25 March 2009

Semi-hiatus

Probably should have announced this yesterday but I'm going to be on a semi-hiatus for about week as I am currently visiting my sister and her family in Hawaii before I go on to Japan. I do have internet access here, but since I'm visiting with family I don't have much time on it, especially when it'll be the weekend and I'll be going out with the family to sight see.

I will try to post when I can though to keep up to date with news at least when I can. But it'll depend on how much time I have to spare to do so.


*EDIT*

As of April 1st (and no, this isn't an April Fool's joke, I don't do those) I am in Japan. The place I'm staying at does have accessible internet but it's on the slow side. I will try to go back and answer and respond to people and begin getting on track with writing up news and the like as soon as possible.

24 March 2009

Johnny's found a way to make me buy one of Tackey's solo cds

Information about Takizawa Hideaki's second solo cd single has been updated on Avex's official webpage for it. It's a double A-side titled Sharara/Mugen no Hane and for the regular edition there will be a third track but it's still untitled for now. The two LEs will have a DVD each with a different PV for both.

Now for the exciting (or the exciting for me) news is that this time he will be joined by four Juniors for the Mugen no Hane song. The Juniors are Kitayama and Fujigaya from Kis-My-Ft2 and Tottsu and Kawai from A.B.C.-Z. Being the big Kisumai fan I am, I will be picking this up for Kitayama and Fujigaya, even if they only sing in chorus with no solo lines what so ever because I am a fangirl and will buy whatever I can with my boys on it.

Also the release date for the single will be May 6th, so cdjapan will probably have the pre-order for it up next week as they just put up the pre-orders for April 29th this week.

23 March 2009

April 29th Releases

My wallet is crying so hard at all the releases that are coming out on April 29th. Apparently Johnny's must have wanted to have a strong presence on the charts or something as NEWS will be releasing their new single, KAT-TUN will release their new album and Hey! Say! JUMP will release their concert DVD all on that day. I think they only thing of that I'm passing on is the LE version of KAT-TUN's album as I don't care for photo booklets all that much.

First off the track listing information is now out for the Koi no ABO single on the Johnny's Entertainment website. The most exciting thing is that the LE will come with a DVD that will have about a half hour of concert footage.

RE track listing:

1 - 恋の ABO (Koi no ABO)
2 - ラビリンス (Labyrinth)
3 - OPEN YOUR EYES
4 - Share (Live at TOKYO DOME)

Koi no ABO [Regular Edition] / NEWS

So the track list for the LE looks like this:

1 - 恋の ABO (Koi no ABO)
2 - ラビリンス (Labyrinth)
3 - 恋の ABO -karaoke track- (Koi no ABO -karaoke track-)

DVD track listing:

「NEWS WINTER PARTY DIAMOND
 in TOKYO DOME 2008.12.31」
・Happy Birthday
・weeeek
・ガンガンガンバッテ (Gan Gan Ganbatte)
・裸足のシンデレラボーイ (Hadashi no Cinderella Boy)
・SUMMER TIME
・MC

Koi no ABO [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / NEWS

Almost no information is out about the new KAT-TUN album other than that both versions will be 15 tracks long and that the LE comes with a bonus photo book.

UNTITLED (4th Album) [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

UNTITLED (4th Album) [Limited Edition] / KAT-TUN

And there is a track listing out for Hey! Say! JUMP's DVD:

Ultra Music Power
Dreams come true
Your Seed
FLY
ワンダーランド・トレイン (Wonderland Train)
麗しのBad Girl (Uruwashi no Bad Girl)
Moonlight
カワイイ君のことだもの (Kawaii Kimi no Kotodamono)
Deep night 君思う (Deep Night Kimi Omou)
真夜中のシャドーボーイ (Mayonaka no Shadow Boy)
スクール革命 (School Kakumei)
Star Time
ス・リ・ル (Thrill)
Switch
蜘蛛の糸 (Kumo no Ito)
愛しのプレイガール (Itoshi no Playgirl)
SUMMARY メドレー (SUMMARY Medley)
冒険ライダー (Bouken Rider)
Hey! Say!
Memories
勇気100% (Yuuki 100%)
トビラの向こう (Tobira no Mokou)

Hey! Say! Jump-ing Tour '08-'09 / Hey! Say! JUMP

22 March 2009

New HSJ program School Kakumei

The rumors for this new program have been circling for a while but finally there is a credible source for the announcement. Showa x Heisei is ending and will be replaced by a new program titled, School Kakumei. The boys from Hey! Say! JUMP that will be regulars on the program are Yamada Ryosuke, Chinen Yuri and Yaotome Hikaru. The program will begin airing on April 4th.

