03 December 2011

North, East, West, South ... It's big NEWS

Members: Tegoshi Yuya, Masuda Takahisa, Koyama Keiichiro Kato Shigeaki

From left to right: Moriuchi Takahiro, Kusano Hironori, Kato Shigeaki,
Koyama Keiichiro, Yamashita Tomohisa, Uchi Hiroki, Nishikido Ryo,
Masuda Takahisa & Tegoshi Yuya
NEWS is the next in line for the FIVB unit debuts and have had the worst luck with keeping members. Their debut single though is contested as the group members were originally told the unit would be temporary and their first single (released in 2003), NEWS Nippon, was only sold at 7-11 stores for a limited time. So their second single, Kibou ~Yell~ (released in 2004) is often considered their debut single as not only was it released in CD stores but also between the two singles one of the original group members, Moriuchi Takahiro, left the agency which gave them an eight member line-up instead of the original nine members.

Johnny’s seemed to be trying out a few new things with this group, as even though the group was eight members many times only six of the eight would perform concerts in the early years, especially once Kanjani8 debuted near the end of 2004, as the two groups shared two members between them, Nishikido Ryo and Uchi Hiroki. NEWS was also the largest group they had ever debuted only to have one other Johnny's group, Hey! Say! JUMP, be larger since.

In 2005 Uchi ended up being pulled out of the group when a scandal for underage drinking, as well as disorderly conduct for allegedly peeing on a car in his drunken state, broke out. For a brief time the group was only seven members before a new scandal broke out about Kusano underage drinking. Kusano was taken out of the group and Johnny’s decided that the whole group should be punished this time as well and placed them under hiatus.

During the hiatus Yamashita Tomohisa released a solo single and Tegoshi Yuya and Masuda Takahisa got to form a duo, Tegomass, and release what would be their first single, debuting not only in Japan but Sweden as well. Since then both Yamapi and Tegomass have continued activities during times the group was not active. Ryo just continued on with his other group Kanjani8 while Koyama Keiichiro and Kato Shigeaki did very little during that time.

But after about a year the hiatus was finally ended and NEWS returned as a six member group at the 2006-2007 Johnny’s Countdown concert. Since then they went back and forth from being active and being inactive as Ryo continued to be active with the group and K8.

After a couple of years of little to none group activities or releases, around 2010-2011, the group finally announced that Yamapi and Ryo were leaving the group and NEWS would continue on as a four member unit. Koyama has taken up the position of leader for the group that Yamapi had and it is expected that the four member line-up will begin activities and putting out releases together in 2012.

Koyama Keiichiro is the oldest member of NEWS, even back when it had nine members. He is the most talkative of the group and naturally leads the MCs for the group. He graduated from university with a degree in history. He and Shige were in the same Junior group together, J-Support which was later renamed K.K.Kity, and have been friends since. After Yamapi left he was elected to be leader, if mainly because the others realized that it meant he would have to treat them to meals when they went out together as a group. He is also a newscaster, doing personal pieces, and hosts a weekly radio program.

Masuda Takahisa is more commonly known by his nickname, Massu. Even though he has a baby face he is really into working out, which might be because he’s also into eating. He almost always has a smile on his face and is generally a positive person. He’s known as one of the better dancers and singers of the group. He is also the one that has the most "interesting" choices in his sense of fashion.

Kato Shigeaki is known as being the smart one of the group as he has a degree in law. He is the weakest dancer and singer of the group, he’s usually the one given any “rap” lines a song has. His main hobby is photography, which he even has his own dark room in his place for, and some of his photos can be seen in the idol magazines that feature short essays he writes for them. He has been getting more and more acting roles of late. He is the first Johnny's to release a novel as his debut novel Pink to Grey will be published in January, 2012.

Tegoshi Yuya was a fresh Junior that almost no one knew when the group debuted. In fact he had one duet with Massu on Shounen Club the month before NEWS' formation was announced. He is one of the stronger singers of the group. His drawing skills are quite horrendous and can be found on much of the Tegomass concert goods. He loves soccer, especially playing it, which he does when he has the free time. He is a student at Waseda University and is majoring in psychology.

From left to right: Koyama Keiichiro, Tegoshi Yuya, Masuda Takahisa & Kato Shigeaki

TRIVIA: A couple of months before the debut of NEWS members of K.K.Kity with some of the younger Juniors were singing variations of NEWS' debut song and what would later be a B-side on NEWS' Kibou ~Yell~ single, Stand Up!

The song Private Hearts that was a B-side on their NEWS Nippon single was a K.K.Kity song that had been written for them by Kinki Kids member Domoto Koichi who played a part in forming the group.

After NEWS debuted Massu was asked to be a part of a Junior group, Kis-My-Ft, to be the ‘M’ of the group and also more importantly because he already knew how to roller skate.

After quitting Johnny’s Moriuchi Takahiro formed the rock band One OK Rock, where he’s the lead vocalist and has been rising in popularity in recent years.

Next Entry > Kansai Underdogs,  Kanjani∞ 

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...

Is the picture the original cover of "News Nippon"?
They all look so young. Yamapi and Ryo were only 18,weren´t they?
It´s sad that this group had so many changes and breaks but I hope that the new NEWS will bring fresh air and be successful on their own.

Misa said...

eeeeh, Massu to become a member of Kisumai??!!!
Omg good that Johnny didn´t put him there in the end !!! I want him to stay in NEWS and good that Miyata became a member of Kisumai XDD

So NEWS was created for Yamapi.
I´m glad that Johnny didn´t use "Yamapi with..." like with Nakayama Yuma w.B.I.Shadow XD

Thennary Nak said...

@ Jackie

It's one of the two. I think they were, but overall they were pretty young, I still can't believe Shige, Tegoshi and Kusano were only 14 back then.

It is sad but as they are the group that got me into Johnny's I'm glad they have always continued on and I wish them success as well.

@ Misa

Yea, of Kis-My-Ft one of the groups later merged with A.B.C. Jr. to create Kis-My-Ft2. It's kinda funny because Senga was originally a member of Kis-My-Ft, was then taken out and put in A.B.C. Jr. then of course was put in Kis-My-Ft2. So between that and Massu being a part of Kis-My-Ft Kisumai has an interesting history in just how the group came to be.

And form what I've heard Massu was asked to join Kis-My-Ft because they needed someone who had a last name that began with M and could roller skate and Massu was the only one at the time that fit.

I'm glad about that too, especially in light of recent developments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this~

I've been finding a COMPACT retelling of NEWS' history... and there I found it on your blog! :)

By the way, I saw on your 'About Me' page that you are one of the staff of Idol Minded. I frequently visit that blog. ^_^ Cheers for your dedication! I must admit that though I love J&A in general, I am very NEWS-biased (which means I sometimes don't have a care about other groups.) But I read all the entries on "History of Johnny's Directory" 'coz how you retell their history is so engaging!

Thank you once again :D

Thennary Nak said...

Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoyed reading it all.

I am one of the regular staff on Idol Minded, I'm the one who typically links to all the Johnny's stuff. I also write The Nak of It, though I try to keep that about idoldom in general.

I understand about not keeping up with all groups. I used to try to do that but after a while decided to just keep up with the ones I liked the most because there is so much to try to keep track of with just Johnny's alone.