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Junno Shows ‘Em How It’s Done

What did I say?! In my post here about how I longed for the old KAT-TUN, I explained how my “husband” Taguchi “Junno” Junnosuke (田口 淳之介) had talent that was not utilized enough and that I hoped he would be happy in his career and earn the recognition that I think he deserves.

Well, my man just busted out with a solo single and it is unlike any of the past solo KAT-TUN singles that I’ve seen.

Taguchi has come out with, “Flash”, a dance track that displays sharp dance technique and a healthy serving of confidence.  This is not the Taguchi that was used to getting kicked by his group mate Koki or the jokester who would always do lame dajare jokes.  Oh, no, this is the confident Junno that you see dancing in the background, doing acrobatic flips or performing a rare tap number during a variety show bit.  Except this time, the floor is all his and he’s the only one you’re watching. I started cheering the moment he turned the corner and gazed at the camera, oozing confidence.  THIS is the Taguchi that I enjoy.

This Taguchi pops, locks and glides across the screen with his gaze affixed to yours, daring you to try and look away.  I accepted his challenge but was happily defeated.  I’m sure his poise was partly due to the liberating feeling of finally being out of the shadow of KAT-TUN lead singer Kamenashi “Kame” Kazuya (亀梨和也).

And was he singing? I didn’t pay as much attention to his vocals as I did his command of the dance floor.

The song for me is good but I enjoyed the choreography more and I felt it had a strong Miura Daichi feel to it.  For a moment, I was expecting Daichi to just pop out and do a one-on-one dance battle with Taguchi – it would have fit right in.

And I LUV the hair!  If you’re a KAT-TUN fan, you know that Taguchi has made some questionable hair choices over the years (if they were even his choices) but with this look, he hit it out of the park.  This hairstyle is great and a perfect compliment to his threads.  Kudos to the designer.

The only thing I did not appreciate was the Kame cameo.  Kame makes a 10-second appearance in which he bumps into Taguchi, turns around, looks at him for a while and then smiles as if to say, “Hey, fans – I’ve given Taguchi’s single my stamp of approval, so it’s ok for you to like it, too.”  I mean, come on Johnny-san, can’t Taguchi have the complete spotlight once without reminding everyone that Kame is the “star” of KAT-TUN?  He couldn’t have the whole video to himself? He’s more than capable of carrying the stage.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Kame fan, too.  After all, he’s my boyfriend, remember? I just think if it’s a Taguchi solo, make it a true Taguchi solo.

All in all, I’m super duper proud of my hubby.  It would be great if this were the start of a very successful solo career – if such a thing would be allowed outside of KAT-TUN.  Nonetheless, there’s no question that Taguchi is capable of being a successful solo act exclusive of his beloved JPOP ensemble, and this single is the proof.

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2

すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! KAT-TUN – 不滅のス久ラム

KaT-TUN - "Fumetsu No Scrum" 『不滅のス久ラム』 - Johnny & Associates

Well, it looks like I’m going back.  I said I wouldn’t, but I think I have.

In a previous post here about how much I wanted KAT-TUN to be more like they used to be, I stated, “Of course I’d love for them to surprise me by releasing a great single reminiscent of their old sound but I’m not holding my breath for that.

Turns out if I had held my breath, I wouldn’t have even passed out!  If I knew that merely stating that would make it come to pass, I would have said it much earlier!  Makes me wonder what ELSE I can speak into existence.  Hmm. . . .

Today’s すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! song is “Fumetsu No Scrum” 『不滅のス久ラム』by KaT-TUN.

I am IN LOVE with this song!  It’s so bright, cheery and energetic.  I like the dancing portions of the video (choreographed by “husband” Taguchi – blond hair) the bowling part is a bit chessy but cute (did Ueda actually spin when he made the shot? Hilarious.).  Nonetheless – it’s great.

I seriously smile the whole time I’m watching this video.  It just evokes happiness in me in a way that I can’t describe.  It may sound a bit extreme but I honestly feel SHEER JOY when I hear this song.

I also love “Radio” and “In the Dark” – the B-sides of this single.

And, “boyfriend” Kame was flirting with me THE WHOLE TIME.  I have to admit I’m being drawn in by him again (lead vocals – long hair).  He has a much more relaxed and content vibe in this video than I’ve seen in a while.  Dude has swag and he knows it.  Usually, I think he tries too hard to be cool.  This time, though, he seems to let go.  Hope it lasts!

What do you think of this week’s すごい土曜日!| Sugoi Doyoubi! selection?

Enjoy!

 

3

Take Me Back To The Old KAT-TUN

KAT-TUN

I was not a fan of KAT-TUN at the beginning of their popularity and right now am not quite the fan I once was.  That’s because I miss the old KAT-TUN.  I miss the way they were.  I like their old sound, their old shows and their old way of interacting.

