In spirit and energy with Sakura Gakuin – Part 02

My life was enriched with Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院) only days after watching Babymetal videos and concerts. It all happened so quick I hadn’t had the time to feel I might miss Hana, Yui, Moa and Yunano. All those feelings came later after I saw Road to Graduation 2012 and 2013. Here’s my previous blog post In spirit and energy with Sakura Gakuin I wrote on the day when these four girls graduated on 29th March 2015.

Today, five months after writing a blog post of Sakura Gakuin’s fourth Graduation Day held on 29th March, 2015, I come to think of times spent watching in earlier videos, live performances, LoGiRL shows, new releases, and expanding myself to becoming fans of Perfume and Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46) as well. Although this isn’t the end, I’m sure there is more than what can be seen.

Even when I became a Sakura Gakuin fan, I didn’t know of the wonderful Reddit community where its members shared a common likeness. As new posts were posted, I thanked each one of them in silent appreciation for their contributions. I also came to know after the graduation ceremony about Onji-san’s translation project he’d started on Sakura Gakuin diary entries. I hadn’t known they wrote diary posts before. Soon enough, I realised there were even more members who translated a lot of stuff, videos, graduation speeches, song lyrics, real-time live translations during LoGiRL and Night of Spica on Stolabo Tokyo shows, documentaries, and other videos where votes were taken from fans and members of the community.

I write most of my writings, both fiction and daily journals, accompanied with songs by Sakura Gakuin, Ayami Muto, and Babymetal, Nogizaka46 and Perfume. I can’t believe myself to have switched from English to Japanese songs. I could easily declare that I’ve been listening to Japanese music at least 95% of my listening time. Going back to Sakura Gakuin’s past, I still miss all the moments they occurred. There’s a different feel between watching things live in real, on screen, recorded, and those recorded long back in the past. I just watched Ayaka and Airi’s show yesterday, and I could feel their touch I had missed when they themselves had been in Sakura Gakuin. They sang and performed pretty well. I finally heard Airi-chan’s voice as she sang. I had heard her voice in the songs probably occurring less than the fingers could count. Ayaka-chan’s voice is still beautiful as it’d been in her Sakura Gakuin days. But listening to Airi-chan singing made me feel happy. I hope someday, I’ll see all the graduates make a legendary comeback and create an Alumni Unit with Sakura Gakuin’s collaboration to bring back the original Sakura Gakuin voices they had been back when they’d been in Sakura Gakuin themselves. Gosh, will I ever hear Suzuka-chan’s voice in “My Graduation Toss” or “Cherry Blossom Colour Avenue (桜色のアベニュー)“? Or even Second generation Minipati? And others as well. I can only hope for such an event. It’ll be the 5th Road to Graduation next year, but I can only keep my fingers crossed for such a performance. It doesn’t matter if they do not perform. It’s their voice and their presence that matters to me. Their aura brings positive change in me. Listening to their voice is already wonderful, but watching them as they perform is like a bliss. Oh, how quick and easy it is to leave the real world when they perform with such beauty, elegance and grace.

In the beginning, I had wondered whether I’d be able to recognise all Sakura Gakuin members easily. I had to keep watching the videos, and the Sakura Gakuin’s Sun episodes (e.g. Ep. 01). I got hold of them quickly. Nene-chan and Marina-chan had been off for quite some time. When they appeared at the Babymetal concert and I saw a picture, I did feel they had changed so much. Marina’s quick movements and Nene’s all-time smile-on-the-face had a charm on me from the videos I’d seen of them. Hinata-chan, Ayaka-chan and Airi-chan regularly posted pics on twitter. And finally, I recognise them all now.

I guess it’s time to talk about the current Sakura Gakuin members. After I watched Road to Graduation 2014, I couldn’t withstand my tears to flow on. Although I didn’t understand what Rinon-chan, Moa-chan, Mori-sensei, or Kuramoto-san said, their expressions spoke a lot of sentiments and feelings. Even after the latter two put forth some jokes to laugh and smile, I still lost my tears. Gosh, why it makes me wonder why I’m again getting the same feeling again. Now, I’m literally writing this a few minutes later. Well, I do miss Hana-chan, Yunano-chan, Yui-chan and Moa-chan more as I was already their fan. And missing them would simply break my heart. On the other hand, I was happy as they had progressed ahead in life. They were now ‘Super Ladies’ along with other graduates, and I felt good for them. Well, not all. I’m glad to see all but Yunano-chan’s progress. I didn’t know much about her until the graduation, but her playful approach and her style of speech had made it seem like that. Yui and Moa had been known. And Hana’s frank and friendly fashion on LoGiRL with her introductory dialogue was cool enough for me to miss her. Fortunately, she’s in Torahime Ichiza and I wish to see her performance there as well. From the promotion video, I’ve taken interest and plan to watch their musical play when I visit Japan.

It still sounds more like all the graduates been spoken of. But there is a lot to speak, and I might never be able to stop unless I hold my reins on my horses. This year Rinon, SakiS and SakiO lead the group with Sara, Aiko and Megumi along with the new transfer-ins of this year Mirena, Momoko, Marin, Maaya, Soyoka and Kano. I had some problems identifying them in the beginning. But replying to their comments on their diaries and watching the LoGiRL shows solved such problems. The new transfer-ins are now four months as Sakura Gakuin members and it already feels good to know them. I’m happy Sara-chan won’t graduate alone next year, but also feel a little sad that I’ll see a little less of Mirena-chan since she’ll graduate with Sara-chan. Whatever it is, I’m sure Mirena-chan will do her best that comes in front of her. With the new units set now, I look forward to all their performances, especially the new songs they create in the upcoming albums.

