31 October 2008

The bad kind of fever...

I always get sick at the worst times, last time I was really sick it was during finals. Thankfully I just finished mid-terms but I have managed to catch a bug that my younger brother had, which if I suffer from it like he did I will have a fever for about a week (my temperature is already at 101.5F) and then will get stuck with gobs of mucus in my throat. And this quarter all my classes tend to cover a great deal of information in each class so who knows what important information I will miss. Perhaps I'll get lucky and will get better before Monday... though I somehow doubt it.

So I may not be updating much for a while as the energy I do have I need to put towards school work, but I will try to keep on top of the news as well as I can. Though tonight is out as I need to sleep as I just managed to get home from school and I'm having trouble doing just about everything.

30 October 2008

Tis the season for concerts

Well there will be yet another Johnny's concert series scheduled for the winter season. This time it is the Junior band FiVE, aka the one you don't see on Shounen Club. They will be having a concert tour titled FiVE LIVE TOUR 2008-2009, which consists of five shows, the first November 14th, 2008 and the last on January 9th, 2009.

There seems to be quite a few concerts going on for the winter. Currently there is the NEWS concerts that will go through to January, then there's Hey! Say! JUMP having a winter concert series that will be in December and January. Kinki Kids will have a second leg of their current tour in December and January. Plus Tsubasa is now having a solo concert in December and Tackey has his butai that Kis-My-FtII and A.B.C.-Z will be a in for all of January. As well and the Kansai Juniors winter concerts.

But it's good thing to see everyone so active, IMHO. Though it does mean there will be a ton of concert goods that I will be tempted to buy though.

29 October 2008

Imai Tsubasa Osaka Shouchukoza 2008 Winter

Well is looks like Tackey won't be the only one from the Tackey & Tsubasa duo that will have something to do this winter. According to Johnny's net Tsubasa will have in the later half of December. The first show will be on December 19th and the final show is scheduled for Christmas day, the 25th. All shows will be at Osaka, and the location is the name of the concert.

It took me having to search my kanji dictionary to figure out how to translate Shouchukoza. Shou and chuko translate to pine and bamboo while za can be translated to either sitting, gathering or theater, and considering what this is theater is probably the right one for this.

28 October 2008

Akanishi Jin's film debut

It has been announced that Akanishi Jin will be making his film debut in a movie called BANDAGE. From what I can understand from the Sanspo article about it, which is all in Japanese, the movie is about a band which Jin's character is the leader and of course is the vocalist of.

Filming is said to begin on the 3rd of November so I think it's safe to assume that the special program that Jin will be doing on the 4th is tied into the movie. And with his role as a band vocalist I wouldn't be surprised if there was a solo single released in conjunction to the movie, though like Johnny's members before him it'll probably be released under the name of his character/band in the movie.

I think this should be interesting even though I'm not really a Jin fan. But I'm still curious about the movie.


Tokyograph has the news in English and it looks like I was spot on about believing there would most likely be a cd release tied to this as the article confirms this. But the movie won't be out until 2010 so it'll be some time before we get any new news for this unless it's more cast announcements, though with shooting starting next week I'm sure they've finished casting, they just have to announce it.

27 October 2008

Akanishi Jin special program in Yokohama

Johnny's net updated again for the 27th. This time it's for Akanishi Jin and he'll apparently be doing a special program in Yokohama on November 4th. Like the Koyama & Shige event there really isn't any other information about what this about or for. Only information about the cut off date for applying to be in the audience for it.

One thing to note is that this does seem to be something different than what Koyama & Shige are doing as they are listed for doing an event while Jin is clearly listed for a special program. It doesn't mention a channel for broadcast either, but somehow I have to wonder if this could be connected to cartoon KAT-TUN, the program KAT-TUN has or something like that.

Koyama & Shige event

Well I've been checking Johnny's net for information about Koyama Keiichiro's solo butai that has been reported to have been announced at the NEWS' concerts as their tour has begun. I still have yet to see that information be put up but something else Koyama related has popped up. There apparently is some kind of event scheduled for Koyama and fellow NEWS member Kato Shigeaki will take part in. It's been listed in the TV/event schedule page and from what I can understand it will happen on November 13th. It simple gives Tokyo as the location so it does lean to the fact that it isn't something for TV as those have TV stations listed with them.

I'm really curious to what this is. My first thought is that it would be a promotion for the new album but it's a week before that goes on sale so the timing seems off for that. I hope more information comes out about this soon.

26 October 2008

Singing in Korean... or not?

This can probably be placed under strong rumor than actual news as I have yet to see the article that it came from but an Arashi fan over on Vox translated a Korean article about how popular Johnny's acts have grown in Korea, citing that the Arashi concerts in Korea sold out so quickly even the one they added after the first three sold out. At the end of the article it mentions that Johnny's Jimusho plan on opening an office in Korea.

Of course with that last bit of information there has been a lot of speculation on what that will mean for Johnny's. I think there is good reason to believe that it is possible, as I found an article that talks about the rise in popularity of the Johnny's acts in Korea, as the country is going through a Japanese-boom, akin to the Korean-boom Japan went through some years ago. As well as the fact there is an official Johnny's website for Korea already.

