31 August 2008

Fan casting: Otomen drama

Ok, I admit I was just all kinds of lazy yesterday which was why I didn't post anything. But there also very little happening in the JE world that I think is newsworthy for me to post about here. I'm sure that will change eventually and there will be a storm of news to make up for the lull, but until then you'll have to forgive me for finding other topics to tie into my love for the Johnny's boys. Like this one.

I'm not usually the kind of person that will fan cast for something that doesn't even exist yet but since becoming a Johnny's fan I've found myself doing just that. The non-existent drama in question is what I imagine would be the adaption of the popular shoujo manga series, Otomen by Kanno Aya.

The basic story revolves around Masamune Asuka, a high school student, whose father left him and his mother when he was a child because he wanted to be a woman. Asuka's mother was of crushed by this and made Asuka promise to become a manly man. The only problem is that Asuka is naturally girly. He loves shoujo manga, cute things, knitting and sewing and is a great baker. He also has a crush on his classmate Miyakozuka Ryou, a girl that is no good at doing girly things but is good at the martial arts.

The moment I thought about who to play Asuka, Inoo Kei from Hey! Say! JUMP jumped immediately to mind. I think he would perfect for the role as it's not too far off his personality as he's shown he can be rather girly. I also think he has the right look to me for the part too.

I honestly don't really know many of the young actresses for Japan so I don't know who to pick for Ryou's role. They probably should be around Inoo's age though I think. And they'll have to pull off cute girl that can hold her own in a fight well. Like a mini-Hirosue Ryoko, who I think does a good job being all cute and then switching over to bad ass for the Yasuko to Kenji drama.

The other main character would be Tachibana Juuta, a classmate of Asuka's who is secretly a manga artist and his manga is actually one of Asuka's favorites. He befriends Asuka and uses him as inspiration for his manga as he admires Asuka's ability to be maiden-like as a guy. At first I was thinking of just keeping it with the Hey! Say! JUMP group after debating it in my mind I ended thinking that Yabu Kota would be able to fit the role the best. Though after thinking about it more I think Fujigaya Taisuke could play Juuta well, and I would love to see him get some drama work even if he's still only a Junior. So I'm not 100% on either but if either get the part I would be happy.

Chinen Yuri can even guest star in an episode as Ariake Yamato, a very small girly looking younger school mate of Asuka's that hero worships him for his 'manliness.'

There are some more ikemen (good looking guy) characters for the series but it really just centers around the main three of Asuka, Ryou and Juuta. Besides I don't think there is a single drama that would cast a full Johnny's male cast so those roles can go to other agency actors.

But yea, this is my little fantasy which makes me happy to dream about. I'm pretty sure it won't happen but until Otomen actually becomes a drama it's a dream I'll be keeping.

29 August 2008

SMAP album up for pre-order

For some reason I did not get an e-mail update for when cdjapan put up this listing. But I visit the site enough that I noticed that they had a link to it on their main page.

Their listing doesn't have too much more information about the release that hasn't been mentioned before. Something to note though is that it will be a 2 CD album and that cdjapan is listing a poster as the first press extra. I really wish some of the other Johnny's would get a first press extra like that. I need a good NEWS poster for my wall...

But here is the link to pre-order the new SMAP album, super.modern.artistic.performance.

super.modern.artistic.performance / SMAP

A.B.C. is made into A.B.C.-Z

One problem with being a Junior fan is that you're bound to have your heart broken at some point because of the choices management makes. I know I'm far from happy about this news and I'm praying that it will be temporary.

At SUMMARY it was announced that Hashimoto Ryosuke will be joining A.B.C. and that they're renaming the unit A.B.C.-Z. I can only assume they're keeping Yamashita Shoon with the group too but I guess we'll know for certain next month with the filming of the next Shounen Club. They've already scheduled concerts, with Kis-My-FtII, for the 'new' group according to Johnny's-net for November 8th and 9th.

I'm not happy with this as I really liked the Top3 combination of Hashimoto, Sanada and Nozawa. So I'm hoping this is just a temporary thing and they'll be taking Hashimoto out of the group later and putting him back with Sanada and Nozawa, this time maybe in a more permanent group.

This is probably one of the more o.O choices Johnny's has made. All the members of A.B.C. are in their early 20s, IIRC, so it's not a big thing age wise for having Shoon join as he will be 20 by the end of the year. Hashimoto though just turned 15, even though he doesn't look it. And unlike Shoon he hadn't really performed with A.B.C. beforehand so it seems like this is coming out of nowhere. I would much rather they just create a new unit then mess around with the few existing ones personally. And I'm sure A.B.C. fans aren't happy with Johnny's changing the unit once again this year.

I'm now worrying about what will happen to Sanada and Nozawa. I first worried about them being pushed back to back dancers again but after thinking about it I don't think that will happen. For the time they were with Hashimoto I'm sure they've each gotten their own growing fanbase and they've been regulars for the Junior League segment for a few months. The next Shounen Club filming happens on the 15th of September and I hope to read in the reports that they're singing as a duo at least.

What I would like to see happen is maybe keep A.B.C.-Z until the end of the year. In early 2009 Hashimoto can leave the group and go back to singing with Sanada and Nozawa, maybe with another Junior ot two added to the group and they get a group name and they're allowed to build a fanbase and maybe, as they're bound to be popular for just having Hashimoto, get their own Junior concert, or a joint one at least in a year or so. But yea, that's my dreaming getting the best of me.

