Chapter 2 - やまない黄砂 The Unrelenting Yellow Sand

The chapter picks up with Kouta, his 8 year old younger sister, Meme, and their mother celebrating her discharge from the hospital at a family restaurant. His mother insisted on a family restaurant because it’s cheap and with her medical expenses and Meme’s education expenses money is tight.

Kouta’s girlfriend Megumi comes to join them, bringing with her a gift for Kouta’s mother in congratulations for leaving the hospital. She protests saying that she’ll have to go back eventually anyway.

Kouta thinks about how his mother had had to leave her job at the bank in order to care for his grandmother, surviving off of only savings, the grandmother’s social security, and her goodbye bonus. She cared for her while working a side job to try and make money, never showing any signs of tiredness. Kouta himself had tried to help by increasing the amount of time he worked at his part time job, helping around the house, and taking care of his younger sister.

However when his grandmother’s condition suddenly worsened and she passed away, only 49 days later his mother’s health also declined. She wasn’t able to eat very much and because of that got sick easily so Kouta took her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with mild depression.

He tried to look after her but a month ago she got pneumonia. He had tried to do what he could to protect his family, but by failing to find a job everything he had done to this point was for nothing. Though his mother is looking better now than before, she hasn’t regain all the weight she lost, the one good thing is that she was recovering from her depression.

Meme plays on her 3DS the whole time they’re at the restaurant, refusing to stop when Kouta asks her until forcibly closes it. As they eat they talk about how Megumi is working at a well known travel agency, and Kouta’s mother praises her for getting a job at such a prominent company. Megumi brushes it off as a fluke rather than because of her hard work, but Kouta still finds the contrast intolerable. Kouta understands that his mother and Megumi continue to talk about travel to try not let the mood get dark which is also painful for him.

He thinks about how the last trip he went on was when his father was still alive, they went to Guam and tried to swim despite the poor weather. However, since their father passed shortly after Meme was born, she has never been abroad let alone even out of Tokyo.

Meme asks Kouta if he got the job with the game company and he tells her that he didn’t. The conversation is saved from becoming too awkward when Meme complains that she was looking forward to getting lots of games when he worked there.

Kouta picked that game company as his first choice because he knew Meme would be happy. He applied to 7 different companies, and made it to the final round with a company called DDL, a subsidiary company of the big game maker company AIDA, that makes mainly smart phone games. They started hiring people on their own rather after making a game that was a big hit.

Since it was the only final interview he went on, Kouta remembers it very clearly, and thought that he did his best in the interview. Since it went so well, when he wasn’t hired rather than regret, he felt something closer to hatred. He remembers the interviewers who didn’t pick him every night, cursing them despite knowing that it won’t change anything.

Megumi insists on picking up the tab for all their lunches and they head back home, where Meme and the mother retire to their room and Megumi and Kouta go to his. Megumi can tell from Kouta curt responses that he’s upset about something, and when she asks him what’s wrong he asks her why she paid for the bill, saying that they should have split it. He also accuses her of ordering an expensive lunch to spite him and tells her that his family doesn’t have the money to go on trips. Megumi says she didn’t know what they had ordered, and that’s why she felt she should pay also countering that it’s fun to imagine what trips you could take in the future.

Kouta notes that this is a fundamental difference between them, while Megumi has hopes for the future, for him the future is like a road that you must clean despite yellow sand constantly falling on to it. No matter how much you clean the yellow sand continues to pile up, but you can’t rest and have no room to think of the future.

Megumi tells Kouta that she thinks he’s too negative and that Meme shouldn’t spend so much time playing games and spend more time talking with her family. Kouta explains that Meme spends a lot of time alone since he had to be at school or work and would be lonely if she couldn’t play. So he intentionally tries to let her play as much as possible. He gets angry when Megumi still protests saying she wants Meme to be happy, countering that Meme is happy now playing games, which is better than chasing after some vague future happiness and that he’s the one who worries about her and understands her the most.

Both are upset and emotional, and when Kouta kisses Megumi she kisses him back and they end up having sex. Afterwards, when they’re lying in bed and about to go to sleep, Meme knocks on their door saying that she can’t sleep with their mom there, requesting to sleep with them. They let her in and the three of them lay together in the single bed and Megumi and Meme fall asleep.

