Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kyuumei Byoutou 24 Ji to be back as a SP in winter

"Kyuumei Byoutou 24 Ji Part 4" which just ended its run on 22 Sep, is set to return as a SP this winter. The series which ended with a finale rating of 19.3%, depicts the real situation of problems facing medical personnel in Japan now. Filming is beginning at the end of this week and cast members from Part 4 including Eguchi Yosuke, Matsushima Nanako and Yusuke Santa Maria are set to appear in the SP as well with new additions to the lineup.

Sawajiri Erika fired because of her planned move to another agency?

According to a report by Nikkansports, it is said that the major reason for Sawajiri being fired by Stardust was due to her planned move to another agency despite Stardust bearing with her antics so far and securing a major role in a movie to mark her return to showbiz. Stardust saw her actions as a sign of betrayal thus this led to their decision.

Insiders said that as Sawajiri stopped working for about 2 year since the furore she created at the first day screening of "Closed Note", Stardust made arrangements for Sawajiri to appear as the heroine Mori Yuki in the real-life adaptation of "Uchuu Senkan Yamato" which starts filming in Oct and will be shown next year. However, they discovered that Sawajiri and her husband Takashiro Tsuyoshi had been making secret arrangements to contact other agencies in a bid to leave Stardust. As such, the agency strongly believed that Sawajiri was planning a move after the movie's filming ends or when it goes on roadshow.

Despite the fact that Sawajiri caused a lot of trouble 2 years ago, her subsequent actions seem to suggest that she has shown no remorse. Stardust didn't know about her marriage to Takashiro until the press reported it and Sawajiri went overseas for an extended period of time thus was not working all along. Coupled with the fact that she was rumoured to have consumed drugs in Amami and she was questioned by the police for riding an automatic bicycle without a registration license, Stardust decided to take action before anything happens like what happened to Sun Music when Sakai Noriko got into trouble.

Sawajiri is now officially dropped from the lineup of "Uchuu Senkan Yamato" and her role will be taken by Kuroki Meisa. Although Kuroki has other work assignments during the filming period, the movie company managed to get her to sign the contract as they allowed her to film the movie for 2 days a week only. Meanwhile, it looks like it is going to be an ardous journey for Sawajiri to get back to showbiz unless she strikes it out on her own.

Source: Nikkansports

Meanwhile, Sports Hochi has another report saying that Stardust is in the midst of negotiations with Sawajiri's lawyer and it seemed that she has little intention to contest the decision. The official announcement is set to be made within the next few days. On the other hand, Sony Music Entertainment which has a CD deal with Sawajiri will decide how to react depending on Stardust's decision.

Currently, members of the press are assembled outside Sawajiri's home in Setagaya, Tokyo but nobody seems to be at home. Sawajiri stayed at home before news of the firing decision broke. It is said that she is staying at various places now while the negotiations are still underway.

Source: Sports Hochi

Top 10 movies ranking (27 Sep 09)

1) 20 Seiki Shounen Saishusho Bokura no Hata

2) BALLAD Na mo naki Koi no Uta

3) Kamui Gaiten

4) Gekijouban Duel Masters / Gekijouban Penguin no Mondai

5) Katen no Shiro

6) Coco before Chanel

7) Wolverine: X-MEN ZERO


9) Symbol

10) The Ugly Truth

Monday, September 28, 2009

Top 10 movies ranking (20 Sep 09)

1) Gekijouban Dual Masters / Gekijouban Penguin no Mondai

2) 20 Seiki Shounen Saishusho Bokura no Hata

3) Kamui Gaiten

4) BALLAD Na mo Naki Koi no Uta

5) Wolverine: X-MEN ZERO

6) Coco before Chanel

7) Katen no Shiro

8) Symbol


10) The Taking of Pelham 123

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Top 10 most anticipated Autumn 2009 dramas (Oricon)

1) Liar Game Season 2 (FujiTV)

2) Tokyo DOGS (FujiTV)

3) Fumou Chitai (FujiTV)

4) Aibou Season 8 (TV Asahi)

5) Otomen ~ Aki ~ (FujiTV)

6) Koushonin THE NEGOTIATOR (TV Asahi)

7) My Girl (TV Asahi)

8) Samurai High School (NTV)

9) Real Clothes (FujiTV)

10) Ohitorisama (TBS)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Stardust Promotion intending to terminate Sawajiri Erika's contract?

Stardust Promotion is said to be in negotiations with Sawajiri Erika to terminate her contract. Sawajiri has been spending most of her time overseas ever since she got married to Takashiro Takeshi in January this year. Although it was rumoured that she is due to appear in a movie soon, Stardust's move suggests that this might be a fatal blow to Sawajiri's waning career prospects.

According to insiders, Stardust has started negotiations with related parties since the middle of Sep to discuss the issue of terminating Sawajiri's contract. There was talk of her being involved in a new movie and her contract is still in effect. However, Stardust's move is said to be in response to a major violation of the contract by Sawajiri. With regards to this, Stardust has declined comment at the moment.

Sawajiri has been spending the past 8 months after her marriage in England and Spain with the aim of studying languages and computer graphics. She returned to Japan briefly in July to watch the solar eclipse at Amami Island and came back permanently this month, apparently to start working again as an actress.

