[blog] of Arashi, ichibans and the power of five

A new Arashi fan recently asked me if there are fanwars and shippers in the Arashi fandom, just like in others.

The Arashi fandom, as much as it’s a land of rainbow-colored dreams, does have its share of fanwars and antis, and yes, shippers too. And every fandom has its rotten tomatoes but I’d like to think they are the minority.

Fanwars in the Arashi fandom do not really escalate into stressful levels. Arashi fans are too busy spazzing, trolling or laughing at the five bakas to pay attention to other fandoms. For sure other fandoms always have something to say about Arashi, some antis appear in articles, and Arashi fans may make a comment or two but never dwell on it enough to turn it into a full-blown fanwar. Why should they, there are so many positive things to focus on like Nino’s latest troll or fashion choices or Jun’s new hair, or the latest fail of Sho on VS ARASHI or their latest antics on SHIYAGARE. Or you know, their albums and their awesome concerts.

 

arashi power of five

 

Arashi is made up of five guys and each of them have their own fans. At the same time, believe an Arashi fan when they say “I love all five…BUT my ichiban is…” Of course we all have our ichibans, it’s human nature. Even parents have their favorite child, just don’t tell the others. Even Arashi themselves know this and they love asking people they meet “who’s your favorite” and most always, they would end up not being the favored member (and their epic reactions never get old but they always take it good-naturedly).

It’s very seldom though that fans fight among themselves. Maybe one of the few intense fights among fans would be the various Arashi ships. Take your pick: Ohmiya, Yama, Sakuraiba, Sakumoto, Sakumiya, Matsumiya, Junba, NinoAi, Juntoshi, Tennen… but it’s all for fun. Sure, there are ships with their pairings from their dramas but they never get annoying (except for that one drama ship that refuses to sink) unlike in other fandoms. And certainly, fans do not fight among themselves on who is the best Arashi member. And I personally frown on those who boost their ichiban at the expense of the others. Sure, spazz and praise your ichiban but never put another member down in doing so. That is an unspoken rule in the fandom and I know one fan who is notorious for doing that. Thankfully, she is a minority.

Besides, why fight over who’s king? Arashi themselves never have a problem with who gets the most attention, even during the time that Jun was the most prominent one thanks to HANA YORI DANGO. The group even used it as an opportunity to get more fans that is why the fandom has such a term as “Jun-baited”. I’m one of them and while many have been Jun-baited, that didn’t stop them from knowing the other members more, even changing their ichiban. In fact, many fans have a regular ichiban ranking all in good faith and depends on who’s giving most of the laughs or the fails or the spazz-worthy photoshoots at the moment.

And there is such a give-and-take culture within the group. This is very noticeable when they promote individual projects or dramas. They let that member take the lead in their TV appearances while the rest are just content to show their support. The five all know that while individually, they command star power, together they are the milky way.

As Nino-sensei said during the recent Waku Waku Gakou:

“If you work together, your power will be doubled.”

The five are also very different not only individually but in their interests that they could have decided at a certain point to just go separate ways. I read a tweet today on Nino’s thoughts soon after he came back from Hollywood.

“When I came back from America, honestly I was very insecure. Can I go back to Arashi should I go back to Arashi… I spent my time on the plane seemingly praying over such things. But, after coming back I was reassured that Arashi is where I can really stay calm and be myself, and there’s always a place for me.” – Source

Indeed, there have been many openings for each member to just say he’ll go solo. Nino could have decided to pursue more opportunities in Hollywood after LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. Sho could have just continued with the solo act after his solo concert (same for Riida) or just focus on his newscasting career. Riida could just be an artist or a fisherman. Aiba has his variety show hosting career very well secured, in fact, among them, he was the first to have a solo hosting job. And does Jun really need Arashi to be a leading man in romance dramas and films?

But as Nino said, there is always a place for each one of them in the group. And while he was in the US, the four carried his standee everywhere they went in their appearances. As Riida said, Arashi won’t be Arashi if even one of them is missing.

Also in the recent Waku Waku, Riida illustrated how each of them could have gone their own way because they had very different dreams as kids and yet, by fate, they were brought together. They have multiple roles to play in the group but in their Leader’s eyes, this is how it goes:

Sho – pioneer (the first Johnnys to earn a college degree and go into newscasting)
Jun – idea man (forever grateful to Matsumoto for the moving stage)
Aiba – sunshine (the miracle boy’s smile always brings calmness to the group)
Nino – melodymaker (the group’s anniversary songs Sketch and 5×10, as well as Fight Song are all partly thanks to him)

But of course, in his own eyes, Riida is still the leader. And had it been one of the four to lead Arashi, it would have been a different story altogether.