The unique aspect of the program is that they will be holding auditions for one boy to join them in filming an episode with the three members of HSJ and receive training as a Johnny's Junior. (Not sure if that means they will be allowed to join the agency but I don't see why they wouldn't.)

Sports Yomiura article.
(Japanese only)

While I'm happy to see at least one member of Hey! Say! BEST among the cast I can't help but wish they had more of the group members on the program. Maybe they can replace Hi! Hey! Say! with something new, or change the program up a little to get more members to be on that one. At least School Kakumei sounds like it will be interesting so I'll be trying to catch the episodes when they air, as hopefully I'll be able to find a TV for cheap in Japan.

21 March 2009

1st Poll Results

I do admit it was really just my curiosity that lead to me to start up doing polls. I'll probably continue doing them as it's a way to get to know the readers of the blog a bit without people actually leaving comments. And at the end I'll do a results post like this so I have something to look back to if I ever do the same poll twice to see if anything's changed.

Poll #1: Favorite Active Johnny's Groups

Hey! Say! JUMP: 90
NEWS: 78
Arashi: 59
KAT-TUN: 45
Kanjani8: 13
Tokio: 4
SMAP: 3
Kinki Kids: 3
Tackey & Tsubasa: 3
V6: 1


I'm not surprised at the top 2, as they are the two groups I blog about the most so it only makes sense I would attract the fans of those groups. I think Arashi at number 3 is part of the testimony of just how massively popular they are as I don't blog about them much outside of dramas. The difference between the number of votes between KAT-TUN and Kanjani8 is a rather massive drop. But not very surprising as everyone Kanjani8 and below I don't blog about much about outside news articles and release information. But I am glad each group at least got one vote. It would have seemed too sad if one of them didn't get a single one, IMHO. I guess I'm a bit of a woobie like that. XD

Thank you everyone for voting, I appreciate it.

20 March 2009

A slew of news from this week.

As I've mentioned in my recent posts I'm in finals week, only one paper left to finish off now and then I'll be free. But since I know I can't write in one go I've decided to try to get all the news that I've been meaning to share typed up for an entry when I need to give my mind a small break.

First off, Shingo Katori from SMAP has been chosen as the final actor to play the character, Zatoichi, a blind samurai in what is said to be the final movie of the Zatoichi movie franchise aptly called, Zatoichi The Last. The original Zatoichi films were produced between 1962 to 1989 and it has seen a few remakes since then. This final movie has begun filming and plans are that it will be released next year and that the movie studio is aiming for worldwide distrobution of the film.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

Next up is Tokio's Kokubun Taichi will become a sportscaster for Fuji TV's sports program, Sports!, and will begin on the program April 4th. Apparently with this appointment he now has regular parts on programs for all seven of Japan's standard TV stations.

I will confess I don't follow the TV programs Johnny's are on too closely for the most part so I am quite impressed with how Kokubun can balance that all out. I guess the older groups are really still a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Next item is that Ueda Tatsuya from KAT-TUN will be making his drama debut in SMAP's Nakai's upcoming drama, Konkatsu! The drama will begin airing April 20th and Ueda will be playing Nakai's younger brother. And I just have to comment that Ueda as Nakai's younger brother really doesn't fit, as they don't look the same at all. But that has never really stopped casting directors before. *coughryuuseinokizunacough*

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Johnny's net has some information up, that on March 28th there will be a special episode of Shounen Club airing. It's rumored that Hey! Say! JUMP and KAT-TUN will have something to do with it, but it sounds to be more like a clip show like the Christmas Special is and this is a Spring Special. Plus, I have the feeling that if they have live performances there will be a Gokusen tie-in one, which would be interesting to see with Tamamori in the mix with Takaki, Akito and Nakama.

And that wraps all that up, now I'm going to get some sleep.

New NEWS single Koi no ABO

There is a lot of news that I know I need to post about, but I'm on the final stretch of my finals week and have a final test and a eight page paper to write so it'll probably have to wait until tomorrow. That or I might just do it when I feel I need a break from all the school work.

