28 August 2015

NEWS - Chankapaana (14th single)

Regular edition
The first single for the group as a quartet, which is also their current line up. It is also the first NEWS single that came with the music video of the title track and making of footage which was all included in the box set limited edition.

This is also the first release that Johnny's began to make bundle editions for releases with a special bundle that had not only the individual member versions of the single included but also a DVD that had the music video and making of footage. Each member version of the limited edition came with a new solo song for the four remaining members as the B-side.

The B-side for the regular edition was included in the following studio album for the group, NEWS.

Limited editon

Release date: 18 July, 2012

Versions: Limited (N, E,W, S, box set), Regular

Limited N track listing:
1. Chankapaana
2. Starry (Koyama Keiichiro solo)
3. Starry (original karaoke)

Limited E track listing:
1. Chankapaana
2. Vampire wa Kakukatariki (Kato Shigeaki solo)
3. Vampire wa Kakukatariki (original karaoke)

Limited W track listing:
1. Chankapaana
2. PeekaBoo... (Masuda Takahisa solo)
3. PeekaBoo... (original karaoke)

Limited S track listing:
1. Chankapaana
2. Addict (Tegoshi Yuya solo)
3. Addict (original karaoke)

Regular track listing:
1. Chankapaana
2. Full Swing
3. Chankapaana (original karaoke)
4. Full Swing (original karaoke)

Group members: Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

24 August 2015

Kisumai GAME 23 June 2015 episode review

We have another drone episode and another change of scenery for it.

The guys have a furniture store to run around and find hiding spots in this time as they try not to be caught by drones. Like the last time they did this they have challenges to find and perform to earn prizes if they make it through the round. The guest this time is former soccer player Iwamoto Teruo.

A new type of drone is added to the mix. So they end up having to deal with both air and land based drones which definitely bumps up the challenge level as there are less safe zones for them.

We get a bit of a break from the game for Iwamoto to pair up the top three soccer players I believe from the Barcelona team with Kis-My-Ft2 members, at least in name. From this they do make the three a team to go against the drones so it is a nice break just to segue back into things.

I did not feel like anyone really stood out as being much more interesting than the rest though the MSN team was set up nicely and was a bit of fun for the episode.

With the new format from the previous time they did this these continue to be fun episodes to watch. Drone episodes are definitely ones I look forward to because of that.

The next episodes takes us back to magicians again so I am cautious about it as it really seems to fall on how good the magician is as a showman on how interesting the episode is.

23 August 2015

Kinpuri vs. SixTONES and debut

It has been four years since the debut of Sexy Zone, and being a FIVB group it would usually mean we would be looking at a new group to debut with this year's FIVB tournament. Though that does not look like it will happen like usual as the tournament was moved up and Sexy Zone are once more the special supporters for it. That said it does seem like Johnny's may be gearing up for a late 2015 group debut anyway.

If I were to pick any of the current Johnny's groups I would actually select Kinpuri as the one being set up for a debut this early. They look to fit the image of being a young group with fresh looking faces and more on the cute side. Personally the group does not interest me much but I do recognize there are some talented members that could do well in a debuted group.

Also with the pushing they have been getting recently, like a Music Station performance, it looks like they are being set up for something. Only time will tell if it will be a debut or not.

I love SixTONES, no lie about that. They are the main reason I am still keeping any kind of tabs on the Juniors these days honestly. But I have followed Johnny's long enough to recognize the kind of group they seem to be shaping into and it will not be the one to debut in the near future. They seem to be more likely to be a KAT-TUN/Kis-My-Ft2 where they will spend years as a Junior group before the debut after being built up for it over time. Also once all the members are 20 so there is no worry about underage drinking/smoking scandals or not having a member be able to take on the heavy workload they will need to do to get themselves established in their first few years.

At this point Johnny's has a lot of groups and it seems like it is getting harder for the newer ones to stand out. Kisumai was lucky that they got to be attached to SMAP so soon after debut and gain interest with interactions with them. Hey! Say! JUMP seem to be set to try to copy that formula a bit with them interacting with Arashi much more than they used to. Sexy Zone, I would consider to be a mess with what is going on with their members. So who knows how they will do in the future, but at least they are young enough and selling well enough to stick around. A.B.C-Z seems to be a bit of an experiment as Johnny Kitagawa just could not tell the group 'no' when they asked to debut. Thankfully they seem to have the drive and love for the group to keep things going for them. Nakayama Yuma is a favorite of Johnny so he can count on sticking around just off of that. And perhaps the fact that he is their only recent solo act that does not seem intent to get into trouble. Johnny's WEST right now is stuck with being Kanjani8 2.0, so I do not think many are really giving them the chance they need. On the other hand management seems to be incredibly lazy with the group so there is not much there than the fact they have younger guys in their group.

