Archive for March, 2014
As far as I know, there wasn’t an Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) on March 15th – at least, I can’t find any sign of it. Things get a bit unpredictable during the transition time between seasons. Anyway, this episode ties in quite well with the last VS Arashi episode of the season – the March 13th episode – and here’s a hint why:
That’s a little promo for Sakurai-san’s new movie Kamisama no Karute 2, and we last heard about the movie because the plus one guest on VS Arashi was Sakurai’s costar Miyazaki Aoi-san. Sure enough, after a very long VTR at the start of the show previewing what the show is about (two and a half minutes) . . .
. . . the audience warms up their ‘kawaii!’s at the first sight of Miyazaki-san . . .
. . . and get a whole lot of other chances to shout the word out. Take this old photo from when she was six or seven, for instance:
This episode of Sexy Zone Channel may not be as exciting as the previous two. I couldn’t resist scanning through the episode before writing this review, and I saw what I always dread seeing in Japanese variety shows: food. Now, it’s not that I don’t enjoy food or finding more about food – it’s that once variety shows start down the food road (especially with the main personalities sitting and eating as they will be in this episode), they have a tendency to get stuck on it.
That said, the boys do have an excuse for making this a chow-down episode. You see, they’re celebrating the birthdays of Kento-kun, Fuma-kun, and Marius-kun since all three of them have birthdays in March. So it’s sort of a party – and apparently a surprise party since only Shori-kun and Sou-kun were told where they were going ahead of time.
They try to get the other three to guess what’s going on based on the clue that only the two of them know. Marius-kun guesses that they’re going swimming, which I’m sure all SZ fans would like to see, Kento-kun says snowboarding, and Fuma-kun opts for skating. I’m glad they all picked activities like that, since that shows what sorts of things we might get in future episodes (as opposed to more food stuff).
So here’s the question: can SZ make a birthday party fun for the audience, or will it be an endless stream of ‘umai’ and ‘oishii’?
While there are some notable Johnny’s releases in April, the release list looks quite a bit thinner than it was in March, so I guess the release flood is abating. Still, there’s plenty to talk about for Johnny’s fans – headline groups SMAP and Arashi both have singles, Johnny’s West has their début single with no way to predict the results there, and the potential sales for Nakayama Yuma-kun’s new single are similarly difficult to guess.
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). I know I must have missed important ones, so 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).
Nogizaka46 – Kizutara Kataomoi
Nakayama Yuma – High Five
MISIA – New Morning (album)
Hirai Ken – Grotesque feat. Amuro Namie
Sada Masashi – ZAN SHUN
Fukuyama Masaharu – Human (album)
Nakagawa Shoko – 9lives (album)
IDOLING NEO – Sakura Horizon
Wanting to get past the blowdart episodes in Johnnys’ Jr. Land, I’ll risk reviewing too many JJL episodes in quick succession, and offer a look at this June 10th episode.
We’ve already seen the blue team (Miyachika Kaito, Nakamura Reia, and Akiba Ryusei) and pink team (Kajiyama Asahi, Abe Aran, and Yoshizawa Shizuya) do plenty with the darts, so I continue to be disappointed that we’re going to get another episode of this.
Putting that aside, though, the reason we’re getting another episode of it is because they didn’t really finish in the previous episode. We also get a special round at the end.
In the main competition, each person gets two rounds, and ultimately, it’s just a matter of tallying up all the points at the end to figure out the winning team. Three players didn’t get to do their second tries in the previous episode, so that’s what we start with here.
The top single for the past week was SKE48’s “Mirai to wa?”, which sold 397,974 copies. That’s substantially lower than the 449k that “Sansei Kawaii!” posted in its first week, which was in turn much lower than the group’s previous five singles, which averaged 505k.
Tackey & Tsubasa’s “Boku no Soba ni wa Hoshi ga Aru/ Viva Viva More” saw 43,467 copies sold at #2.
Taking #3, “Hadaka no Hadaka no Hadaka no KISS/Are Kore Shitai!” from Juice=Juice sold 38,293.
In its second week, HKT48’s “Sakura, Minna de Tabeta” got #6, selling 10,273 to bring its total to 287,072. A typical second week for a -48 family group.
At #11, “Hikari no Signal” from Kis-My-Ft2 sold 7,881 in its third week and its total is now 228,115.
Acid Black Cherry’s “Kimi ga Inai, Ano Hi kara . . .” had a very average second week, selling 6,607 at #13 to bring its total to 63,682.
Going from #8 to #18 in its fourth week, “Mae Shika Mukanee” from AKB48 now boasts a total of 1,129,783.
Denpa Gumi’s “Sakura Appare-shon” sold 3,710 at #21, bringing its two-week total to 47,669.
“Love Story” from EXILE TAKAHIRO took #24 in its third week, getting its total to 64,756.
Hikawa Kiyoshi-san’s “Otone Nagare Tsuki” is still in it after eight weeks, taking #25 by selling 2,940. Its new total is 74,691.
This is the last VS Arashi (VS 嵐) of the season – the next time we see the guys at it again will be on April 3rd with the MMDA (Most Most Dame Arashi) special. Will they conclude the season on a high note?
Well, clothing-wise they’re somewhat ambivalent. The camera at the start of the show stayed on Ninomiya-kun – I think it was amazed that Nino-kun was wearing something vaguely normal for once.
The talk at the start of the show revolved around White Day – the counterpart to Valentine’s Day (yet another facet in the Great Candy Company Conspiracy, of course). They were apparently trying to figure out whether the ‘white’ had to do with white chocolate or marshmallows, then MatsuJun brought the discussion to an Aiba-kun middle school anecdote.
The guest team this week was a motley bunch – Team Aichi, representing the Aichi Prefecture. Its members were Amano Hiroyuki-san, baseball player Makihara Hiromi-san, Ookubo Kayoko-san, Kato Haruhiko-san, Sato Kayo-san, and Monomane Grand Prix winner Fukuda Ayano-san.
With the new junior variety show, Gamushara, set to start on April 5th, I had better step up my viewing of Johnnys’ Jr. Land just to get a better sense of what they’ve already been up to and who they are. Reviewing the two series side-by-side might end up being very interesting, though the casts are somewhat different with Gamushara skewing a bit older.
In the previous episode, we left the blue team (Miyachika Kaito, Nakamura Reia, and Akiba Ryusei) and pink team (Kajiyama Asahi, Abe Aran, and Yoshizawa Shizuya) in the middle of blowdart training, in preparation for the competition in this episode.
The format is pretty simple: they get five shots in a round, all of which have to be launched within three minutes. At the end of the round, all the points they get are tallied up.
First, the teams each got to practice, with the blue team going first. Reia-kun and Kaito-kun did very well here, but Ryusei-kun was . . . well I don’t know where his dart landed, but it sure wasn’t on the dartboard.
But that was just the first shot, and they each got to try a full round, so Ryusei-kun made sure his next four shots hit.