Balancing Acts of Kento Nakajima’s Journey Through Fame, Flaws, and Romance | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Balancing Acts of Kento Nakajima’s Journey Through Fame, Flaws, and Romance

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Nakajima Kento has been in a slump since his infatuation report.

On March 31, “Sexy Zone” will change its name, and on the same day, Nakajima Kento will graduate from the group.

“Over the past year, Nakajima-kun’s activities as an actor had been gaining recognition from various quarters. Especially noteworthy was his role as the secretary to Tsumabuki-san, who played a national assembly member embroiled in scandal, in the film ‘Confess to Your Crimes’ released last year, which sparked considerable discussion. Particularly, Director Nobuo Mizuta, known for directing many popular dramas on NTV, praised Nakajima-kun’s acting without reservation, saying ‘Kenty is wonderful’ across the board.” (Idol magazine editor)

The film he took on, which was different from his usual prince charming roles, should have been Nakajima’s biggest chance to change his image as he turned 30 on his birthday on March 13. However, all the schedules that were supposed to be active on talk shows and magazine covers for the promotion of this film were scrapped due to Johnny Kitagawa’s sexual assault allegations.

“The misfortune continues. Nakajima-kun had decided to graduate from the group, thinking he could continue solely as an actor. Unlike other Johnny’s idols who left the agency, he chose to stay and pursue solo activities. However, this decision ironically backfired on him.

Due to the dating rumors, he ended up betraying the feelings of support from fans known as ‘Sekigaru’ and ‘Sekuraba’ (Sexy Zone fans).”

That was the content of the dating article between Nakajima and former E-girls member Rena Washio, which was reported by ‘Josei Seven’ on January 17th.

The two were reported to have enjoyed a trip to Italy last spring, lasting three nights and five days, which stemmed from their appearance together on a TV show about three years ago. Furthermore, fans reacted strongly when it was revealed that Nakajima had previously written in a serialized article in an idol magazine about wanting to visit the “Vatican City” with a “special someone.” Comments like “teasing,” “betrayal,” and “did you two have fun playing with the otaku (fans)?” flooded social media, causing a stir.

“When it comes to Nakajima, even among idols formerly affiliated with Johnny’s, he has always maintained the prince charming image and had no dating rumors in the past. An anecdote from his school days, where he firmly refused to give out his email address to classmates, saying ‘I can’t tell you because I’m an idol,’ was well known. That’s why fans feel even more betrayed,” said a sports newspaper reporter.

Amidst this controversy, Nakajima started starring in the drama “Living with Matsunaga” airing on Kansai TV and Fuji TV networks. While private scandals could have been overlooked if the drama had received high praise, criticisms like “wooden acting” and “was he really this bad?” have been rampant among drama fans on social media.


“Snow Man’s Koji Mukai, who is also a junior, might be more suited for this work. Ever since his impressive performance in a pre-debut version of ‘The White Tower’ (TV Asahi), he has been fitting well into roles of ordinary people. On the other hand, Nakajima hasn’t found a character that fits him as well, especially considering how his performance in ‘Confess to Your Crimes’ was overshadowed by a completely different character. It’s just unlucky,” remarked a TV magazine writer.


While TV commercials for actors who were previously active as actors within the former Johnny’s agency, like Junichi Okada, Kazunari Ninomiya, and Toma Ikuta, went down to zero at one point, they have been steadily recovering. Nakajima’s commercials for “Koike-ya” and “Keisei Skyliner” have returned, but in terms of momentum, he seems to lag behind “Synme” Fuma Kikuchi, who has been appearing in commercials since his Jr. days, as well as his variety show appearances and his presence in dramas like ‘Occupation of the New Airport’ (NTV).

“Kikuchi is favored by Ninomiya and Sho Sakurai, and it’s still leading him to jobs. But those who appreciated Nakajima, like Kiyoshiro Toyama, retired from the entertainment industry, and his close friend Yuta Kishi went to ‘TOBE’. With these factors, it’s said that Nakajima’s luck is running out,” said the aforementioned writer.

Amidst ongoing controversies among fans, it’s becoming serious, with some fans even deciding to drop their support. If Nakajima leaves the group in this situation, he might even be labeled as a traitor, and it’s safe to say that his plans have completely fallen through. It’s worth paying attention to how many “Sekigaru” will continue to support Nakajima after April.

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