Nuffnang

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Preview of "Gekokujou Juken" - Winter 2017

Title: Gekokujou Juken 下克上受験 (The exam to overthrow those above you)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Line: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 January 2017
Timeslot: Fridays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original novel by: Sakurai Shinichi
Theme song: Iden by Saito Kazuyoshi
Cast: Abe Sadao, Fukada Kyoko, Yamada Mikuu, Wakadanna, Minagawa Sarutoki, Okada Kouki, Kawamura Yousuke, Koshiba Fuuka, Tezuka Tooru, Kaname Jun, Kazama Shunsuke and Kobayashi Kaoru

Romaji lyrics of "I seek" by Arashi (Theme song of NTV Spring 2016 drama "Sekai ichi muzukashii koi")

Title: I seek
Artist: Arashi
Lyrics: ASIL
Melody: AKJ / ASIL
Theme song of NTV Spring 2016 drama "Sekai ichi muzukashii koi"

sonzai mo itsuka wa toketeku
taimen no saki niwa hizashiafure
ketsuron bakari na chou riron
mawaru mawaru yo
majime ni hibi wo sugoshitekita dake
imasara demo
koko kara ima kara kawaritainda

tashikani ima kasuka ni ima
kimi ni midasareru mama
konna toki demo omoidasu
egao ga mabushikute

konna ni aishitai kimi ni koishitai
mada mada mada koi ga nai nai
sou janai kou naccha shouganai
dokudanteki na mama de Ah
tomerarenai ima nara riaru ni Say Goodbye
te no hira no kotoba ni Say Hello
kitto nani ka ga kawaru yo
sono toki made ni Goodbye

taimingu bakari ga sugiteku
kuuru ga torie to kimeta yasaki
tenmetsu ga tsuzuku shigunaru
meguru meguru yo

ashita mo tada sugiru kisetsu kimi wa kizukanai mama
sonna toki demo shiranburi
jibun ga kanashikute

soredemo aishitai hontou no koi shitai
mada mada mada soko janai nai
sou janai konna mon janai
gouman teki na bousou sae Ah
tomerarenai kimi e no kimochi ni Say Goodbye
iesou ni nai kotoba wa Say Hello
yatto nani ka ni kizuku hitori yogari ni Goodbye

atarashii toki atarashii hikari atarashii kaze ga yukkuri boku wo tsureteku

aishitai kimi ni koishitai
mada mada mada koi ga nai nai
sou janai kou naccha shouganai
dokudanteki na mama de Ah
tomerarenai ima nara riaru ni Say Goodbye
te no hira no kotoba ni Say Hello
kitto nani ka ga kawaru yo
sono toki made ni Goodbye

kinou ni wa Goodbye...

Friday, December 30, 2016

Preview of "Quartet" - Winter 2017

Title: Quartet カルテット
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 January 2017
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Scriptwriter: Sakamoto Yuji
Cast: Matsu Takako, Mitsushima Hikari, Takahashi Issei, Matsuda Ryuhei, Yoshioka Riho, Tomizawa Takeshi (Sandwichman), Yagi Akiko, Mummy-D, Motai Masako

Romaji lyrics of "Smile for me" by Matsutoya Yumi (Theme song of FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama "Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~")

Title: Smile for me
Artist: Matsutoya Yumi
Lyrics & Melody: Matsutoya Yumi
Theme song of FujiTV Autumn 2016 drama "Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~"

waratte, waratte, shibaraku jitto shite
shizen ni toru kara fuzakenaide kocchi muite

hikari ga kirei yo tenshi ga utsuruyo
anata ni mienai watashi kara dake shika
ima made dare ni mo misenai hyoujou
sore wa renzu no kochiragawa
watashi ga iru kara ne

utatte, utatte, anata no suki na uta
shizen ni koboreru omoide wo kikasete
namida wo gomakashi chisaku seki shita
sore wa isshoni kuchizusamu
watashi ga iru kara ne

Woo Smile for me.
Woo Smile for me. Ha...

toki ni wa asette pinto ga buretemo
anata wa watashi no eien

waratte, waratte, shibaraku jitto shite
anata wa shiranai dorekurai suteki ka
ima made takusan shitekita yasashisa
itsumo watashi no kokoro ni wa anata ga iru kara ne

Woo Smile for me.
Woo Smile for me.
Woo Smile for me.
Woo Smile for me.

Yonekura Ryoko announces her divorce

Yonekura Ryoko has officially ended her marriage to her two-year-younger entrepreneur husband as announced via a fax statement on 30 December sent by her agency to the media. In the statement, Yonekura revealed that it had taken them some time to discuss the matter thus she was only able to make the announcement once the decision was finalised. She apologised for causing concern and worry over her private matter and pledged to continue improving and moving forward as an actress and woman before ending the statement by asking for everyone's continued support in future.

According to Yonekura's agency, there will be no further revelation about the details surrounding the divorce especially since her ex-husband is not a celebrity. Since they have an agreement not to talk about the divorce in public, there are no plans to hold a press conference regarding this.

Yonekura got married on 26 December 2014 after dating her ex-husband for one year but rumours of them heading towards divorce already surfaced about three and a half months later when she reportedly moved out of their matrimonial home.

Sources: Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Preview of "Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu" - Winter 2017

Title: Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu 突然ですが、明日結婚します (It's sudden but I'm getting married tomorrow)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 23 January 2017
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original manga by: Miyazono Izumi
Cast: Nishiuchi Mariya, Yamamura Ryuta (flumpool), Yamazaki Ikusaburo, Nakamura An, Kishii Yukino, Morita Kanro, Hayama Shono, Yamaga Kotoko, Kagimoto Akira (Lead), Kato Ryo, Furutachi Kanji, Ishino Mako, Sugimoto Tetta, Sawamura Ikki

Romaji lyrics of "Ai! wanna be with you..." by TOKIO (Theme song of TV Asahi Autumn 2016 drama "Kaseifu no Mitazono")

Title: Ai! wanna be with you...
Artist: TOKIO
Lyrics & melody: Nagase Tomoya
Theme song of TV Asahi Autumn 2016 drama "Kaseifu no Mitazono"

bo, bo, boku wa itsumo omoidasunda
maji omae wo nagutte yaritakatta
Don't you think so? Crazy...
demo kitto (issho ni iru yo) ashita mo

Ai! wanna be with you!
namida de arai nagashita
ano hi no koto wa mou ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you!
tsurai koto ga attatte
isshoni waraeba ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you...

ki, ki, kimi wa tooku wo misugiteite
ashi torarete koronde omoishitta
Don't know why...Oh Baby...
ame no hi mo (soba ni iru yo) kaze no hi mo

Ai! wanna be with you!
tama ni wa katari akashite
sagaranai koto mo ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you!
ashita hayaku tatte
isshoni okireba ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you...

kizuzuke atta itami wo wasurenaide
hikari ga sashita ano mukou ni kitto yuruseru toki ga...

bo, bo, boku wa itsumo kangaerunda
itsumade mo kimi no soba ni itainda

I wanna be with you...

Ai! wanna be with you!
namida de warai tobashita
ano omoide mo ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you!
tatoe sore ga doko datte
kimi ga ireba ii janai
Ai! wanna be with you...

Yakusho Koji to star in TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikuou"

Yakusho Koji will be starring in the TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikuou" (King of the land) which will begin its run from October 2017 in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. This will be his first appearance in a drama in 15 years.

