I knew it, SMAP’s apology only breeds more questions and more speculations.
The SMAP saga continues and after yesterday’s public apology by the group in their “SMAP x SMAP” show, broadsheets and tabloids are calling it a “public execution”. Others are saying that what happened last night is a sign that SMAP have lost their “special treatment” with the agency and have no choice but to cooperate after their foster parent, Iijima, left the office. Cooperating means that the group won’t be having as much freedom as before, like planning and doing their own activities, but they have to abide by the management rules as their way of apologizing for causing the disbandment uproar. Of course, that disbandment uproar is particular to Nakai, Goro, Katori, and Tsuyoshi as they planned to leave the agency. Rumor has it that the four will refrain from doing any projects as a punishment until October.
In a brighter side, one can expect that SMAP will be more visible and will be more active in participating in Johnny’s activities, particularly those that involve their kouhais. One can also expect a future where you can see SMAP and Arashi together and possibly having SMAP participate in Johnny’s Countdown. After all, the faction is now open and the co-starring ban have been lifted.
In addition, the main reason why SMAP wasn’t terminated from the agency is because of the fans. The fans helped SMAP during their struggling years and since they voiced-out their demands to have SMAP stay, those voices weren’t ignored by the agency.
In a nutshell, SMAP- particularly the four- is not yet out of the woods. I’m sure Johnny Kitagawa and family is quite enraged by what happened but considering that SMAP is still one of their cash cows, they can’t totally push them away. Also, the bit that I can see SMAP interacting with other groups is one of the positive things that I looked forward to.