31 December 2010

Tozai Uta Gassen & Johnny's Countdown 2010-2011 thoughts

Okay, I found a way to watch this year's Countdown concert after Keyhole decided not to work. Which ended up being a good thing as where I found the streaming for it had good video quality so I could see what was happening. But since I didn't want to stop watching to blog I decided to wait for it to end and then write thoughts up for it. And since my Tozai post was just pretty much saying what was happening and not a lot what I thought about the program I'll write those thoughts here to.

Since Tozai aired first I'll write about it first.

I was rather surprised that something for the Juniors ended up focusing quite a bit on the guests who were all debuted Johnny's. Not many of the Juniors got a good deal of screen time outside of Yuma, and he only managed that by being a part of NYC. Though JaPAnese Hi! probably got some decent time on screen, but they kinda needed it as no one knows who they are yet.

I really wonder what's going to happen with this new group as from the January Shounen Club filming reports they weren't there and it can't be easy to fit 52 Juniors on one stage and have people remember who they are. I wonder if they'll end up with their own program or something, as that seems the best way IMHO for people to get to know the members of this massive group.

But other than that I just hope there is more of a Junior focus if they do it next year.

Now on to Countdown.

This really gave me even more hope that Kis-My-Ft2 will be debuting soon. I assumed they would be at Countdown since they weren't a part of Tozai or Tackey's butai and I didn't think they would be left out of the end of year activities completely. But I did not expect to see so much of them at Countdown. In fact they probably got more time on screen than Hey! Say! JUMP. And when they did the highlight of the Johnny's turning 24 in 2011 they had Fujigaya with Tegoshi and Shigeaki. (Their bunny ears were adorable and I love how Shige actually went 'pyon pyon' during his little speech. XD) They seemed to be given as much to do as other debuted groups so I now have a 99.9% feeling they will be debuting.

I know there are people complaining about Arashi not really being there, they did do a performance via satellite for the concert, but honestly after Kouhaku I think that's fine. If you wanted to see them than you have hours of this year's Kouhaku to go through as they were there in abundance. And as they've hosted Countdown for two years in a row I appreciate having someone else host this year, Kinki Kids.

My disappointment was that Hey! Say! JUMP really didn't do much this year. NYC and HSJ got to do quick performances before midnight but Hey! Say! BEST only hung around for about one song after midnight then joined the rest of the group in the stands for the rest of the concert. The only thing that keeps me from being too bummed about that is the fact for the next Countdown only Ryutarou will be under 18 so I'm sure Johnny's will have HSJ perform after midnight if they can do so with Yamada and Chinen with them. Plus Yuma will be under 18 as well so he'll have to be in the stands again next year once more so it will be HSJ and not a NYC/HSJ split for one year at least.

The highlights for me was just Tokio in general, like usual, Kis-My-Ft2 and NEWS (even if they were without Ryo as he was in Osaka with Kanjani8). Of course Kanjani8 with their sushi cosplay was pretty awesome, especially Yoko as the sauce bottle. I kinda wish they were still in cosplay when they covered KAT-TUN's Keep the Faith. XD

And was it just me of did Massu's hair look red-ish to anyone else? And talking to hair it looks like Ryutarou got his cut, and I think it looks nice as it's no longer shaggy looking.

Overall I was glad to have found a way to see it streamed. And that since it was around midnight it wasn't in the middle of the night for me to view it. I already can't wait for the next Countdown.

Nenmatsu Young Tozai Uta Gassen viewing

Earlier today I finally got around to installing the Keyhole program on my computer so I could watch the year end programs streamed off of Japanese TV. I figured since I'm watching them I might as well blog while I watch. Though honestly the picture quality is quite iffy and I while the audio for the most part is fine I can't really see much so far.

But I'm still going to stick through trying to watch Nenmatsu Young Tozai Uta Gassen, which is currently airing so watch this space for updates as the program airs.

For those looking forward to seeing the concert that was filmed be prepared to be disappointed as they're only showing a digest of it. They have about an hour left of programing time right now but have yet to show a single full performance.

They did announce JaPAnese Hi! and I did see footage of them showing the members holding signs with their names on them. Hopefully someone is recording this to share later so we can get a decent look at them.

Currently they are having young Juniors viewing debuts of past Johnny's giving their opinions of them. So far it's been Kondo Masahiko, Tackey & Tsubasa, SMAP, (one of the older groups, couldn't recognize the song and couldn't see any of the video), Kanjani8, NEWS (they Kibou ~Yell~ for their debut song), Shounentai, NYC (with Yuuki 100% as their debut song) and V6.

They've now decided to show some of the concert footage. They are showing the medley they did for Shounentai, if I'm not mistaken. Never mind it's a general daisempai medley so there's groups like Hikaru Genji and Otokogumi in there too. And now it's SMAP followed by Arashi and I can finally see the screen and it says it's a Johnny's big hit medley. So I guess each group should get a song or something like that. Except I am wrong and after covering a Kinki Kids song it's back to the Juniors looking at debut performances.

Oddly enough they are using Dreams Come True and not Ultra Music Power for Hey! Say! JUMP. And then we move to Kinki Kids, followed by TOKIO. And then we have Arashi with KAT-TUN finishing the segment.

We then have an MC from the concert lead by the guests and more digest footage. It looks like now they will complete the Johnny's big hit medley for the other groups not in the first part. And from the incredibly laggy footage I see that Ueda Tatsuya was singing for the Sorafune cover and I now I really hope somebody is recording this with much higher quality video as I want to see that.

And we return to the program after a commercial break with a Yuuki 100% performance that leads into Ultra Music Power. Then it's weeeek, with Yamapi, who's a guest, followed by Daite Senorita. Yamapi and Kame, who's also there with the rest of KAT-TUN, sing Seishun Amigo but you can tell it's been ages since they've last sung it. Yamapi sounded like he mumbled his solo lines.

And then we get a commercial break again. But there's a Kimutaku commercial for Nikon cameras.

They're showing backstage footage from the concert with Tackey & Tsubasa MCing about it. More digest information at they bring up some more info for JaPAnese HI!, such as there are 52 members before cutting to training footage of the group as they get ready for the concert. We get to see practice on stage for them as they are in one of those 'wall of cages' that Johnny's uses when they have a ton of Juniors they want to be back dancing on stage. They are then shown back dancing for NYC as they sing Yoku Asobi, Yoku Manabe.

It looks like it's back to digest concert footage as it's Tackey & Tsubasa performing their latest single with Mis Snow Man back dancing for them. Then it's KAT-TUN with Change Ur World. And Yamapi sings One in a million and I need a better view of his costume as I swear it looks like it has seams that light up, though they could just be extra shiny. And HSJ perform Arigatou.

And more commercials, but there's only about 10 minutes left for the program.

And they come back to a performance of V6's Can do! Can go!. It looks like we'll have the full performance of this. But we're back to commercials right after.

And the program closes on back stage footage of everyone leaving the stage.

