V6 Japan Idol Group to Disband in New Blow to Johnny’s Agency

Mark Schilling
·2-min read

V6, a male idol supergroup associated with the once all-powerful Johnny & Associates agency, has announced its break-up, effective Nov. 1. The group revealed the decision on their website on Friday.

The stated reason is the desire of member Morita Go to concentrate on his acting career. Following the group’s dissolution, the five members remaining with the agency will pursue solo careers.

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Morita’s last film credit was as a deranged killer in Yoshida Keisuke’s 2016 drama “Himeanole.” He also appeared in the 2017 detective mini-series “Hello Harinezumi”

The other five band members have also acted in films and on TV, especially Okada Junichi, who starred as a suicide pilot in the 2013 smash “The Eternal Zero.”

This announcement follows on the disbandment of two other Johnny’s mega-groups: SMAP, which officially called it quits in December 2016, and Arashi, which suspended group activities in December 2020.

Although still called a “boy band,” V6 has been active for a quarter of a century, releasing its first single, “Music for the People,” in 1995. This and other early hits were covers of popular Eurobeat tunes.

SMAP, Arashi and V6 were once the top groups represented by Johnny, which dominated the Japanese show business scene for decades. But the end of SMAP and the exodus of three of its four members from the agency sent shock waves through the local entertainment world. And the July 9, 2019 death of 87-year-old Johnny Kitagawa, the agency founder who had ruled his boy band empire with an iron fist, while brushing aside allegations of sexual harassment, furthered the impression of decline.

But the demise of V6 hardly means the end of Johnny’s. In addition to veteran groups still with the agency like KinKi Kids (launch: 1997), KAT-TUN (2006) and Hey! Say! JUMP (2007), the Johnny assembly line has kept turning out new groups with members who better fit the “boy” label. Nine part Snow Man released its debut single, “D.D/ Imitation Rain,” in January 2020. It hit the top of the Oricon chart on its day of release with impressive sales of 773,000 units.

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