Like the white rabbit leading Alice into Wonderland, Shunsuke Michieda (道枝駿佑) is the colorful cutie who introduced me to the beautiful world of Johnny & Associates.
Since then, he’s become one of my favorite entertainers. Musically, his group Naniwa Danshi (なにわ男子) has a sugar-sweet pop sound that is right up my alley and has released some of my favorite tracks since discovering them in 2021.
Born on 25 July, 2002 in Osaka, Michieda (nicknamed Michi) joined Johnny & Associates on 23 November 2014 after being a lifelong fan of two other Johnny’s groups: SMAP and Hey! Say! JUMP. Four years later, he became a part of Naniwa Danshi at the beginning of October 2018.
As a model and an actor Michieda has had an incredible career, including the role that introduced me to him and Snow Man’s Ren Meguro: My Love Mix-Up! (Kieta Hatsukoi). Michieda played Aoki, a cute but clumsy high schooler who has a crush on the beautiful Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But his love is crushed when he discovers while borrowing her eraser that Hashimoto has a crush on the handsome Ida (Ren Meguro).To complicate matters, Ida sees Aoki holding the eraser inscribed with a cute message and thinks Aoki actually has a crush on him! As the series continues, Aoki discovers Ida not only developing feelings for him, but himself developing feelings for Ida.
As a Saturday morning series, it was cuddly, cute, and suitable for the entire family. The series is available on Viki, and Naniwa Danshi provided one of the theme songs with their debut single UBU LOVE (初心LOVE).
In 2022 Michieda starred as the title character in the NTV mystery series The Case Files of Young Kindaichi. Originally based on a popular manga series about the lazy-but-brilliant grandson of post-war Japan’s most famous fictional detective, Michieda is the 5th Johnny’s star to play the character in a live action production.
Wildly successful, Michieda’s version of the series is available in the United States on Hulu, and on Disney+ / Star+ throughout most of the rest of the world. Naniwa Danshi’s Second single The Answer was also featured as the series’ theme song.
This July, Michieda also starred in the romantic feature film Even if This Love Disappears From the World Tonight as Kamiya Toru, who, in an attempt to stop a classmate from bullying him, makes a false confession to a girl in his class, Hino Maori (Fukumoto Riko). Knowing it’s a ruse, Maori says yes, but with the three rules: “Don’t talk to me until after school,” “Keep communication brief,” and “Don’t fall in love with each other.” The two promise not to fall in love, but as they get to know each other, they find themselves drawn to each other.
With the release of their fourth single, “Special Kiss,” Michieda and the rest of Naniwa Danshi are gearing up to make 2023 their busiest year ever.
More Michi and Naniwa Danshi soon so… Stay Tuned