Word Count: 502
Author's Note: This is Yoko-centric :)
When we’re old and gray, but still incredibly mobile and toned, we’ll look back on our younger selves in this video and remember the good ol’ days. The days when the spotlight blinded and burned us, when the commuting left our butts numb, when the practices left us in exhausted heaps, when we were just asking for the day to end…
But more importantly, we’ll also remember the nights when all we can hear is the roar of the fans, the taste of our post-concert ramen, the calm and easy friendship we shared, the home away from home, and yet in every word we spoke, we were home.
We’ll remember how Yassu would always wear flashy clothing whether he was in costume or not, how Tacchon would eat everything in sight, how Hina played practical jokes that were only funny to him, how Subaru almost always got emotional right before or after a concert, how Ryo hounded everyone and expected a phenomenal performance because he knew how fickle the limelight could be, how Maru tried to capture everything by camera because the mundane caught his eye...he didn’t want to forget the random things we did as a band, and neither did we.
As for me, I remember working really hard, talking and laughing despite of myself, and I still have mementos tucked away in my special room. It was silly (and everyone expected that of me), but I would take something from each venue and keep it with me until the tour was over. Today, I can go through that box and tell you exactly when and where I took it from. First fan letter, September 13th 1997, Johnny's Jimusho. A bottle cap with Yuu scribbled in permanent black marker, November 27th 2004, Tokyo. A light bulb that stopped working on my mirror, June 30th 2005, Osaka-jo Hall. A fan's uchiwa, Okinawa, September 30th 2007. A piece of the puzzle in every color, Hiroshima, May 10th 2009.
It's been a long road, and "Puzzle" was a major culmination of all our efforts and dreams. We're forever immortalized in those videos. While some, maybe all, are ridiculous, it was Kanjani8. Sure, we didn't always get to pick our music, but we weren't misrepresented. We never did anything without adding a bit of ourselves into it. We've all had chances come and go, but what we did do made us who we are.
I'm an old fart now, but at least I'm still having fun. I can tell my kids and grandkids, and have proof, that I was a cool guy. I laugh, I bitch and moan, and then I cry. I miss it and I don't. I'm happy I got to be one of the "YOUs," but also Kimitaka to sachou. I am who I am because of those crazy bastards. Even after all this sentimental spiel, I can tell you that we loved toiling for our day in's and day out's. That's life.
Kanjani∞ will stay with me, then, now, forever.