There may be a couple of reasons as to why Stardust is said to be terminating Sawajiri's contract. There are rumours going around that she may be into drugs as she was reported to have been using it with her husband when they were in Europe especially since they were caught visiting Ibiza frequently. Ibiza is said to be famous for its drug parties. In addition, she was said to be spotted at the same event in Amami which Sakai Noriko and her husband also attended.

Another offence could be her riding of an automatic bicycle in Amami when she should have applied for a license before doing so. The police there had questioned her about this case. Another issue could also be Sawajiri not informing her agency when she signed a contract with a fashion brand to appear in their advertisements.

Sawajiri made her debut as a magazine model and switched to being an actress in 2003. In 2005, she won many newcomer awards for her movie, "Pacchigi!". Since then, she had been active in showbiz, acting in many popular dramas and movies. However, her headstrong character also earned her the nickname of "Erika-sama" and that finally got her into big trouble in Sep 07. Sawajiri put on a defiant and rude attitude during the first-day screening event of her movie, "Closed Note" which led to her being flamed by the public to the extent of her apologizing on TV soon after. She has not appeared in any movie or drama since then.

Source: Sports Hochi

In another report from Sponichi, Stardust is said to have given its marching orders to Sawajiri. However, her husband Takashiro is said to be unhappy about the reasons given for firing his wife and has engaged a lawyer to negotiate with the agency.

Sawajiri was officially informed of the decision to fire her when she visited Stardust early this week. However, her husband refuses to accept the reasons for firing her. Sawajiri has been involved in numerous problems over the past few years and they are seen to be sufficient reasons as to why Stardust is resorting to this drastic measure.

The traffic offence committed in Amami Island was exposed when TV crew exposed Sawajiri for riding an automatic bicycle there without a license and a helmet. It was later revealed that Takashiro brought this along with him in a bid to get Sawajiri to promote this product through her usage. However, Takashiro had never sought Stardust's permission prior to this. Sawajiri's battered image suffered a further dent because of the questioning by the local police with regards to the traffic offence.

Another thing happened in New York when the couple flew there on 15 February, a month after their wedding on 19 January. Sawajiri was decked in merchandise from a famous fashion brand in the US, apparently to serve as a living advertisement for the brand. It was said that Takashiro was asked by the PR department of that brand to get his wife to wear these things. Again, Stardust was not consulted beforehand.

Ever since the scandal in Sep 07, Sawajiri was constantly in uncontactable mode and did things as she wished which was a big headache to the agency. Stardust was not even informed beforehand when she got married to Takashiro. At this time where agencies are gearing up to improve their management control and awareness of their artistes' private lives after the Sakai Noriko and Oshio Manabu scandals, Stardust is said to be worried about Sawajiri creating further trouble thus leading to this decision.

Negotiations between both sides are said to be going nowhere so it is highly likely that Sawajiri will work independently with her husband's company providig support. Early this month, Takashiro's blog mentioned that the autumn is going to be a time of change thus lending more credibility to this speculation.

Preview of "Hataraku Gon" - Drama SP

Title: Hataraku Gon
Official website: here
Produced by: NTV
O.A. Date: 23 Sep 09, 9pm
Theme song: "Chotto Zutsu" by Juliet
Cast: Shinohara Ryoko, Karina, Hiraoka Yuuta, Morimoto Shintarou, Satou Shion, Toda Naho, Sawamura Ikki, Fubuki Jun etc
SP Guests include: Morisaki Hiroyuki, Ono Takehiko, Tanihara Shousuke, Ooshima Miyuki, Itaya Yuuka, Komatsu Masao, Kato Ai, Kamiji Yuusuke, Koizumi Koutarou, Ooizumi Yo and Matsukata Hiroki

Friday, September 25, 2009

UVERworld to sing the theme song of "Shoukojo Seira"

UVERworld will be singing the theme song for TBS autumn drama "Shoukojo Seira" which is due to be shown on Saturdays at 8pm and begins its run on 17 Oct. The title of the theme song is undecided though. However, the song will be available for download as a mobile phone ringtone on the day the drama starts its run. This year marks the 5th year of UVERworld's career and they commented that it was tough to produce this song but they are confident this will be well-received by everyone.

Preview of "Shoukojo Seira" 小公女セイラ - Autumn 2009

Title: Shoukojo Seira 小公女セイラ (A Little Princess Seira)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 Oct 09 (1st episode is a 2-hour SP which starts at 7pm)
Timeslot: Saturdays, 8pm
Original story by: Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
Cast: Shida Mirai, Hayashi Kento, Tanabe Seiichi, Okamoto Anri, Kutsuna Shiori, Kojima Fujiko, Kurokawa Tomoka, Hiraoka Yuriko, Saitou Yuuki and Higuchi Kanako

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kyuumei Byoutou 24 Ji's finale hits rating of 19.3%

The final episode of Kyuumei Byoutou 24 Ji's Part 4 shown on 22 Sep 09 ended with a high rating of 19.3%. This drama was initially meant to start on 7 July but had to be delayed for one month due to the accident involving Eguchi Yosuke on 20 June. Nonetheless, the first episode achieved the first over-20% rating among summer dramas this year. The final episode was an extended 2-hour-18-minute SP where the ratings for the Kansai region were even higher at 20.2%.