The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Ikeido Jun, features Yakusho as the lead character Miyazawa Koichi who is the 4th generation president of Japanese socks manufacturer Kobaseya based in Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, which has been in business for more than 100 years. With the decline in demand for its products, the small company which has only 20 employees, strives to rejuvenate its business by entering the field of producing running shoes which feel as if you are barefooted. However, as the industry is very competitive and the company does not have sufficient funds, Kobaseya is faced with various challenges along its journey but Miyazawa strives on with the help of the people around him as they take on the bigwigs.

In order to capture footage of a marathon needed in the drama where Miyazawa and his buddies want to study the running patterns of top runners needed to develop their shoes, filming will begin from New Year's Day as the staff and cast film alongside the 61st National Industrial Ekiden which starts from Gunma Prefectural Government's building.

With regard to his character, Yakusho commented that he doesn't think that he fits the image of a company's president but Miyazawa's power to attract people to work alongside him is something which he hopes to convey in the drama. The novel's author Ikeido also expressed anticipation at seeing how the cast including Yakusho will perform in the drama.

Sources: Sanspo / Eiga.com

Nezu Jinpachi passes away due to pneumonia

Former actor Nezu Jinpachi passed away at a hospital in Tokyo on 29 December due to pneumonia. He was 69 years old.

Nezu whose real name was Nezu Tooru, came from Yamanashi Prefecture and joined the theatre group Joukyou Gekijou managed by Kara Juro in 1969 and made his breakthrough in the 1978 NHK Taiga drama "Ougon no Hibi" where he played Ishikawa Goemon. He was also featured in Kurosawa Akira's films such as "Kagemusha" and "Ran". Nezu won the best supporting actor award twice in the Nippon Academy Awards for his 1983 movies "Saraba Itoshiki Daichi" and "Kono ko no nanatsu no oiwai ni" and 1988's "Kono ai no monogatari".

However, Nezu started to suffer from hypertrophy in the musculus rectus bulbi inferior of his right eye in 2001 and caused a fatal traffic accident in 2004. Due to his illness and depression brought about soon after, Nezu retired from acting in 2010 and had to move around in a wheelchair. Although he made a brief return to acting in the 2015 movie "GONIN Saaga" on an exceptional basis as requested by the director Ishii Takashi, his condition was said to have worsened again last year.

Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 

Top 30 dramas with the highest single-episode ranking in 2016 (Video Research)

The following is the list of top 30 dramas and SPs shown between 28 December 2015 and 25 December 2016 with the highest single-episode rating as announced by Video Research. Numbers in brackets indicate the ratings for that particular episode:

1) Asa ga kita [last episode] - 2 April 2016 (27.0%)

2) Toto Nee-chan - 17 August 2016 (25.9%)

3) Doctor X 4 Gekai Daimon Michiko - 27 October 2016 (24.3%)

4) Beppin-san - 7 December 2016 (22.1%)

5) Doctor X Gekai Daimon Michiko SP - 3 July 2016 (22.0%)

6) Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu [last episode] - 20 December 2016 (20.8%)

7) 24 Jikan Terebi Drama SP Moumoku no Yoshinori-sensei Hikari wo ushinatte kokoro ga mieta - 27 August 2016 (20.5%)

8) Sanadamaru - 17 January 2016 (20.1%)

9) 99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi - 24 April 2016 & 19 June 2016 (19.1%)

10) Specialist - 14 January 2016 (17.1%)

11) Aibou season 14 Ganjitsu SP - 1 January 2016 (16.7%)

12) Sekai ichi muzukashii koi [last episode] - 15 June 2016 (16.0%)

13) Aibou season 15 [first episode] - 12 October 2016 (15.5%)

14) Kaitou Yamaneko - 16 January 2016 (14.3%)

15) Keishicho Sousa Ikka Kyuugakari [first episode] - 6 April 2016 (13.9%)

16) Kasouken no Onna - 24 November 2016 (13.7%)

17) Kasouken no Onna Shogatsu SP - 3 January 2016 (13.6%)

18) Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko - 9 November 2016 & 30 November 2016  / Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~ [last episode] - 16 December 2016 (13.2%)

20) Doyou Wide Gekijou Jiken 17 - 4 June 2016 / IQ246 Karei naru Jikenbo - 16 October 2016 (13.1%)

22) Ie uru onna [last episode] - 19 September 2016 / Wataru sekken wa oni bakari - 19 September 2016 (13.0%)

24) Good Partner - 21 April 2016 (12.9%)

25) Yo ni mo kimyou na monogatari Spring 2016 SP - 28 May 2016 (12.8%)

26) Omiya-san SP - 13 February 2016 (12.7%)

27) Keishicho Sousa Ikkacho [last episode] - 23 June 2016 (12.3%)

28) Izu Kaigan Satsujin Route - 6 February 2016 / Kansakan Hanyuu Souichi Doku Habu to yobareru otoko - 5 March 2016 / Tensai Bakabon Kazoku no Kizuna - 11 March / Aogeba Totoshi [last episode] - 11 September (12.2%)

Source: Sponichi

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Preview of "Daibinbou" - Winter 2017

Title: Daibinbou 大貧乏 (Great Poverty)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 8 January 2017
Timeslot: Sundays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme song: Untitled by SOLIDEMO
Cast: Koyuki, Ito Atsushi, Narita Ryo, Kamiyama Tomohiro (Johnny's WEST), Uchida Rio, Imai Haruto, Nozawa Shiori, Takito Kenichi, Okuda Eiji

Romaji lyrics of "Koi" by Hoshino Gen (Theme song of TBS Autumn 2016 drama "Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu")

Title: Koi
Artist: Hoshino Gen
Lyrics & Melody: Hoshino Gen
Theme song of TBS Autumn 2016 drama "Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu"

itonami no
machi ga kuretara iromeki
kazetachi wa hakobuwa
karasu to hitobito no mure

imi nanka
nai sa kurashi ga aru dake
tada hara wo sukasete
kimi no moto e kaerunda

monogokoro tsuitara futo
miagete omou koto ga
kono yo ni iru dare mo
futari kara

mune no naka ni aru mono
itsuka mienakunaru mono
sore wa soba ni iru koto
itsumo omoidashite
kimi no naka ni aru mono
kyori no naka ni aru koudou
koi wo shita no anata no
yubi no mazari hoho no kaori
fuufu wo koeteyuke

minikui to
himeta omoi wa irozuki
hakucho wa hakobuwa
atarimae wo kae nagara

koi sezu ni irarenai na
nita kao mo kyokou ni mo
ai ga umareru no wa
hitori kara

mune no naka ni aru mono
itsuka mienakunaru mono
sore wa soba ni iru koto
itsumo omoidashite
kimi no naka ni aru mono
kyori no naka ni aru koudou
koi wo shita no anata no
yubi no mazari hoho no kaori
fuufu wo koeteyuke

nakigao mo damaru yoru mo yureru egao mo
itsumademo itsumademo

mune no naka ni aru mono
itsuka mienakunaru mono
sore wa soba ni iru koto
itsumo omoidashite
kimi no naka ni aru mono
kyori no naka ni aru koudou
koi wo shita no anata no
yubi no mazari hoho no kaori
fuufu wo koeteyuke
futari wo koeteyuke
hitori wo koeteyuke

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Preview of "Kirawareru Yuuki" - Winter 2017

Title: Kirawareru Yuuki 嫌われる勇気 (The courage to be disliked)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 January 2017
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original book by: Kishimi Ichiro & Koga Fumitake
Theme song: Watashi by Ootsuka Ai
Cast: Karina, Kato Shigeaki, Sagara Itsuki, Totsugi Shigeyuki, Maruyama Tomomi, Sakurada Dori, Iitoyo Marie, Okazaki Sae, Juudai Satoshi, Masu Takeshi, Shiina Kippei

