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 going to try not to talk too much about how much I truly love this group, because it’s coming up to their year anniversary (and therefore mine) and I’m planning a long post for that. So all I will say is that this was a very special day for me, and for them also. When they first announced they were going to do their own live, even they said they had been a little worried about it, and so were the fans. Knowing the turnout for their release events hadn’t been huge, we all wondered if it would work out for them. The good news is, it did. The venue wasn’t huge but the number of people who came to support them was pretty great. They also had friends, family, and even a few Bancho Boys members come to watch and support them, and I’m sure that made them feel really happy. It made me feel happy too, and I’m so proud of what they’ve managed to achieve with it. But like I said, I’m not going to go too much into how much I love them right now, so let’s move onto the live…
I translated this interview from March 2018’s edition of JUNON magazine. The interview was done with them between the first and second shows of the Bancho Boys Christmas Live on December 23rd 2017.
2017 comes to an end tomorrow, and as usual I looked back on everything I did this year to write a review of the year. In 2017, I saw lots of stages, had some amazing experiences with my oshi, and fell head over heels in love with a new group. When I looked back on everything I did, I realised that I did so many things and spent so much money, but I have absolutely no regrets. I really hope in 2018 that I can do just as many things and have just as many amazing experiences as I did this year.
If there was one thing I regret from this year is that there were some things I didn’t take many photos from, and many things I didn’t report back on. I hope in 2018 I can do more of this so I have more reports to link to when I make this kind of post at the end of the year.
I chose the above picture as the header image because of how much these boys influenced my year (even though they’re not all there in that picture), but that was definitely not all I did. Here is my 2017…
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.”
Back in June this year, I spent most of the month travelling back and forth to Tokyo for the release events for Gingadan’s first single Galaxy Cluster. Despite being tiring at times, and very expensive, it was one of the happiest months of the year for me. I got to meet the members I love many times, hear songs I really liked, and met so many great fans. So when I found out that I’d be able to do it all over again for their second single Galaxy Cluster 2 I couldn’t help but have a lot of positive expectations, if not a lot of time and money worries.
I wished I had documented the June release events properly away from Twitter, so I decided to make the effort this time and report on each event individually and compile them into one post. It took me a while to compile everything and be happy with it, but I’ve finally managed to put together what I think is a good reflection of my experience.
On Saturday July 1st, I went to DRESS_No. and Gingadan’s joint release event at Tamaplaza Terrace in Kanagawa. It was my first time in a while seeing DRESS_No. (but definitely not first time in a while for Gingadan since I’d seen them almost every weekend for the past month).
I arrived at the stage area at the mall at around 10am when the mall opened. There were a few fans standing around but when the staff arrived they told us not to stand in front of the stage because they had to put up tents. They put two tents up with seating underneath, since it was due to rain that day. Some people really wanted the tent to be closer to the stage because there was quite a gap, but the staff were really good and wanted it that way because if the tent was too close to the stage, people wouldn’t be able to watch from the second floor. Luckily once the tents were up we were allowed to claim a seat, which is always important when you arrive early for these kinds of events because it means you can finally put down your stuff and leave and not have to hang around until the event starts. I used the opportunity to go and get food, and came back in time for the event.