Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Winners of the 48th Housou Bunka Foundation Awards (Apr 2021 to Mar 2022)

Here are the list of winners for the 48th Housou Bunka Foundation Awards' drama-related categories with regard to the period from April 2021 to March 2022. For the full list including documentaries and variety shows, please refer to here.


Grand Prix - Drama : Hakozume ~ Tatakau! Kouban joshi ~ (NTV)

Excellence Award - Drama: Shizuka-chan to Papa (NHK)

Encouragement Award - Drama
Zenkamono - Shinmai hogoshi Agawa Kayo - (WOWOW) 
Come Come Everybody (NHK)

Acting Award:
Nagano Mei - Hakozume ~ Tatakau! Kouban joshi ~
Shofukutei Tsurube - Shizuka-chan to Papa

Script Award: Fujimoto Yuki - Come Come Everybody

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Quick Review #18: Shinainaru boku e satsui wo komete (Autumn 2022)


Title
: Shinainaru boku e satsui wo komete 親愛なる僕へ殺意をこめて

Season: Autumn 2022

Broadcast by: FujiTV

Rating: 5/10

Recommended for: those who like suspense stories about split personalities and fans of Yamada Ryosuke and Kadowaki Mugi

Liked:
- Episodes 5 and 7. I was about to give up on this drama after 4 episodes but Ep 5 convinced me to stay on and I got lured again to continue because of Ep 7. On hindsight, I should have skipped straight through to the last 10 minutes of the finale from Ep 7 instead of sitting through a couple more episodes.

- The acting of the cast especially Yamada Ryosuke (after B-1 started appearing more regularly), Kadowaki Mugi (Ep 5) and Sakurai Yuki (Ep 7). In Yamada's case, his integration of Eiji and B-1 at the very end was quite impressive. Kadowaki was so overwhelmingly good in one single episode but it was a pity that her character kinda fizzled out in the end. Sakurai also had her moment of brilliance but alas, it wasn't meant to last. Due to the way this drama was designed, you would need to wait around for a while before you can see the better parts of the cast's performances. Last but not least, Endo Kenichi was pretty good as well at the end but since he was supposed to play someone who had no feelings and empathy, it may draw a reaction from the other extreme i.e. you will either love or hate his performance for the emotionless acting.

Disliked: 
- As a suspense thriller, I must say that I wasn't excited nor was I intrigued by the so-called suspense in the story. To have only 2 episodes as the highlight of the entire story and the ending being quite anti-climatic (it wasn't too difficult to guess the identity of the killer nor the motive), you would need to have a great deal of patience to sit through the fluff before getting to the good parts. I must say though, I haven't read the original so I can't pinpoint where the problem was. At the very least, there were some loopholes in the logic of the story which I mentioned before in my episodic review posts.

- While some cast members still managed to get a moment to shine, some were not so lucky. For example, Kawaei Rina was supposed to be the heroine who was Eiji's partner in investigating the case but Nami felt more like B-1's runner to do things for him in the second half of the drama after B-1/Eiji went on the run. Even at the beginning stage, the relationship dynamic between them seemed a bit lopsided at times so they hardly met the definition of partners working towards a single goal. As such, Kawaei didn't look like she had much to offer in terms of acting even though I think she's capable of doing more. 
Likewise, Sano Shiro's character didn't make a lot of sense at first although his actions were more or less explained and justified in Ep 5. However, it felt like too little, too late in a sense for him which I thought was a pity. And not to mention Onoe Matsuya or Saotome Taiichi - there should have been more to see from them but too bad that their characters this time were not that pivotal to the story so their performances felt a bit flat and forgettable.

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Tower Records Japan Bestsellers 2022 (Music)

Tower Records Japan released its bestsellers rankings for 2022 today where you can see the hits for various categories such as Japanese music, K-pop, Western music, jazz and classical. What I found interesting was that the physical CDs sales rankings were pretty much dominated by Johnny's Jimusho's groups and various idol groups while the online streaming rankings saw a more varied mix of artists. Does this mean that fans of idol groups tend to be more willing to pay for physical CDs while other music consumers prefer to listen to their music digitally? 

It will also be interesting to compare this with the nationwide rankings compiled by Oricon which will most likely be released later in December. The Tower Records rankings doesn't give any information about sales figures so it can be difficult to assess how much the difference is between positions in the same ranking and the true impact of sales/streaming numbers.

