You know, what the heck, having received encouragement from Ray at IW I’m going to go ahead and do a mega- KAT-TUN post. Sorry if you hate them, but rest assured that this will be a one-time thing. In fact, if you hate KAT-TUN please don’t even read this, because I don’t want you to come to hate my blog too.Since this is a h!p blog though, I’m going to throw in a bit of Morning Musume too, but I’ll get to that later. I’m approaching this piece assuming the reader knows nothing to very little about KAT-TUN, so if that’s you, I hope you find this to be informative, and if not then I hope you at least find it entertaining.
First off, a bit of KT history and a bit of my history with them. The group was originally formed in 2001 out of some Johnny’s Juniors (think h!p eggs) to be background dancers for a Kinki Kids member. The name comes from their last initials. KT managed to become quite popular in their own right, though mysteriously they didn’t debut with a real single or album until early 2006. I became a fan around the time of their official début because I loved the song (Real Face), so I decided to do some research on the group. Before anyone (Ray maybe?) gets their hopes up that I’m going to start covering Johnny’s stuff, let me just say that the only other Johnny’s band that I know anything about is Arashi, and I don’t even know that much about them. Oh, and I know that Ryo and Yamapi are guys in NEWS, but I only know that because they’re Jin’s friends.
Why do I like KAT-TUN? I’m not going to lie. Akanishi Jin is a BIG part of the reason, but I’m going to try to restrain my fangirling until his part so as not to disgust my readers too much. JinJin isn’t the only reason I like KAT-TUN though. I really do enjoy a lot of their music. I think they have their own unique style which combines the traditional wholesome boy-band stuff with a healthy dose of rock and rap, resulting in all of the ‘cute’ of a normal boy-band with fifty times the ‘cool’. See, in real life the guys are often funny or dorky, but see them on stage and they’re total rock-stars. In any given KAT-TUN song you can expect to find that same blend of sheer coolness and heartmelting boyband cute , though the proportions can vary greatly from song to song. The point is, they are just as credible singing bubble-gum pop as they are singing borderline hard rock, and I think that’s hard to find. There is a lot of talent in the group as well. Every single one of them is great at dancing, at least decent at singing, and most (maybe all? I’m not sure about Ueda) of them also can do acrobatics like backflips and handsprings. Seriously, even if none of them could sing worth shit they could probably all make a career out of dancing. Also, their concerts are AMAZING. The most recent one is practically Cirque du Soule only with hot guys. I’d highly recommend checking out some footage of the last couple concerts, because they really do put on a great show. It makes me wonder how cool Morning Musume concerts could be if they were held at the Tokyo Dome and had the colossal budget that KAT-TUN concerts appear to have.
In case I’ve made you curious, here are my favorite KAT-TUN songs with a very short explanation. This isn’t h!p, so if you only like to watch cute girls frolicking around on stage these might not be for you. If your tastes are just a bit broader, though, check out the links that I’ve lovingly collected for you.
5. GOLD (album version)- The chorus is repetitive, but I like the distorted singing in the verses and I LOVE the bridge. http://www.youtube.com/w
4. Keep the Faith- This song is pretty aggressive, and I don’t care much for how they look in the PV, but it’s darn catchy and energizing. I like this clip because Jin with his hair pushed back like that is especially smexy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_A4vHuovwM
atch?v=N8WYuDr5deE There’s some introduction stuff at the end of the song in this clip. The actual song ends at like 3:00.
3. Precious One- This one is a really lovely and emotional ballad. In fact, when they sang it at the “Real Face” concert several of them were so into it that they were crying. Awwww. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsBsZ1qhItc&feature=related I hate the stupid bandana thing Jin is wearing here, but I’m going to make a sacrifice and include that clip because it’s REALLY cute.
2. Harukana Yakusoku- Here’s a good example of a song that’s more on the boyband side of things, but still has a fair amount of rock. It works well, switching seamlessly from one to the other throughout the song. It’s really catchy, and Jin’s harmonizations at the bridge and final chorus are to die for. Just to warn you, my favorite performance of this is from an episode of KAT-TUN cartoon, so there’s like 20 seconds of the show before the song starts in the clip I have. You get to witness Jin making a silly joke/face though, so it’s all good. Also, this performance has Junno doing flips and Ueda in his sexy/dorky glasses, yay! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-NF0IKTjPU&feature=related
1.Real Face- The official debut song is still the best. If you only look up one PV make it this one. There’s a reason that it was the number 1 selling song in Japan for 2006. Also, oh my gawd Jin’s wink/tsk thing is sooo hot and he has such great lips…Damn it. I’m fangirling, so I’m going to include the version of the PV that focuses on Jin. Trust me, it’s the best version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWI_YBF9b9c
Last off, profiles of the members. For the promised Morning Musume connection, I hear that matchmaking between Johnnys and H!P girls is a fun hobby, and I’m going to take this chance to try my hand at it. I just used the six oldest MM members because KT is 21-24, and I don’t want the age difference to be too big. The boys are in the order of my personal preference, but I really do like them all a lot. I had a really hard time finding a group picture that was fairly recent where none of them looked stupid and no one has a hairstyle that I hate (which happens far too often)This is the best I can come up with. Junno looks kind of weird in it, but it’s his own fault I had to pick this one because he ruined all of the most recent photos with his stupid yellow hair (which has been fixed as of this week, btw).
