I only came across this news today as I've not been an active member of the Japanese music scene in quite a long time.
Although I want to say I'm surprised at Yamashita's departure, I would say I'm not. Like Akanishi Jin, I knew he was popular even solo but I was hoping he wouldn't leave NewS. When I watched that video of NewS member (Shige) pranking another NewS member (Koyama) about Yamashita leaving NewS ages ago, I tried to imagine him actually leaving and I could (reason being, he's very popular) but I thought he wouldn't because I thought he was forever NewS, that their bond was stronger than that of KAT-TUN what's with their member ai and all. (Don't get me wrong, I love KAT-TUN. They were the start of my obsession with Jpop.)
What I don't understand is why are they leaving the band?? Is being a solo really that great?? Standing in a huge stage, basking in the fame and fan's love by yourself is more fun alone than in a group? I thought being in a band meant you could share everything with the other members, your happiness, sadness, lonliness , anxiety, every single one of the moments.
Nishikido's departure, I feel, is worse than that of Yamashita's. I never even in my entire life imagined it, it didn't even every cross the back of my mind. Never had I even thought about this. I get it, I really do, doing two groups worth of work is stressful, hard work and needs lots of commitment but I thought if anybody, Nishikido Ryo could do it. He's a human being like all of us but he was still someone I looked at a different light than everybody else (even different than Kamenashi Kazuya, my bias). It's a good thing that he's not trying to pursue a solo career but leaving one of the group after such a long time just because of the stress is something I don't get. I mean, he could do it for so many years why leave now, why not when both group started to succeed and their work was hectic. I thought the member's were actually very supported of him and even if it seemed selfish and inconsiderate on his side, I thought the two groups didn't mind having to match his schedule. After being well-known as a man who was in two popular bands , I never imagined him to just leave one of them. The member of NewS might not be mad but what about the fans?? Do NewS fans are not someone he treasures? Do the two members have to drop this bombshell all at once at the fans? This seems worse than Akanishi Jin's departure as all the fans saw it coming but this, I don't think many anticipated.
I listen to some of theirs songs, watch a few variety shows but since I'm not a fan of NewS, I really cannot comment on my feeling as a fan but it still breaks my heart to learn another band of JE entertainment is loosing their member. All I really have to say is my feeling is the same as Akanishi Jin's departure, I support NewS and know that they will continue to be successful with four members and that I have never really been a fan of Yamashita Tomohisa (probably because of the fact that Nobuta Wo Produce was the first time I saw him, haha) so not going to support him (never have, anyway) but Nishikido Ryo (one of my most respected guy in Jpop industry) is not someone I'm a big fan of right now. I loved him because of his sharp-tongue, the uniqueness of him being in two groups and many other of his traits and had thought of him to be the most committed of the member in NewS, now I have nothing to say. I still love him and will continue to support him as an individual and as a Kanjani8 member but at the back of my mind, something will keep bugging me.
Is this the end of member leaving process?? 2010 faced Akanishi Jin leaving KAT-TUN. 2011 faced Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo leaving NewS. What will 2012 face? Another leaver? I can only pray for this to not be true. The sad thing is that I have no faith in any JE band right now.
Current Music: The Calling - Wherever You Will Go