Shibutani Subaru, Nishikido Ryo, Nakai Masahiro, and Tegoshi Yuya have all left Johnny & Associates since December 2018. Nagase Tomoya is set to leave the company next March. So who is next? Friday has some ideas!
“The chain of exits hasn’t ended. For Johnny’s who want to quit the company, now is the easiest time,” according to an entertainment executive. He continued, saying, “The thing that started this trend was the warning from the Fair Trade Commission. The company was warned over pressuring TV stations not to invite the three former members of SMAP who left the company onto their shows. Because of this, Johnny’s no longer have to worry about being blacklisted from TV once they leave the company.”
So who is next? Yamashita Tomohisa is the most obvious answer, given that he recently went on hiatus. But there are others as well…
According to an entertainment writer, Domoto Tsuyoshi of KinKi Kids is one name on the list. He’s been active as a solo artist for a long time, and with the death of Johnny Kitagawa, his attachment to the company has diminished. In a fan club newsletter last fall, Tsuyoshi wrote what could be seen as a “farewell declaration.” His time in the company could be soon coming to an end…
Kanjani8’s Okura Tadayoshi is also on the list of Johnny’s who may soon leave the company. According to the same entertainment writer, Tadayoshi began telling people close to him his intention to leave Johnny & Associates when his relationship with Yoshitaka Yuriko was revealed in 2016. With the departures of his groupmates Subaru and Ryo, along with stalking by fans, Tadayoshi has started to think about quitting more seriously.
The entertainment writer did hint that Tadayoshi’s departure may not be that soon on the horizon though. “On the contrary, he is currently feeling more empowered via his work with the Kansai Johnny’s Jr. unit Naniwa Danshi. The group had a successful concert this past January. Tadayoshi would not leave Johnny & Associates before Naniwa Danshi makes their CD debut.”
So who will really be the next to leave Johnny & Associates? Are these departures the fall of an empire or the beginning of a new era?