30 September 2009

Dial Up vocal break down

Well I picked up the November issue of Myojo (I can't believe the magazines are already onto November already), and in the Young Song booklet included it has the vocal break down for NYC boys' Dial UP. What that means is that they tell you who is singing during which lines of the song. I figured I should share, as I now I'm always really curious about this kind of thing for group songs. So here is the romanized version of who sings what for Dial Up.

Dial Up


Wow wow wow

Yeah, Wow wow wow

Hey you, itsumo
Sore wa nainjyanai?
Daitai kimi ga kakete kitandarou

[Mou ii] tsugerare
Togireru noizu nara 10pun mae mo

I heard I heard

Soto e ikeba iratatsukoto dareke

Amake ni Rain

Fuini kobosu tame iki wo hikitsure

Nanda yo boku datte

Itsumo no Number

Yubi de sagashiteru no sa

Kawasu kotoba

Mienai mama

NYC boys
Dial Up Me ni atteta
Dial Up Kimi no koe tsukamu
[You know] Kawaranai bokura
Nanze ka


Uh, hikaru te no naka no Cell
Rireki wo mitsutzuke kotae wo sagashiteru

Sou futari shinjita [Soul Mate]
Utsuro ni yuraideiku sono yume

Miminarenu kimi hakidasu tame iki
Sono Sigh wa kikenna kakehiki

Sugu ni Hung Up, dekinu Call Back,
Kodoku na futari wo tsunagu Dial Up.

NYC boys
I can’t say it, yeah!!
I can’t say it, yeah!! …


Wow Wow Wow

NYC boys
Dial Up kimi wa donna
Dial Up kao de te ni shita
Long time tsunagaranai hon no suupyou
Dial Up Me ni atteta
Dial Up Kimi no koe tsukamu
[You know] Kawaranai bokura
Nanze ka Ah
Dial up I take your phone number

Dial Up!

Dial Up

Hikaeme koe ga

NYC boys
If you Boku wo erandanara itsumo
Dial Up

Narashite Calling

Oh Dial Up!

Dial Up

Boku mo onaji da to

NYC boys
[bye-bye] Atari mae no Fin yakeni


I was rather surprised at how little B.I.Shadow there is in this song. And they aren't even given a single line to sing without Nakayama, Yamada or Chinen. Which makes me wish NYC boys was only for NYC and the other songs could have gone to Nakayama Yuma w/B.I.Shadow so they could at least sing a bit more. I mean this is their cd too.

29 September 2009

Sword of Stranger Navigation DVD: Nagase & Chinen parts

Yesterday I was at the local Bookoff and found this DVD on the shelf and decided to pick it up. I haven't actually seen the actual film but when I saw that Nagase Tomoya and Chinen Yuri were featured in this (as they co-star in the film) I knew I just had to see it. I'm rather glad I did as the two definitely made it worth buying to me. Nagase of course gets more focus as this was back in early 2007 so the original Hey! Say! 7 hadn't even been formed, IIRC. Of course this also means that Chinen is tiny in this, and even looks smaller than usual next to Nagase.

Here are the short messages they two give at the end of the disc. The video that has the parts Nagase and Chinen featured in is still uploading and it will probably take a while as it's about 11 minutes long.

Link: Stranger nagase message

Link: Stranger chinen message

And I will update this post later with the clip of Nagase and Chinen voice recording with mini-interviews.

And here is the recording/mini-interviews clip.

Link: Stranger nagase chinen

28 September 2009

JUMPing to my dream ~

As I mentioned in an earlier entry I've been feeling rather nostalgic, probably because this time of year several Johnny's groups have their debut anniversaries. And it was only a couple months when I passed the day I've marked anniversary date for getting into Johnny's, July 31st. I figured it wasn't worth a post this time around, I think the next time I make one for that will be in 2012 for my 5th anniversary.

But getting back on track to where I'm trying to head with this, as I came in during 2007 I got to be around for a Johnny's debut, Hey! Say! JUMP. As I was a big fan of the original Hey! Say! 7 group I had been so excited about this debut, as my favorite Junior group was debuting. Sure there were a lot of members in the new group I didn't really know, but I did know a couple were from J.J. Express, the group the Junior HS7 boys more or less all came from and while I really wasn't a fan of the group I knew of Yabu and Hikaru from Ya-Ya-Yah, as it was hard not to know of Yax3 if you were a Junior fan then. The only unknown was Okamoto Keito, who I took a quick liking too, as he seemed the greatest underdog of the group with how many just saw him as 'the Junior that only got to debut so quickly because his dad is in Johnny's'. Thinking about that makes me even happier to realize how far he's come since the group's debut, as he seems so comfortable in front of the camera now, most likely thanks to being a part of Hyakushiki, and has finally gotten his own solo song at a concert after about two years in the group. Famous dad or not, he couldn't have made such improvements without actually putting some effort into things himself.

