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-----What do you think is the main selling point of a Johnny’s stage performance?

Goseki: Watching something like Johnny’s World or Johnny’s Island you feel like the line [from Johnny’s World], “You won’t be bored for a single second”.* If you watch closely you’ll see that the sets are constantly changing, people are moving around. That even the smallest moment is a performance is Johnny-san’s idea. I think it’s something other people couldn’t do.

Totsuka: There’s really a lot of thought put into it.

Kawai: Definitely with Johnny-san there are performances that compel you to watch.

Tsukada: That’s awesome, isn’t it.

Hashimoto: My feeling is there are a lot of Johnny’s plays that anyone anywhere in the world can enjoy. Like Takizawa Kabuki. Foreigners maybe wouldn’t understand the Japanese language drama parts but I think the revue parts would be understood just like they are. It feels like Johnny-san isn’t looking just at Japan but at the whole world.

Tsukada: There’s a “Japanesque” section too.

Totsuka: Yeah, the beauty of “Wa”.**

Kawai: And then I think you aren’t going to see such an energetic leading man in any other kind of play.

Hashimoto: Yeah, yeah. That’s also incredible.

Kawai: Two years ago, when Takizawa (Hideaki)-kun did Takizawa Kabuki in Singapore, he would launch himself off the top of the set and the people there would be shocked like, “The star is doing stuff like this?!” In a good way, they were like, “What the heck?” “Is this guy just a regular actor?” (laugh) But for a Johnny’s the standard is doing things yourself. That is our appeal and it’s cool, I think.

Tsukada: Concerts too, because the fans will say, “I want to see it again.” And every year we’re able to put our ideas to work on the production and organization side.

Totsuka: That’s true. And it’s not just our group, all the groups put their own ideas into their concerts.

Tsukada: Like I heard that in Kis-My-Ft2, Kitayama (Hiromitsu) and Nikaido (Takashi) are the main people with production ideas. They understand the fans’ feelings and I know because I’m also a fan. (laugh)

Kawai: That the staff-san respect our ideas and work to implement them straight on is something that you could say is very Johnny’s and that’s also an appeal I think. That’s why it’s an agency you’ll never get tired of in your whole life.

Tsukada: The feeling of love is overflowing in both plays and concerts. Both us and the fans.

Totsuka: Above anything else I think Johnny’s creates good music first and it’s amazing that the concerts are also packed full of all sorts of good stuff.

Tsukada: There’s no stereotypical concert.

Totsuka: Right. There can be magic, the group can form a band, there can be lot of dancing, there can be acrobatics, and so on. Everything is lumped together with an “all in one” feeling. That’s what you’d call the “Johnny’s” genre.

Goseki: Right. It’s been established as one genre.

Tsukada: There’s endless possibilities.

Hashimoto: We can do anything.

Totsuka: And enjoying our work isn’t about being in love with us***, it’s about feeling like a part of something with a lot of other people. I think that’s what sets Japanese entertainment apart.

* 「1分1秒も飽きさせない」is what Goseki quotes. I haven’t seen Johnny’s World as I don’t live in Japan and it’s never released on DVD but some googling revealed that it was a line from the Winter 2015-2016 run of the production.

** 和 aka “wa” a complicated word used to mean “Japanese” or “Japan”. Please check out Wikipedia for more information in English.

***Tottsu says it’s not about 男女関係 or male-female relations, which is just not something we say in normal conversation in English. My interpretation was that he was saying it wasn’t about them whipping teen girls into a lustful frenzy (and I agree) but feel free to make up your own mind!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2017 01:30 am (UTC)
Thank you for translating this article! Having read the Kawai "solo" article first, I was looking for the differences between that interview and this group talk. Especially in the 1st half, he really seemed to be the one to guide the discussion, explaining & filling in the other members' comments. I also love how Kawai loves his agency so much. And I think the interview showed how thoughtful and creative all the members are about their work. :-)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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