18 October 2011

Let's speculate ... Juniors post Sexy Zone debut

It's been a while since I've done a proper Let's Speculate ... post and after watching this month's Shounen Club episodes I can't help but think about how the Juniors are going to be. They are now without not only Kis-My-Ft2 around, as it seemed rather clear that they are being moved on and won't be appearing much on the program now, but with the debut of Sexy Zone one of the more popular Junior groups is being disbanded. And yes by now I am completely convinced SZ is not a one-off group, there would be no point to sign them to a non-Johnny's label if they were only going to release one single, plus they fill the every-four-years pattern for volleyball unit career debuts.

Much like when HSJ debuted the groups that are still intact will probably benefit for a while, so I expect to be seeing more A.B.C-Z and Hip Hop Jump for a few months. A.B.C-Z though probably has been heading for such a boost with Kis-My-Ft2's debut as they are now one of the few older groups still around and have their upcoming solo concert. other than that there will probably be a lot of shuffling of non-grouped Juniors until some new groups are formed. I wouldn't be surprised to see Question? and Mis Snow Man get to do a bit more, that is if they're not busy with supporting the tours of debuted groups like they usually are.

I think the Juniors, that aren't debuting of course, we saw most of in the October episodes are probably the ones we'll see the most of in the coming months. That is when we don't have SZ members being pushed to the front as I don't doubt they'll remain a big part of SC post debut for a while much like HSJ was right after their debut. But I am quite happy with the thought of seeing more of Kyomoto Taiga (who had an awesome solo in October's second episode) and Tanaka Juri (especially if it means more HHJ).

Morimoto Shintaro probably won't ever be able to reclaim his spot as most promoted younger Junior anymore if just because he's getting too old. I find it interesting that he's being placed with HHJ lately and would not mind to see him join the group, as I think if he's to continue on that would be better for him now instead of being solo without really getting solo lines anymore. Plus he seems to get along well with the members of that group so I think it would be a good fit.

As for who will take up the most promoted younger Junior spot I think Kuramoto Kaoru is the most likely candidate. He's gotten a good deal of promotion recently, he's the right age at 10 years old, and shows signs of promise. That and he's just an adorable child that makes me think of puppies and kittens when I see him and since I love those I would love to see more of him.

I think if there would have been a group to take B.I. Shadow's place it would have been one with Sato Shori and Matsushima Sou but since both of them are debuting as well it's hard to tell now. Though honestly when HSJ debuted there was no way one could have guessed at B.I. Shadow in the future if mainly because the members of the group weren't even Juniors at the time. But I'm sure we'll get another popular Junior group of four that will continue on the tradition of being well loved and breaking the fans' hearts when they get broken up for a debut.

Speaking of B.I. Shadow I think Koichi Yugo and Matsumura Hokuto will probably stay with the agency. Yugo has been out because of an injury which is why he hasn't been on SC but I suspect he'll be back once he's healed. Hokuto I would just like to see more of. It's been a bit sad that even though he and Nakajima Kento have been in the past two months' SC he's been pushed to the back still while Nakaken has kept his spotlight. But he's still young and can have a second (or third depending on how you view the Nakayama Yuma w/B.I. Shadow/NYC boys one shot single) chance. If anything both have a good deal of fans from being in B.I. Shadow and it would be waste not to get them into a new group or start promoting them more now that Nakaken and Kikuchi Fuma have made their debut.

But once SZ stops dominating SC and once they start having their own concerts I can see the Juniors getting shuffled into new groups to be promoted as Johnny's keeps looking for the next group of stars to debut in years to come.


Ani2 said...

I´m sure SZ will stay quite prominent in SC for a while even after debuting. Ithink it will take a while for the group to have their own concerts and SC would be a good way to keep on practicing, especially for the younger 3 members.

Kuramoto could be the next pushed Junior, I agree. But maybe some very new Juniors who join the agency this fall will get more attention too, in case there will be someone promising .

When SZ won´t be appearing much in SC anymore, the focus could become more on Hip Hop Jump and Tanaka Juri. Shintaro will probably join HHJ since he´s even appearing in magazines with them recently.
I´m looking forward to see what will happen in SC the next months!

Jackie said...

I´ve been wondering about one thing:
since HSJ was the youngest JE group, the Juniors took big parts in their concerts, like in SUMMARY. Now I´m wondering:
SZ will become the most youngest group so will it mean that the Juniors will perform in SZ concerts from now on?
Of course there are background Juniors in almost every Johnnys concert but I wonder if there will be Summary again next year, will HSJ have the concert more for their own? Because the Juniors usually have had quite a big part in Jump´s concerts.

Thinking about Shounen Club, ABC-Z will get more attention from now on and being promoted for their upcoming debut. So that means they wont be too long on SC either because they´ll debut soon.

I hope that the group around taiga finally gets a group name and will get more attention.

Misa said...

