Archive for June, 2014
This was a special Father’s Day edition of Gamushara (ガムシャラ), and the plan for the episode brought six juniors to a rainy field. The juniors in question were Hanzawa Akatsuki, Matsumura Hokuto, Jesse, Takahashi Kaito, Iwahashi Genki, and newcomer Fukusawa Tatsuya. I wonder if having just one new junior involved is going to be a pattern – seems a bit stingy.
Anyway, this is the lucky family that is going to get help from the six Johnny’s juniors to craft an extra-special Father’s Day. I wonder how, among the tens of millions of families in Japan, this particular family happened to be chosen. It’s like winning the lottery . . . except not quite as lucrative.
I suppose it was relatively convenient – Saitama is directly north of Tokyo – and if the staff specifically wanted to find a strawberry farmer, that could have narrowed it down in the Takano family’s favor. This is all a surprise to the father of the family, by the way, so I can only assume the mother engineered it.
Jesse-kun holds a poster with Takano-san’s details.
At the very beginning of this episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ), they put big dramatic letters up asking whether Ayase Haruka-san can make delicious miso soup, and my heart sank.
Actually, it was fun watching Ayase-san and Ohno-san cooking – Ayase-san was in an especially bubbly mood and Ohno-san is the perfect Arashi to work next to someone in that mode.
We didn’t get to find out how the miso soup came out just yet, as they decided it was time to bring Ayase-san before the studio audience. The director is clearly trying to set us up for some mayhem . . .
. . . but keep in mind that this is the same director who wanted to make cooking miso soup seem dramatic.
They started out talking about working together on the 64th Kouhaku – the most recent year-end music festival.
At the beginning of this episode of SHARK Season Two, the band gets back together. Finally, Kota (Yasui Kentaro) returns from his self-imposed exile – an absence that conveniently allowed Saku (Shigeoka Daiki) to lay the seeds of their next big fight.
There is the matter of substitute guitarist Kai (Hamada Takahiro), and while Kota at least manages not to be mean to him, Saku thanks him for his service.
Right before the opening credits, Saku does one of his little reflections. Last time, he said that nothing could ever go back to the way it was. This time, he says that nothing has changed – they’re all just the same. Not only are these mutually contradictory statements spoken in the same manner at the same time in consecutive episodes, but Saku manages to sound depressed at both states of affairs. This is insane.
I have come to the conclusion that I actively hate Saku. Sorry, Shigeoka-kun, you’re not going to be impressing me with your acting by playing this part.
Speaking of characters I actively hate in this series, here’s Makoto (Kaede) again, right after the credits. Here, Yasui-kun gives her the gift he had been hoping to present her with, but says it’s for success on her audition, but she failed so it ends up being a faux pas on his part.
The top single for the past week was Kim Hyun-joong’s “HOT SUN”, which sold 83,307 to take #1.
That left UVERworld’s “Nanokame no Ketsui” at #2. It sold 51,136 copies in its first week.
Jin’s “daze/days” was at #3, selling 39,415.
At #7, “Sweat/Answer” from Tohoshinki did very well in its second week, with 15,483 copies sold for a total of 134,784.
In a bit of special coverage, Naoto Inti Raymi took #12 with “The World is ours!” selling 7,860.
Taking #13 in its second week, NEWS’ “One -for the win-” sold a weak 7,366 copies after a very strong first week to bring its total to 190,138. That’s only four percent of first week sales.
Passing the 50k mark at #14 this week was “Love wing bell/Dancing stars on me!” from μ’s, which sold 6,129 additional copies to boost its two-week total to 52,198.
Both of the recent Arashi singles are still in. “Daremo Shiranai” was at #19 with a four-week total of 512,921 copies sold, while “GUTS!” nabbed #30, now with 588,974 copies sold after eight weeks.
King Cream Soda’s “Geragerapo no Uta” took #21 and now has an eight-week total of 65,840.
“Tougegoe” snuck in at #29 for Fukuda Kouhei-san, and its twelve-week total is 65,200.
The top album was, of course, Hey! Say! JUMP’s “smart”, which sold 126,734 copies. That’s pretty much exactly what their previous album did (JUMP WORLD sold 126,578). That’s not bad but also not good. I’ve listened to the album a couple of times and, while some of it isn’t my style, at least I can see where they want to go with the music and there’s a mostly consistent trend. What they really need to do now is fire whoever makes their costumes, judging from the promotional appearances and the videos that came with the album.
