Disbandment of SMAP Confirmed!

Earlier, there were rumors of SMAP’s disbandment that shook the Japanese netizens, media, and even international. Now, Johnny’s & Associates Inc. has sent a fax to the media today, August 14, 2016, that SMAP will be officially disbanding.

The faxed letter which was sent says:

Thank you for always supporting SMAP. We have put everyone into worry regarding the deliberation among the members about their future. With this decision made by the members, and on behalf of everyone who has been involved, we would like to apologize that we have made this announcement through a faxed letter.

SMAP, which has been in the industry for 25 years, will be disbanding on December 31, 2016. In January of this year, there were deliberations regarding SMAP’s future. Over a period of 6 months from February to August 10,  we have still continued their activities by appearing on music shows and other various activities as usual. We have also planned to commemorate their 25th anniversary of their debut as well as the 20th anniversary of their show by doing promotional events and even concerts. In spite of these efforts, there were still several people who have doubted saying that continuing their activities is very difficult to do with the current situation of the five members. The debate continued among the officials. In July, we have declined a music program guesting. The month after that, for the sake of the people who cannot wait, we had to take our time to think calmly. There were suggestions that the group should take a short break until these circumstances have been resolved. From the members themselves, however, they said that “We’ll rather disband than take a break”. It’s very difficult for the members to come to this resolve after all the achievements they have had for the past few years. Although it is very difficult, we are now reporting it officially.

It wasn’t possible to meet the expectations of the company stakeholders without the fans’ support which were shown in this year’s commemorative events. We would like to thank you and at the same time, apologize. We are sorry.

With that being said, SMAP will disband, but the affiliation of the members remain in the company. We will focus on their individual activities. We are hoping for you to support them as warmly as before and we are looking forward to your encouragement in the future. We humbly express our gratitude to everyone.

Johnny’s & Associates Inc.

In addition to this, it has also been announced in the official fanclub that they will stop accepting new members of SMAP’s fanclub.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

  • Comments

    • orchis

      HOLY SHIT

    • james

      End of an era,
      but hey! they are still under Johnny’s & Associates

    • Nick

      End of an era. All good things must come to an end. This became more about the behind the scenes messiness though. Staying separately? Might as well let them go free.

      With that being said, I will always enjoy their albums, 007: Gold Singer is my favorite. That music is top notch.

      • Guest

        Why would they “let them go free” when they’re under contracts? This is usually a kpop fan thing but do people not understand that these companes are businesses, they’re not randomly going to terminate 5 contracts..

        • Nick

          Some fans have discussed in great detail of their contracts (group and individual) based on looking up accessible information in databases and pairing it up to their works and scandals over the years. A lot of fans were wondering if they were going to make some sort of announcement around the group debut anniversary next month and the possibility of them being separate but in or out of J&A.

          Also I wouldn’t consider it a random letting go. It’s not unheard of for J&A to release or fire of someone after causing a ruckus, wanting to stop being a part of J&A, or breaking the contract as established as the first and/or final way to deal with them. For example Koki Tanaka, ex-Hikaru Genji Akira Akasaka who got caught with drugs, the Jr.s caught smoking,drinking, or stealing, the ones from debuted groups leaving, etc.

          So yes I understand how contracts work.

          • gerorin

            They’re still the highest paid talents in the jimusho roster though, so it’ll be a bad idea business-wise as well. Johnny’s will break contracts and fire their more replaceable talents, but you can’t fire huge names like SMAP without hurting their bottom line. And they need their bottom line.

            • Nick

              Oh I know, I had an entire third paragraph about how J&A picks who and how to punish their employees if they chose not to barely acknowledge the incidents and why ones like SMAP get off with individual hiatuses before coming back. I was just tired of typing. I keep up with the behind the scenes things so I’m not naive and I know how businesses work. I’m getting very tired of people assuming otherwise because I made an optimistic comment.

              • gerorin

                Oh sorry about that, truly, I wasn’t trying to pile on you or anything, was just giving my two cents.

                Yeah arguing on the internet can give me anxiety especially if I’m in a bad place mentally. I think it’s a good idea to relax and ignore stuff from time to time.

                Hope you get to chill real nice :33

                • Nick

                  I understand now and I will consider your advice thank you :3.

                  I scrolled down to another thread you were in and I totally agreed with your perspective over groups/individuals. It was kinda startling because I thought I was the only one who felt that way after I began watching/listening the 1996 to 2009 era things and being a fan of Tackey and company.

                  • gerorin

                    Haha, glad you agree, sometimes I wonder why I spend so much time contemplating the inner workings of Japan’s showbiz world ^^;;

      • あっちゃん

        Arashi is going to be next. Actually most lame idols (Johnnys) / groups will eventually get disbanded in the end, so what’s the meaning in supporting those kind of waste acts if eventually they will get disbanded? That’s why I never support those kind of groups except for solo or bands acts in Japan.

        • Rayfk

          Nah, I don’t think so. They are still in the top and succesful now I doubt that would happen soon. Maybe it’ll be when one of them gets married, they’ll probably fall. KAT-TUN is most likely to get disbanded next.

          • GratefulToSMAP

            Not if Jun marries Mao. I think their popularity would sky-rocket if that happens.

            Arashi won’t disband within the next 8 years at least. They and their managers sit in the prime and amicable position in the company. SMAP had always had internal conflict whether it was Kimura vs the other 4 or SMAP management v.s. rest of JE management.

            • kuku

              it will be marriage of the year if is real..
              but it will be more fun if mao marry to other people XD

              • niiqq

                Their relationship are really becoming like an urban legend. I want to see Jun marries another woman just to humor the press.

                • GratefulToSMAP

                  Who is good enough for Matsujun’s standards?

                  • kuku

                    japan public seems really supporting maotsujun
                    when nino had his dating gossip,,netz compare his gf with mao who never flaunt her urban legend relationship with matsujun lol
                    i wonder if there is maotsujun in the first place

                  • Sunny

                    Maybe Ayase Haruka.. I am guessing. You need someone as popular as Jun to pair him with.

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      I always had the impression that Ayase and Matsujun couldn’t stand each other LOL.

                      • Sunny

                        Lol..I don’t know what kind of equations MatsuJun and Ayase share as I haven’t seen them interact. I just randomly quoted. After Mao, I could think of Kitagawa Keiko and Ayase Haruka. Keiko is married. So Ayase’s name came out:)

                      • Ivy Vo

                        I ship Ayase Haruka and Aiba though I know it will never happen. If yes, even if 0.01%, and then we will have a perfect air-headed couple. :)

                  • bayb

                    The crazy and possessive Arashi fangirls would never approve of someone on the same level as them (i.e. a commoner) or an actress/talent that is not popular. Like the case with Nino and Ito Ayako, fangirls were raging and jimusho didn’t approve of their relationship.

                    I think fans would support when it’s with a big star, like Mao and Jun, Sho and Maki back then, Nino and Masami/Nozomi etc. But then again I think we don’t have to worry about them getting married now since they’re still on the peak of success.

                    • Awe

                      “But then again I think we don’t have to worry about them getting married now since they’re still on the peak of success.”

                      Why should their marriage be a “worry”?> don’t answer, it’s just rhetorical
                      Why must being in the peak of their success preventing them from legally binded to the person they love? Again a rhetorical question.
                      I’m an Arashi fan but seeing fans with this kind of mindset is the reason why Arashi are forced to tip toe on glasses after they fame came knocking. It’s really unfortunate when they’ve sacrificed a lot. Their personal lives shouldn’t be our business. They don’t owe us that.

                      • bayb

                        Ask that to those rabid fangirls. When Ohno’s scandal revealed last year fans had uchiwa with “traitor” “break up” with it.

                        I’m sure all members are dating someone now. It would be a joke if they doesn’t. They’re past 30. Who knows, a marriage announcement could come anytime. But again this is Johnnys. As much as I wanted them to be happy, sadly they are probably have to wait until they’re old and whitered in their 40s.

                        I think the idol world is pretty much like this; Fans want their female idols to stay pure, innocent, and a virgin. Fans are okay with their male idols having experience, but doesn’t want them to feel ‘true love’. Yes I know this is unreasonable and ridiculous. But this is true, no? Anyone could look that they’re (Johnnies) probably suffering of this unwritten love ban.

                      • Awe

                        Like i said, its rhetorical questions. I already know the reasons, just need to rant. Its still a pretty unacceptable to think majority of the fans are sort of insane with impossible expectations for their faves love lives.

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      Anyway, Matsujun wouldn’t date a commoner. He’s Matsujun.

                      • Awe

                        You know, your impression of Matsujun is pretty outdated (era 2008-2010) and too tied in with his character as Domyouji/shin. He’s actually a humble self depreciting gentleman.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        The irony! if my impression of him = Domyouji, then he WOULD be dating a commoner like what Domyouji did. My impression that he wouldn’t date a commoner is not a matter of his status. It’s a matter of his perfectionist standards. He’s a perfectionist and his views on love is that he always vets his partner thoroughly (insisting that he would never fall in love at first sight), thus I would expect his partner to be an equally excelling high-flyer.

                      • Awe

                        Still your impression on him is pretty outdated. He is a perfectionist (pertaining privacy, work etc) but he doesn’t think highly of himself. J wouldn’t look down at commoners. His choices were made for practicality, not in accordance to castes.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Got it!

                        1. My view of Matsujun is so outdated x2
                        2. Matsujun is a humble, self deprecating gentleman.
                        3. Matsujun doesn’t think highly of himself and won’t look down on commoners.
                        4. Matsujun will date a commoner.

                        Thanks!

                      • bayb

                        I also think that MJ will date with a famous celebrity. I think Sho/Ohno is the least likely to get married with a famous celebrity.

                      • Awe

                        Lol but its the truth he’s like that. He also has confessed that he chose to be the “bad guy”/do-s sometimes for the sake of Arashi’s dynamic. All of them are the nonconfrontational type so J step up to “act” as the diva and only showing his true mellow self in recent years.

                    • tamu

                      some fans didnt support nino with nozomi because she made him fat sigh,,

                  • Awe

                    Nothing against you personally but looking at this thread, I find it disgusting that some fans feel entitled to dictate the standard of their faves future with wives. I’ve seen some fans who still don’t approve of Mao despite her “high pedigree” and actually blamed her for junmao annual marriage date rumors.

                • kuku

                  yes..it is urban legend lol..
                  i am hoping mao marrying toma instead and jun is the matchmaker lol lol

                • Daychan

                  urban legend LOL you made my day

          • あっちゃん

            I disagree. Arashi will get disbandment sooner or later since not everything here can last forever.
            Instead of SMAP getting disbandment, I would like to see AKB48 or related groups acts to get disbanded as soon as possible. These kind of lamest group it’s such an embarrassment acts to the society or outside of Japan, not a lot of people find them cute or interesting. It’s just embarrassing to see those kind of acts are running well currently in Japan than the other talented solo acts / singers. These days, the mainstream music it’s so just disgusting.

          • onemorelight

            I can see that with KAT-TUN. They’re down to 3 members and on hiatus – wouldn’t be surprised if the company / members took that hiatus time to decide what they wanna do with the group and solo careers going forward.

            • Sunny

              I prefer disbanding of KAT-TUN now. As a hyphen I was heart broken when they announced Hiatus.But now they can look up-to Individual activities and make a name for themselves. Kame,Maru and Ueda have grown a lot individually and can do more than Idol work.

              • onemorelight

                I know what you mean, I was feeling sad and lost when they declared hiatus. As much as I am happy that NEWS came back from hiatus as 4, every group and idol is different. Maybe it’s best that KAT-TUN disband, if that’s what the 3 of them decide.

        • kuku

          lol….tokio and v6 still going strong this year and they are older than arashi…
          band acts will get disband sometimes too…

        • Nick

          But even the non-Johnnys/idol/other entertainers will eventually lose their edge but have people who enjoy them that would like to see them continue in some form if that is what the entertainer(s) want and that’s ok.

          • Sunny

            Agree with your thoughts. You have more insight about entertainment business and life in general.

        • The irony of this coming from an Ayu fan…

          • あっちゃん

            You’re a fan yourself and calling it irony? It doesn’t make any sense.

            • Because she is so past it now.

              • あっちゃん

                Even though that she’s a past, there’s no guarantee that any other solo singers in Japan currently or in future that can surpass her in all the total sales ranking. I know she’s not doing great now, but I do still listen to her music.

                • But how much does that really matter?

            • Awe

              Nothing against Ayu but she’s not doing great either and as a (passe)solo act has no option to “graduate”. She can’t afford to.

        • Wakarang

          Wut. Nobody stays together forever. 25 years is plenty long. How long do you need? 100 years? 200? Solo artists and bands quit all the time too.

        • Nasshi

          Lol all groups will disband eventually unless they keep going until they die. Look at all the visual kei bands that have been disbanding in the past few years…

          • あっちゃん

            I think, the bands that disbanded way before due to not selling a lot of music and that’s old story for today’s generation since most of them listen to all the garbage music such as Kyary / Sekai / AKB48 or other related groups who has no voice at all. There are J-rock bands that are still active and mostly other J-rock bands in Japan that do look up to X-Japan or LUNA as one of their most influental bands to this date, this is the reason why those bands are still called legendary and other J-rock is bands do acknowledge them unlike other groups out there.

            • gerorin

              But X-Japan disbanded too. It took Toshi forcing his way out of a damn cult and the rest of the band to grow a hell of a lot before they could put away egos and regrouped again. I’m an X and Luna Sea fan, I’m used to getting jerked over with we’re on hiatus/no we’re disbanding/no we’re regrouping, that I’m just taking everything with grains of salt. Absolutely nothing lasts forever.

              And besides. if they’re still with the jimusho nothing’s stopping them from pulling an X-Japan and regrouping, so there’s that too.

              • あっちゃん

                For your information, X-Japan is still active.

                • gerorin

                  Okay, regardless of which bands you’re a fan of, your earlier argument was that those bands reached legendary status because of their longevity/that short-lived bands/idols aren’t worth the time. I’m saying X-Japan reached their status due to being pioneers of a genre and making music that spoke to whole generations of people. They were already legends when they did Last Live in 1996, and would’ve stayed as legends even if they never regrouped, because at that point they were already trailblazers.

                  There are a lot of examples of legendary bands that didn’t last that long in music history all over the world. For western music you have the obvious ones like Sex Pistols, Nirvana et al. In Japan there were bands like Checkers or Boøwy. Short active years, but they were trailblazers and nobody in their right mind would argue that Himurock or Hyotei or Fujii Fumiya aren’t legends just because their bands didn’t last long. Even if they never made music again after they disbanded, when you’ve made *those* kind of music, you’re part of the legendary ones.

                  Anyways, coming back to SMAP and comparing their active years with those bands (or even with fellow legendary idols like Hikaru Genji, solos like Yamaguchi Momoe, etc) SMAP had lasted a lifetime and then some. Not anybody can boast the kind of career they’ve had for 25 years. That’s a long time to carve your way into legendary status, which they have.

        • ggg

          Why did you upvote yourself? lmao

          • あっちゃん

            It just happens to be. 😂

          • thariamon

            ikr… as if her comment wasn’t a joke in itself already.

            • Mr.Taxi™

              OMG LOL

        • Hermione48fan

          lol but groups who aren´t idols disband too lol.

        • Mayura

          Nino did say before in Shabekuri 007 that if they argue ONCE, they will rather disband than let the bitter aftertaste of argument accumulates to a point of no return. So far, they all have been putting in effort to maintain the equilibrium so perhaps, when one or two of the members get married, it might tilt the equilibrium since priorities would change.

