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logging here for prosperity my commentary on this entry: http://paaanpanda.livejournal.com/2519.html

For what it's worth, I see where you're coming from with Subaru's voice. I do think though that it's more of a historical thing than anything else. From what I can tell, if you go back and watch early stuff of theirs, Subaru's voice back then really was the most stable (ie, least pitchy). And his voice quality was better back then also -- I don't know if it's because of the smoking or age or what, but his voice has definitely changed. He's hoarser, and the tone of his voice is less clear. If you go back and just listen to all the performances Naniwa Iroha Bushi starting from when it first came out to more recent ones, you'll see he can't quite hit the same notes he used to back then, when doing the repeating yodeling riff thing. (sorry, my knowledge of musical terms falls short here, but you know what I'm referring to right?)

But fast forward to current time, and they've all improved. Everyone's singing is much less pitchy and is more musical, and they're better at their instruments, etc. For what it's worth (and please don't stone me, I love them, I do), I still think that for being musicians, their singing isn't that great. Their voices are average - they still are pitchy sometimes, and the tone of their voices doesn't really stand out. But for Johnnys (and a lot of western bands/musicians) - their voices are awesome. I think they're one of the few groups that have so many members who can hold a tune and whose voices sound decent live.

And now that I'm on a roll - I'm going to blather in your comments about my personal thoughts on the boy's singing, and my thoughts on singing and voices in general. (I'll probably cut and paste this at some point into my own journal for logging, but while I'm a-typing away. manifesto here in your comments! .___. sorry. )

Subaru - I do think that Subaru has a decent voice - but even when it sounded better in his younger days, I get the feeling that when he sings he tries very hard to differentiate his singing voice from everyone else's. It's in the way he makes his voice hard/harsh and vibratos a lot and sings verging on screaming. Generally speaking, I don't tend to prefer this type of singing.

Ryo - Ryo-chan's voice has improved a lot since the early days - he's definitely much more stable and almost never pitchy nowadays. I'd say maybe even less pitchy than Subaru now. That said, he sufferers imho from a weak vocal tone. He does that nasal singing that johnnys love to do. I don't get the appeal of it at all, but perhaps it's stylistic? This is unfortunate because his natural speaking voice is pleasant and unique-sounding higher, but with a little rough-ish rasp.

Yasu - I actually think Yasu's voice might have been one of the less pitchy ones in the early days also. I don't know though because I haven't paid enough attention ^^;; Nowadays he seems to be less pitchy as well and his singing is musical, he uses vibrato, etc when singing but not in an over the top way - his singing actually sounds to me the most like a lot of older japanese artists do. a la kuwata keisuke, but less polished and less good (sorry! sorry!) It's still more nasal than I'd like, in that way of the johnnys. ...which as I said before, I don't really like.

Maru - Maru's voice is interesting. ...and I'm not just saying that because I wubble him to bits. Early on, he was pitchy as hell. But as he's gotten better.... it seems like he has different ways of singing. Either that or je processes the hell out of everyone's voice so they have that nasal johnnys thing going on. His earlier solos have him doing the nasal high johnny's voice. ...but I actually prefer when he sings normally - ie his raw voice, non-nasally. His singing is really musical as well, and I really like his vocal tone. His notes have a soft and round quality to them when he vibratos. And I really like when he sings in a lower range.

Hina - He's gotten a lot better with pitchiness also, and his voice is unique. Of all the members I'd say he has the most unique voice. It's rough and manly. :D ...unfortunately his singing lacks musicality imho. he doesn't do vibrato, or much tone inflection. His singing is straight-forward sounding. which I guess is fitting with the personality.

Yoko - He actually has one of the nicer vocal tones, imho. It's high and sweet. But he either lacks power or confidence or something because it's also the weakest ie, it sounds like he's not supporting his singing with air or something.. That and as far as I can tell, he has problems with pitch. I'd imagine though that if they'd actually given him opportunities to grow in this area, he might have gotten less pitchy and more vocally powerful. Who knows though.

Anyhow, back to commenting on your post... you're not at all a bad fan - people don't all fangirl/fanboy in the same way. Most of the Arashi things you've mentioned sound like headcanons which have become popularized in fandom. or at least western fandom? I'm not as familiar with japanese or chinese fandoms, but I've been told that fan behavior is different sometimes. As someone standing outside looking in on the fandom though, I don't know how much of that is actual belief that say, Nino is perpetually 17 vs let's all joke about this because this is a shared fandom joke/headcanon.

Much in the same way that shippers are -- sometimes it's hard to tell whether folks actually think something is going on vs. they're fangirling about it and cognizant that it's fevered fangirl brains a-talking, but that it's not really feasible to preface every post/comment/tweet with "...yes, I know they're not actually screwing each other into the floorboards, but this is me being shipper-y"

Thoughts?
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