Nuffnang

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Top 10 songs that will make you cry (Oricon)

1) Namida by Ketsumeishi

2) Sayonara by Off Course

3) Sangatsu Kokonoka by Remioromen

4) Tsubomi by Kobukuro

5) 366 nichi by HY

6) Kanade by Sukima Switch

7) Aitai by Sawada Chikako

8) A Song for XX by Hamasaki Ayumi

9) Over by Mr.Children

10) M by Princess Princess

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Review of Ketsuekigata betsu Onna ga Kekkon suru Houhou 血液型別オンナが結婚する方法

Title: Ketsuekigata Betsu Onna ga Kekkon suru Houhou (The methods how women of different blood types get married)
O.A. Dates: 23 Feb - 26 Feb 09
Shown via: FujiTV
Theme song: Strawberry Cream Pop Soda by Tommy february 6





Part 1: Kato Rosa x Nokubo Naoki (Blood Type A)
Part 2: Shaku Yumiko x Miyasago Hiroyuki (Blood Type B)
Part 3: Kashii Yui x Chen Bolin (Blood Type O)
Part 4: Mizukawa Asami x Joushima Shigeru (Blood Type AB)

Review:

This is not the first time that FujiTV is dishing out a collage SP as they have attempted it before in the Tsubasa no Oreta Tenshi tachi series. This type of drama SPs are present for a couple of reasons. It can be a litmus test of the popularity of the various leads based on the ratings but sometimes, the figures are not representative of the actual quality of the story or acting. In addition, TV stations pay lesser for someone in a SP as compared to a full-length drama so they can afford to have a variety of actors or actresses in the lineup. What's more, they can test the market by getting upcoming stars to be the leads since this is less risky. Due to the trend of people being interested in blood type studies especially in recent years i.e. how they affect behaviour, this SP can be said to be a shot at riding the wave. However, the concept may be interesting but the final product is not satisfactory at all.

First of all, the scriptwriter was probably too ambitious in including the major characteristics of each blood type to the extent that the story seemed to have lost focus. In the end, we are actually none the wiser about the major similarities of each blood type. If the drama SP was intended at boosting awareness in this respect, it does deserve a failing grade. Personally, as a blood type B person, I really don't think the characteristics mentioned are representative of the group. True, we all have different personalities which does not hinge on blood type only but surely they can pick out some traits which are generally more common than the rest. Even if it's less than 5 traits, I thought that this is better than including a whole list of irrelevant stuff. And this idea of using the same character Sachie for all 4 ladies so as to drive home the differences in their characters was a bit stale. It got really boring to hear the same name repeated over and over again.

Secondly, the theme is about how these women get married. In my opinion, the B-group story seems more logical than the rest. The progression of the relationship was gradual and more convincing. The O-group drama was so far-fetched. It is hard to imagine that marriage will cross the minds of two people who have met less than 5 times. And since this drama SP is about how these 4 women get married, we do not get to see the wedding ceremony. All we get is a miserable still-shot of the couples in their wedding gowns and suits. I know the focus is on HOW they get married but surely we should be entitled to see the wedding, right?

Last but not least, the interaction and chemistry is lacking, especially in the O blood type story. Kashii Yui and Chen Bolin feel so distant from each other that I don't sense any sparks between them. Oh well, Kashii is known for her aloofness but since she is in a romance story, I just don't feel any affection or passion coming from her character. Surprisingly, Shaku Yumiko and the comedian Miyasago Hiroyuki turned out to be the most compatible couple in the SP because there was chemistry between them. The friendly banter sure helped a lot. Kato Rosa and Nokubo Naoki were pretty bland (the story was too predictable) while Mizukawa Asami and Joushima Shigeru had some chemistry but somehow the disparity in their ages and appearances were hard to ignore. Initially, I had the highest hopes for Mizukawa's part because I thought it was fun to see her with Leader but it turned out to be so disappointing. As for A-type and O-type stories, I didn't think much of them right from the start. And since I didn't like Shaku very much, the B-type story surprised me in a good way.

Oh, and before I forget, those Lexus commercials at the end of the SP were so irritating. I think they were trying hard to use the theme of the SP in the CM but the way of presentation was too unnatural and difficult to understand.

And my ratings for this drama SP...
Story: 5 out of 10 (on an average basis, the whole series didn't impress me)
Acting: 6 out of 10 (Well, to be fair, the roles did not offer too much room for development in the first place but I must say that even Shaku managed to do reasonably well this time. I'm quite disappointed with her younger counterparts who can obviously do better, based on past performances.)
Theme song: 7 out of 10 (Tommy february 6's song lends a cheerful atmosphere to the fairytale ending of the stories)
Visual effects / Scenery: 5 out of 10 (Nothing much to speak of except for the B-type story which had some nice illustrations)
Teamwork / Chemistry: 4 out of 10 (Seriously lacking, on an average basis)

Total: 27 out of 50

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Abe Tsuyoshi from F4 gets married!

Chinese-Japanese actor Abe Tsuyoshi who played Mimasaka, one of the F4 members in "Hana Yori Dango", announced his marriage to Chinese actress Shi Ke on 27 April. Shi is an actress in China and 2 years older than Abe. They submitted their marriage application together at a ward office in Tokyo. The couple got to know each other in summer 2006 through working on a movie, "Incomplete Lovers" and were nurturing their long-distance relationship for about 2 years and 7 months.

Abe announced his marriage through an urgent press conference held at the venue where his new stage play "Kirameku Seiza" was being rehearsed. He said that he is very happy to see his wife whenever he goes home and looks forward to forming a happy family.

He recounted that when he returned from China after the filming of "Incomplete Lovers" in summer 2006, he was feeling lost and empty after spending one month with Shi there. He decided to fly back to Beijing to confess his feelings to Shi and they started dating in Sep that year. To sustain their relationship, Abe had to use the Internet telephone service every day just to chat with Shi so he felt like he was dating the computer.

On 4 May last year which was Shi's birthday, Abe proposed to her in Beijing with a Hello Kitty cake which had words of "please marry me" in Chinese. Shi was so touched that she hugged him as a sign of her consent.

Shi has been an actress since her childhood days. Currently, she is in Japan on a short-term visa and will quit being an actress in China soon. She is scheduled to live in Japan with Abe's family from summer. Shi is currently learning Japanese and said to be thinking of working in Japan as an actress in future. She is not pregnant at the moment. According to Abe, they have plans to hold a wedding dinner in Beijing but none in Japan.

Abe revealed that his wife calls him "Dong" (his Chinese name is Li Zhendong) while he calls her "Baobao" (meaning Baby in Chinese). He said that he had been thinking of marriage ever since he graduated from senior high and was very happy to find someone whom he loves. He called upon fans to continue supporting him in future.

Meanwhile, Abe's co-stars in Hana Yori Dango have also received news of his marriage and here are their comments:

Inoue Mao: (She received news of it through a phone call and email message from Abe) I was very shocked when I received the news but I am also very happy for him. I envy Dong Dong's (Abe's nickname) wife for having married such a serious and honest guy. I wish them all the best in future.

Matsumoto Jun: (He received news through an email message) I was shocked when I got the news yesterday. To think that Abe is the first among us to get married. Abe's kindness and gentleness is always seen, be it during work or in private. I believe he will be a very good husband and will form a happy family. I'm looking forward to meeting him and his wife in future for a meal.
  
Oguri Shun: That's great! Good for you, Dong Dong! I would also like to protect a guy as nice as you! (Laughs) Please be happy!

Top 10 most beautiful male celebrities ranking (Oricon)

1) Mizushima Hiro

2) Gackt

3) Fukuyama Masaharu

4) Kimura Takuya

5) HYDE

6) Tamaki Hiroshi

7) Okada Junichi

8) Domoto Koichi

9) Takizawa Hideaki

10) Tanihara Shosuke

Monday, April 27, 2009

Top 10 most beautiful female celebrities (Oricon)

1) Fujiwara Norika

2) Yoshinaga Sayuri

3) Nakama Yukie

4) Koyuki

5) Kuroki Hitomi

6) Matsushima Nanako

7) Ito Misaki

8) Takeuchi Yuko

9) Shibasaki Kou

10) Kuroki Meisa

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Top 10 movies' ranking (19 April 09)

1) Meitantei Conan The Black Chaser

2) Red Cliff Part II

3) Cross ZERO II

4) Crayon Shin-chan Otakebe! Kasukabe Yasei Oukoku

5) Slumdog Millionaire

6) Oppai Volleyball

7) Drop

8) Kamogawa Horumo

9) Yatterman

10) Puri Kyua All Stars DX Minna Tomodachi Kiseki no Zenin Daishugo

Love Shuffle DVD Box

Title: Love Shuffle DVD Box
Date of release: 3 July 2009
Price: 19,950 yen (inclusive of tax)
Number of discs: 6
Produced by: TC Entertainment
Total run time: 474 minutes
Features: Making-of footage, One Shot Interview, End of Filming Footage, Navigation Programme, Japanese subtitles, No-credit titleback, CM Spot Collection

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kiina DVD Box

Title: Kiina DVD Box
Date of release: 22 May 2009
Price: 17,010 yen (inclusive of tax)
Number of discs: 5
Produced by: VAP
Total run time: 435 minutes
Number of episodes: 10

Friday, April 24, 2009

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's apology press conference

This is an excerpt of the 30-min press conference held at 9pm tonight in Victor Entertainment's office.

