Friday, August 26, 2016

Nakashima Mika to sing the theme song for new movie "Boku no tsuma to kekkon shite kudasai"

Nakashima Mika will be singing the theme song for the new movie "Boku no tsuma to kekkon shite kudasai" starring Oda Yuji and Yoshida Yo which will be shown in cinemas from 5 November. The song titled "Forget Me Not" will be Nakashima's new single.

Miyake Yoshishige who is the director of this movie, met Nakashima 15 years ago when she made her singing and acting debut in his drama "Kizudarake no Love Song". At that time, Nakashima passed the audition and managed to secure the heroine role despite being a newbie. After such a long time, Miyake commented that he was very much looking forward to working with Nakashima again and is excited about being able to hear her voice in the movie. Nakashima commented that when she first got the offer, she had the impression that she was approached because the theme song was supposed to be a sad one. Although the movie is about how a dying husband tries to find the best remarriage partner for the wife he is going to leave behind. Nakashima realised that the song won't be focusing on the sadness aspect only but also includes the warmth behind this sad feeling.

Source: Oricon

Mr.Children to sing the theme song for NHK morning drama "Beppin-san"

Mr.Children will be singing the theme song for NHK's new morning drama "Beppin-san" which will begin its run from 3 October. The song titled "Hikari no Atorie" is written by Sakurai Kazutoshi who hoped that the song of hope will be one which fits closely with the drama.

"Beppin-san" which is the 95th morning drama to date, features Yoshine Kyoko in the role of the heroine Bandou Sumire who was born into a rich family and loves embroidery and sewing. During the war, she gets married and pregnant but has to give birth to her daughter while her husband is in the military. Due to the air raids, she loses her home and assets. While waiting for her husband whose fate is unknown, Sumire meets various people which eventually leads her to use her sewing skills to set up a business of making clothes for children.

The producer Horinouchi Reijiro revealed that they had approached Mr.Children to sing the theme song for this drama and that they had agreed to it quickly. It took a few months before the song was written. Horinouchi praised the song for being one which will be able to bring sunshine to everyone and looks forward to the chemistry arising from the collaboration of the theme song and the drama.

Sources: Sponichi / Oricon

Nakadai Tatsuya to appear as Tamaki Hiroshi's rival in TV Tokyo drama SP "Kyoaku wa nemurasenai Tokusou Kenji no gyakushuu"

Nakadai Tatsuya will be playing a big-name politician Tachibana Yohei in the upcoming TV Tokyo drama SP "Kyoaku wa nemurasenai Tokusou Kenji no gyakushuu" opposite the lead Tamaki Hiroshi who plays a public prosecutor Tominaga Shinichi. The drama SP which will be shown on 5 October at 9pm as a special project to mark the TV station's move to Roppongi 3-chome this year, marks the first collaboration between Tamaki and Nakadai who is more than double of Tamaki's age.

Nakadai commented that he was happy to be able to join this production and said that having been an actor for 60 years, he always felt that he can't compete with the youngsters in terms of freshness so he felt very nervous standing beside Tamaki. It was also revealed that Nakadai had taken on this role because of TV Tokyo's drama producer Tabuchi Toshihiko who had worked with him on a documentary "Neshia no Tabibito" in 1999. At that time, they visited 10 countries over the course of a year which was tough and enjoyable. Nakadai had said to Tabuchi at that time that it would be nice to work together again. Although it took 17 years since then, it was great to be able to get Nakadai to participate in this production.

Source: Oricon

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Nounen Rena takes on voice-acting job for anime movie "Kono sekai no katasumi ni"

Ever since announcing her name change to "Non", Nounen Rena has taken on her first job by being the voice actor for the heroine in anime movie "Kono sekai no katasumi ni" (At the corner of the world). This is her first appearance in an anime movie.

