It took nearly two decades to happen, but J-pop group Arashi has spent the past six months embracing the internet. The quintet, which is scheduled to go on hiatus at the end of 2020, went from being virtually invisible online to debuting music videos on YouTube and uploading a large chunk of its back catalog to streaming sites.
The group's latest digital moment comes via "Arashi's Diary: Voyage," an original documentary made with Netflix. The series aims to follow the group on its final tour, with a new episode every month, meaning the ultimate shape of "Voyage" remains to be seen. In its first two installments, the show has offered something long absent from the world of such groups — behind-the-scenes access, allowing glimpses of how the members of Arashi function within the J-pop machine.
What makes "Voyage" a welcome departure from the standard streaming music documentary is that it eschews grandiose narratives and drama for something rarely seen in these productions: tedium.