Preview of JIN - Autumn 2009

Title: JIN
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 October 2009 (1st episode is a 2-hour SP)
Produced by: TBS
Original by: Murakami Motoka
Timeslot: Sundays, 9pm
Cast list: Oosawa Takao, Nakatani Miki, Ayase Haruka, Koide Keisuke, Kiritani Kenta, Taguchi Hiromasa, Toda Naho, Takeda Tetsuya, Fujita Makoto, Takaoka Saki, Musaka Naomasa, Asou Yumi, Kohinata Fumio and Uchino Masaaki

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Preview of "Fumou Chitai" (Wasteland) - Autumn 2009

Title: Fumou Chitai 不毛地帯 (Wasteland)
Original novel by: Yamazaki Toyoko
Produced by: FujiTV
O.A. Date: Oct 09 ~ Mar 10
Main theme song by: Sakamoto Ryuuichi
Cast: Karasawa Toshiaki, Wakui Emi, Tabe Mikako, Takahashi Taira, Yanagiba Toshiro, Furuta Arata, Danta Yasunori, Itou Shirou, Abe Sadao, Amami Yuki, Endo Kenichi, Hashizume Isao, Nakamura Atsuo, Sasaki Kuranosuke, Koyuki, Harada Toshio, Kishibe Ittoku, Takenouchi Yutaka, Saiki Shigeru, Matsushige Yutaka etc.
Official website: here

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kuroki Meisa & Nakamura Shido deny that they are an item

Kuroki Meisa & Nakamura Shido have denied that they are an item in response to a report that they have been dating for a month. Kuroki's agency said that there is no truth in the report while Nakamura told his agency that Kuroki is just a friend.

Meanwhile, it is known that Kuroki had broken up with her boyfriend KEN who is part of the music producer unit 2SOUL. Apparently, it is said that their relationship ended in August partly due to the fact that they have been living in different countries for a long period of time. KEN is now living in New York on a long-term basis.

Shiina Kippei & Yamamoto Mirai to be parents next spring

Shiina Kiipei and Yamamoto Mirai are going to be parents, come spring next year, 6 years after they got married. Yamamoto is currently 5 months' pregnant and currently appearing in the FujiTV drama "Otomen" where she plays Okada Masaki's mother.

Shiina and Yamamoto had got to know each other in 1995 through working on the TV Asahi drama, "BLACK OUT" and got married in September 2003 after 8 years of courtship. The couple had got to know about the pregnancy in early summer. Yamamoto will decide when to start her maternity break depending on her condition.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nakamura Shido and Kuroki Meisa rumoured to be dating

Nakamura Shido (37) and Kuroki Meisa (21) are rumoured to be dating according to a report by Sports Hochi on 20 Sep 09. The two had worked together in a play titled "Akai Shiro Kuroi Suna" in April this year and are said to be dating for less than 1 month.

Nakamura was previously married to Takeuchi Yuko and their divorce had been finalized in February last year. Since then, he was romantically linked to his ex-girlfriend Shinohara Tomoe and was also caught on a date with Suzuki Sawa. However, Nakamura has never admitted that he was seeing either of them. This time round, it was said that he told his friends about this relationship and was even seen beside Kuroki at a party recently.

As for Kuroki, she was previously linked to a musician KEN who resides in New York when a magazine caught them on an overnight date in May 2008. During an event to commemorate the release of her photobook in July, Kuroki said that she did not give a copy of the photobook to KEN and hoped that he would buy it himself. However, it is said that the relationship ended soon after this.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tsuchiya Anna to get married for the 2nd time and currently pregnant for 3 months

Actress-singer-model Tsuchiya Anna is going to marry her boyfriend of 2 years soon and she is currently 3-months' pregnant. Her boyfriend, A is 3 years older than her and has been working with Tsuchiya for many years. According to insiders, A is a famous figure in the fashion industry for his fashion sense and good looks.

Tsuchiya was briefly married to Joshua, a model whom she had been seeing since she was a teenager. They had a son Sukai in Nov 2004 before they parted ways in Jul 2006. Joshua suddenly passed away in May 2008 due to heart failure. Ever since then, Tsuchiya has enjoyed immense popularity as a single mother who is stylish and talented. She started dating A about 2 years ago and her son is very close to him as well. The trio had been seen going out for meals as reported in June this year by a women's magazine.

Although Tsuchiya and her husband are going to submit their marriage application soon, they have no plans for a wedding. Tsuchiya is due to give birth in spring next year but she will still continue with her activities except for live performances, CM and modelling work.

