23 October 2011

RE:STOP pesky rumors

I normally ignore rumors for the most part as most end up being untrue or only partly true and the parts that aren't true making them seem completely groundless. But since I find that these rumors tend to be given much more weight than they should with the fans of the younger groups every once in a while I'll address those to remind people that if something sounds too good to be true than most likely it is.

The current rumor is about Morimoto Ryutaro returning to Hey! Say! JUMP by releasing a new single with him in January, titled RE:START.

One of the reasons that the rumor doesn't pan out is that it goes back to the problem of rumors that only have a single source that isn't really verifiable. Sure the new volleyball unit rumor panned out except the group name wasn't the same nor were the group members, so if anything it was one of those annoying partial rumors that at least had the tradition of FIVB unit debuts and it was coming from an online store not a personal blog to back itself up. This current rumor though has nothing to back it up other than one personal blog in Japanese saying that it's true and others just believing them.

And Johnny's wouldn't make such an announcement unless it was at some kind of event for HSJ which they aren't scheduled for any. In fact it looks like they may not even have concerts this winter as there has been no announcement for one, as other groups have already made their winter concert announcements so fans would have enough time to ballot for tickets from them.

Also there has never been a case of a member of a group being caught in an underage smoking/drinking scandal and being returned to their group. You just have to look at what happened to Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori to see that Ryutaro has a greater chance of ending up like them than being able to rejoin the group. And if he does get the chance to rejoin the group he's going to have to do more than stay out of the spotlight long enough. He'll probably have to be placed on Trainee status for a while and be a part of something, like Uchi and Kusano were in 2007's PLAYZONE, before regaining his Junior status and then maybe, just maybe he'll get a chance to be a part of the group.

I know a lot of fans are still clinging to the hope that since Johnny's net hasn't updated the profile for HSJ to exclude Ryutaro that there's still a good chance for him to return. I personally think that they're just trying to avoid any major backlash from HSJ fans and are just waiting for people to get used to the nine member version of the group a bit more before they finally make that update and officially state that he isn't currently a member of the group.

And on a personal note, as I'm also a fan of NEWS it would honestly and truly piss me off if Ryutaro was able to return to the group just like that. I may not have been a fan of NEWS when they were still eight but I became a fan not too long after the group's return and the feeling and hopes of Uchi and/or Kusano returning to the group were still rather high, especially with them returning to being active with PLAYZONE. And then there was the fact that there was no doubt that Kanjani8 wanted Uchi back, the infamous encore at one of their concerts where they brought him onstage to announce that this was Kanjani8 comes to mind. But in the end neither of them returned to their groups, even Uchi who had been popular before his scandal and had a group publicly state that really wanted him back. They worked hard for their second chances and I expect no less for Ryutaro as it would be a cruel slap in the face for him not to have to go through something similar to those two before even being evaluated by management on whether he should return to HSJ or not.

I know that may seem harsh but I wouldn't have an issue if Ryutaro went the same path as Uchi and Kusano and then was put back into HSJ. In fact I think I'd come to appreciate him more, as that would show he has a lot of dedication to the group. And I've always felt one of the reasons Uchi and Kusano didn't get that chance in the end was because of the mess that PLAYZONE ended up being with the Akasuka Akira drug scandal. Which unfortunately just sucked for them as they really couldn't control that. But I honestly cannot accept Ryutaro's return to the group without him having to go through something to show his resolve to really want to be in the group. Especially when there have been Johnny's in a similar circumstance that had to go through something like that and still not be able to return to their groups.


Karina said...

I don´t think this rumour is true but IF it was true, then I would find it unfair if Ryutaro would come back to HSJ just so easily. Kusano and Uchi had to go back to Trainee status and Uchi was able to regain his status. Well, he´s not debuted but he´s doing lots of stuff like butais and solo cons etc. Ryutaro did a mistake and if Johnnys really plan to let him come back, then I think he has to become a Trainee or at least a Junior again and work hard to eventually debut with another group .
But anyway, I don´t believe in this rumour.

Chris said...

Seriously, I believe this rumour was made up of hardcore Ruytaro fans who are dying to see him back in the group. And in January?? That´s too soon, I mean what´s the use of his punishment if he´s able to come back so soon and even back in JUMP?!. Other young Juniors would think :"okay, then I can do forbidden things as well and I don´t care if JE would find out, because I will be able to come back anyway."
No, no way he´s coming back!
But some Ryutaro fan thought of making up a rumour and are giving other Ryutaro fans new hope >_>
But anyone who can think properly will see that´s impossible.
I could imagine there will be a new single in beginning of next year but not with the title "RE:START" and NOT as a 10-member group !!

Anonymous said...

You said you'd be pissed off if Ryu came back in full status, but that's been the plan all along, according to my contact at NHK. It won't be too long, either. He's already been regularly attending HSJ events and rehearsals, though in the background, just to "catch up" with the songs/music. He will have to work on the dance steps but has already been receiving training apart from the group for that. He won't be a trainee. . . or a junior. The justification is that smoking is a LONG way in their eyes from drinking; plus, he was so young at the time that he can be "forgiven" and still maintain "honor." I'm not looking for him before the first of the year to return, though, but it's coming sooner than most think.

reimin said...

they said JE is changing. and this might just be one of the instances we see that.
The rumor may not be true, but i wouldn't be surprised if the Ryu really does comes back, with this single or with another one.
Up until now, they did not have the heart in deleting his profile at HSJ page at Johnnys net. Without a word of definite suspension, he's officially still a member of HSJ.

