Sho Sakurai, Shigeaki Kato, and Kitayama of Kiss My… “Who will be the next to go free” in Johnny’s? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Sho Sakurai, Shigeaki Kato, and Kitayama of Kiss My… “Who will be the next to go free” in Johnny’s?

Decisions and departures of male idols in their 20s and 30s, and the "exit dominoes" from the empire that lost its charisma have not stopped. ...... What will happen to "KinKi Kids" and Okada Junichi?

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Sakurai waits for his turn while on location for a movie. He says he’s trying not to reduce his exposure opportunities in hopes of the day when the group will be back.

YOU, do it!”

Mr. Janney Kitagawa was fond of saying these words before his death. Takizawa Hideaki, 41, who was Johnny’s favorite, left Johnny’s to start a new entertainment production company, TOBE, in March.

Since Mr. Janney’s death in July 2007, the “exit domino” has not stopped. In the past three and a half years, 12 talents have left the office. Three members of “King & Prince,” the top earning group, have also decided to leave the “empire.

The boy idols who colored the Heisei era, such as “Arashi,” “NEWS,” and “Kanjani Eight,” are now entering their 40s. Now that they are in the managerial generation, their decision has become the focus of much attention.

In the past, the careers of idols, both male and female, were short-lived. SMAP” became a role model for those who wanted to continue to be idols as they got older, as they began to do comedy, comedy, and even MCing shows. However, they fell through the air in the worst possible way. They were unable to show their juniors how to bring the curtain down on a mature idol group,” said a major entertainment industry executive.

After the demise of “SMAP,” it was “Arashi” that became a national idol group.

Arashi” is currently on hiatus as a group. There is no prospect of restarting the group. The leader of the group, Satoshi Ono (42), is the key person, and it is up to him whether the group will disappear or resume its activities. However, Ono reportedly already has real estate income and is involved in the management of resort hotels and Italian restaurants. It would not be surprising if he quits at any time.

Some believe that Sho Sakurai (41) may leave the group along with the group’s demise.

If Ohno does not return, the group’s revival will also fizzle out. The Johnny’s office will lose billions of yen a year in membership fees for the “Arashi” fan club, which is said to have a total of over 3 million members. The members of “Arashi” had all said that they would not do any work that could not be returned to the group. However, after the group’s hiatus, each member began to focus on a new area of expertise: Masaki Aiba (40) appeared in movies, which he had not done for some time; Kazuya Ninomiya (39) worked on YouTube; and Jun Matsumoto (39) produced junior members. Sakurai, however, is still focused on dramas and MCing, as he has always been, as if he is determined to give back to the group. It is said that if the possibility of the group’s revival fades away, he will leave the group. Sakurai would probably be able to continue his work as a newscaster even if he leaves the group.

In such a situation, “V6,” which broke up in November 2009, showed an amicable way to bring the curtain down.

The members chose to break up gracefully when they were all over 40 years old. They held a breakup live concert and presented fans with commemorative gifts, becoming the first Johnny’s group to break up without making waves.

(TV station insider) Under the circumstances, attention is said to be focused on the movements of Okada Junichi (42).

Okada used to say that he wanted to make a film in Japan that would attract calls from abroad, but he is now over 40 years old and the “V6” has disbanded.

Ken Miyake (43), Go Morita (44), and Okada were the younger brothers in the V6. Okada is the only one among them who has not expressed his intention to leave the group. Not only as an actor, Okada has recently been featured in the credits of a movie as an instructor of sword fighting.

Actors who can perform action roles can easily advance overseas. If Okada wanted to do it, he would be able to go overseas right away. I hear that he is being approached by other agencies under the radar. However, the Johnny’s s office is still not positive about their talent going overseas. Okada once said, “I want to produce works in Japan that will attract calls from abroad,” but he is already in his 40s. He is now in his 40s, and it is quite possible that he will move to a world-renowned agency.

Ryo Nishikido (38) decided to leave the group when Subaru Shibuya (41), with whom he was deeply in love, left the group. Just as Tomoya Nagase (44) gave up on TOKIO without Tatsuya Yamaguchi (51), whom he trusted as a band member, friendships within the office have a great deal to do with the progress or failure of the members. Some industry insiders believe that Toma Ikuta (38), who once formed a unit with the members of “Arashi,” will also go independent as an actor after the “Arashi” members leave the group.

