There is a very brief introduction to the show by Meimi and we immediately go right into a song because we have things to do today! Out of all the requests that the 2nd gen members have been supplying to the radio station staff, one of them got her wish! But first, music.
Song: S/mileage – Eighteen Emotion
Tamura Theater: The Lion King Special Gekidan Tamura, in which Tamura Meimi acts out scripts sent in by the listeners and covers her favorite theater topics
Meimi starts us out with some facts about The Lion King, the musical. I’m sure most of you could guess that it is based on the 1994 Disney film of the same name, but the musical has been in production since 1997, it is the fourth-longest running Broadway show in history and still running, and it is the highest grossing Broadway production of all time. The Japanese adaption has been running since 1998 by Gekidanshiki, Meimi’s beloved theater company. Meimi first saw the musical on a field trip and was impressed by how packed it was even having run so long, and, as a special treat, Meimi got to sit down and talk with the current actor in the role of Simba, Minami Akito! Woo! If The Lion King inside a radio broadcast booth with a Japanese pop idol sounds familiar, there’s a reason.
Anyway, cut to Meimi and Mr. Minami. Meimi takes a minute to fangirl and thank the staff and the actor and Gekidanshiki for letting her sit down and speak with him. She reveals that she has seen The Lion King musical at least 4 times and has seen over 20 different Gekidanshiki productions, to which Minami responds with: “Wow.”
The show today gets off to a rocky start as Kananan accidentally introduces Takechan as “Takeda,” and they cry as they realize there is only one month left in 2014. But that’s okay, Kananan wants it to be over soon anyway. They also realize that the ending of the year means that S/mileage will officially be 9 members, however, and that is a very strange feeling. Kananan says that they’ve done a handful of jobs already as 9, but she’s so used to seeing S/mileage as 6 that it’s taking some getting used to. It’s only 3 new people but it feels like so many. It’s surreal for them to think that it will be a permanent change come next year. Then Kananan gets a little morbid.
Kananan: I do want it to be over… but I keep getting older every year and I’m going to die and no it’s too soon! I don’t want to die! Takechan: It’s a little early for that. Kananan: No! I don’t want to die… Takechan: You’re still only 17, though. Kananan: I have so many things I still want to do… Takechan: You can still do them!
In any case, they’ll be doing Hello!Con rehearsals until the year ends.
Remember when I posted that picture of a super cute and girly Takeda? Yeah, this is more like it.
So this week, as is the case in the last week of every month, is Power-up Week, or Pair-up Week, or Pears-world Week, or something. Kananan can’t read it. Anyway, that means that two people who submitted messages and letters to the show will be drawn to receive autographed Smile Fantasy posters. The first name drawn is Higu, who writes that they have just started to like S/mileage. They were watching the 3rd gen announcement on Hello!Sta and then went back to watch some older S/mileage videos and found that they had a lot of fun watching 2nd gen. The last time they paid attention to S/mileage was during Samui ne., and they’re shocked at how much better everyone has gotten in their last single at singing and dancing and being expressive. Right now they’re taking college entrance exams so they want S/mileage to have fun in their place. The second name drawn is Miyuki, who drew pictures of AMeRiKa in their member colors in place of a letter. Congrats to the two of them.
November 23 is Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan, which is the day of this broadcast, but more importantly, Christmas is only a month away, yay! As Takechan glosses over the more current holidays, they go straight into talking about Christmas for this year. Takechan and Kananan joke briefly about their romantic plans for the holiday, since Japan doesn’t really have the religious factor for Christmas and it is celebrated largely as a holiday for couples, and then Kananan says she plans on having a Christmas party at her house.
Takechan really wants to go out and see Christmas lights… but only on her way home or through the window of a car driving by to avoid having to be the only single person in a cluster of boyfriends and girlfriends. Kananan concurs, as she really wants to go out and look at the lights but the last time she tried that she felt so bad about herself by going alone and being surrounded by couples that she left after a few minutes. They probably will not end up going out to see any at all.
Japan has some really impressive holiday lights… but yeah, it’s awkward going alone
However, something else important happens on Christmas and that is Santa. Kananan and Takechan drop some not so subtle hints about something they both want for Christmas, or at least who they want things from.
Kananan: Christmas also means that Santa comes, doesn’t it? Takechan: It sure does. Kananan: And I was thinking, hey, wouldn’t he come to the radio station as well? Takechan: Definitely he would. Kananan: I mean getting presents is lots of fun… Takechan: Yeah, we’d just walk into the studio and… oooh! Santa has come! Kananan: Yes, look at all our presents! Takechan: We’ll be waiting. Kananan: Please.
