D2 first originated in 2008 with the members Yamaguchi Kenki, Kamitsuru Toru, and Jinnai Sho who appeared as background characters, part of the supporting cast in D-BOYS STAGE vol.2 “The Last Game”. D2 named as the “brother group” of D-BOYS.
The group started with three members, but later expanded to 16.
D2’s oldest member is Yamaguchi Kenki who had been a finalist in the 4th D-BOYS audition, second oldest Kamitsuru Toru who later joined as a finalist of the 20th JUNON SUPER BOY CONTEST and Jinnai Sho, a Wantanbe Entertainment school graduate.
Then in 2009 three new members joined; Mitsuya Ryo who had won the Special Jury Prize at the 5th D-BOYS audition and Nishii Yukito who was runner-up (and the youngest ever at age 12) at the same audition, additionally Arai Atsushi joined as the winner of the 21st JUNON SUPER BOY CONTEST. All three joined the troupe D2 in July 2009.
However, it wasn’t till 2010 and the joining of members Akutsu Shintaro, Ikeoka Ryosuke, Oumi Yoichiro and Negishi Takuya in April that D2 finally debuted to the public with their own official website. Shin, Ikepi and Oumi had all been finalist at the 6th D-BOY audition, Shin the grand prix winner, while Ikepi won prix and Oumi the Special Jury Prize. Negishi joined after being a finalist in the 22nd JUNON SUPER BOY CONTEST (and is the youngest member of D2 born in 1996). After joining, all 10 members that year appeared in the movie “Pole Dancing Boys” (2010).
Then in December, the next generation arrived when six new members joined; Yamada Yuki, Konno Ryotaro, Maeyama Takahashi, Shiramata Atsushi, Tsuchiya Shion and Okubo Shotaro. Yamada, Konno, and Mae-chan had all previously been the finalist in the D-BOYS special unit (later named D-DATE) audition, losing out to winner Horri Arata. While, Tsuchiya like Jinnai was a Wantanbe Entertainment school graduate.
With the latest new members the group then expanded to 16 members (although was 17 at one point before the leaving of Konno* in July 2011, and the introduction of the newest member Shison Jun that same month).
In terms of work – similar to D-BOYS the sub-group D2 is promoted collectively as a group but at the same time are encouraged to develop independent careers distanced from the other members in their own drama, cinema and theatre projects. The members also work closely with other D-BOYS members. D2 unlike D-BOYS (had) has no leader.
[EDIT: BIG NEWS] From October, 1st 2013 D2 has merged with D-BOYS as one unit. D2, however, will still work under the name with LIVES and EVENTS.
*Konno Ryotaro actually left Watanabe Ent in July 2011, leaving D2 to concentrate instead on his studies. He had previously appeared with the new members Shiramata Atsushi, Maeyama Takahisa, Tsuchiya Shion, and Okubo Shotaro in Harudoko 2011.
Similar to their senpai’s D-BOYS, D2 has a history with be cast in both Tenimyu, and more recently Tokustasu with Kamen Rider and Super Sentai. However the boys also act in movies, dramas and other productions (outside D-Stage).
Three members of D2 were cast in Seigaku 6th Generation as part of Season 2. Mitsuya Ryo played Shūsuke Fuji, Kamitsuru Toru played Takeshi Momoshiro and Ikeoda Ryosuke played Kaoru Kaidō. The musicals ran from 2010 – 2011 ending with Musical Tennisu no Ōjisama – Seigaku VS Rokkaku.
Other D2 members who also acted in Tenimyu included Yoichiro Oumi as Fudomine’s Mori Tatsunori, both Shotaro Okubo and Jinnai Sho who played St. Rudolph players Kaneda Ichirō and Shinya Yanagisawa respectively. And furthermore Shison Jun who played Mukahi Gakuto from Hyotei.
All up seven members (as of date) performed in Tenimyu.
KAMEN RIDER and SUPER SENTAI
Like several D-BOYS before them (Araki, Suzuki, Ryuki, Taito, Seto, Mikami etc….), Kamen Rider and Super Sentai are almost becoming synonymous with D2 members. The first D2 member cast in a Tokusatsu was Yamada Yuki as Gokai Blue in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger that aired in 2011, with a pirate motif. And then later in the year Tsuchiya Shion landed a role as JK in Kamen Rider Fourze (although Shion had previously acted in another Kamen Rider series before he was a member of D2)
After their success Jinnai Sho was then cast as the antagonist ENTER in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters the 2012 series and this was later followed by Takahashi Maeyama’s villain role in Kamen Rider Wizard.
No D2 member acted in Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger , which aired in 2013. However Shiramata Atsushi is currently acting the 2013-14 Kamen Rider series Kamen Rider Gaim as a “secondary rider”. While Shison Jun has be casted as the Red Super Sentai Hero of the 2014 series Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger that will air later this month and has a train motif. Jun will be the first D2 member to play the protagonist Red Super Sentai coveted role.
OTHER STAGE PRODUCTIONS
As well as appearing in D-Stage productions, several D2 members have performed in some big-titled musicals and butais. Most notably Nishii Yukito in the role of Ceil Phantomhive in the popular Kuroshitsuji musical | Black Butler musical (2010). Additionally both Mae and Oumi acted in the PERSONAL 4 stage plays. While Mitsu and Toru acted in Ninja Kids!. Jun and Tsuchiya both in Tumbling vol 3 (with D-BOY Yanagishita Tomo). To name but a few. (full list here)