shoji and Sota were then asked about dance vocal groups that are active overseas, with Perfume being the first one to come to mind. shoji said that he saw their “Perfume LIVE 2022 ‘polygon wave'” concert and was amazed. Perfume has a unique worldview when it comes to dance due to their longtime choreographer MIKIKO, but it was a more comprehensive piece of entertainment due to the integration of lights and imagery. Perfume is the standard bearer for that sort of entertainment. In terms of world entertainment, Perfume is truly unlike anyone else.
They were then asked about Johnny & Associates, who is now looking more overseas. SixTONES debuted as an overseas-oriented group and Travis Japan is now training in the US.
Sota said that he thinks Johnny’s are amazing, with shoji asking more about how the company is. Sota says that performance ability in the company is high. Looking at Johnny’s Jr., you can see they have a solid foundation, especially in jazz. Working with the Johnny’s has completely changed his impression of the company.
shoji asks if Johnny’s Jr. are good because they have been practicing since childhood, to which Sota says that’s part of it, along with the fact that they are also performing on stage during this time as well. This is similar to what he did when he was younger. Working with Johnny’s is basically refining what they already have, so it’s fun to work with them.
The two believe that BE:FIRST is the beginning of something new in the Japanese industry. shoji says that with Japanese music being locally produced and consumed, there seems to be a limit to what can be done. But SKY-HI is changing all that with BE:FIRST. What he’s doing is similar to the KPop company method, where you have a young artist creating a company, and hiring young creatives to sell young artists. It makes shoji feel hopeful. He thinks that SKY-HI is very smart and passionate about music, and believes that he can change the entire Japanese music industry. He thinks that if other people like SKY-HI appear and follow his method, that the Japanese music industry will be energized and become more interesting.
In terms of dance, shoji thinks BE:FIRST is great. He thinks it’s good that a group can have a high level of dance ability from debut. It’s something fans have wanted. For so long, Japanese idols have been the growth type, where they debut in an unfinished state and improve their skills as they go after debut. He thinks this is all an excuse, seeing as how BE:FIRST was a complete package at debut. He thinks that the group will become more and more refined as time goes by.
Sota is also amazed by BE:FIRST, and thinks of them as rivals, even though his group doesn’t sing. He looks at their choreography and thinks it’s something he should have come up with.