Here are the top 10 rankings for the Japanese music categories. For the full list, please refer to the respective links for each category:


1) "MIDNIGHT SUN" by JO1
2) "I" by INI
3) "Brother Beat" by Snow Man
4) "Orange Kiss" by Snow Man
5) "M" by INI
6) "Watashi" by SixTONES
7) "The Answer / Sachiare" by Naniwa Danshi
8) "Kyoumei" by SixTONES
9) "Good Luck! / Futari" by SixTONES
10) "Tsukiyomi / Irodori" by King & Prince



1) "Snow Labo. S2" by Snow Man
2) "1st Love" by Naniwa Danshi
3) "CITY" by SixTONES
4) "Made in" by King & Prince
5) "Mixed Juice" by Johnny's WEST
6) "KIZUNA" by JO1
7) "FILMUSIC!" by Hey! Say! JUMP
8) "SOFTLY" by Yamashita Tatsuro
9) "Uta no uta ONE PIECE FILM RED" by Ado
10) "Yumin Banzai! ~ Matsutoya Yumi 50 shuunen kinen best album ~" by Matsutoya Yumi



1) "Snow Man LIVE TOUR 2021 Mania" by Snow Man
2) "Johnny's Festival ~Thank you 2021 Hello 2022~" by Various Artists
3) "Feel da CITY" by SixTONES
4) "Naniwa Danshi First Arena Tour 2021 # Naniwa Danshi shika katan" by Naniwa Danshi
5) "King & Prince CONCERT TOUR 2021 ~ Re:Sense ~" by King & Prince
6) "KANJANI'S Re:LIVE 8BEAT" by Kanjani 8
7) "Johnny's WEST LIVE TOUR 2021 rainboW" by Johnny's WEST
8) "NEWS LIVE TOUR 2020 STORY" by NEWS
9) "LIVE TOUR V6 groove" by V6
10) "Sexy Zone Anniversary Tour 2021 SZ10TH" by Sexy Zone



1) BTS
2) Ado
3) YOASOBI
4) Official Hige Dandism
5) Yuri
6) Yonezu Kenshi
7) back number 
8) King Gnu
9) Aimyon
10) B'z


1) "Zankyosanka" by Aimer
2) "BETELGEUSE" by Yuri
3) "Dried Flower" by Yuri
4) "Yoru ni kakeru" by YOASOBI
5) "Mixed Nuts" by Official Hige Dandism
6) "Shinjidai" by Ado
7) "Cry Baby" by Official Hige Dandism
8) "Ichizu" by King Gnu
9) "Habit" by SEKAI NO OWARI
10) "Gunjou" by YOASOBI

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Winners of the 47th Hochi Movie Awards (2022)


Here are the winners of the 47th Hochi Movie Awards:

Best Japanese Movie: Aru otoko

Best Animation Movie: Yojouhan Time Machine Blues

Best Foreign Movie: Top Gun Maverick

Best Leading Actor: Fukuyama Masaharu (Chinmoku no Parade)

Best Leading Actress: Arimura Kasumi (Zenkamono)

Best Supporting Actor: Yokohama Ryuusei (Rurou no tsuki)

Best Supporting Actress: Ono Machiko (20-sai no soul / Senya, Ichiya / SABAKAN)

Best Newcomer: Arashi Rina (My Small Land) / Shiratori Haruto (Zenbu, boku no sei)

Source: Natalie

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Behind-the-scenes of FujiTV Autumn 2022 drama "silent" - Interview with its scriptwriter Ubukata Miku and producer Murase Ken


Mantan Web did an interview with the scriptwriter Ubukata Miku and producer Murase Ken of FujiTV Autumn 2022 drama "silent" where they shared behind-the-scenes information about the production process. Instead of translating the entire article word-for-word, I have chosen the key points for the purpose of this post:

* Murase who had produced dramas such as "14-sai no haha" and "Itsuka kono koi wo omoidashite kitto naiteshimau" in his career, explained why they decided to make this drama. In the current world where diversity is the new buzzword, they wondered if it is really true that people have indeed embraced this concept and thought that it would be a good idea to do something on this theme. From then, he approached the scriptwriter Ubukata about making a love story between the hearing-impaired and those who can hear.

* When Ubukata got the proposal, she didn't want to write a story where the couple meets and falls in love when one of them is already deaf. As such, the setting became that of two people who were already in love from the beginning, later came to face a situation of hearing loss and then reunited after some time.

* The story was written specifically with Kawaguchi Haruna and Meguro Ren in mind. Kawaguchi was chosen because Ubukata felt that she enjoys the support of female viewers and comes across as unpretentious so would be able to convey Tsumugi's thoughts as it is. As for Meguro, the fact that he is from the popular group Snow Man and has shown a lot of potential as an actor was why Ubukata wanted to choose him. 

* As for Murase's impressions of the leads, Kawaguchi struck him as someone who stood out with grace and beauty even when she was surrounded by many stars during last year's NHK Kouhaku for which she was the host. Having made her debut in a FujiTV drama and coming full-circle to taking on the Kichou role in NHK's Taiga drama "Kirin ga kuru" and later becoming the Kouhaku host, he could see the progress she had made over the years and the aura that came with this built-up confidence in her achievements. As for Meguro, despite being from a popular group Snow Man, he found Meguro to have an unique charisma and is an actor who is not quite like the typical image of Johnny's artists especially after he saw Meguro in "Kyoujou II".