        • Ech

          But non-idol groups and bands also disband?

        • Fll

          cry harder weeaboo

          • iGleaux

            lol

      • Awe

        A couple of members might “graduate” from Johnn’ys eventually (Shingo & Goro?). I think they are forced to stay so they won’t be blacklisted. Its really not easy to navigate the scene while being forced to stay away from other Johnny’s talent.

        SMAP music was excellent. Aside from the usual hits like Yozora no Mukou & Sekai Hitotsu Dake no Hana, I will always remember them for Fly (omg 1999. i’m old lol)
        http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xgas0d_fly-smap_music
        https://www.facebook.com/smapmania/videos/434058173332929/

        • Nick

          Fly is another good song, I decided to check out the rest of the 013 album thanks to that song/music video!

        • Fii

          Yes!! Fly is one of their best ones.

    • Taeul

      I’m not a fan but this is sad.. -.-

      Btw… he scares me a lot!!

      • iGleaux

        I thought the same but he’s actually cool as fuck and seems like a nice guy.

    • How am I going to process this?!!!!

    • Niña

      WAIT WHAT

    • james

      so their program SMAP x SMAP will become ARASHI x ARASHI or KINKI KIDS x KINKI KIDS?

      • Reileen

        Rumor has it, a Kinki Kids show will be replacing it

        • gerorin

          That’s… really weird if that were to happen. I like Kinki, but they’re not famous for varitey shows that generate high ratings.

          • Reileen

            it is rumored to be a music show, probably similar to the music/ variety show Kinki Kids used to host

            • gerorin

              Wow. Fuji sounds desperate.

              • Reileen

                I don’t know how Fuji is desperate by replacing SMAPxSMAP with a Kinki Kids show. The show is ending, there’s bound to be a replacement.

                But if it’s ratings, yes they have to be. Their dramas don’t do well, and NTV is beating them in variety. They have sluggish ratings recently so they must really be in a tight situation already.

                • gerorin

                  That’s what I mean. The last 27hrs had absymal ratings too and they’re not doing well in variety bangumis. I’m a fan of Kinki but they thrive on quirky music shows (Love Love Aishiteru, etc) not airing on or around golden time. It’ll stifle their humor if anything.

                  This sounds like instead of doing their homework Fuji just looked at which Johnny’s are in their roster and replaced one with the other.

        • yui223

          Ive been hearing about the arakan rumor too.. arashi x kanjani8 show…

    • the groupie who

      wishing the best to the members on their future activities . So sad for the fans tho :(

    • Gyu

      Why? How? Way? How?
      Always have feeling about this and now it happen.

    • uminii

      Meh, honestly it won’t change much. They spend much more time with their individual activities than they do as a group.

      Frankly no one will miss their music or live performances. They’d be missed on variety for sure, but since they’ll be continuing on individually, we won’t be losing any of that. (Except for probably SMAPxSMAP?)

      • james

        music wise they do have some unforgettable singles. I do hope they’ll sing

        “Yozora no Mukou” on their last performance @ MUSIC STATION

        • uminii

          Oh of course, they’ve definitely had some hits, but their presence in the industry *currently* is far more weighted on their variety appearances. It won’t be a huge hit to lose their music since we won’t be losing any of them (for the moment).

        • rainbowescent

          They should also sing Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana as this is their most iconic song (arguably).

    • Rachel James

      Can’t say I didn’t see this coming but this is still quite sad. They just became a band that I never knew would end. Hard to see it end this way though.

    • Kyle

      it’s gonna be so weird not seeing them??!?!!?????

    • omg

      RIP SMAP

    • huh

      Watch, the nex step is for the 4 members to leave Johnny’s

    • マイケル・タンザー

      Since SMAP is disbanding, I mean why not add the whole Discography on iTunes?

      • Awe

        They should. Johnny’s are too backwards in marketing it’s frustrating.

    • N

      What’s the point if they’re all still in the agency?

      • rainbowescent

        Theoretically, if they stay with JE, they won’t get blacklisted in the ent. industry.

      • Guest

        They dont need to appear on music programs? lol I honestly think that while the J&A is at fault too, the members themselves don’t seem to get along too well.

      • kpop is srs bsns

        disbandment means more time to focus on individual activities even if they’re still in the same company.

        still really bummed though )’:
        on the other hand maybe it’s possible for a reunion in the future +_+

      • uminii

        Most of their work these days is with CMs, dramas/movies, and variety shows. Johnny’s may not own those but they all have ties and organized such connections via the company. Suddenly leaving Johnny’s would probably cause a lot of issues with even their individual jobs. If they stay with the company, they can continue all of that even if they’re not SMAP anymore, so it’s just easier.

    • Fei

      They rarely appear together as a group even before this, nbd.

    • eplizo

      OH MY GOD. WHAT!?!?

      I’m going to miss them. They were a pop culture staple… RIP SMAP. :'(

    • Uemuu

      Johnnys is changing

      I predict v6 disbandment next

      • melty

        why? jw

        • Uemuu

          Getting serious relationship with porn star and living together. People in the industry are speculating he’ll be terminated if he does (Hamasaki Ayumi’s guitarist? Used to be Johnnys but he intended to married a porn star and was kicked out) and V6 will disband before that happens

          • Sunny

            If I am not wrong,Its Morita Go who is dating a former AV actress. She has retired from AV Industry.

            IMAO Aoi is not an AV actress as far as my knowledge goes.It was a case of adultery. Aoi was married when he starting dating her. I like Okada and Aoi pair and want them to get married asap.

        • kiki

          and the gossip with Okada and Aoi who is rumored to get married next but the agency didn’t allow it (because it was an affair), so Okada has to choose between her or his work.

      • omg

        I’d predict KAT-TUN will disband next

        • james

          I thought KAT-TUN already disband?

          is just that Johnny’s didn’t “OFFICIALLY” announce it.

          • uminii

            They’re on hiatus like SMAP originally planned to do. They could still come out of it as a group at the end or who knows, maybe they’ll end up doing the same as SMAP and separating completely.

        • HoneyBeat

          Same. V6 still has a tight group dynamic unlike KAT-TUN so I’d say they’re up next.

        • ran

          But why? The only person who’ll probably benefit is Kame.

      • HoneyBeat

        Meh, I agree w/ the other person about it being KAT-TUN next. If V6 was going to disband, I assume they would’ve taken the opportunity to do it during their 20th anniversary & go out w/ a bang for the fans.

      • あっちゃん

        I would love to see Kanjani∞ as a next disbandment. Such a lame group, to be honest!

      • kuku

        v6 seems going strong though….

    • gus

      wait? via fax?

      Holyshit that is poetic and it’s not even ironic. HAHAHAHAHAHA

      • eureeka

        Fax is still widely used in Japan. Entertainment industry announcements are always via fax. It’s kindof ridiculous.

        • Mayura

          And I can’t even find a single fax machine in my company anymore. ROFLMAO~!

          • Every office has one.

            • Mayura

              Nope. My company has “abolished” fax machines since 10 years ago. We pretty much rely on emails and private cloud to work.

              • YuzuFlip

                If you have a large office copy machine, you have a fax machine.

                • Mayura

                  Tried before. Didn’t work. The facsimile function seems to be grayed out completely.

                  Anyway, enough with my company’s lack of facsimile. ROFLMAO~!!!

                  • YuzuFlip

                    Oh, wow. 😂 They really don’t want you to use it.

        • gerorin

          Its because handwritten notes is seen as the more corteus. I think it’s simpler than scanning your writig and mailing it off when you’re trying to show it is indeed you making the statement and not some paid drones from the office.

    • anne

      …wow

      so smapxsmap is done for as well? the show continued on so i thought things had gotten a bit better

      • Daychan

        they have stopped the recording.

    • Tintin

      there goes my smap x arashi :((

    • yacchaitai

      Knew it would happen soon after all the mess this year

    • HoneyBeat

      I never thought I’d see this day come but after what happened earlier this year, I’m not surprised.

      To be fair, aside from SxS, it’s not like they’ve done much musically as a group the past few years. Their presence was more in variety which I’ll miss.

    • honey girl

      WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT????? Not the only J-idol group I ever gaf about!!!!!!

    • Kiki

      This is so weird, I could never imagine them disbanding. I wonder if the they, minus Kimutaku, are going to quit J&A like they wanted. And I guess Arashi really are the next SMAP now.

    • yourcoffeesucks

      I hope they come back together for Tokyo2020.

      • ryfk

        If that’s possible. SMAP topped an unofficial survey of artists who do you think should perform on Olympics 2020. Arashi is the second. Since this disbandment news just came out, most likely it will be Arashi… and they’re Johnny’s 1st moneymaker after all. I’m guessing Johnny will push Arashi to be the “next SMAP”. I’m an Arashi fan but i definitely don’t want them to perform on Olympics 2020.

        • kuku

          but arashi can perform good show at olympics though,,like in their concert…
          or just let jun produce the opening or closing

      • gerorin

        That’d be great. Even if it’s a kikangentei thing that’d still be amazing.

    • shinryu

      not much of a surprise after they stated that SMAP is in no condition to appear on music shows nor for new releases in this year

    • losers game

      Super sad, even if it was totally expected.

    • Do-tell

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo~

    • Ivy Vo

      I wonder what will happen in Kouhaku this year… Will be a tears show…

      • They’ll probably close it.

        • あっちゃん

          Not really.

          • thariamon

            Are you just salty cause Hamasaki Ayumi will never or…

            • Mr.Taxi™

              LOL

            • Awe

              I thought she already announced her graduation from the show…? Unless she manage to make a huge comeback I don’t think Kouhaku will invite her back (opening or ending).

              • thariamon

                Even if she hadn’t graduated she would never.

                • Awe

                  I was about to suggest that she might get an invitation like Matsuda Seiko but I’m not sure how Ayu would compare to Seiko’s reputation.

      • losers game

        Farewell stage to close Kohaku? Ugh. I’m weepy just thinking about it. Insta-win for shirogumi.

    • light

      Definitely end of an era. I’m not a fan but they did so much as a group and they paved the way for many of their juniors.
      Staying in the company separately was probably the best option, even if i wonder if someone will go away eventually. I actually wanted to see Arashi on a Smap show, despite all the problems inside the company the groups seemed to get along well.

      • Awe

        SMAP not only paved the way for other Johnny’s but they also have made a big impact for Japanese Entertainment scene as a whole. They deserves a respectful closure.

        I wished for that for Arashi too. They are fun together.

      • Mayura

        It will be interesting if Arashi gets invited to their last episode of SMAP x SMAP. It will be an “iconic” moment where SMAP passes the baton to the next most popular JE group.

      • gerorin

        They basically paved the way for the idols-in-multiple-platforms format (MCing used to be seen as only for TV announcers or super popular comedians, variety shows weren’t really an idols thing, Matchy et al acted, but not to the extent of SMAP did). They shaped the entertainment industry, both in Japan and East Asia.

    • :(((((((((

      It’s about time… huh? But I’m lying if I didn’t see this coming, considering what happened throughout this year.. Though, it really just feels like yesterday when they said they are not gonna disband..
      Somehow, JE doesn’t feel the same without SMAP. I hope they at least say goodbye properly in a TV show or an anniversary concert.. this must be really saddening for the fans.

      Now suddenly I remember when Nino said if once Arashi gets into a serious fight it’ll probably be the end of them.

      • Mayura

        Nino said that in Shabekuri 007. I think the members have been very careful in order not to be confrontational.

    • nayyyyyyy

      I kind of want to hear other groups’ reactions of this news

      Somehow I can imagine Arashi saying “It’s sad but thanks for your hard work senpai, leave it to us next” lol.

    • Meutia S Aishah

      This is kinda off topic, but I’m glad J&A give us this announcement a few months before they’re really disbanding (They’re disbanding in December,right?) and there is a statement from the members too. At least the fans can prepare their heart…

    • wtfjohnnys

      I can hear Mary laughing in the background. Her victory, I suppose?

      • Sio

        like this right?
        (with a old fashion tipe of laught)

      • pondloso

        how can be her winning JE is lose big time.

        • Awe

          Because Mary is a bitter salty control freak who rather see SMAP demise because they dare to constantly go against her wishes. JE will lose some profits from their disbandment but Mary now has them under her thumb.

          • Guest

            Exactly. Disbandment is not even close to being the worst news… rather it’s the fact that they are still in JE…

            • Awe

              She’s evil and actually made a statement that SMAP members sans Kimutaku should kow tow her and she’ll use them like old rags now they’re back under her nose.
              https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CpycBVtVUAAILH6.jpg
              *sending bad mojo to mary kitagawa*

              She has boldly showing her true colors lately. If this is the way she has handled influential stars like Nakai (& kimutaku), I’m pretty sure she has threatened other Johnny’s when they had got themselves in “scandals” (like Ohno, Aiba, Ryo, Yamapi and Subaru). Hopefully her daughter is fair managing jna talents

              • guest

                I’m pretty sure she has threatened other Johnny’s when they had got themselves in “scandals”

                Fujigaya had to brake up with Takimoto Miori in February this year, after persuasion by new manager. They were together for ~4 years iirc. Iijima Michi leaves J&A, Kisumai goes to new management and suddenly them dating becomes a problem.
                The news of their brake up came like one day before Kisumai’s album was announced, where every member got a solo song and PV – I suspect they used this to help “convince” him to brake up with Miori :/

                J&A also had to cover a lot of SMAP scandals, so I bet for the past months she’s been reminding them of all the dirt she has on them.

                Unfortunately I don’t think Julie is much better. Hopefully I’m wrong.

              • Mayura

                Whoa! She is like an evil incarnation of the devil. I guess she really makes no attempt to conceal her real self, huh? If Japan is anything like North Korea, pretty sure she would have fed the other 4 members to a pack of hungry dogs.

    • GratefulToSMAP

      Who else got into Johnny’s because of SMAP? I know I did. It started with watching Long Vacation and the rest was history. Thanks to SMAP, I got to know Arashi (through the Nakai-Ohno skits on Utaban), KAT-TUN (through finding out what other bands are under this Johnny’s umbrella), Hey!Say! (through watching them on Arashi’s shows) etc, and these bands individually have brought me so much joy in my life. I thank SMAP for the Johnny-bait.

      • Awe

        Same! They were my gateway to JE and jpop in general.

      • gerorin

        I bet they’re the gateway for a lot of J-Pop fans, especially when Nakai still did Utaban, and that show (and Hey3x) was the gem of watching your favorite artists doing promo in entertaining ways.

      • Sunny

        I got introduced to JDoramas due to Kimutaku. Long Vacation was my first Japanese drama. I did try to catch up with SMAP music but didn’t like it much. Maybe because there weren’t too many songs of theirs freely available on Internet or maybe I didn’t try hard to find them.
        Then I came across KAT-TUN songs and liked them very much. I can find KAT-TUN songs/performances more easily on net. I can say KAT-TUN was the Idol group which made me like Japanese Pop music. I now follow SMAP,KAT-TUN,NEWS and ARASHI from J&A actively. I have also come to like many of SMAP songs and also their SMAPxSMAP show.

    • GratefulToSMAP

      My only hope left is for a JE tribute dance-off. Like all the other JE groups do an epic SMAP medley and a farewell-Arigatou message to SMAP.

      • kuku

        yess…and ohno sing yozora no mukou e tribute

      • JSu.

        Yeah. That will be a an epic episode to watch out for.

