30 April 2009

Photo madness.

I did go the Johnny's Store after school today. I actually just got back home a little while ago. But I now have a new pile of photos and plans on getting some more whenever I go back.

As some might know already the store updated with new photos for NEWS and KAT-TUN. It's of course the Koi no ABO PV photos for NEWS and it looks like the KAT-TUN photos are from two different photo shoots. I'm guessing the first is from the Tokyo Dome promo shot shooting, going by the thing Koki is letting sit on his head in them, and the second is definately from the Break the Records booklet shooting, again mainly going from Koki's hair as it's neatly shaved in the second set. I took photos, as I still don't have a scanner, but I really wanted to share these somehow.

I didn't get many from the KAT-TUN sets as only the second set had group shots and most of the solo photos tended to look the same to me. So here is the few I picked up, mainly because I wanted some more Koki and I'm growing to like Ueda. And for those curious I decided to jot down how many new photos there were and between the two sets there are 189. I didn't bother to break down the number anymore than that though as I was only using a small piece of paper to write this information down.

The Koi no ABO photos on the other hand are great. I really wish I could have just bought all 172 of them but that would have easily been over $200. There are 22 group photos and each member has 25 solo photos for those curious and looking to buy the full set of a member.

I mostly bought the group and Shige photos, because the group photos are so much love and of course I'm a big Shige fan. I wish I picked up a couple more of Ryo and Tegoshi, as Ryo just looks great in all his photos and it doesn't seem right that I only picked up one Tegoshi photo as I liked some of his other photos too. But these are all things I can fix the next time I visit the shop.

29 April 2009

The April 29th wallet drain, and a news tidbit

As you can see I went out cd/dvd shopping today. I'm quite happy with my haul, though I think my wallet misses the money it was holding in it. And tomorrow shows no promise of a let up just yet as the Johnny's Store has updated its photos so I'll be swinging by to check that out, and of course bring some home. And you can expect some photos from that, as I still do not have a scanner.

I love the NEWS single, enjoy the KAT-TUN album and have yet to watch the Hey! Say! JUMP DVD, but I like the booklet and how it has all the lyrics for the songs listed in it.

Some news about the upcoming Gokusen movie has come out, as Zoomin Super will run a segment about its filming this Saturday. Kame has been confirmed as being in the film, though it's unknown how big his role will be. No other pre-Gokusen 3 cast members have been announced as returning, and I have a feeling that Jin may not be appearing because he is busy filming the movie he will be starring in, Bandage.

28 April 2009

NEWS to host this years 24 Hours program

It has been announced that this year NEWS will host the NTV 24 Hour TV program, which as the name suggest is a program that runs for 24 hours straight. Last year Arashi hosted the program and in the past it's been hosted by other Johnny's groups, but this will be the first time for NEWS to host the program.

Tokyo Graph article.
Official NTV 24 Hour TV website. (Japanese)

As a NEWS fan this has me very excited. The group hasn't really done anything as a group that hasn't been related to new releases or concerts so it will be interesting to see them together doing something different. I'm not sure how much of the 24 hours I'll be able to watch but I know I'll try to watch as much as possible.

27 April 2009

Johnny's in HD

Well finally I was able to catch a program with Johnny's in it on the TV at the guesthouse I am staying at. In fact I ended up watching two shows, Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ with NEWS as one of the guests and then after that the Konkatsu! drama that stars SMAP's Nakai and KAT-TUN's Ueda plays the younger brother of Nakai's character.

I loved the Heyx3 segment with NEWS. The program was doing a special so they were one of two musical guests to promote new releases. So they got their interview segment to themselves. The hosts of course teased Ryo for being back so soon, as Kanjani8 was on recently to promote their new album, Puzzle. Then the Tegoshi teasing began and lead to Tegoshi singing accupella on the spot, and of course he sounded great. Shige ended up talking quite a bit. He got to talk about going fishing with Ohno, and it seems like it was the same fishing trip Ohno was talking about on Utaban last night, as they both mentioned it was over 24 hours. Then they had a clip of Ryo bungie jumping in Hawaii. And then after that they had Yamapi and Koyama explain their credit for the words & call in Koi no ABO. Masuda was really the only one that didn't have anything to say.

