Sunday, August 21, 2016

Comments of SMAP members on their respective radio shows with regard to their impending split

Here is a translation of the comments which the SMAP members made on their respective radio shows after news of their impending split was announced. Many articles are coming out trying to analyse these comments or should I say over-reading into these comments e.g. who seems too happy about the split and doesn't care about the feelings of fans, why someone is still not using the word "disband" in his comment even though the rest are saying it or why someone has stopped referring himself as being from SMAP. However, I think it's up to you to decide how you wish to interpret them so I won't be putting those comments here since they can lead to unnecessary arguments. 

What we know for sure is, these guys are separating at the end of this year. Whatever the reason is, we might never get a full picture since the media coverage is skewed at two extremes now i.e. one which blames those who wanted to leave the agency and one which blames the one who wanted to stay. Similarly, we won't know what the future holds for them. As such, all that speculation about someone having bleak prospects or someone being able to do well even after leaving the agency is still premature talk. For now, let's just wait and see. The attention on these guys will probably continue for a while even after their split, like it or not.

Inagaki Goro - "Inagaki Goro no STOP THE SMAP" on 18 August
Good evening, I am Inagaki Goro. As reported by the media and known to everyone by now, SMAP has chosen to disband. I am sorry for the sudden announcement that has shocked fans. I, Inagaki Goro, will continue to work hard as usual and I hope that you will continue to support "Inagaki Goro no STOP THE SMAP".

Kimura Takuya - "Kimura Takuya no What's up SMAP!" on 19 August
Good evening, everyone. I am Kimura Takuya. With regard to this incident about SMAP, I am very sorry for the painful feelings caused to everyone. Just like everyone, SMAP has always been a part of my life to date and I can't find suitable words now to describe how I feel. Regret is the only feeling I have towards SMAP fans. I am very sorry.

Nakai Masahiro - "Nakai Masahiro no Some girl' SMAP" on 20 August
Good evening, this is Nakai. I would like to report to fans and related personnel about the fact that SMAP will disband. Please forgive us for this development and I apologise for the inconvenience and worry caused to everyone. I am very sorry.
In addition, having to announce this in the midst of the Rio Olympics, I am very sorry for being a dampener during this period to everyone who supports sports, the athletes, the supporters of these athletes all across Japan even though I have been given the opportunity to be a newscaster for the Olympics. I would like to apologise deeply for this, I am very sorry.

Katori Shingo - "SMAP POWER SPLASH" on 21 August
Good evening, everyone. This is SMAP's Katori Shingo. SMAP is disbanding. I thank everyone who has supported SMAP so far and apologise deeply for the sudden announcement.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi - "SMAP POWER SPLASH" on 21 August
This is SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. This time, we SMAP have selected the road to disband. To the fans and related personnel who have supported us over the past 28 years, thank you very much. Going forward, I will continue to be diligent in my work and hope that you can continue to support me warmly as usual.

Source: Oricon


Sunny said...

Apart from media even fans are over analyzing the SMAP members' statements and have their own theory regarding what led to this situation.Blame game will continue for a while till in sinks in.

I have a feeling that SMAP members may one by one quit Johnny's next year. Even the decision to stay within J&A after disband doesn't seem wholehearted.

Chiaki said...

Since the contract renewal is only for a year, the media attention on them staying or leaving is likely to linger till then.

Personally, although I do not support either side in this argument, there are two things which I thought were food for thought.

There was an article somewhere I read which highlighted the fact that Inagaki Goro and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's brushes with the law could have already caused the group to disband or forced them to leave the group at that time but they made it back partly due to their status as a member of such an influential group and their remaining members' support for them. At that time, they had displayed how thankful they were to be able to rejoin the group after their suspensions. If they are showing now that they couldn't care less about the existence and future of SMAP, the article wondered if they were really that callous (yes, the article did use this strong word "callous" to describe them) to forget about what happened in the past.

Another point which set me wondering was how Kimura Takuya was seen as the sole baddie in this whole episode. Some articles were really extreme in their descriptions of him using words like "war criminal" or "culprit". We probably won't know what exactly happened prior to January as in whether he had promised at first to leave with the others or actually did not commit to anything but was assumed to be on the same page with the rest. Or there could be a scenario where they assumed wrongly and Kimura himself did not make himself clear up to the last minute.

Power struggles are so common in the workplace and this allegiance pledging thing can be such a huge and difficult decision to make. If you follow the wrong boss, you may end up making a mess of your career. If you choose to stay while the others leave, you are branded as a traitor. The stakes are high either way. In addition, your decision will change depending on your career stage and circumstances. When you've got nothing to lose and you are so dissatisfied with the current situation, it's natural to want to leave. On the other hand, many articles were talking about how Kimura had been rumoured to want to leave the agency in the past and yet he was doing the exact opposite this time. However, they conveniently ignored the fact that he is no longer at the height of his popularity like in the 90s and early 2000s and he is already a father with two daughters now. I'm sure that it will be much easier to job-hop when you have lesser commitments and are still young but unfortunately, now is probably not the ideal time for him to do something like this.