Lauren’s Top 10 Favorite Johnny’s Releases of 2013

Though it is already May, I had this document sitting on my computer since the end of last year and I thought that it might be nice to share!

This time, I will be talking about my top 10 favorite Johnny’s releases of 2013. I made a YouTube video on my favorite Johnny’s releases of 2012 at the end of 2012 and people seemed to enjoy it, so I thought it would be good to wrap everything up again as well for 2013. These are in no particular order, I simply chose my top 10 favorite Johnny’s releases of 2013!

 

1: Tegomass – Sayonara ni Sayonara and Neko Cuudoku

テゴマス「サヨナラにさよなら」「猫中毒」

It’s no secret that Tegomass is one of my favorite Johnny’s groups and with that being said their two singles released this year, Sayonara no Sayonara and Neko Chuudoku are first two in my favorites of 2013! Tegomass hadn’t released a single since early 2011, which made it 2 years since their last single. These two singles are very different from eachother, but both reflect some of Tegomass’s charms. Sayonara ni Sayonara was cute, but with a adult twist and amazing calming vocals. Neko chuudoku was a new venture, Tegomass dancing for the first time in their music video which brought out their cute side, which they are famous for! I cannot explain how much I am in love with these singles and their B-sides as well! I have a review of Neko Chuudoku here if you are interested to hear more details!

 

2: Kanjani8 LIVE TOUR 8EST

関ジャニ8LIVE TOUR 8EST

This DVD was released in April 2013 and was their tour from 2012 and their 8 year anniversary. The DVD was filmed outside at Nagai Stadium in Osaka and the day it was filmed, it was pouring rain so you get to enjoy Kanjani8 acting funny in the rain. This DVD also has the first Eight Ranger comedy skit since their 2009 tour, PUZZLE. It was actually filmed during one of the performances I was able to attend and this tour holds a special place in many eighter’s hearts for the nostalgia and for representing how far Kanjani8 has come in just 8 years. This DVD is definitely for Eighters new and old alike! This was the coupling tour with there 8 year anniversary album by the same name “8EST” that was released in 2012.

 

3: NEWS LIVE TOUR 2012 Utsukushii koi ni sure yo!  DVD

NEWS LIVE TOUR 2012 〜美しい恋にするよ!〜

This NEWS DVD is one of my favorite DVD’s hands down and for many reasons. First is that this DVD was the first tour that NEWS did with just 4 members. Second, they preformed all the fan favorites that the fans decided on from their BEST album released in 2012, as well as the member favorites and solo songs. It was a special concert and was filmed with many emotions on the first day of the tour, which is rare for a Johnny’s concert that normally films towards the end of the tour. I didn’t see this tour the day that it was filmed and attended another location for this tour, but I felt the emotion pouring out through the DVD even through I wasn’t there. NEWS has become closer to their fans more than ever and this was an amazing comeback tour!

 

4: NEWS- “NEWS” Album

If I had to pick a favorite Johnnys album of all time, it would have to be this album, followed by NEWS Pacific and Tegomassu no Mahou. This was NEWS’s first album as 4 members with all the songs originally sung by the 4 of them. I love everything about this album, from the order the songs are in to the solo songs. They also included a DVD called LIFE OF NEWS where the members went on a day off together and introduced something they were really into to the other members and showed new NEWS’s dynamic. This album was the perfect combination of fun and mature and it marked NEWS’s new chapter as 4 members. If you would like more details on this album as well, I wrote a review about it here.

 

5: KAT-TUN – “Kusabi”

KAT-TUN 「楔-kusabi-」

KAT-TUN always ends up ninja-ing their way into my favorite list every year and this time it is with their mini album called kusabi. This was released in November and is the first release since Koki was asked to leave Johnny’s for breach of contract. I had been listened to this album non stop to prepare for the countdown concert and new years fan event that I went to at the end of last year and the beginning of 2014.  The title song, kusabi, is my favorite song on the album followed by Gimme luv. The reason I like this album so much is because I feel like they are starting to go back to the old KAT-TUN sound that I am used to when I got into KAT-TUN during queen of Pirates and Break the Records era.  Kudos KAT-TUN for a great mini album!

