So a quick explanation first of all. I haven't really been feeling motivated to write this blog for the past few months. To be honest, my love of male idols had kind of dwindled so I was considering just letting this blog die. However, recently something quite exciting for me as an idol fan happened so I couldn't not write a post about it. What this means for the blog going forward, I have no idea but for now, let's get into looking into a few of the contestants for season 2 of PRODUCE 101 JAPAN!
So what is PRODUCE 101 JAPAN? PRODUCE 101 JAPAN is a reality TV show in which 101 boys compete for the chance to be part of an idol group. Fans can vote for their favourite boys, with the boys who are unable to get the votes eventually leaving the show. At the end of the show, the 11 remaining boys go on to officially debut as an idol group.
The first season of the show aired in late 2019 and as a result the group JO1 was formed. It is unclear when the second season will air - probably due to COVID-related complications - but all the contestants were recently announced; each with their own introduction videos to help viewers get a feel for their personalities and skills.
I'm still deciding on which boy is my number 1 for this season, but two boys in particular will defintely be getting my support. I've told the story many times about my favourite now disbanded idol group G=AGE and how they basically saved my life so I won't get into it too much but feel free to take check out any of my previous blog posts about the group to get the details.
As I already mentioned, my interest in male idol groups had kind of dwinkled recently so I was aware that PRODUCE 101 JAPAN Season 2 was happening, but hadn't properly looked into it. I was mindlessly scrolling on Instagram when I saw a picture of a familliar face posted on the PRODUCE 101 JAPAN Instragram account. I couldn't believe it at first as I am pretty bad at recognising faces but I looked into it and found that yes, it was Vasayegh Hikaru! My second favourite member of G=AGE (after Kazama Roi, who interestingly auditioned for the first season of PRODUCE 101 JAPAN but pulled out before the show started filming) and former Johnny's Jr.
I then went on to check the PRODUCE 101 JAPAN YouTube channel so I could watch Vasa's introduction videos. I was watching one of them when the first video in the related videos section caught my eye. I saw the name Tajima. It couldn't be, could it? I clicked the video and saw that it was in fact Tajima Shogo, also a former member of G=AGE and Johnny's Jr.!
I don't even know what to say. I'm just so happy. Taji and Vasa have been active kind of on-and-off online since G=AGE disbanded but I really thought that their idol careers had come to an end. Apparently Taji had been active as a trainee in South Korea, and he even refers to PRODUCE 101 as his "last chance". Does this mean he plans to quit if he doesn't make it as one of the final 11? Let's make sure that doesn't happen by giving him lots of votes!
I would've been thrilled if it was just one of them but the fact that they probably decided to do this together really warms my heart. Taji and Vasa have known each other since they were Johnny's Jrs. and were also the first boys to join G=AGE back when it was first formed. They were also active as a subgroup called G-EYE and seemed to be pretty close. Though they're technically competing against each other I really hope the two of them can become successful together.
I also feel as if I should mention another familiar face who is taking part in this season of the show, though I personally won't be supporting him. Contestant Furue Yuto is a former member of G-BOY'S (G=AGE's trainee unit) and indie group TERCERA TRAPs. He is currently under fire for some things he said and did online before he was accepted onto the show. This isn't a gossip blog so I won't say anything about it here but if you want you can find out by Googling his name or looking at the comments on his introduction videos on YouTube.
Ironic how in one of his intro videos where he's asked what kind of idol he wants to be, he answers he wants to be "an idol without scandals". Just oof to that one. Also, when he was in G-BOY'S, fans used to call him "niko niko tenshi" (smiling angel). Double oof.
I wonder if all of these ex-G=AGE/G-BOY'S members planned this or it was just a coincidence and they all turned up to the audition and looked at each other like, "Oh no, not these clowns again" lol.
Aside from Taji and Vasa, another boy who's caught my attention so far is Tekoe Yusei. He's obviously half-black which is pretty rare in the Jpop idol world and he's also funny and a huge dork.
Which PRODUCE 101 JAPAN Season 2 contestants do you like so far? Do you have high hopes for the upcoming season of the show? Let me know in the comments!