Keito isn't the only one that has improved over the years, in fact they group as a whole has. Since I had brought my concert DVDs with me to Japan this time around I found the first performance Hey! Say! JUMP did as a group at Yokohama Arena on September 24th, 2007. Watching again reminded me of rewatching this clip endlessly when it first came out, as it was pretty much the only video clip of the group performing together for a bit. Watching it now I was struck by the fact that there really wasn't much in the way of cheorography for Ultra Music Power, or at least not much that showed group cohesion. Not like the dance for Your Seed where it feels every move had to be carefully planned out. But I guess you can probably see for yourself what I mean as I ripped the video of that debut performance and put it up to view.

Link: hei sei tobu debut

I think it's pretty easy to tell that the boys have done well in improving themselves over the years. They still have things that need to be worked on, but I think that's part of the fun of being able to follow a group from the start. Being able to watch them grow and become more skilled at what they do.

NEWS Live Diamond DVD!!!! & more on Yamapi's new solo cd

You must forgive me but I believe this is worth fangirling over if you're a NEWS fangirl like me. I mean I had so given up any hope of this concert tour being released on DVD so seeing the e-mail from cdjapan with it listed has me feeling so giddy. Seriously this has just made my day and will make having to start up school again in a few days much more bearable.

Not only that but the DVD release actually looks like it was worth the wait, or at least the LE version of it. And I am quite amused that the DVD is using footage from Osaka while the Kanjani8 DVD for the Puzzle tour used footage from the Tokyo Dome. For some reason it just seems like the locations chosen for these two releases got mixed up. XD

Though looking at the information Johnny's net has up for the release there will be at least documentary footage for all their other tour stops. And the thing that really has me psyched up is the Special Reel, where each member has made music clips of their solo songs. So get Masuda with Superman, Tegoshi with Ai Nante, Shige with Sha la la Tamborine, Koyama with Love Addiction, Ryo with code and Yamapi with MOLA (R-midwest REMIX).

I am so excited for this release! November 4th can't come soon enough!

News Live Diamond [Limited Edition] / NEWS

News Live Diamond [Regular Edition] / NEWS

And I'll be lying if I didn't say that Yamapi's solo single has me a bit more interested now that more information is out on it. And it looks like Johnny's found a way for me to buy two versions of it, as I am a complete sucker for bonus tracks, even if they aren't all that great. And according to Johnny's net with the track listings between the three cds there are seven new songs (which would be a mini album if released all on the same disc) so with all the the past solo songs Yamapi has had he does have about an album's worth of songs to sing for his concert.

Loveless [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A] / Tomohisa Yamashita

Loveless [Limited Edition / Type B] / Tomohisa Yamashita

Loveless [Regular Edition] / Tomohisa Yamashita

Also the information for his concert is up. The first day is one show while the next two days have two shows each day. I will probably end up going as Yamapi is still the only member of NEWS I have yet to see since being in Japan and going to Johnny's events.

Oh Johnny's, you have made this NEWS fan quite happy. Now get in gear for Hey! Say! JUMP and I won't have anything I would feel like complaining about too much about anymore.

27 September 2009

Yamapi gets another solo cd and a debut solo concert

I guess this year is the year for sub-units for NEWS. Now after Tegomass have had their music releases and debut tour it's looks like Johnny's is moving on to the next member that released something during the hiatus year, Yamashita Tomohisa.

It has been announced that November 18th Yamapi will release a second solo cd, titled Loveless, and then hold five concert shows at Yokohama Arena from November 21-23.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Even though I would rather have a NEWS single I am happy to see at least someone from the group releasing something. Though after the Tegomass and Yamapi releases I wonder if we'll get a Koyashige cd debut so each member has a release outside of NEWS (Ryo of course is covered with Kanjani8). XD

And I'm still hoping that we get at least a new single before NEWS has their next concert tour, especially if they're to tour in the winter like they have been in recent years.

25 September 2009

Nakayama Yuma radio plus Hadaka no Shounen cancelled

Johnny's net has updated and Nakayama Yuma will be getting his own radio program, titled Nakayama Yuma Radio Catch. It is set to begin on Thrusday, October 1st and will be on the JFN radio station. Other than that there really is no other information up about it, but I'm sure there will be anothr update before it begins broadcasting as I'm sure people will want to know when it's actually on.

Johnny's net (Japanese only.)

Also it's being reported that the Hadaka no Shounen will be cancelled. Someone apparently called up TV Asahi and they confirmed what had been at the time the rumor of it's cancellation. There's no word on what will replace the program, though I'm personally hoping it will be another Junior program. Maybe we can get something like Ya-Ya-Yah! again, as that was a fun show to watch.

24 September 2009

16th poll results

I need to get better at remembering when I have set my polls to end. But I was having some trouble thinking of a new topic that I hadn't done to death before. But before moving onto that, the results of this latest one.

Where do you think the next international Johnny's concert should be?

Asia - 61

North America - 49

Europe - 33

Australia - 4

South America - 1

Africa - 0

Not surprised with the responses really, as Johnny's has actually spread out into Asia a bit so they would be more well known there than anywhere else in the world. And this being an English language blog I figured there would be a fair amount of people from North America and Europe. And I'm happy to see a few votes for Australia, as even though I lived most of my life in the U.S. I was born in Australia so I have some lingering Auzzie pride. ^__^

As I've entered a nostalgic phase, thinking back when I got into Johnny's a little over two yeas ago, this question entered my mind and I felt it would be something worth asking. Which group got you into Johnny's & are they your favorite? Daisempai, are of course any of the Johnny's acts before SMAP's debut (Shounentai, Hikaru Genji, Kondo Masahiko, etc...) and Juniors can be any of the Juniors or Junior groups past and present.

