Yesterday I saw a post on arama that lyricist Shimoji Yu posted a quote unquote criptic tweet that he had some insider information about a group. And he said nothing else about that information except that it was shocking. Here is the translation of that tweet, obvious credits to whoever translated it because it wasn’t me: “I heard something shocking about a certain group today. I had guessed at it before, though. It’s a shame, but reality is harsh, isn’t it? When I think that this was happening behind closed doors, I feel sorry for the fans. They didn’t get a say…I’m going to bed.”
Now, I thought nothing of that at all. Because 1.) the information isn’t 100% confirmed, and even if he is in the entertainment business I still count it as a petty rumor. If you can even consider it one. And 2.) This information could be about anyone, as he has worked with a lot of different artists. And because we don’t even know what the information is. All he said is it’s shocking. I read the comments on arama and they pretty much already wrote it off as being about NEWS. And I do admit I felt a twing of panic at the mere thought of anything happening to my beloved NEWS. But being forever the optimist, I brushed it off. Now fastforward to today and all of a sudden this yet to be determined shocking insider information has turned into big news, at least within the fandom anyway. But not only big news, but for some reason this has turned from the information being too vauge to really know who it’s about to absolutely knowing for a fact it’s about NEWS. Yes, I’m afraid, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 it’s big NEWS indeed.
Now, I want to start off by saying that I am a gigantic NEWS fan. Morning Musume and NEWS are my top 2 idol groups, and have been for 3 years now. NEWS are my absolute favorite Johnny’s group in the entire agency. And if old sadistic Johnny made me wait 2 years for another NEWS release I’d sit there and patiently wait. And that’s because I love everything about them. NEWS is the least popular JE group of the younger generation of Johnny’s. And it’s honestly for a number of reasons, which I can’t be bothered to go into now. Most of it is poor promotion. NEWS is also considered by a lot of fans to be one of the most boring JE acts. Which I completely disagree with. Watch any concert documentary or Heyx3 apperance and you’ll be singing a new tune.
With that being said, I also consider myself to be a pretty realistic fan. I know how the business world works, and I know what inner troubles NEWS is facing now. But I also know it’s done just because it’s business as usual. I intended to make a post about NEWS’s popularity, their decline, and their future, but someone beat me to the punch. And since I didn’t want to steal someone else’s thunder, or be accused of coping, I just didn’t post my half written essay, for lack of better words.
NEWS is no stranger to rumors lately. Recently, I wanna say about 2 or 3 months back, there was a rumor that Yamapi had met with an executive from Warner Music to talk about plans for Yamapi to go solo and debut in the US. I can’t even begin to say how much of a disaster that would be. Jin studied in the US and his English is still terrible, and so is the music from his American tour. And because of that he is destined to fail in the US. Now, Yamapi’s English is even worse. He might have that random French chick who he’s shacking up with, allegedly of course, to teach him English but that hasn’t really helped much. You heard how mediocre his English was when he talked to Seth Rogen. And as for his music, it’s not much better than Jin’s. He wants to lick girls like mayonnaise and make them numb for god’s sake! Also, add all of that with everyone in the JE fandom saying that Yamapi is a terrible singer, I actually like his voice, and that doesn’t really spell success to me. So, I honestly never really even considered that rumor to be serious. Especially since Yamapi’s American debut happening basically right after Jin’s, doesn’t make sense to me. America is made up of only 10% Asian, why would they bombard the country with something they are honestly apprehensive about? But then recently Johnny was reconized by Guinness, and was suddenly talking about wanting to take a JE show to Vegas. And suddenly Yamapi in the US might not be so far fetched afterall.
