Thursday, May 31, 2012

Romaji lyrics of Your Eyes by Arashi (Theme song of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri)

Title: Your Eyes
Artiste: Arashi
Theme song of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri

kimi no yasashisa ga kikoete kuru yo
sono hitomi shinjite itsumade mo...

kono hoshi no ue jibun hitori ga
dare yori mo kodoku datte
samayou kimi ni eien wo kanjiterunda
dakara boku wa kimi no soba ni

ano hi no kizu ga ima mo iezu
kimi wa tachi tomatta mama Oh
nani mo dekizu sora wo miageta
nijinda keshiki ga koboreteku

kimi no yasashisa ga kikoete kuru yo

sono hitomi wo shinjiteiru kara
namida hitotsubu sono tenohira ni ochite
arai nagashite yuku atarashii yoake

moshimo ano toki kangaete mitatte
ima ga kawaru wake janakute
kimi no shojiki na kimochi wo koko made
todoke yo boku wa koko ni iru

kurayami no naka demo nakute
kimi wa toho ni kureteta Oh
nigirishimeta nukumori sae mo
kaze ga doko ka e tsure satteku

wasurenai hitomi de kawashita kotoba
sou itami mo todoite iru kara
nani mo motazu ni umarete kita hazusa
asahi ga furi sosogu hajimari no Light

itsu no mani ka ushinai kaketa
shinjiru tsuyosa wo omoi dashite
komi ageru koudou ga ima
kimi no fukai tokoro ni hibiite iru

dare mo inai daichi no hate de
sekai ga shizuka ni ugoki dasu

wasurenai hitomi de kawashita kotoba

sou itami mo todoite iru kara
kimi no yasashisa ga kikoete kuru yo

sono hitomi wo shinjiteiru kara
namida hitotsubu sono tenohira ni ochite
arai nagashite yuku atarashii yoake

hajimari no Light

Yamada Yu in NTV summer drama "VISION Koroshi ga mieru onna"

Yamada Yu will be starring in the NTV summer drama "VISION Koroshi ga mieru onna" (The woman who can see a murder) starting on 5 July on Thursdays at 11.58pm. This is her first leading role in a drama and also her first appearance in a drama since getting married to Oguri Shun on 14 March.

Yamada plays an unpopular model who suddenly finds herself being able to see visions of murder crime scenes and helps a police detective on leave (Kaneko Nobuaki) to solve the cases. The story is written by Iida Joji. Other cast members include Katsumura Masanobu who plays the manager of Yamada's character's modelling agency.

Source: Sports Hochi

Eikura Nana to star in TBS summer drama "Yoru no Jokyoushi"

Eikura Nana will be starring in TBS summer drama "Yoru no Jokyoushi" (Female Teacher of the Night) starting in July on Fridays at 10pm. This is her first role as a teacher. Eikura plays an ordinary chemistry teacher in a senior high school during the daytime but changes into an "evil teacher" at night to resolve various problems in the education system such as drug abuse, teen prostitution and bullying by resorting to drastic measures which are contrary to what's expected of a teacher. The drama is based on Yamashita Tomohiro's winning work during the 2008 TBS drama/scenario award and also features co-stars such as Ichikawa Miwako, Kobayashi Satomi and Kimura Fumino.

Source: Sports Hochi
Well, I'm not entirely convinced that Eikura can handle the two extremes and how evil she can be but I may just check out the first episode for the sake of Kobayashi Satomi who I've not seen her in a drama for some time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Press conference of 2013 Taiga drama "Yae no Sakura"

The press conference of 2013 Taiga drama "Yae no Sakura" was held on 30 May at NHK Broadcasting Centre which main cast members Ayase Haruka, Hasegawa Hiroki, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Gouriki Ayame, Hasegawa Kyoko, Nishida Toshiyuki, Matsushige Yutaka, Kudo Asuka, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, Kuroki Meisa, Ayano Go, Inamori Izumi, Tamayama Tetsuji, Saito Takumi and Nakamura Shido attended. Fubuki Jun and Kitamura Yukiya were absent from the event. The drama is scheduled to start filming this summer and will begin its run for a year from January 2013.

