30 June 2011

KAT-TUN's new single

Even though it looks like much of KAT-TUN's plans for the year had to be scrapped or change they are still probably the one of the few groups with a steady release schedule. It was announced that they will be releasing another single, Run For You, on August 3rd.

The single comes in three versions, one LE and two REs. The LE has a DVD with the PV and making of on it. The REs just have a different B-side on them as well as the usual differences with editions like different CD jackets.

Run For You [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

Run For You [Regular Edition (First Press)] / KAT-TUN

Run For You [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / KAT-TUN

I guess this will mean they will have either a fall or winter album. My bet will be on winter because then they can do a tour in early 2012. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see in the end how that all plays out.

29 June 2011

Aiba Masaki hospitalized

It has been announced that Aiba Masaki has been hospitalized. He was feeling pain in this chest at a taping and went to the hospital straight after wards. The ailment has been revealed to be a collapsed lung (spontaneous pneumothorax) which is an ailment he suffered from back in 2002.

Tokyohive article. (English)

Apparently it's one of those things that if you suffer from it once then there is an increased risk of it happening again. So hopefully Aiba will get some extra rest so he can recover well and not over strain himself when he gets back to work.

27 June 2011

Morimoto Ryutaro caught in underage smoking scandal

News has broken that Morimoto Ryutaro has been caught in an underage smoking scandal. A magazine printed photos that clearly showed him smoking when he was 15 and 14 years old.

Johnny's has made an official announcement on the matter stating that Ryutaro confirmed he smoked from time to time in the past. Because it accounts for breaking the law as he is now on indefinite hiatus from working in the entertainment industry.

Arama round up of reports. (English)

It is uncertain how this will affect him and Hey! Say! JUMP in the long term.

Honestly I just feel disappointed. I had thought that HSJ had a good chance of going scandal free for underage smoking/drinking with half of the group of legal age for those things now and the rest not too far behind. And I really can't imagine HSJ not being ten members but I can't see Ryutaro being able to get away with this without having to face some severe repercussions.


There's some new news about Ryutaro's punishment. According to Tokyo Graph's article a couple of things that will occur is that he's getting edited out of the covers of the new single (I'm assuming this must mean for any further printings of it as I got my notification of my order being sent out yesterday from CDJapan) and that he will not be a part of SUMMARY.

Tokyo Graph article. (English)

24 June 2011

Kis-My-Ft2 & V6 new singles up for pre-order

Well Kis-My-Ft2's debut single is up for pre-ordering now. It's the usual three version set up Avex does for the Johnny's groups they release for with two LEs and a regular version. One LE comes with a DVD with the PV and making of (which is listed at being 10 minutes long) while the other comes with live concert footage of Firebeat and Kis-My-Land from their past concert tour. The regular edition comes with four tracks instead of the three the LEs come with. The RE also comes with a 20 page booklet for its 1st pressing. And CDJapan lists that each version will come with a poster.

Everybody Go [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type A / Jacket A] / Kis-My-Ft2

Everybody Go [w/ DVD, Limited Edition / Type B / Jacket B] / Kis-My-Ft2

Everybody Go [Regular Edition / Jacket C] / Kis-My-Ft2

And it looks like Avex decided to put out a new V6 single up for pre-order at the same time. I'm sure V6 fans will be happy to finally have something released this year for the group. The single is titled Sexy.Honey.Bunny!/Takara no Ishi and comes in three editions, two LEs and a regular edition. It's a double A-side so each LE comes with a different PV. The single will be released on August 24th.

Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi [w/ DVD, Limited Edition (Honey ban) / Jacket A] / V6

Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi [w/ DVD, Limited Edition (Bunny ban) / Jacket B] / V6

Sexy.Honey.Bunny! / Takara no Ishi [Regular Edition / Jacket C] / V6

23 June 2011

Kis-My-Ft2 Go!

Finally we have not only a release date for Kis-My-Ft2's debut single but also the title track. It looks like the A-side will be Everybody Go, which the group has already performed on Shounen Club last month, and it will be released on August 10th.

Natalie article (Japanese)

The greatest competition they have for the weekly number one will be the AKB48 subunit, DiVA. But I think with the drama tie-in and having a long established fanbase will help give Kisumai the advantage. And of course we still don't know how many versions the single will come in or if there will be any special campaigns to help boost sales tied to it.

Though I will admit I feel a bit disappointed with the A-side. I wasn't impressed with the song on SC but I find I usually enjoy the B-sides for singles when I don't care for the A-sides when it comes to most Johnny's.

EDIT: The information seems to be all over the place for this release. But it has been confirmed that there will be three editions of the single with the two LEs having different DVD contents, one of the PV and making with the other being live footage from their last concert. The RE will have a bonus track for four tracks in total.