Kouta thinks back to when he met Shizuku, after eating soba they drank together until morning and Shizuku kept pressing Kouta to become a host. That night Kouta never gave him an answer, still having a hard time excepting the reality that he didn’t find a job. He acknowledges that being a host might be the best way for him to support his family now. Shizuku told him that the previous month he made 1,000,000 yen and that Kouta could reach that level quickly if he worked hard.

Kouta thinks about all things he imagines you need to be a host, such as having looks that women like, being charming, and being able to drink. The only one he has is being able to drink. He also has always looked down people who work in the night life business, though Shizuku has started to break down his negative image. With his frank and relaxed manner, and the way he walked through Shinjuku with everyone calling out to him, he appeared heroic.

Though he still feels unsure, he has no time to be uncertain and Kouta messages Shizuku saying he wants to talk more and Shizuku messages him back right away sending a stamp of a character that Meme likes saying ok!


Chapter 1 - 二十二歳の秋 The fall of my 22nd year

The chapter starts with the protagonist, Kanehira Kouta, suffering from the after effects of some heavy drinking. Having thrown up in the streets of Shinjuku after eating some cheap gyudon, he receives a message from Megumi asking about a potential job offer. The messages reminds him of how he had been rejected by yet another company. He got the rejection letter after coming home from visiting his mother in the hospital, who became sick after his grandmother passed away.

He reflects on how this company was his last chance, and how his fellow classmates who have all found jobs tell him he is being to prideful in only applying to the best companies. However he refuses to compromise, as the company he picks now he’ll likely work for for many years. As he is wallowing in his despair from his failure in job hunting, a young man spots him from across the street and eventually approaches him.

The man appears to be around the same age as him, looks flashy and speaks in Kansai dialect. He reaches out to Kouta and invites him to go eat. Despite having just been sick, Kouta suggests going to a standing soba restaurant and the man says he knows a place they can go to. The man introduces himself as Shizuku, and Kouta also introduces himself before they head to the restaurant.

As they walk there through Kabuki-cho, many people greet Shizuku. Once they reach the restaurant Kouta realizes he doesn’t have his wallet and without saying a word, Shizuku buys two food tickets. As they’re eating, two men come in and greet Shizuku. They ask who Kouta is and Shizuku explains that he just picked him up and that he’s thinking of having him work at his place. This causes the two men to complain that Kouta is too plain looking and that they’re not short staffed anyway.

Kouta, who had not been participating in the conversation until then, punches one of the men in the face, but before it can turn into a full out fight Shizuku tell them to cut it out, and the men, while unhappy, listen to him. Shizuku then asks Kouta if he was listening and if he’d like to be a host.

Chapter 2 →


2018.03 Potato - NEWS solo series: Letters - Massu

Sharing a translation of the next installment in NEWS' solo series, Letters. This month is Massu's turn.

To all the fans,
Thank you for all your support. There are people who look forward to when we make music.  There are people who put NEWS songs on their music players and listen to our music casually. There are also people who watch us when we appear on TV and magazines. The reason that we’re able to do the jobs we love like this is truly because all of you are there. I’m happy if I can add even just a little bit of happiness or be a positive presence in someone’s everyday life. That’s why from now on too, I’ll continue to always be thankful, work hard everyday, sing good songs, give good performances, and do my best so that every one can enjoy it. Please continue to look after me.

To Koyama,
Somehow or another I remember when Koyama joined when I was a junior. You had the feeling of a ‘Urahara-like older brother’. (laughing) When NEWS was first formed we were told by various people that "NEWS’ MCs are boring". I was also really frustrated [by that], but the person who worked the hardest at that time was Koyama. You thought maybe you might be able to go between the members and manage NEWS’ MC. In that sense, you were the first person to think about what you could do [for the group]. I think it’s really amazing how that connects to not only NEWS now, but furthermore your job as a newscaster. I think it’s one of our greatest strengths to have someone like you in the group. You’re the kind of person who can absorb anything like a sponge. From now on as well, I hope you keep absorbing various things and staying just above the surface. I’m looking forward to it.

