31 January 2009

Hey! Say! 7 on Minna no Uta

Well it looks like 2009 might just end up being the year we begin to get Hey! Say! JUMP subunit releases. And I'm saying this in light of the news that Hey! Say! 7 subunit will be doing a song for the time filler program Minna no Uta. The song is called Salsa Iina Iine and will join the block in April and will air for two months.

What Minna no Uta is for those who don't know, it's a block of songs, aimed mainly for children but some are more for a general audience, that is placed between programs on NHK to fill time. It runs a few times during the day and the songs are generally set to animation, IIRC. A couple of famous J-pop singers that have done a song for this program are Utada Hikaru and Ringo Shiina. Also to note early Johnny's group Four Leaves did a song for the program back when they were a Johnny's group.

Minna no Uta page for the April-May songs. (Japanese only.)

I think it's interesting to see that Johnny's is finally moving in the direction of having the subunits begin to release their own songs. Of course I expect this song to end up being a B-side to the rumored upcoming single. I hope Hey! Say! BEST will get a song with tie-in for it as well if that's the case.

Johnny's J-Rock in Osaka and Arashi begins promotions

This seems like a good time to be a fan of Johnny's rock groups/artists. Not only were the two Junior groups, FiVe and Question? rather busy with concerts all throughout the holiday season but they also have concerts for the first quarter of the year as well with Matchy and Subaru from Kanjani8 with FiVe as Flat Five Flowers. For the concert page at Johnny's net it has updated to note that Matchy, FiVe, Question? and Flat Five Flowers will have some special guests for their concerts, Tackey, Tsubasa (but both at different concerts) and Nomura Yoshio, who is a Johnny's that debuted with Matchy and also had a group band called The Good-Bye, which of course has been disbanded for some time.

Also Johnny's net lists that Arashi will be appearing on Hey! Hey! Hey! No doubtedly to promote their upcoming single. Filming is scheduled for the 8th so they should be on the episode that airs right after that date.

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Yabu Kota and Shingo Katori!

29 January 2009

Several news bits

Johnny's net has finally updated KAT-TUN's discography page to include RESCUE and has the B-side information up as well. The B-side that will be on all versions of the single is titled 7 DAYS BATTLE. The B-side that will only be on the First Press version is titled On Your Mind -Please come back to me-, which is a bit interesting to note that the B-side for the First Press edition of One Drop is title On My Mind, as it makes me wonder if the two songs are supposed to be connected though they do each have different song writers...

Arashi's new single Believe will have two PVs for that track. One will come with the LE version of the single with the Believe PV while the other can be purchased through the Japanese media site Dwango. The version for sale on Dwango is animated with the members of Arashi transforming into various Tatsunoko (the studio that did Yatterman) heroes.

Tokyograph article. (English)

On a sadder note Aoyama Takashi of the early Johnny's group Four Leaves has passed away from his battle with cancer.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Hyakushiki-Ou 02DEC2008 Shibuya

Getting back to catching up on Hyakushiki-Ou episodes. This is the first December episode and one of the more entertaining ones as the topic is Shibuya, one of Tokyo's most popular special wards.

When it first goes to the studio/classroom Inohara shows several shots of Shibuya of the past and present. This eventually turns into a bit of a quiz as the boys get to look at the older photos and try to guess what part of Shibuya it was.

Sanada gets to quiz the class this time instead of Shoon. I think it's really beginning to show that Sanada is getting much more comfortable in front of the camera, which is nice to see. This quiz pretty much focuses on prices, like how much to put up a minute advertisement on the big screen on the famous Q's Eye building and the like.

Moving on to the last and the most entertaining part of the episode the boys come out in popular fashions for different eras. Of course this means cross dressing for half of them, Keito, Shoon and Sanada. I think cross dressing just might be some kind of strange rite of passage for Johnny's to go through as so many of them have done so at some point in their careers. XD

And that leads us to the credits.

And then the end clip which is a preview of the next episode about magic.

28 January 2009

Sailor KAT-TUN?

Since learning more about the upcoming KAT-TUN concerts I'm getting rather excited about them. I was guessing that the seven themes would be the corresponding element/character of the day they would be performing. And it actually looks like my speculation isn't too far off. The themes have been announced to be based off the planets, minus Earth and I still feel weird thinking that Pluto isn't a planet either. But both the days of the week and planets share kanji, which is what makes it rather easy to figure out which day will be which planet for most of them.

So the days and themes should look something like this:

金曜日/Friday is 金星 (Venus)
土曜日/Saturday is 土星 (Saturn)
火曜日/Tuesday is 火星 (Mars)
水曜日/Wednesday is 水星 (Mercury)
木曜日/ Thursday is 木星 (Jupiter)

The only two planets that don't have a corresponding day of the week are 天王星 (Uranus) and 海王星 (Neptune), because 日曜日Sunday and 月曜日/Monday use the kanji for day/sun and moon. I would guess Sunday would be Uranus because Sun and Skies/Heaven go well together as do Moon and Ocean for Monday and Neptune.

Based on this I think I would rather go either Wednesday or Thursday, as I like those elements. I really hope nothing happens that would prevent me from going as I'm sure these concerts will be great.

27 January 2009

Odds and Ends

Well it's another dry patch news-wise for Johnny's. Though after KAT-TUN's big concert announcement they probably don't need any other big news announcements for a bit. But I've heard that for the Tokyo Dome concerts each day will have a unique theme, so it's like they want people to go all seven days, which I can't imagine doing unless you really have that much money to burn and/or that big of a KAT-TUN fan.

I think the only thing that could be worth mentioning is that Tackey's butai will come to an end today and Tsubasa's solo tour began over the weekend so even though they haven't released anything together for sometime, Tackey & Tsubasa are keeping themselves busy.

