30 December 2015

Kisumai Magic 03 November 2015 episode review

Another magic episode and honestly I am looking forward to these now since they have been retooled.

The guest for this episode is novelist Hada Keisuke. He was more engaging than I thought he would be, as authors are not usually known for being out going. But he added some humor to the episode just as much as the guys of Kis-My-Ft2.


This time around there are two magicians that are competing on who can fool Kisumai and their guest the best with their tricks. There are three rounds, the first is for card tricks, then coin tricks then the final round the magicians are given a table with a variety of items they can pick from to use for their final trick.

With this episode it looks like Yokoo Wataru at least realizes that the tricks are just as much head games as they are slight of hand. He ends up being the MVP of the episode and at the end gets to do a simple card trick.

I never thought I would come to like the magician episodes but with the new series they found a way to make them more enjoyable. If only they could have done that with the other dreaded game.

The next episode brings back the search engine game so I am dreading that. I wish they would drop it if they cannot do anything new with it.

21 December 2015

Kisumai Magic 27 October 2015 episode review

This episode gives us something completely new as Kis-My-Ft2 and their guests have to guess if the child actors they are watching are reacting to something real or just acting.

The guests are Okubo Kayoko and Mitsuura Yasuko from Oasiz, who get to add some insight with being mothers.

Most of the rounds are set to have the child actors react to something that is hidden from view from the panel. The group is told what the child is supposed to be reacting to and they have to guess which one they are just acting for. If the majority get the answer correct they win the round.

The only difference to that is the final round where they have the child actor talking on a phone to someone who is supposed to be her father. Miyata Toshiya gets to ask a question for the girl to ask her dad and give an answer to it.

At the very end is easily the most entertaining portion as Nikaido Takashi is asked to show off his acting skills by having to eat a wasabi cake and do the usual "delicious" routine that is done with just about all variety programs.


It is not a bad game, as it is easy to play along with as a viewer. But I did not find it all that engaging or entertaining. It is still miles better than the previous episode and the kids are cute at least.

19 December 2015

Kisumai Magic 20 October 2015 episode review

I confess I have been dragging my feet when it comes to reviewing this episode. It sadly has had very little changed from when this game was played on Kisumai GAME and suffers just as much for it.

This is the search word game with Yahoo! and it is still as boring as it ever was. Matayoshi Naoki from Peace is the guest of the episode but does not supply much comedy in the episode.

Like usual the most interesting portion of the game are the VTR segments that star the show's AD. Because there is not way to make people guessing search words interesting.

The only real change is that for one of the searches they had a contest between the guys from Kis-My-Ft2 versus Matayoshi. Unfortunately it was far too little to make things engaging.

Miyata Toshiya gets to try to show off a bit when he recognizes the anime series Hibike Euphonium when it pops up during one of the searches. Which is a series I really need to get around to watching one of these days.


There is nothing that can save this game and it needs to be axed or completely overhauled like with the magician episodes. Thankfully the next episode will introduce a new game which should be much more interesting than this one was.

14 December 2015

Nakayama Yuma - YOLO moment LE B/RE single review

Limited Edition Type B
 Artist: Nakayama Yuma
Title: YOLO moment
Release date: 22 April 2015
Type: single
Version: Limited Edition B/Regular Edition

Regular Edition
Packaging: I love the covers for this single with the retro look going for them. And I am a sucker for CDs that are made to look like records, which all three that are in the two editions I have are.

The regular edition is the typical packaging from Johnny's Entertainment with a slim jewel case with no back jacket. The front jacket is a gate fold cover with simply the lyrics on a white background inside, though it does make use of the extra sides by having two additional photos of Yuma in the cover outfit.

Since the limited edition comes with a DVD as well it has both a front and back jacket. The back has images of Yuma on both sides of it. The front jacket is a smaller booklet than the regular edition with just the lyrics to the two tracks in it on the same plain white background. There is another image of Yuma so between the two editions there are plenty of photos to pick a favorite from.

Tracklisting:

1. YOLO moment
The title is rather hokey but I am more than willing to forgive it as the song is great. It's fun, really catchy and one of those songs that you want to just bounce around to. Or whistle, as that is used to good effect throughout the song. I am pretty sure this was Yuma's first time writing the lyrics for one of his songs and honestly while simple they work well with the song and since he uses YOLO for its original meaning of seizing the moment and not letting it pass you by and not the more recent meaning of excusing yourself to do whatever you want, it is not so cringe worthy. Instead it fits with all the other J-pop songs with "do your best" lyrics.

