11 December 2011

A.B.C-Z to debut , thoughts & speculation

Of course one of the topics I've been hoping to get the chance to write about is the announcement of A.B.C-Z's debut next year. At the recent press conference for their upcoming stage show they made the announcement and mentioned that instead of debuting with a CD they will debut with a DVD. They cited that they feel that it was important for people to see them perform and they got the okay from Johnny Kitagawa. They will be the first Johnny's group to debut with a DVD and the release is scheduled for February 4th, 2012.

Yahoo! Japan News article. (Japanese)

Honestly I've been of the mind that there was no way A.B.C-Z would not debut once the announcement was made months ago. So while I'm not surprised at the announcement I am surprised that it will be so soon.  Yet seeing as they aren't doing the traditional debut I think it'll work out fine for them. If anything they shouldn't have to worry as much about competition as the groups that have CD debuts.

One thing I'm glad to see is that at least Johnny forgot about the whole adding members thing. From the kind of group they seem to be set up to be keeping the group as it is should be just fine.

I can only assume this DVD though will be something like a DVD single, which is basically a DVD with a PV, sometimes some live performance footage, that gets released by some artists from time to time. The big draw of course being that the DVD is not much more expensive than a CD single. Or I guess you can think of it as buying the bonus DVD on a limited edition of a CD single but without the CD. But I can't see them releasing something like a full concert or musical on DVD for this as I'm sure Johnny's still wants strong sales from it and those are expensive.

I can't help but think that this debut is a way for Johnny's to get back to their roots in a way. The first Johnny's group began with musicals after all and it was one of the big mainstays of the early Johnny's were their strong ties to musicals. In fact even with the current Johnny's groups you can see the musical influence with how theatrical their concerts can be, and of course the fact that you can find group members being on stage as well as on screens easily. But it's been sometime there has been a group directly tied to musicals, I think Shounentai were probably the last and even now they've cut back on musical work when they let PLAYZONE pass on to other groups.

I think A.B.C-Z and musicals are a perfect fit. It's where their strengths lie and while I still find it hard to imagine them as recording artists I have no trouble with seeing them as being stars of stage productions. And I really have it stuck in my head that they will be the next Shounentai, it just seems really fitting to me. Not to mention that it would be great if they were just as successful.

It'll be interesting to see how this debut will go as it's rather unprecedented but with the release date in less than two months I'm sure we'll be getting a lot of news about it in the next few weeks.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info! I can't get too excited yet until I see how this goes. I really want to see them get promoted more and be on tv and do normal things like variety & drama roles. I also wonder if they will release regularly or if it will just be that one dvd if they do not sell well enough..I'm still really happy for them, they deserve it. However, I must admit that while ABC seems perfect for having a career with stage performances, it doesnt' really seem like Hasshi's niche like it is for the rest of them. He's improved alot but singing seems to be his strength and he seems more suited for regular cd releases to me. I guess it is still possible for JE to change their plans and let abcz do a single release if they get popular enough. If not that I also kinda hope that Hasshi could debut a 2nd time with Sanada & Nozawa for a cd. It's especially hard for me not to have that go through my mind when Hasshi still gets special performances with them and other boys around his age. Well nonetheless I look forward to seeing what happens and congrats to ABC-Z.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, why do you think abc-z wouldn't work as a recording group? I will admit I'm totally biased in that I love almost everything about this group, and am really excited about their debut. I guess I don't understand your point of view. You might have explained this at some point, I just don't know.

And as a side note, I read the DVD will include footage from performancrs, stage plays they've appeared in as well as a new song and 2-3 of their junior songs.

Jackie said...

When I heard about Ebi´s debut announcement, I wasn´t surprised either, also not surprised that they debut with DVD rather than a CD debut. Because Ebi is really great in musical and performing and a DVD would be perfect to show even people who don´t know them, what they are able to do and what special skills they have.

But I have the same opinion on Hasshi as the first Anonymous comment. Hasshi has the perfect age, he´s totally handsome and he´s a wonderful singer. When I watched Playzone , his and Yuma´s version of garasu no shounen was fabulous. It´s kind of sad that he will never release any CD´s like usual Johnnys do. Or mabye they will in the future?

fight-nippon said...

