30 June 2010

SMAP magazine and solo tour for Ueda

SMAP will be releasing a special one shot magazine on August 25th called Super-fashion & Music Assemble Photo-magazine. It will not only feature exclusives for the members of the group themselves but also of other celebrities the members will have conversations with.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Also Johnny's net has updates to confirm that Ueda Tatsuya will be having a solo tour beginning on the 4th of August and ending on October 3rd. The tour will be with the Junior band FiVe and the dates for the first few concerts do fall between concert dates for the World Tour leg of the summer KAT-TUN concert tour.

Then on just to mention something blog related I do have plans to get around to updating the look of this blog soon, as I have more time on my hands than I would like. So expect some little updates in the coming month as I update some things and add some others to make this blog a bit more useful for readers.

27 June 2010

2010 half year debuted Johnny's review

Since we're about half way through the year now I kinda want to do a run down of the various groups and hopefully hear what other people think.

SMAP - Honestly I think they've come to the point of their career that they will do what they want when they want. Of course things are looking pretty good for them this year as they've avoided scandals so far and have a tour and an album coming up soon. I guess the biggest disappointment is that they had their free concert in Shanghai canceled but that was out of their hands.

TOKIO - They just had a number 1 single after about 3 years so that's good news at least. It's hard to tell what the group is doing outside of their usual variety programs. Nagase does have an upcoming drama and hopefully it fairs better than his last own. Also I hope the next CD release from them is an album as they've released four singles already under J-Storm so they are due for one. Of course seeing how many Johnny's acts are getting albums this year I would not be surprised if they do get one as well.

Kinki Kids - They've been pretty quiet of late, but like most of the older groups they seem to be able to decide when they want to do things. I'd assume they will at least release a single sometime this year but I'm not sure if fans will get anymore than that.

V6 - They've released an album and have had their group tour early in the year. They had to fend off rumors of disbanding so those releases did confirm that the group is still willing to go on together. They're probably the only one of the older groups that keep to a pretty steady release schedule so I assume it'll remain that way so I would not be surprised to hear about a new single soon on the way from them.

Arashi - Still riding high off their popularity boom. They dominated 2009 and it seems like they will continue to do so throughout 2010 as well. There isn't a drama season that one member isn't starring in a drama and there are movies in various stages of production that they have members attached to. They've also had a steady stream of releases since last year and this year they will release their next original album, so it should be interesting to see how well that sells. They will also be touring again but with the large gaps of time between concert dates it looks like it won't affected their busy schedules much.

Tackey & Tsubasa - At the end of last year there were promises made that they will release as a duo once more but it hasn't happened yet. In fact there really haven't been any releases from either of them really asides from Tsubasa's solo single. They've both kept themselves busy with theater work for the first half of the year. Tsubasa will be doing PLAYZONE this year with many of the older Juniors and Tackey will be having a short solo tour while Tsubasa does that. Things don't look good for them doing anything together anytime soon.

NEWS - After one single early in the year they haven't done anything as a group. Instead much like 2009 there is more activity with Tegomass (mini-album and tour) and Yamapi (single) with no signs of group work again. Last year there was at least the 24 Hour program to look forward to, as well as a concert DVD, but this year has neither of those. Shige at least had a drama for a while to keep himself busy this time but now he has nothing to do and Koyama has the programs he's a regular on to do so it's not so bad for fans of those two. But I'm sure many NEWS fans like me want the whole group doing something together again before the year end shows, especially since if they don't they'll be singing Sakura Girl for them.

Kanjani8 - They seem to be doing rather well as a whole this year. They did not have to wait long before Ryo was done with his latest NEWS activities and are well on their way for their next single release. They have new group shows and Ryo and Ohkura are getting acting jobs pretty regularly. Yoko had his second solo concerts, though unfortunately he also had his mother pass away during them, but he's decided to keep going and not cancel anything despite this. I can see them getting at least another CD released before the end of the year and there is probably a good chance that they'll get to tour this year, especially if NEWS keeps having the members do side projects instead of group activities.