 

6: Yamada Ryosuke – “Mystery Virgin”

山田涼介「ミステリー ヴァージン」

When I first heard the title of this song I was like HUH? Because it really doesn’t make sense, even with the lyrics of the song it only clears up the title a bit. BUT despite that, I fell in love with the beat of this song and since Yamada Ryosuke was the reason I got into Johnnys and a song I loved by him Moonlight was a special song on one of the editions of this single, this is in my top 10 johnnys releases this year. This is also the theme song for the Kindachi Special drama that aired in January of 2013 year that Yamada starred in along with his fellow Hey! Say! JUMP member Daiki Airioka.

 

7. Kanjani8 – “JUKE BOX”Album

関ジャニ∞ 「JUKE BOX」

This was Kanjani8’s album released in October of 2013. This album is classic Kanjani8 with their combination of funny songs and band style songs, as well as the bonus features that came with the album, including being able to vote for your favorite unit performance for the JUKE BOX concert tour. They have all kinds of style of music from band style to ballads, to comedy to dubsteb electronic dance music, which make the album interesting! The main song this year for the PV that was included on a DVD with the album was “Takoyaki in my Heart” and it is very Kanjani8 like and is basically a member introduction.  They broke up into 2 Units this year and each wrote a song with the theme of “Manly”. The making of these songs were on the DVD with it as well. Kanjani never fails the fans with tons of bonus features for the price!

8. Hottake Band – Sayonara, Arigtou

堀田家BAND 「サヨナラ☆ありがとう」

This was the theme song for the drama that Kamenashi Kazuya from KAT-TUN was in back in the Fall called “Tokyo Bandwagon”. This was a special unit formed with the person that plays the father of Kame’s character, Tamaka Koji. I really like this song because it sounds like a drama theme song for me, not just a random song that was put in there. The guitar is so nice, with the combination of the airy acoustic guitar but also the electric guitar that pairs with it.  It gives a fall-like feel to me, which is when it aired! It also fit the theme of the drama as well, which was Family. It brings back so many memories of this past fall, good and bad, but mostly of my best friend returning to Japan! We listened to this song at Christmas while making Christmas dinner together, it being our first christmas without being with our families. I was sick a lot during December, and being able to spend christmas with her meant a lot to me so this song reminds me of that Christmas every time I play it and I smile.

9. Kanjani8 – He so magari/ koko shikanai keshiki

関ジャニ∞「へそ曲がり/ここしかない景色」

This was a double A side single released by Kanjani8, “He so magari” for the Drama Okura was in called “Tenki Onee-san” and 「ここしかない景色」 was for the movie that Ryo was in called “Kencho Omotenashi-ka” 「県庁おもてなし課」. 「へそ曲がり」 always reminds me of last spring and I love the beat of the song! I often find myself jamming out to it when I am walking around the city to and from school. 「ここしかない景色」is a band song for Kanjani8 and though it sounds kind of sounds like a generic band song, I like it! I like the acoustic guitar sound in band songs that keeps the rhythm of the song paired with the electric guitar back and forth.

10: KIS-MY-FT2 「キ・ス・ウ・マ・イ ~KISS YOUR MIND~ / S.O.S (Smile On Smile)」

Kis-My-Ft2 ninja-ed their way into my top 10 again this year as well! Though I am not a huge fan myself, I watch them from the sidelines and there seems to always be at least 1 song that I like from them each year. This year was another Double A-side single, but the song that I like is 「キ・ス・ウ・マ・イ ~KISS YOUR MIND~ 」。This song never fails to get stuck in my head! The beat is amazing, upbeat and a good up and down of pace throughout the song. I also love the choreography of the Dance in the PV (though I think the concept of the music video is kind of strange to be honest….) so I prefer watching the dance version of the PV because I actually tried to learn the choreography since I liked it so much.

 

So there you have it! My top 10 Johnny’s releases of 2013! What made your cut? Please comment below telling me your favorite Johnny’s releases below and why. I would love to hear new recommendations!

 

Johnny’s Talk: Lauren’s Guide To What To Bring To A Johnny’s Concert

Since many of you all might be coming to a Johnny’s concert here in Japan in the future, I thought I would give you some ideas on what to bring to a Johnny’s concert by telling you what I normally bring to a Johnny’s concert! This is what I bring most of the time when I attend a concert, but it changes sometimes on the show and also the weather as well. Let’s jump right in!

