Group: the Most Uncertain Concept in Johnny's Entertainment (英語部参加)

 Compared to the Japanese word "グループ", the English word "group" functions both as a noun and a verb. defines the word as a noun as

any collection or assemblage of persons or things

 However, this entry would be heavily concentrated on the second definition:

a number of persons or things ranged orconsidered together as being related in someway.

 This "someway" is the interesting part of groups of artists in the Johnny's Entertainment. The "someway" is very ambiguous, ranging from their age and looks, to their abilities such as if they could rollerskate or not.

 The use of word as a verb is defined as follows:

To place or associate together in a group, as with others

 Johnny's artists are grouped into their groups *1, and they are asked, or mildly forced together to sing, dance, and follow a common dream. The groups that they are assigned to can be temporary or long-lasting. Many discussions regarding what is a group, or when does a group start and end, surround the artists and fans.



What is a group?

 A bitter collection of memories flow into my mind when I hear the word "group". The old days when the teacher ask us to make groups of two, or three, or four for a project was one of the worst times of my life. I hated the feeling when I ended up joining the group of cliques. The eyes with the doubt of "Why are you here?" piereced me through, and the only thing I could do was to bear the awkwardness and try to do my best to make the situation somewhat better by collaborating and concentrating on the projects which we were supposed to do.

 Something similar to my old memory happens daily in the world of Johnny's artists. Being assigned to a different group one day is very common. They do not have the privelege to say no.*2 

 Johnny's has another very interesting idea of a "Symmetry". This is perhaps a nested group in a group; it describes the two members who dance in a symmetrical position. The two tend to have similar heights, singing abilities, or dancing abilities. They are made to "look good" with the two of them. In most of the cases,*3 the two of them become very close in the group. 


What can a group do?

 Wataru and Takahiro, the two artists that I am a huge fan of, do have one thing in common. They both have "lost" their best partners for various reasons, and are sometimes regarded as alone in the big group of Kis-My-Ft2 and Johnny's WEST. 

 I know they are not alone. The group members refer to them positively. They list many good points about Wataru and Takahiro, and often concludes with, "he is indispensable for us". However, I see some fans who stereotypically determines that they are "alone" since they have lost their "best partner". Some of the more violent argue that these two need not be in the group. These words just pierces me through, just as the girls' eyes in my class did.

 This is a hugely egoistic sensation, but I do not want them to feel the loneliness nor the awkwardness I felt. I see my childhood self in them. Symmetries change and groups change. How can the one alone be forever alone? If they are in a group, and if the group has a single dream to follow, how can people regard him as alone in any ways?

 Group is something very unstable. Especially when they are Juniors, the group is almost just a word to gather some of them. A group can be dismantled for various reasons. There goes the Naniwa Princes in the west, and the next moment you notice a Mr. King vs Mr. Prince in the East. That's what happens. Many smile, and many more cries are in the back of a formation and dismantlement of a group.

 Even after the goal of a CD debut is achieved does not promise the eternity of a group nor group members. Members can leave a group for various reasons. One can leave to do a solo, study abroad, or even to "become more manly"*4. This can, at the same time, be a slim hope; Johnny's WEST 4 changed to Johnny's WEST, and the members increased from four to seven. Some nested groups can achieve something great and bring something new to the group, as Tegomasu and Busaiku did.


 I love how the group I love looks now, and how they say that they like their group and their members. I just hope for all the groups to become happy, and my two men of yearn to live the life to their fullest. 





*1:I am intentionally using this convention

*2:Strictly speaking they do, but many of them choose to not use the privelege because in most cases the outcome would not be something that they want

*3:because the fans tend to love the "Symmetry"

*4:10ks to somebody