Arashi appeared in the February 3rd issue of Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, presenting an interesting new “image” of themselves.
A special Arashi comic, titled “ARASHI meets MANGA,” took up eight pages of the paper on this particular issue. Each member of the group was drawn by a different artist. The artists were Matsumoto Taiyou (author of the manga “Tekkonkinkreet“) drew Ninomiya Kazunari, “Honey and Clover” author Umino Chika drew Sakurai Shou, “Hana Yori Dango” (AKA “Boys Over Flowers”) artist Kamio Yoko drew Matsumoto Jun, “Kaibutsu-kun” author Fujio Fujiko drew Ohno Satoshi, and “Bartender” author Nagatomo Kenji drew Aiba Masaki .
While newspapers struggle with dipping sales, special Arashi pages in Asahi Shimbun have had everyone and sales buzzing, reports J-CAST News on February 4.
The newspaper feature “ARASHI Meets MANGA 僕らの肖像 (Bokura no Shozou)” took up eight pages of the national newspaper on February 3. Each Arashi member had been drawn into manga form by a manga writer who was responsible for creating one of their drama roles. Taiyo Matsumoto (鉄コン筋クリート, Tekkon Kinkreet), Chica Umino (ハチミツとクローバー, Hachimitsu to Clover), Yoko Kamio (花より男子, Hana yori Dango), Kenji Nagatomo (Bartender), and Fujiko Fujio A (怪物くん, Kaibutsu-kun).
It has been reported Asahi Shimbun’s advertising office had stated they ran the special because the group were Japan’s tourism navigators, and one of their responsibilities is to promote Japan to the overseas market.
“Arashi have been given the task to send out a message to people overseas about what makes Japan unique while these manga writers have already shown they can send powerful messages overseas. Our aim was to show people how amazing Japan is by getting these two groups to collaborate,” they said.
It has been reported the special was run because it was a chance for the newspaper to do something big and would help pull in younger readers. Another reason might have also been because it was a good way to promote Masaki Aiba’s new drama “Bartender”.
Either way, when the newspaper hit stands on February 3, it became so popular that a growing number of train station newspaper stands had sold out of all of their copies.
The newspaper soon became a popular topic on Twitter, where a number of fans and non-fans tweeted about the special.
“I got my Asahi Shimbun (^o^)/”
“I’m not an Arashi fan, but this is amazing.”
“It really is, yesterday’s special was fun.”
It has been reported Asahi Shimbun had received more than 100 calls by lunch time on February 4 from people asking where to get a copy of the February 3 newspaper, and others had called to thank the newspaper.
“I hope you can do more fun specials like this.”
“I’m going to save this newspaper forever.”
The manga pictures of Arashi were printed on FM Premium paper, which is whiter than normal newspaper materials.
** credit: momo-edgewood.wordpress