J-Everything Archive

Japanese Variety Shows, Dramas, and Pop Music

Gamushara 2014.09.14 Review

Posted on: October 5th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

Ah, this Gamushara (ガムシャラ) already looks like it’s going to be fun:

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Having a kouhaku-style red team versus white team battle is a favorite scheme, and they’re promising a genuine test of physical aptitude, but are the two teams really balanced?

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The “power types” are quickly identified – Morohoshi-kun on the red team and Shintaro-kun on the white team, but what about the rest of the members?

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Well, Morohoshi-kun had Matsumura Hokuto, Kyomoto Taiga, Takahashi Kaito, and Matsuda Genta with him. That seems on the face of it like a much more athletic team than Shintaro-kun’s cohort – Iwahashi Genki, Tanaka Juri, Hayashi Ren, and Takahashi Fuu. The red team is also older overall. Of course, Shintaro-kun himself is probably the strongest person present, but who’s the fastest or the most agile? I’m not sure.


HERO 2014 Ep 04 Review

Posted on: October 3rd, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

After a somewhat weak episode of HERO 2014, I’m mainly looking for Kuryu (Kimura Takuya) to get a decent case this time – no more contrived PSA lectures allowed. This episode doesn’t begin with Kuryu’s case, though, but with Uno (Hamada Gaku) getting a case about a scam artist which will require him to work with a prosecutor from Kyoto.

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The rest of the office is distraught because the temperature was set too low, but they settle down once they get something hot to drink . . .

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. . . so they’re in a relatively good mood when the Kyoto prosecutor appears and it turns out to be Nakamura Misuzu (Otsuka Nene), who was in this office in the first series but subsequently transferred.

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Nakamura greets all the holdovers from the first series, but also knows the prosecutor who basically plays the same role she did – Baba Reiko (Yoshida Yo).

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Of course, she still remembers Kuryu – who could forget him?

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Speaking of Kuryu, his case involves a guy who tried to steal a manhole cover. There had better be a good story behind this one, because if Kuryu is going to talk to the guy’s friends and family, find out that he’s an otherwise good guys who went astray, and then lecture him about the ills of stealing manhole covers . . . .

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There seems to be an interesting twist already, as Asagi (Kitagawa Keiko) and the thief recognize each other . . .

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. . . and we find out that Asagi used to be a hoodlum in her younger days. This should be interesting.

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What raises Kuryu’s suspicions, though, is the fact that sixty-two people wrote letters on the guy’s behalf, pleading for clemency. With that many people going to such lengths to help him, you’d think that he wouldn’t need to sell stolen steel to make ends meet.

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Nakamura introduces Uno to the case of the scam artist, but they’re sort of distracted because Suetsugu (Kohinata Fumiyo) is still infatuated with Nakamura after all this time and he doesn’t hide the fact.

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Asagi resists talking about her wilder days, but Kuryu is absolutely delighted by the revelation of her past, seeing it as explaining the more interesting aspects of her personality now.

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Ultimately, she only admits to being a very mild hoodlum.

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Uno’s attempt to question the scam artist doesn’t go so well because the suspect is a smooth talker. Suetsugu is still in daydream land.

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Outside of his office, Uno sees Kuryu taunting Asagi, and is stunned to find out about the less savory aspect of her past.

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Nakamura takes a totally different tact than Uno, and manages to corner the scam artist.

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Kuryu and Asagi visit the manhole at issue . . .

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. . . and then one of the people who wrote a letter on the thief’s behalf. This first guy seems very shady – he recognizes Asagi and treats her as if she was still part of his gang instead of as a prosecutor’s assistant. It doesn’t seem like he’s moved on and gone legit.

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Asagi is not happy with meeting her old acquaintances in this way.

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Nakamura reports her success to the boss . . .

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. . . and Suetsugu is torn between two stirrer sticks – one representing Nakamura and the other one Reiko. He also faces competition from Nakamura’s assistant.

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Kuryu and Asagi visit another person who wrote a letter – another old acquaintance of Asagi’s. This time, though, the woman noted that she was told to write the letter by the first guy they talked to – she didn’t write it out of any concern for the accused. In fact, she doesn’t even know the manhole cover thief well. The plot thickens.