28 December 2010

More Kohaku information and another yearly chart

The order of performances for Kohaku has been announced now. Unsurprisingly NYC will be performing near the beginning of the show, as the members are still under 18 so they are only allowed to work until a certain hour at night. The rest of the Johnny's are down to perform in the later half of the program with SMAP being the final act of the night. Because they are going last Nakai Masaharu will be missing the start of the program he is set to host right after, CDTV Special! Toshikoshi Premier Live.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Of course there is still no word whether Arashi will be heading over to the Tokyo Dome after Kohaku to attend the annual Johnny's Countdown concert but I'm personally going to assume that if they are they will be late like Tokio is every year they attend both.

In other news Oricon has come out with another yearly chart for 2010. This one is based off a poll of its user base for 'Face of the year'. Arashi ranks in fourth this year, which was the same position they had last year, and are the only Johnny's on the list. Though when broken down by gender Arashi is number 2 with women and 7 with men.

Oricon article. (Japanese)

24 December 2010

KAT-TUN's Ultimate Wheels

KAT-TUN has their first single for 2011 lined up already as CDJapan just sent out the e-mail for pre-order of the CD. It will come out on February 2nd and is titled Ultimate Wheels.

The single comes in three editions, one LE with DVD and two RE editions, one being a first press edition and they both have a different B-side track.

Ultimate Wheels [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

Ultimate Wheels [Regular Edition (First Press)] / KAT-TUN

Ultimate Wheels [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / KAT-TUN

22 December 2010

Sad news, Happy news & a rumor

Looks like I need to catch up for what I missed by not posting yesterday.

First off is some sad news about Shounentai's Uekusa Katsuhide. It has been announced that he is divorcing his wife of 16 years. From an interview the divorce is from the growing differences between them. Uekusa is also the father of Uekusa Yuta, who joined Johnny's as a Junior but has been missing since earlier in the year.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

It's sad to see a relationship end, especially as they had known each other since high school. But I guess this would explain why Yuta disappeared.

In some positive news the song list for Kohaku has been announced. The songs that the Johnny's artists are performing are:

Arashi - 2010 Kouhaku Original Medley
NYC - Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe, Yuuki 100%, NYC
SMAP - This is love '10 SP Medley
TOKIO - advance

And then there's a rumor that on February 9th NYC will be releasing their next single. Of course until there is either pre-order information up or one of the official Johnny's websites say so I wouldn't treat it as fact.

21 December 2010

Kanjani8 does theme songs for Crayon Shin-chan

At their concerts Kanjani8 announced that they will not only be doing the opening theme for the long running Crayon Shin-chan TV anime series but also the theme song for its upcoming movie.

A release date has not been announced or if these songs will be on the same single or two different ones. But the TV series will begin using the new theme song in February and the movie comes out mid-April.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

19 December 2010

Yearly Top 50 singles and albums Oricon chart 2010

Oricon has come out with its official yearly charts for CD sales. While Arashi missed out on the number 1 single of the year they still managed to dominate that chart with being one of the two artists (AKB48 being the other) to have singles in the top 10. They did snag the top spot for the album chart again making this the second year they've had the yearly number 1 album.

Singles list (Johnny's only)

3. “Troublemaker” - Arashi : (698,542)
4. “Monster” – Arashi : (696,022)
6. “Hatenai Sora” – Arashi : (656,343)
7. “Løve Rainbow” – Arashi : (620,057)
9. “Dear Snow” – Arashi : (591,207)
10. “To be free” – Arashi : (516,142)
11. “Love yourself~Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki~” – KAT-TUN : (439,736)
13. “This is Love” – SMAP : (350,322)
15. “LIFE~Me no mae no Mukou e~” – Kanjani 8 : (305,478)
17. “Going!” – KAT-TUN : (282,901)
18. “Wonderful World!!” – Kanjani 8 : (275,891)
20. “CHANGE UR WORLD” – KAT-TUN : (254,150)
21. “Hitomi no Screen” – Hey!Say! JUMP : (250,206)
25. “Sakura Girl” – NEWS : (232,752)
29. “One in a million” – Yamashita Tomohisa : (204,561)
30. “Yukai Tsu-kai Kaibutsu-kun” – Kaibutsu-kun (Kaibutsu Taro) : (196,258)
31. “Family~Hitotsu ni naru koto~” – KinKi Kids : (179,927)
32. “Fighting Man” – NEWS : (173,206)
43. “GIFT~Midori~(Yuki wo Kudasai/One day in winter/Snow White)” (Limited Edition) – Kanjani 8 : (136,508)
44. “GIFT~Shiro~(Fuyukoi/Kimi no Uta wo Utau)” (Limited Edition) – Kanjani 8 : (136,003)
46. “GIFT~Aka~(I wish/Minus 100 do no Koi)” (Limited Edition) – Kanjani 8 : (133,978)

Album list (Johnny's only)

1. “Boku no Miteiru Fukei” – Arashi : (1,053,064)
19. “All the BEST! 1999-2009″ – Arashi : (342,743)
25. “We are SMAP!” – SMAP : (267,946)
27. “8UPPERS” – Kanjani 8 : (265,439)
33. “JUMP NO.1″ – Hey!Say! JUMP : (187,621)
34. “LIVE” – NEWS : (185,204)
35. “NO MORE PAIN” - KAT-TUN : (182,563)

Thoughts on Arigato "Sekai no Doko ni Itemo" single

As I look at the clock and realize that it's almost midnight and I have yet to make a post for today I'll be doing this really quick and on the fly. So you'll have to forgive me if I just spew things out.

Today I finally got my December order from CDJapan in, which of course included both versions of Hey! Say! JUMP's last single for 2010, Arigato "Sekai no Doko ni Itemo". Since I've been watching all the performances for the title track I almost feel like I've already over played it, but thankfully since I have the regular edition I have the three B-sides to give me something fresher to listen to.

Honestly it's not going to be my favorite single but I think it's still a nice addition to HSJ's discography and the title track would be great to have if the boys ever get to perform overseas. (Though I have the feeling we're going to have to wait for them all to be 18 and over before they begin touring outside of Japan.) And I think it's also a nod from Johnny's that they know that there are fans outside of Japan for the group. Which is nice.

For the B-sides it is nice to have a version of FLY without the sound of screaming crowds. It's not my favorite concert only song of theirs but I hope that more of them will end up as B-sides from here on out as they have quite the collection by now. Snow Song is more upbeat that I expected it to be, but it's a nice song for this time of year. Also I feel like HSJ may be moving towards a more mature sound and image but as they're not there yet will still have cute songs like this. Kinda like there was Romeo & Juliet on the Hitomi no Screen single. Then Futarigake no Basho is a nice way to end the single with a ballad. I actually rather like this song and it's currently my favorite B-side of the single.

I had been wondering if I really should have gotten the limited version of this single, especially as I was not all that impressed with the music video. But the making of feature made it up for me, as it seemed pretty Hey! Say! BEST heavy and you can really get the sense that the group has gotten really comfortable with each other now. The PV had me thinking of their first PV with Ultra Music Power, as they both looked to have similar concepts and looking back at how HSJ was then compared to now is pretty amazing. The boys have come a long way since then and are so much more open around each other and the cameras now then they were at first. I can't wait to see how they continue to grow as a group through the years and hope Johnny's won't be keeping us long before the first HSJ single of 2011.

