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09 August 2013 @ 01:55 pm
Okay, so, we all love to predict debuts, right? ...or maybe that's just me. But either way, as unpredictable as Johnny's is, one thing that we can basically be sure of is that there will be a volleyball debut every four years. But beyond that, there are a lot of general trends that I've figured out in regards to volleyball debuts, and so I decided it was time for me to compile all my research in one place with the end goal in mind of predicting the 2015 FIVB World Cup Support Group.

But... even if you don't give a crap about the 2015 volleyball debut, I think it's pretty interesting to check out. I'm starting with Arashi just because 1) Arashi is the first group I know anything about and 2) since V6 was the first group, the form seemingly hadn't quite been established yet and it doesn't follow the same trends as the next four groups. So... if you're interested to see the fruits of my research, check below the cut!

First and foremost, there are three golden rules that I've come up with surrounding debuts in general:
☆ Non-volleyball debuts are always Junior units first (Kanjani8, KAT-TUN, Kis-My-Ft2, ABC-Z)
☆ Volleyball debuts are never Junior units first (Arashi, NEWS, Hey! Say! JUMP, Sexy Zone)
☆ Volleyball groups must break up a four-member junior unit (MAIN, 4tops, Ya-ya-yah, B.I.Shadow)

But my focus right now is volleyball debuts because they're far easier to understand and predict, so have an additional set of loose rules that generally always apply:
☆ Volleyball groups have a large age range
☆ Volleyball groups have a descending average age over the years
☆ Volleyball groups either have 5 or 9-10 members at debut
☆ Volleyball groups usually include a few "fresh" juniors.

But it's a lot easier to see these trends in table format... so luckily, I have a table! Before we get there, though, I need to explain my categories:
1) group name: self explanatory
2) debut year: all groups debuted in November (except technically NEWS?) so their activities in their debut year are usually limited.
3) # of members: the number of members at debut. Because my stats are more for the intent of considering what thought process goes into debuting a volleyball unit and not what becomes of them afterwards, I'm only listing the number of members Johnny's and Associated chose to debut.
4) # from 4人 jr unit: the number of members from a four-member junior unit. As I mentioned above, this is a common factor for all volleyball debuts starting with Arashi. I'm counting all members at debut, and not taking into account that members have left the group since then.
5) # of "fresh" jr: I'm aware that "fresh" is used in a variety of ways in Johnny's, but for the purposes of this table, I'm using it to mean "Juniors who the average non-Junior-fan person wouldn't recognize." Some Juniors are more active than others, and so obviously the biggers names would be expected to bring in more initial revenue. Basically, those who didn't appear regularly on TV, headline concerts, put out CDs, or otherwise take an active part in the non-Johnny's entertainment world.
6) age of oldest: The age of the oldest member at debut. November and December birthdays are deceptively listed as their age at debut despite the fact that they would have birthdays in a matter of weeks or sometimes days.
7) age of youngest: The age of the youngest member at debut. Same as above, November and December birthdays cause this to not necessarily be entirely accurate.
8) average age at debut: The average age of the members at debut using the same ages from oldest/youngest.

Table 1: Volleyball Debut Data 1999-2011
group namedebut year# of members# from 4人 jr unit# of "fresh" jrage of oldestage of youngestaverage at at debut
Sexy Zone2011523171114.4
*It's a commonly accepted rumour that Nino bargained to have Aiba debuted with Arashi, and that the original plan was for only Nino and Jun (two members) to debut from MAIN.
**Because this was during the "Golden Age" of the juniors, none of the members were relative unknowns before debut
***I basically know nothing about NEWS, and based on my definition of "fresh" for the purposes of this chart, that effectively makes it impossible for me to accurately fill out this category without going through a lot of old magazines and watching every episode of Ya-ya-yah from 2003. Since right now, I'm not able to do that, this is my best estimate based on what I've learned from friends and seen for myself from media from 2003.