In some happier news, the October A.B.C. & Kis-My-FtII concerts have been extended so they will be doing five concerts now instead of two. This makes me happy of course as it means that ticket sales have been good. I hope this really bodes well for Kis-My-FtII, as I would really love to see them debut. So wishful thinking.

Also Johnny's net finally updated with information about the new SUMMARY concerts. I'm a bit mixed about that as it doesn't give Takaki much of a break at all. At least he can probably take it a bit easier once all the concerts are done though as he doesn't have a drama for the winter season.

28 August 2008

Chotto Taimu Chapter 5

I guess this week just isn't a good week for me when it comes to posts. But I decided to find time to scan another chapter of Chotto Taimu to share.

26 August 2008

Concert news

I was tired after coming home from classes yesterday and the nap I decided to take ended up lasting until the middle of the night so I extended it to the morning. Hence why there was no entry yesterday. I'll try to be more active with posting today to make up for it, thought there really hasn't been too much going on.

I know people have been reporting that SUMMARY has been extended five days, but I don't believe it as I have yet to see anything to verify this. Over on Johnny's net it does show that an extra concert has been added on August 29th though.

Another reason I'm skeptical about SUMMARY being extended is that then it would overlap with the Battery/Gokusen concerts that begin September 1st. And as Nakayama Yuma, B.A.D. and Takaki Yuya are all slated for those concerts then it means any SUMMARY concerts on the same days as the Battery/Gokusen concerts will have to be without all of them. Especially since the concerts are in two completely different locations.

Talking about the Battery/Gokusen concerts, those have been given extra dates according to Johnny's net. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.) So instead of two concerts there will be five. I guess ticket sales must be going very well for it to add those dates.

25 August 2008

SMAP concert and new album news

Didn't think I was going to update again tonight, but when news happens it happens.

It's been announced that SMAP will be releasing a new album at the end of the month and will have a dome concert tour. For SMAP fans I know this is long awaited news, especially the concerts. Yahoo!Japan News has the article that talks about both, in Japanese only though. And it sounds like SMAP is making sure the wait was worth it for their fans.

The album titled, [super. modern.artistic.performance], after the groups initials, will have 19 tracks. It will be released on September 24th, so once it's up for pre-order on cdjapan I'll put up a link to it.

The concerts will all take place in four domes, Tokyo (6 concerts), Fukuoka (3 concerts), Nagoya (2 concerts) and Sapporo (2 concerts). (I will be surprised if they all don't sell out.)

I'm not really a SMAP fan but I do realize that they really did a lot to make JE what it is today. Pretty much all the younger groups can thank SMAP for paving the way for them. Not to mention it's just amazing that they have been around for so long and are still around together.

Their release schedule is rather erratic, probably because nowadays they're more focused on their shows and other aspects of their careers other than the music, so I'm sure this is incredibly exciting news for their fans.

EDIT: Tokyograph has their article out about the news in English.

24 August 2008

Russ-K Weeeek video meme

Internet memes are interesting things. Most likely because you never know what will catch on or not. A recent meme coming over from Japan are parodies of NEWS' Russ-K winter commercial, replacing the members of NEWS with anime characters. If, like me, you need a refresher on which NEWS commercial that is you can view the original News Russ-K commercial here.

There's quite a few of these that you can find with a quick search on youtube. I think my favorite one because I love the series is the Kamen Rider Den-O version. Though it's the figma version that I'm most impressed with as it isn't animated but done with stop motion animation with the actual figures.

It's hard to tell if the boys of NEWS get around the internet and would be able to see any of these. But if they did I think they would enjoy the Dragon Ball Z version as I know Yamapi and Ryo like playing the DBZ Wii game and the series is pretty much a classic in Japan.

October magazine info

Today is just one of those days where it's hard for me to find the energy or drive to do anything. I blame the heat as I do terrible in heat as it just makes me want to sleep all day. So it will be a short entry today about minor things as it seems to be a slow news day for things Johnny's related.

As I was going through Johnny's net I noticed that they updated the magazine section for the Juniors for some of the October issues. Most of it is the usual for who is appearing in what magazine. The only thing that caught my attention is the listing for the October issue for Popolo. Like usual it lists Ikuto Toma and Kis-My-FtII for appearing in the magazine but it also has Johnny's Jr. listed as well. Popolo usually doesn't have a lot of photo shoots for Juniors, they usually just stick to Toma and Kis-My-FtII, which made the September issue with Hashimoto and Sanada a bit of a surprise. Of course with them only listing Johnny's Jr. and not any actual Junior names it's hard to say how present they will be in the issue. Of course it could just be advertising that there are Juniors in the magazine and they are Toma and Kisumai. I guess we'll know when the issue hits the stands.

Myojo is another Junior-lite magazine, keeping them to their own small section and usually get the Johnny's Jr. listing for them so you don't really know who has a photo shoot in it until you look at the magazine. This makes me appreciate Duet, Potato and Wink Up more as they tend to have complete listings of which Juniors will be in their magazine and that they have many more pages dedicated to them than other magazines.

Also in unrelated news I just noticed that the Scrap Teacher drama (which stars four of the ten members of Hey! Say! JUMP) not only will be aired on the same station as Yasuko to Kenji (the drama starring Matsuoka from Tokio and Ohkura from Kanjani8) but will have the same time slot. This makes me happy as it means the week after Yasuko to Kenji ends I'll have Scrap Teacher to start watching. And yes, silly little things make me happy.