Q: Question / K: Kusanagi / Y: Yada (Kusanagi's lawyer)

K: I've done something which is truly embarrassing for an adult and am very sorry about it.

Y: Kusanagi was at his family home in Saitama on 22 April as he was off that day. He returned to Tokyo that evening and started drinking on his own at an izakaya near his house (Tokyo Midtown) from 9pm onwards. At 10pm when the izakaya closed for the day, he continued to drink with the izakaya's manager (male) and a female employee. The three of them drank mainly shochu.

Kusanagi himself does not remember exactly how long had passed since then and thought it was time to go home at around 2am (23 April). He went to the Hinokicho Park on his way home. Although it was said that he went to a bar later with his friends, he cannot remember this clearly. He cannot even recall clearly if he had stopped by at the park. As Kusanagi has virtually no memory of what happened after he parted with his friends, he did not know what made him so hyped up that he was singing, making noises and stripping himself naked in the park.

There could be a possibility that he mistook the park for his own apartment but this is something which Kusanagi himself does not remember.

He admits the facts presented so far and has tried to describe what he did before the arrest according to what he can remember. He is indeed repentant for this shameful deed as an adult. His working activities are all suspended at the moment. There will be a discussion with all related parties with regards to his punishment. This will be made known in time to come.

Q: How much did you drink?

K: I drank a lot but I did not set a limit to how much I drank. I drank to the extent of not knowing what happened.

Q: So you had no memory of what happened?

K: Yes.

Q: When did you first realize what had happened?

K: I lost consciousness and woke up at the police station. Even then, I was still so drunk that I couldn't differentiate between a dream or reality.

Q: When you left the Akasaka Police Station, were you still drunk?

K: Yes. The effects of the alcohol was still there and I was very sleepy. Thus, I was still in a drunken state at that time.

Q: When did you finally understand the trouble you had gotten yourself into?

K: I was in the detention cell and couldn't sleep at all. After getting some sleep, reality finally set in and I realized the severity of my actions. I first thought of the distress and shock brought onto my fans.

Q: What are you worried about now?

K: I've not met my fellow members yet but we have talked on the phone, one by one. They asked about my health condition. I created a lot of trouble for them and said sorry.

I called Nakai-kun first, followed by Kimura-kun, Goro-san and then Shingo. They were all concerned about my condition and listened to what I had to say. I told them about the press conference today. They told me that everything is fine and we will all decide what to do in future.

Q: When you called your fellow members, what were you thinking?

K: I was embarrassed and sorry. This is the first time that something like this happened. I was feeling unwell in the middle of the night and had to be put on a drip at the hospital.

Q: What is it that you do not remember doing?

K: I had never been naked outside. There was a time that I was drunk at home and stripped down to my underwear with my teammate Shingo.

Q: Did you think that your behaviour was unacceptable at that time?

K: Yes, I did. In fact, I was warned against drinking too much at that time. I believe that my members were worried that I may do something like this (stripping naked or causing disturbance) and had warned me many times in the past. However, I never took their advice seriously and is full of regrets now.

Q: Do you remember the time when you were wrapped up in a plastic sheet by the police?

K: I couldn't differentiate between a dream and reality and do not remember this.

Q: How would you drink alcohol in future now that this has happened?

K: I have no intention of drinking it now. In future, when I've grown up enough to behave like a responsible adult, that will be when I will drink again.

Q: What is the thing which you should have remembered?

K: I shouldn't have forgotten that I have a lot of fans. I should have been responsible as a member of SMAP. As our fans range from children to the elderly, I should have been more mindful of my actions.

Q: What do you think of your drinking style?

K: Even if I lose consciousness of what I was doing, I shouldn't have done this thing which caused a lot of problems.

Q: Were you under a lot of stress?

K: No. I am someone who loves drinking and would usually do it after work.

Q: Do you have to drink all the time?

K: No, there are times when I do not drink at all. Sometimes, I drink one glass only and sometimes, I drink many glasses at one go. This time, I drank much more than usual.

Q: Why did you drink so much this time?

K: It was about the same as usual but somehow, I was too happy and went overboard. And I do not do this all the time i.e. stripping naked.

Q: You were known for your clean image. Can you say something to your fans?

K: I am sorry for betraying my fans who had been supporting me all this while.

Q: Please say something to your Korean fans.

K: I'm also sorry for all the worry and distress caused to overseas fans.

Q: Please clarify on the facts of the case.

K: I drank 5 glasses of beer and 3 glasses of shochu. I do not remember what I drank after that as well as the time I spent drinking.

Q: How do you feel about not being able to continue with your activities?

K: I feel terrible. I wish to continue.

Q: There are fans who hope for your return.

K: I am grateful for such kind words but I know I have to repent for my actions. I do not know when I can go back to work.

Q: You said that you stripped down to your underwear with Shingo. Where did that happen?

K: My apartment.

Q: Do you hope to return to SMAP?

K: Of course I hope to return immediately. However, as I've said just now, I have to repent for my actions. This is not something which I can decide. I have to wait for fans and my fellow members to forgive me.

Q: What does SMAP mean to you?

K: A very huge presence and pillar of support. I am truly sorry for what has happened.

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OK, this case is tentatively over for the time being. Until the prosecutors announce their decision of whether to charge Kusanagi in court or the punishment meted to him, I believe there won't be any substantial updates coming up for the next few days unless the police releases more info obtained through the investigation. I probably won't be updating on this as frequently as what I did for these two days.

Honestly speaking, I am sad and angry to see Kusanagi's hard work and clean image built up over 20 years gone with just one night's folly. He is my No.1 favourite member of SMAP and I like him for his down-to-earth ways, his great acting skills and the tenacity he displayed when mastering Korean in such a short time. I'm also learning Korean now so I realize that it's not easy at all. Of course, he has to be scolded for what he did. He even admitted that his teammates told him off before but he didn't heed their advice. Drinking till not knowing what's going on is not an excuse for the action. He had work the next day (the SMAPxSMAP filming) and shouldn't have been drinking that heavily the night before. Losing control is something which an adult of his age should not do. Was he under stress or not? Reports are varied with lots of differing information. The police said he was angry that day (over what?) but he said in the press conference that he was happy that night. Hmm...something which cannot be revealed is going on?

As to whether he will be sacked or SMAP will disband, I believe that it's not possible. Frankly speaking, in terms of commercial concerns, SMAP brings in lots of money for the agency. It wouldn't be the same if one is dropped. And if Kusanagi's dropped while Goro was safe 8 years ago, it will create a hoo-ha. Assuming if Kusanagi is found guilty in court, I guess his suspension period will turn out to be longer than Goro's 5 months. If he gets away with probabtion or a fine, things are likely to look better for him. It is almost a certainty that we will not get to see him until the end of the year. Since he is dropped from the summer drama lineup, the earliest we can see him may be in Sep, assuming Toho and Johnny's allows him to do the promotion for the movie, "BALLAD". Otherwise, we may have to wait until Kouhaku in Dec.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's case - Update 6

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will hold an apology press conference tonight at 9pm Japan time after he was released from custody this afternoon at 2.30pm. He was at the Tokyo Prosecutors' Office in the morning and was then released at Harajuku Police Station as the prosecutors deemed that there was little probability of him skipping bail or destroying evidence of his offence. About 150 members of the press were outside the police station waiting for his release and Kusanagi was seen bowing to a female police officer at the exit before he boarded a car arranged by his agency.

Source: Sankei

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Toho has announced that all promotional trailers, posters and phamplets for the movie, "BALLAD Na mo naki Koi no Uta" will be removed from immediate effect until further notice. The company has informed all cinemas affected by this move. As to whether the movie will go on roadshow as scheduled on 5 Sep, Toho said that this is dependent on how the situation develops but the release date is tentatively unchanged. This movie is the real life adaptation of the 2002 movie, "Crayon Shinchan Arashi wo Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daigassen" which won various awards including the Ministry of the Arts' Media Arts Festival Animation Award. Kusanagi plays a servant who protects the princess played by Aragaki Yui.

Source: Cinema Today

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FujiTV's CEO Toyoda Hiroshi expressed regret at what Kusanagi Tsuyoshi did, during the company's regular press conference. When asked about the TV station is planning to seek any damages regarding the breach of contracts, Toyoda said that the extent of the impact is still unknown so there is no intention to seek damages as yet. The CEO also said that he had met Kusanagi many times and was very impressed with his polite and nice personality. He was also full of praises for the efforts he put in for the terrestrial digital broadcasting campaign but reminded Kusanagi that he has to do a lot to restore the trust lost and damage done to his image.

Source: Sankei

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Pulling off Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's CMs can deal a big blow to Toyota's rental car business especially at this point in time. With the Golden Week coming up, this is a boom period for the car rental industry. However, Toyota is unable to air their CMs or do any promotion within a short period of time as they have to redo all promotional materials. This is especially painful to the company as CMs are essential in drawing consumer attention.

Toyota has been using Kusanagi as their CM personality since April 1998 and he is already synonymous with the brand name. As such, this incident will bring a certain degree of bad press to Toyota.

It is expected that the rental car business will experience a small boom this year during the Golden Week holiday with the launch of the 1000-yen expressway flat toll fee. Many consumers are expected to rent cars during this period to go on domestic holidays. The timing of this incident only serves to reinforce the notion that this is a double blow to Toyota which has been chalking lesser sales these days due to the sluggish economy.