I'm too tired tonight to try to make a more involved post than this. I do have some drama reviews to write up, as I'm just about to finish Engine and began watching Uta no Onii-san. I also need to get back to doing Hyakushiki-Ou summaries so I can finally catch up with those. But first and foremost I'm getting some sleep.

26 January 2009

Time Capsule: October 15th, 2007

I've been going through some of my old LJ entries and stumbled across a couple of Johnny's related onces from when I was just getting into Johnny's and Juniors that I wanted to put up on this blog so I can find them easier to remind myself what a newbie I was back then. XD I mean I can't believe I wrote some of what I did because I know so much better now then I did back then. But I guess we all have to start somewhere.

This one is mainly Kis-My-Ft2 love with comments about other Johnny's on the side. I had to update the links though as almost all the videos have been taken done since then.


"Since the original Hey!Say! 7 got me to pay attention to the Juniors of JE I've been finding new JE boys that have caught my attention from them, instead of looking at the other debuted groups. I had been trying to learn more about Ya Ya Yah but the creation of Hey!Say! JUMP has put the future of that group in very murky waters. (I really wish JE would come out and say if Yax3 and JJExpress are actually disbanded now or not with half their members moved into HSJ.) So I've been putting those efforts into learning more about one of the untouched Jr. groups of that shake up, Kis My Ft2. They're one of the older Jr. groups age wise with the oldest member being 22 and the youngest 16, so I don't feel like so much a pedo liking them as I do with HSJ. XD;;;

Kis My Ft2 is kinda like the Jr. version of KAT-TUN, except they get along. XD But they use sexyslutty as a main portion of their image besides roller skates. (And I kid you not about the roller skates, they do indeed perform skating around the stage which you can see in this clip.)

And if you need a sample of what their sexyslutty image looks like this is most definitely the best clip to see it in. You seriously have to be blind not to see it in that performance and maybe deaf too as the fangirl screams get pretty loud at the hip shakes and bouncing. XD

And here are some more clips since it doesn't seem right to be pimping them without a spamming of youtube clips. Also for more information about the group check out the LJ comm for them, .

Ready & Inori performance

A Medley of Kis My Ft2 songs

Kis My Me Mine performance

Good-bye, Thank You performance

I'm really hoping that since Johnny left the group untouched when he put together that they will managed to eventually debut together. Like maybe in a couple of years when the youngest member is 18 or something. Of course I have to admit part of the reason I want the group to debut together whole is partially News related as the two members left over from KKKity (Koyama, Kato and Kusano's group when they were Jrs.) got placed into Kis My Ft2. One of them quit JE but the other one is still there and I think it would be great if he got to debut like his old group members. And I don't think Johnny will refuse to debut anymore Showa era boys even though he's said Showa is useless, because he's putting Koyama as a co-host on Hi! Hey! Say!, HSB's TV program, with Yabu and Hikaru. So if a Showa can co-host a Heisei program I'm sure the Showas in the Jrs still have a chance to debut or there will be a lot of Jrs quitting.

On a somewhat similar note I have begun to actually kinda want to know more about KAT-TUN. Junno with his golden locks really caught my attention and I think I'm beginning to like him. XD The only problem though is that all KAT-TUN fans seem to talk about is Jin and Kame and I don't care to much about them, except that Jin and Yamapi are obvious sharing a brain between them which is probably why they seem to have half the IQ of normal people. XD"

Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY Murakami Shingo!

2009 Speculations

Well with KAT-TUN's concert announcement my mind has been thinking about what to take from the releases announced so far will say about the rest of the year.

The easiest to predict for me is KAT-TUN as they now have four singles since their last album to go towards a new album which can be released just in time for their Tokyo Dome concerts. Though usually they have a single released right before an album that has it's title track go on the following album, like Don't U ever stop was released right before Queen of Pirates but will be on the upcoming album. I'm thinking either Rescue will be that single or as White X'Mas was a limited single it won't be counted/included and there will be an April single that will be released before the album. Of course Johnny's could just not release an album for the concerts but KAT-TUN has generally only done concerts when they have an album to base it off of since their debut, IIRC. Either way I have the feeling after the concerts their releases will slow down again for the rest of the year. And I wouldn't be surprised if they don't do a summer concert this year if there is an album release for these Tokyo Dome concerts.

Arashi is a bit hard to figure out what Johnny's is doing for them release-wise. They have had enough singles for a new album, especially with the upcoming double A-side, but this is their ten year anniversary so something special can be in the works. Personally I'm assuming it'll be an album next for them, perhaps another single or two and then a best of later in the year, close to their debut date. And as it is their ten year anniversary and the fact that they've already had two best of albums I think it would be great if they did what Kinki Kids did and have a best of with tracks fan and group members select from their entire discography.

Kinki Kids are rather worth mentioning as they're closing in on their 30th single release. With their latest single, Yakusoku, releasing in a couple of days they will have 28 singles and from the NINKI numbers (an interest gauge Oricon does for upcoming releases) it looks like they will have another #1 debut, which ups their Guinness World Record once again. I'm sure Johnny's wants them to reach 30 by the end of the year so there just might be a steady release pattern from them this year as well as an album.

V6 looks like they will just keep on releasing group and subgroup cds and dvds throughout the year as usual. I think they're one of the few groups that really haven't a slow period. Though that might be because they do have those subgroup releases so they don't need the entire group to release cds or do concerts.

I won't even try to speculate about Tackey & Tsubasa as they just seem to do whatever they want in the end so it's too hard to predict what they will do next.

Groups like SMAP and Tokio have enough seniority to probably be able to release something only when they feel like releasing something. Though I'm thinking that Tokio may not have released something for so long because Nagase's been busy with his most recent movie. So I'm expecting a new single after he finishes up promotions for that, like his upcoming MTV Unplugged session.

Kanjani8 is another difficult one to guess what they will do this year. They didn't release much of anything last year and haven't been lined up for release this year yet. Hopefully they'll be more active release-wise this year than in 2008, especially as IIRC they should be getting close to having enough singles for a new album this year.