* When the announcement for the drama came out, it soon became much talked-about and the number of followers on its social media accounts passed the 200,000 mark even before the OA. Currently, the number of followers have exceeded 500,000. Murase commented that this amount of attention was rare for a drama which hadn't started its run and saw that as a reflection of the anticipation for the cast and the desire to see Kawaguchi and Meguro as the lead couple. This made the cast and staff members even more determined to make a drama that could meet these expectations.

* Ever since the first episode, the story has firmly captured the attention and interest of the viewers with its moving lines, the songs that appear in the drama and the relationships between the characters. Murase commented that the lines spoken in this drama are all very realistic and likely to be heard in real life so they don't come off as fake or staged. As such, he believed that this was why they resonated with the viewers. The cast had also praised the script for its excellent lines.

* One key theme that is depicted throughout the drama is how some things never change even when changes are taking place everywhere. As such, instead of focusing on the story developments, the script emphasizes the emotions and feelings of the characters and how they would react when things happen. This then makes the viewers interested and concerned about what would happen next which is very important to a drama series.

* Despite this drama being Ubukata's first work, Murase was full of praise for her and said that her script had both the quality of a veteran and the freshness of a newbie.

* Besides the amount of attention paid to the story, the beautiful visuals were also a key focus area for this drama. Instead of getting the drama's director Kazama Hiroki to take charge of the teasers, they got CM director Ota Ryo to handle these so as to get a fresh perspective on catching the viewers' attention in a very short time (CMs are usually less than a min long so you need to get the viewers' attention very quickly). The monologues spoken by the leads in these videos were written by Ubukata. In addition, many of the staff who work on this drama are those who typically work in the CM field rather than dramas. Fortunately, the end product turned out so well that everyone including the staff were full of praise for it.

Source: Mantan Web

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Romaji lyrics of "Subtitle" by Official Hige Dandism (Theme song of FujiTV Autumn 2022 drama "silent")


Title: Subtitle
Artist: Official Hige Dandism
Written by: Fujiwara Satoshi
Arranged by: Official Hige Dandism
Theme song of FujiTV Autumn 2022 drama "silent"

[kouritsuita kokoro niwa taiyou wo] 
soshite [boku ga kimi ni totte sono pojishon wo]
sonna daibu gouman na omoikomi wo kojirasetetan dayo
gomen ne waratte yatte
yakedo shisou na hodo no pojithibu no
tsumetasa to zankokusa ni kizuitan dayo
kitto kimi ni watashitai mono wa motto hinyari atsuimono

kireigoto janai kedo
kirei de yuruginai mono
uwabe yori mo mune no oku no oku wo atatameru mono
risou dake wa aru kedo
kokoro no doko sagashitemo
marude mitsukaranain dayo

tsutaetai tsutawaranai
sono fujouri ga ima
kitsuku shibaritsuken dayo
okubyou na boku no 
kono ikkyoshu ittousoku wo

kotoba wa marude yuki no kesshou 
kimi ni purezento shitakutemo
muchuu ni nareba naruhodo ni
katachi wa kuzureochite toketeitte
kiete shimau kedo
demo boku ga erabu kotoba ga
soko ni takusareta omoi ga
kimi no mune wo furuwasu no wo
akiramerarenai aishiteru yori mo ai ga todoku made
mou sukoshi dake mattete

usugi de tada soba ni tattetemo
fuhitsuyou ni ase wo kaiteshimau boku nanka mou
doushitatte namarukute kimi wo itametsukete shimau no darou

[te no hira ga atsui hodo kokoro wa tsumetain deshou?]
joudan demo sonna zankoku na koto iwanaideyo
betsuni ieba ii kedo zen jinsei wo kaketemo
chanto kutsugaesashite yo

sukuitai = sukuwaretai
kono ikouru ga ima yasashiku hagashiteikun dayo
katai ronri busou puraido no kajou housou wo

tadashisa yori mo yasashisa ga hoshii
soshite sore wo uketoreru no wa
ilumineeshon mitai na
futokutei tasuu janakute tada hitori
kimi de atte hoshii

kaketa kotoba de wareta hibi wo naosou toshite
tashisugita netsuryou de hikarete shimatta kaaten
sonna shippaisaku wo kasanete kasanete kasanete
mitsuketainda itsuka saikou no ichigon ikku wo

kotoba wa marude yuki no kesshou 
kimi ni purezento shita toshite
jikan ga tatteshimaeba taitei
kioku kara afuruochite toketeitte
kiete shimau demo
taezu bokura no sutoorii ni 
soerareta jimaku no you ni
omoigaeshita toki fui ni me wo yaru toki ni
kimi no mune wo furuwasu mono
sagashi tsuzuketai
aishiteru yori mo ai ga todoku made
mou sukoshi dake mattete

kotoba nado nanimo hoshikunai hodo
kanashimi ni itetsuku yoru demo
katte ni kimi no soba de
arekore to kangaeteru
yuki ga toketemo nokotteru