To Shige,
Recently, the opportunities to engage in concert production with Shige have been increasing. Since Shige is also someone who creates things, we talk to each other about things like “This is the kind of idea I had, what do you think?” Shige is logical whereas I’m a person who goes according to feeling, so I think the areas of the brain we use are different. But it’s because of that that there’s an interesting chemical reaction, or rather I think that with Shige I can create things for NEWS that I definitely couldn’t make on my own. Also, let me just say this. Shige, please just stop dirtying the dressing room. You always do things like spilling your drink so grandly that I can’t help but think that it was on purpose. I’d like it if you were more cautious about dropping things and being sloppy. Though I don’t think it’ll change. (laughing)

To Tegoshi,
We’ve been together since the time Johnny-san said "It’s better if you and Tegoshi sing together" when we were juniors. After that, when NEWS was formed too Johnny-san said "You two have to take the lead with NEWS’ songs, so do your best." In our generation there wasn’t anyone else who was working so seriously on music, it’s because I was able to meet you that I’m able to work with music the way I am now. Including Tegomass as well, I’d like to continue to make lots of music that only we can make. By the way, recently I’ve been disappointed because your pictures haven’t been very funny. In the past it was funny because they were so bad, but now it’s just plain bad and not funny. You can’t get laughs just like this. Please reflect on that. (laughing)

To the me from 15 years ago,
So when I was in high school… I entered Johnny’s when I was 6th grader in elementary school and I really only thought about work, I’ve lived my life for this job. So, when I advanced to high school, the basis I picked my school on was also for the sake of this job. And then when I was a second year student in high school, I was picked to be a member of NEWS and debuted. If I had prioritized school at that time, for instance if I took a break from work for entrance exams, then my entire life might be different. There’s something I want to tell the me from 15 years ago.  There’s probably a part of you that feels uncertain, but the 31 year old me is really happy, I live feeling like each period is ‘the happiest I’ve ever been’. So, it’s ok to push forward down the path you believed in without worrying.

To the me 15 years from now,
Dear 46 year old Mr. Masuda, how are you? Are you having fun? Do you still like clothes? 31 year old me is well and having fun. My dream right now is that in 15 years I’ll still be working hard at this job. So, please work hard for about 15 more years. (laughing) I hope this dream comes true. From Massu.

NEWS fanclub Newsletter #24

Sharing my translation of the cross talk section of the FC newsletter that came out in December.

NEWS Cross talk

No matter how old you are, Christmas is a fun event♪

K       It’s almost Christmas!
S       When I was a kid, I looked forward to getting presents from Santa.
K       Is there a particular present that left an impression on you?
M       A long time ago, I received both a mini 4WD course and the album of an artist I liked at the time. I was really happy.
S       Ah, I’ve also gotten a mini 4WD before. When I was in kindergarten, I only received educational materials, I wonder if Santa saw me looking disappointed. (laughing) Once I became an elementary school student, I properly got the things I wanted.
T       I also wrote a letter to Santa every year and got what I wanted. I feel like it was mostly video games. Once I became an adult and Santa stopped coming, it changed into an event I enjoyed with friends.
K       It wasn’t from Santa, but I guess a memorable present for me was when a friend gave me a computer about 3 years ago. They said, ‘Since I didn’t get you anything for your birthday, I don’t mind getting you something nicer.” so I replied, “Ok, how about a computer?” and about 10 people pooled together to get it for me for Christmas. I was happy.
M       Christmas is a fun event, no matter how old you are. ♪
T       The city is beautiful all illuminated, it’s exciting just listening to that kind of music♪
K       It’d be nice if we can enjoy it in some way this year, too.

Through the tour this year, we felt how strong the feelings of the fans are.

