The 59th Kouhaku draws ever nearer but I wasn't aware that the "Red" and "White" lineups were already announced until Saburo sent my brother the link to their official site here.…where you can view both team's complete lineups. While Momusu/H!P had become rather of a regular on the Kouhaku I'm really not as sad to see them left out this year as one may expect. Of course seeing them being part of a long running tradition and the added exposure it gives them is a wonderful thing no doubt, it's just that really their tendency to repeatedly put together what I find to be rather chaotic medleys has just not been a highlight for me personally in recent years. Medleys do have their place in concerts and events and if done with good arrangements and well thought out choreography it surely can be a joy to see…but it's not just that H!P has been putting together these rather lackluster and overly busy medleys together but also that they have opted as of late to sandwich in between Momusu's performace another H!P act which really doesn't do the already chaotic performace any favors. That being said….I truly would have loved for them to have been invited onto the Kouhaku again for this year end celebration as that would have been a good thing in the simple sense of a broadcasted performance but hearing the news that they will be left out of this year's event is really cushioned for me personally in that I just never find myself wanting to ever watch the performances even once more although I do record them yearly and that I think speaks volumes as to how I view their chosen arrangements for the Kouhaku. Momusu/H!P concerts?….a totally different story as those are immensely enjoyed and cherished………….Momusu/H!P Kouhaku performances?………..it's okay for them to not be present. It does appear to be sort of a snub job of sorts though but really there's so much one can speculate on when searching for reasons or logic to their sudden non appearance so I'll leave those thoughts and ponderings open.
But now for the incredibly exciting and happy news!!! In addition to SPEED's return to the Kouhaku spearheaded by their recent return to music no doubt!…the inclusion of Angela Aki…..and Jero!…..the news gets even bigger as Mr.Children will finally and I mean finally make an appearance at this end of year's event!!! (^o^)/!!! Mr.Children is my favorite band in the world so this news is exciting on a level of giddy euphoria! 😛 I really believed that they just would never appear and no doubt this has been by choice as surely NHK has been inviting them on for years I imagine. And while Mr.Children has frequently appeared on numerous other end of year shows including Japan's prestigious music awards they've just never given the Kouhaku a positive nod in the past. Zdorama and I were just discussing this today and he pointed out how some long standing no show trends were beginning to soften recently with most notably the first time appearances of Matsutoya Yumi and Imai Miki recently so perhaps the tides of such hold outs are beginning to change and with Mr.Children making their debut appearance at this year's end this surely is something really special for both NHK and Mr.Children themselves I imagine. ^ ^
So really now the question is just what will Mr.Children decide to perform? Their catalog built up over the years is immense and thick with suitable numbers so I really can't even imagine which song(s) they'll choose to perform. Dare I say a hit medley???……I'm really thinking not but with so many landmark songs to choose from and just one performance it could very well be possible and while I totally dislike any of the recent Momusu/H!P medleys that were performed on the Kouhaku, if and I think its a big if I think, but if Mr.Children were to do so I have no doubt that they would arrange one so well. LOL don't throw tomatoes at me for my bias here! 😛 But really I think it's the truth. Still though I'm thinking that a medley is unlikely but if done I'll welcome it with open arms. ^ ^ So could it be one of their latest singles with either "Gift" (which has NHK ties) or "Hanabi" being chosen…perhaps and Saburo even mentioned that perhaps it could be their recent Olympic tie in theme that could have led to their decision to appear this year which is a very plausible reason in itself. In any case here's my wish list…"Kimi ga ita natsu" (where it all began but not likely!), "Kurumi", "Over", "Not Found", "Sign", "Hoshi ni naretara", "Kuchibue", "And I ♥ You", "Namonaki Uta", "Dakishimetai", "LOVE", "Tomorrow Never Knows", Shirushi", "Tabidachi no uta", "Innocent World", "Hana-memento-mori-", "Ame nochi hare", "[es]~theme of es~"…and this could go on and on so I'll restrain myself! 😛
However if they chose to perform…
…"Shirushi" I may faint! The sound is a bit fuzzy for some reason as something odd occurred when I uploaded the video above but the performance is amazing as Sakuraisan's solo acoustic intro seamlessly goes right into the live concert performance…a really breathtaking transition! But I've also included the mp3 here for clearer sound:
A few more Mr.Children performances can be found here!
Mr.Children recently appeared on the cover of the Switch magazine but as I'm yet to get that issue here's one from a few months ago when Sakurai Kazutoshi appeared on the cover of their August 2008 issue solo. So many of the photos included with his interview are spread over two pages (which I'm yet to figure out just how to connect them seamlessly 😛 ) so I only scanned the single page photos which follow…
…oh and while you browse here's Mr.Children's debut single "Kimi ga ita natsu" which is still one of my most favorite songs by them all time…what a debut! =)
Ah there's something really rather cute about this picture…..just never imagined Sakuraisan to be um…taking one of these! ^-^
And the hand that writes so many amazing and wonderful songs! ^ ^
That leaves just one question…when will Arashi perform on the Kouhaku? ^ ^