29 March 2010

Hey! Say! JUMP make international news, sorta

In a follow up piece about a stampede in Harajuku's famous Takeshita Street (or Takeshita-doori in Japanese) Hey! Say! JUMP has been brought up as the group that may have been the cause of the incident. It is mentioned in this CNN GO article that when the news reports initially came out they claimed it was a rumor about HSJ doing some kind of free concert in Harajuku that caused the street to crowd so much but by the end of the day the group being reported for the cause changed to AKB48, a popular female idol group.

I think I'm most amazed by the fact that the article actually seems accurate, something news reports outside of Japan rarely are when it comes to covering Japanese celebrities. I think the greatest mistake they make about HSJ is saying they have had singles not do well in sales, which of course isn't true as all their singles have been number ones and charted well on the yearly charts.

I have to agree with the article that it is likely Johnny's might have done something to make the news change their report to drop HSJ's name. For Japanese idols the only promotion that they can get is good promotion or things can quickly sour on them and end careers. And from the information about the stampede it would make much more sense for a male idol group to be the cause as AKB48 attract mainly male otaku not teenage girls.

I have to say the rumor seems rather hard to believe. Even when Johnny's does something for free like an appearance it's hardly impromptu and would be in a much better spot than a street that is regularly crowded. I think the Tokyo Dome City winter illumination event from last year is a good example of how free public appearances are handled by Johnny's. But even so I can see younger fans falling for the rumors. Not to say they aren't bright enough to figure out that such a thing is not likely but I don't think many have followed Johnny's or paid enough attention to how the agency runs things to realize that things don't add up with a rumor like that.

Hopefully the Japanese fans have learned their lesson in any case and will question rumors a bit more so such chaos doesn't happen again. As it could have been much worse when it comes to stampedes, especially in such cramped places such as Takeshita Street.

28 March 2010

Fan Kansha Live in Theater Crea concerts

There are three times a year that tend to be the best times to see as many Johnny's concerts as possible. The winter, especially around New Year, the summer, either July or August, as that aligns with the summer break for schools, and around Golden Week, which is the first week of May. As these are the longer holidays that people tend to have off Johnny's likes to schedule many of their concerts, especially for the groups that target the younger audiences, around these dates. So I guess it's no surprise that there will be Junior concerts staring in May.

Johnny's net has updated with information for what it's calling Fan Kansha Live in Theatre Crea ('kansha' is the Japanese word for 'thanks' or 'gratitude'). The Golden Week concerts will be for Uchi Hiroki with Question? and are titled Ore no Uchi ni kite Crea! ~Come on a my House!~ and run from May 1st to May 9th.

Then it looks like they're taking a page out the Kansai Junior's book by having a series of concerts following that highlight a different group of Juniors, these titled Minna Crea ni kite Crea (I believe there's a pun with how Crea is written in Japanese, kurie, there that I don't get). A.B.C.-Z get to produce all three parts and are the focus of the first part which runs from May 14-16. The next part will showcase They Budou and Mis Snow Man will be from May 21st-23rd and then it's the Fresh Juniors which will be from May 28th-30th.

Kis-My-Ft2 of course have their own concerts so it's not surprising that they're not there, especially as they also have the KAT-TUN tour to keep busy with as well. I'd be surprised if B.I.Shadow aren't included in this somehow, most likely included in with the Fresh Juniors as that title can last for a couple of years. But they don't have a Hey! Say! JUMP concert on the dates for that last part so I really would assume they will be there. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Morimoto Shintarou played a big role in the Fresh Junior concerts, though I'm sure he's passed the time one can still be called a Fresh Junior. But I guess if they still have Snow Prince Gasshoudan they can give him an excuse to be there as well.

But in any case, they Junior fans of these groups do have something to look forward to. I know I'm happy to see Mis Snow Man get the chance to get featured more than usual, though it wouldn't take much to do that honestly. And with A.B.C.-Z producing it gives me the feeling that at least the A.B.C. part of the group is heading towards being the next MA, where they won't debut but will still be a part of the agency and get the chance to work behind the scenes more. Which I don't think is a bad thing, as Yara Tomoyuki from MA does that and seems to rather happy with what he's doing.

25 March 2010

A farewell to Yamashita Shoon.

