) Popularity award in 2010, 2012-2015 at SMA ✨not a single member has left the group and there has been no changes
SHINee rules. -The End-
THREE MORE THINGS ✨SHINee world fandom made 'cannon cameras’ trendy amongst fandoms ✨'let’s walk on a flower path’ became trendy after SHINee world made it a fan event banner at SWC4 ✨Only idols that have received both the prime minister’s award + ministry of culture award
17.03.06 News Zero - 6 Years Since 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami - Sakurai Sho [English highlights]
Caster was having live broadcast at Tomioka-machi, Fukushima.
It has been six years since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
The evacuation order for part of Tomioka-machi is scheduled to be lifted on 1
April, the town office, moved to Koriyama-shi after disaster, resumed part of
its duties at Tomioka-machi today. Sakurai Caster went to the town office and
interviewed the staff. Commercial facilities and residential construction is
on-going to facilitate the residents moving back to the place. Many workers of
the commercial facilities lived in Tomioka-machi before the disaster. One staff
said that she would like to contribute to the revival of the place.
Tomioka-machi is around 10km
distance from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, after the
disaster the evacuation order was applied to the whole area of Tomioka-machi. On
1 April the evacuation order will be lifted for part of the machi and residents
can move back.
Sakurai Caster helped out the moving of the Tomioka town office. One town
office staff Horimoto-san said that town office moves back to
Tomioka-machi may make residents more relieved to come back. When Sakurai
Caster prompted the possible difficulties of moving back, Horimoto-san said
that there may be issues about travel to work or family issues, such as he
himself takes around one-hour travel to Tomioka-machi to work from his current shelter.
Sakurai Caster also visited the difficult-to-return zone. The crew gained
special permission to take a short-time coverage there. There is basically no
person there, while there is countless soil taken from decontamination. The
storage space for these soil from decontamination is up to 80ha, approximately 17 Tokyo Domes, while it is not yet known when
they will be further processed.
Sakurai Caster interviewed a lady used to lived in the difficult-to-return zone
before disaster and now moved to shelter in Iwaki-shi who expressed
unwillingness to return with her kids because of worry towards the Nuclear Power
Station. According to a survey to Tomioka-machi residents, 57.6% decided not to
return, 16.0% considered to return, 25.4% has not yet made decision (with 1.1%
Sakurai Caster interviewed physician Imamura-san who returned to the machi last
year. He has three days of medical practice at Tomioka-machi every week and
gains permission to stay in his home at Tomioka-machi during practice days. Sakurai
Caster helped the decontamination work for Imamura-san’s home last year. The evacuation
order for Imamura-san’s home is scheduled to be lifted in the coming month. Imamura-san
encounters problem in daily life in the sense that when he buys electric
appliances, the company does not deliver it to him. And he is unable to have
air-conditioner because the worker for installation work cannot yet enter the
zone to do the installation work.
At the end Sakurai Caster said that he felt the weight of six-year time. While commercial
facilities and other facilities re-open for the lifting of evacuation order, many
Tomioka-machi residents are reserved to return because of worries towards the Nuclear
Power Station etc. It seems that it would take time for the machi to return to
Honestly, as weird and niche as JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is, there’s such a wide variety of locations and genres in each part, that it’s almost impossible to find something in it that doesn’t really resonate with you.
-Part 1 we got superpower kung-fu mixed with classic horror all set in Victorian England
-Part 2 we got ancient Aztec sci-fi mixed with Nazi conspiracy sci-fi with more kung-fu set in various locations (mostly Italy) around WW2
-Part 3 we got 1980′s version of Around the World in 80 days, and from here on out everybody now beats the tar out of each other with imaginary friends
-Part 4 is a slice-of-life/action/comedy/murder mystery set in one town in Japan in 1999
-Part 5 is set in 2001 in Italy and focuses on a FABULOUS squad of mafiosos trying to rise up in ranks in their gang and overthrow the kingpin
-Part 6 is a prison drama set in Florida in 2011. Features a (badass rad) female protag with some other badass rad ladies.
-Part 7 is an AU/reboot set in late 1800′s America and is about a horse race across the continental U.S.
-Part 8 continues the AU/reboot in Japan in 2011 after the Tohoku Earthquake. Mostly a mystery with action, comedy, and drama interwoven. Largely regarded as The Weirdest One (and it’s not even done yet).
All this variety and it still manages to be one cohesive story, with characters and elements from previous parts making returns and other callbacks to show that each part is connected in some way, and built upon one another.
