30 April 2013

Other Idols Master Post 007

Love La Doll has updated their official shop on their website. (OHP Shop) The new items they have added is a T-shirt and a DVD with footage from their live in Singapore last year for Anime Festival Asia 2012.

They also have special bonuses for those who purchase items from the store, which for now includes photos and pin badges.

You do need a Japanese address to be able to purchase anything from the store.


The play Yamashita Sean was in, Kiben - Hashire Melos, is being sold on DVD. You have to purchase it via the official website for the production, here, and have a Japanese address for it to be sent to.

The website also has a video preview for the DVD, which not only includes the production but a lot of bonus footage like backstage footage.


E-Girls' first album, Lesson 1, ranked number one on the Oricon chart for the week. This is the first time the group has ranked number 1 with one of their releases, number 2 being the highest they have gotten before.

So congrats to the girls for that. I just hope the groups that make up E-Girls all get chances to release something this year, though Dream is covered with a new single out next month.

29 April 2013

Johnny's Under 100: Fujigaya Taisuke

Fujigaya Taisuke
Group: Kis-My-Ft2
Birthdate: June 27th, 1987

Fujigaya was the first member of Kis-My-Ft2 that caught my attention. While he is no longer a favorite I still do like him. And I do love his voice. I will never gripe about why he is one of the main vocals of the group.

He is one of the Johnny’s that I want to take to the side and tell him that he does not need to try so hard to be sexy. In fact trying to be sexy tends to make him look silly. I would rather have him smile more as he has a great one.

28 April 2013

Sprout mid-season impressions

After taking my time with getting back to this drama I am finally working my way though it. If only because I hate to leave things unfinished.

I still cannot say I am actually enjoying this drama series. If there is anything keeping me from dropping it midway it is that I do like the members of the cast. And I like them enough to try to get through all twelve episodes of this.

There are not many romantic tropes I hate more than the whole idea that there is one true destined one for someone in the whole world. Not because I do not believe that love cannot last a lifetime but rather because with this trope the only reason for a couple to be together it that they are destined to be. And because the trope relies on this it usually fails to build on why the couple work well together as a couple leaving "because I said so" as the answer to that. To me that does not work and I do not see why Ikenouchi Miku and Narahashi Sohei should be together, outside of them being so boring it would better they be boring together than to be boring with other people.

Of course what is a romance series without love triangles, though it looks like the series is going to make it even more complex by adding others into the equation. But for now it is settled with Sohei with Ozawa Miyuki (Kojima Fujiko) and Miku with Katagiri Hayato (Jesse). While Miyuki and Hayato are no great personalities I do find them slightly less boring than Sohei and Miku at least. If only because they do more than just think about things and will actually act on their thoughts.

It is probably a bad thing that I am much more interested in Miku's friends than her and her romantic troubles. They just seem more interesting even though there is so little of them shown. But I imagine a series about them would be a lot of fun as I can see them getting into all kinds of hi-jinks  because there is no way anyone's life could be as boring as Miku's.

While Jinguji Yuta is cute in this, that is about all. Though there is not much to his character, Katagiri Wataru, other than being a plot device. Which probably makes it a good thing that he is not in many scenes in this drama so far.

Every little moment that Takigawa Naoharu (Hashimoto Ryosuke) is on the screen I find a reason not to close the video file.

Watching this series reminds me why I am not a big fan of high school romance series. Especially when they come from shoujo manga. Everything moves at a snails pace and you can usually tell who the main character will end up with from the first chapter. Though to give Sprout some credit at least the guy is not a jerk that treats the main character terribly.

I still cannot believe that this story manages to stretch itself out over six more episodes. Why? Just why?

27 April 2013

The Shounen Club 8 April 2007 review

The first episode of a new season with a few big changes to the program.

In the introductions J-International finally get one, though under a different name but since I have seen J-International used in one of the official Junior calendars I am going to stick with it.