"Yae no Sakura" features Ayase as the lead character Niijima Yae, a woman born in the Aizu area of Fukushima Prefecture during the Bakumatsu period who fought during the Boshin war in the Meiji era. After the Meiji Restoration, she became the first nurse who volunteered to help injured soldiers during the First Sino-Japanese war and the Russo-Japanese wars at the frontline. Yae's brother Yamamoto Kakuma will be played by Nishijima while her first husband Kawasaki Shounosuke will be played by Hasegawa Hiroki. Gouriki will act as Yae's childhood friend Hyuga Yuki who is six years younger than her while Kuroki Meisa will be playing Nakano Takeko who is good at everything and a rival of Yae. Kuroki will be giving birth to her first child this autumn so she is expected to join the filming after that. Nishida will be playing Saigo Tanomo, the chief retainer of the Aizu Domain while Matsushige will be Yae's father Yamamoto Gonpachi and Fubuki as Saku, Yae's mother. Hasegawa Kyoko will act as Kakuma's wife Ura while Yae's younger brother is played by Kudo Asuka.
Source: Oricon

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 30 May 12

Coincidentally, the four dramas which aired on Monday and Tuesday all had a significant jump in their ratings especially Legal High which shot up by 2.6%.

Hanchou 5 Ep 8 - 12.2%
Kagi no kakatta Heya Ep 7 - 16.1%
Legal High Ep 7 - 14.2%
37-sai de Isha ni natta boku Ep 8 - 14.0%

And with these results, Kagi and 37-sai currently have a lead of over 0.5% over their nearest competitors for top spot and No.3 i.e. ATARU and Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri.

Mukai Osamu rumoured to be dating Harada Natsuki?

Josei Jishin reported that Mukai Osamu and Harada Natsuki were spotted on a date at around 10pm in April. The article mentioned that the two were with another female friend at a famous yakiniku restaurant and the ladies were seated opposite Mukai. It was said that they didn't appear bothered by the gazes from other customers in the restaurant and were enjoying themselves while feasting and drinking until past midnight. The group then left together in a taxi.

Mukai and Harada first worked together in the 2008 FujiTV drama "Hachimitsu to Clover" where Mukai played Mayama Takumi and Harada played his schoolmate Yamada Ayumi who has been holding a torch for him but he is in love with a widow who lost her husband during a traffic accident. They were actually acquaintances before that since they both attended Meiji University but Mukai was her senior.
Reports of them being seen on dates started coming out during 2011's Golden Week and since then, they have been reported to be an item from time to time. This is the first time they were caught by the media together. Nonetheless, Harada denied on 29 May that they are dating and says that they are just good friends.

Source: Josei Jishin

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nakatani Miki to appear in "Beautiful Rain"

Nakatani Miki will join Toyokawa Etsushi and Ashida Mana in FujiTV's summer drama "Beautiful Rain" which marks the first time in 10 years since she acted in a drama from the TV station. Nakatani made her debut in 1993's "Hitotsu Yane no Shita" and was the lead actress in 2002's "Renai Hensachi".

Toyokawa plays Keisuke, a father who has to raise his daughter Miu (Ashida) alone after his wife passed away but finds himself down with Alzheimer's disease at a relatively young age. Nakatani acts as Akane whose father owns the factory that Keisuke works in and becomes drawn to him despite her being poor at interacting with others.

Nakatani and Toyokawa last worked together in the 2006 movie "LOFT" while Ashida had appeared in "Hankyuu Densha" with Nakatani Miki which was screened in April last year.

