30 May 2009

New J-pop wiki & random Johnny's related discovery

I guess today is my day to have topics that are only somewhat Johnny's related, but they are Johnny's related in the end so I don't feel that I'm being too off topic for this blog.

This time it has come to my attention that there is finally a new Asian music wiki that has been created to fill the role wiki.theppn had before it disappeared a few months ago. I've done a quick browse of Jpop Stop! (name of the new wiki), and it has much of the old information that wiki.theppn had. They have pretty much the same Johnny's pages, some sales data has been lost for some of the releases though, but it's still very nice to have these wiki pages again. I know if I ever have the time I'll probably join the site to add information and I hope others will do the same.

Also I have something to share I discovered while trying to find more information about the Tokyo Globe Theatre. I found this article (in English) and was surprised to learn that Johnny's owns the venue. Though it does explain why quite a few of the plays are all held there. I'm not sure how well known this information is to others, but I thought it was worth sharing. Of course now I'm curious if they own any other buildings.

29 May 2009

Wonder -CK's side-

As I mentioned in my first KAT-TUN concert report I am a Crystal Kay fan, which was why I loved Jin's 'solo' so much, as it was more of a duet with her than anything. But every once in a while I check out her blog and today while doing so I found that she made a post about that duet, Wonder on May 27th.

Since she blogs in Japanese I can only get a gist of what she's writing about but from it she was very happy with how it turned out. Also she apparently did go to one of the KAT-TUN dome concerts, as she brings up seeing the performance live.

I kinda find it a pity that since she was there she didn't actually perform the song live with Jin, as that would have been fun to watch, IMHO. But I guess they would have to have planned it in advance so they could change the performance, which probably would have been a hassle.

But I really wish that this song will get a cd release. Maybe if Jin releases a solo single with his movie Bandage, or maybe it could get worked in as a B-side on a single, like with Don't U ever stop.

28 May 2009

Shingo Katori to star in Kochikame drama, & some other drama news bits

The long running Shounen Jump manga, Kochikame, is being made into a drama and Katori Shingo from SMAP is set to star. The manga follows the life of a bunbling police officer, Kankichi Ryotsu. The manga has run for about 33 years now with 164 volumes of the manga published so far.

Anime News Network article.
(English)

More cast for the Gokusen movie has been announced, but no more Johnny's are returning. A bit sad, though we all knew at least Jin's character wasn't coming back already.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

And Nagase's still untitled new drama has had the lead female actress announced, actress and model, Anne. Her character will be the 'Bond' girl of the series to go alone with the super spy plot of the series.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

27 May 2009

Tegomass 1st concert tour

Tegomass have announced that they will be having their first concert tour this summer. They will be touring six cities beginning July 22nd. And the information has already been added to Johnny's net.

Osaka

July 22(18:00)

Yoyogi (Tokyo)

August 4 (19:00)

Hiroshima

August 11(16:00)

Sendai

August 14(18:00)

Sapporo

August 16(16:00)

Fukuoka

August 20 (18:00)

I hope this means we'll be getting a new Tegomass cd, either another single or perhaps finally an album. I'm hoping album personally, though if they do get an album I hope a certain other Johnny's group gets an album release around the same time. >_>

And of course I'm going to try to go to a concert. The Yoyogi one is the closest to me and doesn't conflict with the Hey! Say! JUMP Yokohama concerts so I already know which one to aim for. Looks like it's shaping up to be a concert full summer for me. XD

25 May 2009

KAT-TUN Tokyo Dome Report: May 22nd, 2009

Ok, it's finally time for the long awaited concert report for the 22nd. Since this was the second concert I went to during the 8 day Tokyo Dome run it'll be shorter than the one I wrote for the May 16th show, as I will mainly focus on differences between the two shows.


My seats weren't very good this time around. I was up on the 3rd floor on the right side of the stage. So everything was far away, but on the plus side I could easily see the full stage from where I was. But from sitting where I was I gained even more love for Junno, as he was the only one that consistantly made sure to look up and smile and wave at the higher sections when he passed by.

The begining songs were the same as everynight. Nothing all that different, though when they're all being lowered down at the very start of Rescue, Ueda was sitting instead of standing like everyone else.

I think this time from my vantage point I was finally able to figure out how the Kame cage jump was pulled off. Pre-recorded footage and making sure the cage never got close enough to the audience for them to get a good look inside, ftw.

Kame changed some things up for his solo. Like after the umbrella floating he goes up with fireworks (they're kinda like roman candles) and spins with those in his hands. And the buckets of water is changed up to make it look a bit more like a ritual than Kame just getting as wet as he possibly can. Like instead of Juniors coming up to him and dumping water on him he walks around the stage and as he passes them they throw their bucket of water on him. Then at the end they all throw the water on him.

Also I didn't mention it in the last report as I wasn't sure if it was a mistake or not but on the 16th Koki accidently let one of the drum sticks drop from his hand before he was done drumming. He kept both this night, which is the only reason I think the previous time was a mistake as he did a very good job playing the mistake off.

Tanaka's solo played out the same, except at the end when he joins the Juniors waiting for him on the cloud cart. This time his little brother, Juri, is there (in one of the most hideious costumes I've seen). But Juri joins Koki for the end of the song, rapping along with his older brother. It was rather cute, as you could tell Koki was happy to have Juri there to show off. Then Junno pops out and the beginning talk for his solo begins. Both Koki and Junno seem to dote on Juri during this, which eventually leads to Koki and Junno hugging. Koki, Fujigaya and Kitayama sing the start of Junno's solo for him like usual and then everyone, minus Ishigaki on the keyboard, leave the cloud float. Then the solo progresses like usual.