23 August 2008

My Thoughts On, Uchi and Kusano Possibly Returning to NEWS

As a NEWS fan I know there is an issue I need to voice my opinion on because it’s one of those topics that people are bound to eventually ask about. That of course is what I think of the two suspended members from the group, Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori.

As I got into NEWS post-hiatus I really only knew NEWS as a six member unit. It kinda confused me to watch their pre-hiatus performances and music videos as there were two ‘extra’ members there. It took me a while to get used to them as I sought out the older NEWS clips.

In a way I can’t help but think the both of them were rather lucky in their punishment. They could have easily gotten the boot from Johnny’s, so being allowed to stay on, even in trainee status (a status even lower than Junior), was a lucky break. I’m glad to know that they were able to keep out of trouble and be promoted to Juniors again. Of course this leads to the question of ‘What now?’

Personally, I’m rather indifferent when it comes to Uchi. He never got my attention in the old clips though I am happy to see that he’s already back to work with the JE, if only for dramas. Whether or not he returns to NEWS I don’t have much of an opinion on. Though I do wish him luck on being able to be a part of Kanjani8 again as the group seems to really want him back.

Kusano on the other hand I have grown to like from the old clips. And while it won’t break my heart if he never returns to NEWS I don’t want him to follow Uchi’s current route and became mainly just an actor. If the rumor about him going overseas to study dance for a year are true, and I hope they are, I definitely want to see him performing again. I don’t care if that means he rejoins NEWS, is re-debuted as a solo artist or with a new group, or even has to go back to performing on Shounen Club, but I want to see him singing and dancing again.

So overall I’m ok if they return to the group or not. The only issue I would have with their return is that I’m afraid some of the members that didn’t get much attention before, like Koyama and Shigeaki, may once again get pushed to the side for them. But I think they’ve done well since the return to establish themselves in the group and build fanbases that will make sure they won’t be overshadowed by a return of Uchi and Kusano.

22 August 2008

NEWS Happy Birthday single information

Well it looks like JE took no time in making sure their site was updated with the latest information for a new release for a change. Usually it takes a couple of days from the cdjapan listing for Johnny's net to have the information about it up. You can view the information in Japanese here.

What I can get from the Japanese is that both editions will have a 6 page booklet, which if I'm reading the Japanese correctly is the fold out variety. The differences between the Limited Edition and the Regular edition will be track listings and artwork for the jackets.

The track list for the Limited Edition is:

1) Happy Birthday
2) ガンガンガンパッテ(Gan Gan Gan Party)
4) Happy Birthday (original karaoke)

The track listing for the Regular Edition is:

1) Happy Birthday
2) ガンガンガンパッテ(Gan Gan Gan Party)
3) Push Oh!

From the cdjapan listings it looked like the singles were only two songs each so it's nice to see that they are still the usual three like most NEWS singles. Even though it's not the most precise way to make a judgment on, but by going by the song titles of the B-sides it sounds like they will upbeat songs and no ballads. I think NEWS just might have the least ballads of any JE group (not counting Hey! Say! JUMP as they haven't even released an album yet).

But like I mentioned in my last post with this single it pretty much insures that the next cd release for NEWS will be an album. And I really hope the content of the album is more like Pacific than Touch, as I'm sure most NEWS fans like me feel that Pacific is the stronger album of the two.

20 August 2008

NEWS new single

Well I guess Johnny's didn't have us speculating for long for how Happy Birthday will be released. A few minutes ago I got my update from cdjapan about the release and I already have my copies pre-ordered. I highly recommend making sure to at least pre-order the Limited Edition as that tends to sell out quickly.

I'm excited about this release as it means that the next NEWS cd release has to be an album and I can't wait for that. Especially if it's as good as Pacific was.

Happy Birthday [Regular Edition] / NEWS

Happy Birthday [Limited Edition] / NEWS

Johnny's boys' No, 1 Love Songs

Yesterday I picked up the September issue of Popolo. I usually skip this magazine as I don't like their photo shoots as much as the other magazines but this was the issue first issue Hashimoto Ryosuke and Sanada Yuma had a photo shoot in (and I'm quite saddened that Nozawa Yuki wasn't included with them) and I couldn't resist the sad puppy looks of NEWS as they had them pretend cry.

For most of the groups in this issue they were asked about what their number 1 love song was. I believe I saw someone make a post about NEWS' answers but I'm unsure about the other groups. In any case I'll list them all as I know I can do that much at least. This will be in order of appearance in the magazine. Also besides HSJ each one had a theme to them. I'm not 100% about translating those as they're pretty kanji heavy but I'm sure I'm not far off the mark if I'm not right.