Tokyohive article. (English)

EDIT 2: Just when I think I've found most of the information I find more. Avex Trax has their official website for Kis-My-Ft2 and has a countdown for the release date. There are also special member versions of the single (7 versions in total) that will be released through Japanese online store mu-mo. These version only have two tracks but come with a message from each member as well as an 8-page booklet and roller skate key holder for each member.

22 June 2011

Mid-year Oricon charts

I can't believe about half of the year is already over. This year has just seemed to have flown by so far. Here is the top yearly Oricon charts for this first half of the year. It looks like the only chart Johnny's is really dominating is the music DVD chart though their not doing too bad with the singles chart either. And I think overall they just need to release more albums to do better on that chart, and I have the feeling we'll see strong numbers from Arashi and SMAP in that regard when their albums drop this year.

Top 50 singles (Johnny's only)

3 624,865 Arashi - Lotus
7 252,634 Kanjani8 - T.W.L/Yellow Pansy Street
8 241,630 Akanishi Jin - Eternal
14 188,555 Hey! Say! JUMP - Arigatou~ Sekai no Doko ni Ite mo~
16 185,421 Kanjani8 - My Home
19 170,575 KAT-TUN - WHITE
20 158,141 Kanjani8 - 365 Nichi Kazoku
23 151,056 NYC - Yume Tamago
32 111,072 Domoto Tsuyoshi - Eni wo Yuite
34 108,282 Tegomass - Aoi Bench
40 89,498 Yamashita Tomohisa - Hadakanbo

Top 50 albums (Johnny's only)

22 135,404 Yamashita Tomohisa - SUPERGOOD,SUPERBAD

Top 50 DVDs (Johnny's only)

1 785,410 Arashi - Arashi 10–11 Tour "Scene": Kimi to Boku no Miteiru Fūkei – Stadium
4 155,844 Kanjani8 - KANJANI8 LIVE TOUR 2010→2011 8UPPERS
10 92,273 Akanishi Jin - Yelow Gold Tour
11 89,729 Domoto Koichi - KOICHI DOMOTO CONCERT TOUR 2010 BPM
12 89,232 Hey! Say! JUMP - SUMMARY 2010
17 50,295 Tegomass - Tegomass 2nd Live Tegomass no Ai
18 45,874 Arashi - ARASHI Anniversary Tour 5×10
20 43,768 SMAP - We are SMAP! 2010 CONCERT DVD
25 32,217 Arashi - 5×10 All the BEST! CLIPS 1999-2009
36 25,558 Tackey & Tsubasa - Tackey & Tsubasa CONCERT TOUR 2010 Takitsuba Matsuri
45 19,911 Arashi - ARASHI AROUND ASIA 2008 in TOKYO
49 16,159 Arashi - SUMMER TOUR 2007 FINAL Time-Kotoba no Chikara

21 June 2011

Kanjani8 drama news and SMAP AID up for pre-order

A couple bits of news about Kanjani8 members in dramas.

The first is that Murakami Shingo will be starring in this year's NTV's 24hr. drama special and Shibutani Subaru will have a supporting role.

NTV 24hr OHP (Japanese)

Also Maruyama Ryuhei will be part of the regular cast of upcoming cop drama, Strawberry Night. The drama ran as a SP earlier in the year and is being made as a full drama for the winter season. With the longer run new cast members have been added, with Maruyama being one of those new additions.

The drama will air on Fuji TV starting in January 2012.

Tokyo Graph article.

Also SMAP's upcoming compilation album, SMAP AID, is up for pre-order and is listed as being a limited release.

SMAP AID [Limited Release] / SMAP

20 June 2011

SMAP to release charity album

SMAP has announced that they will be releasing a new album this year on August 17th, titled SMAP AID. 200Yen from each album sold will directly go to the Marching J fund to go towards the relief effort in Japan.

The album will be a collection of their songs chosen by fans by a vote and each copy of the album with come with one of two handkerchiefs, Shiawase (Happy) no YELLOW-AID or Genki (Energetic) no RED-AID.

Also for everyone who buys the album they can send in to be part of a lottery to go to special fan meeting with the group that is limited to 10,000 people.

They also have fan meetings scheduled in four different cities for members of their fan club with all the proceeds from those going to Marching J.

Tokyohive article. (English)

From the little information up on Johnny's net about the album it seems the voting will be done in connection to their program SMAP X SMAP.

19 June 2011

New release from Kinki Kids and PLAYZONE 2011 OST

Catching up on release announcements Kinki Kids have an upcoming BD/DVD release of their concert on January 1st, 2011 and this year's PLAYZONE will release a soundtrack CD.

