Jin Akanishi is a Japanese idol, singer-songwriter, actor, seiyū, and former radio host. Akanishi is a member of the popular J-pop group, KAT-TUN, and is the one of the two lead vocalists. Since the group's debut in 2006, it has achieved 14 consecutive number ones (including studio albums) on the Oricon charts.
Akanishi is also a budding actor with roles in the second season of popular NTV school drama, Gokusen 2, Anego and Yukan Club. He is also a co-host of KAT-TUN's own variety show, Cartoon KAT-TUN, and used to host a radio program called "KAT-TUN Style" with bandmate Junnosuke Taguchi from October 2007 to March 2008.
Born in Chiba Prefecture on July 4, 1984, Akanishi is the eldest child. His family consists of his parents and a younger brother, Reio, who also works in the entertainment industry as an actor under the stage name, Fuuta. His given name, Jin ("benevolence"), comes from one of the five Confucian virtues. He moved to Tokyo in the first grade. He is the best friend of Tomohisa Yamashita and the two remain close today. In 1997, when he was still in grade school, a classmate sent in a photo of him to idol magazine, Myojo, and he was featured in the "Cool Classmates" corner of the issue. Akanishi expressed interest in the entertainment industry and his mother thus sent in an application to Johnny's Entertainment on his behalf in 1998. Though he technically failed his audition on November 8, 1998, he was told to stay when he tried to return his number plate to a man who happened to be Johnny Kitagawa himself. He entered Johnny & Associates at the same time as future bandmates Kazuya Kamenashi and Yuichi Nakamaru.
After he was made a Johnny's Jr. member in 2000, Akanishi was part of a number of groups like Musical Academy Dancing, J2000 and B.A.D. before being drafted into a six-member unit in 2001 with other juniors Kazuya Kamenashi, Junnosuke Taguchi, Koki Tanaka, Tatsuya Ueda and Yuichi Nakamaru. Though the group was originally meant to only be backup dancers for Koichi Domoto of KinKi Kids, the sextet's unexpected popularity led their agency to allow them to expand into a separate group called KAT-TUN, an acronym formed by the first letter of the members' surnames. Despite the group's popularity (they even released DVDs of their live concerts in 2003 and 2005—a first for JE groups that hadn't debuted), they were not allowed to make their bow until five years later.
KAT-TUN's debut on March 22, 2006 was marked by a tripartite release of their debut single, debut album and a DVD chronicling the making of their first music video. All three releases were immensely successful on the Oricon charts with "Real Face" and "Real Face Film" certified as the best-selling single and domestic music DVD of 2006 respectively. The group's next single, "SIGNAL", was also a massive hit debuting at number 1 and selling more than 500,000 copies.
Much to the Japanese public's surprise, Akanishi announced in a press conference on October 13, 2006 that he was leaving the country to study English abroad for an indefinite amount of time. Despite his absence, KAT-TUN were obliged to continue its activities and released their third single and second studio album, "Bokura no Machi de" and Cartoon KAT-TUN II You, which both topped the charts. Akanishi finally returned from Los Angeles after six months on April 19, 2007, an event which was accompanied by a massive nationwide media frenzy. He quickly resumed work by joining his bandmates on their nationwide tour on April 21. All of KAT-TUN's subsequent singles and albums have since debuted at number 1 and the band has sold more than 6 million records in just over three years.
Akanishi is also a songwriter having written songs for KAT-TUN and for himself, including "Care", "Hesitate", "Love or Like", "Lovejuice" and "Wonder", the latter being a collaboration with R&B artist, Crystal Kay. Akanishi is also featured in the song Helpless Night from Crystal Kay's new greatest hits album Best of Crystal Kay. He can play the guitar and has composed both music and lyrics for "Murasaki (ムラサキ?)", "ha-ha" and "Pinky". He also collaborated with bandmate Ueda to create the song, "Butterfly".
In addition, it has also been announced that Akanishi will be having a series of solo concerts, called 赤西 仁Star Live 友＆仁You＆Jin. There will be a total of 32 shows from February 7, 2010 to February 28, 2010. The song "A Page" featured at his concerts, will be released as part of KAT-TUN's 11th single, Love Yourself ~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~, on the 2nd limited edition on February 10, 2010.
At the event of Tokyo Girls Collection on September 5, 2009, Jin appeared as a special guest to promote his new movie, Bandage, he performed the movie's theme song which marked this as the solo debut under the temporary unit Lands with Takeshi Kobayashi, the producer of Mr. Children. His debut single under Lands, "Bandage", was written and composed by Kobayashi. The song features drummer Nobuaki Kaneko of Rize. It was released on November 25, 2009; each copy contains a postcard to enter the drawing for tickets to Lands' special concert, to be held on January 16, 2010 in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area.
On November 30, 2009, it was announced that Lands would be releasing an album, "Olympos," on January 13, 2010. It will include the single "Bandage" and 7 other songs.
Akanishi made his debut as an actor in 1999 in a cameo appearance in the second episode of NTV's romance comedy, P.P.O.I., and also had small roles in TV Asahi's Best Friend, Omae no yukichi ga naiteiru and in NHK series, Haregi, Koko Ichiban. He also started appearing in musicals from 2000 taking on supporting roles in Millennium Shock (2000), Show Geki Shock (2001-2002), Dream Boy (2004) and Dream Boys (2006). Akanishi returned to the small screen in 2005 in the second season of the award-winning and popular NTV school drama, Gokusen, starring opposite Yukie Nakama and bandmate Kazuya Kamenashi. The show won "Best Drama" at the 44th Television Drama Academy Awards and ended its run with an average viewership rating of 27.8%. He also had a supporting role in NTV's romance series, Anego, the same year.
In 2007, Akanishi starred in his first lead role in Yukan Club, a school comedy series, alongside bandmate Junnosuke Taguchi and was voted "Best Actor" at the 11th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix. He made his debut as a voice actor in 2008 for the Japanese dub of Speed Racer, providing the voice for protagonist Speed played by Emile Hirsch.
In 2009, Akanishi was cast as the lead actor in the movie, Bandage, directed by Takeshi Kobayashi and which is scheduled for release on January 16, 2010. This will be his big screen debut.