29 June 2015

Kisumai GAME 28 April 2015 episode review

From the previews this episode looked like it was going to be fun purely based on the penalty game that they added to it. And it did not disappoint.

This episode's guest is former pro baseball pitcher Makihara Hiromi who was known as Mr. Perfect. I am certain I have seen him before so I am assuming he is a popular guest to get on variety programs.

Of course this episode will give no one on the Kis-My-Ft2 team any advantages as I doubt any of them were all that familiar with curling. This is curling with a twist though, as each stone has a food item on it and whatever is in the scoring circle at the end of a round gets mixed together in a drink that the Kisumai team all have to drink. Hence the game being dubbed "Mixed Juice Curling".

And to up the difficulty level (not that it's really needed) they are up against the women's curling team that competed in the Sochi Olympics. But on the other hand they seemed to be the ones informing the group of the various rules so it did make sense for them to be there other than to show off a bit.

It is a fun episode to watch and it seems to make as well as they even have announcers to go over the game as they play it. In fact they even get all professional looking with the name tags on the screen so it is obvious there was some extra care given to this episode.

Of course the highlight is getting to the end of the rounds and watching the reactions of the guys having to drink the concoction the end score created.

It is hard to pick a most entertaining moment this time around since there is plenty in this episode to make it interesting. Instead I will give Tamamori Yuta a nod for his issues with simply staying on his feet. While others may have slipped, and Kitayama Hiromitsu had a rather memorable fall himself, Tama definitely beat them all with how often he fell and this was a perfect pose and expression to sum up the outcome of the final play of the final round.

The next episode looks a bit iffy as they will be doing something with a magician that involves them wearing suits. I already wish we would have another episode of Mixed Juice Curling.

28 June 2015

June 2015 Idol News

I go over news items for the Japanese idol groups/acts that I follow. This month including:

Kis-My-Ft2

A.B.C-Z

Morning Musume '15

ANGERME

Country Girls

Natsuyaki Miyabi

Chu-Z

Little Glee Monster



Link to the J-pop Summit website: http://www.j-pop.com


26 June 2015

NEWS - Taiyo no Namida (8th single)

Limited Edition
The title track was the theme song for the movie Kurosagi, that Yamashita Tomohisa starred in. The movie was a sequel to the drama of the same name that Yamapi also starred in and released his solo debut single, Daite Senorita, as the theme song for it when the group was in hiatus.

Outside of that it was the basic single release from NEWS with only the two versions with the only difference being the CD jacket and different B-sides.

Regular Edition
Release date: 27 February, 2008

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Taiyo no Namida
2. Utsukushisugite Beautiful Eyes
3. Bambina
4. Taiyo no Namida (original karaoke)

Regular track listing:
1. Taiyo no Namida
2. Utsukushisugite Beautiful Eyes
3. Lady Spider

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

22 June 2015

Kisumai GAME 21 April 2015 episode review

A new episode to bring us a new challenge, though I am not certain if this one will make a come back. This time they are playing tag but against people who are mostly experts in various minor athletic fields.

The guest is former pro boxer Naito Daisuke. He proves to be a help for at least some of the rounds but even with his expertise some are just too one sided to be much help.

The first group rather helps set up what to expect for the rest of the episode with the guys, as groups of four each, go against three young women on unicycles. With just a warehouse room, which I think is the same as the one they used in the first episode, to run around in it is safe to guess who has the clear advantage.

There is then jump rope experts, only two but they are allowed to tag out with their jump ropes. Then it is a group of five firefighters. They only have to deal with four of them directly and those have to use their smoke masks and the procedures of being in a smoke filled building to chase the guys. The fifth member of that group got to be the leader and give orders.

It is then three speed walkers, all aiming to be in the next Olympics. Followed by two guys that apparently are really fast with walking with their hands and feet on the ground.

The final opponent is dubbed as the fastest in Asia with roller blades. I think it would have made this round much more interesting if Kis-My-Ft2 got to go against him with their roller skates.

The most entertaining moment goes to Nikaido Takashi sacrificing Kitayama Hiromitsu so he would not get tagged.

