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SMAP is Disbanding

I think it was around 2012 when I started to realize that SMAP cannot exist forever. They have to stop someday. We can't possibly demand them to keep dancing around shaking their butts when they reach 56 right? So I did have a glimpse of picture what it is like if SMAP ever disband. I have imagined it before. They will definitely have no problem in having solo careers, right. However... I did not involve Iijima and Johnnys Jimusho in that picture at all, that time.

In 2013, I was surprised with their excessive group works. I had once posted in SMAP forum before, that "Wow... isn't this the time for them to slow down... I'm surprised they're not slowing down at all at this age? Don't they need to take care of their health or something?" and other Smappies made comments "I may be too greedy, but I'm just happy to have what we have right now!"... so, I thought, what was I talking about? Of course I should be happy about this. But a little part of me was starting to feel worry... for absolutely no reason.

In 2014, I was taken aback with all the newly found truth on SMAP and 6-SMAP. Their invisible steel-like inseparable bond. For 12 years, I thought they're just business partners who really get along, has the same mission and vision together and that's why they could keep going. 2014 was the year I finally realized SMAP is much more than that. Seems like they have a very strong reason and ties not to disband, whatever that is, they kept grabbing onto it, no matter how huge the storms were. Then, in this year 2014, I was really convinced that SMAP would never disband and this is their happy ending.

January 2015, Mary-baba did shock me with that Bunshun interview, but I never thought it would lead into the biggest storm.

January 2016, after speculating everything this and that, and I think I mentioned here also, that disband is definitely one of the possibilities. I believe that SMAP does not want to disband, but if that's the only way to protect all the members (since Iijima has resigned now), then I won't be surprised. However the huge W.T.F part of the August 14 midnight announcement was that ALL FIVE MEMBERS WILL STAY IN JOHNNYS JIMUSHO AFTER DISBAND. @#@*#(@)#(@()_@)!!!!

Then, what's the point of disbanding? If all five of them staying? They've been struggling to protect "SMAP" name rights by staying in the jimusho. If the name will disappear from now on, then what's the point of staying? Are they planning to regroup again?

In 2012, I imagined SMAP members each will have bright solo careers even after disband, but in this situation and with all the damages that the Jimusho has done to SMAP, I really really doubt they will have proper solo careers if they're staying in the Jimusho? I can't just be positive, "Ooh, I'm so looking forward to Shingo's solo works from now on!"

The fans CAN live without SMAP. We're all fine if its really their decision, I'm sure. What we are most worried about are SMAP themselves... they have mentioned in several occassions that they're nothing without SMAP, they can't do anything without SMAP... even Shingo said SMAP is the reason for him to live.

And Mary made a big mistake to harrass and humiliate Iijima and SMAP in public last year. No one believes that SMAP members disbanding because they don't get along with each other. We all know everything started since last year. Only idiots who would believe that SMAP members disbanding over something that teenagers would say, "We hate each other so we want to disband RIGHT NOW! We don't care even if its in the middle of Olympics, in the middle of the night, in the middle of Obon holiday! We want to disband now, now, now!"

Yeah, right...

In the beginning, it was Nakai vs Kimura story they made up. Suddenly Shingo became the bad guy since last month, refusing to hold the 25th anniversary concert. The latest chapter of the story says Shingo strongly wished to disband and Goro and Tsuyoshi agreed. Without Nakai and Takuya's agreement the Jimusho accepted their disband request. What the---?? And Takuya was in Hawaii too? How is that even possible? That doesn't sound professional at all. Even if it is SMAP members who wishes to disband, it is very NOT professional for the Jimusho to announce disband without including Takuya in the meeting and he wasn't even in Japan. Things doesn't make any sense.

The FAX which opened with the Jimusho trying to explain themselves are too long, its like they're trying to make excuses. "We've done our best to maintain the group... but its all their own fault! We're not involved in making this decision" Mawari kudoi! They're explaining themselves in such a roundabout way. And the members' statement are too short.

