29 September 2015

Kisumai GAME 28 July 2015 episode review

A new game is tried in this episode as they mix something old with something new to create Hit Song Karuta.

The guest for the episode is Inoue Yuusuke from the comedy duo NONSTYLE, who gets to join Kis-My-Ft2 in trying to figure out songs from mainly their lyrics alone.

There are three difficulty levels for this, the first with having the lyrics recited in the method of old Chinese poems (shigin). So there is still some rhythm of the song to try to listen for, but barely. But basically this is a special version of the karuta game where in place of poetry song lyrics from hit Japanese pop songs are said and the guys have to figure out which song it is, from the cards placed in front of them, before the lyrics that use the title of the song comes up. Which is usually the chorus.

The next level is with a narrator, and they have a veteran who does documentaries and variety programs to read out the lyrics. With it going to spoken word it gets of course harder as they have to rely on knowing the lyrics on their own. Not to mention a quicker pace so they have less time to figure it out.

The final level has the lyrics read out by a robot, a Palmi by DMM. Adding to the difficulty level with that is that its English pronunciation sounds strange. As a native English speaker it all sounded clear enough for me, but I can tell that it would be hard at times for someone not nearly as familiar with the language to figure out what exactly it was saying.

Yokoo Wataru has the most entertaining moment with his reaction to his failure. There are some other amusing ones but his was definitely the most memorable. With having to fit five rounds for the three levels there was not much time for the members to do much more than play the game.


The next episode is a magic episode, which I am dreading. Though to be honest it is partly because it was announced that they decided to end Kisumai GAME to replace it with a new show, Kisumai Magic. I can only assume it will be based around the magic episodes as honestly they are some of the most boring episodes of this show. So I am disappointed with that news and doubt I will continue with doing episode reviews for that. I will finish up with Kisumai GAME though so I will have the full run covered.

25 September 2015

NEWS - KAGUYA (17th single)

This single looks to set a new standard when it comes to single releases for the group as the following single has the same breakdown with editions and what is included with them. The type A limited edition being the basic CD with DVD, which has the footage of the music video and making of footage. The limited edition type B having a bonus track, a larger booklet and a four-card set of individual member shots. Then the regular edition, like almost all of the group's REs, has bonus tracks.

The release had the group working with renowned photographer, Ninagawa Mika, who not only did the jacket shooting but also directed the music video for the title track.

Release date: 07 Jan, 2015

Versions: Limited type A, Limited type B, Regular

Limited type A track listing:
1. KAGUYA
2. Butterfly

Limited type B track listing:
1. KAGUYA
2. Butterfly
3. TRAVeLiNG

Regular track listing:
1. KAGUYA
2. Butterfly
3. Wasurenagusa
4. TOP OF THE WORLD
5. KAGUYA (original karaoke)

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

21 September 2015

Kisumai GAME 21 July 2015 episode review

Another mix game for the group, so another attempt for them to try their best to avoid drinking/eating something disgusting.

The guests for this episode are Iwamoto Teruo and Miura Atsuhiro, both retired pro-soccer players, who are competing against them in this challenge.

To try to make things a bit more even with the skill differences between the two teams while Kis-My-Ft2 have to get the ball into the box from the front the ex-players need to get it in from the top.

Unlike previous mix games there is no way to remove an item from a drink, just add to it. So it more or less is set up that there is going to be something gross for the guys to drink after each round. Thankfully there are only two rounds, but that is a very slim silver lining when looking at the selection of possible ingredients.

In the end the main draw of these games is the punishment game and the reactions of the guys. The second drink you can tell has no chance to tasting good with everything in it and of course has the best reactions.

The most interesting moment for this episode comes from Tamamori Yuta who gets overly excited when he manages to do well with one of these challenges. He goes to high five everyone but catches himself when he reaches the opposing team. That said Kitayama Hiromitsu getting grief for the fact that he enjoys playing soccer and should be good at this is a solid second.

The next episode introduces a new game which looks to be a twist on the Japanese game of karuta.

19 September 2015

New song for NEWS

It has been announced that NEWS will be doing the opening theme song for the upcoming anime series Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo R that will begin airing October 3rd. The title of the song will be Yon Juushi and there is no word if it will be released as a single.

Johnny's net announcement (English)


If NEWS keeps the pattern they seem to be moving into there should be a new single around the end of the year or start of the new one. I can see this song perhaps being a double A-side with a newer song for that, or even being held off on a CD release until the next album comes out. I really hope it will be the former than the latter though with no more information even all that is just speculation.

And of course this is not the only new song from the group that it is unknown when it will be released on CD as the group also has the song Sirius, which is being used in a commercial for bras currently. If anything it at least gives hope that it will not be too long a wait for another CD release from the group.

18 September 2015

NEWS - ONE -for the win- (16th single)

This single kept with the soccer tie that NEWS had with their single WORLD QUEST as two of the songs included, the title track and the B-side SEVEN COLORS, had tie-ins to soccer events/programs.