NEWS I'm not too worried about for releases. They'll probably have a DVD release of their winter tour and sooner or later will begin releasing singles again. Ever since they came back from their hiatus they've had a steady schedule of releases every year, more or less. They may be coming up to a best of album themselves though, with 11 singles, on double A-side to give them 12 tracks for a best of. If you subtract the year they were suspended this would be the fifth year they have been together as a group so it seems like it would be a good time to release one. Though with Arashi most likely releasing a best of they might push back NEWS' back another year. I'm just really curious about it as if they re-record the earlier singles for the current group line up then I think that will be the nail in the coffin for the hope that Uchi and/or Kusano will return to group.

And the last for debuted groups of course is Hey! Say! JUMP. It looks like the rumors of a new single in April could very well be true as they've been singing Yuuki 100% quite bit recently, like as the end song of one of the February Shounen Club episodes. I only hope this single will have an album release very close to it. Johnny's has been making us fans wait far too long for it, IMO. But recently I reminded myself this isn't the first time it's taken so long for an album to get released after debut. I made a post in June of last year that showed how closely Hey! Say! JUMP's release pattern was to NEWS'. I only went as far as the fourth single for both groups but looking at NEWS' next two releases, a single in March followed by their 1st album in April, I would not be surprised if the release dates for HSJ's next two releases, a single then an album, are close to those. Though NEWS had to deal with Kanajani8's debut before those releases, as they then had to share two members with KJ8. I don't see what held HSJ back, other than maybe Johnny's being lazy and deciding to just follow the last volleyball group release pattern.

For Juniors I think there will be a debut this year. Mainly because the Uchi concerts seem to have done well so I'm sure Johnny's is figuring out how to re-debut him. I personally don't think he could go on as a solo artist, he just doesn't have the right personality for that and he seemed to have to rely on the other Juniors for the MC segments at his concerts to keep things going. If he does get a group then I hope they let some of the other Kansai Juniors debut, as the past two group debuts have been Kansai Junior free (KAT-TUN, Hey! Say! JUMP). Though I wouldn't mind it if they put some Tokyo Juniors in as well. Especially if Kusano finally returns.

And of course I'm hoping for a Kis-My-Ft2 debut. I think I always will until they either finally do debut or get split up by a debut. Though I wouldn't be surprised that instead of a debut this year they're given a solo con like pre-debut KAT-TUN had. And of course if that is a success than they just might keep following KAT-TUN's path and make their debut finally. But this is more wishful thinking than anything else at the moment.

EDIT: Hasn't passed midnight quite yet so I'm still in time for HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sakurai Sho!

24 January 2009

Well, I love you.

I wanted to do some translations so I found a few Dengonban from the March 2007 issue of Wink Up to translate. It ended up being a bit KAT-TUN heavy, but Tanaka and Kamenashi had the shortest and easiest to translate. I then decided to challenge myself a little and translated Hikaru's as well, which ended up being a bit of a pain for the last sentence as I'm not familiar with talking about meat in such precise terms as collagen.

Translation notes are denoted by *.

Tanaka Koki (KAT-TUN)

To the below,

To Yamapi (Yamashita Tomohisa). Well, I love you.*
To Nakamaru (Yuuichi). I think bar soap is good.

* Aishiteru, which was the word he used, is a very strong way to say ‘I love you’, which is usually only reserved for lovers.

Kamenashi Kazuya (KAT-TUN)

To the below,

To Yamapi (Yamashita Tomohisa). Invite me.
To Tegoshi (Yuuya). Please show me your imitation next time.

Yaotome Hikaru (Ya-Ya-Yah)

To Nakamaru (Yuuichi).

Shabu shabu** was all delicious. It was the most delicious. Thanks to eating the collagen** with skin with the good meat, my skin is smooth.

** These are food terms. Shabu shabu is a kind of Japanese cooking and collagen is a protein rich tissue part of meat.

23 January 2009

Hyakushiki-Ou 25NOV2008 Onsen

I feel like I've been doing too many of these this month. But thanks to that I'm a little under two month's behind now instead of four months. As I'm catching up I'll try to write about other things for these slow news day to make sure there's more variety to read. But enough about that, here's the next episode summary.

After the fun of the Dance episodes this one seems to be rather low key. Though Sanada is back so it’s the first time they’ve had the full new cast for an episode.

For those who know a bit about Japan it becomes rather apparent onsen are really popular over there. And it’s no surprise they have the most in the world. When they cut to the classroom Inohara has all the boys do an experiment with an egg, a cup and a dish. Though before the results are shown it goes back to the information quiz.

When it goes back to the classroom we still don’t get to see the results of the experiment. Instead Fujigaya gets to play teacher and talk about onsen. Which segues to a video where they sent out the assistant director to an onsen where he digs his own onsen pool.

It’s then Shoon’s turn at the teacher’s stand. Like the last time he did this Shoon gets to quiz everyone about things related to the topic. And like time Inohara keeps laughing at the songs they pick to play during the time they are given to write down their answers.

It then finally goes back to the experiment Inohara had the boys do earlier to see the results, which is a boiled egg that the boys then get to eat as the credits roll.

The end clip is a preview for next time when the topic will be Shibuya.

KAT-TUN's Tokyo Dome Undying Consecutive Week

It looks like Johnny's is going to make sure KAT-TUN stays in the spotlight with Arashi by giving them a spring concert series. It will be a week of consecutive concerts at the Tokyo Dome from May 15th- May 21st, which is a Friday through Thursday. The full title of the concert is ライブ史上初!東京ドーム 不滅の連続1週間(Raibu Shijyou Hajime! Tokyo Domu Fumetsu no Renzoku Isshuukan) which can be translated to, Historical First Live! Tokyo Dome 1 Undying Consecutive Week. Which is actually true in the fact that this will be the first time any musician will perform the same concert for a full week straight at the Tokyo Dome.

