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Arashi Blast In Hawaii -- Part 7 -- HAPPINESS


"Believe" -- I'm so sorry, Sho-kun. I needed a picture.
It lasts longer. But I was really aiming for Nino.
It was lightly drizzling when Arashi started the concert. It wasn’t even a full on drizzle. One could actually count the drops. Unlike Jannie, I really wanted it to rain. I didn’t care if it would be muddy; or that it would be hard to drive. I didn’t even care if I get sick. I positively expected it. You know how baptisms are — they’d soak you in water. I’m a traditional person. I wanted that kind of baptism. With that I could finally say I’m no longer a half-baked Arashi fan.


I also believed the dorks would enjoy performing in the rain more. It’s part of them, you know — the rain. It had become a constant part of their concerts — a literal storm attending. Storm だから.


The transcendental tears had already ceased when the men descended the stage. A video started on all the screens. Thank the Goddess Utada there were subtitles [Oh, it had nothing to do with Utada; she’s just 嵐 の 女神 (Arashi’s goddess) LOL]. It was a video about them returning to where it all began. They recreated the pictures they took 15 years ago. They got on the same cruiser they debuted in with. The endless road was revisited. But they were mostly a footage of them talking.


I couldn’t tell you much of what was said on the video. I was in the middle of hoping that they would do “Love so Sweet” in Hawaiian version. I did not read the con reports of the first day. But I did see a rough set list for the concert and I knew “Love So Sweet” was next.


The group re-emerged in the main stage with the song. They were in their yellow, blue, and white outfits, so they were hard to miss. I assumed the theme was somewhat associated with sailors. At the beginning of “Oh Yeah” I could see their tiny figures setting out to the huge moving stages on the opposite sides of the venue. Ohno and Sho to our left, and the other three to the right. Nino was so far away from me again.


I started to lose confidence here. What about my 運命 (unmei/fate)? Wasn’t I supposed to see Nino up close? Wasn’t this the deciding moment if I should stay, or should I go (leave) the fandom? Was I really just a guest in Jannie’s Arashi destiny? What was all this for? Was it not to find Nino and tell myself a new cycle has started? It’s already the eighth song, damnit! It’s already the second act, and I’ve not even gotten a glimpse of him. I was fast descending to bleakness.


On the moving stage, they sang “Kitto Daijoubu” (きっと大丈夫/It’s Gonna Be Alright). This eased my overthinking mind a little. I felt like they were really telling me that exactly — it’s gonna be alright. When “Step and Go” played, I was lost again. I didn’t know where they were or where to look. They were all together for this, further in the back of the venue. I wasn’t sure if there was a third stage or the two moving stages hook up together to make a tertiary one. I see half of the big ass screen at the back, but I barely saw anything. I swayed with the audience, yet again cursing my height. I swore, I’d buy a pair of concert shoes appropriate for the beach the next time they do it in Hawaii.


Because I couldn’t see what was happening in the back, I was more than pleasantly surprised at what came next along with “Happiness.” preceded by a wave of screams and bobbing heads — including the six-foot-Japanese man sitting behind me — Nino rolled in on a cart. Oh my glob! He was right there. So close, I could actually reach him. He was there. My ichiban. My husband. The love of my life. The ultimate goal.


He was mostly waving to D3, but really, I didn’t care. I was blithely riveted. I didn’t even notice I had held my breath. He was finally in front of me. And he was gorgeous. He looked exactly like he had on TV, which made him more gorgeous to me. A wave of relief spread over me. It was all worth it. $1000 was all worth it.


He skipped to the stage, to where Ohno was standing for Hidashi no Mirai. I’d seen pictures and animated gifs of day one concert. So we knew what was coming next. He got the water gun, and spurt some water towards the audience. Most of the people were asking to be shot. But the brat decided to use the water on himself more. He sprayed overhead and welcomed the sprinkle on his face. He did a couple of times more. He aimed at D3 and shot a huge burst. I didn’t know what happened, ergo I didn’t understand why he bowed before D3. Later, I read concert reports about these guys who had dared him to shoot them and ended up getting knocked over. I hate him. He got Nino’s attention. (j/k)


Nino headed for the center stage without looking my way. And yet, that didn’t make me sad. On the contrary, my mood swung to the highest peak of my mania. Jannie’s spirit also ascended as MatsuJun — finally — came sprinting to our spot. I know Jannie took out her phone and said she got a shot. To be honest, I really didn’t know what she was doing. I was watching Nino. And Nino was all I saw.


All throughout “Believe” I was already screaming Nino’s name non-stop. I was competing with the six-foot Japanese man behind me. He screamed. I screamed. We looked at each other, and then we screamed some more. Six-foot Japanese man’s group was only shouting Nino’s name. And we were like one unit.


I'm so sorry, Ohno-san. 
Ohno and Aiba returned to us for “5x10.” I was cheerfully amazed when the stage suddenly rose. Ohno’s was a bit higher than Aiba’s. It was a poignant scene. Them singing their 10th anniversary tribute in their 15th anniversary party. Having gotten my wits back, I was able to take a picture of this moment. I know it was wrong and it was a disregard for the rules — but what can I say, I’m the rebellious type.

I was happy. Finally, the happiest since I left for the States. There’d be a noisy future waiting for me. I’m gonna run for it, now that I’ve faced my ultimate goal.


つづく



Arashi / Happiness






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