Hideaki Takizawa announced the establishment of his new company, TOBE, in late March. His departure from the company at the end of October 2022, while still in the key position of vice president of Johnny’s, came as a big shock to more than just fans.
“Takizawa graduated from the talent agency in 2018, while Janie Kitagawa was still alive, and went behind the scenes. He was recognized as Mr. Janney’s successor in both name and reality, and at his funeral, he even rode in the passenger seat of the hearse with his portrait, ahead of his senior staff. He was such a big presence in the office,” said a women’s magazine reporter.
In fact, “Snow Man” and “SixTONES,” which Takizawa produced for their debut, are now the backbone of the office. Travis Japan, which made its international debut in 2010, is also said to be a credit to Takizawa.
When Takizawa retired as a celebrity and proposed himself as his successor, Mr. Johnny said, “I want to help Mr. Johnny’s in the development of Johnny’s Jr. and I want to help Mr. Takizawa in the development of Johnny’s Jr. I was so surprised and happy that I almost cried. He must have been that happy, and it must mean that he appreciated Takizawa’s ability to produce.”
Takizawa has earned the trust of the Jr. members and has achieved results as a member of the management team. That is why the Johnny’s office is feeling a sense of crisis over the establishment of this new company.
What Johnny’s is most concerned about is the outflow of know-how on nurturing young talent, which is also known as the “Johnny’s Method. Mr. Janney’s ability to raise male idols to stardom one after another was genius.”
“Mr. Takizawa was one of the people who witnessed his achievements at close hand. His ability to discover new talent and nurture Jr. is unrivaled by any other agency,” says a source in the entertainment industry.
Takizawa started a social networking service soon after his independence, but has avoided saying what he is going to do with himself. It is said that behind the scenes, there were behind-the-scenes negotiations with Johnny’s. “When Takizawa became independent, he said, ‘I will not allow him to go after the other firms.”
“When Takizawa became independent, Johnny’s is said to have demanded an agreement that he would not work in the entertainment business. It is said that both sides set up proxies and had very serious discussions. However, since he is now able to work in the entertainment industry once again, he must have obtained reasonable terms and conditions,” said a source in the entertainment industry.
When he announced the establishment of his company, Takizawa took to Twitter,
I have decided to once again pursue a life of entertainment. With my own determination and with everyone’s expectations on my shoulders, I have started a company that recruits new talent and produces artists.
He declared in high spirits, “I have decided to start my own company to recruit new artists and produce artists.”
Will it be an entertainment production company that nurtures young artists from the ground up? Or, will they sign quit Janis as agents and produce them?
Either way, there is no doubt that they are a threat to Johnny’s.
PHOTO： Makoto Kuwata