Friday, November 18, 2022

Preview of "Tsukuritai onna to tabetai onna" - Autumn 2022


Title: Tsukuritai onna to tabetai onna 作りたい女と食べたい女 
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 29 Nov 2022
Timeslot: Mondays to Thursdays at 10.45pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Total number of episodes: 10
Original manga by: Yuzaki Sakaomi
Cast: Higa Manami, Nishino Emi, Morita Misato, Nakano Shuhei & Nozoe Yoshihiro etc.

Monday, November 14, 2022

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Drama


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) Hatsukoi no akuma
3) Roppongi Class

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) Teppachi!
3) Shin Shinchoukouki
4) Kyousou no bannin
5) NICE FLIGHT!

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Hatsukoi no akuma
2) Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
3) Roppongi Class
4) Mahou no rinobe
5) Yukionna to kani wo kuu

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) Hatsukoi no akuna
3) Mahou no rinobe
4) Okutou ~ kanjou sousakan Shinno Akari ~
5) Roppongi Class

Source: The Television

Sunday, November 13, 2022

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Leading Actor


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Nakamura Tomoya - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
2) Sakaguchi Kentaro - Kyousou no bannin
3) Takeuchi Ryoma - Roppongi Class

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Sakaguchi Kentaro - Kyousou no bannin
2) Machida Keita - Teppachi!
3) Nagase Ren - Shin Shinchoukouki
4) Nakamura Tomoya - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
5) Tamamori Yuuta - NICE FLIGHT!

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Hayashi Kento - Hatsukoi no akuma
2) Nakamura Tomoya - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
3) Takeuchi Ryoma - Roppongi Class
4) Nakano Taiga - Hatsukoi no akuma
5) Ayano Go - Old Rookie

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Nakamura Tomoya - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
2) Takeuchi Ryoma - Roppongi Class
3) Hayashi Kento - Hatsukoi no akuma
Nakano Taiga - Hatsukoi no akuma
Ayano Go - Old Rookie
Sakaguchi Kentaro - Kyousou no bannin

Saturday, November 12, 2022

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Leading Actress


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Arimura Kasumi - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) An - Kyousou no bannin
3) Haru - Mahou no rinobe

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) An - Kyousou no bannin
2) Arimura Kasumi - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
3) Nagano Mei - Unicorn ni notte
4) Sugisaki Hana - Prism
5) Kuroshima Yuina - Chimudondon

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Arimura Kasumi - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) Nagano Mei - Unicorn ni notte
3) Haru - Mahou no rinobe
4) An - Kyousou no bannin
5) Kuroshima Yuina - Chimudondon
Kuroki Haru - Boku no Neechan

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Arimura Kasumi - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu -
2) Haru - Mahou no rinobe
3) Kuroki Haru - Boku no Neechan
4) Nimura Sawa - Anata no butsu ga, koko ni
5) Kuroshima Yuina - Chimudondon

Friday, November 11, 2022

The background story behind the birth of Kansai TV Autumn 2022 drama "Elpis - Kibou, arui wa sawai -"


This article from FRIDAY gives a pretty detailed account on the background story leading to the birth of Kansai TV Autumn 2022 drama "Elpis - Kibou, arui wa sawai -" which has been attracting attention because of its daring take on taboos in TV stations and the head-on battle against the dark side of power. Although the story is set in a fictitious TV station, the drama incorporated elements like obvious references to those in power, past political scandals and claims which were later found to be untrue which was considered very surprising for a primetime drama shown on a private terrestrial TV network.

* It took a long 6 years before the drama could see the light of day because its production process from the planning stage was fraught with difficulties and setbacks.

* Everything started from the spring of 2016 when TV producer Sano Ayumi went to visit scriptwriter Watanabe Aya for a discussion on an upcoming project about a love comedy. However, the conversation was getting stale and heading nowhere until they suddenly talked about people falsely accused of crimes that they did not commit. It turned out that Sano who graduated from the law faculty, had developed the habit of going to trials opened to the public after she read the diary of a convict on death role while she was still in university. As they talked about how easy it was for people to be punished on false charges in Japan and that there were many people who still hadn't been released despite their cases having clear loopholes or there were some which had some degree of suspicion as to whether these people were indeed guilty, Watanabe was convinced that if they were to do something about a false charge case which was still unresolved, it would definitely be good material for a drama.