All members have made announcement in the radio too now. This is the translation for both fax and radio to compare. FYI, they all made announcement in the opening and it was all recorded and added urgently after the fax came out. The contents of each program were recorded earlier before the fax.


FAX "Fan no minasama, kankei kakui no minasama, wareware SMAP ga kaisan suru koto wo go-houkoku sasete itadakimasu. Go-meiwaku wo okake shimashita. Go-shinpai wo okake shimashita. Osewa ni mo narimashita. Kono you na kekka ni itatta koto wo oyurushi kudasai. Moushiwake... arimasen deshita..." Nakai Masahiro
(To the fans and all related parties. We are announcing that SMAP will disband. We're sorry for all the troubles we've caused. We're sorry to make you worried. Thank you for taking care of us. Please forgive us for this result. I'm really... sorry...)

Some Girl SMAP "Domo konbanwa. Nakai desu. Ee... fan no minasama, kankeisha no minasama, wareware SMAP ga kaisan suru koto wo go-houkoku sasete itadakimasu. Go-meiwaku wo kake shimashita. Go-shinpai wo kake shimashita. Osewa ni mo narimashita. Kono you na kekka ni itatta koto wo oyurushi kudasai. Moushiwake... arimasen deshita... Ato, mou hitotsu. Ee... kono ima, Rio no Orimpikku no kikanchuu ni happyou to iu koto natta koto wo, supootsu kankeisha no minasama, asuriito no katagata, sore wo sasaeru katagata soshite Nihon-juu de, ano.. ouen shiteiru katagata, jibun ga kyasutaa toshite yarasasete moratte ni mo kakawarazu, mizu wo sasu you na jiki datta koto wa moushiwakenaku omotte orimasu. Fukaku owabi moushi agemasu. Moushiwake gozaimasen deshita. ...sore dewa, itsumo doori."
(Hello, good evening. This is Nakai. Ee.. to the fans and all related parties. We are announcing that SMAP will disband. We're sorry for all the troubles we've caused. We're sorry to make you worried. Thank you for taking care of us. Please forgive us for this result. I'm really... sorry... And one more thing. Ee... I'm really sorry that we announced this matter in the middle of Rio Olympics matches. To all sport related parties, to the athletes, to everyone who support them all over Japan, I deeply apologize for ruining the moment for everyone despite the fact I'm involved in it as a caster too. I'm very sorry. Let's start with the usual program now.)


FAX "Kono tabi no guruupu kaisan ni kanshite, shoujiki na tokoro hontou ni munen desu. Demo, 25shuunen no raibu mo guruupu katsudou mo 5nin sorowanakereba nani mo dekinai no de, nomikomu shika nai no ga genjyou desu. Takusan no kimochi de sasaete kudasatta fan no katagata, sutaffu no minasan wo mushi shite kaisan to iu hontou ni nasakenai kekka ni natte shimaimashita. Ima wa kotoba ga umaku mitsukarimasen." Kimura Takuya
(To be honest, I feel regret about our group's disband. But we can't hold a 25th anniversary live concert without all five of us, so this is a situation that we just have to swallow. I feel ashamed for this result, that we have to ignore all the fans' and staff's feelings that has been supporting us. I'm at a loss for words now.)

What's Up SMAP "Minasan konbanwa, Kimura Takuya desu. Konkai wa SMAP no ken de minasan ni tsurai omoi wo sasete shimatte, hon~ntou ni moushiwakenai kimochi de ippai desu. ...boku to onaji you ni ima made seikatsu no ichibu, jinsei no ichibu toshite SMAP to kakawatte kite kureta fan no minna ni, ima, hontou ni kotoba ga mitsukarimasen. Subete no SMAP fan no minna ni tadatada moushiwakenai to iu kimochi shika arimasen... Hontou ni, gomen."
(Good evening. Kimura Takuya here. I'm really sorry that we have caused everyone pain due to SMAP's matter.  ...Just like me, SMAP has always been a part of the fans' daily lives, a part of the fans' lives,... I'm at a loss for words now. All I can say to each and every SMAP fan right now is, I'm very, very sorry. Really sorry....)


