7 MEN Samurai in charge of Johnny’s new wave, need your help translating


From playing their own instruments to scaring themselves off, these six 7 MEN are changing the face of Japanese idols.

The past few years have been quite tumultuous for powerful boy band management firm Johnny & Associates. In 2016, the iconic SMAP idols decided to go their separate ways, and in 2019, deeply involved company founder and chairman Johnny Kitagawa passed away at the age of 87.

If that wasn’t enough, top-selling group ARASHI also called on it to step down as a unit late last year, and its longtime colleague V6 is expected to follow suit in November. However, with all of this change comes the opportunity to do something different, and that’s what the new generation of Johnny’s bands have been working on.

â–¼ If it’s no different, I don’t know what it is.

One of the groups at the forefront of this movement are the six members of 7 MEN Samurai. I’ll explain why those math don’t match up in an instant, but for a few years now, this band has been steadily building an online fan base, not just with music, but with their many videos on YouTube and Johnny’s website. Island TV, such as as the Taiko’s Challenges series.

Born from the self-isolation of 2020, member Taiko Sasaki came up with the idea to attempt a range of self-imposed stunts at home and at work that defy common sense.. It just about all fails, but it ultimately creates more entertaining content that way.

â–¼ A fan made video compilation of Taiko’s challenges with Korean subtitles, my favorite is his unfortunate attempt to wear a frozen t-shirt quietly with the harmonica in his mouth at around 2:50

It’s an eerily refreshing departure from the carefully kept pristine images of idols from Johnnys’ past and has earned 7 MEN Samurai the reputation of “itanji”Or“ mavericks ”of the company. This also fits, because in many ways this group was born out of the upheavals of recent years.

They initially formed as a seven-member unit in February 2018 and were the last boy group to be personally selected and nominated by Kitagawa himself. It wasn’t until a few months later that a member gave up show business altogether and quit the band, but it may have finally worked in their favor as the seventh member position was filled by the self-taught musical scholar Rei Yabana.

â–¼ Another fan video showing Yabana casually looping live every instrument on one track, be sure to stick to the end

The remaining members trained hard to prepare for their first solo concert in March 2019, but one suddenly had to quit the band after being caught smoking as a minor. 7 MEN Samurai was again reduced to six men, but when Kitagawa passed away four months later, they decided to make him the seventh honorary member. because it is his creative contribution that put them on the path to their common goal of international renown.

So the next time you see them on stage, know that there really are seven men there. It’s just that one of them is not currently on the physical plane of existence.

â–¼ One of MEN Samurai’s original first 7 songs, “Siren”

It would appear that being a six-member band was their destiny, and so their lineup solidified: Sasaki and Yabana would continue to perform on stage and online alongside the polyglot. Katsuki motodaka who speaks Chinese and English, actor Reia Nakamura who has already marked several great roles on stage as well as on television screens, in the soft voice Taiki Konno who one day hopes to be as tall as his own idol Takuya Kimura, and athletic Rinne Sugeta who is the only member of the Johnnys to have completed the first round of Sasuke (known as ninja warrior abroad) on its first attempt.

â–¼ From left to right: Taiki Konno, Taiko Sasaki, Rinne Sugeta, Reia Nakamura, Katsuki Motodaka and Rei Yabana

Together their music is basically faithful to the layered yet light J-Pop sound and they do their fair share of highly choreographed dance routines. But 7 MEN Samurai also overturn the stereotype that boy bands lack musical skills not only playing their own instruments, but sometimes swapping them with each other halfway through a song., as seen in this performance of their original song “SAMU-DAMA” in the video below.

In addition to music, they also contributed weekly to Johnnys’ Jr.’s YouTube channel with a range of stunts and jokes posted every Friday., to stick to each other until being trapped in a haunted drive-in.

Depending on when you watch this video, it may or may not have subtitles, and that’s where all translation enthusiasts come in. As part of 7 MEN Samurai’s desire to reach a wider global audience, they have partnered up, along with the other Johnnys’ Jr. Channel groups, to serve the Amara.org subtitle service.

Amara is a new website that allows anyone to create their own subtitles with its set of free tools in any language. This will make it usable on Amara, but in the case of Johnnys’ Jr. content, you can take it a step further and submit your subtitles to them at [email protected]

If approved, these captions will then be added to the official Johnnys’ Jr. channel on YouTube for the world to enjoy. This process will help ensure that viewers also get the most accurate translations possible among the sea of ​​fan-made videos like the ones we’ve seen earlier.

So go ahead and be a part of the cause if you can, because this group sure has the motivation and the talent, but it will take the right support to help them on their way to becoming the next big thing in J-Pop.

Related links: Amara.org, YouTube Channel / Johnnys’ Jr., Island TV
Images: © Johnny & Associés
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About Dawn Valle

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