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I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Arashi -- Love So Sweet




I've seen the good fellows from Arashi(嵐)so often on the variety show circuit and in the dramas that at times, I've gone "Oh, yeah, these guys also sing and dance, too". Yup, they do and they've got the legions of fans and regular concerts to prove that. And a number of my students have also gotten together to compare which Arashi member they prefer....is it the sober-sided Ono-kun? MatsuJun? Nino? For some reason, I cannot recall such fevered talk among my young Padawan when previous Johnny's Entertainment kingpins, SMAP, were at the top of the heap.

As I mentioned in my only other article on the current Johnny's leaders, "A-RA-SHI", I'm not such a huge fan of Arashi's musical output aside from a couple of songs. "A-RA-SHI" is one and the other is the target of this article, "Love So Sweet". Not being familiar with the group's discography and history, I was surprised that their 18th single was released in February 2007, some 8 years after their debut. The other surprise was that Arashi wrote their own lyrics to the song and that Kazunari "Nino" Ninomiya came up with the music. And the cherry on top was that I really have liked the song.



In fact, as much as I remember the slightly hip-pop catchiness of "A-RA-SHI", I also remember the smooth pop of "Love So Sweet". As amiable as Ono-kun, MatsuJun, Nino, Sakurai-kun and Aiba-kun have been on TV, I never expected them that they could up with something this pleasant and polished (just my opinion here, mind you). I especially like the part when the key changes and the group sings "Omoide zutto zutto wasurenai sora"(思い出ずっとずっと忘れない空...the memory of the ever-unforgettable sky), and that is the part that I always remember first when it comes to "Love So Sweet".

Well, a lot of folks loved "Love So Sweet" as well. It went Double Platinum as it hit the top spot on Oricon, and ended up as the 4th-ranked song for 2007. The song racked up over 200,000 sales in its first week alone and finished the year selling close to 430,000 copies; it's been seen as the breakthrough song for Arashi. Plus it was used as a fight song of sorts for the group on their variety show "G no Arashi"(Gの嵐...G's Arashi)and as the theme song for "Hana Yori Dango 2"(花より男子2...Boys Over Flowers 2)which featured MatsuJun.




Mind you, as much as I like the song....the choreography, not so much.


4 comments:

  1. Hi, J-Canuck.

    Although I don't consider myself an Arashi fan, I probably tolerate them more than you do when it comes to their music. If I'm correct, I have around 30 songs from them that I truly enjoy.

    "Love So Sweet", like you said, was their breakthrough. They started really high with "A-RA-SHI", but declined in sales just after that. It was only with and after "Love So Sweet" that they became the Arashi we know today.

    About the song, it's also one of my favourites thanks to its catchy chorus (I also like the part you highlighted) and the mellow arrangement. It's typical boyband material, but done right. My mother is also a fan of the song, alongside "Everything".

    You commented briefly about the choreography, and it's really ridiculous. However, I think they enjoy it very much, just like a parody of themselves, or something like that. Personally, even though I also disliked it, the fact that every Arashi concert includes a performance of "Love So Sweet" made me accustom with the choreography.

    My only problem with "Love So Sweet" is not the song per se, but the fact that Arashi started releasing very similar songs every year after its success. Let's say they kind of abuses of the old formula.

    As a side note, I was at an event related to Japanese culture today and we played a game where we had to answer if a sentence was correct or wrong. One of the statements was if Sakurai Sho was a member of Arashi. Surprisingly, I was one of the few that knew the sentence was correct. It was kind of embarrassing to know it, though, hahaha.

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    1. Hi Marcos.

      I would have loved to have seen the expression on your face and everyone else's faces when you gave the right answer. :) Were you thinking "Oh, my goodness...what did I just do?"

      Yeah, I think you probably beat me in the Arashi popularity contest. At this point, I've been enjoying watching them more as variety show regulars. If they have indeed just been copying on the success of "Love So Sweet" all these years, then I probably won't be becoming a huge fan of their music.

      As for the choreography behind "Love So Sweet", yep...I cringed a bit when I saw them dance at the beginning of the song. I'm glad that the boys haven't taken it too seriously, though. Mind you, I was never all that impressed with SMAP's choreography either (sorry, SMAP and Arashi fans!).

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  2. Hi J-Canuck.

    Yep, I actually kinda like this song... ... Never saw that coming! And I don't know why but it feels weird to listen to it and watch them dancing around. I'm probably too used to seeing the oldies just standing around while singing.

    I first heard "Love So Sweet" a while ago (before I knew enka) on Music Station - Arashi was one of the guests on the show and they did a medley. I remember one of the songs being quite catchy and didn't sound too bad, now I know that it was "Love So Sweet". Listening to it now, it sounds like your typical, sweet-sounding aidoru tune.

    I see that you and Marcos had touched on the choreography of the guys. It's rather cheesy in an aidoru sort of way - trying to be smooth and cool and yet elegant to appeal to the fans - and the bit where they ran in a circle with their arms out looking like their flying was just ridiculously funny. But if I were to look at it from their target audience's point of view (I think I'm still within their target audience, actually), I'd probably think that it's pretty cute.

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    1. Hi Noelle.

      Yeah, I'll never mistake Arashi's choreography for something that would be entered in the appropriate Hall of Fame, but if I could find the CD single for "Love So Sweet", I would be able to part with my money.

      I'm not an optimist by any means, but perhaps there may be some hidden treasures in the Arashi discography. :)

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