#1: Ticket

This may be obvious, but you can’t enter the concert venue without a ticket. Many a time I have seen on twitter and heard from my friends that they have accidentally forgot their ticket at home or in the hotel. Just double check your bag before you leave to make sure you have your ticket before leaving! This will save lots of trouble so you aren’t rushing to get your ticket at the last minute and risk being late for the show. Also, I personally recommend you buy your ticket before the actual day of the concert as well. This will save lots of hassle and worry if you will be able to attend the actual show. If you are interested on how to ballot for fan club tickets I made a post here about it previously, but if you would like a post about ways to get Johnny’s concert tickets without being in the fan club please let me know in the comments or tweet me!

#2 Money

Another obvious thing, but sometimes I have panicked on wether I had enough money to buy concert goods at the venue because I was rushing. Take that extra few minutes to calculate how much your goods will be and make sure you have enough money for them! It will save you time so you won’t have to get back inside the goods line again for things you couldn’t pay for. Also, when you are having fun at the venue you don’t want to have to worry about money for food and other things as well before or after the show.

#3 Water

Remember to hydrate hydrate hydrate! I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten a bottle or 2 of water and I have regretted it and searched frantically at the venue for a vending machine, only to find that they were all sold out (crazy Johnny’s fans….). Especially outside concerts it is important. Even if its not outside, you will be standing for at least 2 hours and not eating or drinking during that time. Normally during the MC I take out my bottle of water and drink it and have it handy at the top of my bag to drink during the concert as well. Normally the domes allow you to eat and drink inside of them, but there are some instances where you can’t at really small vanes. For this only bring water, not another type of drink. They do having vending machines or convenience stores around or inside the venue, so don’t fret if you forget! I just normally buy before entering inside because its cheaper for the most part and inside the venue might be sold out.

#4 Rain Items: Umbrella/ Poncho

Check the wether forecast if it’s going to rain. If it is going to rain, then I recommend going to a convenience store and buying a fold up umbrella, not a full sized one because it is long and the seats are small in Japan. Keep it inside your purse or concert goods bag! Most of the time the venues aren’t connected to the subway or trains or busses, so you will want to have one with you. The convenience store near the venues might become sold out, so try to buy near your hotel or home or someplace that isn’t near the venue. An umbrella is also handy if you have to stand outside in line for concerts goods, because at most venues the goods line is outside the venue.

Also, for outside concerts you are not allowed to have an umbrella up during the concerts and they are performed rain or shine. So buy a poncho at a convenience store or 100 yen store to keep somewhat dry! Buy an extra one to wrap your concert goods in so that they don’t get wet either.

#5 Recommended Concert Goods

You won’t bring these with you if you haven’t bought them yet, but I will at least say my recommended goods to bring or buy at the concert! This is also up to personal preference as well, so buy the goods that you will want to use! You also don’t have to buy the goods for the actual tour you are attending either ! You can buy them used if you are short on funds or if you prefer a past tour’s goods instead!

a. Penlight

A penlight is a must for a Johnny’s concert! I recommend a penlight because everyone brings them and uses them in the concert and it also in a way makes you part of the actual concert itself. You wave it in time with the music and do the hand motions of the songs with it! My first 2 concerts I went to for Johnnys in summer 2009 (KAT-TUN and Kanjani8) I didn’t buy a penlight and I felt left out because I didn’t realize how important they were until I went to my 3rd concert in 2010-2011 (Kanjani8 8Uppers countdown concert).

b. Towel

This is defiantly optional and up to everyone’s tastes, but recently I have been into buying concert towels because they are useful during the summer in Japan and for rainy days. I normally keep it around my shoulders during the concert. It helps with outside concerts and sweating (even inside concerts too!) and sometimes the guys have you twirl towels in the air to certain songs as well!

c. Uchiwa

Another optional item, but I didn’t know what the point of Uchiwas were when I went to my first Johnny’s concerts, but Uchiwas are the Japanese style fans with the face of your favorite member on them. You buy your favorite member’s (or members’) Uchiwa and it is not only telling the guys themselves who your favorite members are, but also the other fans as well. I always get asked at concerts who my favorite member is and its a great conversation starter with Japanese fans, as well as foreign fans! So hold your uchiwa proud! (but just to chest level… you don’t want to block the view of the fans behind you!)

