31 December 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 17SEP2008 Yakitori

Alright, I think I'm going to make my New Year's goal to catch up with these Hyakushiki-Ou episode summaries. I really feel bad that I'm so far behind but I'm hoping to finish off the September episodes before my time zone hits 2009.

I confess, this episode made me hungry, as I love yakitori. Unfortunately I’m pretty much snowed in at home so there will be no excursions out for food for a couple of days probably. But enough about me. The episode follows the same usual Hyakushiki-Ou episode format, I really wish they would change it up just a bit every once in a while. As usual it doesn’t get interesting until the quiz segment ends and they get to the classroom/studio or on location segments of the program.

This episode has Fujigaya and Sanada going out to try out various kinds of yakitori around Tokyo. So of course there’s quite a bit of them eating and saying how delicious the food is. Though Fujigaya gets a turn at being in the kitchen and making some yakitori which Sanada then gets to eat after questioning Fujigaya about his cooking skills.

After the on location stuff is done it’s to the classroom where all the boys get to try make yakitori via a small assembly line machine. They start off a bit frantic but ok but the longer it continues the more they begin to fall behind. Thankfully for them they get cut-off rather quickly so they don’t fall too far behind the speed of the machine.

Shoon shares a haiku about yakitori, and it’s times like this I really wish I understood Japanese better than I do as from everyone’s reactions it was rather funny.

The boys get to see another machine for preparing yakitori in action in the classroom. This one of course actually cooks the yakitori, so they use the yakitori they put together earlier and put them in the machine to cook them. Then of course they get to eat them once they’re done cooking. And I just noticed that Takada has a double tooth, which looks rather cute. I think the boy is growing on me finally if I’m noticing cute points about him. (laugh)

The end shot is the boys working on the assembly line again.

30 December 2008

And the news draught seems to have ended.

It seems like after having so little news to talk about for a while a flood of announcements has just popped up for the New Year.

First off Tackey will be having a special event in Tokyo on January 7th to promote his solo single, Ai Kakumei. I found this information on Johnny's net so I don't know much more about it other than they seem to be requesting for people to send in a ballot to attend the event.

Next the NEWS concert on December 30th was covered in the news. The big things mentioned was that the debuted a new original song that they all wrote together titled, Share. The other thing mentioned was that Hey! Say! JUMP, Matsumoto Jun and Ikuta Toma were all there as guests. I checked some blogs and it seems that HSJ performed two of their songs and MatsuJun and Toma joined NEWS in singing their songs for a bit. I'm really hoping that this concert will get a DVD release and that the fact that Share was treated as something being news worthy that it means there will be a new NEWS single coming up in the first quarter of 2009.

Sanspo article. (Japanese only.)
Nikkan Sports article. (Japanese only.)

Shounentai will be releasing a DVD on the 4th of March for their PLAYZONE musical. 2008 was the final year they performed a PLAYZONE musical and this release looks like it will commemorate the 22 years (1986-2008) of PLAYZONE. The Johnny's net information page about the release has a list of other Johnny's that are listed as guests and commenter. It's a rather lengthy list too, but I'm sure all of them were in a PLAYZONE musical during it's run.

The list of commenter & guests: Mori Mitsuko (the only non-Johnny's and woman listed), Kondo Masahiko (Matchy), Okamoto Kenichi (Otokogumi), Nakai Masahiro (SMAP), Joshima Shigeru, Kokubun Taichi, Matsuoka Masahiro and Nagase Tomoya (Tokio), Sakamoto Masayuki, Nagano Hiroshi and Inohara Yoshihiko (V6), Matsumoto Jun (Arashi), Takizawa Hideaki and Imai Tsubasa (Tackey & Tsubasa), Masuda Takahisa (NEWS), Taguchi Junnosuke and Tanaka Koki (KAT-TUN), Ikuta Toma (Johnny's Jr.), Tsukada Ryoichi and Kawai Fumito (A.B.C-Z), Senga Kenta, Fujigaya Taisuke and Yokoo Wataru (Kis-My-Ft2).

Shonentai Playzone Final 1986 - 2008 Show Time Hit Series Change [Regular Edition] / Shonentai

Shonentai Playzone Final 1986 - 2008 Show Time Hit Series Change [Limited Edition] / Shonentai

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Nozawa Yuki!

29 December 2008

Matchy/FiVe/Question? concerts and Queen of Pirates DVD impressions

I got caught up in real life things this weekend so sorry for not updating. I will try to make up for it in the next few days.

First off, Johnny's net has updated with more concert information, this time for a joint concert on February 13th and 14th in Tokyo at the Nippon Budokan, a sports complex that also doubles as a concert venue and is probably most popular for being the place The Beatles held their first concert in Japan. The concerts are titled Kondo Masahiko Rock Friends in Budokan. And lists Kondo Masahiko, otherwise known as Matchy, FiVe and Question? as those participating in the concerts.

Also in not really news related but something I would like to flail about a little, is that I decided to hunt down to watch KAT-TUN's latest DVD release, their Queen of Pirates concert DVD. I confess I did this mainly because I heard that they kept the Junior Corner on the DVD, which of course meant Kis-My-Ft2 and I will follow wherever they go. (laugh) But from just watching bits and pieces of it so far I've decided that the moment I have money I will be getting this DVD to own as I found myself enjoying watching KAT-TUN as much as Kis-My-Ft2. It probably helps that I liked the Queen of Pirates album quite a bit to why I like this DVD more than the previous KAT-TUN concert DVDs I've had the chance to watch. But yea, this DVD shall become the first KAT-TUN concert DVD I will own hopefully very soon.

26 December 2008

Tackey and 20th Century live DVDs

Both Tackey and the V6 subgroup, 20th Century, will be having DVD releases in February for their lives in 2008.

Tackey's live is his Enbujo '08, which was a samurai themed musical that members of (the still then) A.B.C. and Kis-My-Ft2 played roles in. In fact cdjapan lists from those two groups that Fumito Kawai, Shota Totsuka, Hiromitsu Kitayama and Taisuke Fujigaya have guest performances. So I kinda want to actually buy this DVD because of that. I think it's just going to depend on finances (like if Hey! Say! JUMP finally release their album soon) if I pick it up or not, but I have the feeling it just might be one of the those releases I may eventually buy at some point.

