SMAP turns 20

SMAP, the grandfathers of Johnny’s Jimusho boy groups turned 20 yesterday. Does this make them a Virgo?

To mark their 20th birthday, the group returned to the place where they had their debut and even held a surprise handshake event with all of the 10,000 fans! Lucky fans.

I’m not really a SMAP fangirl but I like some of their songs. Here’s one of my favorites, Orange:

And another one, Original Smile:

But I’m a Kimura Takuya fangirl. I love most of his dramas. I also like Nakai-san especially when he used to host Utaban with Taka-san and had those never-ending mock fights with Ohno of Arashi. Fun times.

I didn’t know though that there were six original members of SMAP. Mori quit just before the group became successful in order to pursue car racing.

Back when they were six:

In the photo below, Shingo looks so young:

And of course, SMAP also had to don those shiny, shimmery, splendid costumes that’s a trademark of Johnny’s as if they were acrobats performing in a circus and not as a boy group.

With all the boy groups that have sprouted and competing for fangirls’ attention, SMAP remains visible on TV with their variety show, SMAPxSMAP, a must-stop for American stars whenever they are in Tokyo. They are also endorsing several products and their SMAP store is a successful venture, if not seasonal.

It’s a feat indeed for SMAP to last two decades and still be popular. Long live the grandfathers of Johnny’s boy groups! Bansai!

End note: I just hate it when SMAP and Arashi are compared. There are eight years between the two groups. SMAP will always be Arashi’s senpais and their fame or success cannot be compared. They belong to different generations. I know comparisons cannot be avoided though especially when the media refers to Arashi as SMAP’s successor. This obviously ticks SMAP fans off. And as an Arashi fan, I say that no one can succeed SMAP. SMAP is SMAP. Arashi is Arashi. They are different.

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