22 September 2009

Tokio Over 30's World concert highlight report

Since I plan on using Ladies' Day (every Wednesday women get a movie ticket discount) to the most of my advantage today by spending a good portion of my day at the nearby movie theater catching up on Japanese movies I missed when I went home to the States, I figured I better do this quick.

First off while looking for more information about the concert, like who exactly the guests were, I found a great Japanese write up of the concert with not only the full set list but all the dialog for the MC parts included as well. So if you know Japanese I think it would be best to check it out.

The concert was much more like a normal rock concert than a Johnny's concert. I think the more elaborate sets and such for Tokio would have seemed out of place. Especially since they are a band so most of the time they are stuck behind their instruments. Though on that note each member was given at least one time during the concert to leave their instruments during a song, they had a support drummer that let Matsuoka Masahiro leave his set, and walk the full length of the stage which went from one side of the venue to the other and let the lucky fans sitting next to the flanks that went next to where they were sitting see the members up close.

Talking about the stage, they had a large version of the concert mascot on the stage between Mabo's drum set and the drum set of the support drummer. When it was used it would flap its wings and blow smoke out of its nose. Joshima Shigeru seemed rather attached to it as he was standing underneath for one part of a song and then later in the concert petting it. And like the usual rock concert there were streams of fire and at the end streamers came down in the arena area during different parts of the concert.

I consider myself more of a casual Tokio fan, though I do love Nagase Tomoya dearly, so there quite a few songs I didn't recognize. I found out after the concert when talking to a friend who went to the concert as well, but had seat in a different area, that there were quite a few album tracks played which explained that. So I need to pick up more of their albums as I only have a few. But even if I didn't know the song I still enjoyed them all as the whole group looked so happy to be up their on stage performing.

Also they played some of their newer songs like Amagasa (which thankfully had key changes to put in in more of Nagase's actual singing range though he was still shout-y in parts for it) and the A-sides off their latest single Taiyou to Sabaku no Bara and Subeki Koto. And of course there was Sorafune, which I think is a must now for any Tokio concert. The song that really made me happy to hear live was Hey! Mr. Sampling Man. It's one of my favorite Tokio songs so it was easily the highlight of the concert for me.

After this concert I have come to like the group more and will try to make more of an effort to learn more about them. Especially Kokubun Taichi, as he was just so lovable with how hyper he was on stage. He was jumping around at and away from his keyboards and was the lead person for getting the crowd going during songs. Then near the end of the concert rocked out in an afro wig. ♥

I was really amazed at Tokio's MC skills. I didn't understand much of it but the parts I did get were funny and entertaining (like Nagase and his 'over 30's chair' and all the poking fun of Joshima for being the 'old man' of the group) and from the crowd reactions to the things I didn't get it sounded like it was the same. Though they did have a few serious moments when they talked about their anniversary and how glad they were for their fans' support. But there were no moments of awkward silence or having to wait for someone to think of the next topic as they all just played off each other and just naturally kept the conversation going with their jokes. I guess that's one of the big differences between these older Johnny's groups compared to the younger ones, but I'm sure as the years pass and the younger groups begin to create closer bounds with each other they can eventually reach that level.

They only did one encore but it was a three song encore. Like for most of the songs of the concert they were upbeat songs and the guys looked like they were having a blast on stage. It's really hard to believe they're all over 30 as they just had so much energy. Especially Joshima as he probably moved around the stage the most and gave the fans the most love. Near the end he even ran up to the wall just below where the 1st floor seats were above so those fans could reach out and touch him.

At the end the whole group lined up, hand in hand, and Joshima was pulled into the middle of them all so he would be in the proper leader spot. Then Joshima without a mic yelled out loud and clear in English, 'We are TOKIO!'. And that ended the concert as they then left the stage.

I think the only downside to the concert was that I was sitting next to a fan that just was paying no attention to those around them. It was fine for everything before the long MC as I was standing in the aisle (I was the last row of the 1st floor so the seats were on raised ledges on the wall with the aisle to the exits/entrances directly in front of it.) and she was behind me standing on the ledge but after that MC she decided to stand in front of me and I tended to see more of her arm/hand than the stage during the songs. I tried to avoid it at first by standing on the ledge myself but because of my height it only left a couple of inches between my head and the ceiling which was rather uncomfortable for me, so I ended up just having to deal with the nuisance of somebody's arm/hand in my line of vision.

From the MC it looks like I was actually right about Masuda Takahisa being there after all. They actually introduced him by name (I can't believe I didn't catch it as they made a pun of his name right afterwards too.) as well and Yasuda Shota (who I'm not surprised that I didn't recognize as I had trouble recognizing him in the ROMES photos in the latest magazines). I am positive about Akun Igo still, even though he didn't get a mention but he stands out so much it really couldn't be anyone else. For the Hey! Say! JUMP boys none of them were introduced by name just by the group name even though there looked to be only three present. I'm now sure that Okamoto Keito was there, he's the only one with spiky hair after all, and one of them had longish light brown hair and I thought it was either Takaki Yuya or Yaotome Hikaru. Really did not get a good look at all at the third boy so I'm not even going to guess who it was other than he had black hair, which means it could be just about anyone else from the group that doesn't have their hair dyed.

