Continuation of the previous updates for the week
Sorashige Book (18 June)
The first message Shige read was from a parent whose soon-to-be 11 year old son heard Shige read a message from a kid in the corner ‘Kid’s Consultation Classroom’ and decided that he wanted to write in for advice too. In his message he said that he loved running and had recently joined a track and field club. When he took part in a competition he got so nervous that his stomach hurt, and that his mother’s advice didn’t help. He asked for advice on how he can stop being nervous. At the end he added that he always listens to ‘U R not alone’ on his way to after-school activities and it helps him keep motivated and that he had fun going to NEWS’ concert.
Shige said that he gets nervous too before concerts, but you have to go ahead do it anyway. He said that the reason we get nervous is because we’re afraid of failing or not doing being able to do [what we need to] well. He said that there’s no way to stop being nervous, and that there aren’t very many people who don’t get nervous, but that as you get older you get more used to it.
S: Being nervous isn’t a bad thing. You feel nervous because you want to do your best. If you don’t want to get nervous, you should practice really hard. The most important thing is building confidence in yourself through practice and convincing yourself that you can do it even if you feel nervous.
In this episode, Shige recommended the album “WEAKNESS” by the artist ghostlikegirlfriend, and played the song “fallin’” from it. Okabayashi Kenshou, the artist behind ghostlikegirlfriend, then talked about the mention on his twitter. “It seems that NEWS’ Kato Shigeaki played my song on the radio earlier. . . I’ve known for awhile that he plays and incorporates songs from bands that I also like in his works, so I’m really happy to have my songs heard by somebody like him. Thank you. ” (Source)
Shige then talked about how NEWS performed at Wakayama for the first time for the NEVERLAND tour, and how he has a close friend who lives there who sends him umeboshi every year. Shige stayed in Wakayama after the performances were over and went fishing and went to an ume (plum) farm.
That story led into the next two messages that Shige read, the first of which was from a listener who recently moved to Wakayama and was thinking of starting to make umeboshi and wanted advice from Shige who has lots of experience making them. The next message was from a listener who recalled that Shige had said that he had made 15kg of umeboshi the day after the last Tokyo performance of the Quartetto tour, and wanted to know how much he made this year.
Shige first talked about how fishing in Wakayama didn’t go very well and he wants to go back and try again. He then talked about his friend in Wakayama who he went fishing with that owns his own ume tree, and about types of ume, growing ume, and making umeboshi for awhile.
Kchan NEWS (20 June)
Shige was the guest this week.
They started off talking about the end of the tour, deciding that it was ok to share spoilers now that the tour’s over. They talked about how they built the concert around the album and how they organized it around the concept of different elemental gates each opening with a member solo to the different sections of the show. They said there was no encore this time because ‘U R not alone’ acted as the grand finale. They said that when they came back out at the end of the final show it was more of a curtain call after the grand finale rather than an encore. K: That was when Tegoshi cried. (laughing) S: It really was. K: He was sobbing. S: He cried so much, like a kid. K: The next day on every. we covered it. That scene of Tegoshi. S: That’s what they were covering everywhere. K: In the morning that scene of Tegoshi…
They recalled how in the 2016.05.18 Shonen Club Premium episode when Dainoji’s Otani Nobuhiko came and gave them advice, he had said that NEWS’ next turning point would be when Tegoshi cried, and also that they should do fantasy. Shige said he thought his predictions were pretty amazing.
S: That day Tegoshi said he wasn’t going to cry, right? Before the concert started. K: Yeah. (laughing) S: He was like ‘I’m not going to cry!’ and then he cried so much. K: He did. S: He was really crying hard from the moment he came down from the lifter. Koyama was awful, saying like ‘Tegoshi’s crying!’ (sounding happy) So mean. K: At the end, I pointed at him and laughed, like ‘You’re crying!’ [Koyama mentioned on Pon!, that after that he ended up crying too from seeing Tegoshi cry.] They ended the topic by saying the tour had been fun, and thanking fans for supporting them.