Top 10 most fashionable female artistes (Oricon)

1) Becky

2) YOU

3) Kimura Kaera

4) Hisamoto Masami

5) Marie

6) aiko

7) Hamasaki Ayumi

8) Masuwaka Tsubasa

9) Rika

10) Ayase Haruka

Friday, September 18, 2009

Top 10 most fashionable male artistes (Oricon)

1) Domoto Tsuyoshi (KinKi Kids)

2) Kimura Takuya (SMAP)

3) Aiba Masaki (Arashi)

4) Satou Takeru

5) Fukuyama Masaharu

6) Eita

7) Odagiri Jo

8) Kamiji Yuusuke

9) Matsumoto Jun (Arashi)

10) Narimiya Hiroki / Mizushima Hiro

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sakai Noriko released on bail 40 days after her surrender / Apology Press Conference

Sakai Noriko was released on bail today at 4.30pm after spending the past 40 days in custody at the Wangan Police Station ever since she surrendered herself for possession and consumption of stimulants. Although the police gave permission for her to post bail for 5 million yen, the amount was only fully paid today after half of the money was handed to the police earlier. When she left the police station, she apologized for causing disturbance and problems to everyone who had supported her. However, she did not respond to any of the questions shouted by the media who had gathered outside the police station. Sakai was dressed in a black pant suit and her hair was dyed brown. It was also obvious that she had put on a bit of weight compared to the time when she was interviewed in early July.

Subsequently, Sakai held a press conference at 6.30pm in an event hall located in a hotel within Chiyoda where she was accompanied by her lawyer, the boss of her ex-agency, Sun Music which had fired her when news of her being charged were made known and the boss of Victor Entertainment. As her case is due to be heard on 26 Oct, she did not answer any of the questions from the media and apologized for what she has done while choking back tears. Her husband Takasou Yuichi was released yesterday and his case will be heard on 21 Oct. However, due to the nature of their cases, Sakai and Takasou cannot have any contact with each other until the trials are over.

The following is what Sakai said during her apology press conference:

"This time, as a member of society, as a human being, I turned to drugs which is something which I shouldn't have done. I lost to the weakness within me and caused a lot of disturbance and trouble for the society at large, many people who are related to me and those who have supported me. I feel so sorry towards everyone and cannot imagine the amount of scorn and contempt that people will feel towards me as a result of my actions.

I do not know how I should repent for my actions. I promise never to cause such an incident again, never to touch drugs again and wish to atone for my mistakes by keeping this promise througout my lifetime. I know very well that the mistakes I made would have resulted in everyone losing faith in me. It will be very difficult for everyone to trust me again. However, I hope to change myself by constantly reminding myself of the regret experienced through this incident and would work hard to realize this goal.

I am very thankful to the people who have provided me with lots of support. I will never betray the trust from these people by not making the same mistakes again. I hope to change my mindset by listening to the advice of everyone as I make new steps to change myself. I am very sorry to all the fans and staff who have supported me to date."

Sakai's lawyer then made the following comments about Sakai's plans before the trial begins. Sakai will be checking into a hospital for psychological treatment right after the press conference. Her stepmother is rumoured to be staying in the same hospital undergoing treatment for lung cancer. He also called upon the media not to concentrate on sensationalizing the matter and to give Sakai and her family members some living space.

Utada Hikaru dating a Japanese artist 8 years her senior

Utada Hikaru admitted that she is dating a Japanese artist through her blog after the report on her relationship was published in "Jousei Jishin". She mentioned that since she is dating a person who is not in showbiz, she hopes that fans will not think too much about that report. Besides, she had admitted earlier through an US magazine interview and appearances on radio shows that she is seeing someone thus she is puzzled as to why the report about her boyfriend came out at this time. She even wondered if the reporters had run out of gossip thus leading to her being targeted this time.

According to insiders, Utada is said to be dating an artist specializing in Japanese paintings, Fukuda Tenjin who is 8 years older than her. He is said to be an up-and-coming new style artist who even draws motifs for Tibet's Buddhist temples. The magazine reported that Utada and Fukuda have been seeing each other for about a year and they were seen on dates at an art museum and cycling together.

Utada was married to movie director Kiriya Kazuaki for 5 years until March 2007 and has been out of the public eye since she fell ill in May when her album was released.

Sakaguchi Kenji dating model Sakurai Yumi?

Sakaguchi Kenji(33) is said to be dating popular model Sakurai Yumi(28) according to the 17th Sep issue of "Jousei Seven". The magazine revealed that Sakaguchi drove to Sakurai's apartment in Shibuya to pick her up where they subsequently went to a sushi restaurant in Minato. After that, they spent the night in a hotel and was caught hugging several times when they left the hotel on the following day.

Sakurai is a fashion model who constantly appears in magazines like "JJ" and "CLASSY". The two were said to have known each other through friends as they are both into surfing.

Sakaguchi's agency said that they will leave things to him since this is his private matter while Sakurai's agency said that they have not heard anything from her thus is not in a position to comment.

EXILE to sing the theme song for "Tokyo DOGS"

EXILE will be singing the theme song for FujiTV's autumn Gekku drama, "Tokyo DOGS" which begins its run in October. The song titled "Futatsu no Kuchibiru" (Two Lips) is written by the group through a discussion among the members and is due to be released in November. This is the second time which an EXILE song has been used for a Gekku drama, following their debut single, "Yours eyes only ~ Aimai na Boku no Rinkaku" for the 2001 drama, "Dekichatta Kekkon". The song will be produced by Matsuo Kiyoshi who was also responsible for their hit single "Ti Amo" last year. Besides the theme song, EXILE will also be responsible for the insert songs used as BGM for the action scenes in the drama.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yamashita Tomohisa dating model Kagami Seira?

Yamashita Tomohisa is said to be dating model Kagami Seira who is 2 years younger than him and of mixed ancestry. Kagami has a Canadian father and a Japanese mother. They are said to have been dating for 3 months.