From comments I've read I've seen people argue that this isn't a good idea for Johnny's if they want cd sales as average cd sales in Korea is less than of Japan. But I highly doubt Johnny's is opening this office to dramatically increase their cd sales. Japan has the second largest music industry in the world, so unless they were trying to break into the American music industry every other country will be a smaller music market than Japan. If anything it just means Johnny's is doing what the Korean music company SM Town has been doing for years and is trying to branch out across Asia. Of course Johnny's in comparison is taking a slower more steadfast pace as only in the past decade have they been having overseas concerts while SM Town nowadays trains their acts for multinational careers.

I have the feeling the office is more to make it easier for Johnny's to set up concerts and events in Korea than any else for the moment. Also it can make it easier for the company to get an understanding of the Korean market before they make decisions on how to enter it. Maybe they'll see about recruiting some Korean talent, like how they recruited Golf & Mike from Thailand. Maybe we'll see some fresh Juniors with Korean heritage in the future, but I don't think outside of concerts and having their Japanese cds/DVDs released in Korea will the current Johnny's acts do much more in the country. Johnny's will get more profit from staying big in Japan than having that suffer while trying to break into another country.

Dramatic J DVD boxsets

It looks like Johnny's is being kind to Kansai Jr. fans, and cruel to their pocket books, by releasing the drama shorts they were in earlier this year on DVD. There will be two box sets that will have all the episodes from the Dramatic J series on them.

I don't know too much about Dramatic J, other than it's more like a collection of drama SPs that star various Kansai Jrs. So each episode is a stand alone story and the cast switch from episode to episode.

Dramatic-J DVD Box I / Japanese TV Series

Dramatic-J DVD Box II / Japanese TV Series

It seems a bit shocking that Johnny's would release something like this as the Kansai Jrs. tend to get ignored outside of the Kansai region for the most part, except I guess they've been a bit more prevalent this year after the Hey! Say! JUMP debut. I'm rather happy for them, though the only Kansai Jr. that has caught my eye is Nakayama Yuma. He really has something about him that just says 'star quality' to me and from all the breaks he's gotten it looks like Johnny's sees that too.

25 October 2008

NEWS color tracklist thoughts

Since I saw this posted over at the NEWS LJ comm I've been wanting to make comments about the choices of who gets to sing what. And as it seems to be slowing down news wise I figured this was as good as a time as any.

01 weeeek
05 Forever

These are all group songs and already it's clear that there is going to be more full group songs than there was on Pacific. Though I have to wonder who picked out the order for the tracks as having SUMMER TIME followed by SNOW EXPRESS just seems weird as they're about two very different seasons.

06 MOLA [Yamapi solo]

I'm really not surprised that Yamapi got a solo song as he's pretty much the front man of the group, nor am I shocked that it's the Spanish titled song with the fact that his big solo song before now was Daite Senorita.

07 ケセナイ (Kesenai) [Tegoshi main]

Well if main vocals aren't solos then I can only assume this song will be like Ai Nande
in terms of vocals. It's a bit disappointing that Tegoshi isn't getting a solo song but at least there's a chance that if there ever is a Tegomass album he'll at least get one there.

08 ordinary [Ryo solo]

Another non-shocker as Ryo gets almost the same kind of attention as Yamapi. I liked code so I'm looking forward to see what kind of song ordinary will be.

09 みんながいる世界をひとつに愛をもっとGive &Takeしましょう (Minna ga iru sekai wo hitotsu ni ai wo motto Give&Take shimashou) [Masuda main]

Well out of all the songs the title of this one does have a Massu feel to it so it's not too surprising that he at least be getting main vocals for the track. But like with Tegoshi I'm not too worried if he doesn't get an actual solo as he may have another chance for that.

10 ムラリスト (Murarisuto) [Koyama&Shige]

I wonder if the closest Koyama and Shige will get to a solo will be a duet as that's as close as they got on Pacific and now with color. Which is a pity as I have liked their concert solo songs and would love to have a cd quality version of them.

11 太陽のナミダ (Taiyou no Namida)
12 Smile Maker
13 Happy Birthday
15 永遠色の恋 (Towairo no Koi)

And as the album began with it ends with the rest of the group tracks. I probably won't really know until I have the cd to listen to decide whether or not I like the split in the middle for solo/duet/main vocal tracks or whether I would have preferred to have them mixed in with the group tracks.

24 October 2008

Johnny's net updates

Johnny's net has a few updates of interest on their website for today.

In the new releases section they have information about KAT-TUN's new single. It seems like the cdjapan description was wrong about the limited edition version of the single as it only lists one track instead of the two cdjapan said it had.

Also the covers for NEWS's upcoming album, color, have been put up. I really like the cover for the LE, though not enough to buy the cd as I pre-ordered the RE as I wanted the extra track. Though I think Shige's shirt looks better in black and white than in color.