Takizawa Enbujo '08 (Title subject to change) / Hideaki Takizawa

A week before Tackey's DVD is set to be released 20th Century, the V6 subgroup with the three older members of the group, will be releasing a concert DVD. There are two versions, and while the LE is more expensive I think it's probably the one more worthwhile getting as not only do you get a bonus disc with extra footage but it has three unreleased songs as well. I think between this and the V6 concert DVD V6 fans probably have some empty pockets, but at least the releases seem well worth it.

20th Century Live Tour 2008 Orejanakya, Kimijanakya [Regular Edition / Jacket B] / 20th Century

20th Century Live Tour 2008 Orejanakya, Kimijanakya [Limited Edition / Jacket A] / 20th Century

25 December 2008

News round-up

Tokio will be having a special program for the New Year titled, TOKIO DREAM CHALLENGE, that will pit six of the Johnny's guys against a female professional soccer team in a soccer match. The Johnny's that will participate are, Nagase (Tokio), Taichi (Tokio), Go (V6), Sho (Arashi), Hina (Kanjani8) and Tegoshi (NEWS).

Sports Daily article. (Japanese only.)

KAT-TUN are not only doing the theme song for Kame's upcoming drama but are also listed to be doing the theme song for Nakamaru's drama, Rescue, that Masuda from NEWS also has a role in. It's rumored that this song will be another single that will be released in March.

All I have to say to that is that Hey! Say! JUMP better get their album out before then or I will be very annoyed with Johnny's. -__-x

There will be a Gokusen 3 special set to air in March, just in time for school graduation in Japan. Of course the cast of the series will be returning which means Takaki, Kiriyama and Nakama will be reprising their roles. As a Gokusen and Takaki fan this is great news and I can't wait to watch it.

Tokyograph article. (English)

And for those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas!

24 December 2008

Sing or forget. (A rant about other groups using songs from disbanded groups.)

A post recently went up in the LJ Ya-Ya-Yah comm asking if people (specifically Yax3 fans) thought it was ok for Hey! Say! JUMP to sing Itoshi no play girl and Yuuki 100% at their winter concerts. I thought it was an interesting topic but got put off quite a bit by all the replies saying that it was 'insulting' to Yax3 for HSJ to sing these songs.

I mean I do sympathize with being sad to hear another group is singing Yax3 songs, but to be bluntly honest, it's not like Yax3 are going to be able to sing them again. And with Yuuki 100% it makes no sense as it's originally a HikaruGENJI song and both Yax3 and HSJ's versions in the end are just covers. In fact you can even take that outlook with Itoshi no play girl, that HSJ's version is a cover of Yax3's. And to me it makes no sense to think the ones doing a cover are disrespectful of the original song and/or artists. I mean I understand not liking the cover, but to think to do a cover is an insult just doesn't make sense.

And it's not like this is the first or only case of a Johnny's group taking a song from a Junior group that it's creation caused to disband. In fact NEWS did the same thing. The song Private Hearts was a song very specifically created for the Junior group KKKity. In fact it was considered the 'debut' song for the unit as it was the first one they sung as a group and the lyrics were written by Domoto Koichi, who was in charge of producing them. But when NEWS debuted, taking KKKity's three Ks (Koyama, Kato and Kusano), they used Private Hearts as a B-side track on their debut single NEWSNippon, and of course performed it as a full group at their early concerts. So the use of Itoshi no play girl with HSJ is pretty much the same thing, minus the song being released as a HSJ song on a cd, though that could still always happen.

Honestly I'm kinda glad HSJ picked up the song. If they didn't then it would end up like all the other songs from disbanded Junior groups, set to be forgotten except for the lingering fans of those Junior groups. It's rather sad and personally I would rather see those songs be given new/continued life with other groups singing them instead of having them disappear into obscurity, as some of them really are good songs. I mean if a Kis-My-Ft2 debut doesn't happen like I keep praying it will, I know I'll be sad to not see them perform their songs again. But at the same time I would be sad knowing I'd not hear the songs at all again and would rather have another group sing them than have them disappear all together.

Johnny's recycles a lot of things costumes/group names but songs don't tend to be one of them. So by HSJ singing Itoshi no play girl it at least is keeping the song alive for longer than all the other Yax3 songs that have been shelved to be forgotten and collect dust in a song vault somewhere in Japan.

22 December 2008

Kumo no Ito kanji and romaji lyrics

Maybe it's because I've just been wanting to see something more of Takaki, but after watching his Kumo no Ito performance for the Shounen Club Christmas SP I went through to transcribe the lyrics and write them out in romaji. I would love to translate them but my grammar just isn't good enough. It really is one of the most frustrating things to understand all the words but still not get the whole meaning because you don't completely understand the grammar. But enough complaining from me. As I went through all the trouble anyway I figured I might as well put up the transcription and romaji.

I can translate the title of the song at least as it's rather simple. 蜘蛛の糸 (Kumo no Ito)translates into Spider's Thread. And from putting the song into romaji the song lyrics uses some word play with the song title with word 意図(Ito), which means intent, replacing 糸(Ito), thread, in the lyrics.

蜘蛛の糸 (kanji)

Say Yeah
Say Yeah
Say Yeah

Kumo no Ito (romaji)

Say Yeah
Kizutsuita kokoro o
Kimi wa imademo hikizutta mama
Itsumo onaji sono kabe no mae de
Tachi tomatteshimau ne
Fukai sono kizuguchi fukigukoto ga dekiruno wa kitto
Boku igai no dare ni mo dekinai
Maji de aishiteru kara
Motto chikatzuite kimi no honto no egao misete
Hosoi sono kata o dakitai
Motto chikatzukeba boku no omoi ga utawaruno ni
Kumo no ito kitzuite
Motto chikatzuite kimi no honto no egao misete
Hosoi sono kata o dakitai
Motto chikatzukeba boku no omoi ga tsutawaruno ni
Kumo no ito kitzuite wana
Say Yeah
Say Yeah

20th Century concert tour and Romeo and Juliet play

Johnny's net updated again with information about another concert tour, this time for V6's sub-group 20th Century for 2009. The tour begins February 7th and ends May 24th, most of the concert dates are on weekends or Friday-Sunday.

Also a new play has been listed, Romeo to Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), that credits Ueda Tatsuya, from KAT-TUN, as the star with Hasegawa Jun and Yamashita Shoon as part of the cast. It will be at the Tokyo Globe Theater from March 4th to March 29th and then it moves to Osaka for a short run from April 2nd to the 5th.