But one piece of news that I just cannot wait to share is that finally NEWS will be releasing a new single. The single is titles Koi no ABO and is being used in the RUSS-K ad for the spring/summer clothing line. It's a bit of an interesting title as seeing ABO makes me think of blood types, which is pretty important in Japan as they believe there you can figure out someone's personality from their bloodtype. Koi of course is Love so I guess the title translates loosely to Love's ABO.

Johnny's net has just the very basic information up
about the single, which is the title and release date, April 29th. Hopefully they'll update soon with some more information.

17 March 2009

Question? & FiVe concert DVD release

Some news that is bound to make Question? and FiVe fans happy. There's a DVD release for the Budokan concert they had with Matchy and from the title it looks like they will be getting the spotlight for it, though it also sounds like it won't be the entire concert either. The release date is April 15th.

Question?, FiVe, Flowers -select "J Rock Dream Matchy '09 in Budokan"- / Question?, FiVe, Flat FiVe Flowers

It looks like someone at Johnny's really likes the Junior bands, perhaps it's Matchy doing the pushing as he's been attached to these releases, and wants to see them get out from just being stuck in the background at concerts. They've had quite a few concerts in the past year, Question? had a single released with Matchy last year and now they have a DVD. It's a bit hard to tell what it all means beyond making for happy Question? and FiVe fans.

EDIT: Johnny's net was updated with information about this release that includes a track list. It does look like it's just performances of the concert put together with Question? getting 5 songs, FiVe with 6 songs and Flat Five Flowers with 7 songs.

Kanjani8 2009 Tour

Well with the new album coming up it probably was expected that Kanjani8 would be touring not long afterward. Johnny's net like usual has the tour dates and locations up. It will begin on May 10th and end on July 30th.

What I find a bit interesting to note that after that first set of concerts on May 10th there's about a two week gap until the next concert so I'm wondering if that's being kept clear for a reason. Like perhaps a NEWS single that Ryo will need the time to promote for. Though that just could be my wishful thinking reading into things too much.

Also a small blip of news. It has been announced that it will be Shiina Ringo (who wrote Tokio's Amagasa) will be doing the theme song for Matsumoto Jun's upcoming drama, Smile. So if there will be an Arashi drama tie-in song for the spring it will have to be for Sho's drama. But I'm wondering if Johnny's will bother as they could use that time to finally release a new album for the group instead.

15 March 2009

Shige to costar in Fall drama SP

It has been announced that Kato Shigeaki will be costarring in a drama SP that will air in the Fall. The title of the SP is Chichi yo, Anata wa Erakatta ~1969 Nen no Oyaji to Boku, and Shige will play the son of a man who has been asked about retiring early. Shige's character is a NEET (someone who lives off their parents) and after getting into a fight with his dad enters into a time slip that takes him back to when his father was a young man.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

I have to say I'm so glad to get some news related to NEWS finally, even if it's just for one member of the group. And of course I'm happy that it seems like Shige is having no trouble keeping busy with now this drama as well as his upcoming butai. I don't think he's the best actor but he'll be working with some real veterans for this SP, so I hope he uses this oppurtunity to learn somethings. And of course I'll be making sure to watch this when it airs.

And on a personal note, it's finals week for me, as well as the last full week until I leave for Japan. I'll be making a short stop to visit family in Hawaii, so during that time I won't be able to update much. So if it takes me a while to respond to comments or to post something new this is why.

Group Review: Hey! Say! JUMP - Hey! Say! BEST

Following up to the earlier Group Review post for Hey! Say! 7, here is the one for Hey! Say! JUMP's other sub-unit, Hey! Say! BEST.


I remember quite clearly when Hey! Say! JUMP debuted Johnny's gave the line that BEST would be the more active unit of the group so 7 could focus on schooling. That didn't seem to last long, or at all, and 7 looks to be more active than BEST nowadays. But even if they don't get as much focus as 7, they are my favorite sub-unit for HSJ.

Takaki Yuya not only is my favorite HSB member but my favorite HSJ member. I love his gap with how he looks and how he acts. I mean he has the cool look perfected but personality-wise he's still a kid at heart and it's afraid to act like it. And I find it cute that he gets along with the members of 7 so well because of this. So I was very happy to hear that he was chosen to be in Gokusen 3 and can't wait to see the upcoming SP and movie for the series because both will have him in it. I hope he continues to get drama roles and gets to continue trying new things. He's far from my favorite actor but I have hope that he will improve with experience.