Tokio Over 30's World concert goods

Tonight I went to the first show of Tokio's concert tour for 2009, the Over 30's World Tour, at Nippon Budokan. I'm so glad I decided to go as the concert was fun and Tokio is one of those groups that is just a joy to watch live as they are all just having so much fun. As I'm not sure if there's anyone interested in a report of the concert, as the English fandom for Tokio seems quite small, I'll probably only do a highlights concert report tomorrow after getting some sleep.

The tour goods were all rather tempting to get, since they had some interesting items that I wish other groups would consider adding to their goods list. The most popular is probably the stuffed animal of the tour mascot, a bulldog with wings wearing sunglasses. While the mascot doesn't look so great drawn on the goods the toy version of it is rather cute. Unfortunately I didn't have the money to pick one up myself, not with the other items I decided to get.

I like how the uchiwas aren't designed to look like the standard uchiwa, with the photos not just being simple head shots of the guys. And I love that they had clothing patches, there's actually four different ones in the bag even though since it's unopened you can only see the one in the photo. The bag is an eco-bag, and while I like the logo the material is rather thin so I'm afraid about using it to carry anything heavy in it.

And of course since I'm a sucker for photos I had to at least pick up Nagase Tomoya's photo set. Because as much as I like the younger groups he is my Johnny's crush, as not only is he hot but he has a great personality which is a combination hard not to fall for, IMHO.

There were a few Johnny's guests at the concert, but they weren't brought on stage or even individually introduced. I also I couldn't see the screen from where I was so I couldn't see their faces at all. I could see them from a distance from where I was but not close enough to really tell who was there. Except for Akun Igo from Question?, as he tends to stand out quite a bit and is one of the few Johnny's that is actually more easily identifiable when he's wearing a hat. (laugh) Though I think, not 100% certain, that two of the others were Okamoto Keito (had the short spikey hair) and Masuda Takahisa (as during the MC Tokio was talking about the younger groups and brought up Hey! Say! JUMP then added NEWS as well as if they felt they needed to include that group not long before they put the spotlight on where the guests were sitting, though he was also the furthest away from where I was so I don't have much faith in my guess here). I guess I'll have to see about hunting down Japanese blogs to confirm the guests though, as Akun is really the only one I am 100% sure that I recognized.

21 September 2009

Arashi week on NTV

It looks like Johnny's isn't the only one celebrating Arashi's 10th anniversary. NTV has announced that they plan to give the group a full week of special appearances on their various programs in November and will end the week with a special Arashi program.

According to the news report the total run time of the programs that will have at least one member guesting in will be 50 hours added together. So if you don't think you've gotten enough of the group yet then hopefully this will help fill your Arashi needs.

Tokyograph article. (English)

And while I'm happy for Arashi that they're getting so much attention after being one of those groups that tended to get overlooked in their earlier days I can't help but feel a bit sorry for those groups that are currently being overlooked. Especially Tokio as this year is their 15th anniversary and they really haven't gotten anything special to celebrate it from Johnny's. But I guess they at least have a concert tour despite only releasing one single all year so far, and I know I'm glad that I'll be going to their first concert for it tomorrow.

20 September 2009

Konkatsu! First Impressions

I still have a couple of weeks before school starts up again and I figured I should catch up with my drama watching as I am so very behind. Right now my current line up is Konkatsu! and Battery, the former I've already begun watching and the latter I'll begin once done with Konkatsu! And then it'll depend with what I have finished DLing for what I'll watch next. Though hopefully I'll be on the summer dramas at least by the time school starts.

Konkatsu! is the Spring 2009 drama that starred Nakai Masahiro and was Ueda Tatsuya's drama debut as he played Nakai's character's younger brother.

I've found Konkatsu! rather interesting for the fact that it addresses an issue in Japan that probably a lot of people outside the country don't realize even exists. The heart of this issue is the shrinking population of Japan, especially that of the youth, which is the smallest percentage of the Japanese population. To fix this issue the Japanese government has tried many programs to get young people to marry and have children with a small amount of success but really not enough to turn the situation around. Konkatsu! focuses on showing the process of 'marriage hunting' and IMHO rather simplifies the issue, but I also think expecting much more from a drama would be asking too much.

I like Nakai and so far have found him fun to watch in this series. He plays his hapless hero character, Amamiya Kuniyuki, well and plays off well with the other actors, which is a plus for the comedy of the series. The story keeps focus on him for the most part so if you don't like Nakai for some reason then I doubt you'd enjoy the series much at all.

While Ueda doesn't show up much, but at least he seems to get a little screen time for each episode, I know I'm happy to see him. I don't think I've seen nearly enough to judge his acting yet but so far he fills his role nicely, as minor as it seems, and he's nice to look at too. (laugh)

The other characters so far I like as well. There's a few I really like and the others I have no real opinion of. There is also supposed to be a lot of female guest actors for this series, though I don't know many Japanese actresses so I'm not really interested in seeing any of them, but thankfully they seem to be worked into the plot well so their appearences aren't abrupt.

