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Oct 9 11 5:11 AM

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This is an interesting topic I wanted to create for a while. Especially now for the presence of Arashi, also the fact they are both from the same company.

What is your position between these two famous bands? Has Arashi already met the legend status of SMAP? Perhaps passed it? And would another coming of a boy band will come again from JE? (My money was originally on HSJ smiley: indifferent)

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Posts: 1,053 ジャニーズADDICT

#1 post_url

Oct 9 11 1:37 PM

I think it's impossible for Arashi to reach the legendary status of SMAP because SMAP is legendary for the changes they brought forth that has affected all other Johnny's groups that have come after them. Though Arashi probably can and pretty much is reaching the same popularity levels but unless they do something really pioneering or ground breaking I don't think they can be legends in the same way.

I'm sure there will be another group to reach that kind of popularity level. I think it's too soon much like when SMAP was really hitting it big I doubt anyone would have looked at Arashi and pinpointed them to be the next big thing from Johnny's.

On an interesting note I came across a journal that talked about debuts and how a good number of them are more or less "replacements" for other groups. For example TOKIO debuting to replace Otokogumi and V6 debuting to replace Hikaru Genji as both groups had the age gap and two sub units thing going on. Another point they brought up was that when the magazines stop the group photo shoots of a group there also tends to be one of these "replacement" groups formed and with the newest group Sexy Zone being only five members it makes me wonder if Johnny's created them to be the "replacement" group for Arashi. Of course if they ever reach the same level of popularity is completely in the air as they haven't even released their debut single yet but it's hard to ignore some of the similarities.

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#2 post_url

Oct 9 11 9:12 PM

Actually, back in the days when no one cared about Arashi, I always thought they were meant to replace SMAP! Too bad all the old forums/posts are gone because I know I said multiple times that JE wanted them to be the next SMAP. I agree that SMAP was legendary for reasons other than just being crazy popular and Arashi won't have that but I think Arashi have become a legend in their own way. Arashi will be remembered for having a period of crazy popularity (like Morning Musume 10+ years ago).

Interesting you mention the replacement group thing. I agree TOKIO was meant to replace Otokogumi. I've always thought of KAT-TUN as Hikaru Genji, if not just for the clash of personalities (and yes, I predicted KAT-TUN wouldn't last and I was half right!). If anything, HSJ strikes me as a replacement for NewS (too many members thrown together like a tossed salad) and given they've already lost a member, they're on the same path! Kisumai is really just KAT-TUN ver.2 as well. I'm not sure about SZ (don't really know anything about them yet). It's nice to get a 5 member group (haha, I'll actually learn to tell them apart, I still only know like one member of Kisumai and that's because I can't stand him, lol). 

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#3 post_url

Oct 10 11 7:44 AM

I also thought Arashi would be SMAP's replacement even in their Picanchi days so I'm glad they are doing so well today.
the group I didn't think would do this well is probably Kanjani8... and KAT-TUN .. but I hated KAT-TUN back then so I was just biased against them :p

SMAP is a legend in so many ways.. they are a bunch of talentless people that are so popular ^_^;
(don't get me wrong, I love SMAP)

As a group, Arashi somewhat reached SMAP's popularity but they still have a long way to prove that all this will really last.
As individuals, ... really can't see anyone being in Kimura's king of rating position, or Nakai's MC-ing appearance everyday of the week position, or any other positions other members are in.

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#4 post_url

Oct 10 11 11:24 AM

I'm mainly a SMAP fan but I also like Arashi. Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions based on my own theory and observation.

In term of Music industry, I think Arashi's popularity now is very close to SMAP. They just need to have "the song" that penetrates to the general public like Yozora no Mukou or Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana. One Love was close but it still didn't quite get to that level. SMAP's current presence in the music world is mainly based on their old popularity while Arashi is more of the current force.

However, in term of overall presences in the Entertainment world, I think SMAP still dominates by a considerable amount. The difference between the presences of the two groups is SMAP is much more of the TV star than Arashi. They have more regular shows (group and individual), and they have tons of special shows during the change of season. I just realized that for the past 3-4 weeks alone, there are about 10 special shows featuring or hosted by SMAP or one of the members, while Arashi has just one with MatsuJun (If there are more, please fill me in).

I think this is because even though Arashi was made to replace SMAP, the two groups have a very different selling point. SMAP sells their individualities so they can work both as a group and as an individual but Arashi's main selling point is their group dynamic. As a group, Arashi is getting closer and closer to SMAP's status, but as an individual, SMAP members are much more prominent than Arashi members.

Another advantage that SMAP has over Arashi is the fact that SMAP has their own exclusive management/staffs while Arashi still have to share the resources with other Johnny groups. Besides having 7 managers who work exclusively for SMAP, they also have staffs and producers who are not part of Johnny's Jimusho but work for SMAP. When the jimusho wants to focus more on pushing other groups, it unfortunately has to shift resources away from Arashi. While for SMAP, they have their own resources and connection in addition to the Jimusho's resources so there never has been a break in SMAP-push as a group or as an individual. Each members constantly have new projects all the time so the presence of SMAP in J-Ent world is always there. This huge overall presence in the entertainment world is the thing that still keep SMAP relevant in the music world even though their latest singles/albums' sales are just so-so compared to other groups. (not counting This is Love and SMAP AID)

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