Will “Number_i”‘s rapid progress continue… After “Shingo Katori” left the company, he intensely revealed his past struggles with discovery to his former office | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Will “Number_i”‘s rapid progress continue… After “Shingo Katori” left the company, he intensely revealed his past struggles with discovery to his former office

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They are cool even though they are just sitting there!

Number_i, a unit consisting of former King & Prince members Shiyou Hirano, Yuta Jinguji, and Yuta Kishi, has recently been making more appearances on terrestrial TV programs and is expected to do well in the future.

In the past, it was said that the TV industry had a bad habit of “drying up” or “cold-shouldering” talents who left Johnny’s (now “SMILE-UP.”), but times seem to be changing. However, the times seem to be changing.

Number_i announced its formation on October 15 last year. Their first TV appearance was on the March 2 broadcast of the music program “Venue101 Enlarged Version” (NHK Sogo).

They also appeared on “with MUSIC Spring 2-hour Special” (NTV) broadcast on March 30, becoming the first group to sing on a commercial TV program, and on April 1, they appeared on “CDTV Live! Live! (TBS) on April 1, and also appeared on “Shukan Nai Nai Music Expanded Edition” (Fuji TV) on April 10.

In the past, in the entertainment industry, “talent who left Johnny’s would not be allowed to appear on terrestrial TV” (entertainment writer), but the agency declared at a press conference last year that it would not “put any pressure” on those who left the agency.

In response to the sexual assault case of the company’s founder, Mr. Kitagawa, the Johnny’s office held a press conference on October 2, 2011. There, the company announced that it would become a company dedicated to compensation and relief for the victims and would change its name to SMILE-UP.

In conjunction with this, they explained that they would launch a new company to handle management (the new company, “STARTO ENTERTAINMENT,” was later created). During that press conference, one of the reporters confirmed that after the transition to the new company, the office would not put pressure on the talent who had resigned and dry them up from TV” (a former entertainment writer).

At that time, Noriyuki Higashiyama (president of SMILE-UP.) stated clearly, “I would like to support them further” and “Of course, we will not apply pressure, etc.”. Yoshihiko Inohara (COO and director of STARTO ENTERTAINMENT) also stated, “I don’t think it is possible in the future to put pressure on my people,” and “Please take a hard look (at the media). Based on these statements at the press conference, TV stations no longer need to hesitate to use the exiting group.

In addition, because Johnny’s used to reign supreme in the entertainment industry, there were cases where other production companies were reluctant to work with the “exiting Johnny’s.” Recently, a former member of SMAP was asked to work with the “exiting Johnny’s” in a TV show. Recently, a former member of SMAP revealed the difficulties he faced after leaving the group, and the topic was covered by the Internet news.

Former SMAP members Goro Inagaki, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, and Shingo Katori left Johnny’s on September 8, 2005, the year after the group’s breakup, to join former SMAP chief manager Michi Iijima, and the three launched a joint official fan site, New Map, during that month.

Although each of them is now engaged in multiple activities such as acting and singing, at the start of “New Map,” they had difficulty in casting guests for their programs. In particular, it is said that behind-the-scenes of “72 Hours Honne TV” (November 2-5, 2005, broadcast live on the Internet TV station AbemaTV), in which they performed together for the first time since leaving the group, was a flurry of activity.

The situation was revealed in “New Map’s” regular program “Nanani Underground ABEMA” (ABEMA) broadcast on March 24 this year. Osamu Suzuki, who retired as a broadcaster at the end of the same month, was invited as a guest on the program, and he recalled an episode from that time.

Mr. Suzuki had worked with the SMAP members for a long time on “SMAP x SMAP” (Fuji TV) and other programs, and he also cooperated with “72 Hours Honne TV”.

As for the cast, Mr. Suzuki said, “To be honest, it was difficult to decide on the casting since they (New Map) were going to do it,” and “There are casting decisions that were made during the three days (of live broadcasting).

In response to these words, Katori said, “Yes, that’s true. Some people were decided, and some people were not decided anymore. Whenever the comedy duo Cain, Bakusho Mondai, and others were chosen to appear on the show, the staff was so thrilled that they applauded.

In 2006, ABEMA launched “7.2 New Another Window,” a regular program for the three of them. At first, following “Honne TV,” there were comedians from Asai Kikaku, including Caine, while none of them were from Yoshimoto Kogyo. Gradually, Yoshimoto’s group began to appear as guests, and EXIT became a regular participant.

In “Nanani Underground ABEMA” (broadcast on March 24), Hiroki Kanekon revealed, “When I first started, I was asked, ‘Are you okay to appear even though you are from Yoshimoto Kogyo? I was asked, “Are you okay to be in the show? It may be that pressure and discovery were at work in the past. According to Mr. Suzuki, Yoshimoto’s talent “began to appear on the program after the black market problem that surfaced in ’19.

We hope that Number_i and “New Map” can continue to work in the entertainment industry without any restrictions.

  • PHOTO Yusuke Kondo

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