This was the only CD release for the group in 2014, though earlier in the year they had the release of their 10th anniversary concert tour.

The outfits the members for this release were designed by Masuda Takahisa.

Limited edition type B
Release date: 11 June, 2014

Versions: Limited type A, Limited type B, Regular

Regular edition
Limited type A track listing:
1. ONE -for the win-
2. SEVEN COLORS

DVD:
1. ONE -for the win- PV
2. ONE -for the win- making of footage

Limited type B track listing:
1. ONE -for the win-
2. SEVEN COLORS
3. WORLD QUEST [R-midwest Remix]

Regular track listing:
1. ONE -for the win-
2. SEVEN COLORS
3. 君がいた夏 (Kimi ga Ita Natsu)
4. FLYING BIRD
5, ONE -for the win- (original karaoke)
6, SEVEN COLORS (original karaoke)

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

15 September 2015

Kisumai GAME 14 July 2015 episode review

It's the return of the seiyuu game but with a twist. Instead of trying to guess anime voice actors the group has to guess the anime song vocalist.

The comedian duo Doburock are the guests for this episode, and they come prepared with instrument in hand.

They are given a paper with a list of songs to help them narrow things down a bit, with having to guess which out of five songs the singer sings. That said like with all of these the anime series covered tend to be some of the more well known ones to the general Japanese public.

Like with past episodes like this they have to start out asking for lines, this time of course all song related, to try to see if they can recognize the voice without having the song itself sung at first. Then it moves on for the singer to be requested to sing one of the five songs.

The most entertaining is an easy pick for me, and that is Miyata Toshiya. As a big One Piece fan myself I was on the same wave length as him for that artist and performance. In fact I am 100% certain I would have been moved to tears myself if I was in the same situation.

Though there are some other really fun moments so I would recommend this episode. In fact out all the more low key episodes this game is always a fun watch as the voice actors always seem to enjoy themselves and the anisong singers in this episode are really no different.


The next episode should be another fun episode as it is one of the mix drink games, this time the sport will be soccer.

11 September 2015

NEWS - NEWS (5th album)

Limited edition type A
This self-titled album is the first studio album for the group as a quartet. It is the only album release to come in three versions instead of the usual two for the group. The LE type A coming with a DVD, LE type B with a bonus CD then the RE has a song that the LEs do not have.

The DVD is about and hour and a half long with footage of the members doing various activities like going fishing, building car models and playing futsal together.

It is the first album to have new solo songs for all the members of the group, though they were only included in the LE type B version of the release.

Limited edition type B
Release date: 17 July, 2013

Versions: Limited type A, Limited type B, Regular

Regular edition

Limited editions track listing:
1. ~compass~
2. WORLD QUEST
3. 4+FAN
4. Nagisa no Onee Summer
5. Pokopon Pekorya
6. Koi Matsuri
7. Greedier
8. Besa me Mucho ~Kuro Oshii Bolero~
9. Chankapaana
10. Dance in the dark
11. HIGHER GROUND
12. Full Swing

Limited type A bonus DVD track listing:
1. LIFE OF NEWS

Limited type B bonus CD track listing:
1. Beautiful Rain
2. Dreamcatcher
3. Remedy
4. Lovin' U

Regular track listing:
1. ~compass~
2. WORLD QUEST
3. 4+FAN
4. Nagisa no Onee Summer
5. Pokopon Pekorya
6. Koi Matsuri
7. Greedier
8. Besa me Mucho ~Kuro Oshii Bolero~
9. Chankapaana
10. Dance in the dark
11. HIGHER GROUND
12. Full Swing
13. Cry

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

Kokubun marries!

After rumors about it happening or supposing it would happen in the near future TOKIO's Kokubun Taichi has gotten married. The announcement came via cards sent out to members of the group's fanclub and there is expected to be a press announcement about it soon, the one originally scheduled for it has been postponed because of the weather in Eastern Japan.

All that is known about his new wife is that she worked at TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) but retired in the past year. The two had been dating for about seven years.

Yahoo! Japan news article (Japanese only)


I am so happy for Kokubun as he has been on the rumored to be married next list for Johnny's for some time. Of course there have been, and still are, plenty of rumors of why it took so long but honestly I think when it comes to older groups like TOKIO I doubt this kind of news would be considered too shocking for fans.

And I think it was a nice touch for him to decide to make the announcement to the fans first instead of having them learn of it from the news media. In fact from the looks of it this ended up being the exact opposite of that.

Of course now that Kokubun has finally tied the knot I am sure everyone is going to move on to figure out who will end up being the next Johnny's to marry.

08 September 2015

Kisumai & TOKIO singles

A confirmation and an announcement for two to the Johnny's groups that I follow.

The Kis-My-Ft2 single had been previously announced but outside a release date there was no information about it. Probably the most stand out thing about this release is that it bucks the usual release trend of two LEs and opts for just one. I can only assume this is because it is set to release so close to their next single. The title of the single is AAO and set to release October 14th.

