Archive for August, 2012
Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団 – Naniwa Juvenile Detective Team) is a mystery series with a humorous bent starring Tabe Mikako-san as mystery-obsessed elementary school teacher Takeuchi Shinobu. Unfortunately, recent episodes have been less than stellar, and for a few weeks, the thought of the series didn’t muster enough energy in me for a review. Let’s see if episode 7 is interesting enough that I’ll be encouraged to catch up.
As usual, the episode begins with Shinobu facing domestic issues – this time getting mad at her mother and telling her mother to leave (they have separate homes, but Shinobu’s mother has been staying with her).
While these bits are funny (especially thanks to the voice-over narration provided by Maeda Oshiro-kun, who plays the younger Harada kid) and give texture to the story, they’ve had a bad habit of stealing time from the mystery.
Maeda-kun’s voice-over moves from Shinobu’s issue to a general observation about what people consider precious.
This was a special live episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, reformulated as part of the 24-hour TV charity telethon hosted by NTV and combined with variety show Shabekuri 007. For more information, see the article on the first part of the telethon here. The second part of the telethon was Ninomiya-kun’s drama, and this was the third part.
This review will focus on the two hours that were Arashi-centric. Part four of the telethon was more on the Shabekuri side of things, and will be covered in the next article on the 24-hour TV event.
Instead of the usual arrangement, the members of Shabekuri 007 welcome Arashi as the guests onto the Arashi ni Shiyagare set:
Sakurai-san looks positively stunned. I think he expected to be handling the MC duties as usual:
The main personalities on Shabekuri 007 are the Neptune trio (Nagura Jun-san, Harada Taizo-san, and Horiuchi Ken-san), the Cream Stew duo (Ueda Shinya-san and Arita Teppei-san), and the Tutorial duo (Tokui Yoshimi-san and Fukuda Mitsunori-san). Ueda-san handled the MC duties . . .
These are the notable single and album releases for the next month (in other words, releases from groups that I recognize). 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.
More complete listings are available on merchant websites (I use CD Japan’s list). For my part, I think there’s some value in also having a shortlist (especially for my own reference), so I’ll stick with this format.
Kanjani8 – Aoppana
EXILE TRIBE – 24 karats TRIBE OF GOLD
Kobukuro – All Singles Best 2
Cute – Aitai Aitai Aitaina
Aqua Timez – Because You Are You
Tackey & Tsubasa – TEN
KAT-TUN – Fumetsu no Scrum
Morning Musume – Colorful Character
Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “Love the World”
T.M. Revolution – T.M.R. Live Revolution 11-12 – Cloud Nine –
SCANDAL – Pin Heel Surfer
Bump of Chicken – firefly
Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Landmark
SKE48 – Kiss Datte Hidarikiki
SKE48 – Kono Hi no Chime wo Wasurenai (First Album)
Porno Graffitti – Kage Boushi
Superfly – Force (5th Anniversary Edition)
Dragon Ash – Run to the Sun / Walk with Dreams
Fukuyama Masaharu – Beautiful Life / Game
Momoiro Clover – Ikuze! Kaito Shojo
Sukima Switch – Sukima Switch Tour 2012 “musium”
SCANDAL – Queens are trumps – Kirihuda wa Queen
Domoto Koichi – Gravity
Sexy Zone – Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu
This week’s number one single was “Hashire! Bicycle” (走れ! Bicycle) from Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46), with 186,613 copies sold, which is an improvement on the first week performance of their previous single “Oide Shampoo,” though still far from the sales that we should expect from the “official rival” of AKB48.
At number two was “Sexy, Free & Single” from Super Junior, selling 109,821. This is a significant drop from their previous Japanese single release – “Opera” – which sold 159,789 in its first week (back in May). I have to say, the title of the single seems so desperate that I’m sort of glad it didn’t perform well. Apologies to Super Junior fans, but my gut reaction is that song titles like this merit punishment.
Kis-My-Ft2’s “Wanna Beeee!!!/Shake It Up” was at #6 in its second week, reaching a total of 315,242 sales. Second week sales were above my standard benchmark of 10%.
Perfume also beat the 10% mark in the second week of “Spending all my time” sales, now totaling 94,587 at #12. I would be surprised if it doesn’t pass 100,000 before dropping out of the top 30.