Source: Sanspo

Monday, May 28, 2012

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 28 May 12

Here are the ratings of dramas shown from Wednesday to Sunday:

ATARU Ep 7 - 13.5% (drop of 3.9%)
Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose Ep 6 - 8.4% (drop of 0.6%)
Toshi Densetsu no Onna Ep 7 - 8.2% (drop of 1.3%)
Kazoku no Uta Ep 7 - 4.1% (increase of 0.3%)
Mirai Nikki Ep 6 - 6.6% (drop of 0.4%)
Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri Ep 7 - 10.2% (drop of 2.2%)
W no Higeki Ep 5 - 8.3% (drop of 0.2%)
Papadoru Ep 5 - 7.1% (drop of 0.9%)
Kaeru no Oujosama Ep 7 - 7.4% (drop of 1.8%)
Answer Ep 6 - 9.8% (increase of 0.7%)
Cleopatra na Onnatachi Ep 6 - 7.9% (increase of 0.3%)

ATARU's big tumble is surprising and I can't think of any significant reason for this. Looks like Kagi will get to keep its No.1 position for another week. Mikeneko also dropped by more than 2% which will make it more difficult for it to get back its No.3 position.

Kazoku no Uta must have benefitted from the curiousity following the announcement of a premature end to its run like what had happened to Cleopatra. Wonder if it will be sustainable until the end of its run in early June though...

Maruyama Ryuhei as lead actor in summer drama "Boys on the run"

Kanjani 8's Maruyama Ryuhei will be starring in his first leading role for the TV Asahi summer drama "Boys on the run" which starts in July in the Friday 11.15pm timeslot. The story is based on the same-titled manga where Maruyama plays Tanishi Toshiyuki, a 27-year-old man who has never dated and is poor at his work but aims to change his current situation. Co-stars include Taira Airi, Saito Takumi, KAT-TUN's Ueda Tatsuya and Jinnai Takanori.

Source: Sanspo

Abe Sadao & Kanno Miho in movie "Kiseki no Ringo"

Abe Sadao and Kanno Miho star in the movie "Kiseki no Ringo" (The Miracle Apple) which is due to be shown next year. The two have been in Hirosaki City in Aomori Prefecture for the filming which started from 25th April in order to get used to using the Tsugaru dialect. The movie is about an apple farmer from Hirosaki, Kimura Akinori who grew the world's first organic apple after trying for 11 years. Abe plays the role of Kimura while Kanno plays his wife and this movie marks the first time they are working together.

Source: Sanspo

Eguchi Yosuke & Takei Emi in "Iki mo dekinai natsu"

Eguchi Yosuke and Takei Emi will be starring in the FujiTV summer drama "Iki mo dekinai natsu" (Breathless Summer) which will start in July and be shown in its Tuesdays 9pm timeslot. Takei plays a 19-year-old who aspires to be a patissier and happens to find out that her mother never reported her birth to the authorities thus resulting her being not registered on her mother's family register. Having to cope with the shock of finding out the truth, she also falls in love with a 41-year-old former reporter (Eguchi) who now works as a part-time employee in the city office to repent for a past incident. The two support each other through the tough circumstances and help each other get over the challenges facing them.

This is the second time that the two are working together as they both appear in the upcoming movie "Rurouni Kenshin" due to be shown from 25 August. Filming for this drama will begin in early June.
As for the remaining cast members, Kimura Yoshino will play Takei's mother who gave birth to her but did not report her birth thus making the latter an illegitimate child. Kitaoji Kinya plays an old man who frequents the pastry shop where Takei's character works at while Nakamura Aoi's character falls for Takei's. Asada Miyoko plays Takei's grandmother and Kaname Jun plays a mysterious man who has a key role in the story.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cleopatra na Onnatachi to end its run with 8 episodes

NTV drama "Cleopatra na Onnatachi" will end its run with 8 episodes according to its scriptwriter Oishi Shizuka's blog. The drama which features a plastic surgery theme, stars Sato Ryuta, Inamori Izumi, Kitano Kii and Yo Kimiko etc. has been getting below-10% ratings since the start of its run on 18 April. According to Oishi's blog entry on 21st May, she said that things don't always go well in life but she's happy that the cast and staff are motivated in making sure that the filming goes on well. On the other hand, NTV's PR department has denied that the drama has been shortened due to its lacklustre ratings and stressed that at the beginning of the season, the number of episodes for this drama wasn't decided in the first place.
Source: Sankei Shimbun

