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.

Sexy Zone’s debut gets a release date

Johnny’s new Volleyball unit, and possible official unit, Sexy Zone have finally announced the release date for their debut single. Self titled debut single is going to be released on November 16th.
Now, Sexy Zone’s debut single’s release date isn’t exactly Earth shattering news, or even really blog worthy. But I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about Sexy Zone. I didn’t blog about Sexy Zone when they were first announced because of  general lack of interest and the fact that it simply slipped my mind.

As many, if not all, of you know Sexy Zone has been created to sing the support song for the FIVB World Cup Volleyball 2011, like so many Johnny’s groups have done in the past. I actually don’t think they were all for the FIVB World Cup, but you get my point. And Sexy Zone is made up by 17 year old Nakajima Kento, 16 year old Kikuchi Fuma, 14 year old Sato Shori, 13 year old Matsushima So, and 11 year old Marius Yo.

So, let’s talk about them members themselves first. As I have mentioned before I do not follow Johnny’s Juniors at all. I don’t follow any angencies trainees. I don’t see the point in becoming attached to idols who may or may not have a career. I’ve gotten attached to exactly 2 trainees, and I’ve been disappointed each time. First it was with H!P Egg member Saho Akari. She was shafted from S/mileage and is now in shoved in Up Up Girls, a group that is destined to stay in obscurity. And my second disappointment was with H!P Egg member Miyamoto Karin who also was shafted from S/mileage, and wasn’t a surprise addition to Morning Musume. So, you can see why I have no interest in seriously following trainees.
And because of that I’m not really all that familiar with the members of Sexy Zone. The only members I do know are Nakajima Kento and Kikuchi Fuma. You don’t even have to be a Junior fan to know who they are. As members of B.I. Shadow they are 2 of the most popular Juniors as of right now, and are constantly being shoved in your face on Shounen Club, and have even had small drama roles. But the main reason I know them is because this will be their second volleyball support song, as I’m sure most of you know. And it didn’t exactly turn out so well for them or B.I. Shadow as a whole. They were treated as merely backup singers and dancers in both NYC Boys and Nakayama Yuma w/ B.I. Shadow. Only to be tossed to the side completely for the now permanent group NYC. I can’t help but think it’s a little funny that they are releasing yet another volleyball support song. In yet another group that looks like it will fall by the wayside. And as for the other 3 members I haven’t a clue about them. Other than they are too young. Well, actually Shori and So aren’t really. In the normal Johnny’s standard they are, but in the Hey! Say! JUMP standard they aren’t. Only Marius is. 11 years old, seriously? I’m pretty sure this makes him the youngest Johnny’s to debut. But on the other hand I’m actually really excited for him, because he is also the first foreign Johnny’s member to debut. So, good for him. I still would prefer if it was Anderson Casey though. XD

Right off the bat, I was completely uninterested in this group because of their young age and their looks. But the funny thing is, if this was a female idol group I wouldn’t care how young they were. I mean, this is the age female idols debut. It’s not really the age JE groups debut though. And even if it was, I’d still want older more attractive guys to debut. This is why I am a far better female idol fan than male idol fan. Since I’m not attracted to girls I then have to find something other than looks to be a fan of them. Which is why I only like  female idols with big personalities. With male idol groups it’s pretty much the opposite. I find idols that are attractive and then from there I find out who has the best personality and they become my favorite. Which is exactly what I did with Nishikido Ryo. I pretty much lucked out that he was hot and had a good personality. Which is why I don’t think I’ll ever really be a big Kis-My-Ft2 or Kanjani8 fan.
And because of how shallow I am as a fan my dream Johnny’s group would probably be made up of Hashimoto Ryosuke, Anderson Casey, Tanaka Juri, and Taiga Kyomoto. And it’s these reason that I kind of hope this is just another one shot volleyball support group.

I wish I could honestly say I’ll wait until I hear their debut song before I judge them. But who am I kidding? I’m judging them already.

New idol group to debut in December

It was announced recently that Watanabe Entertainment has created a new idol group named ChocoLe. The group is set to make their debut in December through Avex. Their debut song Milk Chocolate is going to be used as the ending them to the anime Sket Dance.

Avex seems to be busy lately with all the new idol groups signed to their label lately. I’m actually really excited that yet another idol group is making its debut. I hope they are worth following. I can’t really comment on this group beyond that, since there is so little information about them. This post is just more of a heads up to other idol fans.