31 December 2011

Some Johnny's Countdown 2011-2012 thoughts

Well I woke up around 3AM-ish to watch Kohaku and then of course Johnny's Countdown 2011-2012 earlier today. It's strange to think it's been 2012 somewhere in the world for about 12 hours now when there is still quite a bit of time before the clock strikes midnight where I am. But I find watching these programs are a great way to start the last day of the year.

Focusing on JCD this year seemed so much more energetic and fun than last year. The whole atmosphere to me really felt the guys were having just as much fun as the audience for the short concert. And it seems like Yamada Ryosuke and Chinen Yuri were taken over to Tokyo Dome sometime during Kohaku so they did not have the late entrance that TOKIO did, and of course were no where to be seen near the end of Kohaku either.

I'm just going to briefly touch upon some things that I liked about the concert or stood out to me.

First off, we have another indication that Sexy Zone is indeed here to stay as they had a VTR performance of their debut song played early on, something that Hey! Say! JUMP also had the year they debuted. And I was really happy to see HSJ in the seats SZ had to watch the show. I think it's rather perfect for one FIVB group to be there for another.

The Juniors! And not just the Tokyo Juniors but Kansai Juniors as well at the Tokyo Dome and getting more attention than I've ever seen for Juniors at any JCD. It seems like Noon Boyz might actually be a group for Sanada Yuma and Nozawa Yuki seeing as that's what they were introduced as. Also what was interesting was that Uchi Hiroki seemed to be introduced just as a member of Question? more than a Junior on his own. And it seemed so amazing that B.A.D., Hamada Takahiro, Shigeoka Daiki and Veteran were there at the Tokyo Dome and even got some spotlight as well. Of course the Gokusen fangirl in me was ecstatic to see B.A.D. next to Takaki Yuya for at least one song during the shuffle group portion. And it was nice to finally see all five members of A.B.C-Z being able to perform with Tackey & Tsubasa this year.

It was also nice to see all of HSJ on stage, even though the only reason it was possible for them to do so was because they lost their youngest member who would have sat with SZ if he was still with the group. But I loved that we had more HSJ this year and that there seemed to be more interaction between them and their senpai groups. One of the personally highlights with HSJ, besides the one already mentioned as Masuoka Masahiro making Inoo Kei sing along when TOKIO was supposed to be covering a song.

Speaking of TOKIO while I was at first disappointed that they were not around for the actual countdown to midnight when they did enter I was perfectly fine with it. I mean it's hard to beat an entrance in faux-blimps. Though I do wonder who got fur crazy when making Yamaguchi Tatsuya's costume for this.

And of course bringing up costumes immediately brings Kanjani8 to mind. It's going to take a while to get the image of Nishikido Ryo dressed as a girl out of my mind. And I loved Yokoyama Yu as the mixer/blender for the vegetables, aka the other group members. I think I've gotten used to the split for the groups as I didn't mind it too much this year.

I loved seeing Kis-My-Ft2 being able to be on stage finally as debuted artists. Especially as they had a member from Hikaru Genji, the original roller skating Johnny's group, Sato Atsuhiro, to join them for a song. And by pure luck of being 24 in this coming year Miyata Toshiya got a moment to shine and show everyone the wonderful dork he is.

Of course I was really excited about all the daisenpai at this year's JCD. I think it's definitely because 2012 will be Johnny's 50th anniversary and I thought it was great for them to have their older acts makes appearances. It did seem like Okamoto Keito was used a bit as a stand in for his father as he got to play guitar for when they covered an Otokogumi song. I won't complain as it meant more Keito, who the cameraman seemed to love. And nothing beats being able to see Shounentai perform together, or almost together with Nishikiori Kazukiyo being at the theater Tackey & Tsubasa were at.

Of course the greatest highlight for the concert for me was seeing the new NEWS perform together. I'm rather glad both Ryo and Yamashita Tomohisa were not at the Tokyo Dome as it really helped solidify that the four remaining members are the group now to me. And I love that they made sure to find NEWS fans in the audience to pan to, as to help signify that this was truly a special moment for the group as they perform as four for the first time in front of a crowd. And I was so happy that Koyama Keiichiro said one of the group's goals for the new year was to of course have concerts. Even if I can't make any just knowing that they are performing as NEWS will make me so happy.

So in the end this JCD was great for me. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits and I got to see so many of my favorites and there was fun interactions. Even though the amount of live feeds can sometimes feel like it isn't as unified as it once was I think they are finally figuring out how to balance it better.

Next year should be interesting with A.B.C-Z being a debuted group then, Nakajima Kento being old enough to participate as well as Nakayama Yuma. And of course any surprises Johnny's wants to throw in there. I'll definitely make sure I can catch a lives stream of it next year.


Anonymous said...

it was sure fun.. has to spent too much for a ticket thou. poor me.. but then, it was a worth it. kattun opening the show. yuma was only on the seating area.. so no nyc performance but then hsj got the to perform before and after midnite, which was good imo.. didnt know that the sempais were actually very popular, esp kinki kids.. been to their concert too. only know garasu no shounen but i had fun at king kinki kids con.. cant wait for kakumei and hsj con.. 1st time spending new year in jp is a blast!

Anonymous said...

You know they should put Marius as well, kid turns 12 this year. Four generations... Can I get all 4 together in hakamas please, doesn't seem likely...

I was also really glad that between JCD and CDTV Countdown, almost every single artist associated with J&A(was Okamoto Kenichi there though?) performed at least once. And both Kansai and Tokyo Juniors were there too and got to perform.

