According to the Sakigake news website, Genki Iwahashi leaves King & Prince and Johnny’s Entertainment altogether. This is due to Genki’s panic disorder. He will officially withdraw from the two entertainment entities by March 31, 2021.
Genki has been absent from the group for about two years and five months now. And finally, he decided to completely retire from King & Prince and Johnny’s to start a new path. According to sources, Genki was concerned about the group, his agency, and their fans. Because it’s too difficult to overcome panic depression while being a top idol, he came up with his decision to leave.
According to Genki, “I apologize to all the fans who support me and all the people who took care of me for not being able to make a proper report for a long time. It’s been more than two years since I took a rest, and I can’t give a clear report to the members who have always watched over me and the fans who have been supporting me for a long time. It was tough to keep me waiting,” he said.
Despite being away from King & Prince for more than two years, Genki has been keeping in touch and supporting his co-members Yuta Kishi, Sho Hirano, Yuta Jinguji, Ren Nagase, and Kaito Takahashi for their activities, especially since the group has been very busy since their debut in 2018. Because of that, even if Genki isn’t present, the members always leave a space for him in each of their performances. They have also kept the color pink in each design because the color represents Genki.
Hence, Genki also told the King & Prince members, “I had various conflicts while spending time with such feelings, but it may be very selfish, but as one of my own merits, from King & Prince on March 31, 2021. Withdrawal and I will be leaving Johnny’s office. I thanked the fans and staff, but most especially, I can’t say thank you enough to Sho, Ren, Kaijin, Kishi-kun, and Jingu-ji, who always kept my place, stayed close to me, and respected my decision. I am full of gratitude.
Genki also extended his gratitude to Johnny’s Entertainment and to the late Johnny Kitagawa himself, who passed away in 2019. “I am very grateful to Mr. Johnny for making me grow so much and teaching me the meaning of my life. I wouldn’t have been there if I hadn’t met Mr. Johnny.”
Genki Iwahashi Leaves King & Prince and Johnny’s: My Thoughts on the Matter
I’ve been a huge fan of King & Prince since after watching them on Ride on Time, a Johnny’s Entertainment documentary available on Netflix, as well as watching Sho Hirano on the j-drama, Hana Nochi Hare. While my bias is Sho, I got concerned with the other members as well, especially Genki.
As a King & Prince fan, I’m saddened by the news, but I wasn’t surprised. Upon watching Genki on Ride on Time, it was evident that he was having a hard time. It wasn’t hard to feel bad for him.
Genki was truly as hard-working as the others, if not more, but his mental health problems were taking over his work and passion as an idol. I know that he’s been wanting this for a long time, and he worked hard for it ever since he was still a Johnny’s Junior. It’s just that maybe, after King & Prince made it on top, with non-stop projects, concerts, and albums, Genki’s life-long battle with his panic disorder mixed up with all the pressures of being a top star.
When it was Genki’s turn to be interviewed on Ride on Time, one will see that he wasn’t very happy. Yes, he was doing his best for all of the fans, to make Johnny’s seniors proud, and to improve and help in King & Prince’s goals, but as we all know, one cannot control their mental health issue. It will be a long fight against his panic disorder. Maybe that’s why he decided to let go and leave.
Despite being saddened by Genki’s withdrawal from King & Prince, I respect his decision. Being a top idol and suffering from panic disorder is a challenging feat. I hope and pray that Genki will get over it soon and wish him all the best in the new path he’s going to take.
Here’s a little tribute to our prince, Genki Ihawashi:
If you’re currently depressed or pessimistic, remember that the Philippines has a mental health crisis hotline. Call them if you need help.