During the Rescue segment the guests were brought out like usual, this time it was both Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri. I think in a way they were both there so Nakamaru could regain face with both of them after not jumping for the first two concerts that they attended. Tanaka was in the normal Rescue outfit this time around instead of the Dragon Ball cosplay. So no Krillan jokes this time around. But they went rather quickly to getting Nakamaru up to bungee, both Yamada and Chinen giving him words of encouragement. Then they had everyone count down from 10, but Nakamaru didn't jump. There was another count down and then after he again didn't jump one final count down and then Nakamaru finally jumped. From what I've heard from other fans this was apparently the only time he jumped without having the height lowered. Which was probably why everyone looked so happy and proud of him for making the jump. Though Nakamaru just looked petrified, and it for a while it didn't look like he could stand on his own, but he managed. He also got a hug from Tanaka.

To move things along Kame ran to the back of the stage saying he had something for Yamada and Chinen and came back with some pieces of paper. He handed them to the boys and they both were surprised to see that it was their schedule for their summer concert tour, which they announced. After some talk about that, KAT-TUN got off the stage and Juniors came in their place while Yamada and Chinen performed Mayonaka no Shadow Boy. Then Nakayama and a smaller group of Juniors got to sing the song they had been singing at all the concerts, which I still can't for the life of me remember the name of.

And it seems that even if he was successful at jumping Nakamaru was not going to get away from the usual teasing as Ueda again shook the cube they were both on when KAT-TUN began singing again. Junno climbed up to the top of the cube he was sharing with Koki, who just sat, and made sure to wave at the audience in the higher levels. Instead of singing Love though, they sang Moon, which I'm glad they did as it's one of my favorite tracks off their new album.

For Real Face just about everyone changed up their lines so they were singing each other's parts. And there was no one announced as being the one in charge for the night. The songs sung especially for the night were, Heartbreak Club, Miracle and Utai Tsuzukeru Toki.

Ueda did better with his solo from the last time I saw it. He did mess up on the intro for his solo, so after he left the keyboard he dropped to his hands and knees and pretended to pound the stage with his fists in frustration. It was really cute, and he did well for the rest of his solo.

For Nakamaru's solo the four Juniors that got to 'walk' the ghosts up to the throne where shown to by the Luckys (Fujigaya, Kitayama, Kawai and Totsuka). I'm not sure if it was this on the 16th as well and I just didn't notice or not though. But I noticed that night and was so happy that they were getting so much screen time.

The versus corner was much more fun to watch this time around. Instead of just throwing light effects at each other Junno and Ueda also got toy guns that fired confetti to shoot at each other. It was full of Junno fail and Ueda pwnage which was fun to watch as they were both having fun. Tanaka and Nakamaru did comedy again and again went with impersonations. Then it was Jin versus Kame and Jin did more than hang pretending to be dead. Instead he opted to make his body into a straight line, which I have to commend him for as that is something that takes a lot of strength to do with little support. He actually ended up winning this time and Kame got to do the dead hang.

At the end of Neiro when each member sings a line Kame completely forgot to sing during his turn. Instead he confused Jin by singing along for his turn. Afterwards he apologized for the mistake.

For the first encore She Said and Peaceful Days were sung. I remember there was a lot of jumping for Peaceful Days, especially by Ueda, who looked like he could have gone on for hours.

Everyone just began chanting 'encore' when all of a sudden a voice comes over the speakers. The screens change on the stage to show Yasuda, Maruyama, Ryo and Ohkura from Kanjani8 were there. Ohkura is carrying a huge flower bouquet with a sign on it, congratulating KAT-TUN on their 8 days, with the 8 written sideways like Kanjani8's 8. KAT-TUN come back on stage and look surprised to see them there, Junno looked rather happy to see them, as he had a big smile on his face. Maruyama had a camera that he kept using, and Jin made sure he posed for everytime it was pointed in his direction. Ohkura eventually handed the flowers over to Kame, though Junno had to save them from getting dropped, IIRC. The Kanjani8 members then agree that they will join KAT-TUN for the encore and they proceed to sing Harukana Yakusoku and Will Be All Right all together. Then Kanjani8 left the stage, all saying their thank yous, and then it was KAT-TUN's turn for their final good-byes for the night. After they all left stage Jin stuck his head out one last time to ask everyone to take care.

I'm honestly really glad I chose to go for this last show. I'm sure I would have been happy just attending the first one I went to, but this show was a lot of fun too.

6th Poll Result

Sorry for the delay, but here are the poll results.

Taguchi Junnosuke: 71
Kamenashi Kazuya: 48
Akanishi Jin: 45
Nakamaru Yuichi: 32
Ueda Tatsuya: 33
Tanaka Koki: 18

So now I'm done with polls for KAT-TUN for a while. I'm quite happy to see Junno top both favorite member(s) poll, as he's my favorite too. Not surprised both Kame and Jin did well in both as well. And I'm happy to see that Ueda and Nakamaru do have their share of fans. Though Koki seems to need to work on his appeal as he managed to come in dead last for both. Maybe he needs to stop pretending to be thug and embrace his cute fluffy side we all know he has. XD

With the Junior concert coming up in about a week it's another Junior related poll. Of course asking which of the new units people are most interested in.

I'll write up the concert report tonight, as I need to get it out of the way so I can focus on the next Johnny's event I'll be attending, Shige's play Seminar, on Wednesday.

23 May 2009

KAT-TUN Break the Records Arena Tour, plus some Junior concert ramblings

I know I still have a concert report to write up, but I may wait until tomorrow to write it up as Johnny's related things I want to blog about are piling up. That and it will give me something to write about tomorrow. So for right now I want to share the KAT-TUN Arena tour information which is now up on Johnny's net and I'll be posting later the poll results as that's set to end very soon.

KAT-TUN Break the Records Arena Tour


Okinawa

July 22 (18:00)
July 23 (18:00)

Sendai

August 1 (18:00)
August 2 (13:00, 18:00)

Hiroshima

August 8 (18:00)
August 9 (12:00, 16:00)

Fukuoka

August 12 (18:00)
August 13 (14:00, 18:00)

Niigata

August 15 (18:00)
August 16 (12:00, 16:00)

Hokkaido

August 22 (18:00)
August 23 (13:00, 17:00)


Like I mentioned with Hey! Say! JUMP's concerts there's probably going to be more shows added sometime after tickets go on sale. One thing that's rather noticeable about the venues for this tour is that none of them are really close to Tokyo. I think this tour KAT-TUN's way of making sure all their fans get a good chance to see them, as only the most dedicated would be able to make it to Tokyo and Osaka for their dome concerts if they didn't live around those areas.