Next they read a message from a fan who came to the first day of the Tokyo shows. They said it was their first time going to a NEWS concert, and that they had a lot of fun. They said that the performances were really cool and that it was amazing how NEWS could bring so many fans together. Seeing what a moving wonderful concert the staff worked hard to make made them interested in a staff job. They asked them to share what kind of staff jobs there are and how they work to make the concerts.
They were surprised at the direction the message took, and said that they couldn’t mention everything in 30 minutes and that even though they had a big wrap up party with everyone once, they mostly did had them with only a small number of people so they don’t know all the different roles. They mentioned a few different roles, like the art team that help make the set, lighting, illumination, sound, staging, balloons, electric, that it takes around 200 people to create a concert.
They also mentioned the choreographers and their managers who stay by them and bring them water and tell them when it’s time to go on. S: The person who follows Koyama is 24. They were still in training during our concert at Chichibunomiya, and was only 19 then. K: Yeah. S: It was their first concert after starting training, when we came back as four members. They were moved by it and decided then that they would properly stick with this job. Maybe they were an intern then… K: Since then they’ve stuck by me every year.
They then talked about how they’ve started to get staff who are younger than them, and how it’s moving to watch them all grow and improve.
They also mentioned how the previously mentioned staff member, Koyama’s manager, cried at the end of the tour. K: Yeah, everyone cried this time. S: Yeah everyone cried. This concert was really emotional. K: Yeah, it was.
The next message from a listener who came to the last performance. They praised the concert and said that even now when they listen to ‘U R not alone’ they get teary-eyed. They said they were the most moved and cried the most during that part in the finale. They asked them to share the moment they were most moved or happy. Koyama brought up the time Shige lost his voice in Nagoya, and said that he thought Shige probably cried at the final greetings because he was frustrated about the situation and possibly not being able to give the performance he wanted. Koyama recalled how he was the one who was supposed to talk after Shige, and he ended up saying “Shige, cut it out!” while crying too.
S: You cried a lot just from seeing the other members cry this time. K: I really did! You know… You really just started crying suddenly. S: Yeah, but it was just that one time. K: This time, you really supported me a lot… S: Since everyone else was crying, it was like I couldn’t cry. K: Yeah. S: But, that time it really was frustrating… It was the first time I’ve even experienced something like that. Afterwards, everyone was really nice, since you’ve all experienced something like that before. Like you (Koyama) last year, and Massu has in the past too I think. So, I got lots of advice. K: Yeah how to somehow get your voice to come out. S: Yeah… It worked out one way or another during the actual concert, but it made me think that I need to work harder. Yeah… This time I felt like, I’m going do it! I think that the part of me that really wanted to help lead felt really regretful.
They then talked about how the lyrics of ‘U R not alone’ are really fitting to how they felt at those times, such as ‘can’t you lend me strength somehow?’ and ‘to the me from yesterday’. Shige joked around changing the lyrics to ‘The me from yesterday, who still had his voice. Help me!’
Shige talked about how the song gets to them, mentioning Tegoshi as well, because it talks about the experiences you’ve had up til now, and how it’s like cheering yourself on.
Then they talked about how Koyama got emotional during their concert in Sendai, an area that was affected by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Koyama talked about how it’s a special place for him, since he’s gone there a lot since the disaster for every. They said that they always feel thankful to the places they get to visit on tour.
The last message was from a listener writing in about the performance of Ayame that the other three members did during the last MC. They asked if they had rehearsed it since the performance was so perfect. Koyama said they hadn’t, that the reason they were able to do it so well was because they had put it on for soundcheck before one of the earlier concerts and they had had so much fun doing it that time it served as a rehearsal.
They also mentioned that Massu was the one who first mentioned that he wanted to do Ayame during the MC. Which is when Koyama said that he would do the part where Shige runs up the crane in the middle of the stage. Shige said that when they were doing it the all jrs were in the dressing room except Hayashi who was backstage and heard that they had started to do Ayame. He ran into the dressing room to tell the others, which is why the jrs only joined the performance towards the end.
