29 May 2015

From WEST to Z? A re-evaluation of my Johnny's fandom

I have come to the point where I think my interest in Johnny's is definitely shifting quite a bit. And I am on the verge of dropping a group but at the same time possibly picking one up.

The group I am wanting to drop following is Johnny's WEST. I still love some of the members but outside of their debut single I feel their releases have been more on the lackluster side of things. or needless to say I was not overly impressed with their last couple releases and if I cannot like their music on some level then I do find it hard to stick with a group.

And I do not care for them basically being made to be Kanjani8 2.0. If I wanted to follow Kanjani8 I would be following them not Johnny's WEST. I feel it might be better to step away for at least a while and wait and see if JWEST is able to carve their own identity. And maybe get an actual group sound than the mishmash of styles they are getting thrown at them.

On the other hand, despite the fact that I have never been able to really get into the group before I am getting more and more interested in A.B.C-Z. I have always liked Hashimoto Ryosuke from even before he was added to the group and he is a part of the reason I keep any tabs on the group. But I do like Kawai Fumito and Totsuka Shota. There is something adorkable about Tsukada Ryoichi and Goseki Koichi is still just kinda there for me.

I plan on getting their latest album A.B.Sea Market, partly because there are solo songs, and partly because I did go and watch some of their recent music show appearances and enjoyed those. So I hope I enjoy the album as much. I guess I shall see where it goes from there but I hope I am won over finally, as I know they are a fun group and it is nice to see them getting the chance to show that off.

I am still a huge NEWS fan, that does not look like it will change any time soon. I definitely want to focus a bit more on them and catch up with previous releases that I was not able to get from them, which is mainly concert DVD/BDs at this point.

Recently I have felt a resurgence of love for Kis-My-Ft2. Not sure where it came from but like NEWS I want to focus more on this group as I feel like I am rediscovering and falling in love with them all over again. I am really enjoying their newest variety program, Kisumai GAME, which helps too. Like NEWS I need to catch up mainly with their concert DVD/BDs, but that may take a while just because of pricing for those.

Nakayama Yuma is another Johnny's I seem to be renewing my love for. While I have felt he might have been better in a group his solo releases have been overall really solid so I am quite glad where his career has taken him. I am hoping that we get at least another single from him this year though I know in the near future he is going to be busy with a stage play and filming a movie.

When it comes to the Juniors my interest really mostly remains with the members of SixTONES (previously known as the Bakaleya6). Well them and Yasui Kentaro, though I am getting the feeling that he will end up going the acting route like Takada Sho has as I just do not see Johnny's willing to debut an older group right now and unfortunately Yasui's age is working against him with that. But seeing that Ikuta Toma and Kazama Shunsuke have done well going to acting I think he will be just fine. There are other Juniors that I like but in a much more passive manner and those are mostly the ones from that era between Hey! Say! JUMP's debut to Sexy Zone's. That said I am starting to get back to watching Shounen Club and will try to find the time for Gamushara so I'll see if there are not any other Juniors that catch my interest. But I think I have reached the point where I would rather focus on the debuted groups where it is much easier to keep track of people.

I watched Hey! Say! JUMP's debut concert the other day and I truly feel that I have moved on from the group. I was much more excited in watching the Juniors perform than I was HSJ, though I still like Takaki Yuya and Nakajima Yuto. But I just cannot get myself interested in the group anymore and I do not want to force myself to or I will probably end up hating them and that is the last thing I want to do. They still hold a special place in my fandom heart for being the first group that debuted after I got into Johnny's and I really did love them but I just do not care for the direction the group is going.

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