I’d like to think that this cohesion among the five, despite their clashing personalities, has a strong influence in the fandom. As RocketNews24 recently found out, the foremost reason why fans like Arashi is because they get along well. It’s not even about their looks or dancing or singing. But of course non-fans would have difficulty understanding Arashi’s charm especially if they watch their TV shows randomly. How much more fathom their “national idol” status, which means they are not just idols to a certain segment of society. I mean, why would their faces be on flag carrier JAL’s jets if they haven’t earned that title?

So back to the question… the Arashi fandom has its share of crazy but for the most part, it’s happy. And I hope that new fan stays to enjoy the rainbows and the unicorns too.

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21 thoughts on “[blog] of Arashi, ichibans and the power of five

  1. Agree with you about fans who boost about their ichiban but put down other members. It’s annoying and makes me sad. Not to mention that sadly, some fans can’t filter them (like you mention in the previous post about shipping). I’m thankful that I’ve never met fans who hate one of the members because of that kind of post (is that even possible? xD)

    I saw one tumblr account that when I read it’s content I stamp them as not a real fans. How come you just boost one name as the one who make Arashi big while the other do their own share of work too? I agree that they can come this big because of Hanadan but after that if the other members didn’t do anything to keep it up than it can be said as “just a fluke” :3

    • well some fans have said that it gives the member a black eye to have that kind of fan… but Arashi fans know how to separate the fan from the member lol

      you’re right, if the group didn’t work so hard post-Hanadan then they wouldn’t have been able to sustain and take advantage of what it gave them. I also don’t think Jun likes to take the credit because you can see how uncomfortable he was every time the attention was on him that time… but they have perfected the balance since. didn’t one of their TV producers point it out before that they know how to diffuse the attention when one member is getting all the attention?

      one thing I like about Arashi is that there is no professional jealousy among them. they are just genuinely happy for the good fortune of the others as individual artists and they show their whole-hearted support. I think fans take it from there too seeing how they are. I guess it also comes from their humble and difficult beginnings.

      oh I could talk about Arashi the whole day 😄

      • yes, agree ^^
        There are some bad behavior fans (I still remember about Kitajima Kosuke who tweeted that he’s attending Arafes and many fans get angry because of that) that make non-fans hate Arashi because of their fans behavior. Thankfully Arashi is some kind of teacher too that they even lecture their fans about their bad behavior.

        Yes, if he can he would avoid that topic about Hanadan xD And it’s not just Jun, Sho and Nino always do that too and this is just what I often see but they always divert the conversation to Ohno or Aiba :3

        lol, I could talk about Arashi the whole day too 🙂
        Really nice to have other fans to discuss them ^^

      • ehhh what about Kitajima Kosuke? why were fans angry?

        well I guess it can’t be helped that outside fan culture has found its way to the Arashi fandom. but I’d like to think that for the most part, fans know when to draw the line and it also helps that Arashi are the type who won’t tolerate bad behavior and are known to scold fans lol

      • It’s when Kitajima Kosuke attend Arafes (if I’m not wrong, yarukizero/boblemon@LJ Arafes concert report said that she saw one side is totally empty until a few minutes before the concert starts. turn out it’s booked for Kokuritsu’s Director, some athlete representative and more important people which Sho introduce in MC corner *which is cut from the DVD*), he tweeted “Arafes nau”, basically said that he is watching Arafes now. His twitter got flooded with fans that said “respect them with watching the concert” or something similar.

        more info here : http://aramatheydidnt.livejournal.com/5046767.html (from 2ch)

      • ah sou.

        poor dude, can’t even have freedom to tweet. tsk tsk. and yet I read some fans actually disrespect the members by sitting down or not paying attention to their solos. double standard ei?

        hopefully, those kind of fans are a minority.

  2. What I love about being an Arashi fan is that I can fangirl peacefully. Just like Arashi, members of this fandom can also be introverted with all the Arashi inside jokes and stories. There’s no need to bash other groups or fandoms just to prove Arashi’s worth and appreciate them. Of course there will be haters but we can choose to ignore them or sometimes we don’t notice them anymore because our attention is on the many other good/important fandom stuff that come up like every minute. There are also fans who don’t behave properly but I think the majority loves Arashi deep enough to stay out of trouble. And although we can be very immersed in our own rainbow world, it’s not difficult to influence others and turn them into fans. Arashi has enough songs, series, vids, and Jun (or Nino, or Aiba, or Sho, or Ohno) to bait others. Also, I think most fans are really welcoming and the kindness I have seen in this fandom is enough to make one stay in it for a long time. :)))

    • awww, thanks for the comment.

      yes, it’s a happy fandom and so stress-free. I wouldn’t have lasted eight years and counting if it isn’t.

      and yes, we’re so introverted like Arashi themselves! the only time I get to know about other artists is when they guest on VSA or Shiya lol

  3. “The five all know that while individually, they command star power, together they are the milky way.” – Absolutely!