FAX "Fan no minasama, sutaffu no kankeisha no minasama, kono tabi wa go-shinpai go-meiwaku wo okakeshite hontou ni moushiwake gozaimasen. Ima no joukyou de 5nin de no katsudou wa muzukashii to omoi, tsurai ketsudan de wa arimasu ga, kaisan to iu katachi wo torasete itadaku koto ni narimashita. Dou ka bokutachi no ishi wo go-rikai itadaketara to omoimasu. 28nenkan hontou ni arigatou gozaimashita." Inagaki Goro
(To the fans, all the staff and related parties, I'm very sorry that we have made everyone worried and troubled everyone. We think that it is difficult for us to go on as five in this situation, so it was a hard decision to make, but we decided to take the form of disband. Please understand our decision. Thank you for all these 28 years.)

Stop The SMAP "Konbanwa, Inagaki Goro desu. Sude ni houdou de minasan gozonji da to omoimasu ga, SMAP wa kaisan to iu katachi wo torasete itadaku koto ni narimashita. Fan no minasama ni wa totsuzen no houkoku de odorokasete shimatte hontou ni moushiwake gozaimasen. Watakushi, Inagaki Goro wa kore kara mo ganbatte ikimasu no de, Stop The SMAP mo hikitsuzuki yoroshiku onegaiitashimasu."
(Good evening. It's Inagaki Goro. I'm sure you have heard from the news. SMAP will take the form of disband. I'm very sorry to surprise all the fans with this sudden announcement. I, Inagaki Goro, will keep working hard, so please continue to support Stop The SMAP.)


FAX "Kono tabi bokutachi SMAP wa kaisan suru michi wo erabimashita. Itsumo ouen shite kureta fan no minasama, sasaete kureta kankeisha no minasama, guruupu kessei kara 28nenkan hontou ni arigatou gozaimashita. Kongo mo shoujin shite mairimasu no de hikitsuzuki, atatakaku mimamotte itadakeru to ureshiku omoimasu." Kusanagi Tsuyoshi
(We, SMAP, have decided to choose the path of disband. Thank you to all the fans who always support us, to all the staff who support us, for all these 28 years. I will still devote myself to work from now on, so please keep watching.)

SMAP Power Splash "SMAP no Kusanagi Tsuyoshi desu. Ee... Kono tabi bokutachi SMAP wa kaisan suru michi wo erabimashita. Itsumo ouen shite kureta fan no minasama, sasaete kureta kankeisha no minasama, guruupu kessei kara 28nenkan hontou ni arigatou gozaimashita. Kongo mo shoujin shite mairimasu no de hikitsuzuki, atatakaku mimamotte itadakeru to ureshiku omoimasu."
(This is SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. Ee...We, SMAP, have decided to choose the path of disband. Thank you to all the fans who always support us, to all the staff who support us, for all these 28 years. I will still devote myself to work from now on, so please keep watching.)


FAX "Fan no minasama, soshite sutaffu kankeisha no minasama. Bokura SMAP wa kaisan itashimasu. Ouen shite kudasatta takusan no katagata ni kokoro yori kansha moushi agemasu. Soshite totsuzen no oshirase to narimashita koto, fukaku owabi moushi agemasu." Katori Shingo
(To the fans and related parties. We, SMAP will disband. I sincerely thank everyone who has always support us. I deeply apologize for the sudden announcement.)