d. Bag

To keep all of your concert goods in and for putting your newly bought concert goods inside, I recommend bringing a bag! Most of the goods that I buy won’t fit inside my purse so I always bring the tour bag with me.  When I went to Shige’s stageplay a few weeks ago, I didn’t realize how many goods I was going to buy and it didn’t fit inside my purse, so I had to run to a nearby 100 yen store and buy a bag! So make sure for a stage play you bring a previous tour bag or your own bag to put the goods inside because stage plays don’t sell bags normally.

Having a tour bag is also another fun way to identify you as a fan of the group and Japanese fans might even come up and talk with you!

 

 

Well, these were my recommended items to bring to a Johnny’s concert! I hope you all enjoyed! If there is anything that you think I forgot or want to know if its okay to bring please comment below! Let me know what your concert essentials are if you have been to a Johnny’s concert before. Also, let me know if you like these types of posts!

 

Review: Tegomass – Neko Chuudoku テゴマス「猫中毒」

Neko Chuudoku is Tegomass’s 7th single and it was released on May 22, 2013. This was their 2nd single in 2013 following  their previous single released in March 2013, Sayonara ni Sayonara 「サヨナラにさよなら」. The direct translation of Neko Chuudoku is basically “Cat Obsession”.

Editions

Limited Edition A: CD + DVD

1768_900

Limited Edition A comes with the song Neko Chuudoku itself, as well as a テゴ.カラ、which stands for Tegoshi Karaoke. So that means that Only Tegoshi’s voice shows up on this track, rather than a regular Karaoke or both of them singing on the track. It also comes with a DVD of the Music Video and Music Video making.

Limited Edition B: CD + DVD

1380_900

Limited Edition B comes with the Neko Chuudoku song, as usual,  and this time マス.カラ、which stands for Massu Karaoke. So this time its just Massu’s voice on the track. The DVD that comes with this edition contains the dance version of the Music video as well as “Tegomass Sensei Catness” video, which is them teaching the fans how to dance the dace of Neko Chuudoku. Fun fact, if you press the cartoon cat on the DVD menu of this edition, it will give the whole dance music video of them facing backwards so that you can follow along dancing with them!

Regular Edition: CD

tumblr_mln8zkHrpI1ra07eco1_r1_500

The regular edition only comes with a CD but it contains 2 extra songs, plus the real karaoke track for Neko Chuudoku that doesn’t contain any vocals at all. The 2 extra songs are 「シュプレヒコール」”Shipurehicoru” (which means speaking in chorus, or together) and 「花に想いを」”Hana ni Omoi wo” (which means “Expressing feelings with flowers”.

My Thoughts

The Song

Neko Chuudoku is a upbeat “Ska” like song that really leaves you wondering “What the heck just happened in this song?” LOL! I truly love this song, when some others don’t, but I will say that its not my favorite song from Tegomass. Tegomass diverted from their normal type of music a bit and decided to do a dancing (well…. sort of dancing) song this time. Normally they have more mellow-like songs they release as singles, and on their album they have some other upbeat songs, but this is the first time they released a single with a really upbeat feel to it. The only exception to this I can think of is Tanabata Matsuri, but that wasn’t even upbeat as compared to Neko Chuudoku. It’s also really short compared to other Tegomass songs they have released in the past.

The B-Sides

I normally don’t pay too much attention to the B-sides on singles sometimes until they are performed live or they have a significant impact on the fans and this time was no different.  I didn’t listen to the B-sides of this single closely until I heard them during the live performance of their 4th Live Tour, Tegomass no Seishun. After they performed these songs at the concert, I fell in love with both of the songs. シュプレヒコール」”Shipurehicoru” is a very easy listening song  with a violin- like sound in the background and very nice guitar and piano. The vocals and harmony is amazing and the rhythm of the song is amazing as well! 「花に想いを」”Hana ni Omoi wo” is a different type of song that reminds me of the American south and spring and summer with a harmonica, guitar and fiddle- like sound in the background!

