Who will survive after moving to STARTO? Who will be left out of the “winners” group? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Who will survive after moving to STARTO? Who will be left out of the “winners” group?

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From left: Ren Nagase, Fuma Kikuchi, Kazuya Kamenashi

On December 8, “SMILE-UP.” (former Johnny’s) announced that the name of the new company, whose name was publicly solicited from fans, has been decided as “STARTO ENTERTAINMENT. The talents currently belonging to “SMILE-UP.” will sign an agent or management contract with the new company in the future. On the 5th, actor Fumikazu Hamanaka (36) announced on the company’s official website that he will become independent from “SMILE-UP.

According to the official website, “We are explaining the newly established company to our talent and holding discussions regarding future contracts in sequence. The official website also stated that “Hamanaka has reached the decision to leave the company as a result of his distress as an actor aiming for the next step in his career.

After the decision was made to move to the new structure, the leading actors, including Kazuya Ninomiya (40) of “Arashi”, Toma Ikuta (39), and Junichi Okada (43), formerly of “V6”, have all gone independent, concerned about the impact of the sexual assault issue on their future careers. Asayuki Yara (40), who also works as a dancer and choreographer, has already announced his departure on January 31 next year.

Although not well known to the public, Hamanaka graduated from the former Kansai Johnny’s Jr. (now Junior) in the fall of ’17. Since then, he has been active mainly on the stage, and played the lead role in a movie for the first time in the film “Bokura no Sennen to Kimi ga Dare ni 30 Nichijou” (Our Thousand Years and 30 Days Until You Die), which was released on October 27 of this year. I am confident that I can do this without the backing of an office. It was probably a decision made as she gained confidence in her ability to do without the backing of an office.

Like Yara and Hamanaka, there are talents who have decided to become independent because they have worked hard and honed their craft, even if they did not debut with a CD as a group. On the other hand, debutantes tend to think that they will be safe in the future because they have a devoted fan base for their activities as a group. However, when one looks around at all the talent in the group, it appears that only a handful of them will survive in the entertainment industry as the “winners.

Takuya Kimura, 51, is still in demand and has a sequel to his popular series “Hero” in the works, if it comes down to it.

20th Century (Tonisen),” formerly “V6.” As for Yoshihiko Inohara (47), his two press conferences since becoming vice president of the former Johnny’s have given the impression that his previously outstanding likability has gone down. Nagano Hiroshi (51) and Sakamoto Masayuki (52) may not be “winners,” but they will continue to work consistently.

Also, the members of “Arashi” who are on hiatus may resume their activities in the future, and TV stations are eager to use them for that purpose, so they are safe. However, some are concerned about the future of Matsumoto Jun (40) due to the poor performance of the NHK historical drama “Dousuru Ieyasu” in which he stars, and his “tyrannical” behavior behind the scenes.

Snow Man” has grown into a group that now bears the signature of the office. Currently, they are the only group formerly belonging to Johnny’s that has a prime-time (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) television program, “Let it be Snow Man” (TBS), so it appears that their main focus will be on their activities as a group.

On the other hand, it seems that solo activities will be tougher for the debutants after Arashi.

Shingo Murakami (41) of “Kanjani Eight,” who has established himself as an MC, and Kazuya Kamenashi (37) of “KAT-TUN” seem to be able to work steadily as an actor and sportscaster. Tatsuya Ueda (40) and Yuichi Nakamaru (40) also have their own specialties and would be like Sakamoto and Nagano in Tonisen.

The members of “Hey! Say! JUMP” and “Kis-My-Ft2” may have a tough time as solo performers. In “Sexy Zone,” Kento Nakajima (29) and Fuma Kikuchi (28) are popular in the industry, while Ikuto Kawai (36), who is leaving “A.B.C-Z” as of December 21, has announced that he will go solo with the goal of becoming an MC in the future. He is also active as a commentator, and his special skill is “imitating Johnny’s.

Ren Nagase (24) and Kaito Takahashi (24) of “King & Prince” are already mainly engaged in solo activities.

The “King & Prince” duo of Ren Nagase (24) and Kaito Takahashi (24) have already been seen as mainly solo acts, but they are still likely to get more offers. The scandal-ridden “Naniwa Danshi” will probably be beaten out of the group by the scandal-free Shunsuke Michieda (21). Shunsuke Kazama (40), who is not a member of the group, is in great demand for his work, but it will be interesting to see if he will remain in the group.

In the aftermath of the sexual assault issue, the number of videos and variety shows in which former Johnny’s talents appear as solo performers will probably decrease dramatically from the April season next year. It will be interesting to see who will be able to turn things around.

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Fuma Kikuchi has appeared in four consecutive dramas and is also very active in variety shows.
Kamenashi is also active as a sportscaster in addition to acting.
Ren Nagase is struggling in “King & Prince” with Kaito Takahashi.
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo (Kikuchi, Kamenashi), Kazuhiko Nakamura (Nagase)

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