This may or may not become a regular thing. Mostly, it's a way to do shoddy research about awesome/cheesy/fun stuff from not America. Enjoy.
I try to keep my ends out for girly crap all over the world when I can. This time, it's Japanese pop sensations Arashi. Put together in 1999 Lou Pearlman-style by Johnny & Associates, this 5 member boys band has managed to stick around and remain popular for over a decade. Their music is blandly pop, exhibiting one of the great mysteries in life: why have a group with multiple singers if they rarely harmonize?
"Sakura Sake" (2005)
The one rapping is Sho. I think I love it.
But adding to their fame all members of the band Ryan Seacrest it and have jobs in every media modality possible. Not only are they singers, but actors in both television (need I mention my love for Asian drama?) and movies, radio and television variety show hosts, etc., etc.
My roommate is a fan and exposed to the band through their show "VS Arashi" where celebrities come and compete against team Arashi in ridiculous Japanese-style games. It is as ridiculous and colorful as you think it is. Showing me an episode featuring fellow male pop star and super pretty Gackt, she translated enough for me to understand what was going on--enough to pick a favorite member of Arashi: Nino!
After doing further YouTube and Wikipedia research, I conclude that my gut reaction of choosing the teasing Nino as a favorite is vindicated. Not only is he adorable, he seems to consistently have the least styled hair, which is a plus if you look at the other guys. Otherwise known as Kazunari Ninomiya, he's best known to American audiences as playing Private Saigo in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima. He's also starred in several Japanese drams and films with and without his bandmates.
Also, he shows that he has musical competency with his solo song "Niji" (2007) from Arashi's Time album:
Glasses? Rolled-up sleeves? Vest? Loosened tie?!! Win.
So there you have it: you're new favorite boy band, Arashi.