Happy new year, minna~!! \^o^/ So busy with school, I had no time for fandom anymore, so sad T_T
It was a weird New Year for me, because when it turned 12 AM, SMAP's career as a group ended as well. No doubt 2016 was the hardest year for us, SMAP fans. So many lies and slanderous accussations toward SMAP members. But SMAP fans never give up in supporting SMAP members. We have achieved 3 million copies of sales for SekaHana single, 360,000 signs for petition, bought 8 pages of Asahi Shimbun worth of 40 million yen collected from 13,000 fans dedicated to SMAP, the international postcard campaign, consumer complaint report on JFC that made the government organization sent JFC warning of a lawsuit threat, and many more! We put up a good fight in 2016 and I'm proud of SMAP fans!!
SMAP also put up a good fight. Normally, Jimusho would've have just put them on hiatus status, slowly erase them from the public's memories, give them less and less jobs, drama and variety ratings drop to one digit little by little, till the members one by one get tired of being in the group and might leave the group one by one. I believe that was the Jimusho's plan. But SMAP refused to be dictated and arranged like puppets. They chose the option of disband because they did not want to be made into Jimusho's puppets, imho. They refused to hold 25th anniversary concert under the Jimusho's (probably unreasonable) conditions.
I do not want to hold a grudge toward the Jimusho. I thank Johnny and Mary for every little favor they gave to SMAP and Iijima. Thank you so much, so much to Johnny-san to put SMAP members together and gave them the chance of their fated encounter. Thank you so much, so much to Mary-san who decided to hire Iijima Michi as her secretary in the beginning. Without Iijima's presence, SMAP would never become this big.
But this would be the last time I thank Jimusho.
SMAP's career as a group has ended, but SMAP's bond as family will never end. I'm predicting that private outings between members will increase from now on. When they meet every week for work they won't feel like meeting in private. But now they are separated I'm sure they would want to see each other in private times more, haha~
SMAP had close its curtain, and there are rumors that Jimusho will restrict use of SMAP's name, images and videos starting today.
But the time of the curtain rise once again will come, in every other way. I believe that. If the Jimusho and general public think this is the end of it, then they have underestimate SMAP and SMAP fans. As long as this is not what SMAP wants, they will continue to fight. And SMAP fans knows that. We will do every way we can to keep SMAP fresh in the mind of general public.
Even if SMAP members themselves are confused and do not know what to do right now, I truly believe there's a light of hope. And that everything will turn out the way they want it, in the end.
I'm looking forward to the "new SMAP" in 2017! They are apart for onscreen time, but I'm sure there will be a lot of behind the scenes stories. But any way we still have Takuya's drama, Tsuyoshi's drama, Nakai's variety shows, not much change deshou? LOL. They had always focus a lot on solo activities anyway.
Before January 2016 happened, I did once imagine that if they'd want to leave the agency then disbandment would be inevitable. They would have to disband temporarily and regroup outside the agency. But now I realized regrouping is a hard thing to do. Not impossible but not easy, either. It might be difficult for them to fight for SMAP's name legal rights. So, at least, I imagine Nakai and Iijima would build a new talent agency, and all SMAP members will join there in individual names... might be difficult to regroup without SMAP's name, but who knows!
I see the Jimusho falling apart without Johnny and Mary, whom might not last in a couple of years. But I wish Julie and Kosugi all the best!
The battle has just begun! Madamada dayo!! There will be more slanderous accussations and lies about SMAP members this year.... but SMAP fans will never give up!
Meanwhile, I'll be looking for a permanent job too from now on. Yosh, ganbarouuu!