Hey! Say! JUMP No.1 Love Song

Yamada Ryosuke (Ai no Katamari - Kinki Kids)
Nakajima Yuto (BON BON - Hey! Say! 7)
Chinen Yuri (Ima Ai wo Katarou - Arashi)
Morimoto Ryutarou (Ai no Katamari - Kinki Kids)
Okamoto Keito (Ai wa Nude - TOKIO)
Arioka Daiki (Lionheart - SMAP)
Takaki Yuya (Ai Nante - NEWS)
Inoo Kei (Another Christmas - Kinki Kids)
Yaotome Hikaru ( Boku no Senaka ni wa Hane ga Aru - Kinki Kids)
Yabu Kota (Ai no Katamari - Kinki Kids)

Personal comments:

Yamada's and Chinen's selections to me are the least surprising of the lot as Yamada is a big Domoto Koichi fan and everyone knows that Chinen is a huge Ohno Satoshi fan. I'm quite amused at Yuto's self-pimping choice of BON BON. And it looks like Kinki Kids' Ai no Katamari is the popular choice of the group and Kinki Kids songs in general are popular. I think the biggest surprise in choice for me is Takaki picking Ai Nante. Partly because it's more of a heartbreak song than love song. From what I could gleam from his explanation of choosing the song it's all about Tegoshi and how great he was singing the song which is little help unless this is his subtle way of showing that he loves Tegoshi. XD

NEWS No. 1 Love Song (Summer Romance)

Yamashita Tomohisa (Manatsu no Kajitsu - The Southern All Stars)
Masuda Takahisa (Osaka LOVER - Dreams Come True)
Nishikido Ryo (Uta Utai no Ballad - Kazuyoshi Saito)
Kato Shigeaki (Mou Hitotsu no Doyoubi - Hamada Shogo)
Koyama Keiichiro (Everything - MISIA)
Tegoshi Yuya (Propose - TUBE)

Personal comments:

It's a bit interesting to see that NEWS is only one of the only two groups that picked none Johnny's songs. I've only heard MISIA's Everything before and it just didn't catch on with me, though I do recall it was a pretty sizable hit for her when it came out. While I haven't heard the songs I am a bit familiar with The Southern All Stars (who are pretty big in Japan though seem to be practically unknown in Western J-pop fandom) and Dreams Come True. Based on my personal impressions on them I'll probably be willing to check out Manatsu no Kajitsu as I enjoyed the few songs of The Southern All Stars I've heard.

KAT-TUN No. 1 Love Song (That they've sung themselves.)

Kamenashi Kazuya (CRAZY LOVE - KAT-TUN)
Akanishi Jin (Care - Akanishi Jin)
Taguchi Junnosuke (Yorokobi no Uta - KAT-TUN)
Tanaka Koki (Your Side - KAT-TUN)
Ueda Tatsuya (Ai no Hana - Ueda Tatsuya)
Nakamaru Yuichi (OUR STORY ~Prologue~ - KAT-TUN)

Personal comments:

I'm taking a bit of an educated guess with their theme for their favorite love song. But it did strike me as odd that they were the only group that picked their own songs and from the little Japanese I know, I think I'm not too far off. Junno's choice seemed like an odd one for me at first until I thought about it a little and an energetic song like that probably does fit him best. Plus I just like the song so I'm not argue his pick at all. XD;

Hashimoto & Sanada No. 1 Love Song (Summer Romance)

Hashimoto Ryosuke (Koi Uta - Tackey & Tsubasa)
Sanada Yuma (Anniversary - Kinki Kids)

Personal comments:

It seems like all the younger boys took their picks from older Johnny's acts. Not that I'm going to complain too much about it as it was a big help when I had to look up song titles with kanji in them. At least Hashimoto picked a song from a group that no one else did, Tackey & Tsubasa.

Kis-My-FtII No. 1 Love Song (Summer Romance)

Kitayama Hiromitsu (Seppaku no Tsuki - Kinki Kids)
Fujigaya Taisuke (Seppaku no Tsuki - Kinki Kids)
Wataru Yokoo (Neji - Ninomiya Kazunari)
Senga Kento (Kimi wo Omou Toki - TOKIO)
Nikaido Takashi (Lionheart - SMAP)
Tamamori Yuta (LOVE SONG - Yamashita Tomohisa)
Miyata Toshiya (One Love - Arashi)

Personal comments:

I think one of the reasons I question whether or not I'm getting my Japanese right is that even though it seems like the theme is summer romance Kitayama and Fujigaya pick a song that is off of Kinki Kids very winter-esque single SNOW!SNOW!SNOW! even the song title is quite wintery as it translates out to Snow White Moon. I'm a bit surprised that Fujigaya didn't pick a Tanaka Koki or at least a KAT-TUN song as Koki is the senpai he admires. But then again I don't think any of Koki's songs can be considered romantic so maybe that's why. XD

Kanjani8 No. 1 Love Song (Summer Romance)

Shibutani Subaru (Inori - Kobayashi Tateki)
Nishikido Ryo (Uta Utai no Ballad - Kazuyoshi Saito)
Maruyama Ryuhei (Naite mo Ii ka - Yashiki Takajin)
Yasuda Shota (Way to Love - Karasawa Miho)
Ohkura Tadayoshi (Mou Hitotsu no Doyoubi - Hamada Shogo)
Murakami Shingo (Senjou no Merry Christmas - Sakamoto Ryuichi)
Yokoyama Yu (Futarigoto - RADWIMPS)

Personal comments:

Arrgh! It took me so long to find the title of Murakami's song. It was really just the kanji that held me up as the rest was easy. In fact the whole title could have been easy if he picked the other title it is known by Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence instead. Finding the romanji reading for the first name of the singer of Subaru's song was a real pain too. Other than that as I'm not really a Kanjani8 fan there's not too much I have to say. Though I am now a bit more interested in Mou Hitotsu no Doyoubi as Ohkura is the second one to choose that song, Shigeaki of course the first, in these lists.