Kagami made her debut as a model when she was 12 and came to know Yamashita through a common friend early this year. They are said to have entered a relationship just before summer. Yamashita was also spotted at Kagami's live event in July thus leading to news of their relationship leaking out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Top 10 movies ranking (13 Sep 09)

1) 20 Seiki shounen Saishusho Bokura no Hata

2) Wolverine: X-MEN ZERO

3) BALLAD Na mo naki Koi no Uta

4) Katen no Shiro

5) Symbol

6) The Taking of Pelham 123


8) Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince

9) Killer Virgin Road

10) Summer Wars

Monday, September 14, 2009

Team Batista no Eikou SP

FujiTV will show the SP sequel to the drama series, "Team Batista no Eikou" which is titled "Team Batista no Eikou Nightingale no Chinmoku" (The Glory of the Batista Team - The Silence of the Nightingale) on 9 October at 9pm. The drama series was shown in October last year and features the combination of Taguchi (Itou Atsushi) as a psychology therapist working with Ministry of Health official Shiratori (Nakamura Toru) again. This time round, Yamada Yu, a new addition to the cast, will play Hamada Sayo, a nurse working in the paediatrics department who holds the key to the case which Taguchi and Shiratori are investigating.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Review of Mr.Brain Ep 2

Please be warned beforehand that there are some spoilers in this review so if you have not watched this episode, you may wish to skip this post.

Compared to the first episode's story, I prefer the case presented in Ep 2. There were some loopholes here and there e.g. why nobody detected the conspiracy between the policemen who covered what they did. During questioning, it is always common to see someone monitoring the interrogation from another room while the duo who do the work itself are talking to the suspect. As such, I found it strange that the duo had a chance to negotiate a deal with Takegami Teijirou (Gackt) without anyone's knowledge. In addition, it just makes no sense that a junior level staff can hack into the system to change fingerprint records where there should be multiple levels of security to guard against such actions. A password protected system is not sufficient especially when it comes to such an important amendment to the database.

Nonetheless, it was still interesting to see how the people at IPS managed to reconstruct the actual happenings from past evidence. Goes to show how advances in technology can really help in nabbing criminals. However, it also brings to mind another question. Although the police can say that technology wasn't to their favour years ago, the sloppiness displayed during investigation showed that the attitude towards handling of cases leaves much to be desired. With the best technology but with a slipshod way of doing things, there is only so much that science can help in investigations. And that is probably Takegami could manage to manipulate people even though he was behind bars and on death row.

Gackt did a pretty good job this time although his character had very little airtime. Compared to the other guest star Koyuki, I'm sure most people would agree that Gackt made a stronger impression on viewers. All along, Gackt has been very secretive about his private life. Maybe it's because of this secrecy factor which makes Gackt very hard to fathom. And this lends credibility to his potrayal of a maniac killer who seems to have no logic in his actions. It does get really gross when the scenes about Takegami feasting on his victims are shown but Gackt did look the part. It is by no means easy to do this but on the other hand, I can't help wondering if this mystique air will be an obstacle for Gackt if he has to take on an "ordinary" man role in future. Nonetheless, good job this time by Gackt!

I still don't like Kimura's hairstyle and I really think his stylist or whoever came up with this image should reconsider why Tsukumo must take on this style. It makes me cringe everytime I see Kimura on screen. I don't wish to discuss too much about Kimura's performance for now and would like to reflect on this at the end of the drama. I must say that I am not too impressed at the moment though. There isn't much novelty to distinguish Tsukumo from the past Kimura roles.

However, I think his pairing with Ayase Haruka is rather good. It was rumoured that Ayase was specially picked by Kimura to be his partner this time since they worked well together in HERO. Ayase's role Yuri Kazune may be fooled all the time by Tsukumo but the bantering between the two of them is enjoyable to watch which speaks volumes about their chemistry. When it's time for them to get serious, they work well together too. I just hope the scriptwriter doesn't "force" them to get romantically involved. It would be better to keep the relationship between them platonic or else this drama might evolve into another soppy love story. Do take notice of the little anime clips appearing in each episode where Tsukumo explains some neurology theory. The chibi-characters of Tsukumo and Yuri are quite cute to look at and makes the difficult concepts easier to understand.

Talking about Koyuki's involvement in this drama, I can't really say that she did badly. Her performance was as usual to a certain standard but there wasn't anything too spectacular about her role. And it was so easy to guess that she was not as innocent as she seemed. A damsel in distress? You would be greatly mistaken if you think of her role Miyase Kumiko in this way. Usually in such detective/investigative dramas, it's easy to guess who is the culprit because he/she is usually played by a well-known actor/actress. And of course since Koyuki was in the drama, it was highly unlikely that her role would be limited to a victim's fiancee. As such, it was quite easy to see through her even before she was said to be suspicious by Tsukumo.