Romaji lyrics of "Suna no Tou" by THE YELLOW MONKEY (Theme song of TBS Autumn 2016 drama "Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~")

Title: Suna no Tou
Artist: THE YELLOW MONKEY
Lyrics & Melody by: Yoshii Kazuya
Theme song of TBS Autumn 2016 drama "Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~"

soko ni sumeba donna negai mo kanau to iwareru ai no shiro
dakedo naze ka minna egao wa halloween no pumpkin

hayaku nenasai to mama no tsume ga hikaru
anata wa ima doko ni ite watashi wo miteiruno?

sagashitemo sagashitemo
me no mae wa suna arashi
tsumiageta yorokobi mo sugu ni uzumoreta
shiawase mo uragiri mo itsumo soba ni aru yo
ue ni iku hodo katamuita tou
antei wa shinai

minami muki no ookina mado no garasu wa hame korosareteiru
kita kara kuru kami no hinto ni furimuku koto mo nai

shita kara kaette ue kara mesareteku
amai nioi shimikomaseta party hajimeyou

dare yori mo takai basho kara
dare ka ni kossori miraretai
kumo ni taiyo no naifu ga sasatte

oshieteyo kounotori watashi wa doko e yukuno?
boro boro no miraizu no moufu ni kurumare

sagashitemo sagashitemo sugu ni mata suna arashi
atatakai haha no te wo itsuka nigirishime
orenji no basha ni tsunda kiiroi carnation
ue ni iku hodo katamuita tou

antei wa shinai

taiyo ni chikai

tengoku ni chikai

Supporting cast lineup for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu" announced

The supporting cast lineup for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu" starring Nishiuchi Mariya has been announced. The drama will begin its run from 23 January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. Sawamura Ikki will be making his return to this timeslot for the first time in 6 years since his last appearance in the 2010 drama "Natsu no koi wa nijiiro ni kagayaku" while Yamazaki Ikusaburo will be appearing in his first FujiTV drama this time.

Nishiuchi plays the lead character Takanashi Asuka who aspires to become a housewife after getting married but meets a man Nanami Ryu (flumpool's Yamamura Ryuta) who doesn't want to get married. Sawamura plays the role of Nanami's boss at the TV station's announcers department who thinks highly of the latter while Yamazaki will play an elite sales personnel from an international bank who woos Asuka and is fully aware of her aspiration. Sugimoto Tetta will play the assistant programme director who will do anything for ratings while Yamaga Kotoko and Lead's Kagimoto Akira will play fellow announcers who work with Nanami. Kato Ryo will play Nanami's make-up artist, Nakamura An will be Asuka's senior at work who is very focused on improving herself and doesn't have time for love and marriage and Kishii Yukino will be Asuka's senior and buddy. Morita Kanro also plays Asuka's senior who wants to get married while Asuka's parents and younger brother are played by Furutachi Kanji, Ishino Mako and Hayama Shono.

Source: Oricon

Chiba Yuudai to appear in new movie "Ankoku Joshi" as a senior high school teacher

Chiba Yuudai will be appearing in the new movie "Ankoku Joshi" starring Shimizu Fumika and Iitoyo Marie which will be shown in cinemas from 1 April 2017. The movie which is the real-life adaptation of the 2013 same-titled mystery novel by Akiyoshi Rikako, talks about how Shiraishi Itsumi (Iitoyo) the Madonna of an all-girls' senior high school fell to her death under mysterious circumstances with a lily bell flower in her hand which leads to suspicion falling on the five members of the literature club which Shiraishi set up for having caused her death. After taking over the reins, Sumikawa Sayuri (Shimizu) who is Shiraishi's best friend, organises a regular reading session where she engages the rest of the members to talk about Shiraishi's death and the five of them take turns to expose who is the true culprit by mixing lies and truth during the discussion. Co-stars include Seino Nana, Tamashiro Tina, Kojima Riria and Taira Yuna.

Chiba plays the role of Hojo, the only male character at the senior high school who is the adviser of the literature club. When asked to comment about his character, Chiba commented that as he used to be from a boys' school, it was a fresh feeling for him to be in a girls' school but the girls who appear chummy with one another actually aren't on such good terms after all so he feels like their world feels quite scary to him. As for Hojo, although he looks prim and proper on the surface, he actually has a secret which is closely related to the girls so he hopes to show the double sides of his character in the movie.

Source: Eiga.com

Preview of "A LIFE ~ Itoshiki Hito ~" - Winter 2017

Title: A LIFE ~ Itoshiki Hito ~ A LIFE ~ 愛しき人 ~ (A LIFE ~ Beloved)
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Line account: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 15 January 2017
Timeslot: Sundays 9pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Cast: Kimura Takuya, Takeuchi Yuko, Matsuyama Kenichi, Kimura Fumino, Nanao, Emoto Akira, Tanaka Min, Kobayashi Takashi, Oikawa Mitsuhiro, Asano Tadanobu

Monday, December 26, 2016

Preview of "Uso no Sensou" - Winter 2017

Title: Uso no Sensou 嘘の戦争 (The war of lies)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Official Facebook: here
Official LINE account: here
O.A. Start Date: 10 January 2017
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV / Kansai TV
Cast: Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, Fujiki Naohito, Mizuhara Kiko, Kikuchi Fuuma (Sexy Zone), Maggy, Kyou Nobuo, Nomura Masumi, Oosugi Ren, Yamamoto Mizuki, Yasuda Ken, Ichimura Masachika

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 24th & 25th December 2016

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas which are showing this movie:

1) Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (353)

2) Eiga Youkai Watch Soratobu Kujira to Double Sekai no Daibouken Danyan (360)

3) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (368)

4) Fantastic Beasts and where to find them (350)

5) Mogura no Uta Hong Kong Kyousoukyoku (309)

6) Boku wa ashita kinou no kimi to deeto suru (305)

7) Kimi no na wa (296)

8) Kaizoku to yobareta otoko (360)

9) Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Dr. Bakkuman tai Eguzeido & Ghost with Legend Rider (314)

10) Kono sekai no katasumi ni (68)

Source: Eiga.com

Tanaka Rena to star in new FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Mahiru no Akuma"

Tanaka Rena will be starring in the new FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Mahiru no Akuma" (The Midday Devil) which will be shown from 4 February in the Saturdays 11.40pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by the late Endo Shusaku, features Tanaka as a beautiful surgeon who has an evil heart.

In the original novel, the medical mystery describes how a series of weird incidents happen in a hospital and the search for the criminal. In the drama version though, the focus will be on delving into the dark side of the lead character and why she does the things she did. Tanaka plays the role of Okouchi Yoko who is a sociable and cheerful surgeon but actually has the urge to do evil when she sees a vulnerable target due to an emotional trauma she suffered as a child. One day, a young man named Masato is sent to the hospital where Yoko works at due to acute abdominal pain and falls for her in no time. However, this marks the beginning of his misery and destruction as various incidents happen at the hospital e.g. a medical mishap involving an elderly woman suffering from dementia, a young girl who is on the verge of death due to a mysterious allergy and a fake karte causing a patient's condition to worsen.

According to the producer Toyama Keisuke, he revealed that Tanaka was chosen because she has always had the pure and innocent image so he would like to see her become a baddie in this drama and show expressions which would make the viewers fearful of her. Meanwhile, Tanaka who is taking on her first leading role in a FujiTV drama, commented that the original novel is very interesting and thrilling to read at one go so she is eagerly anticipating to play this character who attracts her for being scary and attractive at the same time.

Filming will begin in the middle of January 2017.