18 August 2008

Chotto Taimu Chapter 4

Well I began my summer class today and even though it looks like it'll be a lot of work as it's cramming a quarter's worth of material into four weeks it seems like it'll be fun too. I didn't sleep much last night though so I'm pretty tired now. Thankfully I thought ahead a bit last week and made sure to prepare some things for days like this.

So here is the next chapter of Kato Kan's Chotto Taimu, published in the Shogakuyonensei magazine.

Hyakushiki-Ou 12AUG2008 Ice

I guess sometimes I underestimate my ability to get completely sidetracked, but as it doesn't seem like I'm going to get sleep for a while I'm still able to meet my goal of catching up with Hyakushiki-Ou episodes.

We get the same start but it is apparent that someone's missing for this episode and that someone happens to be Fujigaya Taisuke. The only explanation I can think of for his absence is that the classroom segments were taped last month when Fujigaya would have been busy with participating in the KAT-TUN concerts. Kinda makes you wonder how far in advance episodes for this show get taped and how they'll deal with all the boys being busy with SUMMARY all throughout August.

Getting back to the episode though in the classroom segment it seems like they lost another boy as there are only Shoon, Sanada and Takada there with an empty seat amongst them. We hear Keito call out "Inocchi" a couple of times before we're shown the big screen TV next to Inohara with Keito on the screen. Keito enters a room that has a small portable ice rank, called Extra Ice, which is then discussed about. Keito then gets to give skating on the Extra Ice a try and does alright, though at one point he tries to do a twirl and almost falls from it.

It a commercial break and time to move on to the next subject, ice used for treats that you eat. Shoon and Sanada are the on location footage boys again but they're not together. They both get bicycles to ride as they need to cover a bit of ground as they search for places that sell frozen desserts, particularly shaved ice, in a competition between the two.

Sanada gets followed first as he begins his search. He asks for help with directions from a local to find his first spot but still manages to get lost. Shoon has much better luck and finds his first place soon and gets to eat.

Shoon's luck continues and he finds his second place with little trouble and gets to eat again. Then he finds his third spot. Sanada in the meantime finally makes it to his first place and of course gets to enjoy the ice treat there.

Shoon continues his streak and finds his fourth place easily but before we're shown anything about it things switch over to Sanada again as he finds his second. It goes back to Shoon and we see him get a milk & rose flavored ice treat. I kinda had to cringe then as I've had rose flavored ice cream before and it was the weirdest taste as it tasted like you really were eating the flower itself.

Shoon's next place is a bit of a trek but he still seems to have no problem finding the places he needs to. Sanada finds his next place inside a department building where he finds the one after that as well. Sanada also finds his fifth place in the department building so he's able to begin catching up with Shoon rather quickly in this competition.

Shoon makes it to the department building but as part of the competition he can't mark off the same places Sanada has already been to which by then was everything in the building. So he ends up having to go elsewhere to find a place Sanada hasn't been to. As he enjoys his flavored ice Sanada shows up.

The competition is then over and we go back to the classroom were the winner is decided. Inohara has them pull out the utensils from each spot they ate at and in the end Sanada had more, though Shoon tried to use a rubber band to match him. So Sanada wins and we're shown the two places that Sanada made it to that gave him the win. His prize is also revealed to be a large block of ice.

The ending clip is quite cute as it has Sanada and Shoon playing around in one of those painted boards with holes to put your face through.

17 August 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 05AUG2008 Olympics pt.2

I kinda can't believe I only have one more episode of Hyakushiki-Ou left before I'm finally caught up. I do still plan on doing that later tonight though I get the feeling that at my pace it'll be sometime around midnight. -__-;;

The second episode that covers the Olympics is set up like the first. You get a quiz and then they talk about a world record in the classroom with something there to allow the boys to try to copy it. This first one is the long jump so the have Sanada walk out across the floor from a marking on it to what he believes is the approximate distance that the world record is held at. Shoon is then asked to guess the distance which he makes his own jump to help his guess. They then bring out a mannequin, dubbed Habatobi-kun, to be placed at the world record distance. Both guesses fall short and we get a good look at a part of the studio past the classroom set as Habatobi-kun is brought to the correct distance from the white mark (8m95cm).

It's the first commercial break and then they return with the next quiz segment. It leads in to footage talking about the hammer and discus throwing events and how the equipment for the events are made.

Another commercial break and the program again starts off with a quiz segment that leads into the on location shoot. Again it's Shoon and Sanada doing the shoot and this time they're giving fencing a try. They learn the moves before being allowed to go against opponents. Of course as beginners neither wins their matches but at least they can both say they at least got a couple points. Shoon's match is more amusing to watch as he's put against a female fencing student who he backs quickly away from at the very start of the match.

After that they go back to the classroom where Sanada and Shoon talk about the experience. Inohara then asks about favorite Olympic sports. Takada picks baseball (most likely because he was in the baseball drama, Battery), Keito picks volleyball and says it's because he was a volleyball supporter. Inohara takes the time to mention he did the same when he debuted with V6 then lists all the groups that debuted as volleyball supporters, though he seemed to have a little trouble remembering Hey! Say! JUMP's name. XD

The episode ends there and the preview shown reveals that ice will be the next episode's topic. The little end clip shows Habatabi-kun again.

And I was just ready to go to bed...

As the entry title says I was doing the usual last check of links before I turned into the night and found some new news for NEWS. (Now say that ten times fast. XD)

There's been a rumor that NEWS will be doing a new song for KOSE, best known for its cosmetics. And according to this Nikkan Sports article the rumor is true. The commercial is set to air on the 19th of this month and will feature a brand new NEWS song titled Happy Birthday.

