Meisa Kuroki’s taiga drama role and Jin Akanishi’s personal recording trip to LA are beginning to suggest gaps in their careers, reports Shukan Bunshun.
The June 7 edition of the weekly magazine has reported Kuroki’s career has not been badly affected as previously feared. The actress will begin filming for NHK’s taiga drama “八重の桜 (Yae no Sakura)” in February, four months after her baby is due.
“Kuroki belongs to Sweet Power Agency, which looks after popular beauties like Rina Uchiyama and Maki Horikita. Ignoring the rules of the showbiz industry and reporting about her marriage afterwards infuriated the agency. Of course, one would usually need to make a formal apology to commercial clients and pay for damages, but Akanishi and Kuroki let is pass with a ‘what’s wrong with what we did’ attitude. It’s only expected that they would be sidelined,” said one source belonging to a major advertising agency.
However, now we are beginning to see some differences.
It has been reported there were fears Subaru might drop Kuroki from their sports car line since their main target audience was not pregnant women, but as a matter in fact the reaction has been positive.
“She’s been getting commercial offers even after getting pregnant. Kuroki gets at least 20 million yen (about US$200,000) per commercial contract. She’s exceptional in that she brings an exotic and ‘it factor’ presence, so she would not have a problem earning an income in showbiz,” said the same source.
On the other hand Akanishi has got a lot of problems to overcome before he can move forward. While he had been causing trouble since leaving KAT-TUN, under the watchful eye of Johnny Kitagawa he had made it to his solo debut and was preparing to make it in the US. However, it has been reported Mr Kitagawa has turned his back on Akanishi following his marriage.
“Johnny’s have put him aside. At the moment Akanishi is in LA doing some recording. But that isn’t a job for Johnny’s, he’s there for his own interest. But if something bad comes out of it, there’s a chance Johnny’s might fire him,” said one source.
“[Akanishi relies on his wife, Meisa, but] he’s like her attendant. He’ll go with her to her home in Okinawa, go to izakaya with her, listen to her complaints. He joins her when she goes baby goods shopping. He even goes to the hairdresser’s with her and showers her with compliments like, ‘that look looks good on you’. It’s something unimaginable when you think back to his bad boy days,” said one acquaintance.
Johnny’s talent Jin Akanishi had been cast as the lead for a drama scheduled to start in July but has been dropped, it was revealed on April 14, reports Nikkan Sports.
It has been reported Akanishi’s agency Johnny’s & Associates had asked producers to drop him, and it is another punishment for the talent’s sudden marriage to Meisa Kuroki. It is another blow to the talent, who has already had his national tour cancelled.
The drama in question is a remake of the highly-popular “GTO” series, a live action drama made in 1998 based on the popular manga series about an ex-gang member who becomes a high school teacher. Akanishi had been cast as the lead character before he and Kuroki announced they had gotten married on February 2.
It has been reported Johnny’s had talked to the drama’s producers at Kansai TV early last month, and after some discussions between the two parties they had made their final decision by the end of March. When Nikkan Sports reporters went to ask for an interview, a Kansai TV representative had said they had nothing to comment about, neither denying or confirming the news. However, it has been reported a source within the TV company had said the report was true.
“I had heard Akanishi-san was one of the leading candidates for the role, but it’s been made quite clear he’s out of the picture now,” the source said.
“GTO” would have been Akanishi’s first leading drama role since “Yukan Club” five years ago. It has been reported the TV company is moving ahead with production, and have already started auditioning actors to play school students.
Now, Akanishi’s schedule for the near future is blank. For the 27-year-old talent who said he left KAT-TUN because he hated how his own ambitions were causing the others trouble, this could be his toughest lesson yet.
Meisa Kuroki makes it official that she is pregnant
Actress Meisa Kuroki made an official announcement on April 14 saying her baby is due around mid-October, reports Sports Hochi.
“I hope my husband and I can work together to give our baby as much love as possible,” she said.
It has been almost two months since Kuroki and Johnny’s talent Jin Akanishi had gotten married, but finally the actress had sent out a handwritten statement to media companies by fax.
“I would like to report that I have been gifted with a new life and am now four months pregnant.”
It has been reported Kuroki’s agency had not made any announcements until now, but have now said she is in a stable period. Kuroki had been having trouble coping with morning sickness, and after discussing things over with her doctor, they had decided not to make an official statement until she was feeling better.
Now feeling a lot better physically and mentally, Kuroki had said she was looking forward to becoming a mother.
“I’m very sorry for not being able to explain myself properly until now. I feel full with a sense of responsibility (for my baby),” she said.
It has been reported the time Kuroki will take a break from work has not been finalised, but for now she will appear in a stage play in Tokyo on May 12 and 13, and then work mainly on commercials until her baby is due.
Johnny’s & Associates have also admitted Akanishi is the father, but have said they and Akanishi will not release a formal statement for the time being.
No national tour, paying fines out of his own pocket, and no jobs for the time being is the price Jin Akanishi has to pay for getting married without permission, it was announced on March 24, reports Sports Hochi and Nikkan Sports.