And probably the most notable update is that the Kansai Juniors will be having a winter concert series scheduled to begin 23DEC2008 and will go through 04JAN2009 in Osaka. The concert is oh-so-cleverly titled Kansai Johnny's Jr. Osaka W Winter Concert 08-09.

23 October 2008

Mayonaka no Shadow Boy single scans

Since for some reason people tend to not share the scans for Hey! Say! JUMP's singles I've gone ahead and scanned my cd booklets from my singles that I just got today. I didn't scan everything, just the parts of the booklets/cd that had pictures of the boys and the lyrics from the RE cd as it has lyrics for all three songs.

I don't mind if you take and you don't have to credit, I just ask that you don't claim as your own, which should be common sense.

And now with four singles released HSJ are ready for an album next. Seeing as NEWS's album is coming out about two months after their last single I wouldn't be surprised if we just might get the album before the end of the year. If that's the case we should be getting an announcement in the next couple of weeks for it as the new KAT-TUN is slated to release on December 3rd so we're already on December releases for the Johnny's groups. I'm kinda hoping for an album release before the end of the year as it would mean their winter concerts would be proper concerts that can pull from an album worth of songs instead of having to repeat songs more than once to fill the time. *coughultramusicpowercough* That and I'm really hoping to get cd quality versions of some of the songs they have only performed live as well.

New KAT-TUN single White X'Mas

You know I had been wondering for a while when the next KAT-TUN single would come out as I was sure they would have at least one more release before the end of the year. According the the cdjapan e-mail this is "their first actual love ballade." I'm assuming it actually means that this is their first love ballade used as a single 's A-side track as I can swear they've done love ballads before. But I do believe this just very well be their first Christmas-themed song.

Also something to note is the fact that there really doesn't seem to be a regular edition. Just the limited edition and another edition that has a limited pressing, though how limited that is isn't mentioned. Though to its credit that edition is incredibly cheap only 500Yen which equates to about $5. The limited edition though seems like the better deal though even though it's more expensive as not only do you get a DVD with the PV and making of it also has another song track that the limited pressing doesn't have.

White X'mas [Limited Pressing] / KAT-TUN

White X'mas [w/ DVD, Limited Edition] / KAT-TUN

22 October 2008

Okada Junichi in a movie

Tokyo Graph has reported that V6's youngest member, Okada Junichi, will be starring in an upcoming movie, that is titled Oto-na-ri. The film is scheduled to be released in the early summer of 2009.

And now to go off tangent I've always wondered why the younger members of V6 are still regulars in the idol magazines like Myojo and Duet and not the whole group. Of course very few of the older groups like SMAP, TOKIO & V6 do photo shoots at all for those magazines which makes me wonder if there is an age cut off limit or something. Or if it's their choice to make after they've been working for Johnny's for so long they get more say in their schedules, which works with how Japanese hierarchy tends to work. The more senior you are they more respect you have automatically. Or perhaps a mix of both as when a new group debuts they need more space to promote them and they probably can't just up the page count so something has to go.

As I don't think I'm going to get an answer to this question I guess I'll have to just keep pondering...

19 October 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 26AUG2008 Mt. Fuji Pt. 2

Out of all the topics they cover on Hyakushiki I really didn't think they would need two episodes to cover Mt. Fuji. But I guess it just shows how important the Japanese feel Mt. Fuji is to them.

The first part goes over hiking up the mountain. During the beginning fact quiz segment footage is shown of Gachapin, a mascot character that was shown in another episode so I'm wondering if that's the TV station mascot, as it climbs Mt. Fuji during the winter.

It then slightly changes topics as they spotlight a famous hiker who has climbed the mountain 133 times in a year. The then watch footage of his usual day as he goes to climb the mountain. After the clip is over they are in the classroom and the hiker talks to them over the phone (or at least I think that's how they do it for programs like this).

After that they move on to the next fact quiz that talks about the radar center on the mountain that helps track typhoons. For this another video is shown, this one about building the radar dome of the center. Then there's a really short video about paragliding down the mountain, which is then followed by one about foot races on the mountain. Then they talk about the last time Mt. Fuji erupted, as it is a volcano after all.

The next segment I just went ahead and uploaded onto youtube (veoh is still giving me issues) to watch as it deserves to be watched. It's a Mt. Fuji song quiz that Fujigaya, Takada and Shoon participate in and Shoon just steals the show. Seriously, you need to watch it, and you should be able to follow along just fine without knowing Japanese.

As that segment runs into the credits all that's left then is the little clip at the end of the program which is just Takada at the mic stand.

18 October 2008

New Junior Group, B.I.Shadow

I seems like Johnny's hasn't given up making new Junior groups after all as with the November magazines, or at least Wink Up, Nakajima Kento, Takahata Misaki, and Kikuchi Fuma are being labeled as a new unit, B.I.Shadow. These are the three that are in the Scrap Teacher drama and according to reports from the A.B.C.-Z/Kis-My-Ft2 concert reports they even performed together on stage, even though they weren't called by their group name. Filming for November's Shounen Club is on October 20th so I guess we'll see how official this group is if they're introduced as such and not by individual name.