I'm really happy to see Shoon being active in another play though a bit sad about it too, as I will be arriving in Japan on the 1st of April and there's no chance I will be able to get myself settled in enough to make a trip to Osaka to see the play. Perhaps if it was still in Tokyo I would have been able to try to go as that is where I'll be living, but since it's in another city I'll just have to lament about being so close and yet so far from being able to see Shoon live on stage. T__T

New KAT-TUN single, One Drop

Well with two of it's members in dramas for the winter season it's no surprise one of them with have a theme song by KAT-TUN. The single, One Drop, will be used for Kame's drama, Kami no Shizuku. It comes in three different versions, the normal LE (DVD with PV and making of footage) and RE (karaoke tracks) and a 1st press edition of the RE (a bonus song). It will be released on February 11th, so I'm thinking Johnny's is done with announcing what they will be releasing in January now.

One Drop [Regular Edition] / KAT-TUN

One Drop [Regular Edition (First Press)] / KAT-TUN

One Drop [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / KAT-TUN

And while it's nice and all to see a new release announcement I'm still waiting for Hey! Say! JUMP's album release to be announced, Johnny's. You know you want to be announcing this soon. Like before I go to Japan so I can pre-order it.

Uchi and HSJ concert reports thoughts

Well both the concerts for Uchi and Hey! Say! JUMP have begun over the weekend so the reports have begun coming in. I usually don't hunt down the reports for most groups as they're usually easy to find in the LJ comms by English speaking fans that attended the concerts. But HSJ doesn't seem to have many of those fans yet and the Junior cons tend to be the same way so for them I make the exception to hunt down any information in English or even Japanese (though I only understand little bits and pieces of those).

The Japanese news programs are already reporting on Uchi's concerts and they keep showing the clip of Uchi breaking down in tears, which makes me want to cry. I think if I was a bigger Uchi fan I would actually cry but I just haven't become that endeared to him yet. But from the con reports that have been translated I'm beginning to like him and some of the Kansai Juniors more, as I already love Kis-My-Ft2, who are a part of the Yokohama concerts and one of the reasons I was interested in these concerts.

The Hey! Say! Jump concerts sound like something I'm going to be very sad I missed out on. The boys themselves got to play instruments for their songs, which is something I hope the continue doing from now on. A bit of an interesting thing I noticed is that while Hey! Say! BEST had a portion of the concert fro their subgroup performances it doesn't seem Hey! Say! 7 did from the reports. I mean 3 of the 5 HS7 members got solo songs, Yamada, Nakajima and Chinen, but no sub-group songs were seen on the set lists I came across. I wonder if that means that HSB are closer to releasing sub-group singles than HS7 now that they will have 4 of their 5 members out of high school come March. Or maybe I'm just reading way too much into it. I'm still hoping that by the end of the tour at least we get an album announcement, especially since their were new songs performed at the concert.

20 December 2008

FiVe and Question? winter concerts

Well it looks like Johnny's is still not through with springing up with new concert dates for the winter season. Johnny's net has updated with information about concerts for the two Junior bands FiVe and Question? will be having joint concerts on December 30th and 31st at JCB Hall in Tokyo. I don't think they will be expanding on these dates as Question? is also the band for the NEWS concerts and will need time to go from JCB to Tokyo Dome.

I guess winter must be concert season for Johnny's. I mean I know the New Year's is a big deal in Japan so I can understand why they want to have a lot of concerts during that time as it's a holiday, but the amount of concerts in December alone seems rather large. But I've never really followed Johnny's as a whole long enough to know if this is a normal thing or for some reason Johnny's is just concert happy this year.

19 December 2008

Why I Love Yamashita Shoon.

Well I've been meaning to start these mini-essays up and today I just felt like fangirl-ing about Yamashita Shoon so he gets to be the first of my list of Johnny's that I will gush about why I love them. It's also happens to coincide with Shoon's birthday, December 20th, which it already is in Japan. (And I will honestly admit I didn't plan on writing this up today because of that, it just ended up happening.) So before I start off with my fangirl gush, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Yamashita Shoon!

Probably the hardest thing about being a Junior fan is deciding on a favorite of them all. Or at least it is for me as there are so many of them and they all shine in their own way. But Yamashita Shoon it without a doubt at the top of my list. I don’t think I’ve ever gone from ‘knowing only a little about but thinking he’s cool to complete love’ so quickly without any of that love fading. In Shoon’s case the love just continues to grow as I see more of him.

As a newer Shoon fan (I think I’m probably just past the year mark from really feeling like I was his fan) I’ve really only come to know him as the Junior that after Ya-Ya-Yah seemed lost at first but quickly came into his own with Hyakushiki-Ou and the Junior League segments. I mean I have seen some of the old Yax3 episodes and it always seems to odd to see him so subdued compared to how he is now. His change over the past year has been very impressive and quite delightful to watch and I’m glad I got to see it.

His decision to not only just stay with Johnny’s after Yax3 was broken up for Hey! Say! JUMP’s debut but to also to step things up for himself to make sure he stood out and shown has really impressed me. I think in that kind of situation it would be easy to fall into self-pity about not getting chosen to debut with your group mates would be easy but he really didn’t take that route at all. Instead he took up the challenge and has proved that he deserves every chance Johnny’s gives him to stand out by doing just that. Even now on Shounen Club when A.B.C.-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 have just about taken over the show the few moments he’s on he tries to find ways to shine and be remembered amongst the sea of fellow un-grouped Juniors. He’s always a highlight of any episode for me because of this.

I think Shoon is in an interesting position right now. He no longer has a group and after putting him with A.B.C. for a brief period Johnny’s doesn’t seem in a rush to try to put him in one. I wonder if it’s because there really isn’t anyone for Shoon to be with. Most of the Juniors his age are in groups already or are back dancers, and Shoon has too big of a fan following to but him in the back. So he has to continue on solo until either Johnny’s finds him a group to put him with, Junior or debuted, or they decide he’s outgrown Shounen Club and he takes the route the former TOP4 members have and continues with Johnny’s on stage and film. Though I really hope he gets a debut because I think he would make an excellent host for any variety program that they would put him on.

17 December 2008

Engine mid-season impressions

Well I've gotten through six of the eleven episodes of Engine so it's time for my mid-season write up. I'm really enjoying this drama and I can see why it was so popular when it was airing. Not only are the actors good but so is the story, even though I thought the first episode was a bit slow.

What's nice about Engine is that it doesn't have so much as an episodic feel to it as other dramas I've watched. Story lines introduced carry over a bit even if the main issue is solved there is usually still something that needs to be addressed but instead of just pushing it to the side or forgetting about it they continue on in the story as you can tell these elements are there to help build up to a future story line which makes it interesting to watch and try to guess where it will go.

