Ikuta Toma is a true rarity amongst J&A. He is the only debuted talent that has never had a music debut. Instead when Johnny’s updated their official websites around the time Akanishi Jin officially went solo they just gave Toma his own solo section while they were at it and have dropped labeling him as a Junior in news coverage. Thus making him the first and only Junior to debut strictly as an actor.
He joined the agency in 1996. When he was a Junior he was one of the most popular, about on par with Yamashita Tomohisa, back in what is known as the Golden Age of Juniors because of the huge amount of popularity the Juniors had at the time. He was shuffled in a couple of Junior groups before forming 4Tops with Yamapi and two other Juniors, Kazama Shunsuke and Hasegawa Jun.
Many believed that 4Tops were on their way to debut even when NEWS was first formed as not everyone believed that this would end up being a permanent group, which included some of the members of NEWS. But when NEWS announced their second single that debate was ended as well as the 4Tops group as Yamapi left the group for the debut. It came as a surprise to many fans and the boys themselves as only one of the four debuted even though they were all rather popular.
Toma with Jun and Shunsuke remained on Shounen Club for about a year and then they stopped being on the program. They all moved to do acting and musicals as they all remained with Johnny’s. It was with this shift that Toma decided to dedicate himself to acting and give up on a career based on dancing and singing.
In 2007 Toma got his big break with being cast as Nakatsu Shuichi in the drama Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. The drama was a hit and he won several Best Supporting Actor awards for it. From there he began getting more and more roles and has even made the jump to films. He has gained a great deal of acclaim from his acting skills and is now one of the more popular actors in Japan.
In 2010 he finally was promoted out of Junior status by getting his one solo page on the official Johnny’s websites and has stopped being referred to as a Junior in official media coverage about him.
TRIVIA: He stars in TOKIO’s PV for their single Na Na Na.
He is still close friends with Yamashita Tomohisa.
Next Entry > Kis-My-Ft2, Everybody Go (Roller Skating)!
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
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∞
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
Johnny's and Charity
Odds & Ends