KAT-TUN - Another group that seems to be lacking full group activities this year. Again they are without Jin, but this time he hasn't actually left the group. This year it looks like Johnny's will just have the group go on without him with the usual activities as they are touring and will be having a 'world' tour soon. Jin's solo concerts in LA were a success and now it's officially become a tour. I have the feeling he will be remaining in America until October after all with that. I'm curious to how they will treat his return to the group and how that will affect sales with the next full group single.

Hey! Say! JUMP - 2010 looks much better than 2009 for the group. Though it actually wouldn't have taken much to improve over 2009 for the group. They released a single, Yamada and Chinen had a NYC single, and then finally there will be a debut album. They're just as busy as past years with concerts and this summer they are doing SUMMARY once again. Hopefully after the summer closes things will be set for them to finally get on a somewhat normal release schedule for them so there aren't anymore waits over a year long between singles again.

And that's all I'll do as the Juniors are just such a large group and I'm sorta addressing recent things as I ponder which are most likely have the best chance at debuting.

As I mentioned at the beginning I really would like to hear from others what their opinions are, as I tend to learn quite a bit from comments as I'm not always following some groups as closely as others so hearing from their fans is always nice.

21 June 2010

New concert tours and a PLAYZONE CD release

First off Takizawa Hideaki will be having a short solo concert tour beginning at the end of July and will end mid-August. The dates are up on Johnny's net, though it looks like the html is borked as it has the button for concert goods even though the page doesn't exist yet.

Also at Akanishi Jin's concerts over the weekend it was announced he will be doing a tour in the U.S. In total he will be performing in seven cities, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Anaheim, and Houston. No dates or venues have been announced yet.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

Johnny's net has updated with not only information for Yamapi's new single but also for a CD album release for the upcoming PLAYZONE musical. It's titled PLAYZONE 2010 ROAD TO PLAYZONE and it will come out the same day as Yamapi's single, July 28th. Other than price and the fact is will have 15 tracks there is no other information.

PLAYZONE 2010 ROAD TO PLAYZONE Original Soundtrack / Original Soundtrack

Though I do think it goes without saying that those listed as being a part of PLAYZONE this year are sure to have at least parts in the songs that will be on the CD. Which makes me very happy as the thought of having a CD quality A.B.C.-Z song is awesome and I can't really say no to more songs with Nakayama Yuma in them.

New Yamashita Tomohisa solo single

Well it seems like we're going to have a bit longer before we get NEWS as a full group again as it has just been announced that Yamashita Tomohisa will be releasing a new solo single. It's titled One in a million and the street date is July 28th. Like his past single release it will come in three versions, a LE with a DVD, a LE with a bonus track and a regular edition that will have bonus tracks the other two versions will not have.

Tomohisa Yamashita/One in a million[w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A]

Tomohisa Yamashita/One in a million[Limited Edition / Type B]

Tomohisa Yamashita/One in a million[Regular Edition]

Honestly I just hope that we will at least get another single from NEWS as a group before the year is out. I'm beginning to miss seeing them as a full group since it's been so long since the last time they did something together. At least Yamapi recently reassured fans that the group is sticking together but it is beginning to get a bit worrisome with how little they've done together this year.

18 June 2010

Kusanagi in a new play and a couple of old faces resurface

First off a little bit of news. Kusanagi Tsuyoshi of SMAP will be starring in a two man play named K2 which will begin its run in November of this year. His co-star is Tsutsumi Shinichi.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

And since I am a big fan of Yamashita Shoon I just have to mention this even if it isn't really connected to Johnny's. But Shoon and his younger brother Reon have both resurfaced and have their own official website with blog. It's called Flying Sheep Cafe and it seems that Reon has decided to use not only a different kanji for the first part of his given name but has chosen to romanize it with a 'L' instead of the 'R' that has been used before this. So I guess it's Shoon and Leon from here on out. I truly wish them the best success in their new endeavor.

17 June 2010

Wink Up pg 75 translations (Otsuka Yuya, Kishimoto Shintarou)

Decided to try my hand at translating again today. I wanted to do something more challenging than the introduction profiles but still short so I decided to do a couple of Snow Prince Gasshoudan article translations as the articles for the younger boys do tend to be pretty short. These are the articles for Otsuka Yuya and Kishimoto Shintarou from the January 2010 issue of Wink Up.

