Archive for October, 2012
These are some of the single and album releases for November (i.e. releases from groups that I’m interested in tracking). My apologies if I missed a significant release – please mention the artist and title in a comment and I’ll update the list.
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.
Arashi – Popcorn (album)
AKB48 – UZA
Nakayama Yuma – Missing Piece
AAA – Niji
Superfly – Force (single)
mihimaruGT – Banzai Sansho!!!
NMB48 – Kitagawa Kenji
The Second from EXILE – Think ‘Bout It!
Nishino Kana – Always
flumpool – Answer
Dream5 – Shekimeki
Hamasaki Ayumi – Love
So, score it four out of five weeks in fall where the number one single sold less than 100,000. At least we’ll start getting out of the doldrums next week, with Arashi and AKB48 kicking off the winter buying season.
The number one single this week as the appropriately named “Go to the top” from Koda Kumi-san, selling 54,559 copies.
Super Girls’ “Akai Jounetsu” was at #2 with a razor’s edge difference in sales – 53,607.
Halloween Junky Orchestra saw a very strong second week in sales of “Halloween Party” at #5, adding 13,284 (more than 20% of first week sales) for a total of 69,866.
“Ikujinashi Masquerade” from Sashihara Rino with Anrire took #12, selling 7,519 in a respectable second week, giving the single a total of 75,922.
KARA was at #13 with “Electric Boy” seeing 7,490 in sales for a two-week total of 65,382. This was a pretty good second week tally considering the first week numbers.
SKE48’s “Kisu Datte Hidarikiki” remained in the ranking in week 6, taking the #15 spot for a running total for 570,150.
I think there’s also going to be a lot of shaking up between the dramas, since a lot of their premises looked good initially, leading to a lot of 10%+ ratings on the first episodes, but viewers will have to decide which show executes on its promise the best. I’ve had trouble picking between them myself. I’m going with MONSTERS and Piece, and am leaning towards adding Ooku because the subtitlers on that series seem to be among the quickest to get subs out. Other than that, I’m still weighing Perfect Blue (which also has consistent subtitles), Doctor X (looks good on subs so far), Resident (no subs in sight), and Priceless (Jounetsu_8 just picked it up and episode 1 subs are up). I’d love to track Aibou 11, too, but there isn’t even a hint that anyone is going to sub it.
You can get information on all of this season’s dramas, at the most recent of the bi-weekly TokyoHive articles here.
Prime Time Shows
Doctor X (01) 18.6%, (02) 17.6%
Aibou 11 (01) 19.9%, (02) 17.3%, (03) 16.5%
Priceless (01) 16.9%
MONSTERS (01) 13.8%, (02) 13.4%
Akumu-chan (01) 13.6%, (02) 10.7%, (03) 12.9%
Tokyo Airport (01) 14.0%, (02) 9.4%, (03) 9.3%
Ooku (01) 11.6%, (02) 10.6%, (03) 7.9%
Perfect Blue (01) 9.0%, (02) 7.1%, (03) 9.2%
Resident (01) 8.4%, (02) 6.2%
Koukou Nyushi (01) 7.7%, (02) 6.3%, (03) 7.0%, (04) 4.9%
Late Night Shows
Poison (01) 3.7%, (02) 3.5%, (03) 3.0%, (04) 3.3%
Piece (01) 2.5%, (02) 3.4%, (03) 2.0%, (04) 1.8%
In this week’s Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), the members of Arashi entered looking . . . I think the right word is “spiffy.” They naturally reflected on last week’s unique experience with the Takarazuka Revue.
But this time, Sakurai-san is convinced that they’ll end up wearing traditional Japanese clothing (和服 – wafuku), though he doesn’t want to explain why he thinks this. The implication, which Ninomiya-kun picks up on immediately, is that the guest is a kabuki actor.
Without further ado, the guest, Nomura Mansai-san (野村萬斎) appears, confirming everybody’s predictions. In a resonating voice, he says it’s probably going to be severe (厳しい – kibishii) and that they’re going to use their bodies a lot. Yay!
This episode of Himitsu no Arashi-chan (ひみつの嵐ちゃん) is somewhat of a recap special, but it features all five members of Arashi in the share house set discussing past episodes and viewing VTRs of famous scenes or scenes that weren’t aired. It’s sort of reminiscent of similar episodes in their older shows when they used to run highlight reels but goof off between them. If you’re an Arashi fan, you’ll probably like this episode, because we haven’t seen them reflect on their share house escapades as a group. On the other hand, this is a language-intensive episode, and with all the clips, it’s tough to use the flow of events to understand what’s going on.
After they make a lengthy approach to the studio, their entry is pretty bland, and they settle in quickly. Then, out of all things, Sakurai-san prompts Ohno-san for an “American joke.” Ohno-san points out that there wasn’t one in the script, but Sakurai-san doesn’t let him off the hook, so Ohno-san starts to tell one . . .
. . . but thankfully the doorbell interrupts. Instead of a guest, they receive an envelope with three discs marked as “video restricted for special purposes” (a rough translation of 禁断のワケあり動画 – kindan no wakeari douga).
Monsters is a comedic mystery drama starring Katori Shingo-san and Yamashita Tomohisa-kun as police detectives. I think I should emphasize that, when I say “comedic,” I mean the particular brand of comedy that Katori-san brings with him on pretty much every show he goes. His characters are always idiosyncratic, and you really need to be prepared for his style before settling down to watch this drama.
As I get ready to watch this two-hour first episode, I am expecting a lot of silliness and hoping that they’ll squeeze in some mystery along the way. The real question in my mind is: how Yamashita-kun will do? I know he has good comic sense, but that was from way back in “Nobuta wo Produce.” Can he still pull off this kind of humor? Also, will the writers restrain themselves enough to present real mysteries, or is this just going to be zaniness with no real focus?
The opening presents a suspect statement about good and evil that only works because Katori-san’s smile seems fiendish.
Yamashita-kun plays Saionji Kosuke, a young man from a wealthy family who decides to pursue his dream of being a detective. Sound familiar? Well, if you just watched Japanese dramas, you might think half of the police detective force was comprised of wayward scions.
Facing a test to become a detective in the department’s most famous division, he’s all revved up.
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. This time the opposing team is a bit unique, but before we get to that, the Arashi members seem to be clustered a bit closer than usual.
What are they hiding?
He’s . . . wearing . . . why? I’ve got to hand it to Ninomiya-kun, though – he’s certainly found a consistent way to make the openings interesting.