      • onemorelight

        yeah they deserve it

    • onemorelight

      Truly end of an era. I’m sad, but I’m also glad they announced the disbandment date in advance. This way, they can go out with a bang and not with a whimper. Maybe now the focus will be on their incredible achievements as a group and not on corporate drama.

      I really enjoy their acting so kinda relieved they’ll still have individual activities.

    • GratefulToSMAP

      “We have judged it would be difficult for (SMAP) to continue their activities as a group, although it was not a unanimous choice by the members,” the agency said. [The Japan Times]

      I wonder who wanted to stay and who wanted to go?

      • kunyit

        kimutaku only wanna stay

      • hikari

        Somehow Nakai is the first that comes to mind… Idk why. But I’m sure it was a tough decision.

        Or maybe the members are no longer able to keep stable relationship with each other. But they’re adults after all, they know what’s best for them. It’s definitely sad to part ways with someone you have been going through for 25 years.

        • GratefulToSMAP

          Even longer than that. Nakai and Kimura were high school classmates. Goro and Tsuyoshi were also high school schoolmates. They go way, way back.

    • あっちゃん

      Arama! You deleted my comment?! 🙄

      • Disqus is weird at times.

    • Waiting for the best album later this year which will probably be the best selling album of the year.

    • kuku

      it will be a tear jerker goodbye at kouhaku…
      i hope smap will close it

    • kunyit

      and gone my dream seeing smap x arashi collaboration in smap x smap

    • guest

      Will they appear on Kouhaku though? I mean they haven’t released any singles this year
      (= J&A’s excuse for them not appearing on the summer SP shows)

    • Nikki ok

      ok so that awkward forced video of them declaring that they won’t disband was all for nothing lol not that I care tho

    • Wow. It really is happening. 2016…..a year to really write about for every country.

      • Mayura

        Lots to write indeed; good or bad; whether it’s in the area of politics (Brexit, ISIS attacks), business (Yahoo!), games (Pokemon Go), entertainment (SMAP) etc..

    • GratefulToSMAP

      Nakai is a Johnny Elite. He got in without auditioning, can’t sing for nuts, but still managed to be the top earner, year after year, in the whole of J&A. The company, or at least Johnny-san himself, definitely favors him. He is also one of the only few that can constantly crack Johnny-san jokes without fear. He often uses his unique brand of humor to promote his JE kouhais. There’s no doubt Nakai loves being a Johnny but I don’t know if he likes being IN Johnny’s company.

      Kimura gets away with everything. When he’s angry or pissed, it shows on his face and he speaks his mind on his radio show, which is rather un-idol-like. Shotgun marriage at his HIGHEST peak — no hiatus, no punishment, nothing.

      The power of SMAP and always getting their way…

      • Reileen

        I always thought Nakai could be some J&A executive like how Higashiyama, Matchy or Tackey are

        • kunyit

          this….i always feel he loves his kouhai

        • guest

          Not while Mary is still alive.

        • GratefulToSMAP

          What kind of executives are they? Managers, producers…?

          • Reileen

            Directors?

            • herrkatze

              I know that Matchy has a seat on the board of directors but I’m not sure about Higashi.

        • gerorin

          Unlikely. He’s not close to the jimusho people and the behind the scene stuff, never goes to the office/isn’t quite sure where it is/only know the on-set manager as he’s only doing his job and doesn’t have time to paying attention to the details

      • kuku

        they get labeled as johnny rebel group

        • GratefulToSMAP

          The difference is they are a SUCCESSFUL rebel group, well-taken care of and doted by their manager and more importantly, Johnny-san personally, I believe.

          Look at KAT-TUN. They are definitely rebels too and look where they are now…

          • Reileen

            Well KAT-TUN was a favorite, esp Kame and Jin. They were tagged rebellious since debut bec Johnny san says they do as they please but what they do pisses all the managers and staff to nuts lmao. They were wary of handling them. Difference is, KAT-TUN is a lot more about the individuals. Solo songs solo stage solo everything. Jin goes out of the group twice and it’s still ok lol. Eventually, this prioritizing solo endeavors took a hit at the group.

            • GratefulToSMAP

              KAT-TUN was the only band I felt that had the potential to be “the next SMAP”. The combined star power of Kame and Jin in KAT-TUN’s short golden years was electrifying and till this day, unforgettable. Yeah, a lot of leeway was given to Jin. Understandably so because he really had the full package – looks, voice and dance. The breaking point was when he insisted on more activities in the U.S., which was laughably naive of him. Then Johnny-san finally had enough of him.

              With Jin gone, KAT-TUN’s star quality is no longer there. Kame cannot hold the fort alone. Jin aside, Koki was causing trouble too. And Taguchi chose to leave. The difference is they haven’t reached the point of critical success for them to pull off so many antics. And they lack the member-ai for them to push through their difficulties.

              • gerorin

                I feel that too, back then the Akanishi/Kamenashi star power reminded me of Kimura/Nakai’s, and if the rest look a bit shoboi, the rest of SMAP back the needed time to clean up as well ^^; I remember Nakai saying that when the very last of the group made it/break out, that’s when the whole group has made it, and for him that moment was Tsuyoshi getting his first big break in a leading role, and that that waiting part, that’s the hard part. I always remember what he said looking at KAT-TUN, and that if Akanishi had the patience to wait for the ‘less in the spotlight’ members get the spotlight, the group would’ve gotten way further than they’ve been.

                • Sunny

                  Agree. Jin leaving to US within 6 month of KAT-TUN’s debut was too bad. It affected the rest of the members so much. Also they were informed at the last minute which hurt them.

                  Its a lesson J&A need to take. They need to put a group together only when the members have no ambitions of solo career and are happy being in group. Going Solo is not bad but the timing is wrong.

                  • GratefulToSMAP

                    KAT-TUN and NEWS was a deep lesson that J&A learnt. Two groups that had so much potential but ultimately failed.

                    I feel that’s why they stuffed Hey Say Jump with 10 members, so that if anyone leaves… 9 is not too bad… 8 is not too bad… 7…

                    • gerorin

                      I think one of their worst potential star handling is of Tackey, actually. They had everything working for them at the time. Tackey had the face, decent acting chops, and he even had wider audience appeal, ojisans know who Tackey is, not just high school kids, and yet they managed to fuck up really badly. I dunno who’s at fault there but they potentially had a new-generation Matchy in their hands and it simmered into nothing.

                      And clearly they didn’t learn from that mistake cause they made similar ones in regards to potential stars like Yamashita and Akanishi.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        The mistake was pairing him with Tsubasa, who has zero star quality. They should have put Tackey in a band instead. Tackey’s potential was essentialy ruined by poor talent management.

                        Jin and Yamapi ruined themselves. Jin’s major attitude problem and extreme selfishness deserves another story on his own.

                        Yamapi has no talent, the only thing he has going on for him is his rather pleasant personality and his looks. In my opinion, his success far outweighs what he deserves. Yet, he got greedy. He wanted more… he wanted to go solo. And that’s his downfall. He cannot hold the fort alone – his lack of talent does not allow him to do so.

                        I feel the same way now about Yuto Nakajima. Him being in Hey Say Jump and constantly being overshadowed by Yamada and his zillion other Hey Say members is also serving him no justice.

                      • gerorin

                        Yamashita should’ve debuted with 4Tops, I think. That way they wouldve been following the tried-and-true Johnny’s formula of 2 flashier members (Yamashita and Ikuta) and a couple of more low-key members. Then they could packaged them as a close-knit group and they’d be like Arashi now. Just putting a charismatic talent with a not-so charismatic one like Tackey and Tsubasa don’t work, but I think the balance of flashy+non-flashy works in a group. For a duo you need talented, charismatic kids, bonus points if they’re great at talking (Kinki Kids, obviously).

                        Failing a 4Tops debut, I often wondered what would happen if they made Shuuji to Akira a permanent thing. That works more in the Kinki formula of charismatic kids with wide audience appeal (the musical talent is lacking greatly in comparison to Kinki ofc, but Tsuyoshi and Koichi evolved as they went along and did bangumis with lots of musicians, maybe in an alternate universe such scenario can drill passable singing skill to even Yamashita). Akanishi is persona non grata to me. He’s just a classic case of believing too much of your own hype.

                        As for Nakajima, I appreciate that he doesn’t seem to mind much not being the center of HSJ. I know he’d said that it once depressed him that he used to be the focal point of HSJ and then Yamada rose in fame and that changed, but he seemed to have accepted that. I think he’s the one that would have the longevity in his career, cause he’s a decent actor and he’s not distractingly pretty-boy boy band type that you can put him beside character actors like EnKei and it doesn’t look jarring. I don’t think Nakajima is gunning to be the next Kimura or anything. I think he’s gonna do great work and interesting projects and be content with his position in the group like Okada Junichi.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Totally agree with your entire write-up on Yamapi + 4tops. Till now, I don’t get J&A’s decision in not letting that happen.

                        Since that didn’t happen, Yamapi is not doing well solo and KAT-TUN is a miserable joke now, I think it’s time to revive Shuji & Akira. I remember reading 2ch on Johnny Pairings you want to see happen and Shuji & Akira topped the ranking. Maybe it’s the sweet nostalgia of Nobuta Wo Produce but there’s something about the “sexy yet sweet” pairing of Kame and Yamapi that REALLY works. The recent Shuji & Akira reunion in Johnny’s Countdown and Yamapi mentioned in his concert about having yakiniku with Kame after a long while gives me hope that something is in the works.

                        Like I said in my reply to Reileen above, I feel that Yuto deserves more and should aim higher than his current position in HSJ and JE.

                      • Tamu

                        I heard tackey himself who wanna be paired with tsubasa

                      • gerorin

                        Thats still a bad business decision though. And not something 19 year olds should be deciding anyway.

                        I say this as a T&T fan, but they would’ve worked better in a group.

                      • Tamu

                        Yeah..but takky was johnny golden boy at that time
                        And now he is happy helping out his jr

                      • Nick

                        Yea I kinda wished they pulled a group of them and 4tops. That way they could have had their subunits but also continue that unity from their Jr. days.

                        With that being said I will also continue to be a T&T / 4Tops (in terms of where each member is now) fan.

                      • Reileen

                        Johnnys wanted Tackey to debut solo, but he didn’t want to, He wanted to debut with Tsubasa Imai.

                        Yuto is doing fine, the jimusho is picking out his roles well. He was cast in supporting roles in hit dramas and they gave him a breakout role in Pink & Gray. He currently is starring in a drama that’s getting good reviews, and already has a new movie lined up. I think those are good roles, JE has refrained from putting him in shojo manga movies when they can easily do so. He’s not exactly the best singer and dancer of the group, so he is doing more than fine. With HSJ’s popularity as a group rising fast, he’s one to benefit as well. He IS one of the most popular members, so he’s also not exactly overshadowed by the other members.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Tackey wouldn’t have succeeded solo either. Tackey shines when he’s interacting with people.

                        I was just watching some past Jr videos and Yuto was like the new Yamapi of that junior era. His face was close to perfection and he was soooo cute. He was allowed to star with his major senpais like Kimutaku, TOKIO, Shuji & Akira etc and I think even Yamapi didn’t have this level of attention when he was a junior. He was on covers of magazines even as an elementary/middle school child. I agree he is still doing well now but his fame now seems like a shadow of what it was in the past. He can do better if he was put in parallel with Yamada in HSJ, rather than being ranked #2 or #3 or #4 or #5 behind Yamada when it comes to dance formation or singing line.

                      • Reileen

                        Yuto is young he’ll have plenty of chances to develop. What’s more, HSJ is young and they’re already celebrating 10th anniversary. They are so going to be everywhere esp next year, if we follow Arashi and Kanjani8 trajectory.

                        I like Yuto but to get lines as much as Yamada? Seriously no pls, I can’t stand Asu e no Yell bec he gets too many lines given it’s for his drama.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Yamada used to be my favorite in HSJ until he got a little too arrogant for me. The way he behaves now reminds me of Matsujun.

                        There are too many members in HSJ. Inoo’s star is sky-rocketing now. His popularity is taking everyone by surprise but he is seriously very loved by everyone now.

                        And on a somewhat unrelated note, Yamada looks a lot like Chloe Grace Moretz.

                      • Reileen

                        I think what I meant to say was, I can’t stand Yuto’s singing. He needs to take singing lessons more.

                        I don’t have qualms abt Yamada singing more, he sings well and is arguably the group’s best dancer. He makes a good center. I don’t mind Inoo’s push. After all these years he was sidelined, they finally found a way to promote him. He deserves it.

                      • Leyla

                        Agree to everything you said up to now, except for the part with MatsuJun. MatsuJun is a fair player. He is extremely caring and doesn’t push the others out of the spotlight. He plans their whole concerts, yet a lot of people outside fandom don’t even know that.
                        I don’t think Yamada is a bad or untaltented guy but HSJ became too much of a one-man-show.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Sorry, what I meant was Matsujun’s persona on variety shows. Like you know how he plays off this Do-S stereotype and this thug/brat when the time calls for it? Yamada is doing the same on variety shows but he doesn’t have the Matsujun status to pull this off yet.

                        Agree with the HSJ one-man show. This is the only JE group where there is a fixed center. Even Kimutaku never monopolised the center position of SMAP during his peak in the late 90s. Moreover, there are 9 people in the group and some of the other members are so far back or always out of the camera angle… I can’t even see them.

                      • Leyla

                        Oh, now I understand. Yes, for pulling off that Do-S persona I think you need to know… how should I put it: The line? Like, you need to make it interesting enough but still come off as charming. Otherwise you’ll just be like the annoying brat *lol*

                        That’s what I find so disappointing about HSJ. I like some members, I even like Yamada, but the extremely fixed center (sometimes I’m just waiting for glitter raining down on Yamada, while the others are hidden in the shadow and you only see their silhouettes) is really off-putting. Not even Akame or KimuTaku or MatsuJun in their peak took that much spotlight. (I think hardly anyone even knows who Takaki is. And how long did it take for Keito to have more than 5 seconds screentime (and a duet with Yamada)?

                        (sorry for the typos – needed to be fast ^^)

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Yes, you explain my thoughts exactly! Yamada would say things like “My position as the center is now being threatened” and for some reason I find statements like that arrogant? Also, in FNS 27hr recently, he said “I don’t take you guys seriously” to Kisumai and when HSJ lost the challenge, he reminded everyone, “But I got first place!” It’s funny when Matsujun says something like that to Kanjani8, but I don’t think Yamada is in the position to pull off these statements yet.

                        He’s not only the fixed center, he gets the most lines (therefore more camera time) and more striking outfits than the rest. I get that Yamada is a super idol but this kind of attention in group activities is unprecedented in other Johnny groups. I want to see more of Yuto, but Yuto just sings half a line of lyrics and quickly shuffles to the back again. I have to pause the screen just to get a clearer glimpse of the other members.

                      • gerorin

                        Chiming in just to say I agree re: having a fixed center hurting HSJ.

                        If Exile, who has approximately 519 members can showcase each members fairly, I dunno what’s so hard about doing that for 9 boys.

                      • Niña

                        Well at least we know he doesn’t want the spotlight, even though the management constantly pushes him to it (considering the fact that they gave him a solo record and he had wanted to quit the company because of it, because he felt like it was completely unfair to the other members for him to do it alone).

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        He fought for years for the spotlight and constantly talked about how he wanted to defeat Yuto. Then once he got it, he didn’t want it anymore? I know that’s what he said in his interview but the way Yamada behaves now makes it hard to believe that he doesn’t like the spotlight.