2.葉桜 (Hazakura)
The B-side exclusive to the limited editions of the single. A slow paced song that definitely fits as a B-side, as there is not much that stands out about it. It does have some moments though, like the instrumental build up right before reaching the chorus keeps it from becoming sleepy. Being a slower song though it does let Yuma's vocals shine more so it is nice to have paired with YOLO moment on a single to show off the two different sides of his music and that he can be versatile.

2.Friday Night ~こんなミライ~ (Friday Night ~Konna Mirai~)
The first of the three B-sides exclusive to the regular edition of the single. This fits very well with the title track as it is another fun pop song. Not nearly as strong as YOLO moment but still pretty solid. It is nice and upbeat and the chorus is a bit catchy, just not the ear worm the title track is. I do love the section that the instruments are dialed back to focus more on Yuma's vocals as it slows down which adds to the contrast to the chorus that it moves directly into after that.

3. VOICE
Things are slowed down with this song though not enough to put it quite into ballad territory. It does work well as a song to wind things down even more from the previous song. My favorite parts of the song is a section of the verses that have lyrics that must be sung rapidly. It makes the song stand out and helps with the build towards the chorus.

4.ネガイゴト (Negaigoto)
Now the regular edition reaches the ballad/ slow song for it. I love the chorus for this as it has such a nice build up to it from the soft start of the song and it just flourishes when it hits giving it an uplifting feeling. The dynamics of the music in this makes it an enjoyable listen and I prefer this slow song to Hazakura honestly.

(The limited edition also has the karaoke track for YOLO moment.)

DVD:

The fan event is broken into a few song performances and then talk portions, which is mostly Yuma just talking freely about various topics but he does have a laptop to share pictures of hanging out with other Johnny's with and some video of past performances, mostly PLAYZONE related.

The performances are strong and really let Yuma shine. Considering how long he has been performing and that he has been working as a soloist for a while now it is no surprise he looks quite comfortable on stage.

He does get some visitors from Johnny's, though unless one is familiar with the dance units they are not instantly recognizable. But they are Juniors that Yuma has a work history with and you can tell they get along well.

At the end we get to see him do the "high touch" for the fans as they leave then get some final thoughts from him after that was done.


Overall: After his debut album I was looking forward to Yuma's next single and this one definitely delivered what I was hoping for. All the songs are solid though some more than others, but none are something I would skip with a play through of it.

As someone who lives overseas going to a fan event is basically a pipe dream so it was nice to have that included for the bonus in the second limited edition. It felt more than worth it to get it as it was a good showcase of Yuma's performance level as well as how comfortable he has become being able to be on stage on his own and do a talk.

Really solid release all throughout and it just feels like a complete shame more people do not follow him.

08 December 2015

Kisumai Magic 13 October 2015 episode review

Back to a familiar game brought over from the previous series, Kisumai GAME. And with very little changed at all.



The set up it the same as before, Kis-My-Ft2 with the guest for the episode have to guess who the voice actor is with a series of questions and eventually asking to say quotes of who they think the character they voice might be. The guest for this episode is one half of the comedy duo Audrey, Kasuga Toshiaki.

There are four rounds to this and the first made me quite happy because it is one of the few voice actors that I know, mostly because of One Piece. The others had me stumped though I was familiar with the movie the last one was in, but it had been forever since I had watched it.

When it comes to showing the punishment for the wrong answers very little time was given to it. Though with four rounds it was not that surprising for them to have to rush through something.

It is brought up in this episode that Yokoo Wataru is a fan of Ghibli films, as he is called on by the other members of the group to help out with any voice actors that seem to have been featured in one.


I am glad they did not really change anything for this game. It works well as it is and the only worry would be running out of voice actors the guys would recognize. But all that aside these tend to be some of the more fun episodes as the voice actors tend to be brimming with personality and as long as you are familiar with the more mainstream anime series you can play along as well.

Next episode brings back the search engine game. I can only hope for that they decided to change something up or it is back to another bore of an episode.

02 December 2015

NEWS' light for 2016

NEWS is already set for their first release of 2016 with a new single announced. It will be a double A-side single titled Hikaru no Shizuku/Touch and it is set to be released January 20th. It will come in three editions, two limited editions and a regular edition. Each edition will come with a bonus clearfile for each version if you pre-order.