The Music Video 

The Music Video is very different from their past videos, as a reflection of the different style of song that they were trying out this time. I like how in the full version of the music video, they start out from being “cool” and then all of a sudden change into the big Cat Costumes and start dancing a cute dance and doing crazy things that they interpret themselves from the lyrics of the song. It’s vibrant and colorful and is a stark contrast to the previous single they released 2 months prior, Sayonara ni Sayonara, which was very mellow and them just singing without much movement. I am looking forward to when they have a concert to see how they will incorporate Neko Chuudoku into the normal way they do their concerts because they normally don’t dance (except for 1 song). I kinda wonder if they will actually wear the big cat costumes during the concert because they wore them in all of their promotions for the single release.

Extras

Another cool thing they did different this time was the “Tegomass Sensei Catness” video. On the LE B Edition, Tegomass teach you the dance to Neko Chuudoku themselves in a cute way that is very Tegomass like. I like that they did this because this IS their first dancing music video and the fans probably would want to learn the dance to it. The making of the Music Video was different this time because they put humor into it by having a competition between Tegoshi and Massu that was based around cat like things. They didn’t do it all at once either, so it made it interesting to do some behind the scenes and then some competition interchangeably, with a punishment game for the looser of the competition at the end.

The last thing that I liked is how they continued to do the TegoKara and the MassuKara thing. They started to do this with Sayonara ni Sayonara and they continued to do so with Neko Chuudoku. I really like this because I can sing the part that I like to sing and not feel awkward just with the regular Karaoke track and I can “pretend” that I am singing a duet with either Massu or Tegoshi. I think a lot of the fans feel the same way about it as I do and it became popular so they continued to do it on this single. I hope they continue to do so in the future because that was a brilliant idea!

Final Thoughts

I think Tegomass did a good job with this song and shook things up a bit by bringing something different to the table. The one thing I will say though is that I don’t know if they should have released it at this time because their previous album Tegomass no Mahou and their single before this Sayonara ni Sayonara were a huge step towards being more “Adult Cute-like”, and then they went straight to something like Neko Chuudoku. If someone wasn’t a Tegomass fan before, they might have been confused at the difference and not liked it. I personally love this song, but I think if they wanted to keep up with their image they should have released it before Sayonara or just not released it at all. All in all, as a decently long time fan of Tegomass, I like how they shook things up and I am looking forward to when they release a new album because I want to see how they want to present themselves after 2 years!

What are your thoughts? Feel free to tell me in the comments below or tweet me!

*DISCLAIMER* I am still learning Japanese and these translations of these song titles, Japanese content, or any other translations from Japanese aren’t perfect. Please bring to my attention if you think I have any errors.

Review: Yamashita Tomohisa – Ai Texas

Ai Texas Regular Edition

General Overview

“Ai Texas” was released on Feburary 29th, 2012 and is Yamashita’s 5th solo single.  Though this was his 5th single, this is his first one that he has released since leaving the Johnnys group NEWS and going solo in October 2011. It is also his first single with a new record label, Warner Music Japan.

The title song, “Ai Texas”, is used as the ending and insert song for the drama that just finished airing called “Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata ~ Ending Planner~”, which Yamashita stars in. It comes in 5 editions, with only 3 that you can buy in a regular CD shop in Japan.

Music Content

There are total of 3 tracks that come on the single, which all 3 tracks come with the Regular edition, with only the title song and “Candy” coming on the Limited Editions.  The A side is “Ai Texas” and the B sides are “Candy” and “Perfect Crime”.

“Ai Texas” Itself is described as a “Country Rock” flavored song. It has a very distinct country like guitar and the single, as a whole, is a lot different than his usual R&B/ Dance tracks like “One in a Million” and “Loveless”. He has started branching out into some different genres for his singles in the past year since his release of “Hadakanbo”in January 2011 , which had a pop-ish, big band feel to it.

The B sides, however, are very much his usual R&B/ Dance tracks. They sound very similar, in my opinion, but I liked “Perfect Crime” better musically. I thought it had a better beat and a better chorus than “Candy”.

The Music Video

There wasn’t much to the music video, just Yamapi walking around in a “Texas” like background with lots of computer graphics. I personally don’t like the video that much and prefer his other videos, like “Loveless” and “One in a Million”, better. I think its because I like music videos with a story line to it. I tended to loose focus and trailed off at times while watching the video.

