Well summer has come and the year is about half way over now. The first half had some big surprises, both good and bad and mostly unpredictable. Hopefully the rest of the year will be calmer and things can start getting back to normal as things can get for Japan. I'll just be covering debuted (or officially set to debut) groups as I'm sure I'll get long winded about the Juniors.
SMAP looks like they'll manage as they always have the rest of the year. They're still one of the most popular Japanese artists and will keep busy with variety programs, dramas and movies. I can see them either releasing another single or a new album before the end of the year to keep their 20th anniversary celebration on track. Very few artists reach that hallmark, especially idol groups so I can't see Johnny's not wanting to do something for it for one of their top groups.
TOKIO has enough regular work they will continue doing. I am hoping though they will finally release an album before the end of the year. As they've already done a concert for this year I doubt they'll do another, though if they do release a new album they may tour next year.
Like the rest of the older groups Kinki Kids really doesn't seem all that affected by the first half of the year. Koichi has Endless Shock to keep him busy and I'm sure Tsuyoshi will find something for him to do. They also have a single coming up in a couple of weeks so they'll have their single for the year. Wouldn't be surprised if they do the usual tour in Winter so they'll have the Tokyo Dome for Countdown like usual.
As they haven't released a single this year I'll predict that V6 will release one before the end of the year. Though I don't see them doing much else. Usually I would assume they would have a tour still, either as a full group or one of the sub-units, but it doesn't look like there will be as many concert tours this year as there usually are and I can see them being one of the groups that will not be making their usual yearly tour.
Being one of the top groups more or less ensures that Arashi will continue to have the kind of releases they would usually. Which can be seen with the fact they have a concert DVD and a studio album coming up to be released over the summer as well as a tour lined up to take them through to early next year. I'll predict they'll have at least one more single that will be released, maybe two, before the year ends.
Tackey & Tsubasa are hard to guess about what will happen with them. The only thing that seems certain with them are the musical productions they keep themselves busy with. Release-wise I wouldn't be surprised if we don't anything more from them, together or as soloist.
I'd guess that we'd get at least a single from NEWS before the end of the year. I know there was a rumor for one for a July release but unless it ends up being late July I don't see that being more than a rumor. But as Yamapi's solo concert winds down and if Kanjani8 doesn't have anything lined up anytime soon I can see a single for the group being released in the next few months.
Kanjani8 have had a good year so far, despite all things. They're ending a string of single releases and I can see them putting out either another single or an album near the end of the year. I'm also sure we'll be seeing them do another winter tour so they can have the Kyocera Dome again for Countdown.
Poor KAT-TUN. This year was supposed to be their 5 year anniversary celebration but it doesn't look like things are turning out well for them. While I can see them keeping things up with releases they have had their concert tour canceled. I can see them releasing one more single and then an album before the year is out but they'll have to wait for 2012 to tour again.
Hey! Say! JUMP looks to be slowly getting back to some sort of regular release schedule. They're still hampered a bit with having to share members with NYC but they've been doing better with balancing the two groups. With any luck we'll get one more single from them before the end of the year or at latest early 2012. They're also one of the lucky groups that will be able to tour this year and have SUMMARY over the summer. It'll be interesting to see if they'll do the usual winter tour this year.
I don't see any new releases for Akanishi Jin until after he finishes filming for the 47 Ronin movie. And if anything it'll probably be another Japanese single.
Kis-My-Ft2 is probably the other group that's been most affected by the earthquake. They've had their debut single pushed back to sometime this summer and personally I'm going to guess it'll be sometime in August at this point. The tie-in to the Ikemen Desu ne drama will be a help though and make August the ideal month as then there will be anticipation built up from the drama for the release and the single should get a sales boost every time an episode airs once it has been released. Luckily they still have their tour and it seems to still be on schedule. I can see them getting at least one more single out before the end of the year and maybe we can finally get a concert DVD from them if not this year but next year.
And I guess I'll stick NYC here as well. I think it's possible for them to release another single before the end of the year but honestly they've already released something this year so they don't really need to and they can just use Yumetamago to be their end of year song.
And that about rounds everything up for the debuted groups.