If you love gaming and cheery pop idols, now you can get your fix of both at once!

Johnny and Associates, also known as Johnny’s, is the largest stable of fresh-faced smiling pop boy idols in Japan. Since the weak fanfare of Arashi winding down activities in 2020 there have been new announcements for channels, new bands celebrating nostalgic favorites, and even increased access to the groups’ fan merchandise for those who don’t live in the idols’ native Japan.

The acts in Johnny’s are never simply talented dancers and singers—they’re charismatic, approachable, and friendly. They are essentially marketed to the masses as heartthrobs that you can admire and feel close to, but not too close. They act in TV dramas, they take part in variety-quiz shows, and they pop up all over the media landscape to promote their projects and have cheery, affable fun together.

But the thing is that TV isn’t really where a lot of young people are spending their time nowadays. They’re online, watching YouTube. And more specifically, they’re probably watching people stream themselves playing video games. It’d be great if some Johnny’s members could make use of such a thriving platform…

▼ Surprise!

From January 1, 2022, the YouTube channel Johnny’s Gaming Room will officially start streaming game-related antics starring various Johnny’s acts. The core trio of hosts has already been decided: Hey!Say!JUMP!’s Daiki Arioka will be one host, with Yuta Tamamori and Toshiya Miyata from Kis-My-Ft2 rounding out the group. Though some members like Hey!Say!Jump’s Ryosuke Yamada have featured gaming content on their own YouTube channels before now, this will be the very first dedicated gaming channel that brings in talent from various Johnny & Associates acts.

You might have noticed that the channel has already uploaded a few videos, despite a start date of next month. That’s because the three current hosts are running a gauntlet to decide on the rest of the hosts! Johnny’s Gaming Room will ultimately have fifteen main hosts, and they’ll be selected through a series of challenges leading up to January 1.

Snow Man shows up in its entirety to try and earn a seat at the Gaming Room table.

At the time of writing, groups Sexy Zone, Snow Man, and Johnny’s West have already appeared to demonstrate their gaming prowess (or relative lack thereof). The promotional video for the channel also promises appearances from Kansai Johnny’s Jr., Johnny’s Jr., SixTones, King & Prince, and Naniwa Danshi, so there are plenty of willing candidates ready to play competitive golf, dash around a Mario Party game board, or rack up points in a dancing game together. Fans seem excited for the New Year reveal too, with the trailer already standing strong with 73,000 likes and counting.

“I’m so happy to see the groups of different debut dates and even the Jr. groups knocking down walls and enjoying all these different games together! I can’t wait!”
“The younger groups so rarely get the chance to mingle with the older generation like this. It’s awesome to see.”
“I’m just so glad I get to see Miyatama [Toshiya Miyata] chatting away so eagerly!”
“There are so many games with amazing music out there. I’d love it if they did a special feature about game music with all the groups…”

We’ll have to wait and see exactly what the Johnny’s Gaming Room channel entails when it officially launches, but the boys all seem to be having tons of fun already. Maybe they’ll even try some video game-themed antics on the channel, like what we saw in this viral clip from last year?

Source: YouTube/Johnny’s Gaming Room via Otakomu
Top image: YouTube/Johnny’s Gaming Room

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