                      • Niña

                        I don’t think it’s about “defeating Yuto” per se, because if that’s the case then Yuto definitely wanted to defeat Yamada too. I think it’s more of a friendly rivalry, than vying for the spotlight. As a Jr., sure, Yamada fought for the spotlight because who wouldn’t? There are hundreds and thousands of Jrs., of course you would fight to get noticed so you can debut. But in the group? I don’t really think so. I think the spotlight is handed to him, because he sells. I mean it’s not like he’s allowed to reject it, so of course he tries his best to work with it. It’s not like he demands to be put in the middle. It showed clearly during the Mystery Virgin/Moonlight Making videos.

                        This is me being curious, really, please don’t take this the wrong way. :) But what kind of behavior does he do to make it hard to believe that he doesn’t like the spotlight?

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Totally understand your point of view :) Do you think this rivalry between Yamada and Yuto still exists? I can’t shake off the feeling that there is still this unspoken rivalry between them.

                        In my opinion, it’s the little things he says. I wrote a few examples in some of my comments in this thread. While I agree that the spotlight is handed to him, I wouldn’t say he doesn’t want the spotlight. And yes, he sells. He’s really a star.

                      • Niña

                        Tbh? I don’t think it’ll ever go away. Which is good, because it helps them both grow as individuals, and it helps their professional relationship/friendship as well. Plus, it creates a sort of domino effect? Yuto and Yamada rivalry means them trying to get better and better, and it gets them more projects, which can get the group’s name out there even more, and it gives the group more projects as well (I really love how Weekender/Asu e no Yell is literally a Yuto/Yamada friendly rivalry but it gave HSJ two new singles SO YAY), and more exposure, and just.. more. That’s the good part of it. Like Yabu said, more individual projects for each member, more chances of the group’s name getting put out there. For as long as they don’t push it all the way to edge and to the point of no return, then they’ve pretty much set a really good system that works for both of them. (It’s kind of ironic how they’re one of the most popular HSJ ship tho lol).

                        I think I agree with you with the fact the he likes the spotlight as well, but in the way of like being glad someone notices his hard work? I think he’s happy someone notices how much effort he puts into his career. And I think he likes it in the way that he’s thankful for it. So in regards to that, I agree that he likes the spotlight. But I don’t think he likes it that much to not like it when someone else gets into the spotlight. Like how I think he doesn’t have a problem with Inoo’s newfound and rising popularity. :) I think yea, sometimes he can get arrogant tho, but tbh I can’t tell if he’s joking or not hahaha.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Confession time: I ship them! LOL I am always a sucker for these kind of super-duo dynamics. I ship NakaiKimura and shipped Akame back in the day too.

                        I also feel that Yamada feels slightly guilty towards Yuto. He teases and “scolds” all the other members but I realised he’s always kind to Yuto. Plus the Yutti nickname he has for Yuto as an indication of trying to show that they are close. Can’t hate on Yamada though… he works so hard and he’s talented. He deserves it.

                        Which brings me to my next point on Inoo. I love it that he is so popular now! Who would have expected it in the past… and unlike Yamada, he doesn’t even seem to need to work for it! He is just so naturally cute and lovable <3

                      • Niña

                        Okay, I’m going to be real honest here, I did NOT expect that, hahaha! But yea, I get it, I absolutely love their dynamic as well. Not sure about shipping because I literally watched them grow up from kids to adults and I just idk hahaha! But I agree about their dynamic, definitely.

                        Actually, now that I think about it, yea! He does tease and scold all of them, except for him. Maybe it’s guilt, yea. Like, he didn’t mean to steal Yuto’s thunder and all that. He just wanted to get on the same level, but not above. He does work hard. They all do. Tbh, I feel like HSJ deserves so much more as a group. They’re not given enough credit for handling such a big group, with all the differences in height and age and Jr. experiences, and for debuting so young, and having to handle the pressure of the company, and the guilt they had to deal with for debuting so early while so many more older Jrs. had to debut after them. I’m really glad they’re finally getting the credit they deserve.

                        UGH I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I AM FOR INOO’S SURGE IN POPULARITY. This boy has been getting my attention since Jr. days, and I had to freakin’ claw through everything just to even get a glimpse of him in makings and interviews and all that. And yea, I agree, I love how natural it comes to him! He doesn’t even need to put that much effort, he just is, hahaha!

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        I’m not that deep into the online HSJ fandom… is the Yamayuto ship a popular one amongst the fangirls? I always thought it was just an average shipping in terms of popularity (judging from the concert screams)… Chinen + Yamada seems more popular! But I like Yamayuto precisely because they have this unspoken rivalry going on… this underlying tension… years of power struggle (LOL getting dramatic!) plus the both of them are equally good-looking and talented so it’s just feels so natural for me to want to see them together!

                        Another reason why I feel for Yuto is because he lost his position as the center. Especially for someone like him who loves attention, the fall from the HIGHEST peak (he was undoubtably the most elite Johnny’s junior) must have been so so so hard for him. And to continue being in HSJ AND in Horikoshi high school where you have to see the person who replaced you every day, it must have been torturous. I honestly think JE should hire psychologists for their talents. How could a teenager, under major media scrutiny, handle this well? That’s why every little Yuto success now, I feel happy for him. He seems to have adjusted fine now, but who knows really? Like he’s dating a woman who is 20 years older than him, that’s not very normal! BUT as long as he’s happy :)

                        I LOLed at your “differences in height” statement! HSJ is the only group where you’re either loving someone who is too tall or too short! I think HSJ is doing well now, although I still have issues with the fixed center. Like what you said about having to claw through to get a glimpse of Inoo, I didn’t even notice Inoo much until HSJ started appearing on shows with Arashi and the Arashi members constantly teased Inoo. That’s was the only way I started noticing that “Hey, this Inoo kid has a good sense of humor and is so cute!” I’m so glad he’s getting more singing lines now and also, he dances pretty well for someone who is reportedly so bad at sports!

                      • Niña

                        Well, I guess YamadaxChinen sure have caught up and all, but I think the reason the YamadaxYuto ship stays at its “one of the most popular” status is because of its history. Before the whole YamadaxChinen thing even got a glimpse of a notice, YamadaxYuto already had tons of fangirls. And they still market the ship too, with all the fanservice they do at concerts and variety shows, and the other members fueling the fire. Like how the YabuxHikaru ship is still alive even though it mellowed down a little. Yea, their dynamic is great! It makes the ship more interesting :)

                        Yea, it must’ve been a hard fall. But I like that it did humble him though. I really didn’t want Yuto to end up with a big head. So as much as it did hurt him to fall, at least it humbled him in the end.

                        THEY SHOULD. Because not to mention, the talents start as kids!!! And then having to grow up in a such a strict environment like that? With all that pressure? I really think they should hire. With Yuto, he seems to be okay, or managing at least. He looks fine at concerts? That kind of shocked me little too, but as long as it doesn’t give him even more stress, then okay. I hope they’re all doing well.

                        Hahahaha! No, but the height IS a big factor though? Because when all members of a group are the same height, like all their senpai and kouhai groups, it would be easier for videos and photos and blocking. HSJ has to use a lot of master shots and all that because if they film too high, you only see the top of Chinen, Yamada and Daiki’s head, but if you film too low you cut off half of Yuto, Yabu and Takaki’s faces. And then Chinen, Yamada, and Daiki have to be front at dance formations because they get swallowed into the group if they’re not. So it really does have an effect, haha! Yea, they seem to be doing well, so I hope they keep the momentum. I LOVE Inoo’s sense of humor. It’s this tactless, subtly savage, really random type of humor and he’s so funny. He does dance pretty well!! I think it’s the hard work, he had to prove to everyone that he has something to offer! :)

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Do the other members fuel the Yamayuto fire?! AM I WATCHING THE RIGHT SHOWS?! Ahhh I don’t see that happening at all. The only fan service I’ve seen so far are in their concerts, like for Super Delicate and Boys Don’t Stop. I want to see more :(

                        Another pairing I like to see is Inoo and Yamada because they are always bickering! Inoo has a really sharp tongue at times but he pulls it off as endearing because he’s Inoo. Like when he tells Yamada to go back to elementary school to study instead of filming a PV. And when Yamada tells him that he hates it when Inoo is an MC coz Inoo doesn’t do it well.

                        Another fall I think was felt by Yabu. Yabu was also one of the top juniors and frequently singing center position. I remember one episode of Yamapi and Jin in their late teens talking about passing on the Johnny Junior baton to “Nakajima-kun and Yabu-kun”. But right now Yuto is enjoying medium success while Yabu is always at the backest end or the sides HSJ appearances and songs. I hope the both of them have adjusted well to this fall in fame. #therapyforjohnnysplease

                        I have never considered their heights as a hurdle but now I see it from your point of view! I also feel that Yamada’s height is kinda good for him not getting his head bigger, because if he were taller, I think he would be acting in even more top dramas. His height prevents him from having a lot of good roles, I feel. I cannot imagine him acting as a businessman, lawyer or in a mature love drama even. He looks like a kid!

                      • Niña

                        Well I did recently read a con report from a Dear. Tour show where Yabu said that the only person to kiss Yamada has to be Yuto, so I guess they still fuel that fire? :)) And they got “married” in an Itadaki episode recently, and I’m not 100% sure because I haven’t watched the show that much, but they’ve been getting paired a lot in Little Tokyo Life!

                        I like seeing that too because they’re both my faves!! Yea, they both have sharp tongues but like Inoo’s is more subtle and Yamada’s is more explosive and they’re freakin’ hilarious together I love it HAHAHA! But I think another reason why they’ve been getting paired lately too because Yamada’s the center, and Inoo’s slowly getting there with him, with his rising popularity.

                        I agree, Yabu did fall hard too. But I think he took it better than Yuto did? And Yabu seems more comfortable working in the background, like how (I think) he’s the member who’s written the most songs, and is very involved when it comes to album content. And well, he had been given the “leader” role from the start, so I guess he figured he needed to be more of a “supporting my members” kind of leader than a “setting an example” kind of leader. (Sidenote: I completely forgot who said it but someone said Yabu and Hikaru are the pillars of HSJ because they were given the task in the start to take care of the group. And idk, I really like that).

                        YES I AGREE 100%. As much as Yamada is my fave, I’m so glad he’s short LOL but like in a sense that it humbled him as well. Because this kind of limitation isn’t something he can change. A person can try and improve their singing or dancing or acting, but Yamada literally cannot force himself to grow because it’s not possible, hahaha!

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Oh yeah I read that fan report but there were no videos or photos so I was disappointed. I saw the wedding episode in Itadaki! That was some major fan service but Yamada in a wedding gown is really a “no, thanks” situation. I don’t really like it when they make him a girl! Actually, I prefer the rollercoaster episode a lot more than the wedding episode! Inoo + Yuto + Yamada was such a perfect combination and their antics in that episode has really made that episode my all-time fav. There was so much hugging and consoling LOL. I really hope they revive this trio again!

                        Yamada’s height is definitely his complex. I think it’s a reason why he dances well though because he looks a lot more “compact”. Just like how Yuto sometimes looks awkward when he dances because he’s too tall (the “too short or too tall” problem again)! Yuto’s long limbs causes some dance move to look quite weird. Acting-wise, Yamada’s height really limits a lot. There are a lot of roles he cannot do, a lot of actresses he won’t be able to pair with. Yamada is shorter than Dai-chan but I noticed lately he’s a bit taller than Dai-chan now! I doubt he’s growing taller because it’s so long past puberty so I suspect he’s wearing some height-enhancing soles *oops*. Because I know he really wants to be tall!!!

                      • Niña

                        I know it’s for fun but like, yea. Even Yuto looked awkward in a wedding dress. OHGOD. FAVE. ITADAKI. EPISODE. EVER. I LOVE THE ROLLER COASTER EPISODE MAN LIKE GIVE ME ANOTHER ONE OF THIS ITADAKI PLEASE. My faves from Itadaki are the roller coaster eps, any high calorie ep, and those two episodes where they had to do mini challenges in the studio. I love it more when the whole group does something together, it’s much more fun to watch, haha!

                        Yea, I agree! Long limbs have a tendency to look flail-y. Like how sometimes Yabu looks awkward because he has a long torso and long arms and long legs and yea. Chinen, Yamada and Daiki look less awkward dancing because of their figures. But it is hard for the three of them to look powerful on stage, especially when they’re next to their so much more taller members, hahaha! Like I said, props to HSJ for making the height differences work. And yea, acting-wise, Yamada is very limited to high school roles because of his height. And he probably is wearing some, or they’re making him wear some to prop him up more, hahaha! It’s so sad but funny that he wants to be tall but can never be. He should just make it work for him. I think Chinen likes being short because it fits his “cute” image. :))

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        LOL I hope no one else reading this is getting pissed off because we’re talking so much about HSJ on a SMAP article! HAHAHA are we the same person?! Those are my favorite episodes too!!! I think I have Do-S tendencies coz I love seeing them being tortured in these episodes. Although I really felt very sorry for Yamada, seeing Yamada cry while taking the roller coaster really made my day *oops*. And Inoo consoling and hugging a shaken Yamada… what a change from their usual dynamics! Can the three of them please take more roller coasters since there are so many theme parks in Japan?! Or make them walk through a haunted house *evil laughter* The high calorie episode with Yuma Nakayama was so good too (because Yuma is cute and it had my favorite trio again!). There’s another one I like of them (don’t know what show is it part of) called JumpQ where they answer trivia questions. I like those too coz it shows how bright Chinen and Yabu is (and how dumb Takaki is LOL). Chinen is really a genius, he’s good at everything he does whether it’s brainy or sporty activities. What a perfect all-rounder. His only disadvantage is his height but then that’s what makes him so cute and cuddly. He’s 23 years old already but still sitting on his members’ laps *squeals*. Oh and I like watching Jumparty too, I hope they make a new one soon! The last Hokkaido one was quite boring though but I really enjoyed the one where they did the physical fitness test. For all the trash talk they always give Inoo about his weakness in sports, he actually didn’t come in last! Who would have thought Keito would be weaker than him?!

                        It’s so obvious he’s wearing those kind of shoes now! I think there was one episode where they had to swim or something and had to take off their shoes and suddenly he was shorter again. You can’t get plastic surgery for height! Speaking of plastic surgery, I was watching old Jr videos the other day and I do think Inoo had some. His nose was very bulbous in the past but now it’s skinny and sharp. Yikes, who would have thought that Inoo would have surgery? But it’s very subtle and well done though!

                      • Niña

                        LOLOLOL IKR. I keep thinking ppl are getting pissed at us or something, do you want to talk somewhere else? HAHAHA! BUT ITADAKI IS SO MUCH MORE HILARIOUS WHEN THEY’RE BEING MADE TO DO WHAT THEY DON’T LIKE THOUGH! HAHAHAHAHA. Yea, I felt sorry for him because those were real tears, but like. SO. DAMN. FUNNY. Haha! And yea, I think that hug was a pure, genuine, “ohmygosh, seriously though, are you okay?” kind of hug. It really showed how much they actually cared about each other instead of the usual teasing about. Ohyea, I looooove JUMQ and JUMParty, because team fights always get competitive. I feel like they’re going to film/make new ones when they release something new! :D People don’t give Inoo much credit when it comes to physical activities. Which is weird because like, he did well in his Battle Zeus challenges, he did well in the JUMParty, he did well in the FNS 27-Hour Super High Dunk Challenge, and he’s a fair dancer. I think he can do things well physically, he just doesn’t want to because he’s lazy. And I guess they just like to pick on him because of that. :))

                        Oh, I’m not sure about that though? :s Nothing against plastic surgery of course, one’s choice is one’s choice :) But I compared his childhood pictures, Jr. pictures and debut pictures to his 2016 pictures recently, and his nose looks the same to me! :) Maybe it’s the puberty?

