28 February 2010

New Arashi Tour DVD

Looks like Johnny's is ready to start announcing releases for April and have kicked off with one I know a lot of people probably have been waiting some time for, a live DVD of Arashi's Anniversary Tour 5x10.

The main footage will be from the Kokuritsu Kasumigaoka Kyogijo on August 29, 2009 concert but it's listed to include some footage from the other venues they performed at for the tour.

And it looks like Johnny's is being kind to the fans by only releasing one version of the DVD.

CDJapan listing. (English)

26 February 2010

Arashi sweeps Japan Gold Disc Awards

The 24th Japan Gold Disc Awards, which is a yearly award for various categories within the Japanese music market. This year Arashi won a total of ten awards in the categories, Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Best 5 Singles (Arashi had four of the five places with KAT-TUN taking the last place), Album of the Year, Best 5 Albums and Best Music Video (won twice in this category).

Tokyograph article. (English)

Usually there is a cd release of the various winners of the Gold Disc Awards but no Johnny's have ever been on it which makes me wonder how the track listing for this year's will be like with so many victories for Arashi.

24 February 2010

Kamenashi becomes a sports caster

It has been announced that Kamenashi Kazuya will be joining the NTV sports news program SUPER Urugusu as a regular sports caster for the baseball section of the program. This will be Kame's first time as a sports caster and will be on the show weekly on Sundays as the program is changed out for a new one called GOing!! Sports & News as the yearly line-up changes take place in the spring.

Tokyograph article.

Well it seems to be a popular trend for Johnny's to expand beyond variety programing with Inohara becoming a news caster recently. I think it will be interesting to see them in such roles, and I know with Kame he's probably quite excited about this new job as he's a big baseball fan.

18 February 2010

Yamapi to star in live action Ashita no Joe movie

It has been announced that Yamapi will be starring in the live action Ashita no Joe movie. Filming for the film will be from March to May and no release date has been given yet. In fact there isn't much other news about the new film other than the filming dates and that Yamapi will be the lead actor.

Anime News Network article. (English)

Personally I'm happy to hear the news, as I'm really hoping NEWS will get to do the theme song for the movie like they did with Kurosagi. And while a release date isn't given I would assume there wouldn't be too much post-production work so it would be released this year which is another reason I want NEWS to do the theme song for it as it would guarantee that they would be releasing at least three singles this year.

And while I'm on the topic of NEWS' singles there has been a date change for the release of Sakura Girl. It will now be released on March 31st instead of March 24th. I think it can be assumed Johnny's made this change because of Avex's announcement that Tohoshinki will be releasing a new single on March 24th and they didn't want NEWS to lose their singles number 1 streak.

17 February 2010

Ohkura's film debut and new Kanjani8 live DVD

The rest of the main cast for Ninomiya's upcoming movie, Ooku, has been announced and he will be joined by fellow Johnny's talent Ohkura Tadayoshi. This will be Ohkura's film debut and his character will be the rival for Ninomiya's character.

Tokyograph article. (English)

And Kanjani8 fans have a lot to be thankful for right now as it has been announced that the 2009-2010 Countdown concert in Osaka that the group did will be getting a DVD release. It will release on March 31st and Johnny's net has the listing up, though it doesn't have much information about it yet.

And to give people a heads up, cdjapan does have the recently announced V6 album up for pre-order already. I can only assume that the Kanjani8 DVD will be listed soon seeing that it will release on the same day as V6's album.

EDIT: cdjapan actually already has the Kanjani8 DVD up for pre-order.

15 February 2010

V6 gearing up for 15th anniversary year.

For those following V6 about a week ago there was a rumor reported that the group was heading towards a break up by the end of the year. Johnny's and Avex have finally spoken up about the matter and have dispelled the rumor that the group will break up.

And while they were at it they announced that on March 31st the group will release a new album and will have a nationwide tour later this year.

So all V6 fans can not only sigh with relief but also be excited about the upcoming album and tour from the group.

Tokyograph article.

