In February 2012, A.B.C-Z became the first Johnny’s group to debut on DVD. A.B.C-Z is a five-member group featuring Ikuto Kawai, who has been active in variety shows in recent years using “Johnny’s imitation” as a weapon. Although they are in the middle of their 11th year, they seem to have reached a critical point in their career, as their TV show ended this spring and their CD sales have been low.
A.B.C-Z debuted in ’12 with the DVD single “Za ABC~5stars~” after performing as a unit within Johnny’s Jr. In September ’15, they released their first CD single “Moonlight walker” and have been releasing CDs regularly since then. However, A.B.C-Z’s sales have been “underwhelming” (according to a sports newspaper reporter), to the extent that they cannot be compared to the young groups of today. Just the other day, A.B.C-Z’s sad state of affairs came up for discussion.
It all started with a late-night radio program on April 8, “Appare Yatteimasu! ～It’s Saturday” (MBS Radio). Kawai joined the regulars on that day and revealed that he has a private friendship with Kazutaka Ozawa of the comedy duo Speedwagon, who also serves as a personality on the show.
As a result, Ozawa wrote the lyrics to A.B.C-Z’s single “Natsu to Kimi no Uta” (released in September ’21). The song was composed by Tamio Okuda, and it attracted a great deal of attention. …… On the first day of its release, the song sold approximately 18,000 copies on the Oricon Daily Ranking, and sales were a dismal 27,000 copies when the weekly ranking was announced.
When the song was discussed on the radio, Kawai honestly confessed, “It’s not selling as well as some of Johnny’s.” Ozawa responded, “You say that. Ozawa then began, “If you say so, I’ll say so,” and complained that although he had been counting on royalties, “they haven’t been coming in at all.
Ozawa had seen the numbers that Snow Man, SixTONES, and King&Prince were putting up, and he revealed his true feelings, “I calculated that they would sell about this much, but their sales were only 1/12th of what I expected. I thought A.B.C-Z would sell like hotcakes!
A.B.C-Z’s crown program “ABChanZOO” (TV Tokyo) came to an end on April 1 of this year, bringing an end to its 9-year and 9-month history. The official Twitter of Paravi announced on April 2, “Thank you very much for all the support from A.B. C-Z.” The show was broadcast on Paravi, a video distribution service. C-Z, thank you very much. By the way, the first day sales of the single #IMA, released last October, were 28,000 units.’ Naniwa Otoko’s latest song “Special Kiss” (released in March this year), which debuted in 2009, recorded approximately 358,000 copies on the first day alone, so the difference between them and A.B.C-Z is obvious” ( sports newspaper reporter).
A.B.C-Z has been overtaken by their juniors in CD sales, and their TV and TV distribution programs have come to an end one after another, but they still have their own TV program, “Appare! Kawai is a member of Nagoya Television Broadcasting Co.
Kawai is on Nagoya TV’s “Dodeska! and Ryosuke Hashimoto, who hails from Chiba Prefecture, has appeared as the main Friday personality on “Chiba Asa Live Morning Kompas” and on “Ichimachi Mura Tekku Stroll” (both on Chiba TV Broadcasting). Kawai, Hashimoto, and Ryouichi Tsukada are also assigned as MCs of “Saturday Funkies” (Iwate Menkoi Television) on a weekly basis. A.B.C-Z’s strength lies in the fact that they have made more inroads into the local area than other debutant groups. It is because of their unorthodox existence that they are able to survive even within Johnny’s.
The members of “A.B.C-Z” have continued to carefully carry out their activities as community-based idols, undeterred by the successive uproar over their departure from the group. It may not be long before their activities come to the attention of the public.
PHOTO： Shu NISHIHARA