"Kono sekai no katasumi ni" is set at Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture during WWII and features a woman named Suzu who tries to live positively despite having lost many precious things due to the war. The director Katabuchi Sunao took six years to do extensive research on the historical setting before this film could be made. He revealed that Non was his number one choice for the heroine to which she revealed that she was so happy at the offer that she felt like she was floating in mid-air. However, Non acknowledged that it was rather painful and uncomfortable whenever the story touched on war and violence but she has learnt to face these issues and understand that these serious themes actually exist in our daily lives. Recounting on her first voice-acting job, Non revealed that it was tough and she didn't know what to do at first. Later, as she became more accustomed to it, she derived joy in breathing life into the graphics and said that she is full of respect for voice actors who are able to make their characters come alive.
The movie will be shown in cinemas from 12 November.

Source: Crank In

Koyama Keiichiro to take over Takahata Yuta's role in "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga mieta"

In response to Takahata Yuta's arrest for alleged rape leading to assault, NTV announced on 24 August that they will be getting NEWS member Koyama Keiichiro to take over Takahata's role in the upcoming drama SP "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga miete" which is due to be shown this Saturday at 9pm during the "24 Jikan Terebi 39" charity event. Filming is expected to begin on 25 August. In this drama SP starring fellow NEWS member Kato Shigeaki who plays a blind teacher Arai Yoshinori, Takahata's role is a support staff member at the rehabilitation centre which Arai goes to.

While appearing "live" on the NTV information programme "PON!" in the morning of 24 August to promote the drama SP, Kato revealed that they don't have a lot of time on hand but will work hard together as a team to ensure that the drama SP can be shown as scheduled.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi 1 / Yomiuri Hochi 2

TV Tokyo to re-shoot scenes in their Summer 2016 drama "Otokomeshi" involving Takahata Yuta

Following news of Takahata Yuta's arrest for alleged rape leading to assault, TV Tokyo sent a fax statement to the media where they announced that they will be re-shooting some scenes in their ongoing Summer 2016 drama "Otokomeshi" which had involved Takahata. The drama's filming had already been wrapped up and 5 episodes had been shown to date. In the upcoming Ep 6 to be shown on 26 August, there will be no replacement actor for Takahata and his scenes will all be cut from the drama. For scenes which cannot be cut, they will be re-shot. Takahata had played the classmate of Emoto Tokio in this drama.

TV Tokyo mentioned in their statement that it was a pity that such a thing happened and said that for the viewers who enjoy this drama, they will reshoot some of the scenes and continue with the broadcast as usual.

Sources: Daily Sports / Oricon

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Details of the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival taking place this autumn

The 29th Tokyo International Film Festival will be held between 25 October and 3 November at Roppongi Hills and EX Theatre Roppongi which will be the venues for the opening and closing ceremony and the screening of films in the competition category.  The outdoor screening of "Tokyo International Film Festival Cinema Arena" will be held at Hills Arena.

The opening film this year will be "Florence Foster Jenkins" directed by Stephen Frears while the closing film will be "Satoshi no Seishun" starring Matsuyama Kenichi and directed by Mori Yoshitaka. Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant will be in Tokyo for the opening screening of their film.


Joint statement by Japanese music artistes and associations against ticket scalping

A total of 116 music artistes and groups as well as 24 music event organisers released a joint statement together with the Federation of Music Producers Japan, Japan Association of Music Enterprises, All Japan Concert & Live Entertainment Promoter's Conference and Computer Ticketing Conference on 22 August where they asked for the prevention of ticket scalping. Since 1998, CD software sales has been dropping but the concert market has been expanding. According to the "Live Entertainment Hakusho" released by 13 music industry organisations, there were only 47,632 concerts held 10 years ago in 2006 but the figure rose to 56,042 in 2015. The number of concert goers also rose from 24.54 million in 2006 to 44.86 million last year.

However, this popularity boom for concerts has resulted in the resale market for concert tickets on a large scale whereby many tickets were bought in bulk and sold at high prices for exorbitant profits. News of fraud cases involving concert tickets sold online are also prevalent. This not only prevents true fans from being able to purchase concert tickets but the high resale prices are also a deterrent for them to attend the concerts. Even for those who manage to buy these tickets, they may also face problems of being unable to enter the concert venue if it is found that they aren't the original purchasers or that the tickets were actually forged.