The RE version has the concert and is the version that the BD is for. The LE is DVD only and comes with bonus MC footage and a bigger booklet. All will be released July 27th.

KinKi Kids 2010-2011 - Kimi mo Domoto Family - [Regular Edition] / KinKi Kids

KinKi Kids 2010-2011 - Kimi mo Domoto Family - [Limited Edition] / KinKi Kids

KinKi Kids 2010-2011 - Kimi mo Domoto Family - [Blu-ray] / KinKi Kids

I wish they would have the LE version for the BD as well. As someone who prefers BD over DVD (yay for better picture and sound quality as well as being the same region as Japan) and tries to get the LE versions of concert releases I find having only the RE version for the BD versions really disappointing. I hope Johnny's realizes that there is demand for a LE BD and switch over soon, especially if all future concert video releases will be on the two formats.

Not much information is about for the PLAYZONE'11 SONG & DANC'N soundtrack other than it will have 22 tracks in total and will be released July 20th.

PLAYZONE '11 SONG & DANC'N. Original Soundtrack / Original Soundtrack

I really hope this soundtrack is more like 2009's instead of 2010's. I really liked having the group songs at the end of the soundtrack for 2009 and was sad to see that 2010 didn't have anything like that. I want a good Nakayama Yuma solo song and unless this soundtrack has one I'll pass on it as I did for last year's.

16 June 2011

Okada Junichi to star in Tenchi Meisatsu film

It was announced that Okada Junichi will be starring in an upcoming film titled, Tenchi Meisatsu. His character, Shibukawa Shunkai, an astronomer of the Edo period as well as a Go player.

Yokoyama Yu will have a role in the film as well as the Go rival for the lead character.

The film is being planned for a fall 2012 release.

Tokyo Graph article.

14 June 2011

Dream Boys 2011 news

Information for this year's Dream Boys performances has begun to come out. First off Kamenashi Kazuya will be starring in the musical this year. He will be joined by fellow KAT-TUN members Tanaka Koki and Nakamaru Yuichi who will have major roles in the production.

Dream Boys is expected to run from September 3rd to September 25th at the Tokyo Imperial Garden Theater.

Momoedgewood blog.

I guess even if they don't have their concerts most will have this musical for this year. Hopefully Junno and Ueda will have something to keep themselves busy with around the same time.

Yamada and Chinen lend their voices to those even smaller than them.

First off, sorry for being a bit MIA over the past couple of months. I ended up getting really bogged down by class work, especially since it was my final quarter. I've graduated now so I'll be trying to get everything back on track again now that I have the free time. So expect some catch up posts for recent news and I will be getting back to the recent comments in the next couple of days.

Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri will be voice actors for the Japanese language version of the upcoming Smurfs movie that will run in Japanese theaters starting from September 9th. This will be Yamada's first time voice acting while Chinen has done voice acting for an anime movie before.

Nikkan Sports article. (Japanese)

You can put me down for one of the people who think there is a good chance we may get a new NYC single from this. Seeing as their tie-in so far has been an anime series for young children a family friendly movie like this would be a good fit with the young image NYC has. But if that's so the single will be released about the same time as the movie in Japan which should be early September so it'll be a while before we'll get an announcement if it will be the case.

I kinda hope it will be the case if just because it will increase the likelihood of being able to get another Hey! Say! JUMP single before the end of the year, which I'm really hoping for.

04 June 2011

2nd half of year predictions, debuted groups

Well summer has come and the year is about half way over now. The first half had some big surprises, both good and bad and mostly unpredictable. Hopefully the rest of the year will be calmer and things can start getting back to normal as things can get for Japan. I'll just be covering debuted (or officially set to debut) groups as I'm sure I'll get long winded about the Juniors.

SMAP looks like they'll manage as they always have the rest of the year. They're still one of the most popular Japanese artists and will keep busy with variety programs, dramas and movies. I can see them either releasing another single or a new album before the end of the year to keep their 20th anniversary celebration on track. Very few artists reach that hallmark, especially idol groups so I can't see Johnny's not wanting to do something for it for one of their top groups.

TOKIO has enough regular work they will continue doing. I am hoping though they will finally release an album before the end of the year. As they've already done a concert for this year I doubt they'll do another, though if they do release a new album they may tour next year.

Like the rest of the older groups Kinki Kids really doesn't seem all that affected by the first half of the year. Koichi has Endless Shock to keep him busy and I'm sure Tsuyoshi will find something for him to do. They also have a single coming up in a couple of weeks so they'll have their single for the year. Wouldn't be surprised if they do the usual tour in Winter so they'll have the Tokyo Dome for Countdown like usual.

As they haven't released a single this year I'll predict that V6 will release one before the end of the year. Though I don't see them doing much else. Usually I would assume they would have a tour still, either as a full group or one of the sub-units, but it doesn't look like there will be as many concert tours this year as there usually are and I can see them being one of the groups that will not be making their usual yearly tour.