Any new group is going to have to fight an uphill battle or be very lucky to find their place in this mess. Especially as this is just looking at the newer groups and none of the older groups that are still around and active. So any group that debuts better be willing to fight for any chance they can get to make an impression on the general audience or they could easily be drowned out by the rest already out there.

21 August 2015

NEWS - NEWS BEST (1st compilation album)

Limited edition
After a rather active year for NEWS in 2010 the following year was quiet until near the end of the year when it was announced the group would be losing members. At this time it was becoming apparent that trying to share Nishikido Ryo was not working out as Kanjani8's popularity was booming which was a big part of why NEWS was so inactive in 2011. So Ryo decided to leave NEWS and be exclusively a member of Kanjani8. Yamashita Tomohisa at this time decided to go solo and announcements for both decisions were released together.

The remaining four members when discussing the future of the group decided to continue as four, with the feeling that after making fans wait so long for the group's return it would not feel right to end it then.

The booklet for the release has all the jacket covers for the singles, including the ones with Uchi Hiroki and Kusano Hironori who left after scandals, but not for the very first single NEWS Nippon, which would have included the first member of the group to leave, Moriuchi Takahiro.

The highlight of this release was easily the inclusion of the solo songs for the remaining four members of the group. They had never been released before on a CD and none of the four ever had solo tracks on any of the group's previous releases. This was included in the limited edition of the album.

The regular edition also had a 2nd CD with the tracks on that one being songs that fans of the group voted for.

Regular edition
Release date: 13 June, 2012

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. NEWS Nippon
2. Kibou ~Yell~
3. Akaku Moyuru Taiyo
4. Cherish
5. TEPPEN
6. Sayaendo
7. Hadashi no Cinderella Boy
8. Hoshi o Mezashite
9. weeeek
10. Taiyo no Namida
11. SUMMER TIME
12. Happy Birthday
13. Koi no ABO
14. Sakura Girl
15. Fighting Man

2nd CD:

1. Love Addiction (Koyama Keiichiro)
2. Private Hearts (Koyama Keiichiro)
3. Uri Sarang (Koyama Keiichiro)
4. Akatsuki (Masuda Takahisa)
5. Pumpkin (Masuda Takahisa)
6. SUPERMAN (Masuda Takahisa)
7. HAPPY MUSIC (Kato Shigeaki)
8. Kakao (Kato Shigeaki)
9. Shalala Tambourine (Kato Shigeaki)
10. Gomibako (Tegoshi Yuya)
11. Stars (Tegoshi Yuya)
12. Ai Nante (Tegoshi Yuya)

Regular track listing:
1. NEWS Nippon
2. Kibou ~Yell~
3. Akaku Moyuru Taiyo
4. Cherish
5. TEPPEN
6. Sayaendo
7. Hadashi no Cinderella Boy
8. Hoshi o Mezashite
9. weeeek
10. Taiyo no Namida
11. SUMMER TIME
12. Happy Birthday
13. Koi no ABO
14. Sakura Girl
15. Fighting Man

2nd CD:

1. Endless Summer
2. Share
3. I ZA NA I ZU KI
4. SNOW EXPRESS
5. DREAMS
6. FLY AGAIN
7. Smile Maker
8. Forever
9. Bambina
10. Kirameki no Kanata e
11. Yume no Kazu Dake Ai ga Umareru
12. Futari/130000000 no Kiseki
13. Mafuyu no Nagareboshi
14. Cherish (Ryoji remix)
15. Towairo no Koi


Group members: Koyama Keiichiro, Kato Shigeaki, Masuda Takahisa, Tegoshi Yuya

19 August 2015

A.B.C-Z Moonlight Walking

A.B.C-Z will finally have their debut single CD released this year! It will come out on September 30th and will have four versions, three limited editions and a regular edition, plus five editions that are only available online if you have a Japanese address. The title of the single will be Moonlight Walker.

The Limited edition type A will come with a DVD that will just have the music video for the title track on it. It will have the title track and a B-side titled, Smiling Again.


The Limited edition type B will come with a DVD that will just have the making of footage from the music video of the title track. It will have the title track and a B-side titled, Love Letter.


