Vid Clips: Nobuta wo Produce / Seishun Amigo (Shuji to Akira)
THIS Is How You Do High School, Japan.
by Ender’s Girl
I’ve been thinking about Nobuta wo Produce (NTV, 2005) a lot lately — so much, in fact, that I finally attempted writing a decent review. There’s something universal about this drama, and by universal I don’t mean “two half-formed J-Pop idoru frolicking their way through adolescence” lolz. Instead, what I find universal is the way NwP can take us back to that ONE season in our lives that was all at once magical, evanescent, immortal. For we may be nineteen or ninety, but were we all not in high school once? And can we truly look back on that time without feeling the bittersweet nostalgia for days gone by? Because I can’t.
Here’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ in case you’ve also been feeling a strange hankering for Nobuta powah. I know there’s an entire cottage industry of fan-made and fan-uploaded NwP videos floating about cyberspace, but I chose only a few of my personal favorites.
Nobuta wo Produce: Fave Fanvids
1) “Graduation Song” by Vitamin C
This is my FAVORITE Nobuta wo Produce fanvid bar none because the “Graduation Song” lyrics are absolutely PERFECT for the drama, and because the montage includes all those iconic, unforgettable moments. I hope this vid never gets taken down. I must have watched this a bajillion times but it still gets me hard whenever I hit “play.” *sniffle* So watch it, sing along to the chorus (“As we go on, we remember / All the times we had together / And as our lives change, come whatever / We will still be friends forever…”), and bawl your eyes out all over again. Babies. (Credit: Bankaigirl @ Youtube)
2) “Love Comes Quickly” remix by the Pet Shop Boys
I LOVE the nonlinear editing, and the moody atmosphere of the song feels tailor-made for the video. I first found this on Youtube a while back, but the NTV Cyberbots have since shot it down with their Mojako-shaped guided missiles. Good thing the maker uploaded the vid to this Cyrillic streaming site, vbox7. (Credit: van4yta @ vbox7.com. Thanks to Sambalici of JDorama.com for providing the uploader’s name.)
3) “Right Here” by Miley Cyrus
This fanvid uses spliced BTS clips (less audio) of Kamenashi Kazuya and Yamashita Tomohisa. Not digging the song at all (hit the mute button like I did!), but damn the boys sure are cute. There used to be a slashier Shuji+Akira fanvid (look, Ma, no Nobuta in sight!) using the NEWS song “Why,” but it’s gonebabygone from Youtube (bugger!). Oh well. (Credit: AnimeNox @ Youtube)
Seishun Amigo: When the Slash Hits the Fan
4) Official PV
Of course, what NwP-related post would be complete without the theme song’s official PV, which I prefer to call “Gay Cheese with a Hefty Dose of Shipper Crack.” I mean, really: Half-buttoned dress shirts and white Saturday-Night-Fever pants! Faux leather jackets lined with fur! The graceless pirouettes and scissor kicks! Kame and Pi reclining on… crates! Pi “emoting” behind a chain-link fence! 734.5 close-ups of Kame and Pi *slowly* opening their eyes! Nakajima Yuto doing backup with the Dancing Ewoks! Oh joy! Joy! Hahahaha NOT. Believe me, I willfully resisted the song’s riddikulusly dated Latin vibe and queer-sounding vocals for the first 5334.2 or so listenings, but dayyum, that weird little track beat me down eventually. (It’s… Death by J-Disco!!! *rarrrrghghgh*) (Credit: chris7toppei @ Youtube)
5) Johnny’s Countdown 2007/2008
“Seishun Amigo” took Japan by storm to become the No. 1 single of 2005, and since then Ol’ Man Diyanni has used every opportunity to cash in on the song’s mammoth commercial appeal. (About the title, I think the appropriate translation would be “Friend of/from My Youth” rather than the more-used “Youthful Friend,” ne?) Kame and YamaPi have performed their (increasingly desultory) song-and-dance routine at every succeeding Johnny’s Countdown, and here is their 07/08 performance showing Kame and Pi wearing the entire contents of a dumpster (to wit, their signature attire). Joining them on-stage are Ryo (of NEWS) and Jin (of KAT-TUN)… in, uh, equally trashy couture. The net effect? “If Oscar the Grouch were gay and bred with Mad Max.” Good times, good times… (Credit: icyicez @ Youtube)
6) Holy Mother of Pearl!!! Kame Forgot the Lyrics!!!
1:03-1:06 << Ahahahahahahahhahaha. (You can just hear Akira go, “Bakayaro!!!” LOLLL) Ohhhh Kame, you know I love you, don’t you? *wipes away tear* Ah, good times indeed… (There used to be an HQ version of this on Youtube, but those TV Asahi varmints had it gunned down as usual… Foooolssss!!!! lolz) (Credit goes to the uploader at vbox7.com)
Added 23 June 2010
7) “If I Were Gay” by Stephen Lynch
tinysunbl gave this excellent rec of a Shuji+Akira montage set to a Stephen Lynch song. I love how this whimsical ditty takes a waggish poke at the whole homoerotic undercurrent of bromance (no matter how, uh, platonic). The innuendo-laced lyrics are gut-bustingly funny, not to mention TOTALLY RIGHT for Shuji and Akira, lol. Upon closer listen you’ll realize that this is really Shuji’s song for his seishun amigo. (Credit: MegamaChan @ Youtube)
My favorite part:
But if I were gay, I would give you my heart
And if I were gay, you’d be my work of art
And if I were gay, we would swim in romance
But I’m not gay
So get your hand out of my pants…