TBS announces cast lineup for "Summer Rescue"

TBS announced the cast lineup for its summer drama "Summer Rescue - Tenkuu no Shinryoujo" which stars Mukai Osamu. Ono Machiko will play the heroine in this drama i.e. Koyama Haruka, a nurse who lost her mother in a mountain accident at the age of five and becomes a nurse in Tokyo. However, something happens to her there and she returns to the mountain resort her father owns where she meets Hayami Keigo (Mukai Osamu).

Besides Ono, Tokito Saburo will also be participating in this drama as Kuraki Yasunori, the doctor in charge of the clinic where Hayami comes to work in. This is his first role in a TBS drama since 1997's "Fuzoroi no Ringotachi IV". Koike Eiko will be playing Hirahara Akari, the veteran nurse who has worked at the mountain clinic for the past 10 years. Haruka's father Koyama Yuichi will be played by Sasano Takashi, Sato Jiro plays Takai Satoshi, a doctor who has been volunteering at the clinic since his university days. Hayami's boss Sawaguchi Tetsuo will be played by Matsushige Yutaka while Suzuki Mako, a medical student invited to work at the mountain clinc by Kuraki, will be played by Nounen Rena.
Source: Oricon

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 23 May 12

Ratings of new episodes which aired on 21st and 22nd May...

Hanchou 5 Ep 7 - 10.6%
Kagi no Kakatta Heya Ep 6 - 15.4%
Legal High Ep 6 - 11.6%
37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku Ep 7 - 12.5%

The gap between Kagi and ATARU is narrowing with just 0.23% separating the two. If ATARU manages to get at least 18.95% for its upcoming episode, it would succeed in at least sharing the No.1 slot. Legal High saw an increase of 0.7% while 37-sai dropped from the 13% region to 12.5% (1.1% decrease) which would give Mikeneko a good chance of snatching the No.3 position back.

GTO remake starting in July 2012

EXILE member AKIRA will be starring in his first leading role in the remake of 1998 hit drama "GTO" where he plays the legendary teacher Onitsuka Eikichi. The original series which had an average rating of 28.3%, had featured Sorimachi Takashi and Matsushima Nanako who met through this drama and got married later in 2001. Filming is scheduled to begin on 27 May and the drama will begin its run via FujiTV on Tuesdays at 10pm.
The heroine in the new series Fuyutsuki Azusa will be played by Takimoto Miori while Kuroki Hitomi plays the principal of the school who hires Onitsuka. Tayama Ryosei takes on the role of the department head who dislikes Onitsuka while Onitsuka's close friends who live with him are played by Yamamoto Yusuke and Shirota Yu.
Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Ninomiya Kazunari in drama SP "Kuruma Isu de Boku wa Sora wo Tobu"

ARASHI's Ninomiya Kazunari will be starring in the NTV drama SP "Kuruma Isu de Boku wa Sora wo Tobu" to be shown during the TV's station annual charity programme "24 Jikan Terebi 35" between 25th and 26th August. Ninomiya plays a man who used to be a delinquent since junior high and became paralysed after a clash with a gangster. The story depicts his struggle to be independent despite having to cope with being confined to a wheelchair. Ninomiya will also dye his hair for the first time in 10 years for this role.