K      And let’s decide on the top 3 topics for NEWS. Looking back on the group’s activities this year, first of all in the first half of the year we released the single, ‘Emma’ and the album ‘Neverland’.
M       Maybe that’s the first topic.
K       ‘Emma' was used in the drama Shige appeared in, ‘Kirawareru Yuki’.
S       Yeah, I’m really grateful that it was used [in 'Kirawareru Yuki’]. I’m also glad that the costumes that Massu made for us had a big impact.
M       Thanks! As for the album, I think it was a good challenge for the group to create it with ‘Neverland’ as one of the themes.
T       Yeah. I think we’ve come to understand a little more one direction NEWS should go, or rather ‘Doing this kind of thing makes the group look good, gives it a new color’.
K       NEWS is always establishing new concepts and creating new works, right. I feel like, in a way, the flow from ‘Emma' to ‘Neverland’ is a compilation of one of our styles. It felt good to properly bring to life the things we want to do.
T       The flow from that into the tour was also good. Speaking of, having the tour as the second topic is good, right?
M       Yeah. We were able to put out an ambitious album, and then really think about what kind of concert would express that world view. Since we were really particular about even the smallest details, finishing the concert successfully gave me a bit of a sense of accomplishment. Having all the fans come out somewhere, to the place called ‘Neverland’ that we produced, made me feel the strong feelings of the fans all over again, and in that sense as well I think it was a really good tour.
S       We’re adding new things while building off of the things we’ve done up til now and I think it’s made for a tour that’s very NEWS-like. I have a hunch that having done this will change what comes next.
T       Tour… Like what Shige and Massu said, I also have confidence that we pulled off a really good performance. But, the difference in my mental state between when it started and ended was so severe, I was surprised by how different it could be within one tour.
K       Coming from the always positive Tegoshi…
T       Yeah. But I feel so grateful to everyone who supported me. For various reasons, it’s tour I’ll never forget.
K       For me, ‘U R not alone' was huge. My impression of it is that it’s world view became even larger during the tour than it was at the time of recording. I think it encouraged a lot of people, and I think it was great that the four of us were able to sing it together on ’24 Hr TV’. It’s amazing that an album song has spread this much and reached so many people.
M       I wonder what the third topic is… I think it's a big deal that all of us are in our thirties now. We all met in our teens right? I think I was around 13 when I met Shige?
S       I think Massu was 13 and I was 12.
K       You were children! (laughing)
T       It’s the period when you overreached yourself.
S       I didn’t!
K       …When you think about it, a lot of time has passed since we all met.
M       We spent our 20s together as NEWS and now we’re all in our 30s.
K       Tegoshi, what do you think? About being 30.
T       Well, I’m happy to finally be 30. The "I’m 30 years old" "Ehh, you don’t look [that old]" kind of interaction is nice. (laughing) I think the four of us, we’ll be very ambitious in our 30s so I look forward to seeing how far we can go building off of our experiences so far!
M       Yeah we want to make good use of our experiences so far. I want everyone to expect a lot [from us]!
K       Next, besides the three big topics we just brought up, September this year is the start of our 15th debut anniversary, what do you want to say about that?
S       15th anniversary… Rather than because of how hard we’ve worked, I feel like it’s about how all the fans have continued to support us.
T       It’s the same for me. Rather than ‘We’ve worked really hard to get here’ I want to make this a year where we pay it back to the ones saying ‘Congratulations on your 15th anniversary!’
K       Yeah, pay it back.
M       Yeah, the feelings of ‘Thank you for always supporting us’ are the strongest.
S       It’d be good if this year we could pay them back by doing stuff like going to even more places for concerts.

The members were manipulated by Tegoshi’s mysterious actions

K       Next, looking back on this past year, the things you need to repent for. Ok, who has something?
S       I don’t have anything in particular.
T       Is it ok if I say something? I really feel sorry for how I cried on the last day of the tour in Tokyo Dome. (laughing)
SKM (burst out laughing)
T       And then that was the footage used by all the morning shows right? Since we have pride in this show we all made together, I wanted them to cover that… I’m really sorry! That's why I didn’t want to go on stage in that condition!! (pretending to cry)
M       There’s no way you thought that far at the time. (laughing) I actually have something I want to repent for to Tegoshi. On ‘The Shonen Club Premium’ the two of us went on a location shoot, one of us was supposed to sumo wrestle, but my lower back hurt and I left it all to Tegoshi. I felt bad about it. But Tegoshi just easily said ‘Ok!’
S       How nice of him.
T       Yeah.
M       If it had just been me doing the location shoot by myself there wouldn’t have been much to film (laughing)
K       Well, I actually have something I want Tegoshi to repent for. Recently I got message from Tegoshi after midnight saying, “I have something I really want to talk with you about."
T       Stop it! Not this story! (laughing)
K       I thought maybe it was serious, so I went to go see him. At a yakiniku restaurant. We talked about various things and I listened to him the whole time, and by the time I realized it, it was over before I got to eat a single piece of meat. (laughing)
T       Hahaha that’s true.
K       What was with that.
S       Well if you’re sharing that then I have something I want Tegoshi to repent for! On the day of the Tokyo Dome performance.
M       The concert where Tegoshi cried, right!
T       Cut it out with that phrasing. (laughing)
S       After the concert ended, Tegoshi and his friends got together to celebrate. Then I suddenly got a call late at night saying “Come here”.
K       That’s the same way it was with me (laughing)
S       It seemed serious, and he cried so much during the concert, (laughing) I got worried and went to go see him and this guy was asleep (laughing).
KM    That’s awful!
S       He woke up once, looked at me and said “Shige, thank you” and went back to sleep.
T       And on your lap too.
S       And then his friends made me sing ‘Ayame’!
TKM Ehh! (burst out laughing)
S       In the end, I sang ‘Ayame’ 3 times that day! (laughing)
T       I didn’t know that! That’s funny! That (Tegoshi can’t stop laughing)
K       Having had Tegoshi properly repent here, I want to make 2018 a year where Tegoshi repays his debts to all of us! (laughing)
S       By all means!
M       But I have a debt too...
T       Yeah. Which means I have one outstanding loan and 2 debts. Okay~ Okay~
S       What’s ‘okay~’ (laughing)
K       Now that everything’s come to a conclusion, this is the end of our round-table talk! (laughing) To all the fans, thank you for all your support this year!