Source: Yukan Fuji

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi revealed to investigators that on the day before he committed the offence, something happened which made him very angry. That was why he drank so heavily that night with his friends within such a short period of time.

Source: Sanspo

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News of the press conference will follow soon.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's case - Update 5

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was sent to a hospital last night after he complained of feeling unwell while under custody. He is said to have recovered since then and was sent to the prosecutors' office this morning. Kusanagi had been drinking with two of his friends since 8pm on 22 April and was caught making a din while naked at 3am on 23rd April.

Source: Sankei

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In today's broadcast of "Waratte Iitomo" on FujiTV, announcer Hirai Rio started off the show by apologizing for Kusanagi's absence as per the reason reported in the media. Kusanagi had been the regular for the Friday show while his fellow members Katori Shingo and Nakai Masahiro were regulars on the Monday and Tuesday shows respectively. Kusanagi's name has been removed from the regulars' lineup as shown on the programme's official website.

Source: Yomiuri

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was said to have drunk more than 10 glasses of beer and shochu in 6 hours. The police questioned the friends who were with him during the drinking session and found that the group went to 2 different places to drink. This morning when Kusanagi was sent to the prosecutors' office, there was a black film covered the back seat's windows thus reporters were unable to take pictures of Kusanagi.

Source: Yomiuri

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's case - Update 4

The Public Advertising Corporation who engaged Kusanagi Tsuyoshi to appear in an environmental CM with Korean actress Chae Ji Woo, has decided to terminate the CM with immediate effect. The original term for the campaign was from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009. At the same time, their Korean counterpart also issued a statement about the termination of the campaign and expressed regret about this incident as Kusanagi is a popular artiste in South Korea with a high level of fluency in the language.

Source: Sponichi

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi is well-known for liking alcohol. As seen in an episode of PuSma in the past, he became extremely chirpy and striked weird poses once he was drunk. This led his co-host Yusuke Santa-Maria to remind him that he was still at work. Kimura Takuya also said before that Kusanagi becomes very lively once he drinks.

During drinking sessions, Kusanagi is usually the fastest at finishing his drinks. Even when people are just starting on their first glass, he is already done with the second. During the celebration party of SMAP's concerts, he is one who never stops drinking and would even continue after his members have gone home. He is widely known as the drinker in the group.

However, when he is in the midst of a concert tour or has lots of work to do, he would abstain from alcohol altogether. During press conferences and interviews, Kusanagi always knows what to say and do and exhibits a clear-headed and calm personality. When he drinks, his personality undergoes a major change. He becomes very hyper, cracks jokes and laughs loudly.

Kusanagi is known for separating alcohol from his work so as to deliver a professional performance and even quit smoking once he hit 30. As such, people working with him are wondering if he has been harsh on himself all the time thus leading to this outburst.

Source: Sponichi

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi has been sent to the Prosecutors' Office at 9am today for the prosecution procedure of his alleged public obscenity offence. He had spent the night at the Harajuku Police Station after the initial investigation at Akasaka Police Station. About 100 members of the press were gathered at the Harajuku Police Station.

Source: Sponichi

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SMAP is set to continue with their work activities without Kusanagi since their agency has announced that he will be going through a period of self-restrain.

SMAP was scheduled to do the recording of SMAPxSMAP at FujiTV on 23 April and couldn't cancel it because they had to do a singing segment with Richard Carpenter from The Carpenters who was in Japan for a limited period of time. As such, the four of them went through the recording and took over the parts which Kusanagi was scheduled to sing. According to insiders, the four of them were visibly shocked by the news but tried to behave as per normal during the filming. The 27th April episode of SMAPxSMAP will be a best-scenes SP which will omit Kusanagi's scenes.

At the same time, Kusanagi's name has been removed from the official website of "Waratte Iitomo". He was the regular for the Friday programme. In addition, FujiTV announcer Takashima Aya will take over the narration for "Bokura no Ongaku" for the time being. The 25th April episode of "Chonan Kan 2" will be replaced with a last-minute SP on Korean artistes.

Kusanagi was also scheduled to act in a summer drama showing via FujiTV where filming begins in Saturday. However, he will now be removed from the lineup. This drama is scheduled to be shown right after the current offering "BOSS" ends its run.

Over at TV Asahi, the promotional SP for his movie, "BALLAD" will be replaced with a SP of "Red Cliff Part 2".

As SMAP is now down to 4 members, it is expected that they would not be doing the national concert tour this year.

Source: Sponichi

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Sponsors who have engaged Kusanagi Tsuyoshi for their CMs are now cancelling the campaigns one after another or suspending the airing of the CMs for the time being. According to advertising insiders, the production fees of a CM is usually 30 million to 40 million yen. Coupled with the fact that Kusanagi charges a fee of 50 million to 60 million yen for an endorsement deal and that the sponsors must now remake all CM-related items, damages may run up to 100 million per deal. Sponsors now have the choice of requesting for damages on a pro-rated or full basis.

In addition, NTT East Japan has a deal with SMAP since Jan 1995 which is scheduled to stop at the end of this month. Although Kusanagi is not appearing in the current set of CMs, the sponsor is watching the situation before deciding.

Source: Sponichi

Zenigeba DVD Box

Title: Zenigeba DVD Box
Date of release: 22 May 2009
Price: 17,010 yen (inclusive of tax)
Number of discs: 5
Produced by: VAP
Total run time: 428 minutes
Special disc contains: Production press conference footage, pre-OA promotion footage, backstage special making footage, interview collection, NG collection, final filming comment footage, Matsuyama Kenichi's long interview for the DVD, OP and ED footage, PR CM collection
Premiums included in package: Mini-version of the 1st episode's script and Special Booklet

Those who buy the DVD box can enter the lucky draw to win postcards signed by Matsuyama Kenichi. 10 sets available. Entry to reach by end of July 09.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's case - Update 3

Johnny's Jimusho released a fax statement to the media with an update to the situation and the announcement that Kusanagi will stop all his work activities for an undecided period of time:

"With regards to the case of our talent Kusanagi Tsuyoshi being arrested, we would like to provide an update to the facts that we have now known.

Our corporate lawyer met Kusanagi today and was told by him that he was actually drinking alone at the izakaya near his house. Subsequently when the shop closed for the day, he continued to drink with the people working there. In the middle of the night, he was walking home alone when the incident took place.

As Kusanagi was very drunk at that time, he cannot recall why he did such a thing. However, he did admit that he was conscious of the act of removing his clothes out of his own will thus we believe that this is something which he did at the spur of the moment.

Our corporate lawyer passed on the message that Kusanagi is very sorry for the worry and trouble caused to fans, CM sponsors, TV station personnel etc as a result of this case. Our company is also sorry about this and would like to offer our sincere apologies.

As for Kusanagi's work activities, he will undergo a period of self-restrain for the time being."


Source: Sanspo

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With regards to the search of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's apartment after his arrest, Akasaka Police Station is now swarmed with phone calls from angry fans who demand to know the reason for the move. Although the police are unable to reveal details of the investigation and stress that Kusanagi is treated fairly in accordance with the law, the phones have been ringing off the hooks.

Source: Sanspo

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FujiTV has announced its actions to handle the programmes related to Kusanagi Tsuyoshi after he was arrested this morning. From tomorrow onwards, the 4 programmes affected will remove any scenes or voiceovers featuring him.

For the 24th April live broadcast of "Waratte Iitomo", Kusanagi will not appear while for the episode of "Bokura no Ongaku" on the same night, they will use another voice personality to do the narration. As for the 26th April episode of "Chonan Kan 2", a SP on Korean artistes will be broadcast instead. Likewise for 27th April's SMAPxSMAP, there will be a best-scenes SP which will omit Kusanagi's footage.

With regards to the programmes from next week onwards, FujiTV said that they are in discussions with Johnny's Jimusho as to what they should do.

Source: Sanspo

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TV Asahi will cut scenes of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi from the programme, "PuSma" due to be shown on 28 April and is planning to produce another programme in replacement for the SP.

WOWOW has announced that it will be replacing the movie starring Kusanagi which was planned to be shown on 5 May with another movie. They are not planning to show other Kusanagi movies in the near future.

Source: Sports Hochi

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi from SMAP arrested for public obscenity - Update 2

Akasaka Police Station conducted a search of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's apartment after he was arrested earlier this morning on the suspicion of public obscenity. The urine test conducted on Kusanagi had tested negative for any drugs.

According to the statement of a female friend of Kusanagi who was with him at the izakaya before he made trouble, the two of them had left the drinking place at around 2am on foot. However, Kusanagi then walked to the Hinokichou Park alone instead of heading home. Subsequently at around 3am, he was reported by a resident for causing disturbance while naked and in a drunken state.

Source: Sankei

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According to witnesses who were there when Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was arrested by the police, he was screaming "Shingo, Shingo" when the police tried to suppress him. It is believed that he was shouting for his fellow member cum buddy, Katori Shingo from SMAP who wasn't present at the scene. Kusanagi is now in custody at the Harajuku Police Station for further investigations.

Source: Sankei

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According to investigation officers, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was in such a drunken state that the whole interrogation reeked of alcohol. In addition, as he was not sober, he was not able to give comprehensive answers throughout most of the interrogation process. The alcohol test was taken about 5 hours after his arrest where he registered a high intoxication level of 0.8mm per litre of breath.

