News that shocked the end of the year

Yuko

Well my dear readers it’s yet another new year. And yet another year with JM. This blog has had a lot of ups and downs, but it’s like home to me and I can’t really ever leave it. I want to wish everyone out there a Happy New Year! I know it’s a bit late, but I couldn’t give a proper greeting yesterday since I feel asleep before midnight because I woke up too early to watch the Kohaku stream. But I’m gonna shake off the New Year’s confetti and the triedness from yesterday and get to blogging.

Yesterday was New Year’s Eve and I honestly didn’t expect much from it. As an idol fan New Year’s means the same thing every year. Watching as much as the Kohaku stream as humanly possible and searching for a Johnny’s Countdown stream, usually to no avail. And this year we got something else to sweeten the pot, the Hello!Project Countdown Party. Though it only sweetened things slightly because it wasn’t televised. But the setlist alone and knowing that it’s getting a DVD release is all I need to be satisfied about it honestly.

But this year proved to not be more of the same, standard performances from your favorite idols or a setlist to die for with your favorite graduated idols and groups. No, this year we got surprising news with each event. Whether the news was good or bad, it was shocking to say the least.

The first bit of news came from Kohaku. And that was the graduation announcement of Oshima Yuko.

OshimaYuko

Now, I can honestly say I did not seeing this coming at all. I was completely blinded sided. I think everyone in the world watching Kohaku let out the same bewildered gasp, even if they don’t care about AKB48. Which I barely do. But even I had to step back and go, “Are they serious right now?” But graduation announcements always surprise me. Even if they have been members for years and it’s about time for them to graduate, I’m still surprised. I’m sure I’ll gasp when Sayumi announces her graduation from Morning Musume.

I honestly didn’t see Yuko graduating now. Everyone was expecting it to be Kojima Haruna next since she was the lead in Heart Ereki. But you have to laugh because everyone was convinced that Mariko was graduating after they changed the janken single to Ue Kara Mariko after she came in first place. But she obviously didn’t graduate for another 2 years almost. So, does that mean we have 2 more years with KojiHaru?

I honestly expected Yuko to last a few more years. Sure she’s 25 now, but Mariko graduated when she was 27. And she’s pretty much AKB48’s center. Who cares that Sasshi beat her this year. We’re talking about the girl that beat Acchan. So, I’m a little surprised by this. 

But I do wish Yuko all the best. It appear that she’ll become a full time actress after she graduates, like Acchan is now. I don’t know much about her acting skills, but people seem to think she’s a decent actress. 

The second bit of news came from the Hello!Project Countdown Party. And that news was Mitsui Aika has decided to study English abroad.

MitsuiAika

She did say that she is only taking a break from the entertainment business and when she returns she will remain a member of Hello!Project. Which seems odd because didn’t she switch from H!P to UFP a few months back? I’m pretty sure I remember hearing that.

As a pretty big fan of Aika I can say that I am saddened by this news. Even though she was hardly doing anything within H!P, I was still happy to see her cheerfully MCing or doing the odd performance here and there. And I am going to miss her in the time that she is gone.

Though I do see this being a happy thing in Aika’s life. It immediately reminds me of when Ogawa Makoto went to study abroad in Australia. In my opinion it always seemed like Makoto did that because she wasn’t sure what to do after graduating. Even though that was her reason for graduating in the first place, I always had that impression. I feel that’s the same reason Aika is going to study abroad now. It probably gives her plenty of time to relax and think about what she wants exactly after she comes back. Though that’s just how I feel.

I wonder if Aika realizes how difficult studying abroad really is? I remember when Makoto was talking about her experience she said she was very sad in the beginning. Since she spoke almost no English she couldn’t communicate with anyone and she would often cry because of that. It does make me a little sad that that’s what Aika is in for.

The 3rd announcement, and arguably the biggest news of all, was the announcement of a new Johnny’s group at the Countdown Concert.

Johnny's4West

This new group is called JOHNNY’S WEST4 and is made up of the following members: Nakama Junta, Kiriyama Akito, Shigeoka Daiki, and Kotaki Nozomu

NewGroup

Now, when I first heard this news I was blown away. And I was really excited for a new group. But once I saw who the members were I was hardly excited. This group is made up entirely of Kansai Juniors. And if you know anything about me I don’t follow the Kansai Juniors at all. Half because they never do anything so it’s nearly impossible to really keep up with them and half because pretty much all of the Kansai Juniors are hideous so I can’t be bothered. I will say that it was smart to have this group be made up of B.A.D. and 7 WEST members since they are literally the only relevant Kansai Juniors in Johnny’s. Everyone knows who B.A.D. and 7 WEST are. I mean, even I do without really keeping up with the Kansai Juniors.

A couple of months ago Johnny said something along the lines of, “Don’t you think it’s about time the Kansai Juniors debut?” And from that moment on I attempted to learn a bit more about them since it was pretty obvious they were going to debut any day now. But I could literally only find subbed things of B.A.D. and 7 WEST, and even those were pretty slim.

And I do admit slowly and slowly Shigeoka Daiki has been growing on me. He’s gone from that kid with an obnoxiously large mouth to someone who gets increasingly cuter every time I see him. Personality wise he seems like a pretty typical idol like and energetic so I suppose I could see myself becoming a fan.

I actually could only find things about Junta and Akito, I know absolutely nothing about Nozomu. Junta I’ve always been apprehensive about because he looks like a fish, but it’s good to know that he’s lackluster personality wise too. He seems just like a regular guy nothing really special about him. I do have to laugh that one of his nicknames seems to be JunJun. And it’s even funnier because he can speak a bit of Chinese because he lived in Taiwan because of his father’s work.