We no longer have producers for episodes and Koyama Keiichiro and Nakamaru Yuichi are still the main hosts. They introduce Yabu Kota, Yaotome Hikaru and Nakajima Yuto as special supporters though. They take some time going over some of the new segments, but I am going to wait until I get to them in the episode to go over them.

We still have the usual theme medley, with the theme of the episode being Start. And while all the usual Juniors got their turns singing a couple of Juniors that tend to only back dance got to sing, this included Iwamoto Hikaru.

The MC corner has Yabu, Hikaru and Nakajima talk about things they started recently. For Nakajima it is playing the drums, then for Yabu waking up early and I am not sure what Hikaru was talking about. But from the reactions I was not the only one. Also midway through they brought up a couple members of J.J.Express entering high school, Arioka Daiki being one of them.

Ya-Ya-Yah then get to perform their song START! And I do not think I care for their outfits here. I think it is mainly the shade of yellow they used.

The following talk segment introduces the guest of the episode, Kato Shigeaki. He and Koyama talk a bit about going to the beach together. When asked about something he has started recently Shige brings up photography.

Shige starts his performance with his solo Kakao, which I like and was happy to get on CD with the NEWS Best limited edition. The performance switches to the duet he has with Koyama, Chirarizumu, which is a fun performance with the fake mirrors though the song lyrics a bit perverted.

We then move to the game corner which is now being called Nekketsu! Junior League. The Juniors have two teams now, the Dream Bombers and Jonetsu Rainbow. The Juniors on each team are pretty much the set ones for the game segment, but with some changes from time to time but they will remain on the same teams as they debuted on.

They play a series of relays the first being jumping rope. For some reason Fujigaya Taisuke seems to have issues with this one.

The next is to solve multi-step math problems. Personally I am sure I would be terrible at this as me and math just do not go together.

The final deals with pumping air into a balloon. I do not think there is a set amount of pumps each have to give but whichever team pops their balloon first loses. And because Senga Kento bombed so badly with the last relay his team have him hold the balloon as a batsu game. It is worth watching everyone's reaction when the balloon pops.

The following MC segment has Yabu and Yaotome talking to Nakamaru who gets to plug a concert tour for KAT-TUN before the next act is introduced.

Kis-My-Ft2 perform Kis-My-Me-Mine next. This time around they have other Juniors onstage to be back dancers, but otherwise it is the usual solid performance from the group.

Yabu and Hikaru have their own corner now called, Shiroyagi to Kuroyagi no otegami itadakimasu. This corner is honestly boring. There is nothing really engaging about two people talking at a table about a topic even they do not seem fully engaged in. Thankfully I know this is not how latter installments of the segment go, so I hope that change happens sooner rather than later.

The next performance is a solo for Nakajima who performs the song Ai o Hitotsu. He has the rest of the Little Six be back dancers for him, and we get to see Chinen Yuri break out his spins, which is something he will be doing quite a bit of in future performances.

There is then the usual Junior ni Q segment with the theme being bento this episode. the only Junior brought over to talk still with the agency that I know of is Kyomoto Taiga who talks about a bento that his mother made for him.

Yabu Kota then gets to sing a solo song that he wrote the lyrics for, Asu e. I guess this could be considered Yabu's start at writing lyrics for songs, which he mainly does for Hey! Say! BEST songs now.

Then it is time for the end song and this episode has the song Va Ni La ~Burn It Up!~ that the older Juniors get to sing. I like this song, it is a fast paced, energetic song that I think fits Shounen Club well.

While it is nice to see the program try new things I guess it should be expected that not all of them are going to be winners. But that segment aside the show was still pretty enjoyable and I was happy to see Shige on the program once more. I really want to see NEWS return as guests but until then various members of the group will do.

Either way we are getting closer to the next debut which has me excited. I cannot believe it has been about a year since KAT-TUN debuted. It feels like a lot longer.