17 December 2010

Johnny's International updated

I believe I never got around to mentioning it before but Johnny's has launched their international service. So far members can receive e-mails from them about various information coming up, the most relevant being that they have opened a couple of their concerts up to international fans to ballot for tickets. Currently you can try for tickets to Tackey's Shinshun Takizawa Kakumei.

But in the recent e-mails they are requesting for those who already have an account with them to cancel and start a new one as they have added an option on the registration form, you can tell them your a favorite Johnny's now. And in the more recent e-mail they do say that they are interested in knowing this information, which I'm assuming will be for so they can know which artists/groups that the international community is interested in the most.

The submission page for the international fan club can be found here.

16 December 2010

Arashi tops 2010 ringtone charts

It's that time of the year that the yearly charts come out and Dwango has released their ringtone charts. Arashi dominates them, unsurprisingly taking the top three places.

Probably the more interesting Johnny's on the chart is Kis-My-Ft2 placing third on the full song ringtone chart with Inori.

Momo Edgewood blog.

Charting that well despite not being a debuted group is pretty good. I can't help but feel that with the upcoming drama with Fujigaya and Kitayama that Kisumai is on the verge of a debut. Of course it could also be a lot of wishful thinking on my part to as I've wanted them to debut for years. But I honestly can't think of a better time and like with the digital release on Dwango they are proving that they can sell. So here's hoping 2011 will be their year.

Jin Akanishi signed on Warner Music

Okay, I am on holiday so I'm going to make sure I post something everyday for the rest of the month. Starting with some catching up for news.

Continuing on with his solo career for both in Japan and the in U.S. Akanishi Jin has signed with Warner Music to be his record label for both markets. It was also announced that his first music release will be in Spring of 2011. And once he releases his debut album he will tour the U.S. once more.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Honestly I didn't think too much about what record label Jin would be on for his solo work but it makes a lot of sense of Johnny's to have a out of house record label handle things for releases. Warner Music is established on both side of the waters and they were the ones that singed JYJ so they seem keen on having Asian artists on their label. Hopefully they can give Jin the publicity that JYJ have been getting as I think he might have a bit of a better chance in the U.S. as he's a solo artist and can converse decently in English.

Of course this doesn't mean at all that Jin is leaving Johnny's. As Johnny's is mainly a management company that happens to also have their own record labels but even then not all of their acts are on them, with SMAP, V6 and Tackey & Tsubasa being on non-Johnny's labels for their music labels.

09 December 2010

New Arashi DVD & Yamapi's solo album

Woke up to find an e-mail from CDJapan waiting for me with something nice to wake up to.

First up Arashi will be releasing their concert DVD for their tour earlier this year. The DVD will be released on January 26th and comes in one version. It does have a first press bonus though, a 44-page photo booklet.

ARASHI 10-11TOUR "Scene" - Kimi to Boku no Miteiru Fukei - [stadium] (Title subject to change) / Arashi

Then on January 19th Yamashita Tomohisa will have a new single coming out, Hadakanbo. The song will be on his album but this single will have a karaoke track of it. The single looks pretty bare bones, no other tracks but the title track and only the one edition, but it is cheap.

Hadakanbo / Tomohisa Yamashita

Then the following week is Yamapi's first solo album, titled Supergood, Superbad. This comes in two editions but both of them will have two CD discs. The LE will have 20 tracks and a bonus DVD while the RE has 25 tracks. It will contain songs from the singles he's released previously.

Supergood, Superbad [Regular Edition / Type B] / Tomohisa Yamashita

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

06 December 2010

Various News Updates

This is my finals week so I'll be bogged done with writing papers, two of them due today, but I need a break so I've decided to do an overdue update here.

The Ninkyu Helper drama series that stars Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will have a SP that will air on January 9, 2011. The full cast of the special in unknown so whether or not Yabu Kota will be reprising his role for the SP is unknown.

Ninkyu Helper OHP.

The Gantz film, starring Ninomiya Kazunari, is to premier in the U.S. ahead of the Japanese premier. The new Viz Pictures' New People unit with NCM Fathom events will be dealing with the premier, making the movie a Fathom event that will be shown in selected movie theaters across the U.S.

The date for the event will be January 20th, 2011 and the movie will be shown over-dubbed (English voices over the Japanese) and will include an exclusive live interview with the two stars of the film.

Anime News Network article.

Two of the older Johnny's Juniors, Hasegawa Jun and Toshin Yoshikazu, will be touring Japan as MCs Disney live show next year that will feature Disney's popular characters.

Tokyo Graph article.

Hey! Say! JUMP's Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri will be the volleyball championship supporters for early January, 2011. The image song for the championship will be Hey! Say! JUMP's song FLY, which is a B-side on their upcoming single, and Yamada and Chinen will be performing the song at the tournament.

Tokyo Graph article.

01 December 2010

Johnny's net X-Mas messages & Summary 2010 DVD release

As December is upon us Johnny's net this year has special Christmas videos featuring most of the their talents. If you visit the main page you can easily see the button to click for it. What may not be so easy for those who don't know Japanese is that to view the video in the window that pops up you have to move your cursor over the Christmas tree and for each ornament there is a different video.

And it looks like Hey! Say! JUMP are getting their concert DVD of the year out of the way quickly as CDJapan has put up the SUMMARY 2010 DVD up for pre-order. The DVD will come out January 12th and is the August 25th performance.

SUMMARY 2010 / Hey! Say! JUMP

28 November 2010

Johnny's wants a Junior Kouhaku & reveals JaPAnese HI!

Well the Junior concerts at NHK Hall with both Tokyo and Kansai Juniors have rapped up but not without a couple of big announcements. The first is that this concert will be aired on New Year's eve on TV Asahi and that Johnny's wants to make the concert a yearly program to be like a Johnny's Kouhaku citing how difficult it is to get young groups on Kouhaku.

The other is that they have selected 52 Juniors from recent auditions to be a part of a new Junior group JaPAnese HI! (ジャPAニーズ HI!).

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

I did some digging and it looks like JaPAnese HI! is a bit of a recycled name as there was an old Junior group called JaPAnese that was active from 1978 to 1982.

Wikipedia (Japanese)

There's definitely things I want to say about these turns of events, especially JaPAnese HI! , but I think I'll make other posts on the matter latter once I've gotten my thoughts more straightened out and the homework I need to finish done.

26 November 2010

Johnny's school calendars 2011-2012

Well it's that time of year for the Johnny's school calendars to be listed. In the end after debating it I decided to order the Junior calendar this year, though I had at first wanted to get the NEWS one. But I figure there's still three or four years before NEWS will stop releasing a calendar and the bonus that the Junior calendar had was probably something that they wouldn't do again another year. Though I do wonder if NYC will ever get a calendar but I guess they would have to take Nakayama Yuma out of Junior status to do that.

Onto the calendar listings. According the CDJapan the NEWS calendar is: A4-size page-two-week calendar / 64 pages + 8 pages with 32 photo cards] Includes an original masking tape with logo.

2011-2012 Johnny's School Calendar: NEWS Calendar "2011.4 - 2012.3" Johnny's official calender / NEWS

The Kanjani8 will be: [Spec: A2-size] Includes an original masking tape with logo.