Being concerned and furious about the inability of fans to attend their concerts and buy related merchandise, some artistes and music event organisers have already started using the face recognition systems and setting up official trading websites for fans who are unable to attend the concerts and have to resell their tickets. However, the costs of these measures and the time spent on verifying the concert-goers are proving to be problematic. In a bid to solve these issues, the music industry is looking at ways to restructure the ticketing and pricing systems.

As the first step in showing their stand in this issue, the artistes, music event organisers and music industry organisations published a full-page ad on the 23rd August issue of Asahi Shinbun and Yomiuri Shinbun's morning edition where they said that they objected to the ticket scalping phenomenon which will rob the music industry's future and called upon people to give this problem more attention. For those who are interested in knowing more about this movement, you can visit this website.

The list of the music artistes are as follows:
Amuro Namie
Ieiri Leo
Every Little Thing
Oda Kazumasa
the GazettE
Kahara Tomomi
Kanjani 8
Kishitari Kaori
Kikkawa Koji
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
KinKi Kids
Kuraki Mai
Chris Hart
Gesu no Kiwami Otome
Koda Kumi
Go Hiromi
Golden Bomber
Kondo Masahiko
Saito Kazuyoshi
Southern All Stars
Sada Masashi
The Birthday
the pillows
Johnny's WEST
Johnny's Jr.
JAM Project
Shonan no Kaze
Sukima Switch
Seikima II
Sexy Zone
Takahashi Mariko
Takeuchi Mariya
Takki & Tsubasa
Teshima Aoi
Dragon Ash
Naoto Inti Raymi
Nakajima Miyuki
Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi
Nishino Kana
Hata Motohiro
back number
Hamsaki Ayumi
Hamada Shogo
Himuro Kyosuke
Funky Kato
Fukuyama Masaharu
Fujii Fumiya
Project Love Life!
Hey! Say! JUMP
Hoshino Gen
Porno Graffiti
My Little Lover
Matsutoya Yumi
May J.
Yamazaki Masayoshi
Yamashita Tatsuro
Yamashita Tomohisa
L'arc en Ciel

The list of music events which support this initiative:
Animelo Summer Live
Augusta Camp
Kyoto Daisakusen
TV Asahi Dream Festival
Haha ni kansha Concert

Source: Oricon

Sakaguchi Kentaro to play Peace in the drama SP "Mohouhan"

Sakaguchi Kentaro will be playing his first bad guy role when he appears in the TV Tokyo drama SP "Mohouhan" starring Nakatani Miki which will be shown on 21st and 22nd September at 9pm. The story is based on the same-titled novel by Miyabe Miyuki where Sakaguchi will take on the role of Peace a.k.a. Amikawa Koichi who is a key figure in a serial murder case which is in contrast to his usual goody-two-shoes roles so far. In the 2002 movie version, this role was played by SMAP's Nakai Masahiro.

Sakaguchi commented that it is a difficult role to play but he feels that there is a lot of meaning and value in taking up this role. As he had read the original novel back when he was a senior high school student, Sakaguchi said that his impression of Peace is that he's someone who can't be analysed with logic and has various evil traits in his character. According to the production crew, Sakaguchi's image has never been associated with bad guys role to date so they think that he has the potential to act as the double-faced Peace who appears as a charming and good man but has a dark side hidden within.

Source: Sanspo

Eguchi Yosuke to hold solo live concert in Tokyo on 9 October

Eguchi Yosuke announced on 23 August that he will be holding a solo live concert at Shimokitazawa GARDEN on 9 October. Although Eguchi used to be a singer-songwriter in the 1990s and had churned out hit songs such as 1994's "Ai wa Ai de", he suspended his music activities after the release of his best hits album "Free Life" in 1998 and concentrated on his acting career since then. Nonetheless, he has never given up his passion for music and held a solo concert for the first time in 20 years at Shimokitazawa on 27 May. For this new concert in October, he will be joined by the band KATAMALI and Miyako Keiichi. Tickets will be sold first via Eplus from noon on 24 August to 6pm on 6 September before the rest are released to the public via Ticket Pia, Lawson, Eplus and GARDEN from 1pm on 17 September. Details of the concert will also be announced later on Eguchi's Facebook page.