The Limited edition type C will come with a DVD that has documentary type footage for the making of the single. It will have the title track and a B-side titled, Rock Your World, that will not be on any of the other versions of the single.


The Regular edition is just the CD but the first press release of it will come with one of five trading cards, each one featuring a member of the group. It has the title track, the two B-sides on the first two LEs (Smiling Again and Love Letter) and a bonus B-side which is a medley of the DVD single songs the group has released. It also has karaoke tracks for the first three songs.



Since the single is coming out on the same day the next Nogizaka46 single, as well as a new E-Girls single, comes out it is probably safe to say that they are not aiming for this to top the charts. With any luck they will get in the top three or five for the first week sales with the multiple versions.

I have to say I have never cared for the way that Pony Canyon splits the LEs up. It just seems really lazy as the other groups on other record labels would have put what is on the type A & B on own disc and had something else for the second LE version, like another PV or something.

That said it is interesting to see the group switch over to having CD singles instead of sticking with the DVD singles but they have been around for over three years now since their debut so changing things up does not seem surprising. They have been a rather unique group so it is interesting to see how Johnny's handles them and how they do in the long run.

17 August 2015

Kisumai GAME 16 June 2015 episode review

We have the return of the guessing game with voice actors with some slight changes from the original format.

Guest is voice actress Nakagawa Shouko. The group has to guess who she is but are able to do so easily once she brings up her cats.

While the questions start off being about the voice actor the groups no longer has to wait for the next round to start requesting lines. This episode has a couple of voice actors from Studio Ghibli movies so fans of those may be interested in this one. But like the previous episode the roles are all ones that even those not really into anime are meant to be able to recognize as most are only familiar with the shows/movies they grew up with.

An added feature with the episode is that most of the voice actors got a chance to play in character at the end. One got to use two of her characters while two others played out a scene of a unlikely crossover.

While they still have the punishment of getting hit with the wooden stick if they guess wrong it does look like they made sure to lighten that up a bit. Partly with there being less rounds and it doesn't look like they are being hit as hard. I want to say they also changed the stick as well to something flatter so the blows are more dispersed and would not hurt as much. So no awkward moments where someone looks to be in quite a bit of pain like last time they did this.

I think I just might have to give Miyata Toshiya the most interesting label for this, even though most everyone was pretty good at giving reactions for either knowing or not knowing who the voice actor's character was. And that is because Miyata actually showed more of his otaku side this time with his reaction to the first voice actress and his line request after they figured out her character.


The next episode brings back the drones for more hide and seek. It looks like it will be the same format as the previous one but in a different location. So that should be fun.

14 August 2015

NEWS - Fighting Man (13th single)

Limited edition
Things looked really up in 2010 for NEWS with the amount of releases they were coming out with compared to previous years. I doubt anyone would have guessed this would have been the final single for the group as a six member unit.

During the time between this release and the next, a best album, the group will lose Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo as members. Yamapi left for a solo career while Ryo decided that being a part of both NEWS and Kanjani8 was not doing either group favors and decided to stick with just being a member of Kanjani8.

The only album the single was ever released on was the Best album that was released as a part of the group's comeback in 2012, this time as a four member unit.

Regular edition
Release date: 03 November, 2010

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Fighting Man
2. Gamushara Cha Cha Cha
3. Wake Up
4. Fighting Man (original karaoke)

Regular track listing:
1. Fighting Man
2. Gamushara Cha Cha Cha
3. Winter Moon
4. Ai wa Simple na Curry Rice

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

Final single for Yamashita Tomohisa and Nishikido Ryo.

11 August 2015

22JUL2015 CDJapan order

As I catch up with uploading my videos here is my latest order from CDJapan. This one includes:


Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000% Idol Song Masato Hijirikawa

Nakayama Yuma - Tokoton Got It! single Limited A

Nakayama Yuma - Tokoton Got It! single Limited B

Nakayama Yuma - Tokoton Got It! single Regular Edition

(w/bundle bonus item for Tokoton Got It!)


10 August 2015

Kisumai GAME 09 June 2015 episode review

There is a new game with this episode where the guys have to showcase their ability with chopsticks.

There are three challenges that of course involve food that they have to be able pick up with chop sticks. This is a competition with Kis-My-Ft2 versus a trio of guests: chef Kawagoe Tatsuya, talento Yamaguchi Moe and Bobby Ologun.