Storywise the first couple of episodes are still mainly setting things up. We get introduced to Kuniyuki, his family, friends and co-workers all rather quickly, but each introduction comes with a name caption to help people remember the name and face.

And for every episode there is an event shown that is one of the typical activities at the actual marriage hunting events in Japan, like the first episode shows off the 'speed dating' where men and women hold quick introductions and conversations with each other before switching partners. By the end of the event those most interested in hearing more from someone are allowed to find that person and see if they will be able to hit it off or not.

It's not the most engaging of stories so far, but I like the characters so far and I think it holds some promise so I'll continue to watch.

18 September 2009

Tatsuya 'Hottest Male Singers' poll Johnny's list

Since this seems to be making the rounds I figured I might as well join in. I'll only be listing the Johnny's artists that made the list with the rank number (repeated numbers are ties) and number of votes. For those not familiar with Tatsuya or wondering how influential this chart is here is what I know about it. Tatsuya is a cd store chain, much like the more commonly known Tower Records and HMV in other places in the world. Like most companies these days it has an online site and holds online polls for people to vote on. So you're probably getting a different group of people than those polled for the Oricon or magazine polls, which explains the big difference in how some of the artists have ranked in this poll compared to others.

Tatsuya 'Hottest Male Singers' poll Johnny's list

12 Nishikido Ryo (NEWS) 12,713 votes
15 Nakai Masahiro (SMAP) 8,136 votes
18 Kimura Takuya (SMAP) 5,088 votes
19 Domoto Tsuyoshi (Kinki Kids) 4,838 votes
21 Akanishi Jin (KAT-TUN) 3,750 votes
23 Kokubun Taiichi (TOKIO) 3,422 votes
30 Matsumoto Jun (Arashi) 910 votes
37 Sakurai Sho (Arashi) 487votes
38 Ohno Satoshi (Arashi) 426 votes
54 Nagase Tomoya (TOKIO) 100 votes
56 Yamashita Tomohisa (NEWS) 91 votes
58 Domoto Koichi (Kinki Kids) 60 votes
59 Ninomiya Kazunari (Arashi) 51 votes
60 Tegoshi Yuya (NEWS) 46 votes
62 Katori Shingo (SMAP) 32 votes
63 Kamenashi Kazuya (KAT-TUN) 21 votes
63 Aiba Masaki (Arashi) 21 votes
66 Yamada Ryosuke (Hey! Say! JUMP) 17 votes
68 Chinen Yuri (Hey! Say! JUMP) 15 votes
68 Nakayama Yuma 15 votes
68 Fujigaya Taisuke (Kis-My-Ft2) 15 votes

Tatsuya poll results page. (Japanese only.)

And that's the full list. It's a bit strange to see people like Yamapi and Kame so far down the list but I can't say I'm surprised every member of Arashi was on it. I was surprised to see Fujigaya's name there, even if it's at the bottom. I think it's pretty impressive for someone who isn't in a debuted group or have had a lot of recent promotion for anything.

And for those curious there is another poll that is currently open to voting on. The topic is Fall Sports! Which Artist Seems Like A Fast Runner? and you can view it here, as long as it's active. And I have to say I'm rather happy to see Okamoto Keito ranking rather high in this poll, if just because it shows that people do seem to know he exists and there can never be too much Keito love, IMHO.

Upcoming Johnny's releases

It looks like this is a popular time for Johnny's to announce new releases for the next month or two. So far there is a new Kinki Kids single on it's way, titled Swan Song, to go with their million selling best album Arashi has a DVD with all the PVs they've ever had, including the animated version of Believe, and the latest announcement is the Hey! Say! JUMP official 1st photo album that will come with a special message DVD that was first announced at the Tokyo Dome concert on September 13th.

cdjapan has all these up for pre-order at the links below.

Swan Song [Regular Edition] / KinKi Kids

Swan Song [Limited Edition] / KinKi Kids

5X10 All the Best! Clips 1999-2009 / Arashi

Hey! Say! Jump First Photo Book [w/ DVD] / Hey! Say! Jump

I think the only thing I wish I could change or add with this batch of upcoming releases is for Hey! Say! JUMP to have a single or album, but at least they're releasing something I guess. That and I think it's about time NEWS and Kanjani8 had their next single released. Though I have a feeling that Kanjani8 will be getting one in a couple of months with two of their members starring in a fall drama, so I think there's a good chance of them doing the theme song for that. I just hope NEWS gets to release something too around that time, even though they'll probably have to make a gap between releases for the two groups so Nishikido Ryo doesn't get too overworked.

17 September 2009

Hey! Say! JUMP Fanclub messages

Ok, I'm back in Japan and I feel like it won't take long to get back into the swing of things. It probably helps that somehow I managed to avoid the worst of jetlag with just never getting a normal sleep pattern down while back in the States. In any case I found some mail waiting for me when I came back. I received some things from the Junior fanclub, Kis-My-Ft2 and Takizawa Kakumei balloting forms, as well as a form for joining the new Hey! Say! JUMP Fanclub.

