It’s been over a year since Ryutaro Morimoto was suspended indefinitely from Hey! Say! JUMP after photos of him doing underage smoking were splashed in gossip magazine Josei Seven, but could the Johnny’s talent make a come back, reports Cyzowoman.
The then 16-year-old Johnny’s talent was suspended on June 27, 2011. Since then, Morimoto’s name has been removed from the talent agency’s official website, and the media had reported Hey! Say! JUMP to be a nine-member group during their concerts in Hong Kong.
“I feel sad every time I see things like that, but I can’t help but feel hopeful that he’s just being suspended, not expelled. I do believe he’ll come back,” said one fan.
It has been reported at the time, Morimoto was a first year in his Horikoshi High School’s TRAIT course. Many teenage celebrities and athletes take this course which allows them to continue with their showbiz or training work without worrying about class times. Students can catch up with school work either in weekends or school holidays. The course comes with a steep price tag, but it has been reported Morimoto is currently still enrolled in the TRAIT course.
“There were sightings of him hanging out with his friends, including Johnny’s Jr. talent Jyuri Tanaka during the school’s autumn festival. He was happy to shake hands with fans, so I think he does want to come back.
He’s still a student so maybe the time to watch is when he graduates. Like, if he gets into university, there might be a double announcement about his university and his comeback,” said one Johnny’s news reporter.
Past examples suggest the idea is possible, with ex-NEWS/Kanjani8 member Hiroki Uchi coming back into showbiz after a two year suspension for underage drinking. Although Uchi was unable to rejoin his groups, the talent is now working as a solo artist and has had won roles in movies, TV dramas, stage plays and concerts.
However, there are some talents who have never made a full come back, like ex-NEWS member Hironori Kusano who was suspended for underage drinking. Although Kusano did make a come back as a talent, he gradually faded out and has since left the agency. According to his Japanese wikipedia page, Kusano is now a design student at Hosei University in Tokyo.