Happy New Year 2018

First of all, Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great time, whether they were alone at home or out celebrating with friends and family. I spent the last day of 2017 doing a little cleaning around my apartment, playing Ensemble Stars while watching stages and then talking to my mum for a while.

When I wrote about my 2017 I really realised how many things I had done, how many people I had encountered, and how all of those people made it an amazing year. I really want to thank all of my family (for putting up with me talking about nothing but all the events and stages and actors), friends old and new for sharing those events and stages with me, and for all the fun chats about them, and all of those amazing actors who worked hard to put on great performances that I was able to watch.

Personally, in 2017 I felt a lot more comfortable in my job with a new boss who I respect a lot more than the previous one, and who gave me the chance to have more responsibility as a teacher who has been there a long time (but I’ll mention that again later). With that responsibility I got an easier time of things, and also the chance to do things that I hadn’t done before. I got to take part in two English Camps this year which were tiring but a lot of fun. Although I had some hard times, bad classes, bad decisions on other people’s part, and had something terrible happen to one of my former students, in general I felt like this year was good work-wise.

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Top 5 Bancho Boys members

It’s taken me a while to get to this stage because as I got to know more members, the list kept changing. But now I know every single member of Bancho Boys, I feel like I’m ready to rank my top five members. I made the decision to only include official Bancho Boys members in this ranking, but scroll to the bottom for a little extra. I’m afraid I talked quite a lot about each one but I really wanted to consider my feelings and reasons for liking them properly, and it was nice to put them into words.

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How to buy stage tickets in Japan

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.

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An introduction to Gingadan

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Gingadan (銀河団), which means ‘galaxy cluster’ in English, are a 5 member group formed from Bancho Boys members and Bancho Boys trainees. Some of the boys had previously performed under the ‘Bancho Boys Trainee’ name, but they were officially announced as a unit on February 25th during a Bancho Boys Live. Shortly after that, they performed their song Hello Again as an opening act for the stage Give Up Dance (which one of the members, Kihara Rui, also acted in) and announced they would be releasing a CD at the end of May 2017.

Below is some information on each member. I’m still working on this as more information appears about them (and may have also included a few of my own opinions).

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Top 5 current Tenimyu actors

I probably should have done this post while Seigaku vs Rokkaku was still going on because now I keep thinking “well, Yamabuki are coming back for Dream Live so maybe I can include them too…” but that wasn’t the point of this ranking so I decided to leave out Yamabuki and only include Seigaku, Hyotei and Rokkaku since they were the ones still in Tenimyu when I was given this ranking to do. This was seriously really hard and especially deciding on a favourite Seigaku member (as I wanted to make myself finally do it) was difficult, but I finally managed to come up with a list.

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How I fell for Yasui Kazuma

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This was supposed to be a whole other post about all of my favourite Ensemble Stars on Stage actors but I went on for too long so let’s make this a post on its own, shall we? Usually when I talk about actors I like, I talk about people I’ve been a fan of for a while, usually a year or more. It’s easy to forget when, how and why you became someone’s fan after that length of time, so I thought it’d be nice to look back on the couple of months it took me to become a certain actor’s fan, while I still remember the feeling.

When I became interested in Ensemble Stars on Stage, the first thing I did was followed all of the actors on Twitter. It really helps to get to know the cast of a stage before seeing it, and it’s not unusual for me to do it. I didn’t know who I was going to like or dislike but I expected my favourite to be one of the cast of the first stage, having already watched the DVD. It turned out I was wrong.

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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!

2017年もよろしくおねがいします。