Why do Arashi’s concert discs (DVD/Bluray) have Japanese subtitles, instead of English, since obviously, majority of their fans are Japanese and therefore do not need it?
There’s actually an inspiring story behind it.
In 2013, Arashi hosted the annual 24 Hour TV charity show, their fourth time to do so.
Each year, they have their own segments (like missions) and in 2013, Jun chose to work with hearing-impaired kids. He was going to teach them to tap-dance to Yuzu’s Niji but how does he do that when they can’t hear, even the music that they are going to dance to?
His main message was overcoming a wall of life.
[I have previously posted about this 24 HRTV here.]
For his mission, Jun also needed to learn sign language so that when he meets the kids for the first time, he is able to impart his message, without the need for an interpreter.
The performance itself was very touching and roused the entire Budokan to their feet once it was over. It remains to be one of my favorite 24 HRTV appearance of Arashi.
The backstage scene was also very touching as the children thanked J for the experience and he told them:
When you encounter difficulties in the future, think of what happened here today at the Budokan, that you were able to surpass.
It is also one of my proud moments as an Arashi fan, to see the artistes I have been supporting all these years touch people, not through their good looks or their talents, but through their heart.
The release of Arafes 2013 concert video the following year was delayed and fans attributed it to having to add subtitles because one of the children told J that it would be more fun if their concert videos have subtitles for people with hearing impairment like them.
And since then, Arashi’s concert videos would always carry Japanese subtitles.
As an international fan, of course I wish they would have English subtitles. But this nevertheless makes me proud whenever I remember the story on why they chose to add Japanese subtitles for their hearing-impaired fans. They don’t have to do it–let’s be honest, how many are there anyway?
But that’s the kind of fan service Arashi gives their fans.
[This post came about because I was asked why Arashi would have Japanese subtitles in their concert releases. Have you pre-ordered your Arashi Live Tour 2015 Japonism yet?]
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