Sorashige Book (Apr 15)
The first message was from a listener who recently moved for their work. They said that Shige’s radio cheers them up, and they were sad that they wouldn’t be able to listen to it anymore since they were moving outside of the kanto area, but then it was announced that you would now be able to listen to it anywhere in Japan on rajiko so they were really happy.
The next message was from a listener who used to not be able to listen to Johnny’s radio because they don’t live in Kanto, but with the change they can now and the first one they listened to was Shige’s radio. Listening to Shige on the radio cheers them up with they’re having tough times.
Shige talked about the change and how that now not only can you listen to them on the site no matter where in Japan you are, but also at any time with in the week that it’s aired.
The next letter was from a listener who said that their favorite songs off of Epcotia are ‘JUMP AROUND’ and ‘BLACKHOLE’. They wrote that they’re looking forward to reading Shige’s notes on BLACKHOLE, and the things they like about it. They’re looking forward to seeing how it’ll be performed on stage.
♪ BLACKHOLE ♪
For music club this week, Shige played ‘Call Out My Name’ by The Weeknd. He talked about The Weeknd and how he really liked the title of his new album, ‘My Dear Melancholy’.
The next letter was from a listener who congratulated Shige on the new novel serialization in anan. They’re feeling the loss after finishing reading Tuberose, and are glad that they’ll be able to read more of his work soon. She added that she’s very curious to know the meaning of the title ‘Miacis Symphony’, she looked up the word Miacis and saw that it’s an ancestor of both dogs and cats and wanted to know if that was related to the meaning of the title at all.
Shige said that this time the serialization is irregular, since he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to write. For Tuberose, he wrote it all and gave it to SPA and it was released regularly, but this time he’s only written the first part so far. He said that he’s been pretty busy with rakugo and the concerts.
He said that it’s probably better to read it, but talked about how a scene in the first chapter taking place at a bathroom in an izakaya is based on his own experience.
He said that with Tuberose too, it started with him thinking that the word tuberose had a nice ring to it, so he made the name of the host club tuberose and thought that the title ‘Tuberose de Matteru’ sounded good. He said that same with miacis, when he first heard about them he thought that it’d be nice if he could use it in a title and he thought that it worked well for this story.
He explained how miacis are the now extinct ancestors of dogs are cats. He thought it was interesting how cats and dogs used to be the same but then they evolved into different species. You can interpret it as something that used to be one, becoming separate things and that he also liked the sound of the word itself. Miacis Symphony can be separately performed symphonies, or one big bundle. It’s also a bit of a turning point, and he hopes that this work will be a turning point for him too.
He said at this point he doesn’t really know how the story will turn out, and has some worry about whether he can do it well. He said that each part will be short at about 10,000 characters, but he hopes that he can write something interesting.
Shige said that he would like to talk about rakugo now, and that he got a lot messages about it. The next letter was from a 16 year old listener. They said that they watched ‘Tabi suru Rakugo’ and that though it must have been difficult, it was wonderful to see him shine doing a job that requires him to use his head. They said that the content was really interesting, and they ending line made them say ‘Ah I see!’ out loud.
The next letter was also about rakugo, they said that they were surprised when they heard that Shige would be writing and performing his own original rakugo at the same time that the tour is starting.
The next letter was also from a listener who watched the show and that they used to think that rakugo was just something that old men watched. They said that they found his rakugo interesting and wanted know if he came up with the punchline first or the story first when writing his rakugo. They also asked what he found difficult about writing rakugo.
Shige talked about how he was impressed with Chihara Jr’s rakugo, and how his wasn’t based on a pun or riddle like Chihara Jr’s was, and he worried a bit about it being hard to understand but he was happy to have a 16 year old high schooler write in to say that they got it.
He talked about how someone in the staff doing casting had known that he did rakugo in his one man play ‘Konnan Yattemimashita’ in 2008, which is why he got the offer to appear in the show. Though the play was never released on DVD, he himself has a copy and in preparation for this show he rewatched it. He said that at the time it got really good reviews and that he thought it was interesting, but he was really very bad. Ten years ago he wasn’t very good at acting either, watching it now it feels like he hadn’t known much about rakugo. But it really helped him to watch it, as there were a lot of things there that served as examples of what not to do.
He said that he had been in Shanghai up until the day before the Hakone filming, and the day of the Hakone trip was the deadline for the first draft of Miacis Symphony, and he was also working on the tour so he was really busy. He doesn’t really have much memory of the past 2 months. Going back even further when he was working on his solo and the album, he would be up working until around 5 in the morning.He said though it’s uncool to brag about how busy you are, he truly is very busy and it’s tough, but he wants to keep working hard without rest going forward.
Going back to the topic of making rakugo, he talked about how he first had to think about what he’s capable of, and though it’s not a competition, people watching will compare them and he didn’t want to fight against Chihara Jr for laughs. So he went for a story about human nature or emotions and he did a lot of research on how elephants move, since he portrayed the elephant by moving his hand. He wanted to take advantage of movement that he could do because he’s a Johnny.
He said that it’s not like he goes to see a lot of rakugo, but there are a lot of interesting stories out there and he learned once the joy of doing it in his play. So he was both excited and nervous for this job. He said when he was in Hakone and visited the shrine is when he first thought of basing it on that and an ‘ameotoko’. He talked about wanting to make a good story that brought the various parts together well that also had some funny parts, but he had a really hard time coming up with the punchline and spent a long time looking up various Japanese sayings and things to use.