2011-2012 Johnny's School Calendar: KANJANI8 Calendar "2011.4 - 2012.3" Johnny's official calender / KANJANI8

KAT-TUN: A5-size (the size should be the standard wall size calendar)

2011-2012 Johnny's School Calendar: KAT-TUN Calendar "2011.4 - 2012.3" Johnny's official calender / KAT-TUN

Hey! Say! JUMP: Book-shaped.

2011-2012 Johnny's School Calendar: Hey! Say! JUMP Calendar "2011.4 - 2012.3" Johnny's official calender / Hey! Say! JUMP

And the Johnny's Junior calendar: Johnny's official calender of April 2011 - March 2012 featuring Johnny's Jr. such as Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C-Z, B.I.shadow, 7WEST, Shintaro Morimoto, and more for 100 people total (subject to change). [Spec: A4-size calendar] It can be displayed as a desktop or a wall calendar. Includes an Yuma Nakayama calendar.

2011-2012 Johnny's School Calendar: Johnny's Jr. Calendar "2011.4 - 2012.3" Johnny's official calender / Johnny's Jr.

Of course being the big Nakayama Yuma fan I am there really was no way I could pass that up.Though I do hope next year he'll be in a calendar with group mates, whether it be NYC or a new debut group.

Fujigaya Taisuke & Kitayama Hiromitsu in Misaki No.1 drama

I believe a couple of weeks ago there was an announcement about a new drama for the winter season on NTV called Misaki No. 1. At the time the only cast member revealed was for the main character Misaki, a #1 hostess that is asked to teach a class of trouble students. What really caught my attention about the series was that in the article for the announcement it brought up that a few of the main people that worked on the Gokusen drama series was working on this drama. Of course it seemed like an easy fit as the overall plot of the two dramas seems pretty close so I began to hope that it would mean that we would be getting some Johnny's as a part of the cast.

In my mind if there were to be Johnny's that would be a part of this drama they would either be from Hey! Say! JUMP or Kis-My-Ft2 and it turns out I wasn't too far off. Though I don't think I would have guessed the ones who got the roles would be the ones.

But it has been announced that Fujigaya Taisuke and Kitayama Hiromitsu will be the two lead students in the drama.

NTV official site with cast list.

I'm really only surprised at Fujigaya and Kitayama getting these roles because of their ages, but if my gut instinct is right, and this is the big sign of Johnny's getting ready to debut Kis-My-Ft2, it makes sense. Even though they've promoted Tamamori a lot the two main vocals and leads of the group are Fujigaya and Kitayama so having the Japanese public know them the best would make sense so they can be the face of the group. Or the ones that get people's attention at first and will hopefully make them fans of the rest of the group over time.

So I'm hoping that this drama will be able to be as successful as the Gokusen series and we'll be hearing about a Kis-My-Ft2 debut in the first half of 2011.

25 November 2010

Upcoming winter drama news

As the Winter drama season approaches there of course cast announcements coming out.

This season Masaki Aiba will be the member of Arashi starring in a drama. The drama is based off of a popular manga series called, Bartender. It will air on TV Asahi in January and Aiba is the only known cast member so far.

Tokyograph article. (English)

I honestly will be surprised if there isn't a new Arashi single coming out that isn't tied to this drama. But we're still a ways off from Johnny's making release announcements for releases in 2011.

In other drama news, Tegoshi Yuya will be a part of the main cast for the upcoming drama, Deka Wanko. The drama will air on NTV beginning in January.

Tokyograph article. (English)

24 November 2010

61st Kouhaku Johnny's

Well I've been without power for about two days from the snow where I live. It was miserable but I am quite enjoying warmth and the wonders of electricity now.

While I was without internet NHK put out their list for the performers participating in the 61st Kouhaku program. There's a lot of old faces returning which includes the Johnny's groups that performed on the show last year, SMAP, TOKIO, Arashi and NYC.

Official NHK Kouhaku website artist list.

Personally I would rather see Hey! Say! JUMP on the list instead of NYC but I guess that may not happen anytime soon. I just hope NYC has something just as completely ridiculous this year as they did last year. Those belts were pure Johnny's costuming epic-ness. XD

18 November 2010

'Tis the season for concerts

As this year starts to near its end it means there is a slew of concert announcements for the Holiday season and for early next year. To catch up on the most recent announcements I'm just going to a quick run down of them. More information can be found on Johnny's net.

Hey! Say! JUMP will be having their annual winter concerts. The first will be on Christmas day in Nagoya and they will finish up January 16th in Osaka.

Kis-My-Ft2 will be having another solo tour beginning at the end of December and will go through February. Which explains why they won't be doing Takizawa Kakumei this year.

And speaking of which, A.B.C.-Z, Mis Snow Man and other Tokyo Juniors in January plus Nakayama Yuma will be in this year's Takizawa Kakumei.

The most surprising of concert announcements has been Yamashita Tomohisa's upcoming solo concert tour in Asia. He will be doing concerts in his home country as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. The tour will have several breaks in its run and will begin on January 29th and end on April 24th.

For this tour he will be releasing a solo album which should come out in January, 2011.

Tokyograph article. (English)

16 November 2010

New drama for Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Akanishi Jin wants you (to attend a taping)

This month is full of Johnny's related news and I feel bad that I've been so busy I haven't been able to update with it to keep up. But out of all the problems to have this is one I don't mind much at all.

First off SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will be starring in a new drama series for this upcoming winter drama season. It will air on TBS and is titled Fuyu no Sakura (which translates to Winter Cherry Blossoms). It is said to follow the same kind of plot as the mega popular Korean drama series Winter Sonata.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Then Akanishi Jin will have a live performance, which will be broadcast by MTV Iggy, that was issued a 'casting call' for 50 fans to be in the audience for it. It will be in New York City on the 20th of November.

For more information you can check out MTV Iggy's application form for the event.

Tokyograph article.

14 November 2010

Upcoming Concerts

There have recently been a couple of concerts announced recently that are coming up in Japan.

The first is a concert for Uchi Hiroki with Question? in mid-December. They will play a few shows in both Tokyo and Osaka. You can check out Johnny's net for more information.

Then next year Akanishi Jin will be holding concerts at the Saitama Super Arena. The concert dates are January 14-16.

Tokyograph article.

In the Tokyograph article they speculate that the concert dates will be around the date of the first solo single for Jin, which will have a simultaneous release in both Japan and the U.S. I agree that this could be likely, especially since concerts can be good promotion for new releases but we still have probably about a month before Johnny's would announce a release for that date.

12 November 2010

NEWS Live! Live! Live! Tokyo Dome DVD

Johnny's wants to make us poor for the holidays as there is a new concert DVD fro NEWS coming out on December 22nd. The DVD is titled NEWS Dome Party 2010 Live! Live! Live! DVD! and will come in two editions, a LE and a RE.

The LE comes with an extra DVD disc that will have a concert documentary and a 48 page booklet so it will be three DVD discs in total while the RE will only be two.

NEWS Dome Party 2010 Live! Live! Live! DVD! [Regular Edition] / NEWS

NEWS Dome Party 2010 Live! Live! Live! DVD! [Limited Edition] / NEWS

08 November 2010

Drama news

A couple pieces of drama news.