And as a Junior fan I've noticed that Kis-My-Ft2 will not be able to back dance for this tour as they will be doing PLAYZONE on those dates. So it will be interesting if they get other Juniors to replace them or change it so they're not using so many Juniors.

And while I'm on the topic of Juniors, another I noticed while looking at the concert pages at Johnny's net is that the New Unit Junior concert has had shows added to it. It's still only one day, the 7th of June, but they have three shows scheduled for that day now, the first at 1000 followed by one at 1330 and then they finish up with one final show at 1700. Which sounds like a lot to ask from the kids, but I guess they couldn't get a second day at the Tokyo International Forum. Hopefully this means for me there's a better chance of being able to attend.

Hey! Say! JUMP Summer Concert 2009

Just going to make another quick post as I'm heading out soon. But first off, thank you everyone for the happy birthday wishes. I really appreciate them.

But more information, like dates and venues, for the upcoming Hey! Say! JUMP summer concert have come out. The tour begins on 25 July and ends on 27 August. And the full schedule so far looks like this:

Yokohama Arena
July 25 (1600)
July 26 (1200, 1600)
July 27 (1200, 1600)

Fukuoka Kokusai Center
August 5 (1300, 1700)

Hokkaido Kitayell
August 14 (1600)

Osaka-jo Hall
August 26 (1300, 1700)
August 27 (1200, 1600)

I suspect that some time after the initial ticket bidding is done there will be additions, as there almost always is with Johnny's concerts. Though I can't tell how likely it would be for them to add additional venues to the tour. Especially since they are a bit limited with how much Hey! Say! JUMP can do with so many members under 18 and are restricted by law for how they can work during a day.

Since Yokohama is the closest place to where I am, I'm going to try to catch one of those concerts. I know I'm going to love being able to see them perform live for a change. I just hope there's a new single, or album, to really get me psyched up about seeing them.

22 May 2009

Concert highlights KAT-TUN Tokyo Dome May 22nd

Ok, I'm dead tired so I'm just going to make a quick post tonight before crashing about some of the announcements from tonight's concert and a couple of highlights.

First off KAT-TUN will be having an arena concert tour this summer (July and August). I can't remember all the venues but I remember Hiroshima and Hokkaido are among them. I think it's just a lot of the places in Japan that aren't around the Tokyo area.

Also Hey! Say! JUMP's summer tour was announced. I caught that it will be in July and August as well and that Yokohama Arena is one of the venues. Definitely going to try to catch a show if I can.

And for highlights, Koki was very touchy tonight. He got up real close to Kame and Ueda in Sadistic Love. He also hugged Nakamaru a couple of times, once right after Nakamaru did his bungee jump. He also hugged Junno at the beginning of Junno's solo.

Speaking of the start of Junno's solo. Tonight Koki's little brother Juri came out on the cart and sang with Koki for the end of Pierrot. Koki had some black make-up around his right eye (the vertical line thing) and Juri had the same thing on his left eye. Juri was also wearing a hideous looking costume, but it did look clown-like. But Junno popped up for his solo and there was much doting on Juri from both Koki and Junno, which lead to the Koki/Junno hug.

Ueda messed up on the piano again. This time after he was done he fell to his hands and knees on the stage and pretended to pound on the stage in frustration. It was really cute. And apparently Kame thinks Ueda has become cute as he brought that up in the MC.

When the first encore finished and people began chanting for the second encore a voice cut in and 4/7 of Kanjani8 showed up (Ryo, Ohkura, Maruyama & Yasuda), Ohkura carrying a large flower bouquet. KAT-TUN looked surprised to see them when they came back on stage, Junno looked really happy to see them. I was so happy to see Ryo, but he hardly spoke at all. The other members of Kanjani8 made up for that though. XD

Seriously, even though I didn't have a good seat it was a really fun concert and I am so glad I went. I can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday when I'm so far away from home. Other than attend a NEWS concert. XD

21 May 2009

Yamapi drama confirmed, Nagase drama and Tegomass cancelation

That drama rumor about Yamapi has been confirmed, so he will be starring in an upcoming summer drama, titled Match Point. The summary out so far mentions that the story will revolve around 'love, friendship and basketball'.

I can't find an online news article for it, but over on the LJ news_jpop community there is a scan from the magazine snippet that announces this drama.

Also coming in the summer is a new Nagase Tomoya drama. Nagase gets to play a superspy in a comedy drama that is still currently untitled, that will air on NTV. Nagase's character was originally a swindler that was imprisoned and the government decided to use his skills to good use and made him a spy.

From the synopsis given it sounds a bit more Get Smart than James Bond, especially since he will a shoe phone, which is fine with me as I love Get Smart. I also love seeing Nagase doing comedic roles so this drama is a must see for me. Also it boasts guests for every episode so I'm curious how many other Johnny's will get to be in this.

Tokyo Graph article
(English)

Also, it seems with the outbreak of Swine Flu in Japan the Tegomass concert in Stockholm has been canceled. Most likely to make sure the virus isn't brought over to Europe, which is a part of the world currently untouched by the epidemic.

Official announcement (Swedish/English)

20 May 2009

Tegoshi in a new drama SP, plus Yamapi drama rumor

It has been announced that Tegoshi Yuya will have a role in an upcoming Fuji TV drama SP. He will play the eldest son of the main character played by actor, Mizutani Yutaka, who is starring in the drama. Tegoshi's character will be job hunting in the SP, and it's being reported one job he will be doing is that of a host. When the special will air has not been announced yet, but it will be sometime in 2009.

Fuji TV article (Japanese only)

There's also been a persistent rumor about Yamapi in an upcoming drama for the summer season, but nothing has been official confirmed about it yet.