Otsuka Yuya

Santa's secret, I also know it (laugh)! I know how he places a game system near the bed during the night, while in your heart you say "Hurry and leave the room", you fall asleep (laugh). After he leaves you suddenly wake up, for that occasion you open the present and start charging! I was so very happy. Now I use a new version of a game system. I especially like RPGs, the next day was a holiday, before sleeping in bed I had fun I thoroughly playing.

Kishimoto Shintarou

Christmas last year I received a down jacket. Because it was rather Western I had been interested in it, so I was very happy. It was the brand from the NEWS CM, I'm happy seem like I'm a little bit closer to Yamashita-kun, who I admire. (laugh). I like it, today I am wearing it. My favorite point, it's not so much the kind of feeling, and my likable motif of the ☆ is about to set a point. It seems this winter I will be very busy.


I can't say I feel complete confidant about these translations. I'm pretty I got what Yuya said overall. For Kishimoto except for the one sentence about points I feel the same but that one sentence I just could not make a lot of sense out of. So I'm sorry that it reads so awkward and please remember there's a good chance I'm off about how it translates out.

16 June 2010

Debut Speculation… Kis-My-Ft2 (as of 15 June, 2010)

Recently I've been thinking about the next group to debut with Johnny's, probably because it just seems like the right time to think of that kind of thing now that Hey! Say! JUMP has their debut album well on the way. I've decided to do a couple of speculations, first starting with Kis-My-Ft2.

If you asked me a year ago if I thought Kis-My-Ft2 would debut I would feel confidant in saying ‘yes.’ Nowadays I don’t feel nearly as certain though about that outcome for the group.

Yes, the group is still showing signs that a debut is possible but there are some things that are lacking in the usual pre-debut formula that Johnny’s tend to have going for group debuts when comparing to the last group to debut as a group, KAT-TUN.

The biggest thing missing is seeing Kisumai doing things that would pull in more of the general Japanese population to get interested in them instead of relying on an already existing, though quite large, fan base. And I’m mostly talking about the fact that the members aren’t getting acting roles in things such as dramas or movies, which are commonly viewed by the general Japanese audience. As KAT-TUN gained the pre-debut popularity by having its members in dramas and movies, especially the popular Gokusen 2 and Nobuta no Produce dramas.

Even before the groups were formed there were members of both NEWS and Hey! Say! JUMP that were getting drama roles so they had recognition outside of the Junior fan base, especially in the year or so before the groups’ debuts. All Kisumai has is really Tamamori Yuta’s role in the 3rd Gokusen SP and the movie for that franchise, as Fujigaya Taisuke’s couple of drama roles were years ago and I doubt people really remember them. Over the summer the group will be too busy with touring with KAT-TUN for one of them to get a drama role, not to mention there just doesn’t seem to be as many roles going to Johnny’s anymore outside of a few that seem to be the only ones getting the breaks.

Also as my knowledge of Johnny’s has grown I’ve come to re-evaluate some things that I had thought were sure fire proofs of pre-debut group activity.

One of those things is the solo concerts. Looking at other popular Junior groups the tours or PLAYZONE can’t be counted as indicators of eminent debut, as Ya-Ya-Yah had concerts (though, correct me if I'm wrong, they were shared) and were in quite a few plays but they still did not debut together. Those probably fall more into the ’maybe’ pile of things that could point towards a debut. Or at least the idea that at least someone from the group will end up debuting.

I honestly believe that if Kis-My-Ft2 does not debut by mid-2011 then they will not be debuting as a group after all. I say this because if Johnny’s keeps debuting a group every four years (V6 for 1995-Arashi for 1999-NEWS for 2003-Hey! Say! JUMP for 2007) then the second half of 2011 will be focused on debuting the next one, and since these groups have always been put together for the debut there is little chance they would use a pre-existing group like Kis-My-Ft2. They are more likely to take a member or so from the group and have them join the new unit. And most likely it will be the younger members of the unit that would be selected as Johnny’s doesn’t seem interested in debuting the older Juniors anymore if last year’s focus on young Junior groups are any indication.