* However, such a project would mean making an enemy out of the police and the judiciary so it was deemed to be impossible for TBS where Sano was working at then. Unable to give up on the idea, she requested Watanabe to go ahead to create the script with her so they managed to produce up to 3 episodes' worth of content and offered the lead role of Ena to Nagasawa Masami who agreed to it readily after reading the script.

* At that time, Sano had a illustrious career and was also involved in the production of hit drama "Quartet". Despite so, being caught up in the office politics then and going against the tide caused Sano to be transferred to the overseas business department. As a result, Sano who insisted that she didn't want to leave the drama production department and wanted to press on with the production of "Elpis", decided to leave TBS.

* After going around to pitch the drama to various TV stations, it was Kansai TV which came to the rescue in the end and prevented the project from going down the drain. Sano herself also joined Kansai TV and managed to mark her revival in the drama production industry with "Oomameda Towako to sannin no motto otto" last year.

* The Mondays 10pm timeslot was newly-created in autumn 2021 with the intention of taking on challenging and controversial productions. Ayano Go's "Avalanche" got the ball rolling with its story about people who took on the evil who were unable to be punished by the law through publishing their crimes for all to see on the Internet. As such, "Elpis" was arranged to be shown during this timeslot in line and even had its world premiere in Cannes.

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Supporting Actor


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Akaso Eiji - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
2) Saotome Taichi - Roppongi Class
3) Yasuda Ken - Hatsukoi no akuma

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Akaso Eiji - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
2) Sano Hayato - Teppachi!
3) Nishihata Daigo - Shin Shinchoukouki
4) Nishigaki Sho - Minato Shoji Coin Laundry
5) Saotome Taichi - Roppongi Class

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Saotome Taichi - Roppongi Class
2) Emoto Akira - Shin Shinchoukouki
3) Yasuda Ken - Hatsukoi no akuma
4) Mamiya Shotaro - Mahou no rinobe
5) Bandou Ryota - Unicorn ni notte

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Nishijima Hidetoshi - Unicorn ni notte
2) Akaso Eiji - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -
3) Saotome Taichi - Roppongi Class
4) Kagawa Teruyuki - Roppongi Class
5) Yasuda Ken - Hatsukoi no akuma

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Supporting Actress


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Matsuoka Mayu - Hatsukoi no akuma
2) Hirate Yurina - Roppongi Class
3) Koike Eiko - Kyousou no bannin

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Koike Eiko - Kyousou no bannin
2) Shiraishi Mai - Teppachi!
3) Yamada Anna - Shin Shinchoukouki
4) Hirate Yurina - Roppongi Class
5) MEGUMI - Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Matsuoka Mayu - Hatsukoi no akuma
2) Hirate Yurina - Roppongi Class
3) Higa Manami - Junai Dissonance
4) Eikura Nana - Old Rookie
5) Yoshikawa Ai - Junai Dissonance

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Matsuoka Mayu - Hatsukoi no akuma
2) Hirate Yurina - Roppongi Class
3) Koike Eiko - Kyousou no bannin
4) Asada Miyoko - Akai Nurse Call
5) Iriyama Noriko - Yukionna to kani wo kuu

Wednesday, November 09, 2022

The 113rd Drama Academy Awards (Summer 2022) - Best Theme Song


Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Sansan by Miura Daichi (Chimudondon)
2) Start Over by THE BEAT GARDEN (Roppongi Class)
3) Hatsukoi no akuma by "SOIL& ""PIMP""SESSIONS (Hatsukoi no akuma)

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Chikara no kagiri by GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE (Teppachi!)
2) GLOW by idom (Kyousou no bannin)
3) Ningen gokko by RADWIMPS (Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -)
4) TraceTrace by King & Prince (Shin Shinchoukouki)
5) Two as One by Kis-My-Ft2 (NICE FLIGHT!)

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Sansan by Miura Daichi (Chimudondon)
2) Ame sansan by King Gnu (Old Rookie)
3) Start Over by THE BEAT GARDEN (Roppongi Class)
4) Bakasabaibaa by Ul-fuls (Anata no butsu ga, koko ni)
5) Hoshi no ame by Johnny's WEST (Yukionna to kani wo kuu)

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Hatsukoi no akuma by "SOIL& ""PIMP""SESSIONS (Hatsukoi no akuma)
2) Start Over by THE BEAT GARDEN (Roppongi Class)
3) Hoshi no ame by Johnny's WEST (Yukionna to kani wo kuu)
4) Chinokate by Yorushika (Mahou no rinobe)
5) Ningen gokko by RADWIMPS (Ishiko to Haneo - Sonna koto de utaemasu? -)

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Preview of "Ryojin no ono" - Autumn 2022