When I first heard this was going to be an episode with games of tag I was excited as it instantly reminded me of the epic Ya-Ya-Yah episodes that had the group members play tag. Of course they usually had a university campus to use and thus places to hide from the group looking for them but that just made it more interesting to watch. This really pales in comparison with it, but I think it may be partly because this show has an infotainment angle to it so they cannot go for pure entertainment. Though I could not see why they could not do something like that in an amusement park or such so they could advertise for that and give what will surely be an episode to watch.

That said it actually was not a bad episode. Since they never dealt too long on a group things had a nice quick pace to it and it was interesting to see how well the members did. In fact I would say Yokoo Wataru, Senga Kento and Nikaido really got to shine in this episode as being the ones that tended to do the best.

That said the episode looks like it will be fun if mostly for the batsu game tied to it.

19 June 2015

NEWS - pacific (2nd album)

Limited Edition
Being the second album for the group it has a couple of single tracks from before the group's hiatus, Sayaendo and Hadashi no Cinderella Boy. It is with this album that we start to get some songs that are not full group songs, as well as Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo getting solo songs on NEWS albums.

Yamapi's solo song on the album is Gomen ne Juliet and Ryo's is code, which he wrote himself. Koyama Keiichiro and Kato Shigeaki have two duets on the album, Alibi (with Tegoshi Yuya and Masuda Takahisa providing background vocals) and Chiraizumu. The song Ai Nante has the trio of Tegoshi, Ryo and Shige performing the song with Tegoshi as the lead vocalist. Then Nantoka Narusa had the other half of the group, Massu, Koyama and Yamapi with Massu as lead vocalist.

Change Your World had a commercial tie-in for a cram school and had been speculated on being a single when it first began to air.

The limited edition came with a 32-page photo book as its special feature. The regular edition has two tracks not on the limited edition.

Regular Edition
Release date: 7 November, 2007

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Ai no Matador
2. Sayaendo
3. TEPPEN
4. Change Your World
5. Kimi Omou Yoru
6. Alibi
7. code
8. Chiraizumu
9. Ai Nante
10. Nantoka Narusa
11. Gomen ne Juliet
12. Hadashi no Cinderella Boy
13. Hoshi o Mezashite

Regular track listing:
1. Ai no Matador
2. Sayaendo
3. TEPPEN
4. Change Your World
5. Kimi Omou Yoru
6. Alibi
7. code
8. Chiraizumu
9. Ai Nante
10. Nantoka Narusa
11. Gomen ne Juliet
12. Hadashi no Cinderella Boy
13. Hoshi o Mezashite
14. Mafuyu no Nagareboshi
15. Sono Egao Boku no Misete

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

15 June 2015

Kisumai GAME 14 April 2015 episode review

Another week and another episode review for this show. This episode was easily more fun to watch as the guys had to be more active in trying to clear it. The challenge was to play hide and seek with a drone.

This episode like the previous features a guest to work with the group in trying to clear the challenge. This time it is former soccer player Maezono Masakiyo.

The challenge is rather straight forward with a team of three having to hide in a classroom from a drone. The drone has to keep them in its sights for at least three seconds though before they are out. To pass the challenge they need to have at least one member of the team last a full five minutes.

While they figured out the key to winning the challenge early on actually getting it to work out was not easy. Especially when after three minutes they add a second drone into the mix.


Unlike the first challenge they have a set number of tries and once they are done with those they have to move on to the next level of the challenge. This takes them to a gym where they may have a larger area but they loose having much of any cover to hide behind. So it basically comes down to figuring out the blind spots for the drones, as they use two for the final two minutes again here, and speed.

Most entertaining moment of the episode definitely goes to when Nikaido slipped on the gym floor and managed to knock Miyata down with him.


Overall an entertaining episode that balances out the activity with the planning of a strategy to beat the challenge. Though still probably not the most engrossing TV program to be watching. After seeing the first three episodes I do get the feeling that this is part infomercial with how much time to dedicated to explaining and showing off the devices they are using in the episodes.

That said the next episode takes us to a new game and it looks like it will be fancy electronic device free, which shall be interesting to see what the guys are put up against.

