The first Johnny’s fanclub I have joined was KinKi Kids, which is like more than 10 years ago. But ever since KinKi stopped having proper group activities like concerts after their 20th anniversary, I find myself getting “dried up”. Plants need water, sunlight and some nutrition. I think I was lacking in nutrition. *oops*
KinKi Kids Concert – Here I come!
But miraculously, I just won my ballots for KinKi winter concerts this year! I have no idea how this happened but it’s going to be a busy December after all! Seriously need to go pray more in shrines / temples and also return thanks. LOL!
Johnny’s Jr FC
Last year in April, I joined Johnny’s Jr fan club so that I can get tickets through “official” means to see Yara Tomoyuki and 4U. It has been a pretty smooth experience until 4U got more popular and I start to lose my ballots for their upcoming shows.
It’s been 3 months since I joined the K&P fan club. Unfortunately, nothing has been successfully applied. I start to wonder if they have an age limit for younger groups. LOL! I wasn’t noticing them until they start to appear more on TV, and then you start to see the “gap” between the performances they give on music shows and the way they talk on variety shows.
Who are these King & Prince members?
They started off as Mr. King vs Mr. Prince, temporary groups created for TV Asashi summer event back in 2015. I vaguely remembered going to Koichi or KinKi Kids concert when Koichi mentioned about the fans should be attending these younger boys’ event instead of coming to see him / KinKi.
It was also an interesting combination of the members who were originally from Kansai region (Sho + Ren) and Kanto region (rest of the 4 members). As far as I am aware, the previous groups who had their CD debuts are usually either from only Kansai or Kanto.
Considering that they had their CD debut on 23 May 2018, with their debut single “Cinderella Girl“, I think their popularity is sky-high and it’s hard to imagine they are only in their 2nd year after debut.
I must say they are really marketed well, with some kind of “catch-copy” phrases for each of the boys to show their characteristics and charm-points.
Sho HIRANO (平野紫耀)
Born on 29 Jan 1997, he’s the guy who is usually in the centre of the group, the superstar and all-rounder sports guy. If you only see him performing, you will just think he’s really cool and handsome, but wait till you see him talk on variety shows or during interviews. He never fails to make people laugh because of his silly comments.
A natural airhead is what most will call him. I randomly came across his favourite 4-character idiom in one of his interviews which he said 入場無料 (literally means “free entrance”). *falls off chair* And not forgetting how he always mentions he can get muscles easily just by brushing his teeth because of his body makeup. With his husky voice, it’s amazing how he can hit high notes too when he sings. Similar to Kaito, he also learns dancing from a young age.
Ren NAGASE (永瀬廉)
Speaking of singing high notes, I think Ren is the one who covers all these parts in most of their songs, along with Kishi. Despite being the 2nd youngest member born on 23 Jan 1999, he plays the role of the MC of the group, meaning for most concert MC talks, he’s the one to lead the conversations.
Ren is actually born in Tokyo but due to his dad’s occupation as a helicopter pilot, he has been moving places and transferring schools since he’s a kid. With this childhood background, he became really shy, so he mentioned that his years of junior high school in Osaka + being Kansai Johnny’s Jr helped to build his current relatively outgoing character.
Currently, Ren is also attending university which was recommended by Nakajima Kento from Sexy Zone. He’s the one who speaks with a soft Kansai dialect which probably sounds very cute to the fans.
Kaito TAKAHASHI (高橋海斗)
Being the youngest member in the group born on 3rd Apr 1999, he’s naturally the baby in the group, very protected by the other elder members. But you will be surprised when he dances. He started dancing since he’s a kindergarten kid and has since been part of dance unit groups who have won several national dance competitions. In fact, in 2010 before he has even joined Johnny’s Jr, he actually performed as a dancer at SMAP concert.
Besides dancing, he is also the only manga artist from Johnny’s who have a regular comic column that is published monthly in comic magazines.
Speaking about 文武双全, he indeed possesses both qualities. But because of influence from his sister, he reads more of shoujo manga (少女漫画) which is also his comic style, and I personally think sometimes he behaves like a girl too. Like how he was crying joyful tears when he finally got to sing a duet song with Masuda Takahisa from NEWS. Basically he admitted he’s been raised like this, very emotional and a crybaby. I guess it triggers a lot of maternal instincts from fans for sure.
Yuta KISHI (岸優太)
As the elected (by fans) leader of the group, Kishi is the eldest member born on 9 Sep 1995 and the only one I know before they debut. He used to be one of the cast for Domoto Koichi’s Endless SHOCK back in 2013-2015. Kishi’s most respected senior in Johnny’s is Koichi and it’s nice to see Koichi giving him compliments on the recent documentary show “RIDE ON TIME” that Kishi is the kind of person who is not afraid to show his weakness and will practise / work hard until he succeeds.
While he sings and dances really well on stage, I also love how the other artists like to tease him of being an enka singer or being 45 years old because he really behaves like a veteran in this entertainment industry.
Overseas fans will be delighted to know that Kishi-kun has taken some short-term English courses and can pronounce this phrase very fluently “Can I have your number please if possible?” *flips table* He also claims to be a big fan of soba noodles.
Yuta JINGUJI (神宮寺勇太)
Coined as the “National Boyfriend” by fans, Jin is considered the gentleman in the group. Born on 30 Oct 1997, he usually behaves very mature and sensible but seems to also have a goofy side.
Being a karate black belt holder, car lover, he fits into your typical guy image. While Kishi-kun may be the leader, the other members have expressed that Jin is the one who can look at the big picture and especially in the same documentary show “RIDE ON TIME”, there’s a part where Kishi-kun was persistently practising his dance moves even during the break time, that even the staff couldn’t make him stop and Jin is the one who went over gently to remind him to take some rest.
Genki IWAHASHI (岩橋玄樹)
Unfortunately for Genki who is born on 17 Dec 1996, by the time I started noticing this group, he has gone into hiatus to recover from his long-term panic disorder illness so I can only trackback on past TV appearances and performances.
Until then, Genki has been one of the top Johnny’s Jrs, holding the title of “No. 1 Lover” for consecutive 5 years in a ranking conducted by Myojo idol magazine. Apparently he has some Spanish blood, so he took an interest in learning English.
With his androgynous looks, he is sometimes mistaken as a girl and has been teased as the “National Girlfriend” by fans, considering Genki and Jin has entered Johnny’s at the same time and always been performing as a duo when they were juniors.
There have been some announcements of Genki coming back earlier this year for their 3rd single but unfortunately, the plan has been put off. The other members and fans have expressed support and patience for his return. Fingers crossed we can see all 6 members together again very soon!
With their current popularity, I’m sure it’s not long before we can start to see them having their own variety shows. Hopefully, they will travel overseas to meet fans in the near future too! In the meantime, I will continue to pray for good luck to get tickets to watch their concerts live.