The limited edition comes with the usual DVD that will have the PV and the making of footage for the title track. It will also have a B-side included on the CD that is still untitled.


The regular edition is CD only and looks like it will have the title track then four other songs. If you get the first press version of it it will come with a slipcase like previous releases.



I have been expecting TOKIO to release a single at some point this year. They may not release much but usually get one music release out a year and it is too soon for another album. The single is titled Tokyo Drive and will be released October 28th. The title track is written by Nagase Tomoya and the single comes in two editions, limited and regular.

The LE comes with a DVD with the PV for the title track.  The CD includes the title track, a still untitled B-side, and the backing track version of the title song.


The regular edition has the same CD tracks as the LE plus a bonus B-side. The first press bonus for the single is listed as stickers.



Looks like there is plenty for me to look forward to as the year starts to reach the end. I am really happy that TOKIO is releasing something as the group seems to be more variety based these days and only do music related things once in a blue moon.

I just hope the rest of the release information for them all will come out in the near future.

07 September 2015

Kisumai GAME 07 July 2015 episode review

We have a new game and it is probably the least non-Japanese fluent friendly of them all to watch.

I guess the magician game was not enough to keep the budget low for this show as this episode introduces a game that has even less going for it than those. It is simply a keyword search using Yahoo! Japan's search engine and having a limit of only being able to use a couple of words.

The guest for this episode is comedian Suidobashi Hakase. He does bring some life to the episode with his comedic sense but even then there is only so much one can do with topic like this.

Not sure how helpful seeing the words the Yahoo! Japan employee is given to use is. I doubt anyone watching is going to bother to only use a couple of words to find what they are looking for. And as the group proved you do not need those exact words to find what they were looking for.

No one managed to stand out in this episode as the game really did not give anyone a good chance to do something that would.


If you know some Japanese or are trying to learn then it may not be too bad of an episode. In fact the way they have it structured you could play along and use it as a word building exercise. But if you know little of the language then these are going to be skipable episodes unless you really enjoy watching the guys do just about anything.

04 September 2015

NEWS - WORLD QUEST/Pokopokopekooriya (15th single)

Limited edition type A
This single is the start of what will be the current norm for NEWS single releases. It came in three edition, two limited editions and a regular edition. The type A version of the limited edition came with a DVD with the music video and making of footage while the type B had two B-side songs not available on the other two versions of the single. The regular edition like most previous singles from the group has an exclusive B-side track for it as well.

This single also begins the professional soccer tie-in songs for the group as the first lead track was used as the theme song for the FIFA World Cup Japan 2012. The other A-side was the theme song for a late night drama Kato Shigeaki had a part in, Hana no Zubora Meshi.

Limited edition type B
Release date: 12 December, 2012

Versions: Limited type A, Limited type B, Regular

Limited type A track listing:
1. WORLD QUEST
2. Pokopon Pekorya

DVD track listing:

1. WORLD QUEST music clip & making

Limited type B track listing:
1. WORLD QUEST
2. Pokopon Pekorya
3. Quntastic!
4. 36ºC

Regular track listing:
1. WORLD QUEST
2. Pokopon Pekorya
3. Hello
4. WORLD QUEST (original karaoke)
5. Pokopon Pekorya (original karaoke)
6. Hello (original karaoke)

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

August 2015 Idol News

I do a quick round up of news for the Japanese groups, mostly idols, that I follow. This month includes:

A.B.C-Z

Kis-My-Ft2

Kobushi Factory

Tsubaki Factory

Morning Musume '15

ANGERME

Country Girls

Little Glee Monster


02 September 2015

Kisumai GAME 30 June 2015 episode review

And we have the return of the magician game in this episode, which I expect they are continuing with because these have to be pretty cheap to make.

The magician for this episode is called Fujii Akira and looks the least like one would think someone in his profession would look like.

Guest is talento Takei Sou and thankfully he is a more dynamic guest to watch which helps make the episode a bit more entertaining to watch.


The format for the episode really has not changed at all from the last time. It is interesting to see the guys try to figure out the tricks, especially making sure to watch hands since they mostly all end up being slight of hand kind of tricks. Not to mention that they get shown how the tricks are done so they are getting the chance to learn what things to be looking for.

There is a little change up as for one of the rounds it uses cards instead of handkerchiefs then the other a coin, which is nice for some variety. I do have to wonder how much further they can go with this concept before it starts becoming incredibly stale though as it still is all about slight of hand tricks.

I can only assume they chose Senga Kento for the penalty game because they knew they would get a good reaction from him. This time around it definitely looks to be more of a put on fright than him being actually terrified. And he easily gets the most entertaining member selection for it as that is basically the only real standout moment in the episode.


The change up of items helps a little for this episode but still suffers the main issue with this game in that it is not all that exciting to watch. I really do think this game was created to give them something low budget to do to offset the cost of the more entertaining episodes of the show. That said it looks like the next episode will give us another game with the same goal as the members will be looking up things online with a search engine.