SMAP Power Splash "Minasan konbanwa. SMAP no Katori Shingo desu. SMAP wa kaisan itashimasu. ...SMAP wo ouen shite kudasatta takusan no katagata ni, kokoro yori kansha moushi agemasu. ...soshite totsuzen no oshirase to narimashita koto, fukaku owabi moushi agemasu."
(Good evening. This is SMAP's Katori Shingo. SMAP will disband. ...I sincerely thank everyone who has always support us. ...I deeply apologize for the sudden announcement.)

Everyone followed the script(fax) to the T, except for TakuGoro. Could anyone see it vividly that Nakai was reading a piece of paper and then he put down the paper when he started apologizing for the Olympics matter while listening to his words? Was it just me?
Tsuyoshi's voice came right after Shingo's, and I thought he was a life saviour. I felt tremendous pain listening to Shingo's breaking voice... so when it turned to Tsuyoshi's calm and soothing voice, I felt so relieved. Its so weird....
Goro's voice sounded like he was trying his best to fake it. Nakai tried to be professional. Takuya sounded so sad, just like Shingo... but yeah, Shingo's voice was the worst... I can't bring myself to listen to it for the 2nd time, its too painful to listen to his shaky voice. Sounded like he's really devastated.

The Jimusho has informed the media that there will be no press conference whatsoever... tsk..tskk.. so weird. So, there will be no official explanation of the reason and the chronology of how it lead to disbanding decision?

This is the summary of LITERA article about the truth behind SMAP's disband. (thanks to msj!)
- Jimusho has blocked all new projects despite Iijima getting things lined up before resignation (talk hasn't continued for Tsuyoshi's Fuji TV drama, Goro's movie is cancelled, Nakai's drama this year is postponed)
- Jimusho is trying to get networks to end all SMAP programs (Julie is trying to bring in new ones to compete with intent to kill ratings for SMAP members)
- Once Kisumai tour ends, they will have no new works and Busaiku to be pulled from Nakai's program
- ShinTsuyo got fed up, wanted to go independent, were convinced not to by Nakai and resigned, but with the increase in harassment from jimusho, they were fed up and voted to disband, Goro sided with them
- Kimura was in Hawaii (and Mary and Julie???) and not present for when the others decided to disband - so the decision was made without him by the board the next day.
- Nakai had decided to stay, but with the harassment of the younger SMAP members and Kisumai, he has consulted major players in the entertainment industry and starting his own agency in September next year

I keep wondering if its really true that Shingo strongly wanted the disband. It is very OOC of him, but he might have solid reasons for it.

Shingo is the beloved youngest child (suekko). All five of them (including Mori) loves him dearly, if not the most. We can see he is used of acting spoiled whenever the older ones are around. After FNS2014, I started thinking that one of the reasons they work hard to stay together is to protect Shingo. For Shingo's sake. Since 10, Shingo only know SMAP and will be clueless without SMAP, his life really depends on SMAP. SMAP is the only job he can do, or at least the one thing he is very good at.

In KazoKata PR, when the host asked "What is Nakai-san like?" he answered "He is too kind (yasashisugi). Sometimes he is concern abt other people that it makes himself sick"
Also what always bothers me is the statement when he promoted the vampire drama, "I don't want to stay young. I want to grow older as soon as possible." the hosts were surprised "Heeeee.... whyy??" and he paused for a second then "Because i've always been a child (zutto kodomo dakara)" then he looked away "Are?" like he himself confused with his own answer. I think that he feels he's always been treated like a child by the other members.

2tops are carrying the burden getting all the bashes and negative reports for six months. And I'm sure its not only the media, but 2tops are taking all the pressure from the Jimusho and all the responsibilities and consequences they had to face while striving hard to rescue SMAP from a sinking ship.... and PERHAPS, to the extent of troubling Takuya's family also endangering Nakai's health.

It might be true that Mary wanted to disband them in the beginning, but I think the Jimusho has learned their lessons in January so they canceled the idea and decided to go with hiatus... they still want to destroy SMAP by not giving them group works at all... but they gave up the idea of disbanding them since it gives them bad image.

Shingo can't stand anymore being someone who is always protected at the expense of other members. He want to protect them instead now, so he stood up and decided to be the bad guy. So he declared that he want to disband. He wants to see 2tops free from all burden. And he might have discussed this with Goro and Tsuyoshi first and got their agreement before he went to see Julie. (not sure if he talk to 2tops first or 2tops found out from the Jimusho instead)

The Jimusho is like finally getting their golden chance and decided to go with this story instead of the Nakai vs Takuya story they totally made up before. Thus the contradicting story with the previous one. The disband was finally agreed without a proper discussion with 2tops and that's why the papers says not all members agree with the decision. Since it is Shingo (also Goro-Tsuyo) who wants disband, the Jimusho tried to emphasize that part over and over to make sure they don't have to take the blame.

However.... the above theory has plot hole. If the 3:2 story is really true, then why won't the Jimusho hold a press conference? Won't it be best for the Jimusho if the members admit that they themselves who want the disband with their own words? The fans and public will not hesitate anymore that it is really the members' choice and the Jimusho doesn't have to be suspected or take the blame at all. Or did SMAP refuse to hold one? What would the reason for SMAP refusal for a press con be, other than bcoz the story published is not the whole truth?

It has been officially announced that SMAP will not hold 25th anniversary or any last live concert, no new single, no music show appearance including Kouhaku Utagassen, so the Jimusho is asking the fans to watch dead-SMAP until December 31st. Oh one group work, which is 25th Anniversary best album, a compilation of their old songs.. haha

So, postcard from JFC has arrived at respective FC members' addresses announcing SMAP disband. It also says "Membership renewal is closed today" but without any date information (when it is closed), and even the postcard itself has no date, indicating that this postcard might be made far before the announcement and was ready to be delivered any time as soon as the fax is out in the open.

What the SMAP FC members feel upset the most is that JFC doesn't give a chance to renew membership until December. "My membership expires in October! I want to be properly a SMAP FC member until Dec 31 but this means I can't. I called JFC and made an inquiry 'What if there's a SMAP event in December?' the answer was very cold 'Yes, you will not be able to join if there's an event or audience recruitment after October' without any solution!"

This is a very rare case for Japan. They always treat customers very highly with great hospitality. This kind of attitude is very rare. They always try to find the best solution for customers. Disappointing the customers is a big nono in Japan. It seems like SMAP fans are trash too for Johnnys Jimusho. Maybe they really don't need SMAP fans' patronage anymore.

There are two possibilities:
1) SMAP really has no group activities until December.
2) SMAP FC members are being treated really unfair.

Or maybe even both.

The fact that the only SMAP group work is a 25th anniversary best album (and I bet they will not be allowed to promote the CD together too?) until December, means that it is very likely they're just obligated to fulfill their contract with Victor, SMAP's recording label, until December, that's all. (FYI, in December 2008 it was once announced SMAP has renewed 2-years contract with Victor, so fans found out SMAP-Victor contract renewal is December). But SMAP has immediately been inactivated since August 14th. According to FC members, there was suppose to be SxS recording on Aug 20, but it was canceled a few days before the fax was out. So what this means? They will just show SxS reruns till December too?

Repeating what I said in the previous post. The funniest leak spread from Twitter by a Johnnys insider, was that Johnny Kitagawa himself didn't know a single thing about the fax and on Aug 14 morning, he was really enraged, extremely angry to find out about the fax from news and calling several Johnnys executives "What does this mean!?" meanwhile the culprits, Mary and Julie took off for a vacation to Hawaii in that very morning as well, LOL.

