|(left to right) Imai Tsubasa & Takizawa Hideaki|
To understand how Tackey & Tsubasa came about it helps to understand their place in Junior history. They were a part of what is known as the Golden Age of Juniors and Takizawa Hideaki was considered the leader of the Juniors, a title that pretty ended with his debut as no other Junior had the kind of unifying presence he did. Tackey and Tsubasa as well as the members of Arashi and the older members of Kanjani8 were a part of this era. And a lot of what Junior fans take for granted, like Junior concerts, were started during this time.
Both Tackey and Imai Tsubasa joined the agency at the same audition in 1995 but while Tsubasa went off to do the usual Junior activities of the time Tackey got a drama role which helped lead to his early popularity. The two were often placed together for performances though and while they initially did not get along well eventually they became friends.
After noting their popularity, especially after it rose after Arashi debuted, Johnny Kitagawa commented that he wanted them to debut when they turned twenty, but it was not clear if he meant together as a duo or as two soloists. They were actually originally meant to debut as two solo artists but Tackey was able to get permission to ask their fans to organize a letter campaign to ask Johnny’s to let the two debut as a duo instead. This was the only time such a campaign has worked and considering how the two have such a poor sales record it will most likely be the last. But in any case it stands as testament at just how popular Tackey was as a Junior.
Instead of debuting with a single the duo had an album debut, titled Hatachi (the Japanese word for 20 years old) in 2002. They have had a spotty record when it comes to producing hit singles and tend to be one of Johnny’s lowest selling artists but now and then produce a hit like their popular song, Venus. Around 2009 each released solo material, which lead to fans fearing they would break up, but after about a year or so of that came back to releasing music as a duo again.
Tackey & Tsubasa are one of the rare Johnny’s groups that do not have their own variety show to host as a group. But they are both very active with musicals. Tackey nowadays has two musicals that he does, usually with many of the Juniors, one for the New Year in January Takizawa Kakumei and usually then another one he does later in the year Takizawa Kabuki. In the past couple of years Tsubasa has taken over being the lead in the annual PLAYZONE musical which runs during the summer.
Hideaki Takizawa is usually known by his nickname, Tackey. Because of his drama work when he was a Junior he quickly became popular but it was more his natural charisma that earned him his title of leader of the Juniors. Unfortunately the popularity did not seem to cross over after his debut though he still stars in dramas from time to time. He does still remain active with the Juniors, his recent project with them being TakiCHANnel, an online website that updates new videos of the Juniors weekly and sometimes also feature Tackey with them. He also dabbles in directing from time to time for mainly music videos.
Imai Tsubasa may not have the same star quality as Tackey but still manages to shine with what he loves, dancing. He is considered to be one of the Dancing Kings of Johnny’s. He also loves Spain and even hosts a program about learning Spanish and takes trips to visit the country when he has the time, saying that he goes to study dance there. He used to co-star in Domoto Koichi’s annual musical SHOCK but in recent has moved on to star in his own musicals, the most recent of course being PLAYZONE.
|(from left to right) Takizawa Hideaki & Imai Tsubasa|
TRIVIA: Yamashita Tomohisa used to call the two mom and dad.
During his time as a Junior he and Kanjani8’s Shibutani Subaru were considered rivals and were nicknamed Tackey of the East and Subaru of the West.
Tackey was actually very active with the Shounen Club program when it first began in 1999, and even directed an introduction clip that was aired with it for a couple of years.
Next Entry > North, East, West, South ... It's big NEWS
Johnny’s Juniors, full of rising stars and heartbreak
The Early and Rocky Path to Fame
Kondo Masahiko: Singer, Dancer, Actor, Professional Race Car Driver
Giving a New Meaning to Playzone, Shounentai
Hikaru Genji, Shining the Brightest and Crashing the Hardest
The Living Legend of SMAP
TOKIO, From Spaceships to the Over 30s World
Victory, Volleyball, Vegetable, Vicylce? V6
KinKi Kids, It's Not What You Think
Arashi, Storming to the Top
The Inseparable Duo, Tackey & Tsubasa
North, East, West, South ... It's big NEWS
Kansai Underdogs, Kanjani∞
Jumping to Their Dreams, Hey! Say! JUMP
Johnny's Black Sheep, Akanishi Jin
How to Debut Without Even Trying, Ikuta Toma
Kis-My-Ft2, Everybody Go (Roller Skating)!
Yamashita Tomohisa, Johnny’s Golden Boy
Entering the Sexy Zone
The 5Stars A.B.C-Z
Johnny's and Charity
Odds & Ends