I think I have exhausted everything I possibly could about my appreciation for Ohno Satoshi's existence in last year's excessive birthday post. (I truly enjoyed writing all of those 2000 words.) There really isn't much more to say, really. I could expound on how he's aging like fine wine and looking better and sexier every damn year, but that would just involve a lot of expletives and indecipherable keyboard-smashing. Let's just settle it with the fact that Ohno is looking extra shaggable lately, yes?
But seriously, I wonder at the miracle of him being born on this day, thirty-one(!) years ago - all innocent, pink-skinned, and oblivious to the bigger world out there. I wonder if his mom had any inkling that her son would be a superstar. Ohno himself could have never fathomed the heights that he would climb as an idol. The best part about it is that he doesn't even care. I think Ohno is the genuine article: he didn't and will never see himself in a different light just because they're selling out concert venues or he's earning way more yen than he ever imagined in his wildest dreams. There is something fundamental about Ohno Satoshi that has never changed, something that ties him to the ground so beautifully while allowing his star to soar, and it is this stability that makes him different from all the rest.
It's really amazing. The one thing I have always loved about Ohno is how unlike a celebrity he is, despite what he does for a living. He doesn't dress like one, he doesn't talk like one, he doesn't expect to be treated like one. His mug might be plastered all over Japan (and on millions of mobile phone and laptop wallpapers of fangirls all over the world) but it has never affected him a single bit. The ironic thing is, even if hypothetically, he didn't end up as one of Japan's most popular and top-selling idols, he still would be adored. I honestly believe that. He could have been an eccentric fisherman, a withdrawn artist, a lazy bakeshop owner, or anything, really, and people would still be drawn to him. His eyes are kind, and even if he usually doesn't have much to say, he makes people feel at ease. It also helps that the man has a lot of charm to spare, a charm that I'm not too sure he's aware of. Factor in his talent and physical perfection (I dare you to refute me), and you get an Ohno who was always meant for big things. I will always be glad that such a person was born into this world to become the leader of Arashi.
Thank you for always being a calm presence and lending a gentle hand to those four other idiots. Yes, you are not exempt of said idiocy. But hey, look at how far the five of you have come... You will never own up to it, but a big part of it was because you're Leader. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
That you were born on this day is a miracle that I will always wonder about and feel thankful for.
Happy 31st birthday, Leader! I hope you don't mind me cheating with Tsuyopon right now. It'll always be you, anyway. ♥