For decades, the entertainment agency Johnny & Associates has been the kingmaker of Japanese boy bands. When one of its key acts, Arashi, announced it would go on hiatus at the end of 2020, speculation buzzed: Who would take the mantle as Japan’s newest pop powerhouse?

For many, the heirs apparent are obvious: a five piece known as King & Prince. Since its debut in 2018, the act has been at the forefront of a new generation of Johnny’s talents, one that is acclimating to a digital world that the company had previously eschewed.

In May and June of this year, King & Prince launched their own YouTube, Instagram and Twitter accounts, a striking departure from the agency’s restrictive attitude toward social media and a move that was embraced by the group’s members: Sho Hirano, Yuta Jinguji, Yuta Kishi, Ren Nagase and Kaito Takahashi. While the posts are curated to promote the group’s songs, appearances and performances, there is an aspect of “behind the scenes” access that feels candid, personal and totally novel for a Japanese fan. In an effort to reach non-Japanese fans, many of the captions on the group’s Instagram are written in English as well as Japanese.