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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

SMAP -- Kono Toki, Kitto Yume ja nai (この瞬間、きっと夢じゃない)

Ahhhh, yes. If you are a SMAP fan looking at the above photo, you may be swooning and even shedding a tear. After all, we're not only in the countdown to the end of 2016 but also in the last few days before the former kings of the Johnny's Entertainment castle formally end their 28-year existence in the entertainment industry.

My friend, fellow blog collaborator Larry, and I were having lunch down at my favourite izakaya yesterday and discussing partially on some of the various musical developments over the decades. The topic of SMAP came up, and Larry told me that the media is reporting that the group will not show up at the Kohaku Utagassen for one final song and bow on Saturday night. Now, that may be true but knowing NHK's penchant for throwing surprises at us through the Kohaku over the past few years, I still think the producers may be able to pull a last-minute SMAP rabbit out of the hat. Supposedly, the current kings, Arashi(嵐), are going to be the last guys up to perform at around 11:30 pm, so wouldn't it be quite the finish for those guys to suddenly give the stage to their honoured sempai in a move so typically sentimental that the ratings might spike up into the stratosphere? In any case, let's stay tuned.

The other day, I was watching the weekly Sunday sportscast on NHK via TV Japan when the usual focus on a certain athlete came on. The schtick here was that the athlete in question would also mention a song that would inspire him/her the most, and in this case, it was a female volleyball player and her choice happened to be a SMAP ballad titled "Kono Toki, Kitto Yume ja nai" (This Moment Is No Dream).

In all honesty, I had never heard of this song until that Sunday but it was used as the TBS Olympic coverage theme song for the Beijing Games in 2008. I guess I was always going to NHK for my Olympic fix. But I have to admit that SMAP's 43rd single is quite soothing yet inspiring to listen to, just the tonic for an Olympics theme if balladry is the choice here. Heck, even Nakai-kun is less grating on the ears than usual. And I'm always grateful for that.

"Kono Toki, Kitto Yume ja nai" was released in August 2008 and created by a band called Hi-Fi Camp. It was another No. 1 in the long series of chart-topping hits for SMAP (in fact, right to the end, all subsequent singles peaked no lower than No. 1). It ended up as the 49th-ranked single of the year, and has been placed in a few of their albums, one being their 18th called "super.modern.artistic.performance" which was released in September. That release also went to No. 1 and was the 38th-ranked album of the year.

Now again, if SMAP does show up at the end of the Kohaku, in all likelihood, they will sing what is arguably their most beloved hit, "Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana"(世界に一つだけの花). However, if the group goes into medley mode, then I wouldn't mind hearing "Kono Toki" in there. In any case, it's been a good run for Nakai-kun, KimiTaku, Kusanagi, Inagaki and Katori and I'm positive that all of them will be showing up individually on other variety shows and dramas in the future. But let us give our farewells to SMAP. All hail SMAP!

Yes, that was the 6th SMAP member
at the lower-left corner. Do you remember who he is?
Please do not lick the screen.

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