28 January 2012

Yamashita Tomohisa, Johnny’s Golden Boy

Yamashita Tomohisa joined Johnny's & Associates in 1996 at the age of 11. He was paired early on with Ikuta Toma and eventually the two of them with Juniors Kazama Shunsuke and Hasegawa Jun formed the popular Junior group 4Tops. As a Junior Yamashita, known widely as Yamapi, was frequently promoted and was able to act in dramas and was one of the original hosts and frequent performers of The Shounen Club, a program that stars Juniors.

It was believed that he would debut and with the other members of 4Tops. When NEWS was formed in 2003 he even believed it was only going to be a temporary group and was surprised to learn that it was not and would continue on after their first single, NEWS Nippon. He was the front man of the group and considered to be the group's leader as well.

In 2005 with KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya the temporary duo, Shuuji to Akira was created to promote the drama they starred in, Nobuta wo Produce, and they released the single, Seishun Amigo, which went on to sell over a million copies.

In 2006 when the group had been placed on hiatus because of underage drinking scandals by two of its members, Yamapi began releasing more non-NEWS singles. This included a one-off release with Thai brother duo Golf & Mike as GYM and then his first solo single, Daite Senorita.

When NEWS returned as a group in 2007 he continued solo releases, at first when there was down time for the group when Nishikido Ryo was busy with his other group Kanjani8, but after a couple of years he began to do more solo work and even had his first solo tour in 2009. In 2011 he released his first solo album, Super Good, Super Bad, and went on tour, going overseas to Asia.

Later in 2011 he announced that he would be leaving the group to pursue a solo career and would be joining Akanishi Jin on the Warner Music Japan label to do this. Since the announcement he has had a lead role in a drama and has a single coming out, Ai, Texas, in the end of February 2012, which will be his first single since the start of his post-NEWS solo career.

TRIVIA: His nickname, Yamapi, was given to him by Takizawa Hideaki since he noticed Yamapi tended to wear outfits with pink on them for performances so he put "Yamashita" and "pink" together to make Yamapi.

Next Entry >  Entering the Sexy Zone

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


Ani2 said...

Thank you this entry!

I noticed that even though Yamapi isn´t the best actor, he actually played in many popular dramas , like Proposal Daisakusen, Nobuta wo Produce, Kurosagi, Buzzer Beat etc, and personally I liked "Stand up" a lot too.
So rather than being talented in acting, the producers always chose him because of his popularity I guess. Somehow he always ended up getting the good dramas.

Do you know why Yamapi changed his label fom Johnnys Entetainment to Warner Music? What is the difference if he changes the label?

I still have to check out Wedding Planner, not because of Pi but because I want to see Chinen acting ^^

Chris said...

I feel like his "Golden Times" are already over. I think he was at the peak of popularity around the time when he was 20-24 and somehow I don´t think he´ll get that popular again, but I may be wrong.

Not a fan of Ai Texas either.
I wish he would do something again like "Loveless" or "One in a million".

Thennary Nak said...

@ Ani2

Not a problem.

Well he actually received an award for best newcomer for his first drama role so he at least started with potential. I just think he has not done much with it. But I do agree at this point he tends to get roles because of popularity, because he does bring viewers in, which is what producers are looking for.

I'm not sure why, but I can assume it was maybe to have a greater worldwide presence. Warner Music is a major label and have branches in several different markets, unlike Johnny's whose music labels really only exist in Japan and must negotiate with other music labels to release something in another country.

I think you mean Funeral Planner, though honestly I don't think what the drama is about will make too much of a difference.

@ Chris

I think it's a bit too early to completely count him out just yet. Though I do agree he has passed his peak but he is still riding rather high as his success rate with dramas show. And I think he's the kind of talent that does better when he's attached to a popular drama.

I agree about his music. But honestly he was losing me with his music when his album came out so I'm ready to just drop following his music now.