“I understand that as a working adult I have acted irresponsibly. I deeply apologise to my fans and the people I work with for all of the trouble I have caused,” Akanishi said in a written statement.
It has been reported Akanishi had married actress Meisa Kuroki in February, only telling his agency about it afterwards. Johnny’s however, were not impressed. The agency’s president Johnny Kitagawa had previously told reporters he had found out about the marriage on the news, and although getting married was a great thing, he said Akanishi should have thought twice about the consequences the news would have on his and Kuroki’s career.
As a penalty, his Japan tour which was supposed to go around Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka has been cancelled. Any fines, such as for canceling concert venue bookings, will be paid out of Akanishi’s own pockets. While the talent will not have to refund fans for their tickets since they have not gone on sale, arena concert venues typically charge one to two-million yen for canceling a booking. In a worst case scenario, Akanishi would need to pay tens-of-millions-of-yen. It has been reported the talent has also had some drama roles offered to him, including a role in the upcoming remake of “GTO” planned for July, but the agency has not accepted anything yet, emphasizing the talent’s schedule remains. The penalty given to him reflects the trouble caused to Kuroki’s agency, their sponsors, and his own agency.
“Johnny’s & Associates talent Jin Akanishi admits the press reports from February 9 are true and that he married on Feburary 2. Akanishi has sent a fax to those who are concerned explaining the situation,” a representative from Johnny’s said.
Meisa Kuroki made her first public appearance since getting married in February, taking part in an event in Tokyo on March 26, reports Chunichi Sports.
Wearing skinny white pants and 10-centimetre high heels, the actress bowed to reporters who wished her congratulations. Yesterday, Kuroki was promoting toy company Bandai’s new pet robot.
The actress herself has not been seen since January when rumours started going around about her seeing Jin Akanishi. Any events or TV shows in the past two months have been canceled. There is also a rumour going around the actress is three months pregnant.
“I imagine that the sudden news took many of you by surprise, and it also made many worried and caused a lot of trouble. I would like to announce that on February 2 I was officially married,” she said.
“Are you happy,” asked the event host.
“Thank you very much,” she said.
“Are you enjoying every day,” asked a reporter.
When asked whether she was tired or not, the actress assured everyone she was fine and did not talk about anything related to being pregnant.
“I will report to you again,” she said when leaving.
I know there’s lots of news going around, but here’s a snippet of what I’ve found recently that you may not have heard of…? Or am I that slow… Momo
Johnny’s President upset he was not told the news earlier
Johnny Kitagawa was not happy Jin Akanishi did not tell him he was getting married to Meisa Kuroki, the Johnny’s president told press on February 10, reports Chunichi Sports.
The two stars were officially married on February 2, announcing it to the press on February 9, with some reports stating Kuroki is pregnant.
“I think [their relationship and marriage] is wonderful but I hadn’t been told anything. I had gotten one phone call [after they got married], that’s it. I wish he’d had contacted me more,” Kitagawa said.
It has been reported Kitagawa had explained now – January and February – was not best time for the agency either, who were more than busy with most of their talents getting ready or performing in concerts and shows.
Kitagawa continued to talk about Akanishi’s independent personality, but said the talent is no longer able to use it as a reason for his behaviour.
“I guess I have to accept it in a way though, it’s in his nature to do things by himself.
“But now he has think about someone else. He needs to understand he’s responsible for her career too. She has a job to do too, they can’t do things that would cause trouble for the other person,” he said.
When asked whether Akanishi would receive some sort of punishment, the Johnny’s president said Akanishi would not get away so easily.
“I’m the one who has to take full responsibility if he does anything wrong, so I do need to think of something.”
Meisa Kuroki’s career in danger?
If Meisa Kuroki is pregnant, the shock could force her to retire from showbiz, reports Nikkan Gendai on February 13.
First was canceling her live guest appearance on TV show Coming Soon!! on February 13, where there had been a lot of talk about what the show’s host Masahiro Nakai (SMAP) would say to her. Then came the cancellation of her event, scheduled for March 4, which was supposed to have invited fans who bought Kuroki’s second music album “UNLOCKED”.
It has been reported Kuroki has continued to apologise, but the chatter is not slowing down.
The other problems concern her contracts with six major companies including EPSON and UNIQLO.
According to a Nikkan Gendai source, Kuroki’s latest contract involved promoting the Subaru BRZ car, which had only started playing commercials on air on February 8. Because Kuroki’s marriage news is good news rather than bad news, Subaru is unlikely to drop Kuroki, but it may hinder the car’s sales.
Chunichi Sports reports all commercial involving products Kuroki endorses are still running on air.
A representative from food company Morinaga said, “we are waiting for word from [Kuroki’s] agency so that we can discuss our options”. In a worst-case scenario, if Kuroki is found to have breached their contract, her agency could be requested to pay for damages.
Nikkan Gendai reports if one company terminates their contract with Kuroki, it is possible other companies will do the same.
It has been reported Kuroki’s grandmother who lives in Okinawa had said, “I really wish she would come back to live in Okinawa”.