I've been meaning to do this for a couple of weeks but have been putting it off. At first it was because I felt I needed the time to let things sink in so I can find the proper words to say but recently I think it's mainly because I feel by writing it down it really means I've really given up and I don't like to give up. But I think I need to be honest with myself and admit that Yamashita Shoon has indeed left Johnny's.

For about a month it was speculated that he had left the agency as he was no longer listed in the Junior section of the website that can only be accessed by those in Japan. This section has all the active Juniors listed and tends to be the thing that indicates whether or not a Junior has left, unless they were kicked out because of a scandal. Of course sometimes there are mistakes but after his name was removed from the official website for Hyakushiki-Ou, which he was a regular on, it seems like there's little doubt that he is no longer a part of Johnny's. There will probably never be a statement about it so these little signs are what we have to go by.

If you've been reading my blog for a long time then you know that Shoon was one of my favorite Juniors so this has been rather sad news for me. It's just so disheartening to know that I will no longer be seeing him when I pick up a new magazine issue or watch a new episode of Hyakushiki. He was always a bright spot for me and I seemed to love him more and more each time I saw him.

I came in to the Junior fandom around late 2007, after discovering the Hey! Say! 7 Junior unit, so I did not get to really see him much in Ya-Ya-Yah as it was only a couple of months before they were disbanded in Hey! Say! JUMP's creation. But during that time he stood out to me as the one that made me want to see more of Yax3. Even though he did not get nearly as much attention as Yabu and Hikaru there was just something that drew me to him so I was relieved to see him carry on after Yax3 was disbanded.

Seeing him shine so brightly on his own truly endeared him to me. He could have easily sulked about not debuting or become jaded about it but if he did he didn't let it show. In fact he seemed to do the opposite and became more lively and vibrant whenever he got a chance to be on stage on Shounen Club. And then when he became a regular on Hyakushiki he continued on with that wonderfully bright smile of his.

He was able to have some wonderful oppurtunities with acting as well being able to star in a play, Full House, in 2008 and then in 2009 he was in Romeo & Juliet. From reports from both he was praised for doing well and I know I couldn't feel happier for him to receive it. I still believe that if he remained in Johnny's he would have found great success. I wish I had the chance to see him live myself but things just didn't work out that way.

I truly believe that even though he is no longer with the agency he has left a mark with it from the opportunities he had been given. Something I don't think many Juniors can attest to.

With Ya-Ya-Yah he has a long friendship with Yabu and Hikaru, who got to fulfill his dream of debuting. And both have made it known, especially Yabu, that it is a part of their lives that won't be forgotten. I know in the past Yax3 fans have gotten irate when members of Hey! Say! JUMP have done Yax3 songs, but I believe they're doing those songs at the request of Yabu and/or Hikaru so I see them more as tributes (as they're the ones usually singing them) to the group that they cherished. So I hope that HSJ continues to perform Yax3 songs, as to me that's the way Yabu and Hikaru can show how much they cared for the group and that they won't forget the friends they made during that time.

With Hyakushiki Shoon was one of the older Juniors with a wealth of experience behind him which he used to show the younger and fresher Juniors as well as Okamoto Keito from HSJ how to shine. I've watched the program for a couple of years and seeing the growth of the younger Juniors on the program, Sanada Yuma & Takada Sho as will as Keito has been wonderful. The three were so quiet at first but over time they slowly came out of their shells as they gained experience and I'm sure having Shoon and Fujigaya Taisuke, then later Totsuka Shota, was a big help in this. So I have taken the outlook that whenever I see those three I will always see a bit of Shoon there in their smiles and confidence.

And of course it's not like he died or anything. He just decided to walk another path in life. He is a university student and is working on getting a degree in law, so I can only imagine he decided to dedicate himself to that instead, which I honestly don't think I can fault him for. I have only warm wishes for him in whatever he does in the future and I am grateful that he decided to share so much of his life during his time with Johnny's.

While I do feel sad about him leaving and not being able to see more of him I know I'll always have my memories and what still remains from when he was with the agency. The entertainment industry can be harsh and if you want to make it big it takes probably just as much luck as it does actual talent so unfortunately not all dreams can be made true. But I think as long as he can look back with no regret then Shoon will be fine in whatever he does. So this is a farewell to the idol and a hope that the new life he has begun will lead him to happiness.

Jin's solo U.S. concert website & more information for the KAT-TUN tour

Well like usual it looks like Johnny's made sure to have everything ready when they made their announcements yesterday as there is a special website just for Jin's solo U.S. tour, which is being treated as an extension of his You & Jin concerts as it's being called You & Jin U.S.A. and is still listed as being produced by Johnny H. Kitagawa.

Jin's tour website (English)

So far the website only has the information for when & where the L.A. concerts will take place and the date the tickets for it will go on sale, April 15th. The venue listed, Club Nokia, only holds 2,000 people so I would recommend to anyone trying to go to make sure to be ready for the mad grab it's bound to be when the tickets go on sale that day as I have the feeling that this is going to sell out quick even with three shows scheduled.

Of course the thing I'm most amazed at is that they actually have a picture of Jin on the website that doesn't look like it's had some weird filter put on it. It is black and white but still much clearer than any of the other pictures of Johnny's you will usually find on official websites. I guess it might be a sign that Johnny's realizes that they have to approach the U.S. market differently and need to lax some policies as most are actually not going to know who their talents are here.

On another note Johnny's net has the information up for KAT-TUN's spring-summer tour. It's broken up into two legs, the first being called Part 1: Arena Tour, which of course has them performing at various arenas around Japan. This part begins in early May and ends near the end of June. The second part is Part 2: World Big Tour, which has the overseas venues as well as the dome concerts in Japan in Tokyo and Osaka. Under each part it lists the five that will be participating in the tours, but for the Part 2 Kis-My-Ft2 is also listed so it can be assumed that they will also be heading overseas with KT-TUN.

What's also interesting is that there are two empty brackets at the end of this. In the article yesterday it was mentioned that they were thinking of doing a concert in Hawaii, which would at least make calling this tour leg a 'world tour' a bit more valid as it's just an Asian tour as things stand now. So it will be interesting to see if those brackets fill with new stops or just disappear as the tour dates get closer.

24 March 2010

KT-TUN tour Asia while Jin has L.A. concerts

There has been a couple of big announcements for KAT-TUN just made that I'm sure will stir a lot of mixed feelings for KAT-TUN fans.

The first is that KAT-TUN will be having their first Asia tour beginning at the end of July and will go on to the end of August that will have them performing in the cities of Bangkok, Seoul and Taipei.

The second is that Akanishi Jin will not be a part of this tour as he will be heading over to the U.S. to perform solo concerts there. So far he is only confirmed for performing in L.A. but there are plans being made to extend it into a tour in the U.S.

It is reported that Jin had discussed not being in the Asia tour with the other members of the group and they all agreed that he should not pass up on the opportunity to tour in the U.S.

Tokyo Graph article.

Honestly I'm not a big Jin fan, though I do think he has his moments from time to time, but I do feel happy for him about this news. I think this really is something he really wants to do and has been wanting to do for sometime. Also he seems to be happier doing solo work then when he has to be with his group so I think it might be for the best.

Also it isn't the first time KAT-TUN has gone without him for some time so I don't think it will be the big shake up it was when he left to study abroad a few years back. Though I'm sure there are fans that will miss him terribly for not being a part of the group tour.

But for some fan speculation on how this all could be actually some really good news for KAT-TUN fans. After debuting the group hasn't done a concert without a new album so I wouldn't be surprised if there are some releases coming up soon, as they only have one post Break the Records single so far. So I would assume if they don't get a new album out they will have at least a new single that they can record before Jin leaves for America or maybe pop out a mini album like Tegomass did for their upcoming tour. I think it would be just a bit too cruel to not have anything before the tours though seeing as Jin could be gone until sometime in October if he's able to get the visa to do so.

19 March 2010

Some NEWS news

Okay, I know I'm falling behind on updating again but thankfully there hasn't been much going on, just a couple of news bits.

First off Koyama Keiichiro has joined the number of Johnny's that are working with a news program. He will be on NTV's NNN News Realtime program every Thrusday. He will be covering human interest stories.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Honestly I'm really happy about this news as this really sounds like something Koyama would really love to do. He's always been very kind-hearted and being able to help people out by letting more know about their hardships is something I can see him being very happy to do.

And for some more recent news, Tegoshi Yuya was in a car accident on March 15th. It was a minor accident so no one was hurt, just a couple of slightly dented cars from the sounds of the report.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

12 March 2010

Johnny's net videos in danger of being pulled

I find this pretty sad news to pass on, especially as I just made that tutorial to help people find and use the service a few days ago, but already the new video message service is in trouble of being dropped by Johnny's net.

The LJ community arashi_on has the original message posted and translated so I'm taking the following italicized text from them:

Official email:

   【みなさまへ 新サービスに関する ご協力とお願い】





The message video that is currently being distributed is service only for members.
Please stop uploading on free video sharing sites that non-members can view.
Sadly, one copy has been found streaming.
We are thankful for the fans who let us know about this so we were able to take care of it right away.

This time, we will continue this service but,
from here on, if this type of act increases,
this service will come to a stop.
This service started so that you fans to enjoy.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

So pretty much what this means is that they found one of the Fan Club versions of the video streams, which are a bit longer than the ones that anyone can access from their main page, on another streaming site and are threatening to end the service completely if they find anymore.

It may not seem fair, but like life, Johnny's isn't fair. I thought it was well known how over protective they are of the images of all kinds of their idols being used are. Honestly this is the agency that until a couple of years ago didn't even allow official TV stations to show pictures of their idols on their websites, and since then the photos of them are all altered. And if you're buying a magazine off of the internet if it has a cover view all Johnny's are removed from it so you just see the text in front of what was a picture of a group or solo member from Johnny's.

Not only that but the Fan Club videos are for members of the fan clubs that have paid either 5000-4000 yen for a year's worth of membership. And I'm sure it was from those funds that this service was created so it's not fair for the service to be ended for those paying members, especially the ones that follow the rules, by others not in the fan clubs.

It may seem unfair for those who don't live in Japan, as you need to have a Japanese address to join the fan clubs, but I don't think have an international fan club would solve the issue so easily. As I'm sure there would be people complaining at how unfair it is that they can't afford to join and be able to get the benefits of being a fan club member even if one existed. Even though I know there will also be over international fans that would be responsible and would love to join an international fan club for Johnny's even at a higher cost than what you have to pay in Japan, but it's those few that feel entitled to everything and don't feel the need to pay for anything that tend to ruin things.

The fact Johnny's decided to do such a service, and even have the non-Fan Club videos open to anyone to view, instead of blocking non-Japanese IPs from being able to view the streams which they very well could have done, is pretty progressive for them. And I know personally I would be very disappointed for this not to work out as I'm sure Johnny's would be much less likely to do anything like this again if people abuse this service.

So I hope people put having this service continue over ripping the few clips off the site to stream, as I would love to see more of these videos in the future, especially if we get more like the Kis-My-Ft2 concert clip where they use concert footage from something that hasn't gotten a DVD release and not be able to see any other way.

11 March 2010

Tegomass mini album Tegomass no Ai

So Tegomass is indeed going to have some new songs for their upcoming song as they will have a mini album coming out April 21st title Tegomass no Ai.

The Regular Edition will contain seven songs in total with a 12 page booklet while the Limited Edition will have six songs, a 16 page booklet and a DVD that will have a PV for the song Moshimo, Kono Sekai Kara OO (marumaru) ga Nakunattara and footage from a Tanabata Matsuri event.

You can pre-order the mini-album over at cdjapan, and see the typo ridden information for the release, but it does have a full track listing, though the bonus track for the RE is listed as 'untitled' for now.

Quick news bits.

I've been busy with doing some spring cleaning the past few days as I want to get that done before I have to go back to school at the end of the month. It's kinda amazing how much stuff one can collect over time. But onto the recent Johnny's news.

First off the Kansai Juniors will be doing another drama shorts series. It's currently titled Daremo Shiranai J Gakuen and like their other drama series each episode is set to feature a different cast of Juniors.

For the first episode Kiriyama Akito will be the lead.

Tokyograph article.

Next in drama news, Ohno Satoshi's upcoming drama, Kaibutsu-kun, has announced it's full cast and he will be joined by another Johnny's member. It's not Chinen Yuri though as it had been rumored but rather Matsuoka Masahiro from Tokio. Matsuoka will be playing the prince of the Demon World, Demonkin.

I now realize I need to catch up with my drama watching because if Mabu is in this I'm going to have to watch it. *is helpless fangirl*

Tokyograph article. (English)
Arama They Didn't post. (English/graphics heavy)

Johnny's net has updated for TV events that family club members can ballot to attend, and amongst the usual programs there is a Tegomass special program. There hasn't been any other word about this special, though I have the feeling that it just might be promotion for their upcoming concert tour seeing as they don't have a new release or anything since their first concert tour last year.

Also Hey! Say! JUMP are listed as the guest for the April episodes of Shounen Club. Kinda surprised as I assumed those episodes would be NYC centered with their single coming out around that time, but I'm still glad to see HSJ doing anything as a full group.

07 March 2010

Johnny's net video message tutorial

Before I go ahead and write out another long entry I figured I should have one or two shorter ones in between. And because there isn't really anything to mention news-wise I figured I'd do a quick tutorial for the new service Johnny's net is providing, which is website exclusive video messages.

I thought that this may need a quick tutorial for those who don't know Japanese as there is almost no use of English to help find the links. But thankfully it's pretty simple once you know what you are looking for, though you're going to need to know at least the kanji for names to find the video you're looking for.

First off you just need to go to the main Johnny's net page that should look something like this.

The section you need to be looking at on that page is the Johnny's Family Club part, which looks like this.

The third button down is the one that you need to click and I've gone and highlighted that in this.

When you click the button a new window will pop up. It should be nothing but text with a few hyperlinks. If you scroll down that window you'll probably notice that it has various Johnny's listed. I've taken a screen shot of the current last three items listed, which is for Imai Tsubasa, Hey! Say! JUMP and Kis-My-Ft2.

If you notice there's a line after each name with the katakana スペシャルメッセージ and after that a hyperlink. That hyperlink is what you click on to bring up another window to see the video, I've highlighted the second for Kis-My-Ft2 on the screen shot.

And then once that window has popped up, and assuming you have the right plug-ins installed, the video will begin to play. Most are low quality messages from the groups or individual listed but in the case of Kis-My-Ft2 there is also some clips from their first national tour as you can see in the screen shot.

For the past month or so the updates have been rather regular so it's worth to keep checking back to see if they've added something, especially if there's a new release coming up for somebody.

06 March 2010

HSJ & NYC - Thoughts and Frustrations

Okay, I've been meaning to write this entry for a while but then some sad news hit (or at least sad for me) and everything just seemed to jumble for a bit. Though I think maybe it was for the best as it let me re-look at the topic and really get to the heart of why I'm so frustrated with the continuation of NYC.

First off I think I really am on some level happy that NYC isn't completely over. Yes I have issues with it but honestly the main reason I like NYC is for that N. I honestly like Nakayama Yuma. I remember watching him perform a solo on what I believe was one of the 2008 Kansai Junior Shounen Club episodes and really felt that he stood out amongst the rest of the Juniors. It was then that I really took notice of him and began hoping for his success. So why the whole Nakayama Yuma w/B.I. Shadow/NYC boys/NYC is quite frankly a mess and will most likely remain so for a while, I am glad that Yuma is a part of that mess as it's one that's getting quite a bit of attention. So for the simple fact that Yuma is able to keep getting his name out there and hopefully gets more people to pay attention to him, and hopefully see his potential as I do because I know I can do without all the hate comments towards him. And that's not to say I don't like Yamada Ryosuke or Chinen Yuri, but honestly it's really Yuma that drives me to want this group in any way.

Now with that out of the way part of my frustration falls to Yuma and the fact that Johnny's is making him a part of this unit as the only Junior. It wasn't so bad when B.I. Shadow was with the group as it felt like it could be a group that could stand without Yamada and Chinen if need be, and did for the few times on Shounen Club when Yamada and Chinen weren't there. Now with it only with Yuma there is no standing as a group without Yamada and Chinen as it's just Yuma, so it's no different than him going solo. So I can't see him doing much on his own, to promote the unit, unless it's to sing Yuuki 100% for the billionth time, as I believe all the Juniors have this song memorized well enough. (I so hope they give us a break from this song soon. I like it but between Hey! Say! JUMP, NYC boys and NYC singing it for about a good year now, I'm getting tired of it.) I want to see Yuma be part of a group, a full on debuted unit that's not going to be made temporary in a month or so after their announced debut. With the promotion he gets for NYC I think he would be a good leading candidate to be a lead boy for a new volleyball unit. There really aren't too many high profile Juniors right now so building up Yuma and putting him in such a group would be a good idea, IMHO. And I think it will make a lot of fans, and even some not fans, of his happy to see him in such a group. So I hope I'm thinking in the same lane as TPTB (The Powers That Be) at Johnny's.

Of course that is hardly the only issue I have with NYC continuing. The biggest issue I have is how it's impacting Hey! Say! JUMP. With having to share members, and the two they are sharing are the two that get a lot of focus in both groups, especially Yamada who is treated as the front boy for both. The situation with NEWS and Kanjani8 with sharing Nishikido Ryo as a member of both groups can be made but he's not the lead for both groups. NEWS' lead is undoubtedly Yamapi. I honestly don't follow Kanjani8 to know who the lead for that group is, but I also get the feeling that there is no true lead for the group, which again takes Ryo out of the role of lead boy for either group. For Chinen in HSJ and NYC it works much like Ryo does in NEWS and K8, but the same can't be said for Yamada. Yamada already gets the lion's share of attention in HSJ and it doesn't look like that dynamic is getting changed with NYC. And I like Yamada, he got me into the original Junior Hey! Say! 7 group and has remained a favorite member of HSJ, but I don't like him enough that I want to see so much of him.

Then of course if NYC is active then it means that HSJ can't be as they aren't nearly as balanced a unit as some of the other Johnny's groups. Without Yamada, their front boy, they're not going to release anything new or it would be like NEWS releasing something without Yamapi or KAT-TUN without Kamenashi Kazuya. It's just not going to happen. Of course if Johnny's tried to level out attention a bit more for HSJ, perhaps this wouldn't be such a big issue.

Like if they could do something with Hey! Say! BEST, especially with Arioka Daiki graduating this month from high school and having the full sub-unit eighteen and over now, it should be much easier to schedule work for them if they get work. Like trying to get them more roles in dramas and/or movies, as they're the perfect ages for the high school roles that seem abundant in Japanese dramas and film. It seemed like they were going that way at first with Takaki Yuya in Gokusen but after the movie for the drama he hasn't done anything. And it seems like such wasted potential as Gokusen has been proven to be a great launching vehicle for Johnny's in the past for drama careers. And I'm really not picky who from BEST ends up being the most popular as any one of them will be helping the rest of the guys in the sub-unit just as Yamada and Chinen's popularity help give Hey! Say! 7 more attention. But in the end as long as Yamada isn't pushed so hard with the group and more attention was given to other members then I think I would enjoy NYC more, as it would no longer feel like I'm being overdosed with Yamada so much.

I'm just feeling so frustrated that I keep seeing so much potential with so many members of HSJ but Johnny's doesn't seem to be doing anything with them. And one of those people who hates to see potential go to waste.

And I also think if Johnny's waited until HSJ had an album out or even another single out I would have taken the return of NYC better. I mean they made us wait over a year and a half between singles so I think Johnny's needs to establish a trust with the fans of the group they're not going to make us wait that long again for the next cd release. So just releasing two cds with a couple of months in between would have gone a long way in doing this, IMHO. Of course having NYC releasing something does not help build that trust, as HSJ can't release something without all of their members, especially if one is their lead boy, so HSJ fans are stuck waiting once more in the hopes that Johnny's will go right back to HSJ after NYC. And I'm not sure if all HSJ fans are going to be that patient. I know I've begun to doubt whether or not I should keep with HSJ but my love for my favorites keeps me from about to stop being a fan of the group. But I'm not sure how much longer I can go on unless Johnny's proves that they will maintain both groups on some kind of regular release pattern.

So in summary, I'm happy for Yuma and will support him wherever Johnny's may throw him, though I hope he'll get a permanent group soon. I like Yamada, but having him as front boy for both HSJ and NYC is overkill for me. I think Chinen with the two groups is fine just as Ryo works out for NEWS and K8 without being overkill as they're both not the lead for their groups. I want to see more from HSJ and the members that aren't a part of NYC. And if HSJ continues to get shafted like they were last year then they just might end up losing at least one fan.

And thank you to anyone that makes it through all this. I know I'm mainly just venting so I'm not sure if anyone else will care too much about what I have to say in the matter but do hope that maybe pointing out my issues with this might help others figure out why they are unhappy with this turn of events too.

05 March 2010

Inohara becomes a father.

It's been reported that Inohara Yoshihiko has become a father for the first time as his wife, Seto Asaka gave birth to their son Tuesday.

Tokyograph article. (English)

I have to say this is some happy news that has perked up my spirits after the recent downer I've been in for a couple of the latest Johnny's related developments. I'm really happy for Inohara as he seems like he's the type that will be a great father, especially since he gets to deal with the Juniors still with Hyakushiki-Ou. And I can't imagine him to be anything but happy about entering fatherhood finally.

02 March 2010

New Kimutaku drama & Hey! Say! 7 volleyball support

I'm going to leave the whole NYC thing for a bit as I take in what information has been brought forth about the issue, as I will have quite a bit to say about the matter so I feel it should get its own entry for that. So instead here are a couple other tidbits of recent news connected to the Johnny's world.

First off it has been announced that Kimura Takuya is set to star in a new drama for the spring season. It will air on Fuji TV and it is said to focus on romance. Other than that there is no information about the drama but as the spring season draws closer there's bound to be more announcements for the drama.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Also Hey! Say! 7 will be supporting the National High School Volleyball Tournament this year with the song Ganba Let's Go!. So HS7 will have something to keep them busy for this month as the tournament kicks off March 20th.

Tokyograph article. (English)

I really wish there was something for Hey! Say! BEST to do as well, but I'm crossing my fingers that maybe a member or two will at least get a supporting role in one of the upcoming dramas for the spring season.

01 March 2010

NYC new release, because Johnny's can't seem to make up their minds about Yuma?

Well I didn't get the usual notification from cdjapan about this release, kinda surprising as I had gotten the regular version of Akuma na Koi/NYC from them, but I guess that's because this isn't another NYC boys release but just a release for NYC (Nakayama, Yamada & Chinen).

But from the cdjapan listing NYC will be taking over from Hey! Say! JUMP for doing the opening and ending theme songs for children's anime series the Nintama Rantarou. So they will be covering Yuuki 100% for the opening theme while getting a new song, Yume no Tane (which more or less translates to Seed of Dreams or Dream Seed in English) for the ending theme.

The LE comes with a DVD as expected but it only lists having 'making of' footage and looking at the Johnny's net information it's footage from the song recording and photo shoot of the cd jacket.

CDJapan listing. (English)

I will warn right now I'm still in that initial knee-jerk reaction phase to this news, which includes some mixed feelings but is overall disappointed. I mean I'm happy for Yuma, as I am a fan of his, but I wish Yamada and Chinen would stick with Hey! Say! JUMP more, or at least until the group has their first album out at least.

Then there's the fact that this is listed to be only NYC and not NYC boys, which means no B.I.Shadow. Even though people complained about BIS being just back dancers I think I would prefer them to remain in the group, even as just back dancers, then to be omitted from it completely as it looks like they have been.

Not to mention the whole fact that HSJ could have had a single back in spring of 2009 for doing the theme song of the same anime series but for whatever reason didn't. So why they didn't get a single for the same thing NYC is getting a single for annoys me considering HSJ fans would have had a much shorter wait between releases if that single was released.

Honestly if it wasn't for the fact Yuma was a part of this group I would just completely pass up on this release. But thankfully even though there are two versions of the single you only need to buy one version of it to get all the songs, as it's only the two, and since I don't care for karaoke tracks I'll just be picking up the LE with the DVD.

Of course now that I'm looking at the Johnny's net listing I'm feeling a bit better about the release as it's getting listed under the special release, Johnny's Jr. and Hey! Say! JUMP sections so it's not like NYC has gotten the major debuted group treatment just yet. I hope eventually either Johnny's will give Yuma his own group soon though so NYC can be dropped, as Yamada and Chinen get a lot of attention in their primary group already so I would rather see some fresh faces get the chance to release something and of course to see HSJ just do more.