Source: Sanspo

Christmas event of TV Asahi drama SP "Fukigen na Kajitsu SP ~ Sannenme no Uwaki ~"

The Christmas event of TV Asahi drama SP "Fukigen na Kajitsu SP ~ Sannenme no Uwaki ~" was held on 24 December which was attended by cast members Kuriyama Chiaki, Ichihara Hayato, Yamamoto Yusuke and Minamisawa Nao. The SP is the sequel to the drama series shown in spring this year and is set three years later where the key characters are involved in a messy web of relationships. Besides the original cast members of Kuriyama, Ichihara, Takanashi Rin, Inagaki Goro, Hashimoto Manami and Rokkaku Seiji, the new additions to the cast include Yamamoto, Minamisawa and Megumi.

Kuriyama remarked that although she and Inagaki's characters had gone their separate ways in the drama series, he has a pivotal role in this SP and called upon viewers to look out for him. She also revealed that Yamamoto who plays her new love interest, seems more excited when acting with Ichihara who plays her husband than with her and joked that she felt a bit jealous. Upon hearing this, Yamamoto commented that this was because he had always thought of Ichihara as his idol and the latter was the reason why he wanted to become an actor so it was natural for him to react as such. As for acting in a romance story, Yamamoto said that he hardly had the chance to do something like this so it had been a very refreshing experience for him.

The two-part drama SP will be shown on 6 January 2017 and 13 January 2017 at 11.15pm.

Sources: Oricon / Sponichi

Nagatomo Yuto & Taira Airi announce their engagement; due to get married on 29 January 2017

National soccer player Nagatomo Yuto and actress Taira Airi announced their engagement on Christmas Eve and are due to get married on 29 January next year. The couple went public with their relationship in June this year. Also present at the press conference was Taira's younger sister Yuna and their common friend Sanpei.

At the beginning of the press conference, there was a video clip of the couple and how Nagatomo proposed to Taira at the home ground stadium of Inter Milan. With regard to their wedding, Nagatomo commented that it should be around May or June which is when the current season ends. He also expressed his thanks to everyone who had supported them so far on this journey and that he was more nervous about the press conference as compared to before his matches.

With regard to her acting career, Taira revealed that she will be suspending her work activities from end January and move to Italy to be with Nagatomo. However, she will not be retiring from showbiz and looks forward to working in future whenever she's back in Japan if the right opportunity comes knocking. At present, she is learning Italian so as to cope with life in a new country.

Sources: Oricon 1 / Oricon 2

First-day-screening event of new movie "Boku wa ashita, kinou no kimi to deeto suru"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Boku wa ashita, kinou no kimi o deeto suru" was held at TOHO Cinemas Scala-Za on 17 December which was attended by the director Miki Takahiro and cast members Fukushi Souta, Komatsu Nana, Higashide Masahiro and Yamada Yuki. The movie which is based on a popular romance novel that had sold more than 1.1 million copies to date, is a sad love story involving a couple in their 20s set in Kyoto. Right after the movie was screened, many female members of the audience headed to the restrooms to redo their makeup due to having sobbed while watching the film. Fukushi revealed that he was glad and thankful that the movie had touched the audience so much that they had to wait for those who went to the restroom to return before starting the event.

The director Miki praised Fukushi and Komatsu for putting in a lot of effort behind the scenes to make the film a success and presented them with letters of appreciation which made them cry on stage. Fukushi commented that he was glad to be able to hear the director's thoughts and was glad to have worked with him and Komatsu who was choking back tears and couldn't speak for a while.

When asked about their new year resolutions, Fukushi said that he would like to become good at cooking next year. As for Higashide, he said that he hoped to go on a holiday with his mother next year especially since he became a father this year and wanted to do something for his parents soon. Komatsu also agreed with this idea and revealed that she had gone to Okinawa with her mother last year so she would like to do it again.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Oricon

First-day-screening event of new movie "Mogura no Uta Hong Kong Kyousoukyoku"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Mogura no Uta Hong Kong Kyousoukyoku" was held at Cinema Mediage in Odaiba on 24 December which was attended by the director Miike Takashi and cast members Ikuta Toma, Honda Tsubasa, Furuta Arata, Nanao, Kamiji Yuusuke Naka Riisa and Tsutsumi Shinichi. The movie which is based on the popular manga by Takahashi Noboru and the script written by Kudo Kankuro, is the sequel to the original movie which features Ikuta as Kikukawa Reiji, an undercover police officer who infiltrates into a gang.

Ikuta recounted that the tough filming caused him to suffer side effects such as being unable to get rid of his fatigue no matter how much he slept so he had to go to the hospital for a checkup. It was then when he was told by the doctor that the condition was caused by an excess level of adrenaline which made Ikuta somewhat proud about it.

As the event coincided with Christmas Eve, Ikuta teased the audience of 600 by asking if they had no lover to spend the day with so that's why they came to watch the movie in the morning. He then continued by saying that everyone must have plans after the screening and wished them a good day ahead on such an important occasion.

Honda who is the heroine in this movie, said that there were a number of scenes which allowed her to challenge herself such as scolding Reiji fiercely like a gangster. However, as she sounded too natural like a real gangster, Ikuta teased her by saying that she always called him in a crude way which Honda was quick to deny.

Source: Eiga.com

Completion screening event of FujiTV New Year drama SP "Kimi ni sasageru Emblem"

The completion screening event of FujiTV New Year drama SP "Kimi ni sasageru Emblem" was held on 20 December which was attended by cast members Sakurai Sho, Nagasawa Masami, Ichihara Hayato and Ando Masanobu. The drama SP which is based on a true story, will be shown at 9pm on 3 January, features Sakurai as a former J-league soccer player Takajo Kazuya who becomes paralysed due to an accident and regains hope in life after becoming a wheelchair basketball player with the support of his fiancee Nakagawa Miki (Nagasawa).

Sakurai who last appeared in a New Year drama SP "Taishi Kakka no Ryorinin two years ago, commented that he was a bit nervous before the start of the filming and that it was rare for a screening event to be held for a drama SP which reflected how much effort the cast and staff had put into this. When asked about the strengths of this drama, Sakurai said that this is not only a touching story which will bring people to tears but will also feature love between family members and friends and the charm of the wheelchair basketball sport.

Before the start of the filming, Sakurai went through about a month of training in order to play a wheelchair basketball player which he said was well worth the effort since they hardly needed stand-ins for the matches scenes in the drama which were shot at Yoyogi Stadium. In response, Ichihara commented that it would have been nice if this was a full drama series so that they could have more time to practise more and play better. Ando echoed the view that he liked the scenes where they played basketball because they took a lot of time to practice together. Even Nagasawa who didn't get to play recounted that the players showed great teamwork and got along really well with one another.

When asked about which scene he found memorable, Sakurai cited the first meeting between Takajo and Mukai Hiroto (Ichihara) where the latter was trying to crash into him at full force and he felt like he was a bullfighter when the bull was charging towards him. Ando then cited the touching scene when Sakurai and Nagasawa were filming the scene where he was trying to go up the stairs with her help and praised Sakurai for doing his best for the filming. Ichihara also mentioned a scene where Takajo and Mukai were talking where they were sobbing towards the end which led Nagasawa to joke that Sakurai is a guy who cries easily unexpectedly. In response, Sakurai said in an embarrassed manner that it could be because that he is older now so is more easily moved emotionally.

Nagasawa recounted that it seemed fated that she took on this drama as her father was a soccer player and coach so she felt as if she was seeing her parents' story through this drama. As such, she was very happy to be able to take part in this.