The Packaging

Each edition of the single came with a different cover, all featuring Yamapi with a “cowboy” like out fit. The limited editions feature him in a striped blazer, jeans, plain black shirt, completed with a scarf. The regular edition has him in a while blazer with a  cowboy hat and snake patterned shirt. The color scheme seems to be red and white. It seems to go well with the “Texas” or “cowboy” theme that they wanted to portray.

What I found interesting about the packaging is the writing on the front of the CD with the track names. Normally, albums and singles come with the track listings on the back of the CD. Also, on the packaging it is spelled in english “I, Texas” rather than the romanji version “Ai Texas”. I can’t understand why it is that way and I really don’t like it.

The extra content of each edition is as follows:

Limited Edition A: Comes with a CD with 2 songs + karaoke versions of the songs, and a DVD with the “Ai Texas” music video on it.

Limited Edition B: Comes with a CD with same content as Limited Edition A and a 24 page photo booklet.

Regular Edition: Comes with a CD with 3 songs + karaoke tracks of “Ai Texas” and “Candy” only.

Overall Opinion

Its a catchy song and I love Yamapi’s solo work, but it is definitely a miss for me. I would rather listen to his previous singles than “Ai Texas”. I guess maybe is because I don’t like the guitar in the song and the “country” feel to it, along with the “Texas” theme. Maybe if the music video had a story line to it, I might have liked it a bit more. I tend to like songs better if they have a good music video or a good performance attached to it.

Johnnys Talk: What exactly is Johnnys??

Johnnys. Whenever I hear that word, the three things that come to mind are: Sparkly, pretty boys, and talent.

Well, lets start from the beginning. Johnny and Associates, or “Johnnys” for short, is an all male talent agency in Japan created by the all famous Johnny Kitagawa. It started out in the 1960’s when Johnny saw the musical West Side Story in Japan. He had the idea to create talent that was even better than that. So, he took boys from the baseball team that he was coaching at the time and made them into a singing group and it is history from there. Well …. not quite. It has taken Johnnys decades to become the idol powerhouse that it is today.

With that being said, I will not get into the history of Johnny and Associates because there are places that have already written an in depth history floating around the internet. Instead, I will explain the concept of Johnnys at present time.

The Concept of a “Johnnys”

Johnnys boys are classified as clean cut (in physical form and public image), handsome guys that train from a young age to sing, act, and dance, along with much more to become an all around entertainer, or “idol” as the Japanese call it. This is unlike the west where people only train to be one denomination, such as an actor or singer. They join the agency at a young age and become a “Johnnys Jr’s”, which is basically Johnny’s term for a trainee. The job as a Jr. is basically to back dance for and gain experience from the already debuted groups in the agency in the hopes that one day they will debut in a singing group (or solo) one day. Not all Johnny’s Jr.’s debut, unfortunately, and there are even some Jr’s that are as old as some of the debuted Johnnys.

The Entertainer or “Idol”

Once they debut ,the singing group is their primary activity.Since they are trained as all around entertainers though, they do solo work on the side. The most common example of these solo activities are stage plays, Japanese dramas, and commercials. Some other rarer examples are Kato Shigeaki from the group NEWS has written a book recently, which is a first for a Johnnys, and Arashi’s Ohno Satoshi has done an art exhibition a while back. Idols are all around entertainers and have many talents other than just singing or just acting.

Even while classified as a Jr., though rare, they do some of these solo activities and  also in plays produced by Johnnys specifically for Jr.’s to appear in. Its not just Johnnys that produces idols though, there are many other agencies in Japan, and all around Asia.

What is an Talent Agency?

I won’t say much about this right now because it is a topic for another post, but an agency is a company that manages idols or talent. Its not just Japan that has talent agencies, but many other asian countries have them as well, like Korea and China. Talent agencies are more known in Asia than in the west though, because the western way of managing talent and raising talent is a bit different than in Asia for the most part.

Also, don’t confuse a record label with a talent agency. This is a common mistake for western fans of Asian music. Though Johnnys has a few in house record labels, they also have talent under different labels in Japan. A talent agency is just a managing company for the most part, though they might own in house record labels. What I mean by  an “in house” record label is a record label that is owned by a talent agency, but operates as a separate company.