Kokubun Taichi repeated over and over several times on TV that he still believes something, a miracle will happen before December. Bakusho Mondai's Ota Hikari also said that the situation might change before December. Well... I'm quite pessimistic for something to happen before December. They can't just swallow their own vomit. Its impossible for Jimusho to release a statement smth like "Oops sorry made a mistake. We canceled SMAP's disband." That's gonna really confuse the sponsors and related parties, such as Paralympics who has announced SMAP support has ended, and also the TV stations who are now making arrangement to deal with the disband. They have announced disband, then that's what's gonna happen.

What I hope for something to happen is after the disband... in the year 2017. I dunno what's gonna exactly happen... but at least I'm hoping for all five to quit the jimusho although they cannot regroup as SMAP anymore. I imagine that they can move to the same agency or establish their own agency although they will work as individuals from then on.

The latest rumor says Johnny will retire next year and Julie will finally receive the crown as the next Queen...

So that is Mary's intention since the beginning... (according to the rumors) she fired all the long-time senior employees, and then she fired Iijima (fact), disband SMAP, and final blow is to fire her own brother from the company, to force her brother to descend from the throne. So her daughter can be the single ruler in the empire before she dies. That makes sense. With Johnny, Iijima, SMAP around... Julie's moves will be very limited and they can definitely overpower her, that's what Mary is afraid the most. So she does everything she can, to get rid of any eyesores, clean the path for Julie. LOL, this sounds really "hontou ni atta kowai hanashi" XD

This is not the end of the whole soap opera guys. I'm sure there will be more dramatic development even after December 31st. Let's keep watching and prepare your popcorns for another blow, lol!

One question left to close this entry.

Was it Iijima that Mary wanted to get rid of and so SMAP's disband became inevitable?
OR, is it SMAP that Mary wanted to destroy so she fired Iijima?

Time will answer.

I have left out many other details concerning the disbanding topic. I was going to make the timeline/chronology of what happened between January-August, but I have no time... will save it for December 31st then, lol



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 22nd, 2016 04:34 pm (UTC)
hi, Yanie. i'm a silent reader of your LJ. i'm actually a (still) baby Smappie. apparently the disband drama in january took my attention and i started to stan them lol *too late! tho i already know them since Kimura's LongBake* and while looking some info about SMAP (&Iijima) vs J&A (Mary), i found your LJ and read some of your posts. eh then i found out we're from the same country as well haha.

okay enough intro, first of all…
thanks a lot for what you share with us. my japanese is soooo limited so i barely understand the tabloids. actually reading this post makes me crying again (i gotta stop crying! xD). like "damn i'm so late to be their fan! why not earlier?! i'm not done with them yet! f*ck you Mary and your pettiness!" lol. everything hurts but thank god (like you) i just started my MBA program (but in Jakarta) so it's a very good distraction from fandoms. btw i really want to support them by buying SekaiHana & their 25th best album that counted in Oricon but i don't think it's possible to do that since Oricon won't count overseas sales so it's kinda frustrating me ahaha *sorry for a little bit curhat*

i hate to see some tabloids positioning either Kimura or ShinTsuyo as the big villain, i don't wanna see more of that. if they REALLY wanna to disband, i'm sure fans will gladly accept it. we just want it to come from their own mouths, maybe in a live broadcast, not with some recorded radios. when the news came out in the middle of the night, i was like "oh what? eh? why now? but why the disband is in 31st Dec?". then after i found out they stay with Johnnys even tho they'll disband, i was like "WTF???!! WHAT IS GOING ON?!". after the january drama came out, i was hoping they can pull Shinhwa (a korean boyband who got away from SME & build their own company) but that is unlikely to happen since we're talking about J&A here *ugh*. stanning SMAP opens my eyes about the uglier side of J&A and i'm glad some of my favs can get away (even with scandals hahaha) from this satan jimusho.