Source: Sanspo

Monday, May 21, 2012

FujiTV summer Gekku: Rich Man, Poor Woman starring Oguri Shun & Ishihara Satomi

Oguri Shun and Ishihara Satomi will star in FujiTV's summer Gekku "Rich Man, Poor Woman" due to start in July. Oguri plays a billionaire Toru who owns an IT company but is disliked by others for doing business purely for the sake of his interests and has no management tactics to speak of. On the other hand, Ishihara plays a clever university student Chihiro who is about to graduate but has a hard time finding a job despite her talent. When the two first meet, Toru dismisses Chihiro as someone who's after his money but she gradually finds that he is not what he appears to be after all. Meanwhile, Aibu Saki plays an upcoming chef Yoko whose brother Kosuke is the joint owner of Toru's company.

Oguri and Ishihara had both appeared in the 2005 NHK Taiga Yoshitsune before but did not actually act together thus this is the first time they are doing so. This is also Oguri's first Gekku drama since Tokyo Dogs three years ago and his first drama appearance since he got married to Yamada Yu.

Source: Sanspo

Kamikawa Takaya back in "Iryu Sousa" this summer

Kamikawa Takaya will be back in the latest sequel to "Iryu Sousa" this July via TV Asahi at 9pm on Thursdays. The drama which had an average rating of 14.3%,  first aired in April 2010 and featured Kamikawa as Itomura Satoshi, a detective who depends on the things left behind at the crime scene to solve a case. As Itomura will be transferred to a new police station in the sequel, his colleagues will be played by new cast members including Saito Yuki, Yashima Norito and Miyake Yuji.
Source: Sanspo

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 21 May 12

With the conclusion of last week's run, here is the current ranking based on average ratings:

Those above 10%...
1) Kagi no Kakatta Heya 16.18%
2) ATARU 15.82%
3) 37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku 13.58%
4) Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri 13.41%
5) Legal High 11.76%
6) Hanchou 5 11.08%
7) Answer 10.12%

And those below 10%...
8) W no Higeki 9.59%
9) Toshi Densetsu no Onna 9.55%
10) Kaeru no Oujosama 9.43%
11) Papadoru! 9.09%
12) Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose 8.55%
13) Cleopatra na Onnatachi 7.80%
14) Mirai Nikki 7.10%
15) Kazoku no Uta 3.98%

Interestingly, if you look at the OA days of the top 7, 5 out of 7 are shown between Mondays and Wednesdays. ATARU and Mikeneko are the only ones bucking this trend since they are shown during the weekend. It could reflect a new viewing pattern where people tend to stay home at the beginning of the week and go out at night from Wednesdays onwards. ATARU is shown at 10pm on Sundays so it probably benefited from the fact that people would have been home by that time if they have to work on Monday. Mikeneko is a family-friendly timeslot so it could have helped that parents are watching this with their kids.

With half of the dramas floating and half sinking below 10%, it really makes me wonder what would happen come next season where you have the summer holidays coming up. Now, that's a period where most people would be going somewhere for their vacations and this is likely going to hit harder than the Golden Week holidays which lasted for only a week or so.

There's a shuffle between No.3 and No.4 which should bring no surprises since 37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku has been getting around 13% while Mikeneko is getting 12% despite the latter having a stronger start. ATARU bounced back strongly yesterday with 17.4% so there's only a small margin separating the two. Kagi's broadcast tonight must get at least 14.62% in order to ensure that its average is the same as ATARU. Looks like the battle between these two isn't going to be as clearcut as I thought. Might be a razor-thin margin come June.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Hayami-san to Yobareru Hi" to be back as drama SP in June

"Hayami-san to Yobareru Hi", the FujiTV drama which ended its run in March, will be back as a two-part drama SP to be shown on 10 and 17 June once the current offering "Kazoku no Uta" ends its run on 3 June. The drama SP will fill in the gap between Kazoku's finale and the beginning of the new drama "Beautiful Rain" starring Toyokawa Etsushi and Ashida Mana. In the SP, key cast members including Matsushita Nao and Inohara Yoshihiko will be back to reprise their roles along with a new addition Uchida Yuki who plays Inohara's ex-girlfriend who appears again after 10 years.
Source: Sanspo

Friday, May 18, 2012

Actor Kobayashi Susumu passes away

Actor Kobayashi Susumu died of stomach cancer and liver cirrhois on 16 May in a hospital at the age of 58. According to his agency, Kobayashi was working on the film "Odoru Daisousasen THE FINAL Aratanaru Kibou" in mid February and complained that he felt unwell after the filming ended. When he was admitted to the hospital, he was told by the doctor that he had only a few weeks left to live. As such, the movie became his last work in his career.