I think the only silver lining to it all is that because of all the attention and opportunities the group has been getting it does make the chances of at least one member debuting. I do believe Tamamori Yuta would be that one if it happens, though I do hope he would not be the only Kisumai member selected for debut. But of course for me I would just rather have the group as a whole debut as I think if given the chance they could do well but they need the support and faith of the agency to be able to do so. And for now I just don’t see that there.

14 June 2010

Kikuchi Fuma introduction profile

I've decided to go back about a couple of years and do Kikuchi Fuma's introduction profile from the August 2008 Wink Up issue.

Kikuchi Fuma (菊池風摩)

Nickname: Fuma
Birth date: March 7th, 1995. 2nd year middle school.
Blood type: A
Place you're from: Tokyo
Height: 165cm
Weight: 45kg
Strong point: Doing my best for the things I like.
Weak point: Avoiding food I have never tried.
Hobby: Walking.
Specialty: Singing. Chatting.
Reason for applying: I admire Arashi.
Admired sempai: Arashi, Tackey & Tsubasa
Type of girl you like: A kind, bright and energetic person.
Personal appeal: I don't know what will happen but I will do my utmost best.

Kaibutsu-Kun SP announced, plus some streaming videos

For the actual news portion of this post it was announced after the finale of the Kaibutsu-Kun drama, which stars Ohno Satoshi, there already is a special planned to air at the end on the month.

Anime News Network article. (English)

And then for something much more blog based, I've been updating my sevenload account with various PVs and such from the DVDs that I own. Of course no small number of these are of Johnny's groups.

It's been interesting looking at some of the older videos, especially when it comes to Hey! Say! JUMP as some have grown so much in the past few years. Yamada Ryosuke is a perfect example of this as you can see from his angle on the Hey! Say! PV DVD.

Link: Hey! Say! 7 - Hey! Say! PV Yamada Ryosuke angle

I have the rest of the angles up in my account and since sevenload is not nearly well known as other video streaming sights there's less chance of the videos getting pulled down.

Link to my sevenload video section.

12 June 2010

SMAP news round-up

Well SMAP has had a few recent bits of news come out as I was busy finishing up finals.

The first is that they will all be in a drama together for the first time in about six years. And what's unique about this one is that none of them knew they were being filmed for a drama. Instead they believed they were filming for a variety program. The drama special will air on TV Asahi on July 1st.

Tokyo Graph article.

Then Kimura Takuya's upcoming film, Space Battleship Yamato, will be celebrating it's 35th anniversary of the original series debut. As part of the promotion there will be a special team up with Hello Kitty, who is also 35 years old this year, who will adorn the costumes of the characters for a special show, Hello Kitty to Daniel no Eiga Daisuki!! ~Space Battleship Yamato yori~, at Tokyo's Sanrio Puroland theme park from the film for a limited time.

Anime News Network article.

Then finally Kimura Takuya will be voice acting in an upcoming anime film, REDLINE, by animation studio MADHOUSE that will be released in theaters in Japan in October. He will voice the main character of the film and this will be the second time he has been a voice actor in an animated feature, the first being Howl's Moving Castle.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

09 June 2010

Sakurai Sho to star in film, Kami-sama no Karute

It has been announced that Sakurai Sho will be starring in an upcoming film titled Kami-sama no Karute. He will be playing a doctor who meets an elderly woman with cancer and the movie shows how he changes from knowing her. The other actor that has been announced for this film is the actress that will play his wife, Miyazaki Aoi.

The movie is slated for a late 2011 theater release in Japan.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

07 June 2010

Another Arashi related release

Well it looks like Johnny's really wants to test the wallets of Arashi fans as not only are they releasing a new group single on July 7th but there will be a special release of the song Yukai Tsukai Kaibutsu-Kun, which is sung by Ohno's character in his drama Kaibutsu-Kun. It's a cheap single, as it only contains the one song with a karaoke track, so it won't hit fans wallets that hard at least as it only has the one version as well.

