31 December 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now on to Countdown.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nenmatsu Young Tozai Uta Gassen viewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

28 December 2010

More Kohaku information and another yearly chart

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

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

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

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

Oricon article. (Japanese)

24 December 2010

KAT-TUN's Ultimate Wheels

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

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

Ultimate Wheels [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

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

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

22 December 2010

Sad news, Happy news & a rumor

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

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

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

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

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

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

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

21 December 2010

Kanjani8 does theme songs for Crayon Shin-chan

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

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

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

19 December 2010

Yearly Top 50 singles and albums Oricon chart 2010

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

Singles list (Johnny's only)

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

Album list (Johnny's only)

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

Thoughts on Arigato "Sekai no Doko ni Itemo" single

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

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

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

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

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

17 December 2010

Johnny's International updated

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

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

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

16 December 2010

Arashi tops 2010 ringtone charts

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

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

Momo Edgewood blog.

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

Jin Akanishi signed on Warner Music

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

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

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

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

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

09 December 2010

New Arashi DVD & Yamapi's solo album

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

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

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

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

Hadakanbo / Tomohisa Yamashita

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

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

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

06 December 2010

Various News Updates

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

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

Ninkyu Helper OHP.

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

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

Anime News Network article.

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

Tokyo Graph article.

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

Tokyo Graph article.

01 December 2010

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

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

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

SUMMARY 2010 / Hey! Say! JUMP