Mr. Ninomiya’s independence has made it clear that those who are capable and can make it on their own are better off going independent than signing an agency contract. There are some jobs that have been stopped because of the uncertainty of what will happen to the new company.
The fact that Okada-san and Ninomiya-san will affect the other big names who have been withholding their final decision.
Takuya Kimura, a representative of the “big guns,” has already announced that he will sign an agency contract with a new company, but he was treated as a traitor by some fans during the SMAP breakup scandal in 2016.
“If he goes independent right away, he may be criticized as a traitor for the second time. If he becomes independent right away, he will be criticized for betraying the group for the second time.”
Kimura has been a fan of the group for many years and has been treated as a traitor by his fans. Kimura is the type of person who would get the most out of becoming independent, given his personal connections and career path to date.
There are reports that he is considering expanding overseas again. In that case, even if the company name is changed, SMILE and the new company will remain the former Johnny’s office. It would be better for them to become independent in order to erase any connection.
Returning to Ninomiya, a number of fans on the Internet mistook independence for withdrawal from Arashi. To this, Ninomiya responded,
“I know there are some people who are worried that Arashi will disappear, but I will continue to be a part of Arashi from tomorrow onward. As long as there is still Arashi, I will still be Arashi, so I hope you can rest assured of that.”
He reassured the fans by saying, “When Arashi resumes its activities again, of course, we will work together as members.” These words are very important as reassurance.
“I think he was concerned for himself and his family as well as for his fans. Mr. Ninomiya married a former announcer in 2019. At the time, there were reports that he pushed through the opposition.”
“Some fans turned their dissatisfaction toward Mr. Ninomiya himself and his wife. If Mr. Ninomiya’s independence this time delays the restart of Arashi, there could be another bashing like that time. Mr. Ninomiya’s comment seems to have been a preemptive move to avoid such a situation.”
Ninomiya has always been in the vanguard of the group. Will the other members follow suit?
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PHOTO： Yusuke Kondo