Title: Ryojin no ono 両刃の斧
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 Nov 2022
Timeslot: Sundays at 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 6
Original novel by: Daimon Takeaki
Cast: Iura Arata, Shibata Kyohei, Fubuki Jun, Takaoka Saki, Nao, Bandou Ryota, Namioka Kazuki, Takahashi Maryjun, Mikami Ai & Nagasawa Itsuki

Friday, November 04, 2022

About "Minato" by Spitz ~ as featured in Ep 5 of FujiTV Autumn 2022 drama "silent"


If you have watched ep 5 of "silent", you may remember coming across this scene when Tsumugi (Kawaguchi Haruna) was listening to songs on her mobile phone while having breakfast. Suddenly, she pressed the stop button when this song "Minato" by Spitz came up in her playlist which suggested that listening to the song at that moment was too much for her to bear. Nonetheless, she plucked up the courage to call Minato after this in a bid to find a chance to salvage things between them.

The more obvious interpretations as to why this song was featured in the story could be:
1) The title is the same as Minato's. And the word "harbour" mentioned repeatedly in this song is pronounced as minato in Japanese.
2) The lyrics of this song seem to echo Minato's situation since the subject in the song stands alone at a rusted harbour to reminisce about the happy days which had passed after his love left. Minato's intention to breakup was due to his wish to see Tsumugi get back with Sou. However, this song is also applicable to Tsumugi because she was the one left behind after Minato initiated the breakup.
3) In the lyrics, there is this line which says "weaving words together to form a song". This seems to suggest that the scriptwriter is referring to Tsumugi by choosing this song. In Japanese, Tsumugi refers to the soft silk cloth that is created by weaving silk threads together and the word for weaving in Japanese sounds similar to her name i.e. tsumugu 紡ぐ.

Of course, the scriptwriter could have other meanings attached to the song choice which may not be so apparent. I also wonder if the character names were chosen as such because of this song.

So far in the story, we've seen a number of references to Spitz's songs which are also featured prominently in "Hachimitsu to Clover", a popular manga which had been made into anime, drama and movie versions. There was an article before which suggested that the scriptwriter of "silent" is a big fan of both Spitz and "Hachikuro" so that was why these elements have been included in this drama. In fact, there was even a famous line from "Hachikuro" which made it into an earlier episode when Minato commented that he "witnessed the moment of when Tsumugi fell in love with Sou".

This song from Spitz was the band's 41st single and first released as a pre-single on 27 April 2016 before it was included in their 15th album "Samenai" released in the same year on 27 July. The CD jacket's photo was taken from the 1933 movie "Ongaku Kigeki Horoyohi Jinsei" which was one of Japan's earliest musical comedies before WWII. The music video was entirely in monochrome and included scenes of the band playing the song and animation.

In order for you to understand the song better and see how it corresponds to the situation in the drama, I have translated the lyrics to English. If you would like to listen to the song, here is the music video.

It's not as if I am getting onto a boat
However, I am at the harbour
I stop in my tracks in a gap while surrounded by strangers all around
Collecting words which I want to send to you who had travelled to somewhere far away
Carrying one song which was made by weaving these words together

An universe which will someday be kind even to dirty stray cats
I recall the mysterious light we saw together on that day at dusk
This is a song I made in order to meet you again
I sing again today at the rusted harbour

Sometimes, I don't have the courage
And then I'm at the harbour
Thinking about the meaning of the cotton clouds which seem like they are disappearing
The evidence of you having gone far away has also started to become hazy
I close my eyes and restart from zero to hundred

The smiles passing each other
I believed that I could be like that too
The sunrise's morning glow painted us who were young 
We started running while yawning
An important song for meeting you again
I sing again alone at the harbour

An universe which will someday be kind even to the dirty stray cats
I recall the mysterious light we saw together on that day at dusk
This is a song I made in order to meet you again
I sing again today at the rusted harbour
At the harbour
At the harbour

Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Preview of "Souchou shihatsu no sappukei" - Autumn 2022


Title: Souchou shihatsu no sappukei 早朝始発の殺風景
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 4 November 2022
Timeslot: Fridays at 11.30pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 6
Original novel by: Aosaki Yugo
Theme song: "Moratorium" by yutori
Cast: Yamada Anna, Okudaira Daiken, Yoshikawa Ai, Nakata Seina, Osaki Ichika, Ito Asahi, Mochizuki Ayumu, Takahashi Hikaru, Hagiwara Riku, Fujino Ryoko, Kayashima Mizuki & Taki Nanami

Tuesday, November 01, 2022

Inohara Yoshihiko's interview by Chunichi Sports in response to his appointment as the president of Johnny's Island


Following the announcement of Takizawa Hideaki leaving his management positions in Johnny's Jimusho, it was revealed that Inohara Yoshihiko had taken over his position as the president of Johnny's Island from 26 Sep 2022. In this interview by Chunichi Sports, Inohara revealed the events that led to this decision and what he intends to do from now on.

