New Chizu’s agency draws its “next target” by bringing in a big-name manager from “SMILE-UP. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

New Chizu’s agency draws its “next target” by bringing in a big-name manager from “SMILE-UP.

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Will “New Map” have a junior boy group?

In mid-February, “CULEN,” the office of “New Map” by Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori, moved to a new location. The timing of this move is reportedly causing a stir in the entertainment community, with many wondering if some new challenge is about to begin.

The activities of the three members of New Map are going well. Kusanagi, who has been the talk of the town for his fine performance in the TV series “Boogie Woogie” (NHK), is in the midst of promotional activities for the movie “Goban Zari” (directed by Kazuya Shiraishi), in which he stars, scheduled to be released in May. Katori is currently showing “Terayama Cabaret,” a musical in which he stars, and “Kin-chan & Shingo Katori’s 99th All Japan Masquerade Awards” (NTV) broadcast on February 12 also drew high viewership. And Inagaki continues his own activities, including narrating “Niigata Water Descendants” (Niigata TV) and the final episode of the well-received “Hobby Gardening: 12 Months to Goro Inagaki’s Green Thumb.

There is no doubt that their activities individually and as a trio are going strong, and there are many clients who have chosen them for TV commercials, but compared to the “SMAP” days, when they performed at the Tokyo Dome for five days and had million-seller hits, there is a view in the industry that “the scale and sales of the agency are not that great. However, compared to the “SMAP” days, when they performed at the Tokyo Dome for five days and had million-seller albums, the “SMAP” firm is not as large or as profitable. In other words, they cannot be considered rivals to TOBE or STARTO ENTERTAINMENT. Then, the company was chosen as the newest member of the “STARTO ENTERTAINMENT” team,

It is said that Mr. Michi Iijima, president of CULEN, who has long been recognized for his outstanding taste and foresight, and who has nurtured not only “SMAP” but also the former Johnny’s Jr. in Tokyo, “may be making a move. In fact, there are several managers in the company who have been known for their ability since the days of the former Johnny’s. One of them recently joined the company and has been working for the company for several years. One of them has just recently joined the company and has served as manager of a member of a big-name group for many years.

This is the information we have received. There are rumors that they are scouting for “audition staff” ahead of time, and that the three members of “Shinnin Chizu” may have junior members.

If we were to hold auditions to discover talent from scratch, the possibility of the birth of a major star would be extremely high.

In the future, there is a possibility that new actors and singers will appear in movies starring Inagaki, Kusanagi, and Katori, or on stage, or that groups from “CULEN” will join the boy group warring age.

Mr. Iijima, who is said to be in regular contact with Hideaki Takizawa, president of “TOBE,” would not be uninspired by their move to perform at the Tokyo Dome for four days in March. There are rumors that SMAP will be restarted, but I think it would be more like Mr. Iijima to discover new members and nurture a boy group that can perform in a dome,” said a source at a well-established entertainment agency.

Yasushi Akimoto, who appeared on the January 28 broadcast of “Matsumo to Nakai” (Fuji TV), spoke about “SMAP,

The way they chose the art director, the way they were the first to use a good composer and arranger, and the planners for the commercials, they were amazing.

Masahiro Nakai was impressed. In response, Masahiro Nakai did not mention any names but said, “It was the manager,” and he attributed all the credit to Mr. Iijima. The industry’s attention is focused on the new development of “CULEN.

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi is also well-received in NHK’s television series “Boogie Woogie
Shingo Katori’s musical “Terayama Cabaret,” in which he stars, has been well received.
Goro Inagaki is well-received for his unique line of activities
  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo (Shingo Katori, Goro Inagaki), Ichiro Takatsuka (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi)

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