26 April 2013

Tegomass Nya~~~

The covers are out for Tegomass' upcoming single Neko Chudoku and I could not just let them pass without commenting on them.

Limited Edition A
The regular edition is not bad, it is just a pair of cats, but the limited editions are this. The other cover has them in a different place and position but still, it is Tegomass in catsuits, and not the sexy kind.

I think it is becoming quite clear that Johnny's has no idea what they are doing with this sub unit. They tried to have Sayonara ni Sayonara to be marketed as bit more mature, but failed as it was just the same old thing for the duo image and song-wise. And now they seem to be going the cutesy route, even though they have another unit to cover that, NYC, and a new group that would better fit that image, Sexy Zone.

I just hope the next single Tegoshi Yuya and Masuda Takahisa are a part of is a NEWS single. They do need to release a single sometime this year.

You can view the other two covers over at JE News Daily, where I got this cover image from.

25 April 2013

Onishi Ryusei to make his drama debut

Even though the Spring season has just begun there is already an announcement for a Summer drama. It will star actress Hirosue Ryoko on Fuji TV and begin in July. She will be playing a single mother of three boys, the eldest son will be played by Naniwa Oji member Onishi Ryusei. The working title of the drama is Starman ~Kono Hoshi no Koi~.

Mainichi Japan article (Japanese)

I guess Fuji TV wants to drum up some early interest in this drama. But I am fine with that as I like Hirosue Ryoko and even if there was not a Johnny's connection I would want to watch just for her.

I am happy for Onishi to get this chance. I hope he does well, as being the eldest son in the drama will probably mean he will get the biggest part for the three. So we should be able to see if he has any knack for acting with the role.

24 April 2013

The Shounen Club 11 February 2007 review

And this is the last episode for the season, as they just skipped doing a March episode this year. So the next episode will kick off the next season of the program.

Nothing much to mention about the Junior introductions. Just the standard dance introduction for each group.

The producer for the final episode of the season is Nakamaru Yuichi. The theme for the episode is Kokuhaku (confession, especially of love) as the episode is airing close to Valentine's Day.

The theme medley has various Juniors say love confessions, from the songs that they are covering in between them. Not sure if I am noticing it more because I am looking back at these episodes years after they aired but it looks like Yabu Kota and Yaotome Hikaru are getting separated more from their group to sing together than they have been recently. Yet that is mainly going off this episode so I could be over thinking things as having the two get much more screen time is not completely new.

We get A.B.C. covering Arashi's Wish in this medley so Kawai Fumito breaks out his Matsujun impersonation for it.

And I love seeing interactions between members of other groups, especially if they end up being in the same group down the road. But Hashimoto Ryosuke and Totsuka Shota are adorable here at the end.

The first MC segment has Morimoto Ryutaro, Nakajima Yuto and Chinen Yuri talking about things people may not have known about them. I really could not follow the first two but for Chinen he brought up that he actually entered Johnny's about three years ago. He is one of those cases where you will have a Junior enter but for whatever reason not be seen much until suddenly they start doing the usual Junior activities.

The next performance is of the Little Six who are later joined by JJE in a medley of songs. Could not help but notice that Chinen is without a mic so he is just back dancing for now.

Like with the last episode Yamashita Tomohisa gets introduced just to start off with a performance. This time though it is a solo medley for him. Or at least until the song, Fever to Future, when Kitty comes out to join him in singing that.

Then the medley ends with Koyama Keiichiro joining him to sing NEWS Nippon. Guess I have not mentioned it but with the 2006-2007 Johnny's Countdown concert it was announced that NEWS would be returning in 2007. Since this is the first episode recorded after the announcement it is the first with signs of that, not only from this song but you can see in the audience a few girls with a "NEWS Omedeto" (Congratulations NEWS) banner. It made me happy every time I saw it.

After the performance we get the MC segment with Yamapi. The topic is about confessions and Yamapi and Koyama are prompted to confess something to each other. I believe Yamapi brings up Koyama's eyes and Koyama talks about underwear.

