Today's question is from morishin: Hello,Shintaro fan here. I´d like to hear your opinion: do you believe he´ll ever regain his status as No1Junior as before?
Even though I'm a fan of Morimoto Shintaro myself I don't see him really being able to return to his previous status before, if simply because he's now too old for it. After following Juniors for a while and there is usually always a young Junior that gets a lot of attention for a few years before they shift the focus onto another young Junior. You can see that from Yabu Kota moving to Nakajima Yuto then to Shintaro and I'm sure in the next few months it'll start becoming clear which young Junior will take over the position. Fourteen seems to be the age that this transition starts but from who came before Shintaro I don't think it's the end for him at all.
I think Johnny's has decided that the best way for him to continue on is with a group, which of course explains why he seems to have absorbed by Hip Hop JUMP even though they've been skirting around how official that is. In the first episode of Shounen Club this month he is only seen with HHJ and there is almost no attempt to differentiate him from the rest of the group outside of the fact that they only listed their individual names instead of the group name. But it also seems clear that Shintaro will most likely be one of the main boys of the group, with Tanaka Juri, and with how the Juniors are looking post-Kis-My-Ft2 and Sexy Zone debut this could be the perfect time for a group like HHJ to finally start getting a good deal of promotion.
As things stand now the only main Tokyo Junior groups left are A.B.C-Z, Hip Hop JUMP, Question? and Mis Snow Man. A.B.C-Z is getting a big push because they're getting set up for eventual debut which leaves the other three until new groups are created which probably won't be for a while if things play out like they did after past Volleyball debuts. That means if Johnny's wants a young group to promote it'll be falling on HHJ now that B.I. Shadow no longer exists. So as I stated this really could be the groups big chance to break out and having Shintaro as a part of the group can only help as he will be bringing all the fans he has with him.
So I guess in short, I don't think he'll ever get his position back but that doesn't mean his future looks bleak. In fact things could just be starting depending on what happens with him and HHJ.