Source: Sankei

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According to Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's agency Johnny's Jimusho, he was off work for the whole of yesterday thus the agency had no idea what he had been up to and where he was. When news of his arrest broke, his female manager was so upset that she kept crying.

Source: Sankei

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The South Korean media reported today that as a result of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's arrest, the promotional plan for the Korean version of "Hana Yori Dango" may be severely affected. Initially, there were plans for the Korean F4 to make an appearance in SMAPxSMAP during their stay in Japan now but with the arrest, plans for the filming may be cancelled. If the promotional plan is not completed in full, this could mean that the Japanese version of "Hana Yori Dango" may face problems when the parties concerned wish to promote the drama in South Korea.

Source: Searchina

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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi expressed his apologies for what he had done through his lawyer who met him during the interrogation at Akasaka Police Station. According to the police, they conducted a 30-minute search of Kusanagi's apartment in Akasaka which ended at around 4pm today but did not take anything away from his place. The reason for the search was said to find out the reason why Kusanagi committed the offence.

Kusanagi had been drinking with a male friend and a female friend at an izakaya in Akasaka before he left the place on foot with his female friend. However, they parted ways near the park so his female friend had no idea why he went to the park and did such a thing.

Source: Sanspo

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi from SMAP arrested for public obscenity - Update 1

At around 11.10am today, a male employee (67) from Johnny's Jimusho appeared at the entrance and was immediately surrounded by members of the press which numbered around 100. The employee said that full details of the incident were still unclear to the company as yet and they will release their comments latest by this evening. When the media asked if the company is sorry for what has happened, the employee said in an affirmative tone and apologized for the trouble this incident has brought to everyone. According to this employee, the company only heard about the incident when they watched the news and another employee has been sent to the Akasaka police station to find out more on the situation.

From Jiji Tsushin

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In response to its artiste Kusanagi Tsuyoshi arrested for public obscenity, Johnny's Jimusho has released a fax statement to apologize for the trouble caused:

"Today in the wee hours of the morning, our talent Kusanagi Tsuyoshi was arrested on the scene for public obscenity and is now under custody in Akasaka Police Station.

Kusanagi was drunk and took off his clothes when he was in the park but the details on the exact circumstances are still unclear at the moment.

To begin with, we would like to apologize for the trouble and worry caused to fans as well as many related parties.

As for Kusanagi's career in future, we will provide an update in time to come."

From Sankei Sports

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NHK's PR department has announced that they will be removing the 15-sec CM for the Digital Broadcast PR campaign from this evening onwards. This is in response to the arrest of the CM personality, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi being arrested today for public obscenity.

At the same time, NHK has also anounced that Kusanagi will be dropped as narrator for the children's programme, "Pitagora Switch" with immediate effect. The TV station has yet to confirm when the ban on Kusanagi's appearances in TV programmes and CMs will end.

From Sankei News

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The news of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi's arrest has now spread to the world with Bloomberg carrying the news with the headline "Japanese Pop Star Arrested". Kyoudou Tsushin also has an English bulletin of the news on their newswire.

From Sankei News

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At 12.56pm today, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi left the Akasaka Police Station and was sent to the Harajuku Police Station for further investigations. Picture from Mainichi Shinbun.

As the Akasaka Police Station is undergoing renovations at the moment, they do not have a facility to hold people in custody. That is why Kusanagi has been sent to the Harajuku Police Station instead. Kusanagi was seen sitting in a wagon's backseat between two policemen and dressed in a blue T-shirt.


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Kusanagi Tsuyoshi revealed in the investigation that he was drinking beer and shochuu with 2 of his friends at a nearby Akasaka izakaya (drinking place) before he went to the park, However, he could not remember why he was naked and said that he was sorry for what he had done.

Source: Sankei

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At 2.55am, a resident living near the Hinokicho Park called the police saying that a drunk man was making noise there. Police came to find Kusanagi drunk and sitting cross-legged on the grass while shouting words which did not make sense. When the policemen wanted to take him into custody, Kusanagi shouted that there was nothing wrong in him being naked and refused to cooperate by resisting violently. As such, the police wrapped a sheet around him and bundled him into the police patrol car. They also found some clothing including a pair of jeans and his wallet containing his driving license in the park. The intoxication reading taken in the morning showed that Kusanagi's intoxication level was 5.3 times over the legal limit for prosecution of drink driving.

Source: Yomiuri

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General Affairs Minister Hatoyama Kunio expressed anger when asked about the arrest of Kusanagi Tsuyoshi who is the character for the digital broadcast awareness campaign. Hatoyama said that he feels embarrassed at the fact that Kusanagi was chosen to be the ambassador and that he finds the behaviour unacceptable. He also ordered the removal of all posters containing Kusanagi's picture. Kusanagi was named the ambassador in 2006 and is featured in many related CMs, events and posters for this campaign.

Source: Sanspo

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According to the Akasaka Police Station, 3 policemen arrived at the Hinokicho park and found Kusanagi naked, sitting cross-legged on the grass about 80m away from the entrance of the park, His jeans and denim jumper were put together with a pouch containing his wallet and handphone. As he was too drunk, Kusanagi put his head down on the table most of the time when he was under questioning.

Source: Sankei

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Toyota has announced that they will be terminating the CM contract with Kusanagi Tsuyoshi with immediate effect after news of his arrest broke. Kusanagi had been the CM character for Toyota's Rental Lease since April 1998. Toyota is set to change their advertising strategy as a result of this change.

Source: Sankei

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According to the residents at the nearby condominium complex in Tokyo Midtown, they heard shouts of "Wah! Wah!" at the time when Kusanagi was reportedly there and thought that someone was making noise there to relieve stress.

A 75-year-old male resident woke up at around 3am and saw a drunk man i.e. Kusanagi shouting in the park for about 15 minutes. Initially, he thought that the man was asking for help but later realized that he was just drunk. Another 42-year-old lady said that the voice of the man was very high-pitched and said that she could still hear him even though she closed her windows. She expressed surprise at the fact that the man in question was Kusanagi because she thought that some foreigner was making noise there again as it was quite common in that area.

Source: Sankei

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi from SMAP arrested for public obscenity

SMAP member Kusanagi Tsuyoshi has been arrested on the charge of public obscenity for walking around nude on 23 April 09. Kusanagi was under the influence of alcohol and is yet to sober up according to reports this morning. However, he has admitted his guilt to the police.

According to the Akasaka Police Station, they received a call from someone living near Hinoki-cho Park which is just beside Tokyo Midtown, at around 2.55 am on 23 April that a man was creating a disturbance there. When policemen reached there, they found a naked Kusanagi making trouble, shouting words which didn't mean anything and was apparently intoxicated. Even though the police were trying to get him to calm down and stop screaming, he refused to do so and even said that there was nothing wrong for him to be naked. It is also reported that he hit the policemen when they were telling him to stop creating a din. As such, the policemen arrested him on the spot. He resisted arrest at one point so the police had to handcuff him and wrap him up in a sheet before sending him to the police station. Kusanagi's clothes were folded neatly and placed somewhere within the park which were found later. At the moment, he is still under custody in the Akasaka police station. He has been made to undergo the alcohol test and it is found that he registered a reading of 0.8mg of alcohol/1 litre which is 3 times the limit for drink-driving offences.

Kusanagi has been a member of SMAP and was known for his quiet and gentle personality. He was selected as Best Jeanist for 5 years in a row and was well-known for having mastered Korean in a short period of time. He also made his debut into Korea some years ago. He is now the CM character for the digital broadcast campaign which starts in 2011. In a survey among single people in their 30s, Kusanagi was named the No.1 representative for "Soushoku Danshi" i.e. guys who are caring towards friends and family but are not too keen on romance. Kusanagi was known as someone who loves to drink and was seen drinking beer in a number of TV programmes in the past.

This is not the first time that a SMAP member has run into trouble with the law. In Aug 2001, Inagaki Goro was caught for illegal parking and causing hurt to a female police officer who tried to stop him. He was sentenced to probation as he was deemed to have no malice in his actions. This led to Inagaki having to take a break from work for 143 days. His CM deals were terminated and his dramas had to be shown at a later date. Given the nature of Kusanagi's offence this time, it is expected that he will suffer a greater punishment especially if he did hit the policemen who were there to stop him from creating a disturbance. If he is found guilty under the public obscenity charge, he stands to be jailed for under 6 months and/or a fine of under 300,000 yen.

Due to the arrest of Kusanagi, everyone is sent into a frenzy as to how to deal with the situation. FujiTV has 4 TV programmes which feature Kusanagi i.e. Waratte Iitomo, SMAPxSMAP, Bokura no Ongaku and Chonan Kan. According to insiders there, the management is having a meeting about this issue. Likewise in TV Asahi, Kusanagi's programme "PuSma" has an upcoming episode on 28th April thus they are also deciding what to do with it.

At Toho's side, Kusanagi has an upcoming movie, "BALLAD Na mo naki Koi no Uta" due to be shown from 5 Sept. Although filming has already ended, this is the first time that a cast member in their movie was arrested before the roadshow thus they are in a fix as to what to do. There is a SP featuring this movie to be shown from 25 April to 18 May over the weekends but TV Asahi is deciding whether to axe this too.

