September 3. I woke up and done my usual morning routine when I stumble upon a video passing in my Twitter timeline. And I never would have thought that PV of ツカメ〜It’s Coming〜 could change my fangirling experience.
I am a Kpop fan who watches Produce 101. Every time they releases the theme song, I easily get excited and checks who might be my pick for this season however to my surprise, they didn’t caught me and I sometimes dropped in the middle of the show and wait for the debut group lineup. Meanwhile, PRODUCE 101 JAPAN got me and become emotionally attached to the trainees and to my 1pick.
Kawashiri Ren, my 1pick
My eyes first caught Ren because of his center position in the theme song and my first impression to him was him having a vibe that is similar to Jun Matsumoto. That time, I wasn’t decided to pick him as my main.
Trainee’s profile was released same time in the ツカメ〜It’s Coming〜 PV. He wasn’t the first one I checked out but instead, it was Mamehara Issei, who was Wanna One Ong Seongwu’s, lookalike. Then, I moved to checked out at his profile. My second impression to Ren: “…has similar vibe from NU’EST Baekho”.
We experienced a ‘drought’ period after PV release so I made a little bit of research of him in SNS. I learned that he was a backup dancer of Wanna One last year. Wanna One was my ultimate bias group and since Ren was related to Wanna One, he became my candidate for 1pick. He also had a long list of experiences as a backup dancer to various group like PENTAGON, SMAP, Yamashita Tomohisa, etc. After days researching about him, he slowly grew to me and became my 1pick for this season.
As PRODUCE 101 JAPAN’s national producer
One of the reason I felt attached to this season because I can experience being a national producer. PRODUCE 101 JAPAN started as 101 trainees and the national producers chooses 11 trainees to debut. I was lucky that I live in Japan during its airing so I got a chance to vote and attend their evaluation and live events.
So far, I was present in all of the evaluation recording… but only outside the site. I waited outside the site together with other fans while distributing slogan and lowkey hoping to see a glimpse of the trainees.
Super C Channel
September 21. I decided to go to Super C Channel even though I was defeated at the lottery. I thought maybe I got to see the trainees arriving to the event similar on what happened to PRODUCE X 101. Since the event started at the afternoon, I first visited Harajuku to ride on the advertisement bus. It was a really nice experience as I rode it with other national producers while singing the theme song.
Fast forward to the venue. While waiting, 5 or 4 buses arrived at the venue and all of us ran towards the bus. The trainees opened the windows and waved at us. I saw a familiar head popping out at the window and I suddenly called him: “REN!”
Everything went too fast. My hands was literally shaking when I chatted my friend that I freaking saw Ren in flesh. I was thankful I brought my camera with me and got to take a photo of him and was able relive that moment. Even I wasn’t been selected to attend the event, seeing him already completed my life.
I posted these photos for my fansite account. You can free to follow that account but that will only be active if I can attend the photography-allowed events.
川尻家: My Produce 101 Japan family
I was an independent fan promoting Ren on Twitter when I got to meet mutuals from overseas who also supports Ren. We later decided to work together and contact the admins of the Kawashiri’s OC (OpenChat in Line). At first I was little intimidated with them (or maybe because they were Japanese like what I felt to the Koreans in previous season) but I later I find them being so kind to us and even gave us interpreter (ウユさん😭).
Throughout the shows we did series of support activities, online and offline. Probably my most memorable activities we organized with them was the hashtag event, #川尻蓮のダンスが凄い. I felt like both Japanese and international fans are working together to trend it on Twitter. When our event period ended, we were devastated cause it didn’t enter the trend.
Everyone gave up at that time not until someone tweeted that our hashtag trended! I was supposed to sleep at that time but when I saw that tweet I spend another hour celebrating!
I find the Kawashiri Family as a corporate company on how everyone’s dividing their task and the seriousness/dedication towards the projects. But on the other hand, everyone’s been freaking out if Ren was acting cool or cute in the show. That gap that just like Ren!
JO1’s Kawashiri Ren
No words expressed how I was really happy Ren became a part of JO1, PRODUCE 101 JAPAN’s debut group. Even I was the same age with him, I felt like his mom crying for joy for my son’s achievement.
To Kawashiri Ren, thank you for giving your best throughout the show. Everyone sees your dedication and passion to debut that’s why everyone voted for you. Now, you ended the your path as PRODUCE 101 JAPAN trainee, and now this is the beginning of the path you and the Kawashiri Family created, your path as a JO1 member.
Hope to meet you soon!