Yeah yeah, it’s another Arashi post. It shouldn’t be a surprise anymore.
This photo is what inspired me to write this post:
Have you ever wondered how Arashi manages the balance among themselves? I wonder about it all the time. And for the following reasons:
- They are five very different personalities.
- They may be in a group but they are also one another’s biggest rivals in the industry as actors and endorsers (not to mention those endless surveys that love to pit them against each other).
Just how different are they? Riida prefers to be left alone. Sho is the OC type. Aiba is the happy-go-lucky one. Nino is the snark. And Jun is like an M&M, hard on the outside, soft inside. How they managed to stay together and go from strength to strength in the last 15 years and counting–not to count their junior years–despite those two reasons is why I love this group so much.
We have heard of stories on how it was only Jun and Aiba who seemed enthusiastic to finally be able to debut in 1999. We know how Nino and Sho were trying to quit and break away from the group even before they started. And how Ohno, who will become their leader, didn’t think they’d go far. Perfect recipe for failure, if you ask me.
But look at them now.
In fact, the reason why most people love Arashi is because of the group dynamics. Yes, they are five different people who may not have been friends had they not been thrown into a group together. Despite that, they managed not to fight since they were formed. I’m sure they have disagreed with each other time and again, considering their different personalities but we can take lessons on tolerance and loyal opposition from them. I have heard of their rule that when it’s mealtime, they always form a circle to eat together, no matter if someone is in a foul mood. They may be guys who don’t have to deal with PMS monthly and I’m sure they have different ways of handling things but hey, other male groups have had public fallouts and we know where that ended.
Though they are one group, Japan’s top no less, they are pitted against one another just because the media find it interesting and perhaps they’re hoping to find chinks in the Arashi armor. And when you’re rivals, it’s easy to just be selfish and try to take the limelight for yourself.
But what I see in Arashi is a give and take culture. And it couldn’t be more obvious now as Riida and Nino appear in different dramas this season, with the group releasing two singles. Considering that the dramas are airing in rival networks, the promotions will also have to be separate. It could be a sensitive matter but one never feels the tension within the group. No drama–and it helps that this is a happy fandom–with only positive energy and the members themselves lead by showing.
So you see Sho blatantly promoting Nino’s NTV drama on VS ARASHI, which airs on the rival Fuji network. And the members letting their Riida shine when it’s his turn to promote his drama and single on MUSIC STATION on TV Asahi. But what else can we expect? These guys have been together for more than 15 years, they have perfected the dynamics that is Arashi.
And it’s not only this time that their selflessness for the sake of Arashi or the members is apparent. It happens every time they promote a member’s individual work either on their shows or in other shows, and on how they let the limelight shine on that member. They are also unabashed in their support and affection for one another. How many times have we heard members talking about another’s individual work? Like how Jun watches Sho’s News Zero newscast every Monday (and records the members’ dramas). Or how Riida sends messages after watching the others’ dramas? Or Sho telling a colleague to take care of Aiba in another show. Then there’s Aiba receiving messages of support on a live show from the members. Even how Nino gets embarrassed watching SHITSUREN CHOCOLATIER (don’t worry Neen, you’re not alone lol)?
They don’t begrudge one another of the success they enjoy individually and a huge factor is also how the fandom, despite differences in opinion sometimes, throws its support behind each member.
Had it been any other group, they would have gone separate ways. Sho can just focus on being a newscaster-idol. Jun could have struck out on his own after HYD. Same with Nino after he went to Hollywood. Aiba can concentrate on being variety show host. And Riida can just go fishing and do his art as much as he wants. But the fact of the matter is, they do get to do their own thing, but without turning their backs on the group. Even when they’re doing individual projects, it reflects back on Arashi. While for others it may be a burden getting away from the shadow of their group, they treat it as an advantage and acknowledge the fact that they won’t be able to pursue individual interests if not for Arashi.
And I think this is why we see so much energy from them. Because while they function as a group, they are able to express themselves individually. And thus, are able to bring many things back to the group from their individual experiences making Arashi very organic.
It also helps that each member understands and accepts his role in the group, whether they have talked about it (in one of those brainstorming sessions they used to do during their low years) or not. They also know what each others’ weaknesses and strengths are and work around them. Which other group has a choreographer, rapper, merchandise director, musical director and concert director as members? Not to say they don’t need other staff but they have so much skills and talent among their ranks that they are able to make use of with no one dominating.
Looking at them and how they obviously enjoy doing things together, it teaches us that no matter how other people may think differently from us, you can get along too if you give it a try. Though maybe it won’t work all the time. After all, as Arashi members said at different times, theirs is a different case. There is only one like them and had one member been different, it would obviously not be the Arashi that we know.
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