2018.02 Potato - NEWS solo series: Letters - Tegoshi

Starting in the latest issue of potato, NEWS will be having a solo series where in each issue one of the members will write letters to the fans, the other members, and to themselves in the past and future. The first in the series is Tegoshi, and I've translated his letters below.

To all the fans,

With hiatuses and members leaving, NEWS is a group that has faced many hardships and almost had their wings broken many times. I think that it wouldn’t have been strange if you were to think “I’m done with NEWS!” But despite that when we have concerts lots of people come, and I think the reason that there's such a warm and good atmosphere is because of all of your love and the bond we share from overcoming hardships together. I am confident that the strength of that bond wouldn’t lose out to any other group's. There were a lot of times that it wasn’t a given that we had fans, because of that I treasure making you all happy. I mean, already you are like my life partner. At times when you stumble or feel disheartened, I want to continue to be able to reach out to all of your hearts with my music and variety appearances. So, please continue to look after me.

To Koyama-san,

You told me, “Since Tegoshi shines the brightest when he acts freely, no matter what the 3 of us will support you, so please don’t worry and take the lead.” That’s why I’m able to keep actively pushing forward. The one who supports me the most is Koyama-san, and for that I am really thankful. You're a reliable older brother and good partner, and also the one who keeps NEWS balanced. I like the current relationships in NEWS, all 4 of us understand and help each other. I think we all have really good relationships. However, while I think that we’re members rather than friends, the one person I think that I would have become friends with if we’d been in school together is Koyama-san. While our personalities are completely different, I feel like we get along well, he’s that kind of person to me. Speaking of, today [our] manager told me “these are from Koyama-san” and handed me socks that he had bought at a discount store. Please keep buying things for me too when you find something good.

To Masuda-san,

Masuda-san is someone who can compete musically against professional artists. To start with, Tegomass is a unit we’ve done with the the idea that we wanted to change the notion that idols don’t focus on the music, and so having a partner who seriously faces music head on is extremely reassuring. I feel that music is an important common understanding between us. The two of us, Masuda-san who is serious and deliberate and myself who's lively, have very different personalities and so we’re the type that wouldn’t have been friends in school, but I think being in the same group like this and being able to get to know each other is amazing. You’ll propose things that I would have never thought of; you're someone who’s made me realize that by bringing together people who think differently, the things you can do and the variety of ideas increases. When you can’t decide on something due to your deliberate nature and knowledge from studying various things, I’ll decide so please continue to leave that up to me. (laughs) By the way, when I meet various artists at music programs, I’m overwhelmed by how how social Masuda-san is. Please teach me how to expand my social circle. (laughs)

To Shige,

Shige, from the start we’ve had a lot of things in common beyond just being in the same group- same year in school, only children, taking the same entrance exam for middle school… It felt like fate when I learned after the fact that we took entrance exams at the same place for 3 days. (laughs) Speaking more recently, practicing singing together during the ‘Neverland’ tour, feeling that we’ve grown much closer from talking to each other much more about work, and after messaging you “Let’s do our best together in order to advance NEWS” getting the reply “I was thinking the same thing” all made me happy. Through your drama appearances  and books, NEWS has been able to sing the theme songs, I’m thankful that [your activities] are bringing work back to NEWS and I’m glad that you seem to be doing work that you yourself can be proud of. However, and I’ve said this many times before, but you walk really loudly. Please think on the fact that you walk so loudly that every time it sounds like Godzilla is coming. It makes me worry that you’re dragging the heels of your shoes