Being one of the top groups more or less ensures that Arashi will continue to have the kind of releases they would usually. Which can be seen with the fact they have a concert DVD and a studio album coming up to be released over the summer as well as a tour lined up to take them through to early next year. I'll predict they'll have at least one more single that will be released, maybe two, before the year ends.

Tackey & Tsubasa are hard to guess about what will happen with them. The only thing that seems certain with them are the musical productions they keep themselves busy with. Release-wise I wouldn't be surprised if we don't anything more from them, together or as soloist.

I'd guess that we'd get at least a single from NEWS before the end of the year. I know there was a rumor for one for a July release but unless it ends up being late July I don't see that being more than a rumor. But as Yamapi's solo concert winds down and if Kanjani8 doesn't have anything lined up anytime soon I can see a single for the group being released in the next few months.

Kanjani8 have had a good year so far, despite all things. They're ending a string of single releases and I can see them putting out either another single or an album near the end of the year. I'm also sure we'll be seeing them do another winter tour so they can have the Kyocera Dome again for Countdown.

Poor KAT-TUN. This year was supposed to be their 5 year anniversary celebration but it doesn't look like things are turning out well for them. While I can see them keeping things up with releases they have had their concert tour canceled. I can see them releasing one more single and then an album before the year is out but they'll have to wait for 2012 to tour again.

Hey! Say! JUMP looks to be slowly getting back to some sort of regular release schedule. They're still hampered a bit with having to share members with NYC but they've been doing better with balancing the two groups. With any luck we'll get one more single from them before the end of the year or at latest early 2012. They're also one of the lucky groups that will be able to tour this year and have SUMMARY over the summer. It'll be interesting to see if they'll do the usual winter tour this year.

I don't see any new releases for Akanishi Jin until after he finishes filming for the 47 Ronin movie. And if anything it'll probably be another Japanese single.

Kis-My-Ft2 is probably the other group that's been most affected by the earthquake. They've had their debut single pushed back to sometime this summer and personally I'm going to guess it'll be sometime in August at this point. The tie-in to the Ikemen Desu ne drama will be a help though and make August the ideal month as then there will be anticipation built up from the drama for the release and the single should get a sales boost every time an episode airs once it has been released. Luckily they still have their tour and it seems to still be on schedule. I can see them getting at least one more single out before the end of the year and maybe we can finally get a concert DVD from them if not this year but next year.

And I guess I'll stick NYC here as well. I think it's possible for them to release another single before the end of the year but honestly they've already released something this year so they don't really need to and they can just use Yumetamago to be their end of year song.

And that about rounds everything up for the debuted groups.

01 June 2011

Hey! Say! JUMP's new single gets a new edition

I woke up to find some exciting news in my e-mail box in that Hey! Say! JUMP's upcoming single, Over, will have another LE version. This version will have Born on the Earth as a song track on the CD and come with a DVD with a video clip for Ai-ing -Aishiteru-. Much of that excitement died though when I went to add this to my already existing pre-order and found that it was listed as sold out at CDJapan.

I figure I'm stuck having to either wait for CDJapan to open pre-orders for it again, which I'm hoping they will seeing as the original LE version of the single is still open for pre-orders, or having to hope that the Kinokuniya nearby will have it in stock when it comes out. Though I think I may just ask next time I'm in about saving a copy for me so I can ensure myself a copy.

For those who want to see if CDJapan opens up pre-orders again for it here's the link for it.

Over [w/ DVD, Limited Edition 2] / Hey! Say! JUMP

Other than that it should also be mentioned that there's a special campaign with this single in which if you buy a copy, doesn't matter which version of the single, you can download a message from one of the boys. Each single will have one user code which can only be used once and will only let you download one message. Each member will have three messages each so there will be 30 messages in total.

Honestly I can't say I'm actually too surprised at this turn of events. If you follow the charts the week HSJ is releasing this single has competition with girl groups No Sleeves and KARA, both who potentially could sell as much if not more than HSJ, especially as they both had/have more versions of their single as KARA has 3 and No Sleeves has 4. So I'm pretty sure that this is to combat that by at least having as many editions as KARA and then adding the special messages to give incentives to have fans buy multiple copies of the three editions.

But as this is giving us a CD version of one of HSJ's concert songs I'm not complaining too much. In fact I kinda welcome it as I really would love to see more of the songs they've only sung live be put on CDs so I can enjoy them with higher quality sound and without audience noise. I just gotta figure out whose messages to download (if they can be downloaded with a PC and it isn't just a Japanese cellphone thing) because I'm rather torn between Takaki and Keito.