Coming out of Hiatus to Talk about a Hiatus

It’s finally happened. We all knew that Arashi couldn’t last forever. They’re getting close to their forties, but they all seem so eternally young, like we were forever watching our dear, goofy, older brothers- And now they will be going on hiatus.

I found out by accident. I was scrolling through my LJ friends page and came across a bunch of posts expressing dismay and sorrow and then the phrase ‘hiatus’.

I think I went a bit blank. Then I watched the fan-club message. Then I watched the press conference, which made me choke up a bit. Then I watched Sho, on Zero, and it made me cry. The idea of Arashi just simply stopping in 2021 for an undetermined amount of time is sinking in. It was Sho’s firmness that got me. There was no arrogance in his answers to all the endless questions, but a firm resolve and what feels like a very deep understanding of the responsibility of their position in Japanese culture.

And I think it’s interesting how many fans have started to mourn, as though we’re not just losing a favourite group, but we’re losing a close relative. I can’t speak for Japanese fans, or the nuances of their reactions, but in the English-speaking fan community, people are grieving. Continue reading “Coming out of Hiatus to Talk about a Hiatus”

Manga, mild spoilers

In Which Isilie Defends: Kimi wa Pet / Tramps Like Us

sunbladestumblrkwp2Other than the fact that I seem to re-read this manga every few months, I felt the need to address this drama/manga again because of some old reviews I read. They were very short reviews and I only found a few, but one of the frequent comments was that people were uncomfortable seeing MatsuJun “treated like that” ie, treated like a pet. It made me laugh until my obsessive-analyzing switch went off and I started thinking too much about that. Then there was the assumption of so many potential manga readers that the title and cover-art referred to some kind of “trashy” relationship.

The relationship between Sumire and Takeshi, our two main characters in the manga and the drama version of Kimi wa Pet, is hard for an outsider to comprehend. It’s even harder to put across in live-action because it’s easy to write everything off: Sumire is mean, Takeshi is a weakling, etc. One of the J-drama confession pictures about this show objected that love couldn’t begin from a relationship where one person is treated like a pet.

Let me take this opportunity to explain why it does and why you should read the manga (even if you’ve already seen the j-drama).

PS: Thank you, various people on tumblr, for the gifs/pics! None of them are mine. Also – there might be a spoiler or two, but barely.

Continue reading “In Which Isilie Defends: Kimi wa Pet / Tramps Like Us”

album, Arashi, the digitalian

In Which Isilie’s Digitalian Post is too Long.

thumb-d12a378caa620bc888f371af3c7df202-qgxgzl8svaqI think it’s time for a little album squee. I’ve discovered that when I try to gather my thoughts about Arashi, it’s very hard. I mean to narrow down what I want to say without rambling. It’s hard to be concise.

I wanted this to be a simple album review, but I found it impossible. I loved their last effort, Love, an album that sounded remarkably mature but also wonderfully nostalgic. This time around they decided to go with a theme again, to try something a bit new.

I think I am one of the few people around who still really love digital-electro-pop, or whatever it is that people call this. Maybe people were afraid they’d sound like K-pop, which just isn’t really ‘Arashi’. I’d probably love it anyway, but I am happy to report that while this is certainly a lot more, ahem, ‘digital’ than their last album, it’s still very much Arashi-like and it’s wonderful. Continue reading “In Which Isilie’s Digitalian Post is too Long.”



Say it ain’t so!

tumblr_m0ie43iqs01qzk928o1_500I used this picture because the year I discovered I wanted to marry Yuko, Bro sketched her for me using this image. That sketch is sitting on my shelf and I look at it every day.

I remember playing the AKB-dating-sims and just always ending up with Yuko because I couldn’t bring myself to hurt her and because she was just so…perfect!

I remember falling for her in MajiSuka also, and then whenever I saw her in a pv, or on a variety show I’d yell, “It’s OshiMAAAAAA!”  and proceed to fangurl, which lucky for me made Bro laugh and NOT tell me shut up. I’m really not as into AKB as I’m into H!P, but Yuko was always special.

And now she’s graduating.

And I’m oddly not surprised. I don’t think many people are. I think the shock is more to do with how and where she announced it: 64th NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen. It could be argued that she kinda hijacked that celebratory moment and made it all about her, but I feel like she just couldn’t wait anymore. Why not take the opportunity on a program that is broadcast nation-wide? Were people offended by this?

Honestly, I feel like it was a long time coming.

Continue reading “Oshimaaaaaaaa!”

Arashi, PV

P-A-R-A-D-O-X is stuck in my heaaaad


I thought this song was going to be Face Down all over again. That song took away all my dignity and turned me into the drooling fan-gurl that I so rarely become. I mean, all that neck and hand porn…and OHNO!!!


Paradox is intense, but feels too short and for all the hype about dancing in New York with a famous choreographer, they don’t actually show a whole lot of dancing. I think I might be the only idol fan in the world who isn’t that fond of ‘close-up’ shots in PVs. It’s not that I don’t enjoy looking at Arashi (on the contrary!), but, like I said, why promise me a dance pv and give me mostly close-ups?

This is why Music Station is so essential. Instead of being Face Down, this is Endless Game all over again.

Let me explain.

Continue reading “P-A-R-A-D-O-X is stuck in my heaaaad”

Isilie related, J-drama, shameless hawtness, Spoiler Free

Isilie’s Guilty Pleasure J-Dramas: Zettai Kareshi


Zettai Kareshi, from 2008, stars the adorable duck-faced Aibu Saki and Hayami Mokomichi, who is tall…very tall. Aibu plays Riiko, a girl who is too “serious” about love and Hayami plays Tenjo Night/01…a robot, built only for love.

Yep. That kind of love.

And, of course, the most beautiful man in the world (yes, the WORLD) Mizushima Hiro is there too. Being unconscionably gorgeous. He plays the unlucky guy who falls for Riiko, Asamoto Soshi. It is a very silly drama centered around pastry chefs, cream-puffs, inappropriately grandiose love confessions and the absolute worst on-screen “kiss”es I’ve ever seen.

Why do I love this nonsense?

Continue reading “Isilie’s Guilty Pleasure J-Dramas: Zettai Kareshi”