Saturday, September 09, 2023

Let flowers bloom out of the Johnny & Associates desert.

(This is an updated and longer text based on an earlier tweet)

From the cultural point of view, the disservice inflicted by Johnny & Associates has been that the stars from the agency were fakes, avoiding serious auditions, propelled by favoritism of the deceased founder and endorsed by complacent and uncritical Japanese media. If the talent agency endorsed a particular boy group, Japanese media casted them at the main stage, without asking seriously what the nature and quality of the performances might be. This applied, sadly, to the national broadcaster NHK, too.

Japanese entertainment deteriorated in quality as a result, including the film industry in which many from J&A were cast on the premises of dubious stardom, a far cry from the excellence of Ozu and Kurosawa. Needless to say, great films are still created, by people like Hirokazu Koreeda. If you go to a movie theater in Tokyo, and have the misfortune of being exposed to the tasteless trailers of latest Japanese films, many of them with the faces from J & A as the front roles, you would be shuddering in your soul, at the tragic demise of the once mighty and proud Japanese cinema. 

It is now time to say good bye to the kingdom of false stars.  Let flowers of individuality and serious talents bloom from the cultural desert left by Johnny & Associates, after the rain of regret falls on the ground, if tv producers indeed regret what they have been doing. I have no expectations for people at J & A. I wish they would change the name of the agency, and even better, perhaps dissolve the organization all together, as a service to the entertainment industry here. 

Japan deserves a much better entertainment industry than one dominated by the likes of Johnny & Associates. We've had quite enough for a long time.