12 June 2015

NEWS - weeeek (7th single)

Limited Edition
The lead track of the single was written by the Japanese rock band Greeeen. It was released on the same day as the group's second album, pacific, so the title track was not included on that album. The title track was a tie-in for RUSS-K clothing brand commercial. This is the start of the group being tied to the RUSS-K brand and having tie-ins with them.

With this single and the pacific album the group was able to top both the single and album chart for the same week at number one when they were released.

Regular Edition
Release date: 7 November, 2007

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. weeeek
2. with me
3. Why
4. weeeek (original karaoke)

Regular track listing:
1. weeeek
2. with me
3. Rainbow

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

08 June 2015

Kisumai GAME 07 April 2015 episode review

The second episode of the show continues the challenge from the first episode, but this time they have a guest to help them out. The guest for this episode is judo Olympic medalist Ogawa Naoya.

They have him go through the same process of trail and error that the group did with the previous episode but Ogawa does bring in some fresh ideas from his judo background.

Of course the fun for this challenge really seems to come from seeing all the ideas they come up with and some of the poses/faces they get stuck in when they have to be still for 10 seconds.

But in the end it was a great idea to bring in a guest that had ideas that seemed to really work with helping them reach the goal. Instead of the alternative of one there just to be there. But the freeze poses are still the best part of the challenge as everything else was a bit on the boring side.

Still the preview for the next episode looks promising with a more active challenge of having to play hide n'seek with a drone.

Nakayama Yuma's Got It!

Nakayama Yuma will be releasing a new single this summer to be released July 15th and it is titled, Tokoton Got It! It will be released in three different versions, one regular edition then two limited editions.

The first limited edition is a CD with DVD, the CD will have the title track as well as a B-side exclusive to the limited editions, Chokinbako. It will also have the karaoke versions of the two songs. The DVD will have the PV for the title track as well as the making of feature for it.


The second limited edition is the same as the first except for the contents of the DVD. It will have a PV and making of footage for the LE exclusive track, Chokinbako.


The regular edition then is only a CD. It will have the title track then three B-sides found only on the regular edition. The titles for those tracks are; Shining, Summer Buddies and Hoshikuzu Train.


The bundle for all three versions comes with a special bonus. The bonus is a pen stand shaped coin bank. Not sure what exactly that will look like, but I ordered the bundle so I will be getting it.



I was surprised to see this news this morning. I really was not expecting anything new from Yuma for a while. In fact I figured the next release for him would be a home video release from his first solo concert later in the year. So I am happy to see that I will not have to wait so long to get something new from him.

I ended up getting the bundle as it does have its own extra bonus, which sounds like something I will actually use, and since I can afford to get multiple versions again I want to do more of that for the Johnny's that I follow.

05 June 2015

NEWS - Hoshi o Mezashite (6th single)

Limited edition

After a hiatus that had Yamashita Tomohisa start releasing solo material and the creation of the Tegomass unit, it was announced at the 2006-2007 Johnny's Count Down that NEWS would begin group activities again with the six members it was left with before the hiatus.

Hoshi o Mezashite was the come back single and the title track did have a tie-in. The song was used as the theme song for the Japanese release of the movie Happy Feet, which Tegoshi Yuya had a role in the Japanese dub.

It is also the first NEWS single that has a version that comes with a DVD. The DVD though does not have the music video on it though, instead there is footage from their concert tour as well as making of footage for the jacket shooting for the single.

On a personal note this was the first NEWS release I ever purchased as it was a few months after this release that I got into the group.

Regular edition
Release date: 21 March, 2007

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Hoshi o Mezashite
2. Boom! Boom! POWER
3. Akai Hana

DVD track listing:
1. NEWS SPRING CONCERT TOUR 2006 in SENDAI
(Yume no Kazu Dake Ai ga Umareru, Hadashi no Cinderella Boy & Sayaendo)
2. Jacket shooting

Regular track listing:
1. Hoshi o Mezashite
2. Boom! Boom! POWER
3. Best Friend
4. Hoshi o Mezashite (original karaoke)

Group members: Yamashita Tomohisa, Nishikido Ryo, Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

Kis-My-World tracklisting

Kis-My-Ft2's Avex home page has updated with small previews of the jacket covers as well as the track listings for the group's upcoming album, Kis-My-World.