The Limited Edition Type A comes with a DVD that will have the PV and making of footage for the song Hikaru no Shizuku on it. It will only have the two title songs on the CD.


The Limited Edition Type B comes with a DVD that will have the PV and making of footage for the song Touch on it. It will also only have the two title songs on the CD.


The Regular Edition is just a CD but it will have B-sides on it, two new songs Hoshi no Tabibitotachi and whisper. There will also be the karaoke tracks for the A-sides on it.


And like usual there is a bundle of all three you can pre-order through CDJapan.



It seems weird for the group to have a song called "Touch" as that was the name of the group's debut album. But seeing as they did not have a song with the name on it is not too weird.

And I am overall pleased with what has been announced so far for the single. I liked Yonjushi but it did feel like a rip-off as there was little included that would not have been with a regular CD release yet the price for it was much higher.

That said there are now two recent songs for the group that are without a CD release, Sirius and ANTHEM. I fully expect that both will end up on the album that the group is bound to release in 2016. In fact after this single I expect that to be the next release from the group and it should be out in the Spring.

I am looking forward to that album already and I am glad that there is already a 2016 Johnny's release I can look forward to.

01 December 2015

The Shounen Club 03 June 2011 review

No your eyes do not deceive you, this is another Shounen Club episode review. I confess I fell behind with watching the program regularly when new episodes came out as well as dropping off with doing reviews for these earlier episodes. But with SixTONES becoming more of a regular feature in the program I have started back up and figured I should probably see about doing at least a couple more reviews before the end of the year. I am still hoping to at least review an episode a month, but I cannot make promises.

Onto the actual review now. The episode opens up with Morimoto Shintaro and B.I.Shadow leading a performance of the SMAP song Original Smile. We get to see the main Junior groups and groupings but the focus remains on Shintaro and BIS for most of it.

That is until the big name groups come out, which is all ten members of Hey! Say! JUMP, A.B.C-Z and Kis-My-Ft2. Or basically all the groups that were already debuted or debuted soon after.

It is odd now to look back and see HSJ with its original line up as now that it has been over four years it has been plenty of time to get used to them being only nine members. But Morimoto Ryutaro's scandal is just around the corner and I think this month is the final time he can be seen on the program.

HSJ are the hosts for the episode and they introduce the theme which is Warai (smile, laughter).

This is directly followed by the theme medley that features mostly the Juniors but some HSJ too. Like Chinen Yuri, Yamada Ryosuke and Arioka Daiki starting off performing Smile Song.

Most of the Junior performances are with mixed groups which is nice as that is something that makes the performances stand out a bit more. And for those on watch for little Juniors on their way to debut Sato Shori and Matsushima So get some good screen time during the medley.

The medley ends with a performance of the Morimoto brothers, Shintaro and Ryutaro, for what I am sure is the final time they are seen performing together on the program. According to the screen the song they perform is Maby Your Love. I somehow don't think that is quite right though.

Daiki, Yamada and Yabu Kota are the MCs for the first talk segment where they talk to various Juniors about times that made them smile. The Juniors they talked to are, Tanaka Juri, Kikuchi Fuma, Kawai Fumito and Matsushima So. Fuma talks about how Miyata Toshiya trying to look cool made him laugh, Juri had a story about his dog, So talked about the first concert he back danced for, and then Kawai had a story about talking to some fans who when asked who the liked answered with "Yamada".

B,I. Shadow then do a medley of songs, or basically the few group songs that they had. It was nice to see all four of them on stage from the start instead of it just starting with Nakajima Kento and Fuma with the other two coming in near the end.

It is then time for another talk segment and it is HSJ up this time. Inoo Kei gets to tell a story about Takaki Yuya and how child-like his excitement was. Then then go over a part of their new song, OVER, to explain it a bit for how the word is used in things like radio communication.

The group then performs the song. This will be the A-side to their final single as 10 as Ryutaro's scandal hit right before the release date. I rather like the song and it felt that HSJ was finally on their way to creating a more mature image for themselves. Who knew they would get stuck in this phase between cutesy and mature for so long?

After the performance is the Junior Nekketsu Battle, that HSJ members judge the four participating Juniors, Senga Kento, Goseki Koichi, Nakaken and Kawai. They all have to act out scenarios, most of them romatic but a few cover other topics, like Goseki having to act out a scene involving him being mistaken for another idol on the street.