As Kusanagi is involved in many CMs, the impact of his arrest is even bigger. According to the Digital Broadcast Promotion Board, the current CM was slated to be shown till July but they will remove Kusanagi immediately and choose another artiste as a replacement immediately. They are currently in plans to liaise with TV stations to remove the CM. As for other sponsors like P&G and Yamasa Soy Sauce, they are taking the CMs off for the time being and deciding what to do when more details of the case are released.

SMAP's recording company, Victor Entertainment released a statement saying that there are no plans for a new SMAP song at the moment. Further action will be taken once they have more information of the case.

At Johnny's Jimusho, about 100 members of the press are there currently waiting for further updates to the situation.

Report above comes from a number of articles published in Sankei, Mainichi and Yomiuri.

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This has got to be the biggest headline today! And it's so shocking that I do not know how to react. Honestly. I really thought that my eyes were playing jokes on me. This is because Kusanagi has always been portrayed as one with a healthy image and to be arrested for public obscenity is a big blow to what he has built up over the years. And coupled with the fact that he was said to have hit the policemen will make it worse. I believe he will be in a worse shape than what happened to Inagaki in the past and his road to redeeming himself will be even tougher. What a pity! He's a good actor and such a hardworking guy...非常に残念!

Why did he drink so much? Why was he alone in that park? Why did he decide to go naked and make noise? Under stress? Under the influence of alcohol?

This incident will deal another big blow to the management of Johnny's Jimusho. Another incident due to the influence of alcohol. Honestly speaking, someone of Kusanagi's age should know better. It's not as if he's drinking as an underaged. However, people will think that JJ is now powerless in controlling how their artistes behave outside of work. A mockery of their well-known iron-fist management style. And everyone in JJ will be pressed for comments on this issue when they appear in public, especially the SMAP members. Inagaki will be haunted once again as news of his past offence is dug up again to compare to what may happen to his fellow teammate. Deja vu...what a nightmare!

It remains to be seen what will happen next since Kusanagi is under custody. I guess we will know more details as the day progresses. Keep checking here for more updates
.

Matsuyama Kenichi & Koyuki on a dinner date?

Matsuyama Kenichi and Koyuki were caught on a dinner date as published in the 23rd April issue of "Jousei Seven". This is the first romance scoop on Matsuyama.

In the middle of this month, Matsuyama and Koyuki were having dinner with 2 other male friends of Matsuyama at a sukiyaki restaurant. Subsequently, the group went to the apartment of one of the friends. Later that night, Matsuyama drove Koyuki back home and the reporters took shots of her sitting in the front seat and walking together with Matsuyama. Earlier at the end of March, the two of them were on a dinner date alone at a restaurant which Koyuki frequents.

The two of them came to know each other through the filming of "Kamui Gaiten" and spent lots of time together in Okinawa. As Koyuki is 8 years older than Matsuyama, he went to her for advice on many things while she even made lunch boxes for him during the filming. Actually, the two of them were not able to work together at first. Koyuki had rejected the role first because of clashes with her schedule. Kikuchi Rinko took her place but was injured in Nov 2007 so she had to drop the role. Likewise, Matsuyama also suffered injuries thus the filming was delayed. As a result, Koyuki could make it for the filming this time.

Both parties' agencies denied any romantic involvement between the two and said that they were merely friends.

Source: Sports Hochi

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This smells fishy. Maybe pre-publicity for Kamui Gaiten? Going for dinner together is not enough to warrant a report like this. Unless they hold hands, hug, kiss or spend the night together, I treat such reports with a tinge of salt because there have been false alarms in the past which seem to be more of an attempt to boost the awareness of the so-called "couples" upcoming projects. Anyway, there is another BIGGER headline grabbing happening today so I think all eyes will be on that. I will cover that in my next post.

Top 5 fashion leaders chosen by senior high school girls (Oricon)

1) Amuro Namie

2) Becky

3) Karina

4) Hamasaki Ayumi

5) Masuwaka Tsubasa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Review of Love Shuffle

This drama has turned out to be a surprise for me and I mean it in a good way. Frankly speaking, I was apprehensive about how this drama would develop since the theme is truly unique and virtually unheard of. I remember watching dramas of people exchanging wives or girlfriends or even reading about this in the newspapers but this time round, the participants in this Love Shuffle are doing it out of their own will. That means, they are all prepared and in the loop about the repercussions that may arise due to this. Of course, this means that things may also spiral out of control.

Before you continue reading this review, note that there will be lots of spoilers from this point onwards. If you have not watched this drama, please do not continue reading. If you do continue, please don't blame me for spoilling the fun for you. Although this is a romance comedy, there are some twists in the plot which are truly unexpected.

To begin with, here's a short rundown of the story: Usami Kei, Aizawa Airu, Sera Oujirou and Kikuta Masato are living on the top floor of a luxurious condominium building and bump into one another for the first time in the lift. Just then, the lift encounters a breakdown and the four are trapped. They start introducing themselves when they discover that Usami was just told by his fiancee, Mei that she wants to call off the engagement and start offering theories for Mei's action. Soon after that meeting, Kikuta suggests that they should take part in a Love Shuffle game so as to resolve the problems in their love lives. Airu's boyfriend, Ooishi Yukichi gets on her nerves too much while Oujirou's partner is a married woman, Kamijou Reiko who seems to be demanding too much from him that he feels stifled. As for Kikuta, he brings his patient, Hayakawa Kairi into the game with the aim of seeing if she can give up the idea of suicide once she finds someone who she loves. This thus begins the game where they switch partners every week.

Things start to go beyond control once the game starts. Usa-tan (nickname for Kei) is convinced that he and Mei will never change their feelings for each other even though she wants to call off the engagement. He hopes that the game can make Mei realize that he's the only one for her. On the other hand, Mei has never been in a relationship with anyone else other than Kei and hopes that this experience can make her grow up as a woman. Ai-Ai (Airu) wants to get Yukichi off her back and find out the reason why her relationships always end up in nought while Yukichi still harbours hope of getting back with her. Oujirou thinks that it is stressful to be with Reiko who demands a lot from him, be it in terms of time spent together or sexually. Kikuta's main aim appears to be related to Kairi but it is not clear whether that is all to it. Kairi appears more to be like following the flow of things instead of doing this because she's seeking a relationship. They all have their own agendas but the outcome is not really what they expected.

The scriptwriter, Nojima Shinji is more well-known for his dark theme stories and use of English oldies as the BGM and theme songs. I was pleasantly surprised by the jokes in the story although it can be a bit lame at times. It depends on whether you like it or not so other people may not take to the story as well as I did. The panda joke keeps appearing and is one of the better jokes featured. You would never have guessed that such jokes are coming from Nojima Shinji. The twists typical in the Nojima Shinji style are also present. For example, Kairi and Oujirou's pairing plus the truth about Kikuta's late lover were quite interesting subplots. It does seem that Japanese dramas and movies are getting more open about discussing homosexuality these days. When Reiko commented that Kikuta's ex-lover looked like someone in the Love Shuffle game, I was pretty certain that this refers to a guy. Given Nojima's style, he would never have made this to be a typical answer i.e. one of the ladies in the game. True to my guess, Kikuta is indeed gay. However, another twist to this is that he's actually OK both ways i.e. bi-sexual as he puts it. That is why he can be with Reiko at the end of the game. Seems like a gay character isn't a taboo anymore for TV. The nicknames given to the 4 main characters are also quite interesting. It grows on the viewer over time and makes us feel closer to them in a way.

As for the theme song, I prefer the ending theme, FANTASY to the insert song Eternal Flame. Somehow, I think the insert song sometimes comes in at the wrong scene and doesn't suit the atmosphere. Maybe using FANTASY exclusively could have been better.

With regards to my favourite pairing in the drama, that would have been Ou-chan and Kairi. This was a pretty surprising pair because I didn't really expect them to be together. It was only until when Ou-chan asked Kairi to sleep with him and she said yes that I thought that their pairing would be possible. They really are a cute-looking couple whom you would like to root for. As for Ai-Ai and Usa-tan, it's almost a certainty that they would be together. I assumed right at the beginning that everyone would not be with their original partners so the logical pairing was to put them together. Surely Nojima Shinji would put a conventional beauty and ikemen couple together! As such, there were no surprises at all when they ended together. Mei with Yukichi was a bit of a surprise but there were some telltale signs when they were in Round 1 of the Love Shuffle. Mei seemed to have struck a chord in Yukichi's heart at that time although he may not realize it yet. Frankly speaking, I don't really care much for Mei. Although her intention for wanting to break off the engagement was for Usa-tan's sake, I just thought her behaviour got on my nerves. Sometimes, when you try to do good, you end up doing harm instead. Reiko's pairing with Kikuta was another surprise too, not as much as Ou-chan and Kairi though. And it was good for the story to explain clearly who is the father of Reiko's baby instead of leaving it to the viewer to guess.