19 May 2009

Kansai Junior concerts postponed, maybe more

Because of the cases of Swine Flu in Osaka the concerts for the Kansai Juniors that were scheduled for 23rd and 24th have been postponed to follow the request that the people of Osaka should limit how often they leave their houses in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease. The make up dates for the concerts have yet to be determined.

Also all concerts after May 25th in Osaka are subject to being canceled depending on the progress of the Swine Flu in the area.

Johnny's net announcement of the postponement. (Japanese only)

The only things that would be postponed that directly come to mind for me are the KAT-TUN's Osaka Dome concerts and Shige's play, as it is scheduled to go to Osaka in early June. Hopefully for those looking forward to the events the recent Swine Flu outbreak in the area will pass quickly so they can stay on schedule.

18 May 2009

KAT-TUN Break the Records concert photo sets & store photos

Like I promised yesterday this post will be showing off the photo sets from the concert, plus the photos I picked up at the Johnny's Store for the pamphlet photo shoot. I think these are all much better than the last couple of photo batches for KAT-TUN as a whole. Probably as there are more photos of them doing more than just looking at the camera for the store photos.

First off are the concert venue photos, four to a set like usual.


Group Set


Kamenashi Kazuya


Akanishi Jin


Taguchi Junnosuke


Tanaka Koki


Ueda Tatsuya


Nakamaru Yuichi

And then the photos I picked up from the Johnny's Store. I like these a bit more as the guys don't have to look so serious in these. And you can see a bit of my bias here too. (laugh)


Kame & Jin


Junno &hearts


Koki, Ueda & Nakamaru

I really hope they come out with the live photo sets soon, or at least by the 22nd so I can actually buy them. They'll probably be the last concert merchandise that I buy, as I do still plan on going to Shige's play which I'll need to do in the next couple of weeks before it moves to Osaka. Plus I do hope I can make it to the upcoming Junior concert too, but that will depend on how much money I will have around that time.

17 May 2009

KAT-TUN Break the Records concert pamphlet

I meant to post this yesterday, but as I ended up going to the concert instead I never got around to it. But here are some photo previews of the KAT-TUN concert pamphlet. I have to say I'm glad I picked this up, as it's really nice, simple, but nice.


It's probably a bit hard to tell from the photo (especially with the glare), but the cover is embossed with the rocky hill area that the outdoor photo shoot was located at.


The first section of photos are all in black and white. The order is the usual KAT-TUN order, with a group picture to start it off and then K through N getting their individual pages. Each member talks about the concert in general for these pages.


Then it's the same group photo, but in color, though it looks like it's been put through a filter to make it look like an old TV transmission. It's more individual pages, this time with no text and everyone is pretty much just doing standing poses on rocks.


Then it's another group picture at the rocky area they were at. This is followed with individual pages again, but this time each member is shown with a floating sphere that represents their 'planet' with them on one page, and the next is an action shot of them jumping.


Then's there's two pages of cross talk between the members. Followed by another group shot, then the final set of individual member pages. Each member is given the same two topics to talk about for these pages, [about concert] and [in personal].


Then at the very back is the gate fold page of most of the Juniors that are participating in the concert, as there seems to be more than the 173 that are pictured there actually participating in the concert from news reports. You can check this post to see those photos, just scroll to the very bottom.

And tomorrow I'll share the photos I have of the concert photo sets, as well as the photos I picked up from the Johnny's Shop on the 15th.

16 May 2009

KAT-TUN Tokyo Dome Report: May 16th, 2009

Ok, in the end I decided to go to the concert tonight. I'm glad I did as it turns out that I won't be able to attend tomorrow night's concert as originally planned.


I managed to get decent seats, on the left side of the stage on the 1st floor of the stands. Since I used my cell phone to take a picture of the stage it's not so good, but it should be able to give people an idea of what the stage looked like. Also of note is that before the concert there are six big balloons that are made to look like planets (or four planets and the sun and moon) that are floating around the stage. It looks pretty cool and the moon has a silhouette of a rabbit making mochi on it.

The concert kicked off with animated versions of KAT-TUN being shown boarding an airplane(space craft?). Then the stage lights up and Morimoto Shintarou shows up in a uniform to 'direct' the plane. You also get a good view of the cages that line the back of the stage that has Juniors dancing in. Eventually things go dark and the main attraction emerges on a moving platform.

There was something wrong with Jin's mic in the first or second song they sang, but the entire night had little problems popping up here and there. Like which screens had subtitles or a moment or two where the subtitles just didn't show up.

Anyway they pretty much went through the songs rather quickly. Kis-My-Ft2 came out on roller skates for either the second or third song, which made me squee inside to see them all so close when they passed the left side of the stage.

For Sadistic Love everyone had moved to the stage by then. KAT-TUN stood on pieces of the stage that could and was moved around (by the Juniors). Eventually by the end of the song Kame was in the piece that was a cage. It was hoisted up to the top left side of the stage where he hanged, waiting for the giant air matress beneath him to be ready for him to land on when he jumped. I was actually surprised at how quickly he made it to the top of the stage, costumed changed and all after that. Usually there's a switch so the performer can have time to change costumes as someone else is doing the stunts, but there was not way that happened this time around.

From the very top of the stage Kame's solo began. He was dressed in the kimono, with his hair put up (as much as it can be). He was then lowered onto the stage, via a rope, as he performed his song, 1582. Not long after reaching the stage he stripped down to the black male kimono. He then made his way to the very center stage area where he rode an upside down umbrella, that was made to look like the water was raising it, though if you looked closely you could see the wires from above. It then moves on as he flies around the stage with two long strips of white cloth, that kinda look like really long scrolls. After he's touched ground again lights turn off for him and go to the main stage where Koki with some Juniors are set up with taiko drums. Koki drums away and a Junior begins to sing an old fashioned song. As he sings the lights turn on that center stage that has started up the fountain, which Kame is going back and forth through getting completely soaked. But apparently that's not wet enough as Juniors on that stage have buckets full of water, which they proceed to splash/dump on Kame.