* Takizawa had quit as an artiste in Sep 2018 when the duo "Takki & Tsubasa" disbanded and became the No.2 in command in Johnny's Jimusho. He later took on the position of president in Johnny's Island in Jan 2019 which focuses on the management of Johnny's Jrs. In mid Sep this year, he suddenly expressed his intention to resign but the reason for doing so was not revealed to the public. Despite attempts to change his mind, the agency respected his wishes in the end.

* Inohara was approached by the president Fujishima Julie Keiko to take on the president position in Johnny's Island. Although he usually doesn't get surprised easily, he was quite shocked when he first heard about the offer. As such, he didn't accept the offer on the spot but discussed this with his family members including his wife Seto Asaka. They were supportive of this idea so he took on the offer within the same day.

* Inohara had also met Takizawa directly for the handover but did not ask the latter about the reason of his resignation. He expressed his admiration for what Takizawa had been doing all these years. Although it seemed like Takizawa had some unfinished business by leaving now despite declaring that he was continuing the late Johnny-san's legacy, he assured Takizawa that they will continue his good work which Takizawa said that he felt confident that they will be able to do well going forward. Inohara also said that there are many talented staff members and artistes in the agency so he will tap on their strengths to help him manage the company.

* Unlike Takizawa who was a full-time manager, Inohara will still be continuing his activities as an artiste together with his management duties. He said that he is aware of how tough this may be but he is prepared for the challenge and plans to learn everything from scratch. He joked that he might even go to visit ARASHI members with cookies as a gift to ask for their help.

* Coincidentally, the announcement date of his appointment i.e. 1 Nov is also the debut & disband date of V6 thus marking a fresh start for Inohara.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Preview of "Watashi no shitekurenai feromon kareshi" - Autumn 2022


Title: Watashi no shitekurenai feromon kareshi 私のシてくれないフェロモン彼氏
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 15 Nov 2022
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 12.58am
Broadcast by: TBS
Opening theme song: "Bakemono" by 703 goshitsu
Ending theme song: "Tuxedo" by Hiplin
Cast: Shimazaki Haruka, Watanabe Keisuke, Nakata Seina, Mori Kanna & Horii Arata

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Winners of the Tokyo Drama Awards 2022

Here are the winners of the Tokyo Drama Awards 2022:

Grand Prix - Drama Series: Saiai (TBS)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Come Come Everybody (NHK)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Koi desu! ~ Yankii-kun to hakujou garu ~ (NTV)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Kinkyuu torishirabeshitsu Season 4 (TV Asahi)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Chef wa meitantei (TV Tokyo)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Mystery to iu nakare (FujiTV)


Excellence Award - Drama Series: Oi Handsome! (Tokai TV)


Drama SP - Grand Prix: Oliver na inu, (Gosh!!) kono yarou (NHK)


Drama SP - Excellence Award: Futari no Ultraman (NHK)


Drama SP - Excellence Award: My Small Land (NHK)


Drama SP - Excellence Award: Tsuda Umeko ~ Osatsu ni natta ryuugakusei ~ (TV Asahi)


Drama SP - Excellence Award: Kodoku no gurume 2021 Oomisoka SP ~ Gekisou! Zekkei zeppin toshiwasure road movie ~ (TV Tokyo)


Best Leading Actor: Suda Masaki - Mystery to iu nakare (FujiTV)


Best Leading Actress: Yoshitaka Yuriko - Saiai (TBS)


Best Supporting Actor: Odagiri Jo - Come Come Everybody (NHK)


Best Supporting Actress: Matsumoto Wakana - Yangotonaki Ichizoku (FujiTV)



Best script: Fujimoto Yuki - Come Come Everybody (NHK)

Best directing: Tsukahara Ayuko - Saiai (TBS)

Best theme song: "Aldebaran" by AI - Come Come Everybody (NHK)

Preview of "Kanzen ni tsunda Ichiko wa mou charisma ni naru shikanai no" - Autumn 2022


Title: Kanzen ni tsunda Ichiko wa mou charisma ni naru shikanai no 完全に詰んだイチ子はもうカリスマになるしかないの
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 1 Nov 2022
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 12.30am
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Cast: Fukagawa Mai, Nomura Shuhei, Saaya, Yuutarou, YUSHI, Iwasaki Uta, Fujimori Shingo & MEGUMI

Monday, October 24, 2022

Preview of "Saisho wa paa" - Autumn 2022


Title: Saisho wa paa 最初はパー
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 28 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Fridays at 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Good Luck!" by SixTONES
Cast: Jesse, Ichikawa Ennosuke, Kaki Haruka, Motoi Shunsuke, Aoki Yuzu, Sakoda Takaya, Hashimoto Jun, Koyabu Kazutoyo, Nishi Yosuke, Tomisatto, Ibaraki Woderu, Miyabe Junko, Higa Nikko, Kawakubo Sae, Ikeda Ryo & Tsuwano Ryo