As I was a fan of the original Hey! Say! 7 group, when HSJ was formed I had those members as favorites, which of course included Arioka Daiki. I still like Daiki a lot so he remains near the top for my favorites. He's the baby of BEST and as the Scrap Teacher drama proved still has a face that looks young enough to pull off pretending to be a junior high school student despite being a second year high school student at the time. This year though he turns 18 so he will be able to join the rest of BEST on stage for the Johnny's Countdown concert, and I hope BEST will then be able to perform something on their own as a group and be on stage for the whole concert unlike the last one.

At first I really did not know what to think about Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru when HSJ debuted, other than the fact they both were taken from Ya-Ya-Yah. Hikaru though over time has won me over and tends to vye for the position of second favorite BEST member with Daiki. I love his playful goofiness and he tends to be the highlight of most of the PV making of features. I just hope that now that he's out of school Johnny's will let him do more.

Yabu I don't really have a strong opinion about. I have a feeling he just may be one of those who will grow on me eventually, or maybe when he gets the chance to do something. I mean I'm surprised he hasn't gotten even a guest spot in a drama or something like that, as he doesn't seem to have school to worry about anymore, so it's not like he has a busy schedule. But I guess time will tell whether or not he's able to branch out and do more than what he has been doing.

I do like Inoo. From his teasing of Hikaru to the fact he decided to continue on his education and attend university, making him the 'smart one' of the group. Even though he seems to be the most overlooked member of the group I always look forward to seeing him. And it's nice that during concerts, while he may not have many solo lines, he can at least contribute something the others can't with his piano playing. I really hope that he gets to do more in the near future. I feel he's untapped potential and I want to see what he can do.

I guess overall I just want to see BEST do more than what they have done so far. With 7 getting a group song that's getting special promotion I want to see BEST get something similar. Like maybe they get to do the theme song for the Gokusen movie or something like that. And I would love to see any of them get a drama role, or even begin showing up as guest stars. So I'm really hoping for the best for all of them.

13 March 2009

Sakurai Sho to star in The Quiz Show

Looks like Jun isn't going to be the only Arashi member with a spring drama. It's been announced that Sakurai Sho will be starring in a drama, titled The Quiz Show. Yokoyama Yu will be co-starring. (I wonder if this Arashi/K8 drama team up is going to become a trend.)

Reading the plot discription I'm reminded of a quiz show that the American TV network, Fox, aired that was a bit similiar. The contestants were attached to a lie detector and then had to answer very personal questions. I only ever saw the commercials but I thought it was in rather poor taste. But as a drama this could be interesting depending on how they justify making the contestants confess to their crimes/indescretions.

I'm rather on the fence on whether or not to give this series a try. I guess I'll just wait to hear what other people think about it first.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

In other news, it seems like Johnny's is worried about KAT-TUN's latest single getting the weekly number 1 as its sales have dropped it to the number 2 position with the current number 2 single for the week looking like it could cathc and perhps surpass KAT-TUN by the end of the week. So to help promote the cd Johnny's is now giving out free KAT-TUN posters for those who buy the single for as long as supplies last.

It's a bit sad to see that KAT-TUN has to rely on a gimmick like that to ensure getting the weekly number 1 spot. I guess it's just another sign that their popularity is dwindling and if things continue they may lose thier spot as the second biggest seller for Johnny's as well.

Nagase Tomoya's MTV unplugged on DVD

Well I guess something good about not being able to sleep can happen. I just got an e-mail from cdjapan to announce that Nagase Tomoya's MTV unplugged session is getting a DVD release. I'm a bit curious at the details of this release, which cdjapan doesn't seem to have, as the DVD is priced rather cheaply for a DVD release, unless it's rather short. Hopefully Johnny's net will update soon with the information about this release to clear that up. And while it's not the Tokio release I've been waiting for, at least it's a release that's somewhat related to the group.


MTV Unplugged Tomoya Nagase / Tomoya Nagase


And in other news, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nakajima Kenta!

12 March 2009

Toma in first drama lead role

Ikuta Toma will get his chance as lead actor in a drama this spring with the drama Majo Saiban. The drama is about the new jury system that will be implemented in Japan later this year. Japan did have a jury system until 1943 but it was replaced by a judge only system.