Sources: Sponichi 1 / Oricon / Sponichi 2

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Preview of "Tantei Shoujo Arisa no Jikenbo" (Drama SP)

Title: Tantei Shoujo Arisa no Jikenbo 探偵少女アリサの事件簿 (Detective Girl Arisa's case file)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter page: here
O.A. Date: 28 January 2016, 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Higashigawa Tokuya
Cast: Honda Miyu, Tanaka Kei, Iwaki Koichi, Jinbo Satoshi, Ookouchi Nanako, Yano Koji, Naitou Risa, Takasugi Mizuho, Terada Minori, Natori Yuko

Interim results of The Dorama World Awards 2016!

First of all, Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope that you are having fun in your own way this festive season.

There is less than a week before the voting for the inaugural Dorama World Awards 2016 will be closed at 11.59pm (GMT+8) on 31 December so I thought that it would be good to provide the interim results today. If you have already voted, check to see if your favourites are in the top 10. If you haven't, please make your vote count before the deadline through the voting form here. For the voting instructions, you can refer to my original post here.

Based on the votes received so far, there are some points which I would like you to take note of before casting your votes:

- The issue about who is the lead of the drama
As mentioned previously, in most Japanese dramas, there is only one leading actor or actress. If there is more than one, it will be indicated as double leads etc. Thus, if you misunderstand this and vote for someone as a leading actor/actress when he or she should be part of the supporting cast, I will count that as a vote in the supporting actor/actress category. That effectively means that one vote is wasted for that category which could have been given to someone else who fits the bill.
Some common examples of people who were supporting actors or actresses but were voted for in the leading actor or actress category include Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu), Kimura Yoshino (Boku no Yabai Tsuma), Suda Masaki (Jimi ni Sugoi!) and Yamazaki Kento (Suki na hito ga iru koto).

- The need to specify the title of the drama and the name of the actor / actress 
Some actors and actresses had participated in more than one drama in 2016. As such, there were many votes which I had to disqualify because there was no indication of the drama which the person appeared in and I can't possibly count votes for all the dramas he or she appeared in. Some of the common examples I've seen so far include Dean Fujioka, Haru, Sato Ryuta and Suda Masaki. Please ensure that you key in the name of the actor/actress with the name of the drama when casting your votes or else your votes will not count. Even for those actors who have appeared in one drama only for the year, it will take time for me to do research to confirm which drama you are voting for so please help by mentioning your choices clearly in the form.

- Making full use of your votes
Everyone is allowed to vote for up to 5 titles/actors/actresses/songs in each category. However, many of you have only voted for 1 in each category so please consider using up all the available slots if you can.

Here are the top 10 entries so far for each category in alphabetical order (some categories have more than 10 as they currently have the same score):

Best Drama
99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi
Asa ga kita
Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~
Doctor X 4 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~
Itsuka kono koi omoidashite kitto naiteshimau
Juuhan Shuttai!
Kaito Yamaneko
Kaseifu no Mitazono
Kazoku no Katachi
Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
Sekai ichi muzukashii koi

Best Leading Actor
Abe Hiroshi (Sniffer)
Kamenashi Kazuya (Kaito Yamaneko)
Katori Shingo (Kazoku no Katachi)
Koura Kengo (Itsuka kono koi omoidashite kitto naiteshimau)
Matsumoto Jun (99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi)
Matsuoka Masahiro (Kaseifu no Mitazono)
Ohno Satoshi (Sekai ichi muzukashii koi)
Okada Masaki (Yutori desu ga nani ka)
Sakai Masato (Sanadamaru)
Yamada Ryosuke (Cain to Abel)

Best Leading Actress
Amami Yuki (Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~)
Aragaki Yui (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
Haru (ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako)
Hirosue Ryoko (Naomi to Kanako)
Ishihara Satomi (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)
Kimura Fumino (Suisho no Koudou)
Kiritani Mirei (Suki na hito ga iru koto)
Kuroki Haru (Juuhan Shuttai!)
Mitsushima Hikari (Totto Terebi)
Nakatani Miki (Watashi, kekkon dekinain janakute shinain desu)
Takahata Mitsuki (Toto Nee-chan)
Yonekura Ryoko (Doctor X 4 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko)

Best Supporting Actor
Aoki Munetaka (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)
Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
Kagawa Teruyuki (99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi)
Katsumura Masanobu (Doctor X 4 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~)
Kotaki Nozomu (Sekai ichi muzukashii koi)
Nagayama Kento (Juuhan Shuttai!)
Odagiri Jo (Juuhan Shuttai!)
Sato Ryuta (Naomi to Kanako)
Suda Masaki (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)
Yagira Yuuya (Yutori desu ga nani ka)

Best Supporting Actress
Ando Sakura (Yutori desu ga nani ka)
Eikura Nana (99.9 Kenji Senmon Bengoshi)
Haru (Sekai ichi muzukashii koi)
Ishida Yuriko (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
Kimura Yoshino (Boku no Yabai Tsuma)
Koike Eiko (Sekai ichi muzukashii koi)
Mizuno Miki (Kuroi Juunin no Onna)
Naka Riisa (Nigeru Onna)
Takahata Mitsuki (Itsuka kono koi wo omoidashite kitto naite shimau)
Ueno Juri (Kazoku no Katachi)

Best Theme Song
Daylight by Arashi (99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi)
Mint by Amuro Namie (Boku no Yabai Tsuma)
Give me love by Hey! Say! JUMP (Cain to Abel)
Smile for Me by Matsutoya Yumi (Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~)
Motto by aiko (Dame na watashi ni koishite kudasai)
99 by Superfly (Doctor X 4 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~)
Ashita e no tegami by Teshima Aoi (Itsuka kono koi wo omoidashite kitto naiteshimau)
Echo by UNICORN (Juuhan Shuttai!)
Koi by Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
Hanataba wo kimi ni by Utada Hikaru (Toto Nee-chan)

Best Couple
Ito Hideaki & Kimura Yoshino (Boku no Yabai Tsuma)
Dean Fujioka & Fukada Kyoko (Dame na watashi ni koishite kudasai)
Koura Kengo & Arimura Kasumi (Itsuka kono koi wo omoidashite kitto naiteshimau)
Suda Masaki & Ishihara Satomi (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)
Katori Shingo & Ueno Juri (Kazoku no Katachi)
Hoshino Gen & Aragaki Yui (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
Ohno Satoshi & Haru (Sekai ichi muzukashii koi)
Yamazaki Kento & Kiritani Mirei (Suki na hito ga iru koto)
Fujiki Naohito & Nakatani Miki (Watashi, kekkon dekinain janakute, shinain desu)
Okada Masaki & Ando Sakura (Yutori desu ga nani ka)

Looking forward to receiving your votes before the end of this year!

Preview of "Fukigen na Kajitsu SP ~ Sannenme no Uwaki ~" (Drama SP)

Title: Fukigen na Kajitsu SP ~ Sannenme no Uwaki ~ 不機嫌な果実スペシャル ~ 3年目の浮気 ~ (The Fruit of Displeasure SP ~ Infidelity in the third year)
Official website: here
O.A. Dates: 6 January 2017 11.15pm / 13 January 2017 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast: Kuriyama Chiaki, Ichihara Hayato, Takanashi Rin, Hashimoto Manami, Inagaki Goro, Rokkaku Seiji, Manda Hisako, Yamamoto Yusuke, Minamisawa Nao, MEGUMI

Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE to sing the theme song for NTV Winter 2017 drama "Super Salaryman Saenai-shi"

Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE will be singing the theme song for NTV Winter 2017 drama "Super Salaryman Saenai-shi" starring Tsutsumi Shinichi which will begin its run from 14 January in the Saturdays 9pm timeslot. The song titled "Happy?" will be released as a single on 8 March 2017 and was written by JSB's vocalist Imaichi Ryuji and lyricist Odake Masato. This is the first drama theme song from the group in three years since "SO RIGHT" for FujiTV's 2013 drama "Honey Trap".