The show today opens with Rinapuu asking Meimi what marks the start of winter for her, as it’s starting to get chilly during the morning and evening. Meimi begins to describe the cool winter breeze blowing into her room and sparkling in the morning in a very dream-like voice, which freaks Rinapuu out: “Please go back to normal,” she asks, before Meimi starts singing out of nowhere. “Please be quiet, the listeners–“ Rinapuu tries to stop her but it’s too late, Meimi is in her own world now.
It turns out that it’s the final day of Wicked in Japan and Meimi is doing her best Glinda impression as a result. Rinapuu doesn’t know who that is, but she does know that Elphaba is the name of one of the characters although she’s not sure which one (“The green one?”).
Rinapuu knows that it’s winter when she starts to get affected more by static electricity. She hates static electricity more than anything, possibly even more than bugs. Meimi remembers back when they shot the Mystery Night PV and it was freezing cold in those outfits so they all wore big coats… except Rinapuu. Rinapuu says it’s because taking the coat on and off would give her the static electricity prickles and she doesn’t want to staff members to keep getting shocked from putting it on and off of her either. Plus, her hair gets messed up from it and she doesn’t want to have to keep asking the hair dresser to fix it for her. Static electricity is her least favorite thing, but it’s how she knows winter is around the corner. Continue reading →
Since it’s November, the discussion opens up on campus festivals, which normally occur during this time of year. These festivals are what the name implies, they’re essentially carnivals on university campuses with lots of food and games hosted by different school clubs and their are music and dance showcases for the students, and usually the school books some musical acts to perform. Rinapuu, not a college student, remembers that they performed at one festival last year and it was kind of a surreal experience. Normally they have lots of fans that show up wherever they go, but their typical wota behavior like jumping or dancing isn’t exactly encouraged at these sorts of events, especially if they aren’t students, they had to rely on the reactions of the students who were there instead. They were all really worried about how they would react since they’re not college students and still rather young by comparison, but it ended up being really fun and the crowd was very supportive.
Who would ever guess she’s not a college student?
Meimi, also not a college student, says that she went to one once with Kanyon and Kananan when they had time to hang out. It was incredibly fun, so much so that she didn’t want to go home. Rinapuu wants to try working at festival or a theme park, as well. In particular, she wants to be that one person who always waves and says “have fun!” in kind of a sarcastic way at the front of haunted houses or roller coasters. You know the one. I think it suits her.
The 2nd generation members
They take a moment to reflect on the past two shows, in which all of the 2nd gen members were present. Rinapuu says it was a whole lot of fun and it made her appreciate the radio show even more, because she’s not sure there would be too many other opportunities to showcase how all 4 of them interact together otherwise. Meimi has a bit of a complaint, though: they were set up in a room to record where they really couldn’t see each other too well, and she thinks it would have been more fun to be able to see everyone’s faces as they talked. Rinapuu points out that this is rude to the staff who let all 4 of them get together in the first place and besides, if they could see everyone’s faces they probably would have laughed too much to actually record any talking.
The discussion starts off today with the question, “What is culture?” Kananan responds quickly with, “Japanese food, Japanese clothes, Japanese art… which means Wada-san!” Takechan is incredibly impressed and asks her if she looked this up beforehand. She did, of course, but all of this was just an elaborate segue to talk about everyone’s favorite leader, Dawa. Meimi says that she has made plans with Dawa to share their respective hobbies. They went to see Wicked together (since there are few things Meimi loves more than Wicked) and they’ve been talking about visiting different temples together. Takechan, on the other hand, reports that she made a bet for the winner of a Central Baseball League game and her team lost, although she wants everyone to know it was a very, very close game. As a punishment, she has to make a written report of her thoughts on Dawa’s book, A Maiden’s Guide to Paintings. She has not started yet. Rinapuu says that Dawa recently bought her and Takechan some Harry Potter merchandise since their both such big fans. Meimi begins to pout, “She didn’t get me anything…” Kananan points out that earlier when Dawa was out with Meimi, though, they met up with Kananan and took purikura without Rinapuu or Takechan, so it evens out.
No Takechan or Rinapuu in sight
Moving on, Takechan asks if anyone has done anything interesting lately. Meimi immediately chimes in with, “Religious study!” Yes, this is true: Meimi went on her own personal time out to a temple to do a day of training with the monks. Rinapuu thinks this is weird, but Kananan might like to go and try it once. Meimi says it was really intense, as she ran so much she thought her legs would give out and they hiked so far she couldn’t breathe and then she did some waterfall mediation. She was about to give up halfway through but then she realized she might never get the opportunity to do waterfall meditation ever again so she gave it a go. She thinks that if she had stuck with it she really might have considered becoming a monk.