It doesn't mention Happy Birthday being a new single so it could end up being like Change the World and be an album track. NEWS has released three singles and usually an album comes out after three or four singles so Happy Birthday could just as easily be an album track as it could be a new single. I guess we'll find out soon enough when the solicitations for their next release come out.

Showa x Heisei Bouken Rider live

Ok, I didn't get the write up for the next episode of Hyakushiki-Ou done, mainly because I just felt I had to watch Phelps get his historical eighth gold medal. I feel kinda bad for not getting the Hyakushiki write up done though, even though it just means I need to do two tomorrow as I'm too tired to stay up to watch an episode of anything now. So instead I decided to share the live performance of Bouken Rider by Yamada Ryosuke, Morimoto Ryutarou & Nakajima Yuto from their show Showa x Heisei.

Of course after watching the performance I thought that it might be more appropriate to say it was a Yamada feat. Morimoto & Yuto performance of Bouken Rider. I mean I like Yamada, he's one of my favorite members of Hey! Say! JUMP and there's no doubt he's got talent, but it just feels like Morimoto and Yuto got the shaft for this performance as Yamada was the only one with solo lines and they only sung the chorus with him.

I mean when Hey! Say! BEST perform songs on Hi! Hey! Say! the other members that aren't even the hosts of the program get solo lines. In fact that's usually the only performances they get solo lines. So it just doesn't seem right that only one of the three HSJ hosts of Showa x Heisei gets all the solo lines in a performance they're all in. I hope this doesn't become habitual because the other boys need some time to shine especially when Yamada is already the golden boy of the group.

Other than that issue I have with the performance it was rather cute, especially with the fact that they made sure to use the younger and smaller Juniors to back dance for them.

16 August 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 29JUL2008 Olympics pt.1

There are only two more Hyakushiki-Ou episodes after this one and then I'll be caught up. I'm going to see about trying to do one of those episodes sometime later today, if not I'll do the last two tomorrow.

I have to admit with the first question of the quiz I made the same mistake as Sanada in thinking the answer was Greece as the birthplace of the Olympics and felt a bit dumb when the answer was revealed as Olympia. Actually for this quiz segment if you have a good knowledge of the Olympics it's not too hard to guess what the questions are as they all come with a visual aid.

Unlike the previous two episodes there is an on location shoot with the boys, but before they get to that there's a classroom segment to talk about the high jump record. They bring up a jump bar in the classroom to the height of the record which everyone seems amazed at the thought someone could make it over something that high. Sanada does a little jump to see if he can reach it and then everyone has him jump again to see if how high he he can reach on it but the only thing he gets over it is one of his hands. And then it's back to the usual quiz segment.

The two doing the on location shoots for the Olympic episodes are Yamashita Shoon and Sanada Yuma. As I'm slowly getting to like Sanada more and more I had little problem with this pairing. Fujigaya and Shoon though are still my favorites though. But back to the episode. Shoon and Sanada are covering archery. Shoon does rather well for a beginner and Sanada on the other hand does rather lousy.

They go back then to the classroom where they talk about archery some more. Then it's a final quiz segment for the episode as they switch from archery to swimming and gymnastics. I have to wonder how serious Shoon was when he answered that the female gymnastic uniform type is called sexy. XD

They then do another classroom segment to talk about another world record. Takada guesses correctly which record will be discussed, weightlifting, after Shoon mimes it and guessed dumbbell. It's really cute to see how excited Takada was to have gotten the answer right. They then show the weight that was brought in to the studio that is set up to be the same weight as the world record (263kg). Keito stubbornly tries to get it to budge but with no success. Inohara then asks Shoon and Fujigaya to give it a go together and they have no better luck. And after that it's the end of the show.

Next episode will be the second episode covering the Olympics. And we get an end shot of Sanada trying to lift the weight himself and of course failing.

One thing that struck me in this episode was Keito's confidence that he could somehow move that weight. I think everyone who has followed Hey! Say! JUMP has noticed that he has some pretty pumped up looking arms for a 15 year old. So I can't help but think that this helps prove that he must do weight training of some form as he doesn't come off as someone who would volunteer to do something like that without some confidence that he can be successful. Of course this is all my speculation but I seriously would not be surprised if it were true.

15 August 2008

Nakama Junta injured at SUMMARY

I meant to make an entry about this earlier but I get distracted easily and tend to forget things. -__-;;

According to this Daily Sports article (in Japanese only), Nakama Junto was injured on the first day of SUMMARY. According to the article he twisted his ankle which ended up becoming a sprain fracture. Despite this he went on to perform 10 more concerts and was on crutches when he wasn't on stage.

Thankfully they also reported that he's resting now and seeing a doctor in the Kansai area where he is now and that he is healing well.

I know entertainers can insist on doing things that could possibly injure them more when they've been hurt as they feel obligated to perform for all the fans that have come to see them. And while I can admire the sentiment behind such actions I end up just wishing that if they're that hurt/injured they wouldn't as they could just make it so much more worse if they continue. And I think fans would rather have a full and healthy idol than an injured one.

Like his fans I'm hoping for a speedy and full recovery for him and I'm glad he's taking it easy now. I just wish he didn't push himself so much before hand though.

