January 27th, 2021

Thank you for 2 years of precious memories

2021.01.27
Today marks 2 years since Arashi announced their decision for the hiatus.
I've already talked about my feelings about the hiatus on a previous post, so I thought I'd just talk about special moments in the 2 years since then.
I've been meaning to write about them for a while now.. time really does go too fast.

2019.11.03
On this day, Arashi turned 20. A few days prior we were surprised by Arashi's sudden Youtube clip, saying that "something was going to happen" on 11.3, and to tune in Youtube Live that day.
I think that much of the fandom were slightly anxious about the fact that this was another press conference, given the previous one was about the hiatus. However, Arashi looked joyful in the video so I thought this was pretty unlikely.

Youtube press conference
A few hours before the press conference, we got an fc video message from Arashi, telling us about the press conference.
It was unreal seeing Arashi on a social media platform, on Youtube Live! And knowing that everyone around the whole world could watch this Live streaming. When Arashi appeared they even gave their greetings in English. The press conference lasted around 30 minutes, where Arashi delivered an incredible amount of information!
- the opening of their social media on 6 platforms in order to be closer with their fans
- announcement of Arafes2020 at the new Kokuritsu stadium on May 15th and 16th
- Beijing concert next year
- Jetstorm across 4 countries from 9th November
- 5x20 tour final live viewing to be broadcasted across 520 cinema screens in Japan
- all 64 A-side songs released digitally
- release of new single Turning Up that evening, and that Arashi will participate in the chat prior to the single premiere

I think my mouth was open the whole time I watched this. Everything about it was unbelievable.
There were so many things to look forward to, starting today, in the very close future, and through to next year as well. And the fact that we were able to hear Arashi saying this live to everyone in the world - this was an incredible experience for an international fan. I replayed it several times to make sure I got he information correctly.
After the press conference, Arashi posted on the fc page again and summarised the key information and events of the press conference.
It certainly gave the feeling that "something new is starting to happen" or like "a new storm is starting to stir".
Everything was so so exciting!

Of course after that, I liked Arashi on their SNS accounts and even made SNS accounts that I never used just so I could follow them. Their first post was Arashi holding up a sign which said "Hello" in every language.
I was glad to see that my mothertongue language was also included (as well as English of course).

Arashi first Instalive
Around dinner time, Arashi surprised us by streaming their first Instalive! This was totally unexpected and unannounced!
I was lucky that I was on my computer when I saw someone post that Arashi was doing an Instalive. Almost not believing this was true, I turned on Instagram anyway and was met by all 5 of them sitting at a table with party food decorated with balloons at the back showing "20". I think I entered pretty early, while they were still being surprised about the number of people joining even though they hadn't announced anything.
I can't remember in detail what Arashi talked about, but they answered questions in real time that were posted by fans through Instagram. They asked whether we've listened to Turning Up, and about the MV premiere that was to come. They talked about the things they had announced earlier that day. One clever fan asked them to pose for a screenshot - this was definitely a new experience too! We watched them eat pizza and just have fun with us in a relaxed way. The Instalive lasted almost an hour! I was so surprised that we could spend time LIVE with Arashi like this. 

Turning Up MV Premiere
After Instalive, there was a short break before the Turning Up MV premiere. About 10 minutes before the premiere, Arashi members all joined the Youtube chat. There were so so so many people there. Everyone's messages flew by like a flash! I also added my messages too. Arashi's messages were visible because it remained at the top. The members were all really surprised too - I think Ohno wrote "so fast..."
Then the MV started. Because there were so many people, the streaming was very choppy for me, but it was so fun just knowing that Arashi and so many other people are watching this at the same time. I watched it again after the premiere finished. I loved the MV of Turning Up! It was so beautifully done and held so much excitement and happiness. Arashi were so bright!

And that was how Arashi's 20th debut anniversary day turned out. It was exhilarating! From the press conference in the morning, right through the premiere of Turning Up in the evening. Everything was filled with so much information and energy. It definitely felt that something new was about to start. That the storm that is Arashi has begun to stir again after 20 years, starting to spread it's wings across the whole world.
And most of all, I felt like I was able to spend the whole day with Arashi. I felt so close to Arashi. The feeling of spending a whole day with Arashi, that we were connected in real time and seeing and experiencing the same things together despite being physically far away, was an experience I have never experienced. It was not something I had ever imagined. This day was so precious and so memorable to me. It was so precious to almost the level of attending a live concert. I will never forget it!

2019.11.09
Arashi's performance for the Coronation of the new Emperor
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