They wore the suits from the club scenes from the Koi no ABO PV for this taping. But they had the funky glasses and still looked like they were really just enjoying themselves. Not to mention really getting into their pelvic thrusts. I so want to see this song live as it looks like it was made for live performances.

I wasn't sure that I wanted to stay up to watch the second episode of Konkatsu!, but I'm glad I did. I don't know enough Japanese to understand everything but the story in itself was easy enough for me to follow. And I found the characters fun to watch. I really liked Ueda's character even though his role was rather small. It also helps that this is one of those dramas that isn't very serious outside of the 'lesson of the day' kind of formula it looks like it will have. I plan to try my best to watch this every Monday night, so I don't have to download something I can actually view on TV.

And I got to see Butoukan's CM where they are dancing and singing wearing cockroache atenna. It made me so happy to see Senga, being the Kis-My-Ft2 fan that I am. And then it was followed with a commercial for KAT-TUN's new album, which got me excited about buying the album when it comes out this week.

Seriously, I feel like I've seen a piece of Johnny's heaven and I think I'm going to make it a habit to watch more TV to catch more glimpses of it.

26 April 2009

Ryusei no Kizuna final impressions

I actually finished watching this series earlier this month but only just now got around to getting a few screen caps for this final review. It was kinda hard as I didn't want to spoil anything so I decided not to take many.

But I have to say I'm glad I decided to give this drama a chance. It's definitely one I would not object to watching again at all, even though I know the ending now. Even though the first episode seemed to come off as oddly paced things smoothed out and all the flashbacks began to feel more natural as they moved in and out of the story narrative.

Overall to me it did a good job balancing the more light hearted aspects with the darker ones of the story and I really would not have imagined things to have ended up the way they did in the end. I mean some things seemed very clear that they would happen but others I didn't expect even though they made perfect sense.

And of course I love the cast. Ninomiya, Ryo and Erika all did great as leads, IMHO. I enjoyed watching them interact and see their characters change as the series went on. Even if they don't look like siblings at all I think they had good chemistry together. The rest of the cast came off as solid as well.

Overall I think Ryusei no Kizuna deserves a lot of the acclaim it has gotten. It's probably not a masterpiece but it is rather solid story telling and does what it's suppose, intrigue and entertain.

25 April 2009

Tegomass to have a concert in Sweden.

It's being reported that Tegomass will be returning to Sweden to perform a concert on May 30th. Sweden was where the duo debuted and with this concert there will be another single release, as it will be used as a ticket to go to the show. Very little outside of this information is known.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

This is pretty exciting news for those lucky fans that live in Sweden. Of course for the rest of us let's hope that there will also be a Japanese version of the single released at the same time, like with Miso Soup.

24 April 2009

3rd poll results

I'm making it my goal to begin with daily entries again for this blog, beginning pretty much today. So expect to see the usual activity level return for this blog soon, as I refuse to continue to be such a slacker.

Of course with the latest poll closing I have an easy topic to write about, the results. So without further ado, here they are:

Ikuta Toma: 65
Yamashita Shoon: 38
Morimoto Shintaro: 21
Uchi Hiroki: 11
Kyomoto Taiga: 10
Uekusa Yuta: 7
Takada Sho: 2
Kazama Shunsuke: 1
Hasegawa Jun: 1
Ookawa Keigo: 0
Masuda Ryo: 0

I'm kinda surprised at the margin that Toma had over Shoon. Not just because of how Shoon-centric as I tend to be (one of the trains I ride goes past the Tokyo Globe Theater and every time I mourn the fact I wasn't able to see Shoon perform in it), but because I didn't realize myself at how popular Toma is when compared to other Juniors. Probably because without thinking about it I've been comparing him in terms of popularity to the debuted Johnny's, as like them he is active in dramas. Which makes me hope that Shoon will follow in his footsteps and gets to work in dramas as well.

The other surprise was how many people voted for Shintaro. Not that I blame them, he is adorable, but I didn't realize he was that popular. Though it's understandable as Johnny's likes to put the spotlight on him so people at least know who he is.

