We got to Tokyo Dome early on Sunday morning (really, really early… the show was at 11, which meant getting up painfully early), and hung around outside for a while before fighting the crowds to get in. I was wearing sunglasses that said "Iio" on them, which people admired. XD; Yay. After we got inside the dome, we deposited our "homework" (we were supposed to write something we wanted to forget and turn it in) and then went to our seats.
Every time I've seen Waku Waku, it's been in the round, with one small center stage, so everyone gets a sort of different view. Luckily, I was in a place where I could see, in my opinion, the coolest decoration: a large old-fashion stylized "painting" of JUMP as students in the Edo period, wearing kimono and chonmage style hair. |D; The drawings of their faces were spot on, but the only odd aspect was that the colours of their kimono were… the old colours, from Magic Power, OTL… But it was really cute, and there are so images available in magazines, so if you can, check it out! There were also Edo period style paintings of Arashi, rather than the usual photoshopped photos of them as old principals of the school.
Once the show got underway, this year's variation on the usual video, where Arashi are all doing various things and then get called to Waku Waku Gakkou, played. This year, they were all doing very "Japanese" style things, which went along with the paitings, and the set, which was styled to reflect the four seasons (something integral to Japanese aesthetic and culture). Then, Arashi came out and did their greetings and everything, before announcing that they would be having some new students this year.
They then started the nyuugaku shiki, or the ceremony for when first-year students begin a new level of school. Hey! Say! JUMP came out and stood in line, and Arashi called their names in alphabetical order. When each member's name was called, he responded and said how enthusiastic he was, or something along those lines (if I recall correctly, the normal response was "Hai! Genki desu!" or "Yes! I'm doing well!"…it sounds much less awkward in Japanese and I'm not quite sure how to translate it not awkwardly… |D;) After they responded, they ran to the stage where Arashi was standing. They were wearing their cute uniforms (the tan jackets with their member colour piping and plaid pants) with black loafers (the typical Japanese high school uniform shoe), but when Inoo was called and he ran towards the stage, one of his shoes fell off. XD Nino yelled, "What the heck are you doing, Inoo?!" but Inoo put a finger to his mouth as if to say "Shhhh…" and put his shoe back on before running to the stage. XD Then, when Hikaru's name was called, he went to respond, but no sound came out… apparently, he had lost his voice? Every time he tried to talk it was hoarse and crackly, poor guy XD;
The classes this year were based on the seasons, and Nino was first with early summer, or rice-planting season. Apparently back in the day in Japan, there were a lot more seasons (like 3-4 for each of the four seasons we currently use?) and one of them was rice-planting season. Nino played a video explaining the rice planting and harvesting process, complete with a ridiculous mascot called "Mai-mai Ojiisan" which roughly translates to "rice-rice grandpa" XD;; After the video, Mai-mai Ojisan came onstage, and the others teased Nino that he had done the voice of the mascot, which Nino denied. XD However, he was clearly doing the voice. XD;; Then, Nino showed that there was a small rice paddy on the ground near the stage, and picked Jun and Daiki to do a rice-planting contest. They had to change into waterproof overall things and then get into the rice paddy. XD; Apparently, Daiki had said on the radio that he was afraid of Jun, and they teased Daiki about that for a while before Nino told Daiki he had to say, "Let's do this! Matsumoto!!" in a really rough, casual way XD; Daiki said it timidly, despite much teasing, and Jun said, "Let's do this!! Arioka!!" back to him, and it was adorable XD;
While they were trying to plant the rice plants in the water, Jun got super do-S and tried to push Daiki into the water over and over again XD Daiki tried to fight back, but he was no match for Jun |D; And then, at the end, Jun said he wanted to make up, and held out his hand to Daiki as if to shake hands, but then pretended to try to pull Daiki into the water again |D;
After that it was time for Jun's class, which was late summer, and it was matsuri, or festival, themed! There was a video about a historical yukata-making method involving indigo dye (this method of indigo dying fabric is actually famous in my area, too, so I got all excited when I watched the video, ahaha), and while it was playing, the stage was decorated with lanterns to look like a matsuri. Everyone changed into traditional yukata (the blue and white kind) and came back on the stage looking adorable. Jun introduced and explained the meaning and symbolism of Nino's, Daiki's, and Keito's yukata patterns, and after he finished, Keito said in English, "It's a great pleasure to wear this yukata... anyway, thank you Jun!" Waku Waku was the beginning of "Thank you Jun" and "Sorry Jun" and all of those, so we all had never heard it before thought it was hilarious. |D;
Then, Jun announced that they were going to do a special festival dance to Arashi's "Happiness." They had made a festival-sounding traditional Japanese instrument version of the song, and Jun explained the dance using Chinen as his demonstration. Chinen was super adorable and is perfect at dancing. ♥ The guys all got into a big circle around the stage to do the dance, and they announced that Yuto would be drumming for them on a big taiko drum in the center. Yuto triumphantly stood next to the drum and the drum platform was elevated above the stage, making Yuto look sort of like a little kid pretending to be king of the world, standing his his hands on his hips all confidently. |D; It was cute.
