The annual “Johnny’s Countdown 2022 → 2023” was held at Tokyo Dome from 23:00 on December 31st to January 1st. A big event where talents representing Johnny’s office gather and sing and make noise. This year, a total of 14 gorgeous artists gathered together and welcomed the start of 2023 with more than 50,000 fans.
To shake off the nightmare of 2022
Johnny’s office must have wanted to welcome the new year as soon as possible. After all, 2022 was also the most difficult year for the office since its founding. A sports journalist speaks.
“Since the dissolution of SMAP, talent has continued to flow out of Johnny & Associates, but the exit drama in 2022 has also caused a lot of turmoil. In addition, on November 4th, three members from King & Prince, Sho Hirano (25), Yuta Kishi (27), and Yuta Jinguji (25), and on December 27th Marius Yo (22) from Sexy Zone. I have announced my resignation.”
The concert, held from New Year’s Eve to the dawn of New Year’s Day, was the last countdown concert with five members for both King & Prince and Sexy Zone, who are active groups at the peak of their popularity.
“King & Prince’s Hirano, Jinguji, and Kishi are scheduled to leave the group on May 22, 2023. Sexy Zone’s Marius retired from the entertainment world with this cowcon. The last memory for fans. It must have become a concert that will become.” (same as above)
The sudden retirement of Marius, who had been on hiatus for a long time, has been described by some as an “amicable retirement” or “an amicable announcement”, but the timing of his retirement announcement right before the countdown concert is complicated for Sexy Zone fans. become a thing.
Confusion in the announcement of the appearance just before the concert
“Originally, the notice on the official website clearly stated that ‘Marius Yo will not be appearing (at the countdown concert) due to suspension of entertainment activities for a certain period of time.’ However, it was suddenly announced on the 27th that he would appear On top of that, the fans were shocked because the activities ended with the cowcon.The fans who had been waiting for Marius-kun’s return until now said, “I didn’t apply for tickets because I was told that he wouldn’t be performing…” In the end, there were many fans who didn’t get to see Marius-kun’s last sunny appearance.” (music official)
On the last stage for Marius, Sexy Zone performed a hard number “RUN” with the lyrics “I can’t stop” repeatedly. At the end of the concert, Marius said in tears, “Please support the four older brothers.”
“A lot of fans were crying because of Marius-kun, but it was really moving to see the other Sexy Zone members holding back their tears. , Hey! Say! JUMP members were talking to Marius, shaking hands, and hugging him.” (A fan who attended the concert)
There were other incidents in this countdown concert. The last one-night-only “Hatsuyume Unit” had disappeared. Fans voted for the names of Johnny’s members who thought they were “prince”, “energetic” and “sexy”, and those with the highest number of votes formed a special unit that transcended group boundaries. It was a plan.
“Some fans objected to the member composition of the unit itself. Because the majority of those who voted were overwhelmingly young, and the rankings were skewed toward next-generation talent. For example, the prince. In terms of the ranking, from the first place, Shunsuke Michieda (20, Naniwa Boys), Ryosuke Yamada (29, Hey! Say! JUMP), Sho Hirano (King & Prince), Taiga Kyomoto (28, SixTONES), Koichi Domoto (44, KinKi Kids).I think it was difficult for the talent himself to have a senior at the bottom of the ranking, and there must have been a lot of assumptions.” (Johnny’s office staff) )
Who is the veteran Jr. who was treated well this year?
Yusuke Matsuzaki (36), who announced his marriage on December 30th, belongs to “Fo-Yu”, which was not scheduled to appear at the time of the official announcement, but KinKi Kids who rushed to Tokyo Dome after NHK’s Kohaku. participated with
“Foryu is a group of four people, all 36 years old. Nowadays, Johnny’s Jr.’s units are often in the spotlight, but we are veterans who have been active as a Jr. group for over 10 years. At that time, the Johnny & Associates website didn’t treat the unit formed by Jr. as an official talent, but FOYU was the only exception.In 2017, they made their CD debut. Even though he didn’t, Jr. was also forced to “graduate”.In a strange position with no plans to debut in the future, he is allowed to get married, and is strangely treated well, even within the agency. It’s a group rumored to be.” (a writer familiar with Johnny’s)
The 5 Kimpuri is also the last Kaukon
However, among all the Johnny’s families, it was Hirano, Kishi, and Jinguji, who had the final cowcon, that attracted the most attention from fans. In the annual group change medley, KinKi Kids performed “Roller Coaster Romance”.
“At the end of the concert, each group greeted each other, but the loudest applause occurred during Kinpuri. It was a big hit with the impersonation of Noriyuki Higashiyama (56).In contrast to Sexzo, the greeting was bright and there was no dampness, but Hirano-kun and Jinguji-kun were seniors who were barely visible to fans. They greeted each other properly.
The countdown concert, which started with turmoil, ended without any major accidents. It’s Johnny’s who managed to capture the tense scene where those who left the office and those who remained gathered together without any major mistakes. Under the leadership of Julie Keiko Fujishima, the company’s internal power structure will change, and Jr.’s retirement age will begin. Attention to Johnny’s office will continue to be high in 2023.
(“Bunharu Online” Special Team / Web Original (Special Team))