Junretsu are making their first appearance at the annual music show later this year. DA PUMP returns for the first time in over a decade.
Junretsu, whose members include Yujiro Shirakawa (KabutoRaiger in Ninpu Sentai Hurricaneger), Ryohei Odai (Kamen Rider Zolda in Kamen Rider Ryuki), Yusuke Tomoi (Kamen Rider Gills in Kamen Rider Agito), Kazuyoshi Sakai (GaoBlack in Hyakuju Sentai Gaoranger), along with member Shota Gogami are appearing at this year’s Kohaku Uta Gassen.
Kohaku Uta Gassen is an annual music competition in which the most notable performers of the year are invited to perform one of their hits. The groups are divided into teams, the red team for female performers (or bands with female vocalists) and the white team for male performers. Kohaku is one of Japan’s most successful television specials, this year marking the 69th edition of the program. It is typically one of the most watched television events of the year in Japan, last year’s edition garnered a 40% viewership rating. The special is broadcast live in Japan and around the world on December 31st via the NHK (Japan’s national broadcaster), ending just before midnight.
Television music specials are a popular end of year celebratory event in Japan. Most run for hours as they showcase performances and look back on the events of the year. Junretsu members said that being invited to Kohaku was a dream of theirs from the moment they formed.
This is DA PUMP’s first appearance at the program in 16 years. While the band was popular in the early 2000s, their popularity had since waned. Lead singer ISSA is the only remaining original member. DA PUMP came back into the limelight after “U.S.A.”, a single released earlier this year, went viral and reached 1# on multiple sales charts. This was their biggest success in well over a decade. ISSA performed the opening themes for Kamen Rider 555 as well as Kamen Rider Zi-O alongside Shuta Sueyoshi while DA PUMP performed the theme song for 2005’s Kamen Rider the FIRST.