As I only have about half a year left in Japan I'm going to have to pass on joining the new fanclub. If I ever return to live here for a year or more I'll probably go ahead and join, but until then it looks like I'm back to having to get HSJ tickets the usual way I have been.

With the form for joining the fanclub there are also short messages from each member of the group. I surprised myself by pretty much being able to read and understand almost all of Takaki Yuya's message. (For the curious he just talks a bit about going to the beach a lot during the summer and asks if people know about wake boarding.) Not so surprised with being able to do the same with Yamada Ryosuke's as his is pretty much just a plug for his upcoming drama special and a line they all say in almost the same words about the fanclub 「Hey!Say!JUMPのファンクラブができます!」(Hey! Say! JUMP's fanclub is created!). I haven't really tried to read the other's yet.

And here is the photo I took of it. I'm not sure if I'll try to translate it all or not yet, though I'm thinking I should so I can practice my Japanese and the handwriting looks legible enough for me to read.

14 September 2009

Some news updates

Sorry for the inactivity the past couple of days. Made last minute plans to visit friends before I returned to Japan. Today is my last full day home before I begin my trip home which will get me back in Japan on Thursday. But before I go I know I need to get around to finishing some things up here first, which includes catching up with the recent Johnny's related news.

First off it looks like Matsumoto Jun will be returning to the small screen as he is one of the actors listed to be a part of a special Fuji TV drama that is being made to celebrate the TV station's 50th anniversary. The drama will air over three nights in the spring of 2010 and MatsuJun will play one of 5 siblings in the drama, which is set in the 1940's-1960's.

Tokyograph article.

Ikuta Toma has been announced to be starring in another movie, Seaside Motel, which will be released in theaters in Japan sometime in 2010. The movie is based off a manga series by the same name and began filming last month in August.

Tokyograph article. (English)

And some different kind of news, it was announced that Inohara Yoshihiko (V6) and his wife, actress Seto Asaka, are expecting their first child. Asaka has been four and a half months pregnant and has begun to slow down her work schedule in preperation for the upcoming birth, which is being reported should be in March of 2010.

Tokyograph article.

10 September 2009

Life & Takizawa Revolutions for January

Like with this year, next year will start with a revolution, or at least two musicals with the word revolution (kakumei) in their title. There will be another Takizawa Kakumei like this year, with pretty much the same Junior lined up to be a part of it, Kis-My-Ft2 and A.B.C.-Z. There's another musical being added to the mix titled Jinsei Kakumei (Life Revolution) which will star one of the few Johnny's female talents of years back, Mori Mitsuko and co-star Takizawa Hideaki and have the the same Juniors involved. It's plot will also center around Mori's life. Shounentai member, Nishikiori Kazukiyo, will also be a part of the musicals and be present for both of them. Jinsei Kakumei will mainly be day shows and only has 14 shows, while Takizawa Kakumei will have 26.

The A.B.C. portion will have to split roles as they are also doing Yabu Kota's musical at the same time, while Hashimoto Ryosuke will be able to be in all the Kakumei shows. Which seems to make their schedule look incredibly packed for the month of January with three musicals, playing on an almost daily basis, for them to do.

Takki.us news bit translations. 1 2

Have to say I was taken aback to see Mori's name as a star of Jinsei Kakumei. Probably because like most people I'm not used to see any female name attached to a Johnny's production like that unless it's a musical they didn't create. But as I mentioned before Mori is one of the rare female Johnny's artists, of course she's mainly just been acting for most of her career as Johnny's ended recruiting female talent back in the 1980's. But Mori has kept good ties with the agency, which is probably the reason behind her starring in Jinsei Kakumei. And for those worried about the boys being around a woman I don't think there's anything to fear as Mori turned 89 this year so I think if anything she'll be like a mother, or grandmother to those in the muscial.

07 September 2009

Jin to make his solo cd debut

It has been announced that Akanishi Jin will be making his solo cd debut this autumn with a single that will tie in to his upcoming movie Bandage. Not much else is known about the release, other than the songs will be in the rock genre and of course the lead song will be the theme song to the movie.

Oricon article. (Japanese only.)

I know from the minute I heard that the movie was about a band and that Jin was cast as the vocalist that there would be solo cd release for it. Since Jin is one of the most popular members of KAT-TUN Johnny's probably has little doubt that he can carry a solo release and get strong sales so they don't have to tack it on as a double A-side or B-side of a KAT-TUN release.

Of course I can't help but think that if this is going to be released in the fall then it may mean that KAT-TUN won't be releasing a new single of their own anytime soon. Though after the amount of releases they had at the beginning of the year not releasing something for a while as a group can't be as painful a wait as it is for fans of other groups that haven't released a cd for almost a year now. /bitter Hey! Say! JUMP fan mode

Preview of official photo scans

I really didn't mean to miss posting yesterday but I went down for a short nap in the afternoon and didn't wake up until this morning. To say the least I still have yet to adjust to the time difference, though I will probably only manage to do so a day or two before I go back to Japan knowing my luck.