Tegomass no Radio (21 June)
They started off by talking about the Tokyo Dome concert, where they asked Sakura for her opinions, who said it was very good and they were extremely cool. She said that she liked the crane that extended from the stage very much. Massu said that Tegoshi brought up that he’d like to have cranes, and it was Massu’s suggestion to have the cranes built in as part of the path for the extended stage. Sakura said that was amazing. It’s her 3rd time watching their concert, and because they always popped up from unexpected places, her eyes were always at a loss of where to look. This time, she was determined not to lose sight of either of them and was scanning the entire place all the time, so much so that she ended up with a headache after that. They mentioned that the staff for Tegomass no Radio went as well, and thanked both the staff and Sakura.
They then talked about the plans for the 300th radio show, saying they received a lot of requests, such as singing live, public recording, inviting KoyaShige as guests, do the 100-mail challenge for 3 consecutive weeks...Massu said that an interesting request was for them to look back on what they’ve done so far, and Tegoshi said no, it’s not like a debut anniversary where they can look back on how far they’ve come. It’d also be extremely weird for listeners who happen to listen for the first time. They decided to do live telephone calls, and Massu said they’ll target to double the number of phone calls from how many they did for the 250th show. Tegoshi said it’s probably fine if they used up an entire month’s of shows on this special project. M: Shall we try challenging 100 calls? T: Nonono… that’ll be like telephone shopping and be a mess. They are now taking in requests for the telephone calls, limited to just requests sent in via postcards (and not emails). Sakura tried to read out the address then, and of course, TM started disrupting her again. Sakura reminded listeners that postage for postcards have been increased from 52 yen to 62 yen as of June 1st, and Tegoshi said that’ll be an additional burden to the listeners so Sakura should pay for all of them.
A listener wrote in to request for “U R not alone”, saying that she went to watch the finale concert for this tour, and this song left an exceptionally strong impression. They talked about the song, saying how it’s a great song. When you’re doing well, it’s a song you can sing to encourage others, but when you’re down, it’s a song you can sing to yourself to push yourself on.
There are then a few mails with their comments on the tour, including one who wrote in about how her father, who turns 50 this year, went all the way to Tokyo from Wakayama by himself. He was initially worried about how people might look at him, but ended up having lots of fun and singing “U R not alone” with all his might. Sakura mentioned that she bought the goods too (T: Why?) and so did Imai-san, who went with her. They talked about how they always have problems deciding on how the bag should be made, as each of them have different ideas on things like how long the strap should be, and how the new bag should be different from the previous ones so they can be used for different purposes. This time, it was made pretty big, so it can be used when going for club activities in school, or when you have lots of things to carry. (M: The group, NEWS, has very good concert goods!)
One person wrote in to ask for Sakura’s opinion - one thing from the concert from Tegoshi and Massu that left the strongest impression. She started from Massu, saying as their seats were at the back, the way Massu walked, as he walked towards the back was good. (M: Huh? T: [laughs]The way he walks) Sakura says it’s the way it feels like his steps could embrace the entire venue. M: I’m sure there’re a lot more other things! Well, if this is one out of 10 things, it’s fine. So this the first! Now, the singing, and the dancing, and the costumes! T: Hang on, I’m sorry, but she said nothing about the costumes. It’s THE WAY YOU WALK. (laughs) M: The way I walk. There’s even the overall direction! T: No no no, I’m sorry. Not the goods even. It’s the way you walk. M: And the goods! T: The way you walk. I’m sorry. M: To think... I created the concert the best I could… Sakura: It was really awesome! M: Not even about my personality! T: It’s the way you walk. M: What she said boils down to almost just my physique! What I was born with! Thank you Dad and Mum! Sakura: (in between laughter) Gre- great walking style. T: Okay now about me. Sakura: Tegoshi-san’s solo was so overwhelming, I kind of wondered how the people who went with their mothers reacted. I was a little surprised, but was amazed by how you could still sing while facing upwards. T: While lying down? Sakura: Yes. It was probably tough to use your voice from the stomach.T: Oh this is good this is good. I’m glad! This makes me happy! On my solo! Sakura: No no no, Masuda-san was awesome too, I mean, right? It’s different, from everyone… M: (in a small voice) It’s too late. Sakura: The sense of broad-mindedness… M: It’s too late! T: HAHAHA. What is this? A broad-minded style of walking? M: Well there are people like that, a gentle stride they call it. T: There are. There’re probably people who walk gently. M: I’m never ever inviting you again. Sakura: Oh no, hang on! Calm down. M: I’m going to tell the agency. Hmphf! Sakura: Wait, please. M: I’m going to tell the producers of “Tegomass no Radio” Hmphf! Sakura: Nononono, stop. It was really good, I was touched.
