At this time SMAP is officially no more. I really do not know how to feel about this. I was never more than a casual fan of the group but there is still a pain in my heart from knowing their time as a group has come to an end. Perhaps if things ended on a better note it would be easier to take. Or at least I would have less uneasy feelings about it. But at least I got to see the love the fans have for the group as they tried to find a way to say good-bye to them.
There is a certain amount of pride I cannot help but feel knowing that their best selling single, Sekai ni Hitotsu dake no Hana, has reached a new milestone as it crossed the 3 million units sold mark in this year. And it was thanks to the fans of the group that have doing everything they can to keep the single in the Oricon rankings as well as trying to reach that goal. It was truly amazing to see that happen in this past year.
It just seems like quite the shame the group could not at least perform in concert one final time as a farewell to those dedicated fans. Or at least a final performance on one of the usual year end shows they had been on. But their final performance on the final episode of SMAP X SMAP was a nice enough finish though it still feels like they went out on a whimper instead of the bang I am sure many fans were hoping for.
As for me, I still feel like I am in shock at the very idea and SMAP is no more. They always seemed to be there and trying to think of a future without them feels off. Even watching the end of year programs this year felt a bit emptier without them. In time I may get used to it but I doubt I will stop missing them anytime soon. And I just consider myself a casual fan, so I cannot imagine what the more hardcore SMAP fans must be feeling.
No matter how it ended SMAP left their mark on the Japanese entertainment industry. They have left plenty of memories as a group from their programs and their music that are not going to be forgotten anytime soon. For me, Kono Toki, Kitto Yume Jyanai to this day remains my favorite SMAP song and I still listen to it frequently. It is one of those songs that I get strength from and I will always be grateful to SMAP for it.
I wish success for the members as they continue on with their solo careers and hope that they continue to bring the smiles and joy to people as they did as a group.
So thank you SMAP, for everything.