It looks like Aiko-chan read and implemented an activity I wrote in one of my comments on her diary. Aiko-chan had asked in one of her diaries what activities that we had during school. I had written about the spoon with the table tennis ball in it. Of course, in my case, it was carrying and passing the ball from one end of the room to the other without dropping them. Obviously, due to less space on LoGiRL, they must have shortened the distance to a table. Anyway, the comment may as well not be read and could be their invention as well. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter. I felt glad that the activity was played.

There’s been so much activity and watching them grow through the years along with all the pressure gives me the motivation to write further. But I guess it could never end. So, I’ll keep it for some time later in the future. All-in-all, Sakura Gakuin transformed me to become something I never felt before. I shall always be happy for their presence through spirit and mind. And my blessings shall be over them all be they graduates or current, or not in Mariri-chan’s case. 🙂 I hope they will all receive the best of what the world has to offer them. I wish them all the luck in the world to have a great future.


In spirit and energy with Sakura Gakuin

I  shall write about a group, which inspired and motivated me, helped me live through depression and frustration, when irritation has had its height of implementation over me. Although those times do not exist any more, I find myself attached to this group. Sakura Gakuin (or さくら学院, or Cherry Blossom Academy) has become a significant part of my life. I shall not explain and describe who they are. One can find more information about it over the internet.

Today being 29th March, 2015, it is the Graduation Day for the fourth year. I’ve been their fan since somewhere around mid-January, 2015 after I came to know about Babymetal, a Kawaii Metal (Cute Metal) music band from Japan. Babymetal consists of Suzuka Nakamoto, Yui Mizuno and Moa Kikuchi, accompanied by Kami band providing metal music. As I kept listening to Babymetal every day, I was intrigued and curious to know more about the three schoolgirls who performed brilliantly, with such excellent synchronous dance performance. Every live performance I watched made them seem to look like perfect musical masters.

However, things did not stop there for me. I came to know of them as part of another group Sakura Gakuin, which consists of ten members as of today. Nonetheless, four of them shall graduate by evening today. Yui Mizuno, Moa Kikuchi, Hana Taguchi and Yunano Notsu shall have graduated by today evening. I shall miss them even more now. Moreover, I’m already having my tears take off from my heart as I write this. I cried even as I took a bath today, and it was when I decided I would dedicate this day towards Sakura Gakuin. I shall write about this lovely group that I have known to be like angels.

Sakura Gakuin’s past has had a lot of history as well. After watching videos about them during their academic years, I find it hard to see how surprising things went, year after year, and when things started to grow thereafter. They even have a session on LoGirl where they come every Monday. I shall miss these four graduates now on. I might never even see them anymore. Although I know that Yui and Moa will appear with Suzuka in Babymetal. But it has been beautiful to see them in their true colours, where they play pranks, have fun, and even do weird things out of the blue. I shall miss it all each one of them.

Speaking of which, I feel I have already missed out graduates who passed out in the past years. Ayami, Airi, Marina, Nene, Suzuka, Hinata, Ayaka, Mariri, and Raura. Although they’ve already graduated and have long been on their way ahead in their life, I find myself attached to them as well. In addition, I can’t even wonder why something like this has happened. There is something I feel constrained to do. I like them all, no matter how different and unique they all are, how good or bad they might be in their personal lives. Sometimes I start to think whether I’ve been charmed by an enchantment from these lovely girls.

Moreover, how am I to forget those who managed to get all of this in front of the world? Amuse Inc. has done an incredible job, hats off to them all. All the Sakura Gakuin teams, admin, camera, planning, to the head of Sakura Gakuin who leads with such a brilliant idea, and to Mori sensei who worked his way so hard into getting everyone to laugh most of the time.

Today I shall watch Graduation shows of the last two years back to back in the evening. I just wished there was a paid viewing of this year’s graduation ceremony over the internet. I hope they’ll release it for purchase soon.

It feels like happiness and sadness with tears come hand in hand as my feelings for these wonders simply run across through my view, although in my imagination, after I keep watching their videos repetitively in daily doses. Suzuka’s Delorean video is like a legend for me. After all, it is logically correct and I agree with her choice. Then there’s Einstein being called an old man. I shall never forget these class test examples. I haven’t seen all of them, but I’m sure there’s much more in store.

I completely forgot to mention something significant. I have had an interest in learning Japanese language since I was very young. However, most of everyone whom I spoke about it told me that Japanese is very tough and difficult to learn. All of this put a break on me towards learning the Japanese language. Nevertheless, the few days after getting to know Babymetal and after watching their videos of documentaries, it all seemed to have pushed me over the edge. I took the challenge and started on my own to learn Japanese language. This became a turning point for me. Everything seemed to flow like a stream, one step at a time. With no support from anyone else but the aura of all the members of Sakura Gakuin, I had enough motivation to push myself further. It’s been not more than three months I’ve been learning and everything is flowing smoothly. I would say ‘You were wrong.’ to those who told me that learning this language was tough. I might even add to it saying that it was most possible that they never faced such intriguing challenges. Moreover, to all of this, I would like to give my thanks to those who brought this beautiful language to me.

Although I still have to learn a lot about Japanese language, I still watch LoGirl, their videos, and even other shows where I can get to learn from hearing.

I believe I shall have to keep on writing about these wonderful people, and the topics on which I have in mind, seem to be endless. This has made me think of writing an episodic about them. I wonder now, why this never struck my mind before.