Fans of Japanese boy bands are still reeling from the loss of SMAP, but some are now questioning whether TOKIO may be the next to dissolve.
TOKIO, known to many anime fans as the band behind Kodomo no Omocha theme “7 O’Clock News,” is also behind a variety show called “The TETSUWAN Dash!!” in which the five members work on various long-term projects. After the March 2011 earthquake took out the group’s “Dash Village,” the guys moved the show to an abandoned island in the Seto Inland Sea — now called Dash Island.
Their work involves a lot of heavy lifting, building, and agriculture as they work to create a residence and railway on the island. Like all reality shows, there’s one member the viewers essentially cast as the villain — keyboardist Taichi Kokubun — and according to some fans, his behavior on the show could lead to the band splitting up.
Group members have pointed out that Kokubun’s dislike of farm work — particularly getting muddy — means that he’ll often bow out of his work. Things aren’t necessarily positive within the band due to the lack of teamwork. However, Japanese network executives have said that there are no issues,
Other fans aren’t necessarily concerned, believing the dislike of Kokubun is overblown and caused primarily by Internet trolls. However, a wide response to the theory has been that, rather than TOKIO disbanding, Kokubun should just be replaced.
While the theories are abounding on news sites, no official statements have been made about the state of the band. It remains to be seen whether there is any truth to the theories or whether it’s wishful thinking on the part of a faction of the fan base.
Kara Dennison is responsible for multiple webcomics, blogs and runs interviews for (Re)Generation Who and PotterVerse, and is half the creative team behind the OEL light novel series Owl’s Flower. She blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.