As a non-japanese speaker, this community is absolute heaven. Thank you!
Since it is my first post and all, I probably should write something about Arashi - like a bit of introduction to Arashi as I know and a current status report on my Arashi fan-situation at the moment. Since I don't know much Japanese (close to nil) and I am not living in Japan, my LJ is probably going to be mostly rambling of my Arashi experience. Please bear with me :)
Where did I know Arashi from?
My sister has been a die-hard Arashi fan. In fact, she has been a Nino's fan since his Jr. years - God knows how long that was - and she became Arashi fan when Nino became a part of Arashi. Every time I visited home during my college breaks & summers, I would get a glimpse of what Arashi is like as my sister would occationally show me Arashi concerts way back in their early years. What I remembered from those summers - or my first impressions of Arashi - if you would call it was that I said I liked Ohno and I couldn't keep my eyes off MatsuJun.
Am I Jun-Bait?
I wish. As you will sure notice from my future posts that I am practically a jun-whore (I mean it in a nice way..lol) I couldn't keep my eyes off Jun. It is just physically and psychologically not possible. He is just too beautiful. But the fact and truth is that I got into serious Arashi fandom because of Sakurai Sho. After that 2 1/2 hours flight time to HK and a Nazodi movie later, I bought every single Arashi dvds and cds I could find in HK. And here I am now. So, yeah, I am Sho-bait. LoL
Who's my Ichi-ban?
I understand that Arashi fans (do we call ourselves "Arashian" or Arashic? Or is it something else entirely?) usually have her/his No.1 member in mind. This probably dues to our human nature that we tend to bias and have preference even if we try not too. With my history, I probably should prefer Jun, Sho, Ohno or Nino, right? But surprisingly to me (and to a few other people who knows of this), my proud Ichi-ban is Aiba. I just really love the guy it cannot be helped. The funny thing is Aiba was the only member I hardly noticed when I first knew of Arashi. All these past ten years knowing Arashi, I could never really pin point what was Aiba like. That is until I get myself into serious fandom and started watching Arashi dvd concerts, youtubing their TV shows, reading interviews and listening to their songs, I started to realize I actually like Aiba a lot. factoring in my motherly instinct that want to take care of this manchild, I end up using the term "love" instead of "like".
Why do I love Aiba?
It is still difficult to give a clear, complete answer. What I can come up with now is that he's just a complete opposite of who I am. I don't possess any traits or characteristics Aiba has. Funnily, I can see bits and pieces of myself in most of Arashi members. I am mostly like Sho - with my education, my felt responsibilities, my mother-hen nature and my usual fails in all things non-academics (sports, social skills, etc.) I am often quiet and a bit removed like Ohno although I am pretty sure I am not absent-minded. I like taking care of people but also quite a DoS, just like Jun. Finally, I am private and an obsessive gamer who loves being at home like Nino. What I cannot see myself as.. is Aiba. I am not a cheerful person - DEFINITELY not a sunshine. I am not very kind - at least not very outwardly. I am not emotional and I dislike showing my emotions. I am generally bad at any living things, animals and kids, specifically. I don't have much of a super positive, fighting spirit (I do fight and probably would soldier on when problems arise.. but my mindset is probably more like Sho's). I don't drive into things head-on, regardless of predicted outcomes. I am super calculative and very logical. Those two adjectives - calculative and logical - are certainly not of Aiba. So, opposite attracts, huh? I guess. All in all, I think Aiba is very lovely and super adorable.
Setting aside my Ichi-ban, here's the current list of what I think of Arashi.
I like Nino's voice the most although I acknowledge that Ohno's singing skill is second-to-none in Arashi. I just really like ever single Nino's solo verse in every Arashi songs. They have distinct characters and his voice, imho, is lovelier than Ohno's. I also particularly likes それはやっぱり君でした - Sore wa Yappari Kimi Deshita, Nino's solo in Popcorn.
Due to my late arrival at Arashi fandom, my choices were extensive. The song that stuck with me the most early on is 迷宮ラブソング - Meikyuu Love Song from Nazodi series. I tended to like Arashi not-so-quick-tempo songs like 証 Akashi, Beautiful Days, Refrain and Still, especiall Still, which I can only listen from concerts. The faster ones I listen to a lot lately are Believe, Step and Go, Crazy Moon and Up to You... I practically cherish the latest album "LOVE" to no bound that I, as a bit of music snob, can calmly recommend this album to everyone.
I love Ohno's songs for PV... or at least, it happened to look like that. Monster and Truth are my favorite dance PVs.. although Beautiful Days is REALLY beautiful and Step and Go is just... oh mineee.. I LOVE the slow-mo.
I haven't seen all of Arashi members' dorama but I did see quite a few through these years. My favorite remains Jun's Kimi wa Petto. The second is probably Sho's Kasoku Game with Ohno's Kagi no Kakatta Heya comes close to the third. The reason I like Kimi wa is pretty personal so I don't usually recommend it to other people. I did however recommend Kagi no Kakatta Heya to everyone. I really think the story is interesting and most cases are engaging. Kasoku is a great drama but I still feel it probably is not everybody cup of tea... It's so DoS, imo. And telling people you love this drama is like exposing your inner demon.. at least that's how I feel.
Favorite DVD concert:
I like Arashi concerts in general as they are just like festivals and reflect the height of Asian concert creativity and production. My favorite so far is 10-11 Scene Fukuoka Dome+ because the guys looked like they were seriously having a great time. It makes me feel very happy every time I watch those guys in this concert. Not that they don't look happy in other concerts, I just feel very strongly with this one. Anyhow, my favorite in term of production is Popcorn.
I guess these are some facts and my current Arashi fandom status. Gotta go back to work now. been procrastinating too much today already :D