19 November 2011

Arashi, Storming to the Top

Members: Ohno Satoshi, Ninomiya Kazunari, Sakurai Sho, Aiba Misaki & Matsumoto Jun

Top row (left to right) Sakurai Sho & Ohno Satoshi
Bottom row (left to right) Ninomiya Kazunari, Matsumoto Jun & Aiba Misaki

Arashi was the second group to debut with the FIVB tournament and are easily the most successful as of now. Their name is simply the Japanese word for 'storm'. They debuted in 1999 and set the standard of being surprised with a debut announcement. The five were sent to Hawaii together and while there on a boat cruise told they were debuting as a group together and then had to hold a press conference about it.

Their debut single A. Ra. Shi debuted at number 1 and had good sales but following sales lacked in comparison for years, as they don't have an unbroken string of #1 singles since debut. In the years right before their tenth anniversary this began to change until they reached their peak during their tenth anniversary. Even though they have most likely peaked they still retain much of the popularity and good sales from their tenth anniversary year and are likely to keep that for years to come.

Since 2007 they have been breaking sales records with their singles and albums and in 2009 had the top selling single, album and DVD on the Oricon chart for the year. They still remain the top selling Johnny's group and one of the highest selling Japanese artists in Japan.

They have three variety programs all of them host together, VS Arashi, Himitsu no Arashi-chan and Arashi ni Shiyagare.

Ohno Satoshi is the oldest member of the group and gained the position of leader after a game of janken with the other group members for it. Of the group he is known for being the best vocalist and is usually the lead singer for their songs. He loves to fish and drawing, painting and sculpting and even held his own exhibition for his artwork.

Sakurai Sho is the only member to have gone and completed university and it was at the prestigious Keio University with a degree in Economics. His graduation has spurred other Johnny’s to also go to university so with most of the newer groups there’s at least one university student/graduate. He also does and writes all the raps in Arashi songs. While other groups have incorporated rap and raps into their songs Sho really popularized it and is often given as an inspiration for his kouhai to trying rap themselves. But while he excels with his brains his weakness is the physical and fails a lot on variety programs that have physical challenges or involve drawing. He is also the first Johnny’s to become a newscaster.

Aiba Masaki is the one in the group that almost always has a smile on his face. He is known for one of the variety programs he’s on, Tensai! Shimura Dobutsen, where he interacts with various animals. In 2002 he had to be hospitalized because of a collapsed lung but fully recovered though in 2011 he had a relapse and was hospitalized again but only for a short time as it was not as bad as the first time.

Ninomiya Kazunari is known for having been in a Hollywood film directed by famous actor/director Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima. He’s known for being stingy and playing video games in any free time that he has. He also likes to play pranks on people, especially his fellow group members.

Matsumoto Jun is one of the few Johnny’s that did not have to be called in to audition to be accepted into the agency, he was selected from his application alone. He starred in the Hana Yori Dango drama series and is probably best known for his role as Domyoji for it. He’s not a strong singer or dancer but he is in charge of planning the group’s concerts.

(from left to right) Matsumoto Jun, Ohno Satoshi, Aiba Misaki,
Ninomiya Kazunari & Sakurai Sho

TRIVIA: They were originally signed on the Pony Canyon music label but in 2001 were moved over to the agency owned music label J-Storm, which was created for them.

Next Entry > The Inseparable Duo, Tackey & Tsubasa  

Directory >
Johnny’s Juniors, full of rising stars and heartbreak
The Early and Rocky Path to Fame
Kondo Masahiko: Singer, Dancer, Actor, Professional Race Car Driver
Giving a New Meaning to Playzone, Shounentai
Hikaru Genji, Shining the Brightest and Crashing the Hardest
Otokogumi, Rocking It Old School
The Living Legend of SMAP
TOKIO, From Spaceships to the Over 30s World
Victory, Volleyball, Vegetable, Vicylce? V6
KinKi Kids, It's Not What You Think
Arashi, Storming to the Top
The Inseparable Duo, Tackey & Tsubasa
North, East, West, South ... It's big NEWS
Kansai Underdogs,  Kanjani∞
Cartoon? KAT-TUN!
Jumping to Their Dreams, Hey! Say! JUMP
Johnny's Black Sheep, Akanishi Jin
How to Debut Without Even Trying, Ikuta Toma
Kis-My-Ft2, Everybody Go (Roller Skating)!
Yamashita Tomohisa, Johnny’s Golden Boy
Entering the Sexy Zone
The 5Stars A.B.C-Z
International Ventures
Johnny's and Charity 
Odds & Ends


Karina said...

For example Arashi or also SMAP show that it is possible to become a lot more successful through the years. so any Johnny´s groups who don´t debut that successfully still have a chance.
I think Arashi can release any kind of single, may it be a good or bad one, they have already such a huge and loyal fanbase who will buy any kind of stuff.
They are simply super popular!

Amai Yume said...

Oh I didn't know about J-Storm being created for them...is that where the "storm" comes from? XD

...then the "J" for "Johnny?"

It all makes sense now!...if that's what it is of course...

Chris said...

I always wonder what Arashi or JE did so that Arashi could have become suddenly so popular around 2009 or so. Did they change their music style? Or more promotion??
Ithink Jounnys can be happy to have Arashi because they are THE moneybringer!

Thennary Nak said...

@ Karina

I personally think that groups that don't start strong tend to have that extra drive to do well as they know they just won't be given chances so they need to make the few they do count.

Yep, Arashi does seem to be at that stage. It'll be interesting to see how long they keep that up.

@ Amai Yume

Pretty much. J-Storm was created for them much in the same way Johnny's Entertainment was created for Kinki Kids.

@ Chris

I think it was just finally catching a good break with Hana Yori Dango. The drama was popular and not only was Matsujun starring in it but the group was doing the theme song for it. And I think from there things just continued to grow as people began to get interested in the group from there.