This is followed by the game segment of the program. This one has Juniors, and Koyama, give love confessions based on a prompt. Yamapi gets to be the judge for it. It starts off slow but by the end you can tell the guys are just having fun with it.

Then we have a Ya-Ya-Yah medley of Just Wanna Lovin' You and Itoshi no Playgirl.

It is Junior ni Q time again, with Fujigaya Taisuke and Nakamaru again. While not all the Juniors called up are with the agency the theme allows for another Junior to be called over and for those that Junior still is. Like with Wesley being called over to talk about his corn rows.

Senga Kento is brought up to talk about Miyata Toshiya and his silly walk. Of course they have him show it off like the last time this was brought up but this time they try to get him to change his posture to see if it would change it to something more normal looking.

Then there is a little Morita Myuto who wanted to know about how another Junior had such big eyes.

Takaki Yuya is the last one brought up and he talked about admiring Nakamaru for being able to count well. Fujigaya and Nakamaru did not think it was a good enough answer to the theme so Takaki confesses to not being able to take a bath alone until he was thirteen, and until then bringing his little brother with him.

This ends with what is a first with Nakamaru introducing the next performance from the VTR.

And that performance is a Kis-My-Ft2 medley, starting with Fujigaya's solo song Maria, followed by Kitayama Hiromitsu's solo Chikara then the group performance of Inori. Out of all the songs released on the Kis-My-Zero CDs for the group I am most surprised that these solos have not been among them. It gives me hope that we could be getting one last disc of unreleased Kisumai songs as there a few others that have not been released on CD yet.

This is followed by a MC segment that reads a couple of letters from viewers that ask for advice about making confessions. Kitayama says he thinks it is best to be straight about it.

Nakamaru instead of doing a solo instead sings with the Juniors to cover the song Anniversary. I think one of the reasons Koyama and Nakamaru worked so well as hosts of this program is that they really cared about being good sempai, which meant making sure the Juniors had chances to shine and were willing to put them out front with them. I think a part of that came from the fact that they were Juniors that benefited from that kind of treatment from Takizawa Hideaki and naturally they were the kind of people that would take care of others.

The final song is gooood, which I hope is the last time we hear the song on the show. Putting aside my dislike for the song it does seem fitting for it to be performed on the final episode of the season. And I am happy to see that the older members of JJE are finally able to join the older Juniors for the final song at the end of filming.

This was a pretty solid season and I really look forward to the upcoming one. Partly because I do remember them better so I have an idea of what will be changed with the new season. Of course there is also the debut of Hey! Say! JUMP that will be coming up to throw things off but that is still a ways off.

23 April 2013

Yabu's 40 carats

Yabu Kota and Uekusa Katsuhide will be in the upcoming play 40 Carats that stars actress Daichi Mao. The play will run from September 2nd to the 15th in Tokyo then from September 18th to the 24th in Osaka. 

The play is an American play that was made into a Hollywood film of the same name. It is a love comedy about a 40 year old woman that on a vacation in Greece meets up with a younger man and they sleep together. She leaves for home in the U.S. then and discovers that the man her daughter is dating is the same guy she slept with.

From what I have read of the story for the play Yabu will be the young man and Uekusa the ex-husband of the main character. 

Overall I am just happy that Yabu is getting some work. And he does not have to be stuck in the youth image that Hey! Say! JUMP just cannot seem to shake. 

22 April 2013

Johnny's Under 100: Koyama Keiichiro

Koyama Keiichiro
Group: NEWS
Birthdate: May 1st, 1984

I am always surprised when I run into anyone who dislikes Koyama. I can understand being indifferent but to actually dislike the guy seems too far. Probably because he comes off as just being so nice and easy going, especially after seeing him interact with the Juniors as a past host of Shounen Club.

While he may not be a stand out member of NEWS he still is a vital member, as being the one willing to speak up and become the main MC for the group in the early days then just being the heart of the group.