A year with Gingadan


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.

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Looking back on a former favourite group

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.

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How I adopted a Tonberry (twice)

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During my trip to Tokyo the past few days, I came home with a new toy, and I don’t think I’ve ever bought something for such a specific reason, so let me tell you this story.

Many years before I came to Japan, I was jobless for quite a long time. I did lots of temporary work but had nothing settled and permanent. It was a really stressful time not knowing if I was going to have a job from one week to the next. Then finally I managed to secure a permanent job at a company I would go on to work at for over five years before finally leaving to come to Japan. You may be wondering what all of this has to do with a Tonberry, but I can reassure you it is definitely related.

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Happy New Year

First of all, Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a great time celebrating last night. I spent the New Year with family and some family friends, eating too much food and playing games, and then seeing in the New Year by singing Auld Lang Syne, which was a tradition my grandma started when my parents first started hosting this party before I was even born.

I spent another amazing year in Japan in 2016, pushing myself head-first into stage and 2.5D fandom and spending most of my spare time sitting in theatres or meeting my favourite actors. I wouldn’t want to add up how much money I spent on these things in the past year, but I definitely don’t have any regrets.

I want to thank everyone who made this past year amazing! My family, who put up with me continually watching “Japanese people” on TV during my whole vacation and being able to talk about nothing but “Japanese people” on Skype every week.

Those friends who I was able to meet at stages and flail in person with, especially Tina, Alex, Steve and Emma. And also those who I wasn’t able to meet but got excited with over Twitter. One day, I’d love to meet each and every one of you and be able to talk to in real life instead of through my computer screen.

Also, to all of those amazing actors that I got to know this year who made my year so much fun. Each and every actor I saw on stage this year was special, but I’d like to give extra mentions to Kawakami Shota who stole my heart in a big way, and also to Izaki Ryujiro and Nakao Kenya, both of whom I was able to meet twice this year. I’d also like to mention the entire cast of Ensemble Stars on Stage, who I got to love so much that I made an entire blog dedicated to them.

In 2017, I want to continue this life of watching too many stages. But, although I consider myself not too bad at budgeting in general, I’d like to be a bit more of an adult about it so I don’t have those few days before pay day where I have zero money. I want to pay my bills more responsibly before spending money on the “fun” things.

Honestly, I’m not good at looking at the whole year as a whole and making goals, so this year I decided to make my goals two months at a time. I’m not going to share them here, though. Having said that, one of those goals is to update this blog more often about my life in general, so you might find that updates on one or two of those goals make their way here anyway.

With that, I wish everyone a great 2017!