Among the 8 main cast members, I have my favourites and dislikes too. Well, not to the extent of dislike but rather irritated by the character's behaviour. Tamaki Hiroshi is definitely not as appealing to me as in Nodame Cantabile. He looks quite skinny now and his cheeks seem to have sunken in. Anyway, I've not been his fan right from the start other than when I was watching Nodame. Karina was especially dazzling this time round as Ai-Ai seems to be a real-life personification of her i.e. street-smart, frank and stylish. You've got to check out the nice clothes she's wearing and that photo shoot by Oujirou. She's such a natural in front of the camera which I guess should be due to her work as a model. Matsuda Shota continues the punky and frivolous look but his character Oujirou allows him to show off the emotional scenes which make him stand out from the pack. Yoshitaka Yuriko has been in many roles which potray her as a weirdo or someone who is rebellious. This time round, besides the aloofness, she manages to make Kairi extremely lovable especially after she falls for Ou-chan. Kojima Ijiri was of course sexy and oozing the mature charm of a woman but not to the point of being a slut. Tanihara Shosuke was good as usual as Kikurin especially when he tries to keep the others guessing with an ambiguous expression. DAIGO was cute as Yukichi with that huge pair of glasses but I don't really like him in real life because his hand gestures get on my nerves so much. As for Kanjiya Shihori, I must say that I'm not too keen on those weak and cute little girl characters so Mei is definitely not one of my favourites. However, I think that she did reasonably well as Mei because her cuteness was still within my bearable limits. Just don't give me someone like Fukada Kyoko and I'll be thankful.

And my ratings for this drama...
Story: 8.5 out of 10 (Comedy and romance plus some unexpected twists)
Acting: 8 out of 10 (Most if not all of them did well
Theme song: 8 out of 10 (For the song Fantasy)
Visual effects / Scenery: 6.5 out of 10 (Scenery-wise, there's nothing much to speak of but I think the fashion displayed is worth checking out, be it for the guys and gals especially Karina)
Teamwork / Chemistry: 8 out of 10 (Lots of friendly banter and sizzling chemistry among the pairings)

Total: 39 out of 50

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Majo Saiban's production press conference

The production press conference for "Majo Saiban" was held on 20 April 09 at FujiTV's Wangan Studio where cast members including Ikuta Toma, Kato Ai, Higa Manami and Ishida Yuriko made appearances. The drama is scheduled to be shown via FujiTV from 25 April at 11.10pm on Saturdays. The story is about a young man (Ikuta) who gets picked to become a member of the jury for a murder case, the effect this will bring into his life as well as the truth behind this case. To prepare for the role, Ikuta went to a number of court sessions for various cases but found that he was unable to decide whether to pass a guilty or not sentence, saying it was too difficult to judge. On the other hand, Kato Ai cut her hair by 30cm so as to look the part of a housewife who has a child but noted with disappointment that nobody realized this change.

Top 10 Ideal Younger Brother Ranking (Oricon)

1) Koike Teppei

2) Sato Takeru

3) Miura Haruma

4) Kamiki Ryuunosuke

5) Wentz Eiji

6) Suga Kenta

7) Ishikawa Ryou

8) Kamiji Yuusuke

9) Mizushima Hiro

10) Yamada Ryousuke

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yakou no Kaidan's Production Press Conference

The production press conference for "Yakou no Kaidan" was held on 20 April where cast members Fujiki Naohito, Kimura Yoshino, Muroi Shigeru and Natsukawa Yui made appearances. The drama is scheduled to start on 23 April via TV Asahi and is based on a suspense novel by the late Matsumoto Seicho. Fujiki plays a hairstylist Sayama Michio who uses women as his stepping stones so as to achieve success. Fujiki is singing the theme song for this drama, "CRIME OF LOVE" which he also wrote himself. Muroi Shigeru remarked jokingly that she has quite a number of intimate scenes with Fujiki i.e. twice in the bathroom and once in a bamboo forest. As such, she had to go hunting for Nu-bras at 5 shops in preparation for these scenes.

Top 10 movies' ranking (12 April 2009)

1) Red Cliff Part 2

2) Crows Zero II

3) Drop

4) Yatterman

5) Doraemon Shin Nobita no Uchuu Kaitakushi

6) Puri Kyua All Stars

7) Aibo Series Kanshiki Yonezawa Mamoru no Jikenbo

8) Marley & Me

9) Valkyrie

10) Twilight

Review of Handsome Suit ハンサムスーツ

Title: Handsome Suit
Official website: here
Official DVD released: 13 Mar 09
Script: Suzuki Osamu
Original novel by: Suzuki Osamu
Theme Song: My Revolution by Watanabe Misato






Cast:

Hikariyama Annin (Tanihara Shosuke)
Ooki Takurou (Tsukaji Takeo)
Hoshino Hiroko (Kitagawa Keiko)
Raika (Sada Mayumi)
Hashino Motoe (Ooshima Miyuki)
Hazama Shinsuke (Ikeuchi Hiroyuki)
Taniyama Hisae (Honjou Manami)
Reimi (Sasaki Nozomi)
Kamiyama Shuuzou (Ibu Masato)
Oosawa Yuuki (Yamamoto Yuusuke)
Shiraki (Nakajo Kiyoshi)
Yonezawa Akira (Brother Tom)
Mysterious man (Nukumizu Yoichi)


Review:

I watched this about 2 weeks ago but did not have the time to post this review until now. Well, my viewing experience was marred by the inconsiderate behaviour of a bunch of rowdy teenagers so I was too mad that day to sit down and write the review. It really makes me wonder why our education system, reputed to be one of the best in the world, churns out such senseless morons who get on other people's nerves. Imagine playing musical chairs in the midst of the movie and obstructing other people's views! Shouting and deliberately laughing at points which are not funny at all! And it just goes to show that sometimes beauty is only skin-deep. So what if you are pretty or good-looking but behave like an idiot! What an uncanny coincidence with the theme of this movie!

OK, back to the movie. Well, the theme of the movie has been repeated countless times i.e. the endless debate over beauty and the interior. The ingenious thing this time is that the leading man, Takuro gets to be a handsome man i.e. Annin and be himself as he wishes by wearing the handsome suit. Of course, he gets to enjoy the privileges that a handsome man gets, be it tangible or intangible. We have to admit that in society, being good-looking is indeed important at times especially in industries like modelling. Takuro is too absorbed in the luxuries showered on him while he is Annin and is soon faced with the choice of whether to be Takuro or Annin forever.

Honestly speaking, I wouldn't consider Tanihara Shosuke as handsome. I feel that he is more on the charming side for a mature guy rather than handsome. As such, it feels kinda weird to see the exaggerated reactions of the women around him as if he's some Prince Charming. However, I must say that he looks good while doing the catwalk. His tall build does make him look the part of a model (in fact, he was one in the past). On the other hand, Tsukaji is not handsome but I think he is made more ugly and repulsive because of the little actions like poking his finger into his nostrils. He didn't look that bad in Kiina though. Oh well, I guess that is just for comedic effect.

As for Kitagawa Keiko, I don't really like her. There's nothing very unique about her looks or her acting. She looks like many of the young models-turned-actresses these days so she definitely needs a strong distinguishing factor to make her stand out from the rest. Maybe it's also her role which is too small for her to do something about her acting. On the contrary, Ooshima Miyuki who only appeared in the middle of the show is very eye-catching. I guess Kitagawa needs more practice to make sure she can achieve that kind of standard. For those who have watched Domoto Kyoudai, you will be pleasantly surprised to see Brother Tom in this movie as Yone-san. Oh, and that scene when Raika meets Annin for the first time, it's too overdone. I don't think models will walk like that in real life except on stage. That criss-crossing of legs is too unnatural. ^__^

This movie is peppered with lots of humour typical of a Suzuki Osamu script. His wife, Ooshima Miyuki also gets to play Motoe, who's a supporter of Takuro. I wouldn't say that this is a very good movie but it's still enjoyable. There is a twist at the end which I guessed correctly when Motoe appeared so you've got to see it for yourself as to what it is. Another highlight is the fashion show scene which they did at the Tokyo Girls Collection. In case you are wondering if they created a phony fashion show for the sake of this scene, they actually saved money by using the real Tokyo Girls Collection venue. It sure doesn't sound reasonable to spend all that money for such a short scene. The song, My Revolution is very catchy and fits the mood of the movie but that scene of Watanabe Misato appearing at the credits would probably mean nothing to people outside of Japan who don't know about her. And don't be in a hurry to leave because there is a scene at the middle of the credits roll.

And my ratings for this movie...
Story: 7 out of 10 (Enjoyable but it definitely doesn't qualify as memorable)
Acting: 7 out of 10 (Tanihara shows off a rarely seen exaggerated style of acting while Ooshima is hard to miss)
Theme song: 7 out of 10 (Very catchy but may not resonate with a younger crowd. Obviously, this is not a very new song. Btw, this was written by Komuro Tetsuya.)
Visual effects / Scenery: 7 out of 10 (The glitzy world of modelling is dazzling.)
Teamwork / Chemistry: 5 out of 10 (Seriously lacking between Tsukaji and Kitagawa but the combinations of Tanihara vs. Sada Mayumi and Tsukaji vs. Ooshima were good)

Total: 33 out of 50

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Review of Kuro no Honryuu (Drama SP)

Title: Kuro no Honryuu
Shown via: TV Asahi
O.A. Date: 4 March 2009, 9pm
Original novel by: Matsumoto Seicho







Cast:

Niwa Shuuzo - Funakoshi Eiichirou
Niwa Hitomi - Kaku Chikako
Yokoyama Rie - Hoshino Mari
Okahashi Yukiko - Kurotani Tomoka
Ninomiya Masaki - Abe Tsuyoshi
Kusuda Takuya - Kazama Tooru
Yashiro Kunikazu - Nishimura Masahiko
Hioki Keigo - Kaga Takeshi

Review:

This is a 2-hour drama special made in commemoration of Matsumoto Seicho's 100th birthday (he passed away at 82 years old) and is based on one of his novels. As this drama was shown in the timeslot known for churning out low-cost detective/suspense drama SPs on a regular basis, the glam factor is somewhat tuned down probably due to cost constraints. And Funakoshi Eiichirou who's usually seen in afternoon dramas helms the lineup this time with his role as Niwa, the lawyer who defends a woman accused of murder for money and inevitably causes his life to go haywire afterwhich. This drama focuses more on the relationships between people rather than asking viewers to find out who's the murderer.

