☆ As I mentioned previously, I went back to America for two weeks in July. My current workplace has summer vacation about two weeks earlier than my previous job, so it was a little off from previous years, and it actually had me sort of jumbled up based on things I usually am able to do surrounding my summer break (for example, I missed The Music Day, which was annoying, but all in all, I had a good, relaxing time at home with my family! I got to see my pets, eat nostalgic foods, and watch American TV, so... that's a win for me? XD;
☆ After getting back, I randomly was able to go see Reia when Seven Men Samurai appeared in the Hi Hi Jets Summer Station show. yomimashou is still a member of the Junior fanclub, and we balloted on a whim when we heard that Reia was going to appear... and hit! It was really nice to see him perform again (he's still wonderful and talented ♥), but man did I feel like a grandma surrounded by all the screaming teenagers there to see some teenagers who think they're really cool. I don't know anything about Hi Hi Jets and I have absolutely nothing against them, but I have to say, the appeal was lost on me. It was sort of depressing to know that I'm getting old. |D;
☆ The next day, I went to see Massu's play at the Globe. Despite the fact that yomimashou and I balloted for it 15 times (!!!), we didn't hit even once, and had to pay a stupid amount for resale tickets for the very last row, but it was definitely worth it! A musical made up of only Johnny's songs was, as expected, pretty great, and I always enjoy Massu's singing. His acting left something to be desired, but that wasn't really the point of the play, anyway, and it was just a really fun watch from beginning to end.
☆ In the meantime, both Shige and Inochan's dramas started! Having both of my tans have dramas at once has been a really strange and overwhelming experience (I've bought so many magazines in the past few months!), but I'm really happy about it! Unfortunately, Inochan's airs past midnight on a week night, so I'm not able to watch it in real time, but I've been recording it each week. While it's sort of weird and goofy with a lot of sex and otherwise body-related humor, which is not usually to my taste, it somehow fits Inochan well, and his character is pretty delightful. I'm actually not totally caught up right now, but I'm looking forward to when I get the chance to watch the most recent episodes.
☆ On that topic, COSMIC☆HUMAN is also a really great song that I really enjoy a whole lot, and I'm so happy Inochan had such a perfect song for his drama theme song. The sales weren't great in comparison to JUMP's recent sales, which was sad, but I'm just happy Inochan had such a really wonderful single made for the theme song for his drama.
☆ Meanwhile, Shige's drama actually started while I was in America, which was crappy timing, but after the first episode, I've been able to watch in real time. The premise is extremely goofy (the parallels to Yu-gi-oh are a little ridiculous, and Shige's character was supposed to be a high schooler in the original manga, which shows in his behavior if you ask me, lol) and I feel like they're trying to fit a 26 episode (two anime seasons) series into 10 episodes (presumably? Most dramas run 10 episodes), but it suddenly got way better last week, and this past week's episode (episode 6) was a real treat. In particular, I really am enjoying Tego's performance (I was not expecting that!), as well as the way the stories have started to turn out maybe slightly more nuanced and slightly less straightforwardly "let's solve this with the power of friendship by the skin of our teeth" shonen anime style. I really hope it continues to go well for the second half of the drama!
☆ Relatedly, I also really like Ikiro as a song, and I'm anxiously awaiting the CD release (which is sadly distant). Seeing the guys sing it really emotionally, enough so that Tego cried, at the 15th anniversary concert really moved me, and it's really grown on me especially since then. I'm also waiting with bated breath to find out what's in the mystserious anniversary box (though they did give some spoilers in the concert).
☆ Tying into that previous point, I saw Strawberry both days at Ajinomoto Stadium, and boy do I never want to see another open air concert ever again in my life. I'll try to write up a report at some point (I know, I know...), but the humidity was killer, and having so many people in that venue made the logistics of going to the stadium, getting inside, getting out again, and getting home totally miserable. The arena in particular was set up really awfully, with only two entrances that had pinch points such that people basically had to wait in a single-file line to get into the arena, which is what led to the show starting so late on Saturday. But, the guys did a really good job with the set up and (presumably) minimal rehearsals that they had, and I had a really great time. Happy 15th anniversay, NEWS! They've gotten through so much, and I'm really proud of them.
☆ JUMP's album comes out this week, which I'm looking forward to! I don't really like the dance style that they've chosen this time (the light and fluffy cute pop style is more to my taste), but I'm still interested to see what they do with it, and I really can't wait to hear Inochan's solo! I'm really, really excited that they're finally having solos for the first time, so I'm definitely on the edge of my seat to see what he does with it. I'm also going to see one of the Tokyo shows of the tour, so I'm interested to see what they have planned for the tour, as well.
☆ Maybe the last bullet point of this stupidly long post is that I recently bought a Wii. You may be thinking this was an interesting life choice 10 years after the Wii was originally introduced, but... I really wanted to have the Wii Fit game so that I could work out in my own home. I made Miis of all the Johnny's I like (as you do, lol) and I'm enjoying cycling and jogging and doing other goofy excercise activities with them, so I think it's been a success so far. XD;
I can't believe that August is more than halfway over! Work is about to go back into a busy cycle, but at least I'm prepared now that I've been here for a year. Ganbarimasu!