So there you have it. Basically, there's a trend of decreasing age and possible increasing "fresh" members, while the number of kids from the four-member unit seems to have leveled off at two. Also, it seems almost as if there's a break between NEWS, who had an average age of almost 17, and Hey!Say!JUMP, who had an average age of 15. NEWS's youngest member was 15, while JUMP debuted with a not-yet-teenager at 12 years old. Arashi and NEWS seem to have more in common, while JUMP and Sexy Zone seem to be easier to group, though there are post-debut similarities between NEWS and JUMP that maybe I'll get into some other time.

Since JUMP and Sexy Zone are the newest and therefore seem to be the two more relevant groups, I want to break down their intra-group dynamics as well in order to better understand what the 2015 debut might look like.

Again, to explain the categories on these charts:
1) member: the member's name
2) join date: the date on which they passed their auditions to enter Johnny's Juniors
3) join age: the age at which they passed their auditions to enter Johnny's Juniors
4) junior unit: the name(s) of major Junior units with which they were active. I am not counting more minor units that only had a short lifespan.
5) # of jr activities: the number of Johnny's concerts in which they participated before debut
6) # of jr singles: the number of singles they recorded prior to debut
7) age at debut: the age they were when they debuted. Again, November and December birthdays are deceptive.
8) famous parent?: if they had a parent who was famous (which may have impacted whether or not they got to debut).

Table 2: Hey!Say!JUMP Debut Data
memberjoin datejoin agejunior unit# of jr activities# of jr singlesage at debutfamous parent?
Yabu Kota2001.9.2311Ya-Ya-Yah20117no
Takaki Yuya2004.6.1214J.J.Express13117no
Inoo Kei2001.9.2311J.J.Express12017no
Yaotome Hikaru2002.12.212Ya-Ya-Yah15016no
Arioka Daiki2003.6.212J.J.Express14116no
Okamoto Keito2006.8.1413none5014yes*
Yamada Ryosuke2004.8.1211Kitty Jr.10114no
Nakajima Yuto2004.3.2810J.J.Express, Tap Kids13114no
Chinen Yuri2003.6.29none5113no
Morimoto Ryutaro2004.8.129Tap Kids10012no
*Keito's father is Okamoto Kenichi, formerly of 80s Johnny's unit Otokogumi.

Table 3: Sexy Zone Debut Data
memberjoin datejoin agejunior unit# of jr activities# of jr singlesage at debutfamous parent?
Nakajima Kento2008.4.2014B.I.Shadow5117no
Kikuchi Fuma2008.4.2713B.I.Shadow6116no
Sato Shori2010.10.3014jyaPAniizu Hi!2015no
Matsushima Sou2011.3.2013jyaPAniizu Hi!1013no
Marius Yo2010.11.??10jyaPAniizu Hi!1011yes*
*Marius's mother is a former member of the Takarazuka.

So then based on this information, we can expect the 2015 debut to have between 2 and 3 relative unknowns and its average age at debut to be between 14 and 15. Based on that knowledge...

...I'm going to predict members for the 2015 FIVB World Cup Support Group! Do I expect to be right? No. Do I expect to be even close? Probably not. Do I hope to get one or two members right? Of course, but I'm not holding my breath. This is basically just for fun/speculation and to generate discussion if at all possible~ So if you're interested in my 2015 picks, read on!

☆ Jinguji Yuta (1997.10.30)
☆ Iwahashi Genki (1996.12.17)
☆ Nakamura Reia (1997.4.2)
☆ Matsukura Kaito (1997.11.14)
☆ Matsuda Genta (1999.4.19)
☆ +4 kids whose ages add up to 48 (for example, 14, 12, 11, 11 or 13, 12, 12, 11)

Number of members: 9
Average age: 15
Number of members from a 4-member Junior unit: 2
Age of oldest at debut: 18
Age of youngest at debut: 11
Number of "Fresh" members: 2~4

This pick is skewed by the fact that the current four-member unit, Sexy Boyz, is on the old side. The members keep changing around, but most of the current permutations contain members that will be 18 or older by the time November 2015 comes around. Already, Kishi Yuta is out, considering he'd be almost 20 by the time he'd be debuting.