He said that it was an interesting job that he doesn’t usually get to do, and like with the musical it made him think that he’d like to try doing it again. Though he hasn’t watched the show yet, because he’s too afraid.
♪ JUMP AROUND ♪
At the end he noted how this show itself is a bit like rakugo since he just talks the whole time.
Kchan NEWS (Apr 17)
The guest this week was Massu.
Koyama opened up the talk by mentioning how Massu recently became a regular on Pon! and Massu said that he was happy because he’s always liked Pon! Koyama mentioned how they’ll be able to add Massu’s knowledge to announcer Aoki’s Johnny’s segment. Koyama also speculated how in the future Massu could interview NEWS on Johnny’s Pon corner in the future, but Massu said that it would be more interesting to have Aoki do it. They talked about how Massu knows a lot about Johnny’s.
The next letter mentioned how they wear new underwear for tours and asked if they did it again this time. They said that they always wash new underwear before wearing them and asked what they do.
Massu said he doesn’t really worry about it. Koyama said that he was happy when they were changing and he saw that Massu was wearing the underwear that he gave him last year. Koyama said he’s the type to remember well what he gives to others. They talked about the underwear episode some, and how Koyama ended up buying them all underwear after Tegoshi told him to go buy him some. Massu described the different pairs Koyama got him. Massu told him that he’s worn them during concerts too, he said that he’s the type to wear hix favorite pair of pants rather than a new pair for a concert.
♪ BLACKHOLE ♪
The next message was from a listener who asked them if they get along better with kohai or sempai.
Koyama commented on how Massu gets along with everyone, and Massu said that he’s not usually the one to instigate it, they usually go because kohai will tell him that they want to grab dinner with him. Koyama was surprised and said that no one’s ever told him they want to get dinner with him. Koyama asked if sempai ask him too, and Massu said that they do.
Koyama said that sometime Matsuoka Masahiro (TOKIO) will sometimes ask him. He asked Massu who he goes with most often, and Massu said that lately it’s been MADE and though he’s not in Johnny’s, also Yakumaru Hirohide. Koyama said that whenever he sees him he always tells him that he went out to eat with Massu.
The next message was from a listener thanking Massu for going to see SixTones’ show. (M: Huh? Are they a staff member?) They asked what he thought of SixTones fans and their performance, if he thought anything was missing because as a fan they want to know.
K: So they’re the type of fan who wants to grow and improve together [with their idols].
M: Ah, I see.
Koyama asked if Massu went on his own time or for work, and Massu said that the show is one where different groups all perform on different days as a part of the same show. Snowman had asked Massu to come, and he said he would go, but due to Epcotia rehearsals he couldn’t make it. The next day though, he happened to have a free night and he heard that SixTones were having a show from Kyomoto Masaki, Kyomoto Taiga(SixTones)’s father. He told Massu that Taiga had said that he wants Massu to come, so they went together.
Koyama brought up some of the letter writer’s comments wondering if they meant that the lights and performance of SixTones were more simple, and Massu said that he thought that each group just have their own ways of doing things and that that’s fine. If they were to try and do the exact same thing as NEWS, it probably wouldn’t match them. Massu said that there wasn’t anything they were missing, they need to do what is SixTones-like, it’s not his place to tell them what to do.
Koyama brought up how Juniors now have concerts and a YouTube channel, which is different from their time, and Massu added that they did a lot of their own original songs too which surprised Koyama. Koyama commented on how lucky they are, though they must be fighting for their places. Massu talked about how some of the juniors there were ones who have backdanced for NEWS before, and that if there’s anything they can do they want support them.
Koyama said that Massu’s feelings regarding that are probably especially strong since he spent a long time as a junior.
The next message was from a listener who said that listening to Epcotia they had the impression that the ‘sexy type of woman’ appeared a lot in the lyrics. They said that they wanted NEWS to talk about what their version of an adult woman is like.
Koyama brought up their recent appearance on PON! and how Massu had mentioned a really unusual preference he has. Koyama said that watching it at home made him laugh a lot, he had thought that it might get cut for being too weird. Koyama then had Massu say it again, and Massu explained that he like the inside soles of women’s shoes. Koyama talked about how it was funny to see the other 3 of them look so put off by it and Massy said that the staff too reacted like, “Eh!”
Massu said that he doesn’t like it when the soles are dirty, he likes seeing that things are used well. Koyama warned that the PON! Staff will have a tough time working with Massu from now on. Massu then added that it’s not good if it’s just clean, it’s not like he likes brand new things, he likes seeing used ones that have been taken care of.
Koyama asked Massu if he can feel a woman’s sexiness from the inner sole of her shoes, and he said that he can. Koyama laughed and said that he didn’t get it. Koyama asked if sneakers are fine, and Massu said that they definitely were but then added that he likes heels.
Massu asked Koyama what he thought and he said that he likes women who give verbal cues that they’re listening.
♪ EROTICA ♪
The last letter was from a listener who said that they tend to like teas a with a strong smell, like jasmine tea etc. They wanted know what kind of tea they like.
Massu said that Gai-san is probably expecting the answer of ‘Pan-teas’. Koyama commented that Massu prefers coffee and Massu said that he does like tea, he likes green tea and ice tea. The thing he drinks the most of is water. Koyama said that in the morning, Massu comes in in the morning with two of the biggest size of coffee from a certain coffee shop. Massu said that he buys two thinking that he can give one to someone, and Koyama said that then he would ask for the other one.
NeWS news (week of Apr 16) - Part 3
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