Countdown to the Breakup of “KinKi

In recent years, “KinKi Kids” has not appeared in any TV dramas or movies. Immediately after Janney’s death, there were whispers that he might leave the group. ……

When Mr. Janney was in the hospital, he was going to leave the group. When Mr. Janney was in the hospital, he said, ‘I will quit the office when Mr. Janney passes away. His relationship with Koichi Domoto (44) had cooled off, and he probably thought it was time to move on. However, when he saw the younger members of the group quitting one after another, he felt that he had to pass on Janney’s achievements and personality to the younger members of the group. After Mr. Janney’s death, she read a letter to him at a live performance and said, “Look, Mr. Janney is watching me over there. …… He was close to Mr. Janney in a way that set him apart from other talents, and after his death, he seemed to have a new awareness of the magnitude of his presence.

His partner, Koichi, also has no intention of leaving the group at this time.

Koichi also seems to want to pass on Mr. Janney’s know-how to his juniors through the stage. However, the two are looking in different directions. Last year, they completed their 25th anniversary event and fulfilled their duty to their fans. The news of Koichi’s relationship is probably a prelude to the announcement of their marriage. The relationship between the two is not good at all, and it is said in the industry that they will break up soon even if they do not leave the group.

Koichi had a particularly close relationship with Mr. Kitagawa. I want to pass on Mr. Janney’s teachings to my juniors,” he said as he tackled the stage.
Takahashi, who has been leading the group’s dance along with Hirano, but will he remain in a group of just the two of them, whose main activities are in Japan?

Kinpuri will be alone.

There have been talents who have left Johnny’s in the past, but recently, Nishikido appeared in an NHK drama and Tomohisa Yamashita (37) appeared in a Netflix movie, which is very different from the past, as even “quitting Johnny’s” can be exposed to the media.

The “new map” has become more open since Goro Inagaki (49), Shingo Katori (46), and Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (48) launched the new map. In addition, many of today’s alasar-janis have been in the entertainment industry since childhood, and many of them continue their entertainment activities even after leaving their offices. However, many Alaska Janes are also college graduates. They can start over as ordinary people by finding a job in a general company. They can now have choices in their lives,” said a person from a major advertising agency.

One Johnny’s who is attracting attention as a man who can stand on his own is Shigeaki Kato.

He is Shigeaki Kato (35). His works sold well because they were “novels written by Johnny’s,” but now he is beginning to attract fans as an author. The “NEWS” group has had six members leave the group and now has three. Unlike “KAT-TUN,” “NEWS” has no flowery members. It would be better for them to move on to writers and add a foil to their work.

Another member who is rumored to be leaving the group is Hiromitsu Kitayama (37) of “Kis-My-Ft2.

He is very hungry, perhaps because he joined the office at the slightly late age of 16. He works hard in variety, acting, and languages. However, insiders and some members could not keep up with him, and Kitayama has been floating around in the group. Kitayama used to be the MC at live performances, but recently Toshiya Miyata (34), who is not the MC, has been running the show and Kitayama sometimes does not speak a word. Kitayama seems to be interested in nurturing younger members and may join Takizawa, who also has a strong desire to move up,” said a source from a major event company.

Most recently, the three members of “King & Prince” announced that they would be leaving the group to pursue their career overseas. The decision of the most popular talents to leave the group has fans trembling with fear, and “King & Prince,” which will restart with two members on May 23, has not yet been removed from the “exit dominoes.

The one in danger of leaving the group is Kaito Takahashi (23). He is an outstanding dancer, and he would be more likely to shine overseas than in Japan, where his speaking and acting are more highly regarded. He also led the group in “ichiban,” a dance number released last year that was designed to be popular overseas. It is more surprising that she made the decision to stay in the office this time, as she was fascinated by Shiyoh Hirano (26), who is leaving the group,” said a source at the record company.

Who will be the next piece of the dominoes?

NEWS” has gone from nine members at the time of its formation to three. The number of new fans has not increased, and Kato is not sure if he will be able to continue to stand on his own as a novelist.
Since 2003, he has starred in most of the films in which he has appeared. Ikuta has many friends in the office, but other members of the same generation have left the “empire” to set up their own businesses one after another.
Kitayama has been working with a “do-everything spirit,” but he seems to be feeling the limitations of an office without Masahiro Nakai (50), who is a close friend of his.

From the April 14, 2023 issue of “FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi, Takero Yuzoku, Yusuke Kondo, Ichiro Takatsuka, Toshikatsu Tanaka, Kazuhiko Nakamura

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