To the me from 15 years ago,

I guess this is right around when I entered Johnny’s. 15 year old me, listen up. In the future, you’ll meet many people and say goodbye to many too. There’ll be lots of fun things and lots of difficult things, it definitely won't be smooth sailing, in fact your life will be full of upheaval. However, right now at 30 years old, I'm having a lot of fun. I’m having fun. So, please don’t worry, no matter what happens don’t feel disheartened, don’t forget to be grateful to those around you, work hard, and do your best. Though around when you're 20 years old there’ll be a period when you withdraw into your shell, (laughs) that is also an experience. It’ll be ok, just have faith and move forward!

To the me 15 years from now,

45 year old me, I hope you're married and have kids. How are you? I think it’s a part of filial duty to show your parents their grandchildren. I wasn’t able to do it for my father, but I hope to be able to do it for my mother. Work… I don’t know what’ll be like, but I want to still be aiming high and continuing to grow. Furthermore, I hope that I’ve been able to build a road that makes it easier to work and live in the entertainment world for all of my many kohai who are working hard now. I think that currently it’s a really strict and tough time for idols. I might not be able to do much, but for the sake of [my kohai] who are carrying the future, I hope I can pave the way for some new rules so you can have fun and be free as idols.

Nikkan SPA Interview

NEWS was recently on the cover of Nikkan SPA along with an interview regarding Shige’s new book coming out next month. A portion of the interview was posted online, so I’m sharing a translation of that.

In 2003 a group of elite Johnny’s Jrs were gathered to debut as the mascots of the Volleyball World Cup. Then in 2011, NEWS continued their activities with 4 members. Additionally, they’re receiving attention not just as a group, but also individually, expanding their activities beyond just those of an idol, as a novelist, newscaster, regular on a highly-rated variety show, and costume producer. As they approach the 15th anniversary of their debut in 2018, even greater things are expected from them, what is their outlook for the future?

Kato’s 5th novel ‘Tuberose de Matteru’ will go on sale shortly. First, We’ll ask for their honest thoughts.

T     Shige, congratulations on your 5th book!
K     The other day, when I went to a bookshop, in the literature corner I saw that they had a shelf labeled ‘Kato Shigeaki’ and I honestly felt happy. In a place that’s completely unrelated to Johnny’s, you’ve grabbed your own place, I was really moved by your hard work.
M     Since we’ve been working together this whole time, I, of course, knew the circumstances, but usually Shige doesn’t show us when he’s writing.
T     That’s true, I’ve never seen [him writing]. It’s loud on set, so it must be hard to come up with ideas?
S     Yeah, it’s impossible. (laughing)
K     The only thing we really see is him marking up manuscripts with red ink in the plane on the way home after concerts.
S     Since this novel was being serialized during the tour last year, that might be what I was marking.
M     But since he’s become a novelist, recently Shige’s started pretending to read books. (laughing)
S     I’m not pretending!
T     When we’re going places, other people put on headphones and listen to music but Shige’s always reading a book.
M     But once we take off, by the time the seatbelt sign light's turned off he’s usually fallen asleep with the book still open.
T     Yeah. I thought, ‘Ah, that book’s basically a blanket’. (laughing)
S     That was just an accident!
K     But the 5th book, that’s amazing. I’ve seen the moment the novelist known as ‘Kato Shigeaki’ was born up close, so it’s even more moving.
M     Eh, What was it like?
K     Before Shige became a novelist, when we were eating with a person from the agency, Shige said ‘I want to try writing a novel.’
S     I really just said it without thinking. I think it’s something that everyone who likes books says at least once. (laughing)
K     And then, that person from the agency said to Shige, ‘Then, write something in a month and a half’. I think that was the draft of his debut work, ‘Pink and Grey’. But for a long time Shige’s always liked reading and writing, whether a serialization or blog or whatever, I’ve known that he likes putting together sentences so I completely understood when I heard him say that he wanted to write a novel.


