Watanabe Entertainment young mens stage acting troupe, D-BOYs performs in various media platforms such as television, film, stage and music. The D in the group names stands for “Drama” (acting work), “Dream”, “Debut”, “Discovery” and “Development” (growth and advancement). However, the group is probably most recognized for their members acting in Tenimyu and Tokusatsu’s.
In early 2004 the unit was formed with the members Yanagi Kotaro, Yamazaki Ichitaro and Endo Yuya who were co-stars in The Prince of Tennis musicals, Tenimyu.
Then mid-2004 the first open D-BOYS audition was held and Grand Prix Winner Nakamura Yuichi, Grand Prix 2nd Winner Igarashi Shunji and Nakamura Katsuki joined.. Following on three months later Shirota Yu joined as did Osamu Adachi, Testsu Shintaro and Minakawa Yuma. And two months after them Araki Hirofumi and Suzuki Hiroki.
In only one year the group had expanded from three to a total of 13 members. However early in 2005 member Yamazaki Ichitaro left the group to pursue solo representation. He was shortly followed by Nakamura Katsuki and Tetsu Shintaro, who have since left the entertainment business.
After their departure, mid 2005, a 2nd D-BOYS audition was held and Grand Prix winner Kumai Kohei , Grand Prix 2nd Winner Seto Koji and Nakagawa Shingo joined the group. 2005 also saw the groups first regular program with DD-BOYS, a television series that was a pseudo-documentary show about the talents of each member.
The 3rd D-BOY audition was held mid 2006 and Grand Prix winner Yanagishita Tomo joined as the newest member shortly afterwards. Grand Prix 2nd placer and winner of sponsor D-View Magazine’s Choice award Makita Tetsuya, addition to the group however was postponed till the following year 2007.
2007 also saw the withdrawal for both Adachi Osamu and Minakawa Yuma, but both remained under the management of Watanabe Entertainment.
May 28th, 2007 the 4th D-BOY open audition was held with Grand Prix winner Usui Masahiro and Mikami Masasahi the winners. Both men didn’t join the group till December. Which was after Third audition’s 2nd Winner Makita Tetsuya and Nakamura Masaya who joined with him.
The 5th D-BOY audition was held a year later (2008), however only the Grand Prix winner was added to the troupe Yamada Yusuke while both the Semi-Grand Prix (Nishii Yukito) and Special Jury Prize winner (Mitsuya Ryo) succeeded to the younger group D2, which later debuted in 2010.
In mid 2008 member Shirota Yu graduated from the group, while at the same time new member Takahashi Ryuki (the youngest) joined, with the last member Hashimoto Taito soon afterwards.
2009 and the 6th D-BOYS audition all winners went to D2.
Then in 2010 a special unit was named to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Wantanabe Ent. The music-group debuted with four members; Seto Koji, Hirofumi Araki, Igarshi Shunji and Nakamura Yuichi but later added a fifth member Horri Arata. However, in 2011 Nakamura Yuichi retired from the group and his replacement named in 2012 (after he cancelled his contract with Watanabe Entertainment) was Yanagishita Tomo.
Since its formation in 2004 the troupe had at one point expanded to 18 members (with some having left such as Shirota Yu and Nakamura Masaya nonetheless still remain under the Watanabe label) and even has a spin-off group D2, which has sixteen members generally all born in the Heisei era.
As of 2014, however, the group has 13 members with leader Endo Yuya, Adachi Osamu and Kaji Masaki since graduated. The current members are Yanagi Kotaro (leader), Wada Masato, Suzuki Hiroki, Araki Hirofumi, Seto Koji, Yanagishita Tomo, Tetsuya Makita, Usui Masahiro, Mikami Masashi, Takahashi Ryuki, Hashimoto Taito, Yamada Yusuke and Horri Arata. However the group also extends to D2 members, for a total of [ 29] members.