One thing that bugs me about this group is that I have yet to see any mention to what the B.I. stands for. With Johnny's I'm sure it will be something wonderfully Engrishy and cringe worthy as it certainly isn't the initials of any of the boys' names. My personal guess for what B.I.Shadow spells out to Boys In Shadow, though I can't help but think that sounds too cool for a Johnny's name. These are the people that gave us B.A.D., Beautiful American Dream, and BOYS, Bokutachi Osaka Yankee Shounen (We are Osaka Yankee Boys).

Other than that I'm surprised that Johnny's finally decided to make a new Junior group, and I really wasn't expecting this trio. Especially since Nakaken is still rather new to the agency, but I won't complain as you'll notice from my past posts I'm already a fan of this kid. I hope unlike TOP3 they get to stick around for a while before Johnny's decides to change things up again. As they're all in the Scrap Teacher drama I have the feeling that the group will at least last as long as it airs which should be into December.

Shabake 2 SP update

Fuji TV has updated with the air date and time for the second Shabake SP, Uso Uso, which stars NEWS' Tegoshi Yuya. It will air on November 29th at 9PM. They also have put up a page with a summary and cast list of the SP.

With the airing date out I can only imagine that in a couple of weeks or so the promotion for it will start up in earnest. So we'll get to see more semi-bald Tegoshi and Takaki. I wonder if this time around Takaki will be given a bigger part, especially as he's more popular now than he was when the first SP aired.

17 October 2008

The rise of A.B.C-Z? + added concert dates for NEWS

Well it looks like Johnny's is wise enough to build up on A.B.C-Z's popularity after a successful concert series. A.B.C-Z will be featured in the Popolo magazine's December issue, which is the magazine Kis-My-Ft2 is the only regular Junior unit featured in it. I guess the January issue will show whether or not this will be a one time thing like Hashimoto and Sanada had or they will truly be joining kisumai as regulars in it.

It has also been announced on Johnny's net that Tottsu (Totsuka Shota) will become a regular on the Hyakushiki-Ou program starting in November. It doesn't mention any of the current regulars of the show leaving so it's uncertain if someone will leave to make room for him or if they will just go up to six Juniors for the program.

I think if anyone should leave it should be Keito, not because I don't like him or anything but rather because he is the only non-Junior on the show and he now has the Hey! Say! 7 radio program that he can be on. And on that program he's proven that he now has no trouble keeping a conversation going so I don't think he needs to gain more experience on Hyakushiki-Ou anymore. But then again when Hey! Say! JUMP debuted they took over Hyakushiki and they tended to have more than five members in the episodes so I can't see why they can't up the number to six without having someone leave.

And it looks like A.B.C-Z will be around in the new year two as they are listed with Kis-My-Ft2 and Johnny's Juniors to be apart of Tackey's butai that begins the 1st of January.

Also six new concerts have been added to NEWS winter tour. There are no new dates only some of the days that were originally scheduled for one show have had a second added to them.

16 October 2008

Hyakushiki-Ou 19AUG2008 Mt. Fuji Pt.1

I haven’t really had the time to right up reports for Hyakushiki-Ou for a while, even though I’ve been meaning to. I’ll try to make the time though until I’ve caught up as I figure by then it will be November and the episodes with Tottsu would have begun.
As usual the episode starts with a fact quiz segment, but the boys seem to know more about the topic, Mt. Fuji, than most of the topics they cover on the program. I have the feeling it’s something that is taught about in the Japanese school system as it is such a symbolic mountain for Japan. Also of note part of this episode is Fujigaya-less. If I remember correctly this was a month that the members of Kis-My-Ft2 were busy which explains his absence for the first half.
After that is over Takada has the task of talking about Mt. Fuji and quizzing the ‘class’, which Inohara joins for this. He shows several pictures of Mt. Fuji, all rather beautiful, and the others have to guess what each is called. There’s some cute uses of English for this from Inohara and Shoon for some of the guesses.

The next segment is the next fact quiz as the topic moves to sightseers visiting Mt. Fuji and what can be expected to be found there for them. And Fujigaya all of a sudden makes an appearance after not being there for the first part of the episode. Which makes me wonder what the taping schedule is like for the program. And instead of one of the boys going out to check things out they have someone else to climb Mt. Fuji for them, which if I’m understanding correctly is the assistant director (AD), and show them the kinds of things they’ll come across if they hike up the mountain.

They then switch back to the classroom where they bring the AD over to talk to him a bit. Mt. Fuji themed items are brought out then and the boys have to pick one to figure out what exactly they are. Sanada gets to try first which the bottle he picks up ends up being air from Mt. Fuji. Takada gets to try the food shaped like Mt. Fuji, which you can easily tell from the look on his face that he enjoys. He says the bread part tastes like melon bread, which makes me want to try some, as I love melon bread. As the credits roll Shoon gets to try one of the items, which I’m assuming is rock candy, as he compares the taste to Konpeito, which is a kind of rock candy IIRC.

The closing shot is of Takada and Keito eating some of the Mt. Fuji bread Takada tried earlier.

