Left to right: Aiba, Sho, Nino, Ohno, Jun
Arashi, (嵐, literally 'Storm') is a Japanese idol group who were founded in 1999 as one of the many acts produced by Johnny's and Associates. They are a hugely successful group comprised of Satoshi Ohno, Sho Sakurai, Masaki Aiba, Kazunari Ninomiya, and Jun Matsumoto.
On top of a successful music career Arashi have also hosted their own radio and TV shows, and acted in films, dramas, and plays. Most popular of their TV enterprises is VS Arashi
, a hilarious Prime Time Game Show
which also airs in Australia on SBS2
One of the strengths of the group is their close relationships with each other and a very balanced popularity between the members. Each member in the group has a strong personality and holds a specific role within their group as well as in the entertainment industry.
Satoshi Ohno (Ohno):
- Leader of the group, yet does not act as one. However, the members have said that Arashi turned out the way they are now because of Ohno's 'unconventional' leadership, which is basically to leave the rest to do whatever they liked. This is probably the best method, because everyone in Arashi have strong personalities and a bossy/pushy leader would have just caused strife.
- Most skillful at dancing and singing, therefore is the vocal lead in most of their songs. He has also choreographed dance moves for their concerts.
- Is artistic and is the first ever Johnny to hold an art exhibition, entitled 'Freestyle'.
Sho Sakurai (Sho):
- He acts as the default spokesperson in the group when it comes to interviews and hosting activities. He is also sometimes acknowledged as Arashi's shadow leader.
- In Arashi, Sho is in charge of the rapping parts in their songs, and even writes his own lyrics. He also plays the piano.
- Outside of Arashi, besides acting, he also serves as a newscaster and journalist for NTV. He is also the first Johnny to complete his tertiary education (from prestigious Keio University), and inspired his juniors to pursue a university degree as well.
- He is one of the most highly paid Johnny idols in 2010, due to his newscasting work and royalties for his rap lyrics.
Masaki Aiba (Aiba):
- He is acknowledged as the mood-maker in Arashi, and is crucial at bringing the group together.
- Back in their old TV shows D/G no Arashi and Arashi no Shukudai-kun, he was in charge of a lot of successful segments/corners such as Shiodome Aibaland (where they play weird games with the guests), A no Arashi (trying out unusual science experiments), and No Money Specials (where they play hilarious punishment games). Aiba's unscripted and spontaneous corners were very well-received that it spawned a whole new TV show called 'Arashi no Shiyagare'. A no Arashi segments were also periodically expanded and given golden time slots (7 - 10pm) which were called 'Odoroki no Arashi', where they gather scholars and scientists to help them predict the results of certain science experiments that they have undertaken.
- Outside of Arashi, he co-hosts a variety program working with animals called Tensai Shimura Doubutsuen. He also works in documentaries, sometimes providing voice-over narrations for these shows.
- He is also an actor, having acted in J-dramas 'My Girl' and 'Bartender' and various theater works.
Kazunari Ninomiya (Nino):
- Being naturally sharp-minded, his snarky remarks during their TV shows have comedic value and helps ease any awkward atmosphere between the guests and Arashi.
- He is the most talented actor in the group (and within his peers/contemporaries), having starred in Academy-Award winning Letters from Iwo Jima, and has received tons of awards for his acting skills.
- Plays the piano and guitar, and composes his own songs — such as 'Niji'.
Jun Matsumoto (Jun, Matsujun, J):
- He acted in one of the most successful J-dramas of all time, Hana Yori Dango, which was one of the main factors that led to Arashi's popularity. He is also heavily credited for luring in 70% of fans into the Arashi fandom through his high-profile drama roles, which includes Gokusen, Kimi wa Petto and Bambino, to name a few.
- He is also the first Japanese male to grace the cover of 'Marie Claire' Japan in 2006, as the tradition before this was to feature international male celebrities.