Starting with the track listing for the first CD that will be included in all the versions.

1. "4th" Overture
2. Brand New World
3. Kiss Damashii
4. Another Future
5. FOLLOW
6. Kimi ni Aeru kara
7. if
8. Wonderfall (Yokoo Wataru & Fujigaya Taisuke)*
9. BE LOVE (Tamamori Yuta & Miyata Toshiya)
10. Double Up (Nikaido Takashi & Senga Kento)
11. Akashi (Kitayama Hiromitsu & Fujigaya Taisuke)
12. Shake Body!!
13. Perfect World
14. Thank You Jan
15. KISS & PEACE

* Not too certain about the Romanization of this as with it written in hiragana and katakana I'm certain there is a pun in there I am missing.

The track listing for the live CD that comes with the LE A was up with the initial information so I won't repeat that. The DVD contents reveals that the album track that will be getting a PV is the lead track Brand New World.

The LE B has the tracks for the second CD that is included with it. The remix track listing is;

1. Everybody Go (remixed by Taku Takahashi)
2. SHE! HER! HER! (remixed by Wagakki Band)
3. Take Over (remixed by DJ Watarai)
4. Tell me why (remixed by TeddyLoid)
5. Unmei Girl (remixed by banvox)
6. Black & White (remixed by DJ Hasebe)
7. ETERNAL MIND (remixed by DJ'TEKINA//SOMETHING)
8. Kimi tono Kiseki (remixed by FPM)
9. Tanagokoro (remixed by Jazzin'park)
10. Daisuke Desu (remixed by DAISHI DANCE)
11. FIRE BEAT (remixed by DJ FUMI★YEAH!)
12. Inori (remixed by PandaBoY)
13. Ame (remixed by Avec Avec (Sugar's Campaign))

The DVD is basically the same content as what was already announced,

The RE of course will be the one CD but it will have two bonus tracks, Doki Doki de YEEEAAAHHH!! and Halley. I can only assume that second bonus track is connected to Halley's comet in some way or I have no clue about that title.

I am rather happy with the track listing for the remix album. Of course actually hearing the remixes will be the final judge of it but I do like it is not just single A-sides on it. I have liked the remixes I have heard from DAISHI DANCE so I look forward to that. Wagakki Band is an actual band and do a traditional Japanese/rock instrument fusion so I am very curious to how their track will work out. Outside of that I am not familiar with the rest but the blurb about the CD says some of the various styles will be EDM, Hip Hop and traditional Japanese music (I'm certain the last one is covered with Wagakki Band though).

Overall still excited for this release even though there will not be a lot of new group songs. But I do look forward to the special units and the bonus CDs.

04 June 2015

May 2015 Idol News

I do a run down of news items for the Japanese Idols I follow for the month of April. Those covered are:

Johnny's Jr. (SixTONES)

Nakayama Yuma

NEWS

Kis-My-Ft2

ANGERME

Chu-Z

Little Glee Monster


01 June 2015

Kisumai GAME 31 March 2015 episode review

I have been wanting to see this program since it was announced and since I found what looks like a reliable source for the episodes I am going to see about doing some reviews. I will be trying to keep these short so that way I can try to do one every week, especially since the program is only for a half hour block.

 One of the reasons I wanted to start watching this program was that with the focus being on games it should be easy to follow for those with limited Japanese knowledge. I was not wrong in that as it was quite easy to follow what was going on in the episode. I do wish everyone was in a track suit that matched their member color instead of some of them having their colors match while others not really at all.

For the first game they have to play against a state of the art motion detector in a game of what is known in the West and Red light - Green light. But basically when they are being faced by the camera they need to freeze until it turns away. If they move then they are out.

With the motion sensor and a 10 second time limit that they have to remain undetected by it this is far from an easy challenge and really has the guys having to use their heads to try to figure out ways to get as close as they can.

The first episode is just them playing this game and at times it does seem to drag a bit. But having the guys try different methods help liven things up and of course the teasing members get for what movement they did to get detected as well. Not a terrible first episode but I do look forward to moving past this game and onto something new. From the previews it will just be more of the same for the next episode, but this time they will have a special guest to help them out.