"Happiness and tragedy will change because of a small happening but most people are unaware of this. This is similar to the source of a river. Just when you think that it is just a trickle of water, it becomes a rapid stream of water before you know it. If you are caught in the rapids of life, nobody can go against it."

Frankly speaking, there isn't too much suspense to speak of. Even though Niwa did win the lawsuit for Rie, I'm sure viewers will be able to see that she isn't innocent as what she claims. Nonetheless, she's able to fool people with her sweet and demure look despite her dark and crooked personality. When people realize what she's capable of, it will be too late for regrets. In this case, Niwa paid the price for being too trusting but I would say that he has not lost much at the end. In fact, he should count his blessings that the outcome didn't turn out to be worse than what he had expected.

I don't really like Funakoshi's style of acting. It can be a bit too exaggerated at times and is not suitable for a serious drama like this. The last time I saw him was in Manhattan Love Story which was wacky most of the time so Funakoshi could fit in well with his exaggerated style. In fact, his role at that time required him to be as flashy as possible. As such, it gets really uncomfortable to see him showing the anguish and regret Niwa felt after he saw the true colours of Rie because it felt so unreal. And another point I would like to make is that he gestured too much in the court scenes which is quite unnatural for a lawyer who is expected to keep his cool.

On the other hand, Hoshino Mari fits into the role of Rie pretty well. Of late, she's been featured in such roles (especially on TV) i.e. sweet-looking girl who's evil which is a major deviation from her past goody-two-shoes. And she's not afraid to flaunt her assets ever since her baring-all role in a movie some years back. Well, I think this could be a smart career move for her instead of playing sweet girls but she should take care not to overdo it or else people will just take her as a sexy actress. Going by the trend now, she's no longer taking on lead roles in regular season dramas and is usually seen in supporting roles or once-off 2-hour drama specials. The limited exposure could be bad for her career if this goes on as more promising and younger actresses come along.

And my ratings for this drama SP...
Story: 6 out of 10 (Predictable storyline)
Acting: 7 out of 10 (This is for Hoshino Mari.)
Theme song: 4 out of 10 (Nothing particularly impressive or engaging)
Visual effects / Scenery: 6 out of 10 (The scenery at the river & rapids was good)
Teamwork / Chemistry: 6 out of 10 (The rivalry scene between Hoshino Mari and Kurotani Tomoka was engaging but there wasn't much of a chemistry to speak of between Hoshino and Funakoshi)

Total: 29 out of 50

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Preview of Yakou no Kaidan - Spring 2009

Title: Yakou no Kaidan (The Luminous Staircase)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 23 April 2009
Timeslot: Thursdays, 9pm
Showing via: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Matsumoto Seicho
Cast: Fujiki Naohito, Kimura Yoshino, Natsukawa Yui, Watanabe Ikkei, Haginome Keiko, Minamino Youko, Takachi Tousei, Ishii Masanori, Miura Rieko, Tamaru Maki, Yo Kimiko, Muroi Shigeru and Kobayashi Nenji

Friday, April 17, 2009

First episode of "BOSS" hits a high rating of 18.1%

The first episode of "BOSS" starring Amami Yuki registered a high rating of 18.1% on 16 April 09. Amami plays a elite police detective Osawa Eriko who heads the special crime unit formed by a distinct group of people. Co-stars include Takenouchi Yutaka, Toda Erika and Tamayama Tetsuji. In the first episode, the guest star was Takeda Tetsuya.

Preview of Rinjou - Spring 2009

Title: Rinjou (On the scene)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 April 2009
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 9pm
Showing via: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Yokoyama Hideo


Cast: Uchino Masaaki, Matsushita Yuki, Watanabe Masaru, Kaneko Sayaka, Hashizume Atsushi, Kobayashi Masaya, Matsugane Yoneko, Ito Yuko, Kyono Kotomi, Ibu Masato, Takashima Masanobu

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Press conference of "Meitantei no Okite"

The production press conference for "Meitantei no Okite" was held on 12 April 2009 at TV Asahi's Roppongi headquarters where cast members Matsuda Shota, Kashii Yui, Kimura Yuichi, Chisun and Irie Jingi made appearances. When asked on the rules they abide by, Matsuda said that he does not eat anything before filming so as to preserve the tension felt due to hunger. On the other hand, his co-star Kashii revealed that she loves raw meat very much and would make sure she is full before filming.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Special screening of "Aishiteru ~ Kaiyou ~" for mothers

NTV held a special screening of the first episode of "Aishiteru ~ Kaiyou ~" for 100 mothers who have young children on 14 April. Cast members Inamori Izumi and Itaya Yuka also made appearances during the event. The drama talks about the struggles of two families when one child kills the son of another family. Inamori said that while playing the mother of the child who committed murder, she was so sad that she felt like crying most of the time. On the other hand, Itaya who gave birth to her son last June said that the story is not as far-fetched as it seems as it can happen to anyone. She called on everyone to treasure their family lives on a daily basis and work hard together in bringing up their children.

Source: Sports Hochi

Preview of Meitantei no Okite - Spring 2009

Title: Meitantei no Okite (A Famous Detective's Rules)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 April 2009
Timeslot: 11.15pm on Fridays
Showing via: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Higashino Keigo
Theme song: Fighting Pose no Uta by Baba Toshihide
Cast: Matsuda Shota, Kashii Yui, Kimura Yuichi, Chisun & Irie Jingi

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring 2009 Ideal Spring Makeup Models (Oricon)

This survey aims to find out which female artistes have the best and most natural makeup whom respondents wish to imitate:

1) Kanno Miho

2) Miyazaki Aoi

3) Ebihara Yuri

4) Hamasaki Ayumi

5) Ueno Juri

6) Ueto Aya

7) Ayase Haruka

8) Kimura Kaera

9) Nakashima Mika

10) Fukada Kyoko

Monday, April 13, 2009

Top 10 movies ranking (5 April 2009)

1) Doraemon Shin Nobita no Uchuu Kaitakushi

2) Yatterman

3) Drop

4) Marley & Me

5) Puri Kyua All Stars DX Minna tomodachi Kiseki no Zenin Daishuugo

6) Aibo Series Kanshiki Yonezawa Mamoru no Jikenbo

7) Valkryie

8) Madagascar 2

9) The Bank

10) Twilight

Preview of The Quiz Show - Spring 2009

Title: The Quiz Show
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 April 2009
Timeslot: Saturdays, 9pm
Showing via: NTV
Cast: Sakurai Sho, Yokoyama Yu, Matsuura Aya, Maya Miki etc

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Preview of Boku no Imouto - Spring 2009

Title: Boku no Imouto (My Sister)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 19 April 2009
Timeslot: Sundays, 9pm
Showing via: TBS
Cast: Odagiri Jo, Nagasawa Masami, Tomosaka Rie, Chihara Junior, Tanaka Tetsushi, Wakabayashi Go, Ootaki Hideji
Theme song: Futari by Ikimonogakari

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Preview of "Shiroi Haru" - Spring 2009

Title: Shiroi Haru (White Spring)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 April 2009
Showing via: FujiTV / KTV
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 10pm
Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Oohashi Nozomi, Yoshitaka Yuriko, Endo Yuuya, Konno Mahiru, David Ito, Shiraishi Miho and Endo Kenichi

Friday, April 10, 2009

Preview of Smile - Spring 2009

Title: Smile
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 April 2009
Showing via: TBS
Time slot: Fridays, 10pm
Theme song: Ariamaru Tomi by Shiina Ringo



Cast:

Hayakawa Bito - Matsumoto Jun
Mishima Hana - Aragaki Yui
Machimura Shiori - Koike Eiko
Kawai Kinta - Tokuyama Hidenori
Buru (Kazama Kenji) - Suzunosuke
Furuse - Kitami Toshiyuki
Takayanagi - Ikeuchi Hiroyuki
Hayashi Seiji - Oguri Shun
Kashiwagi Keisuke - Katsumura Masanobu
Machimura Sousuke - Maeda Gin
Machimura Midori - Ishida Ayumi
Ito Kazuma - Nakai Kiichi

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Press conference of "The Quiz Show"

The production press conference for "The Quiz Show" was held on 8 April 09 at NTV's headquarters in Shiodome where cast members including Sakurai Sho, Yokoyama Yu, Matsuura Aya and Maya Miki made appearances. This drama features Sakurai as Kamiyama Satoru who lost his memory due to an incident and is forced to become the host of a quiz show produced by the director Yokoyama who seems to have an handle over him. During this show, Kamiyama will engage in a one-to-one Q & A session with the participant where he will reveal their darkest secrets.

