Friday, November 26, 2010

What is so Great about SMAP?

Latest promo pic for their aborted 2010 Shanghai concert

I am probably going to get stoned by SMAP fanatics just for the heading alone. But I beg you to read the whole post before doing anything drastic.

As I am typing this, I am watching a series of SMAP performances that my best friend was kind enough to lend me from her most private and valuable stash of SMAP VCDs/DVDs, all in the name of er-hem, improving my Japanese. For as long as I have known her, she has been crazy about SMAP, and I couldn't really understand why, because when I was young(er) I was very "Westernised" and preferred "ang-moh" boybands like *cough* New Kids on the Block *cough*.

Other than Takuya Kimura, the only thing I know about SMAP is that they are a VERY FAMOUS pop group that sings and they have a variety show known as SMAPxSMAP. Due to a lack of English sub-versions on the Internet (and prior to my learning the language), I have only watched a few VERY FUNNY snippets, where they cook and do all sorts of crazy skits including some hilarious parodies.

A quick history on SMAP (from Wikipedia): Originally made up of 6 members, SMAP now consisted of Masahiro Nakai, Takuya Kimura (of course), Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (the one caught naked in public recently), Goro Inagaki and Shingo Katori. SMAP stands for SPORTS, MUSIC, ASSEMBLE, PEOPLE. (Huh??) They were formed in 1988 (!) but officially debuted in 1991. They literally grew up with a generation of Japanese, more or less, which explains the record number of obasans in their fan base.

Now, back to the VCDs I am watching. These are from the late 1990s and early 2000s. One of them contains their musical performances from various TV shows and concerts. And I cannot stop laughing (not maliciously, mind you). This is the NUMBER ONE pop group in Japan for goodness knows how long? They really cannot sing! Definitely nowhere near the league of ANZENCHITAI. As they belted out their SUPER cheesy bubblegum pop songs with gusto, they went out of tune a few times and their voices cracked in several places. Before you throw eggs at me, let me add that SMAP is no worse than the other boy bands around the world. It was just that for all the craziness they inspired, I was expecting MORE. But I guess one cannot really explain craziness stemming from hormonal reactions.

Especially when Takuya winks at the camera, or expose an ab or a nipple (this man LOVES to show off his chest), who the hell cares whether they can sing or not, right? You can sing to me all night long, baby!!!

But despite their lack of singing chops, they more than made up with their incredibly sleek dance moves and oozed charisma in SPADES. It tickles me greatly as I watch them schmooze around the stage in their droopy bell-bottom pants (one of their costumes looked to be inspired by "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves"). And their songs! OMG their songs!! My eyes literally popped out as I listened to a song titled "$10"!!!?! "You are my dynamite?" By this time I am already rolling on the floor.

Finally I understand what gets the fans all hot and bothered (besides Takuya's hot looks), and loyal after all these years (SMAP debuted when Takuya was a scrawny teenager - see pics below). Definitely not their singing, but that irrepressible exuberance that spills over each time they perform. My friend says it best when she says SMAP is not afraid to laugh at themselves (check out Shingo Katori's many cross-dressing incarnations, and any group that dares sing a song titled "$10" is definitely insane). Indeed, like overgrown boys, they make me feel silly and happy, and very very young. I guess this is the true SMAP magic.

Here are some VERY INTERESTING photos and a video I found on the Internet - for your enjoyment only. In the meantime, I will be watching those old SMAP VCDs.

Snippets from one of their latest concerts, including the infamous "$10" song. Look at the number of obasans screaming. And Takuya flashing his bod!!! Drool.

WTH - I was searching for pics and found this. When SMAP still had 6 members. Takuya looked like 12???!

Since Takuya was so adept at flashing himself at concerts, I tried googling for some sexy photos and ended up with this. Please do not arrest me for child porn. According to the blog I took it from, they were only 15!!!! 

Enough of young 'uns. This is from their show Bistro SMAP. Chef Takuya can cook me anytime!

Enough said. SMAP Ichiban!

Smap Vol.II Smap Best Selection

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post~ very funny and witty!