The 2nd episode managed to salvage the waning interest I had for this drama but it is too early to say if I will grow to like this drama in the end. The trailer in the 3rd episode features Kamenashi Kazuya and Aibu Saki. The media was making a big hoo-ha over Kamenashi's appearance in this drama but frankly speaking, I'm not keen about his onscreen collaboration with Kimura. Like what I said previously, big names or those who attract attention may be selected to appear as guests but the story must be able to stand on its own. If not, all the big stars would not be able to save a sinking plot and end up as ratings poison. I'll wait and see how Ep 3 turns out then.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Inohara Yoshihiko (V6) and Seto Asaka going to be parents next spring

V6's Inohara Yoshihiko and Seto Asaka announced through a fax to the media that they are going to be parents next spring. Seto is currently 4 months' pregnant with their first child. The couple got married in September 2007. The couple mentioned that they were so happy to hear about the pregnancy and look forward to starting a new chapter in their lives next spring with their baby.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Waga Ie no Rekishi - Our Family's History (Drama SP)

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of FujiTV, there will be a drama SP written by Mitani Koki titled "Waga Ie no Rekishi" (Our Family's History) to be shown during spring next year over 3 consecutive nights. The story is set in the turbulent era of1945 to 1964 and features the Yame family's story after WWII ended. This drama SP will be the last of 5 works made to celebrate FujiTV's 50th anniversary.

The Yame family is headed by Nishida Toshiyuki and Fuji Sumiko and they have 5 children namely played by Shibasaki Kou, Matsumoto Jun, Sato Ryuuta, Horikita Maki and Eikura Nana. Other supporting cast members include big names like Sato Koichi, Nagasawa Masami, Ooizumi Yo and Amami Yuki.

Eita and Kimura Kaera dating

According to the 10 Sep issue of "Jousei Jishin", Eita and Kimura Kaera are said to be dating. The magazine reported that Eita took part in the Montreal World Film Festival for his movie "Dear Doctor" from 31 Aug and returned to Japan on 5 Sep. Right after he touched down, he drove to pick up Kaera before returning home with her. It was said that Kaera spent the night at Eita's place.

Eita was previously linked to Yamazaki Mami in July when they were said to have gone for a meal together. As for Kaera, she was said to be close to getting married to RIP SLYME's SU but apparently they had already broken up.

With regards to this report, Eita's agency admitted that the two of them are an item. Eita had informed his agency previously about his relationship with Kaera and said that they got to know each other through a friend and started dating at the end of August. Kaera's agency also said that the two of them are in a serious relationship.

Top 10 female artistes with the most beautiful small faces (Oricon)

1) Amuro Namie (Winner for 3 years in a row)

2) Konishi Manami

3) Koyuki

4) Koizumi Kyoko

5) Eikura Nana

6) Miyazaki Aoi

7) Kitagawa Keiko

8) Mizuki Arisa

9) Ueto Aya

10) Kimura Kaera

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kamiji Yuusuke to act in "Gine ~ Sanfujinka no Onna Tachi"

Kamiji Yuusuke will act in the NTV autumn drama, "Gine ~ Sanfujinka no Onna Tachi" as a newbie gynae whose mentor is played by Fujiwara Norika. As his mentor is a cold and unfeeling person, he gets treated harshly by her. On the other hand, as he is good at his work, he starts to get complacent about his knowledge and skills. Kamiji mentioned that he finds the medical terms difficult to understand so he has to put in extra effort to learn the concepts before he can put up a convincing performance. In addition, he dyed his hair black for this role so as to look more professional.

Top 10 movies ranking (6 Sep 09)

1) 20 Seiki Shounen Saishusho Bokura no Hata

2) BALLAD Na mo naki Koi no Uta

3) The Taking of Pelham 123

4) Night Museum 2

5) Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

6) HACHI Yakusoku no Inu

7) Summer Wars

8) Gekijouban Kamen Rider Decade All Riders vs. Dai Shocker

9) Gekijouban Pocket Monster Diamond & Pearl

10) Amalfi Megami no Houshuu

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rinjou DVD Box

Title: Rinjou DVD Box
Price: 19,950 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 21 November 09
Total number of discs: 5
Total running time: 450 minutes
Produced by: TOEI COMPANY, LTD.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sayonara ga Ienakute - TV Asahi Drama SP

Tanimura Mitsuki stars in the upcoming TV Asahi drama SP, "Sayonara ga Ienakute" (Can't say goodbye) which is due to be shown on 18 September 09 at 8pm and based on a true story. She plays a young girl, Nao who is addicted to stimulants and tries hard to stop her addiction with the help of Terawaki Yasufumi's role, Mizutani Osamu who is an education expert reaching out to youths in trouble as he walks around streets at night. At the same time, Nao has to resolve conflicts with her mother played by Katahira Nagisa.

At the preview session on 6 Sep, cast members talked about the filming process in spring and expressed surprise at the extent of the problem in showbiz especially after the arrests of Sakai Noriko and Oshio Manabu. Tanimura mentioned that her character Nao uses syringes to consume stimulants and she had to display the withdrawal symptoms so as to show the extent of the addiction and the side effects. Nao tries to cure herself by sending a letter to Mizutani and asks for help. In preparation for the role, Tanimura visited a rehabilitation centre and found that a lot of the addicts led ordinary lives before they got addicted. As such, she feels that it is important to spread the message of staying away from drugs especially to youths in the same age group as her.

Terawaki commented that they had not expected the issue to be so widespread when filming was done in April. He stressed that the problem is isolated to a small group of people and hoped that people will not get the wrong impression that the entertainment circle is flooded with people who do drugs. In addition, it is important for viewers to note that sympathy and love alone may not solve the problem so there may be a need for drastic measures in order to help addicts break their addiction.

