First off a couple of December releases have been announced. SMAP will be releasing a new single on December 21st, titled Boku no Hanbun. It will come in two editions with the LE coming with a DVD. The next is the first release for Yamashita Tomohisa since going solo, the concert DVD/BD for his Super Good, Super Bad tour. The DVDs will have two versions an LE with a bonus booklet and an RE. Like Johnny's other BD releases the BD will have everything the RE DVD has. This will also be released on December 21st.
Then the B-sides for Kis-My-Ft2's 2nd single have been announced. The first is Kis-My-Venus (Knowing how the word 'Venus' sounds in Japanese, as they have no 'v' and instead use a 'b' or 'p' sound, this song will bring a lot of unintentional humor. Just say the title out loud and replace the 'v' with a 'p' to see what I mean.) which will be used as the theme song for the variety program Moshimo Tours. The other B-side that is only on the RE version of the single is titled Love is you.
My hunch was right about Sexy Zone having another hand shake event this week, as one has been announced for this Saturday in Tokyo.
And it looks like I'm going to be wrong about my predictions for the first week sales numbers for SZ's debut single. It looks like it'll be more around the 150K mark but now they are only about 10K away from being able to surpass Not Yet for the number one, which they can do as Not Yet has been having larger sales drops and SZ should get a boost from the MSte performance this week and the hand shake event on Saturday. Hopefully that will be enough for them to get that #1 if just barely as then there are the numbers added on at the end of the week from the stores Oricon counts but only send their sales information in once a week instead of daily.
One thing that's crossed my mind about this debut is how it seems like it's a bit like the Junior Hey! Say! 7's one shot debut. While they are releasing a single with completely different tie-ins and SZ is set up to continue after this single unlike that version of HS7 I can't help but see some similarities between the two. One obvious one is the size, as both are five member groups. The other is that they both have two older members and three younger and both broke the record for youngest Johnny's group, though of course HS7 was for any group and SZ seems to be more for permanent groups.
Both groups had a member that was a chance the general public might recognize from drama work, Nakajima Yuto (HS7) and Nakajima Kento (SZ), as well as members only recently being pushed, Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri (HS7) and Sato Shori, Matsushima Sou and Yo Marius (SZ). With the other members being Juniors that were around for a while and were at least popular with Junior fans, Takaki Yuya and Arioka Daiki (HS7) and Kikuchi Fuma (SZ).
Another interesting this to note that the two releases have in common is that both ended up being against strong competition on the week of release. SZ has Not Yet while the original HS7 had Tohoshinki who were just finally hitting it off in Japan. HS7 was able to beat Tohoshinki in the end, in part because of hand shake events they did so I hope SZ will manage to do the same.
Seeing how the members of Junior HS7 have done in the past four years gives me a lot of hope for SZ. Let's just hope they don't run into the same troubles Hey! Say! JUMP did and release on a regular schedule without a thirteen month gap between singles and of course to remain major scandal free.
Speaking of HSJ, it looks like I was wrong about them not having a winter concert. Though considering they are doing so few shows and only performing in Tokyo and Osaka during the first week of January I think it can be taken as a sign that they won't be doing so much touring from now on. And this really just stems from the fact that there are only so many venues that they can perform at and those venues need to be used by other artists and in some cases sports teams so if SZ is to start touring it only makes sense to cut back a bit with HSJ to free those venues for them.
Though since there hasn't been a concert announcement made for SZ yet I'm thinking Johnny's wants to make sure the group can fill venues before setting them out to tour. So they'll either be performing in halls or only a couple of arena concerts first when they do and Johnny's is probably already hard at work lining up promotions and chances to get drama roles to work on expanding their fan base so they can move up to do bigger tours.