I really want to see more of Hokuto and Yuugo T_T Yuugo, come back soon >_<
I hope they´ll become members in some new group because if they stay groupless, they´ll most probably end as backdancers somewhere ....
I love them somuch but I just can´t imagine them to sing solo or so O_O

I miss Ryo Masuda!! Where is he???
Did he quit Johnnys??!!

Aaaah, Shin-chan... I feel so sorry for this boy T_T
Hope he won´t ever quit and debut somehwere in the future!
Ganbatte !!!

Chris said...

I love your speculating posts !I also enjoy reading the other comments here.

I´m glad about the Sexy Zone debut but I wouldn´t mind to have seen those boys a bit longer as regulars on SC, like 1 or 2 years longer.
Of course I´ll continue watching SC every month but to be honest, once SZ will debut and appear less and less on SC, I don´t know if I´ll be that excited anymore. I like all Juniors but there won´t be someone who I will look forward to see excitedly, like I did with Kento and Fuma and Shori and Sou. But well, that´s only my opinion and with the time everything changes, there might come new constellations, new Juniors etc, so it might still be exciting after all.

Watching at Johnnys Jr Land, Kuramoto is definitely someone who might get pushed a lot now but Kaoru is just 10. It´s too early to say if he´ll be the next big thing or not. Same happened withShintaro. He was THE golden Junior at a very young age but look where he´s now. But still, I think Kuramoto will get pushed more now.

We´ll probably never get to know what the reason was for the sudden falldown of Shintaro. I know it happened just in time with the case of his brother but it also could be that Johnny-san doesn´t see that special thing in him now as when he was a child.
Johnnys don´t want to let him perform solo anymore, so I guess HHJ was the only solution.

It´s weird: Nakayama Yuuma is still a Junior but why isn´t he appearing in Tokyo´sSC?!
Of course I don´t know much about his schedule but I think he´s often in Tokyo, so practically, he could appear sometimes, but he never is, only with Kansai Juniors in summer.
One thing I find ironical: Kento and Fuma made a one shot debut in 2009 with Yuma and this kind of debut was made just for Yuma. But now, FumaKen get to debut officially while Yuma will still stay a Junior and I think, he´ll stay a Junior for a long time. Next year the ABC-Z debut is coming up and then the next debut will come some years after.
Seems like FumaKen catch Yuma up.
Back in 2009, I would have never thought that those two would debut officially even before Yuma.

Taiga has a nice voice and it would be nice if Taigatachi get more screentime!
SanaNozawa will appear more often now too, I think.

Amai Yume said...

Interesting point about Shintaro...I feel like he was a missed opportunity for Johnny. He was definitely the one the company was pushing hard yet he's sort of fading now...maybe the whole Ryutaro thing cast a dark light on him that put any plans with him out of practice but I'm really surprised that Shintaro hasn't debuted yet and now it feels like the great momentum they had been building for him is lost...but what you said about joining JUMP...before I read this, I would have dreaded the thought of anyone else but Ryutaro coming back into the group...but I would actually warmly allow Shintaro in...probably because of my bias for him but I don't know...it feels okay if he's in...

As for Juniors in general, I don't really know anything about them in general except for a few and those that I do know have my extreme bias (Shintaro, Juri, and Hokuto and Yuugo of course) but I wonder about what the true purpose of them is. Are they meant to be trained to debut someday or just serve as backdancers and when chances arise, they debut? Basically, is a Junior that never debuts a common thing? Some of them quit but are their Juniors that have been around and never debuted? I don't want Shintaro to go the way of Misaki (B.I. Shadow) so that I never hear from him again...

markl02 said...

One year ago, who would have thought the next debut would include So, Shori, and Marius? It's almost impossible to predict with Johnny. But leaders like Nakaken and Fuma take time to develop, so we could speculate on who has that talent growing now.

My top pick for future leader is Juri Tanaka. I've always liked him, and now I think he's more self-assured and entertaining every week on Shonen Club. He can be funny, friendly, and versatile.

I was also very impressed with Matsushima So's MC work last week on Yan Yan JUMP. He could do some great multitasking in the future, like we see now with Hikaru and Yuto.

I don't know if Taiga has the strongest leadership quality, but he has a strong, deserved fan base and he is singing better than ever with self-assured dancing skills too.

I'd keep looking towards Ja(PA)nese(HI) (or however you spell it!) for future members. Yuta Jinguuji is one who's standing out, and obviously Kaoru is a front-runner.

Wesley was a crowd pleaser at SUMMARY and so was the little boxing boy. I always notice Chino in a crowd, and the short-haired kid whose name I can't find now even though I just looked for almost an hour to identify him - you know, the one who did the Mandarin "xie xie" in "Arigatou".

It's weird, I have more hope for Ryutaro's successful return than I have for Shintaro's ability to climb back. But he could be growing through a stage, and emerge to be a star again. You never know.