i'm thankful that 2top tried their hardest to protect SMAP no matter what but i'm sure this is all their limit, for all 5 members. with Iijima's departure, i feel like they lost their last defense in jimusho. this is what Mary probably wants. i can't really blame the youngest 3 (tho i honestly feel a bit of disappointment to them). but if they really wanna disband, i'm sure they have their own reasons that we probably will never find out. beside, we know how ugly J&A to SMAP. idk about Kisumai or SZ since i'm not in the fandoms, but (Yama)Pi who was in Iijima's side is still MIA. yes he's having his tour but no proper album for this tour (best album instead, for what? to celebrate he's still in J&A? lol), no musical activities for almost 2 years, even i feel like his tour is a forced one cause it's in much smaller stadiums/halls (tho i'm still grateful about it). not sure what they're doing with him. or maybe it's still a part of his mini hiatus after his scandal with Ryo & Jin and later put him as the sole scapegoat? or maybe cause he's still in Iijima's side atm? this thing and later SMAP's saga make me hate J&A so much that i can't express it into words lol

anyway i lately saw things about Nakai and "agency" thing (you also stated it in this post). what is that about? is he making his own agency? sorry for asking for more details at the end.

once again, thanks a lot. *sends many hugs to all Smappies around the world, and also to SMAP <3*
i really hope we can meet up and talk about SMAP all day since i'm still new in the fandom LOL
Aug. 22nd, 2016 06:06 pm (UTC)
Yanie, once again, thank you for your long post and analysis ^^
I'm so sad and so angry against Mary and Cie for what they made to them. I hope their bond will be stronger than all that nasty things.
If they disband to protect SMAP or to protect each other, I accept it. But why do they stay in the Jimusho ? Have they plans we don't know ? Maybe Nakai and his agency... ? Wait and see.
Tonikaku, I want them to be free and happy. Of course, I'll miss them all five together, but I'll continue to love them separately and to support them form the bottom of my heart. SMAP will live forever. They'll stay SMAP forever even after disbanding. I'm sure ^^
Thank you again, Yanie.
Aug. 22nd, 2016 07:03 pm (UTC)
I have been a read-only follower of your journal since I knew SMAP not many years ago. Reading your journals about SMAP is one of only few ways that allow me to follow up their news.

Please allow me to express my very sad feeling once.

I love SMAP dearly. However, I understand that every party must come to an end and when it does, there are kisses and promises and waves goodbye. I wish and thought, one day, SMAP's farewell an entertainment stage would be that way.

Also, I understand that, in real world, what one "wants" and "can" may not be the same. What SMAP wants, they may not be able to do it, or vice versa. It may be one of reasons why SMAP members keep their silence until now.

In my mind, regardless the outsider would say, as long as all members agreed and accepted the truth behind it, everyone would be fine. With all members lining up in January, it seems to say in some way that they were all "together" regardless staying or parting.

But rumors after the disbanding announcement were very heartache. They were all about hatred among members especially towards Kimura-san. My heart is so hurt reading rumors about Katori-san and Kimura-san. I know that it can be a lie. How can it be possible that one can hate another overnight after such a long journey together?

If it was true, may be this is it.

If it was not true, I have no word but my heart is crying hard for Kimura-san. Although his own mind may be strong and prepared for this situation, but what is about people in his inner circle? How is his career severely affected by this?

He was blamed as a traitor in January. Now, it seems he was cut out of disbanding decision committee. He was portrayed as a bad guy that no members wanted to work with. How much lonely and heartache is he feeling now?

With his bow in a clip of the arrival day at Narita on Aug 22 was so sad. With a translation that I read about Kimura-san interview, I cried.

I love all of them. I believe all members have been enduring such a pain and carrying their roles the best they can since last year. I can accept the disbanding but it is so extremely hard to accept and believe that members hate each other at this degree.

So do I, I hope the bond among members is true, strong, and firm. I hope Nakai-san was sincere about saying that they are not friend but “family” in one of clips that I watched. I do hope and hold on that word.

I personally believe that, at this minute, “SMAP” is truly ended. Members will continue their career either under the current agency or the new agency. They may reunite in the same new agency later or never. But, the fact that a real life in real world is sometimes cruel, I don’t want to have a false hope about them to reunite as a group. If they did, it would be wonderful.