Based on the older age set of most of the current popular Juniors, I chose to model this group more on Hey!Say!JUMP than the five member groups like Arashi and Sexy Zone. The last two debuts have been five-member groups, as well, so it seemed as if Johnny's would be likely to go for a larger group. The current group of popular kids gives me more of the feel of Ya-Ya-Yah and J.J.Express with a bunch of kids around the same age who are relatively close personally, and I think that Jinguji, Genki, Reia, Matsukura Kaito, and Genta would fit together well as the "ani-gumi." As for the younger half, I actually am not aware of kids young enough to bring the average age down to 15. At the time of JUMP's debut, Yuto, Yamada, and Ryutaro had been around for a while, but the kids who I thought were young enough... actually aren't. XD; So I'm leaving four empty spots for either kids who make themselves known in the next two years or for complete unknowns. I know 15 seems like a high average age after Sexy Zone, but with the kids he has currently to choose from for the older half (Jinguji, Genki, Reia, Haniuda Amu, Takahashi Fu, Kishi Yuta) there's simply nothing to be done about it... they're on the older side.

So uh, maybe I'll be completely wrong. Maybe I'm off my rocker. Or maybe I'll get one or two names right! We'll just have to see.

If you made it this far... congrats! And sorry I wrote so much @___@; This shows just how much of a total nerd I am, but I had fun making this post XD;;; And if you have thoughts about the 2015 debut, or any of this... let me know? I'm interested to see what other people thing!

... and now I'm going to go collapse. That post took me like 5 hours to make. XD;
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Hey! Say! JUMP//Dreams come true
Neko-Bot: Bad Boys Jnekobot01 on August 9th, 2013 05:40 am (UTC)
Ooo! Interesting!! I'll have to read this closely later.

I'm having fun "meeting" all the juniors on shokura so I'll have to try and match faces to the names.
ミランダ (大丈夫): Marius: sweetfaded_lace on August 9th, 2013 10:46 am (UTC)
Yay! Please let me know what you think once you read it again!

Yes! I think that's a lot of fun, too. Let me know if you need help figuring out who anyone is. At this point since they get featured with Sexy Zone so much, I know a lot of them, even the ones I didn't want to know. XD;
Neko-Botnekobot01 on August 9th, 2013 11:08 am (UTC)
Yes!! What is the deal with that? It's like SZ have their own personal harem of juniors!! Is it to facilitate the 3/2 split? I don't know who is in school and who is not but I can see how that could get weird scheduling wise.

(no subject) - faded_lace on August 9th, 2013 11:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
Debi: fuma - laughpinchiyosama on August 9th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
wow, I can't even believe that I've read all your explanation above XD
your speculation and all are very amazing! lol
I have same opinion as you about the larger group part,
I think Jinguji and Iwahashi debut is almost a sure thing
maybe Miyachika Kaito will also debut with them
or Fumito something will also debut as "fresh" junior category ><

however, Johnnys is very unpredictable
let's wait and see _(:3 」∠)_
ミランダ (大丈夫): Fuma: laughfaded_lace on August 9th, 2013 10:53 am (UTC)
Sorry it was long! Thanks for reading. XD;

I wouldn't say that debut is ever a sure thing in Johnny's. Look at Ikuta Toma or Yamashita Shoon. But right now, they're the best candidates, anyway. As for Kaito, I think he could be switched for Genki, maybe, but I don't see three members from the current Sexy Boyz being debuted together.

Surprisingly, Tamamoto Fumito (the kid in Bakaleya) is almost the same age as Matsuda Genta; in fact, he's about half a year younger. In 2015, he'll be 16 years old. To bring the average age down to 15, that's too old for the younger half. :(

Yup! We'll just have to wait and see. XD
Angel: Shintarolalatormenta on August 9th, 2013 09:31 am (UTC)
Hahaha thanks for this, I love reading this kind of thing :D

For now I agree with your predictions about Jinguji & Genki (though if I could choose, I wouldn't choose them lol.) Recently Miyachika's been getting a bit of a push so maybe him. And then the younger ones could be from the current chibi juniors? Fumito, Ryo, Haba Yuki? But then there's also that whole 2020 group thing...
ミランダ (大丈夫): Fuma: hmmfaded_lace on August 9th, 2013 10:57 am (UTC)
I'm glad! I love thinking about this kind of thing, so I'm really happy you liked it.

