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Why I Love Arashi

One teacher asked me this while we were having lunch one day.

I sat there and thought hard about a suitable, concise answer for her. I couldn’t think of anything, so I tried to think of any number of reasons that I could say that would make sense to the non-fan that is unfamiliar with Arashi. Again, nothing.

So after looking constipated for a minute or two all I could muster up for her as my way of answering was, “그러게요.” -_- (it translates into something like, ‘yeah, huh?”)

There’s even a whole book someone wrote about this exact topic, so you can see why it’s a difficult question to answer.

It’s hard to answer because there is nothing exactly extraordinary about Arashi, which also happens to be the exact same reason fans love them so much.

.. as you can see, maybe a whole book is necessary to explain all this.

Do they sing well?

You could say that (I mean, Ohno is part of Arashi, so yes).

Do they dance well?

They aren’t the best, but again, sure (cause again, Ohno is in Arashi).

Are they funny?

When they are miserable and not meaning to be funny they are.

They are in many dramas and movies, so are they great actors?

Nino could be called a great actor, but even then..

Then it must be for other superficial reasons most boy bands are popular.. good-looks, charm, etc.

.. None of them are ugly, but in terms of just physical appearance, you can find much more handsome celebrities pretty much everywhere. And unless you find stockings-on-your-head, nipple-cut shirts, and tv program after tv program showcasing their spectacular failures charming, you will be at a loss to find any charm in these five.

So then.. what?

.. Arashi is simple, but in that simplicity is truth and honesty; they truly see themselves as not above any other people, but they also don’t delude themselves into thinking that they are just normal people either. Their humility and gratitude is always genuine, their friendship easy-going and real.

They all have a great attachment to the group itself and always express their thankfulness to have been part of it.

10 years is no small feat. Look at all the other Johnny’s groups or even outside of J-Pop itself–10 years is almost unthinkable to have gone without some huge scandals, group animosity, or just big problems in general. There were some close calls (like Ohno’s little incident with the press..) but when their fans and members themselves look back on those 10 years, you can’t recall a single big problem. They have remained pretty much the same group of 5 that we were introduced to a decade ago.

Their humor is still lame, their musical style not dramatically changed, their concert costumes (sadly still) horrendous, and yet we can’t get enough of them.

After 10 years of enormous, record-breaking success with an almost unthinkable amount of popularity, they have achieved so much and still they humble themselves and never let it deter them from continuing in the same fashion. They never let their success content them; they never did it for their own prestige. The ultimate. They just keep going, trying ever harder, letting their past successes fuel their desire to do better for the sake of those who helped them get there in the first place.

I love Arashi because they are so simple that it is just amazing. Even when they are on the cover of every magazine for months at a time, in the midst of hundreds of interviews blowing their 10 year anniversary up to epic proportions, getting unheard of airtime and special segments (even an entire effing week of TV domination, the Arashi Challenge?!), winning the most year end awards of any single artist, topping every damn chart Oricon has and being the first to ever do so.. still doing all this, they remain the same. They refuse to accept the grandeur and let it distract them.

Simply amazing. On top of the world and still the same Arashi.

It is more than a boy band, more than idols, more than just a group, more than celebrities; they give their fans hope, encouragement, happiness. When I see them do what they do, it doesn’t make me want to go do the same as many other celebrities and pop-stars can encourage their fans to feel, but it just makes me want to do better where I am now.

None of them went in with a set ambition to be some great big star (ok, maybe Jun), but still that’s where they are. And they do their best, not because of their own will to be recognized and to pump up their own ego, but because of the desire to do their best in the place they ended up.

There’s a reason for all this madness. Non-fans, sorry, but you’ll never understand until you look past all the superficial aspects you usually use as a yardstick to compare all other idols, artists, and celebrities in general. Cause if you do that, Arashi will surely not be on top. They are outside of all that, and that is the reason that I can say I love them so much.

what other group can have a special about their failures and showing them sleeping be so goddamn entertaining? (If you name some effing Korean show I will rip your balls off).

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