Ah, Travis Japan, the hardest group for me to comment about. This time I’ve come back with some much nicer things to say about them. You can imagine my surprise to see Miyachika Kaito MC’ing and introducing the point of their video, to practice acting.
Seems fairly normal as Johnny’s Jr members are regularly cast in both stage plays, as well as in movies and dramas usually with their seniors. It seemed interesting enough to see what types of scenes they would act out, and with who are partners until I actually watched the video and was shocked, shocked I tell you!
Despite that misleading preview image of Nakamura Kaito and Shimekake Ryuya; all members acted out scenes with a female actress. I am surprised this video was not immediately taken to the tabloids and distributed amongst the gossipers that all the members were now dating this actress.
For those maybe not in the loop, Johnny’s Entertainment has always been notoriously strict with their dating policies. They’ve let talents go for breaking this rule, and any interaction between a female actress/singer/model/etc and a talent from Johnny’s is almost always scrutinized by the public; sometimes even by mainstream TV!
The only real exception form this is Yamapi, and that’s just simply because Yamapi knows he can do whatever as long as he still makes bank. Which he does, and therefore he usually has a one and done article and it’s over. Even now the members of now defunct SMAP, and current kings of Johnny’s Arashi, may be bachelors’ for life thanks to these strict policies.
But seriously, the fact they filmed not one, but TWO whole videos with this actress is absolutely startling in the best sort of ways. I mean, don’t get me wrong this isn’t going to suddenly mean Johnny’s talents will be able to date. I doubt that, that particular policy will ever be lifted from Johnny’s even with their change in management. Johnny’s as a long standing talent agency has always been able to capture their fans with the fact their male idols are ‘accessible’ like that to fans; that fans can always picture themselves dating a favorite member.
However, much like SixTONES being able to release a music video that’s legal to view/steam/etc it does mark a change in pace. Showing younger men being able to interact with a co-worker like they would on set, is slowly lifting the taboo around relationships. It is still possible for men and women to be friends! To work together professionally and not be dating! And Johnny’s is making that fact known in the most subtle of ways through this video.
Also, while there’s clearly an age difference between Travis Japan and the actress; they didn’t seem too awkward. I really was expecting a weird ‘never-talked-to-a-girl-but-here-we-go’ moment to happen on screen like is so often played in high school dramas, but it never came. I would have been way more up in arms if it came off that way, but aside from the campy acting at times it was fairly normal looking.
Obviously it’s not perfect; Travis Japan is still a junior group after all. Additionally, it came off as very intentional that they chose a non-Japanese actress for them to work with. Probably for one, it was a little less expensive then choosing someone well known in Japanese entertainment. For two, it really does cut down the potentiality of a tabloid speculating that one of the Travis Japan members dating her since well; she’s not particularly famous in Japan.
This would have been a bit more impactful as a debuted group, and a well known actress working with them doing something similar. But that’s just the bit of me whose jaded and knows a bit more about the dynamics that’s going on. That’s neither here nor there though. The point is; Johnny’s talents can actually talk to girls and sometimes it’s even funny to watch.