15 October 2008

A couple of updates.

As the release date for the Mayonaka no Shadow Boy single draws closer the Johnny's websites have been updating for which shows Hey! Say! JUMP will be on to promote it. So far there are only two shows that they are scheduled to be on, Music Station on 10/17 and Hey! Hey! Hey! Music Champ on 10/20. I'm sure there will be at least one other program added to that list soon as two live performances seems too little, especially after the fact they were on Music Station alone three times for the Your Seed/Bouken Rider single.

Also Johnny's net has put up the single covers for Arashi's latest single, Beautiful days, which is the theme song for the Ryusei no Kizuna drama that stars Ninomiya Kazunari and Nishikido Ryo. I don't think the covers are all that impressive but they definitely make sure that they tie in to the drama by placing Ninomiya in the center of the group and the starry night sky background used for the regular edition.

With this single Arashi is getting close to another album release. Johnny's usually wait three to four singles before releasing an album and Beautiful days will be the third single released after their last album Dream "A"live was released. I think there will be another single released for the group before the next album, especially since next year will be Arashi's ten year anniversary so I think we can also expect a best album from them sometime next year. With their current popularity, so far two of their singles are at the top two singles for the year on the Oricon chart, it would be foolish for Johnny's not to cash in on their success with a best album, which tends to do much better than original albums for sales.

14 October 2008

A.B.C.-Z/Kis-My-Ft2 concert reports

Well from the news reports and comments of those who went the first A.B.C.-Z/Kis-My-Ft2 concerts where a great success. According to news reports 75,000 people attended the concerts over the weekend. According to Kami-chan's numbers the up coming Hey! Say! JUMP concert series if sold out will attract 153,000 people which means that the concerts over the weekend for these two Junior groups pulled in about half the numbers of what a debuted group will. Of course that isn't taking into account that the HSJ concert could very easily add dates if the demand is there but it's still a good measure, IMHO, at the popularity of A.B.C.-Z/Kis-My-Ft2. And I wouldn't be surprised if they add on more concerts for next month as the demand definitely seems to be there.

There seems to have been some misinformation by the way the news was reported in Japan though as the way they worded things made it sound that this was a debut concert, which it of course wasn't. The concerts were concert debuts, as in the first concerts that A.B.C.-Z and Kisumai weren't just back dancers but the main performers. I think if either group really did debut Johnny's would have made sure everybody knew by the end of the weekend and there would be a cd release announced, which of course there isn't.

But I think this is still all good news for the two groups. I've always thought Kisumai seemed to be a popular group and I think the concerts really helped prove that. And A.B.C. has been around for such a long time it's great to see them finally being able to step out from the back to be the front men in a concert. Hopefully there will be more concerts for the groups next year too, and of course a lot more exposure of them in general.

I want to at least see one of the groups debut. Right now I think Kis-My-Ft2 has the better chance as A.B.C. fills a vital role with their acrobatics at concerts and it would be much more difficult to replace them than Kisumai, as their gimmick is rollerskating which is something I think would be much easier to learn than the stunts that A.B.C. does. Of course Johnny's could always just debut the most popular members of the groups in a new unit, which would be heartbreaking for the fans, but that's never stopped them before. Though I think after the fan backlash from breaking up Ya-Ya-Yah I would imagine that they wouldn't be so quick to break up any other groups that have been around for years and have proven that they have attracted quite the fanbase. At times like these I wish I had a crystal ball to look into the future so I could do more than speculate at these things.

Hey! Say! JUMP 08-09 concert

Johnny's net has updated with the announcement that Hey! Say! JUMP will be having a concert series during the months of December and January. From the venue list, two halls and an arena, and the fact that only 7 days are listed it looks like they are keeping things on the small side compared to the kinds of concerts their senpai usually get.

I also noticed that the days around New Year's eve are free so that should give the eldest four more than enough time to participate in Johnny's Countdown this year as they will all be 18, the legal age for working after midnight in Japan.

I think I'm most interested on whether or not they will release an album for the concert and for the first time have a proper set list, i.e. not have to sing Ultra Music Power more than once. Of course even if they don't they will still be a bit better off with now four singles worth of songs to chose from. I'm mostly over my burn out for UMP but I still would love to see them perform it less and less so it feels like they really have been around for over a year.

Oh! My Dream, Oh! The Cute

Well I haven't been able to see all of the past Sunday's Shounen Club between a heavy school workload and flaky internet connections. But what I've seen I've enjoyed, except for the WTH is up with non-Johnny's on Shounen Club moments.

Veoh for some reason is refusing to work so I can't put anything up for streaming. So instead I'm stuck having to to anything up on Mediafire to download as a mp4 file.

After seeing the closing song I knew that was the performance that stuck out to me as there was just so much cute. I mean really the older Juniors holding the chibikos on their backs while they sung was so adorable. And Nakaken (Nakajima Kento) was again all smiles, which made me smile. Especially as he was placed next to Shoon so the shot of Shoon ended up being one of Shoon and Nakaken. And of course Shoon, Sanada and Nozawa got a little bit of a spotlight which always makes me happy to see my favorite Juniors get attention in these melodies where it is easy for them to get lost with everyone on stage.

