On February 25th 2017, I took a day trip to Tokyo to go to Bancho Boys 1st Live. I had spontaneously joined the fanclub and bought a ticket due to falling in love with Yasui Kazuma, but had decided it would be worth the trip since I was also familiar with Nozaki Yutaka and Akira from Ensemble Stars on Stage and Futaba Kaname and Yashiro Takuya from Tenimyu. I had no idea that I was going to be introduced to five wonderful boys who would shape the rest of my 2017.
The lights went down for the live to start, and five people took to the stage to perform the opening song. Those five people were Yashiro Takuya (an official Bancho Boys members) and Sawada Yu, Chikahisa Taisei, Kihara Rui and Oribe Yoshinari (Bancho Boys trainees). They performed Hello Again, and with their song finished they gathered in the middle of the stage to make an announcement. The announcement was that the five of them were going to be forming a dance & vocal group. With a scroll in his hand, Taisei (who we later found out had been the one to think of the group’s name) revealed their name would be Gingadan, or “Galaxy Cluster” in English. With that, their performance, and time on stage, was over.
Whenever I think back on that day and that performance, the thing that remains in my head is Chikahisa Taisei. That day, he had this purely genuine happiness and smile on his face that we rarely see because generally he’s trying to act cool. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and when I left the venue that day it was him that I wrote about on Twitter. Despite this, in the end, he didn’t become my favourite member, but thanks to this day he forever holds a special place in my heart.
I’m not really that sure on why I’m posting this, but I wrote it, so I might as well.
I was thinking today that it was about time I wrote another blog entry to keep on track with my 8 a month, but somehow this wasn’t what I was expecting to talk about. I went on Youtube today to watch Gingadan’s PV, and I used a “mix” link because it was easier than searching for the song, and I could see it was the first one. What I didn’t expect was that the song that was played was a song by a now disbanded group who I followed and loved before I came to Japan and my first few years in Japan. It was hard to even watch. Somehow while I was writing this I didn’t name the group or its members at all, so I’m going to keep it that way. If you’ve known me a while you might know who I refer to, or you might just know who they are in general, but their name will not appear here.
I have a favourite Gingadan member, and it is not, as the title of this post might suggest, Chikahisa Taisei. Even so, I love this kid with all of my heart, and because of this I really wanted to share with everyone what an amazing person he is, especially since I talked in detail about other Gingadan members previously.
Despite not being my favourite now (although what’s favourites when you love five people so much), when I first saw Gingadan on the day they debuted, it was Taisei who first caught my eye. He looked so gorgeous on stage and had this amazing smile, and had this coolness to him that was really intriguing to me. When I left the event, I posted a group picture they had taken at the event and tweeted, “I need to know who this kid on the bottom left is because he was really cool.”
It’s almost the end of 2017, and that means that one year ago, I was introduced to an amazing person named Yasui Kazuma. I actually set my anniversary a few weeks ago the first time I mentioned his name on Twitter, but me becoming his fan was a somewhat gradual process that took place from then until the beginning of January, so I’m choosing to write about it now.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me recently about how to buy tickets for stages in Japan, and so I decided rather than replying to everyone individually I would just make a post in the hope it could also help other people out. The details in this post apply to stage shows only. I’m not going to get into the minefield of other events because they vary so much that it’d be impossible to put something like this together. Also, even within stage plays there are differences (especially when it comes to very small productions) so this is far from being 100% perfect. Please always check the details for any stage you want to go to carefully.
If you have any questions about anything I have written here, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.
One year ago today, I watched the first show of Tenimyu’s Seigaku vs Yamabuki in Tokyo Dome City Hall. I was particularly happy with this musical before even seeing it, knowing that so many of my favourites were in it. I had committed myself to at least six shows. The only thing I was missing was a favourite character or cast member from Yamabuki. I didn’t know at the time that it was going to turn out to be the same person.
Shota wasn’t someone I had paid any more attention to than any of the other members of the Yamabuki cast. He wasn’t someone that stood out, or that I thought I’d become a fan of. It’s rare that I become a fan of someone before seeing them actually doing something, so that wasn’t unusual. I do know though that before the second time I saw the show on Christmas Day, I went through the goods line and bought his photo set.
Recently there have been a lot of things floating around about the appropriate and inappropriate ways to interact with idols and actors online. I interract with a lot of actors on social media, but I also write a lot of fan letters. Every time I see actors report that they have received a stack of letters, they always say how grateful they are and how much they enjoyed reading them. Actors do read the letters they receive from fans, and that’s why it’s a great thing to do, but also why you have to be careful. I feel like I’ve written enough of these things to have a good idea of how and what to write, so I figured I’d put some advice out there.
What should I do before writing a letter?
Before you pick up your pen and start writing, do a little research. If your actor has accounts on sites like Twitter, or has a blog, give them a read. It’s hard to write a letter to a stranger, and a lot easier to write to someone you feel like you know at least a little. Note down anything you might want to refer to in your letter, so you don’t have to go back and look it up later.
Of course, it’s also good to look up what other work your actor has done. You may know them from one movie or one stage play or musical, but they could have a whole background to look back on. With that, you have the chance to watch more things that you can then mention in your letter, or can at least say you would like to watch in the future.
And of course, don’t jump right in there and try and write your final letter. I suggest drafting it by hand or by computer so you can get it right before writing your final version.