Archive for December, 2012
This is the Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) Christmas Special for 2012 – a panoply of exactly the kind of energetic and cheerful performances that are perfectly suited to this season, but Johnny’s juniors put on all year long.
The new performances in this episode were recorded in a studio rather than in front of a live audience at NHK Hall, so they have a much more relaxed feel to them than usual. In addition to these new performances, we got recorded messages and recaps of Shounen Club performances from this year from illustrious guests like Yamapi. Hey! Say! Jump introduced everything from what looked like a lobby. I’ll mention but not critique the old performances, and focus on the new ones instead.
HSJ do the title call in front of a live audience in NHK Hall, then the juniors kick things off with introductions while dancing to a light seasonal tune. The juniors were introduced in turn, and I was a bit shocked to learn that Sexy Boyz was still a unit:
Maybe just for Christmas? Anyway, it’s still Junior Team A (Kishi, Iwahashi, Takahashi) and Team B (Jinguji, et. al.) as far as I’m concerned. They were followed by Travis Japan, which seems to have more members now, what I will call the Masuda-Anderson team, the Chibi team, and Bakaleya Six (though they’re still not called that, and named individually).
Since Lewis Jesse-kun has dropped the “Lewis” because of complaints that his name was too long (I suppose just in terms of writing it in katakana), I wish they’d at least say “Jesse” right. Whoever said his name when he was introduced made a total mess of it. It’s only two syllables now, dammit, and the average Japanese name is around seven, so come on!
And so, we finally reach the last episode of “Johnny’s Journey – Hey! Say! JUMP Takaki Yuya & Chinen Yuri Futarikki France Juudan Kakuekiteisha no Tabi” – the trek of HSJ’s Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun from Paris to Nice.
The two travelers depart from Entrevaux in the morning of the last day, with Takaki-kun already wearing sandals in anticipation of the beaches of the French Riviera.
At the penultimate station, they’re captivated by the dawn over the mountains while waiting for the train:
Priceless (プライスレス) stars Kimura Takuya-san as Kindaichi Fumio, a salary man who suddenly loses everything – job, home, and every yen to his name.
In episode 3, Kindaichi tried to help a ramen shop owner get customers and revive his dying business, but failed. His efforts, though, led the owner to leave him with a legacy:
It’s a food cart. Will he be able to make use of it to lift himself out of poverty?
First, we get a glimpse of the home life of his spineless former boss, Moai (Nakai Kiichi), who has an overbearing wife and daughter. It looks like they didn’t think much of him before he got his most recent promotion (the one he received to shut him up about what really happened to Kindaichi), but they’re pleased with him now, already making plans on how to spend his new paycheck.
Back at Grandma Marioka (Natsuki Mari)’s place, Kindaichi decides to keep the food cart on the bet it might be useful.
When we last left Suga Mizuho (Honda Tsubasa), she had approached emotionally fragile Sugawara (Nozawa Yuki) and discovered that he was the one responsible for angry, stalkerish notes sent to Setouchi (Suzuki Airi). More importantly, he bullied the main tragic figure of the story, Origuchi Haruka (Mizuno Erina). Will this help Mizuho piece together what happened to Origuchi?
Sugawara said he tormented Origuchi because she defended the gym teacher, Miyamoto, when Miyamoto seemed to never waste a chance to touch Setouchi.
Not only that, but Sugawara also happened to see Origuchi visiting Miyamoto, leading to all sorts of suspicions about what they might be doing together.
Except for Doctor X turning in a whopper of a finale, getting a 24.4% rating, there wasn’t anything spectacular as the most of this season’s dramas concluded. With the new year just around the corner, most of my interest is on the coming season, even as I try to catch up on and wrap up the shows from this season.
You can get information on all of this season’s dramas (and plenty of prime time variety shows) at the most recent of the TokyoHive ratings articles here.
Prime Time Shows
Doctor X (01-07 avg.) 18.2%, (08 – Finale) 24.4%
Priceless (01-08 avg.) 17.6%, (09) 17.4%
Aibou 11 (01-09 avg.) 16.4%, (10) 17.8%
Akumu-chan (01-10 avg.) 11.5%, (11 – Finale) 11.2%
MONSTERS (01-07 avg.) 11.3%, (08 – Finale) 13.5%
Tokyo Airport (01-09 avg.) 9.0%, (10 – Finale) 10.5%
Ooku (01-09 avg.) 8.5%, (10 – Finale) 8.3%
Perfect Blue (01-10 avg.) 8.1%, (11 – Finale) 8.3%
Koukou Nyushi (01-11 avg.) 6.7%, (12) 8.1%
Resident (01-09 avg.) 6.4%, (10 – Finale) 8.5%
Late Night Shows
Poison (01-11 avg.) 3.5%, (12) 4.0%
Piece (01-11 avg.) 2.1%, (12) 1.7%
The number one single this past week was “Seifuku no Mannequin” (制服のマネキン) from Nogizaka46, selling 232,961, making it their best first week showing to date. It was even above the most ambitious growth trajectory, which would have estimated around 229k. So, Nogizaka46 seems to be gaining steam while AKB48 is apparently losing it. Does this mean they’ll eventually end up being viable rivals after all?
“Robot” from CNBLUE took #2, selling 42,563.
At #3 was “Rinkaku” from Dir En Grey, with 22,881 copies sold.
In its third week, AKB48’s “Eien Pressure” sold 21,265 to take #5, bringing its total to 1,150,980.
“Kitagawa Kenji” from NMB48 popped back up to #9, making its seven-week total 367,472.
EXILE ATSUSHI’s “MELROSE -Aisanai Yakusoku-” found itself at #12, its total after three weeks standing at 114,544.
NEWS’ “WORLD QUEST/Pokopon Pekorya” collapsed in its second week, managing only 6,875 in sales at #13 – that’s barely 5% of first week sales. That’s remarkably weak follow-through, showing that the group is tapping into its core fanbase, but not grabbing anyone beyond it. Its two-week total is 137,774.
“Saraba, Itoshiki Kanashimitachi yo” from Momoiro Clover Z finally broke gold at #17 in its fifth week, reaching a total of 104,093.
“MONSTERS” was at #19, with The MONSTERS now seeing a total of 195,721 copies sold.
AKB48’s “UZA” continues to hold #20 with tenacity, hanging on to the spot in week 8 with a grand total of 1,223,175 sold.
Monsters is a comedic mystery series starring Katori Shingo-san and Yamashita Tomohisa-kun as police detectives. Young detective Saionji Kousuke (Yamashita) has to keep tabs on the more eccentric Hiratsuka Heihachi (Katori), and find evidence of Hiratsuka’s wrongdoing while Hiratsuka uses methods both ethical and otherwise to solve cases.
We begin with Saionji’s girlfriend (played by Yanagihara Kanako) seeing an interaction between Saionji and another woman and apparently misinterpreting it.
Saionji notices, and decides that the best way to make it up to her is to propose that they get married. To ensure the success of this plan, he tries to book a particular table that reputedly brings that kind of fortune.
Unfortunately, when trying to make the arrangements, he finds out that the places is all booked up – he’ll have to wait for someone to cancel.
In the lobby, people are preparing for a major cooking competition between traditional chef Maruoka Ryuujiro and experimental chef Shijo Atsuhiko.