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Takahata Atsuko's son Takahata Yuta arrested for rape and assault

Takahata Atsuko's son Takahata Yuta was arrested at 1.40pm on 23 August by Maebashi Police Station on suspicion of rape and assault. Takahata Yuta was staying at a business hotel in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, in the early hours of 23 August when he called the hotel's staff to bring him amenities such as a toothbrush. When a female staff in her 40s brought the item to his room, Takahata allegedly grabbed her into his room and raped her. During the sexual assault, Takahata was said to have used force against the victim and caused her to sustain injuries such as bruises to her body and right thumb. According to Maebashi Police Station, Takahata was brought in for questioning on a voluntary basis and testified that he could not control his sexual urge upon seeing the female hotel staff but stressed that it was not a premeditated attack. Takahata was in Maebashi for the filming of a movie and said to have been drinking with the staff on the night before the incident.

Takahata Yuta began to enjoy attention as an actor when he appeared in last year's NHK morning drama "Mare" and is due to appear in NTV's 24 Jikan Terebi 39 this weekend as the programme's personalities along with comedy duo Oriental Radio. He also has a role in the drama SP "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga miete" where he plays a support at the rehabilitation centre which Yoshinori-sensei (Kato Shigeaki) goes to after losing his sight but his name and photo have been removed from the cast chart on the drama SP's official website. In response to news about Takahata's arrest, NTV announced that they will be looking into the possibility of getting another actor to re-film Takahata's part in the drama SP. Takahata was also scheduled to appear in the late night programme "Konya kurabete mimashita" on 23 August but the content of the show will be changed. In addition, Takahata who is supposed to appear in NHK's ongoing Taiga "Sanadamaru" from October onwards, will be replaced. FujiTV's mini drama "Tonari no Shinsengumi" will make adjustments to its next episode to be shown on 25 August. TV Tokyo is currently in discussions on how to handle Takahata's parts in their Summer 2016 drama "Otokomeshi". TBS has removed Takahata's name from the official website of their Summer 2016 drama "Aogeba Totoshi" but won't need to make adjustments to the drama since his appearance was limited to the first three episodes only.

Following news of Takahata's arrest, his Twitter has been switched to private mode and his blog has been deleted. At present, only his Instagram account (up to 4.23pm Japan time) can still be accessed. In the comments section of his Instagram account, many users left comments criticising his actions and scolded him for causing grief and a great inconvenience to his mother.

Takahata's agency released a statement in the same evening about his arrest and acknowledged that they were informed about what happened. The agency expressed deep regret and apologised to the victim and everyone who was inconvenienced and worried by what happened. At the moment, as he is still in police custody, the agency has been unable to contact him so they will try to find out more about the situation and will deal with this issue with utmost sincerity.

In Japan, rape is punishable with a prison sentence of between three years and below 20 years. If the charge is rape leading to assault or death, the prison sentence can range from more than 5 years to life imprisonment. When a prison sentence is longer than 3 years, there will be no suspended sentence. Assuming that the case goes to court, it will be decided by a jury. For a rape case, the indictment is dependent on the victim filing a complaint but for a rape leading to assault or death case, the investigation and trial continues even if the victim decides to drop the case.

Due to intense media attention and public concern over Takahata's case, his name was the No.1 trend topic on Twitter and keywords related to his case hogged the real-time search ranking on Yahoo! JAPAN.

