Fading Rumors of Arashi Comeback Overshadow Matsumoto Jun’s Reported Independence Plan – High Anticipation for 25th Anniversary Reunion | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Fading Rumors of Arashi Comeback Overshadow Matsumoto Jun’s Reported Independence Plan – High Anticipation for 25th Anniversary Reunion

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Matsumoto was reported to have a solo project. Being one of the representatives of the entertainment industry, there is a great deal of attention focused on this decision.

STARTO ENTERTAINMENT (hereafter referred to as Starto Company) is set to begin full-fledged activities starting this spring. While it houses promising groups like Snow Man and SixTONES, many talents have also decided to go independent. Recently, the news of the independence of KinKi Kids’ Domoto Tsuyoshi (44), who boasts a career of over 30 years and has been a spiritual pillar of the agency, remains fresh in memory.


Amidst this, rumors of independence have emerged for another big name. That is Arashi’s Matsumoto Jun (40).

“The March 4th issue of Weekly Bunshun reported that Matsumoto is planning to go independent. Currently, it is said that he is in discussions with the agency about the future conditions, but it seems that a lawyer serving as a ‘brain’ is also accompanying him to thoroughly examine the contents. If they cannot come to an agreement, independence is believed to be seriously considered.

Since starting activities in 1996, Matsumoto’s presence has weakened to an unprecedented extent. When he appeared on ‘Nariyuki Kaidou Tabi’ (Fuji TV) on March 10th, his statement ‘This is probably the end of my appearances on terrestrial TV for this year’ became a topic of conversation. Independence would be a tough road for him, I think. Some even whispered about retirement.” (Sports newspaper desk personnel)

Fans of the former Johnny’s are surprised by the rumors of the departure of big names. Among them, it is said that the fans who are disappointed the most are those who hope for the return of Arashi.

The sports newspaper desk personnel mentioned earlier had this to say.

“With the start of full-fledged activities by Starto Company, there are plans for a debut live event at Tokyo Dome in April and at Kyocera Dome Osaka in May, serving as the new company’s introduction instead of business cards. Since this is a major event to determine the fate of the new company, there should be some surprises prepared. Among fans, there’s speculation that one of these surprises might be the unveiling of information about Arashi’s 25th anniversary memorial year.

In fact, there are rumors that Starto Company has secured Tokyo Dome for November this year. November marks the debut month of Arashi. With such background, not only fans but also expectations within the industry were rising. However, if Matsumoto were to leave the agency, the chances of a comeback this year might be hopeless, don’t you think?”

The prospect of resuming entertainment activities for leader Ohno Satoshi (43), who is said to have broached the idea of suspending activities in the first place, hasn’t been established, so the possibility of a comeback wasn’t all that high. Nevertheless, with this year being the 25th anniversary memorial year, there was still an expectation for an Arashi comeback.

“President Fukuda has publicly stated that he intends to persuade Ohno. The truth is, the company wants to make the Arashi comeback happen. Even if Matsumoto were to leave the agency, I believe the group itself would continue. In reality, member Nino (Ninomiya Kazunari, 40) is already independent, yet the group hasn’t disbanded. If the agency and the members share the same intentions, the possibility of a comeback is high eventually. We just have to be patient and wait for that time.” (Entertainment industry insider)

It seems that the day when we can see the five members again is still a bit further down the road.

  • PHOTO Keitaro Nakagawa

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