Archive for November, 2013
A commenter suggested that I should check out the newer episodes of ABChanZoo, and it turns out that the three episodes I used to retest the waters – airing October 13th, 20th, and 27th – were excellent. They were more of what I thought the show would be when it started – with the A.B.C-Z guys facing legitimate challenges rather than food missions. So, in an effort to catch up and potentially begin covering this show more consistently, I present these three classic episodes of ABChanZoo.
The October 13th episode started with a long and convoluted VTR detailing some of A.B.C-Z’s activities alongside examples of their acrobatic prowess, and that was a shame because it cut into the time necessary for the main event. You see, Goseki-kun, Tsukada-kun and Totsuka-kun were heading in to meet . . .
. . . a rhythmic gymnastics team. So can the Johnny’s group most known for acrobatics keep up with young men who focus on nothing else? We’re going to find out. The coach for the team is a former All-Japan champion, and the team has a historic record to live up to, so this is no mere after-school club.
The trick is doing the tumbling and flips synchronized – to the point where they have to be at the same angle in the air at the same time.
After the real Kagami Dan (Sato Shori) temporarily regained control of his body in the last episode of 49, his father’s spirit possessed it again and celebrates the fact at the beginning of this episode.
His two buddies Satoshi (Jinguji Yuta) and Sachi (Yamamoto Maika) have some good questions about what happens to him or his son when the other in controlling the body, and Possessed Dan answers without trouble. He also explains that they switch when each of them crosses a certain line – an NG line, if you will. It’s when they get mixed up – when Possessed Dan has feelings for a girl like Minaduki Mana (Nishino Nanase) or Real Dan feels love for his mother.
Sachi is quick to figure out that Possessed Dan switched to Real Dan because he was attracted to her. Well, she made herself rather comfortable sleeping in his bed, so I’m not too sure she has a right to get angry – especially since she definitely has reciprocal feelings for him. But perhaps she’s also disappointed that he can’t have feelings for her without switching to Real Dan?
After a very active November, releases start to trail off toward the end of the year. But even if December is a bit light, there are some very notable releases in the mix – including one that I’ve spent a whole year hoping for that we’ll get on Christmas Day (appropriately enough).
This list has selected single and album releases for the month, not all of them (i.e. releases from groups that I’m interested in tracking or at least recognize). 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).
Kanjani8 – Kokoro Sora Moyo
KinKi Kids – L album
Sandaime J Soul Brothers – SO RIGHT
Juice=Juice – Ijiwaru shinaide Dakishimete yo / Hajimete wo Keiken Chu
Sako Tomohisa – Colorful World
Yusuke – V / Jikyu 850 yen no Santa Claus
RIP SLYME – Golden Time (album)
DAIGO – Butterfly / Ima Aitakute . . .
SKE48’s “Sansei Kawaii!” (賛成カワイイ！) was the top single for the past week, selling 449,003 copies. That’s less than any of their singles since the start of 2012 and significantly less than what they sold in the first week on their past three singles. I’m sure there’s probably a reason for this, though I’m not sure what it might be.
On the flip side, E-girls came close to matching the phenomenal result they had on their previous single, which was released only a month and a half ago. Taking #2, “Kurukuru” sold 69,087 copies compared to 73k for “Gomennasai no Kissing You”, and that’s still around double what they tended to sell before their breakthrouth.
Also having a very good first week, Acid Black Cherry’s “Kuroneko ~Adult Black Cat~” saw 59,714 copies sold at #3.
At #4, Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku’s “Mikakunin Chugakusei X” looks quite strong with 46,045 sold.
“Pinky Santa” from BOYFRIEND took #5 by selling 35,198 copies.
Taking #6, 9nine’s “Re:” sold 30,934.
Kis-My-Ft2’s “Snow Dome no Yakusoku/Luv Sick” sold 21,921 copies to take #8, bringing its total to 290,303. That’s an average second week for them.
Kiss My Fake is the newest variety show from Kis-My-Ft2. Somewhere along the way, I stopped watching Kis-My-Busaiku, which really wasn’t my thing, and KisuHama Learning, which just got repetitive. Will Kiss My Fake be able to keep my admittedly short attention span?
Partly in order to catch up, I’m going to review the show’s first two episodes in this article. At least this way I won’t be guilty of coming to a snap judgment after a single episode.
An immediate positive in the first episode was that the guests were top-notch. The host is Yahagi Ken-san, and the leader of the guest team is his comedy partner Ogi-san. In this episode, Ogi-san was joined by Honda Tsubasa-san and Koyabu Kazutoyo-san
The point of the show is that the guest team and Kis-My-Ft2 are going to be presented with things and have to decide whether they’re real or fake. It’s as simple as that, so it should be easy to play along.
There are real penalties for losing. I’m not sure about the translation of the guest team’s penalty, but I think it’s that they won’t ever be allowed back if they lose (except for Ogi-san, who will always be present). If Kis-My-Ft2 loses, then one member will have to sit out the next week, and this will be chosen at random with a spin of a wheel. I like this format so far.
At the end of the previous episode of Ando Lloyd (安堂ロイド〜A.I. knows LOVE?〜), even though the android (Kimura Takuya) said that if Ando Asahi (Shibasaki Kou) told anyone about him, he would have to kill that person, she felt so guilty about lying to Matsushima Nanase (Oshima Yuko) that she couldn’t help herself. She ultimately confessed the truth to Nanase – that Nanase’s brother Reiji had been murdered, and was now being impersonated by an android.
So now, of course, the android must kill Nanase.
Asahi has a memory of a past conversation with Reiji – will it help her save Nanase?
Well, perhaps, but only because the android took a shockingly long time to kill her – long enough to be approached by Reiji’s students who thought the android was the professor and for Asahi to explain that he was suffering memory loss.
Asahi tries to explain the delicate situation to Nanase, but how Nanase took it is . . . ambiguous.
Without any preliminary banter, Sakurai-san introduced the guest team for this episode of VS Arashi (VS 嵐) – Team Fukuoka. I always take that as a good sign, since they probably did the opening talk, but had to cut it out because there was so much good material in the episode.
Team Fukuoka wore “Softbank Hawks” jerseys for some reason, and were led by the indefatigable Jinnai Takanori-san. Alongside him were a very mixed collection of entertainers, including choreographer KABA.chan, AKB48 member Oya Shizuka-san (大家 志津香), badminton player Ikeda Shintaro-san (池田 信太郎), and comedy duo Punk BooBoo (パンクブーブー). I’m hoping that with Ikeda-san in, we’ll finally get to see Popcorn Hitter again, since that’s a very badminton game. I’ve never seen Punk BooBoo before even though the Japanese Wikipedia has a ton on them and says they won the 2009 M-1 Grand Prix and The Manzai 2011, so I don’t think they’re gag comedians.
Even if Punk BooBoo wanted to do some gags, though, they’d be hard pressed to find the time between the antics of Jinnai-san and KABA.chan – those two will probably dominate the show . . .