The Mystery of Only Two Kohaku Appearances: KinKi Kids’ Harsh Fate as SMAP’s Counter | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Mystery of Only Two Kohaku Appearances: KinKi Kids’ Harsh Fate as SMAP’s Counter

Akio Nakamori's Theory of Johnny's of Desire Chapter 3: The Last Fortress called KinKi Kids④.

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In the previous article, “[Chosen Children of God] The Inevitability of the Two KinKi Kids Remaining Idols and Their “Extreme Performances”,” we discussed the “mythic nature” they continued to have as top idols.

Unexpectedly big hit

KinKi Kids’ debut single, “Glass Boy,” reached No. 1 on the Oricon

In July 1997, KinKi Kids made their CD debut with “Glass Boy”; the two were 18 years old and had been together for six years.

The song became a big hit, debuting at No. 1 on the Oricon charts and selling 1.8 million copies (and has remained at No. 1 for 47 consecutive singles over the past 27 years).

Masahiro Nakai also expressed his surprise at this. The explosive debut hit by KinKi must have been quite unexpected for Nakai, who composed the music for the song “Glass Boy” and composed the lyrics for the song “Yamashita no Shonen.

The music for “Glass Boy” was composed by Tatsuro Yamashita. At the time, Tatsuro was not blessed with hits and even considered retirement. However, the huge hit of “Glass Boy” and the subsequent contribution of the song to KinKi Kids marked the rebirth of Tatsuro as a musician.

The lyrics were written by Takashi Matsumoto, who had not worked with Tatsuro since “High Teen Boogie” (1982) by Masahiko Kondo. The song is in a minor key, and the subject matter is somewhat reminiscent of Hikaru Genji’s “Glass Teenager” (1988).

It was a good song, but a bit old-fashioned, I thought. When I saw the two singing on TV, I thought, “They look like the hunters from “Azusa No. 2”! And.

Symmetry with SMAP music

SMAP was an idol opposite to KinKi Kids.

On the other hand, SMAP at that time was in its first period of exploding popularity after a year of “SMAP x SMAP” broadcast. They had a hit with “Celery,” an innovative reggae-style song. The lyrics were written by Masayoshi Yamazaki. This was followed by “Yozora Nomukou,” considered by many to be SMAP’s best song. The lyrics were written by Sugashikao, who absorbed new J-pop talents one after another and broke new ground beyond the framework of idol songs.

However, “Glass Boy” was written by ……. The addition of Happiendo’s Takashi Matsumoto, ’70s new music’s Tatsuro Yamashita, and even folk song god Takuro Yoshida (“Zenkoku Dakishimete”) stands in stark contrast to SMAP’s novelty. It was somewhat nostalgic and even reactionary.

Now it is clear. No, in fact, this was the great strategy of Janie Kitagawa.

SMAP radically turned the aesthetics and traditions of Johnny’s upside down. They shed the glittering costumes of Hikaru Genji and went for casual, everyday fashionable clothes. They don’t (can’t?) do backflips or backflips. They hummed a slurred, lethargic J-pop song. This was perfect for the “easy” mood of the “lost era” of the Heisei period after the bursting of the bubble economy.

The outstanding manager, Michi Iijima, built an independent country called SMAP within the Johnny’s empire.

Kitagawa fully appreciated this. He then made his next move. That was a new duo.

Yes, KinKi Kids was his response to SMAP.

Respecting Hitoshi Matsumoto

Koichi Domoto playing grass baseball at Jingu Stadium.

The two men, both from the Kansai region, are as adept at free talk as any young comic storytellers. They made the girls of their generation laugh with their “tame” talk. When the music started playing, the boys, with their realistic, modern look, instantly looked sharp as they sang and danced their way through the splendid world of Johnny’s.

Tsuyoshi Domoto’s melancholy voice and verse, and baby-faced Koichi Domoto’s lighthearted backflips and backflips in the air. The unexpected surprise!

<There is a saying in the New Testament, “Put new wine in old leather bags. The phrase was a negative one, meaning that no matter how new something is, it doesn’t look good if it fits into an old formality. However, Mr. Kitagawa took the opposite tack.

Rather, it is the mismatch between the new and the old that creates unexpected brilliance.

No, KinKi Kids is a “new skin bag,” and by adding old sake to it, a completely unknown new flavor is created.

Takuro Yoshida, a Showa-era legend who became a folk god by refusing to appear on TV, and KinKi Kids, an idol more than 30 years younger than him, form a band. The fun of this unexpected mismatch became the groundbreaking music variety show Love Love Aishiteru.

Thanks to this, Takuro Yoshida (following Tatsuro Yamashita) also achieved a rebirth.

Tsuyoshi Domoto respected Hitoshi Matsumoto. It is said that in the world of comedy, there are two types of people: before Downtown and after Downtown. In particular, Matsumoto’s charisma is immense. There are many junior comedians who were influenced by him and aspire to comedy.

However, Tsuyoshi Domoto is probably the only idol from Johnny’s who has so clearly shown the influence of Downtown and Hitoshi Matsumoto. Matsumoto had a comedy show called “Hitori Gottsu,” in which he would give a stand-alone answer to a question. Tsuyoshi was clearly under that influence as well.

He held an event called “Koki no me.

Some have described this as a “black history of pacification,” but I disagree. Rather, I think that through Tsuyoshi Domoto’s respect, Matsumoto Hitoshi’s fun spread to the younger generation of idol-fan girls.

The symbolism of “Cowcon.”

With the breakthrough of Downtown, Kansai comedians from Yoshimoto flooded into Tokyo in droves and took over TV variety shows.

Similarly, the appearance of KinKi Kids triggered a Kansai whirlwind in the Johnny’s s office. New groups such as Kanjani Eight, Johnny’s WEST, and Naniwa Danshi (……) emerged one after another from the so-called “Kansai Johnny’s”.

The KinKi Kids revitalized Johnny’s not only on a time axis (as in the 1970s with Tatsuro Yamashita, Takashi Matsumoto, and Takuro Yoshida), but also on a spatial axis (with the Kansai region). The K-pop group had been a major force in the Japanese music scene for many years.

Despite having such a string of hit songs, KinKi Kids have not won any record awards and have appeared on NHK’s “Kohaku Uta Gassen” only twice. This has to do with the fact that they were the first artists of “Johnny’s Entertainment,” a record company established by Johnny’s Office. By creating their own window of opportunity separate from the existing music industry, KinKi paved the way for their big hit, which subsequently brought huge copyright revenues to Johnny’s.

Beginning in 1998, the year after KinKi Kids’ CD debut, Johnny’s Countdown Live has been held at the Tokyo Dome from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day. KinKi Kids was always at the center of these events.

On the other hand, SMAP has been participating in the “Kohaku Uta Gassen” since 1991. And yet, SMAP is the only group that never appears at the countdown live. It is no wonder that every year on New Year’s Eve, the division of Johnny’s was clearly visible.

The most popular group of the Heisei era, SMAP, was always surrounded by the following Johnny’s idols ……, with KinKi Kids standing in the forefront.

In the next article, “[The End of KinKi Kids] The Day Janie Kitagawa’s Soul Shattered with ‘Glass Boy,'” we will discuss what they tried to protect after Tsuyoshi’s independence and the dissolution of their fan club.

  • Interview and text Akio Nakamori Photographs Takero Shigumura, Kazuhiko Nakamura

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