09 November 2011

Yamapi deals with death and rebirth

It has been announced that Yamashita Tomohisa will be starring in a drama this upcoming winter drama season. In the drama his character will work in a "funeral service shop" and it will deal with his character maturing as he learns about the lives and deaths of those brought in. The title of the drama is titled Saikou no Jinsei no Owarikata and will air on TBS beginning in January.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Honestly I will admit there was some disgruntled feelings from me at first when the announcement came out. Nothing really personally against Yamapi, I've well moved on from that, but rather that we still don't have much in the way for an announcement for something for new NEWS. But upon reflection I realize that it's pointless to allow myself to keep feeling that way and remember that there are probably Yamapi fans that have been waiting just as anxiously for new news for him as I have been for NEWS.

Recently NEWS was given new profile images, which included a new group photo for the current line up, and Yamapi has his own section in the solo artist section of Johnny's net. One thing that surprised me was that Yamapi's biography begins in 2011 and not when he first began releasing solo CDs. And I think that gives the message that Yamapi was still very much seen as a member of NEWS by the agency up until probably the talks about him and Nishikido Ryo leaving began. So those solo releases were done by Yamapi the member of NEWS and from now on it really is going to be just Yamapi the solo artist.

Looking at it that way I can't let my lingering negative feeling take hold as while I think it's important for the new NEWS to start their group activities it's just as important for Yamapi to start his new solo activities. He now must work to separate himself from the group, no matter what his personal feelings are, so he can be truly seen as a solo artist. His path is now something separate that he has to take alone, which is why I don't think we'll be seeing him connected with NEWS, or even around the remaining group members, for sometime in the hopes that people will see him as a soloist just like people will hopefully be able to see NEWS as the current four.

I feel in a way NEWS is very much like a phoenix, they seem to be constantly on a cycle of having to remake themselves as members leave but each time they come back with a new strength. So it is fitting that the members they lose also get the chance to be reborn into something new, for Moriuchi Takahiro he got to become a front man for rock band that has been hitting their stride recently, Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori both had the chance to restart as Juniors with Johnny's, now Ryo gets to be solely Kanjani8's and Yamapi will strike out on his own as a solo artist. So both those who remain and those who left keep being able to remake themselves to forge the future they are dreaming of, which to me is a big part of this group that I love called NEWS.


Anonymous said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog recently and I found it very interesting. I'm a relatively new to JE fandom so i really appreciate all your posts on JE group history. Your thoughts on juniors and debuted groups are also very insightful.

I'm basically a KAT-TUN fan only. I don't follow other groups. Seeing what's happening w/ NEWS reminds me of KT last year. I wonder what do you think will happen to new NEWS regarding their next year activities? KT has been doing alright so far. They obviously took a big blow in popularity and sales but they still have somewhat regular releases.

Also do you think JE looked at how KT was doing before they make any decision on Pi/Ryo leaving? I think that at the end it's all up to member's decision. Still, i wonder if the fact that both Jin and KT were doing alright sale-wise (not as good but still ok) after separation influenced both JE and NEWS member on their decision.

Jackie said...

I´m sure even in Japan there might be lots of Yamapi fans who are angry and disappointed in him for leaving news,so it will be interesting to see how popular his drama will become.
he hasn´t done anything jobrelated for a long time so I´m kind of looking forward to the drama.
But it´s time for NEWS to release something!! I´m much more excited for it than on Yamapi´s solo activities. I hope Johnny´s don´t forget about NEWS.

Karina said...

Sorry but I´m not excited for his new drama. I´ve never been a fan of him and since he left NEWS, I´m even more not interested.
Not saying that I´m angry with him but just that I don´t care about him. .
But good luck to him for his drama!

Thennary Nak said...

@ Anonymous

Welcome and thank you. I'm glad I can be of help, especially to a new fan.

Well it's hard to make a comparison between KAT-TUN because the circumstances were a bit different with the two groups. For one KAT-TUN had already gone through having Jin leave and return. Also I think most fans saw plenty of clear signs that Jin wasn't happy with the group so it wasn't all too surprising that he would leave, especially after doing so before. With NEWS while they lost members most were due to scandals and since they weren't active at all for so long the fans couldn't really pick up any real signs that Yamapi and Ryo were wanting to leave until the announcement came out. And it didn't help that Yamapi was on record for telling fans not to worry that NEWS would come back as before, even if it was about a year old.

When it comes to Ryo I think they looked at how well K8 was doing and the fact K8 has become high in demand for work. Since K8 sells more than NEWS these days I think it made sense that Ryo had to make his choice and Johnny's would back up his wish to stay with K8.

For Yamapi I think they looked more to how much he was selling as a solo artist. His sales numbers have usually been near what NEWS as a group sold, minus a couple of releases, and of course his solo concert tour went well with sell outs so I think they believed he would do as well solo as with the group.

I think NEWS is allowed to stay around more for the fact the remaining four want to stay as NEWS. Johnny's has a history of keeping groups and talents around if they still want to stay after losing group members so it's not surprising that they're letting NEWS stay after losing two of the group's most popular members. I don't think they'll sell all that great but there are other Johnny's groups that don't sell well that show no signs of being dropped because of that.

If KAT-TUN had an influence I would say it might be with Yamapi's decision to go solo, in the sense that his friend Jin did so and has done fine so he might have felt he should have followed suit.

@ Jackie

It will be interesting how his drama does, now he's officially solo. I think though Yamapi fans won't be so hurt as the NEWS fans from his leaving.

Well until Tegomass finish their concert tour I don't think we'll be hearing much in the way about new NEWS activities. I expect though they'll try to plan a busy year next year for them though to reassure the fans.

@ Karina

I'm not much of a fan either but I've come to the point that I'm not willing to hold any hard feelings against him. I'm too interested in the new NEWS and wanting to support them right now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question! I just realized after already posting my comment that it wasn't really related to the post (re yamapi's new drama) and that you might miss my comment. So thanks again =)

K8 is doing very well and Yamapi has always been doing well solo-wise. I always have the impression that Yamapi's so popular in Japan such that if anyone in JE would go solo, he would be the most likely candidate (after Takki decided not to). Well Jin is also very popular of course. So i guess my concern wasn't really about them but the other four. I guess you're right that JE tends to keep all their groups as long as members want to stay. I'm kind of interested in them and will be looking forward to what they will put out.

I just got a news of Yamapi's concert DVD release today. Seems like they're gearing him up for next year. Hopefully NEWS will get to release new single soon!