After Kame was done with getting wet, it was Koki's solo, Pierrot. Kis-My-Ft2 were his backdancers of course, and they had the swishy gold outfits on for it. Part way through Koki had a motorcycle brought out for him, which he road up to a motorcycle cage. He got in and so did someone else (I'm assuming professional stuntman). Only one of them actually road around the cage, which I'm assuming was the stuntman, they were both wearing identical costumes with helmets on. When done with that Koki drove over to a trolley cart with clouds on it, where Junno, Fujigaya, Kitayama and Ishigaki where waiting for him.

For Junno's solo, Wind, he stays on the outer portions of the stage and two carts are used to carry the members of FiVe around as they play. It starts out with Junno asking Koki for help, which eventually Koki agrees to and then with Fujigaya and Kitayama they sing a bit of the song. They then get off the cart, as it makes it way to the center of the dome. Once there Juniors have come out from pretty much everywhere to line the stage walk paths and Junno gets off the cart and proceeds to tap dance. When he stops tap dancing to continue with the song he sounds bad, and Jin comes out of the other cart Junno wasn't on and picks up the song for him. After a short dance break Junno sings again, without the issues he had last time and finishes the song fine. I know at some point he juggles too, in the dark as the balls glow, but I can't remember where in the song he does this.

We get another Rescue inspired segment from yesterday's concert. With Junno's and Jin's help Nakamaru finds the guests of the night that join them onstage. Tonight it's Chinen Yuri and Masuda Takahisa. Massu got a lot of applause and screaming when he was shown, he is also sporting two-tone hair (really light on top with a dark fringe on the bottom) now. When they were walking back to the carts to take them to the main stage Jin was pulling at the back of Massu's shirt. The rest of the group shows up and Koki is wearing his Dragon Ball costume, claiming to be Krillan from the series.

After a brief introduction they move on to the bungee segment. Nakamaru honestly looks scared about doing this, so I feel a little sorry for him. But I still want to see him jump too. Tonight it was Kame whispering things in Chinen's ear to tell Nakamaru. Then Chinen on his own asked about Nakamaru's hair (I think about why it's still short), and later when Nakamaru was refusing to jump said something to the effect that he's done it. (Which he did do for the Hey! Say! JUMP debut con, IIRC.) In the end Nakamaru didn't jump, he did feebling try a bit the final time and bent his knees a couple of times but got no further.

Nakayama Yuma comes out to pimp the upcoming Junior concert next month. He is there with one of his group mates, I believe it's Shigeoka Daiki (I could be wrong though, as I didn't really catch his name). All the guests introduce themselves, and Jin lines up to introduce himself as well, but now's not the time for this.

To finish up the segment Chinen joined by Nakayama and a bunch of the younger Juniors sang Mayonaka no Shadow Boy. Then Nakayama leads the group in another song, which I don't remember the name of. Once done they exited and KAT-TUN came out with cubes that they climbed on and were lifted to swing above the audience in the arena section.

Nakumaru teasing is continued, as Ueda was sharing the same cube as him. So Ueda made sure to give the cube a good shake once it was airborne.

After the next few songs Koki asks everyone to sit down as it's time for the long MC, which indeed was rather long. They stuck to mainly talking about the dramas and movies that they are participating in. At the beginning though Jin had snuck to the back of the stage to drink his water, but Nakamaru called him out on it. He finally made his introduction the first time this happened. He kept trying to sneak back there for a while but Nakamaru kept bringing him out to join everyone else in the talk. The gave away posters again, and Jin was being a dork about reading the ticket stub, then Koki followed his example.

Started back up with Love and followed it with 春夏秋冬(will look up romanization later). Water Dance then began, and KAT-TUN danced around the water streams on the center stage. Then they turned the stage over to the Juniors.

A.B.C.-Z came out after KAT-TUN disappeared again. They performed Vanilla, like they did the night before. Kis-My-Ft2 came on after them and performed Fire Beat, no Kis My Calling tonight.

KAT-TUN came back out singing Real Face. Ueda was in charge tonight and the songs he chose to perform were, Fight All Night, Sparking, Gloria and Tsuki no Michi. During Sparking Junno ended up singing all alone without even the music, as the rest of the group turned their back to him. When he complained about it he let himself fall to the ground, same with Koki for some reason.

Ueda had a rough time with his solo. The mic wasn't turned up on his keyboard and the first time they went to fix it they began playing a music track. Thankfully they quickly fixed that and turned on the right piece of audio equipment. Ueda did mess up playing once and then while he was singing he forgot lyrics. At the end he dropped to his knees and apoligized.

And just to mention this as I am a big Yamashita Shoon fangirl, the Romeo & Juliet footage was of all three Johnny's members involved in the production, Ueda, Shoon and Hasegawa Jun. They all got solo footage and I'm praying that somehow this means that there will be a DVD at some point. The scenes looked good and I really want to see the whole thing.

Back to the concert, after Ueda, it's Nakamaru's turn. He used the full main stage for his intro dance. Near the midway point of White World, ghost-like figures are pulled out. You can see the wires they're hanging from and there are two on each end of the stage. Those four are walked (they actually have two strips that are moved like legs for this) to the center of the main stage to finish up the song.

Jin then appears on his throne. And the four 'ghosts' take off their sheets to reveal the four female dancers for Jin's solo.

I actually liked Jin's new solo (which is more of duet), Wonder. But that might be because I'm a Crystal Kay fan. Also to note both Jin and Crystal Kay are credited as lyricists for the song, which is probably why it lacks Engrish (minsus the mispellings that I'm blaming on the person typing the subs). For those not familiar with Crystal Kay, she's a J-pop artist (she's been a guest on Cartoon KAT-TUN a couple of times, IIRC) that is half-African-American and half-Korean but was raised in Japan for all of her life. Becuase of her upbringing she is completely fluent in English and Japanese, which is why I'm crediting her with making sure the lyrics make sense and flow well. But I found the song rather nice, and while it mentions dancing it's lyrics are tame, centering on the theme that no matter where you come from it shouldn't matter who you fall in love with. A far cry from the infamous Lovejuice.