I believe all members know that the ending will come someday, but just not this way and this today.

It's one of my darkest days. Like Kimura-san said, I am also at a loss for words.

Thank you very much for your all translations, subs, and videos that allow me to love SMAP even more.

Aug. 23rd, 2016 12:00 am (UTC)
It's quite sad what's happening with SMAP :( Not a fan, but they are honestly the ones who made possible that some other idol groups could be succesful afterwards (and, in a way, shaped the concept of what idols are from their debut onwards). It's not the end a group like them should have.

About the things you pointed out here, I have a few things to say:

1) People's hearts can change over time by the most unexpected reasons. Maybe the members did want to end the things now, despite whatever they've stated in the past. Like you, I wish we could have all the information, but when has the entertainment world been that open, especially Johnny's? :/

2) I think Johnny doesn't have a say in many things that happen in his agency anymore. Which is... understandable? Given his age, I wouldn't expect him to be working either. The real mystery is why his older sister still works (the words "control freak" come to mind). They should have both retired a long time ago! I have the hope that maybe with them gone things will change. Only time will tell.

3) Ah, I think that, as of now, SMAP doesn't plan to do any group activity which would require people to use their membership card to attend it (so it means no concerts, at least... Let's hope they do something else!)

4) "Was it Iijima that Mary wanted to get rid of and so SMAP's disband became inevitable? OR, is it SMAP that Mary wanted to destroy so she fired Iijima?"
I'll go with the first one. Mary obviously disliked Iijima. As for whether she also wanted to end SMAP or not, hmm... that's a bit more difficult. If she wanted them out of the picture too, that would have happened a long time ago, in my opinion. She couldn't do it directly, obviously, so this kind of abrupt developing (I call it abrupt because nobody would have seen it coming two or three years ago, as you pointed out yourself) wouldn't go well with an indirect strategy. Things went out of her hands quicker than she thought they would, especially because SMAP are not little boys she can just coerce into going with what she wants.
What I do believe possible is that they no longer feel like their activities as a group are protected/guaranteed with Iijima no longer working for Johnny's. Maybe they couldn't adjust to the change or simply didn't want to follow Julie's methods?

5) If I was the one in charge, I wouldn't do a press conference now either. It's too recent. It would be a mess, to be honest, and it would probably have to be scripted to keep the media from putting the members in a tight spot on national television. Maybe in one or two months, as the date of disband approaches and people start digesting the situation, it'd be a more adequate timing.

That being said, I'm with Kokubun here, expecting that a miracle will happen. If not to take the disband announcement back, at least to allow SMAP to have the kind of farewell they deserve.
Aug. 23rd, 2016 12:56 am (UTC)
Not sure why...but there must be a reason
I've been following SMAP for a few years now, I'm thinking there is some serious reason why they don't want to go on. A few member seem shocked/saddened by their statements and others don't seem to care and are matter-of-fact.

We don't know what kind of contract they signed as kids. It's obviously very strict because they can't really get married or have a personal life. There could be other strange rules such as you can't perform together in public if you leave the agency etc. They know the contract is coming up and maybe some of them just can't bear to do this any longer.

I'm sure once they find new agencies to join they will be able to continue to do independent work and still be supported by fans. I don't think it's so much they wanted SMAP to break up but more that they were desperate to leave Johnnys. No matter what they say now I'm sure at least 1 or 2 will leave. I wouldn't be surprised if we get marriage announcements or news of a private life we never knew about because everything was kept so hidden.

We should probably celebrate the freeing of all 5 members from the controls of their agency and that they can finally have a life
Aug. 23rd, 2016 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: Not sure why...but there must be a reason
THIS! I bet that next year there will be news about private matters (probably from the ones who wanted to disband). There must be pretty strong reasons behind what's going on right now.
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