But before I go back I should be able to finish scanning my entire Johnny's photo collection. So far I have scanned about 250 photos and I'm estimating that I still have about 400-500 left to go. And even I'm surprised at how massive it is. Especially as I only buy official photos, so none of them are papas.

When I'm done scanning I'll upload zip files of the scans that will be free to download. The usual rules about scans that I have, don't claim as your own mainly, will apply of course. Until then though here are a few previews with comments from me.

One of the best parts about looking at the photos at the unofficial idol stores are finding the really old out of print photos like this one. It was too cute and had my favorite NEWS member and my favorite ex-NEWS member so I just had to get it.

In Ikebukuro there is a store called Mandarake that mainly deals in doujinshi (fan drawn comics) but it has a corner for official idol merchandise. There they have packs of photos that you can buy, though you really can only view the top photo so you don't know what the rest of the photos look like. But as I don't have many Arashi photos I was willing to take the gamble because this photo was the top photo and I loved it so much I felt it would be worth getting the pack even if I didn't like the rest of the photos. I did like some of the others so I do feel I made the right choice, but none of them can match up this photo, IMHO. There's just something about what Sho's wearing, his stance and expression on his face that makes me smile whenever I look at it.

I guess it's another sign that I don't really have 'normal' taste that this is one of my favorite Takaki Yuya photos. It's of course not because it's a good photo of him, but rather because it makes him look demonic to me. I just get the feeling that he is a demon and is ready to eat people's souls, but of course with a cute smile on his face. In fact the more I play with the idea the more I come to think that maybe Takaki is a demon and his airheaded-ness is just a ploy to make people relax their guard around him so it's easier for him to eat their souls. XD

With scanning these photos I've noticed a few things in some of them that I hadn't before. Like in this one I noticed that Yamapi has freckles drawn on his cheeks. I think it's actually rather cute and I just might pick up a couple more Yamapi Koi no ABO photos, as I need to get more Yamapi photos in general. I have so few of him. D=

Most of my favorite photos are the ones like these, where the boys aren't trying to be cool or look good but are just having fun or goofying off. I've discovered that when it comes to KAT-TUN these kinds of photos aren't the easiest to find but the ones out there are usually gems.

I'm really glad I got the Sanada photo set from the last Junior concert as I think he looks great in all his photos. He's one of those Juniors that has really improved over the year. I remember when he was still singing with Hashimoto and Nozawa and they all had an air of awkwardness about them when they had to talk on stage. Nowadays though Sanada seems to just ooze with confidence on stage at all times and is a joy to watch. He also looks like he will be one hell of a heart throb once he starts getting chances to really shine.

I honestly never thought I would ever become a fan of Ueda. He just did not interest at all for the longest time until the past few months when I discovered his smile. Seriously, when he's looking like this I can't help but think he is just the most adorable thing ever and want to smile myself. I guess I just saw his 'serious' face look, which I think makes him look dead in the face most of the time, and missed out on seeing him when he actually showed his expressions, which I think makes him look so much better no matter what the expression is.

And that will be it for previews for now. Hopefully I'll finish scanning in the next few days. It's just so time consuming even though it's not that hard to do. But I hope people enjoy the previews.

05 September 2009

Kis-My-Ft2 1st National Tour, plus speculation

I know this information has been around for awhile, but I wanted to make this a rather lengthy post when I talked about because I am just so happy about this news. I had hoped that Kis-My-Ft2 would get a solo concert sometime while I was in Japan so this is a huge highlight for the year for me. So without a doubt I'll be going to one of the concerts at least, though I'm going to aim for attending more than that.

I am just so happy for Kisumai. I really thought they would just get a few concerts in the Tokyo and maybe Osaka areas like most Junior groups get. A national tour is a big thing for any Junior group, as it's pretty rare for Juniors to have concerts away from Tokyo or Osaka, the two main cities and biggest in populations in Japan. So I think this really shows that Johnny's has faith in Kisumai to be able to bring in people from all around Japan to see them live. Even if most of the venues aren't large they still have more shows scheduled than the usual Hey! Say! JUMP tour and will be going to more cities than HSJ has gone, even though HSJ is a debuted group. Though I'm thinking a reason behind this is that Kisumai no longer has any members under 18 or in high school so they can do the longer and more time consuming tours that HSJ can't do yet with about half it's members still being minors.

In any case with the current list of dates and times for the tour shows the estimated number of attendees right now is just a little more than 100,000. This number can go up easily depending if there are more dates/shows added to the tour. And in my opinion for a group that hasn't had its members star in dramas or movies and have just had their fanbase built from being on the same shows most other Juniors are shown on as well for the most part, I think it's pretty impressive. Not to mention it shows they could have great potential if given those kinds of chances they haven't had yet.

And when it comes to this leading to a debut, I'd definitely say it's possible. Especially looking at the past debut patterns of Johnny's groups. I think it's pretty much established that the volleyball debut groups are given the young and cute image as their base when they debut. It takes years for that image to really be shed even if they ramp up on things like sex appeal as the members get older, like how Arashi was the group of cute and rainbows right up until they really began to take off in the past couple of years. Looking at the kinds of groups that Johnny's tends to debut between those volleyball groups they tend to be older and don't usually share the same image of young and cute.