The Significance of Yuzuru Hanyu’s 2014 Worlds Exhibition
During the 2013-14 season, Yuzuru won the triple crown of GPF, Olympics, and World Championships- a pretty big deal. For his exhibition skate at Worlds 2014, he performed Romeo and Juliet, his free skate from the 2011-2012 season. He could have chosen any exhibition at all or even had a new one choreographed, but he chose this one. Here’s what I make of this decision of his…
Case 1: The 2011 Japan Earthquake
As we all know, this program, Romeo and Juliet (ver. 1) was created in the time span shortly after the 2011 Japan Earthquake, a disaster which greatly impacted Yuzuru. The 16-year-old Yuzuru was training when the earthquake hit Sendai, and had to run out of the rink with his skating boots still on, damaging them in the process. Afterwards, he and his family stayed in an evacuation centre in a local school for some days. Their home, along with many others’, had been completely destroyed. The Sendai ice rink was damaged and closed down. Many people lost their lives. Yuzuru was extremely conflicted during this time, as he felt that he couldn’t and shouldn’t continue to skate when the other people of Japan were suffering so greatly. He wished to help in some way that felt more substantial than figure skating, which he thought to be rather selfish. However, he was able to get back on his feet, and spent the summer following the earthquake skating in ice shows, as these ice shows were the best way for him to get practice time without a rink at home to train in. Many of the proceeds for the ice shows went to earthquake relief, and Yuzuru’s (and other Japanese skaters’) amazing performances were events of hope and light in a dark time. Romeo and Juliet (ver. 1) was the very program that he skated during this time.
Case 2: 2012 World Championships
Romeo and Juliet also holds heavy significance in that it was the free skate that earned Yuzuru a bronze medal at the 2012 World Championships. This was his first ever Worlds title. It was performance that moved the audience (and himself, and his coach at that time, Nanami Abe) to tears. Just 17 years old at the time, he proved himself to be a captivating performer who gave the performance his all, and a brilliant jumper on top of that. Bronze at 2012 Worlds was the title that earned him more fans, recognition, and prestige than ever before.
The bronze medal came little over a year after the earthquake, so the disaster was prevalent in Yuzuru’s mind when he won it. By not giving up on his skating and on his dreams, he was able to achieve great results. He earned this rank through working hard and overcoming complicated and painful emotions he had about the earthquake, proving his mental, physical, and emotional strength to be of unimaginable calibre. Of course, the scars that the earthquake left would never completely disappear, but Yuzuru had started to learn to overcome his fears, doubts, and pain.
Two Years Later… GPF, Olympic, and Worlds Champion
Now, flash forward two years from Worlds 2012 and that bronze medal, and Yuzuru Hanyu is a big name in figure skating. He’s no longer the young 17-year-old beginning to capture the hearts of figure skating fans, but rather the reigning champion of the Grand Prix Final, the Olympics, and the World Championships. The spotlight is his, the gold medal is his, and the times are his.
The importance of the Romeo and Juliet program had been further proved by Yuzuru’s choice for his free skate in the Olympic season of 2013-14. For that season, he chose music from Romeo and Juliet once again, making a connection back to the eventful and evolutionary season of 2011-12. By choosing the same theme for the Olympic season free skate as the 2011-12 one, Yuzuru was, in a way, giving a solute to all that had happened. He wanted to show the world that, in his essence, he was still the same boy from Sendai, Japan, which had been hit with a terrible earthquake that people are still affected by to this day. He wanted to make a tribute to his country, which supported him despite its troubles. By making this connection to his past, he ensured that the crisis Japan was enduring would not be overlooked, and that he would always remain humble and thankful to what and who had made his Olympic dream possible.
That was the message he carried throughout the Olympic season, and then what does he choose to do for his Worlds exhibition, the last performance of the season? What does he choose to close off this unforgettable season with?
His 2011-12 Romeo and Juliet free skate.
I mean, what else could it possible have been? This was one of the most vital and defining programs of his career. This was the free skate that earned him third place at Worlds at the young age of 17. This was the last free skate that he ever did with his long-time coach Nanami Abe; the last free skate he ever learned before saying goodbye to all he’d ever known to fly halfway across the world to train in Canada. This was the free skate that captivated the hearts of viewers everywhere and made us all fall in love with the young, passionate talent that was Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan.
And perhaps most importantly, this was the program that was made when Yuzuru- and all of Japan- was going through an incredibly difficult time. The earthquake understandably left Yuzuru reeling with shock, grief, and turmoil. He said himself that after the earthquake, he seriously thought that he would never skate again.
But he did. A true champions knows that falling is inevitable, and it’s how many times you get back that makes you the real winner. Yuzuru Hanyu got back up, time and time again, and just look where he ended up.
Triple crown winner (GPF, Olympics, and Worlds), one of the youngest Olympic champions in figure skating ever, and the first ever Japanese man to win Olympic gold in men’s singles figure skating.