Majo Saiban DVD Box

Title: Majo Saiban DVD Box
Price: 19,950 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 11 November 09
Total number of discs: 6
Total running time: 350 minutes
Produced by: TC Entertainment
1st press premium: SP Booklet
Special footage: Production press conference, end-of-filming, unrevealed scenes, CM Collection and Pre-OA SP

Sunday, September 06, 2009

MW Chapter 0 Akuma no Game DVD

Title: MW Chapter 0 Akuma no Game DVD
Price: 3,990 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 23 October 09
Total number of discs: 1
Produced by: Amuse Software Entertainment
Special footage: Behind-the-scenes

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Meitantei no Okite DVD Box

Title: Meitantei no Okite DVD Box
Price: 19,950 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 21 October 09
Total number of discs: 5
Total running time: 450 minutes
Produced by: Warner Home Video
Special footage: Making-of, NG collection and end-of-filming collection
Premium: Booklet
1st press premium: Card used for digital premiums

Friday, September 04, 2009

Reigo Shitsu no Kyaku - Autumn 2009

Johnny's Jimusho artistes will be appearing on a monthly rotational basis in the FujiTV mini drama "Zerogo Shitsu no Kyaku" (The Guest in Room Zero) which starts from 23 October 09 at 1.05am on Fridays. The drama will stretch for half a year and Yokoyama Yu will be the storyteller to explain the development of events. The drama is set in a hotel named "POINT" and there is a Room Zero where a person's worth can be assessed. First to appear will be Ohno Satoshi from Arashi who plays a salaryman visiting the room with a hostess. His story will span 4 episodes. Subsequently, Kanjani 8's Maruyama Ryuuhei and Yasuda Shota will appear together followed by Kato Shigeaki from NEWS, Murakami Shingo from Kanjani 8, Koyama Keiichiro from NEWS and finally Joushima Shigeru from TOKIO. Each story will span 3 to 5 episodes.

Gynae ~ Sanfujinka no Onna Tachi - Autumn 2009

Fujiwara Norika, Itaya Yuuka and Matsushita Yuki will be starring in the NTV autumn drama, "Gine ~ Sanfujinka no Onna Tachi" (Gynae ~ The Women in the Gynaecology Department) which begins in October. This is the first time that Fujiwara is playing a gynaecologist and her character is a cold and serious woman who only cares about saving the lives of the mothers and babies but clashes with the people around her during the process. In preparation for the role, Fujiwara sought the permission of a mother to witness the Caesarean birth of her child and realized that it was a tense process as the medical staff tried to ensure the safety of both mother and child. As such, she could finally understand the rationale of her character's thinking even though she admitted that she was shocked that her character was someone who doesn't even say thank you to people.

Smile DVD Box

Title: Smile DVD Box
Price: 23,940 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 7 October 2009
Total number of discs: 6
Total running time: 520 minutes
Produced by: TC Entertainment
1st press premium: Pink pig keyholder and letters from Hana
Special footage: Filming behind-the scenes, production press conference, interviews, non-credits title back, CM collection

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Orthros no Inu's Episode 7 to be delayed and replaced with an emergency SP

The following is translated from the official website of "Orthros no Inu" and posted by the staff of this drama:

We are grateful for the support shown for our drama and wish to thank all the viewers.

The 7th episode of "Orthros no Inu" originally scheduled to be shown on 4 Sep will be replaced with "Orthros no Inu - Emergency Live Broadcast SP". Cast members Takizawa Hideaki and Mizukawa Asami will be appearing live during the programme.

Nishikido Ryou is scheduled to return to filming on 4 Sep thus we will look into the possibility of letting him appear live on the show too.

As the O.A. schedule of the future episodes is now being discussed, we will announce this once the decision has been made.

Nishikido and Yamashita on the road to recovery

According to Johnny's Jimusho, Nishikido Ryou and Yamashita Tomohisa are currently on the road to recovery and their temperatures have gone back to normal. However, they would need to be isolated for at least another 2 days even if they are no longer having the fever. As such, it is unclear when they can go back to work. At the moment, both FujiTV and TBS are planning to make changes to the next O.A. of "Buzzer Beat" and "Orthros no Inu" since filming wasn't completed for the both of them. In the meantime, filming of the other cast members will be done first before the two of them return.

BOSS Original Soundtrack

Title: BOSS Original Soundtrack
Price: 3,150 yen (inclusive of tax)
Total number of discs: 1
Date of release: 3 June 2009
Produced by: Warner Music Japan
Total running time: 78 minutes

Track List:

1. BaNG!! (music:澤野弘之)
2. 80$$ (music:澤野弘之)
3. Surprise Attacker (music:和田貴史)
4. Pleasantly (music:林ゆうき)
5. New Type,New Faces (music:和田貴史)
6. ASAP (music:林ゆうき)
7. Secret of Criminal (music:和田貴史)
8. Insanity (music:林ゆうき)
9. Blue Carpet Melody (music:和田貴史)
10. Licht (music:澤野弘之)
11. GtPfEp (music:澤野弘之)
12. investigation (music:林ゆうき)
13. Perfect Work (music:和田貴史)
14. Wind Chant (music:林ゆうき)
15. The Murderer (music:和田貴史)
16. Rise (music:林ゆうき)
17. Reality or Magic (music:和田貴史)
18. Heresy (music:林ゆうき)
19. Fire the Hidden Talent ! (music:和田貴史)
20. Moon Bow (music:林ゆうき)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