I have the feeling that this might play out a bit like Change, Kimura Takuya's drama that was about Japan's political system, did. In that it's as much a drama as well as a way to introduce the general populace to information about their government that they may not have otherwise looked into learning much about.

I'm a bit curious about this drama but it'll just depend on how much time I have whether or not I'll try it out.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

11 March 2009

Group Review: Hey! Say! JUMP - Hey! Say! 7

Decided to revisit this kind of review, as there really isn't any new news to bring up. I decided to divide my Hey! Say! JUMP review into the two sub-units, just because of the size of the group. Though I think I may do a full group review as a follow up to the two sub-unit reviews. I'll just have to see how it goes.


Hey! Say! 7 is the sub-unit that tends to get the most focus of the group, mainly because of just how insanely popular Yamada Ryosuke is. But Johnny's has been working to get the rest of the boys some time in the spotlight, especially when you take Scrap Teacher into account and how that let three of the five members do a drama. They don't ignore Ryutarou or Keito either as they both have regular spots on TV programs, though Ryutarou shares with Yuto and Yamada on Showa x Heisei and Keito is placed with Juniors on Hyakushiki-Ou.

And while talking about programs, they are the first to get their own radio program. Which I enjoy hearing them interact on. As well as the first of the two sub-units to have a non-concert group song thanks to be featured on Minna no Uta. So Johnny's is definitely keeping these boys busy.

I think I have to say that Keito is my favorite member of the group, though Yamada is a very close second. I remember hearing so many people put him down for coming out of nowhere and having a father that was a Johnny's being the only reason he was allowed to debut in Hey! Say! JUMP. And I won't lie, I know from my Japanese studies that much relies on who you know in that society on how far you can go sometimes, but I also think that if Keito did not show signs of talent to be in a Johnny's group I don't think he would have debuted. But anyway, all the negativity about him got me interested in him and the more I saw of him the more I liked him. I don't read every Hey! Say! 7 radio program translations anymore, just the ones he is in because he is anything but boring. In fact he's quite strange and beyond the understanding of his group members. And he really has worked hard to make sure he doesn't drag down the group with his relative inexperience, which I really admire.

And talking about hard workers, it reminds why I like Yamada so much. He was my favorite Hey! Say! JUMP member at first but others have come in to claim that spot for me since then. And it's not that I found myself disliking Yamada, even though I just didn't get the whole 'sexy' thing Johnny's has been trying to get him to do. I mean to me he's a kid and he has some more growing to do before I will even begin to consider him to be sexy. He's just cute to me, and a bit of an inspiration with how hard he works, especially now that he is pretty much the 'face' of Hey! Say! JUMP.

Yuto is another member that has grown on my over time. I didn't really have an opinion of him at first but as he begins to grow out of the awkwardness of his growth spurt he seems to be regaining the confidence he used to have when he was that cute little kid. And I like how he's so into drumming, as most Johnny's tend to gravitate to guitars as their instrument of choice. I think it sets him apart in a good way, not to mention helps letting HSJ make their own band if they wanted to that much easier. (laugh)

Chinen is cute and bratty. A dangerous combination, especially as he seems to realize this. But I think that makes having someone think Keito in the group a good thing as if the radio shows they've co-hosted together are proof, Keito is immune to the cute with his strangeness, so Chinen can't always get his way. It's been interested to see how Johnny's have dealt with his voice change, either have him lipsynch to his old voice or make sure he is getting more singing parts to fit his new range better. And I'll admit that I'm no fan of his acting. He comes off as stiff, though he did seem to improve a bit during Scrap Teacher.

Ryutarou is the member I'm least interested in. He just tends to fade into the background most of the time as Yamada, Yuto and Chinen tend to get the spotlight and Keito just normally stands out. I mean even his younger brother Shintarou seems to be getting more oppurtunities to be known that Ryutarou. Which is a bit of a shame as I'm sure I'll like Ryutarou a bit more if I can see more of him. He comes off as one of the more normal ones and being rather guyish. I just don't feel like I know much about him and would rather wait a couple more years when he's older before giving him a second look.

I don't think I can really get into Hey Say! 7 as a group until they all grow up a bit more. Though I guess most will be hitting 16 this year when birthdays come around. But as most still look rather young so I keep thinking of them as that 'just cute' category they were in when Hey! Say! JUMP debuted.