Next up will be a quick poll about the upcoming April 29th releases, and then things will get a bit KAT-TUN-centric as I pysche up about going to their dome concerts.

23 April 2009

SMAP's Kusanagi arrested

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi from SMAP has been arrested for public indecency. Apparently after getting drunk he was seen in a park completely naked. It is also reported that after a breath analysis it was found that he was several times over the legal limit for alchol consumption.

This has had already a big impact for Kusanagi as he's had ads pulled and the movies that he finished up filming are in jeopardy for being released. Johnny's has yet to issue their statement on the matter but will probably do so soon.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

This could mean many things, very little good with everything Kusanagi has been pulled from. Plus this is the second time a member of SMAP has been arrested, Inagaki was arrested a few years ago for a hit and run incident. So it's hard to say how forgiving Johnny's will be, if at all.

20 April 2009

Tanaka Koki joins Hissatsu Shigotonin 2009

It has been announced that Tanaka Koki will be joining the cast of the Hissatsu Shigotonin 2009 drama that is currently running and stars fellow Johnny's members, Higashiyama Noriyuki of Shounentai and Matsuoka Masahiro of Tokio. Tanaka will more or less replace Okura Tadayoshi whose character has been written out of the series.

Tanaka will make his debut on the show with the episode that will air on April 24th.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

It's also rumored that he's shaved his hair off again for the role. Honestly I'm glad to hear that as his hair recently has just looked terrible, IMHO.

18 April 2009

Me & J *April report*

I feel terrible about getting lax about updating this blog. Especially since I do have a couple of things I know I could do for an update for when there's no new news. One of them is updating on what I have been doing, and plan to do, in relation to Johnny's.

The biggest is the fact that I have been able to find someone selling tickets for the KAT-TUN dome concerts that I can buy from. There was a bit of a miscommunication though and I've ended getting tickets for two of the concerts instead of just one as I originally planned. But I think it'll work out alright as the first will the the May 17th concert and the other being the May 22nd concert. By going to the May 22nd concert I'll be insured that the live photo sets will be out and since I'll have a ticket I'll be able to buy them. Also, as the concerts are supposed to have a different theme for each day I can expect something a bit different at each.

I finally found the form I need to join the You & J fanclub (the fanclub for NEWS, Kanjani8 and KAT-TUN). I just need to work on not screwing up as I fill the form. Especially on the kanji, even though I really haven't written some of the characters once before. Then I have to figure out how to join the Juniors' fanclub as the instructions are different and I can't find any help on how to join it.

I also finally found the NHK website to go to for getting on their TV programs. I still need to be a member for it, which I'll probably only get around to doing when the dates for the next Shounen Club showing are known. I figure I'll have to hit for at least one filming for all the time I'll be here in Japan. Though I keep hoping that I'll be super lucky and get to go a few times.

Also, as I'm finally finishing up the dramas I had been working on getting through, I've turned my attention to the spring dramas I want to see. So far my list is The Quiz Show 2 and Konkatsu! for dramas with Johnny's in them. Depending on my free time I may try to watch more but I think two is more than enough for me to focus on for one drama season.

15 April 2009

Some information about Shige's upcoming play

I just had to share this, as it amuses me so, especially as I'll have the chance to see it in person.

But there was a press conference about Shige's upcoming play, SEMINAR, and he got to talk a bit about the plot and his character. According to him his character is a bit of a sex addict and will sleep with a few different women in the play. And this amuses me greatly, as it sounds so un-Shige-like. That and I want to see/hear him get teased by the other members of NEWS about this at some point.

Story wise though he will play an American college student attending a seminar about the Medici family of the Renaissance period. And the play was written by an American playwright but will be making it's world premiere in Japan.

Tokyograph article. (English)

13 April 2009

How to... Find the Johnny's Shop in Harajuku

I figured that since I'm in Japan I might as well do some Johnny's related tutorials for people who plan on ever coming to Japan and want a guide on how to get their Johnny's fix. I decided to start with something I have done, already a few times, finding the Johnny's shop in Harajuku. I admit I got lost the first time I tried. But I think in a way it works out as I have a couple of things that I think need to be pointed out that I haven't seen covered in other tutorials about finding this bastion of Johnny's glory.