A man for the history books. One of the all-time greats of figure skating. A pride of his nation. A priceless gift to the sport. A privilege to watch, and a shining star to all those whose hearts he as touched.
Romeo and Juliet 1 was a program forged through pain, and ultimately made all the more a triumph because of it. Yuzuru has said that he “wants to give the kind of performances that stay in people’s hearts”, and this definitely was one. The performance of it at Worlds 2012 was breathtaking, certainly, full of emotion and passion enough to bring a stadium to its feet.
But watching him doing it again two years later as the exhibition is all the more gratifying because you can clearly see just how much he had evolved and improved. His artistry, musicality, and technicality had greatly advanced- and all the while, he didn’t lose one single bit of that passion and charisma he held as a 17-year-old. One of Yuzuru’s biggest goals is to never stop evolving, never stop trying to beat the records that he himself has set, and this exhibition was truly a testament to all of his hard work.
A True Champion Knows He Does Not Stand Alone
Yuzuru has also cited this mantra as one of his inspirations: “Don’t forget the beginner’s mind”. Because of this belief, he is always working hard and striving to do better, and is well-known for always being down to earth, gracious, and grateful. Using this program at the 2014 Worlds Exhibition was a culmination of all these traits we always see from him; it was a beautiful, powerful tribute to his roots.
After achieving all the greatness of the 2013-14 season, Yuzuru didn’t forget what got him there. If anything, his success humbled him. It made him realize how far he had come and who he had to thank for guiding him to the spot in the middle of the podium where he stood. As he won the GPF gold, the Olympic gold, and the World Championships gold, he did not stand alone on that podium- and he knew this better than anyone. This exhibition was a performance dedicated to the people who have supported him since day one; to his family, coaches, fans, friends, and rivals; to everyone who had seen something in that 17-year-old bronze medalist in Nice that made them root for him; to his country, which recovered slowly and painfully from a crippling disaster yet still remained a place in which a young man could find his own path.
What a path is has been.
A Name For the History Books
Yuzuru Hanyu is an inspiration, through and through, not only because of the spectacular 2013-14 season that he ended with this skate, but also because of everything ever since. Many a lesser man would have called it quits after Olympic gold, thinking he’d already peaked- but Yuzuru believed he could do more, and he did.
The world records, the medals, the titles, the wonderful and unforgettable performances- Yuzuru Hanyu has done more than enough to establish himself as a key figure in the history of figure skating. He is one who will be cited as a great inspiration for many generations to come; as one who pushed himself to push the sport. He is not only a symbol of triumph and pride for his home country of Japan, but for the entire world, a shining beacon for the strength and skill of mankind as a whole. He will eternally be known as one of the greatest figure skaters to have ever lived. A success story to be told for years to come. A legend.
Yuzuru Hanyu- don’t forget that name. That’s a name for the history books.
All this, and his story isn’t even over yet. He said on many occasions that that winning Olympic gold was just the beginning- and we all know that when Yuzuru sets his mind to something, he is unstoppable. We, the people who stand behind him to this day, have seen what he has accomplished since the Olympics, and know that he still has so much more to offer.
We honour you for your hard work Yuzuru, from day one to now and into the future; we will continue to support you and give you the respect and strength you deserve. And we eagerly await to see what all of us know you can and will deliver. Ganbatte!!
In honour of Worlds 2017 coming up in about a month- which will be the 3 year anniversary of this exhibition and 5 year anniversary of the free skate it once was- here is Yuzuru Hanyu’s 2013-2014 World Championships Exhibition. I hope you enjoy!
Asagaya’s Anime Street is a very small but discreet and stylish street located directly beneath the tracks of the JR Chuo Sobu line, a mere 5 minute walk from the Asagaya Station.
Madhouse’s locale was located near the end of the street and it was very small in size, as in the locale couldn’t have been bigger than 5 metres wide and 3 meters tall, yet the size clearly proved no impediment. The Hunter x Hunter exhibit showcased some production art along with most of the merchandise that has been produced for the Madhouse version of the series.
They had a “second floor” (which was more of a small platform over the register than anything) with an animation desk that had some production sketches and doodles over it. Photos were not allowed, though.
Also, they have an offer in which if you spend more than ¥2,000 on merchandise they give you a copy of one of the exhibited animation key frames as a “free gift”. Since I bought the “best of” music compilation CD I was offered a copy too. It was REALLY tough to decide but I ended up settling for the Alluka and Killua picture from the last opening because omg cuties. <3
The exhibition was small but definitely worth the train ride!
All photos were taken with permission of the store clerk (who was a really rad guy!) Also, next weekend there will be a Hunter x Hunter only event held in Akihabara. Of course I’m planning to attend it and take pictures so I can share them over here as well :D