News Nibbly: KAT-TUN Turn Normal for a Day, Hold Korea Press Con (7.1.2010)
Aigoo, There’s Something in the Kimchi!!!
by Ender’s Girl
The J-boys of the Red & Black Brigade (sans The Pouty One, who took a hiatus from group duties and is now presumed to be working in California as a grape picker while holding solo gigs on the side and enriching his English vocabulary with a couple of new expletives per day) were recently in Seoul to promote their latest album “No More Pain” as well as the Aug. 6 & 7 leg of their grandiloquently named “KAT-TUN World Big Tour.” *cue laugh track from horrified readers*
Usually bedecked with everything from shiny metal foil to dead furry animals to dumpster contents, KAT-TUN members Kamenashi Kazuya, Ueda Tatsuya, Nakamaru Yuichi, Taguchi Junnosuke and, uh, Koki, shocked many of their Korean fans by showing up at the press con in… uh… Real Clothes, causing not a few to wonder if their trim dark suits and freshly scrubbed appearance were a deliberate departure from the Angry Young Twinkies image they have religiously cultivated back home.
Quickie comments on their brief foray into Normalclothesland:
Kame – Loving the skinny tie and three-piece suit. I’m glad he’s growing out his hair, but those Morita Go peroxide streaks have to go. Seriously.
Koki – OHHEMGEE he’s not naked for once!!! Less scary, yes? Ah Koki Koki Kokiiii, look what dignity and gravitas a shirt can bring, ne? And with that pomaded-back hair, he could pass for the Corleone family’s distant Japanese cousin. (“Bonasera… Yuh neveh even call me Gawwwdfahthuh…” lulz)
Ueda – Uh, with the brown bob, vest and shirt, he looks like one of those boys from “The Swiss Family Robinson.” (Fritz?) Or from a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. (Jim Hawkins?) At least he durn’t look like no girly-girl for once. But that lip-pursing thing is worse than Jin’s, I tell ya. More annoying, too.
Junno – Ooohhh, shiny! lulz. Maybe the silver tie+silver lapels are a tad too much, but I love Junno’s smile best of all. So radiant. And genuine.
Maru – Oi! Preppy Boi! I like his suit, the dorky tie fits his personality. And he definitely has the best hair of the lot. Totally someone I’d ask out to the prom. Safe, nice, decent, can beat-box, will most likely use a napkin. Yep, without a doubt the ideal prom date.
Excerpts from their interview with 10Asia are as follows (with, uh, extra commentary from E.G.):
10Asia: How did you learn Korean? It seems you can do basic conversation.
Maru: I studied with a book that Kusanagi (Tsuyoshi) wrote. I almost memorized the entire book. [Lol, Tsuyopon wrote a book on Hangul-made-easy? I did not know this! All hail Kusanagi the Philosopher-King! *fond tear*]
Kame: I asked the staff and have watched Korean movies and dramas. That’s how I learned the words ‘promise’ and ‘oppa.’ It had left an impression on me because I heard it a lot in movies and dramas but it was only later on that I found out that it’s used when females call men a few years older than them.
10Asia: Is there a particular movie or drama that you remember?
Kame: Dramas such as IRIS and Couple or Trouble/Fantasy Couple. [Action dramas and rom-coms? Interesting… *strokes non-existent beard* Nothing will make me happier than Kame doing another straight ren’ai, but I’d also like to see him in a procedural for a change. Or something light — but not imbecilic. Unless of course, he’d much rather run his entire career into the ground with those brain-eating manga adaptations that nobody watches.]
Koki: I had more opportunities to watch movies. A Moment to Remember left an impression on me. I’ve also watched Stairway to Heaven and Shining Inheritance. [Lololol @ Koki the closet melo junkie!!! Who knew after his 934,834,782 Scary Rapper Koki-is-a-4-letter-word moments that there was a softie side to him? *shakes head in amazement*]
Ueda: I fell in love with Han Hyo-joo after watching Shining Inheritance so I really want to meet her. (laughs) [Oh Ueda, I can see right through you. What you REALLY want to do is weasel out some beauty secrets from Han Hyo-joo, hmmm? Like where she buys her glorious cream blush, and how to use a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler without crimping your eyeballs, hmmm?]
10Asia: What can your Korean fans expect to see at your concert? Most of them have probably only seen your performances on video.
Kame: This is our first time performing on a stage in Korea so we don’t know how much we’ll be able to move yet. We have a lot of things planned but we’re going to try to get as close to our fans as possible — from the first row to the last row. And the atmosphere will also change depending on how enthusiastically our fans cheer for us so we ask for your help in that respect.
Junno: I think we’d be getting a lot of help from them because our Korean fans study Japanese very hard. I too will prepare so that I’ll be able to say simple phrases or hello in Korean.
Kame: More than anything, we believe we’ll be able to become one with the fans through our music. I think we’ll be able to communicate through expressions or motions so even if we can’t speak your language, I think we’ll do this (forms the shape of a heart with arms). [Egads, what a cheeseball.]
10Asia: For fans who are just finding out about your group with news of your concert in Korea, what kind of band would you introduce yourself as to them? And is there a song or performance of yours that you would like to recommend to them?