14 August 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 22JUL2008 Fireworks

Since I start my summer class next week I want to try to catch up with Hyakushiki episodes as I doubt I'm going to have a lot of energy after commuting back and forth from where I live to Seattle and having 3 hour classes four days of the week.

This episode is about fireworks. Same format as past episodes as it begins with a quiz segment to introduce the topic. They then watch different fireworks on a screen and are told which are what kind. So like the episode before unless you're actually interested in the topic ans understand Japanese these segments will probably be a bit boring, especially if you've seen fireworks before.

It's back to quizzing again then. Shoon surprised me a bit when he said 'star fire' as it actually sounded like 'star fire' and not 'staa fayaa'. Inohara seemed to be helping them more than usual with figuring out the answers. This is another episode that for some reason they didn't send out any of the boys for an on location shoot. Kinda don't blame them for that since the idea of the boys playing with the kind of big fireworks they were showing off is rather scary and I'm sure Johnny's doesn't want to lose one of their idol boys to a fireworks accident. So instead the location shoot follows a story about a young man who hires out a fireworks company to put on a display as part of his plan to ask his girlfriend to marry him. It's all rather sweet.

It goes back to quizzing again, this time showing off the more interesting fireworks. Like a hand held one that after it finishes going off reveals a message on it and another hand held one that will blow up a balloon on it once done burning up.

They then finally do something with the boys and fireworks by having a classroom segment with them both. Thankfully it's only the small toy ones and they have a plastic container to light them over. Inohara opens a box of handmade sparklers for the boys to use in a competition they'll compete in to win the pack of fireworks displayed earlier. They each pick a sparkler and start the game, which simply is to have their sparkler last the longest. On Inohara's signal, after they've darkened the room they all light the lighters they each have and then set their sparklers off. Fujigaya ends up winning, much to his surprise.

They have Keito promote Hey! Say! JUMP's single Your Seed/Bouken Rider and then show the clips for the next episode which is the first of the two Olympic Games themed episodes.

The end shot is of everyone checking out Fujigaya's prize.

Takada Sho in a drama SP plus some maybe not so JE related news

Takada Sho has been chosen to star in a drama SP titled, Honto ni Atta Kowai Hanashi (True Scary Stories). He will be sharing his starring position with three other actors as the SP will be in four segments. The SP will air on Fuji TV on August 26th. You can read the Tokyograph article, which is in English, here.

I'm happy for Takada. I'm still a bit indifferent to him on Hyakushiki-Ou, but it finally seems like with the other younger boys on the show he's opening up more on camera, an essential trait for any idol to have, IMHO. Johnny's keeping him busy of course is a good sign that they must see some potential in him, and since he's only 14 he has more than enough time to work on what he needs to work on hopefully for a debut someday down the road.

And in other news, that may not really be JE related but they were the first thing I thought of when I saw the article on the BBC news page. The article talks about that a sequel to Kung-Fu Panda is in the pipeline for production, I'm really not surprised at the news at all as almost every successful children's movie gets a sequel nowadays. Of course for the original movie in Japan it had a couple of JE ties, with Yamaguchi from Tokio doing the voice of the lead character. I hope he reprises his role, if just for the selfish reason that it irks me when voice actors change. And of course Hey! Say! JUMP had the tie-in to the movie with Your Seed used as its theme song. In a way I hope they do the theme song for the sequel as well, though it'll be at least a couple years before it comes out.

Yamashita Shoon & A.B.C. musings

The scans for the September issues of the Johnny's magazines are out and even though they were only just introduced as Yamashita Shoon & A.B.C. a few weeks ago they already have a group photo shoot and article together. It's well known that most photo shoots and articles are done for these magazines a couple months in advance. This makes me wonder how long in the making this group actually was. Though I guess it could be theorized that with July's Shounen Club being the Kansai Junior SC episodes and A.B.C. being busy with concerts for the August SC episode recordings there just wasn't really a chance to introduce the group to the public. Either way it still seems like a quick turn around between the group getting introduced and them getting featured together in a magazine.

It's rather strange to see Shoon with anyone other than his younger brother Reon in a photo shoot. To me he doesn't look like he fits with the group, though that just might be as I am so used to seeing A.B.C. as a four person group. That and I can't get the thought that this is only a temporary thing as JE didn't know what to do with Shoon and it wouldn't be the first time A.B.C. had a fifth member. I think I'm just going to have to see them perform and interact together more before I can really wrap my head around this group.

13 August 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 15JUL2008 Jewels

Finally getting back to trying to catch up on Hyakushiki-Ou episodes. I won't be spending much time with this episode as it's one of the more boring episodes, unless you understand Japanese and really want to learn about gem stones.

It's the usual intro quiz to start the episode off with. Keito and Takada seemed to be answering most of the questions, which is a bit of a reversal compared to the last two episodes but later in the episode it's pretty even with everyone giving answering a shot.

After that they talk about birthstones by Inohara pulling out a board that has them listed and telling each boy which birth stone is their's. For those curious, Yamashita Shoon is December which is turquoise, Fujigaya Taisuke is June which is pearl, Sanada Yuma is November which is topaz, Takada Sho is September which is blue sapphire, and Okamoto Keito is April which is diamond. I've included the screen they put up with all the stones and their corresponding birth months.

It's back to quiz again before they're shown footage of some jewelry stores. I'm not sure if everyone's schedules were too busy or maybe they couldn't find anyone who trusted the boys in a jewelry store or something but there is no on location shoots for this episode. But as they can't got to the jewels they bring some to them in the classroom. They play a game with a variety of different diamonds, trying to guess which one is worth the most. Shoon ends up winning after Takada and Fujigaya fail to find the right one.