Owing to the popularity of the dance for Hoshino Gen's song "Koi" (theme song of "Nigeru wa haji daga, yaku ni tatsu") this year, there are plans for Tsutsumi to be dancing to the theme song in the ending credits but the choreography hasn't been finalised yet. Tsutsumi admitted that he is feeling jittery about having to dance when he was told about the proposal by the director and scriptwriter Fukuda Yuichi.

Sources: Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon

Saturday, December 24, 2016

EXILE's MAKIDAI suffers serious injuries due to a traffic accident in Hokkaido

EXILE's MAKIDAI suffered serious injuries as a result of a traffic accident at Hokkaido on 24 December. The incident took place around 12.35am on the No.5 highway in Nanae-cho, Hokkaido where the wagon car which MAKIDAI and six others were travelling in collided with a truck. According to the police, the wagon car was driven by a driver hired by the local promoters and the passengers included MAKIDAI and members of the unit PKCZ. MAKIDAI suffered fractures to his ribs, pulmonary contusion and cerebral concussion while music producer VERBAL who is also a member of PKCZ had fractures in his ribs and pulmonary contusion and DJ DARUMA complained of pain in his neck. The 3 remaining staff members and the driver also suffered injuries during the accident.

According to the group's agency, the members were due to perform at the Sandaime J Soul Brothers concert taking place at Sapporo Dome on 24th and 25th December and were making their way to Sapporo on 23rd December. However, due to the snowy weather, they had to take the Shinkansen to Hakodate and travel by car for the rest of the journey. As a result of this accident, the Sapporo concerts will be cancelled after discussions between the Sandaime and PKCZ members and staff. An announcement was posted on the official website to apologise for the cancellation and there will be plans to hold another concert again on a later date. Details on the refund procedure will also be announced soon. The Sandaime members expressed their wishes for their fellow members to recover soon.

Sources: Nikkansports / Oricon

Sato Ryuta reveals on TV that his third child was born in May this year

Sato Ryuta revealed during his variety show "Lion no Guu Touch" on 24 December (every Saturday at 9.55am) that his third child was born more than six months ago in May this year. At the ending of the programme, he suddenly revealed this fact which led to his co-host Hakata Daikichi to express surprise. Sato admitted that he had no chance to talk about this earlier so he decided to come clean with it by the end of the year. Upon hearing this, Daikichi teased Sato that this will become an Internet hot topic minutes after the broadcast which led the latter to comment smilingly that he is OK with that.

According to Sato's agency, there are no plans to announce the details about his third child going forward other than the fact the baby was born in May.

Sato got married in 2009 to his wife who is 6 years younger than him and their daughters were born in 2009 and 2014.

Source: Oricon

Top 10 box office hits in Japan for 2016 (Oricon)

Results were calculated up to 18 December 2016 for No.1 and No.3 which are still showing in cinemas and numbers in brackets indicate the total box office takings:

1) Kimi no na wa (JPY 20.9bn)

2) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (JPY 11.63bn)

3) Shin Godzilla (JPY 8.1bn)

4) Zootopia (JPY 7.68bn)

5) Finding Dory (JPY 6.83bn)

6) Meitantei Conan Junkoku no Nightmare (JPY 6.33bn)

7) Eiga Yokai Watch Enma Daiou to Itsutsu no Monogatari Danyan! (JPY 5.53bn)

8) ONE PIECE FILM GOLD (JPY 5.2bn)

9) Nobunaga Concerto (JPY 4.61bn)

10) The Secret Life of Pets (JPY 4.25bn)

Source: Oricon

Top 10 bestselling music DVDs of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold - total of DVD and Blu-Ray editions:

1) Sandaime J Soul Brothers LIVE TOUR 2015 [BLUE PLANET] - Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (644,841)

2) ARASHI LIVE TOUR 2015 Japonism - Arashi (601,898)

3) ARASHI BLAST in Miyagi - Arashi (553,633)

4) 2015 CONCERT TOUR KIS-MY-WORLD - Kis-My-Ft2 (259,953)

5) EXILE LIVE TOUR 2015 "AMAZING WORLD" - EXILE (232,423)

6) Kanjani 8 no Genki ga deru LIVE!! - Kanjani 8 (223,231)

7) Sayonara Sensation - Sensations (219,754)

8) Kanjani 8 Recital Omae no heart wo tsukandaru!! - Kanjani 8 (206,712)

9) Hey! Say! JUMP LIVE TOUR 2015 JUMPing CARnival - Hey! Say! JUMP (204,962)

10) Kanjani 8 Recital Manatsu no orera wa tsumi na yatsu - Kanjani 8 (171,287)

Source: Oricon

Top 25 bestselling albums of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold:

1) Are You Happy? - Arashi (747,115)

2) THE JSB LEGACY - Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (643,115)

3) Fantome - Utada Hikaru (569,963)

4) Ano hi Ano toki - Oda Kazumasa (412,496)

5) HiGH & LOW ORIGINAL BEST ALBUM - Various Artists (362,024)

6) Kimi no na wa - RADWIMPS (351,811)

7) Sorezore no Isu - Nogizaka46 (331,848)

8) Fuku no Oto - Fukuyama Masaharu (302,628)

9) Chou Ikimonobakari ~ Tennen Kinen Members BEST Selection ~ - Ikimonogakari (294,207)

10) DEAR. - Hey! Say! JUMP (292,426)

11) E.G.SMILE - E-girls BEST - E-girls (291,632)

12) I SCREAM - Kis-My-Ft2 (281,433)

13) Just LOVE - Nishino Kana (278,754)

14) Butterflies - BUMP OF CHICKEN (275,850)

15) Ningen Kaika - RADWIMPS (258,138)

16) EXTREME BEST - EXILE (235,431)

17) METAL RESISTANCE - BABYMETAL (230,264)

18) KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST "10Ks!" - KAT-TUN (209,095)

19) TIMELESS WORLD - Kobukuro (205,641)

20) MADE SERIES - BIG BANG (201,227)

21) DREAMS COME TRUE THE Ura BEST! Watashi dake no DoriKamu - DREAMS COME TRUE (192,533)

22) COSMIC EXPLORER  - Perfume (185,876)

23) Chandlier - back number (185,819)

24) The World's on Fire - MAN WITH A MISSION (167,992)

25) ZARD FOREVER Best ~ 25th ANNIVERSARY ~ - ZARD (165,508)

Source: Oricon

Top 25 bestselling singles of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold:

1) Tsubasa wa iranai - AKB48 (1,519,387)

2) Kimi wa Melody - AKB48 (1,294,962)

3) LOVE TRIP / Shiawase wo wakenasai - AKB48 (1,213,660)

4) High Tension - AKB48 (1,202,533)

5) Sayonara no Imi - Nogizaka46 (910,811)

6) Hadashi de Summer - Nogizaka46 (851,229)

7) I seek / Daylight - Arashi (828,533)

8) Harujion ga sakugoro - Nogizaka46 (828,315)

9) Fukkatsu LOVE - Arashi (541,121)

10) Power of the Paradise - Arashi (471,619)

11) Futari Sezon - Keyakizaka46 (467,845)

12) Sekai ni hitotsu dake na hana - SMAP (439,774)

13) Sekai niwa ai shikanai - Keyakizaka46 (392,719)

14) Silent Majority - Keyakizaka46 (376,871)

15) Chikin LINE - SKE48 (365,328)

16) Boku wa inai - NMB48 (363,583)

17) Saikou kayo - HKT48 (332,231)

18) Kin no Ai, Gin no Ai - SKE48 (324,415)

19) Maji SUNSHINE - Hey! Say! JUMP (308,610)

20) 74 okubun no ichi no kimi e - HKT48 (305,137)

21) Tsumi to natsu - Kanjani 8 (300,357)

22) Amagakihime - NMB48 (296,753)

23) Sha la la*Summer Time by Kis-My-Ft2 (291,356)

24) Fantastic Time - Hey! Say! JUMP (288,361)

25) Gravity - Kis-My-Ft2 (238,550)

Source: Oricon

Top 5 bestselling artists of 2016 (Oricon)

Arashi has won the bestselling artist of the year title for 6 years to date (including this year) which has also broken their own streak to date and they are the first artist to have achieved this. They have also snagged the bestselling album of the year title for 2016. In their comments about this feat, the members expressed their thanks to everyone and were surprised and amused that the announcement coincided with Christmas Eve which also happens to be Aiba Masaki's birthday so it feels like a multiple celebration for them.