- Within Arashi, he is heavily involved with their concert management, dealing with stage sets, props, costume sets, and song sets, right down to every detail. He is also dubbed as Arashi's 'idea-man' and has helped create some performance sets such as the 2004 rotating/moving stage, and the suspended wire performance for his 'Yabai Yabai Yabai' solo.
- Outside of Arashi, he is mainly an actor but also serves as an occasional MC (emcee) for various TV shows, such as Utawara and most recently 'Japan's No.1 Show'.
- Air Guitar: For their TV show, G no Arashi, the band formed an air band with Ohno on air vocals, Jun and Nino on guitar, Sho on drums and Aiba on keyboard. Arashi's performance of Seven Seas of Rye with Ohno dressed as Freddy Mercury is epic! The air-guitarist auditions they held amongst themselves beforehand are also entertaining being primarily an excuse for them to laugh at each other.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: All the time. Jun and Nino are the tsukkomi of the group, whereas Aiba is the perpetual boke. Sho and Ohno often shift between these two roles.
- Boy Band: They are Johnnys.
- Color-Coded Characters: Ohno is blue, Sho is red, Aiba is green, Nino is yellow, Jun is purple.
- Mr. Fanservice: There's a reason why the term 'Jun-bait' exist in the fandom. However, all of the members are attractive in their own ways.
- Fanservice: TONS. This is a Johnnys band, what do you expect?
- Instant Cosplay Surprise: Especially Sho, who looks best as a cross-dresser (to his perpetual dismay).
- Shirtless Scene: Plenty during concerts. Basically, all of G no Arashi. Nipple-exposing t-shirts, leather costumes for their air guitar sessions, white hotpants, surprise groping by tranvestites, humiliating dances, swimming classes, cosplay... the list is endless.
- Friend to All Living Things: Aiba.
- Food Porn: Their variety shows (especially Arashi no Shukudai-kun) feature lots of mouth-watering cuisine.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nino full stop.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Beautiful Days.
- Arashi themselves have commented on how the upbeat and soothing melody is in stark contrast to the sad lyrics, which are even accompanied by some bright little "la-la-la-la la la la la" moments.
- Mad Scientist: Aiba's corner, A no Arashi had some...interesting experiments such as binocular hurdle races, how many balloons will it take to float across a concert hall, can you breathe underwater using green peppers. All of Arashi got dragged into these experiments with later ones such as 'can we sail in a boat made of paper/cardboard/hay/bamboo/lego'. Arashi have yet to find a boat that doesn't sink.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Ohno is mostly known for his role as a two-faced lawyer out for revenge in the Japanese adaptation of a Korean serial drama The Devil, however, outside of the drama, he's anything but the character.
- Megane: Jun is short-sighted and is constantly wearing glasses outside of work (though he sometimes sports them during their variety shows). Nino also wears glasses occasionally.
- Money Fetish: Definitely Nino, who changes his 100 dollar bills into smaller notes just so that his wallet can look thick. Heck, his palm-reading fortune also highlights his love for money!
- Older than They Look:
- Nino has been stuck with a 17-year-old face for more than a decade already.
- Ohno looks 25 at best, even though he has reached his thirties.
- Recently, Jun has been looking like a 21-year-old, even though he's in his late twenties.
- One of Us: Nino mentioned once that he spends most of his money in video game stores, and is seen more than once holding a Nintendo DS.
- Personality Blood Types: Everyone in Arashi is an A type, except Aiba who's an AB. A types are described as methodical, calm and creative, therefore it could be a reason why they get along really well.
- Running Gag:
- DoS Bancho
- Candle Sho
- Nadegata (sloping shoulders, Sho's to be specific)
- Scenery Porn: A few of their music videos quickly fall here. Kansha Kangeki Ame Arashi is a good example.
- Teen Idol: They're Johnnys. More specifically, Golden Era Johnnys, which was a period of time in the late 90s where the Johnny Jrs had exceptional popularity. The Golden Era was helmed by Tackey and included the Arashi members, Ikuta Toma, Yamapi and Yokoyama Yuu; to name a few. When Arashi debuted, they were only teenagers yet were already highly popular due to their 8J show.