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Preview of "Piece of Cake" - Autumn 2022


Title: Piece of Cake ぴーすおぶけーき
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 25 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 1.29am
Broadcast by: NTV
Theme song: "Hallelujah" by Masao
Opening theme: "Broadway" by Ivudot
Cast: Motoi Shunsuke, Sasaki Mirei, Ochiai Motoki & Sakai Toshiya

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Preview of "Elpis - Kibou, arui wa wazawai -" - Autumn 2022


Title: Elpis - Kibou, arui wa wazawai - エルピス - 希望、あるいは災い -
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 24 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Mondays at 10pm
Broadcast by: Kansai TV
Cast: Nagasawa Masami, Maeda Goudon, Miura Touko, Miura Takahiro, Kondo Kouen, Iketsu Shoko, Kajihara Zen, Kataoka Shojiro, Yamaji Kazuhiro, Okabe Takashi, Rokkaku Seiji, Tsutsui Mariko & Suzuki Ryohei

Friday, October 21, 2022

Preview of "Japanese Style" - Autumn 2022


Title: Japanese Style ジャパニーズスタイル
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 22 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Saturdays at 11.30pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Hitomibore" by Vaundy
Cast: Nakano Taiga, Ichikawa Mikako, Kaname Jun, KAZMA, Ishizaki Huwie, Dan Rei, Emoto Akira, Miyazawa Miho, Matsukawa Naruki & Suda Masaki

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Preview of "Kurosagi" - Autumn 2022


Title: Kurosagi クロサギ
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 21 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Fridays at 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original manga by: Kuromaru & Natsuhara Takeshi
Cast: Hirano Sho, Kuroshima Yuina, Inowaki Kai, Nakamura Yuri, Uno Shohei, Tokito Yuki, Yamamoto Koji, Bandou Yajuro, Funakoshi Eiichiro & Miura Tomokazu

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Preview of "Shinsou wa mimi no naka" - Autumn 2022


Title: Shinsou wa mimi no naka 真相は耳の中
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 21 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Fridays at 12.52am
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Theme Song: "Time Travel Melon" by Orange Spiny Crab
Cast: Ihara Tsuyoshi, Tsutsui Ayame, Morinaga Yuuki & Nakamura Yurika

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Preview of "The Travel Nurse" - Autumn 2022


Title: The Travel Nurse ザ・トラベルナース
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 20 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Thursdays at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Goasatte" by DISH//
Narrator: Endo Kenichi
Cast: Okada Masaki, Nakai Kiichi, Nanao, Adachi Yumi, Tsunematsu Yuri, Izumisawa Yuki, Miyamoto Mayu, Noro Kayo, Iketani Nobue, Yoshida Uuronta, Maehara Mizuki, Yanagiba Toshiro. Asada Miyoko, Terajima Shinobu & Matsudaira Ken

Monday, October 17, 2022

Preview of "Sister" - Autumn 2022


Title: Sister シスター
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 20 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Thursdays at 11.59pm
Broadcast by: YTV / NTV
Original manga by: Ayapan & Shijimi Tsubasa
Theme Song: "qualia" by Rinne
Cast: Yamamoto Maika, Takimoto Miori, Sato Taiki, Akira 100%, Kajiwara Takuto, Koyama Rina, Sakurai Atsuko, Yoshizawa Hisashi & Mizobata Junpei

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Preview of "Kimi no hana ni naru" - Autumn 2022


Title: Kimi no hana ni naru 君の花になる
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
Official YouTube: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Insert song by: 8LOOM
Cast: Honda Tsubasa, Takahashi Fumiya, Miyase Ryuubi, Tsuna Keito, Hachimura Rintarou, Mori Shuuto, NOA, Yamashita Kouki, Shida Sara, Kikuta Tatsuhiro, Kawazu Asuka, Kimura Masaya, Takatsuka Hiromu, Tajima Shougo, Fujimaki Kyousuke, Matsuda Jin, Kinami Haruka, Miyano Mamoru, Uchida Yuki, Takenaka Naoto & Natsuki Mari

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Preview of "Kasouken no onna 2022" - Autumn 2022


Title: Kasouken no onna 2022 科捜研の女 2022
Official website: here
Official LINE: here
Official TikTok: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 Oct 2022
Timeslot: Tuesdays at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Silent" by Sakaguchi Ami
Cast: Sawaguchi Yasuko, Naitou Takashi, Koike Teppei, Wakamura Mayumi, Kazama Tooru, Kaneda Akio, Saito Satoru, Nishida Ken, Yamamoto Hikaru & Ishii Kazuaki