The 三代目 J Soul Brothers single “O~Zero~” made #15, and the 7,290 fresh sales gave it a three-week total of 124,385.
NEWS‘s “Chankapaana” held #22 with total of 291,238 copies sold.
Due to 24-hr TV, Sprout and Ghost Mama Sousasen didn’t air episodes this week, so the only drama I’m tracking that might have been affected was Summer Rescue. Otherwise, the drama ratings shouldn’t be too skewed by extrinsic effects.
A complete account of the weekend shows, including variety shows, can be found at the usual bi-weekly TokyoHive rundown. The most recent of those is here. I’m only keeping track of my slate of dramas (the ones I’ve considered doing reviews for) for this season.
Prime Time Shows
GTO (01) 15.1%, (02) 13.3%, (03) 12.3%, (04) 13.9%, (05) 11.5%, (06) 12.1%, (07) 13.5%, (08) 15.1%
Iryu Sosa 2 (01) 13.3%, (02) 13.7%, (03) 11.6%, (04) 10.1%, (05) 12.9%, (06) 12.7%
Ghost Mama Sousasen (01) 15.2%, (02) 11.0%, (03) 11.0%, (04) 9.5%, (05) 10.3%, (06) 9.5%
Kuro no Onna Kyoushi (01) 12.9%, (02) 10.4%, (03) 8.8%, (04) 9.4%, (05) 10.4%, (06) 9.9%
Summer Rescue (01) 14.7%, (02) 11.6%, (03) 10.1%, (04) 6.8%, (05) 10.4%, (06) 9.0%
Beginners! (01) 8.5%, (02) 9.9%, (03) 5.9%, (04) 7.0%, (05) 8.1%, (06) 7.6%
Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (01) 7.8%, (02) 6.0%, (03) 5.6%, (04) 7.1%, (05) 5.5%, (06) 6.4%, (07) 6.6%, (08) 5.7%
Boys on the Run (01) 7.5%, (02) 5.4%, (03) 7.3%, (04) 3.9%, (05) 4.1%, (06) 6.1%, (07) 6.4%
Late Night Shows
Sprout (01) 02.4%, (02) 02.5%, (03) 2.9%, (04) 2.6%, (05) 2.1%, (06) 2.9%, (07) 3.0%
24-jikan terebi (24時間テレビ) is an annual charity telethon hosted by Nihon Terebi (日本テレビ – Nippon Television – NTV) for the past 35 years. It is subtitled “愛は地球を救う” (Ai wa Chikyuu wo Sukuu – Love Saves the World), and features a broad range of programming. In a way, it’s the ultimate variety show, except that it lacks games and has a whole lot more drama. This year, the theme is mirai (未来 – the future).
This year’s main personalities hosting the telethon are the members of Arashi. Alongside them, though, is a huge cast of talents that I’ll introduce along the way. While I’ve titled this a review, I don’t really intend to critique the show, but rather focus on highlights that, if you get the chance to see a saved copy, you won’t want to miss. I will identify what type of highlight each segment is – either humor, drama, music, or some sort of challenge – and how entertaining it was.
Two parts of the telethon will be reviewed separately. First is Ninomiya-kun’s drama, which was the second part of the telethon, and I’ll hold off on until I find subtitles. The second is the Arashi ni Shiyagare part – part three – which will be reviewed under the title of “Arashi ni Shiyagare 2012.08.25,” and I’ll try to do a more thorough review of. The version of the telethon that I’m matching my review to was on youku, and was broken up into ten parts in total (including the drama and AnS).
With that, on with the show!
The telethon begins with a dramatized story from the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995, where a woman weeps as her son is trapped beneath rubble:
A soldier saves the kid:
Flash forward to the present, and we see the real people involved rather than actors, with the kid now grown up and a soldier himself, ready to help those affected by disasters like the Tohoku earthquake:
This episode of GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) begins with a recap of episode seven, which contained the seeds of the conflict in this episode and focused on student Kanzaki Urumi (Honda Tsubasa). In that episode, Kanzaki made her way onto Onizuka (AKIRA)’s list of friends, and in the process elicited the ire of evil student Aizawa Miyabi (Kawaguchi Haruna). At the end of the episode, Miyabi posted details of Kanzaki’s secret all over school.
Before we get to that, Onizuka has to be released from the hospital, and he’s busy gawking at the doctor during his check-up:
He gets the news that Kanzaki is in trouble: