I have been mulling over a few topics in my head for a while and I figured I should share some of them.
The major one is about Hey! Say! JUMP and the frustration I am feeling as a fan of the group. I was a fan of the group since they debuted and while I have enjoyed seeing them grow up and have gone through the ups and downs with them for the past six years I feel like they have gotten stuck as a group somewhere along the way.
I keep wanting to hope that one day that they will go back to having a somewhat normal release schedule that they started with but I just cannot anymore. It has been too many years of barely anything being released for that. I doubt things will change enough that they will stop Kis-My-Ft2 from having more singles and albums than them next year and I do not feel hopeful that Sexy Zone will not eventually pass them as well on that front. And it is not just the fact that these groups will have more than HSJ, but because it is another reminder of how inactive HSJ has been and look to continue to be.
That and now that they are one of the older FIVB groups they cannot rely on having concerts for the school holidays and will have to wait for a CD release like how concerts are planned for the rest of the older groups.
And it looks like HSJ is no longer under Johnny Kitagawa as they are getting separated from SZ and A.B.C-Z, with their hosting role on Shounen Club all but disappearing for now. I will not be surprised that in April there will be no HSJ on the program. And the Johnny's 2020 World cast information does not have a single member of the group in it, so they are out of that production. Since they have been under J-Storm for their record label it only makes sense they would end up in Julie Kitagawa's faction and there have been some signs for that. Yamada Ryosuke being in Ohno Satoshi's NTV 24 hour drama being one, and the fact they starred in the Johnny's Film Festa movie with the other Johnny's in it all being a part of Julie's faction.
I cannot help but think that it may not be a bad thing for this to happen with HSJ. There are little glimmers of hope for them, like the JFF movie, and it does seem like they are getting a bit more active with dramas. Yamada has another drama SP, Chinen Yuri will be in Nishikido Ryo's upcoming drama and Nakajima Yuto did have a role in the massively popular Hanzawa Naoki drama. And it was rumored that Julie gave them the curry CM, as Aiba Masaki had the deal before them, so if they continue to make commercials than perhaps they can be counted on for getting out a single or two a year at least. And since HSJ are not going to get tied up in things like Johnny's World it may give them the chance to do other things, like release a CD single or album.
I guess even if I do feel burned when it comes to getting my hopes up for the group I cannot help it. I do love HSJ and want to see the succeed so badly. I think they still have the potential to do well but the members of the group need to push themselves to pull it out. Maybe getting more chances to be around sempai, especially Arashi, Kanjani8 and TOKIO, will help with that. I hope so as I do not want to see their tenth anniversary come and go as their fifth anniversary did.