05 November 2011

Victory, Volleyball, Vegetable, Vicylce? V6

Members: Sakamoto Masayuki, Nagano Hiroshi, Inohara Yoshihiko, Morita Go, Miyake Ken & Okada Junichi

Top row (left to right) Miyake Ken, Okada Junichi & Morita Go
Bottom row (left to right) Sakamoto Masayuki, Inohara Yoshihiko & Nagano Hiroshi

While there have been several explanations for what the ‘V’ in V6 stands for the original one is that it is meant to stand for Victory, while the 6 of course stands for the fact there are six members of the group. The group was formed in late 1995 and had their major debut on November 1st when their debut single, MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE. The song was used as the theme song for FIVB making V6 the first Johnny’s group to debut in connection to the event.

As Hikaru Genji before them V6 was divided into two sub-units within the group itself determined by the ages of the members, and there’s about a nine year difference between the oldest member and the youngest. The older three, Sakamoto, Nagano and Inohara, form the sub-unit 20th Century while the younger three, Morita, Miyake & Okada, form Coming Century. Both sub-units have released singles and albums on their own as well as having songs on the full group albums.

As a group of the mid-90s V6 is one of the first groups to have “raps” in their songs. As it was around this time Johnny’s began its love with hip pop, that of course they tried to call hip hop. Though V6’s sound has always been very pop with heavy Eurobeat influence at the beginning.

Like most groups V6 have had their fair share of variety programs that they host. One of their most popular ones was Gakkou e Ikou which was sadly cancelled but is still remembered fondly by fans and for being really popular for a time. Their current group variety program is Otoko no Hensachi and the members are on various other shows.

Sakamoto Masayuki had told Johnny that if he had not debuted by the age of 20 he would quit and he did. He went on to become a salary man until Johnny asked him to come back to play in a game of baseball and then went on to ask him to join V6 for their debut. He is the oldest and the leader of the group and is thought of as the “dad” of the group.

Nagano Hiroshi is known for being a food enthusiast. He often goes to new restaurants to try them out. He also played the human alter-ego of the popular Japanese children’s hero Ultraman Tiga. He is thought of as the “mom” of the group.

Inohara Yoshihiko is known more commonly by his nickname Inocchi, which almost everyone calls him by. He originally dropped out of high school but he promised his father to go back and finish which he kept when he finally went back and graduated in 2004. He is another one of the few Johnny’s that have married.

 Morita Go is the “rapper” of the group, or basically the one assigned to do the rap lines in their songs. It works for him as he is a fan of the hip hop and R&B genres and tends to play up the “thuggish” look. But like all “bad ass” members of a Johnny’s groups he is truly anything but that when it comes to personality.

It’s easy to figure which voice belongs to Miyake Ken as it is pretty squeaky, both when he talks and sings. He is also easy to notice with looks as he has one of those eternally young faces that makes him still look like a teenager. He has been friends with Go since their Junior days.

Okada Junichi joined Johnny’s by winning a TV program and after only being in the agency for about a month debuted with V6. He still holds the record of least amount of time as a Junior before having a major debut today. He’s easily the most popular of the group as he has the most extensive resume for acting as a lead actor which includes the popular SP drama series, which recently had feature films made for it in 2011.

Left Row (top to bottom) Sakamoto Masayuki, Morita Go & Okada Junichi
Right Row (top to bottom) Inohara Yoshihiko, Miyake Ken & Nagano Hiroshi 

TRIVIA: Sakamoto sung a Japanese version of the Phil Collin’s song, You’ll be in my heart, for the Japanese release of Disney’s Tarzan movie.

As Juniors Go and Ken were a duo named the Go-Ken Combi.

Next Entry > Kinki Kids, It's Not What You Think

Directory >
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
Otokogumi, Rocking It Old School
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∞
Cartoon? KAT-TUN!
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
International Ventures
Johnny's and Charity 
Odds & Ends


Jackie said...

Wow, I dídn´t know that Sakamoto was already out of Johnnys and trying to become a Salary Man when Johnny took him back in order to debut him. But I imagine Sakamoto must have REALLY wanted to debut, otherwise he wouldn´t have come back, wouldn´t he?
And I was surprised that Okada got to debut just after one month being in JE??!! Incredible!
Johnny must have seen his potential from the very beginning, because it´s as you say: he´s the most popular member now.

Anonymous said...

Hello! I've been reading your blog for quite a while now. As a V6-biased fan, I thought I should tell you that Viva Viva V6 had already ended last 2010. After GeI!Max and VVV6, they had Shinchishiki Kaikyu Kumagusu ["Kumagusu" for short] from 2008-2010, Mission V6 [another great show btw] from 2010-2011, and they currently have Otoko no Hensachi which started airing just last month.

Hope that helps! After V6, my favorites are NewS and JUMP [and ABC-Z too if they get to debut]. Thanks for your entries, I do enjoy reading them since I'm a Johnny's fan in general as well. ^-^

Thennary Nak said...

@ Jackie

I think it's the dram of all Juniors to debut but Sakamoto, like probably many of the older Juniors, probably worried about what would happen if he didn't ever debut and chose a steadier path until Johnny pretty much guaranteed that he would be able to debut.

Part of the reason I don't get too annoyed over the Juniors that haven't been around long debuting is because if they're picked it's usually for good reason. Okada is one of those Johnny's that helps prove that.

@ todsen

Thank you for the correction, I went ahead and corrected that information in the post.

I'm glad you're liking these posts and I hope I can eventually add A.B.C-Z to the list.

Anonymous said...

Happy to help! Btw, speaking of ABC-Z, a big news just came out!