10 March 2009

Kansai Junior spring concerts

Johnny's net has updated with some information for a couple of Kansai Junior concerts to be held in Osaka for the 23-24 May weekend.

It's nice to see that the Kansai Juniors have something to keep themselves busy with, as outside of the few involved in Uchi's concerts they don't seem to have much to do for now or the near future. Which seems a bit odd after all the concerts they did during the winter.

Also Johnny's net has the information up for PLAYZONE. Now that I have had more time to let the news sink in I can't help but think it a bit odd that A.B.C.-Z isn't involved in this. Maybe they will be added later but if not then it looks like Johnny's is beginning to move on to individually promote the two groups this year. Though as things stand now that seems to be benefitting Kis-My-Ft2 more than A.B.C.-Z, as they are the group getting the work. I mean the reports from Uchi's current solo concerts list that Kisumai showed up for them but there was no sign of any A.B.C.-Z members. Makes me wonder if A.B.C.-Z aren't just destined to eventually lose Hashimoto and become another Junior group like MA and MAD.

And now on a happier note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Satake Kouki!

Uta no Onii-san mid-season impressions

I need to get better at not putting these reviews on hold for as long as I have after I finish watching the necessary episodes for them. As my memory tends to get a bit foggy after a few days. But I'll try my best.


This series still remains a fun series overall to watch. It's hardly ground breaking but the characters are memorable and the costumes are wonderfully silly. I can't help but think that some of them are the kinds of things that Johnny's forces Juniors to wear. (laugh)


After the first few episodes the focus finally begins to shift off of Kenta and onto the other characters, which I found to be rather rewarding as Kenta's character change is going at a snail's pace. We also get introduced to some of the subplots that look like they'll be tied strongly into the final episodes.


The cast overall remains strong. My one complaint is still Chisa. Maybe if this wasn't her first role she would do better but she doesn't come off believable at all, especially during crying scenes. And I'm normally not someone who picks up on bad acting well usually. I mean I know in this drama there's a few people overacting but that's because their characters are meant to be over the top and overly dramatic so it fits the roles.


I'll be keeping with this drama until the end as overall I have been enjoying it. I hope they keep developing the other characters before having to shift the focus all back on Kenta again for the final episodes. And I am interested to see exactly how they plan to end such a quirky little drama.

09 March 2009

PLAYZONE 2009 starring Kis-My-Ft2

Well maybe not all of Kis-My-Ft2 will be starring, as PLAYZONE traditionally only has three leading roles, as Shounentai is a three member group. But they will all be in the 2009 PLAYZONE, and as Shounentai last year retired from PLAYZONE Kitayama, Fujigaya and Tamamori will take up the lead roles. Other Juniors that will have been announced so far that will be joining them are, Uchi, Yara, and from Question?, Ishigaki and Yodogawa. It will run in Tokyo from 11 July to 9 August before changing venues to Osaka from 21 August to 26 August.

I think this is pretty big news as PLAYZONE has run for twenty years and is one of the major productions that Johnny's puts on. Not to mention this will be the first time for the lead roles to change as they were always done by the members Shounentai since the musical began. Also another thing that could come out of this is the usual PLAYZONE album, which would make a lot of Kisumai fans happy I think to finally have a Kisumai related cd to own. I know the idea makes me really happy. And then of course there's the usual DVD release...

And I really want to believe that this is a major sign that Kis-My-Ft2 is being set up for a debut soon. Especially when coupled with the news of Tamamori in Gokusen as that will give him a lot of exposure to people that don't normally follow Juniors, which is probably also why he's getting one of the lead roles for PLAYZONE. I guess it might just depend on sales, but for Johnny's to let Kisumai take over PLAYZONE they must expect good sales to begin with. I just hope I'm right and Kisumai will finally get their debut in the near future.

Sponichi article. (Japanese only)

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

06 March 2009

A different kind of entry

Probably not going to make many entries like this but I want to take a break of the usual kind of things I normally post about. So everyone gets to hear a little about my personal life, but with a Johnny's focus of course.

After my class today I went to pick up my student visa for going to Japan. I still can't believe that in less than a month I'll be arriving at Narita airport to stay for a year studying abroad. But anyway, I headed over to Kinokuniya after that as I wanted to pick up the new Arashi single as I wanted to make sure I had a copy of Ohno's solo song for his drama, as one off songs like that usually don't end up on albums. I couldn't find it at first and decided to browse around a bit before asking one of the employees if they knew when it would be in.

