Twenty Years of Arashi

Arashi has acquired enough album sales to reach the No. 1 spot in the world with massive equivalent sales of 1,304,000! This twitter post is what prompted this article. This quote is from June 27, 2019 on JpopAsia:

Japanese idol group Arashi have released their 20th anniversary Best Of album, 5×20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019 and it’s already set new records for the group!

The album sold over 729,000 copies on its first day, beating the group’s previous record for first-day sales which was 413,000 copies with Japonism back in 2015.

Arashi also set another incredible record for male artists. With their new release, Arashi now holds the top five sales records for a male artist in Japan. The first and second are 5×20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019 and Japonism respectively, followed by 2017’s [untitled], 2014’s THE DIGITALIAN and 2013’s LOVE.

So let’s talk about their music and dramas, which was how I found them in the first place.  Most of the Arashi fans I hang out within the community are the opposite of me, falling in love with their variety shows and/or their music, and have barely dipped their toes into dramaland. Mind you, they are the subbers for said variety shows, so as Arashi’s schedule is grueling, so are theirs. 🙂 We also only have one more year before they go on hiatus… yeah I said it, hiatus not disbandment or “cease all activities as a group” as I have seen on other sites.  I will believe they believe they are going to return.

Unfortunately, the text editor does not allow us to embed videos at this time but I will link the video in text for each title.

1999 – 2001

Drama: V no Arashi
Starring: All members
Song: A.RA.SHI – Debut Single

Drama: Kindaichi Shonen No Jikenbo 3  
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: Jidai

Early in their career their music was a little less pop, had more guitar and was more crunchy. At this point they did not need to please everyone, just their fans who helped them get their debut.

2002 – 2004

  Drama/Movie: Kisarazu Cat’s  Eye         
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: A Day In Our Life

Movie: Pika*nchi Life Is Hard However Happy
Starring: All members
Song: Pikanchi
Song: Michi

Drama:  Yoiko no Mikata
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Tomadoi Nagara

Drama: Stand Up!!
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Hadashi no Mirai 
Song: Kotoba Yori Taisetsu na Mono

Movie: Pika**nchi Life Is Hard Therefore Happy
Starring: All members
Song: Pikanchi Double

Drama: Minami-kun no Koibito Season 3 
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Hitomi no Naka no Galaxy 
Song: Hero

Still very early and true to their unpolished and youthful sound.  A few ballads per the industry standards, but they were still under the mass appeal radar.

2005 – 2007

Drama: Hana Yori Dango
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: Wish

Movie: Honey and Clover 
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Aozora Pedal

Drama: Hana Yori Dango 2 
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: A Love So Sweet

Drama: Bambino!
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: We Can Make It!

Drama: Yellow Tears
Starring:  All members

Song: Midori Ame
Song: Namida no Nagareboshi


Drama: Yamada Taro Monogatari
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari, Sakurai Sho
Song: Happiness

This is when the group obtains MASSIVE attention with Matsumoto Jun’s Hana Yori Dango, Wish, A Love So Sweet and One Love becoming a staple at almost every concert to this day. Other members of the band credit him with shining the spotlight on them that catapulted them into National Idols. They are the next tier up from Super Idol from this era until now.


Drama: Uta no Onii-san  
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Song: Kumorinochi, Kaisei

Movie: Saigo no Yakusoku 
Starring: All Members
Song: Sora Takaku 
(Ending Song) 
*song starts at 3: 07

Drama: Kaibutsu kun
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Song: Monster
Song Yukai Tsukai Kaibutsu-kun


Drama: Maou
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Song: Truth

Drama: 0 Goshitsu no Kyaku 
Starring in Story 1: Ohno Satoshi
Song: Tokei Jikake no Umbrella (fanvid) or 
concert footage

Drama: The Quiz Show 2
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Ashita No Kioku
Drama: Tokujo Kabachi!! 
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Troublemaker
Movie: Yatterman
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Believe
Animated version

Movie: Hana Yori Dango: Final
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: One Love