Kimura is just wonderful in his role of Jiro. He makes the character truly lovable and sympathetic for the audience even though he's the kind of character that can't seem to read the situation at all and would probably be bothersome to deal with in real life.

Daiki's character Toru has his episode that focused on him and his younger sister, episode 5. I will confess that I did cry quite a bit watching this episode as the siblings' stories was all rather touching and heart breaking. I so just wanted to hug the both of them at the end. And I couldn't help but think Daiki just looked adorable and should get another role sometime where he has to wear glasses.

Episode 6 was Harumi's (Toda Erika) story. And I think between Engine and Ryusei no Kizuna I'm beginning to like her. I normally don't like love sick characters but she brings a charm to them that I like, and thankfully for both dramas she has people that can bring some sense to her character if it looks like she's going to far.

I don't think there is anything that would stop me from watching the rest of this drama. I mean I'm sure it has a happy ending and all so it's not like I'm in suspense about that. I just really want to see the whole thing through and continue seeing how the characters grow and change. I don't think I would feel satisfied only seeing this part way through after watching the characters grow and change so much already without knowing how exactly things will end for them.

The faces of HipHop Jump

In the entry I made to talk about HipHop Jump and various Junior groups that could be, kel left me a comment with the names of the other two boys of HipHop Jump that I couldn't recognize, Jesse Luis and Hagiya Keigo. I decided since I knew the names I would see if I couldn't find pictures of them in the magazines I have and I managed to do so much sooner than I thought I would. In the May 2008 issue of Wink Up, all the boys, minus Tanaka Juri, were on the same page with two other Juniors. I was kinda surprised to see that, especially in Hagiya's case as I don't remember him at all on Shounen Club before this so I had thought maybe he was a new Junior.

Looking at pictures of them all I can't help but think they are just so cute. I can't imagine them pulling off the 'hip hop' look at all. It would be like if you tried to make puppies and kittens look 'gangsta', just impossible. (laugh) It shall be interesting to see them actually perform, if Johnny's lets them, to see what kind of performance it would be. Though if they really do try actual hip hop I can see it being rather fail, adorable fail, but fail nonetheless.

Tanaka Juri

Cade Camu and Morita Myuto

Jesse Luis and Hagiya Keigo

16 December 2008

Johnny's School Calendars 2009-2010

The Johnny's school calendars are out for pre-order at cdjapan finally. These calendars are of course for Japanese school year which begins in April and ends in March. Which probably sounds strange to those who don't live in Japan but they get long summer vacations just like schools in the U.S. do, it's just in the middle of their school year not the end.

The calendars don't get released until the middle of March, so it means I can't pre-order any, even though I want to as I won't be home to receive it in time. But I'll definitely be hunting down the NEWS calendar when I'm in Japan. As I got the Hey! Say! JUMP calendar for 2008-2009. Plus the NEWS calendar comes with a poster this year and I've been dying to have a NEWS poster for some time.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: Arashi / Arashi

The Arashi calendar is listed as a wall calendar that comes with a hologram seal as it's bonus.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: Tackey & Tsubasa / Tackey & Tsubasa

The Tackey & Tsubasa calendar is another wall calendar and it will come with a 36-page "Love Q&A" booklet.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calender: NEWS / NEWS

The NEWS calendar is a wall calendar and as I mentioned already comes with a poster.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: KANJANI8 / KANJANI8

The Kanjani8 calendar is listed as a weekly calendar, which means it's most likely a desk calendar or something of the sort. It comes with a 'hot springs souvenir', which sounds like the kind of thing to expect from this group.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: KAT-TUN / KAT-TUN

The KAT-TUN calendar is listed to be a card-type calendar. I guess it will be something like the NEWS 2008-2009 calendar then and comes with a deluxe box for the cards.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: Hey! Say! JUMP / Hey! Say! JUMP

Hey! Say! JUMP's calendar will be a framed weekly calendar. The cdjapan listing is wrong in the bonus item it comes with, It's supposed to be a secret card set, not a souvenir like KJ8, as the calendars usually don't have the same bonus item.

2009-2010 Johnny's School Calendar: Johnny's Jr. / Johnny's Jr.

And last, but not least, is the Johnny's Junior calendar. It is another wall mounted calendar and will come with the usual photo booklet.

15 December 2008

HipHop Jump and Junior group speculation

I kinda wanted to mention something about this group yesterday when talking about Shounen Club but figured I wanted to talk about newer Junior groups in general so decided to save it for later.

The December 14th Shounen Club began with a dance intro for the Juniors. In the intro there was a new group HIP HOP JUMP introduced right after Morimoto Shintarou. There looks to be five members, unless Shintarou is part of the group but he was wearing different clothes that didn't blend in with the group at all, so I'm thinking not. I can identify three of the five members, Tanaki Juri, Morita Myuto and Camu Cade. I'm sure they'll start showing up in the magazines together and we'll get the names of the other two unless there's someone with really good eyesight and knows the younger Juniors well enough to identify them. Though I'm sure they're Juniors that have been part of the chibiko groupings before.

Kinda not surprised that Johnny's is finally putting together Junior groups again. I've been expecting them to start doing so again for a while now. So we now have BI Shadow and HIP HOP JUMP for new groups, though oddly enough BI Shadow has yet to be introduced by their group name on SC instead of by their individual names, which makes me think it really is a temporary group that will disperse now that Scrap Teacher is over. But I guess we'll see in the upcoming months.

Looking at the recent grouping of Juniors for Shounen Club I think it's safe to speculate how other groups could form in the future.

Just going by last months and this months SC episodes it seems like Johnny's is angling to have Kyomoto and Uekusa be their next duo group. Which I have no problem with as they seem like they could pull off being a duo well, as Kyomoto proved he already can be pretty entertaining to watch.

I don't think Sanada and Nozawa are going to remain a duo for much longer. Johnny's has been having other Juniors their age sing with them so I will not be surprised if those Juniors are added with them eventually so they can form a group. Which I will be fine with too as long as Sanada and Nozawa stay together and they don't get pushed to the back.

If BI Shadow doesn't last I think the members will just return to their previous grouping of Juniors that Takada Sho is in. So really no big change there in a way.

Other than that I don't really see any other potential grouping changes. Of course that doesn't mean there won't be as this is Johnny's and who knows what they're planning. Especially if there are debuts in the near future (aka 2009).

Shounen Club 14Dec2008

It's Shounen Club episodes like this one that makes me glad I'm a Junior fan. I mean what other regular program can you see so many Johnny's from various groups performing and just having fun together?