While browsing I came across the Kisarazu Cat's Eyes movies, which star Okada Junichi and Sakurai Sho, on DVD. It surprised me as I didn't realize they had been given a U.S. release, but apparently they have as they were there on the shelf. I was tempted to pick up the first one but decided against it as I haven't watched the series before and it was on the expensive side at about $30 per DVD. I have since then found that they are on Netflix so I'll be watching them that way and I'll see about writing up a review when I do.

After that I finally asked the employees about the Arashi cd, and they were sure they had it. So it took sometime for them to find them, I can only assume someone may have hidden them somewhere in the cd section to prevent others from buying them or they just hadn't been put on the shelf yet for some reason. All I know is that I looked in the section earlier and couldn't find it.

I was a bit surprised to have found a copy of Hey! Say! JUMP's Your Seed LE single during that earlier look, as I thought it was completely sold out. Not so surprised to have seen that they still have a couple of the LE versions of KAT-TUN's One Drop single though. For some reason I've noticed that it's easier to find LE versions of cds at this Kinokuniya than the regular versions.

But while waiting for the Arashi single to be found, I noticed that on one of the TV screens near the register they were playing programing from Japan and the show that happened to be on was the recent Shounen Club episode. I couldn't watch a lot of it but it was nice to view it in HD. It really made me want to buy a PCTV application for my laptop, so I can watch the show without worrying on the quality or whether or not someone will upload it for downloading. They're just a bit pricey at about $50, but it could be worth it as you can program it to record programs for you...

And that was my Johnny's filled afternoon today. It has me wonder though what it will be like to be able to walk into the cd stores in Japan and not have to worry about hunting down new releases and Johnny's cds. That's such a nice thought, and I hope the LEs don't sell out as quickly as they do on the online stores. As not having to worry about pre-ordering things will be nice too.

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kikuchi Fuma!

05 March 2009

NHK's Ahoyanen! Sukiyanen! adds Kansai Jrs to program

Some exciting news for Kansai Junior fans, the NHK program, Ahoyanen! Sukiyanen!, will be adding three Kansai Juniors to their program, Nakata Daichi, Hamada Takahiro and Muto Tatsuki. They will begin appearing on the program in April. It's mentioned that they will at least have a cooking corner and a sports corner on the show, but whether or not they will have a larger part on the program is not mentioned at this time.

Sanspo article. (Japanese only)

I'm really happy for these boys as Kansai Juniors don't seem to get as many chances to get that kind of exposure so hopefully this means good things for them in the future.

04 March 2009

Gokusen movie ramblings

As I mentioned with yesterday's entry I am a Gokusen fan. I've liked all the seasons and I know I'll love the movie, especially as there's a good chance that it will be the first movie I'll see in Tokyo with movie tickets being rather pricey over there.

But now that I've had a day to digest the information, and find out a little more about it as the news sites that translate Japanese articles into English have updated with the news, it has me thinking of some things.

For theme/insert song I really hope there will be a Hey! Say! BEST song. Hey! Say! 7 has their own song with tie-in with the Minna no Uta program, so I think it would be fitting to have Hey! Say! BEST get a tie-in song soon after as well. And with Takaki in the movie it would fit. Though the theme song could go to a non-Johnny's artist as well, though I hope there will be a Johnny's song connected to the movie.

These days just about anything Kis-My-Ft2 related news gets me thinking about whether or not it looks like it's a sign that they are closer to debuting. Tamamori with a Gokusen role of course fits this. I mean this is also the series that Jin and Kame were in before KAT-TUN debuted so it raises my hopes quite a bit that Tamamori having a role is a sign that a debut isn't too far away.

Also I'm not too surprised that it was Tamamori that got the role out of the group, as the elder three Kitayama, Fujigaya and Yokoo are older than the rest of the boys so they wouldn't pull off being in a lower grade as well. And if the Myojo Junior annual ranking poll is acurate, Tamamori was the only one of the four younger Kisumai members to make it into the top ten of the overall Junior ranking. And the older three have gotten the most exposure, especially Kitayama and Fujigaya, so I'm not too surprised that Johnny's would want to promote one of the younger members as well.

And now I promise that I won't mention anything about this topic until some new news comes out about it and move on to other topics to write about.

