I feel alternate disgust and pity for SMAP, Japan’s original boy band from the early 1990s. Each year, they release new CDs, sell stuff in ads, and hog a lot of TV time. But it’s increasingly clear that with each year, the band members are desperately trying to subtract a year from their appearances. It’s unsettling to see these 40 year olds posing as teenagers.
In their recent appearance on the New Years Eve Kouhaku show, they did not dance, sang very poorly, and basically showed no interest in performing. Does evil Johnny prevent them from just retiring? At least they are keeping the Photoshop jockeys in business.
I have actually felt great fear seeing SMAP, wondering if that is going to be Arashi in a few years time. It is really sad seeing guys that age posing with little plastic cars and trying to act cutesy. Let them act their age.
By the way, don’t think Nakai is starting to look like an aging drag queen…. kind of like a Japanese Danny La Rue?
I did not realize that at one time, SMAP were the “roller-skating back up ‘dancers’ ” for Japans first boy-band Hikaru Genji!
Actually, they were about to leave Johnny’s, and go on to their own solo projects in 2001 – but Inagaki got involved in a hit-and-run: he hit a policewoman who was writing him a ticket for parking in a restricted zone, then drove off!
They lost all TV shows they were doing, all sponsorships….I would imagine that it was only by staying under the Johnny’s umbrella that they were not drawn and quartered, and banned forever from all media/music projects!
There is probably some contract signed in blood somewhere after that incident…