First off Nakai Masahiro will be starring in a drama SP for the series Aji Ichimonme. This special is based off the drama series of the same name that had two seasons in the mid-1990s. Since then there were two other SP episodes but they were also in the 1990s.

The special will air in the spring of next year on TV Asahi.

Tokyograph article. (English)

The next is for the upcoming drama season. Yokoyama Yu will be returning to the small screen to be a part of the cast of a new Fuji TV drama starring actress Matsushita Nao, who is co-hosting Kouhaku this year with Arashi.

The drama will begin airing in January but it's still untitled at the moment.

Tokyograph article. (English)

06 November 2010

Kansai Junior X'Mas Concert 2010 + other Junior news

Johnny's net has updated with concert information for a series of Christmas concerts with the Kansai Juniors. The concerts will begin on December 4th and the final concert will be on Christmas day.

The concerts are set up so that different Kansai Juniors will be the focus of different concerts, alternating between 7WEST and B.B.V. (B.A.D. + BOYS + Veteran).

Also a bit of news for the Junior group Mis Snow Man, if anyone has seen the PV for the upcoming Tackey & Tsubasa single, Ai wa Takaramono, then like me you've probably noticed that a certain Junior group is in it as back dancers. So congrats to them for making their PV debut, even if it isn't for them.

05 November 2010

Hey! Say! JUMP new single Arigato!

Woke up to some great news. Hey! Say! JUMP will be releasing a new single before the end of the year. On December 15th their sixth single Arigato "Sekai no Doko ni Itemo" is scheduled to be released.

As par with most of their past releases there are two versions, an LE with a DVD that will have the PV and the making of and an RE which so far the only information about it is that it will have 3 B-side tracks.

"Arigato" - Sekai no Doko ni Itemo - [Regular Edition] / Hey! Say! JUMP

"Arigato" - Sekai no Doko ni Itemo - [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / Hey! Say! JUMP

I'm so excited that we're getting some HSJ before the end of the year. Especially as it means that this will be the song that they will be performing on all the year end programs, so there will a lot of lives with it. So I hope it's a good song.

04 November 2010

Arashi to host this years Kouhaku Uta Gassen

It has been announced that this year's New Year's program Kouhaku Uta Gassen will be hosted by Arashi, to represent the white team, and Matsushita Nao for the red team.

Arashi will be the first group to host the program, as only individuals have been chosen to host before, as well as this is the first time any of the members have hosted the program. Last year was Arashi's first time performing on the program so this is a surprising promotion for this year.

Tokyograph article. (English)

03 November 2010

Jin Akanishi free ticket contest

I know I've fallen behind with news and such but I'll try to catch up by the end of the week. And to start I'm sharing some news I stumbled upon today.

Over at the video streaming site, Crunchyroll, they are holding a contest giving away five tickets for each of the concerts Akanishi Jin will be having in his U.S. tour. It is for Crunchyroll members only as you have to be able to post in their forums, but joining the site is free.

For more information here is the forum page explaining the details of the contest.

Also to note the site has a page with two promotional videos featuring Jin.

26 October 2010

Kinki Kids new single

There will be a new single for Kinki Kids before the end of the year. This will also be their 30th single since debut and it is titled Family -Hitotsu ni Narukoto-. It will be released on December 1st.

It comes in two editions and is the usual Kinki Kids single release with the difference between the LE and RE mainly being a different B-side track.

Family -Hitotsu ni narukoto- [Regular Edition] / KinKi Kids

Family -Hitotsu ni narukoto- [Limited Edition] / KinKi Kids

I believe with this single every group has now released a single in 2010. Which is a vast improvement from 2009 where there were groups that seemed to be completely overlooked release-wise. Hopefully 2011 will be good about making sure each group releases something as well.

24 October 2010

Kazama Shunsuke to star in Visual Kei film.

It's been announced that Junior Kazama Shunsuke will be starring in an upcoming movie where he will play the lead singer of a visual kei band. The movie has already begun filming and is scheduled for a theater release in Japan in February of 2011.

Tokyograph article.

I'm happy for him, as it's probably a good sign that Johnny's is changing in a way that even if one doesn't debut in a singing group that their career with the agency is over or that they won't get the chance to find another way to stand out and be recognized.

Of course I can't help but wonder that if Yamashita Shoon was still with Johnny's if he would be following in the foots steps of Toma and now Kazama and get the chance to become an acting Johnny's.

23 October 2010

Higashiyama Noriyuki married!

Higashiyama Noriyuki (aka the ageless one from Shounentai) has let it been known that he has registered for marriage to actress Kimura Yoshino. They still have not had the wedding ceremony and gave no word to when that would be.

Tokyograph article. (English)

News like this is nice to see first thing in the morning. I hope they both spend many happy years together as a couple.

19 October 2010

Tokyo Juniors Vs. Kansai Juniors

Johnny's net has updated with information about a Junior concert event at NHK Hall on Novmeber 27th. It seems Johnny's is willing to spend some money on the Kansai Juniors and will be bringing some over to participate in the two concerts scheduled for that day which are titled A.B.C.-Z + Tokyo Juniors Vs. Nakayama Yuma + Kansai Juniors. Well there's a little more before that but I'm feeling dead tired right now so I don't want to do a full translation but it more or less ends up translating to a 'East/West song battle, East/West Juniors gathering'.

I really wish I would be in Japan for this, especially considering how rare it is to have a group of Kansai Juniors perform in Tokyo. Hopefully there will be a fan who knows English that will go and give everyone a report for the concert.

14 October 2010

Arashi has second million selling album

Arashi's latest album, Boku no Miteiru Fuukei, has finally crossed the 1 million sales mark this past week. This is their second album to do this, the first was last years single collection, and the first original studio album of their to do so. It is also the only album in 2010 to have sold over a million copies and is the current yearly number 1 album of the year for the Oricon chart.

Tokyo Graph article.

I have to say this is pretty impressive for Arashi, especially seeing as very albums these days sell over a million, and most tend to be single collections and other kinds of best of albums. It looks like 2010 could be dominated by the Storm like last year was.

13 October 2010

KAT-TUN - Change UR World single

It's been rumored for a while but finally there is official news for KAT-TUN's next single after their last album. The single is titled Change UR World and will be used as the new theme song for Going! Sports & News and will be released November, 17th. It also seems to be a return to KAT-TUN's more rock-pop sound as it boasts "lots of guitar rifts" and drumming by Korn's Ray Luzier.

Like KAT-TUN's more recent singles this will come in three editions. The first LE type comes with only the title track as well as a DVD with the PV, making of, and documentary from the summer concerts of 2010. The next LE has four songs in total, the title song, another group song and then the solo songs for members Ueda Tatsuya and Taguchi Junnosuke. Then the RE will have two B-side group songs on it that aren't on the LE, one being set up for fans of the group to learn to sing at their concerts next year.

Change UR World [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type 1] / KAT-TUN

Change UR World [Limited Edition / Type 2] / KAT-TUN

Change UR World [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

06 October 2010

Tackey & Tsubasa new single & Tackey's Takizawa Kakumei

Tackey & Tsubasa are finally going to release a new single as a duo on November 24th. The single will come in three editions, two LEs and one RE.