After that wraps up A.B.C-Z perform a medley of their group songs. The medley actually only consists of two songs and the second one gives Question? some focus with them. But both are high energy songs that fit Ebi's style perfectly.

This is followed by a Junior ni Q segment where Juniors are asked to show off something that they have kept secret. Some of the answers to note is that Kochi Yugo talks about a story involving Matsumura Hokuto during a concert noting that the latter's fly was open as they were performing on stage.

That segment is followed by the Junior Youbin segment that has Nakaken, Yugo and Kawai reading fan letters. They start off with one that asks to learn more about Hagiya Keigo so he is brought out with a board of information to go over.

And that is all they have the time for as the segment ends you can see the audience getting up from their seats in preparation for the next performance. From the rise in volume from the cheers it is not surprising to see that Kis-My-Ft2 is up and they perform their group song Smile. The has Yokoo Wataru on the guitar and being a slow tempo song not a lot of movement in general for the performance.

It is not the final song of the episode as directly after it HSJ with a bunch of little Juniors come on stage to perform Bouken Rider.It is a remixed version of the song with more classicaly instruments used  and honestly i would have loved to have had this version find a way onto a CD. I doubt it will ever happen though.


With this and the next episode the shadow of HSJ losing a member looms. Especially with this episode where Ryutaro gets the chance to be highlighted a bit with his performance with his brother.

Getting past that it is an enjoyable episode of the program. There feels to be a good balance between HSJ and the Juniors. It's easy to tell which Juniors are the highest in the pecking order, Kisumai at the top but seeing as they are not long before their debut but Ebi and BIS not too far behind.

30 November 2015

Kisumai Magic 06 October 2015 episode review

So Kisumai GAME transitions into Kisumai Magic and seems to really have only changed in title and keeping to more low key games. Which of course means we continue on with magicians, but there are changes so it is not the same tired game.

Instead of simply tricking Kis-My-Ft2 and their guest we have a competition between returning magician Fujii Akira and a trio of young magicians he has to face in three rounds of competition.

The guys watch the trick then hold up one of three signs with their answer and each wrong answer awards the magician points.

The guest for this episode is judo practitioner Shinohara Shinichi. I do not see how magic tricks and judo mix but Shinohara proved to be a solid guest as he looks to be rather sharp. He even had a magic trick of his own to show off at the end.

There is no one member that stands out for this episode but there was an entertaining bit when they were discussing if the cameraman in their midst had a good view to be able to see through the tricks.


Honestly I am rather shocked that I ended up kinda liking this episode. The magician episodes in GAME were easily some of the most boring but all the changes they made really improved the enjoyment factor with Magic. The competition is far more engaging since there are actual clear winners and losers unlike previously where there did not seem to be much in the way of rules so it was hard to tell if anything was at stake. So far the change from GAME to Magic is looking to be a good one.

The next episode brings back the voice actor guessing game. I enjoyed these episodes with GAME and it does not look like they changed much so I am looking forward to this one.

29 November 2015

Johnny's WEST - Paripipo RE album review


Artist: Johnny's WEST
Title: Paripiro
Release date:  2015
Type: mini-album
Version: RE

Packaging: Seeing as the group is on the Johnny's Entertainment label the packaging is on the plain side. There is a front and back jacket with the front jacket being a part of the lyric booklet. The inside of the booklet is pretty plain with the lyrics on white with little stars spread over the page. At the very end there are small solo shots of all the members placed across two pages.

The dancing baby thing that looks to have become the group's mascot makes its debut here on the CD and behind it on the inside facing side of the back jacket. Honestly I could do without it as it just weirds me out. I do rather like the photos used for this release. They convey a lot of fun and energy, or basically a lot of what this group's image is. There are three group shots in total and the solo images I have already mentioned.

Tracks:

1. パリピポアンセム (Paripipo Anthem)
This song is a mess, which actually makes it a good song to sum up this album with. It starts off sounding like it wants to be another fun song like their A-sides tend to be but then add in conflicting elements, like the rap sections, and does several change ups that just do not flow together well. It is almost as if it wants to cover all the sounds of the other tracks on the mini album but seeing as those all do not go together it ends up with a mess as it does not seem to know what it wants to be.

