Enon Kawatani Perseveres Despite Scandal

Enon Kawatani

Enon Kawatani is definitely a man who can literally be said to wear many hats and to be fair, he’s kind of incredible, in a myriad (albeit questionable) ways. Ever the busy man in multiple senses of the word, Enon Kawatani (real name Kenta Kawatani), is currently the frontman for four bands – yes, four – and also produces his own solo projects. 

He got his start composing music while in university, citing TM Revolution’s 1997 hit “High Pressure” as inspiration. His most well-known band, Gesu no Kiwami Otome, or “Girl at the Height of Rudeness” was formed in May 2012 with bassist Masao Wada, whom Kawatani brought on over from his other band Indigo la end

The band also consists of keyboardist Mari Fukushige and drummer Honami Sato. Much like Enon Kawatani himself, these members also have fingers in other pies, playing other roles in other bands.

Just like one band wasn’t good enough for him, his first name presumably didn’t quite have that it factor, so he changed it to Enon.  

Indigo la End and the Rise of Gesu Otome

His first band, Indigo la end, got its start in April 2009 in the Shinjuku and Shibuya music scene and they debuted their extended play Sayōnara, Subarashii Sekai three years later. Gesu no Kiwami Otome was actually an offshoot of Indigo la end that became its own band because, well, Enon Kawatani willed it, essentially. 

Both bands released music through the same indie label, Space Shower Records. and their first extended play came on the heels of their debut album in March 2013. Eventually, both bands ended up on the Warner sub-label Unborde. Gesu no Kiwami Otome has seen a lot of success since its inception. 

They released a lot of popular singles, including  “Watashi Igai Watashi ja Nai no“, and had their song “Ryokiteki na Kiss o Watashi ni Shite” featured as the opening theme for the drama Around 30-chan. The song peaked at the number four position on the Billboard Japan 100 chart and was certified Gold.

Rolling Stone of Success Collides with Scandal

Enon Kawatani is clearly a multifaceted and multi-talented man, but he’s known for more than his versatility in the music world. Just as he said in his 2015 hit, “Romance ga Ariamaru,” or “Romance is Lavish,” there did appear to be more than enough romance to go around for him. 

In January 2016, Shukan Bunshun magazine, a popular tabloid, dropped the bombshell that TV personality Becky was having an affair with Kawatani, despite him getting married in secret to a non-celebrity woman just the year prior. 

LINE message screenshots of an exchange between Becky and Kawatani were later leaked to the publication, with the two of them seemingly flippant about the news and Kawatani commenting that there might be a chance for a reversal. 

Eventually, the two came clean and publicly apologized for their behavior, with Becky even going so far as to contact the same tabloid that busted them and publishing a public apology letter to Enon Kawatani’s wife. 

The news-breaking also prompted Becky to hold a press conference to apologize for her behavior. Kawatani initially denied the accusation, insisting his relationship with Becky was just platonic, but he released a statement on his blog confirming the affair, apologizing to everyone involved, and showing an eagerness to get back to work (“The fans come first.”).

Both At Fault, Unequal Consequences

There was a sharp divide in consequences for Enon Kawatani and Becky. The scandal cost Gesu no Kiwami Otome a promotional spot for the then-upcoming Crayon Shin-chan. They were no longer going to provide the theme song, mostly on the basis that adultery was –  understandably – not family-friendly. 

Nonetheless, the scandal didn’t seem to have affected the band’s popularity – quite the opposite; Enon Kawatani went on to perform with the band and they received their first number one spot on the Oricon charts for their almost brazenly cheekily-named album Ryoseibai (“Both Sides Are At Fault”).

They have since gone on to release 2 more albums, and even have a new album coming up this very spring. On their website, it says the album will be available for stream on May 1, and the new song, Watashi Igai Mo Watashi, clearly referencing their 2015 hit, has a short version available for stream on YouTube at the time of this writing. 

Becky, on the other hand, was not quite as lucky from the fallout of the scandal, and lost a lot of corporate ties, including Lawson and Kansai Electric Power Company’s K-Opticom Corporation. 

She also had segments featuring her in an episode of “Sekai No Hate Made Itte Q” cut from the airing. Essentially, she was forced into exile from show business, making sporadic appearances here and there afterward. 

On the bright side, she does seem to have found her love after all, however, marrying Yomiuri Giants coach Yasayuki Kataoka in 2019. 

Enon Kawatani
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