Johnny's net (Japanese only.)

Daily Sports article (Japanese only.)

This concert does go a ways in explaining what is up with the rush of KAT-TUN singles being released lately as with Rescue they now have the usual amount of singles released before they release an album, so I would not be surprised to see an announcement for a KAT-TUN album release for sometime around the concert dates eventually.

One of the first things that crossed my mind when I saw this was "I can actually attend this." It's a bit strange to think that for me as I'm so used to having to rely on waiting for concert DVDs to be released to watch Johnny's concerts. But I guess I should get used to the idea that I will finally be in the right country to be able to see Johnny's concerts for myself.

After some thought I'm really of a mind to go. I mean I will be in Japan for about a month and half when the first concert begins so I should be relatively adjusted by then. And the final concert is a day before my birthday so I can consider it an early birthday present to myself. I would like to enter the lottery for tickets via the fan club but I have the feeling that I won't get my membership processed fast enough for that so I'll have to go the auction route. Though hopefully by the time of the concerts I'll at least have my FC membership card, even though I hear that at venues like the Tokyo Dome they rarely stop to check ID, even of obvious foreigners like myself.

I'm getting rather excited about this. Especially since there's a really good chance Kis-My-Ft2 will be back dancers like usual for KAT-TUN. Though I do like KAT-TUN, not my favorite group but I like Nakamaru and their songs so I know I'll have no problem enjoying seeing one of their concerts throughly. I hope everything goes alright and I this will be the first, of hopefully many, concerts I'll be able to attend in Japan.

21 January 2009

KAT-TUN new single, Rescue

It feels like it wasn't so long ago I made a post for a new KAT-TUN single. The single for that update, One Drop, hasn't even been released but that hasn't stopped Johnny's from pushing out another single for the group. This time it is for the theme song for the drama Rescue, which Nakamura stars and Masuda from NEWS has a supporting role in. The single is titled Rescue, not very original but at least it has a title unlike the two other songs that will be B-sides for the single.

Like One Drop there will be three versions, the LE with DVD for the PV and two REs. One a 1st press edition with an extra B-side and a normal RE that will only have two songs with the karaoke tracks. And as I mentioned earlier those B-sides are still untitled.

And now that Arashi and KAT-TUN have their first 2009 singles set I think it's time for something from Hey! Say! JUMP, NEWS and Tokio now. Especially the first though the last one is way overdue as well for a new release.

20 January 2009

Joshima in a drama and Kinki Kids & KAT-TUN on Hey!x3

Joshima from Tokio will be in a special drama series that will run for four episodes with each episode with a character of the same name but different actresses and situations and blood types. His episodes will be for the AB blood type, which looks to be the fourth episode.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Also Johnny's net has updated and lists that both Kinki Kids and KAT-TUN to be on the same Hey! Hey! Hey! episode that will film on January 25th. Seems a bit early for KAT-TUN to be promoting their new single, One Drop, as it doesn't release until February 11th but I guess Johnny's really wants to make sure they get hit with KAT-TUN as their sales have been declining over the past year.

Hyakushiki-Ou 18NOV2008 Dance pt.2

The second episode for the topic of Dance. This one focuses more on modern dance styles and the kind of dancing Johnny’s are more familiar with.

As they’re covering soul dance when Shoon and Takada are shown for the location segment they’re dressed up in afros, sunglasses and dark skin. Though you can tell they only put the make-up on their faces as their necks are noticeably a different shade.

They go to a dance studio and meet a soul dance master. They change clothes and clean up for the actual dance lesson. Shoon keeps saying it’s difficult, probably because soul dance is more than just learning dance steps, but Takada doesn’t seem to do much better.

They then do a segment called It’s Shorn and Sho’s Showtime. I can’t help but wonder if misspelling Shoon’s name was intentional or not, though seeing as Sho’s name was correct I’m thinking it was definitely a mistake. But both boy’s come into the classroom cosplaying 70’s dancers and show off what they have learned. Then the whole group gets to learn a soul dance move before moving on.

After introducing a few more dances for different eras of the 20th century Inohara asks the boys to talk about them. During this talk Totsu brings up Michael Jackson’s famous moonwalk and is asked to demonstrate it for everyone. After that Fujigaya brings up M.C. Hammer, which for me brings back some nostalgia as he was big when I was a kid, but as Fujigaya and Totsu seem to remember him I guess he was big in Japan during that time too.

The end clip of course is Shoon and Sho doing their soul dance routine.

18 January 2009

Yatterman movie NYC premiere, or Sakurai in NYC

The Yatterman movie which Sakurai Sho starred in will be getting a New York City premiere at the New York Comic Con on February 6th. The film director, Miike Takahashi, as well as Sakurai Sho himself will be in attendance and will host a special panel before the movie screening.

So I guess those lucky enough to be going to NYCC have a good chance of seeing Sakurai in person. I feel a bit jealous as Sakurai is my favorite Arashi member but I'm still happy for all the Sakurai fans that will have this chance.

I just hope people will remember to behave themselves though, as the better experiences Johnny's members have with the American fans will probably make them want to do more events like these, IMHO. I mean from the sounds of the article both Miike and Sakurai will be coming straight from Japan so both will probably be jet lagged and the last thing they need is to deal with overzealous fans.

Anime News Network article. (English)

Hyakushiki-Ou 11NOV2008 Dance pt.1

This episode is the first of two that covers dance. When it switches to the studio classroom Inohara starts off by asking Fujigaya which song he had to dance to for his Junior auditions and is surprised to here that the answer is V6’s Can do! Can go!. For those who have watched the last Shounen Club episode, Fujigaya said then that it's his favorite song was because it was his audition song as well. Back to the episode though. Fujigaya does the dance he had to do for the song for everyone. Then it’s Totsu’s turn to do the same thing, but for Arashi’s Ashita ni Mukatta. Shoon then goes up but he says that he didn’t have a song just a dance routine he had to do. Inohara gets asked what dance he had to do and he says that when he auditioned the dances where at a lower level and then proceeds to do a slide to show this. He also mentions that when he was auditioning Matsuoka Masahiro from TOKIO was as well and added some flourishes to the moves.