A monk actually took this
While her generation-mates sway her away from the path of a monk, Meimi informs us that she did take away something very important from the experience and that is gratitude. She ate a meal with the monks and said that they spend a long time doing prayers before eating and always make sure to express their thanks for receiving anything. She emphasizes how difficult the waterfall meditation was, though, as it was very chilly and she can’t imagine doing it in February like the monks do. She also notes how very few women ever do the hike up to the waterfall so she feels special for being able to do it. Takechan doesn’t think that first year high school students ever do anything like that, either, and mentions how strange Meimi is.
It’s Power-up Week for Radio Nippon, which means that this is a special show. It’s special in that hosts Takechan and Rinapuu have invited some special guests to join them in the recording booth today. Who are they? It’s a surprise. Rinapuu gives us a hint that they’re as cute as angels, which means the only answer could possibly Kananan and visual-center of S/mileage Tamura Meimi! Shocking! This leads to a lot of commotion considering Meimi’s opinion of herself on the last show, and so the top 3 beauties edge her out of the conversation. Kananan hopes that her cuteness will adequately be conveyed over the radio and Takechan and Rinapuu thank her for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with them. Meimi does not get to talk anymore.
Song: S/mileage – Samui, ne.
A Thorough Debate
In this special corner, the members will discuss and debate each other on a given topic, namely, what should S/mileage do to prepare for the coming year. Rinapuu assures us that despite the long into from Takechan for this corner, it’s basically just them talking about whatever they want. Kananan says that now that they have 9 members, an odd number, she can finally take her place as a true center. The other members start to scream over her, especially Takechan, who says that it will definitely be her. Kananan continues to say that it’s strange thinking of themselves as 9 members because she has only ever talked to AiAi at the last Hello!Con but no one else has spoken to any of them. Meimi says it’s weird interacting with the Kenshuusei in general because she never knows who might be in the same group as her later on. It’s a puzzle. The fans probably enjoy it, though. Kananan asks who she thinks will make friends with the new members the fastest. Everyone is pretty sure it will be Kananan, but Kananan thinks that it will probably be Rinapuu. Rinapuu is the type to be the last to actually speak to the new members but will probably make friends with them the fastest. Rinapuu says it’s because she doesn’t know how to talk to new people so she just sits back and watches how other people interact with them, then uses that information to make friends with them. Continue reading →
Radio Nippon’s October Power-up week is coming up, so Meimi asks Takechan was she would like to do for it. Before Takechan can answer, Meimi interrupts with her idea. She wants to bring someone involved in omiai brought into the studio to talk about their job and how it works and if they could put the S/mileage members into the rotation to see what people’s reactions would be. Takechan says she’ll pass. Some of you are probably familiar with the concept of omiai, but in case you aren’t, I’ll explain. Typically when someone in Japan gets married, it’s because of one of two things, renai (恋愛) or miai (見合い). If you can read those characters you might guess what the difference is, but renai is romantic love, so you meet someone and date them and eventually fall in love and get married and theoretically live happily ever after. Miai is when you’re reaching an age where you want to get married (or in many cases when your family thinks you should be getting married) but don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend and have no realistic prospects, so you meet with a miai specialist, a matchmaker, essentially, or sometimes a grandmother or other relative with connections to find you someone who you might not love romantically, but could see as a lifelong partner and parent to your children and can support your household. Once it’s established that you don’t hate each other in person, you get married. Nakazawa Yuko got married this way; it’s a fairly common practice still, there’s your Japanese culture lesson for the day. Anyway, what Meimi was asking for, then, was to be put into the pile of ladies for men to choose from and for the matchmaker to gauge how good of a candidate she’d be. Takechan is understandably weirded out.
Takechan’s idea is instead to go out somewhere and record the show. They’ve been talking a lot about going to an amusement park for their 100th show so they can’t go there, but she thinks it would be fun to go to a school or pre-school and talk to the students there for the radio show. However, Meimi questions the practicality of going out in public and talking to people, not because of technical difficulties but because none of the members would really feel comfortable just running up to people and asking them questions in the street. Meimi says she’d be fine doing it, but Takechan agrees that she would most likely be the only one. Meimi says, “I can just host that week by myself, it’s okay.” Meimi has no time for shyness.