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Kuryu ends up questioning everyone who wrote a letter and finds that most of them had simply done it because they were told to (good thing they didn’t bother to lie about it). That’s mighty suspicious, and Kuryu now wonders why the culprit’s real friends – the few who wrote the letter voluntarily – went to all this trouble on his behalf.

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Nakamura’s success leaves Uno doubting himself . . .

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. . . and he turns to Kuryu, complaining that graduating from Todai and having a pristine record hasn’t helped him at all.

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Kuryu’s response when Uno finally storms out is hilarious.

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New funny face from Kawajiri (Matsushige Yutaka):

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Kuryu finally gets Asagi to open up about her past – it’s about time we learned more about her.

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What happens after that gets more exciting and leads directly to the way the episode ends, so I’ll cut off the synopsis here.

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I will note that Uno gets the wrong idea about the changes he needs to make:

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Thankfully, Kawajiri puts his foot down and insists that Uno change back to his suit. We get another laugh after that, as Kuryu asks Kawajiri if it’s all right for him to show up to work in jeans and tee-shirt.

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This was a good episode – not exciting, but still well-paced. It helped that this one had a program time of 46 minutes – the regular hour block – instead of the longer duration of previous episodes.

The case eventually built into something substantial, and there weren’t any sermons. It was pretty easy to guess the true nature of the case once we found out the type of friend that supported the thief.

Kimura-san was especially good in this episode, getting a number of laughs from me. The main comedy was provided by Hamada-san as Uno and Kohinata-san as Suetsugu, and on both of those the acting was good, though there were only two really interesting scenes – one where the guard walks in on Suetsugu sitting in the dark, stunned, and the other with Uno dressed in imitation of Kuryu.

With any luck, the plots will continue to trend in this direction, and I’m hoping to see an even more compelling case next time.

Weekly Oricon Rankings (Ending 09-28)

Posted on: October 1st, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

The top single for the past week was “Hikaeme I Love You!” (控えめ I love you!) from HKT48, which saw 277,534 copies sold. That’s the best first week result for the group, narrowly continuing their streak of growth.

Fudanjuku was at #2 with “BE HERO” selling 32,248.

Taking #3 in its second week, “Midaretemina” from 2PM had a very good second week – selling 14,374 to pass the gold mark, reaching 109,471.

“Tokyo Victory” by Southern All Stars got #9 with 8,273 sold in its third week, and now boasts a total of 119,386 copies sold.

Right behind was Nogizaka46’s “Natsu no Free & Easy” which now has a twelve-week total of 516,931.

Hikawa Kiyoshi-san’s “Choito Kimagure Watari Dori” took #14, selling 6,206 in week two to bring its total to 59,338.

In its second week, “Omoide Breaker” from Lead sold a solid 5,556 for a running total of 48,783 sold.

At #26, Hey! Say! JUMP’s “Weekender/Ashita e no YELL” added 3,351 to its total, getting it to 207,448 in its fourth week.

AKB48’s “Kokoro no Placard” is still hanging out – taking #28, now with 1,042,729 copies sold in total after five weeks.

“Geragerapo no Uta” from King Cream Soda found itself at #29, which sold 2,894 to boost its twenty-two week total to 116,285.

The album side was thinner than it has been in a while. SHINee got #1 with “I’m Your Boy”, which sold 45,053 copies.

“TRAD” from Takeuchi Mariya-san was at #2 in its third week, still going strong by selling 25,055. Its fresh total is 192,449.

Ariana Grande’s “My Everything” bounced up to #5 by selling 13,165, and its five-week total is 76,253.

Gamushara J’s Party 2014.09.13 Review

Posted on: September 29th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

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.

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When I say assorted, I mean it – I don’t know the names of most of the kids in red.

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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.


Gamushara 2014.09.07 Review

Posted on: September 27th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

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) . . .

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. . . and the losing team (Iwahashi Genki, Takahashi Kaito, Takahashi Fuu, Hayashi Ren, Matsuda Genta).

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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?

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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 Ep 03 Review

Posted on: September 25th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

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.

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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.

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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.


Weekly Oricon Rankings (Ending 09-21)

Posted on: September 24th, 2014 by tylerraiz No Comments

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.