The first thing that I think needs to be mentioned is that the shop is not very far from the main JR station exit. In fact if you don't need to get a ticket to enter you can walk there easily under five minutes if the crossing light is in your favor once you leave the station. I say this because I completely overshot the road I needed to go down because I didn't realize how close it was and it was night when I was trying to find it, so I didn't really notice the landmarks in the pictures I had seen.

The best place to start is probably the main entrance of the Harajuku JR station. (pictured above) If that isn't where you came out of, don't worry it's not hard to miss as it's on a main street and is always extremely busy.

What you want to do is cross the street from that exit, or just be on the other side of the street from it. If you are facing directly away from it, take a right towards the pedestrian overpass. (pictured above) Do NOT cross the overpass. Instead you want to stop at the corner before it and look to the left.

Just left of the overpass is an area with some greenery and is frequently used as a 'break' area for people to sit. (pictured above) From other reports this is where you will find the Johnny's personnel that will give you a time ticket to enter the store. I have never seen anyone there and have been able to just walk into the shop. But then again I've only come to the store mainly on weekdays.

If you have good eyes then you can probably spot the Play House sign on the left hand side of the picture of the 'break' area. If not here is a close up of the sign, so you know what to look for. Right before this store is a side street, and that's the street that you want to go down to find the Johnny's shop.

You will know you have the right street as you will see the signs for the Johnny's store after a few seconds of walking down it. From a distance it looks like this (sorry for the blurriness of the photo, I'll try to get a better one next time I go). And then it's only a matter of walking in to the store.

For making purchases, it's not overly difficult. For merchandise (photo books, penlights, ticket holders, etc...) you just pick it up and take it to the counter when you're ready to pay.

Photos and uchiwas are different though. You need to pick up a form (one per group, except for Countdown and Juniors). So if you want to get photos for NEWS, Hey! Say! JUMP, Kis-My-Ft2 and Uchi, you will need one 1-800 form for NEWS, one for 1-800 HSJ and most likey both the 1-800 form as well as the form that goes from 801 and up for Kisumai and Uchi, who are both under the Johnny's Jr section together. The photos are all displayed on the walls of the store and have a number on them. If you see a photo you like you find it's number on the form you have and mark down how many of that photo that you would like to buy. There is also a section for uchiwas, I haven't bought any myself, but from what I understand you just put down which uchiwa you want of the from of the section the Johnny's member is under and the number of how many you want.

After you're done filling out your form then just wait for a cashier to be open and they will ring up your order then get your photos for you. When they have collected them all they will count them so make sure they have the correct number then go through them for you to see if they got the right ones. Then your goodies are bagged and you can walk out a happy fangirl.

Now if you happen to be directionally challenged or are afraid you will forget these directions there is no need to panic. All you have to do is remember this, outside the main Harajuku JR exit there is a map that shows you where the Johnny's shop is. (pictured above)

See. And it even shows where you are while reading the map. Just remember that ジャニーズ = Johnny's and you should be set.

I hope this was helpful, and I'm always ready to answer questions. So if you need something clearified just leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer it to the best of my knowledge.

11 April 2009

New Drama SP for Ninomiya

Ninomiya has another drama SP coming up. The drama will air on TBS and is titled, Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara. He will be playing a psychiatrist that works at a cancer treatment center's counseling room. His character is married, and the actress playing his wife will be Mao Inoue, and two children.

The air date for the drama is still undetermined at the time.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

09 April 2009

Matsumura Hokuto - Fresh Junior Profile Translation

Well I picked up the May issue of Wink Up a couple of days ago and was surprised to see Matsumura Hokuto get a full page to himself for his first photo shoot. After last month's Shounen Club episode where he was introduced via the Junior ni Q segment I admit I was waiting to see him begin to appear in magazines. Then came the surprise that not only did he get a full page to himself in Wink Up, but he had been added to the B.I. Shadow Junior group. Honestly I'm happy for him, as I thought he was cute and I love that he's a fellow NEWS fan. Not to mention I already love Nakaken from B.I. Shadow and the other two members are growing on me, so the group is shaping up to be a favorite of mine, behind Kis-My-Ft2 and any group that Nozawa and Sanada are in of course.

