I know there might be some readers getting tired of reading even more about my feelings about the recent NEWS member change but I promise this will probably be the last until the new NEWS at least announces that they're releasing something. I can say this with confidence because I think after the past few days where my thoughts and emotions about this have been all over the place I can feel that it's all finally settling and I'm just getting anxious to begin the new chapter in NEWS' history with the group as four.
The more I think of it the happier I am with the new arrangement. NEWS and Kanjani8 have spent way too much time playing a see-saw game with group activities over the years so it's really for the best for Nishikido Ryo to leave one of the groups. And I think sticking with Kanjani8 is better for him as his history with them goes for much longer than with NEWS and you can just tell he's more comfortable with K8. And I doubt Yamapi would stop his solo project even if he stuck with NEWS which means there would still be periods on non-activity for the group as Yamapi went off to do solo activities. Sure there's still Tegomass but I can see them merging with the new NEWS line-up, especially since their sales are only decent and hopefully new NEWS will be able to surpass them.
Reading some of the messages from the members and even other Johnny's about things I think I'm quickly coming to love new NEWS. Koyama recently brought up the reason they decided to continue on as four was because they felt that it was better for the fans that have been waiting so long for NEWS. Of course if I wasn't so sure that the remaining four enjoy being in a group together I may not have found that so heartening but I do believe the members left truly do love being able to work together. Not to say they hated working with the other two or vice-versa but it's always been clear that Yamapi and Ryo just weren't as close with those four. And maybe it's because I'm American but I love to cheer for the underdog and right now with Johnny's I don't think any other group really fits that status than NEWS.
I still won't be supporting Yamapi's solo career but it's really much more a financial decision than anything else. With Kis-My-Ft2 finally debuted and Sexy Zone debuting as well as the possibility of A.B.C-Z debuting sometime next year I just can't afford to buy CDs and/or merchandise for everyone I have been. Even if Yamapi wasn't leaving the group and still doing solo work I would take a pass on it as his solo stuff just doesn't interest me much. Sure he has a few songs I enjoy but because I can't afford to purchase everything I like I need to stick with that which I love and I just don't love solo Yamapi if his most recent releases are an indication of what direction his music is going in.
There's still a hope to see the six onstage together one day in the future. I don't care if they don't actually perform anything, just an ordinary talk during a concert MC thing with Ryo and Yamapi promoting whatever work they're doing at the time would be perfectly fine with me. And it's not that I want this because I'm hoping that the group will continue on as six, but more because I don't want the fact that Ryo and Yamapi were a part of the group to be forgotten. I've seen too many programs that looked back on Johnny's groups in the past and seen ex-members cut out of performances or PVs and I don't want to see that happen with NEWS. Especially because Yamapi and Ryo made the decision to leave the group unlike others who were either kicked out because of scandals or left the agency. Because they are still with Johnny's I would like to see that they're not going to try to erase a part of their history with the agency even if they're moved on. And it's not like I want them to dwell on it all the time because they have their own paths that they're taking and I'm hardly going to obsess about it either. I just don't want to see them completely ignoring the remaining four members if they happen to be on the music program together, which considering is something they don't do with other groups I don't think it's too much to ask that they do the same to the group they have a personal history with.
In any case I wish them both luck. If anything I really can't feel I'm losing Ryo as I do at least follow Kanjani8 a bit and at least buy their albums so if anything there will just be a little less of him in my life. And I will always have the earlier Yamapi singles and whatever he had done with NEWS if I ever miss him.
Now I just wait for news about the new NEWS to see what direction they'll head off into now. It's up to these four to pave the new path for the group to follow and I want to be there supporting them all the way.