2. Toxic Love
A more standard pop song and one of the stronger tracks on the album. It has a dance pop vibe to it and the chorus is catchy. I do not think I care too much for the first rap section as it grinds everything to a standstill though there definitely needed to be some kind of change up in the song at that part. That and the rap is better incorporated into the song going on from there. That said there is nothing overly stand out about the track though the chorus does help it stop from being forgettable.

3. キミコイ (Kimi Koi)
And this song is where the mini album begins to fall apart. Because after two very pop songs with a dance flavor we have this song. A jazzy big band sounding song that really only has the fact that it is an uptempo song in common with the song before it. Outside of that it is not a bad song at all though it does feel rather paint by numbers in making sure it has everything a song of this genre needs to have. It also lacks an interesting hook so outside of the genre it can be easily over looked.

4. SCARS
Then we get a slow tempo song that is nice enough on its own but is yet another jarring switch going from the previous song. And mostly because it is another genre switch as things go back to a more standard pop sound. And standard is a pretty good description of the song as while it is pleasant to listen to there is nothing to hook a listener in. By the time it moves to catch things up it is coming off as a bit dull, especially after repeat listens.

5. アカンLOVE ~純情愛やで~ (Akan LOVE ~Junjo Ai Yade~)
While this is another change up with this being an uptempo high energy song it does not seem too jarring compared to the previous two. Perhaps because it is not such a complete genre change as well. It is a nice way to wake you up again if SCARS was putting you to sleep. It reminds me of the kinds of songs that V6 used to sing during their early years in the early 00s. And not in a bad way at all. The chorus is nice and catchy and the driving beat throughout keeps it going and helps it transition through the change ups in the song.

6. Mambo de WEST!
This song brings the group back to the fun pop songs their A-sides have mostly been. Thankfully it does not sound much like those, which is probably mostly in thanks to the fact they needed to have a mambo sound to it somewhere to live up to the song name. But it is still quite a bit of fun listening to and a nice bright spot on this album.

I had forgotten that this was the first bonus track for the regular edition as it is a nice fit and honestly would have been good to end the album with.

7. PARTY MANIACS
The second bonus track of the regular edition and the one that feels like it was just tacked onto the end of the album because they had no idea where else to put it. This song would have fit much better at the start of the album with the other dance-pop songs and is just jarring at the end where it does not sound like any of the songs near it. Unlike Toxic Love that is more a pop song with dance influence this is more of a full on dance song with an edge to it that the rest of the songs do not have. In fact it feels like a song that Kis-My-Ft2 might have passed on for one of their releases. It is not a bad song but feels out of place with most of the album having it placed at the end as it is.


Overall: This is the release that finally lost me with Johnny's WEST. It is as much a mess as its lead track and is another sign that management has little idea of what to make of the group. I dropped getting Hey! Say! JUMP releases because they have become directionless and with each new release JWest seems to have already facing the same issue. It is like all management knows is that they want them to be like Kanjani8 because they are also from Kansai but without the band element. And it is frustrating as the group has a lot of promise but it is just going to be squandered if they are not given more than that.

For the release itself the few songs I liked just is not enough anymore to keep me interested in what the group is releasing. Though I do think this could have been put together much better if someone wanted to give it a little more effort. Like if Toxic Love was switched with Mambo de WEST! the mini album would have flowed so much better. And it would hardly be the first time bonus tracks were inserted in the middle of an album track list for the group as their debut album did so. Which makes it infuriating that the producer of this album did not think of doing something so simple.

One of the nice things about this mini-album is that at least the songs do not sound like clones of what they have released before. Unfortunately the general lack of cohesion of the tracks really drags it down.

24 November 2015

Kisumai GAME 29 September 2015 episode review

The final episode of the show before it was changed to Kisumai Magic. And it ends with a magic episode, which I feel is a great let down. I would have much preferred another drone or sport related game for it. That said this was another okay episode with the magic tricks.

There are a few major changes to the format outside of where they filmed it. They have a studio audience behind them and instead of just the three that are a part of the trick all the members of the group get to guess who has the handkerchief at the end.

The first round is with the magician Motti, who is one of the returning magicians for the show. While he did the usual pocket checks with the other two he had rather interesting instructions for Senga Kento. Senga just cannot seem to win in these magician episodes.