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Where else can we talk? I’m not very sure how English-speaking fandoms work! Haha actually this is my very first time participating in a comment section because it’s a massive shocker like SMAP disbanding. I don’t even have a Disqus account! I don’t usually take part in discussions in the English-speaking fandoms because they are so hard to penetrate! Like you need a Livejournal account, find hidden questions and answer them, swear that you won’t do this and that and leave a comment to introduce yourself blah blah it’s just too unnecessarily complicated! That’s why this is my first time typing out ALL my thoughts on Johnny’s in English, which resulted in some pretty long comments LOL.

                        Isn’t it cool that Inoo doesn’t put in effort and is pretty laid-back… and he’s getting famous for it? No one is even giving him flak about being so lazy because he’s just so cute being who he is! I like it when all of them pick on him! Sometimes he plays the pitiful Do-M figure who gets bullied but sometimes he snaps back at them with very snarky retorts! He’s just so unpredictable and lovable, it’s no wonder he’s capturing Japan’s hearts so quickly. I read a thread on Japanese women naming their Top 10 Johnny’s in 2016 and soooooo many people listed Inoo in their top 10!!! This is incredible considering they are picking out of the entire Johnny’s (which includes the powerhouses like SMAP, Arashi, etc).

                        Hmm swear my eyes are telling me he did something to his nose! But yeah, could be the puberty :)

                      • Niña

                        I only made a Disqus account so I can comment on Arama LOL. Idk, I usually use LJ, or Tumblr, or Twitter for fandom related business because it has a wider reach. :))

                        I think it’s because he’s unbelievable pretty. Teenagers like him because he’s a pretty boy, the middle aged and older women like him because he looks sweet, and the younger ones like him because he’s cute. He’s very aesthetically pleasing, and I guess that attracts a lot of people. And he’s very honest too. He literally has no filter, haha! I actually love it when he snaps back because no one expects him to but he does and he doesn’t hold back so they get surprised and all. :)) Wow that IS a big deal, yay Inoo!

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Okay I think I should set up a Disqus account just for Arama huh!

                        Yes Inoo is so pretty and I feel he keeps getting prettier and prettier over the years! I usually hate it when Johnny’s dress up as girls because it’s so campy but I love it when they doll up Inoo in headbands because he just looks so sweet and pretty! They always say Yamada is pretty but I feel Inoo is prettier! Yamada is actually really manly to me LOL.

                        Anyway, it was just announced that Yamada will be acting as a salesman in an upcoming romantic drama! Just when I said its hard for me to see him as a salaryman or in a mature love drama LOL!!!

                      • Niña

                        Yea, I guess so! :)

                        Yea, me too. It’s not that I hate it, it just feels awkward looking at them? Idk. But Inoo’s so pretty tho, even without all the frills and glitter and dresses! And I agree that Yamada’s really manly too, but when you stare at his face it actually has feminine features to it so I guess that’s why people say he’s pretty too, haha!

                        I heard that too. I heard the rumor earlier on actually, and when I heard it was going to be a romance drama, I thought he’d for sure be playing a high school student again, so when it was finally confirmed and I heard he was going to be a salary man I was sort of surprised. :))

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Thanks to you, you convinced me to get an account :)

                      • Niña

                        OMG YAY HI!!!! I made a fandom twitter account too, so if you wanna talk and fangirl there, I’m all ears!! :D

                      • レン

                        Sorry to bump in abruptly! But i was reading all the thread – thank you @GratefulToSMAP to previoslu invite me in, i can’t believe i’ve found it in this huge sea of comments lol – and have some clarifying info about Nakajima and Yamada relationship.

                        Yamada always thought Nakajima was better than him back in Jr. times, he wanted to be at his level, overcome him – but i think i can pretty much understand how he felt at that time because i have the same “i must be THE BEST” way of feeling things when you love to do something but discovers someone who’s better than you at it. It’s like “i don’t want to be a shadow, i want to shine too!”. I don’t think that’s really a bad thing because that proves how much you love that thing – But better than myself trying to explain it, i’ll put Yama’s words here! From an interview he did back on 2014 (i’ve tried to find the accurest translation of it ’cause my magazine is in japanese and i don’t know if you can read it raw hahah)

                        (….) -At that time, what was Nakajima Yuto’s presence to you?
                        He had this, “No one can beat Yuto” kind of charisma to him. But I was the only one who thought that I should try and overcome him. In secrecy (laughs)

                        -I see
                        But, even I ended up feeling the limit. That I can’t overcome Yuto’s wall. There were several times where I thought, maybe I should give up on that. Every single day, I’d shout it out. And within me, even though the moment I thought that Yuto was just different than me, the one who’d end up scolded would be me. Although, the moment I said “as for now—“, my position has shifted. That’s why all I can say now is “sorry”. It was shameful. Even though I’d have things to say, not saying them to protect myself is pretty lame isn’t it? A man who can’t take back his words. I can’t forgive the me who couldn’t give in.

                        (…)-Weren’t you happy about rising up amongst all the other Jrs?
                        It wasn’t enough. The feelings of it not being enough were stronger than anything else. Not once was I satisfied. When I was doing back dancing for “Seishun Amigo” it was decided that I’d be dancing with Yuto. They’d start putting us together even when we back danced in a music tv show for Tegoshi kun. Yuto would be in red and I would be in blue. At that time was when I started thinking, “I’ve finally caught up to you”. That’s when I started becoming incredibly conscious of Yuto, to the point where I thought that I wanted to pierce through it.

                        (…) -It was fun?
                        I clearly had a rival that was stronger than me, it was a feeling of wanting to aim for that. Because there’s people that supported me, I also had to be strong.

                        You can read the full interview here: http://comeonamyjump.livejournal.com/31349.html He talks about many things, not only Nakajima’s issue, and it’s pretty interesting!

                        Also, in the same year, same magazine, Nakajima did the same interview too! So here’s his words regarding Yamada:

                        (…) – What did you think about debuting?
                        I was incredibly happy. But even though we had debuted, I began to worry about things like my position and the relationship between members.
                        – You began to worry?
                        Yamada-kun appeared in “Tantei Gakuen-Q” the year before our debut, right? He gained more popularity from that than what is usually normal. I had heaps of classmates in middle school who would stick pictures of on their student notebooks. My mother also began saying, “Yama-chan is so cool!” (laughs). I was somehow surprised. Like, “really?!”
                        – You were perplexed.
                        I wasn’t aware of it. But I had come all this way being in the very centre, so it was difficult to accept this change. But at the same time, I saw how Yama-chan had always been striving so hard to arrive at this point. As for me, I can’t say I got here just by working hard. Because I saw this side to him, my feelings are very complex.
                        (…)- You were insecure.
                        I was incredibly depressed. I wasn’t desperate to the point of suicide, but there were times when I would be in my room and I’d sink into despair. I thought, “why did everyone compare so much”. I kept worrying about things that I could not change even if I thought mulled over them, and I fell into a downward spiral.
                        (…) – How did you get rid of your worries regarding your position?
                        There wasn’t anything in particular but… I had probably already reached the limit. Of my inferiority complex and jealousy, that is. I feel as if I reached my limit, and broke through. I said to myself, “Wait, I can walk a different path that is my very own”. There is work that you can do because you are the centre. But I thought that there would definitely also be things that nobody other than me is able to do.
                        (…) – You said just now that you were even worried about the relationships between the members, right?
                        There was a period when I was unreasonably highly ostracised…… I felt as if I were isolated from the other members. But it was my own problem. Because I was selfish. I feel like if the me from back then was in front of my own eyes today, even I would detest him (laughs)

                        You can read the full interview here!: http://hahaho7.livejournal.com/18239.html (part 1) http://hahaho7.livejournal.com/18605.html (part 2)

                        So if we summarize: Here we have little Yama-chan and his aim to be the best, trying his hardest to be on top, and little Nakajima-kun who was already on top and saw his position threatened, felt jealous and became kind of a little selfish dork. In the end, it was all just a way to stick them together like glue today, because true friendship is hard to find and achieve! There is never a straight and clean path to happiness. What’s important to me is, not only YutoYama relationship, but the WHOLE GROUP relationship – which even their senpais praise nowadays LOL- I’ll keep on watching and supporting them warmly too!

                      • Niña

                        Yea, haha, we HAVE been talking long haven’t we? :))) Anyway, yup I read those interviews too! I read all 9 of theirs :D It’s very eye-opening to see that HSJ all went through very different struggles individually, but were struggling together as well. Only to come out stronger after that? Wow. I guess it’s more of a reason why I’m so proud of them and why I have infinite respect and love for this group. I know all the other JE groups have had their fair share of struggles as well, but HSJ’s somehow affects me a different way. :)

                        I think Yamada and Yuto learned a lot from what they went through, and ultimately understood each other more because of it. I agree, the group’s whole relationship and dynamic is so important, I admire it a lot. From being extremely scattered as a group, to being close enough to talk about major issues is a HUGE step. And to have watched them grow for 10 years is such a privilege to me, as a fan. I’m definitely proud of how far they’ve come. :)

                      • レン

                        I’ve been talking A LOT TOO! So no prob at all with that hahaha

                        I totally agree in the fact that those interviews were very personal and eye-opening, ’cause many fans think everything are roses and rainbows in a group – here we have the most recent SMAP case – but i always think of them first as individuals like us, with family, problems and feelings. They do what they do because they like it, of course, but it’s never easy to achieve the point in which they are now. They had to work very hard to make it – and they’re still working to go even further! – so for me as an old fan too, reading all about the “inside” true relationship of the members made me been really proud of them and wanted to keep on cheering and encouraging them in every little step of the way!

                        When i’m a real fan of any group – not just only idols – since the beginning what i wish for them always is prosperity and for everything to go well and them to be happy. That’s why i’ll always be there for JUMP -along with NEWS-. I’ve watched how hard they’ve been working since the beginning and all the struggles they have gone through, so the real question is, HOW COULD I NOT BE THERE SUPPORTING THEM? hahaha

                      • Niña

                        What I’m more shocked about in those interviews is not even the problems they mentioned, because every group has had problems, but about the fact that they were allowed to even say those out loud. They were allowed to say things about J.J.Express and Ya-Ya-Yah and how no one in group liked being in the group at the start. I didn’t really expect them to be allowed to say that because J&A are pretty strict about those sort of things, and how you’re always supposed to show that you’re enjoying your group and your members and promoting member ai and all that. But I’m glad they were allowed to and had the chance to. It added a different perspective to them as a group. It definitely made me more of a fan than I already am! :)

                        Same here!

                      • Awe

                        Do-s matsujun is so 2010 lol. MJ has mellowed a lot for years now. He still showed some sadistic tendencies once in awhile but it’s no longer in your face kind of thing.

                      • kuku

                        Matsujun is a passionate person…but he really mellowed a lot since their 10th anniversary…
                        the thing with yamada as a center person was the way smap ex manager promoted them..now they are promoted more balanced

                      • guest

                        HSJ has been under Mary/Julie for years and only recently they started to be tiny bit more balanced. I guess J&A realized there’s their 10th anniversary coming soon, and it’d be nice if people knew all their faces by then, lol.

                      • gerorin

                        Getting free reign on producing your own concerts is actually one of the least stricter things that Johnny’s allow their talents to do. Once you hit a certain level of popularity the jimusho gives you free reign on doing as you please in live productions.Like Katori Shingo produces SMAP’s concerts, and Kinki and KAT-TUN always very hands on in producing theirs.

                        It’s actually pretty fascinating that this is common practice in a such a controlling jimusho.

                      • Niña

                        In regards to Yuto, I actually think they made the right decision by putting him in a group with tons of members. Because he had admitted it himself that he loves attention, loves being in the center, loves being the star (he loved it so much that he was extremely sad to the point of depression when they started to exchange his and Yamada’s roles) and that can get pretty destructive. I love Yuto too, and I agree that he is definitely talented, but him on his own would DEFINITELY get to his head and then he’ll end up like Jin (with an attitude problem and extreme selfishness) or Yamapi (who got too greedy). At least in a group, especially with a lot of members, he can do his solo activities (he has been praised as a fantastic actor) while still being grounded to the fact that he’s not just the star, but all 9 of them are.

                • GratefulToSMAP

                  That’s why Nakai and Kimura are really exemplary group members. They are mega superstars in their own right but have always looked out for their less-famous group members. They feel genuinely happy for the members success in their solo activities.

                  Jin’s attitude is really horrible. I remember the last remaining days of KAT-TUN’s 6 member period and he wasn’t bothering to even sing and dance properly. I remember for Johnny’s Countdown, he even wore a different outfit from the rest of the group. I guess the group outfit was too tacky for him *rolls eyes*. He rarely support the other members activities like to even bother watching their dramas or stage play. I will never support Jin’s solo career.

                  • gerorin

                    Yeah, Nakai really took the leader role to heart. He balances everything. Because Kimura (and Mori-kun) is the nimaime (hot one), he’ll take the sanmaime (jokey one), even though he has the face for a nimaime, but he’s succeeded in convincing people he’s just the goofy one who’s good at talking.

                    They were also the ones that convinced the jimusho they wanted to do lots of variety to raise their profile cause they weren’t selling CDs. Now it’s a normal strategy for c/k/j-pop idols to do, but for 18, 19 year olds to come up with that is mind blowing. I think that early days of failing sales helped a lot so even at their peak none of them contemplated abandoning the group to do their own thing.

                    Talking about them makes me miss them already.

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      Nakai is a trail-blazer. As he willingly takes on the role of a jokester, it takes away some attention from the fact that his mind is very sharp and he’s very good-looking. He has big eyes and a small face. I also find that he is one of the best dancers in the whole of JE.

                      Nakai really loves SMAP a lot. On the 5-member trip they took, he couldn’t stop crying when they were singing “Best Friend” in Karaoke.

                      • gerorin

                        Ugh that karaoke scene. If I watch that again I’d probably cry buckets.

                        Yeah Nakai is really pretty, as a child he looks like a girl, but he pretends he’s not and is so good at it people believe him.

                        I remember Yamashita said Nakai has the smallest face he’s seen in geinoukai.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Come to think of it, all the SMAP members are good-looking. Especially in their prime, their looks were all classic ikemen. I don’t think this can be said about another Johnny’s group?

                      • gerorin

                        I think people used to say Kusanagi is weird-looking and Goro is nothing to write home about, but that’s an unfair comparison cause they’re comparing them with fellow members. Kusanagi is very striking and you look at Goro in doramas and he’s really handsome. Even Mori-kun is handsome, and he’s already taller than Kimura back then.

                        I’m trying to think of a Johnny’s group as good looking as them and failing. Maybe Shounentai who were all good looking for their era? (Although the styling looks tragic in modern light)

                      • Nick

                        Glad someone remembers to mention Mori bless ;-;

                      • gerorin

                        Mori-kun was (is?) an ikemen and he even has better figure than Kimura with those long legs of his! *represents*

                      • Nick

                        Oh yea even on Instagram Mori will post a pic where he’ll strike an ikemen pose plus he had a calendar too lol.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Tsuyoshi has an amazing chiselled face. He looks great in a suit. Goro is so handsome! When I first got to know SMAP, I thought Goro was some rich boy who got pulled into JE randomly. Shingo is also tall and handsome. And for Nakai and Kimura, words are not needed.

