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Up on this bridge, I stared at the the direction of your house.
Even if there was nothing there, it made me happy and hurt and regretful
The future we imagined is changing just like the scenery of this town.

– KAT-TUN – Hodoukyou

Many fans revolted when Maakiii, the former female vocalist of HIGH AND MIGHTY COLOR, went to the other side of the music spectrum and returned solo to release an electro- single. I myself was aghast to hear her voice severely autotuned and see her awkwardly strut toward the camera in a poppish vibe. However, upon seeing her post that she attended the SUN OF A STARVE live (the new band of her co-vocalist Yusuke), seeing they even posed for a picture, and they had a short exchange expressing recollections of their band, it made me think change is important but amidst the drastic transformations, an element in each of them never left.

KAT-TUN became a four-member band, losing an element of rap in their core. Shigeaki Kato carried on releasing his fourth book of short stories; ARASHI’s Satoshi Ohno had his second art exhibit, Freestyle 2, in Shanghai. Subaru Shibutani of Kanjani 8 delved into acting and from what I have heard, he was awarded Best Actor for “Misono Universe”. His band steadily developed as musicians through associations with other bands on their collaborative TV show. Subaru continuously became adept on harmonica, Yoko on trumpet, and Hina even expressed interest on the accordion. My favorite people were indeed growing up, but they never lost their childish and fancy sides. Take for example Kanjani 8, who are still a bunch of crazy thirty-somethings for dressing up as high school girls and performing as Canjani 8 (Which definitely made me insecure of my femininity). Last but not the least, they made me really happy when I heard their “more matured, rock version” of Zukkoke Otokomichi. (My all-time fave!!) They changed at one point, but they just accepted updates on another.

Come to think of it, How did I update myself?

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最後の手紙 [The Last Letter]

Dear Shige,

Happy 27th Birthday. I was not able to write a decent letter over the past two months due to many preoccupations. Happy birthday; as always l only wish for your happiness, and l am certain it includes knowing yourself more and breaking more grounds. For that reason, this will be the last you will read from me. Freedom is something I grant you, and also a great gift you have handed me albeit not personally.

l have lived floating on intangible hopes of you acknowledging me. Almost five years of dreaming wide awake, of reading between the lines, of staring up that blue sky, have been too long a wait. My heart is tired already, furthermore it is not getting any younger. Somehow, I have planted my feet on the ground, firmly enough to realize there was really never an us to speak of. lt’s only you, only me, and our lives ahead of us under our own control.

Still, thank you. You have become an instrument of great changes. You were my inspiration to always deliver my best and to believe that love does not have to be seen by the eye. Many times I tried changing you and suiting you to my ideals. But I was wrong; for this l am sorry too. You are best when you are you. Go on and be everyone’s blue sky.

This must be the end to a fairytale that never happened, huh? Many times l attempted fitting an abrupt ending, but this time, except for some bitter aftertaste, it leaves me a sense of coming in full circle, excitement for the wheels to turn, and curiosity if we will actually find each other around the bend… in another time, a different circumstance.

Thank you, Shigeaki.
You are always loved.

Pressing the “Send” button, I smiled.

Please feel my love.

You are like a phoenix, reborn from the ashes with plumes of fire more enticing. It is true, you’ve become much more attractive through the years. You worked hard for it in the physical sense, but I’m speaking based also on what I see from the inside.

The way you have answered your interviews resounds how humble you’ve become; in the sense that you stopped minding how others would look at you, and did hobbies for your satisfaction and improvement instead… which makes you unique and creative in your own right.

In the same vein, you relied more on others for support and
evaluation. It shows with how you’ve met various people, how you gained more fans, who became dear to you (and you to them) by baring yourself through your talents.

Still, you are a man with complexes and mysteries I am sure most would want to solve. A man with everchanging moods; mature and whimsical, intellectual and sensitive at the same time. You’re someone with incompleteness that makes you relatable, draws people to you to make you whole. You’ve found your personal charm long ago; you just have to use it properly for it is very volatile. It can make or break you.

The way you smiled at the camera, the way you spoke and cried in the MC, the way you comically hugged the other three showed how happy and grateful, in its purest sense, you are. And I sure am grateful, too, for you exist within my time.

Sir Shigeaki Kato of NEWS’ fame, I’m so proud of you. Despite this distance, you’ll always have my deep respect and love.

The Current Standing

Sho Sakurai: 3
Shigeaki Kato: 1

This is becoming more like the NBA Finals, Thunders versus Heat!
I find myself guilty for flailing over NEWS latest single “Chankapana” for only an hour, while I played my recent discovery, Sho Sakurai’s “Love Light/Love Like” on loop, for over 4 hours already. Not only that, I think I downloaded every single Sho solo available to humankind already! I’m sorry, Shige, but please gain more weight before I return my sights on you.

Legitimately Charmed

Hello~ I’m on the last spurt of my certification process. Final demonstrations are due on Wednesday, so I’m working hard to harness my communication skills. Upon completion of this phase, I can properly facilitate and administer examinations for my students. Officially a teacher as a side line, yeah, that’s what I am busy with! Other than that, my life is plain…

Oh, fandom-wise, it is not.

The main point of today’s writing is to express how dangerous this man named Sho Sakurai is. I’m trying my best to escape his charm, but the poison, I realized, has already crept into my central nervous system, that I end up singing his solo song and thinking (read: mentally drooling at) his face, the S-line and the (air) biceps at the most random of times. Shameless revelations, I know, but I cannot deny that he’s become one of my sources of happiness/inspiration as of late. What’s more, my eyes still hurt from watching their 2-hour 5×10 concert DVD this afternoon, and other TV recordings, which fueled my admiration a lot more. (I am SO dead right now.) It should be noteworthy that I haven’t even sat still watching a single NEWS DVD like that (My once uptight schedule didn’t allow.) I somehow feel guilty for neglecting the other party… but no use denying, hey I’m just enjoying the view! :p

Town fiesta will be on Sunday. I’m not quite revved up about it but let’s see when we get there.

Your Masterpiece

Dear Shigeaki,

IT IS FINALLY HERE.

I finally have a copy of your book! I didn’t buy it with my own money. It was my friend Theresa who gave it to me as a birthday gift. I did not go to work yesterday because I was too lazy. Instead, I spent the night at Theresa’s house. We watched lots of recorded ARASHI shows, then slept at 3 AM. I slept so deeply because she massaged my stiff shoulders. It was a relief! During the morning, we had breakfast then I tried to read some pages. I thank you so much because I was able to read the katakana and hiragana, and some of the simple kanji. I was really inspired to pass JLPT level 3 because of this.

Please give me two years to read AND understand your book completely.