Shoon and Takada are the ones that get to go out again, this time to a dance studio to learn a type of dance called, Capoeira. I think I would have been disappointed with this episode if the boys didn’t do something like this as Johnny’s have to train in song and dance so it only seems natural that with a topic like this you would see them dancing. Shoon seems to be able to catch on quickly while Takada struggles a bit.

After that segment is done it’s returned to the classroom where Shoon and Takada get to talk a bit about their experience. And they tease Takada a bit, which leads into the credits.

The end clip is Inohara demonstrating the slide he did for his Junior audition.

17 January 2009

Hyakushiki-Ou 05NOV2008 Robots

This is the first episode with Totsu from A.B.C.-Z as a part of the cast and he lucked out and got a fun topic to learn about, robots. And of course with Japan being the robot capital of the world there are a plethora of varieties that get to be shown.

Shoon and Takada are the lucky ones that get to do the location shoot and start off watching a demonstration of ASIMO, a humanoid robot created by Honda.

Then it moves to the studio to look at the smaller robots that they can bring in. The first is rather small which Inohara, Shoon and Totsu all get a turn at controlling.

After another quiz segment another robot is brought into the studio, this one being able to talk and programmed to respond to things being said to it.

Then it goes back to a quiz segment that segues into the next on location segment with Shoon and Takada getting the chance to pilot a robot at the complex that they’re at. They first janken for it and Takada wins so he gets to try first but after some begging Shoon gets to take over.

Then it’s the next robot in the studio. It’s small and mobile like the first but can speak as well. It also has a camera in it so it can ‘see’ with a built in camera that can recognize people's faces. Like with all the robots everyone enjoys seeing what it can do, especially when this one laughs. And this leads us into the credits.

The end clip is of the robot as it takes an unusual pose.

15 January 2009

Arashi/Kenta Yano single

It's strange to see this in my inbox as even though I was expecting a single announcement from Arashi with all the rumors this wasn't exactly the kind of single I would have expected. Probably because when someone from Johnny's has a solo song under a character's name they release a special one off single, like Nagase Tomoya releasing a single under the name of his character Sakuraba Yuichirou from the Mukodono drama. So I was expecting Ohno to have his solo character single and not to have it but on an Arashi single. But I guess with how busy the group is now Johnny's must have figured it would be better to put both Arashi's Believe, which is the theme song for the Yatterman movie that Sakurai Sho is starring in that opens in theaters soon, and Ohno's solo song on the same single as a 'kill two birds with one stone' move. Which just might be a smarter move than I first thought it would be as now I'm thinking of picking up a copy if I like the Kenta Yano song as that just may not end up on an album and I normally don't buy Arashi's singles.

Everything else about the single though is rather normal for a double A-side, with there being three versions. The RE has an extra song and the karaoke versions of all of them and the LEs each have a DVD with a different PV on them.

Believe / Kumori Nochi, Kaisei [Regular Edition] / Arashi / Kenta Yano starring Satoshi Ohno

Believe / Kumori Nochi, Kaisei [w/ DVD, Limited Edition (1)] / Arashi / Kenta Yano starring Satoshi Ohno

Kumori Nochi, Kasei / Believe [w/ DVD, Limited Edition (2)] / Kenta Yano starring Satoshi Ohno / Arashi

FiVe White Day concert and Ohno's solo debut

Johnny's net concert section is beginning to look rather small now that most of the winter concerts have wrapped up. But it did get an addition for its Junior band FiVe. They will be holding a White Day concert in Osaka on March 14th. White Day is a day that was created in Japan to correspond with Valentine's Day, as Valentine's Day in Japan isn't the same as other parts of the world. Valentine's Day is for girls to give chocolates to the boys that they like and White Day is the day those boys give something back to the girl if they feel the same way. So there's a bit of a sweet meaning for this concert being on that day, that this is the band's return gift to all their female fans.

Also the rumor of Arashi will be singing the theme song for Ohno's drama isn't completely true according to the official promotional posters for the drama. The posters instead list Ohno, or more technically the poster lists Ohno's character, Yano Kenta, as the artist singing the theme song, which isn't much of a surprise as a drama with a premise as Uta no Onii-san's it's perfect for a solo song like that. The song's title is 曇りのち、快晴 (Kumori nochi, Kaisei). Of course this has spawned a new rumor that this will be released as a single on March 6th, which does seem rather likely but like usual I find it's better to wait for official confirmation for these things before completely buying into them.

14 January 2009

Hyakushiki-Ou 28OCT2008 Bridges

Seeing the topic for this episode made me wary, as these kinds of topics tend to make rather boring episodes. But it seems like someone on the staff realized this and made sure to put in little bits here and there to liven things up, like Inohara showing why modern bridges are designed to curve upwards instead of just straight lines.

Another way they try to liven up the episode is another classroom segment focusing on Japan’s famous Rainbow Bridge. Fujigaya gets to introduce this segment where the boys get to quiz Inohara on this subject.

Shoon gets another chance to lead the class as he gets to lead another quiz segment, as the rest must write down their answers to his questions. Inohara keeps cracking up at the songs they play when it’s time for them to write their answers and Shoon proves to be a bit of a strict teacher, which is rather cute IMHO.

The end clip is actually from the next episode, where Totsu from A.B.C.-Z joins the group.

