Archive for September, 2014
I somehow managed to get “Paraiso” stuck in my head from the previous episode of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!), so will the second part of the summer festival provide me with a new accidental soundtrack?
At the very beginning of this episode, they have the announcement of which team won the competition (the double dutch team). They then proceed with a Sexy Zone medley to start the latter half of the concert. The two members of SZ – Marius Yo-kun and Matsushima Sou-kun perform a straightforward singles medley (literally going through each of their singles in order) with assorted juniors.
When I say assorted, I mean it – I don’t know the names of most of the kids in red.
As for the performance, it was really nothing new, though I guess it’s nice to see that Marius-kun and Sou-kun can handle all the songs with a little bit of help from their junior friends.
For the past two months on Gamushara (ガムシャラ), four teams of juniors prepared special performances for the summer festival, trying to win audience approval. Now, the victorious team and the losing team each get their dues, and both in the same locations shoot with Yasui Kentaro-kun hosing. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between the winning team (Tanaka Juri, Morohoshi Shoki, Morimoto Shintaro, Kyomoto Taiga, Matsumura Hokuto) . . .
. . . and the losing team (Iwahashi Genki, Takahashi Kaito, Takahashi Fuu, Hayashi Ren, Matsuda Genta).
But if the losing team manages to clear some challenges, they’ll be able to partake in the same meal as the winning team at the end. What are these new tests, though?
They’re headed off to a private beach, but while the winning team gets a nice, large motorboat to accommodate them as well as the staff, the losing team has to settle for two dinky little rowboats. Very traditional stuff, so far.
Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo Neo (金田一少年の事件簿N) begins this time with what seems to be a clear suicide – we actually see the person with the rope and the suicide note. Doesn’t seem like it would be something for Kindaichi (Yamada Ryosuke) to investigate, so there’s more than meets the eye.
The young detective is at the hospital for a stomach exam and his friend Miyuki (Kawaguchi Haruna) is there to keep him company, and is also interested in the possibility of a part-time job. There’s a flyer for a summer training camp for medical interns where the part-timers will help out and have to stay overnight.
The whole summer camp thing sounds a bit familiar, though obviously this one has a medical spin on it and presumably most of the participants won’t get killed this time (the series has so far done a good job of keeping an adequate number of suspects).
The thought of spending a night on an island with Miyuki apparently gets Kindaichi’s interest, so he’s in.
Then, out of nowhere, police detective Kenmochi (Yamaguchi Tomomitsu) shows up, having much the same panicked reaction to medical exams that Kindaichi did, except that he seems to have real reason to worry. It’s all played up for laughs, though.
The top single for the past week was . . . EXILE TRIBE’s “THE REVOLUTION” which popped up from #129 to #1 in its fifth week by selling 156,271 copies to boost its total to 483,062. Really? Well, there’s no doubt at this point that we have some crazy manipulation on this one, since this is nothing like a normal sales curve. Even if the single sold just 100k in its first week, it shouldn’t have ended up all the way out of the top 100 in just its fourth week. And just like with that EXILE single a while back, it looks like the net goal is to get in the year-end top 10 by pushing everyone else up to and including Arashi, SKE48, and Nogizaka46 down a step.
If not for the EXILE TRIBE jump, it would have been 2PM’s “Midaretemina” at the top. As it was, it had to settle for #2 with 95,097 copies sold.
Hikawa Kiyoshi-san’s “Choito Kimagure Watari Dori” took #3, selling a solid 53,132.
At #4, “Omoide Breaker” from Lead sold 43,227.
“Sayonara no Mae ni” from AAA saw 25,018 copies sold at #5.
Southern All Stars saw their latest single, “Tokyo Victory”, take #6 in its second week. It sold a very strong 18,468 to boost its total to 111,113.
In its eleventh week, Nogizaka46’s “Natsu no Free & Easy” tacked on 6,598 in sales at #13, bringing its total to 508,856.
Taking #15 in its third week, Hey! Say! JUMP’s “Weekender/Ashita e no Yell” got above 200k, selling 5,528 to reach a total of 204,097 copies sold.
“Highschool Love” from E-girls took #19, selling 4,540 to bring its two week total to 65,586.
Okay, so this month’s episodes of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) are that thing they’ve been building up to all summer in Gamushara – the Summer Festival. It’s going to be a very different pair of J’s Party episodes than we’ve been getting the past few months because there will be at least twenty juniors involved rather than the usual ten – the sort of breadth that I’ve been pushing for. At first glance, this should be exactly what I’ve wanted to see on this show.
It all begins with an extended look at how everything started in February and some of the challenge highlights along the way . . .
. . . and then a clip of the Natsu Matsuri announcement . . .
. . . and finally an explanation of the four teams and their challenges. Altogether, that intro VTR took almost four minutes – not the best possible start to a show (it’s always better to get directly into the action and save the exposition for a little further in).
We finally got to the main event with Marius Yo-kun of Sexy Zone doing a squeaky introduction in English and Japanese. He and fellow SZ member Matsushima Sou-kun were the only two debuted Johnny’s members present.
Other than the twenty juniors participating in the challenges, there were also a lot of chibi juniors present dressed in white costumes. The opening song was a theme written specifically for the show – “Gamusharara” – and it was performed by the two SZ members, Iwahashi Genki, Jinguji Yuta, Matsumura Kaito, and Matsuda Genta. They weren’t the only ones singing, though – the white-clad juniors were also miked up, so no chance to assess vocals on this one.
Things seem to be getting smoother between Haruka (Abe Aran) and his stepsister Ririko (Adachi Rika) in Kinkyori Renai (近キョリ恋愛). Sure, Haruka is still trying his best to keep some distance between them, but he’s smiling around her more often and speaking to her civilly. I guess getting mad at her in the previous episode and then worrying about her sort of broke the ice.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that she’s a good cook, and tasty food smooths social interaction tremendously.
It doesn’t keep Haruka from napping in class, though, and thereby giving Kanata (Kishi Yuta) a chance to sneak up on him and shock him awake. Kanata is such a great character so far – really brightens things up.
Asagi (Kitagawa Keiko) is not happy with working long hours at the behest of Kuryu (Kimura Takuya), and the latest installment of HERO begins with her getting called by him once again during her off hours.
A suspect has died in custody and the law requires that a prosecutor should be present during the autopsy, and Kuryu in turn requires Asagi to be present. He probably couldn’t have found a more unpleasant way to force her to work overtime, and it left her feeling sick.
But the autopsy doesn’t reveal anything suspicious, so everyone just shrugs off the death of the suspect. The victim’s father calls, though, asking when the case will be brought to court, and they have to inform him of the suspect’s death. His reaction is understandably stunned, but also a bit odd.