For the performance clips there should be other places to find them, and I encourage you to hunt them down. Especially the News/Kanjani8/KAT-TUN melody featuring Koyama, Maruyama, and Nakamaru. Nakamaru is just so much love in it and I feel like it won't take much more from him to have me switch to him being my favorite KAT-TUN member.

And like the Kis-My-Ft2 fangirl I am I couldn't help but feel a bit giddy when they were talking with Koyama and Nakamaru and Fujigaya kept saying that as a group they had reached the next stage with their first concerts. Because I really want to believe that it's true and that they are getting closer to a debut. And I found the little Koyama/Yokoo interaction at the very end of the talk cute.

I did upload one part of the show, which I thought was the highlight, the Junior League Musical Chairs game. They need to play this game more often as it's a blast to watch as the boys are so competitive and willing to laugh while playing this. I think you just need to watch for yourself to get what I mean.

As this is December there will be one more episode of Shounen Club to air this month, the Christmas Special. It's pretty much a clip show with guest appearances but I know I'll be watching anyway.

14 December 2008

Top DVD sales for 2008 and Arashi new single news

Well there's one more Oricon music chart Johnny's managed to top for sales for 2008 and that is the DVD chart. I could only find the top 20 list but as DVD sales normally don't reach the kind of big numbers albums and single do it's probably best to cut this list short.

*1 *,282,041 47 / 関ジャニ∞(Kanjani8) 07/12/12
*2 *,243,913 SUMMER TOUR 2007 FINAL Time-コトバノチカラ- / 嵐(Arashi) 08/04/16
*4 *,182,726 NEWS CONCERT TOUR pacific 2007 2008-THE FIRST TOKYO DOME CONCERT- / NEWS 08/08/13
*6 *,135,012 We Are Φn' 39!!and U? / KinKi Kids 08/06/18
12 *,108,287 Hey!Say!JUMP デビュー&ファーストコンサートいきなりin 東京ドーム / Hey!Say!JUMP 08/04/30
20 *,*86,040 Endless SHOCK 2008 / 堂本光一(Domoto Koichi) 08/10/29

In other news, there's news of another Arashi single on its way for 2009 from an online article. The article was pretty much about the success of Arashi in 2008 and then near the end mentioned that their next single will be titled Believe and will be tied-in to the movie Yatterman, which Sho is in. No exat date is given but I'm sure it will be a first quarter release, so maybe February or March would be my guess.

TV Life article (Japanese only)

12 December 2008

MSSL song list & The SHIGOTONIN single up for pre-order

The set list for the Music Station Super Live, that will air on December 26th, has come out. The line up is pretty much all the Johnny's groups minus Tackey & Tsubasa. Several of the groups have more than one song listed, but I'm sure those will be made into a medley as there just is not enough time in the program for them to perform them all separately.

MSSL setlist for the Johnny's groups:

truth/One Love - 嵐 (Arashi)
無責任ヒーロー - 関ジャニ∞ (Kanjani8)
Secret Code / KinKi Kids
この瞬間(とき)、きっと夢じゃないはじまりのうた - SMAP
雨傘 / TOKIO
SUMMER TIME/太陽のナミダ/Happy Birthday - NEWS
Dreams come true/真夜中のシャドーボーイ - Hey! Say! JUMP

Also the single for the special unit, The SHIGOTONIN, is now up for pre-ordering at cdjapan. I know I'll definitely be getting the LE so I can have more Matsuoka, especially since there are only three members of the group so they all should get a good amount of screen time in the making of feature.

Kyoka Suigetsu [Regular Edition] / The SHIGOTONIN

Kyoka Suigetsu [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / The SHIGOTONIN

11 December 2008

Oricon 2008 sales chart

Well the Oricon (the Japanese equivalent of the U.S. Billboards) has ended and like usual Johnny's dominated the singles chart. In fact Arashi has the number 1 and 2 spot which only four other artists have done, one of them being the daisenpai group Hikaru Genji. The album chart is another matter all together as most Johnny's get greater single sales than album sales.

Here is the list of all the Johnny's with the place and sales numbers for those in the top 200 for singles and albums of 2008.


*1 *,618,229 truth/風の向こうへ / 嵐(Arashi) 08/08/20
*2 *,524,269 One Love / 嵐(Arashi) 08/06/25
*8 *,447,229 DON'T U EVER STOP / KAT-TUN 08/05/14
*9 *,421,902 LIPS / KAT-TUN 08/02/06
10 *,421,876 Beautiful days / 嵐(Arashi) 08/11/05
11 *,385,016 無責任ヒーロー / 関ジャニ∞ (Kanjani8) 08/10/29 
12 *,374,449 Step and Go / 嵐(Arashi) 08/02/20
19 *,291,447 太陽のナミダ / NEWS 08/02/27
21 *,266,193 真夜中のシャドーボーイ / Hey! Say! JUMP 08/10/22
23 *,258,820 SUMMER TIME / NEWS 08/05/08
24 *,250,106 White X'mas / KAT-TUN 08/12/03
25 *,249,024 Dreams Come True / Hey! Say! JUMP 08/05/21
26 *,239,245 Happy Birthday / NEWS 08/10/01
27 *,229,094 ワッハッハー / 関ジャニ∞ (Kanjani8) 08/03/12
28 *,223,451 Secret Code / KinKi Kids 08/08/27
31 *,208,113 Your Seed/冒険ライダー / Hey! Say! JUMP 08/07/23
35 *,173,586 弾丸ファイター / SMAP 07/12/19
39 *,158,837 そのまま/White Message / SMAP 08/03/05
43 *,143,599 way of life / V6 07/12/12
49 *,132,197 この瞬間(とき)、きっと夢じゃない / SMAP 08/08/13
64 *.113,391 アイアイ傘 / テゴマス 08/06/18
69 *,102,803 LIGHT IN YOUR HEART/Swing! / V6 08/09/17
71 *,*99,782 蝶 / V6 08/05/28
74 *,*94,044 Kurikaesu 春 / 244 ENDRI-x 08/04/02
116 ,*64,238 雨傘/あきれるくらい僕らは願おう / TOKIO 08/09/03
123 ,*59,035 目覚めろ!野性 / MATCHY with QUESTION? 08/01/23
130 ,*55,580 Keep the faith / KAT-TUN 07/11/21 累計459,919
135 ,*52,962 Ultra Music Power / Hey! Say! JUMP 07/11/14 累計357,063
141 ,*50,011 オレじゃなきゃ、キミじゃなきゃ / 20th Century 08/03/26
169 ,*42,405 weeeek / NEWS 07/11/07 累計376,261