Similarly to how Kato is a novelist, Koyama works as a newscaster for ‘news every.’, Tegoshi appears on variety shows like ‘Sekai no Hate made ItteQ!’, and Masuda produces NEWS’ costumes for concerts and other occasions, you give off the impression of doing a variety of solo work outside of the group. Was there any big impetus for this?
M   Rather than one person having done something, once we realized it we all had reached the natural conclusion of doing what we like. For example, Tegoshi’s a sportscaster for a soccer program, but he’s always liked soccer.
S     I think that at first, everyone was just being a so-called ‘idol’, but once you pass 30 gradually the time you spend on yourself increases and your individuality comes out. When I think of it now, I think that our individuality has blossomed.

NEWS fanclub Newsletter #23

Here's a translation of the cross talk section of the latest FC newsletter that came out in early November.

NEWS Cross talk

The usual photo shoots came in handy when acting as a model.

S       Koyama started filming for ‘Juyo Sankonin Tantei’, right?
T       What kind of role is it?
M       Wow, Tegoshi’s leading [the conversation]. (laughing)
K       There’s the three of us, Tamamori, Furukawa Yuki-kun and me, and Tamamori is always the first person to discover some kind of incident. So, when it seems like he’ll become a suspect I try to figure out and resolve the situation. I’m a ‘mystery nerd’.
T       Tamamori..! We joined the agency at the same time. What’s it like on set?
K       At first he seemed cool, but once you actually talk to him, you realize that he has a mischievous and cute part to him. Tamamori’s blood type is B.
T       Ah, Same as me?
K       Yeah, since Tegoshi’s also B, I’m used to handling B’s. (laughing)
T       Hahaha, ‘handling’!
K       It doesn’t feel strange, or rather it’s easy to be around each other.
M       Koyama, you’re playing a model?
S       So, that means there’ll be scenes with you acting as a model? How is that?
K       What do you mean ‘how is that’?
S       How do you act like a model? Wasn’t it difficult?
K       The movements I usually do when doing photo shoots came in handy I think.
M      Try and walk like a model.
T        Try and walk from over there!
K       Ehh, Like this? (Koyama stands from his seat and from a short distance away walks back dashingly)
S       …The cameraman didn’t film it at all. (laughing)
M       They weren’t following Koyama at all. (laughing)
T        (Bursts out laughing)
M       …Well, it wasn’t preserved in a picture, (laughing) but he’s properly acting as a model, so everyone, please look forward to it.
K       ….Definitely. (laughing)
S       You’re filming early in the morning a lot right. What time are you waking up?
K       Usually around 5:30 am.
TSM   Ehhh!
K       But I’ve gotten pretty used to it.
M       You’re working hard.
T        You’re really working. (laughing)
K       Thanks. That’s all for me! (laughing)

I want to take proper care of my throat and make it through the play.

K       Next is Shige’s play, ‘Green Mile’. How is working with Baruto-san?
T        Eh, the Baruto-san that used to be a Sumo wrestler?
M       He’s appearing in the play?
S        Right right.
T        He’s from Estonia right.
S        You’re really knowledgeable. (laughing)
T        The play is running at the Globe Tokyo, right? There are performances outside of Tokyo too, right?
S        Yeah, 6 performances in Kyoto.
T        Nice nice. Can you relax some in Kyoto?
S        Seems unlikely. (laughing) I was looking forward to that too. But I’ve been wallowing in sadness since hearing that my schedule will be tight. (laughing)
M       This was originally made into a movie too, right? What country is it from?
S        America. And I’ll be playing a prison guard.
T        I see. …Shige, recently you’ve been acting a lot.
S        You say that, but then you’ve never been to see one of my plays. I’d like you to come soon.
T        I’ll go, I’ll go! I’m adjusting my schedule. I mean, I want to meet Baruto-san!
M       That’s your goal. (laughing)
S        His way of speaking is cute. (Does an impersonation)
TKM   Hahaha, cute!
K        Also, with a play, taking care of your health is important.
S        Yeah. This year especially, I’ve been having issues with my throat so I want to pay special attention and care to it.
T        Since it’s not good if you lose your voice. Well, I’ll bring a really spicy food as a refreshment ♪
K        Oh, good idea.
S        Hey!
M       I want to bring something other than food, how about a dehumidifier?
S        Hahaha, a dehumidifier not a humidifier? (laughing) Dehumidifying during an already dry time!
M       What’ll you do, Koyama? How about bringing a dry and crumbly snack?
T        Ah, good idea. Something that’ll completely dry up the mouth. (laughing)
S        You’re saying that, but I have faith that you’ll bring something nice. (laughing)