And Yamapi’s solo possibilites seem to be the main reason why fans think NEWS is breaking up. And if it did happen, I wouldn’t be shocked. But at the same time I don’t think it would mean the end for NEWS. And not even because it wasn’t the end for KAT-TUN after Jin left. No, it wouldn’t be the end for NEWS because NEWS, realistically, doesn’t even need to exist right now. And I’ve said this before. JE is making money off of 4/6 of NEWS outside of NEWS activities. The only reasons NEWS as a group still exists is because on top of the mass amount of money from Yamapi’s solo work, Kanjani8, and Tegomass, JE can still make money from NEWS as well. JE knows that dedicated fans, like myself, would wait however long it takes for NEWS to return. Even with Yamapi gone, JE isn’t stupid enough to stop the gravy train anytime soon. And as for it being because they haven’t released a single in almost a year. That makes absolutely no sense to me. Hey! Say! JUMP did the same exact thing. The release space between Mayonaka no Shadow Boy and Hitomi no Screen was a whopping 15 months. And what was the reason for that? I have absolutely no idea. They didn’t have another group like Kanjani8 to hold them back. And yet, they still had a dry spell for the entire span of 2009. And I don’t remember fans crying that that meant HSJ was finished. NEWS hasn’t released anything in 10 months because of Kanjani8, and fans are in full panic mode. I can’t help but thinking it’s a tiny bit funny.
I honestly think NEWS’s activites were planned to be like this. Kanjani8 is a lot more popular then NEWS, so NEWS has been put on the back burner a lot because of that. Obviously more popularity equals more money. Being smart business people no doubt JE decided to make 2011 the year of Kanjani8. And because it was most likely planned as such, they made sure they let their other cash cows Tegomass and Yamapi do something while their main activities were put on pause. I mean, that honestly makes the most sense. And I think it has to do with JE wanting to strike while the iron is hot. Two or three Kanjani8 members turned 30 this year, with the remaining members not falling too far behind. I don’t really know too much about this, but apparently once JE idols turn 30 they get less priority in idol magazines. Apparently that happened to Arashi recently. So, perhaps Kanjani8 was super active this year because JE wanted to squeeze maximum money from them at their popularity peak while they are still relevant. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t part of the diabolical plan to destroy NEWS. But that’s just a suggestion.
I also think the vaugeness of the information has to be called into question. Even if the signs do seem to point to NEWS, you still have to consider that since he didn’t name NEWS specificly, it could be any group he has ever written for. And even if it is NEWS, just because the news is shocking that doesn’t mean that they are breaking up. It could mean that they are breaking up, it could mean that Yamapi is leaving, or it could mean that they are breaking NEWS up and having solo Yamapi, Ryo in Kanjani8, Tegomass, and possibly finally having a KoyaShige debut. All of which would be equally shocking. And all of which the fans do not have a say in. So, why all the conclusion jumping? And why all the cynicism between fans? I do know the phrase, “hope for the best, but expect the worst.” And that is true in a sense. But so is being optimistic until the official announcment is made. Assuming that one will be made, or it’s about NEWS at all.
Now, what am I going to do if this in fact is about NEWS? There’s not really anything I can do. Except humbly accept and admit that I was wrong. As fans, we are completely helpless. We have no say in anything that happens to our favorite idol groups. And neither do the idols themselves. Graduations, auditions, breakups, formations, and how frequently singles/albums are released are decided 100% by the agency they work for. And no amount of fan support, and no amount of fan’s anger towards it, is ever going to make an agency go back on their decision.
But there is one thing I can say for certain, if this is about NEWS I don’t know where this leaves my love for JE. NEWS is JE to me. I might say I’m a JE fangirl, but I’m really more of a casual JE fangirl and a NEWS and Hey! Say! JUMP fangirl. What I mean by that is, I love and listen to all of NEWS’s and Hey! Say! JUMP’s music, and love them as entertainers and idols. As for the other groups it’s basically just their personalities and some of their music. I tried to get into KAT-TUN, but a majortiy of their album songs are terrible. I prefer their singles, and to watch them on varitey shows or music shows. Despite Nishikido Ryo being my absolute favorite JE member, I can’t really seem to get into Kanjani8’s music. Granted I haven’t really given them a chance either. Arashi has some good muisc, but they have been around for so long that catching up would take a long time. And I honestly don’t know if I feel like catching up with over 10 years of music, concerts, and TV shows. It was hard enough with Morning Musume. And I don’t even care about any of the older groups.
I don’t know, right now I’m in such a mixed mood of anger, sadness, and general panic. However, I will remain optimistic until the very end.