The History of "Johnny's × Anime Songs", SMAP, Arashi, Hey! Say! JUMP, SixTones, etc., A Play Back by Age
Jul. 9 is the anniversary of the death of Johnny Kitagawa, the founder of Johnny's.
Johnny's has greatly influenced the entertainment industry not only in Japan but also all over the world, and they are also an essential part of the anime/anime song industry.
Speaking of anime songs by Johnny's artists, many of you may think of "Yuuki 100%" from "Nintama Rantarou".
However, including the theme song for the currently running TV anime "The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited", many anime songs have been sung by them.
This is an article looking back at the history of Johnny's × Anime Songs!
We will take you back through the ages to check out some of the best songs matching the world of anime.
2020s: An unknown artist appears!
One of the most recent memorable anime songs by Johnny's is "NAVIGATOR" by SixTONES, which is used as the opening theme of the currently airing "The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited".
At the time of the first broadcast, the artist's name was hidden, and everybody was making guesses on social media.
The trilling, cool tune has enough impact to blow away the image of Johnny's songs being idol-like. Many of you may have fascinated by their style of them appealing their music with their name kept hidden.
Also, "Black Clover" 11th cour's opening theme "Stories" was sung by Snow Man. One of the members, Sakuma Daisuke-san, loves anime, and fans were delighted that his dream came true.
The speedy intro and the positive lyrics of overcoming conflicts and moving forward complement the opening of the anime perfectly.
2010s: Family-friendly Johnny's anime song
In 2017, "Fantastic time", the opening theme of "Time Bokan24", was sung by Hey! Say! JUMP. The catchy tune will make you want to start dancing.
The opening theme of the 2nd cour "OVER THE TOP", which had a matureness and a melody that heats up at the hook, was also sung by Hey! Say! JUMP.
The sequel "Time Bokan: The Villains' Strike Back" 1st cour in 2018 had KinKi Kids singing a jazzy tune "DESTINY", which was inspired by the 3 villains.
They also sang "Topaz Love" for the ending theme of the 2nd cour, reminding us of youthful love.
In 2015, NEWS sang "Yonjuushi" as the opening theme for "The Kindaichi Case Files R". It has a taste of classical music, creating tension and grandness which perfectly matches the suspenseful story.
The anime also had "TRAGEDY" by KAT-TUN as its opening theme in 2016. Words that remind you of mysteries, such as "hints" and "doubt", are scattered in the lyrics, making it one of the songs with the strongest relationship with the anime.
The Saturday evening anime slot in which the "Time Bokan" series and "The Kindaichi Case Files R" were broadcast, has many songs by Johnny's artists loved across generations.
2000s: From films to TV series!
In 2006, "Sayaendou" by NEWS was used as the theme song of "One Piece The Movie: Giant Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle". The steelpan's in the song gave it a tropical tone, and the lyrics such as "skull" and "one piece" perfectly fits the film.
"One Piece" has teamed up with Johnny's on its TV series too. "Crazy Rainbow" (2007) by Tackey & Tsubasa, "Super Powers" (2019) by V6 were used as the opening theme, and "Mirai Koukai" (2005) by Tackey & Tsubasa was used as the ending theme.
"Inuyasha", which started in 2000, is also a treasure trove of anime songs by Jonny's. "CHANGE THE WORLD" (2000) by V6, "One Day, One Dream" (2004) by Tackey & Tsubasa, and many other songs were used for the anime.
In addition, "Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kouen-mae Hashutsujo" in 2002 had Arashi singing "Nice na Kokoroiki" for the opening theme and "Naruto: Shippuden" in 2008 had MATCHY with QUESTION?, a special team of Johnny's band and Kondou Mahsahiko, singing "Mezamero! Yasei". The 2000s had many shonen-manga-based anime collaborating with Johnny's.
1990s: The classic anime song "Yuuki 100%" was born!
One of the most famous Johnny's anime songs from the 1990s is "Yuuki 100%", the opening theme song of the TV anime "Nintama Rantarou, which began in 1993. Since Hikaru GENJI sang it as the opening theme, many groups followed, including Ya-Ya-yah and Hey! Say! JUMP.
The insert songs and ending themes of "Nintama Rantarou" were also sung by many Johnny's groups, such as "Hohoemi wo Azukete" (1993) by Hikaru GENJI and "Sekai ga Hitotsu ni Narumade" (2002) by Ya-Ya-yah.
In 1994, SMAP sang the opening theme song "Kimiiro Omoi" for "Akazukin Chacha". The positive lyrics about never giving up on love left a strong impression.
SMAP also sang "Egao no Genki" as the opening theme and "Burabura Sasete" as the ending theme for "Hime-chan's Ribbon" in 1992, showing how well their songs match shojo-manga-based anime.
TOKIO also worked on many songs for various genres of anime, including "Hear wo Migakukkyanai" as the opening theme of "Soar High! Isami" and "Uwasa no Kiss" as the ending theme of "Kiteretsu Daihyakka".
Their debut song "LOVE YOU ONLY" was also used as the opening theme of the TV anime "Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai", which was broadcast from 1992. The fresh singing voice and lyrics about honest love added grace to the anime.
1980s and before: Johnny's anime songs hand in hand with TV anime!
There are many Johnny's anime songs before "Nintama Rantarou" and "Hime-chan's Ribbon".
For example, Eagles sang "Eagle Sam no March", the opening theme of "Eagle Sam" in the 1980s. There were a total of 4 theme songs for "Eagle Sam" and they were all sung by Eagles.
Going back even further, Four Leaves sang the opening theme "Denshi Choujin U Bird" and the ending theme "Ginga Trio no Uta" for "Birdman and the Galaxy Trio", in the 1960s, when TV anime just stated.
Anime and Johnny's have a long history together.
These are only a few of the Johnny's anime songs. Some of you may be surprised to find out that these songs were by Johnny's.
Listening to the songs you already know, after you find out they were from anime, could bring you new discoveries.