The details of the other categories in this annual ranking will be posted gradually today so do keep a lookout for them as you enjoy your Christmas Eve!

Numbers in brackets indicate the total sales figures in yen for the CD singles, albums and DVDs released by the artists this year:

1) Arashi (12,183,000,000)

2) Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (8,256,000,000)

3) Nogizaka46 (7,437,000,000)

4) AKB48 (6,947,000,000)

5) Kanjani 8 (4,788,000,000)

Source: Oricon

Friday, December 23, 2016

Mizuno Miki reportedly pregnant and due to give birth next summer

Mizuno Miki is currently pregnant and due to give birth next summer as reported on 22 December. According to various sources, Mizuno is in the early stage of her pregnancy and will continue appearing in the TV Asahi Winter 2017 drama "Ubai Ai, Fuyu" which is due to begin its run from 20 January in the Fridays 11.15pm timeslot as there are no plans for any physically-demanding scenes. Nonetheless, there will be measures to take her condition into consideration during the filming.

Mizuno got married to illustrator and actor Karahashi Mitsuru on her birthday this year (28 June) after a 3-month whirlwind romance. In this year alone, Mizuno had appeared in four dramas including NHK's "Nigeru Onna", FujiTV's "Love Song" and NTV's "Kuroi Juunin no Onna".

Source: Sports Hochi

SMAP reported to have rejected offer to appear on NHK's Kouhaku Utagassen

SMAP is said to have rejected NHK's offer to appear on this year's Kouhaku Utagassen before they go their separate ways on 31 December. According to Nikkansports, despite SMAP's name being missing from the list of performers in this year's Kouhaku announced on 24 November, the TV station had not given up on negotiating for the group's last performance. However, with the rejection, SMAP's last joint appearance will be on the final episode of "SMAPxSMAP" shown on 26 December which was recorded earlier on 1 December. It is understood that the last song they will sing during the programme is "Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana".

To date, SMAP had appeared 23 times on Kouhaku since their CD debut in 1991 and were the final performers for the 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions. There were only two years when the group did not appear i.e. 2001 when Inagaki Goro was absent due to a suspension of his work due to his traffic offence and 2004 when the members were busy with solo activities and did not spend much time on their music career. Leader Nakai Masahiro was also the Kouhaku host for 6 years in 1997, 1998, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was the youngest Shirogumi host to date back then in 1997.

Source: Nikkansports

Preview of "Ai wo kou hito" (Drama SP)

Title: Ai wo kou hito 愛を乞うひと (A person begging for love)
Official website: here
Official Twitter page: here
O.A. Date: 11 January 2017, 9pm
Broadcast by: NTV / Yomiuri TV
Original novel by: Shimoda Harumi
Theme Song: Alone by Nakashima Mika
Cast: Shinohara Ryoko, Hirose Arisu, Suzuki Rio, Sugimoto Tetta, Muro Tsuyoshi, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Terajima Susumu, Toyohara Kousuke, Kimura Tae and Kamikawa Takaya

JOYSOUND Best Karaoke Annual Ranking 2016 - Top 20 artists of the year

Here is the list of top 20 artists whose songs were sung the most times at JOYSOUND this year:

1) Nishino Kana

2) back number

3) Arashi

4) AKB48

5) Nakajima Miyuki

6) Mr.Children

7) EXILE

8) RADWIMPS

9) ONE OK ROCK

10) Porno Graffiti

11) BUMP OF CHICKEN

12) GReeeeN

13) AAA

14) DREAMS COME TRUE

15) Southern All Stars

16) Ikimonogakari

17) Kobukuro

18) Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE

19) Yuzu

20) Spitz

Source: JOYSOUND

JOYSOUND Best Karaoke Annual Ranking 2016 - Top 30 songs of the year

JOYSOUND is a karaoke chain in Japan and has released its top 30 songs ranking for this year based on the choices of its customers. In 2016, Kiritani Kenta's "Umi no Koe" was crowned the No.1 song in this ranking and he was awarded with a trophy and certificate.

Here is the list of the top 30 songs in 2016:

1) Umi no Koe - Urashima Taro (Kiritani Kenta)

2) Ito - Nakajima Miyuki

3) Himawari no Yakusoku - Hata Motohiro

4) Torisetsu - Nishino Kana

5) Hanamizuki - Hitoto Yo

6) Zankoku na tenshi no teeze - Takahashi Yoko

7) Sanbyakurokujuugo nichi no kami hikouki - AKB48

8) Chiisana koi no uta - MONGOL800

9) SUN - Hoshino Gen

10) Kanade - Sukima Switch

11) Senbonzakura - WhiteFlame feat. Hatsune Miku

12) Sugar song and Bitter Step - UNISON SQUARE GARDEN

13) Christmas Song - back number

14) R.Y.U.S.E.I. - Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE

15) Story - AI

16) Takane no Hanako-san - back number

17) Eikou no Kakehashi - Yuzu

18) Wherever you are - ONE OK ROCK

19) Sangatsu Kokonoka - Remioromen

20) Ai Uta - GReeeeN

21) Nijiiro - ayaka

22) Cherry - Spitz

23) Let It Go ~ Ari no mama de ~  - Matsu Takako

24) Kiseki - GReeeeN

25) Kimi no shiranai monogatari - supercell

26) 366 nichi - HY

27) PERFECT HUMAN - RADIO FISH

28) Tentai Kansoku - BUMP OF CHICKEN

29) Zenzenzensei (movie ver.) - RADWIMPS

30) Amagigoe - Ishikawa Sayuri

Source: JOYSOUND

Fukuyama Masaharu & Fukiishi Kazue welcome the arrival of their first child

Fukuyama Masaharu and Fukiishi Kazue's first child has been born as announced via his fanclub website on 22 December. According to Fukuyama's agency, the couple has no plans to announce the details about their baby including date of birth and gender. Both mother and child are doing well now.

In Fukuyama's statement, he mentioned that they had been praying for the delivery to be smooth and that the baby be healthy. He also revealed that it was lucky that he could be present when the baby was born and that he cried upon seeing his child and hearing the baby cry for the first time.

Fukuyama and Fukiishi got married in September last year and she announced her pregnancy in August this year.