Next is another familiar face for those watching the show, Dr. Leon. His trick unfortunately was very similar to one that had been used in the previous episode so that was a bit of a let down.

The third and final round goes to new faces, a magician duo that is called Napoleons. Their hint was basically the same as the rest, that you need to look for differences in how they do the trick.

Yokoo Wataru definitely wins for having the most interesting moment for being a complete troll for the reveal at the end of the trick. In fact overall he seemed to be rather on point in the episode and looked to be having fun.


I am so glad they made sure to try new things with the magician episodes so it was not too grueling to get through so many of them. It is still disappointing that the show could not have had one of the more fun and active games to end off with. But I guess that in the end it had to come down to budgeting issues as these late night programs do not get much of one to run on.

Since Kisumai Magic looks to have more of the same episodes as Kisumai GAME I will be going ahead and reviewing those episodes. So next week will be a review of the first episode of that.

Taguchi deguchi

This is honestly the hardest post I have written for this blog. To try to make it easier I am going to try looking at everything known so far and give my thoughts subject by subject.

The Announcement

Taguchi Junnosuke has announced that he will be leaving not only KAT-TUN but also Johnny's & Associates. The exact date is not known but it is planned to be sometime in the Spring of next year. He mentioned something along the lines that as he was turning 30 soon he has felt that he was not satisfied with his life and wanted to change that.

The Speculation

It has been a well known fact with fans of the group that Junno has had a long term girlfriend so plenty are speculating that at least part of his reason for leaving is to get married and start a family. Something being an idol makes hard to do. Though I think it is more than that, though I would not be shocked to hear about getting married within the next year.

He was never one of the members of the group that got much of a push or that much solo work. So wanting to strike out on his own is understandable. I can see him doing more with being a dancer as that was always something that seemed to be his forte.

Considering how he got to announce his leaving, the fact that he will still have months with the group before he does and the messages from other members of the group have given I would saw that this is something Junno really wants. And it is nice to see someone leave the agency amicably for a change.

The Location

I did find it odd for this announcement to happen on a program like Best Artist. It was awkward and did feel like an attention grab. I cannot help but wonder if management told the Junno to do it there so they could get extra buzz from it. Of course the group looked to be well aware of things though still distraught as there was no turning back from this.

That said this was still the best leaving announcement that Johnny's has had anyone give as most of the time such things come with a scandal attached. But since there seems to be none here they look to be trying to do things properly, or maybe at least in a way to give the group a boost before losing yet another member.

KAT-TUN's Future

Since Junno is not immediately leaving the chances of him getting an actual send off of sorts seems like a real possibility. Certainly one final concert with the group and since the members have brought up their 10th debut anniversary on March 22nd I have the feeling that is a part of the reason why he is staying until Spring of the next year.

That said with KAT-TUN down to three members it does cast doubt on the survival of the group. If it breaks up I can see Kamenashi Kazuya and Nakamaru Yuichi staying on with the agency as they have work through them. Ueda Tatsuya I would worry about staying on as he is not nearly as busy and seems like he may want to give being a musician without the idol hangups a go. But that is if they do not decide to continue as a trio. I do think as long as the members want to the agency will keep the group going.

Personal Thoughts

My heart is broken. I may have never been a big KAT-TUN fan but I did enjoy the group and was an active fan for few years. The first Johnny's concert I ever went to was one of the Tokyo Dome concerts for their Break the Records shows. From the get go Junno was my favorite member and seeing him perform live and see him show that he cared about trying to interact with the fans, he was the only one I could see looking at the higher levels consistently and even tried to get a sign board up to the higher levels, only made me a bigger fan.

Even when I stopped being a KAT-TUN fan I never stopped being a Junno fan. I kept up with the group passively just in case of news about him and gladly purchased the Face to Face single to get his solo song and PV.

The selfish fan part of me does not want him to leave and just wants him to change his mind and stay, if not with KAT-TUN at least with Johnny's. I know he is not going to disappear once he leaves but I do not want this change.

But that selfishness does not rule what kind of fan I am. I will be happy for him and support him with my well wishes for whatever he decides to do with his life. He has already given about half of it so far to being in the entertainment industry and my fond memories are not going to disappear when he leaves the agency. And at least I have the time to prepare myself for his departure, something so few fans get when someone leaves Johnny's. I wish I could see him perform once more with KAT-TUN, but that would be impossible for me. Instead I am just going to hope they do a final concert and it gets a home video release I can purchase.