Hyakushiki-Ou 21OCT2008 Sushi

One thing I don’t like about food episodes is that they end up making me feel hungry, especially since most of the food always looks so good. This episode is about sushi (which is actually named after the rice not because of the fish as not all sushi uses fish in it). This episode uses a VTR segment that the episode for jewelry used where just video is shown as if the camera was a person as they check out a sushi restaurant. Then it’s to the classroom studio and the boys each get to practice eating sushi with fake pieces of sushi, which they just goof off with.

Most of the episode is the VTR, which is kinda disappointing as this kind of thing the boys could have gone out and done themselves. But eventually there’s a return to their classroom and the boys get to try some of the more unique sushi from around the world.

The reactions to the last type the try, chocolate sushi from China, are pretty cute with Sanada looking so gleeful when both Fujigaya and Inohara concede that he is right and it is delicious.

As the credits roll Keito gets to advertise for the Mayonaka no Shadow Boy single, which just reminds me at how overdue Hey! Say! JUMP is for a new release now. And until there is a new release announcement I’m probably going to be rather grumpy about it.

And on another note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nakayama Yuma!

12 January 2009

Brief thoughts on January's Shounen Club

It's really getting to the point where I'm finding myself getting impatient waiting for the next episode of Shounen Club. I mean after Hey! Say! JUMP debuted it didn't seem like there was much keeping me watching the show apart from Kis-My-Ft2 and Shoon, but now there are so many Juniors that I have come to love seeing. Like Nozawa, Sanada, Nakaken, Kyomoto, Uekusa and even HipHop JUMP is quickly growing on me (I think the whole concept of the group just amuses me too much).

Speaking of HipHop JUMP, it's been bugging me on whether or not their outfits were made to look like rip-offs of Kis-My-Ft2's track outfits or if they actually are those outfits but tailored so the kids can wear them without them falling off. I'm leaning towards the later as Camu Cade's outfit is different than the rest of the groups and looks like a new design, so if they are willing to make him a new outfit I would assume they did the same for the rest of the group. And I guess someone at Johnny's just really liked the design of Kisumai's outfits to have those be copied for the group. But outfits aside the group finally got a vocal part in a medley and I found it interesting they all 'rapped' it together. I wonder if that means if they get group songs if they will all be 'rap' heavy.

Of the other younger Juniors Kyomoto and Uekusa really just seem to fit as a duo and I hope they stay that way. I know I've seen people call them the next Tegomass, but to me that doesn't seem right as to me Tegomass is a sub unit. Probably because I'd rather see them be the next Kinki Kids and be a proper debuted duo unit. But that's probably going to be some years down the road for them yet if it does happen.

And Nakaken seems to be a natural star as it has only been a few months and he's getting rather prominent spots for a younger Junior. He's another I can see going far and I would love to see get to debut eventually.

I'm still glad every time I see them that Sanada and Nozawa aren't completely forgotten and are given chances to be in the spotlight. They are many but as long as they don't get shoved to the back I'll be happy.

And after the concerts I thought all the Kis-My-Ft2 and A.B.C.-Z promotion would die down a bit but it doesn't seem to be that way at all. Although I won't complain as a Kis-My-Ft2 fan. Besides both groups have members that have been around since members of groups like NEWS and KAT-TUN were Juniors so I think it's well deserved attention for them. It also gives us such gems as Kawai's impersonations. I think he just might have managed to top himself with his latest from the January 11th episode with his impersonation of MatsuJun impersonating KimuTaku. (laugh)

It was nice to see Uchi there for the second episode, especially the little interactions he had with Koyama. It does just now feels like he truly is back to stay to me finally, seeing him on a Johnny's staple show like Shounen Club. It will be interesting to see where his career will take him after he finishes his solo concerts this month.

Next month will be Hey! Say! JUMP returning as guests and filming should be done sometime this week. Hopefully this month there will be a report for it, because I need something to help me with the wait.

11 January 2009

Hyakushiki-Ou 14OCT2008 Petroleum

My internet connection at home has been very on and off so if I don't respond to comments for a while it's most likely because I can't access the internet. As it is now I had to go to Barnes & Noble to use their Wi-Fi as I don't think there's a good chance of me having internet access at home today.

One good thing I can take out of the situation though is that it's given me more time to do things like make my way through the Hyakushiki-Ou episodes I'm behind on. So expect to see a few of these in the upcoming week or so.

I found this episode to be one of the more boring ones, as most of it was the quiz segments with few cuts to the classroom set. But I guess there really isn’t much one can actually do with petroleum than look at it.

Eventually there is a switch to the classroom but it still is mainly questions being asked to see if anyone knows the answer, with Inohara asking the questions. Then it’s back to the quiz segment.

Then finally we get to an entertaining part of the episode where Shoon plays ‘professor.’ This reminds me of why I love Shoon and why I think he would do great as a host for a variety program. The topic may still be on the boring side but he injects his words with a sense of fun and excitement that I really couldn’t care what he was talking about as long as he kept talking.

It’s then credits and the end shot is part of the preview for the next episode about sushi.

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Matsuoka Masahiro!

And HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY Yamaguchi Tatsuya!

HipHop Jump profiles

People seem to be asking for more information about the members of HipHop Jump, and since I'm naturally curious I decided to try to see what I could find. Sadly it was not much, except for Hagiya Keigo and Tanaka Juri ironically enough, as they both seem to have joined Johnny's this past year while everyone else in the group have been in Johnny's for at least a couple of years.

These were the profiles I was able to put together with the information I found. Most are rather lacking and I just lucked out with Hagiya by just happening to have a Wink Up with his profile information in it. I did eventually find a magazine scan with Juri's profile information but the quality wasn't good enough for me to make out some of the kanji so I couldn't translate as much of it as I wanted to. But it's still much more than most of the others. Everything else I had to hunt down on the net so I can't say it's all 100% reliable outside of names and birth dates. And I also added some personal comments at the end of each profile.