                        I don’t know what Shounentai looks like LMAO. Hmm I think the closest group in terms of looks would be…… okay, there’s really none.

                        Matsujun aside, Arashi is actually so plain-looking.

                      • wooo

                        aww i feel SMAP sans kimutaku are olain lol…
                        and sho and jun are good looking…while ohno was pretty and nino is a cutiepie…

                        beauty is in the eye of beholder

                      • Mayura

                        “Matsujun aside, Arashi is actually so plain-looking.”
                        – I guess, this pretty much means that looks aren’t everything to be successful. As “plain-looking” as they are, people want something more than just pretty faces from boybands in the long run. After all, beauty is only skin deep and humans, even subconsciously, will always yearn for something deeper than that.

                      • Awe

                        This is so true.

                    • Tamu

                      And johhny helped nakai to practice a lot because he was so nervous before

                  • Sunny

                    I Agree with your views about Jin. I have not been following his solo career. I saw KAT-TUN in SMAPxSMAP show and Jin seemed less interested in any interaction.

              • Sunny

                Agree! Holding the fort for 10 whole years is an achievement in itself!! Imagine,they conducted 10th Anniversary dome tours with only three members and no backup dancers. Its very brave of them. Especially when Tokyo Dome is so big and can accommodate large audience. KAT-TUN have properly concluded their group activities with best of 10Ks album and dome tours.

                I wish SMAP could have done 25th Anniversary tours and release an album having all their chartbusters.

                • GratefulToSMAP

                  Kame’s work ethic is excellent. He’s a star who works hard and he doesn’t throw hissy fits like the other stars do (Yamapi, Jin…). I really respect him for that.

                  • Sunny

                    Kame is my favorite among Johnny’s. I have read that the staff at NTV and also J&A appreciate him for good conduct and work ethics.

                  • Mayura

                    Yup. I’ve always been fond of Kame ever since KAT-TUN debuted. Though I am not a huge fan, I was attracted to the fact that he emits this strong sense of responsibility that Jin and Koki do not possess. Over the years, turns out my intuition about them was right after all.

                    • Sunny

                      Kame’s reliability makes him endearing. He is even good at make-up,has good fashion sense and is good at culinary skills. He can use these talents along with being an Idol,Sportscaster and an actor if need be.

    • bailey darbii

      thank god. now je can get its shit together and focus on the younger groups. they’ve been half assing for all the groups after kisumai.

    • Reileen

      At least the news did not come as a total shocker now after all the rumors.
      Why Dec and not September tho? I thought contract as a group ends in Sep. Are we looking at Kohaku farewell? But then there are rumors Kinki Kids is doing it for 20th anniv so huh

      • Because they can milk this whole thing on the year end shows.

    • guest

      Japanese fans had it easy, IMHO. If they had to go through NSYNC’s supposed hiatus, then they’d have the right to be mad. ;p

      But seriously, I wish the guys and their fans the best. It’s not an easy thing to lose your favorite idol group.

      • gerorin

        If you had to go through X-Japan/Luna Sea et al hiatus/no disbandment/no regrouping, everything else is trivial.

    • JSu.

      This sucks cause they’ve been the model idol group for 25 years!!! Saaaad. And thats very hard to achieve (even kpop idols lookup to them). But I think they’ve just decided to focus individually cause its not forever that they can dance and sing as a group. I mean, theyre forever remembered as “SMAP” but they are now mature enough to focus on other non-idol parts of their careers.

      I know its hard but its inevitable. :(((

    • smapsmap

      if the group can’t manage to perform in shows bec of this, can they do so for Kohaku? (touring is out of the question already)
      I guess we’ll just know in the coming months

      There are rumors of a Kimutaku TBS golden Sunday drama by January and (I forgot if it was Shingo or Tsuyoshi) drama end of year
      we’ll see

    • Taima-kun

      can’t say i’m surprised, thank you for all the hard work SMAP!
      are they implying that the relationship between the members have gone sour and it was one of the reasons for disbandment?

    • J&A Spy

      messages from the members:

      tokyohive.com/article/2016/08/smap-members-release-statements-on-their-disbandment

    • pinkchole

      Wow I’ll never forget the time I first heard ‘Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana”

    • byebicycle

      i honestly feel bad for their fans. but ever since those rumours came out a few months back, it seemed like it wasn’t really the same anymore, so i guess this was inevitable? not much of a surprise at least (though i personally thought the announcement would come in september).

      i kind of want more details, though. like, who wanted to break up? was it everyone vs kimutaku? and why? do they just not get along anymore, or…? when will smasma end? assuming they’re not just randomly gonna end it, won’t filming it be kind of awkward? idk lmao i have so many questions ;;

      also, it sucks we’re not ever gonna get them on vs arashi (or arashi on smasma).

      • Anie ✨

        Recently, they haven’t been having audiencess for the recording of smasma so I’m assuming it’s been awkward for a while. :/

        • byebicycle

          yeah, i read about that in a post that someone shared in the comments here. it’s honestly sad to read how their relationship has gone sour for a while now.

    • Shinra-Electric

      Absolutely devastated. I just got into them and bought most of their CD’s and now they’re gone. ;_; I will continue to watch over them warmly.

      • gerorin

        Same, tbh

    • Sunny

      I knew this would be coming. The SMAP members were having issues and Johnny’s had tried to sort them out. I guess this will work better for them. My best wishes to all the members of SMAP.

    • gerorin

      As a fan this has just been very exhausting. I only have the best wishes for the members, and as long as I have Nakai’s bangumis still I’d learn to be content.

      Maybe Nakai can have that obi-bangumi gig he’s been wandering if he should do now.

    • Daychan

      I really loved Ohno and Nakai’s funny
      interaction in Utaban in 2009~2010 back then. Nakai and Arashi were like
      a grown up man with his cute little brothers. and I want it to happen
      more, because Arashi themselves had grown up and replaced SMAP’s
      position in these days. but since SMAP and Arashi are in different
      ‘faction management’, it couldn’t happen.
      but then after the
      ‘faction management’ war ended lately, I thought I could hope that
      someday SMAP and Arashi would sit down and have talks together. but now
      it merely become a dream, huh..

    • GratefulToSMAP

      Does anyone else get pissed when people say “Arashi is the next SMAP”?

      Arashi could never. They don’t have a Kimura-Nakai.

      • Tamu

        Yeah arashi dont have kimura and nakai..
        It has ohno, sho, aiba, nino and jun..

      • light

        It’s just a way to say the next big group, which Arashi was. Plus the two groups had similarities in their careers.
        Now there are people saying HSJ are the next Arashi, time will tell.

      • Uwaaaa

        That’s ridiculous. There’s no such thing as the “next SMAP” it’s like saying that SMAP is gonna be replaced with Arashi. SMAP is irreplaceable. and so is Arashi. SMAP is SMAP, and Arashi is Arashi. They are different. I like both of them but! Arashi will never surpass SMAP in my heart.

      • byebicycle

        tbh i think arashi is more well-balanced, so… yeah. :v anyway, ia with the commenter who said it’s just a way to say they’re the next big group. but then, i’m not a smap stan, so it doesn’t really bug me when people say that, lol.

        • Mayura

          Arashi is indeed more well balanced. I always think Sho, Jun and sometimes, Nino do a good job in giving “airtime” opportunities for the less “versatile” speakers of the group: Aiba and Ohno. Aiba is a natural airhead and too polite to interrupt most of the time. Ohno just simply won’t speak if he doesn’t have to. =D

          • Awe

            Arashi members natural instinct to maintain balance is their best asset. Even when Sho take his usual lead doing the mc, he’s only doing it to keep it consistent while not outshining the others. All of the members know when to step back and not hogging the spotlight. I also think them not having streotypical ikemen looks keeps them grounded and humble

            On the other hand they can be too careful in protecting the status quo, they are now getting too predictable. Somewhat boring now because they care too much about fans negative reactions.

            • Midna

              Girl. Thank you. This entire post is how I feel about the group now. XD

          • byebicycle

            lol nino will sometimes literally go, “wow, that’s the first time he talked today!!” and “are you asleep???” re: ohno. not sure i agree with aiba being too polite, though? to interrupt, i mean. like you said, he’s a natural airhead, so i feel like he’ll sometimes just jump into a conversation without thinking, haha.

            • Mayura

              I really adore how they could integrate someone who hates speaking into the limelight. It shows that they really do empathize with their own members and not allow the more introverted ones to be left behind. Aiba(ka) probably doesn’t know when are the right timings to jump in. I remember Nino remarked in Shabekuri that Aiba is the kindest person one of all so that’s why I think he is too polite (or yasashii) to interrupt.

              • light

                I think it’s also because,as Nino said, Aiba is shy with strangers so it probably takes him a little to feel at ease enough to jump in a conversation. A guest on Vs arashi also said that in the backstage it’s easier to interact with Nino, Sho and Jun (the first time they meet) while it’s more difficult with Ohno and Aiba.

                • Mayura

                  Yes, Aiba does seem very awkward when dealing with strangers. I guess he’s better with animals than humans. =D

      • :)

        LOL. They overtook SMAP years ago in popularity and will surpass their total sales by their next album (if they haven’t already). If anything this just solidifies their position as #1.

      • Awe

        I’m a smappie and an arashian and this doesn’t really bother me. Like @light said, its just a way to say they are the next power group which technically they are. In terms of sales Arashi has been consistent and their power ranking surpassed smap’s for years now.

        Honestly the kimura-nakai or any two-prongs powerhouse in a group (ie jinxkame, yamapixryo) has been proven detrimental to Johnny’s group dynamics.

    • Reileen

      Amazon’s Popular chart rankings top 1-59 are ALL SMAP.
      WOW

    • Foxxy Fuyumi

      What do they mean with member’s “current situations”?

      • Ms.K

        conflict(?) between members… is what I think it means.

    • plzhelp

      -Taguchi leaves KAT-TUN; KAT-TUN on hiatus
      -TOKIO’s Yamaguchi’s divorce
      -SMAP disbandment

      What a year….

    • “sent a fax to the media”
      FAX! This one sentence alone sums up all the problems with J&A so perfectly. They are so stuck in the past.

      • K.Y.

        This kind of announcement is always send by fax, is not J&A only…

        • But why is there anyone who still uses fax machines?

          • Awe

            The whole Japan still uses fax machines. Some Japanese who don’t own fax machines at home can fax at 7/11 or other combinis. Its a Japan thing because handwritten notes are considered more courteous.

          • K.Y.

            I think it’s seen as more personal and formal than e-mail.

    • Sara

      Omg it actually happened. It was obvious they wanted to disband before, however they were sort of forced to remain for the sake of others.

    • Just Tim

      Just reading up on SMAP, despite the fact I am not a fan of SMAP (no one introduced me to them prior to this article), I sympathize with their fans.

    • Emina Red

      Another group disbandment but we shouldn’t be sad because they contributed a lot to Japanese music culture. I think they wanted to rest after the long run of their careers and that they already inspired their juniors in Johnny’s and other individuals. We should be thankful that they’ve shared their music throughout the world.

    • Tamu

      Based on smap analysis..only kinutaku against the disband..nakai is neutral..the other 3 dont wanna continue in smap after michi rsigned

    • oberdamujigae

      this is really saddening :'(
      but at least now I can hope and wait for the members’ marriage announcement later on. we need little kids of their genes

    • Historia Lenz

      I know that this is going to happen considering what happened in January, but still, I could not believe that SMAP is breaking up. This is so sad, but I hope that they will still be given a nice send off, fitting for a boyband, who despite of the criticisms hurled at them and the scandals, still managed to be on the top of their game for more than a decade. No matter what people say, SMAP is one hell of a revolutionary in the Japanese or even the whole Asian entertainment landscape.

      I hope that they do well in their solo activities. :)

    • james

      SMAP disband may affect Japanese economy

      https://youtu.be/mHZf9VQ0cnI

    • HevRev

      Still quite a shock despite recent events but I suppose it would have been very difficult to go back after everything that’s happened. I know they’ve been a constant fixture on Kohaku and will probably feature on it this year but I think their last goodbye should be at the annual countdown concert, yes they’ve not appeared there as a group before but it would be good for them to thank the Johnny’s fans and all their juniors this way.

    • Leyla

      I have mixed feelings about this. First, I’m not surprised (though I didn’t expect a disbandment. Normally JE groups don’t disband, they just stop activities, like Shonentai for example.) After all the stuff that went on in January I expected something not so positive to happen. Plus, they are doing this since 25 years, a very long time. And there is no band that can go on forever (except for maybe TOKIO ^^)

      But reading the members’ statements I feel like there were also a lot of bitter feelings against each other (!) in this desicion. To me it feels a bit like they wouldn’t even want to talk to each other anymore. After 25 years of working together and growing up with each other I find it saddening that a group breaks up like that because of differences within each other (and by now I’m convinced that difference between the members played a huge role here too). I wonder what they will do now. (At least they all have a lot of individual projects. Still it makes a huge different to say Katori Shingo… or Katori Shingo from SMAP.)

      I hope for more positive news now. Like a debut from Six Tones. Or I don’t know… Kat-tun come-back.

      For the future I wish that J&A will focus on groups that have a tight bond (letting Jr. groups debut is a good start) and with members that don’t have solo ambitions (Yamapi, Jin). And PLEASE stop pushing a center! I love Shori but he basically gets shoved into my face every time a Sexy Zone single is released. The Kisumai split. Yamada. I doubt such a division in a group is good for the future of the group. At least I feel that Sexy Zone and maybe also Kismumai(?) improved a bit once the fraction war stopped.

      • GratefulToSMAP

        I am also shocked by the sudden bitter feelings between them this year. Having been a SMAP fan for years, while I wouldn’t say they are BFFs, they are friends at the very least. They visit each other personal homes, which is quite an intimate thing to do in Japan. But it’s clear that they cannot work with each other at all now probably because they squabble whenever they meet or even cannot stand the sight of each other. How did it come to this after 25 years of camaraderie and friendship??? Are professional differences so big that they can ruin personal relationships? It really saddens me that it has come to this.

        What the news is reporting is that the biggest rift is between Shingo and Kimura. Shingo has always looked up to Kimura as a bigger brother and even as his personal idol. For him to be at loggerheads with Kimura is such a drastic change from their old relationship.

        To me, even an ex KAT-TUN fan, there is no point in KAT-TUN coming back. The trio doesn’t appeal to me. Nakamaru and Ueda don’t really cut it as Johnny’s idols and as hard as Kame tries, he cannot save this sinking ship. JE should not waste anymore money on KAT-TUN. What I am hoping for instead is a revival of Shuji & Akira. Yamapi needs to be saved too.

        And yes, please stop pushing a center!!!

        • Leyla

          I’m kind of glad that I’m not the only one with this feeling. This is so depressing :-/ Shingo and Kimura? Really? But why? As you said, Shingo and Kimura always had that brotherly thing going for each other (I shipped them a lot :-)). And while I wouldn’t see these 5 as best friends either, I always felt that they have respect and understanding for each other. But when I read Kimura’s statement after the disbandment, I felt sincerely shocked. There was so much disappointment and frustration in it.

          I’m actually shocked that grown-up men would really come to such a point, after 25 years, that they would throw their relationships with each other aside. Even if some of the others would leave JE now, what point would it have? It’s not SMAP anymore. It would feel like: leaving only for the point of leaving.