Drama: Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Love Rainbow

   Movie: Ooku
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Dear Snow

Drama: Ryusei no Kizuna
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Beautiful Days
Drama: Freeter, Ie o Kau.
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Hatenai Sora

Drama: My Girl
Starring: Aiba Masaki
My Girl

Vs Arashi began in this time period, adding to their already busy schedules and in 2010  Arashi ni Shiyagare started adding yet another show for them to do as a group.  Sakurai Sho begins his newscaster career with News Zero at this time also. The music is now a more polished machine, and the choreos for their dance routines become a little more complicated.  Powerful dramas such as Maou and Quiz Show 2 are released but the songs that you will hear now are Truth and Troublemaker.

2011 – 2013

Drama: Kagi no Kakatta Heya 
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Ending Song: Face Down
Drama: Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Meikyu Love Song
Drama: Kazoku Game
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Endless Game
Drama: Lucky Seven
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
 Wild at Heart
Movie: Platina Data
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Song: Breathless
Drama: Bartender
Starring: Aiba Masaki
Drama: Mikeneko Holmes No Suiri
Starring: Aiba Masaki
Your Eyes
Drama: Last Hope
Starring: Aiba Masaki

The Brand of Arashi is now everywhere: old fans, young fans, generations of fans. The songs are now being tailored for mass appeal, all bad boy images long erased and tried to be forgotten. Kazoku Game was released and is still lauded as a one of a kind drama that others have tried to replicate but fallen short at it.  For me, “Endless Game” and “Facedown” from Kagi no Kakatta Heya (a locked room mystery that DOESN’T SUCK) are the highlights of this era.

2014 – 2016

Drama: Shinigami Kun
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Daremo Shiranai
Drama: Sekai Ichi Muzukashii Koi
Starring: Ohno Satoshi
Song: I seek
Drama: Shitsuren Chocolatier
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Drama: 99.9: Keiji Senmon Bengoshi 
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: Daylight
Drama: Yowakutemo Katemasu
Starring: Ninomiya Kazunari
Drama: Yokoso Wagaya E
Starring : Aiba Masaki
Song: Aozora no Shita, Kimi no Tonari
Drama: Ouroboros
Starring: Oguri Shun  and Ikuta Toma
Song: Sakura

At this point, you cannot turn on the TV, go to the train station, or anywhere, without seeing one Arashi somewhere (call me out if I am wrong, this is the impression I get). Sakura is the only OST Arashi has done that was for a drama none of them was in.

2017 – 2019

Drama: Mumon: The Land of Stealth 
Starring; Ohno Satoshi
Drama: Saki ni Umareta Dake no Boku
Starring: Sakurai Sho
Song: Doors (Yūki no Kiseki)
Drama: 99.9: Keiji Senmon Bengoshi – Season II 
Starring: Matsumoto Jun
Song: Find the Answer

Drama: Kizoku Tantei
Starring: Aiba Masaki
I’ll Be There
Drama: Sakanoue Animal Clinic Story
Starring: Aiba Masaki
Song: Kimi No Uta

I myself have seen most of these and with a lot of them cannot separate the two If I hear “Endless game” I picture the ending of Kazoku Game and “Truth” and Maou are just go hand in hand. This is not always a good thing I detested Aiba’s character in Kizou Tantei but I sort of like “I’ll be there for you” and my dislike for the drama mars my feelings for the song.

Thank you AMV for helping with the layout and checking to make sure I am not too boring! 

Haha, I see what you did there⬆️ AMV thanks!!!

Which of these are your favourites? Would you like me to create the same on any other Jpop band that does drama music? Let me know in the comments below!

Like writing articles for MDL and want to be able to interact with “veteran writers” or help newer writers? 

Join us on Slack!

matsumoto jun
sakurai sho
aiba masaki
ninomiya kazunari
ohno satoshi

Related posts

Devil Beside You [Video Review]


Girl’s Day’s Park So Jin to reportedly join the upcoming drama “Return”




Leave a Comment