12 October 2008

Getting Psyched Up

Well it doesn't look like the usual place I get my drama episodes from will have Scrap Teacher up before I go to sleep but I wanted to make a post that was related to it today. Some who live in Japan have made comments about the episode and the series looks like it'll be a fun watch if anything.

So I decided to check out the official NTV webpage for the Scrap Teacher drama. Looking at the relationship/cast chart that NTV has on their webpage for the drama I think it would be easy to think that this was an all-boys school as the only students shown are the Johnny's boys.

It's probably a really good thing that Johnny's recently relaxed its policy about dramas using the images of their talent for things like websites. Before no picture was allowed at all and instead you would get some odd substitute image, I believe Ikuta Toma for the HanaKimi drama had a soccer ball for where his image would have gone. As you can see their images can be used now but they've all been run through an image filter, which makes them look a bit weird. But for such a Johnny's heavy drama like this it's probably a good thing that their actual pictures can be used instead of them all having something else in its place.

As Nakajima Kento has already begun to win me over from his great smile on last week's Shounen Club and he is in the Scrap Teacher drama, I decided to translate some of the information that was given about him in the October 2008 issue of Wink Up. It's pretty much the usual stats and as it is late I won't be translating everything but it should be most of it.

中島健人(なかじまけんと/Nakajima Kento)
Nickname: Nakajii, Nakaken
Birthdate: 13March1994. 14 years old (3rd year Junior High)
Blood Type: A
Hometown: Tokyo
Height: 170cm
Weight: 52kg
Foot size: 26cm
Strong Point: Not giving up.
Weak Point: Impatient
Hobby: Piano, reading books
Talent: Piano
Strong Subjects: English, Music, Physical Education
Weak Subjects: Mathematics, Science
Reason for applying: Watched the Hey! Say! JUMP Spring Concert.
Respected Senpai: Yamada Ryosuke, Akanishi Jin
Type of Girl He Likes: One with a good personality.

11 October 2008

Yasuko to Kenji final impressions

With the new drama season already begun I figured it was time to hurry up and do this post before I do any first impressions for the two dramas I plan on following, Scrap Teacher and Ryusei no Kizuna.

And as a note the screen caps aren't in order and are from the final two episodes of the series. I tried to keep things spoiler free as you can find fansubs for the entire series to watch it yourself.

Honestly I enjoyed watching Yasuko to Kenji from the first episode to the final. It's not the most dramatic or emotional but it is fun and light, which is the kind of drama I enjoy the most.

The cast was great, especially Matsuoka Masahiro as Kenji. He really just stole the screen whenever he was on it and I really look forward to any more acting roles he is given. And I loved that Nagano Hiroshi from V6 had a guest role for the final two episodes. It didn't give him much to do but I thought he did well with what he had to work with for the character.

The last few episodes take a break from the fight random shady people of the week plots which really helps a lot with moving the story along and gives the couple of fights near the end more weight to them as you know that they're not just there to fill time but are essential to the plot.

The final brawl is fun to watch as everyone comes together and actual works to resolve story plots.

The ending is sweet and final enough to be the conclusion though open enough to add something on to it. I don't think the chances of it happening are high but I would love to see a SP for this series. But at least it ended up being the 3rd highest drama for ratings with a 13.0 average rating, with 10 being about average and anything over 20 being a huge hit. Considering for the season the highest average rating for a drama, Code Blue, was 15.6 it's not that bad at all.

All in all I recommend watching this series. It's one of the better light-hearted dramas out there, IMHO. And as I've mentioned before the cast is just great and are just a joy to watch, even for the episodes that seem to be just 'filler'.

10 October 2008

Tackey to release first solo single

Tackey will be releasing a solo single in conjunction with his newest musical, Shinshun Takizawa Kakumei. There really isn't anymore information about the single out yet other than it will be released about the same time as the musical run, which is January 1st through the 27th of 2009. The musical will use Japanese folklore as its plot, which isn't much of a departure from Tackey's usual musicals that are mainly set in feudal Japan. English article at Tokyograph.

Johnny's net has updated with the show times for the musical
though there is no mention of the single, but as it looks like very little has been decided about it, even a composer for the music hasn't been picked yet, it's probably going to be a while before it gets listed anywhere.

09 October 2008

New release updates

Ok, I was rather confused about the title of the sixth track from NEWS' new album, color. cdjapan had listed it as MOLA on their listing but then the NEWS JE website listed the track title to be Sexy Lady. Then when Johnny's net updated it was listed as MOLA and now the JE website also lists it as MOLA. So I guess that clears that up except for actually explained what in Earth MOLA means.

And like for their last album I'm only getting the regular edition as it has the extra track and I don't feel like a booklet is worth double dipping for. I'm kinda glad I can get away with only buying the one version as I fear when the Hey! Say! JUMP album comes out it will be one of the RE with bonus track and LE with bonus cd release patterns which would mean I'd have to break down and get both as I'm a sucker for bonus tracks.

