The path as a kantoku has been a tough one at the beginning, but we have been richly rewarded. I have been truly blessed that my idols managed to make it in under the wire to be the fifth out of the six units featured so prominently nowadays. It’s never seemed to me that W were particularly popular back in the early mobage days. If you looked at the event ranking border whenever they had a ranking SR, it was significantly lower than, say, and equivalent Hijo SR. Of course, I was fine with that because it meant that I didn’t have to bust my ass to get an SR.
But knowing that, I understand that we’re extremely fortunate that W ended up in the 01-06 wave of units. Not only did it mean that our boys got their voices and songs first, but it turned out to be far more consequential. They made it in to appear at 1st live. They got 2nd Anniversary songs. And they secured their place in the anime.
I’ve already mentioned that I got to see W in Sapporo, where they did the two songs I wanted to see live the most. LEADING YOUR DREAM basically became my favourite W song back when it first came out because I felt like it filled in a gap that was missing from their repertoire. VICTORY BELIEVER and Pleasure forever… were nice, but I felt like they could’ve used a cool song rather than two happy pop-py songs.
Pleasure forever… has a more significant reason. During 1st, at the afternoon performance, they basically fell over at the climax of the song, which was very unfortunate. Since I’d only seen the evening performance, I didn’t even realize that had happened until seeing it on the BD. A similar thing happened at 2nd, where Yamayan stumbled on and eventually forgot the lyrics to the chorus. This was very noticeably bad but luckily they were able to recover both times (of course, they’re professionals).
Not having been at 2nd at the time, the most noticeable fallout from the performance was when Yamaya put up a bunch of tweets where he talked about how frustrated he was with himself for screwing up and how that feeling lingered with him for the rest of the live. It’d always bothered me whenever people bring up the screwup from 1st as a joke, even if they really weren’t being mean about it, but I’d always wondered if I was thinking too much about it. Seeing this cemented my feelings on things like this.
This is also why I was so happy to see Yamaya filling the center role at Hokkaido. Sometimes, I get the sense that some people look down on Yamaya because of the kinds of roles he plays, though it’s more of a vibe I get rather than any actual concrete things I’ve seen people say. But this is despite the fact that he’s one of the more experienced and well-known seiyuu in the cast. Anyhow, it was gratifying to see them pull off a Pleasure forever… performance without a hitch.
As for the anime, I remember very early on, everyone was wondering when each unit was going to get introduced and then they all showed up at the end of episode 1… except W. And so each week, kantoku of all different sorts would get to the title preview and get disappointed that W wasn’t coming. Luckily, thanks to my uncle who works at Aniplex, I had been informed that Episode 6 was titled 二人が選ぶVictory, so I waited warmly for a month and a half.
If given the choice between stuffing W in with everyone else earlier or giving them a proper introduction halfway through the show, I think I would’ve made the same choice. I think that W’s origin story works best as an episode on its own and I think they need a dedicated introduction in order for most people to understand their appeal.
Compared to, say, Beit or SEM, they’re not the type of unit most people immediately gravitate to. This has been the case since the very beginning; as I mentioned before, they’re not the most popular unit. My worry for the anime was always that they’d be overshadowed by the others, or worse, people start wondering why the heck they made it into the main cast. But luckily, their introduction episode was able to convey their particular charm and I got to see everyone talk about how much they loved these new twins and cried and stuff.
Their later introduction and integration into the group was also great. A few notes here. I was hoping that we’d get a Touma meeting W scene in their introduction episode and I was a bit bummed to only get a reaction still in the ED. Better than nothing, I suppose. Except they apparently decided to save it for the training camp episode! Fantastic. The other thing I wanted to point out, beyond the episode just being excellent in general, was Kyosuke’s noticeable hesitance at the beginning, particularly compared to Yusuke, and his later warming up. There’s a lot of good twin stuff like this in the mobage that’s rooted in the accident that probably won’t be touched on in the anime.
When I was waiting in the goods line in Sapporo, I chatted with some other Ps. I’d told them I was a W P and so they obviously asked me why I liked W. I thought about it for a bit, but realizing that we were crossing some major language barriers, I decided to keep it simple.
They’re cute and cool.
I’ve been really happy to see how far Kyosuke and Yusuke and Yamati and Kikuti have come this past year and I’m looking forward to another year of producing activities as their kantoku.