Hideaki Takizawa’s reaction to the news (Chunichi Sports)
“It was his decision, and it’s something to celebrate. I hope it’ll motivate him to work harder now. I hope both of them can stay true to each other,” Takizawa said.
When asked whether he had received any prior notification, Takizawa said, “I can’t answer that”.
Johnny Kitagawa, who was at the same press conference as Takizawa was surprised at his talent’s comment, and asked him not to do the same.
“Tackey, if this happens to you, I hope you can talk to me about it beforehand,” Kitagawa said.
Jin Akanishi has had family plans for years
Gossip magazine Josei Seven has reported Jin Akanishi had been thinking of marriage for years, reports News Post Seven on February 16.
The Johnny’s star has maintained his bad boy image for years, but an interview with Josei Seven in November 2010 paints a picture of an Akanishi ready for marriage.
“I didn’t go out for dinner much when I was living in LA, I’d cook all kinds of things with friends. When I was doing that, I’d have serious thoughts about getting married. Like, wouldn’t life be easier if I had a wife. If the timing’s right then I’m ready to get married any time. I want my first baby to be a girl, and I want three kids. But I think I’ll get jealous when my daughter starts bringing home a boyfriend.”
There’s been a lot of stories coming out about Jin’s marriage, but here’s what I could gather at the moment:
It has been reported the couple submitted their marriage documents to a ward office in Tokyo on February 2, also known as “Married Couple’s Day” in Japan. While the word is Kuroki is pregnant, her agency has not made an official announcement, saying, “at the moment we have not been able to make a positive confirmation. There’s a chance, but at two months we cannot be sure”, neither confirming or denying the possibility.
What has been released, are comments from both stars through each of their agencies:
“I, Jin Akanishi, would like to report that Meisa Kuroki and myself were married on February 2. I am still inexperienced in many ways, but I promise to work harder than I ever have, and hope that you all continue to watch over us warmly.”
– Jin Akanishi
“I am sorry that this report comes as a sudden surprise to you all. I, Meisa Kuroki, married Jin Akanishi on February 2. I understand this will cause a great deal of trouble and worry for you all, but I hope to continue to work hard at my job and in my private life. I hope that my fans, and the people I work with, will watch over us warmly. Thank you very much in advance.”
– Meisa Kuroki
It has been reported the two have known each other for a number of years, and began dating at the end of 2011. Although Akanishi mainly works in the US now, he had been on a long stay in Japan late last year to promote his new records, giving the two time to see each other more frequently. The two had been caught by the press while on a date at Tokyo Disneysea on January 22. Although Akanishi’s and Kuroki’s agencies confirmed the two were at Tokyo Disneysea, they had pressed the two were just friends.
However, eyewitness accounts by fans continued to pop up on the internet. These included sightings at a local supermarket, and while in a rented car together in Kuroki’s hometown in Okinawa on January 27. TV company Fuji TV’s “Super News” had reported the two had gone to announce their marriage to Kuroki’s family, Kuroki’s mother said in an interview.
Surprise for agencies
Akanishi and Kuroki got married before their agencies allowed it, reports Asahi Shimbun Digital.
It has been reported both stars told their own agencies about their marriage after they had gotten married.
Kuroki’s talent agency Sweet Power had learnt the actress was seeing Akanishi around the time the two had been caught on their January date, and had pointed out it was too soon to think about marriage. It has been reported the marriage happened so fast the agency barely had enough time to inform Kuroki’s sponsors about it.
Chances of a press conference?
For Johnny’s, many marriage cases in the past have been dealt by releasing a written statement by the talent getting married or a press conference by the talent himself.
Most recently, when Noriyuki Higashiyama married actress Yoshino Kimura in 2010, it was announced through a written statement by their agencies.
When SMAP’s Takuya Kimura got married to singer Shizuka Kudo in 2000, Kimura held a press conference after a SMAP concert on November 23, saying Kudo was four months pregnant, and they would submit their marriage documents to officials soon. They did so on December 5, and in May 2001 the couple had their first baby.
Cyzowoman reports it would be unlikely for Akanishi to hold a press conference like Kimura’s because he is not as widely known as Kimura, and his career is focussed on the US market, not Japan. However, it is likely Kuroki will talk about her marriage on TV as she starts promoting her latest music album “UNLOCKED”, which will be released on February 15.
An exception to the usual Johnny’s process was V6’s Yoshihiko Inohara marriage. Inohara and Asaka Seto held a press conference together when they announced they were getting married in 2007.
Akanishi and Kuroki’s views on marriage
Did the two plan to get married, reports TechinsightJapan on February 10.
It has been reported Kuroki had previously said she had no plans to get married at the moment.
Akanishi, however, said he was ready to get married any time. When the Johnny’s talent was a guest on radio program TOKIO HOT 100 on December 25 last year, the show’s host Chris Peppler had asked Akanishi what his next step in life was.
“There are lots of things I want to do, but in the end I want a family…I love kids, and it’d be a dream if I could live with and bring home enough money to look after my kids,” Akanishi said.
When asked when he wanted to get married, Akanishi said, “anytime”.