          I get what you mean with Kat-tun. And I feel so sad for their fans, and actually for the remaining three guys. I feel like Kat-tun is THE example of how a band shouldn’t have been produced and managed. They started off as rebels who were allowed to do anything first, but unlike SMAP as rebels, it always seemed to me as they were working against each other too. I think they seriously lacked someone who would mediate between them (normally every group has a calming personality that would settle fights.) Then Akame who started off as friends and then… whatever happened. (I call it the negative Sakumoto example ^^) Then Jin leaves the band twice, and obviously had more interest in going solo than being with his group. Then Koki… whatever happened with him. And to be honest, as much as I can personally understand Taguchi, considering his group and the whole story it was still a selfish decision too (he could have left with Koki when the group was finding new dynamics and a new niche. Now they would need to do that AGAIN)

          I’m not worried about Kame though. I’m pretty sure we’ll see plenty of him. Maybe even a solo single.

          The pushed centers became so annoying to me. I mean, of course Akame and Ryo and Yamapi were centers too, but gradually we would see the others too, and they would get projects and spotlight (there is nothing wrong with having an ace in a group!) But there is something about the way the centers of the younger groups get pushed that I find really unsettling (and this though I like some of these centers)

          • GratefulToSMAP

            Shingo wants to leave really badly out of the 5 and Kimura wants them to stay together the most. Thus, being at the polar opposites, it was reported that the biggest clash was between them. Especially when Shingo rallied Tsuyoshi to leave too. Kimura has a hot temper and is not afraid to speak his mind. Shingo is also a weird but brash kid (although already nearing 40). I’m sure in their many discussions together as a group, all members have exchanged harsh words that cannot be taken back and the damage is done. At this stage, I don’t even mind that they will be splitting up anymore. They have produced enough good content for me to rewatch, re-listen and reminisce for the rest of my life. But I want them to part on amicable terms and continue being friends. What’s going to happen after the split but them remaining as employees of JE? Will they walk past each other in the hallways and not even say hi? Will they request not to be in the same shows as each other? My last wish as a SMAP fan is not for them to reunite, but for them to remain friends.

            Actually, I have a personal theory that Shingo wants to leave the most also because he’s planning to get married. He has mentioned a few times this year that he is getting married, albeit saying it in jest. I guess leaving SMAP would make it easier for him to get married and enter a marriage life.

            Were you also a KAT-TUN fan in the past? One of the things that fascinated me most during my KAT-TUN days was the relationship between Akame. They were such close friends during their Junior days but during their post KAT-TUN debut days, they acted so distant. People say they drifted apart while they grew older, but what’s there to drift apart when you literally grew up together in the same group for over a decade? You see each other almost every day. What’s Sakumoto btw? While Akame in a group together was really the kind of star magic heart glitter unicorn power that fascinated me even more than Nakai-Kimura did, it’s just fate that it couldn’t last. It was really such a power duo. I remember the first time I saw the 6 of them performing Real Face, I was like wow. Wow. Wow, they are really cool, what is this incredible star power, are they really Johnny’s? What a waste. Who knows where they’d be now if it lasted?

            Yamapi better treasures his looks while it lasts because he really can’t act, can’t sing, can’t host (remember his pathetic attempt at hosting in SMAPxSMAP which was so weak that Kimura was rolling on the floor in laughter?) and is honestly a very average dancer. If I were JE management, I’d be scratching my head now at what to do with Yamapi. As for Ryo, I don’t think the kid has much ambition. He can act though. I think he’s just happy to earn some good money, wear nice clothes, monkey around with his Kanjani brothers and then spend his nights with girls.

            • Leyla

              I agree on everything you said. I can see how it’s been difficult for them because they were two opposite poles in this decision. And I’m sure in general the situation escalated. Everyone in SMAP seems to have a really strong character, and I’m pretty sure they argued a lot. Like you said: I don’t even wish for them to reunite but to at least treat each other with respect, set aside all the stuff that happened last year and remain friends. (for that reason I’m hoping for a few good-bye songs and last appearances as a group)
              I wonder if at one point they will regret this decision though? For me personally it would be a really scary thought to be part of something for so long, and then this something doesn’t exist anymore because I didn’t want it to exist. It defined who I became and how I grew up, but now it’s not there (Of course we can say, it remains alive through memories etc. but that’s pretty sad too)
              Okay, now I’m getting really depressed ^^

              I follow a few JE groups (and non-Je groups) and Kat-tun used to be one of them :D Akame always fascinated me. And up to now I wonder why they drifted apart (okay, they grew up, sure, but why would you start disliking someone you used to like so much once?) I wonder if things would have gone differently if they remained friends?
              Sakumoto are Jun and Sho. Jun adored Sho to bits at their beginnings (god, the Sakumoto history, going from tutor lessons to exchanging buttons, and the whole love and like discussion – it’s like a cheesy fanfiction actually) And then suddenly Jun basically stopped talking to Sho – seriously, I think it’s so weird, like they were ex-lovers or something alike. (pretty much like Akame, just that Sho and Jun apparently made it work)

              Agree on Pi, and it’s kinda sad :-/ Why would they let him go solo though? I don’t get it… Pi was awesome when he was part of NEWS. I agree on Ryo too. Sometimes I find it a pity that he doesn’t show more ambition, but he seems to be happy with how things are now, and to be honest, by now I’m glad when someone with solo potential rather stays with his group :-)

              • Awe

                lol sakumoto. They’ve been really good sports on screen lately.

                Pi wasn’t happy in NEWS and 4nin members finally get their acts together after RyoPi left. Its a great decision by Pi on NEWS behalf but not an ideal situation for him. People kept saying he was greedy but staying with NEWS would be unfair to 4nin since he can’t keep on faking it. Pi ideally belongs to 4TOPs but Jimusho screwed that one up. Yamapi as his own man has made the right decision to ride solo.
                I’m not yamapi fan but i see him as a Keanu Reeves sort of star. Not enough talent but has the Xfactor that make people love their character portrayals (matrix, speed | nobuta wo produce, algernon). Yamapi still sells well than most Johnny’s stars.

                • Ada19

                  A part from influenced by jin like other people said(maybe..this is my 2cent yaa..) yamapi choose to become solo because maybe he feel guilty towards them (news member) while he bz on his solo career news can’t produce anything. So he found this not fair to them.. Haha this is just my thinking

              • レン

                I read this whole conversation -sorry for intruding abruptely- but i’d like to say a few things about the topic:

                I’m not a SMAP fan but it’s common knowledge who they are and what they’ve achieved in the Japanese industry. It was no shock for me though, after all those rumors appeared in the past but i didn’t know the reasons and when i started to read they have some kind of “bad relationship” between them due to X factors i was kind of sad and upset at the same time, ’cause that’s exactly what happened with Akame, Sakumoto an even Yamapi and Ryo in the past.

                I was back then a huge fan of KAT-TUN – they were my first JE group along with NEWS, and nowadays i still listen to my fav songs of them such as “Real Face”, “Lips” or “Rescue” – and of course i was a very very big fan of Kame and Jin since the beginning. I loved how they get along so well but, what happened to them you ask? If i don’t recall it wrong, they had kind of a really big fight between each other. One’s said it was because Jin talked to the others members about going solo an Kame didn’t like the idea at all, but the real thing never was really exposed. Anyway they had other huge fight before and because of it they didn’t spoke to each other in almost half of a year….So i can say their relationship was kind of a rollercoaster, but i really loved them together when they were in good terms with each other. Nowadays i still watch Jin and KAT-TUN steps into the music industry but it’s really sad to see how KAT-TUN is almost dead with only Kame keeping all together and for Jin, well…i’m glad he’s labouring a future for him and his family. At least he has projects and is doing well by himself.

                About Sakumoto going bad with each other i don’t know really that much, but i think it was something like Akame. Huge fight and stuff. I recall the days when i couldn’t stand Matsumoto really much because he had that “i’m the best and i don’t care what you say. I’m going to do what i want when i want ’cause i’m awesome!” arrogant aura. Fortunately his character has changed along with him growing up and i’m glad they put their stuff together, because ARASHI is going to be SMAP successor with no doubts.

                And for what Yamapi and Ryo respects, if you had been a NEWS fan since the beginning you’ll know about Ryo being from time to time alone, not wanting to chat or sit with anyone else. Even the members described him as “the cold-serious temper guy”, but they loved him! And didn’t want him to leave, because despite his temper he was described also as a “really good and friendly person”, and you can see his good relationship with the others in any concert tour, performance or video of them. I’ve always thought the problem was for him to be in two groups at the same time – he was already a member of Kanjani before NEWS was made – and he wanted to be fair with both, but couldn’t keep it and decided to leave his second “home” in favour of his “first”. I think he’s always been more comfortable with Kanjani, but i didn’t want him to leave as a fan of NEWS. Yeah, i know, that was me being a “selfish fan” type lol But you can see he isn’t in any bad terms with anybody in recent shows that broadcasted like Shounen Club Premium , in which Kanjani and NEWS were guests together.

                For Yamapi it was different thought. He always had a good relationship with everybody but somehow didn’t felt comfortable in the group. I was a really big fan of Yamapi in NEWS, always loved his solos, his dancing performances -he and Jin were like “the old times” Yamada lol – and his first time dramas. But for everybody was known he had some little fights with Ryo, perhaps the two members who collided the most were them. I think his reasons to leave and started a solo career was pushed also by Jin’s decision of going solo, ’cause everybody knows they are best friends.

                Anyway! I also agree in the fact that Yamapi, Kame and Jin – at least – should be “rescued” by JE and push forward their careers, because they’re talented and deserve better.

                • Leyla

                  No problem at all for butting in :-)

                  Don’t worry :D I know – I won’t say everything, because I’ll never know everything – a lot about Ryo and Pi, and NEWS and Kanjani8. These were the first groups I started to follow shortly after their debut. From the beginning on I thought it was a crappy idea that Ryo had to be active in both groups (OMG, 2009 and 2010 he looked so skinny that the bones in his face came through. UGH) I liked both groups, and I was sincerely sad when he left NEWS, though I could understand his decision (I always had a particularly soft spot for NEWS’ music) I agree that he sometimes came off as distant and cold, and harsh, but a lot of his bandmates and former bandmates have already told us how caring he actually is (I’ll never forget how they explained how he bascially integrated the new kid Tegoshi in the group). He is just very blunt too, I think – no surprise he clashed with Yamapi. Also, and this is only my interpretation, when Pi started to have his growing solo ambitions right after Jin went solo, I felt there was a rift between RyoPi. It was I think almost half a year (?) without any interaction between them, then they released Fighting Man and things were looking brigher again.
                  I liked Pi’s solos when he was in NEWS, but once he went solo, he lost quite some appeal to me. I liked a few of his songs, but his concerts… not sure.

                  As for Sakumoto: Up to now I’m really convinced that something major happened between them. Jun used to kiss the floor Sho was walking on. A mere fight wouldn’t change that. On top of that Jun started to adapt to this cold and detached image shortly afterwards, which looked more like self-protection to me back then (I agree, so glad that he gave up on that years ago) (well, looking back now I find some old clips really funny XD Sho with his messy hair and his ‘cool’ style, and Jun looking up to him. In general old Arashi clips are so messy and… unique :D). From what I remember I feel like Sho used to be quite a jerk. For me he is the one with the biggest and most awesome change in character! He is one of my favs now while I used to judge him a lot previously. I’m so so relieved that Sakumoto didn’t turn into a second Akame though. To see them all friendly and teasy with each other now is so nice.

                  When I hear older Kat-tun songs and hear the wonderful Akame harmonies, I want to cry. Kat-tun had such great songs. I’m also glad that Jin is being somewhat successful, unfortuantely his autotuned music is not my thing at all (I originally wanted to follow him and his career) I wonder what will happen to Kat-tun now…

                  I’m not so worried about Kame. He is an agency favorite, he has good working ethics and everyone seems to like him, and he is famous. I assume his managment will plan a solo release for him. Or even bring him back together with Pi?

                  • GratefulToSMAP

                    Is Jin doing well now? I haven’t been following his solo career so I have no idea. Don’t really feel like supporting him.I just went to listen to some of his songs. Meh, not my cup of tea. He’s still very into these auto-tune club genre music huh?

                    I think JE was trying to do an Arashi-like aura for NEWS. Two better-looking ones, plainer looking side-kicks, happy cheerful songs and all-round fresh and good-boy image. Moreover, most of them went to college (including Yamapi) so they were selling the whole good college boy package. But I don’t think Yamapi and Ryo fits this image tbh. Ryo is a fish in water in Kanjani, a much better fit than NEWS. And I always had the impression that although Yamapi was civil to the other NEWS members, he couldn’t fit in and status-wise, the members were many rungs below him. It was an odd management decision right from the start. The whole group dynamics felt a bit clunky. And the other members always seemed to put Yamapi on a pedestal too much, even when Yamapi always tried to be on their level as much as he could.

                    AKAME HARMONIES!!! KAT-TUN really had very great songs. Akame harmonies + Koki’s rap + Nakamaru’s beatboxing + their uber cool dances. Sigh, occasionally I still watch the old 6-member KAT-TUN videos and feel sad about what could have been. I miss Akame so much and I know a lot of other people do too because I still see many posts about them. I saw a clip of Jin’s concert and they were shouting “Kamenashi!” to get Jin’s attention because it was Kame’s birthday that day. I read an article once on how 4 out of 6 members had B-related blood type (Japan is really into the blood type personalities) that’s why it was tough for them to get along because B blood types don’t get along well with people. Quite an LOL story but kinda true for them.

                    I remember one Johnny’s countdown where Pi, Ryo, Jin and Kame came together to sing Seishun Amigo and they really brought the house down with the fangirl screams. These 4 were really the golden boys of those few years. So much charisma and star power between them and the fact that 3 of them were best friends in real life added to the gossipy excitement (remember the never-ending tales of their club adventures?). Although they are still popular now, it was nothing compared to that period. I am glad I got to witness and experience it, because that was really something special.

                    When it comes to Arashi, I could write an entire essay about how I feel about them but I reserve my judgment because the Arashi fans are very protective :X :X

                    HERE’S ME HOPING FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME THAT THEY REUNITE KAME WITH PI!!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REVIVE SHUJI & AKIRA *FINGERS CROSSED*

                    • Sunny

                      I agree to all your comments here. You understand behind the scene dynamics and psyche very well:)

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Thanks Sunny! My views on Johnny’s are the ones everyone have too, just that I really took the time to explain it out. The only opinion I have that differs from public is on Arashi. I like them and follow their shows (but not the fandom, if that makes sense). I just think that their hype is bigger than who they are though.

                      • Woot

                        Hmmm…from your comments here..i can see you feel arashi lacks of star power or star pairing..
                        Arashi selling point is their friendship and good relationship they portray on camera and their laid back image..not really idol image group
                        From that they start to branch out their individual acts more…not vice versa
                        .but those make their relationship is good and the group can balance well..

                      • Awe

                        Yeah but also Arashi themselves were the first to point out they aren’t that close like the fans might imagine them to be. Especially compared to other groups like TOKIO or Kanjani8. Arashi don’t share personal address and half the time still communicate via managers instead of directly. They are close but not that close. Arashi do have a better balanced relationship (on screen) than Kat-tun or SMAP though. In addition to that despite their humble attitude and self awareness of their flaws (not handsome enough, not tall enough, can’t sing or dance as well, not that interesting hosts etc) they still give their all in everything they do.