20th Century Boys' movie adaptation Part II Blu-Ray Disc breaks sales records

The Blu-Ray Disc version of "20 Seiki Shounen - Chapter 2 - Saigo no Kibou" released on 28 August 09 by VAP broke DVD sales records as announced in Oricon's latest DVD / Blu-Ray Disc charts dated 7 September. The title's BD version sold 7,717 copies between the period of 24 August to 30 August thus breaking the highest record for Japanese Blu-Ray Disc movie releases so-far (not taking anime releases into consideration). The previous record holder was a related title, "20 Seiki Shounen - Chapter 1 - Owari no Hajimari" which sold 7,251 copies. As for the DVD version, 32,000 copies of the normal version and 12,000 copies of the deluxe version have been sold so far, thus making "20 Seiki Shounen" the No.1 title on the weekly DVD charts.

More details on Nishikido and Yamapi's conditions

Nishikido Ryou and Yamashita Tomohisa have been isolated at home following the confirmation that they have contracted H1N1 (Type A Influenza). In response to this sudden development, many people are now in a frenzy trying to contain the infection as the duo had been in contact with many people especially during the weekend when they took part in NTV's "24 Jikan Terebi" charity show.

Nishikido was the first to show signs of H1N1. In the morning of 30 Aug, he was already feeling feverish when he appeared at NTV's "24 Jikan Terebi" with his fellow members from NEWS. Upon checking his temperature, it was 38 degrees so he headed to the hospital for the H1N1 test which turned out to be negative. On that day, he went back to work after being put on the drip. Things took a sudden turn the next day when Nishikido turned up at the Midoriyama Studio to take part in the filming of "Orthros no Inu". He complained of feeling chilly and tested his temperature again. As he had a high temperature of 39 degrees, his manager drove him to a hospital and did the H1N1 test again. This time round, he was tested positive. As Nishikido went straight to his resting room when he reached the studio that day, he did not come into contact with any of the staff or cast members. To prevent the spread of the infection, Nishikido's manager is also isolated at home for the time being while TBS steps up its precautionary measures by providing handwash and reminding the crew to be more alert to their own health conditions.

On the other hand, Yamashita was still fine on 31 August when he turned up for filming of "Buzzer Beat". Suddenly, he started to feel feverish on 1 Sep and found that he had a high temperature of 38.2 degrees. He was then tested positive for H1N1 at the hospital. FujiTV announced that they cancelled the filming on 2 Sep and will adjust the other cast members' schedules before resuming the filming.

As both of them hold significant roles in their dramas and it is unknown how long they would take to recover, NTV and FujiTV are looking into delaying the OA of the dramas since they had not finished filming the parts for both of them in the next episodes.

NEWS was involved in the "24 Jikan Terebi" event at Tokyo Big Site where about 5000 people gathered. A lot of them were fans of NEWS and spent up to 8 hours at the place. Even though this was an outdoor venue, there is worry that the infection may have spread due to the large number of people gathered due to the weekend.

At the moment, Johnny's Jimusho has made all of its artistes wear masks and are closely monitoring whether anyone else is showing signs of influenza. The other members of NEWS are said to be fine at the moment.

Nishikido Ryou & Yamashita Tomohisa diagnosed as confirmed cases of H1N1 (Type A Influenza)

Johnny's Jimusho sent a fax to members of the press announcing that two of their artistes i.e. Nishikido Ryou and Yamashita Tomohisa (both from NEWS) are down with influenza and have been diagnosed as confirmed cases of H1N1 (otherwise known as Type A Influenza). They were diagnosed separately on 31 Aug and 1 Nov. Under orders by the doctors, the duo have been ordered to stay at home to recuperate and all their work activities have been stopped.

According to TBS, Nishikido has not filmed any of his scenes for the 7th episode of "Orthros no Inu" which is due to be shown this Friday. He had complained about feeling unwell before the filming session on 31 August thus had taken leave to go to the hospital. As such, TBS is looking into how they may handle this crisis while monitoring Nishikido's condition. Yamashita is also involved in the drama "Buzzer Beat" as its lead character but it is still unknown how FujiTV will handle this problem.


Title: BOSS DVD Box
Price: 23,940 yen (inclusive of tax)
Date of release: 21 October 09
Total number of discs: 7
Produced by: Pony Canyon
Total running time: 540 minutes
Special footage: Behind-the-scenes and the SP aired before the first OA
Premium: BOSS Original Keyholder in the design of handcuffs

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Mr.Brain DVD Box

Title: Mr.Brain DVD Box
Price: 19,950 yen
Date of release: 30 September 2009
Total number of discs: 6
Total running time: 489 minutes
Produced by: TC Entertainment
Special footage includes: 148 minutes of SP Making, Interviews of the cast, Production press conference, Promotional CMs, Navigation of MR.BRAIN, End-of-filming footage, Celebration party video
Premium: Leaflet