I decided to go ahead and try my hand at translating Hokuto's page as there wasn't a lot of text and it wasn't too difficult. Of course I'm still learning the language so I may be off for some of it, but I'm sure I have the gist of it. And since I don't have a scanner at the moment the best I could do was take a picture of the page.

Matsumura Hokuto

I admire NEWS, and wanted to be like NEWS so I applied. My special skill is karate, I have been doing it since my first year in elementary school. In fact I ranked second in the prefecture tournament. Thanks to doing karate, my heart has the courage and absolutely won’t give up and won’t lose to the best of them. Today is my first photograph shoot, I was extremely nervious but it was fun. There are still many things I do not understand, so I want to do my best. Please support me!

Name: Matsumura Hokuto
Nickname: Hokku
Birthdate: 18 June 1995
Age: 13 (2nd year junior high school student)
Bloodtype: B
Born In: Shizuoka Prefecture
Height: 165cm
Weight: 52 kg
Shoe size: 26.5 cm
Strong Point: I’m not shy.
Weak Point: Voice is low.
Hobby: Karate.
Skill: Karate.
Food You Like: Pasta.
Food You Dislike: Cucumber.
Color You Like: White, Black.
Sport You Like: Karate.
Subject You’re Good At: English, Japanese.
Subject You’re Bad At: Math.
Animal You Like: Dog.
Reason for applying: I admire NEWS, and wanted to be like NEWS so I applied.
Admired Senpai: Yamashita Tomohisa
Type of Girl You Like: A person with distinctive eyes.

08 April 2009

2nd Poll Results

Meant to do this last night but I ended up being more tired than I thought I would be. I think it's just all the walking and standing I've been doing since I got here. But I figure I'll be in good shape when I leave so I'm not going to complain too much about it. XD

So without further ado, here are the results:

Kis-My-Ft2: 47
B.I. Shadow: 21
A.B.C.-Z: 14
Question?: 12
Hip Hop JUMP: 11
Mis Snow Man: 5
Butoukan: 4
FiVe: 2
They Budou: 0

Honestly I was expecting Kis-My-Ft2 to be the top spot, not just because they are the Junior group I write the most about, but because they seem to have the most active English fandom. B.I. Shadow's rank surprised me, as I knew they were popular but I didn't think they would beat A.B.C.-Z. And I wonder with the new member of B.I. Shadow, Matsumura Hokuto, if that will change anything with the popularity of the group. I honestly hope it would be for the better as I thought he was adorable in the March Shounen Club's Junior ni Q segment when he was introduced.

And to end things, thank you everyone for voting.

07 April 2009

Can you guess where I went today?

I've been out all day and I'm dead tired. I don't plan on doing much tomorrow so I'll get around to responding to comments then, as well as make sure I make a better post for the day.

But spent a good deal of time in Harajuku today, and actually found an unofficial store that sold official goods and was able to pick up some older Johnny's photos. Also finally made it to where I wanted to go the most there and I have to promise myself not to return until next month as I can see myself spending too much money there. And you can see what I mean with the below photo.

I've already filled the NEWS photo book with the photos I got today and the ones I already owned. I'm sure it's only a matter of time for me to fill the KAT-TUN one.

06 April 2009

New Arashi Single

Just got back from having dinner and going to Book Off (I really need to stop myself from going there until next month) and found the notice from cdjapan that Arashi is scheduled to release another cd single on May 27th.

The single is a double A-side with the theme song, Ashita no Kioku, for Sho's upcoming drama, The Quiz Show, being one of the songs. The other track is the song that has been used for the Kose make-up campaign, Crazy Moon - Kimi wa Muteki -, that the group is attached to. And since this is another double A-side there are three versions, two LEs with DVDs that have either the PV for Ashita no Kioku or Crazy Moon - Kimi wa Muteki -. The RE only has karaoke tracks and a different cover so I don't see much point in buying it unless you can't get on of the LE editions or are a die-hard Arashi fan.

Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon - Kimi wa Muteki - [Regular Edition] / Arashi

Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon - Kimi wa Muteki - [w/ DVD, Limited Edition Type A] / Arashi

Crazy Moon - Kimi wa Muteki - / Ashita no Kioku [w/ DVD, Limited Edition Type B] / Arashi

I kinda hope that there will be another Johnny's release before this is released though *coughheysayjumpcough*. And wonder when Arashi will release an album as this will be their fifth single since Dream "A"live and they've already released a couple of double A-sides. Though I would not be surprised if their next album is something out of the ordinary with this being their 10th anniversary year and all and perhaps that will explain why all the singles for them.

05 April 2009

Johnny's everyday

Well I promised some pictures and an entry talking a bit about the Johnny's related things I've seen in Japan so far so here it is.

First off when people say Johnny's are everywhere in Japan they mean it. The first train I got on to get to Saitama from the Narita airport had an ad hanging from it's ceiling for the KAT-TUN dome concerts. I didn't take a picture of it though as I was so tired from the flight.

The next day I had to head in to my school near Shinjuku and discovered that I will be seeing Sakurai Sho everytime I do as he has a large ad on a building near the boarding platform for some beverage. I haven't had the time to pull out my camera to take a photo of it, but I plan to eventually.

I did go to Shinjuku the following day with a group of fellow exchange students. We stopped by a store that sold bath supplies and while browsing I came across a tiny screen attached to a shelf that was playing the Happy Bath Day NEWS commercial. Being the big NEWS fan I am I bought one of the products from the line, the body gel. I have yet to use it though.

I didn't go far from the station in Shibuya but I just had to go out of the exit to see Johnny's in the area. KAT-TUN had a huge billboard for their concerts and there were three banners hanging from buildings with Sakurai Sho on them. I only took the one photo as it was super crowded.

And yesterday I finally made my way to Harajuku, but not until late. So while I was able to find the Johnny's Shop it was too late to go in and buy anything. But now that I know where it is (I was surprised how close to the station it is, and there's even a map just outside the station that shows you where it is) I should have no trouble finding it another day.

I did check out all the unofficial idol goods stores. I didn't purchase anything though. I just personally prefer to own the official goods. I did find a couple of stores that sold tickets so I know where to go when I'm desperate and have money to spend.

Other than that it's not that hard to find Johnny's somewhere. The local 7-11 has Weider ads on the shelves with the celeberties that promote it so I can see Yamapi everyday if I wanted to. I still need to go to a Lawson's to see if I can't spot NEWS ads in there, they're just farther away than the other convenience stores. TV commercials are easy to catch and I know I've passed by several other ads with Johnny's on them as I walked around Tokyo.

Unfortunately the place I am staying out doesn't get the NHK BS2 channel or BShi so I can't watch Shounen Club. Hopefully though I'll find a way to make it to a taping while I'm here.

And so far that's my Johnny's sightings in Japan. It's kinda hard to believe I haven't been here for even a full week. And I really hope I will get back to Harajuku this week, as classes for me begin in about a week from now.

04 April 2009

KAT-TUN Break the Records -by you & for you- track listing

In the past few days more information about KAT-TUN's upcoming album has been released. First off the title will be Break the Records -by you & for you-. I'm not sure if this album will be breaking any sales records so I'm sure they're referencing the dome concerts for the title.

The track listings for the two versions are out as well, the RE will have a bonus track that the LE will not have. Personally that just makes the RE the more worthwhile purchase as the LE just has more pages for its booklet. But here is the track listing:






(Nakamaru's solo song)

(Jin's solo song)

(Kame's solo song)

(Tanaka's solo song)

10.花の舞う街 (Hana no Maugai/Flower's Dancing District)
(Ueda's solo song)

(Junno's solo song)

12.君道 (Kimimichi/Your Road)

13.春夏秋冬 (Shunkashuutou/Spring Summer Fall Winter)

14.White X'mas (Album Version)


16.MOON (BONUS TRACK for the RE)

Starting Back Up

Alright, things are finally beginning to slow down a bit so I should be able to begin daily posting again soon. I have pictures to share too, as Johnny's really is everywhere in Japan. But first some news catch up.

Takuya Kimura has a new upcoming drama, titled Mr. Brain. He gets to play a neuroscientist that works for the police. It will air on TBS in mid-spring (end of May).

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Japan Today article. (English)