Ani2 said...

First of all, Happy New Year !

I just watched JCD and I must say that I really enjoyed it a lot!
And I was so happy to see Kanju there as well !! Actually I was very surprised when I spotted Shige and Junta in Yuuki 100% and thought that I probably see wrong because I didn´t know anything that they would be at Tokyo Dome.
And then it was so great to see them getting spotlight as well !
But why was just Shige invited out of 7West? Kamiyama, Ryuusei and Shinpei are already 18 too.
But I don´t want to complain , I think it´s a very good sign to see Kanjuu invited to JCD. It gives me hope that 2012 will become a good year for them.

Thennary Nak said...

@ Anonymous #1

I wanted to go so badly the year I was in Japan but didn't hit for a ticket and couldn't afford to buy one at a resale place. The senpai groups are more popular these days from drama roles and variety shows. I'm glad you're enjoying your time in Japan and it's definitely a good time to be there for concerts and shows.

@ Anonymous #2

Unfortunately they would have broken child labor laws to have Marius on stage at that time.

Okamoto Kenichi wasn't there from what I saw, but as I mentioned they seemed to decide to use Keito as a stand-in.

@ Ani2

Happy New Year to you too.

I actually found an announcement for some Kanjuu to be at the Tokyo Dome JCD the day of so I was looking forward to seeing who would be there and didn't feel disappointed at all.

I was kinda wondering why it was just Shigeoka as well but figured maybe it was because the others were still in high school and may have been able to have the spare time to head over to Tokyo for this. But who knows, I'm just glad they had some Kanjuu there and they got some attention on national TV.

Anonymous said...

Hello. Thank you for your wonderful blog. May I ask how you are able to receive programs like the Countdown show, Shonen Club, etc.? Is it on the internet, or do you receive a special tv channel? thank you. I'd like to start watching these shows, too.

Anonymous said...

Anon #2 here, Yep, I'm aware. And Kenichi wasn't there then. Also, Hope they would do some special event this year, 50th Anniversary and all...

Chris said...

2011 JCD was just awesome !
I found that it was better than last year .
Everyone of JE gathers together, singing popular songs, having fun and interaction with each other.
I just love JCD and I´m grateful that JE created this kind of event.
Andalucia performance was so great but I could go on how much I liked every performance. It was so much fun !!
Finally HSJ was able to stay on stage as whole group and I´m waiting to see Nakayama Yuma and Nakaken next year too.

Jackie said...

I´ve been very busy these last days but I´m finally able to comment again.

2011-2012 was the first time I watched JCD and I´m pleased to see what kind of a fun show it was. I agree with everyone here, it was very enjoyable to see sempais and kouhais performing together.
But I´ve some questions, if you don´t mind: why is Takkey not at Tokyo Dome but at Imperial Theatre? ABC-Z were there, Snowman5, They Budou etc. JCD at Tokyo Dome is such a special event, I wished to see all of them in Dome too.
Then Tsubasa was first in Tokyo Dome and rushed over to Imperial Theatre, but why didn´t he perform at Imperial with Tackey from the start?
Yuma will be 18 in 2012 JCD but I hope he will appear in Tokyo Dome and not Imperial Theatre.

Anonymous said...

tsubasa performed in tokyo dome before midnite.. he did playzone 2011 songs and venus with 4U. i suppose it was choreographed that he'll have to rush to emperial theater to perform with takkey. before midnite show was kattun, kis-my-ft2 and hey say jump.. after midnite was with the sempais, a must watch show.. to bad i wont be able to see yuma next year in jcd..coz will NOT be spending new year in japan the second time.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this countdown tremendously compared to last year. They even sang Four Leaves' song! Here's hoping for more mash-ups next countdown. And no more roller skates for Sato Atsuhiro. I had secondhand embarrassment watching him.

It was nice to see the camera on Keito a lot more than usual, too. Though I have to wonder what gives because of the sudden exposure.

Thennary Nak said...

@ Anonymous #3

Sorry for the long wait in responding. I honestly can't say I'm getting these programs legally. Usually for the end of year shows you can find live streams a few kind souls will put up for those outside of Japan to watch. Other programs you have to search for downloads for.

@ Anonymous #2

I hope they do something special this year for the anniversary as well. I love it when they do mixed group activities like this.

@ Chris

This was a great year. And I was so happy to see all of HSJ up there. And I can't wait to see Nakaken and Yuma join in for the next as well. Though I can imagine it being a bit lonely for Nakaken to be the only one from his group up there.

@ Jackie

It's mainly because Tackey has his musical begin on January 1st, as it began when he began doing Takizawa Kakumei. This was the first year they actually had an audience there and it made it feel like it was really a part of a concert more.

I also think it's partly because the Tokyo Dome is getting crowded with all the groups and the chances for fans to get tickets is getting wrose which is why they also use the Kyocera Dome in Osaka and now the Imperial Theater, to give fans more chances. As well as partly why SMAP doesn't participate and Arashi is no longer there live as those two fan clubs are huge and would make it difficult for fans of other groups to hit for tickets.

@ Anonymous #4

I sadly was not able to go to JCD the year I was in Japan. I still hope to be able to do so one year, but it'll have to be a few years in the future as I need to have extra money for it, which I sadly lack at the moment.

@ Anonymous #5

I felt so sorry for Sato as well since it was so apparent he was well out of practice with his skating.

I was curious about that too, but I won't complain as he's one of my favorites.