30 *,303,727 Dream"A"live / 嵐(Arashi) 08/04/23
35 *,282,402 KAT-TUN Ⅲ QUEEN OF PIRATES / KAT-TUN 08/06/04
38 *,259,725 super.modern.artistic.performance / SMAP 08/09/24
51 *,211,460 color / NEWS 08/11/19
108 ,100,729 I AND 愛 / 244 ENDRI-x 08/04/02
197 ,*48,585 sugar / TOKIO 08/02/20

Kinki Kids new single, Yakusoku

I was rather excited to see the e-mail from cdjapan about a new release, thinking it would be for the single for The SHIGOTONIN, so I was a bit surprised to see it was instead for a new Kinki Kids single. But the Kinki Kids single, Yakusoku (Promise), is set to be released on January 28th so it really isn't surprising it would be up for pre-order first. I guess I still have about a week to go before I can pre-order the single I'm now eagerly waiting for.

Like most Kinki Kids releases the single has two versions, a LE with the karaoke track to the title song and a RE that has three song tracks instead of two. I'm rather curious to how it will do sales wise as Kinki Kids don't sell in the numbers they used to so it's now quite possible for them to not debut at number one and have their record of number one singles since their debut stopped from growing anymore.

Yakusoku [Regular Edition] / KinKi Kids

Yakusoku [Limited Edition] / KinKi Kids

And since I'm already talking about Kinki Kids I'll bring up some musings I have about this year's Johnny's Countdown concert. In all past years it was Kinki Kids that had the Tokyo Dome concert right before Countdown but this year it will be NEWS as Kinki Kids will be at Osaka instead and not participating in the Countdown concert. So I've been wondering it they will be the only group that will not be at Countdown this year (excluding SMAP of course as they've never attending the Countdown in the first place to my knowledge).

In a way it would make sense if all the groups that debuted before Kinki Kids would stop doing the Countdown concert as the stage has been getting rather full over the years with the new debuts and will only get fuller as more continue to debut. But I felt the great thing about watching the last Countdown was seeing these older groups interact with each other as they seemed more willing to be goofy and have fun then most of their younger counterparts. So if they're not there I know I will miss them. I wish Johnny's would announce somewhere which groups will be at Countdown or not soon, especially as they've already put up the page for ticket information.

EDIT: Johnny's net has updated with information for the new Kinki Kids single and it looks like both versions will have three song tracks, with the third track on each different. The LE's third song is still untitled, which is probably why cdjapan didn't mention it in their listing.

10 December 2008

New temporary unit, THE SHIGOTONIN

I really didn't expect to catch up so quickly but it looks like the news is picking up finally.

For the upcoming drama, Hissatsu Shigotonin 2009, that Matsuoka from TOKIO and Ohkura from Kanjani8 have roles in, there will be a special unit, called THE SHIGOTONIN, created to sing the theme song. The unit will be a trio with Matsuoka, Ohkura and fellow co-star Higashiyama Noriyuki and they will be releasing a single for the song on February 4th. The song and single title is 鏡花水月(Kyokatsuigetsu).

I'll definitely be getting a copy of this single if just for my love for Matsuoka alone. I'm curious if there will be B-side tracks on the single, and I think it would be awesome if they were solos, but I don't think that'll happen. I hope cdjapan gets the pre-order information up soon.

Daily Sports article
(Japanese only)

EDIT: Johnny's net has updated with information about the release. It will come in two editions, an LE with two tracks and a DVD with the PV for the title track and the RE will be the two cd tracks with their karaoke versions. Also I did not realize that Higashiyama is a member of the daisenpai group, Shounentai, until I saw that the single is listed under the Shounentai and Special Release sections. This makes more sense to me that all three are Johnny's as I was wondering why Higashiyama was in the group as I didn't know who he was.

09 December 2008

Engine First Impressions

Well as finals are just about over I'm finding myself with some free time here and there so I figured I'd see about watching an older drama with Johnny's. I've been interested in Engine, a drama from 2005, for a while because Nakajima Yuto and Arioka Daiki had roles in it, plus it was a Kimura Takuya drama and I have always wanted to at least watch one of his dramas with how popular he is.

The basic story is that Kimura's character is a washed up F1 driver, Kanazaki Jiro, that has returned home after getting fired and can't get a new contract to continue racing with. 'Home' though has been turned into an orphanage by his father, who Jiro isn't on good terms with. In this home there are thirteen children all with their own troubles.

The first episode covers Jiro getting fired and his return home. He ends up meeting a kid, Nakajima's character Shuhei, who ends up stealing 1000 yen (about $10USD) from him. Shuhei had just been dropped off at the orphanage but ran away to the train station, which is where he ran into Jiro. After getting the money workers from the orphanage, one of the them being Jiro's older sister Chihiro, arrive and end up taking them both to the orphanage.

The rest of the episode does a quick introduction of the characters, and I think they did a good job as I'm not confused about who is who even though the cast is rather large. It also sets up the fact that Jiro has not given up his dream of racing and where his place is with the people at the orphanage.

I think I can begin to see why Kimura is so loved for his acting. I'm not a great judge of these things but I can't help but want to watch whenever he's on the screen. And already I don't think I could imagine anyone else in the role.

If you're a Nakajima Yuto fan I think this would be a good drama to watch. Especially the first episode as out of all the kids he gets the most screen time. It's so strange to see him so young as I've gotten used to how he is now, all height. His character I think could be interesting as Shuhei is the kind of kid who acts and speaks like someone much older than he is. I'm curious to how he will change over the drama.

In this drama Daiki's character, Toru, is an 8th grader and upon thinking about things between this role and his current one in Scrap Teacher character-wise he has only been able to advance one grade in three years. I hope he makes it to high school finally in his next drama role. But back to Engine, he plays the eldest of two siblings whose parents passed away. There's really not much else known about the character yet but the siblings will undoubtedly get their episode devoted to their troubles later.

I was a bit surprised to have recognized Toda Erika so quickly, as I'm usually bad with remembering names and faces. I guess it's probably because I'm also watching Ryusei no Kizuna and she's the lead actress in that so I got familiar with her face, even though you can tell she's younger in Engine.

So in the end, I'm not completely hooked on the series yet, but I'm interested in learning more about the kids and seeing how Jiro changes them and vice-versa. And I'm rather glad this is one drama I don't have to wait for the subs for.