The LEs each have a DVD, but with different content for each one, while the RE will have bonus tracks not available on either versions of the LE and karaoke tracks. The DVD for the Type A LE will have the PV for the title track while the Type B LE DVD will have a mini documentary for the duo's upcoming concert tour.

Ai wa Takaramono [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A / Jacket A] / Tackey & Tsubasa

Ai wa Takaramono [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type B / Jacket B] / Tackey & Tsubasa

Ai wa Takaramono [Jacket C] / Tackey & Tsubasa

Also dates for next year's Takizawa Kakumei butai have been announced. Like in previous years the butai will start on the first day of the year and run for the entire month of January in Tokyo.

28 September 2010

New Release For November

Johnny's has taken no time in announcing the early November releases for their artists. It makes me wonder if their will be more for the month or not.

The first is V6's DVD of their Asia tour which will be released on November 1st. It comes in three editions, two limited with an extra bonus disc with each, and a regular edition.

V6 Asia Tour 2010 in Japan Ready? [Limited Edition <READY? Ver.> / Jacket A] / V6

V6 Asia Tour 2010 in Japan Ready? [Limited Edition <ASIA Ver.> / Jacket B] / V6

V6 Asia Tour 2010 in Japan Ready? [Jacket C] / V6

Then there is NEWS' recently announced single, Fighting Man, which is up for pre-order.

Fighting Man [Regular Edition] / NEWS

Fighting Man [Limited Edition] / NEWS

And then the week after NEWS we get another Arashi single, Hatenai Sora, on November 10th. This single will have the song that will be the theme song for Ninomiya Kazunari's upcoming drama. The RE is more expensive for this than their recent singles have been but it will have two more B-side songs and all four songs on the CD will have karaoke tracks.

Hatenai Sora [Regular Edition] / Arashi

27 September 2010

News round-up

Since I have some free time I figured I should do a quick round-up of news pieces here and there from the past week or so.

First up is that Ikuta Toma's Genji Monotagari film has announced more of the cast and he will be joined by fellow agency member, Higashiyama Noriyuki, who will play the man the author of the original tale is based on used for inspiration.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Then Koyama Keiichiro will be starring in a play version of the 0 Go Shitsu no Kyaku drama. The play will only have the story that Koyama had a part in but it mentions that they will have Yokoyama Yu reprise his role via pre-recorded video segments during the play.

The play will run from November 13th to December 5th at the Tokyo Globe Theatre and the from December 17th to the 20th at the Sankei Hall Breeze in Osaka.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

And then there are a couple of SMAP related pieces of news.

First Inagaki Goro will be in the upcoming drama Nagereboshi, which stars Ueto Aya. He will play her brother in the series.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

And SMAP has gotten a mention in international news. In a BBC news online article about the recent troubles between Japan and China their canceled Shanghai concerts have a mention as one of the many affects this has had between the two nations.

BBC news article. (English)

Finally a little update about how the photo scanning is going along. I do have them all finally scanned so I just have to sort them all into ZIP files and upload them to a downloading site. Hopefully I'll have the time to do this before the week is over.

25 September 2010

Fighting Man, NEWS!

It was announced at their concerts that NEWS will be releasing a new single before the end of the year, titled Fighting Man. The single will come out November 3rd, which is also Nishikido Ryo's birthday.

So far it doesn't seem like any of the usual sites have pre-orders open yet but Johnny's net has the listing up with all the information for the single available. Like most NEWS singles it will come with two versions, a LE and a RE. The RE will have four song tracks while the LE will have three and a special karaoke track of the title song. Only the first two songs of each version are the same so the RE has two songs the LE doesn't and the LE has one (not counting the karaoke track). That song on the LE, Wake Up, is listed to be a sequel song of Fly Again off of the groups album color.

I have to say I'm surprised to see a single for NEWS already. I did not expect them to release anything else this year after their album, LIVE. Especially since it looks like Kanjani8 will be quite active for the rest of the year. But at the same time I'm glad to be getting so much after so little from last year and I hope the pre-orders for the single open up soon.

21 September 2010

Yamaguchi welcomes second child

Tokio's Yamaguchi Tatsuya has become a father for the second time to a second son on the 17th of this month. He even worked his schedule so he could be present for the birth.

His first son was born about two years ago shortly after his marriage to his wife.

Tokyograph article.

I have to say that it was rather sweet of him to make sure he could be there for the delivery. And his sons probably have some of the best 'uncles'.

15 September 2010

Kanjani8 new album and movie

Big news for Kanjani8. Not only are they releasing a new album next month on October 20th, but the album will come with a movie starring the full group.

The LEs of their past two singles had the Prologue of Patch which were music videos connected to the movie. And with the LEs of the album you can get the movie, the regular edition will come with an extra CD disc with the solo songs of the members as well as a group song not on the LEs.

8UPPERS [Regular Edition] / KANJANI8

8UPPERS [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / KANJANI8

8UPPERS [w/ 2DVD, Limited Edition] / KANJANI8

14 September 2010

A quick blog/personal update.

As I'm sure the followers of this blog have noticed I haven't been posting much of late. Honestly a lot has come up in RL and I just have not had much time for blogging at all. I've been trying to stay up on the news with some success though.

By the end of the month things should calm down again for me and I'll be back to blogging like usual. To try to make up for not posting much I am working on finishing scanning all my shop photos. I just have about 50 left so I'll try to finish that by the end of the week so I can have those up for people to download.

So thank you for your patience, especially for those who are following this blog.

10 September 2010

Full cast of Freeter, Ie wo Kau revealed

Ninomiya Kazunari's upcoming drama, Freeter, Ie wo Kau has put up the full cast list and Nino will have two other Johnny's as a part of his supporting cast. Maruyama Ryuuhei from Kanjani8 and Yokoo Wataru from Kis-My-Ft2.

Fuji TV official website. (Japanese only)

As a big Kis-My-Ft2 fan I'm really happy and excited to see Yokoo making his drama debut. Especially since dramas with leads from Arashi tend to get good ratings so hopefully he'll get a bit of a popularity boost from this, as well as maybe draw in some new fans for Kis-My-Ft2.

I don't have a lot of time right now but I think I may try to watch this drama now for Yokoo too, as he is one of my favorite members of the group.

09 September 2010

NYC New Single

Have to say I'm quite surprised to see this in my inbox but cdjapan just sent out a notice that NYC will be releasing a new single on October 20th titled Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe.

There will be two editions for the single. The Regular Edition will have three tracks with karaoke tracks for all three songs. The Limited Edition will only have two tracks and a DVD with the PV for the title track.

Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe [Regular Edition] / NYC

Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe [Limited Edition] / NYC

I have to say I'm kinda surprised to see NYC releasing a single, though I feel much better about it now that Hey! Say! JUMP have released their first album. Of course I think with this release it means that the unit is going to remain as a trio. I now wonder if they will have Nakayama Yuma debut again in the future with another group though seeing as he's still being considered a Junior. But I guess time will tell about that.