They then watch a segment about how to buy jewelry at a store that asks the boys questions as it goes along. Then it's closing comments and another episode comes to an end.

Next episode will be fireworks.

12 August 2008

Shogakuyonensei Gokusen scans

When I scanned the chapters of Chotto Taimu I also scanned the pages in those Shogakuyonensei magazines that pertained to Johnny's. It just so happens that the issues with chapters 2 & 3 of Chotto Taimu had a few pages focusing on Gokusen and the Gokusen trio (Takaki Yuya & B.A.D.). I figured I might as well go ahead and share them so I put them in a ZIP file and uploaded them on Megaupload.

11 August 2008

SUMMARY 2005 pamphlet photos

Earlier this year I was able to get my hands on the concert pamphlet for the 2005 SUMMARY which starred NEWS and Ya-Ya-Yah. I thought about scanning it to share, but as I spent about $50 for it I just couldn't bring myself to do so and risk severely damaging it. So unless I find myself with a lot more money, like getting a bunch of clicks on the ads on the blog, and I can buy a second pamphlet book I won't be scanning this. Instead I decided to take photos of it, so I could at least show off what it looks like.

I'm not the kind of person that buys a bunch of concert goods, I kinda want to wait until I finally make it to a concert to make them just that more special to me. But this showed up on ebay a few months ago and after seeing some of the page previews I just knew I had to give it a try. And I will confess one of the reasons I chose to was the fact that it had a young Takaki Yuya in it that I did so. I feel like a dork for doing so, but it's so hard to find older Takaki photos as he joined when he was older so there aren't any chibi pics of him.

Another reason of course was that it was NEWS oriented and it was still when Kusano Hironori was still a part of the group. Even though I didn't become a NEWS fan until they came back from their year of suspension as a six member group, I grew to like Kusano watching their older footage. I really hope he gets back to performing again at some point even if it isn't with NEWS, as Johnny's seems willing to keep him and Uchi on after they've gone through their trial time after their suspensions.

I also find it interesting to look at the groups and individuals pictured in the book to look at where they are now. As I just mentioned NEWS is now a six member group. There has definitely been some shuffling in the Junior groups and I was surprised to see that A.B.C. wasn't in this SUMMARY but Kis-My-FtII was, with their 'i' still with the group. In the Junior pages Yamada Ryosuke and Sanada Yuma each get a profile head shot. They are also the only Juniors from those pages that I recognize, as Yamada has moved on to debut and Sanada is featured on Shonen Club with Top3 and on Hyakushiki-Ou.

I'm really glad I was able to buy this. At the moment it's the most precious piece of JE merchandise I own to me. I really hope one day I'll be able to afford to go to a Johnny's concert and buy concert goods when I'm there that I'll cherish long afterwards as I'll have the memory of a concert attached to them.

Link to download the ZIP of the photos.

10 August 2008

Johnny's and Olympic dreams

I meant to post yesterday but I've been sucked in by the Olympics this year. I normally don't watch them much but I find myself now getting drawn in to whatever footage they are showing. I am a bit miffed at the fact that everything is airing to late in the US, and more so on the West Coast as we're not getting to watch anything live. It seems only the East Coast is lucky enough to get any of the little bit of live coverage CBS is broadcasting.

Of course I'm hardly the only disgruntled Olympics fan and CBS has a job made out for themselves as they try to stop people on the net finding foreign Olympics coverage to watch instead. I haven't gotten to that extreme though I have been tempted to check out some of the Japanese Olympics coverage. Partly just because Sakurai Sho from Arashi is over there as an announcer. Arashi is also connected to the games with their song Kaze no Mukou e, which is on their upcoming single, being used by the Japanese channel covering the Olympics as a theme song.

Here is the PV for Kaze no Mukou e.

Like I mentioned, I normally don't watch the Olympics. In 2004 I was on an odd work schedule so I didn't have the chance to watch many of the events. This year though my schedule is very free so I have had ample time to watch not only the events but the prelims. Watching the men's gymnastics prelims I have to say I was really amazed. I'm used to seeing women's gymnastics which look drastically different than the men's. It's really amazing to see them perform and I'm really looking forward to the actual competition to see whether Japan will out perform China again like they did in Athens. Chinen Yuri's father won a bronze medal in men's gymnastics at the Olympics and it looks like Chinen has his father's talent with all the acrobatics he performs. I can't help but wonder that if Chinen didn't join Johnny's if he might have been making his Olympic debut in the 2012 London Olympics. I guess we'll never know but it'll be something I'll probably wonder about from time to time.

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nakajima Yuto!

08 August 2008

Takizawa Hideaki in a drama SP & some general blog talk

Takizawa Hideaki will be in a drama SP later this year on TV Asahi. The name of the SP is Kokuchi Sezu where he plays the role of a son of a surgeon who specializes in cancer. He only has a co-starring role, veteran actor, Watari Tetsuya, will play the lead role in the SP. There's a news report in English about the announcement here.

In other non-JE related news...

Writing up yesterday's entry I realized that I have caught up with the one entry a day ratio that I lapsed on last month. I think I'll keep having a bit of a freer update schedule that I have been doing since then. So there will still at least be one entry per day but I may go ahead and split things up so it's easier to tag.