It has been about four months since J-pop idol group Arashi started their hiatus. But their talent agency Johnny & Associates is still keeping the Arashi members busy with solo activities. The latest is that Kazunari Ninomiya, whose wife gave birth to a girl last month, officially opened his own YouTube channel on Sunday (25 April).
The YouTube channel, called the Joh-Nino Channel (a play on the word Johnny and his nickname Nino), has been dropping teasers since two weeks ago. The final trailer, uploaded on the day before the channel’s official launch, features Ninomiya appearing in person and saying, “I’m Kazunari Ninomiya. I’ve opened a channel on YouTube. Please watch it!”
Ninomiya’s first video shows him introducing his newly created YouTube channel, which now has more than a million subscribers, and explaining, “If I were to handle this YouTube channel alone, it’s going to be lonely. So, I want to create a team! I’ll choose a few other people from the agency, catch them unprepared and negotiate with them.”
He went on to describe the first person he had selected, who has the following traits: someone who will definitely be of help; someone who is busy due to an anniversary (presumably the anniversary of the idol group the person is in); someone who is his junior in the company, but of the same age as him; and someone who is his friend.
The video then ended with a cliffhanger of Ninomiya approaching the mysterious first person. Fans have speculated this “friend” to be KAT-TUN’s Yuichi Nakamaru — KAT-TUN, who debuted after Arashi, is celebrating their 15th anniversary this year, and Nakamaru is born in 1983, like Ninomiya.
True enough, the person revealed in Ninomiya's second video is Nakamaru. When Ninomiya asked Nakamaru to join him on YouTube, Nakamaru repeatedly questioned him in disbelief as to whether he was serious. It turned out that Ninomiya hoped that Nakamaru would help with editing videos and coming up with topics. Ninomiya also disclosed that he was aiming to upload videos at least once a week, and daily at the start.
Although everything remains a mystery about the purpose of the YouTube channel, we can only keep our eyes peeled for Ninomiya’s subsequent uploads.