Sources: Oricon / Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Supporting cast lineup for TV Asahi Winter 2017 drama "Shuukatsu Kazoku ~ Kitto, umaku iku ~" announced

The supporting cast lineup for TV Asahi Winter 2017 drama "Shuukatsu Kazoku ~ Kitto, umaku iku ~" was announced. The drama which will be shown from 12 January 2017 in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot, features Tomikawa Yosuke (Miura Tomokazu) who is the HR director of a big company, leads an ordinary life with his wife Mizuki (Kuroki Hitomi) who is a Japanese language teacher at a private junior high school, his elder daughter Shiori (Maeda Atsuko) who works at a jewellery manufacturer and Hikaru (Kudo Asuka) who is about to graduate from university. However, things start to spiral out of control when Yosuke is retrenched by his company, Shiori quits due to sexual harassment issues at her workplace and Hikaru cannot find a permanent job yet. This causes the family to be looking for employment at the same time which makes them rethink the meaning of work and what kind of future they want for themselves.

Kimura Tae will be playing Kawamura Yuko, a former subordinate of Yosuke who tries to seduce him in a bid to avoid being retrenched by the company. Watanabe Dai will play Makabe Yuto who is the senior of Shiori and lends a listening ear to her when she is troubled over sexual harassment at the workplace. Arai Hirofumi will be Kunihara Kota who is the principal of a school coaching people in seeking employment who helps Hikaru while Danta Yasunori will be Amaya Goro who was also retrenched from work and has to pretend to go to work as usual and spend the entire day in the park. Kimura Midoriko will play Natsuno Kumi who plays Yosuke's former senior high school classmate while Yamamoto Mirai will be Nakahara Ayako who is Shiori's new boss and gets involved in a love triangle with the latter and Yuto.

Source: Oricon

SOLIDEMO to sing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Daibinbou"

SOLIDEMO will be singing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Daibinbou" starring Koyuki which will be shown from 8 January 2017 in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. This will be the vocal group's first main theme song for a drama series. The song which is untitled for now, is a medium tempo song which was specially written for the drama. The group made their major debut in 2014 and had sung the theme song for "First Class" and opening song for "Tatakau! Shoten Girl" in the past.

Source: Sanspo

Kutsuna Shiori to be the heroine in new movie "Neko Atsume no Ie"

Kutsuna Shiori will be taking on the heroine's role in the new movie "Neko Atsume no Ie" starring Ito Atsushi which will be shown in cinemas from 8 April 2017. The movie directed by Kurakata Masatoshi features Ito as the lead character Sakumoto Masaru who is a novelist facing a slump in his work and decides to move to a tranquil place on a whim. While there, he encounters many cats and through his interaction with them, his life slowly changes as well.

Kutsuna plays the role of an editor Michiru who is in charge of Sakumoto's works. Although Kutsuna is a cat lover, this was the first time she was surrounded by so many cats during filming so she was really happy about it. As for the selling point of this movie, Kutsuna commented that the charm of the cats and how they affect the lead character's life as a person and writer in a subtle manner will touch people's hearts.

Source: Eiga.com

The 10th Most Desired Female Faces Ranking (Oricon)

This is an annual survey conducted by Oricon on 500 women from their teens to 50s where they select the female celebrities who they feel have the faces that they desire to have.

Numbers in brackets indicate the position held by the celebrity in the previous year's ranking. If the person had not been part of the top 10, a dash is indicated instead:

1) Ishihara Satomi (2)

2) Kitagawa Keiko (1)

3) Aragaki Yui (3)

4) Ayase Haruka (4)

5) Fukada Kyoko (-)

6) Kiritani Mirei (-)

7) Arimura Kasumi (9)

8) Sasaki Nozomi (-)

9) Miyazaki Aoi (-)

10) Igawa Haruka (-)

Source: Oricon

Preview of "Honjitsu wa, Ohigara mo yoku" - Winter 2017

Title: Honjitsu wa, Ohigara mo yoku 本日は、お日柄もよく (Today is also a lucky day)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 January 2017
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Total number of episodes: 4
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Original novel by: Harada Maha
Cast: Higa Manami, Hasegawa Kyoko, Watanabe Dai, Ishibashi Renji, Yachigusa Kaoru, Hayami Mokomichi, Funakoshi Eiichiro, Oishi Goro, Ishii Masanori, Abe Megumi, Tachibana Nozomi, Inoue Jun, Dan Jiro and Masu Takeshi etc.

Nishiuchi Mariya & flumpool's Yamamura Ryuta to star in FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu"

Nishiuchi Mariya and flumpool's vocalist Yamamura Ryuta will be appearing in the FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Totsuzen desuga, Ashita kekkon shimasu" (It's sudden but I am getting married tomorrow) which will begin its run from 23 January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled manga by Miyazono Izumi, features Nishiuchi as the heroine Asuka who is a capable woman working in a major bank. However, underneath her career woman facade, Asuka actually wants to quit her job soon, get married and become a housewife as soon as possible. However, when she is dumped by her boyfriend of 5 years, Asuka is anxious to find a new marriage partner and happens to meet Nanami (Yamamura) who is a handsome TV announcer. Contrary to her plans, Nanami turns out to be extremely resistant to the idea of getting married thus she will have to try her best to change his mind.

Nishiuchi who is appearing in a Getsuku drama for the first time, revealed that she had always set this as a goal she wanted to achieve one day so she is very happy to be able to realise her dream. As for Yamamura, this will be the first time for him to try acting and he had always wanted to expand his career scope so he hopes to meet the challenge despite being very nervous about this.

Sources: Sanspo / Sponichi

Screening event of new NHK Taiga fantasy drama "Seirei no Moribito Kanashiki Hakkaigami"

The screening event of new NHK Taiga fantasy drama "Seirei no Moribito Kanashiki Hakkaigami" (Guardian of the Spirit The sad destroyer god) was held at NHK's HQ on 15 December which was attended by cast members Ayase Haruka, Maki Youko, Itagaki Mizuki, Suzuki Ryohei and Suzuki Rio. The second installment in the "Seirei no Moribito" series will begin its run from 21 January in the Saturdays 9pm timeslot. The final installment is scheduled to be shown in November 2017.

Ayase reprises her role as the female bodyguard Barusa in the new installment and commented that there are many cool action scenes for the viewers to look forward to. This drama also happened to be be one of the last works which the late Hira Mikijirou appeared in before he passed away in October this year. When asked to comment on her experience of working with Hira, Ayase commented that there was only one scene which she appeared together with him and they did not manage to chat a lot. However, Hira had a lot of screen presence and showed off his excellent acting so she was glad to have worked with him.

With regard to working with Suzuki Ryohei who is a new cast member in the series, Ayase who is his "senior" in terms of Taiga dramas (she was the lead for 2013's "Yae no Sakura" while he is due to appear in the 2018 Taiga "Segodon"), she said that she didn't have any special advice for him other than to enjoy the whole year's filming to the fullest. As for working with Suzuki Rio who played the child version of Ayase's character in "Yae no Sakura", Ayase said that although Rio is much younger than her, she didn't feel like there was an age gap between them when they were chatting during the filming breaks which made everyone laugh at the comment.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Sponichi

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Otsuka Ai to sing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Kirawareru Yuuki"

Otsuka Ai will be singing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2017 drama "Kirawareru Yuuki" starring Karina which will begin its run from 12 January in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot. This is the first time in nine and a half years that Otsuka is singing a theme song for a drama since Summer 2007's "Hanazakari no kimitachi e ~ Ikemen Paradise~". She got married to RIP SLYME's SU in 2010 and gave birth to their first daughter in March the following year.

The theme song titled "Watashi" is an up-tempo pop number written with the image of the lead character and will be released on 15 February.

Otsuka paid a visit to the filming set at the TV station where she met Karina who was shooting the drama's promotional poster. The production team made an offer to Otsuka to appear in the drama and the latter commented that if it's just an extra role, she may be OK with it.

Sources: Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi