31 May 2010

Arashi to release special limited single

Both cdjapan and Johnny's net have just updated to announce that Arashi will be once more releasing a single.

The CD is only one track, the title track To Be Free, with a karaoke track of it and it comes with a DVD for the PV. It will be released on July 7th. The single will only be this one version and it's listed as being a limited release so I suggest you hurry to pre-order before it sells out. Though I'll assume it may not sell out as much as the usual LE sells out for Arashi seeing that this is the only edition of the single this time around.

I'm really curious about what Johnny's is thinking. MatsuJun has an upcoming drama for the summer season and I can't see the theme song for that going to anyone else but Arashi but they are also due for a long awaited original album. It'll be interesting to see what the next CD release from this group will be.

30 May 2010

New Matsumoto Jun drama

I forgot about this piece of news with my excitement with finally having a release date for the Hey! Say! JUMP album.

But it has been announced that Matsumoto Jun will be starring in a new drama for this upcoming summer season. It is titled Natsu no Koi wa Nijiiro ni Kagayaku and will air on Fuji TV.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

28 May 2010

PLAYZONE 2010 announced and Summary wonderings

Well Johnny's net had a lot to update with in the latest update, not only does Hey! Say! JUMP now have an album section in their discography section (though no complete track listing is up yet) they have the dates for this year's PLAYZONE.

This year's production will star Imai Tsubasa with Tomoyuki Yara, A.B.C.-Z, Morimoto Shintarou, They Budou, M.A.D., Johnny's Jrs with special appearances by Nakayama Yuma. The Tokyo run will be from July 9th to August 1st and then it will have an Osaka run from August 14th to August 22nd.

Of course seeing the cast list does raise some questions as Summary runs from July 19th to August 29th so it overlaps the PLAYZONE dates. I'm sure Yara, They Budou, M.A.D. and most likely A.B.C.-Z will be PLAYZONE only and forgo any Summary appearance but I can't imagine Summary without any MoriShin and Yuma. Though as Yuma is only down for special appearances they could have him go back and forth while PLAYZONE is in Tokyo and if MoriShin's part is small enough they can do the same for him. Of course once it goes to Osaka they lose that option so it will be interesting to see if those two go with PLAYZONE there or get replaced with Kansai Juniors so they can do Summary. I guess things won't clear up on this matter until Summary starts up on July 19th.

But I guess it can be guessed that it will be mainly the younger Juniors with Hey! Say! JUMP at Summary. The older groups (minus Question? though who knows where they will end up with all the summer concerts) will be busy with other productions as not only do you have those doing PLAYZONE but Kis-My-Ft2 will be with KAT-TUN for their world tour so they won't be at Summary either. So I think for Junior groups for Summary it will be B.I. Shadow, Mis Snow Man, Hip Hop Jump and if Johnny's wants it Snow Prince Gasshoudan though they could just as easily create a new group or two with Summary this year for those younger Juniors. Either way it looks like it's a good summer for the Juniors as they will be busy for so much of it.

Jump No. 1 !

Just got an update from cdjapan and it's the one I've been waiting for what seems like years. Hey! Say! JUMP's debut album is set to come out on July 7th and will be titled Jump No.1.

The album has two editions though from the cdjapan listings it looks like the only difference will be the jacket cover and the booklet that each will come with. That's a bit disappointing, but they also list that there should be 17 tracks in total so at least there will be a good amount of new music. Plus I know this will save me some money as I'll only be getting the regular edition.


I've been checking everywhere for any more information and have found a bit with the Japanese version of the cdjapan listing. It will be the five single tracks (which means no Bouken Rider even though that was also supposed be an A-side for the Your Seed single) and Jounetsu JUMP and Memories will be on the album. So that gives us seven of the seventeen songs. Hopefully Johnny's net will update and have the full listing when they do.

I'm really happy about Memories getting a CD version as I have loved the song since first listen. And I think Jounetsu JUMP is one of the better volleyball songs so I'm glad it's on the album as well. I do hope there are a few brand new songs though as well as a few more of the older ones. Not to mention at least have one song each for the two sub-units. But I guess we'll find out soon enough about all that.

26 May 2010

Tegomass & Matchy to appear at Jingu Outer Gardens Fireworks Festival 2010

Tegomass and Kondo Masahiko will be making appearances at Jingu Outer Gardens Fireworks Festival 2010. The event will take place on August 19th, 2010 and Matchy and Tegomass are listed as guests for the event.

Nikkan Sports article. (Japanese)

24 May 2010

Yokoyama Yu's mother passes away

It was reported this weekend that Yokoyama Yu's mother passed away recently. From the news report it was very sudden as she was not suffering from any known illness and is suspected to be from a heart attack.

Yokoyama has decided to not cancel any of this work obligations so he will still perform his solo concerts and be part of the promotion for Kanjani8's upcoming single, Wonderful World.

Arama They Didn't entry.
(Japanese & English)

Like everyone else I feel like I need to express my condolences for him and his two brothers for their loss. She was a single mother and worked hard to raise her children so I'm sure the loss is great for them. Though I also understand why he would still want to continue to work other than just not wanting to disappoint his fans, as it gives him something to focus on other than the loss. I truly wish him well and hope the love and support of his friends and fans will help him get through it.

21 May 2010

Kanjani8 new single Wonderful World!!

Well it looks like Johnny's has decided to do the smart thing and will be releasing a new single for Kanjani8 on June 30th, which works well as NEWS can't really do anything with Yamapi busy filming for a movie. The single is for the Wonderful World!! song that is being used for one of their current variety shows.

The single will have three additions, two LEs and a RE. The RE will have two tracks that will be on all three additions of the single as well as "PUZZLE" Remixes of the songs Wa Ha Ha and Rolling Coaster and the karaoke tracks for the first two tracks. The A type version of the LE will have the PV for the title track and the B type has what is listed as Prologue of Bachi #1-4 on the DVDs each come with.

The singles are up on cdjapan for pre-order but the listings don't have the usual track information for some reason, though it is up on Johnny's net.

20 May 2010

Upcoming drama news

There have been a couple of TV drama announcements made recently, one of a two episode special and the other for a weekly series for the summer season.

The drama special will have Ikuta Toma in a supporting role for a SP that will air on Fuji TV in the fall and is titled Kyuukei no Kyouya.

Tokyograph article.

The summer drama series is titled Unubore Deka that will air on TBS and star Nagase Tomoya. Ikuta Toma will also be a part of the supporting cast for this series.

Tokyograph article. (English)

17 May 2010

KAT-TUN and Tokio new releases

KAT-TUN's newest album, and second without Akanishi Jin for the album tracks, has been announced and is up for pre-order at cdjapan. The RE will have fourteen tracks, one of them is a bonus track that will not be on the LE, while the LE has thirteen tracks and a DVD that will have a PV and making of footage for one of the album tracks. The album will also have solo songs for all the members of the group. It will be released on June 16th and is titled No More Pain.

The LE at cdjapan is listed as already being sold out, but there's always a chance it will get back in stock for a while with this store.

There's just something about having No More Pain as the album title and the fact that all the album songs will be once again Akanishi Jin-less that comes off wrong. Of course there is a chance that the album title was chosen before it became known that Jin would not be on the album but unless the members talk about how they decided on the title it will be speculation.

While not on cdjapan yet, Johnny's net has put up a listing for a new single from Tokio. It's a single A-side this time but will have three different versions like their more recent singles. The two LE's have the title track, Haruka, with it's karaoke version for song tracks and each will come with a DVD with different versions of the PV. The RE will have two B-sides, one composed completely by Nagase Tomoya, as well as the karaoke track for Haruka and the other B-side Everlasting. This will also be released on June 16th.

16 May 2010

News round up

Unfortunately my mother pulled something in her back and ended up bedridden for the majority of this week. I've been helping take care of her while juggling my usual school schedule which is getting more work heavy now that it's heading into finals in a few weeks. I will try to at least keep up with news for this blog for the month if nothing else.

First up, it was announced that the concert in Thailand for the KAT-TUN world tour have been canceled. This is of course because of the recent unrest in the nation which has in the past few days included bloodshed. There is no word if the concert will be made up for but the rest of the concerts on the world tour leg are still scheduled to go on as planned.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Higashiyama from Shounentai will be starring in a drama for the summer season. The title is still unknown but it is being billed as a 'mystery medical' drama and it will air on TBS. He will be joined by Ohkura from Kanjani8 who will also have a role in the drama.

Tokyograph article. (English)

Also for those interested there was an article released for the current Junior concerts being held at Theatre Crea. The article focuses on A.B.C.-Z as they are the first group to perform as well as the only ones to have full solo concerts.

musicjapan+ article

10 May 2010

SMAP annouces dome tour and new album

It looks like SMAP is going to make sure that they aren't leaving their Japanese fans out in the cold as not only will they be doing the concert at the Shanghai World Expo they are also going to do a dome tour in Japan starting on July 31st. They are slated to perform in 8 domes around Japan which if they all sell out, which they should do easily, will break the 10 million mark for audience attendance for all their concerts.

Also they announced that for this tour they will be releasing a new album titled it We are SMAP! and it will go on sale sometime in July.

Nikkan Sports article. (Japanese)

So it looks like July could be a big release month for Johnny's if Hey! Say! JUMP's upcoming album is released in the same month. Also this far into May it seems to be getting too late to announce anything for a June release so I think July is looking to be the month to look forward to for Johnny's releases.

09 May 2010

If I were the producer of Hey! Say! JUMP's album...

Like probably a lot of Hey! Say! JUMP fans I've been speculating and dreaming about what the upcoming album is going to look like. And if I was in charge of the album I have a good idea of how I would like it to be based on what the album releases for other Johnny's artists have been like.

I'm sure like most Johnny's albums there will be a good number of tracks, I think most do tend to be around 14 tracks long. Of course HSJ have released five singles so that would leave nine tracks for non-single songs. I personally would like to see more than that though considering the wait for this release and without even adding any new songs to HSJ's library they already have enough from their concerts to fill an album and then some.

I would like the LE to have a bonus CD and for it to be like KAT-TUN's Cartoon KAT-TUN II You album. For those not familiar with the release the LE had a bonus CD with recorded tracks of songs from KAT-TUN's Junior days. Of course HSJ wasn't a Junior group, but most of their concert songs have never been recorded and put on a CD and it would those songs that would be on this bonus CD. I suggest this so the songs on the main CD will be more new songs.

For the main CD I think it would be good to take a page from V6's albums. On those there are a mix of full group songs, sub unit songs, and even mixed members songs which would allow for solos for at least a couple of members. It will also allow for things like duets, so Yabu and Hikaru have any one of their duets on the album, as well as open up the possibility for a Hey! Say! Band song to be on the album.

And for bonus tracks on the RE version I think having the piano versions of Ultra Music Power and Star Time would be great.

Of course I'm not going to get too hopeful about any of this actually happening, but until more information comes out I guess I can keep dreaming.

07 May 2010

23rd poll results

With Hey! Say! JUMP finally announcing their first album I figured it was time to change the poll on this blog finally. So here are the results for that.

Which group(s) should release an album in 2010?

Hey! Say! JUMP 102


Arashi 37


Tackey & Tsubasa 26

Tokio 18

Kanjani8/V6 17

Kinki Kids 15


It's actually rather interesting to view the results now. So far the only groups that have confirmed albums for this year have been V6 and Hey! Say! JUMP. I think there's a good chance for Arashi to release a new album this year with how regularly they've been putting out singles. It's hard to tell if NEWS is going to release an album this year, though they do have a song they could put out for a single with Get Funky! but that song could end up being like Change the World (which was used as a CM tie-in) and only show up on an album. With KAT-TUN split for so much of the year it's hard to tell whether they'll push to release an album this year. I know I would love for Tokio to release an album this year but they release so erratically nowadays I won't be holding my breath. The rest I don't think they're ready for their next album for the amount of singles they have out since their last one. Especially poor T&T that still have yet to do anything this year as a group.

For the next poll question I think I'll go with one of the hot topics of late. Should Akanishi Jin leave KAT-TUN and go solo?

04 May 2010

Hey! Say! JUMP announce album release (finally!)

It was announced at the May 4th concert for Hey! Say! JUMP that they will finally be releasing their first album sometime this summer. No more information about the album was announced at the time.

Nikkan Sports

It's my personal opinion that we'll be seeing either a late June or an early July release of the album, so that way they can use the Summary concerts that being in mid-July as a way to promote the release. And hopefully this means we'll see the album information up on Johnny's net soon as by now they should be announcing June releases, though they did have us wait a few weeks after Hitomi no Screen was announced before they put up information for that single.

But whatever it may be I'm just so happy that HSJ are finally getting their debut album, especially since it's taken them over 2 1/2 years since they debuted to have this.

02 May 2010

NEWS is like ...

On the forum I hang out on for J-music discussion recently there was a discussion on trying to figure out how NEWS is as a group. After sleeping on it I figured out what I thought was a pretty analogy for how the group works and I thought it was the kind of thing that I would want to share with others. So here is the re-posting of the analogy:

"To chime in about NEWS, I kind of view them as a family of sorts. Yamapi is the working father who brings in the money, or popularity, for the group but tends to enjoy spending his time outside of work with his drinking buddies than at home. Koyama is the mother, as he's the one that pushes the most for everyone to be together. Ryo is an uncle that comes to visit from time to time and while he may enjoy spending some time with them every once in a while they're still not his primary family unit so his priority will be with K8. The other three would be the kids and while they have no problem getting along they also have lives outside of the family and enjoy those. Though Shige does have his BFF relationship with Koyama and recently he and Massu seem to be getting closer and spending more time together, especially since Shige has graduated from college this past March. But I don't think the group will ever have the kind of unit bonds other groups do."

Of course I don't mean the last sentence to be any kind of insult or slam against the group, they are still my favorite after all, but as a fan I think that the group chemistry of NEWS is different than the other groups. Probably because of how they were put together and that they never had anything that really pushed them all together as a group, in fact with the year suspension they pretty much had the opposite happen, as other groups have.

So instead while they do have good relationships with each other they do lack a good bit of unit cohesiveness that you would find with the older Johnny's groups or groups like Arashi and Kanjani8 who have had group activities like variety programs to help them build that kind of bond. Which isn't so bad, as Kinki Kids is kinda like NEWS, in where the members get along fine but are just as happy doing their own thing as they are doing something together.

01 May 2010

Fresh Juniors introduction profiles Wink Up May 2010

I guess I've done a poor job about keeping this journal up for the past few months. But I'm finally feeling organized so there will be at least more translations for a while for me to update with. And as the Seattle Kinokuniya finally had the May issue of Wink Up in the other day I've decided the next thing I'll work on translating are the introduction profiles of the four Fresh Juniors they have in it.

Like with all my translations I do admit that I am still learning Japanese so if there are any mistakes that someone notices please feel free to point them out to me so I can correct it.

Sekiguchi Kaduya (関口夏月也)

Nickname: Kaduya
Birth date: August 18th, 1995. 14 years old (3rd year middle school).
Blood type: B
Place you're from: Tokyo
Height: 173cm
Weight: 57kg
Foot size: 27cm
Strong point: Cheerful
Weak point: Bothersome things
Hobby: Baseball, games, reading books (and manga).
Specialty: Baseball
Favorite food: Ramen, meat, crab, sushi, fruit.
Disliked food: Almost all vegetables.
Favorite color: Black
Favorite sports: Baseball
Subject you're good at: History
Subject you're bad at: Everything but history.
Favorite animal: Dog, horse, lion.
Reason for applying: It seemed interesting.
Admired sempai: Arashi
Type of girl you like: A person who knows what to say.
Personal appeal: I will try my best from now on, so please support me.

Miura Wataru (三浦わたる)

Nickname: Wattaa
Birth date: June 6th, 1998. 11 years old (6th year elementary school).
Blood type: A
Place you're from: Chiba
Height: 142cm
Weight: 32kg
Foot size: 24cm
Strong point: Occasionally can say something cute.
Weak point: Don't plan.
Hobby: Kamen Rider*
Specialty: Swimming, dance.
Favorite food: Hamburger, milk coffee.
Disliked food: Plum.
Favorite color: Red
Favorite sports: Baseball
Subject you're good at: Gym
Subject you're bad at: Japanese
Favorite animal: Dog, giraffe, white tiger.
Reason for applying: I want to be like Aiba and Tamamori.
Admired sempai: Tamamori Yuta
Type of girl you like: A long hair girl with a cute feeling.
Personal appeal: I want to become like Aiba and Tamamori, please support me.

*The actual words are ライダーもの(Raidaa mono), but ライダー is a short way of referring to the Kamen Rider series, which is aimed at young boys for its audience, so I'm assuming that's what he's talking about.

Tanimura Ryuichi (谷村龍一)

Nickname: Tani
Birth date: December 21st, 1998. 11 years old (6th year elementary school).
Blood type: O
Place you're from: Tokyo
Height: 147cm
Weight: 37kg
Foot size: 24cm
Strong point: I can dance.
Weak point: I don't like studying much.
Hobby: Dodgeball
Specialty: A strong body.
Favorite food: Riceball.
Disliked food: Grapefruit.
Favorite color: Black
Favorite sports: Baseball
Subject you're good at: Arithmetic
Subject you're bad at: Japanese
Favorite animal: Dog
Reason for applying: My older sister applied for me.
Admired sempai: Nakayama Yuma
Type of girl you like: A meddlesome girl.
Personal appeal: I'm doing my best with dance lessons, please support me.

Ushiki Tsubasa (宇敷翼)

Nickname: Ushiki
Birth date: July 23rd, 1998. 11 years old (6th year elementary school)
Blood type: B
Place you're from: Tokyo
Height: 140cm
Weight: I don't know.
Foot size: 23cm
Strong point: Frequently helps out.
Weak point: Impatient.
Hobby: Card games
Specialty: Falcon rope skipping*
Favorite food: Steak, tuna
Disliked food: Eggplant
Favorite color: Light blue
Favorite sports: Basketball
Subject you're good at: Arithmetic
Subject you're bad at: Science
Favorite animal: White tiger
Reason for applying: My mother sent in the application.
Admired sempai: I don't know yet.
Type of girl you like: A kind person.
Personal appeal: I'm giving everything my all, so please support me.

*This is the literal translation of the answer なわとびのハヤブサ(Nawatobi no Hayabusa). It doesn't make sense to me but I have no clue how else to translate it.