Taking a look at each member individually, there is an apparent increase in television drama and movie roles. They show a different side apart from their variety show persona, expanding their range of fans.
As the entire group rides its boost of fame, Maruyama Ryuhei, playing the part of the "natural (airhead)" on variety shows, also earned a rise in interest after his well-received work in the drama Freeter Ie wo Kau (Fuji). In January and February of this year, he also took on the challenge of his first starring role in the play Gilbert Grape. Activity-wise, this past year has certainly been a very aggressive one for him.
After an increase in regular (shows) in Tokyo and individual member activities this past year, I have definitely felt our field of work expand. Depending on the program, there are some differences, but one thing I can say for sure is that we always stay "natural." In Bouken Japan! (TV Asahi), we sometimes start things off by gathering information from the locals where we're filming, and in Onegai! Ranking (also TV Asahi) we even get slapped for real (laughs). There are some differences depending on the show, but I have a feeling that every single one of our shows will never be fake. Instead, we put priority in expressing the raw emotions we feel that very moment. I aim to convey such real emotions, not as a TV personality, but as a single human being.
There's a strong sense of awareness that Kanjani8 grew up doing live concerts, so the fact we were able to have our very own countdown concerts two years in a row since '09, has given a big boost to our confidence. Last year, for the first time we were able to release a single as a band and that was also a very big deal to us. We debuted with "enka," but (playing band style) was something we've always done. Our single "Yellow Pansy Street" to be released in April, is also performed as a band, so I think Kanjani is gradually solidifying its shape this way.
( More Maru under ze cut! :DCollapse )