It has been about three weeks since Hideaki Takizawa (40), vice president of Johnny’s, and “King&Prince” members Shiyou Hirano (25), Yuta Kishi (27), and Yuta Jinguji (25) announced their departure from the group. However, the aftermath still shows no signs of abating.
Meanwhile, six groups from Johnny’s were selected for the 73rd NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen, which was announced on March 16. In addition to “Naniwa Boys,” who will be making their first appearance, “Kanjani Eight,” “KinKi Kids,” “SixTONES,” “SnowMan,” and the voracious “King&Prince” will also participate. The number of groups appearing in the festival is one more than last year, but it is said that the strong will of the office was at work in this decision. A source from a production company revealed, “The Japanese “Kohaku” show will be the first to feature a Japanese group.
A source at a production company revealed, “The decision on which Japanese talents will appear in Kohaku is made through discussions between the agency and NHK. For the past 10 years, on average, five to six groups have appeared. The Kohaku performers are decided in September or early October, but at that point, the spark from the series of exit riots had already been smoldering. The office wanted to show that Johnny’s’s empire was still strong even after the turmoil had become public. The office could not afford to reduce the number of appearances by any means necessary in order to show that the Johnny’s empire was still strong even if the turmoil became public.
Of all the groups, there is one that the office is sending out with the highest expectations. It is “Naniwa Danshi,” which is making its first appearance at the festival.
If “King&Prince” was the last group produced by Janie-san (Kitagawa, 87 years old), and “SixTONES” and “SnowMan” were nurtured by Tackey, the current office is promoting “Naniwa Danshi,” which debuted last year. Their singles have sold an average of 700,000 copies, and each member is involved in a wide variety of activities. Although they have been recognized by the public over the past year, they have yet to break through. That is why the agency is hoping to use their appearance in Kohaku as a springboard to become a nationally popular idol group.
While the mission is to promote “Naniwa Danshi,” there is also another objective behind the decision to bring in the six groups.
Matsumoto Jun (39) will play the lead role of Tokugawa Ieyasu in next year’s historical drama “What to do about Ieyasu. There was also concern that if the number of Johnny’s appearances at the year-end Kohaku after the series of disturbances were reduced, it might have a negative impact on next year’s Taiga drama. The agency wanted to give a boost to the Taiga by showing the presence of Japanese talents. With that as a goal, the number of appearances seems to have been the same as in previous years.
Johnny’s’s has been shaken by the successive departures of its core members. Will they be able to turn things around with the Kohaku and Taiga festivals as they had hoped?
Photo.： Yusuke Kondo (1st)