I have to admit that normally I'm the type who would keep quiet about something like that - yes, I know, that's kinda weak, but I normally want to avoid the emotional fuss.
But in this case here, I want to say something.
1) I love NEWS. They were my favourite group and I will always cherish them.
2) But NEWS splitting/disbanding was not a huge surprise for me, as sad as it feels in the end. They were inactive since months already. Actually since one year. For me Livex3 concert and their last single were like a good-bye. I didn't see it like that back then, but now I do. It was a gorgeous concert with all of them being happy together and giving their best, I'm glad that they gave as this concert.
3) About Yamapi: It's not exactly a huge surprise that he wants to go solo now. For what reasons he really wants to do that, I don't know that for sure of coure. But I know he will have it rough, because being a successful solo artist is not that easy to achieve. And let's face it: He is not Jin. But he is popular and this here is his dream and his life.
I'm starting to feel sorry for him and I hope people will stop bashing him, because I don't think this decision was an easy one for him. It doesn't matter that he was forced into NEWS at the beginning, but I remember times when Yamapi actually really enjoyed himself there and when he was opening up. And I remember rumours that he could have gone solo even earlier. He didn't but now it seems like he couldn't carry on anymore.
I can't really blaming for following his dream. I do have to admit though that he didn't voice his reasons really well in his last statement. He could have done that better. But it's Pi - he has never been the emotional-bursting type of guy - and I respect that as the person he is.
He has this dream and I think he actually had this dream for quite some time now. It's his job and his career. I can't really blame him for following that. And I think that most of the other boys, no matter how they feel towards their group, would have done that too and take the chance - it's just human and normal, right?
4) About Ryo: First of all, Ryo's leaving was also no big surprise for me. Honestly, remember SCP 2009 where he talked about work? Remember Ryo 2009? Remember how he looked like during those times, while both groups were really active? He was half the size he was now - and he already is skinny, but back then he was actually...close to nothing. Add huge circles around his eyes and a skin pale like the moon (this though Ryo actually has a darker skin). I know people who are seriously sick, who look better than he did during that time.
Back then I actually knew it, that he wouldn't be able to carry on in both groups for too long. Either he has to leave or it will break him. And to be honest, as much as I love NEWS and K8, I just couldn't full-heartedly support them...because, well, I was worried.
I just don't get the people who say his reasons are fake or those who say: Being a workaholic he was able to carry it till now, so why leaving anyways?
First of all: Yes, he always belonged to K8 truly, that's not really a surprise. They are Kansais, knew each other since Junior days, went through really hard times together and always say it themselves: We are family. I think that there are not many pop bands who really are believable when it's about member-ai. Honestly said, for me it's K8 and TOKIO. Kisumai has good chances too to really stick together as some sort of family. And smap might have started as a normal boyband but sticking together for 20 years and supporting each other, is a proof for me that they work - also as friends.
So I never was illusional when it was about NEWS. I loved them, but I know that they were just a bunch of guys who had to work hard at the beginning to even get to know each other, to become something like friends. I think they managed that quite well.
Second: Carrying on like that? Actually I think it might have worked for another two years, but... NEWS was almost inactive during the last months. Isn't that already a sign that it wouldn't have worked? I want an active NEWS! And I rather prefer a clear statement than the group staying inactive for years.
Besides, I have one side-point here, maybe a lot of you might disagree, but it's my point: Ryo is a family-type of guy. Some fans say he is a douche etc, but we all know that he might be the type of guy who dreams of family - similar to Okada. He wants to marry and have kids - more then one. Being in two groups would have made that difficult for him. I'm not saying that this is the main-reason for him, but if he thought in advance, this might have been a point too.
I alwas thought he would carry on a few more years, but honestly: why disappointing the fans twice. This here was an opportunity - also for the other guys.
Let's respect that! I think that they boys discussed the reasons all together and they came up with a solution. I don't feel any grudge coming from their words. That none of these six is really hyper now... well, of course not. It's a tough decision for all of them. But not only for the remaining four. Knowing that Ryo is a guy who is a workaholic and takes his work serious, I think that this decision might have been one of the toughest for him.
And I don't think that an earnest guy like Pi took this decision light-hearted either.
5) About Tegomass and NEWS: I hope they will be able to carry on. I have to admit that I won't be following them as much as I did before. But I have a soft spot for Tegoshi and as a NEWS fan I will keep an eye on them and support them. I'm sure that Tegomass won't have too many problems. They already are kind of established. Of course I'm not sure about the reasons they stay together now... There are different points of few from different fans, like: Are they really staying together because they want to, or is it just marketing? Is it just one last step before they disband and they didn't do it immediately to not crush their fans? Or do they truly want to try it?