As a result of her son's arrest, Takahata Atsuko has resigned from her hosting job for NHK's afternoon programme "Studio Park kara Konnichiwa" on 23 August where Sakakibara Ikue will take over the position. NHK accepted her resignation but did not go into details on what reason Takahata Atsuko had given. There is also concern over whether her career will be affected as she is seen in many dramas such as "Sanadamaru", variety shows, CMs and will take on a leading role in the stage play "Yukimaroge" to be performed between September and October

Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports  2 / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2 / Yomiuri Hochi 1 / Yomiuri Hochi 2 / Sponichi 1 / Sponichi 2 / Sponichi 3

Preview of "Hippocrates no Chikai" - Autumn 2016 (WOWOW)

Title: Hippocrates no Chikai ヒポクラテスの誓い (The Hippocratic Oath)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 2 October 2016
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Original novel by: Nakayama Shichiri
Scriptwriter: Shinozaki Eriko
Music: Fujimoto Yoshitaka & Toda Yuriko
Director: Uchikata Akira
Cast: Kitagawa Keiko, Shibata Kyohei, Onoe Matsuya, Hamada Mari, Sato Megumi, Aijima Kazuyuki, Kaneda Akio & Furuya Ikko

Monday, August 22, 2016

Odagiri Jo & Kashii Yu welcome the birth of their third son

Odagiri Jo and Kashii Yu welcomed the arrival of their third son as announced by her agency on 22 August. Both mother and son are doing well. With regard to when she will return to work, it will depend on Kashii's health condition and childcare needs.

Odagiri and Kashii got married in February 2008 and their sons were born in February 2011 and April 2014. Unfortunately, their second son suddenly passed away in April last year due to an illness. Last month, when Odagiri was asked about his wife's third pregnancy, he acknowledged this by thanking the reporters for their concern.

Source: Oricon

Amami Yuki to star in FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama "Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~"

Amami Yuki will be starring in the FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama "Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~" (Chef ~ The 3-starred school lunch) which will begin its run from October in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot. The drama is based on an original script written by Hamada Hideya whose last work was "Naomi to Kanako" shown in winter this year.

Amami will play the role of Hoshino Mitsuko who is the executive chef of a Michelin three-starred French restaurant in Ginza and creates many ingenious dishes with her creativity and sensitive taste buds. However, due to a clash with the restaurant owner, she is fired from her job and has difficulty finding another position due to her pride as a celebrated chef. When Hoshino gets invited to prepare a school lunch for a primary school during a TV show, she fails miserably at impressing the children and this ends up being broadcast nationwide. Despite so, Hoshino decides to regain the stars she had lost by attempting to create delicious school lunches while coping with obstacles such as nutrition concerns, cost and taste bud differences between adults and children.

As Amami has to film many cooking scenes in this drama, she revealed that she plans to do as many of these scenes herself. This happens to be her first role as a chef where she had to wear a 34-cm tall cook's hat while shooting the poster for this drama. Amami said that when she was a kid, she already helped her parents with the cooking and cooked her own meals when she was in the Takarazuka. Even while she was busy with the filming of dramas, she would cook curries or soup-based dishes which could be heated up easily and makes pickles and umeboshi which she would store in tupperware boxes. Amami joked that although she is not great at cooking, she has to do it since she lives alone. However, she has never cooked French cuisine before so the reporters suggested that she should ask her junior from the same agency i.e. Hayami Mokomichi for help to which she said that she might resort to doing so. In preparation for the filming which begins in early September, Amami has been visiting some high-class restaurants and going for cooking class at Tsuji Chef Specialist School.

Sources: Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi

Cast announcement of new movie "Shinobi no Kuni"

The cast announcement for new movie "Shinobi no Kuni" starring Arashi's Ohno Satoshi was made on 21 August. Ishihara Satomi will be playing the lead character Mumon's (Ohno) wife Okuni which will be the first time they are working together. In the original novel, Mumon is depicted to be so besotted with Okuni at first sight that he snatches her from a samurai family and makes her his wife. Ishihara commented that although this is a period action movie, there is also a focus on how Okuni spurs Mumon to become better and more hardworking since he's lazy and not serious and showers him with love like a mother.

Suzuki Ryohei will be playing the role of Shimoyama Heibee who was born in a Iga shinobi family but is disappointed with the ways of the ninja. In preparation for the filming, Suzuki underwent two months of action training as his character is supposed to be a skilled ninja. Iseya Yusuke will play the Heki Daizen who is a retainer of Oda Nobukatsu while Hey! Say! JUMP's Chinen Yuri will be playing Nobukatsu. Co-stars also include Makita Sports, Taira Yuna, Kunimura Jun, Denden, Mitsushima Shinnosuke and Kitaroura.

