Over the weekend A.B.C-Z had their first solo concerts and from all reports they were a complete success. Both shows were sold out and from blog reports most of the concert goods were completely sold out in about five hours.
At the concerts it was announced that the group will be given their own show in February at the Nissay Theatre. This will be an original stage show for the group and the title of the production will be called ABC座 日生公演 which can be read with the kanji for star to translate to ABC-Z the Star Performance.
Momoedgewood blog entry (English)
I find it interesting that while there's still talk about aiming for a CD debut sometime next year the idea of adding members to the group seems to have been been dropped. It makes me think the 'xy' thing might have been to build some hype up for the then upcoming Sexy Zone debut announcement by bringing Kikuchi Fuma to the front of that as he was the only name brought up as a candidate.
I've always been of the mind that A.B.C-Z wouldn't really work as a debuted group and that Hashimoto Ryosuke would always eventually be pulled out to debut with another group but with the success of their first solo concerts it looks like I misjudged their potential. Hopefully the upcoming shows will do as well and it'll be interesting to see how Johnny's plans to keep promoting them in the upcoming year. I think with all the talk about a CD debut they'll get one, whether it'll be a one shot debut or a major debut though I'll put up for debate but I don't think Johnny's can really back out on having them release a CD if they continue to bring it up.
Though I wonder if Johnny Kitagawa is using this group to return to the agency's roots with having a group heavily based on performing musicals. With the talk about wanting to bring the Johnny's stage shows outside of Japan a group like A.B.C-Z would make sense, though I would wonder if they're learning/practicing English if that's part of the goal for this group. But this of course is a lot of speculation on my part and this year hasn't even ended yet and there is still time for surprise announcements to be made.