Well, we'll see, right? I'll support them of course.
6) Comparisons to KT: I'm always careful with that, but since it became a topic now, I just wanted to say: I think NewS and KT are different. Not because of how they split up, but rather because of the groups they were. Let's not forget that KT has Kame and no matter who likes him or not, you have to admit: He is popular.
KT lost their lead voice, which is pretty difficult already, but they have Kame. And Ueda. I believe that Ueda has quite some popularity. And also the other guys.
What I want to say is: The gaps between the members never were that big. Of course they also had/have their stars and the 'other' members, but the gaps weren't that huge.
Yamapi on the other side was really really popular, already as a Junior. Within NEWS the gap towards him has always been big, even - I have to admit that - for Ryo.
When NEWS was formed, they were put together out of 9 different guys - while KT was a junior group. Okay, KT didn't get along at all, but then they don't need to have a huge amount of member-ai to be successfull. They knew each other and already had a fan-base.
NEWS were strangers to each other, with some exceptions of course. Some of them weren't even known that much by their fans. It's a different situation.
KT is doing quite well now and of course I wish that for NEWS too. I cheer for the boys of course. Tegomass have some amount of popularity now, and let's face it: They were really really active during the last 2-3 years. A coincidence? I don't really believe that. I feel that this decision has been carried and discussed for quite some time. I really wish all of them the best though - I will follow all of them.
7) 4TOPS: I'm someone who didn't even know them properly, hence I'm not a huge fan. But I think letting 4TOPS disband was a huge mistake - pulling Yamapi out of this group and 'forcing' him into another group was not really wise. 4TOPS would have made it - that's what I think. I honestly think that those groups who debut after they had already been together as Juniors, have better chances.
8) About Jin: That's just a side-note here, but honestly said: Why bring Jin up in this whole thing? I don't think that he forced Pi out of NEWS. If we do everything our friends say and do, many of us won't get far. Let's be honest: Who really follows everything a friend does? See? And why should Pi do that?
I'm not saying that to defend Pi like crazy - I'm not even that biased towards him - but I really feel like that. Maybe Jin was a role-model for Pi, but it's not a secret that Pi wanted to go solo for long. He started his solo career around 2006. Now Pi has just to be careful about how to continue. Jin, and that's a huge difference, never wanted to be an idol - hence I conclude that he is totally okay with not holding concerts in Tokyo Dome etc. He wants to be a musician, not an idol. And actually I think he is doing well. Jason Derulo? Shooting with Keanu Reeves? That's quite huge. Of course his solo single release in America won't break records, but is he really trying to achieve that? I'm pretty sure he actually plans to fight for it... he is not the type of guy who lives in an illusion. Besides that he is already planning a Japanese single too.
Yamapi on the other side wants to be an idol and if he make the right decisions now he might achieve that... if he stays in Korea and Japan.
9) Their statements: I'm glad they came up with a statement that fast - all of them. It's good to hear their thoughts. And though it's sad to read these words, between the lines it's clear for me that this was a decision that had been discussed for longer.
Whoever is interested, here is the link with the translation: http://cookiesmon.tumblr.com/post/111404
In the end it was good that they didn't let their fans wait any longer. Maybe not all statements are really making us feel comforted and I know some are not really happy that Ryo and Tegoshi were the only ones apologizing, but let's not forget that they themselves might be sad too. For me their statements are good enough... I feel that they are being honest here and I can really respect that.
Sorry for rambling!!!!!
I just wanted to make my points clear here, because I know that some friends are wondering what I think about this. I hope this here made it clear for you.
I hold no grudge - sincerely not. I'm not disappointed. I'm sad of course, because I love NEWS and I wished they would have stayed together of course, but I respect their decision
I want to thank NewS for being the group that brought me into JE-pop and also into Jpop and Jrock in general. I want to thank them for making those amazing songs, which I love. I loved their sound, they were pop, but still had a unique sound. I want to thank them for a gorgeous last concert, because Livex3 was amazing. They put a lot of effort into it and into their CD release. I want to thank them for making me smile whenever I saw them.
I want to thank all of the guys for sticking together till now, for coming that far. And I wish for them that they succeed in what they have chosen now. All of them.
I hope for them to stay friends even though their paths part now.
I wish them all the best! I will try my best to follow all of them!
Though this isn't fitting my post at all, but I still want to ask my beloved friends and readers:
You know I'm currently posting this RyoPi Multi-chap. I have no problems to put it on hold for a while if that's what you want. I don't feel much like posting it, not because I'm disappointed or hurt, but simply because I feel a bit off. But I would post it if that's what you want.
Please tell me.