Filming began last month and is set to wrap up by late September. The movie will be shown in cinemas during the summer of 2017.

Sources: Nikkansports / Cinema Cafe

Completion screening event of 24 Jikan Terebi drama SP "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga mieta ~"

The completion screening event of NTV's 24 Jikan Terebi drama SP "Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei ~ Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga mieta ~" (The blind teacher Yoshinori ~ Losing light but being able to see with the heart) was held on 21 August which was attended by the leads NEWS member Kato Shigeaki and Sawajiri Erika. The drama SP which will be shown at 9pm on 27 August, features Kato in the role of Arai Yoshinori, a blind teacher who works at Minano Junior High School in Saitama Prefecture and Sawajiri as his wife Mayumi who overcome the difficulties after he lost his sight at the age of 34. At the end of the screening, the Arais made an appearance and presented flowers to the actors. In order to prepare for this role, Kato had gone to a rehabilitation centre and tried to walk with a eye-mask and with a guide dog.

Although this is the first time that Kato and Sawajiri are playing a married couple, he praised her for being able to convey the strength in her character while she commented that they had good chemistry during the filming as Kato was very passionate and hardworking about acting. As for having to work with child actors for the first time, Sawajiri recounted that it was a tough but enjoyable experience even though it was difficult to predict how the children would react. Kato also revealed that they had NG scenes because the children were doing things such as picking their noses but he still found them adorable.

When asked about the difficulties he had faced so far in his life, Kato recounted that his group NEWS was on the brink of disbandment and had many problems to date until they were so unsure of their future. However, when compared to what Arai went through in his life, he realised that those challenges were really nothing at all and can hardly be considered as despondent situations. As for Sawajiri, she commented that there had been painful incidents in the past but they were too insignificant when compared to other people. However, she did not go into details on which incidents she was referring to.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo

Preview of "Futagashira 2" - Summer 2016 (WOWOW)

Title: Futagashira 2 (ふたがしら2)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 September 2016
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Original manga by: Ono Natsume
Scriptwriter: Nakajima Kazuki
Cast: Matsuyama Kenichi, Saotome Taichi, Narimiya Hiroki, Nanao, Taguchi Hiromasa, Ashina Sei, Shibukawa Kiyohiko, Yoshikura Aoi, Yamada Jundai, Kitamura Yukiya, Hashimoto Jun, Yajima Kenichi, Shinagawa Toru, Omori Nao

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Shida Mirai to appear in "Hajimemashite, Aishiteimasu" from Ep 7 onwards

Shida Mirai will be appearing in the TV Asahi Summer 2016 drama "Hajimemashite, Aishiteimasu" showing at 9pm on Thursdays from the 7th episode on 25 August. She will be playing the role of Kurokawa Izumi who is the birth mother of Hajime (Yokoyama Ayumu), the 5-year-old boy who is about to be adopted by the lead couple Umeda Mina (Ono Machiko) and Shinji (Eguchi Yosuke). Despite the fact that Izumi had left Hajime alone and confined in an apartment and disappeared without a trace, her mother Tsukiko (Tomita Yasuko) appeared at the end of episode 6 and asked the Umedas on behalf of her daughter to give her grandson back. However, Izumi herself does not appear personally. The reason why she abused Hajime and her whereabouts will be gradually revealed with Izumi's appearance in the story.

Despite being just 23 years old, Shida has been an actress for 17 years and her first drama series appearance was in Yukawa Kazuhiko's 2005 drama "Joou no Kyoushitsu" opposite Amami Yuki. The following year, she played a 14-year-old girl who became a mother in "14-sai no Haha". Since then, it has been 11 years since she last worked with Yukawa and she was feeling pressurised to play Izumi who had given birth to Hajime in her teens. Especially since she is just 23 years old, she felt that it was a shock to have a 5-year-old son. As she is only joining the drama halfway into the season, she was trying to think of ways of how to play her character. Shida also expressed her anxiety at being able to act in a Yukawa drama again regardless of the size of her role and hopes that she can show that she has grown up and improved over the years.