From left to right- Nakamaru Yuichi, Ueda Tatsuya, Kamenashi Katsuya, Akanishi Jin, Tanaka Koki, Taguchi Junnosuke
6. Nakamaru Yuichi- Maru is at the bottom of the list because he’s kind of the weakest member of the group as far as singing ability, looks, and charisma goes. That’s not to say he’s bad at those things though. He’s known for his beat boxing skills which helps make up for his relative shortcomings in other areas. Still, from reading the translations of his blog entries, I think he’s an intelligent and genuine guy, and so he’s pretty likable. It must be hard for him to be surrounded by the other more talented membe
rs of his group all the time, but I do wish he’d get a bit more self confidence, because that can go a long way. I’ll match him with Risa because they’re both among the least popular members of their group, so they can sympathize with each other. Also, I can just see them getting along well since they’re both such sweethearts.
5. Taguchi Junnosuke- He’s not bad looking, and he’s also pretty good singer. His stand-out talent is acrobatics. Unfortunately, he is by far the dorkiest guy in Kat-tun. His cheerful and sunny personality really would be better suited to a different group, I think. Even though it’s all in play, it makes me sad how much the other members pick on Junno. As for matching, it’ll have to be Eri because they both like to make stupid jokes and gags, so they’d be the only two who probably wouldn’t end up pissing each other off.
4. Ueda Tatsuya- He’s a good all around performer. He’s also the one most likely to be mistaken for a skinny little girl, but quite a few people find that appealing. He’s awkward looking when he grins though, so I think he really needs to stick with the angsty expression as much as possible. As for personality, he’s kind of the quieter, more withdrawn and artistic one (he plays piano and guitar). Personally, I quite enjoy his voice. It’s not as strong as the lead singers (kame/jin) but it’s got a nice quality to it. I’d match him with JunJun (despite him being considerably smaller than her, lol) because I think she’s non-intimidating, and while she’s come out of her shell more recently, she’s still a bit on the gentle/quiet side which would suit Ueda well.
3. Tanaka Koki- Lol Koki. He’s the rapper of the group, often speaking in that tough way that involves ending your statements with ‘rrra!’ and rolling the R. Hope you know what I’m talking about there. He tends to appear quite intimidating in their live performances. It’s funny, because in real life he’s the one who seems to get along the best with everyone in the group, and he’s totally the comedian of the bunch. His main skills are rapping and break dancing, but his singing isn’t terrible either. Of course, he has to be paired with Reina for their similar fashion sense, and because both of them also have a good sense of humor. In fact, they’d probably make the best couple out of these 6 that I’ve set up.
2. Kamenashi Katsuya- I have a lot of respect for Kame. He’s the unofficial leader of the group, one of the most popular members/lead singers, and he does the most work outside of KT in dramas and musicals and whatnot. He’s widely acknowledged to be the hardest working and most dedicated member, and he seems to put his all into everything he does. An interesting thing about Kame is that I don’t find him to be particularly attractive when he’s not performing, but hand him a microphone and he magically becomes dead sexy. I attribute this to how he is just dripping with confidence when he’s on-stage. He’s always charming the camera and looking like he’s having the time of his life out there. He’s also really good at whistling, which I’m only including because I can’t whistle at all, and so I’m jealous. I’ll couple him with Ai-chan because they both are the super-hard working/dedicated type and know what it’s like to lead a group, and they both have the same way of really coming alive on stage. Also, I get the impression that Kame really is a pretty nice guy, and Ai-chan really is a pretty nice girl, so they’d go well together that way.
1. Akanishi Jin- Jin…Jin… oh, sorry, I was daydreaming. Let’s see… He sings like an angel and has incredible range, he’s is an excellent dancer, and his face is beautiful without being girly. Most importantly, I don’t know how he does it, but every single thing he does is incredibly sexy. If he just walked on stage and stood there doing nothing he’d have girls swooning, and God help us when he’s doing something like dancing or winking at the camera or licking his lips and trying to be sexy. The screams of the fangirls probably can be heard from outer space. He has kind of a “i’ll do what I want to do” personality, and as a result often gets in fights with the other members of the group, but who doesn’t love a bad boy? On the flip side, he’s makes a lot of funny comments and does some stupid/playful things which serves both to add to his charm and to earn him his “Bakanishi” nickname. Sometimes he goofs off on stage (like kicking Ryo in the butt during this year’s new year’s countdown or splashing his water at Maru in a concert encore performance), which seems to piss off Kame. Lol. He also has the dorkiest and most adorable laugh ever. Mostly though… mostly he’s just very very very pretty. Usually idols have their strengths and weaknesses (pretty but can’t sing), (great dancer but boring personality), etc, but Jin is good or great at all of it. Criticism? He has his hair in his face/wears hats too much. Stop hiding your lovely face Jin! The few times that he actually has his hair pushed back off his forehead he’s even hotter than usual. I’d pair him with Sayumi because he likes friendly/outgoing girls, they both put on a somewhat arrogant persona and like to make funny little digs at the other members (or at least Dark Sayu does), and because she’s the only one who’s pretty enough for him.
Bonus clip: too sexy for words Jin solo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0cbFqKtfQs