And speaking of website updates and upcoming releases, Johnny's net has put up the cd covers of Hey! Say! JUMP's single, Mayonaka no Shadow Boy. And even though they've been up on J-Storm's HSJ website the Johnny's net versions are a bit bigger and IMHO better quality.

The PV for the single has been aired and honestly it gives me a bit of a KAT-TUN feel to me with the vague plot that doesn't really have any explanation, the black outfits and the dance cuts spliced in it all. And it looks like everyone but Hikaru, Inoo, Keito and Morimoto have solo lines in the song. I think the only reason Hikaru doesn't have a solo line is because Daiki has them as he is in the Scrap Teacher drama. Also of note the Scrap Teacher four are given a bit more spotlight that usual in the fact that they're all in the front of the group for the dance segments. Which makes them a bit weird for me to watch as Takaki is stuck in the back because of this and I've gotten used to him being near the front. But at least he has the solo lines which gives him some screen time for the hotel shots in the PV.

I cant' wait to see the making of for the PV and the photos from it. I think I'm definitely going to have to hunt down the Takaki set and maybe the Daiki set too as he's really been growing on me. But in the end it'll all depend if I actually like the photos themselves.

08 October 2008

NEWS new album 'color'

Seriously, I haven't been home for ten minutes when I got the notice from cdjapan and boy do I feel giddy. I mean seriously I've been hoping for this since Happy Birthday's release and I'm so glad it came so soon and I actually have money to go right ahead and pre-order.

Also the fact that SNOW EXPRESS and Towairo no Koi are finally getting cd versions makes me a very happy NEWS fan. This so has just made my day and robbed me of any coherent thought beyond fangirl squeeing.

color [Regular Edition] / NEWS

color [Limited Edition] / NEWS

Now that a bit of my excitement has worn off I've found that there is a track list out. For both versions it's the same except the LE doesn't have Towairo no Koi.

1. weeeek
5. Forever
7. Kesenai
8. ordinary
9. Minna ga Iru Seikai o Hitotsu ni Ai o Motto Give & Take Shimasho
10. Murarisuto*
11. Taiyou no Namida
12. Smile Maker
13. Happy Birthday

RE Only
15. Towairo no Koi

* This is written out in katakana and it sounds out like Moralist to me, but I could be wrong.

I love how long Minna ga... is though there's no way I'll be typing out that whole thing again. And having SNOW EXPRESS directly following SUMMER TIME looks so out of place. They should at least have a fall themed song in between. Not that it matters too much to me as I'll just be ripping the tracks and listening to them in whatever order I want to anyway.

07 October 2008

The ever changing Shounen Club

Well this past Sunday the first episode of Shounen Club aired for October. This is the first that showcased the A.B.C.-Z unit so I had some mixed feelings about it as I'm still not really happy with that formation. But in the end it was still an enjoyable episode and all my favorite Juniors were present and got some screen time so I was happy.

It's kinda odd to see that they've shuffled Shoon to be with Sanada and Nozawa, they've done this with their photo shoots as well for the November magazines. It's a bit of a weird combination to see, especially with Shoon being the oldest and the shortest of the three. But I have to admit I was worried that Sanada and Nozawa might have been given diminished parts/presence if they weren't attached to Hashimoto but this SC and the magazine photo shoots shows that they are still getting the same I'm still hoping that by the start of next year Hashimoto will be back with Sanada and Nozawa though, they made a good trio.

I decided to upload the Taisetsu Melody to stream because I really want to ramble on about the various Juniors featured in it.

A.B.C.-Z starts it off and I can't help but think Hashimoto seems to be uncomfortable performing the song instead of just enjoying himself like usual. I think it's more like he may not be so familiar with the song as he usually gets to perform newer songs so I think he had to study up more than usual for this performance than he normally does. But that's just my speculation.

Having three of my favorite Juniors singing one of my favorite NEWS songs is just pure win for me. Really I didn't want it to end and I love how Sanada and Nozawa even got solo lines for the performance because they could have easily just been stuck singing back up for Fujigaya like Question? did for Kitayama for the Wilds of My Heart performance later in the melody. Plus nothing brings a smile to my face than the dance that comes with Cherish. The only thing that could have made it better was if they were wearing the neon pink gloves that NEWS did for the PV and promotional lives for the single.

The orange jump suit group have been given new group costume though outside Nakajima Kento (no relation to Nakajima Yuto), who just had the greatest smile in the performance, and Takada Sho, who I only know because of Hyakushiki-Ou, I really don't feel the need/desire to learn their names still. But like I mentioned I did become interested in Kento and I'm glad he with, Takahata Misaki and Kikuchi Fuma will have roles in the Scrap Teacher drama so I can see more of him. As the easiest way to win me over is a great smile which he has.

I don't know why but I can't help but think Tanaka Juri is just all kinds of adorable. I'm not really a fan of his older brother Koki from KAT-TUN, so I don't think it's because of that relation, though I am a sucker for the brotherly type. But in any case Juri is cute and doesn't come off as awkward as he did in last month's episodes performing. And he also gives Morimoto Shintarou someone his own size out of the chibikos to stand next, as the rest are growing up quick.

On another note about the chibikos, I'm glad to see that Anderson Casey is still in the line up instead of being put in the back. The international Juniors don't catch many breaks so I'm happy that he is doing well and as things stand now he's probably the most likely international Junior to debut which would be a first as no none full-Japanese Johnny's has ever debuted to my knowledge.

I really liked the costumes Hikaru and Yabu were wearing for the episode, mostly because they show off Hikaru's arms and he actually has something to show off. I swear he and Keito need to have more sleeveless outfits. And people like Yabu shouldn't be given sleeveless outfits unless they have something more than sticks for arms. But he kinda gets away with it by having an extra piece that covers one of his upper arms which helps distract from noticing that he's so thin. I swear out of HSJ he's the one I would want to feed as he looks half starved to me, which is not an attractive look for me personally.

06 October 2008

Kanjani8 Musekinin Hero cdjapan pre-orders

Don't know why I didn't get an e-mail for the release (maybe because they're on an enka label and not the usual music labels Johnny's are connected with) but the new Kanjani8 single is up for pre-order at cdjapan.

EDIT: Well even though they still don't have the cd covers for Hey! Say! JUMP's new single Johnny's net has updated with the covers for Kanjani8's new release. I actually rather like them and they do manage to stand out, as how many cds have 'mug shots' on them. XD


I don't know what's been up with my home internet connection over the past few days but to say the least I haven't really been able to use the net much at all. So I'm sorry for such a long break between posts and then not really having much for this one. Thankfully I can do a bit of catch up here at school so I should be able to get back on track for the week and hopefully the net problem at my house will be worked out by the end of the week.

I think the only thing I'm ready to comment on is the fact that J-Storm finally put up the covers for Hey! Say! JUMP's new single Mayonaka no Shadow Boy. They're definitely a departure from Your Seed's covers and kinda remind me of Ultra Music Power's covers with how it's basically all the boys posing together. It definitely looks like they are trying for a bit of a 'mature' look with the muted colors but I have a hard time thinking the members of Hey! Say! 7 as 'mature'.

Also there are previews and I believe a radio rip floating around on Live Journal for the song. From the PV preview I noticed that Takaki has solo lines which makes me happy. Kinda curious to who else will get solo lines, though I know Yamada is a definite as he's HSJ's Golden Boy at the moment. But if past songs are anything to go by then there's a good chance, Yabu, Hikaru, Nakajima and Chinen to get at least one solo line, though I'm honestly hoping Daiki gets a solo line with him being in Scrap Teacher and all.

03 October 2008

Kanjani8 and Hey! Say! JUMP news

Well it seems I was right that there is indeed something Johnny's had in store for Kanjani8 and it happens to be a new single, Musekinin Hero, and what a new single release it will be. Honestly with every one of the three versions coming with their own set of B-sides and the live DVDs for the two LEs it might was well be a mini-album release. The information is just up on Johnny's net so it's not up for pre-order yet but will most likely will be soon.

Hey! Say! JUMP has had the recording for an appearance on the Hey! Hey! Hey! program put up. The filming will be on October 6th. I wonder when they'll announce the rest of the shows they will be on to promote the new single.

Not sure how long the information has been there but looking at J-Storm's page for HSJ media appearances I noticed that it has Takaki listed to be part of the 2nd Shabake SP that will air near the end of the year. Since the announcement of the new SP I know I had been wondering if his character from the first SP would be in the second so I guess this confirms it. So I guess the two Yuyas, Tegoshi and Takaki, will be working together again.

01 October 2008

New drama for Matsuoka and Ohkura and Kanjani8 on Domoto Kyoudai

Apparently Matsuoka and Ohkura are going to have a chance to act in the same drama again. It has been announced that the Hissatsu Shigotonin 2007 special will be made into a weekly drama for next year. Matsuoka and Ohkura had parts in the 2007 SP and will be reprising them for the drama, which looks to be a remake of the original Hissatsu Shigotonin drama that ran from May 1979 to January 1981. It will be simple titled Hissatsu Shigotonin 2009 and is scheduled to begin January 2009. I've never watched a period drama before but I wouldn't mind trying one out as Matsuoka stole my heart in Yasuko to Kenji. Here is the official Asahi webpage for the drama.

I'm pretty much convinced that Johnny's does have something planned for Kanjani8 soon, as not only do they have that Music Station appearance coming up but Johnny's net has updated the TV filming schedule and they are also scheduled to appear on Domoto Kyoudai. Domoto Kyoudai only have Johnny's guest every once in a while so I can't imagine there not being something tied to Kanjani8's appearance on the show as it's also not the kind of thing people do just because. The filming is set for 14OCT so in the next couple of weeks I wouldn't be surprised to hear an announcement of some kind for something new for Kanjani8.

And one last bit of news of note is that after the first week sales of their new album SMAP has crossed the 10 million mark for album sales. They are only the second vocal group to do this, the first was in Chage & Aska back in 1993. Tokyograph report. So congrats to them.