My fellow Arashian,
It’s been a year.
You remember that Sunday afternoon like it was just yesterday, when the relative quiet–as most weekends usually are–was thrown into confusion and meltdown once the announcement was made. ARASHI would be taking a break starting 2021.
It’s been a year since then, and only 339 days remaining (thank you leap year for that extra day in February). You don’t like to count down to the day but at the back of your mind, it’s there lurking like a stalker following your every move. Truth be told, your plans for the year are on hold until it becomes clearer what 2020 will be like on the ARASHI front. It sounds silly to peg whatever plans you may have on whether there will be a concert tour or any other activities to fulfill their will of showing their appreciation to fans like you for a very prolific and successful two-decade career, as well as the promise to get closer to fans in this remaining time. But it’s the least you can do to thank them back for giving their lives–their youth, their dreams, their adulthood–and all else they may have had to give up, to make people laugh, to live one more day, to sell dreams.
When they announced they will be taking a break, you thought things will gradually taper off until they walk off into the sunset just like in the movies. Instead, you were taken on a wild ride through a jet storm, social media and collaborations that made you even prouder for being their fan. You witnessed them take on new challenges and novel things that you did not even conjure even in your wildest dreams. It was as if they were just coming of age, but in so many ways it was fitting for a group that had just turned 20. And you began to understand that this was also part of their growth, a chapter in their story.
And as you look back to the year that was marked with both tears and laughter, you realize you have survived. ARASHI has been your accompaniment in life–their music your soundtrack; their variety shows, films and dramas your entertainment; and their existence the anecdotes you share with your family and friends. They’re not the center of your life. They are part of it. And while it is scary to think of a life without their existence as a group occupying a portion of it, you know that they have given you a treasure trove that you can always dig into–when work gets too much and the world gets too dark, or even when you just need to take a break. The world wouldn’t stop turning and life will go on–yours and theirs. But that arashiness* will always stay with you.
So let’s look forward to the days and weeks and months ahead. There’s still so much they want to share, they say. So much they want to show. The journey hasn’t ended, their voyage is moving forward. The storm ain’t over yet. So let’s get the party started! Irrasshaimase.
The ARASHI story continues.
*arashiness — the state of being in a rainbow-colored storm
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