Another person asked for behind-the-scenes stories. M: Well, whatever we could show, we did. As for behind-the-scenes… T: It’s “behind-the-scenes” because they’re things we can’t talk about. Sakura: That ends off everything once you say that. T: Well there aren’t. Like, getting to eat delicious things from all of Japan, getting hitsumabushi in Nagoya...things like these. Sakura: Things like, “This part was great” or “We were surprised when we tried doing xx”? M: I have one. It seems like the venues have this rule about when they switch between heaters and air conditioners. For example, at this venue you can only switch on the air conditioner from May. So before that, you can only use the heater, or ventilate. So the period when we were holding our concerts was when most venues undergo the switch. So at the earlier venues, there were quite a few that didn’t allow for air conditioning and it became a humid bath. T: Yeah, it was really warm. M: But that’s probably cuz we had all the lights on us on stage, but not for the audience. So it was tough adjusting the temperature, humidity, and audio for the entire venue. Sakura: All these things affect… T: It’s different between summer and winter. They then talked about how they always have rehearsals, but once the real show starts, conditions are different and the audio sounds completely different, and there’re times when they can’t hear what they’re singing. Like for example in winter, the audience come in with thicker coats and those absorb more sound...lots of factors.
The following mail was from someone who went for the last concert, and said how each time she goes for their concerts, she receives a lot of energy and power. But this time, perhaps NEWS felt the same way too. She asked for them to share how they felt when the fans sang “U R not alone” for them during their final curtain call. M: For this concert, we decided not to do an encore. This is probably not the best way to put it, but we decided not to put this too much effort into doing an encore. How much time we have to perform for each concert is predetermined, so we’ve decided to max out all the time we have to perform. So much so that we have no time left for encores. That’s how we created the concert this time, so there were no encores. At any of the venues. But at Tokyo Dome, partly because it was the final concert, and also because the audience called for us so loudly, we thought we should at least go out and say thank you. Which is what is really an encore, in that sense. Not like something we’re prepared beforehand- T: Not something created. M: Yup. So to have been able to do an encore like that was, to us, a growth in a sense. T: It’s tough to decide how to treat encores. If, for example, we had only the time to perform 20 songs for the NEVERLAND tour. For the fan experience, we should probably have done 18 songs, leave once, then perform 2 songs for the encore. That would probably have satisfied everyone. But this time, we decided to perform all 20 songs in the actual concert. Experience wise, it might have been better to leave once and come back for an encore. That might have pleased everyone. M: But that’s only because that’s what everyone’s used to. T: Yes what they’re used to. But I don’t agree with that. Wouldn’t it be fine to just perform all 20 songs in the actual show? With all our hearts. The concept this time was “Please come on in and have fun in NEVERLAND, the land of Dreams”, so that worldview would have been ruined if we had left once and come back for an encore. That was what all 4 of us were very particular about, that when “NEVERLAND” ended, that’s where it ends. Sakura: That’s what made it so novel, and how everyone could go back with the lingering moments and slowly take it all in. They continued to talk about how it’s difficult positioning the encore, like singing “Hikari” for “Tegomass no Seishun”. The songs for encores are mostly songs that are expected, in that if you don’t sing that song for that concert, people aren’t going to go home feeling satisfied. For this concert, they simply presented another way of designing a concert. M: When we went out just to give our thanks, the audience started singing for us. T: That was touching. Extremely touching. I was surprised. M: I received a lot of power. And was really happy. Thank you. T: Thank you for the the comments sent in! TM:Thank you!
