Yuta Kishi (28), formerly of “King&Prince” who left the former Johnny’s office (now “ SMILE-UP.”) on September 30, joined “TOBE” headed by Hideaki Takizawa (41). In addition, he formed a new group “Number_i” with Shiyou Hirano (26) and Yuta Jinguji (25), which was announced live on YouTube from the Tokyo Dome on October 15.
TOBE, which Takizawa established in March of this year, has been joined by a succession of talents who left the former Johnny’s s office, starting with Ken Miyake (44), formerly of V6, who joined the group on July 3. In August, former Johnny’s Jr. member Tateki Daito (18) and former Kis-My-Ft2 member Hiromitsu Kitayama (38) joined the group at the end of September. In August, former Johnny’s Jr. member Daito Tateki (18) and former “Kis-My-Ft2” member Kitayama Hiromitsu (38) joined the group at the end of September, and with the addition of Kishi, the group has become a major force with 13 former Johnny’s Office talents.
On October 17, Johnny’s changed its name to “SMILE-UP.” From now on, the company will shift to an agent contract with a separate company whose name was solicited from fans. It seems that not a few of the former Johnny’s talents and juniors (renamed from Johnny’s Jr.) are concerned about their future and are consulting with Mr. Takizawa, and it is likely that a good number of them will leave the company and transfer to TOBE by the end of this year” (source from a TV station).
In the past, when a talent left Johnny’s, even if they were a CD debutant, they disappeared from the public eye, and it took some time before they were able to become active again. It is said that this was due to the bad practices of the entertainment industry, such as “pressure” from Johnny’s and “discovery” by the media.
However, Noriyuki Higashiyama (57), the new president of NTV, stated at press conferences held in September and October in the wake of the sexual assault scandal involving the late Johnny’s’ Kitagawa that he would not apply pressure to any parties to prevent the use of former Johnny’s ex-girlfriends in the company. Perhaps in part because of this, NTV announced at its regular president’s press conference on October 23rd that it would not be using “TOKIO” as the MC for the variety show “The! DASH! DASH!
DASH!” “We consider Mr. Kishi to be an important member of the “Tetsuwan DASH” family, and there will be no change to that policy.
Nittele was the first station to announce that it would not give up on the old Johnny’s.
Even before that, Nippon TV had already been actively using “TOBE” cast members: Daito for the drama “The Boys with Secrets,” which started on October 7, Miyake for the variety show “Meshidora: Kanekon & Shinnosuke no Gourmet Drive,” which aired on October 14, and Kishi for the live broadcast of the announcement that he had joined TOBE, which started immediately after “The! DASH! DASH! DASH!” which started right after the live broadcast of Kishi’s announcement of joining “TOBE”. …… DASH!”, which started immediately after Kishi’s announcement of joining TOBE. In fact, this is because Nippon TV and TOBE are planning a big project behind the scenes.
Speaking of Nippon TV, their audition project for the COVID-19 crisis girl group NiziU was a big hit. Since then, the boy group “BE:FIRST,” which made its first appearance in last year’s Kohaku, and the rock band and dance and vocal group “XY,” produced by “X JAPAN” YOSHIKI and formed this year, have followed the trend and got the full taste.
And now a new group audition project for “TOBE” seems to be underway behind the scenes. Naturally, Mr. Takizawa, who has been out of the public eye until now, will appear on the stage as a producer to select the members, and Miyake and the other members of the group will also be involved. Not only was Mr. Takizawa a very popular celebrity during his working days under the nickname “Tacky,” but he has also nurtured a number of groups that are currently active, such as “Snow Man” and “SixTONES,” even after he retired as a celebrity. If the audition project is realized, it is inevitable that the response will be even greater than previous audition projects.
It is likely that Nippon TV will treat TOBE’s talents even more favorably in the future.
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PHOTO.： Yusuke Kondo (4th and 5th)