Press conference of "Kon-katsu!"

The production press conference of "Kon-katsu!" was held on 9 April 09 at Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka where cast members including Nakai Masahiro and Ueto Aya made appearances. This is the first time in 11 years that Nakai is appearing in a Gekku drama and his first time working with Ueto. She remarked that Nakai is like Akashiya Sanma who is very talkative and likes to stir up the mood on the set. When asked about his ideal partner, Nakai revealed that he hopes his future wife is an independent woman who sleeps early and is able to make a spread for breakfast. He also mentioned that he has never been a person who's keen on marriage but he hopes that his mindset will change after acting in this drama.

Press conference of "Atashinchi no Danshi"

The production press conference of "Atashinchi no Danshi" was held on 8 April where cast members Horikita Maki, Mukai Osamu, Yamamoto Yuusuke, Seto Kouji, Tsuruno Takeshi, Nagayama Kento, Kaname Jun, Kusakari Masao, Takashima Reiko and Okada Yoshinori made appearances. Horikita will play a homeless girl, Mineta Chisato who has to run away from debt collectors as her father has chalked up debts of 100 million yen. Her mother passed away when Chisato was a child. In exchange for the settlement of her debts, Chisato marries the boss of a huge company and suddenly becomes the stepmother to her husband's 6 foster sons. This is the first time that Horikita is playing the role of a mother.

The first episode will be shown on 14 April and will be extended by 10 minutes.

Preview of Atanshinchi Danshi - Spring 2009

Title: Atanshinchi Danshi
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 April 2009
Showing via: FujiTV
Timeslot: Tuesdays, 9pm
Theme Song: Infinity by Girl Next Door

Cast:

Mineta Chisato (Horikita Maki)
Ookura Shou (Mukai Osamu)
Ookura Masaru (Yamamoto Yuusuke)
Ookura Satoru (Seto Kouji)
Kokudo Yutaka (Tsuruno Takeshi)
Ookura Takeru (Okada Yoshinori)
Majima Heiji (Nagayama Kento)
Ookura Akira (Okayama Tomoki)
Inoue (Eguchi Noriko)
Saigo (Nasubi)
Britney (Hamada Britney)
Ookura Fuu (Kaname Jun)
Mineta Toru (Tsurumi Shingo)
Tanabe Yoshio (Tayama Ryousei)
Tokita Shuuji (Yamamoto Koji)
Ookura Shinzo (Kusakari Masao)
Kaganei Kyouko (Takashima Reiko)

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Press conference of "God Hand Teru" & change to theme song

The production press conference of "God Hand Teru" was held in Kawasaki City on 7 April. Before the press conference began, the producer, Tooda Kouichi announced that the original theme song of this drama by rock band ONE OK ROCK will be replaced. This was because of the fact that the guitarist for this band, "Onizawa Alexander Reimon was arrested for groping a woman and the production crew thought that it was inappropriate to use the band's song for the drama. As such, there will be a last minute change to the theme song which is yet undecided.

Preview of "Kon-katsu!" (Married Life) - Spring 2009

Title: Kon-katsu!
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 20 April 2009
Showing via: FujiTV
Timeslot: Mondays, 9pm




Cast:

Amemiya Kuniyuki - Nakai Masahiro
Tobita Haruno - Ueno Aya
Fukazawa Shigeru - Sato Ryuuta
Murase Yuko - Shaku Yumiko
Nihei Takumi - Tanihara Shosuke
Amemiya Kuniyasu - Ueda Tatsuya
Ito Masaru - Kitamura Yukiya
Amemiya Kunio - Kohinata Fumio
Takakura Makoto - Ryou
Mizoguchi Shizuko - Fubuki Jun
Sakurada Shuugoro - Hashizume Isao

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Press conference of "BOSS"

The production press conference of "BOSS" was held on 7 April where cast members Amami Yuki, Takenouchi Yutaka, Tamayama Tetsuji, Mizobata Junpei, Toda Erika, Kichise Michiko, Kendo Kobayashi and Nukumizu Yoichi made appearances. Amami plays the chief of the "Police Force 1st Section Special Crimes Bureau" which is known for its assemble of so-called "extraordinary" police detectives and was set up to deal with special crimes. However, they are not really expected to do anything magnificent and the place is more like a dumping ground for unwanted personnel from other units. Nonetheless, contrary to expectations, the team manages to solve puzzling cases as the drama develops.

Tamayama remarked that Amami is behaving more like a mother rather than the boss on the set while Mizobata said that Amami was the most "manly" among the cast members. This made Amami embarrassed and said that this would be really frightening for her to be more manly than the guys.

Takenouchi revealed that throughout his career, he has played a police detective for the most number of times. As such, he has taken care not to frown too much during his scenes.

The first episode of BOSS will be shown on 16 April and extended by 15 minutes.

Kimura Takuya in new spring 2009 drama, "MR.BRAIN"

Kimura Takuya will be starring in the new TBS drama, "MR.BRAIN" for the upcoming spring 2009 season. This drama will be shown from 23 May onwards at 7.56pm on Saturdays. Kimura plays an expert in neurology who works in the police force's science research institute and helps to solve difficult cases with his knowledge. This will be the first time that Kimura is playing a neurologist.

In the drama, Kimura's character attains an extraordinary talent in investigative thinking and imagination after he suffers a head injury. Coupled with the fact that he is always curious about things and is the type to be fully absorbed in his interests, he is regarded as a weirdo by the people around him. According to Kimura, this may be the weirdest role he has taken so far.

This drama also marks the first time that Kimura is appearing in a time slot other than FujiTV's Gekku and TBS's Sunday 9pm slots. He hopes that with this new time slot, he will be able to attract attention from all age groups.

Source: Nikkansports

Monday, April 06, 2009

Winter 2009 Drama Ratings Ranking

The Winter 2009 drama season has finally ended and here is the report on the ratings ranking as well as some input on the dramas which I've seen. To date, I've only finished Zenigeba, Triangle and Love Shuffle while I'm still in the midst of Kiina and Voice. And coincidentally, these two dramas which I've yet to finish are in the Top 2 for this season. The ratings for this season are pretty horrendous, so as to speak. The difference separating Kiina and Voice is a mere 0.01% and all Top 3 dramas failed to cross the 15% mark. One-third of the dramas went below the 10% mark. I would have thought that when the weather is cold, more people would stay at home to watch TV. Anyway, these ratings do not take into account people who actually record these dramas and watch at their own leisure time. Recently, there is talk that Video Research has developed a technology to capture figures of the number of people recording the shows so this may lend a bit more credibility to the ranking as well as reflect the true tastes of the viewers. Oh, I almost forgot that I haven't finished Uta no Oniisan too...

First up, we have Kiina from NTV which scored an average of 14.57%. I'm only 3 episodes into this drama. It's not that I don't like this drama but rather the episodic storyline doesn't give me any motivation to continue watching. I will finish up this drama soon though, maybe side by side with Voice. Frankly speaking, these two dramas are very similar to each other. Both are suspense stories which focus on investigative work BUT the approach is different. Kiina may look like a supernatural story on the surface but there are lots of theories and logic behind each phenomenon presented. As such, I thought the story wasn't as far-fetched as I expected. Nonetheless, it can be a bit mind-boggling to hear all those big words so I'll do a more detailed review on this once I finish.

Next up is Voice from FujiTV which scored a mere 0.01% lesser than Kiina. I've watched 5 episodes of this and I've toyed with the thought of dropping this. I must admit that I kept comparing this drama with Kiina and found that I liked the latter more. More on that when I complete the remaining episodes. Again, the main reason stopping me from watching this faithfully every week is the episodic nature. If the story doesn't develop over the course of the season, it's hard to get the viewers to continue watching the same format over and over again.

Third on the ranking in Mei-chan no Shitsuji which seems to be a big hit among the younger audience. I did not watch this drama so I can't comment much on this. From the looks of it, this seems to be a comedy featuring lots of ikemen. Another version of HanaKimi?

And here's the rest of the ranking plus a few comments I have...

4) Triangle - 12.36% (I was fuming mad when I got to the last episode. More on this later. It made the same fatal mistake as Koori no Sekai. And both dramas are from the same TV station. They simply didn't learn their lesson.)

5) Hisatsu Shigotonin 2009 - 12.33% (Didn't watch this)

6) Uta no Oniisan - 10.76% (Still in the midst of this)

7) Arifureta Kiseki - 10.56% (Didn't watch this)

8) Tokumei Kakaricho Tadano Jin - 10.32% (Didn't watch this)

9) RESCUE - 10.00% (Didn't watch this)

10) Zenigeba - 9.94% (Superb! Matsuyama Kenichi puts up another brilliant performance! Mimura also surprised me in a good way. Shiina Kippei was magnificent too. The story, though short, managed to condense the developments nicely and didn't have too much excess. Detailed review coming up!)

11) Love Shuffle - 8.82% (This is something which you either love it or not. Nojima Shinji's style of comedy may be a bit lame at times e.g. the panda joke but I loved the twists and humour. Review coming soon!)

12) Akai Ito - 8.52% (Didn't watch this)

13) Honjitsu mo Hare Ijou Nashi - 8.30% (Didn't watch this)

14) Kami no Shizuku - 6.20% (Enough said about this)

15) RESET - 5.60% (Didn't watch this)

Hang on for more updates about the new Spring 2009 season!