Thennary Nak said...

@ Karina

I don't believe it either as they've already begun to move on as a nine member group and Magic Power's sales prove that they are still doing well without Ryutaro and don't need him in the group to get good sales like that. And while the members and fans may want him to return it's the agency's decision in the end and they tend to look at things with a more financial outlook so those sales numbers matter quite a bit.

@ Chris

I agree it's probably from fans who do really want him back and I can sympathize but there's no use to stir things up like this with lies.

Not only that but idols have an image to keep, especially a group like HSJ who are marketed as a fresh, young and wholesome group. Letting someone who broke the law back in can ruin that image which is why with scandals it's really only the really popular groups and members that can sometimes get away with them as the agency is more willing to take the chance of having them get forgiveness without taking a big blow to sales or popularity, unless it's one of the really big no-nos like drug usage.

@ Anonymous

And why should I believe anything you wrote as I know absolutely nothing about you? It's easy for anyone to pretend they have inside information about something which is why I only believe official sources.

And if you are somehow right than I will be pissed about it as I don't think Ryutaro should be let back into the group after causing so much trouble for them because of his scandal.

Not to mention your reasoning about the difference of drinking and smoking does not line up at all with how the idol business works in Japan. There have been idols dropped from groups because of underage smoking and it's mainly because like underage drinking it's illegal. HSJ has a wholesome image and having someone who broke the law in the group tarnishes it, which is why it was such a big scandal in the first place.

@ reimin

But this just isn't a Johnny's thing, this is something that happens to Japanese idols in general. So unless there's a big change in the industry I don't see Johnny's having a change of heart, especially as they are usually the slowest agency to embrace any change.

And I don't think it's anything personal for Johnny's to leave the profile unchanged on Johnny's net. Like I said they will want to avoid backlash from fans and if keeping the idea that he's not gone yet from the group is how they think they'll do it then that's what they'll do.

markl02 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
markl02 said...

I'm happy to accept Ryutaro back in the group whenever JE deems it appropriate, and I'm looking forward to the day it happens. Months of suspension, never knowing if he'd ever come back, having to see his group perform all those SUMMARY concerts including at Tokyo Dome, that's more than enough punishment as far as I'm concerned. Other Juniors have already noticed the harsh punishment, I'm sure, and won't be running out for beer or cigarettes soon if they're serious about their future. There may be far more punishment for Ryu in the future - he may never get to rejoin JUMP or do anything important in the Juniors again. But if he came back tomorrow, I'd be jumping for joy.

Anonymous said...

are you saying there will be NO hey say jump 2011-2012 winter concert? its almost end of october.. but still no announcement, does that mean they have NO schedule for end of the year?

Ani2 said...

First of all, I also don´t believe that Ryutaro will come back next year and I really wonder if he would want to come back to HSJ. I don´t know but I could imagine that he would feel uncomfortable after his scandal case to go back into the entertainment business again , where all reporters will ask him too many questions etc.
But in the end we don´t know anything about him and his feelings and also we don´t know anything what JE plan to do with him.
I like Ryutaro but seeing how Jump is doing quite good as 9 member unit too, I´m not sure if JE are thinking of making him join again, because... yeahJump are doing really great now even without him.
But if he would come back , of course I would be very happy!

Thennary Nak said...

@ markl02

You're more forgiving than I am. But seeing how Uchi and Kusano went over all that for over a year while Ryutaro has only had a few months doesn't seem right to me.

@ Anonymous

It doesn't look likely that they will. I guess if they were going to start a concert in January there might be a chance but if nothing has been announced in a few weeks then they probably aren't.

Most Johnny's only do one concert tour a year so HSJ was a bit of an oddball doing so many of them. But with SZ debuting I wouldn't be surprised if they cut back how many concerts they did as there are only so many venues in the country and it would probably help SZ out more to perform more.

@ Ani2

Very true. It very well is a decision he must make first off and he could always choose to not comeback himself, kinda like Kusano chose not to continue while Uchi has.

With how well Magic Power did I'm sure Johnny's will wonder if they even need him back if nine is doing fine as it is. Which is harsh but they are more business first than anything.

I wouldn't mind him coming back, just not so soon or at least without having to do something to prove his dedication to not getting into trouble like that again. I'm sure things probably fun for him now but debut has always been a big thing so I don't think it can be something given or taken away lightly.

Anonymous said...


Johnny may no longer calling the shots but Mary still is, and Mary is known to be the strict and heartless one. When Goro of SMAP was suspended in 2001, the only person who wouldn't let him come back was Mary. Johnny and everyone else inside and outside of the agency begged to have him back because SMAP refused to do any group activity without him but Mary won't budge. SMAP ended up rejecting the year-end music shows including Kouhaku simply because Mary won't let Goro come back. If it took that long and that hard for SMAP, do you think it will be this easy for Ryutaro?