30 November 2014

Johnny's add to Kohaku's line-up

The line-up for this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen has been announced and while we see the return of the familiar faces for Johnny's there is a new addition from the agency as well. And it is probably not a group that many would have guessed, V6.

Arama! Japan link (English)

Looking at things and the solo activities of the members of V6 it actually does make sense for them to be selected to be on the program this year. I believe four of the six members of the group are doing something in connection to NHK, the station that hosts the event. So there is plenty of reasons for the group to have been on their radar this year.

Also with AKS adding another one of their related groups this year, HKT48, I find it hard to fault Johnny's for getting another one of their groups on the program. Like it or not there are not really any agencies with male idol groups that are popular enough to be selected for a Kohaku invite.

This of course begs the question about what is going on with the Johnny's Countdown concert this year. The only group to have a countdown concert venue booked is KAT-TUN over in Osaka, like they had last year. Kinki Kids have concerts at the Tokyo Dome around the New Year's date but not on it unlike usual. And it is getting rather late to announce a concert for December 31st. I cannot imagine there not being a JCD this year and hope there will be some news for it soon.

22 November 2014

J-drama needs

Recently international fans have been dealt a blow when it comes to watching J-dramas with D-Addicts closing their torrents page. This was one of the main places to go for getting videos of J-dramas for many years and like many I am at a loss to where to go to find the dramas I want to watch.

One small light in the darkness is the fact that Fuji TV has a deal with Crunchyroll for its dramas. The selection so far is small but it is growing and it is an actual legal way to watch J-dramas for those who live outside of Japan. (Though for those in Asian countries there seems to be about a 6 month wait added to the dramas it is streaming.) But I hope that this will do well that we keep getting more dramas added from Fuji TV's backlog and perhaps have other Japanese TV stations start having their dramas streamed on the site. And since they have J-dramas up there that have Johnny's in it, including the latest season of HERO starring Kimura Takuya, I believe it should be no problem to get those added.

I do wish they would separate their dramas by country of origin though. It would make it much easier to find what J-dramas they have. But for anyone interested in checking out what they have here is a link: http://www.crunchyroll.com/videos/drama

But until then all the other J-dramas I am stuck with only the hope of being able to eventually find a source for them. It is frustrating because if there was a legal way to watch them I would. In fact for the ones I am interested in that are on CR I am doing just that. So I hope eventually Japanese companies realize that there are plenty of viewers beyond there shores that want to watch their programs and give us ways to do so to make us all happy.

21 November 2014


Kis-My-Ft2 will have all their previous concert DVDs re-released on Blu Ray on January 7th. From the product listings these are basically the regular editions of those, as each will only have one version. But there will be extra footage on all of them not included in the DVD releases, which will be the MC segments from these concerts. So for a die-hard Kisumai fan these are going to be a must buy.

Personally I am just happy to see Blu Ray releases of the concerts in general. But that is personal preference for the format. And it is nice to see them including the MC segments, as those are usually a strong point for Johnny's concerts so it is always disappointing to see them excluded in a release. Though I have no doubt they are being included in this release just to give fans a reason to buy these.

And since I do not have a lot of money right now only having the one version for these re-releases is not so disappointing as I can hopefully be able to get them all eventually. I skip the Kis-My-Mint tour though as I did get the DVD version of that. The rest are going on my ever growing list of CD/DVD/BD J-pop releases I have going.

18 November 2014

NEWS and Princess Kaguya

It has been announced that NEWS will be releasing a new single on January 7th of 2015. It is titled KAGUYA after the character Princess Kaguya from Japanese folklore. It will come in three different editions with a clear file being the first press bonus for each version.

The first limited edition is the standard CD with DVD. It will have the title track and a still untitled B-side on the CD and the DVD will have the music video for the title track as well as making of footage.

The second limited edition is just a CD that has the same two tracks as the first LE but also an exclusive B-side not on the other versions. It will also have a set of four cards.

The regular edition is the usual CD with the same two tracks on the other versions but will have two other B-sides that will not be included in the other versions. It will also have a karaoke track for the title song.

And of course there is a bundle version that you can get from CDJapan if you want to get all three versions and it will include everything the individual CDs have.

I am so happy that NEWS will be releasing something in the near future. It is near impossible to figure out when the group will release something next, except that they will at least have a new song for soccer season. But I do hope this means we will be getting a new album from the group sometime in 2015.

In any case I am glad I have held off making my next CDJapan order as I can add this to it when I get paid this week and get a good lump of Johnny's goodness all at once to start the 2015 right.

07 November 2014

Kis-My-Thank You!

As I had assumed we are indeed getting a new Kis-My-Ft2 single before the end of the year. On December 24th Kisumai will release their single Thank you Jan! and it will come in three versions.

The limited version type A will come with a CD and a DVD. The CD will have two tracks, the title track and a coupling song titled Kimi ni Aeru kara. The DVD will have the PV for the title track then something called a member instruction video (I assume this is probably to learn the dance or the movements for the song for a concert) and other bonus footage.

The limited version type B will also come with a CD and a DVD. The CD contents are the same. The DVD will have another version of the title track PV, this one with a multi-angle feature. It will also have footage from the jacket shooting and the making of.

The regular edition will simply be a CD. The CD will have the two tracks on the LE versions as well as two bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are still untitled at the moment. If you get the first press version of the single then there will also be a photo booklet and a sleeve for the CD.

CDJapan like usual has a bundle option for those who want to pick up all three versions of the single.

I am so glad to finally have this announcement. I had been waiting for it as I want to get this single with Nakayama Yuma's upcoming album. Of course with that release date it is going to be quite some wait for that album but I have the feeling that it will be worth it. That and I really cannot afford to do otherwise.

Also it will be nice to see Kisumai performing something new on all the end of year programs. And the multi-angle PV sounds like it could be interesting. If I had the money I would definitely be picking that edition up as well.

06 November 2014

Thoughts on Kiriyama Akito's 10000 word interview

Johnny's WEST is the current debuted Johnny's group doing the 10000 word interview feature in Myojo magazine and Kiriyama Akito is the first one out. Thankfully someone has been kind enough to translate it into English for the English speaking fandom and I would recommend checking it out.

That said I found it rather interesting in not only getting to know Akito a bit better but also more of the story behind the group's debut. The narrative that was given for how the group went from four to seven was just that the four basically just asked that it be the seven of them instead. With the interview we get more to the story and Akito brings up that whether or not the group would be four or seven had been up for debate with management for awhile before the debut announcement. So when the four asked to have the other added it was something that had been considered before and if anything the request of the four just pushed things towards going with seven in the end.

I find this important as it can be assumed that despite what fans may think Johnny's just does not do something just for the hell of it. I doubt the request for a seven member JW would have worked out if management had not considered it before. Of course it still took the four having to make the request to make it happen so I do not think that takes away from the show of the strength of the bonds the seven had pre-debut.

The other thing that really stuck out to me was how serious Akito was about the opportunities he was given also being a chance for him to help raise the profile of the Kansai Juniors. I was always happy to see him and Nakama Junta as the Kanjuu leaders on Shounen Club bringing Kanjuu over to get some screen time in there segments, and now those make so much sense. I feel rather disappointed that we do not get those anymore as I am certain Akito would still love to support the Kanjuu in that way. I really do not think there could be a better host for Shounen Club now, though it would probably help if there were more Juniors he could help promote on the show.

My love for Akito has definitely gone up reading this and I really hope that the rest of this series will get translated so I can get to know all the members of JW better and see what their views on these things are.