[5×15 tribute series]
Being able to stay strong–in an industry that considers beauty and age as premium and caters to fickle-minded fans–on the 15th year and counting is both an achievement and a blessing.
But as Arashi’s history shows, it hasn’t been an easy road and there were instances that may have caused a break-up in the group if the five of them were not determined to make it together.
Here are 15 “what ifs” that we are glad they overcame:
What if Aiba did not have a passport?
What if Ohno was stubborn about not being part of the new group?
What if Sho and Nino insisted on quitting after the debut?
What if Ikuta Toma debuted with the Kaze trio instead?
What if Sho chose his studies at Keio University over being an idol?
What if Aiba was suspended due to his scandal?
What if Aiba quit due to his poor health?
What if Johnny decided to scrap or regroup Arashi after their years of dismal sales?
What if Jun decided to go solo after HANA YORI DANGO?
What if Nino chose Hollywood after his LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA stint?
What if Sho chose to pursue newscasting full time?
What if Ohno was suspended due to his scandal?
What if something worse happened in Jun’s car accident?
What if something worse happened in Nino’s car accident?
I didn’t mean to bring back bad memories, especially on the scandals and the accidents (thank goodness the accidents did not hurt anyone but I’m also glad J&A took precaution and suspended all five from driving for a certain period; I’m not sure if they’re back to driving now except for Nino; forget Ohno lol).
But anyway, all these are part of Arashi’s history and what make their road to success a compelling story. That’s why it’s very hard for me to be impressed with idols “topping Oricon charts” (for a day or a week) or performing at Tokyo Dome because I have seen how it took Arashi to get to where they are now, and nothing about them was easy or is hyped. Okay, except maybe when Nino hypes himself as a Hollywood star but hey, he’s not lying. He starred in a bonafide Hollywood movie directed by no less than Clint Eastwood yo.
The 15th “what if” is something that we may soon have to confront considering they are all in their 30s:
What if they get married?
For sure, there will be more challenges ahead but considering how much they have overcome in the past, I have no doubt they will be able to weather whatever storm that will confront them. After all, they make storm. (Don’t we just love Arashi puns?)
And just like that famous fan quote:
“I may not have been there from the start, but I will be there until the end.”
Omedetou on the 15 years, Arashi, and ganbaremasu on the hundred years more to come!
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