                      • Midna

                        They work really well together, and that’s good enough for me since they clearly respect one another. I personally think Nino and Aiba are the closest anyways. But can we get Aiba on Shabekuri again? I need him to spill more stories about the other members lololl

                      • woot

                        they hangout less now compared to their least popular days, maybe as like nino said it would be work if they meet each other a lot

                      • Awe

                        True but just by reading in between the lines it does seem their relationship has taken into a more work only (except for ninoai) type of situation. Its not just about hanging out outside of work. Sho seemed to be disturbed by the “false” main selling point. Lately the members has shared more ‘proofs’ in interviews and such to diffuse the “close knit group” image. Aiba talked recently about asking the manager to tuck in a blanket around a sleeping member in their shared green room. It indicated they were being extra careful with each other’s personal space. The old arashi wouldn’t need a manager to help tuck in a sleeping member imo.
                        I don’t think its a bad thing. As long as they have trust for each other they are an excellent group mates.

                      • light

                        From what Sho said in that interview in Hawaii it sounded more like in the past he didn’t like that people only commented about their closeness, like they didn’t have anything else to offer. Now he doesn’t care anymore.
                        I also had the feeling that in the last years they had become more work-relationship oriented, but after the time in Hawaii they seem to have gotten back to their more easy going attitude. It could also be, maybe, that they feel more relaxed about their position as a group and they are less stressed.

                    • Midna

                      I would like to read this essay of yours :D

                      • Awe

                        I second that :D

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        Nah. For those comments I’ve left here so far with a throwaway short mention about Arashi has at least 2 replies each telling me I’m wrong/outdated or that Arashi may not have star power/great looks but they are popular coz they are humble and friends blah blah. It’s a gone cause and a wasted effort giving my opinion about Arashi :)

                  • レン

                    Yeah! For me NEWS and KAT-TUN were the one’s i started following first right after their debut – then we’ve got Hey!Say! but their turn came way more after hahaha -.

                    Yes, i’ve always thought that Yamapi thinking about going solo and stuff was in some way Jin’s “fault”. I’m not intending to say that Jin took Yamapi and put that idea on his mind like “hey! you should do it! You’re better off alone” or something like that, but i’ve always thought the idea on his mind came up because he saw Jin was doing well at his solo career and if we mix up that fact, their really close friendship and the “not really fit in” feeling about the group, there you have it. I really loved Yamapi back in his NEWS times – he was my favorite along with Massu. Nowadays, despite being just four members, Massu keeps on being my favorite lol – but when he went solo i felt, right like you said, that he was lacking something. I like some of his solo songs – specially from his “Ero” album – but the rest is just like “is fine but….not my thing”. It’s like i always find myself thinking “i want the old Yamapi back. I want to watch him sing “Gomen ne Juliet” again. I want to hear that “besame” whisper moment on “Snow Express” again and fill the floor with my drooling” lol. And to be honest, i’ve never watched one of his solo concerts, so i don’t know what type of show does he usually performs. I think it will probably be the “sexy thing”, always been one of his major points lol. It’s like in NEWS he was shining with his own light but being by himself….he’s not even the light he used to be, so i agree in him and Kame coming back together and form a duet. Honestly? If that was announced i would be fucking crazy looking forward to it hahaha

                    I really like the relationship between Arashi members right now too to be honest. I’m so glad seeing how they became what they are now and how everyone of them is doing great not only as a group but in their solo activities too! I’ve changed my mind about Jun time ago – thanks to the fact that he has also changed – and now i’m more interested in Sho than before – in Arashi, Nino has and always will be my fav hahah -.

                    As for KAT-TUN yeah, i too get really really nostalgic everytime i hear their oldest songs. I won’t ever forget the time they released the “White Xmas” single, because the first time i heard that song i ended up bursting into tears like a baby, so everytime i listen to it right now it gets really nostalgic and hurts me seeing them dissappear little by little, that’s why i hope for Kame to keep on going at least. For Jin my opinion is the same: he started greatfully with solo songs like “Care” -for me is a “must listen”, and the story behind this song is loveable-, and then with “Murasaki” and “Eternal”, i thought he was following the right path because despite being by himself his music was beautiful and had a really strong and powerful meaning. But at some point he decided to change drastically and turned into another “comercial singer” with all that electro-autotune stuff and lyrics as average as fuck – sorry for the swear, but i can’t express it better hahaha- so right now i’m really off the Jin’s train because all that stuff doesn’t go with me at all. I’m still waiting for the day he decides to come back to the “sentimental Jin” i loved though hahaha.

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      I have mixed feelings about Jin’s friendship with Pi. On one hand, the rare occasions when Yamapi seems alive on camera is when he is with Jin. On the other hand, his friendship with Jin has influenced his private and professional life (cellphone theft incident, anyone?) I also feel that Yamapi has aged a lot over the years. He looks different now and his once highly-raved about baby-soft and smooth skin is not what it used to be. Yes, I know everyone ages but his case is really quite obvious. Like Kame and Jin still look the same to me. Ryo is also having a lot more lines on his face but it somehow looks cute on Ryo.

                      I stopped following KAT-TUN and NEWS when Jin and Yamapi/Ryo left respectively. What remained of both groups wasn’t enticing anymore, especially when there are the “full” and popular groups like SMAP, Arashi, HSJ, Kisumai etc to follow. I always thought they should merge these two leftover groups and call it NEW KAT-TUN or something then maybe I would follow them. Or bring back Shuji & Akira!!!!!

                      I miss old Jin. The bakanishi Jin. That was really when he was at his most lovable. Before he became sullen Jin, I-love-America Jin and too cool for everyone Jin. He has a good voice and he is really wasting it on all his auto-tune music.

                      • レン

                        I agree on Jin and Yamapi’s friendship being quite “problematic” sometimes -yeah, the cellphone incident for example, how to forget it lol – but the good look on their faces when they’re together leaves the feeling that it’s true friendship, so as long as they avoid all the “troublesome” situations i don’t think their relationship could be toxic for each other. It’s true that when you’re besties with someone you tend to be influenced a little bit by the other person, it’s almost unavoidable, but i don’t think they’re intentionally jerks hahaha And yes! I’ll be incredibly excited and happy if they someday announce a Yamapi/Kame duo release!!! – I hope they do so lol –

                        I miss old Jin like rain in the dessert lol That was the Jin i loved. Today’s Jin is like an average electro-pop musician wasting all his incredible talent and fantastic voice.

                        I keep on being a NEWS fan because they’re my favs – along with HSJ nowadays – They were my first and would be my last always! It’s true that when Yamapi and Ryo left i was deeply worried about the remain members and how they will keep on going without them, but i always supported them! In the hard times, at the hard brand new start after some time of rest and rebuilding and now! I’m happy looking at them, seeing how they’re regaining all the brightness they used to have even being just four of them now. Every yonin new album i listen is better than the last one and they still have the NEWS essence. They might be just four now but they’re trying their hardest to be on top and go on with the group, so i even admire them more for have achieved their purpose! hahaha They are working really hard, everybody noticed it and i’m happy for the recognition they’re having these days. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e7c4b38bae2957dc5dc572e1310ff15e37aab5e7840139ebaa3064e17ba085b4.gif

                        And thanks ’bout the display pic! I’m honestly more into YamaChii since the very very beginning when they where just little boys, but the YutoYama ship is getting stronger little by little in my heart too hahaha

                      • Guest

                        It was drunk Ryo who started the fight in the cellphone incident though. Jin actually tried to calm things down, but then Yamapi snatched the phone, lol.

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        I don’t even know whether Yamapi and Jin are friends anymore or if they have drifted apart! Especially after the cellphone incident. When I come across gossip websites, paparazzi photos of Jin now are usually with his wife and I don’t see those “Akanishi Troop” pap pics anymore. Granted, because Jin has a wife and family now and Pi/Ryo don’t.

                        You’re really such a good fan! I’m the kind of fan JE must hate because I’m not loyal at all. If popular members quit the group, I quit the group too LOL. Sometimes all it takes is one member to say something that I find unpalatable and I quit liking that member altogether (even after liking the member for years!!!). Totally happened to me in the case of Matsujun LOL. I think that’s why JE does strict image control for their idols because fans like me do exist! Fans are fickle and there is an ocean of other idols to keep up with so idols really must be careful with what they do. Oh another reason why I didn’t want to support news anymore is because I don’t like Tegoshi. Can’t really put a finger to why. See, fans like me are so hard to please! The only group I have been fully loyal to after all these years is only SMAP!

                        THANK YOU FOR THAT GIF OF YUTO!!! I realized he does this “KYU!!” thing so often! He’s really such a teenage girl in his heart <3 Yuto is my favorite in HSJ and Yutoyama is my favorite ship! There's an extensive HSJ comment thread that I'm in somewhere in this sea of comments, you're welcome to join in LOL!!!

                      • レン

                        I don’t know if Yamapi and Jin are still in touch either lol It’s true that after the cellphone incident Yamapi was forced to be more discreet and take a lot of care with the things he did and the people he were with too, so i don’t know if that’s was the end of the “Akanishi Troop” or they’re still hanging out in the darkness lol

                        Thank you for the compliment! I don’t know how to answer to that! hahaha No problem with your way of being a fan, i know you’re not the only one who thinks and acts like that! There’s a lot of people out there that likes X band or group just because X person is in it LOL And it’s understandable than when the only thing you like about a band or a group is gone, there are no more motives to keep them on track. My case is kind of different because i usually get into X band or group because of their music first – and i don’t really mind if they’re young, old, tall, handsome, ugly or bald hahahah In fact the most possible case is that at first i do not even know their faces lol – and then when i get to “know” them more eventually my favorite come out by itself for X motives. So when someone leaves the group or band it’s really sad for me if i’m a fan of them, but i won’t quit because i still like their music and will be cheering up for them instead!

                        You’re welcome! I have a lot of Yuto and HSJ dork/cute gifs LOL!! Nakajima is great, he’s such a dorky cheerful guy it makes you laugh even when you don’t know why you’re laughing about LOL! I’ve been into Yamada since i saw him like a shadow in some NEWS concert like “hey…isn’t that dancer boy really CUTE??” -yeah i always put an eye on EVERYTHING in concerts, even the set up and clothes details, hairstyles… awkward me being….me hahaha- and when i saw the news in some johnny’s magazine really old i don’t even remember the name of (lol) of HSJ debut, i was like “hey….isn’t that boy….the guy i saw on NEWS stage? *pass an eye on every member’s photo* *sees Chinen* LOOK AT THIS LITTLE PIECE OF SWEET CAKE!! OMG! SO LITTLE!! SO CUTE!! SEND ME 20 OF THAT PLEASE! I’M GONNA HUG HIM ‘TILL I DIE!” and went all “kya! kya!” with my friend by my side -the owner of the magazine – and yeah, that was basically my beginning on the Hey!Say! journey LOL

                        Thank you for the invitation to the topic! I’ll look for it later!

                      • GratefulToSMAP

                        OMG I seriously LOLed at your third paragraph!!! Yamada was sooooo cute when he was a Johnny Junior (still biased towards Yuto though… I think Yuto was cuter!). I noticed them for the very first time when they were dancing in Shuji & Akira but I noticed Yuto more because he was the center. Now when I look back at Junior videos of them dancing, I realised that although Yuto was the center, Yamada’s strong dancing often stole the limelight from him. I guess Yamada was really meant to grow up to be a star :)

                        Chinen is so cute and smart too. He’s really something very special but I can’t like him in a fangirl way. Maybe it’s because he’s really too kiddish, it feels kinda wrong! Like I’m his mom or something!

                        I agree so much about Yuto! Watching him makes me happy. He’s like a total ikemen face but once he starts talking, he becomes so dorky! That’s what makes him so special and what I love about him!

                      • レン

                        Yamada has tried very hard to become better and better through time! Yes, i noticed Yuto and Yabu a lot too back then – and also Chinen, how could i NOT notice that little sweet face LOL! – but Yamada was a special case because you could see somehow how hard he was trying to dance/sing the best way he could – and that’s why everytime he talks about his audition to enter Johnny’s and mentioned he didn’t like the idea of dancing and never had danced before i get like “Really?…REALLY?? ARE YOU TALKING SERIOUSLY? YOU’RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT?!” hahaha – Maybe that was the reason why he was trying so hard though, he didn’t want to disappoint anybody!

                        I can’t see Chinen in a fangirl way either hahaha It’s kind of strange thinking of him being…how to say it? Kind of pervert or dirty? LOL!! – despite the shower show he did on this year’s FNS 27hrs. TV, and even in that moment he was cute as f*** hahah – but i can’t imagine him in, for example, a “Yes!” performance or in any REALLY BIG fanservice thing like YutoYama. I think he also knows he’s not made for the sexy way – remember “Maji Sunshine” PV making and the “nemui” thing part? LOL -. I really like him for being who he is! Cute, adorable, smart and a damn freak like me. He has always been like the ideal picture of the little brother i’ve always wanted *sighs* hahaha But i’ve noticed lately how he’s trying to get more in the “sexy way” – and i think it’s YutoYama’s “fault”! LOL – I don’t dislike it but i’ll always prefer seeing him in that mouse costume of “Pet Shop Love Motion” than half naked hahaha

                        And yes! Yuto has that kind of aura that will always make your day brighter if you’re not feeling good hahah I honestly won’t be happy without him in JUMP. I’ve noticed how he has changed through time and today’s Yuto is the BEST YUTO EVER!!

                        P.S: I’ve found out the HSJ thread you were talking about before, thank you!

                    • GratefulToSMAP

                      BTW, I love your display pic. I ship them too!

                  • Midna

                    I find Sakumoto pretty awkward together tbh XD

                    • Awe

                      True. There’s been lots of instances of Jun awkwardly NOT touching Sho lol. Imo those who ships them probably likes the tension between them. Their chemistry lies in the awkwardness(sho is all “please notice your senpai”). It’ll amped up the instant gratification when they finally had contact. Glad the years had thawed away Jun’s iciness towards Sho. It was probably due to some embarrassing growing pains episodes and too silly now for J to dwell on.

        • Leyla

          PS: Yes about Yamapi. He shone in a group. The perfect example of an ace (even though some might say that others are more talented as an ace) that worked perfectly in a group. But the moment he left the group, somehow… he lacked too many things. :-/
          (I’m personally so glad that Ryo never had solo ambitions and actually loves to be in his group and have the safety of a group around him. Though I could have totally seen him filling a niche with a solo activity. But seeing how those solo activities turned out, I’m actually glad he never went for a solo single)

      • Tamu

        Prior to Shounentai…like Hikaru Genji up above groups..its normal for johnnys group to disband..they even had goodbye concerts to their fans before their disbandment

    • alletty

      I have one question: what’s up with the fuss around Kimura’s wife? I saw some articles which proclaim that she has to do with the disbandment and that she influences him.

      • Awe

        What i can gather is people claimed she’s the one who’s influenced Kimura to stay with Johnny’s because she felt indebted to Mary. Seriously though, what debt? The jimusho did very little except further put stress on SMAP during Kimura’s marriage announcement. It is just media play by Mary. Also the fans/public are just eager to further hate/blame shizuka Kudo. It was out of character for Kimura to remain “loyal” and willing to be Johnny’s/mary lackey. Kimura could simply have made the decision to stay with Johnny’s because Iijima’s coup plans didn’t sound promising (imo it didn’t and iijima management skills prior to the coup was highly questionable). Also I wouldn’t be surprised if Mary has blackmailed Kimura by threatening to expose his shit. As a family man, he has his priorities.

        • alletty

          Thanks! I use Google Translate and the translations don’t make any sense and you enlightened me.
          Why so much hate on that woman? Because it was a gun shot marriage?

    • Midna

      The comments section is really something LOL