Koki: I think fans who are just getting to know KAT-TUN would relate more to our latest album “NO MORE PAIN” which contains various styles and genres of music. [Haha. Barefaced Marketing Ploy to Buy Latest Album # 23772]
Kame: The album not only has songs that we released as singles but each member’s solo songs and those with fast tempos as well as quiet ones. That’s why I think you’ll get to see both the original and new KAT-TUN. We’ve been wearing a lot of black and have tried to look cool up till now but I think we’re a group that has various sides to us. [“TRIED to look cool” is the operative term. But this little bit of self-awareness from Kamenashi is very surprising indeed. At least he KNOWS their punky faux-rockstar posturing is all just an act. *roll eyes*]
Maru: We’re confident at doing live singing so I think it would be good if you watched our live DVD too. [LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!! Really Maru, really?????? Is that why you can’t live without Auto-Tune plugged into your vocal cords, because you’re all such NATURALLY GIFTED SINGERS??? Hahahahahha oh what a funny funny interview this is turning out to be!]
10Asia: I think you’re all usually quite stylish too.
Kame: (In Korean) Thank you. [Uhhh I don’t think she meant it inna *good* way, darlin’.]
Koki: The stylists know what we want and what we look good in so they bring it to us.
Kame: Depending on the time and location, I’ll sometimes wear what the stylist has brought or wear the clothes in different variations but we tend to put forth our opinions when we discuss the theme for the wardrobe for our concerts. [Oh. It makes A LOT of sense now. No wonder each KT concert or TV appearance feels like the Rocky Horror Muppet Show. Because El Twinkos ACTUALLY GET TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN OUTFITS!!! Everything is illuminated! Lol.]
10Asia: I’m curious to know whether you yourself tend to your trademark eyebrows, Kamenashi. [Yeah, tell us Kamenashi, tell us!!!!!! No — tell jicks, because she’d love to tweeze ‘em herself!]
Kame: I sometimes ask for them to be trimmed when I go to the hairdressers or to the make-up artist but I rarely pay attention to them when I don’t have work or when I’m resting at home. I shaved them thin once when I was young and then I couldn’t go outside after that with it in an awkward state so I think I kept it thin from then on. [Ohmygosh. Oh. My. Gosh. Kame shaved his eyebrows as a CHILD. That? Is SO NOT normal. I am… disturbed. And all along I thought that Johnny-san and his ruby-encrusted tweezers were to blame!!! Everything I knew was a lie!!! *shakes fist*]
10Asia: It’s already been ten years since KAT-TUN has been working as a group. What dreams do you have now?
Kame: We’re stimulated in new ways every year so it’s hard for us to believe that it’s been that long. For now, we want to put in a lot of effort into our tour, whether it be in Japan or Korea, and we hope to become a group that will get to stand on even bigger stages.
Maru: I hope KAT-TUN becomes a group that is loved everywhere and that’s why I hope the number of fans who look forward to our live concerts increases.
Junno: (Seriously) We want to become an existence that everyone looks up to. [LOL SAY WHAT? Hahahahaa]
10Asia: It seems that you are all very mature, probably because you all started working when you were teenagers. In what ways would you say you have matured over the past ten years?
Koki: Rather than saying how I’ve changed, I think I’ve definitely become an adult. Both in the way I treat my work and deal with my group members. I used to fight a lot with them before but now I tend to solve problems through dialogue. And I think we’ve become much closer through that process.
Ueda: I’ve come to accept the differences each member has. I think we fought because we weren’t able to accept each other but now we know the strengths each member has.
Koki: We have much more affection toward each other now. [Riiight. Apparently, the word “affection” for them means “engaging in public acts of frottage and other disgusting fanservice-y things.” Ick]
Maru: I’ve come to realize a lot about the state I’m in and who I am. In the past, I was consumed with doing what I’ve been given but now, I think I’ve learned to talk with my members and materialize our thoughts when we’re given something.
Junno: KAT-TUN is a huge part of my life because I haven’t done anything for as long as this. (laughs) I myself haven’t changed that much but I think seeing how everyone else has changed drives me to change too so I hope they continue to pull me in that direction.
Kame: We’ve come to respect each other and think of everyone’s characteristics seriously. That’s why I think it’s also a good time for us to go on tour right now.
[Great. They’ve turned into… a SMAP. Lulzzz]
Anyway, I keep going back to KAT-TUN’s natty new fashion sense. If this 180-degree sartorial turnabout is indicative of what they’ll be wearing to their Korea concert, then bring it on, baby. Maybe the kimchi over there was indeed strong enough to make the image change… more permanent, perhaps?
But just when you think there’s hope for these idoru, you suddenly notice… Ueda’s pedal pushers!!!
…And you see Kame and Koki doing this!!!
Who are we fooling anyway. (Ourselves? lulz) The Brooks Brothers-inspired photo shoot and press con were obviously staged for the benefit of a Korean public perhaps not used to KAT-TUN’s usual space-alien-ragamuffin-soulja-boy image. These boys will never be normal, not by any stretch of the imagination. Not while they’re… <wait for it> KAHHHHH-TOOOOOOON!!!
Interview transcript & photo credits: Choi Ji-eun, Lee Jin-hyuk & Jessica Kim for 10asiae.co.kr