I was searching through clips of the Johnny's groups of the 80s and 90s when I found this clip and noticed something familiar about this group, Shibugakitai, and the more recent group NYC.
I had always thought of NYC as a retro group, or at least a group that was paying homage to the groups of those decades. Their B-sides have a sound that is similar to the Johnny's groups of the 80s and 90s, which makes sense with their first single being a cover of a Hikaru Genji song. But it's a sound that has stuck with them since that single.
Finding this video also points towards NYC being styled after these older groups with the similarities of a teenage trio color coded with the three base colors. Shibugakitai wasn't the first to use this scheme either and I wouldn't be surprised that if searching through Shounentai videos I found them in those three colors.
It makes me wish I knew more about past Johnny's groups as I feel like I can appreciate NYC more because of this connection to groups of the past. They're not the only group that has such a connection either as Kis-My-Ft2 was created to be like Hikaru Genji, from the use of roller skates to having an older and younger set of members.
So I think it's rather unfortunate that there seems to be so little information about these older groups in English seeing as Johnny's has proven that while they keep trying to find ways their groups can be the first in something they are also always looking back to find what worked in the past so to try to see if it can also work in the present.