*For those intending to send postcards for the 300th show project, please make sure you send them in time to reach the station by June 30.
Masuda Takahisa’s MASTER HITS (23 June)
Songs played: “NEVERLAND”, “SUMMER TIME”, “Cheetah, Gorilla, Orang Utan”
He started off talking about the tour, thanking everyone for sending in their comments. He mentioned that the concept for this tour was to create a “NEVERLAND” park based on the album, and they were very particular about making sure everything that happened during the concert fit into that concept. It’s probably the first time they ever put in so much effort into centering something around one theme. Of course there were elements of challenge as well, but he feels that the colour and shape of NEWS can finally be seen, and that they’ve probably grown through the process of creating the concert. He thanked everyone once again.
The first mail was from somebody whose mail got read out previously, and her sons got upset, saying it’s not fair and they wanted Massu to read their mail too. They asked if Massu prefers tuna (maguro) or potatoes. He pretended to be torn for awhile and said he prefers coriander (NOTE: there is a huge coriander boom in Japan now).
The next listener went to the Wakayama concert with a friend who hasn’t been to their concert for the past 5 years. The first comment her friend made was that the lighting was amazing, so the listener would like to know if Massu was involved in the lighting this time too. He’s happy that the friend went to watch them again after 5 years. They have meetings where they talk about how maybe for a particular performance, they’d like blue lighting, and for the blue lighting, they’d like such & such elements, the shade of blue to be a particular shade, what video would be shown, what costume they’d be wearing etc. He says because they want to be involved in the production, for example he’d speak to the team and say things like how he’d like low lighting, shiny lights etc. But what he always feels is that lighting is something he knows the least about, and that he wouldn’t be able to do anything for it by himself. Like, if he said he’d like blue lighting, they’d probably want to know what kind, which lights he’d like to use, whether the lights should move… He’s been trying to pick things up, but still very far off from the professionals. That’s why he always feels very small in front of the lighting people and wonder how it’s actually done. Because they programme the lights using computers, he thought maybe they need to be good with computers to begin with. For this tour, it’s a different lighting team from the previous one. So things like the equipment and preferences are all different. Even if they’d asked for exactly the same thing for the same song, something different would be presented. He says that he likes lighting very much and want to make sure it’s done well, so for someone to say the lighting was good makes him really happy.
The following listener noticed Massu turning around during “ORIHIME” to watch the juniors performing on stage, and said Massu ever mentioned before to take note of the presentation for the song. She’d like to know if Massu was in charged to that performance, or if he had any episodes to share. He said that they’d originally wanted to create this huge, long running stage, such that it looks like the main stage facing you regardless of where you look at it from. So after discussions with air:man, they decided that the entire extended stage would represent the Milky Way and that the members are watching among the stars. Then on the Milky Way, Orihime and Hikoboshi dance. This was what everybody decided together. But Massu wanted to do more about the presentation of the Milky Way. It’s actually really difficult to get smog to cover the stage, because there are many things to consider, such as the ventilation for the stage. So he had many meetings with the smog professionals, like how many smog machines they can get, and how they should design the lighting such that it looks pretty. He also praised Shindo & Kento, the 2 juniors who acted as Orihime and Hikoboshi, and said he wanted to watch the 2 of them dancing. While the 4 of them are all high up on the lifters, he enjoyed turning back to look at them. He was also hoping that the audience looking at him could also see the two juniors at the back so that they’d notice the Milky Way too. (NOTE: for this song, the 4 members split up to go onto the lifters at the 4 corners of the venue. Just so it’s easier to envision for those who weren’t there)
The next mail talked about the costumes and how her favourite was the one worn, starting from Massu’s solo ~ somewhere around Sakura Girl. He said he was given the chance to make many costumes this time round too, but because there was the theme of “NEVERLAND” this time, he started thinking from how much room he had to play around with, within the concept of “NEVERLAND” and also what all of them wanted to wear most, and what would make them look best, at this point in time. He spoke about this before, for QUARTETTO, he made little challenges, like how denim isn’t a fabric suitable for making stage costumes, but he wanted to try incorporating denim to create cute costumes, and how he made them brown suits and so on. This time, he simply wanted to make costumes that looked cool. He also received quite a lot of comments from people around him about the costumes, so he was glad. He’s got some ideas for the next time he ever has to design costumes again. Of course, it’s best if the members like the costumes, so that they’ll feel more excited when they put them on, and look better than usual, shine more than usual. However, they’ve not told him that “The costumes this time were fantastic too!” But to himself, from the comments he’s gotten from the staff and fans, it seems that he’s managed to make the best he can for now. He hopes he can work even harder when he next gets the chance to make costumes.
