The Mystery Behind The Surge In The number of Hidden Popular Artist | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Mystery Behind The Surge In The number of Hidden Popular Artist

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Yuki Hirako (left) and Kenta Sakai of “Arco & Peace” are constantly being offered variety appearances. They are also “radio stars” with many enthusiastic listeners.

This spring, “Arco & Peace” started their own TV programs on TV Asahi and TV Kanagawa, respectively.

“Including pins, he has five regular TV shows and five radio shows as well as five semi-regulars,” said an editor of a TV magazine.


Although they do not have their own key station’s prime time slot (7:00-10:00 p.m.) programs, they are not as prominent as the others, but the number of hidden popular artist  who are inundated with offers to appear on TV programs is increasing.

“The reason for this is that stations are increasing the number of late-night programs for young viewers with an eye on missed broadcasts, and there is an increase in the number of local stations and network programs featuring popular personalities. The talent that fits in with these programs are mid-level talent with a reputation for ability and reasonable fees, such as ‘Alpy’.” (producer, key station).


The two most prominent such talents are “Einstein” and Kei Mukai (36) of “Panther” fame.

In “Einstein,” Naoki Inada (37) tends to be featured because of his strong facial impact, but Yuzuru Kawai (41) is actually highly rated for his ability to lead and his steady comedic ability. When Akira Kawashima (43) contracted a new type of corona, he was substituted for him in “Love It!” (TBS), Kawai was appointed as the substitute MC. Some have even called him the “post-Terumoto Goto” (47, Football Hour).

“Mukai was selected to replace Hikaru Ijuin (54), who had been the face of TBS Radio for many years.” The aforementioned director continues.

Mukai is a very good communicator, and even in short meetings, he is able to grasp the program’s intentions. He is very popular with the staff who say He’s easy to work with.” The TV staff is disappointed that his schedule has been taken up by a radio program in the “Obi” zone. Kazu Laser (37) of “Maple Chogokin” is also highly rated. His appeal lies in his intelligence, commentary skills, and unwavering attitude. He can be both a panelist and an MC, and his comments from different angles from others are very appealing.

Chinatsu Wakatsuki (37) is a sought-after guest on variety shows.

As the absolute number of talents that can be invited to the studio is decreasing due to infection control measures, Wakatsuki is attracting renewed attention. Her ability to talk and react to the situation is unparalleled in the golden age of variety shows. The addition of her titles as a housewife and a mother is also strong. When it comes to female talents who are quick-witted and can turn the tables alongside the comedian MC, the names of Rino Sashihara (29) and Ruriko Kojima (28) come to mind, but they too cannot afford to sit idly by.

Talent whose work had been cut short due to scandals now have a chance to get back on track.

Hidetsugu Shibata (46) of “Untouchable” fame, who had been under house arrest for a long time, has seen his exposure increase dramatically. Before and after his suspension, he published a book about animals, which was his specialty, and this expanded the scope of his work. Above all, it is Tomonori Jinnai (48) who is in a bubble right now. He divorced Norika Fujiwara (50) in 2009 due to cheating, but he has successfully sublimated it into a story. He has created a situation in which even junior comedians can casually tease him.

In contrast are the one-hit wonders. A senior executive at an entertainment company says, “If you take a job from one side to the other, you will quickly get tired of it. The secret to longevity is to avoid being noticed. The prerequisite, however, is that they have the ability to do the job.”

From the May 6 and 13, 2022 issues of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takero Yui

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