While Kazunari Ninomiya of “Arashi” is going independent… Masaki Aiba is somehow very busy, and the reason is too deep. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

While Kazunari Ninomiya of “Arashi” is going independent… Masaki Aiba is somehow very busy, and the reason is too deep.

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In March ’20, Ninomiya and Aiba were having a meeting at the office. Other members of “Arashi” and members of “Kanjani” were also there.

The popular group “Arashi,” which entered its 25th anniversary year on November 3, has been on hiatus. While no announcement has been made regarding the resumption of their activities, there has been a major move. On October 24, member Kazuya Ninomiya (40) suddenly announced that he would leave “SMILE-UP.” (former Johnny’s office) on the same day. However, when “Arashi” was to be restarted, he simultaneously announced his intention to work with the members.

The majority of the former Johnny’s talents will be under agent contracts with the new company, whose name was publicly solicited from the fans. There is no possibility that Ninomiya’s independent agency will sign a contract with the new company. I don’t know what his true intentions are, but he may have calculated that he could get a higher salary if he became independent and participated in the activities of “Arashi” on an “individual” basis.

On the other hand, the variety show “MOKU 7 ◎× 部” (Fuji TV), in which Masaki Aiba (40), also of Arashi, serves as the MC, will start on the 26th. The show featured a VTR appearance by Ninomiya, who had just left the office. This easily broke the “convention” that former ex-johnny’s members are not allowed to appear on terrestrial TV or perform with current members of the group.

On the following day, the 27th, Aiba will start “Today’s Hitman” (TV Asahi), a drama in which he plays the lead role. In the drama, he plays the main character who leads a unique dual life as a salaryman and a hitman. What a series of new shows Aiba has started!

The figure is now that Ninomiya has turned his back on the old Johnny’s to focus on his own future, and now the agency is pushing Aiba hard. In the drama in which he stars, Aiba plays the role of a salesman with good manners and good talking skills, but the role is exactly what the public image of him is. He benefits from this character. In addition, his “straightforwardness” toward the office is one of the reasons why Aiba is being promoted.

Currently, Aiba is the MC of “Ki7 ◎x Club” as well as “Aha! Minna no Zoo” (NTV) and “Aiba Manabu” (TV Asahi). Furthermore, Fuji Television has already announced that Aiba, who has been serving as MC for the year-end music special program “FNS Uta-yoku Matsuri” since ’19, will be used again this year.

Aiba also played a major role as “NHK Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Broadcast Special Navigator” for the Tokyo Olympics in 2009, and his first horror film “Sore” ga iru Mori (The Forest That Is)” was released in September last year. After the suspension of “Arashi,” Aiba has been making more money than not only the other “Arashi” members but also other former Johnny’s talents, and I have the impression that he is making a great contribution to the company. ……

The average household rating for the first episode of “Thurs 7 ◎× Club” was 5.1% (according to Video Research, Kanto region, hereafter the same). Until then, “VS Soul” and “VS Soul Gradation,” in which Aiba served as MC, had been broadcast in the same Thursday 7 p.m. slot, but were effectively cancelled due to poor viewership ratings. If the ratings for the new programs do not continue to increase, there is a possibility that Aiba will finally be “relieved of his duties. The first-run rating for “Today’s Hitman” was 4.6%, partly due to its late-night “Friday Night Drama” slot at 11:15 pm. However, the first episode of “The Men of the Wada Family,” starring Aiba in the same slot in the October 2009 season, had a 6.3% rating, so the numbers are still a bit low.

Minna no Zoo” and “Aiba Manabu” are passable compared to the back-up programs in the same time slot, but they do not have the numbers by any means. While his presence is significant, his contribution is not surprisingly high. I doubt he would go independent under the circumstances, but if he chose the same path as Ninomiya, the office would not hold him back. For the office, as long as they can get “Arashi” to resume its activities at any cost, the individual members’ contracts may not be that important a matter.

Sho Sakurai (41) revealed on “news zero” (NTV) that all the members of “Arashi,” including their inactive leader Satoshi Ohno (42), had been briefed about their agent contracts with the new company. While the departure of each member of “Arashi” is attracting attention, the choice of Aiba, who is a “fan of the agency,” is also attracting attention.

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Aiba and “Kanjani” Yutaka Yokoyama after enjoying a meal at a yakiniku restaurant in Tokyo. Hiding behind Yokoyama is actor Kenta Hamano.
On location for “The Men of the Wada Family” (October ’21).
Even though it was early in the morning at the location, female fans were waiting for him. Perhaps it was hot that day, but he even rolled up his T-shirt to show a glimpse of his stomach, a “fan service.
He played the role of a father in the movie “Sore wo iru mori” (“The Forest That Is”) in which he stars. A little later, on October 22, she reported the birth of her first child (September 2010).
  • PHOTO. Ippei Hara (1st), Kojiro Yamada (2nd), Yusuke Kondo (3rd, 4th), Toshikatsu Tanaka (5th)

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