Source: Oricon

Comments of SMAP members on their respective radio shows with regard to their impending split

Here is a translation of the comments which the SMAP members made on their respective radio shows after news of their impending split was announced. Many articles are coming out trying to analyse these comments or should I say over-reading into these comments e.g. who seems too happy about the split and doesn't care about the feelings of fans, why someone is still not using the word "disband" in his comment even though the rest are saying it or why someone has stopped referring himself as being from SMAP. However, I think it's up to you to decide how you wish to interpret them so I won't be putting those comments here since they can lead to unnecessary arguments. 

What we know for sure is, these guys are separating at the end of this year. Whatever the reason is, we might never get a full picture since the media coverage is skewed at two extremes now i.e. one which blames those who wanted to leave the agency and one which blames the one who wanted to stay. Similarly, we won't know what the future holds for them. As such, all that speculation about someone having bleak prospects or someone being able to do well even after leaving the agency is still premature talk. For now, let's just wait and see. The attention on these guys will probably continue for a while even after their split, like it or not.

Inagaki Goro - "Inagaki Goro no STOP THE SMAP" on 18 August
Good evening, I am Inagaki Goro. As reported by the media and known to everyone by now, SMAP has chosen to disband. I am sorry for the sudden announcement that has shocked fans. I, Inagaki Goro, will continue to work hard as usual and I hope that you will continue to support "Inagaki Goro no STOP THE SMAP".

Kimura Takuya - "Kimura Takuya no What's up SMAP!" on 19 August
Good evening, everyone. I am Kimura Takuya. With regard to this incident about SMAP, I am very sorry for the painful feelings caused to everyone. Just like everyone, SMAP has always been a part of my life to date and I can't find suitable words now to describe how I feel. Regret is the only feeling I have towards SMAP fans. I am very sorry.

Nakai Masahiro - "Nakai Masahiro no Some girl' SMAP" on 20 August
Good evening, this is Nakai. I would like to report to fans and related personnel about the fact that SMAP will disband. Please forgive us for this development and I apologise for the inconvenience and worry caused to everyone. I am very sorry.
In addition, having to announce this in the midst of the Rio Olympics, I am very sorry for being a dampener during this period to everyone who supports sports, the athletes, the supporters of these athletes all across Japan even though I have been given the opportunity to be a newscaster for the Olympics. I would like to apologise deeply for this, I am very sorry.

Katori Shingo - "SMAP POWER SPLASH" on 21 August
Good evening, everyone. This is SMAP's Katori Shingo. SMAP is disbanding. I thank everyone who has supported SMAP so far and apologise deeply for the sudden announcement.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi - "SMAP POWER SPLASH" on 21 August
This is SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. This time, we SMAP have selected the road to disband. To the fans and related personnel who have supported us over the past 28 years, thank you very much. Going forward, I will continue to be diligent in my work and hope that you can continue to support me warmly as usual.

Source: Oricon

Tamaki Hiroshi to star in FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama; title undecided for now

Tamaki Hiroshi will be starring in the new FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama which still has no title for now that will be shown from October in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. This is Tamaki's first appearance in a drama series since "Asa ga kita".

The drama which is based on an original script, features Tamaki in the role of Toyama Kinshiro who is the chief of a police station on an elite career path and seems to care about nothing but would go out personally to investigate cases if they interest him. Co-stars include Takashima Masahiro who plays Minami Yozo, a veteran police detective at loggerheads with him and Takimoto Miori who plays Aikawa Minori, a female police officer wanting to become an independent detective soon but keeps making mistakes.

Tamaki commented that even though his character is a police station chief, his attitude of dealing with cases would probably place anyone in good stead regardless of which occupation or position they are in. He is eagerly awaiting to see how his character will develop over the course of the story in this original script.

Source: Oricon