"They debuted during a time when idols were no longer of interest to the Japanese people. Now, after years of working, they are ranked as the top idol group of all time; the “monsters” that changed the landscape of the Japanese idol and entertainment industry.
Once considered a failure by their agency, they are now the only Johnnys group to have a single ranked in the “All Time Best Singles Chart in Japan”; a single called “Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana”.
Their debut event is legendary because of the typhoon and heavy rains that hit that day, and their debut live performance was abruptly halted because of technical problems. Since then, they have lost a member, been through scares, scandals, and even a shotgun marriage, but through it all, they have remained united as a group and they have persevered.
With 23 years in the industry under their belt, since the group’s formation and including the years before they made their official debut, they are to date the longest-running active idol group in history.
Local media have called them “the super group”, “super idols”, “top idols”, or “top stars”.
However, perhaps most frequently used is the title of “national idol group”.
A title given to them – SMAP.”
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