Akito is the member who stands out the most to me though. He seems to pretty full of energy and can talk easily. He also seems to be picked on a bunch which is always fun. And regardless he was pretty noisy and full of commotion while the other guys were pretty much silent. 

Akito

However I’ll always remember him as the guy with terrible taste.

I am a little annoyed that my favorite Tokyo Juniors aren’t being put into a new group. Especially since I think the guys who were in Bakaleya6 are about 10 times more popular than any of the Kansai Juniors. But since Daiki and Akito are in this group, maybe there’s hope for this group after all.

4 thoughts on “News that shocked the end of the year”

  1. Honestly it took me years before finally getting into the Kansai Juniors and it was mainly because of Akito and Junta. (I love the Gokusen drama series and they were in the 3rd season and movie with Takaki.) It was well worth it, IMHO, as while the Kanjuu may not have the looks they have interesting personalities and are much more willing to speak up and do something to catch your attention which makes them more interesting to watch as the Tokyo Juniors come off as rather reserved in comparison.

    Seeing as it has been ten years since a Kanjuu debut (unless you want to count Nakayama Yuma but even Johnny’s hasn’t been considering him a Kanjuu for a while now) I am very excited about this. The Tokyo Juniors still have plenty of chances for debut that the Kanjuu don’t so I find it hard to hold any grudge against this group. Plus with this debut it confirms that the whole “there will be no debuts until 2020” is not holding at all. I fully expect there to be a debut in 2015 so we get the usual group that debuts with the FIVB tournament and that will be most likely just Tokyo Juniors like usual. And I will be shocked if there is not a debut for at least some of the older Juniors, like the Bakaleya6 and those of that age range, at some point in the future. They have been built up so much some at least have to be debuted eventually.

    1. It honestly took me years to get into any Juniors at all. I may prefer Tokyo Juniors, but that’s pretty much a new occurrence the past 2-3 years. Before then I didn’t really bother with the Juniors for the same reason I never liked to bother with any idol agency’s trainees. It’s a lot of of effort to put into some idol that has a 50/50 chance of debuting at all. Though I have been putting that aside and really following idol trainees for the past year.
      I’ve never seen any of the Gouksen dramas. They are on my to watch list though. Anything I say about their looks is a joke mixed with my initial reaction. I don’t judge any idol I follow based on looks. It’s 100% personality, I think it’s obvious from that fact that my favorite idols: Massu, Taguchi, Yuto, Aiba, etc, have pretty much the same personality. As I’ve said in my post I find it nearly impossible to really find subbed videos of the Kansai Juniors, so I can’t judge anything about them on the few minute clips I have seen of them. But Akito looks like he may be my type of idol.

      It is a little unfair that it’s been 10 years since a Kansai debut, it almost seems like there’s no point in guys joining the Kansai Juniors at all. I’m not really holding a grudge against them, I reserve all judgement until I hear their music, see their PV, and see how they act on music shows. I am just a little sad that it isn’t made up of my favorite Juniors. While I do think there will most likely be the debut in 2015 like you said, I think the odds of it being a Junior I want it to be are pretty much stacked against me. Lol. I will never understand how Johnny’s goes about debuting groups or idols. Sometimes he waits years and years for a group to debut and sometimes he throws in guys into groups who have barely been in the agency at all.

      1. I am the opposite when it comes to the Juniors, I got into them about a month after getting into Johnny’s as I was really interested in how the agency worked and the Junior Hey! Say! 7 group had caught my attention. It is heartbreaking to invest in Juniors only to have them leave or never debut but as someone who followed them since 2007 I can say that it is an amazing feeling when they do debut. So it is really about whether you are willing to risk the heartbreak for the joy of that moment.

        It is hard to find things for the Kansai Juniors, especially with subbed only things. They have a history of being neglected, though in recent years that has been changing so they are getting noticed more. I keep hoping it will mean that international fandom will also notice them more so there can be more subs and translations for them. They are a fun group of Juniors to watch.

        It is hard to figure out how Johnny’s picks who debuts or not. The only groups that anyone can have an idea with are the FIVB groups (like V6, Arashi, NEWS, HSJ and SZ) as the focus on those groups have been for younger Juniors as they take on the youthful image of the previous group when they debut. So for the 2015 group I think the Juniors that have been in the Sexy Boyz unit have the greatest shot and of course there will be random young Juniors thrown in, with at least one of them not even being in the agency for a year. But outside of that one can assume if they seem like they’re popular than they have a better chance to be chosen and that’s about it.

        1. Well, I can see wanting to get into the Juniors for that reason it never really interested me when I first became a fan. Probably because when I was a new fan I literally only cared about NEWS for the first 6+ months, it took me a while to even look into the other debuted groups let alone the Juniors. I think now I am more willing to take the risk especially since I’ve already invested myself in a few Juniors. It’s too late to go back now. Lol. I guess I just have to hope that lucks works in my favor. I can see it being really exciting if the group your following finally debuts.

          I actually hope so as well. Since it seems like with this new Kansai group debut more people will become interested in the Kansai Juniors and we’ll maybe get to see them doing more things. Like I said I would probably be more attached to the Kansai Juniors if I knew more about them.

          I actually agree with you on that, since the members of Sexy Boyz are already starting to take the main focus in Junior things lately. It’s almost impossible to look at Junior scans without seeing a lot of them. Especially Iwahashi Genki and Jinguji Yuta. Though since I prefer the older Juniors, so it is a bit disheartening to see them pushed to the back more for the younger Juniors. Even the members who were previously pretty popular are getting pushed to the side more.

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