HipHop JUMP profiles

Tanaka Juri (田中樹)
Birthdate: 15 June 1995
Born in: Chiba, Japan
Hobby: reading
Favorite subject: PE
Least liked subject: social studies
Favorite food: meat
Favorite song: Lips by KAT-TUN
Reason for applying: His brother (Koki) had joined.
Admired senpai: His older brother.

Notes: I think he’s most likely one of the more well known members of this group as he’s Tanaka Koki’s (KAT-TUN) kid brother. He has so far been mainly been given rapping solos on Shounen Club so I’m sure he will continue to the rapper for this group.

Cade Camu (カミュー・ケイド)
Birthdate: 7 July 1992
Born in: California, USA
Blood type: A
Admired senpai: Tanaka KokiNotes: Was in the eighth season of the popular Kinpachi-sensei drama series. He’s also easily the oldest of the group with about a three year gap between him and the next eldest member of HipHop Jump.

Morita Myuto (森田美勇人)
Birthdate: 31 October 1995
Born in: Tokyo, Japan
Blood type: A

Notes: Found him in the Summary 2005 concert pamphlet I have so he’s been around in Johnny’s for a while.

Luis Jesse (ルイス・ジェシー)
Birthdate: 11 June 1996
Born in: Tokyo, Japan
Admired senpai: Nakamura YuichiNotes: He seems near impossible to find information for, which is a shame, IMHO, as he is just so adorable. Maybe being in HipHop Jump will help give him some popularity so people will be more willing to find out more about him, and thus be able to find his information easier.

Hagiya Keigo (萩谷慧悟)
Birthdate: 7 October 1996
Born in: Saitama, Japan
Blood type: Doesn’t know.
Strong point: Bringing people together
Weak point: Expressing his feelings
Hobby: dance
Favorite food: sushi
Disliked food: persimmon, sea urchin
Favorite color: green
Favorite animal: bird
Favorite sport: basketball
Best subject: Science
Worst subject: Japanese language
Reason for applying: Admires SMAP
Admired senpai: Yamashita Tomohisa

Notes: This is all from the May 2007 Wink Up magazine I have, which means that’s probably one of his first magazines shoots as new Junior faces in magazines get profile information instead of actually getting to say something.

08 January 2009

Hey! Say! JUMP on February 2009 Shounen Club episodes and Tackey proves to be an awesome senpai

It seems like Johnny's net is going to make it a habit of now listing the guests for Shounen Club when they update for filming dates. For February Hey! Say! JUMP will be the guests. Kinda odd to have them back without anything to promote, though I know I'm hoping that we might get official news about a new release from them that they will be promoting for by then.

In other news, Tackey has given many Juniors another reason to love him by giving them the traditional New Year's gift, otoshidama, which is money given in a red envelope to children in your family. In the article it mentions that the total money he gave amounted to 600,000 yen, about $6,000USD. It also states that each otoshidama was 10,000 yen ($100USD) each which means 60 Juniors received this gift from him.

I'm kinda not surprised Tackey did something like this as he's always been attached to the Juniors, so it makes sense that he would think of them a bit like family. And I'm sure the Juniors that received this gift from him will treasure it.

Daily Sports article. (Japanese only.)

07 January 2009

Maruyama to join Ohno for Uta no Oniisan

The TV Asahi site has updated with a complete cast list for its upcoming drama, Uta no Oniisan, which stars Arashi's Ohno. It lists Maruyama from Kanjani8 to be a part of the cast, and from the placement of his name in the list it looks like he may have a big supporting role. Of course it's a bit hard to tell as most of the article is about the actress that is playing Ohno's ex-girlfriend, as she's the singer of the heavily promoted avex band Girl Next Door, Chisa. I'm now a bit impressed that Johnny's got the theme song (or I think it's the theme song, could be OP/ED song) for the drama, though I would not be surprised if Girl Next Door gets a song attached to the drama as well as avex has yet to get the group have a big break out release to date. So which ever song slot is open theme or OP/ED I'm sure will go to her band.

I am glad though Maruyama will be in the drama as I'm slowly finding myself liking Kanjani8 a bit more than I have. And since I will be checking this series out when it airs I'll find out if he'll help that feeling grow. Especially since the other drama I plan on following Hissatsu Shigotonin 2009 which has Ohkura in it.

My dream Hey! Say! JUMP debut album

Lately I can't get my mind off of Hey! Say! JUMP's debut album, mostly about the fact it seems like it's never going to be released. -__- Another thought though has been crossing my mind about the topic though and that of course is what the track list will be. The A-sides for the singles that have been released of course are to be expected but that still leaves a lot of songs that can be released with an album open to speculation.

Since I have too much free time I decided to make my own dream list for what I think should end up on the album. Of course first thing that the LE would just have to come with a bonus cd with solos and duets, so I did a track list for that too. So without much further ado here is my personal wish for how the track list will turn out, though the songs really aren't in proper order.

1st cd

Ultra Music PowerYour SeedDreams Come TrueBouken RiderMayonaka no Shadow BoyShin Gi TaiWonderland Train (HS7)
Thrill (HSB)
Tobira no MukouDakishimete Tonight (HS7)
Spicy (HSB)
*2 new songs*
Ultra Music Power –ballad version-

2nd cd (LE bonus)

Uruwashi no Bad Girl (Nakajima)
On the Wind (Chinen)
Asia no Yoru (Yamada)
Kumo no Ito (Takaki)
Honoo ~ Flame of Love~ (Hikaru)
My Everything (Yabu)
*new song* (Inoo & Okamoto)
*new song* (Arioka & Morimoto)

I pretty much looked at the set lists of their concerts and picked songs that they have sung at all/most of them. Of course there are a few new songs from the latest concert, mainly because I think because these songs are new and could have possibly be written for an album.

And the UMP -ballad version- is on the list as I just have the feeling that Johnny's will do this. I mean they put remixed versions of NEWS songs on their debut album so I would not be surprised if they did the same with HSJ too.