Haha... right now it just seems like the most obvious choice, but there's really no way to know. I could see it being Jinguji and Miyachika or Jinguji and Genta, but I can't see it being all three-- they're all listed as Sexy Boyz right now, and I can't see more than two going in from the four member unit.

As for Tamamoto Fumito, Hashimoto Ryo, and Haba Yuki, they're actually too old. Fumito is only half a year younger than Genta and will be 16 in 2015, and Ryo and Yuki will be 15. To bring the average age down, the younger half needs to be in the 11-14 year age range, so they were out.

But yeah-- Genta and Matsukura are slated for 2020, so this was based on the assumption that 2020 will never come to fruition. Who knows what will happen, but right now, I'm assuming Johnny really has no idea what's going to happen 7 years in the future-- the place of the Olympics hasn't even been decided yet! XD;
Angel: Shintarolalatormenta on August 9th, 2013 10:13 pm (UTC)
Sexy Boyz always confuses me. Can it be called a 4-member unit still? Its members keep on changing o.o The original four were Jinguji, Kaoru, Reia and Amu though, and then there was Kishi, Fu, Genki and others...The lineup keeps changing, and they don't really get introduced as Sexy Boyz (in magazines and shokura). Confusing XD

Hahaha I keep forgetting that the "chibi" juniors are actually no longer chibi. They just grow up so fast! So the younger half are probably going to be fresh juniors then.
(no subject) - faded_lace on August 9th, 2013 11:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
britkit27: ciel heartbritkit27 on August 11th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC)
I love you so much XD
ミランダ (大丈夫): Aiba&Jun: ♥faded_lace on August 11th, 2013 11:45 am (UTC)
Thanks XD But do I get a more comprehensive comment once you're back in Japan or something? XD;
britkit27: zomgYAYbritkit27 on August 11th, 2013 11:52 am (UTC)
I mean most of this, the patterns from Arashi, HSJ, etc and such, we've had conversations about before, so I knew all of it and think it's just as accurate as it was then :D As for the predicted juniors, I recognize a few names like Jinguji and Reia (of course~) but I don't know much about them still so I can't make much of a guess as to how accurate that is. But I trust your research skills, and it all seems very well and logically thought out.

I just love that you wrote it all up XD ♥
(no subject) - faded_lace on August 11th, 2013 11:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
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karmeejane26karmeejane26 on April 16th, 2014 10:45 am (UTC)
Woah, thanks for this! This actually strike my mind about how they debut, I don't have really idea about volleyball debuts, and even I witnessed SZ's debut, I totally don't have an idea that it was for volleyball support. I was enlightened by your three golden rules. *O*
There's no doubt about Iwahashi and Jinguji's debut I think, they are the shining juniors at this time. And yes, maybe Reia too! Well, they are into debuting large groups right now so it is most likely,
It's sad to break up 4-unit groups, but the 4-unit groups they are having have no final members and changes from time to time,
And somehow, I would like Johnny's to put up a stable junior group again just like Kisumai and KT, well, i would love that. everything comes quite randomly right now. Haha. ^^
ミランダ (大丈夫): Taiga: uh huhfaded_lace on April 16th, 2014 10:49 am (UTC)
I'm glad to shed some light on the matter! XD Thanks for reading.

I agree that I wish Johnny's would make junior units again. I honestly don't really get why they haven't had any at all recently. I think it must be due to Johnny being so old and Ijima/Julie's feud…
/yararanger on May 12th, 2014 05:51 am (UTC)
If you turn out to be right with these I will be totally impressed, jsyk XD
ミランダ (大丈夫): Marius: sweetfaded_lace on May 12th, 2014 05:58 am (UTC)
Ahaha |D This one is already outdated. this one is more up to date, but a member has quit since then as far as I know, so… yeah. XD I'm planning my next one for September, one year before 2015. |D;;; I'm really cool… |D;;;