We were supposed to dance along with them, but a large majority of the audience (me included) whipped out our binoculars to watch our boys dance, ahaha. Ino-chan's dancing was gloriously tekito… and adorable. ♥ At the end, they all came together and did a pose in front of the drum platform, before going away again to change back to their school clothes while another VTR played. This time, it was Chinen going to visit a nationally accredited traditional Japanese doll-maker. He's possibly the last living person to be able to do this sort of doll making? I forget now. But he's considered a Japanese Living National Treasure (Japan has several classifications of important art and historical artifacts, including National Treasure, but apparently you can be a living one, too), and Chinen learned about his craft. I'm honestly not sure what class this was a part of, but maybe transitioning into the next class?
The next class was Ohno, doing fall, for which he learned about Japanese Tea Ceremony, or chanoyu / chado / sado …there's a lot of names for it XD; Another video played, showing how he went to a famous tea ceremony school in Kyoto and learned about tea ceremony from an instructor there. It was really difficult, and he had a lot of cute faily moments in the video. XD; He was especially bad at having to slurp the last bit of tea from the bottom of the cup XD But he practiced really hard, and then announced that he was going to do a tea ceremony onstage. He asked Yamada to be his guest, and he and Yamada went through what he had learned in the video. Yamada was really cute, and his fingers were so stubby and looked adorable when he was holding the tea bowl. He commented that there was surprisingly a lot of tea in the cup XD; Then, Ohno made us all do "air tea ceremony," which was awkward… |D;
Up next was Aiba's class, which was early winter/end of the year. It "snowed" a little bit in the classroom at the beginning of the class, and afterwards, Inoo and Hikaru picked snow out of one another's hair, adorable. ♥ Aiba played a video of expert mochi-makers, who could hit the rice with the mallet and adjust the mochi really fast, and then had them come onstage and demonstrate. Afterwards, he asked for some volunteers to try. Aiba chose Takaki first, but randomly called him "Taka." XD; Takaki was really slow at it, but then Aiba called Nino and Nino could barely lift the mallet and was panting afterwards and turned bright red |D;;; oh Nino. After that, the guys all got to eat mochi, and the camera zoomed in on Inoo while he was eating, which was beautiful.
Next Aiba talked about the tradition of ringing a bell to forget embarrassing things or bad things from the past year in the new year. They chose Inoo to ring the bell, and as he was running off the stage down to where the bell was, either Sho or Jun (I honestly don't remember and Twitter seems to disagree) yelled, "Don't mess up, Iio!" to which Inoo yelled back, "It's Inoo!! Even if you ring the bell, don't forget that my name is Inoo!" Arashi couldn't decide if that was funny or stupid. |D;;
The first person they asked to talk about something they wanted to forget was Yuto, who talked about how he dropped his drumstick on stage during Johnny's World and didn't have any extras with him. He said Hikaru was nearby and he thought Hikaru would pick it up for him, but he didn't |D;; Hikaru tried to apologize, but he had no voice, so he made Yabu "translate" for him. XD;;
Up next was Yamada, who said he wanted to forget the look Chinen gave him when he walked into the sauna wearing a face mask but no towel. Chinen replied that he was more embarrassed than Yamada, being seen with someone who would cover his face but not his private parts like a weirdo. Aiba said that Yamada must have a lot of confidence in "Yamada's Yamada" ahahaha. Then Inoo rang the bell, saying "Let's forget Yamada's Yamada!" |D;;;
Last, Sho said he wanted to tell his story for JUMP fans. He said he wanted to forget a time when JUMP was debuting at the volleyball world cup, but instead of introducing them as JUMP, he accidentally introduced them as Hey! Say! 7. He didn't react or correct himself onstage, and then later, the staff all asked him if he realized what he said. XD; Sho asked if the JUMP members has noticed, and they all said yes. XD; Yuto said he wondered if there had been a last minute change from the agency, and Chinen added that it seemed like they should have been singing "sevening to my dream" instead of the normal lyrics. |D;;; Sho asked if there was still a group called Hey! Say! 7, and Yamada replied that it was the younger half of the group. Sho named off the members of 7, and then someone (maybe Sho or Aiba? I'm sorry, I forget) asked about Inoo. Inoo called over from the bell that he was in the older group, but in that barely-intelligible slangy way that he talks, so it was sort of more like "Yo, I'm like 'n the older group" or something |D;; It's not a particularly polite way to talk (just like using a lot of slang in English isn't particularly polite), so I think it's cute that he and Arashi are that comfortable with one another to have that kind of interaction.