31 August 2010

Johnny's net opens sections for their solo talents

Johnny's net recently updated and now several of their solo talents that they manage have their own sections on the website. These include ex-members of old Johnny's groups such as Uchiumi Kohji, Sato Atsuhiro and Okamoto Kenichi. And it looks like Ikuta Toma has gotten some kind of promotion as he also has his own page even though he's usually called a Junior still. And the last solo page of course goes to Akanishi Jin, which pretty much finalizes his departure from KAT-TUN.

I think personally I am most excited that Toma has his own page. I feel he deserves it as he's probably as well known if not even more well known than some of the Johnny's that have had music debuts and this looks like Johnny's is acknowledging that. It also gives hope that perhaps for other Juniors that don't debut there is still a way to gain success for them if they stick around. Of course it depends on whether or not Johnny's will give them chance to pursue acting over back dancing but after the success of Toma I feel they're probably more open to that these days.

Kanjani8 return to the Kyocera Dome for Countdown 2010-2011

It has been announced that Kanjani8 will again be holding their own Countdown concert in Osaka's Kyocera Dome this year for the Countdown 2010-2011. It will be at the tail end of their up coming national tour which begins at the end of October and will have them at the Tokyo Dome in early December.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

From this news I'm honestly expecting to hear news about a new album from K8 for their national tour. They do have enough singles for one and it seems like Johnny's is aiming to have just about every debuted group to release an album this year.

27 August 2010

Ueda injured during concert and KAT-TUN's 5 year anniversary plans announced

At the first concert in Taipei Ueda Tatsuya dislocated a toe when he failed to land on target after taking a jump off a 3 meter stage. He ended up being rushed to the hospital after he made it backstage and has promised to perform at the concert the following day and his solo concert over the weekend back in Japan.

This doesn't seem to be the news that Johnny's really wanted to have come out with the concert as plans for the concert tour next year, that will mark the group's 5th anniversary since debut. Like the current tour it will have two different legs. The first will be in Japan but Johnny's are looking at holding the concerts in industrial complexes instead of the usual concert venues. The second is an international tour with the locations of Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, China and Hawaii.

Tokyo Graph article.

I have to say I feel really bad for Ueda as dislocating a toe must be rather painful and having to dance on it the day after, even if he takes it easy, is bound to hurt as well. But I guess after getting lucky after Kitayama from Kis-My-Ft2 fell off a stage at a concert earlier in the tour they had already used up their luck with him coming out of that uninjured.

And for the other news I have to say I'm a bit excited about this upcoming tour. Even if they aren't my favorite group I do like them enough to see about putting some money aside to see them in Hawaii. A part of that is honestly because I want to support Johnny's attempts at coming to the U.S. and it looks like they plan on using KAT-TUN and Akanishi Jin as the artists that will be their barometer of success in the States.

Tackey & Tsubasa officially return

Johnny's net has updated recently and has the concert information for the Tackey & Tsubasa concert tour Tackey had mentioned during his solo concert tour. The tour for the duo will begin in October and go through early November and they will be visiting three cities, Nagoya, Kobe and Yokohama.

So with this there is an official source for the return of Tackey & Tsubasa as a duo. I would venture that we will soon get information about the single that has also been talked about. With the concert dates it'll probably be released around that time to go with them and since Arashi has already announced a single for October it means there is a high chance it will be sometime in October as Johnny's tends to announce releases in chronological order, though every once in a while there's an exception.

25 August 2010

Arashi's Dear Snow for October

Arashi doesn't seem to ready to slow down one bit and have a new single coming out 0n October 6th titled Dear Snow. The title song is the theme song for the film Ooku, which Ninomiya Kazunari has a starring role in, and is listed as being a ballad.

This single follows the usual release pattern for the group and will have two editions, one limited and the other regular. The limited will have the standard DVD with PV and making of while the regular edition will have a bonus track as well as karaoke tracks for both songs which will not be included in the limited edition.

Dear Snow [Regular Edition] / Arashi

Dear Snow [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / Arashi

23 August 2010

Sakurai Sho interviews Mikhail Gorbachev

Even though Tokio will be hosting this year's Nippon TV's 24hr TV program they will not be the only Johnny's featured.

Sakurai Sho recently has been doing interviews in the areas of the former U.S.S.R. for a segment on the program highlighting the poverty that can be seen all around the world. While in Russia he got the chance to interview and speak with Mikhail Gorbachev, former U.S.S.R. leader and a Nobel Prize winner. The interview will be shown during the NTV 24hr TV program on August 29th.

Momoedgewood blog entry.

I have to say it's amazing to see someone from Johnny's connected to such a historical figure. And I really think that this is yet another way for Arashi to be able to set themselves above their peers and become another legendary boy band like SMAP.

20 August 2010

A little bit of this and that.

I admit I was getting worried about what to post today as I really couldn't find anything to write about yesterday and felt too tired to write anything that required anything more than basic thought. But thankfully there are some little Johnny's related news that came out today.

First off it's been reported by the fan club members of You & J (the official Johnny's fan club for groups NEWS, Kanjani8 & KAT-TUN) that Akanishi Jin is now listed as a solo artist for the fan club. To me this makes sense as I'm sure there are many KAT-TUN fans that are also Jin fans so they can still ballot for tickets for his solo stuff without having to pay fees for another fan club.

you_and_jin LJ entry. (English)

To celebrate their 200th episode the show, Music Lovers, will be having a special Arashi episode. The episode will have special performances of album tracks from Arashi's latest album. And to even go further to make this episode and the performances more unique the audience will be male-only. The episode will air on August 22nd.

Tokyo Hive article. (English)

17 August 2010

Ashita no Joe promo begins

Even though the movie is not due out in theaters in Japan until February of next year promotion of Yamashita Tomohisa's Ashita no Joe movie has begun. So far there is a promo picture of Yamapi in character and on the official website for the movie they have a short 30 second trailer up for the film.

Tokyo Hive article. (English)

Ashita no Joe movie OHP. (Japanese)

Even though it's only a short clip and the promo photo available isn't the greatest of quality I still find it much easier to believe Yamapi as a boxer than I ever could Kamenashi Kazuya when he played on for the One Pound Gospel drama. But that's just my two cents.

15 August 2010

How to buy concert/butai tickets at resale ticket stores. (Tokyo)

I know I've promised somebody at some time I would do a blog post for this and since it's a slow news day and I've gotten serious again about having about a post a day I decided to do it now.

This post is for buying tickets from the ticket resale stores, or the ones I knew about in Tokyo. The stores I'll be covering is the one on Takeshita Street and then a small chain called Yokohama Ticket, which has three stores in Tokyo.

For those who don't know, these resale ticket stores tend to be small venues that deal in buying tickets from people to resell to others. For artists that tend to sell out at the fan club level these are very helpful in actually getting a ticket if you're not a fan club member or since they only sell what they actually have you can try your luck at getting good seats as they will usually tell you the area and row the ticket is for. The stores are nice because any one how has the cash (and they will only accept cash, no cards) can buy the tickets they have there.

Of course for the good seats expect to pay above the original ticket price. In fact unless it's either not a lot of demand for the amount of tickets they have or a few hours from the start of the concert you're most likely not going to find a ticket under the original ticket price, even for bad seats.