The battles were amusing. First off was Junno vs. Ueda, as they attacked each other with the stage background lighting effects while making Dragon Ball fighting poses. (Or at least Junno did, he really seemed into it.) Then there was Tanaka vs. Nakamaru and they ended up making fun of Jin by imitating him. Then it was Jin vs. Kame. For this they first brought out these huge balloons that were shaped like the cartoon versions of them. Then Kame and Jin appeared. Kame took up a Peter Pan-like flying pose while Jin hung like a corpse. Jin showed some signs of life like once mid-air and that was about it.

Then it was Wilds of My Heart followed by NEIRO, and the audience sang the last word of the song. Then they asked everyone to turn off their penlights and for those with read marks on their chairs to turn them on. 'We Love KAT-TUN' was spelled out. They then departed the stage, but that only meant it was encore time.

The came out quick for the first encore of She said... and Peaceful Days and thanked the Juniors then. The drummer for FiVe had Nakamaru's name on his forehead for some reason. They only sang two songs for the first encore, but came out for a second encore singing one more song, Will Be Alright. Koki,who was shirtless by this time, had a towel that he ended up throwing into the crowd.

And that ended the concert.

I want to write more, but I need sleep so I shall do that now.

5th Poll Results

Since I need to get this out of the way to put up the next poll, here are the results of the 5th poll, Favorite KAT-TUN Member?

Taguchi Junnosuke: 60
Akanishi Jin: 34
Kamenashi Kazuya: 24
Ueda Tatsuya: 15
Nakamaru Yuichi: 8
Tanaka Koki: 6

I'm really surprised Junno got so many votes, especially since most of them came in only a couple of days ago. But since I'm a Junno fan I'm not going to complain about him beating everyone else out. XD

Not surprised to see Jin and Kame next, as they have rather known large followings. I'm glad to see Ueda behind them, as recently I've begun to like him. I don't think he'll ever replace Junno as my #1 for KAT-TUN, but I can see him easily as my #2 favorite. And then there's Nakamaru and Tanaka rounding out the bottom. Kinda sad to see them get so few votes, but I guess people will like who they like.

And now because I am really curious if this will change the results much, the next poll is 'Favorite KAT-TUN Members', so you can vote for more than one member of the group.

15 May 2009

Non-KAT-TUN post of the day

I'm up now, but I thought I should do a post of non-KAT-TUN related news and such before bombarding everyone with them. Especially if I do cave and see if I can't find a really cheap ticket for tonight's concert, as when I checked for tickets for yesterday's concert there were some for real cheap in the stands area............................ But yes, onto other Johnny's.

Takizawa Hideaki and Nishikido Ryo will co-star in an upcoming summer drama titled, Orthros no Inu. The story is that Tackey's character is a evil-type of person that can heal anything with the touch of his hand, while Ryo's character is a gentle hearted person that can destroy anything with a touch of his hand. The drama will center around the two meeting and the conflict that causes.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

I kinda hope that for Ryo's next drama he will actually get to star. I mean co-starring is close but I think it's time he is allowed to carry a drama on his own, as he's gotten a lot of praise for his acting recently. But maybe that's what this drama is to decide, whether or not he can pull off being the lead man. If that's so I hope he does.

Also I'm glad to see Tackey returning to dramas, as it's been 4 years since he was in a regular drama. It's a pity it's just him and not Tsubasa as well. Though I do rather hope we're not going to get another Tackey solo single for the theme song for this drama. I want to see Tackey & Tsubasa to return soon.

Also TOKIO finally has new releases on the way, with a slew of re-releases that will all be under the J-Storm label, which they switched to last year. It's 19 re-releases in all and it doesn't look like there's anything being added to the releases, nor are they getting their prices reduced. So I'm not sure what the point of re-releasing these are, other to make sure they have this part of their discography under the J-Storm label. But cdjapan's information is rather lacking for these, so maybe there will be something more that will get mentioned when this re-release gets put up on the official Johnny's sites.

For those interested in the re-releases, here are the cdjapan pre-order links.

Sugar / TOKIO

Harvest / TOKIO

Act 2 / TOKIO

Tok10 / TOKIO

glider / TOKIO

5 Ahead / TOKIO

Seisyun / TOKIO

Honjitsu, Mijukumono / Over Drive / TOKIO

Hikari No Machi / Run Free (Swan Dance Wo Kimi To) / TOKIO

Sorafune / do! do! do! / TOKIO

Get Your Dream / TOKIO

Mr.traveling Man / TOKIO

Ashita wo Mezashite! / TOKIO

Jibun No Tame Ni / For You / TOKIO

Transistor G Girl / TOKIO

Love Love Manhattan / Alive-Life / TOKIO

Ambitious Japan! / TOKIO

ding-dong / glider / TOKIO

Green / TOKIO

Hanauta / TOKIO

Dr / Only One Song / TOKIO

Kanpai!! / TOKIO

Message / Hitoribocchi no Haburashi / TOKIO

Doitsumo Koitsumo / boku no Mirai / TOKIO

5 Round 3 / TOKIO

Tokio Special Gigs 2006 -Get Your Dream- / TOKIO

Boku No Renai Jijo To Daidokoro Jijo / TOKIO

Tokio 10th Anniversary Live 2004 / TOKIO

5 Round 2 / TOKIO

Tokio Live Tour 2002 5 Ahead In Nippin Bodokan / TOKIO

5 Round / TOKIO


Also in not quite related to KAT-TUN news but still kinda is, from the spread sheet in the back of the Break the Records concert pamphlet there are 173 Juniors (if I counted right) supporting them for the concerts. (Or at least Tokyo Juniors, as I didn't see any of the Kansai Juniors though they'll probably be the ones back dancing for the Osaka shows.) Also of note there, Kis-My-Ft2 and A.B.C.-Z are the only ones with group shots, everyone else has a small solo head shot, though Morimoto Shintarou's block for his photo is twice as big as the rest. FiVe do get to stand out by not having to wear a plain white shirt or be topless as all the other Juniors are. And pretty much all the Juniors that perform on a regular basis on Shounen Club are there, so Mis Snow Man and B.I. Shadow are all there. And just because he is related to Shoon, I was happy to see Yamashita Reon is there too. Because I am that much of a dork. XD


Some KAT-TUN before I crash

I'm dead tired and ready to fall asleep at the keyboard. But before I do I wanted to at least share photos of some of the KAT-TUN goods I bought today.