New Tsubasa concerts, plus some personal news

Well after having the internet down at home for a day I'm back and I'm rather glad I didn't miss much. I always worry that I will miss some big news if I can't at least check the net for a day.

There was a Johnny's net update announcing that Imai Tsubasa will be having two concert performances near the end of January. It is titled, Dance and Rock Tsubasa Imai Tour '09, though I really wonder if two concerts can really be considered a tour. The two shows will be on January 24th and 25th.

I do have some personal news that I thought I should share here as it will effect this blog somewhat. From April 2009 - March 2010 I will be attending Sophia University (Jochi Daigaku in Japanese) in Tokyo, Japan. I am of course really excited about this as I have dreamed about going to Japan since Junior High School. And of course while I'm over there I aim to go to at least a concert or two, hopefully more but that will all depend on how much money I will have. And speaking of money I'm going to cutting back a bit on what I buy here in the States so I will have money to spend in Japan. And of course anything I get from the affiliate links with cdjapan will probably be a big help for me to afford anything Johnny's related while I'm in Japan.

07 December 2008

Ohno in another drama

It looks like Maou was only the beginning for Ohno's TV drama career as he will be returning to the small screen for the Winter drama season. This time he will be trying his hand in comedy for a series titled, Uta no Oniisan (Big brother's song). He will be playing the lead character again and the rest of the cast is unknown at the moment.

I didn't watch Maou because it's just not the kind of drama that I tend to like but I think I'll give this drama a shot. I enjoy comedies and it sounds like it could be a fun series.

Tokyograph article

05 December 2008

Various news bits

Almost done with finals and then it's a nice long winter break before it's back to school again for me.

There are a few various bits of Johnny's related news that have come out in the past couple of days. The first being that Ikuta Toma has a new major role in a drama for this upcoming Winter drama season. He will be in the drama Voice, which is about medical students studying forensics.

Tokyograph article. (English)

There's a bit of an update concerning Uchi that can be seen at the Johnny's net website. Six concerts have been added, three more concerts for each of the two locations. Of course adding concerts can only mean that ticket demands were more than expected. And considering the concert number has gone up from five to eleven I think it's safe to assume Uchi is well on his way to returning to his performing career with Johnny's.

And as the end of the year draws nearer the end of year specials are beginning their promotions and for music variety programs that means announcing musical guests. For the Music Station Super Live that will air on December 26th the Johnny's that will be performing will be; Arashi, KAT-TUN, Kanjani8, Kinki Kids, SMAP, Tokio, NEWS, V6 and Hey! Say! JUMP. Or pretty much everyone but Tackey & Tsubasa. (laugh)

03 December 2008

Tackey solo cd update

Avex has updated their page for the Tackey solo cd with track information as well as cover art. The second track is called WITH LOVE, and will have a PV that will be on the second LE edition of the single. The bonus track only on the RE cd in called Home Party!! and will have guest vocalists, Yamapi (NEWS), Yoko and Hina (both Kanjani8).

I really wasn't interested in this single after hearing the title track, Ai Kakumei. But the bonus RE track sounds like it could be interesting at least and if I do pick the single up it will be this version that I'll get.

Morimoto Shintarou to star in a movie

Yet another sign that Johnny's probably has a lot planned for Morimoto Shintarou, he has been selected to star in a movie, titled Little Country. It has already begun filming and will be released in theaters in Japan sometime in 2009.

In the Japanese article it mentions how rare it is for Juniors to get roles like this and then lists the ones that have, all which have since debuted. Shintarou is one of the Juniors that I'm pretty sure will eventually debut as he has gotten a lot of focus, kinda like how Nakajima Yuto got a lot of focus when he was Junior. I just hope he doesn't become a giraffe like Yuto did. (laugh) But yea, back to my point, I really think when it comes to a debut for Shintarou it's more a when than if for him, unless he messes things up with a scandal.

Nikkan Sports article (Japanese only)
ambitious_boys lj entry (English)

Also, if you're lucky enough to be living in Japan there's an open casting call for extras for the movie that Tegoshi is filming for, Nakushita Kioku. You can find more information about it at the casting company's site.

01 December 2008

Hey! Say! JUMP goes manga!

It has been announced that Hey! Say! JUMP will be getting a manga series about them in the shoujo manga magazine, Ciao. The first issue with the manga, plus a special message from the boys, will be released on December 29th. The manga will be drawn by Notoyama Keiko, and the title of the series will be WaiWai - Hey! Say! JUMP.
I'm going to see about picking this up, though I probably won't find it at the Kinokuniya I go to until sometime in January. Unless someone else takes it up that is quicker than me I'll keep picking up the Ciao as long as the manga runs for scans to share with everyone.

Anime News Network article (English)

And on another HSJ related note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Yaotome Hikaru!

Masaki Aiba in play, Green Fingers

Masaki Aiba from Arashi will be starring in a play called Green Fingers from February 23rd to March 23rd. The play is based off of a film by the same name that is based off of a true story about a group of British prisoners that take up gardening then go on to compete in a gardening competition.

The play will be at Aoyama Theatre in Tokyo from February 23rd to March 10th and then it will move to Osaka's Umeda Arts Theatre to finish up from March 20th to the 23rd.

Tokyograph article. (English)

30 November 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 09SEP2008 sideB

Another quiet JE news day so I'm doing more Hyakushiki-Ou.

This is just a clips show so there is very little in the episode that's new. In fact the only new footage is of the boys trying to be 'bad boys.' I believe there are subs out for those parts though I can't remember where to find them, but the segments are amusing to watch. Since I've more or less already done summaries for all the past clips they've shown I'm not going to bother going through them again so this will be my shortest Hyakushiki-Ou write up.

And instead of screen caps here is one of the new footage segments where the boys 'come up with' a dance fit for their 'bad boy' image.

And on another note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Chinen Yuri!

29 November 2008

Tegoshi in Nakushita Kioku movie

Earlier this week fans caught Tegoshi filming for a movie and finally the press has released something confirming that he does have a role in the movie Nakushita Kioku. He will play the friend of the main female character Naomi, played by Horikita Maki. It's also mentioned that he will have to speak English for his role as it is set at an international school (which is basically a school that teaches in English rather than Japanese in Japan).

This movie is directed by American director Hans Canosa, who picked Tegoshi for the role based off of seeing him in the My Boss, My Hero drama. There is also speculation that this movie actually stands a chance of getting a North American release.

