I could have sworn I saw a thread for this before, but I couldn't find it when I used the search function so I'll assume I was seeing things before
So... Johnny's Entertainment! A very integral part of the Japanese music scene, that also transcends to the stage play, drama, movie and variety show scenes. SMAP is still respected as one of the top of the game, and ironically their singing quite honestly is not that great. Arguably, Kimura Takuya is their most important member as every Japanese knows him. In fact, in a recent poll for the most influential Japanese, KimuTaku himself ranked significantly higher than his entire group SMAP.
Right now at the top of the JE ladder we have younger blood - Arashi. Now Arashi isn't that great at singing either, save maybe for Leader Ohno Satoshi and at times Ninomiya Kazunari, but they did make rap popular through Sakurai Sho Of course, one might say that their fame is in part due to the popularity of the Hana Yori Dango franchise where Matsumoto Jun plays a huge role. Nevertheless, they are currently Japan's favourite boys, even transcending gender. They are liked because they are fun-loving, funny, close...
Well, who is your favourite Johnny? Which is your favourite Johnny's group? What do you think of the whole Johnny's phenomenon in Japan?
My favourite Johnny is Ninomiya Kazunari, and if it wasn't obvious, my favourite Johnny's group is Arashi. They had a rocky beginning, and were often overshadowed by their kouhai especially KAT-TUN and NEWS, but they have worked hard throughout all of that and never gave up, and the fruits of their labour are now showing ... Trust me, my fangirl-ism has already gone down by a lot
As for the whole phenomenon, I'd say that some Johnny's don't deserve their fame They are simply riding the coattails of their sempai who worked hard and made the Johnny's Entertainment name famous. Some can't act, but are still popular and win many awards (of course, these awards are decided by audience vote). Some groups don't even sound good but their CDs sell. Some are boring characters but they still get their own variety shows.
But one thing I must say about Johnny's is that if nothing else, their concerts are spectacular. I would love to attend one some day!
Even though I'm not a huge Johnny's fan, my favourite group of the bunch is V6. I first heard of them when Inuyasha aired in North America, and they have always been associated with childhood nostalgia since then. (Inuyasha was my first real anime/manga fandom so the nostalgia is that much more special.) Around the same time my mom's co-worker lent her video recordings of their variety show, Gakkou e Ikou. After watching several episodes I began to remember the names of each member and familiarized myself with their personality.
Idol groups are held on a high pedestal, but V6 seems very approachable. In Gakkou e Ikou MAX! they take time out of their busy schedule to visit students across Japan. If the students have a certain goal, the members are sincere in their support. For example Nagano and Miyake travelled all the way to Berlin to help out an aspiring ballerina! Maybe it's my bias, but I don't think any other Johnny's group would go that far for a person who may not necessarily be their fan.
I also love how well they work and interact together despite their wide age gap. Although age doesn't matter to them right now, I'm sure it was a significant obstacle while Coming Century were still teenagers. The fact that they are still going strong after all these years shows how resilient they are and how compatible each members are with each other.
Lastly I love the songs they put out. They're surprisingly quite good and catchy. /stanning post