Like after Arashi debuted there was Tackey & Tsubasa's debut when they both were 20 years old. Then after NEWS there was the Kanjani8 debut, which was a very different group with much older members than the youngest in NEWS, as well as KAT-TUN later, which was another group that debuted when it's members were older and went for the sexy image to contrast with NEWS' young and cute.

I think maybe Johnny's might have been trying to see if they could have two young and cute groups debut back to back with Nakayama Yuma w/B.I.Shadow after HSJ, but realized that it wouldn't work out. I say this because the NYC boys LE version of the YuBIS single is near impossible to find, and has been pretty much since the 1st week of the release. The other LE version of the single that mainly features YuBIS on the other hand is still easy to find in stores in Japan. So I think Johnny's was afraid that the group would not be able to sell to the levels they would expect without the support of a group like NYC boys. Which is a pity for the boys of YuBIS but Johnny's is first and foremost a business and if they felt they wouldn't be able to get the group to sell then it's understandable from a business perspective. Though it seems rather cruel for the boys as Johnny's has had groups that didn't start out strong but raised themselves up over their careers, like SMAP and Kanjani8 being the best examples of this.

In the end though there's little use arguing with what's happened. But I think this has given Kisumai a better chance at debut. The next volleyball debut should be in 2011 to keep the every four years schedule Johnny's has been keeping for these debuts and there hasn't been an instance yet where there was no group debut between the volleyball debuts. Since YuBIS seems to have fallen through the next likely candidate looks to be Kisumai. They seem to be the most popular Junior group with the amount of uchiwas I've seen for them at the KAT-TUN concerts I attended, plus they have been given some great oppurtunities to draw in more fans such as Tamamori being a Gokusen boy and the group taking over PLAYZONE from Shounentai. And of course they wouldn't have the same group image as HSJ, as they play up the sexy image just as KAT-TUN does. So it's quite likely that Johnny's would go back to the formula that's worked before and debut a group like Kisumai next, probably in 2010 as it will be a late 2011 debut for the next volleyball debut to go with the tournament held at that time.

Of course with Johnny's nothing is written in stone until it's already happened and they could still chose to do something else, like just not debut another group until 2011 or create a new group to debut instead. But I know me and other Kisumai fans are hoping that won't be the case and all the activities Kisumai has been doing recently are all leading up to a major debut for the group finally.

04 September 2009

Johnny's mini-drama, 0 Goushitsu no Kyaku

For six months various Johnny's will be starring in episodes of a late night mini-drama, titled 0 Goushitsu no Kyaku (Guests of Room Number 0), which will all be narrated by Kanjani8's Yokoyama Yu. Each episode will only be 15 minutes long and each story will be told over a month, so about 3 to 4 episodes per story.

The Johnny's that will be starring in the stories are, Ohno Satoshi, Maruyama Ryuhei and Yasuda Shota, Kato Shigeaki, Murakami Shingo, Koyama Keiichiro and Joshima Shigeru, in that order. The drama will air on Fuji TV beginning on October 23rd.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Now this is a drama I feel truly excited about. I mean as a general Johnny's fan there's little else I could ask for from a drama, than perhaps it to run for longer so more Johnny's could have a role in it. XD

03 September 2009

15th poll results

I kinda forgot I still had this to do. But I'm finally getting myself on a regular schedule and since I don't really have anything to do I'll hopefully be getting getting back on a post a day schedule again soon.

On to the poll results for, Who from YuBIS would you be most heartbroken over not debuting?

Nakajima Kento 30

Matsumura Hokuto 28

Kikuchi Fuma 21

Nakayama Yuma 10

Kochi Yugo 2

I'm personally happy to see that Hokuto has a good amount of fans, as he's quickly become my favorite member of the group. Though Nakaken is a very close second. It's so hard not to love that boy. Though I find there really isn't a member of the group I don't like. They're all just adorable and I really wish them the best of luck and that in the end they all do get to debut, preferably all together.

Next question is a general question that I'm just curious about is 'Where do you think the next international Johnny's concert should be?' I've made the answers the populated continents so the list of answers will be short and I figure it should cover most of the globe that way too.

02 September 2009

NEWS news

I'm sure most people have heard already but Nishikido Ryo and Yamashita Tomohisa have been diagnosed with the flu. So far it hasn't been linked to the swine flu but in any case both of them will be taking time off to recover. So far the only thing known that will be affected by this might be the next episode of Orthos no Inu that Ryo had not finished filming all the scenes for.

Tokyo Graph article.

While it can't be fun to be sick with the flu, something I've had first hand experience with earlier this year, I'm sure the boys will be fine and perhaps they can find some enjoyment in being able to take time off of their busy schedules. Though hopefully the other group members make sure they get enough rest so they don't catch it as well, as well as anoyone else who was around them.

Also there is talk of the airdates and times for the two drama specials that are airing in the fall season. The first is the special that Kato Shigeaki is starring in, Chichi yo, Anata wa Erakatta, which is being reported scheduled to air on September 24th. Dareka ga Uso wo Tsuiteiru, the drama Tegoshi Yuya will be in will air on October 3rd.