I'm really happy for Tegoshi and I hope this does get a North American release and that a nearby theater will have ti so I can go see. It should be interesting to see how Tegoshi does with the English, though I've heard it mentioned that Tegoshi has rather good English skills for a non-native speaker at least.

Sponichi article (Japanese only)
news_jpop entry with English translation of the article

Also on another note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Taguchi Junnosuke!

Hyakushiki-Ou 02SEP2008 Sleep

Well I need a break from studying Japanese as finals are coming up and being a language class the final is a mix of different tests that all lead up to the final. And I figured I might as well try to get back on track with writing Hyakushiki-Ou episode summaries as I'm about a quarter of a year behind. I think I will be able to catch up before the end of the year as the one good thing about finals is that there's a long school break after they're done.

So picking up from where I left off, this episode's theme is about sleep. The first quiz segment goes over the science of sleeping, like what parts of the brain it uses and the stages of sleep. Then it goes to Inohara reading off some information about dreams and how it's believed that you can get messages from them as he stands next a bed that's been brought in to the studio. Then a expert at reading dreams is brought in followed by the boys in PJs.

Takada, Shoon and Sanada all each get a turn lying on the bed and talking about a recent dream they have had that the dream analyst then deciphers for them. They make it overly dramatic but the boys seem to enjoy laughing and acting amazed at each other's answers to why they dream what they dream.

It's then a return to the quiz segment as it continues to go over more sleep facts. Then it's Keito and Fujigaya's turn to have their dreams analyzed. I have to admit I think it's pretty spot on about Fujigaya being a narcissist, but really what else was to be expected when he said his dream that he won the Best Jeanist award. (Which is actually a real award in Japan.)

And then it's back to another quiz segment. It segues into on location footage of Fujigaya at a mattress store to learn more about the mattresses there as they use sensors to figure out how to make a mattress customed to what you need depending on how you sleep. Then it's back to the quiz segment that now focuses on beds and pillows.

Then it's another class segment, this time using fancy high tech alarm clocks to 'wake' Sanada, who gets to 'sleep' in the bed, as everyone else watches.

The final clip is a take of Inohara doing the early introduction by the bed and messing up.

28 November 2008

Uchi returns to Shounen Club

Johnny's net has updated with information about the Shounen Club recording on December 15th, so it would be for the January SC episodes. Unlike the usual listings for SC recordings they put up information about the guests which will be Takizawa Hideaki and Uchi Hiroki.

There's no doubt that Tackey will be there to promote his butai that will start on January 1st, so I expect him to be performing Ai Kakumei and maybe doing something with A.B.C.-Z and Kis-My-Ft2 as they will be performing with him for the butai.

Of course Uchi Hiroki's return to SC club is rather big news since it will be the first time he will be on since he was suspended. As he's listed as a guest it's probably safe to assume he won't be becoming a regular and is there to promote his Osaka concerts as the Yokohama ones would be over by then. I wonder if that means we'll be seeing some of the Kansai Juniors with him as well. But of course what I really want to see is him interacting with Koyama and maybe performing a NEWS song. Even though it's quite apparent that he won't be returning to his previous groups I don't think his connection to them should be ignored.

I'm kinda surprised at how excited I get nowadays about SC as I can remember earlier in the year not being so enthused. Probably because there was so much uncertain about the Juniors after the Hey! Say! JUMP debut and that HSJ had such a strong presence despite being debuted it was difficult to get to know or get used to all the new Juniors that Johnny's began to give chances to sing on the show. Of course there was always Yamashita Shoon, Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C. and Question? still there and they became the Juniors I would watch the show for until TOP3 and most recently Tanaka Juri and Nakajima Kento.

It'll be interesting to see how the next debut will affect SC, but if it's a Uchi re-debut (that I'm still hoping will be a group to give some of the older Juniors a chance for a debut) then it probably won't be much, though if it's something with Kisumai and/or A.B.C.-Z I could see another void being created with them leaving as there really aren't any younger groups to take their place.

27 November 2008

KAT-TUN to debut in Korea (or at least their cds)

Well it seems that Johnny's is indeed serious about entering the Korean market with their groups, but it looks like it will be still some time before they may even think about actually doing more than releasing cds or having concerts over there. It has been announced that KAT-TUN will be the first Johnny's artist to have a cd released in Korea with a 17 December release of their latest single White X'Mas.

There are no plans for KAT-TUN to actually go to Korea to promote the single and I don't think they'll be recording a Korean version either. I think this will be like most Korean releases of Japanese cds in that it will be exactly the same as the Japanese version but will most likely come with a translation sheet for the lyrics.

I'm kinda surprised it's KAT-TUN that will be the first to have a release in Korea, as it was Arashi's huge concert success that was credited for Johnny's interest in entering the Korean market. But I guess they are the only group with a single release in December and they are still one of Johnny's top selling groups, coming only second to Arashi. But this can be considered good news to international fans as Korean cds are cheaper than Japanese, so if you want to save some money and don't mind waiting a bit as I'm sure they will all have a later release date than the Japanese versions to try to stop reverse importing, getting the Korean versions just may be the way to go.

Allkpop.com entry

Koyama Keiichi's solo butai and Tackey's single update

Johnny's net has updated with some information about NEWS' Koyama Keiichi's solo butai next year. It's titled コール which translates to Call, and will be a stage play based off the movie Phone Booth. The dates have it begin January 30th and end on March 1st and there is at least one show scheduled for most of those days between those dates. From January 30th to February 22nd the butai will be at the Tokyo Globe-za and from February 26th to March 1st it will be at the Osaka Sankei Breeze.

Also Tackey's solo cd is up for pre-order and will be out on January 7th. There will be three versions, two limited editions that come with two song tracks and different DVDs and a regular edition that has three song tracks and the karaoke versions. The Jacket A LE DVD will have the PV for Ai Kakumei but it looks like what's going to be on the DVD for the Jacket B version is unknown at the moment. But even the titles of the other songs besides Ai Kakumei are unknown still so I'm sure they just wanted to make sure there was enough time before the release to get in pre-orders which is why they put up whatever confirmed information they had for the release.

Ai Kakumei [CD+DVD / Jacket A] / Hideaki Takizawa

Ai Kakumei [CD+DVD / Jacket B] [Limited Edition] / Hideaki Takizawa

Ai Kakumei [Jacket C] / Hideaki Takizawa

I have to admit with Tackey's single coming out on January 7th it looks like there won't be a Hey! Say! JUMP album in December or it would have already been announced. Though I won't completely give up hope until the end of the week as any later than that than there's just no way they'll have enough time to release something within the year.