After all that, I think many if not most of the Jr's who will be top of mind in Fall 2012 will be Jr's we have no idea of right now. :)

Thennary Nak said...

@ Ani2

Exactly. The younger ones need all the experience they can get and being on SC is a good way to get it.

That is true, it's hard to tell which Junior is going to do well when there is new talent being brought in all the time.

Well I think even before SZ moves on HHJ and some of the other Junior groups will start to get a bigger push, as IIRC Kis-My-Ft2 began getting more of a push before HSJ left SC.

@ Jackie

Of course, especially if SZ starts doing concerts shortly after the Volleyball Cup is over, as like JUMP they just won't have enough material of their own to support a true solo concert. So I expect their early concerts to feature Juniors quite a bit. On the flip side I can see HSJ beginning to use Juniors less and less with their concerts, especially the younger ones.

Guessing about Summary is a bit tricky as it began being a more Junior thing with the first featuring NEWS and KAT-TUN (who were still Juniors at the time) and the next being NEWS and Ya-Ya-Yah. So technically it should be able to exist without HSJ but I think we're just going to have to wait and see.

I agree that there will probably be more A.B.C-Z, since now they will be the most popular Junior group there. And it'll seem so strange if they debut as the members of A.B.C. have been on SC since it's first episode, IIRC.

@ Misa

I really want to see more of Yugo and Hokuto too. I think they both have potential and hope that now that they get chances to be in the front now instead of constantly being pushed in the back as they were for BIS.

For what I've heard Masuda Ryo is still in Johnny's but he's taken time off to prepare for tests which is why he hasn't been around. So I would expect him to appear again eventually.

That's my hope for Shintaro too. I mean he's still a young teenager so I think he still has a good chance at debut if he sticks around and continues to work hard for it.

Thennary Nak said...

@ Chris

I was kinda the same way about the younger Juniors when HSJ debuted but then Juniors I didn't notice before began to catch my eye and of course new Juniors joined who caught my interest, like Nakaken. I guess that's part of the fun for me as a Junior fan to see how fluid things can be at times.

Even if Kuromoto isn't the next Golden Junior I do agree he will get promoted more.

I think it might be more of an age thing. Shintaro isn't the tiny little Junior he once was so he really couldn't keep his place and he doesn't seem to be transitioning into a popular older Junior so if anything the promotion is just getting scaled back. He still gets a good amount of screen time, solo lines and interviews on SC more in line with other popular Juniors, Kyomoto Taiga and Tanaka Juri, so I don't think Johnny's has completely given up all hope in him. Just decided he isn't so much front man material.

Yuma is busy with his musicals, I mean Kikuchi Fuma missed October's SC episodes because of Shounentachi and he was just wheeling Kawai Fumito around in a wheelchair for a scene for that mostly. Yuma has much larger parts so they probably can't fit in SC tapings with his musical work.

It does seem strange that Nakaken and Fuma are graduating from Junior status first. But who knows what Johnny's has planned for Yuma.

Taigatachi and NonSana really should get more screen time.

@ Amai Yuma

Sorry I meant Hip Hop Jump for Shintaro, not Hey! Say! JUMP. Though I do agree if Johnny's would ever think about adding someone new Shintaro would be one of the few that I think could possibly work, though I don't actually see it happening.

Juniors are primarily back dancers but are also potential candidates for debuting. With how many Juniors there are, I believe it's over 200, I'd say it's more uncommon for Juniors not to debut. Of course jst because a Junior doesn't debut doesn't mean they can't be active as Ikuta Toma became a popular actor before Johnny's decided to make him a solo talent even though he never had a CD debut. And there are some older Juniors that do acting and such still. In fact there's even a Junior in his 30s that's still around but like most older Juniors you don't see him in the Junior programs.

I think Shintaro still has chances for debuting in the future. He's still rather young and one of the better known Juniors.

@ markl02

Of course, this speculation is based off of the known Juniors as it's impossible to guess about Juniors that haven't even joined yet.

I agree that Juri seems to have gained more confidence. I do hope to see more of him as I think this very well could be his time to start shining.

The more I see of Sou the more I see why he was picked to debut. He still needs to work on dancing and singing but being a part of SZ should help with that.

I Taiga would be perfect to be a lead vocalist in a group. As you said he doesn't seem to be much of a leader but I think he'd be a good addition to any group.

My problem with JaPAnese Hi is that I can't remember all the members. Though the two you mention definitely look like potential Juniors to be pushed into the spotlight now.

I do know who you're talking about but I think like Chino he's still rather young so I wouldn't be surprised if Johnny's is just waiting for those two to get a bit older before really pushing them.

I'm the opposite with the Morimoto brothers. If you think about it Shintaro is just getting the same promotion as other popular Juniors so I really don't think it's as dramatic as people make it out to be.

Juniors are the hardest to predict as things can change so quickly.