I have cried a little and each time I think about this I get teary eyed. Until the end I want to support Junno, so until then it is still Iriguchi, Deguchi, Taguchi.

22 November 2015

Kis-My-Ft2 - Kiss Damashii RE single review


Artist: Kis-My-Ft2
Title: Kiss Damashii
Release date:  25 March 2015
Type: single
Version: RE

Packaging: Like with all recent Kis-My-Ft2 releases the packaging is really nice. It comes with a slip cover and the jewel case it covers is definitely of a higher standard that the usual ones used for CD releases. I don't care for the lips with headphones logo used on this, but I do not hate it either. Plus I do like the fact that they are using member colors throughout this, which the logo is mostly used for. Any cover that shows all the members equally is a big plus for me. And not only does the cover do that but it actually spreads out KiFT a bit so the usual split is not really noticeable. The booklet has two group photos then individual photos. As a nice touch the individual photos all use the colors of the members as the background.

Tracks:

1. Kiss魂 (Kiss Damashii)
What jumps out at me each time I listen to this song is the fact that it sounds so much like like a song they already released, Unmei Girl. While there are differences they are just enough alike that it gives me pause each time I listen to Kiss Damashii as I just think about how similar it is. Especially the "Come on" lines as that was something that stands out in my mind when I think of Unmei Girl so having it used in this song in the same way just bothers me.

2. Shake Body!!
While the chorus sounds a bit like another song of the group's, everything else is enough of a break away from what they have done it is forgivable. Or at least not as obvious and easier to enjoy the song. I do like how the rap parts are incorporated into the song, as it works quite well. There are several parts of the song that seem to switch to a bit of a different sound but nothing that strays too far to make it sound out of place. A fun dance pop song for the group and could have easily been the A-side.

3. サクラヒラリ (Sakura Hirari)
A slow tempo song that breaks away from the other songs on the single. The song overall just has this "chill" factor to it and is just relaxing listening to. It is quite the switch from the previous two songs but works to balance the single out. I enjoy the fact that this is more lax with the instrumentals so the voices are put front and center.

4. Past & Future
I really like this B-side with how it builds from the versus into the chorus. It gives it a dramatic feeling to it, especially once it hits the chorus. It is on the slower side of things, though not as slow as Sakura Hirari. More like the verses are slow with the chorus picking the tempo up a bit. And while it does nothing overly impressive with the song it never lets things overstay their welcome and makes the needed change ups to keep it sounding fresh.


Overall:
The B-sides are easily the strongest tracks as the title track does feel like it is just another take on a song they already have released. The rest have enough to keep them apart from previous releases while still keeping to the style of songs that Kisumai do.

The single is a good example of Kisumai's style of music though and is pretty solid. Again the enjoyment of the A-side is really only hampered by the fact that it sounds so similar to Unmei Girl. But if you have not heard that song then there will be a greater chance of enjoying Kiss Damashii as it is a fun energetic pop tune.

16 November 2015

Kisumai GAME 22 September 2015 episode review

It is magicians again but they do change things up by having a competition between three acts.

Chris Matsumura returns as a guest for this episode, and he remains my favorite guest. He is perfect for the first round to have with Fujigaya Taisuke and Miyata Toshiya as they all have very different reactions to the magician duo they are to deal with.

But the first round is the magician duo act . While it was hard to get through their act, mostly from the put on cutesy voices they use for it, the annoyance factor probably helps them out. Though it is amusing to see Fujigaya just laugh at them for it, Miyata enjoy it and Chris look like he was wishing to be anywhere else.

The second round has a magician that gets the ikemen label tagged on him. He is the most subdued of the lot so not a lot of fun moments.

The third is not only a magician but is also a comedian. He gives his tricks a good amount of flash with a touch of the perverted, though nothing that would be too objectionable.

Senga Kento has the most interesting moment when he has his usual freak out when it comes to magic tricks. Though this one is for a different reason than what it usually is.

Overall for a magician episode it was not so bad. It probably helped a lot of have each round have a new magician act. Also having two that were pretty memorable with their showmanship helped as well.


The next episode is the final episode of Kisumai GAME and then it switches titles to Kisumai Magic. While the final episode is a return of magicians it is at a different location, in fact it looks like the same stage as the TEGIWA special that gets advertised with these later Kisumai GAME episodes.