TOBE Debut Live, Attendees Describe Awkward Atmosphere, Comparing Experience to Bathroom Time Except for Favorites | FRIDAY DIGITAL

TOBE Debut Live, Attendees Describe Awkward Atmosphere, Comparing Experience to Bathroom Time Except for Favorites

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Ken Miyake (left) and Hiromitsu Kitayama (right) performed at the “TOBE” live concert.

Led by Mr. Hideaki Takizawa, the live event ‘to HEROes~TOBE 1st Super Live〜’ featuring all artists affiliated with TOBE took place for four days from March 14 to 17, attracting 220,000 attendees.

The lineup included Ken Miyake from former ‘V6’, Hiromitsu Kitayama from former ‘Kis-My-Ft2’, Shiori Hirano from former ‘King & Prince’, Yuta Jinguji, and Yuta Kishi forming a new group called ‘Number_i’. Additionally, there were the ‘IMPACTors’, now renamed ‘IMP.’, which was once considered the favorite of Takizawa during his time at Johnny’s Jimusho. Ritsuki Oohigashi, who had been active primarily in musicals as part of the “stage crew”. Also, reminiscent of Johnny’s Jr., there were trainees and TRAINEEs. During the performance, there was also the unveiling of a five-member group called ‘wink first’, composed of selected trainees aged 11 to 13.

“If I were to describe it in one word, it was totally Johnny’s.”

One fan who attended the performance commented,

“As a fan, it was a long-awaited live event, so there was a lot of built-up energy. At first, when the message appeared on the monitors allowing us to film with our phones, everyone was focused on recording videos (laughs). However, overall, the audience’s cheers might have been a bit subdued.

In the midst of that, there were overwhelmingly loud cheers for Shiori-kun from ‘Number_i’. When his image appeared on the monitor, there was a big cheer (laughs). Many people around me had ‘Number_i’ uchiwas and pens from the old Kinpuri days. But seeing the three of them together still leaves a complicated feeling, and to say I had zero conflicting emotions would be a lie.”

He expressed such complex feelings from the depths of her heart.


Time spent with anyone other than my favorite is like bathroom time.

And among the audience who heard this, the most common sentiment expressed was,

“When the performance of their favorite ended, many people stood up and left, creating a feeling akin to bathroom time. Especially during the songs by Miyake-kun and Kitayama-kun, you could see young audience members in the stands getting up and moving around. Every time the members on stage changed, even if the excitement was high, it would abruptly fade.

The reason is clear: the songs by people other than their favorites are all new to them that day, so even if they want to get excited, they can’t. If they had performed even just one song by V6 or Kis-My-Ft2, it would have been different.” (Same fan as before)

Now, how did fans of Miyake and Kitayama perceive this?

“If we exclude countdown concerts, this is the first time Ken-kun (Ken Miyake) has stepped onto the stage of Tokyo Dome. During the ‘V6’ era, there were no solo dome concerts, so I think it was quite emotional for him. But since he didn’t have anyone backing him up, he seemed a bit overwhelmed by the size of the stage, feeling like he was playing away on a stage meant for just one person.

Ken-kun kept trying to hype up the audience, telling them to make some noise, but since he only sang songs from after his transfer to ‘TOBE’, the younger fans weren’t really getting into it.” (Ken Miyake’s fan)

Now, how about fans of Kitayama?

“Mik-kun (Hiromitsu Kitayama) is originally a master of MCing, so his way of delivering messages to the fans was really skillful. I think all the artists recognized that. His performances were flashy, like arriving in an open car, but since he didn’t sing any songs from his Kis-My-Ft2 days when he was the lead vocalist, the excitement level wasn’t quite there.”

Amidst all this, the moment the venue stirred up was when wink first, the group of 11 to 13-year-olds, was unveiled. The five members were introduced as auditionees during the TOBE YouTube livestream event “Tobeban”held on December 24th last year.

“They’re all really small in size. They’ll probably grow taller and their voices will change in the future, but seeing kids like that was quite a sight, even my Johnny’s fan friends were smiling wryly.

Since there are some similarities with Johnny’s Jr., some friends expressed a bit of concern. ‘This makes you wonder if they’re not really doing anything different from the old Johnny’s,’ some said.” (Same fan as before, Ken Miyake’s fan)

The only thing that stood out was the ability to film with smartphones until halfway through, which was highly praised as typical of “TOBE” in terms of online streaming and social media interaction. However, the presentation and production were identical to everything from the former Johnny’s Jimusho. But that’s to be expected. Hideaki Takizawa was once the closest of aides to the late Johnny Kitagawa and is known to have studied the ways of an emperor. He was also known for his activities as a mentor to juniors and a stage director, even closing “Tackey & Tsubasa” to pursue these roles.

What fans express as “concern” seems to stem from the striking resemblance, which might evoke memories of the “sexual harassment by the late Johnny Kitagawa” that junior members experienced during the former Johnny’s era.

On April 10th at the Tokyo Dome and on May 29th and 30th at the Kyocera Dome, there will be live performances of “STARTO ENTERTAINMENT” produced by Jun Matsumoto from Arashi.

“There will inevitably be comparisons between Takizawa and Matsumoto’s production skills. At least from this live event, it seems Takizawa’s ‘TOBE’ couldn’t meet the expectations of the fans. Honestly, we couldn’t grasp a clear message about what they wanted to achieve anew.” (Former sports newspaper reporter specializing in Johnny’s)

Although the live event ended up being just the debut of TOBE, it remains to be seen what kind of evolution they will show in their future activities.

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  • PHOTO Ichiro Takatsuka (Miyake), Yusuke Kondo (Kitayama)

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