First of all I want to say that I've been reading your blog for a while but never comment, so here I am! :)

So many debut lately! Actually when I heard A.B.C-Z is going to debut with DVD, I'm guessing they only will debut as stage performer like in those musical. I think lately with AKB48 success and their sub-group, Johnny's have hard time to choose best time to release CD and still get No. 1 in Oricon, especially with so many group that Johnny's had right now. Maybe this is the start of Johnny's releasing stage play since they rarely do it.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2: Totsu (gosh, I love his voice and the emotion he put in when performing his solo, it made me want to embrace him) and Hasshi (my least fav ABC-Z mem. People tend to think he's young and deserves to debut/be in a group with younger guys around his age. Be my guest. Without ABC, he would not be a good dancer as he is now) totally can sing. It sucks that the agency only gives them un-catchy ballad songs (recently) that can't show off their vocals so people have the impression that A.B.C-Z only work better on stage.

Look at what happened to Kis-my-ft2 with their 2 singles which are no different than a normal Johnny song and do not express the "rock" feel that the group used to have when they were still juniors, I think it's good for Ebi to have a dvd debut because I doubt the boys will be given any good song so their dance routine should be the point to sell instead. Honestly, can we have at least one Ebi member acting in a drama soon? Acting in drama is the best way to promote the group to the public. Although they do have a lot of stageplays but only fanclub members can go see and how other people can know their existence?

Chris said...

Omedetou ABC-Z!
This was really about time! Those guys need to debut and finally they will. They really deserve it.
Right now, I still can´t imagine how they will be treated after debuting. I hope that they won´t get stuck at butais only because I think they definitely need exposure on TV too, like variety shows or dramas.
I like all members so I hope that it won´t be just Hasshi who will get something like drama roles but the others are so talented as well.

But anyway, I´m relieved that Johnny finally let them debut and also, there´s no sign of "xy" anymore. So relieved about that!

Thennary Nak said...

@ Anonymous #1

Hasshi does seem a bit of an odd man out, but at the same time he seems to really enjoy being with the group and I'm sure he's happy about being able to debut with them.

With Johnny's it is very possible that they could try to do something with Hasshi outside of A.B.C-Z though if they do I would expect it to be at some point in the future after the group has established themselves.

I do rather miss the Hasshi, Sanada & Nozawa trio and it seems like such a cruel tease from Johnny's to still have the three perform together on Shounen Club.

@ Anonymous #2

I think it's because the thing that makes A.B.C-Z really stand out are watching their performances. Their music doesn't have a stand out quality to it, not that it's bad or anything because I love some of their songs and the guys sound good too but it doesn't really differ that much from other standard pop songs any of the other Johnny's groups can have. And being able to have a different sound to me is important for a recording artist to have because all you have is their sound to tell them apart from other groups. So for me I really think A.B.C-Z does have their greatest strength in their performances because those stand out easily when they put the acrobatics in.

Well it sounds like Johnny's has things set up to give fans a lot for their money with this DVD. I'm sure A.B.C-Z fans won't be disappointed.

@ Jackie

A.B.C-Z to me is a very visual group so the DVD makes a lot of sense. And I think it's a good sign that this is something the guys themselves understand.

One never knows what the future may hold, and maybe if he gets some breaks Hasshi may be able to do something else than just A.B.C-Z but for now I think he's happy with the group and the debut he does have with them.

@ fight-nippon

Thank you for commenting, I'm sorry it took so long to respond.

I do think one of the reasons Johnny decided to go with a DVD debut is because of scheduling issues as well. And I think it's going to depend on the group for what stage plays get released on DVD or not, as there have been some, like PLAYZONE, that always get released.

@ Anonymous #3

I do agree that A.B.C-Z's songs aren't the catchiest but I think there's more to it than that. Even with Kisumai's songs Kitayama and Fujigaya have really stand out voices so when you hear the songs you can still tell they're Kisumai songs. With A.B.C-Z, even though they do have good vocals, they don't have as distinct voices and are more likely to be mistaken for another group, IMHO. Which is why I think the DVD is perfect for getting people to match voices with faces as well as show them what really makes them stand out.

I agree having a drama role for at least one of them would be good. Though it's still rather unknown what Johnny's is planning for this group. They seem to have their own ideas for this group that might go against the norm so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

@ Chris

I think while their focus will be on butais they will still do other activities. Or at least I hope they do since I've always thought Kawai would be a natural for a TV show host. But I guess we have to wait to see what happens.

I'm very happy the 'xy' was dropped as it seemed rather silly, though I would not have minded having Sanada Yuma and Nozawa Yuki join because I still have a soft spot for the Hasshi, Sanada & Nozawa trio, but I know it probably would not have worked out that well for this group.