Yukai Tsukai Kaibutsu-Kun / Kaibutsu-Kun (Satoshi Ohno)

I kinda get the feeling that Johnny's is hoping to have both the number 1 and 2 position on the Oricon charts with this so it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

24th poll results

Figured it was about time I started up a new poll so here are the results of the last one.

Should Akanishi Jin leave KAT-TUN and go solo?

No! 56

Don't care. 28

Yes! 15

Don't know. 9

I'm personally still unsure what I would want but it looks like Johnny's was smart to make sure to stress that Jin's American solo concerts aren't signs that he's leaving the group.

I recently took a look at Hey! Say! JUMP's releases and noticed that they haven't released a concert DVD yet this year. They had releases the past two years, it was the only release in 2009 from them, so this question is 'Which HSJ concert should get a DVD release this year?'.

05 June 2010

News roundup

Well the news keeps coming in so I've decided to collect the recent batch in this one entry.

First off Tegomass's tour has been extended as they will be returning to Yoyogi July 30th-August 1st for three more shows. More information can be found on Johnny's net.

A bit of a downer, SMAP's concert in Shanghai has been canceled. The Expo canceled the concert after safety and security concerns arouse when South Korea had a concert with popular acts from their country and the commotion it caused. The Expo feared the same would happen with the SMAP concert and opted to cancel the event.

Brietbart article. (English)

And then for some better news, the SP for NTV 24 Hour Television has been announced. Nagase Tomoya will be starring in the SP for his second time. He stars alongside Hirosue Ryoko as a couple that have to deal with a terminally ill daughter.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

I'm a bit disappointed that it's not Masaoka Masahiro starring in the SP, especially since I would have loved to have seen him with Hirosue again after they were in Yasuko to Kenji together. But I can't complain about having Nagase in another drama as I tend to love him in whatever he's in.

04 June 2010

Bad news for Arashi but some great news for Arashi fans

On June 4th around midnight Ninomiya Kazunari hit a woman on a bicycle at an intersection with his car. The woman suffered a bruise from the collision and Ninomiya was not injured.

Johnny's has since stated that they have banned all of Arashi from driving for the rest of the year because of this accident.

Asahi article. (Japanese only)

On a much brighter note a new original album has been announced for the group. It will be released on August 8th, so it'll probably still be about a week or so before it goes up for pre-ordering, and will contain the singles from Everything to Monster. The track total is being listed as 20, with the single tracks, 10 new songs, 5 solo songs as well as the inclusion of the song Sora Takaku.

A tour has also been announced, set to begin in the end of August at Kokuritsu and will end mid-January in Fukuoka. The show dates are all in dome sized venues and spread out, most likely to give the guys the time needed to do dramas, promotions and the other various activities that are a part of their usual schedule.

Sanspo article. (Japanese only.)


Well it looks like I was completely wrong for how long it would take for the pre-order to open for the new album. I just got an e-mail from cdjapan for it. Of course first thing I noticed is that there is only one version, but it does have a first press edition. So for those wanting to order it immediately here's the link:

Boku no Miteiru Fukei [2CD] / Arashi

02 June 2010

Nishikido Ryo in new drama

Nishikido Ryo will be in a Fuji TV drama for the upcoming summer season. He will be a supporting cast member in the drama Joker: Yurusarezaru Sousakan that will star actor Masato Sakai. It is set to begin on July 13th.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

While I'm happy to see Ryo in another drama it makes me wonder when he will ever get the chance to be a lead actor in a drama. Perhaps if his movie does well he'll get a chance, so I hope it does well even though it has such a strange premise.

SMAP's new album release date announced

Johnny's net has updated the new release section once more, this time for the release of the already announced new SMAP album, We are SMAP!. It will be released on July 21st and the only track information given is that it will have the single song Sotto Kyutto on it. I think it will be safe to say that it will only be one version as SMAP almost never does the multiple version releases of their CDs.


There is some more information about the upcoming album on a Japanese website that has been translated. Like their previous album they will be having many prominent artists working on it with them, probably the most familiar name to international fans would be Daniel Powter. They also have popular musician, famous for his Ghlibi movie soundtracks, Joe Hisaishi also on board to write the music for a song.

Also it has been confirmed that it will be a 2 disc album.

Arama They Didn't entry. (English)