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Sunday, August 31, 2008

SPEED's reunion segment at Nippon Television's 24 HOUR TELEVISION / LOVE SAVES THE EARTH

UPDATED (1/9/2008): I've added the videos of yesterday's reunion. Incredible that it's on Youtube that soon.

24時間テレビ SPEED スピード 復活ライブ!
This is part 1. From their introduction to hiro and Hitoe visiting Yui Nojiri

Eriko and her son, Lime (part 1)

Eriko and her son, Lime (part 2)

The medley they performed.

(I almost felt that the photos I took yesterday were unnecessary...)

After my long history with the Jpop girl group, SPEED, who disbanded 8 years ago. I find it rather fitting that I got to see them reunite again, live on television, while I myself have moved to Tokyo.

I've posted about SPEED's reunion last week. But I wasn't entirely sure about the circumstances surrounding them being back together again. The articles I read said that Eriko wanted to do this for her 3-year-old son, Lime (礼夢 pronounced RAIMU, I'm not sure whether his son is called RAIMU based on the Kanji, or LIME as some articles call him, but I'll call him LIME in this post), who was born with hearing difficulties.

Basically, the half-hour segment dedicated to their comeback is part of Nippon Television's 24 HOUR TELEVISION / LOVE SAVES THE EARTH (24時間テレビ31 愛は地球を救う), an annual television charity event that goes on for 24 hours. The show had been going on since 6:30pm yesterday, and is hosted (mostly) by the members of ARASHI, Nakama Yukie and a few others. In this show, uplifting and genuinely touching true stories are being presented to viewers, and seriously, some really left me emotionally drained (I've been watching since last night)

I'm determined to have stories to tell on this blog after watching their reunion, so I had my camera ready with me to snap some photos when they appear on TV. I wanted to record things down with my camcorder as well, but I assume their segment will be available online soon. I hope.

So here are the photos I snapped, pardon the crappy quality.

Their segment began exactly at 4pm. Seeing them standing together again just brought back memories of my teenage years.

Speed appears

Speed appears 2

SPEED's reunion segment was presented via two documentaries, one dedicated to a fan, a young girl named Yui Nojiri who has spinal muscular atrophy. They had visited Yui in her house back in 1997.

Speed with Yui Nojiri back in 1998

When SPEED appeared in the 1999 edition of the 24 HOUR TELEVISION, their friendship with Yui was featured during their segment then. It ended with them reading a letter written by Yui, which left them all moved to tears.

9 years later, Hiro and Hitoe visited Yui again.

hiro and Hitoe visit Yui Nojiri in 2008

hiro and Hitoe talking to Yui Nojiro

So this segment was actually dedicated to Yui as well.

And then, the second documentary is the one about Eriko's son, Lime. Lime was born in 2004, and had hearing problems then.

Eriko's son Lime

Lime as an infant.

Since her divorce, Eriko's been raising the child by herself.

Eriko talking about her son

Eriko with Lime

Eriko playing with Lime

Eriko playing with Lime 2

Eriko singing for Lime

Eriko singing for Lime 2

It was very heartwarming, seeing the motherly side of Eriko. Her playing and singing with Lime. There were also some footage of her in Lime's kindergarten, playing with Lime and his classmates.

For me, even though I've followed most of their solo careers for a while since their disband in 2000, they weren't really that high-profile, the Jpop industry had shifted to other trends, other artistes. Fame and popularity are fickle in the entertainment industry. I never knew what really happened to them, so watching Eriko's segment with her son was highly illuminating. It sort of filled up some blanks.

Eight years is a long time, many changes have happened, many journeys taken. Even I myself had an interesting journey of my own, from being just a mere high school student during their disband 8 years ago, to becoming a fledgling filmmaker and producer I am now. To me, Eriko had faced her own journey with a lot of courage.

There should be many reasons why SPEED wants to reunite again, and it's highly unlikely that they can reach again the pinnacle of success they had during the late 90s. But I wish I'm wrong. I think there should still be some personal, and noble reasons for their reunion, like singing for Lime, and Yui. So I seriously wish I can be proven wrong.

They performed a special medley of their hit songs (WHITE LOVE, STEADY, ALL MY TRUE LOVE, ALIVE AND BODY & SOUL, in this order) after the two documentaries were aired.

SPEED reunites

I still love hiro

SPEED reunites 2

SPEED reunites 3

SPEED reunites 4

There are plans for a concert tour next year. Fortunately, I'm most probably going to be able to catch it. Aside from that, with the job I have now, it's not impossible for our paths to intersect someday today. (*cough* *cough* I'm supposed to pitch a film project at the TIFFCOM2008 in the Tokyo Film Festival on October)