This is the full stash from the concert venue. I did go to the Johnny's Shop to pick up a few of the new KAT-TUN photos as well.


I only got Junno's uchiwa today, as it looks like there's a chance I may not make it to the concert on the 17th. Hopefully that won't be the case, but at least I now have the ticket for the May 22nd concert in my hand so I'll still be making at least one concert. I'll be on the 2nd floor, but that better than the 3rd, though I'll be getting some binoculars in any case. But if I do get to go to the concert this Sunday I'll pick up Ueda's uchiwa, as for me I'm using uchiwas as my personal proof for going to a concert.


And as it won't fit in with the other stuff I'll be showing off later (a few pamphlet pages and the photo sets) here's the pen light. It's rather simple in design, like everything for this concert, but the ball actually has the group's name and the concert symbol (a heart with wings that has a planetary ring circling it) on it, which looks rather nice. A bit hard to see, but nice.

14 May 2009

More on Kusanagi's return, plus some Kamenashi drama news

The May 28th date for Kusanagi's return in the last post has been revealed to be the day Kusanagi comes in to film an episode of SMAP X SMAP. The actual episode won't air until June 1st. He will also be filming for an episode of Bokura no Ongaku the same day and he is slated for a live filming of Waratte Iitomo! on May 29th, which will be his first appearence on TV since last month's incident.

Fuji TV has come out and announced that before the scandal Kusanagi had been scheduled to star in one of their summer dramas, and now that he's coming back to work they will progress with the drama, keeping him as the lead.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Kamenashi Kazuya will have a guest role in Kimura Takuya's upcoming spring drama, Mr. Brain. Kame will play a young doctor in the third episode of the series, which will air on June 6th.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

13 May 2009

Ikuta Toma's movie debut and Kusanagi's return to work

It has been announced that Ikuta Toma will have his movie debut as the lead actor of the upcoming film, Zigeunerweisen. Which is known in English as, No Longer Human. This movie is based off of the novel by the same name, written by one of Japan's most famous novelists, Osamu Dazai. It also has never been adapted to a film before and is only now being adapted to celebrate the 100th year since Dazai's birth.

Filming will begin this July and the movie is being slated for a 2010 spring release.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

Also in Johnny's news, SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will be returning to work on May 28th. This announcement came from the Johhny's Agency office via fax.

Yahoo! News article. (Japanese only)

12 May 2009

Tackey solo concerts

Johnny's net has put up information for a solo Takizawa Hideaki concert series in June and July. So far there are only five concerts scheduled, two in Yokohama, one in Nagoya and two in Osaka.

Being newly announced there isn't much more information about it, but that will probably come in time. I'm sure the concert name will not remain as Takizawa Hideaki Solo Concert 09 Summer, as that's far too plain for something Johnny's related.

Of course with this solo concert it brings up the questions again, are Tackey & Tsubasa ever going to do anything together again? It's not like the solo Tackey cds are selling better than the T&T cds did, so unless there's a big difference in ticket sales for thier solo concerts I don't see why they don't just go back to releasing things as a duo again. As I'm sure many will agree T&T>>>>>>solo Tackey and Tsubasa.

11 May 2009

Little Country no more and Morimoto Shintarou's worldwide debut

It has been announced that the movie Morimoto Shintarou will be starring in, which has been renamed from Little Country to Snow Prince: Kinjirareta Koi no Melody, is being set to have a worldwide run. According to the latest press release at least 17 countries have sent offers to screen the movie in their country.

Undoubtable this is more because the script writer for the film is the same writer who wrote the script for the Oscar winning movie Departures. But in any case it could mean big things for Shintarou if he manages to grab international attention from this.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

EDIT

Looks like this wasn't the only news for Shintarou. According to the Johnny's net page for the TV listing for the Juniors he will be joining Nakayama in the still untitled drama that Nakayama will be starring it. This will be the second time the two have been in a drama together, as Shintarou played Nakayama's younger brother in Battery.

09 May 2009

Sakamoto gets to play teacher too.

Sakamoto Masayuki (V6), will be in an upcoming drama special, titled Shounen Jidai, where he gets to play an influential teacher to the main character. It is scheduled to air June 21st on Fuji TV.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

This will be Sakamoto's first time playing a teacher, but I'm sure Inohara can give him some pointers from being the 'teacher' for Hyakushiki.

And I have to say it's nice to see V6 still rather active as they seem to be one of those senpai groups that easily get overshadowed by the other senpai groups.

07 May 2009

V6 new single Spirit

V6 will be releasing their first single for the year half way through the year on June 17th. Which I may bitterly add is better than some other Johnny's groups that still have yet to release a single in 2009. Though I am happy to see another Johnny's group that hasn't released a cd until now in 2009, as it does give me hope the other groups aren't too far behind.

At least the V6 single has quite a few new songs so it's almost as if they are releasing a mini-album considering there are eight new tracks between the three versions (though you only need to buy two of them to get all eight tracks).

Spirit [Limited Edition / Jacket A] / V6


The Jacket A version is the standard DVD with PV and making of. It comes with only the first two tracks that all versions of the single have on them, Spirit and Chance!

Spirit [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Jacket B] / V6


Jacket B comes with two cds, one with the two tracks, Spirit and Chance! and the second has four tracks, two for each V6 sub-unit, 20th Century and Coming Century.