This was brief overview of Johnny and Associates. This is almost like a introduction post to more detailed posts that will be coming soon about Johnnys. I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any questions about Johnnys for the next “Johnnys Talk”, please email me at nihonchique@gmail.com.

*Everything that I talk about in this post is what I have read or know to be true. If there is any inconsistencies, please let me know with some sort of source that I may look up for my own reference to correct any errors*

Johnny’s Talk: Reality Sets In

I woke up this morning to finally read the member comments translated. My headache was too bad last night to wait up for them.

What did I get from them? Well, first off that this decision was not made lightly and probably months, or longer than that, in the making.  Ryo had been working a lot with Kanjnai8 for quite a while now and acting at the same time, making it hard for NEWS to do things together. I think Kanjani8 would have slowed down their releases if Ryo still wasn’t thinking about leaving. As for Yamapi, I think he simply was more successful in his solo work than he thought he would be and finally decided to follow his best bro Jin going solo (not being mean or sarcastic here. I truly believe it). Because Ryo was thinking about leaving, why not he leave at the same time while he has the chance; like ripping a bandaid off. I don’t believe any of this Ryo and Yamapi fought stuff.

Second, the members are all very sorry for this happening … for the exception of Yamapi, in my opinion. I just didn’t get that from his comment because he didn’t even apologize at all. Ryo, I felt, had a apologetic tone because he said that he was burdening both groups by holding back CD release dates and such, just for him.

After reading the comments, I went to the Johnnys site and looked at the NEWS page. There were only 4 member’s faces there. That is when reality finally set in for me, but I did not cry. Johnnys is a business.  In the end, they do things that will only profit them. They decided that Ryo will be more profitable in Kanjani8 and acting, Yamapi will be more profitable solo, and that NEWS is STILL profitable with 4 members. Keep that in mind, guys. Johnnys could have just disbanded NEWS because the two golden boys left. Tegomass is popular, so they could have just stuck with them doing their thing, Koyama doing his news show, and Shige acting a bit here and there … but they did not.

I believe that NEWS will not be the same, but I beleive that we have to be positive about this. Maybe KoyaShige will finally debut? Who knows. The one thing that I do know is that change is a must and I have to stay positive that this will be the best thing for NEWS and Johnnys. It sucks that this happened, but I believe that something great will come out of this … like Johnnys finally having an international presence in places other than Asia. Watch out world, Johnnys has started going global!

Johnny’s Talk: The Johnnys World has been Rocked to the Core … again ….

I am writing this right before I sign off for the night ….I want to get this out.

Today NEWS fans have been shocked with the news that Yamapi and Ryo are leaving NEWS. Ryo because of scheduling conflicts …. and the reason for Yamapi …. I still do not understand.

I feel like it is Jin Akanishi round 2 with Yamapi… and I do not like it (though I do enjoy Yamapi’s solo music a lot more than Jin’s). I have lost a whole lot of respect for Pi right now. The reason? Because I truly believed that he would never leave NEWS like Jin did KAT-TUN. NEWS had a better relationship than that … I just can’t believe it. Except for some really good reason …. I have lost a huge amount of respect for him and that will be VERY hard to recover.

As for Ryo … I actually respect him for this. He has finally realized that he cannot handle NEWS, Kanajni8 AND Acting. I feel like this decision was years in the making and that it was a hard decision for him. At first I was mad at him …. but I just can’t be when he made the decision to be in the group that I love the most (I am sorry to say … and even though NEWS was his first group). I have always truly believed that unconsciously his allegiance has always been to Kanjani8 because that is where he started … in Kansai.

I think that Johnnys set him up for failure from the start by being in 2 groups and it was just a matter of time until he was forced to choose …. I was just in denial that that day would actually come. Though this is the case, I don’t think that Ryo will be my number one for much longer. This has been a while in the making, actually, and I believe that Yasu is my number one now (like he was in the beginning).

I guess the thing about all of this that I am the most sad about is that I will never see a 6 member NEWS concert like I wanted to, as well as that I feel bad for KoyaShige. Now more than ever I want them to debut together! That would make things so much better for me now. Sadly, I don’t think that will happen.

For now, I am gonna sit back and wait until the dust settles. Maybe this all happened for a reason.