Each challenge is timed and the goal is basically that food needs to be moved with chopsticks somewhere. The first one is a soumen noodle that needs to be placed in boiling water to cook, ice water to cool down then dipped in a sauce so then it can finally be eaten. Of course the noodle used is one of the really thin ones to add to the challenge of it all. But the winning team gets to enjoy eating the food, though in much larger quantities than what they are using for the challenge itself.

The next two segments deal with sipping vegetables in bagna cauda then having to eat them before moving onto the next one in a set time limit. The last is sukiyaki where three ingredients need to be collected, an egg yoke to dip the other two items in, thinly sliced meat and a cube of tofu. The final two items can be eaten once they are successfully collected.

Watching Senga Kento in this reminds me that I completely forgot that he is left handed. I know I noticed something to that effect in the previous episode but this one it is hard to ignore.

I will have to go with Kitayama Hiromitsu as the most interesting for this episode for the fact that he decided to use his turn to promote himself to gourmet programs. Though Yokoo Wataru has a moment that I was laughing at but it just did not have as much impact.

The next episode is another seiyuu guessing game so if you watched the previous one you can probably already tell how you are going to like this one as it does not look like they really changed anything for it.

07 August 2015

NEWS - LIVE (4th album)

Limited Edition
The most noticeable thing about this album is the lack of single tracks. There were only two single tracks, Koi no ABO and Sakura Girl included, but they were also the only singles the group released before the album. BE FUNKY though had been used as the theme song for a late night drama Kato Shigeaki starred in, Trouble Man, which had fans speculating that it could have been a new single for the group but in the end it ended up just being an album track.

That said there were some other departures from how the group had been releasing their albums since their comeback. Most notably there were no solo or unit songs on the album, only full group songs.

The album's regular edition had the studio version of the song Share, which all the members of the group wrote together. It also had an unplugged version of the song Forever as a bonus track.

The limited edition came with a DVD, which was another thing that broke the mold set by the previous two albums that had only a larger booklet as their LE incentive.

This is the final studio album that features the six member line-up of the group.

Regular Edition
Release date: 15 September, 2010

Versions: Limited, Regular

Limited track listing:
1. Koi no ABO
2. LIVE
3. Umareshi Kimi e
4. Supernatural
5. Aki no Sora
6. Futari/130000000 no Kiseki
7. Dancin' in the Secret
8. Wonderland
9. Sakura Girl
10. BE FUNKY!
11. D.T.F.
12. Naiyou no Nai Tegami
13. Endless Summer

DVD track listing:
1. Unplugged LIVE (Sakura Girl, SUMMER TIME, Aki no Sora, SNOW EXPRESS)
2. Unplugged LIVE making

Regular track listing:
1. Koi no ABO
2. LIVE
3. Umareshi Kimi e
4. Supernatural
5. Aki no Sora
6. Futari/130000000 no Kiseki
7. Dancin' in the Secret
8. Wonderland
9. Sakura Girl
10. BE FUNKY!
11. D.T.F.
12. Naiyou no Nai Tegami
13. Endless Summer
14. Share
15. Forever (unplugged version)

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

04 August 2015

Kisumai GAME 02 June 2015 episode review

We have another episode where the group needs to compete in hopes of not having to taste something terrible. So like last time this should be fun.

Guest is Ishii Kazuhisa, former major league baseball pitcher. Not sure if his baseball experience will be much help outside of the fact that at least his position dealt a lot with aiming.

Like the curling episode this one has the focus on the punishment game which for this episode is a "mix pizza" where they have to eat pizza with all the toppings that their arrows have hit on the targets. They are up against professionals again but the Kis-My-Ft2 guys and guest do get a handicap to make a bit more fair.

They also do get the chance to take an ingredient off the list of toppings if they hit it with another arrow. So if someone hit the frog (which was a potential ingredient for the second pizza) someone would have to hit the same topping again to make sure it was not added to the pizza. There is also one other way to get rid of a topping and that is to hit the bulls eye, which will give the option of taking a topping off or adding one that they can select.

I do not think one really gets how terrible these things must taste until you look at the ingredients. To only spoil the first pizza they ended up with pickled plum, watermelon, double natto and salami. And as you can see these are not bite sized pieces of these things. And this first pizza had some of the least gross toppings of the three they could end up with.

There are actually a few really fun moments in this episode and none are all by the same members. But I do believe the editors of the show deserve some special props for digging into Kisumai's history to make a SHE! HER! HER! reference for when the pizza is too much for members to handle.

The episode preview shows the next game will be something new. They will be using chopsticks to pick up various items, which looks more interesting that it sounds.