Various other news.

Alright, I'm just about caught up finally after I'm done with this post, which makes me happy, though a bit worrying too, as I haven't figured out what to do on a day when there's nothing to report. Though I guess as I have more free time I could go back to working on some simple translations again, which I should do to help practice my Japanese anyway.

But anyway onto the actual news to share.

First off Inohara from V6 has landed a position as a newscaster on NHK's new morning news program that will begin March 29th. This will be the first time a celebrity has been a regular newscaster on a NHK morning news program, which seems pretty impressive as NHK has been doing morning news programs since 1966.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Next in TV news, Kanjani8 will finally have their first national TV program. It will air on TV Asahi on Sunday mornings and will feature the members of Kanjani8 going to different locations all around Japan to showcase the locations.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Then there's a piece of movie news. Nishikido Ryo will finally get to be a lead actor and will make his film debut in the upcoming movie Chonmage Purin. He will play a samurai that somehow winds up going through time to the modern age and then ends up becoming a pastry chef.

It sounds like one of those movies that only with the right script, director and actor could it be pulled off well enough to be enjoyable to me. I think it's a good sign that Ryo is in the cast, as I think he's a good actor, but I think like many I'll have to see and hear more about the movie to judge whether it actually would be worth trying to see.

Tokyograph article. (English)

14 February 2010

Spring drama news 2010

I don't want to fall too far behind now that I'm almost caught up, especially since this is about the time the new dramas for the spring season are getting announced.

The first confirmed drama for a Johnny's this spring is for Arashi's Ohno Satoshi. He gets to lead again in a drama, this one being based off a popular manga Kaibutsu-kun from the 1960s. The story sounds like it wouldn't lend itself all too well to the drama format as it's the story of the prince of Monster Land that comes to the human world and has adventures with the monsters he finds living there. It's already been made into a couple of anime series so it should hopefully be interesting to see how they do this series for live action.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Next, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will be in a drama special about Japanese-Americans, simply titled Japanese-Americans. The special will be five episodes long as it follows generations of a Japanese-American family and will air on TBS. They will run the episodes across five days in a row, which will be a first for them to try to do.

Tokyograph article.

The most recent drama announcement is for Kato Shigeaki, who will get a chance to be a lead in a drama for the first time. The drama he will be the lead in is called Troubleman and it will air on TV Tokyo. It's being directed by SABU, known for his cult movies, who will be directing a TV drama for the first time.

Tokyograph article. (English)

And so far that's it for drama announcements for the spring. I hope there's more soon and I really hope some of the Hey! Say! JUMP boys get roles or something as Yamada shouldn't be the only one with a drama career.

13 February 2010

Upcoming spring concerts

Continuing on with playing catch up with the news I missed while on my hiatus last month this post is for the concerts announced for the spring of 2010.

First up is Kis-My-Ft2's second national tour. This time they'll be performing in arenas, which is a step up from the venues they performed in on their first tour last year. So while they won't be visiting as many locations the venues will be larger. The tour starts off at the end of March and ends early May.

I'm quite excited about this as it's another step towards potential debut for Kisumai. Johnny's just needs to step up and get them more promotion in the form of getting them on TV more with drama roles and TV programs and I feel they'll do well.

Then Yokoyama Yu is getting a solo concert tour which will be a nationwide tour, much like Kisumai's 2009 tour. It will kick off at the start of April and end at the end of May.

I really wish I could go to this as Yokoyama is my favorite Kanjani8 member and I have loved his solo songs. Instead I have to just hope he does another solo tour sometime in the future and I'll be in Japan for that and live off any of the concert reports I find.

Then the latest concert tour announced is for Tegomass. They'll be covering more locations than their first tour last year and begin touring at the start of May until the end of June.

With the tour announced it makes me wonder if we will be getting a new Tegomass single this year as well. Or maybe perhaps this tour will have solos, which their first tour didn't include. Of course this also means that for May and June we probably won't be getting anything from NEWS, so it would be a good time to release something for Kanjani8, though it'll have to be in June as Yokoyama needs to finish off his own concerts before that.

But with these concert announcements it makes me wish I was still in Japan so I could go to at least one show for each one. But I guess I should just use it as incentive to do well in classes so I can graduate after this upcoming quarter and see about getting a job in Japan so I won't have to go missing on these things again, as I've gotten rather addicted to seeing musical acts live in concert while I was in Japan.

12 February 2010

New release rundown February-March

Okay, I'm finally back at home and ready to start blogging here again. And I thought a good way to start up again is to do a bit of a run down of the new releases from Johnny's for February and March.

First up is the latest TOKIO release, advance/Mata Asa ga Kuru, which was released last week on February 3rd. I haven't been able to pick up a copy of the single yet, though I plan to when I go over to Seattle later this month, as I find the B-sides tend to be rather good songs with TOKIO singles.

The next is this week's release, KAT-TUN's single Love Yourself -Kimi ga Kirai na Kimi ga Suki-. With it's first couple days of sales it looks like it will take the top of the yearly 2010 charts on the Oricon chart for a few weeks until Arashi releases their next single. Honestly I passed on buying this single and I don't think I'm ever going to bother to pick it up as the title track and D-Motion just sound very lackluster to me and I've decided to just wait for the album for KAT-TUN. I think the only way I'll break that is if they have all the members have solo songs attached to a single, like with Don't U Ever Stop, as I would have to get the versions with Junno's and Ueda's solos on it.

We then get a week break before entering the next week which is loaded with Johnny's releases.

As a part of his 30th anniversary Masahiko Kondo is releasing a new single, Zanbara, on the 22nd, a Monday.

Then the 24th will have two Johnny's singles released. It's kinda surprising that Johnny's is doing this as I've never heard of them competing with themselves for a release date. Though I can't help but think it's a show of how little faith they have in Imai Tsubasa's solo release, Backborn. Which is rather sad for him and his fans.

The other release of that day is the much awaited new single from Hey! Say! JUMP, Hitomi no Screen. To me the song seems to be in the vein of Mayonaka no Shadow Boy, which isn't my favorite sound. Though I am loving the B-side Romeo & Juliet so to me that makes up for it. And I'd be surprised if this single doesn't rank number 1 in the charts as HSJ has had some pretty strong sales and hopefully all the waiting makes fans eager to pick up this single. I hope an album isnt' far behind for them.

Starting off March will be Arashi releasing a new single, Troublemaker, which I'm sure will hold the top spot on the yearly chart for sometime as the Arashi craze doesn't seem to be slowing down much.

The next release of March on the 10th will be a DVD release. Tackey's Takizawa Kakumei show will be getting a DVD release, and I'm assuming it's for this year's shows. In any case A.B.C.-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 are both listed as being a part of the show so like a lot of Tackey's butais it's something Junior fans can look forward to as well.

And then the latest release announcement for the end of March, March 24th, is a new single from NEWS. I just got the e-mail from cdjapan not that long ago (in fact you have to use the direct links to find them as the site listing doesn't have it listed yet but I'm sure they'll fix that soon) and have already pre-ordered both editions. It's back to the usual two versions with the difference being a couple different tracks on each edition. The title of the single is Sakura Girl and cdjapan has the track listing up, though Johnny's net has yet to update with any information about the single yet.

05 February 2010

A quick update for this blog.

Sorry for not blogging at all for the rest of the month of January. There was just so little time for me as I had to focus on finals and getting ready to leave. I'm currently en route home again finally, I'm visiting my sister in Hawaii for a few days before returning to the Seattle area.

Once I'm home I plan on starting up this blog again in earnest. I'll probably be spamming this blog this month to play catch up for everything I missed actually. And since I'll be home and won't be going back to school again until mid-March I'll be able to do the things I haven't been able to do for a while when I was in Japan, like go back to work on translations and scanning for example.

So I haven't abandoned this blog, just took a much longer leave from it than I had expected. And I thank everyone for their patience.