On November 19, NHK announced the performers for the 72nd Kouhaku Uta Gassen to be held on New Year’s Eve.
The 10 groups that will be participating for the first time include SnowMan, who was selected last year but had to withdraw due to a corona infection, and Mone Kamishiraishi, who is the heroine of NHK’s morning drama “Come Come Everyday”. In addition to the 43 participating singers, Ken Matsudaira of “Matsuken Samba II” was also announced as a special guest performer.
One of the first groups to perform at the event was KAT-TUN, a Japanese group.
When they debuted, they were a six-member group, but after Jin Akanishi left the group in 2010, Satoru Tanaka left in 2001, and Junnosuke Taguchi left in 2004. Currently, the group consists of Kazuya Kamenashi, Tatsuya Ueda, and Yuichi Nakamaru.
“This year is the 15th anniversary of KAT-TUN’s debut, and they released their first single in three years. They also went on a nationwide tour. It is true that they are a popular, well-known, and accomplished group. However, compared to other Johnny’s groups, they are not something to be proud of, as their CD sales in recent years have been around 200,000 copies. Even so, the fact that they were able to participate in Kohaku is probably due in large part to the power of their agency.
Their debut single, “Real Face,” became a million-seller. In addition, Kamenashi’s duet with Tomohisa Yamashita in 2005, “Seishun Amigo,” was a huge hit, selling over 1.6 million copies, so it’s hard to shake the sadness of the current situation.
“I think the fans are really happy to see them perform in Kohaku for the first time. However, if they were chosen not because of their hit songs, but because of the “wish” of Johnny’s to cherish the “anniversary” of the band, then the fans must be feeling complicated inside. I wonder…” (Women’s magazine reporter)
It’s the 15th anniversary of the show, and Fuji TV has prepared a regular anniversary show called “What’s up Katoon? (Women’s magazine reporter). This is an example of how much TV stations and other “major media” pay attention to the Japanese needs.
“In the last few years in particular, NHK has virtually eliminated enka singers in favor of the hit songs of the year. We can see from this that it is no longer possible to appear in Kohaku just by name, but if you are allowed to appear regardless of your hit songs if your agency is big enough, it is hardly fair. And it’s not fair that NHK, a public broadcaster that charges a subscription fee, is giving the impression that they’re listening to what the offices think…” (Entertainment industry insider)
This year, too, five groups of Johnny’s will participate in Kohaku. I wonder what kind of performance they will give, led by KAT-TUN, who are undoubtedly very talented….
PHOTO： Yusuke Kondo