29 July 2012

The Great 2012 Kanjuu Shuffle

Sorry for the delay in bringing this news. I think a part of it was just hoping we would somehow manage to magically get more information about it as there is plenty unknown about what is going on currently. But it does not look like that happened.

A few days ago more information about the Shounentachi musical the Kansai Juniors are doing in Osaka came out and there has been quite a bit of shuffling between the units and new units. The most noticeable change was with 7WEST, one of the most popular Kanjuu units. 7WEST is listed now as a four member unit, down from the six it has been for years. The missing members are Takemoto Shinpei and Shingaki Yuto. Whether or not the two are still with the agency or have been moved to another group is unclear. Their profiles for their birthdays have been taken off of TakiCHANnel and their names are nowhere to be seen on the poster. But there is also a new unit name on the poster with the members not listed, Spe千 (not sure how the 千 is supposed to be read so I'm leaving it as is), that some are speculating might be the group the two were shuffled into.

But in any case this is a break down of the changed units and the new ones:
7WEST: Kotaki Nozomu, Fujii Ryuusei, Kamiyama Tomohiro & Shigeoka Daiki
King of Kansai Kin Kan: Kaneuchi Toma & Mukai Koji
Naniwa Oji: Onishi Ryusei, Nishihata Daigo (formerly Ae Shounen) & Nagase Ren (formerly Ae Shounen)
Spe千: ??

Kansai Junior LJ Community post (English)

While major unit shuffling is nothing new with the Kanjuu 7WEST has been a rather static group for some time which is partly why it is so surprising to see a change like this. The last member change was Nakayama Yuma leaving the group, yet even then Yuma gets paired with the group whenever he does something in Osaka. In the case of Takemoto and Shingaki though they are definitely gone from the group even if it is not clear if they left the agency as well and will not be returning to the unit.

It also means the chances of 7WEST debuting as a unit are not as strong as people believed as after this I do not see it as a strong possibility. I think more than ever I see the chances of what I have been hoping would happen and having groups merge have risen. I think as things stand merging 7WEST with B.A.D. then adding Hamada Takahiro is a pretty good guess of what a new Kansai group would look like. Though of course they could also pull some of the other popular Kanjuu like Kaneuchi and Mukai but this is all speculation right now.

I think if there were to be a Kanjuu unit debut it would be this year, because this is Kanjani8's year with their big anniversary and I think the debut of a new Kansai group would tread on that a bit. So we would still have a while to wait for that to happen. But we do have Kanjuu being in the Tokyo run of Shounentachi again and I think the fact that Kiriyama Akito's presence in more and more national dramas is a sign of things to come. So here's hoping 2013 will be the year of the Kanjuu.


markl02 said...

Kansai could use some new blood, something like a Sexy Zone West. It would be nice if they had a better name than that, but Sexy Zone has worked out well despite the misgivings about the name from international fans, hasn't it?

Thennary Nak said...

They do have Ae Shounen which is a group of younger Kansai Juniors. But since they get so little attention outside of the Kansai area I'm not sure if fans know about the younger groups as the older Kanjuu tend to get more focus.

I think they need to debut a Kanjuu group if just to have the older Kanjuu move on and let the younger ones get some spotlight now.