Even though it would be great if they all had solos I don't think Morimoto and Okamoto are ready just yet to carry a song on their own and would benefit from having someone more experienced sing with them, especially since there will be a good chance that they will be performing these at a concert. Plus there's always the second album for that. And I chose Inoo and Arioka as they both don't really have solos yet.

So that's my guess/wish of how the album track list will look like. Of course I would not be surprised at all to be completely wrong on some of these choices. Really only the single tracks are the only shoe in tracks for this release, though I think songs like Shin Gi Tai, Tobira no Mukou, Thrill and Wonderland Train stand a good chance as they have been performed at all the HSJ concerts (minus SUMMARY but that was more a joint concert than the others).

I just hope Johnny's finally announces a real album release for HSJ soon so I know what I should be looking forward to.

05 January 2009

Inoo becomes the smart one and the HSJ rumormill

It was announced at the January 5th Hey! Say! JUMP concert that Inoo Kei has been accepted into Meiji University in their architecture department. Other Johnny's that have gone to Meiji are Yamapi, Koyama Keiichirou and Ikuta Toma. So I guess now Inoo will be known as the smart one of the group, as he seems to be the only one heading to college as Johnny's always likes to announce academic achievements of their idols, and Chinen will be left to lay claim to the girly one all by himself. (laugh)

Sports Yomiuri article.
(Japanese only.)

Also I've noticed people in the Hey! Say! JUMP fandom have been spreading rumors. First was that the current HSJ tour will get a DVD release, which I could see happening and sounds about right as most groups do tend to release one concert DVD a year. Though without an actual announcement I'll still take this with a grain of salt until there is official confirmation or concert reports stating that there were cameras for filming there start popping up.

The other though is that there will be a new HSJ single in April. This I will only believe if I see it as it doesn't seem right at all as far as the usual releases for Johnny's go. Mainly because there is no album release and Johnny's has never gone more than four singles before releasing an album that I know of. So like I said earlier I'm not buying into this rumor unless we get an album announcement soon for sometime before April or the solicitations for this come out.

04 January 2009

Kusanagi to star in an anime series

SMAP's Kusanagi will be voicing the lead character of an anime series that will begin later this month. This will be the second time Kusanagi has lent his voice to an anime character for a TV series. The first was about fifteen years ago when he voiced a character in the classic Hime-chan no Ribbon girls anime series, which SMAP sung all the opening and ending themes for.

The anime series is titled, Yume o Kanaeru Zō, and is based off a novel. It has been adapted a few times already but this will be the first anime series based on the story.

Anime News Network article.

03 January 2009

Ryusei no Kizuna mid-season impressions

Meant to write this up yesterday but just didn't get around to it. I finished watching the fifth episode of Ryusei no Kizuna and since the drama is ten episodes long it is time to do my mid-season impression of it.

While I wasn't too enthralled with the first episode it did get better after that, so much so I'm completely hooked right now. The characters are a joy to watch and the plot is interesting. Unlike other dramas I've watched I really can't guess how this will end, other than there will be some kind of happy ending, though it could as well be a bittersweet one and still work with the feel of the series.

I feel like I'm stuck wanting to just gush about this series but not wanting to as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. So I'll try my best.

Even though there is tension with the whole, trying to figure out who murdered the parents, mystery, the humor seems to balance things out so it doesn't get to heavy. I'm also loving how nothing seems to get completely forgotten with events from earlier episodes having impact or at least a presence in later episodes.

And the main cast, Ninomiya, Ryo and Erika are all great, IMHO. I love how they play off each other and I find myself not caring at all that they don't really look like siblings, though Erika's character actually has an excuse for that, because I really don't want to see anyone in those roles.

When I first read the plot of the drama I was a bit worried about the romance part, but in the end I couldn't help but love that plot element. Mostly because I like both the characters quite a bit and think they would actually be good together. So I'm really hoping they get a happy ending.

So even though I wasn't overly impressed with the first episode the episodes past that really pulled me in to the drama and I'm so glad I stuck with it. The only down side is that the hard subs (which I tend to wait for as I fail at using soft subs) releases are on the slow side so it's a bit painful to wait for the next release. So I would recommend waiting a bit longer for it all to be finished before you begin to watch it so you're not stuck with cliffhanger ending after cliffhanger ending.

01 January 2009

A few 2009 wishes and dreams.

A new year is here and I can't help but feel excited thinking about what could happen this year. Mainly hoping for a debut of course. I'm thinking it will be a Uchi related debut though that won't stop me from hoping for Kis-My-Ft2 to debut.

There seems to be news saying that Arashi will be doing the theme song of Ohno's upcoming drama, which means both KAT-TUN and Arashi already have two singles spoken for in the beginning of the year. I can understand why Arashi is getting such a push as they are currently the top Johnny's group and 2009 is their 10 year anniversary so I wouldn't be surprised if Johnny's will try to get an album out for them soon so they can put out a best of album for them later in the year. I just wish the other Johnny's group would get a bit more attention and get some releases soon. Like Hey! Say! JUMP finally getting an album release. But I guess no matter what it's bound to happen this year.

And of course as a Junior fan every year can be seen as a year of change as new Juniors come in and some leave for some reason or another. And if it's another group debut then that could mean big changes as there will be spots to be filled by the younger boys that are just now getting pushes into the spotlight. So I look forward to that and hope it comes through as I keep wishing it will.

And for something a bit blog related, I have decided to make a change to my list of Johnny's birthdays from just my favorite Johnny's to a fuller semi-complete list. I'm still working on it as it's not so easy to find all the birth dates of the Juniors but all the debuted groups are covered. I even have some of the daisenpai covered as I found their information. And I have to say Nishikiori of Shounentai has become my favorite daisenpai for now for the sole reason he has the same birthday as me. (laugh)

So to start off this new year, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Domoto Koichi!