As I promised I will be answering questions from last's months Q&A month this month until I have them all answered. And I'm aiming to have everything answered by the end of the month so hopefully those who left me questions will not have to wait much longer for their answers.
Today's question comes from Kess: 1. What is status of FiVe? As far as I know, they're not debuted, but they rarely seem to do back-up anymore. Yet, they are also doing their own shows overseas...
Honestly I don't know too much about FiVe, other that they are a Junior band and with Question? do back up for concerts. I don't follow them enough to tell if they really have dropped the amount of back up that they do. A part just might be that people overlook them when giving concert reports and fail to say if any members were there or not. That and because the share a member with Question? they're not always completely together. I remember one concert I went to only the drummer was present as the live back up for it.
As for the solo concerts, well if you look at the venues they play at they're usually some of the smaller ones. And I think for them and Question? there's a history with Juniors that are back up playing in venues, it's said the first Johnny's Juniors played in cafes so these shows that the groups do could be a part of that legacy. And of course the most important thing is that the shows do well enough to turn a profit or Johnny's wouldn't do them in the first place.
And perhaps another thing to keep in mind is that while Johnny's & Associates is a talent agency it is also a Japanese company and goes by some of the same standards and norms of any Japanese company. One of the big things for most Japanese companies is the hierarchy by seniority in a company, based not on age but rather when someone joins the company. FiVe have all been a part of Johnny's for a long time, I don't think there's a member of the group that hasn't been in the agency for 10+ years, so they're going to be treated well as reward for being around for so long and as a band it makes sense that the reward would be something like that. In contrast if you look at Juniors that have been with the agency a long time, such as Kazama Shunsuke, he still gets a decent amount of acting roles for a Junior and a part of that is because even though he has not debuted he's stuck with the agency so the agency will make sure they find work for him from time to time.
I'm not sure if any of that helped actually answer the question but that would be my guess. That the concerts are more or less the group's reward for being with the agency for so long and since they are profitable Johnny's has no problem with continuing with them as they don't always need a backing band for concerts.