But after seeing all the opinions of foreign fans, I was curious to see if Japanese fans were saying similar things, so I did a little searching around Twitter~ I've collected a few of my favorite tweets here, but as a disclaimer, these are only the tweets that happened to catch my attention, for the most part, so I can't claim that it's any indication of what the majority of people are thinking. Further disclaimer: my Japanese is far from perfect, and my knowledge of Twitter slang is even worse, so feel free to let me know if you think I mistook the meaning of anything ^^;
Part 1: #SexyZoneは5人
I saw tons of people tweeting this hashtag, "Sexy Zone is 5 people." If you search it, you'll find lots of tweets that are just the hashtag repeated over and over ♥ But here's some of the stuff people were saying:
もし、この決断が五人の承知の上、納得の上だったら本当に何も言わないけど。でも、ど— モナ (@LuvMoose_xx) July 16, 2014
う見ても、本人達は抵抗してますよ！泣いてますよ、本人達の意見もちゃんと聞いてくだ さい！！ #SexyZoneは５人
If this decision was with the five members' acknowledgement and consent, I really wouldn't say anything. But however you look at it, the members are against it! I'm crying, please properly listen to their opinions!! #Sexy Zone is 5 people
3人で新曲出してもファンは喜べませんよ。 飯島さんのやり方嫌やな。 #SexyZoneは5人— こっちゃん(´・Ⅰ・｀)低浮上 (@nanikin_sz) July 16, 2014
With 3 members, the fans can't be happy even for a new single coming out. I hate Iijima-san's methods. #Sexy Zone is 5 people
It's hard to get across in translation, but the wording of this one is really great. It sounds basically like Tatsuya from Bakaleya is yelling at Iijima:
飯島さぁ、まじで今日本中のセクガルを敵にしとるんだよ。わかってるの？あんたは夢を— ちーちゃん (@janiota313LOVE) July 16, 2014
So Iijima, right now you're seriously making enemies of Sexy Girls across Japan. Do you get it? Your job is to help sell dreams. What the hell are you doing. #Sexy Zone is 5 people
Isn't Sexy Zone 5 people? If SouMari aren't there, it's not Sexy Zone, and if 3 members sing a new song, that's not a Sexy Zone song. #Sexy Zone is 5 people
Relatedly, a lot of fans of other groups were also tweeting in support of 5-member Sexy Zone ♥ faded_lace wrote a little about that here~
Part 2: Calls to action
I saw a lot of people saying they were going to boycott the single, but I didn't see any of the tweets being really widely retweeted or anything. If anyone else saw anything like that, let me know!
つーかセクゾ担は今回のCDは不買運動した方がいいと思うよ。聡マリ担はどっちみち買— sarue (@kis_my_sarue) July 15, 2014
I mean, I think Sexy Zone fans should boycott this CD. SouMari fans probably won't buy it either way, but fans of the 3 can't buy it either *distress*
不買運動するけど、セクゾも担当もだいすきです。事務所嫌いなだけ。— ぽてと (@chihonkn) July 16, 2014
I'm boycotting, but I love Sexy Zone. I just hate the management.
The thing that seems to be getting retweeted more than boycotting was the call to only use Marius and Sou's penlight colors at the summer concert:
EDIT: Between when I started this entry and now, the tweet seems to have become protected, so I can't embed it properly, I'm sorry! But when I last saw it, it had been retweeted over 400 times.
((((拡散希望)))) セクサマ魂に参戦する人にお願いがあります。 春魂のペン— ゆいぽよ♕♕5-1=0 (@shorisato1030sz) July 16, 2014
ラを持参して緑と黄色で埋め尽くしませんか?? 聡マリがいてのセクゾです。 これは 事務所にも迷惑かからないし、いいんじゃないかなって思ったので、回します。 pic.twitter.com/tfabwJ3qJR
I have a request for people going to the Sexy Zone summer concert. Will you bring your penlight from the spring concert and only use green and yellow?? It's Sexy Zone with SouMari. This won't cause trouble for the management, so I thought it was a pretty good idea and I'm spreading it around.
Part 3: Other interesting tweets
One thing I was glad to see some Japanese fans talking about was how Johnny's shouldn't become like AKB:
ジャニーズはジャニーズだから好きなのにいきなりAKBになりますって言われたってそ— ぺろさんはDDぞ。 (@nikoniko_bkra) July 15, 2014
Johnny's is Johnny's, so suddenly being told they're going to become AKB is as unreasonable as saying, "Starting today, Japan is becoming isolationist and Western food is banned ☆" And the manly guy next to you, totally unreasonable.
(I love this person's metaphor, but I was totally perplexed by what the 隣の男臭いし part was getting at - can anyone enlighten me?)
セクゾ は AKB方式ではありません。 5人で セクゾです— じぐはる*夏祭り3.5参戦 (@JiguLaaav) July 16, 2014
Sexy Zone is not the AKB system. Sexy Zone is 5 members.
Another running thread that I enjoyed was people hating on Iijima - I'm glad that sentiment isn't limited to foreign fandom. I already quoted one person, but this one was especially great (and also HUGELY retweeted XD):
飯島引退したら、 ◎セクゾもあの5人で一件落着 ◎嵐仕切るジュリーさんが跡継— 【混乱】プリケツは和キュンで萌え禿げ (@puri_ketsuuu) July 15, 2014
ぎ決定 ◎飯島辞めたことで、嵐と SMAP キスマイ セクゾとの共演も増える ＿人人人人人人＿ ＞ 一石三鳥 ＜ ￣^Y^Y^Y^Y^Y￣
If Iijima retires,
◎Sexy Zone will be those 5 members, case closed.
◎Julie-san, who manages Arashi, will be decided as the successor.
◎With Iijima having left, Arashi's activities with SMAP, Kisumai, and Sexy Zone will increase.
＞ Three birds with one stone ＜
This tweet was also interesting... I've seen a lot of support from NEWS fans, which I really appreciate~ Still, idk how comforting comparisons to NEWS are to me, since they lost half their members before getting to a better place...
今のセクゾの状況は昔のNEWSに少し似てると思う(>｡<) でもね、10年前一番— □♡HARUNA▽◯ (@4haruna88284) July 16, 2014
端で目立たなかった人が今ではグループを引っ張ってる(*^^*) だから、本人たち もファンも諦めないでほしい(>.<) pic.twitter.com/M4sfwNYUpW
I think Sexy Zone's situation right now is a little bit like NEWS in the past (>｡<)
But the members who were on the very edge and seen the least 10 years ago are leading the group now (*^^*)
So, I don't want the members or the fans to give up (>.<)
The picture on the right is of something Tego wrote to Marius and Sou in dengonban, which was translated by someone here~
Well, I hope this was interesting to someone XD I was personally really happy to see Japanese fans tweeting some of the same things that I've been thinking about the situation.