03 March 2009

Gokusen movie for this July and news articles in English

It has been announced that Gokusen will be getting a movie that will come out in theaters this July. It will take place after the Gokusen 3 special and will include various cast members from the three drama seasons. It will also have new characters that will be introduced in the upcoming special, one being played by Kis-My-Ft2 member Tamamori Yuta.

This has me super excited as I love Gokusen and I'm happy to see any Kis-My-Ft2 member get an acting role, as I believe it helps increase the chance of Kis-My-Ft2 being able to debut as it should help bring up the popularity of the group.

Now just to hear that HSJ/HSB will do the theme song or insert song, or maybe Takaki get another solo song for the theme/insert song and I will be on cload nine. Though that just might be wishful thinking on my part. Especially as I will be able to go see this in Japan when it comes out.

Yahoo!Japan News article. (Japanese only)

Also, Tokyograph has updated with translated articles about Hey! Say! JUMP's volleyball support and Ryo's accident for those who would like to read about those news topics in English.

02 March 2009

New Domoto Tsuyoshi single and album

April is starting to shape up to be a major release month for Johnny's as Domoto Tsuyoshi from Kinki Kids will be releasing new solo material, one single and an album, on April 10th. So if any of the other groups release in April it will be after this date as Johnny's doesn't like to compete with itself.

The single is incredibly cheap, so it's probably the one song Sora -Utsukushi Wara no Sora-. It does boast that the photo for the jacket is shot by Tsuyoshi himself and is not listed to be one of the album tracks.

Sora - Utsukushi Ware no Sora - / Tsuyoshi


The album comes in two editions, the usual LE and RE. The LE will have a special booklet and a bonus track while the RE will have an instrumental bonus track. And probably the most intersting thing about this release is that cdjapan lists that Tsuyoshi did all the recording, which includes all the instruments used, himself and will have taken the photos for the covers all himself as well.

Bigaku - My Beautiful Sky - [Regular Edition] / Tsuyoshi


Bigaku - My Beautiful Sky - [Limited Edition] / Tsuyoshi


Being Tsuyoshi's solo project I have the feeling it probably has no tie-in, as from what I've noticed he doesn't normally have tie-ins for his solo work. I don't really follow Kinki Kids at all but I've always gotten the feeling that Tsuyoshi's solo work has a strong focus on the music and less on the sales and commercial appeal of it. Which I guess goes to show the kind of status Tsuyoshi has in Johnny's.

Ryo in a traffic accident

The news has just been coming out for this but it is being reported that Ryo has caused a traffic accident. It's nothing major injury-wise as the only one person is being reported to have minor injuries, which is a 60 year old woman. And thankfully there is no mention of even the suspicion of drunk driving, as in Japan they are very strict with that and people lose their jobs over it.

As it just happened Johnny's hasn't announced anything yet in the way of punishment for Ryo. After some brief research it seems SMAP member, Goro, once caused a traffic accident himself for which he was suspended from activities for 6 months. Hopefully that will be the worst Ryo may face, even though it will suck for the two groups he's in, with Kanjani8 releasing an album and NEWS not releasing anything yet this year. I wonder if he does get suspended we'll see a couple of 6 member Kanjani8 and 5 member NEWS releases. It wouldn't seem quite right but as long as he returns after suspension than I could live with it.

Overall it's rather depressing to see. I just hope it doesn't lead to too much heartache for all this will affect.

Yahoo!Japan news article.
(Japanese only)

EDIT: There's a bit more information out now. Ryo has issued his apology and it's reported that he has lost his driving rights for six months. Hopefully this will be his extent of his punishment as he didn't do a hit and run like I found out Goro did, so his punishment should be less than what he got.

Yahoo!Japan news article.
(Japanese only)

01 March 2009

A couple of Hey! Say! JUMP news tidbits

It seems like things are finally beginning to get going for the other Johnny's groups for the year.

There was a news conference announcing that Hey! Say! JUMP will be back doing volleyball support for the Spring and have a new song for that Jounetsu JUMP, which more or less translates into Passionate JUMP. Hopefully this means a new single, which if it'll be released in April should be announced in the next couple of weeks.

Also a new revenue for the upcoming Spring tour, Sendai. They will have three concerts there on May 3rd and 4th, which will end the tour. Which can be viewed at Johnny's net.