After that, Aiba read some of the submitted things people wanted to forget. We had sort of hoped ours would get chosen because we had written them in English and wrote at the top "Please have Keito read these" in Japanese |D; But sadly (or possibly less embarrassingly), we didn't get chosen. Then, lastly for Aiba's corner, they put everyone's letters in a box and burned them. Ohno said "Fire!" which made us think of last year's "Friendship Fire… Fi Touch!" and made us laugh. |D;;
Next was Sho's corner, New Year's. At the beginning they had us all count down to the "new year," and we… as well as other people… commented that this was better than the actual 2014-2015 Johnny's Countdown, OTL. Next, Sho introduced a race that happens every year in January. Contestants run towards Nishinomiya Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture (near Kobe) and the first one to get there and hug (?) a priest is that year's "fukuotoko" or "lucky man." They showed the video about it, and then Sho asked Keito if he had heard of "fukuotoko." Keito replied in English, "Oh, Lucky Man?" XD;; Then Sho asked how he knew, and Keito said in English, "I saw it on News Zero… thanks for letting me know!" or something along those lines. |D;;;
Then, Sho called out this year's fukuotoko, and said JUMP and Arashi were going to race him to the stage. They had blow up Shinto priests for them to hug to show that they were the winners |D; They decided that their strategy for that day was to have JUMP block the guy, and to have Jun and Aiba try to run ahead XD You can see a diagram on twitter here. XD; However, as you might guess, this plan did not succeed. XD; The guy broke through all the JUMP members and beat everyone, because as competitive as Jun and Aiba are, they're not that fast. |D;
After that, they introduced a secret talk that had been recorded at the time they recorded Love So Sweet, complete with animated bodies and pasted on heads from the time (so they all looked really young and had awesome hair). They talked about a variety of things that I honestly don't remember (I'm sorry T__T;) but I do remember that Aiba talked about how he thought a half body bath meant you laid in the bathtub and stuck your legs up into the air?? XD
Next, it was time to ask someone about their ambition for ten years from now (on a previous day, Inoo had said he wanted to have a TV show called Ino-san like Nino's show ahaha), and they chose Yabu. Yabu told a story of a time he was recently filming with Daiki and Yamada (I think it must have been the episode of Itadaki where they cooked?) and some kids passed by. First they recognized Yamada, then they recognized Daiki from Hiru Nan Desu, but they didn't recognize Yabu at all, so Yabu said he goal was to have people recognize him and have every member of JUMP be loved by all kids of people ten years from now. He tried to say 老若男女 (rou nyaku nan nyo) which means "men and women young and old," or basically all kinds of people, but he totally tripped over his words and couldn't get it out. |D;; Yamada commented that after the incident Yabu had described, Yabu got really moody and unenthusiastic. XD;; Daiki tried to comfort him, saying he was just recognized because of Hiru Nan Desu, rather than as a member of JUMP, and Yuto added that once he was mistaken for a small time local idol, rather than Johnny's. XD;
After Sho's corner, it was time again for graduation! Aiba gave the graduation speech, and each member of JUMP got to step forward and say something (except you couldn't really hear Hikaru because he had no voice |D). After that, they sang Furusato while walking off the stage, and then got on the carts. Jun gave Hikaru a hard time about having no voice. |D; The carts went around the dome and we were able to wave at them. Then, at the end (I think?) Jun talked about Tomodachi no Hi, which they had decided at last year's Waku Waku, and showed off his "Thank友" cards for friends. It's a pun-- the kanji means friend and can be pronounced "yu." I think at this point, Keito said "Thank you, Jun" one last time. |D;; Then, it was time for them to leave, but before they left, Arashi wished JUMP good luck with 24 Hour TV and their tour… and then that was it!
Obviously I'm biased since I like JUMP, but I thought this year was really fun. I think it was more interesting with more people to watch, and they were able to pull off more different things than with just five. Of course, Arashi is great just by themselves, but it's pretty rare to get to see them being senpai to people as much younger than them as JUMP, and it's fun to watch them interact. JUMP and Arashi have a great rapport now, and this show had a fun and comfortable atmosphere that showed it. Also, about a million jokes were spawned at this event that then had to be repeated on TV so that people who weren't at the event could know them. |D; All in all, I thought it was a great show~
I'm sorry again that this is so late! But hopefully it's still amusing even now, two and a half months later. T___T; I'm going to try to catch up on things from now on!