22 March 2012

The theory of replacement groups

While searching for information for my History of Johnny’s every once in a while I come across something not exactly related to what I’m researching but is interesting none the less. One such thing was a blog entry that proposes that Johnny’s creates new groups based on two different models, a Junior group becomes popular enough or to replace a group that has either broken up or in more recent cases are no longer featured as a group in the idol magazines because a member has passed the 30 years old mark. Of course there are a few that fall in either but when you look at most Johnny’s groups they fit these two models.
The popular as a Junior route has pretty much started when Juniors began to appear more and more on TV programs. Kondo Masahiko is one of the earlier examples of this as well as groups like Shounentai, Kinki Kids, KAT-TUN, Kis-My-Ft2 and even A.B.C-Z fall into this.

Replacement can probably be traced back to the very start of Johnny’s when the original group for the agency, Johnny’s, broke up to be replaced by another four member group Four Leaves. Looking at groups that are still active there are some interesting things to note to back up this theory that Johnny’s creates new groups to replace old ones. V6 is a good example as they debuted the year Hikaru Genji finally came to its complete end with Hikaru Genji Super 5 disbanding. Hikaru Genji was known for the age gap for its members and having two sub units in the group and V6 debuted with an age gap and having two sub units. When Otokogumi officially disbanded TOKIO was debuted the same year, filling the role of the band group.

This replacement can even be seen recently as well with Sexy Zone being a five member group debuting only about a year after Arashi stopped being featured in the idol magazines. Whether or not SZ will ever be able to achieve something close to the level of success Arashi has remains to be seen, but there is a feeling that Johnny’s is trying to see if another smaller group will be able to be as successful after trying out larger groups for a while.

Of course not all groups are created in this manner and just because one kind of group is no longer in the magazines means another will definitely fill their place. The fact that TOKIO has been the last band group to debut is a good example of this. But that can probably be chalked up to the fact that TOKIO has not had the success that other groups have had, even though they have had their share of hits and are popular on variety shows. And because of that I do not think we will be seeing a new duo being debuted any time in the near future even though Tackey & Tsubasa graduated from the magazines this year.

I would say the next replacement group would be a new Kansai group about a year or so once Kanjani8 graduate from the magazines. As K8 has definitely proven to be a successful group despite starting far from the top and their popularity seems pretty securely in place. So I am sure Johnny’s will try to see if they cannot find that kind of success with a new Kansai group.

I honestly think this is a pretty valid theory though it be interesting to see if I am right on predicting a Kansai group debut in the next couple of years basing it on this.


Ani2 said...

I also thought about the replacing groups, once for example K8 will get too old for magazines and now Takki and Tsubasa retired from magazines too.
It´s just my opinion but I think we will get a Kansai debut. I don´t know when but it will come.
I noticed how Kanjuu are getting pushed much more recently than before. Kiriyama is getting lots of drama/butai roles because he´s talented in acting and Shige, Hama-chan, Junta and Kamiyama also have more activities in Tokyo. I noticed this Kansai push first in end of 2010, when some members participated in Tozai Uta Gassen, and then 2011 with Shounentachi, 2012 Kabuki and so on.
To tell the truth, I´m a bit worried if Johnny´s will eventually split 7West because it´s mostly Shige and Kamiyama who do activites in Tokyo, together with BAD and Hamada.
Some other members of 7West are 18 too but they don´t get the chance as Kamiyaga and shige get.
Well I´m already relieved when I read about Crea Shows and how the other Kanjuu are allowed to do shows as well, but they are seperated again.
Well,I hope I worry for nothing.

markl02 said...

Wow, I never in a million years would have thought of Sexy Zone as a replacement group for Arashi. I'm not saying you're wrong at all, it's just a completely new and different idea to me. To me, it's more like they try to achieve the next step on the ladder. Right now it looks to me like Hey!Say!JUMP has taken KAT-TUN's place, and Sexy Zone is taking over HSJ's place. I'm not sure where that leaves KAT-TUN though. Maybe ABC-Z is the next NEWS?

Karina said...

I also don´t think we´ll get a duo debut who´ll replace TakkeyTsuba. There is Noon Boyz recently who get attention as a duo but I don´t believe they´ll debut together, just the two of them, and I can´t think of another duo who´s suitable for a debut.
So since Kanjani will stop appearing in magazines soon , it would make sense if a kansai group will replace them, but who knows, maybe we´ll see a Tokyo Jr group replacing or a Kansai-Tokyo mixgroup.
We don´t know but if I could speculate, then there´s a chance that a Kansai group will take over Kanjani´s place.
That would also be my personal wish because I like Kansai Jr and think that they´re very talented.

Yasmin said...

I find the idea of replacement groups quite interesting, and it seems that the reason why certain juniors get so much attention is because they're being prepared to replace others.

However, I do think that there is a chance for a duo debut, whether that be from BAD or Noon Boyz. Simply because of the excellent mirroring that they have. But when they will debut is anyone's guess.

I'll still dream for junior unification though. And organisation. But where's the fun in that? XD

Thennary Nak said...

@ Ani2

Honestly I'm kinda hoping that Hamada w/ B.A.D. and 7WEST all get to debut. I can see Johnny's making them all one group and debuting them as they've had bigger groups and K8 was one of their larger groups when they debuted. And I think they would benefit of having a range of ages in a group as we have had two older groups debut recently anyway. But that's just my wishes.

@ markl02

Well whether or not SZ will ever be as successful as Arashi of course has yet to be seen. But Johnny's most likely sees them as a winning formula and of course want to be able to do it again.

A.B.C-Z seems to be its own thing but we will have to wait and see how it all goes.

@ Karina

I can't see Tokyo Juniors really working to replace a Kansai group. Kansai has a certain group of stereotypes attached to it that Kanjani8 plays into and I don't think the Tokyo Juniors will be able to live up to.

@ Yasmin

I just don't think there are two Juniors popular enough for a duo these days and with T&T not doing well I am sure Johnny's is not going to rush to get another duo out, kinda like they are not really pushing a band unit for debut.