This one’s from someone who went to Hiroshima’s concert, and asked if Massu went to anywhere in Hiroshima or ate anything yummy there. He said he went for a celebratory dinner with the members and the 16 juniors who followed them this tour. When they started asking, “Where are we going?” with the expectation of going somewhere with things like Hiroshima yaki, the staff replied, “Yakiniku! Let’s all eat lots together!” And the members were all a little surprised, though of course the yakiniku was delicious. Somewhere in his heart, there was this thought that it would have been better to have something that’s kind to the stomach and simple, like warm soup with freshly baked bread, considering how they’re in the midst of the tour. He also said that not just this time, it seems that most of the staff they work with still has the image of NEWS as a young group, and would like having things like yakiniku for the celebratory dinners, so it’s like, Staff, passionately: Let’s all go for yakiniku together!!! NEWS: Uh, o-okay. Thank you! But to be honest, their stomachs aren’t all that young anymore. Like how after club activities, you can’t really stomach a proper meal, and can only take drinks and snacks. But as everyone went together, it became a very fun dinner. The juniors were also saying they enjoyed themselves following NEWS, and asked for NEWS to say some words. Because it was the last arena tour, all of them gave their thanks and spoke rather passionately. He feels that as each year passes, he increasingly feels like getting some time, as they tour the country, to go see some spots or to just talk a walk. So for the next tour, he might rent a car, make a junior drive (laugh) and take them somewhere.
For this week’s Brain Master, the question was where the word “ran” from “gakuran” (a kind of school uniform for boys, the ones with the standing collars and row of buttons in front) came from. He had some problems guessing and asked for a hint, which was “country name”. (M: Country name? NEVERLAND!) He then shot off a list of country names, “Austra-ran-lia? Finland! Iran! Heh…? The Netherlands, it’s the Netherlands!” It seems that during the Edo period, clothes were named after the Netherlands, Ran-fuku, and the student’s clothes (gakusei no ranfuku) became “Gakuran”. The name got popularized through a manga written in the 1970s. “Randoseru” in Dutch means “a bag you carry on your back”. He then tried to explain, why Masuda, who usually knows many things, didn’t know the answer to this question was because he wore blazers and not gakuran when he was in school. He wore gakuran in Kinpachi Sensei, but his uniform in real life was the blazer.
Tackey no Takizawa Denpajo (June 17)
On last week’s episode, Arioka (HSJ) guested and Massu was mentioned when they talked about Arioka’s “Johnny’s Kids ranking”. Massu ranked in number 2, and he talked about how Massu has a pure smile and a child-like hobby (mini4wd). Arioka also mentioned he goes out for meals with Massu in private, and he usually gets stuffed. For example, they go for yakiniku, eat a lot, then Massu takes him next to a stylish place where they have drinks and eat some small dishes to go along. After which, Massu will still ask if he’d go for ramen (to finish off). When he weighed himself after he got home, he’d gotten 2kg heavier. (Source 1 2 3 4 5)