    Each of them are incredibly talented and charming in their own way. Hence, there is variety.

    One thing I love about being an Arashi fan is that the boys do not have so much drama in their individual and collective lives. I do not have to worry about them breaking up prematurely because of jealousy and other nonsense that other bands/ groups go through or have gone through. Moreover, they take the whole “idol” or entertainment business without putting it in their heads. I love being an Arashi fan!

    As for fans who put other members of the band, they should be kicked out of the fandom. They don’t have the right to be Arashistas! Being in this fandom is a package deal, meaning you cannot love one and hate the other or others. Take it or leave it. I mean, how can you not love these guys?

    I love them so much that I’m grooving to DJ MJ’s mixes in Arafes ’13 while in the office! haha

    • I love this quote:
      “One thing I love about being an Arashi fan is that the boys do not have so much drama in their individual and collective lives. ”

      I hope you don’t mind but I shared it on Twitter.

      I talked about this previously with a friend on how it feels good to have no drama in a fandom. fandoms are supposed to be happy places and not stressful and Arashi just gives me that. just like what Sho said before, on how they want Arashi to be a sanctuary for their fans. and it really is.

      also I’m glad they are not on social media and oversharing their lives… not that they would have time because some of the dramas of other celebrities come from that. to a certain extent we see how their image is strictly controlled by the jimusho but for me, it should be the way it is. we fangirl them for their work, their personal lives stay out of it.

      thanks for your lovely comments!

  4. I really like this article 🙂 Nice one 🙂
    From my point of view, I was also Jun-baited.
    First I didn’t like the music at all (because I listen to rock, not pop), but I said myself, that you can’t hate their music, because it’s part of them, so you need to like all about them. First, I was only interested in my ichiban, but when I saw more and more of their shows and so on I found out, that all members are really interesting and after short time I started to love all of them. I’m Arashi fan for two years now I think, MatsuJun is still my Ichiban, but I love them all. I’m even interested in their solo activity, even if my ichiban is not there, because all of them are great.
    I can remember that there was the big deal about LOVE tour I think? I don’t remember properly, but I think some girl had uchiwa or something, where was written that she hates Sho. I can’t understand those fans and I think, that if I would be near her, at least I will destroy her uchiwa, because it’s just so cruel to do something like that…
    But on the other hand I know a lot of Arashi fans and all of them are so kind and nice 🙂 We understand each other so well and so on. I didn’t find better fans than in Arashi fandom. 🙂

    • well hello there fellow Jun-baited!

      and wow from rock to… Arashi? lol

      I also like a rock band but not that hardcore and some were surprised at how I could move from pop to rock.

      I remember that uchiwa incident and looking back, I wonder if it was just a rumor just like that recent one about the alleged hater of Aiba at the PIKANCHI site filming. but yeah I don’t understand why a fan would go out of her way to make an anti-Sho uchiwa but I guess, there are people like that. good thing they are not in large groups in the fandom and don’t multiply like gremlins lol

      thank you for dropping by and commenting!

      • Have read those rumor about Sho’s uchiwa though I don’t remember where but it’s the first time I know about Aiba and Pikanchi filming. WHat happened?

  5. Not at all! I really love reading your posts and commenting on them. I agree that fandom should be a happy place. The only times we should be stressed are when we need to buy Arashi goods and to buy tickets to their concerts (this makes me stressed all the time knowing that the chances are almost nil. haha!)

    • are you on Twitter?

      yes, how very stressful especially knowing our stress won’t take us anywhere as we don’t even have a chance to ballot for the concerts LOL

      but as Nino sensei was advised by his wise parents: “why accumulate stress when you can accumulate money?”

      alas, all our money goes to the Johnny Kitagawa Foundation. LOL

  6. Haha! Nice words of wisdom from Nino’s parents. Let’s just be contented with DVDs for now. Haha! Yes, I’m on Twitter. It’s @maialaguerta 🙂

  7. will never get tired of reading these kind of articles. i have never been a fan much more a groupie, hell im not even an obsessed music lover prior to arashi.

    theres sth bout arashi that a nonfan wouldnt understand. its not just the music, the bakaness or the awesomeness. arashi had become a way of life lol. we subscribe to their principles & beliefs (coz most are just really good) , we use them as guide or inspiration and for some, arashi had become their hope if not salvation ( arashi as anti-depressants!)

    this fandom made me bat crazy (but not delusional level thank you very much!). im happy to be part of this craziness. my nonfan friends always say im too into them for my age but hell i hope to be like this until im old & gray haha. arashi has always been my happy pill and ironically this craziness has been keeping me sane.

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