Spirit [Jacket C] / V6


Finally Jacket C has four vocal tracks for V6, plus the karaoke tracks for the songs. It also comes with a poster according to cdjapan's listing.

Honestly looking at this release I've come to think that whenever Hey! Say! JUMP release their next single it should be like this. I think it will actually make the long wait feel like it was worth it. Though I'm still hoping we'll get an actual album from them though.

06 May 2009

NewS - touch LE DVD


One of the various JE things I've been able to pick up since I came here is the limited edition of NEWS' debut album, touch. Which means of course I have finally been able to see the special DVD that comes with it, that has 'dates' with all the members on it as well as some early concert footage and the messages from the group members for the album.


It's a bit odd watching this DVD as it's been about four years since it was released and you can tell how much everyone has grown since then. Especially for some of the youngest members, like Tegoshi. He used to be such an adorable little kid. I really could not imagine how much his image would change over a few years from looking at him at this time.


Of course some things haven't changed at all. Like Shige and Ryo's smiles. Though you do see them more often these days than back then from what I've seen from old footage. Especially Shige's, which as a Shige fan makes me happy. ^__^


There's of course also the fact that this also has footage of Uchi and Kusano (most likely why it's still expensive to buy used like I did). I didn't get into NEWS until they came back after their hiatus as a six member group, so it's a bit strange to see them as the eight member group they were after they officially debuted. But I do like Kusano so I was happy to see him and I really wish he was doing something again now that Uchi has been active for awhile.


The concert footage isn't much to talk about, as it's only one song. I guess the most standout thing about it is that the full group is there, which was a rarity even back then.


The last set of clips are only interesting if you know some Japanese, or if you just really love looking at the boys no matter what they do.


I'm really glad I was able to find this here, especially as I was able to get it at a reasonable price, not the 100USD I've seen it go for at places. Though since I got it at a Book Off (a popular used media store chain) it really was complete luck that I found it, so I'm glad good fortune was shining on me that day.

05 May 2009

Nakayama Yuma in a new drama and a Junior concert

It has been announced that Nakayama Yuma will again star in a drama series. The drama will be for the summer and will co-star Johnny's daisenpai Masahiko Kondo. It will air on Fuji TV, though not much else is known about the drama at the moment.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)


After causing some confusion when one of the Japanese online news sites mentioned Nakayama doing a concert in Tokyo in June at the end of their article about his new drama, their has been an official announcement of a Junior concert on June 7th. It will take place at the Tokyo Internatianl Forum Hall and is called ジャニーズJr.~NEWユニット~大集合2009!(Johnny's Jr. ~NEW Unit~ Big Gathering 2009!). The 'new' units listed are, Nakayama Yuma w/7-East, Morimoto Shintarou, B.I. Shadow and Mis Snow Man. A.B.C.-Z are listed to be making a special appearence and of course it mentions that the rest of Johnny's Jrs will be participating.

I'm going to see about trying to go, though I'm boggling a bit about some of the developments for this concert. As great as it is to see Nakayama being able to perform in Tokyo finally it's bizarre that it looks like he's the only Kansai Junior doing so. 7-East is most likely going to be a new Tokyo Jr. unit, which seems a bit of a slap in the face for Nakayama's Kansai group, Hey! Say! 7-West. But I guess they couldn't call them a 'new' unit as they've been around for a while. But if they're going to call Shintarou a 'new' unit I can't see why not though.

Also the other thing that caught my attention is the lack of Hip Hop Jump. They've been around for about as long as B.I. Shadow,IIRC, so it doesn't make sense that they're not listed. That is unless they've been disbanded. The first May episode of Shounen Club was HHJ-less even though Juri, Keigo and Luis were there. Usually even with only a few of the members present they will still be announced as the full group, though that didn't happen and Luis was even introduced as a Fresh Junior, even though he's been around longer than Juri and Keigo. So I have no idea what's going on with that group. Though somehow I will not be surprised if some members of HHJ end up being members of 7-East.

I'm not surprised to see Kis-My-Ft2 not listed as between back dancing for KAT-TUN for their dome concerts and then Playzone, they're rather busy and it probably would just be too much to ask them to do a concert as well.

04 May 2009

4th Poll Results

Figured I needed to make this post so I can put up the next poll. And of course thank you to everyone who participated in the poll.

News "Koi no ABO" single: 33
KAT-TUN "Break the Records" album: 32
Hey! Say! JUMP "Jump-ing Tour '08-'09" DVD: 31

I was rather amazed at how for the most part the poll was evenly split for the three releases. It makes me wonder if it would have been much different if people could vote for more than one release. I think I may try that option the next time there is a release heavy month.

And since the KAT-TUN Tokyo Dome concerts are coming up fast, the next couple of polls will be about them in celebration of that.

02 May 2009

News round-up

Well the Golden Week holidays has begun here so I'm been enjoying those for the past couple of days. Of course during this time there's been some bits of news that have come out.

For those in the U.S., the live action Hana Yori Dango movie, which Matsumoto Jun starred in, will be getting a DVD release. Of course the dramas that came before it have yet to be picked up for release, so I'm not sure how great this news is. Other than people being able to have a legally subbed version of the movie.

Anime News Network article.
(English)

It has been announced that Kamenashi will be reprising his role as Odagiri Ryu for the upcoming Gokusen movie. His character will be showing up as a trainee teacher at the school Yankumi is currently teaching at. This will be Kame's big screen debut.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)

Also it has been annouced that Kusanagi from SMAP, who was arrested last week, will not have an indictment pressed against him for his drunken naked antics. The resoning came from that his arrest was not because he was drunk and naked, as that usually is not an arrestable offense, but because he did not put his clothes back on when the police asked him to.

With this news it is expected that he will be returning to work as soon as Johnny's can get things sorted out for him. So far it's known that the movie he had finished shooting for will be able to go ahead and get released on schedule later this year.

Tokyo Graph article.
(English)