Archive for July, 2012
Sprout (スプラウト) is a half-hour teen romance series based on a popular manga by Nanba Atsuko. It stars Chinen Yuri as Souhei, Morikawa Aoi as Miku, and Lewis Jesse as Katagiri Hayato.
At the end of last week’s episode, Katagiri confessed his love for Miku . . .
. . . and Miku seems to remember the moment fondly:
Continuing in her memory of what happened after the confession, we see that Katagiri knew that Miku liked Souhei, and was willing to give Miku time.
Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is a variety show featuring Arashi as hosts and famous male guests from a range of backgrounds. This time, as occasionally happens, the guests share the same background as Arashi. Kanjani8 are a fellow Johnny’s group and in the middle of promoting their “Eight Ranger” movie and the single based off of it. They’re also just as competent as Arashi in the variety show business, so this should be a lot of fun. Realizing that, the producers saw fit to make it a 90-minute special.
The episode begins with a balance ball challenge, with Kanjani8 observing and commenting on who among the Arashi members can stay on a balance ball for the least amount of time. (Arashi themselves told the crowd unequivocally who would do the best.)
By the way, Kanjani8 were spot-on in their predictions. After the challenge, they make their entrance:
Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団 – Naniwa Juvenile Detective Team) is a mystery series with a humorous bent based on a novel by Higashino Keigo. It centers on mystery-obsessed elementary school teacher Takeuchi Shinobu (Tabe Mikako) and her cohort of similarly curious students. This episode begins with Shinobu putting her usual overabundance of energy into softball training with the kids.
Meanwhile, a suspicious old man looks on:
Shinobu at least cleans up her mistake, though rival teacher Haruna (Kimura Fumino, who is also playing naïve teacher Haruka in Kuro no Onna Kyoushi this season – how many teachers are you allowed to play in a single season?) isn’t very grateful.
Kuro no Onna Kyoushi (黒の女教師 – possibly “the female teacher(s) of darkness”) is a school drama centered on three “dark” teachers who handle problems at their school in a cold and purely for-profit way. If you thought Great Teacher Onizuka was too cheery and optimistic, this is the antidote.
Our story begins with a scene that actually occurs in the middle of the story, with the troubled main character running up to the school to implore the three dark teacher for help. Their response is to ask if she has the money, which she does, though she hates them for wanting to be paid to help.
After the credits, we flashback to the normal flow of the story to find out that the main character is a new teacher at the school. We see her on her first day, busy rehearsing her introduction as she walks onto campus. Immediately, we know that she’s one of those cheery teachers who will have the full force of reality brought down upon her.
VS Arashi (VS 嵐） is a game show hosted by the idol group Arashi, who usually compete against a different team of actors or comedians every week. This time, though, it was the Gasshuukoku Sansanzu Team (合衆国サンサンズ), a team of announcers for a summer expo where there’s a VS Arashi pavillion. I don’t know much about it, but here‘s the Japanese-language website for it.
The “plus one” guest added to the Arashi team was drama actor Takahashi Katsumi-san (高橋克実), who didn’t get much of a reaction from the Arashi guys. He was on VS Arashi two years ago (2010-12-09), but I’ll refrain from taking a look at how that appearance turned out.
The first game was Korokoro Viking. Before we get started, though, the announcer team had a bit of fun with the announcer for VS Arashi, Nakamura Mitsuhiro-san (中村 光宏 or, as Arashi call him, ni-dai-me 二代目 second generation/substitute) who is also a “Sansanzu.” Apparently, Nakamura-san gets a bit worked up/nervous when announcing games, and has to have a reminder to calm down posted under his screen:
GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) is the remake of a famous 1998 drama, which in turn was based on a manga and anime, about a motorcycle gang leader who becomes a teacher and uses unconventional methods to deal with troublesome students. So far, it’s been my favorite drama of the season, mainly because of the excellent laughs it offers, but can it keep it up?
At the beginning of this episode, an awkward student has a love letter for Onizuka (AKIRA):
But sure enough, this is just yet another trap set by evil student Aizawa Miyabi (Kawaguchi Haruna) and her minions.
The number one single this week was “Chankapaana” (チャンカパーナ) – the comeback single from NEWS – which sold 244,710. NEWS singles tend to hover around the Platinum line (250,000), and since this looks like it’ll break that line easily next week, it’s a very good showing. I don’t know if it will break 300,000, but if it does, it will be their first single since “weeeek” to do so. It’s already a good bounce-back from the horrid failure of “Fighting Man”, which didn’t break 200,000. Congratulations to NEWS for coming through the hard times. I’m still looking forward to the first concert DVD.
Number two was “Romance Privacy” (ロマンス・プライバシー) from AKB48 subunit French Kiss (フレンチ・キス) with 85,011. I don’t know how that measures against this group’s prior singles, but I would guess it’s about on par. We’ll see if this single can break 100,000 in the coming weeks.
Tohoshinki‘s “Android” held onto #10, selling 8,458 for a two-week total of 160,870. This is a fairly disappointing second week, and is reminiscent of the trajectory of Kim Hyun-joong‘s “Heat” last week. Incidentally, in just its third week, “Heat” doesn’t appear in the top fifty at all. It looks like, for Kim Hyun-joong, his dedicated fans came out in the first week, but he didn’t generate any buzz. We’ll see if Tohoshinki suffers the same fate, or whether they have more staying power.
Shoujo Jidai sales follow a more favorable curve, with “Paparazzi” holding #12 in its third week, selling 6,286 for a total of 122,586.