Playzone 2001 Shinseki Emotion, 2001.08.16
This was Ohno’s final day/performance for Shinseki Emotion. And this is also the final year that Ohno participates in Playzone. Also the last time he’s on stage with MA in a musical/stage play.
Very very emotional final day.
And before I attempt to narrate/translate what went on during that final speech, just recall for a moment that this is 2001 and Ohno still felt insecure about being Arashi, that he lagged behind Arashi, and the most vocal fans questioned why he debuted and not Tackey.
This was his first stageplay as lead with Shonentai, while carrying the title and name of being Arashi’s leader. He also said he had worried a lot for this musical, because he couldn’t give his all during practice and thought Shonentai despised him because of it even if they said nothing. Inohara’s (V6) encouraging words gave him strength. I’ve always said he’s a Shonentai baby. This is among the reasons why.
Now you can look at that crying face again. And this is what happened:
He actually said “Goodbye! Ohno Satoshi!” in this just before the final song/performance for Show Time. Jokingly, of course, and the crowd laughs. Then a huge cake was presented of Playzone saying goodbye to the 20th century, and welcoming the new century. The cake was delivered by MA (with 2 from MAD, I think). MA’s been reduced to 4 people at this point: Machida, Yara, Yonehana, Akiyama.
Curtain went down, and the next time it went up, Shonentai and Ohno stepped forward. And it didn’t take long before Ohno started bawling. I’d love to translate Ohno’s entire speech but I could only pick up very little (and he barely talked, what with all that bawling…)
Other than repeatedly saying his gratitude, he also said, “I did my best.” And, “It was good to be in Playzone.” And, “I’m really grateful to Shonentai and MA.”
The entire time, people were clapping and cheering him on, shouting “Ganbatte!” and “Kawaii!” at the same time. All the while, Ohno kept on bawling on his arm while Shonentai (Nikki, I think) yelled at him “Ohno! Don’t pretend to cry (or something along this line)!"
At this point, Ohno can barely speak and just said something like, "I can’t stop my tears anymore. Thank you everyone. Thank you very much” in a jumble of words.
Shonentai took over because Ohno’s incoherent. Not sure if it was Higashiyama talking, “I think that was one big step.” Cue laughter.
And then Nikki said, “Arashi fans can buy at least two Shonentai singles/CDs. I’ll check at the office! In this industry, it’s called give and take.” Cue laughter again.
Shonentai then asked the entire crowd to give Ohno a banzai cheer. The whole auditorium gave him the traditional Banzai cheer (3 times).
Trivia: Banzai isn’t actually a war cry. It’s more like a cheer for victory, favor and enthusiasm.
I think this moment was when Ohno won the hearts of an entire auditorium/theater. You know that phrase, “Bring the house down” ? I also like to view this moment as the stage in Ohno’s life where he finally began to build that momentum (and confidence) to take on the industry as an Arashi member with pride. It sure felt like watching his whole past support his future endeavors.
Sorry for the long text. The read more option wasn’t available.