Message me with what souvenirs you want from overseas! (laughing)

S        And Massu’s ‘Netapare’. How is it, are there any comedians you like?
M       Hm, there’s a lot. (Massu lists comedian names one after the other)
K        It’s fun doing that program isn’t it? I laugh a lot just watching it on TV, so seeing it live must be even more fun.
M       Yeah, it’s interesting to see the comedians’ acts live, and getting to collaborate with them sometimes is fun too.
S        How do you feel doing it?  Do you get nervous?
M       I do. The atmosphere is amazing.
S        And it’s all so fast-paced, the speed of each joke.
K       It’s about one minute per joke.
S       But with collaborations you get to know the comedians don’t you?
M       Yeah. For example, recently I collaborated with ANZEN’s Miyazon-san and been able to get to know him.
T        Ah, speaking of, when I was filming for ‘Sekai no Hate made ItteQ!’, I was in the dressing room reading a TV magazine and by chance, there was a ‘Netapare’ article with a picture of Massu and Miyazon-san together. While I was looking at that I said ‘You appeared with our Masuda, didn’t you?’ and he replied “It appears so’. (laughing)
M       On set he always approaches me like it’s the first time. (laughing) But, having those kinds of exchanges is a unique experience to the program, and it’s good stimulous.
S       It’s also a good learning experience about comedy.
M       I see!
K       It’s true, Massu’s jokes haven’t been falling flat as much. (laughing) It feels like he’s become a specialist of the ‘pause’.  I was moved thinking that ‘That Massu has become this good at using the ‘pause’”.
M      What! I’ve never heard of a ‘pause’ specialist.
T       I don’t get it. He's definitely just randomly saying that. (laughing)
K       Huh, is that how it sounds?
S       Even if that’s true, it’d not something you want to hear. That “ He’s a ‘pause’ specialist’.” (laughing)
M       You, just making random comments! (laughing) Well, anyway I’m having fun doing the program. Last, is Tegoshi’s ’Soccer ★ Earth’.
T        I’ve been doing this program for 5 years already.
S        Certainly, and this year the number of broadcasts is increasing, right?
T        Yeah, it is! I’m happy.
K        Since it’s live there are a lot of times you’ve gone on air after concerts, it feels good, doesn’t it? (laughing)
S        I get that!
K        When I go home after a concert and turn on the TV to see Tegoshi working, it feels like the tiredness just goes away.
T        Why! (laughing) Certainly, [working] after a concert is physically tough I guess. At any rate, it’s like using up all my energy all at once. It’s tough to get pumped up all over again.
S       When I did live radio, it was the exact same situation, so I can really understand the difficulty. But, at that time   Tegoshi really teased me, so when I think that now, at last, I can get revenge it makes me happy. (laughing) When I think of it, I feel even better. (laughing)
M       Unlike you two, I don’t think it ‘feels good’ at all ♪
T        Thanks. (laughing) But, it’s a really fun program so I don’t feel tired at all. Since I love soccer and I basically get to talk freely about it.
K        It’s free talk, but it’s amazing because, in the end, it’s a properly done program.
M        What’s it like when you’re interviewing players? Are there things that you can’t ask?
T         Generally, no. But when you go to report on things overseas, it’s considered obvious for things to get delayed by about 2 hours after you’ve started reporting.  (laughing) In that sense, it’s difficult.
S        Oh really. Are you going to do overseas coverage again soon?
T        I don’t know yet, but I think I will.
K        I’m looking forward to the souvenirs!
T        I wonder what would be good. I’ll get the delicious kind of stuff for everyone that I always buy.
M       I’m fine with clothes.
T        Isn’t that dangerous? I mean, I’ll be the one picking the clothes? (laughing)
M       If it’s a large size then it’s fine. There are various kinds overseas right!
T        …Well, when it’s decided that I’ll be going abroad, everyone message me what you want before I leave! (laughing)
K       With that, this issue has been a report on everything going on with all the solo projects we’ve all been doing.


(no subject)

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