All of these stores are small and can get crowded without many people in there. The tickets will be in locked glass cases so first find the ticket(s) you want then flag down one of the store clerks to get you the ticket. Also tickets are almost always sold in ones or twos, so don't expect to be able to find tickets for three or more with seats together.

Also I've never run into someone working at these places that knew English so you need to know at least some Japanese. If you can at least remember the words and phrases for buying and basic information about the concert in Japanese (artists name/location of concert or date/and numbers), you'll probably be okay. And if words fail you pointing can help too. And when you're at the counter don't worry when they start talking a lot while pointing at the ticket, they're just verifying it's the ticket you want so nodding your head and saying 'hai' should be all you need for that.

And now that's out of the way I'll talk about the stores.

Probably the easiest to find is the one on Takeshita Street which is in Harajuku. Just get off the train and find the main gate for the Harajuku Station. Across the street will be the entrance to Takeshita Street (and the first photo of this post is the entrance though the Koishite Akuma banner won't be there anymore). You just follow it straight down and once you pass the 7-11 start looking on your left for a shop that will have what look to be fliers for concerts plastered all over the front. And then you're at the store. I never really paid attention to the name of this store but it's the only store that looks like that on the street. This one mainly has idol tickets and Johnny's related tickets tend to be to one side of the store.

Now Yokohama Ticket has a website but to my knowledge you can only buy the tickets at either of the three stores they have. The locations they are in are Shibuya(渋谷), Ueno(上野) and Shinjuku(新宿). I mainly used the Shibuya one and sometimes the Ueno store. I think I may have gone to the Shinjuku store once and I had just happened to run across it. The website does have directions to all three stores at the bottom of the main page.

I did a screen capture of the tickets for Arashi's upcoming concerts. As you can see you're going to have to be able to recognize the Japanese used for group names. You can also see how they have the tickets listed and the prices they go for.

A simple breakdown of the columns on the page is the left most will tell you which store has the ticket. I number in the next column can be ignored and then you have the date and venue name for which concert the ticket is for. The next column can be ignored and then you have seating information, such as the area of the venue you'll be in the row and a set of seat numbers that the ticket(s) will be in. You then have the price followed by the number of tickets. The tickets with the box on the far right have already been sold, I believe they update frequently but even so there's always a chance the ticket you may want won't be there anymore when you go if you wait too late.

I came to like this store if partly because of this website as it helps give an idea of how much tickets are going for even if I didn't get my tickets from them. Also they have a much greater variety for non-idol artists.

Of course if you're using these stores they only sell what they physically have on hand so you won't see the tickets go on sale until people actually have gotten their tickets in the mail and sold them off. So if you're only visiting Japan for a short while, have a lot of extra spending money and want to see a concert but won't be heart broken if you don't then using these stores won't be bad. Or if you're living in Japan for a long period time but maybe not long enough for a fan club membership to be worth it then these stores are nice to know about as they save you the hassle of trying to buy online. Otherwise you're better off using other methods to get the tickets you want.

I hope overall this is helpful and gives some people another option for trying to see Johnny's while in Japan.

Ninomiya in new drama

Looks like Ninomiya Kazunari isn't going to get a rest anytime soon as it's been announced that he will be starring in an upcoming fall drama on Fuji TV. The title of the drama is Freeter, Ie wo Kau and so far the only cast announced are Ninomiya and the lead female actress, Karina. Filming has already begun though so hopefully they'll announce the rest of the cast soon.

Tokyo Graph article.

So that's one of the rumored drama series confirmed. I am still surprised it's Ninomiya this time as he has been so busy with filming Ooku and GANTZ. Though I guess since he hasn't done any drama work since 2008 it does make some sense it would be his turn to lead a drama series for this season.

14 August 2010

Hope for Tackey & Tsubasa return in 2010

During one of the concerts for Tackey's current solo tour he talked about reuniting with Tsubasa to release something as a duo. No dates or anything were given but he did say that it would be soon and that they would also be having a concert together.

Tokyohive article. (English)

Honestly I had just about given up about Tackey & Tsubasa as there had been no word of the two getting back together since the initial hints about this late last year. I'm sure this update, while vague, will make the duo's fans happy though.

13 August 2010

TakiCHANnel update and Club ∞

Now that it's on the second week some questions about TakiCHANnel can be answered. Probably the biggest on people's mind is whether or not the previous week's video could still be watched when the new one is up. That looks like a 'no' as the video is up (this time it's A.B.C.-Z with the group quiz) and there is no sign of being able to find the past week's video on the site. And whatever the quiz and gallery were meant to be will be a mystery for now as even the under construction links for those have been taken down.

It seems like TakiCHANnel is not the only special website project for Johnny's as Kanjani8 have one that I believe is tied to their Prologue to Patch videos they've been releasing with their recent singles. The website is called Club ∞ and it looks to be more of a tease than anything else right now as once you access it you can only get 'character' introductions so Kanjani8 fans can try to figure out who is who from the descriptions given. Of course this is all in Japanese but I'm sure the Kanjani8 English fan communities have discussions about this topic and hopefully by the release of Kanjani8's upcoming single LIFE they'll have the answers.

11 August 2010

Hey! Say! JUMP's new concert DVD

It looks like the concert DVD for Hey! Say! JUMP will be of their spring concert tour Hey! Say! 2010 TEN JUMP. It will be released September 15th.

Johnny's net has the full track list up already on their site and according to that there will only be one version of the DVD and the concert will be spread onto two discs. And it will have a tour documentary for the Kyocera Dome concert. There is a first press bonus which is a special booklet that will be 44 pages.

Hey! Say! 2010 TEN JUMP

26th poll results

I figured it was about time I updated the poll. So here are the results for 'When a group loses a member who do think you should support?'

The group and those who left. 18

The ones remaining in the group only. 6

Those who left the group only. (If were your favorite.) 0

Only the original group with all the original members together. 3

It depends on the situation. 24

It looks like most are pretty loyal to the group when something like this happens, which thankfully is not often.

The new poll will be a favorite member poll for NEWS. Mainly because I realize I have yet to do one for them and that seems wrong seeing as they're my favorite group.

And I'd like to quickly mention, as off topic as it is, I've been rescanning my Johnny's photo collection. I've gotten a good chunk of them scanned so far but I'm going to wait until I've scanned them all before updating the photo post. There have been some changes to the collection as I've decided to get rid of some photos but I've added news ones too. I hope to be done scanning by the end of the month at the latest.

09 August 2010

NEWS new album LIVE

Finally NEWS' new album, LIVE, is up for pre-ordering and as I expected it comes out September 15th, just in time for their concerts.

The album will have two editions and this time the limited edition actually seems worth getting as it comes with a DVD. The DVD contains footage of an unplugged concert, which should be interesting to watch IMHO.

The regular edition comes with two bonus tracks not on the limited edition which will be the studio version of Share and the unplugged version of FOREVER.

The full track listing is up on cdjapan's website. I checked Johnny's net and they only have all the track titles with no more information about them like who the composers, lyricists, etc are yet so it's impossible to tell if there are any solo songs on the album for now.

Live [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / NEWS

Live [Regular Edition] / NEWS

I have to say I'm really excited about the new release as there will be more than enough music to tide me over after being without a new NEWS release for so long. I just need to figure out how to afford both editions now.