Initially, I found them quite annoying and not so talented.  “Then how did you finally become a fan of theirs,” you ask? Well, through the power of the drama!

I started watching the 2006 Japanese drama “Sapuri” (「サプリ」) starring KAT-TUN frontman Kamenashi Kazuya (亀梨和也)and instantly loved the fresh, happy-go-lucky sound of the theme song.  Sure enough the theme was sung by KAT-TUN.  “Okay, fine”, I told myself, “Let me see what these guys are made of.”  And there it started.

2006 Japanese Drama "Sapuri" (「サプリ」) - Fuji TV

I ventured into their discography and liked what I saw – great songs, fun music videos and an exciting variety show called “Cartoon KAT-TUN” (again, no cartoons involved).

In the world of pop groups and biases (favorite members), it took me a while to really like any of them.  I liked Zamenashi Kazuya or “Kame” to which he is so affectionately referred, because I was watching him in the drama, but I had to learn the personalities of the others and it was going to take a while for me to appreciate them.

I once had a conversation with my Japanese language exchange partner discussing the obsession with pop groups who seemingly had no talent.  “Why are they so popular? Why do people like them so much?” I asked, “They really can’t sing!”  “People know that,” my language exchange partner admitted, “But when you watch them on variety shows and their personality shines through during the various interviews and games that they play, people make a connection with them so it makes them more likeable – whether they can really sing or not.  They’re entertaining to watch.”  He was so right.  Variety programs open up the performers and make them likeable and relatable.

KAT-TUN Variety Show - NTV

KAT-TUN Variety Show - NTV

During the first season of “Cartoon KAT-TUN”, KAT-TUN members interviewed celebrity guests by revealing the answers of a 100-questioned questionnaire.  This segment of the show was called “Hyaku Q” or “100Q”.  “Hyaku” meaning “100” in Japanese and the “Q” meaning “questions”.   The answers would scroll on the screen and they would stop the screen on any questions that were particularly interesting.  Further along in the questionnaire were questions specifically to KAT-TUN.

Cartoon KAT-TUN - NTV

I’ll use the “How would you like KAT-TUN to be related to you” question to describe how I liked each member back in the day:

“Which KAT-TUN member would you want as your best friend?” – Tanaka Koki (田中 聖) – I enjoyed Koki in a way that I would like to just hang out with him.  I think we would have a good time together and not get bored.  And I always preferred his bouzu (坊主) – shaved hairstyle.  That style fit his personality and style perfectly.

Tanaka Koki (田中 聖) - KAT-TUN

“What KAT-TUN member would you want as your brother?” – Ueda Tatsuya (上田 竜也) – Ueda is quiet and keeps to himself just enough that would be perfect for a sibling.  Plus, he’s a kick-ass boxer so he would protect me from ill-intending people.

Ueda Tatsuya (上田 竜也) - KAT-TUN

“What KAT-TUN member would you want as your pet?” – Nakamaru Yuichi (中丸 雄) – I don’t really care for this question but Nakamaru could make a fun beat-boxing pet.  Whenever I want to bust a move or just need a sweet beat – he’d be right there for me.

Nakamaru Yuichi (中丸 雄) - KAT-TUN

“What KAT-TUN member would you want as your cousin?” – Akanishi Jin (赤西 仁) – Everyone on the show always hates being picked as the cousin because it basically means that you want nothing to do with them.  However, I’m quite close with some of my cousins so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Having said that, though, I’m perfectly fine seeing Jin occasionally on major holidays and get-togethers.

Akanishi Jin (赤西 仁) - KAT-TUN

“What KAT-TUN member would you want as your boyfriend?” – Kamenashi “Kame” Kazuya (亀梨和也) – Kame is so into himself that being his girlfriend would be fun.  Planning extravagant dates just because he could and trying so hard to impress me in order to make himself look good would be simply entertaining to witness.

Kamenashi Kazuya (亀梨和也) - KAT-TUN

“What KAT-TUN member would you want as your husband?” – Taguchi “Junno” Junnosuke (田口 淳之介) – Taguchi is probably one of the sweetest and most genuine people that I’ve seen.  He would be the  most caring, faithful and loving person in a relationship.  I’ve always wanted good things for him now and in the future and I really wish he finds something in his career that makes him happy and gives him the recognition that he deserves.  He’s very talented.

Taguchi Junnosuke (田口 淳之介) - KAT-TUN

So that ‘s my look back on the back-in-the-day KAT-TUN.  Today’s KaT-TUN (without new husband and soon-to-be father, Jin), is just not my cup of tea.  Of course I’d love for them to surprise me by releasing a great single reminiscent of their old sound but I’m not holding my breath for that.

Thankfully there are always memories.

KAT-TUN Now