X JAPAN’s compilation album “The World ~X JAPAN Hatsu no Zensekai Best~” was at #2, selling 39,009.
In its third week, Amuro Namie-san’s “Ballada” saw 32,176 copies sold to bring its total to 353,394.
At #4, “The Hunting Party” from Linkin Park sold 27,846.
The soundtrack to Frozen is finally losing steam, dropping to #5 with 25,075 sales this week, pushing its nineteen-week total to 811,578.
THE ALFEE took #6 with “Alfee Get Requests! 2”. It sold 19,102.
I finally managed to get the most recent episode of VS Arashi (VS 嵐), so expect a bunch of these reviews this week as I catch up. The Arashi guys begin this episode by reflecting on their record this season – five wins and one loss. Hmm, I think it’s time to introduce a new game that the Arashis are less familiar with to level the playing field a bit, don’t you?
I’m not sure, but it seemed like they were blaming the staff for the lack of balance? Not really clear about what they were saying here, and I got even more confused when MatsuJun started talking about pancakes, muffins, and scones – I totally missed the transition there.
The guest team was the bijin caster team, made up of women who are newscasters or announcers. More so than practically any other team, it’s hard to get all their names right (because I can’t just look up a cast listing or team roster and have to figure out how to type their names into the Japanese Wikipedia. Thankfully, five of the six have pages on it). The team was led by Mochizuki Rie-san (often called Mochii-san), and included Itou Ayako-san, Kaito Aiko-san, Itou Yuri-san (that’s right – including the announcer for the show, there are three Itou-sans involved), and Arai Erina-san. Which brought me to the last member of the team, who doesn’t have a Wikipedia page yet. Her surname is Ono, but her given name can be read as Aika, Ayaka (most likely), Iroka, Saika, Sayaka (also common), or Tsuyaka. Sometimes, it’s a minor miracle I can get Japanese names right at all.
Okay, so I found what I think will be a stable source for Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) and VS Arashi – at least I got the episodes I missed. The upside is that the files are better quality, but the downside is that the compression is a bit glitchy, causing an issue with screenshots so that there will be fewer of them. Anyway, I’m eager to catch up on what I’ve missed, so expect a flurry of Arashi stuff as the spring season concludes.
The guest for this episode was Ishihara Satomi-san, who has primarily worked with Matsumoto Jun-kun among the Arashi members. She was in Shitsuren Chocolatier and the Lucky Seven Special with him recently, but also had a part in Kimi wa Pet all the way back in 2003. Of course, she was also in Rich Man, Poor Woman with MatsuJun’s brother-in-arms Oguri Shun-san.
So . . . are we going to get that MatsuJun corner again? No, thankfully not. Instead, we’re going to get the challenge where each Arashi member will take Ishihara-san on a mock date. Do you suppose she looks a bit nervous about this plan?
Actually, she looked nerve-wracked right from the start with a strained smile. Her smile relaxed a bit thanks to some Ohno humor. And after Ishihara-san explained her expectations for the date – that it should be a romantic date in a pretty place, and something appropriate for their age (not something high schoolers or even college students would do) – it was Ohno-san’s turn to be dismayed.
In the first Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) of June, I was surprised by how Yasui Kentaro-kun didn’t get to do a performance despite the fact that he was in the spray art challenge. Well, they made up for that by starting off with him this time (when I say start with, I mean after the two minute opening that they force us to sit through before the show really starts).
Yasui-kun starts the show singing “Kizuna”, and unlike the second episodes in previous months, this didn’t feel as much like it was starting in the middle of nowhere. That said, they could have just been lucky to have performance ot open with – I’m still not convinced that when they record the live J’s Party events, they have the need to edit them into episodes in mind.
Anyway, Yasui-kun was great, of course. The twenty-two year old (going on twenty-three in a month) followed “Kizuna” with “Take Over”, and while he’s engaging on his own, I still hope that they find an appropriate and stable group to put around him soon. His voice is on the thin side, and could do with support.
Speaking of voices, Masuda Ryo, Jesse, and Hanzawa Akatsuki joined Yasui-kun on stage to perform “Suna no Glass”. No problems with this combination, of course – even in off-stage activities it’s pretty easy to see how they could work together in variety shows and such, since their personalities are different.