Archive for June, 2012
It began as a normal episode of Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん) with Matsumoto Jun-kun and Ninomiya Kazunari-kun walking onto the share house set, brooding about the expected arrival of the three members of Morisanchuu. Then the doorbell rang and, to their horror, they saw this:
And they were not happy about it.
Since they knew they were going to be the butt of much humor today, they decided to start by playing a few tricks of their own. First, MatsuJun set the chain/bar on the door so that, when the women tried to open it, it would only open a crack.
VS Arashi (VS 嵐） is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi, who compete against a different team of actors or comedians every week. After three weeks straight of comedians, we finally get some actors – the “Mirai Nikki” team, promoting the finale to their drama.
While Okada Masaki-kun (岡田将生) and Gouriki Ayame-san (剛力彩芽) are the two leads, and Okada-kun is the leader of the team, my interest was fixed on Hongo Kanata-kun (本郷奏多). No disrespect to Okada and Gouriki, but they’re both rather . . . normal (which is the polite way of saying boring). Hongo-kun, though, is an endlessly fascinating character, and entirely idiosyncratic. In dramas and movies, he often plays intense and rather rude characters, but on the rare occasions when he appears on shows like this, he’s soft-spoken. But if he was just soft-spoken, he’d just be boring. Rather, he has all sorts of amusing mannerisms and, when he does speak, the words that come out are rarely what you expect. Take his first words when he’s introduced by Okada-kun:
This is the polite way of introducing yourself (Hongo to moshimasu) as opposed to the plain (Hongo desu), and you normally don’t hear it on variety shows, where a more casual atmosphere pervades. He says it is a very strained way, and the audience gets a kick out of it. Matsumoto-kun notes that it’s totally opposite from his character in the movie Gantz, which he did with Nino-kun, and only then does Sakurai-kun recognize the quiet Hongo as the actor from that movie.
So, we come to the conclusion of Kagi no Kakatta Heya (鍵のかかった部屋). This episode resolves the case the previous episode introduced, so if you haven’t seen episode 10 already, be aware that this review will contain spoilers from that episode, pretty much right away. As far as the contents of this episode go, though, I won’t give away anything that occurs in the latter part, and in particular nothing that leads directly to the case’s conclusion.
At the end of episode 10, Enomoto (Ohno Satoshi) was arrested on suspicion of committing the crime, because the victim – the president of Bay Leaf – accused had caused legal trouble for him years ago. The scene where he gets hauled away was a wonderful cliffhanger, and led us to wonder how Serizawa (Sato Koichi) and Aoto (Toda Erika) would get on without him.
No dice, though. Right after they took a few minutes to detail what had happened in the case so far, Enomoto gets released. Since this is almost the first thing that happens in the episode, I hope you will forgive me for not considering it a spoiler. So much for the tension there, though, as Enomoto is back at in the lead in barely the blink of an eye.
In the previous episode of HamaKisu (濱キス), Kis-My-Ft2‘s Miyata Toshiya-kun took on the same challenge as fellow member Tamamori Yuta-kun was tackling on Ikinari Ougon Densetsu – to live for a month on just 10000 yen (roughly $125). Rent was paid for, but everything else, including utilities and food, are not.
Miyata-kun is actually only doing it for a week – the last week of Tamamori-kun’s month, and his goal is to end up with more money left over than Tamamori has.
I think it’s good that he’s only doing it for a week, because otherwise it would dominate too many episodes. Last week’s episode only covered day one, so yeah, a week’s enough.
When we last left Miyata-kun, he was talking to the camera at the start of day two, completely unaware that an intruder was sneaking up on him:
Kodomo Keisatsu (コドモ警察) is a half-hour drama centered on cops who are turned into kids by a chemical, but who continue about their daily business anyway, fighting the all-pervasive evil organization “Red Venus.” So far, the kiddie squad has mainly been on the defensive, reacting to the plots Red Venus set up. This time, though, they begin on a stake out observing one of the main Red Venus agents:
What followed were a lot of scenes in which the kids were a lot more amusing than they have been in the series so far. It all starts with the lead detective (Suzuki Fuku) trying to write a memo and unconsciously filling a page with doodles:
As we found out in an earlier episode, their transformation into children has also had some effect on their minds, and here even the venerable lead detective is affected. The squad is distraught:
These are the notable (i.e. potentially popular) Single and Album Releases for the next month. My apologies if your favorite artist is not included – please mention the artist and title in a comment and I’ll update the list if it’s someone I should have included. Unfortunately, adding every release in the month would make this post a mess, since there’s more than a hundred of them, and most of them are from artists that will sell fewer than twenty thousand copies.
(Edit: A more complete list is available here at aramatheydidnt – thanks to liime_arix)
Recently, the livejournal page for Johnny’s new releases (johnnys_shop) stopped updating, so I thought people might be interested in this kind of summary.
Yamashita Tomohisa – Love Chase
Morning Musume – One Two Three / The Matenrou Show
Scandal – Taiyo Scandalous
Angela Aki – Kokuhaku
Rola (who I’ve been calling Lola) – Memories
flumpool – Because . . . I am
Going into this week, I was hoping that Maeda Atsuko-san (前田敦子) would be able to keep Exile from the top spot this week – not because I like Maeda-san so much, but I really, really despise Exile. Well, no such luck. Exile took number one with “All Night Long” selling 206,090 – a number that’s hard to get context on, since Exile’s fans are an album-buying demographic.
Maeda Atsuko’s “Kimi wa Boku da” (君は僕だ) sold 136,212 at #2. That’s very good for a solo effort, but considering Maeda Atsuko-san’s high profile, I was actually expecting a number north of 150,000.
Kanjani8 held on at #4 with “Aideshita” selling 24,594 for a 286,638 two-week total.
Arashi took #6 with sales of “Your Eyes” now totaling 534,030. “Face Down” also stayed in the top 30, hanging on at #28 with a total count of 608,435.
AKB48’s “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” came in at #13, adding 6,612 to 1,790,786 for a grand total of 1,797,398.
SKE48’s “Aishite Raburu!” remained closely behind, taking #16 for a total of 554,164.
Rounding out the ???48 family, we have the subgroup Not Yet’s “Suika Baby” coming in at #27, sending out another 2,853 this week and a total of 162,342.
On the album side, NEWS’s “NEWS Best” dropped to #11, selling 9,966, netting a total of 119,138 over two weeks.
Hey! Say! Jump’s “Jump World” held on at #23, managing 4,398 more for a total of 142,987.
We’ll be getting KAT-TUN’s “To the Limit” next week to round out Johnny’s June.