Kobayashi formed a comedy unit Hip Up with Shimazaki Toshiro and Kawakami Yasuo in the late 70s and switched to being an actor in the 1990s. He was known for many of his supporting roles in various dramas and movies including the father of Makino Tsukushi (Inoue Mao) in the "Hana Yori Dango" series.

Kobayashi's funeral will be held on 19th May and there will be a memorial ceremony held at a later date.
Source: Sanspo

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Top 10 artistes who you wish to be encouraged by

Note that the numbers in brackets represent the number of votes.

1) Fukuyama Masaharu (95)

2) Kuwata Keisuke (51)

3) aiko (42)

4) Sakurai Kazutoshi - Mr. Children (39)

5) Inaba Koshi (25)

6) Sakurai Sho / Tootasu Matsumoto (23)

8) Yoshida Miwa - Dreams Come True / YUI (22)
10) miwa (20)

Source: Oricon

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 16 May 12

Here are the ratings of episodes shown on 14th and 15th May:

Kagi no Kakatta Heya Ep 5 - 15.6% (up 0.1%)
Hanchou 5 Ep 6 - 10.8% (down 1.5%)
Legal High Ep 5 - 10.9% (down 1.4%)
37-sai de Isha ni Natta Boku Ep 6 - 13.6% (same figure for three weeks in a row)

Kagi continues its reign as No.1 drama with a gap of 0.66% with its nearest competitor ATARU but there's still half the season to go so it's too early to conclude the race. Kusanagi's drama has a relatively stable viewership base (over 13% for every episode so far) as seen from the figures and may just overtake Mikeneko for No.3 since there's only 0.2% separating these two dramas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

FujiTV summer drama "Higashino Keigo Mystery Series"

FujiTV will start a "Higashino Keigo Mysteries" from July 2012 in its Thursday 10pm timeslot which features 11 short stories from the famous writer. There will be a different lead actor in each week's episode and the entire drama will feature Nakai Kiichi as the key person to give an introduction to each story. Marking the first episode will be Karasawa Toshiaki who plays a professional archery coach of a corporate team in the story "Sayonara Coach" and tries to find out the truth behind the apparent suicide of his student.

FujiTV also announced the leads in some of the follow-up episodes include Matsushita Nao in "Endless Night", Mizuki Arisa in "Reiko to Reiko", Sorimachi Takashi in "Amai hazu nano ni" and Nagasawa Masami in "Charade ga ippai". The leads of other episodes will be made known at a later date.

Source: Sanspo

Sawajiri Erika to suspend her activities again

Sawajiri Erika will be suspending her activities for the time being as announced by her agency through a fax statement on 15 May. It was mentioned that she had fell ill after the completion of her movie "Helter Skelter" which is due to be shown from 14 July. As a result, Sawajiri will not be participating in most, if not all the promotional activities for this movie. Depending on her doctor's advice, she may be able to attend the Japan premiere of the movie on 5 July though.

Source: Nikkansports

Monday, May 14, 2012

Romaji lyrics of "Face Down" by ARASHI (Theme song of Kagi no Kakatta Heya)

Title: Face Down
Artiste: ARASHI
Lyrics: eltvo
Rap: Sakurai Sho
Melody:Albi Albertsson / Royce H. Vincent Stein / Kontantin Scherer
Theme song of Kagi no Kakatta Heya

doushite? me no mae wo tozashite
dou suru? kurai heya ni hitori
te wo nobashi tsukamou to shita no wa
kakushita SOS

shirokujijuu atama wo meguru
kuruwaseteru haguruma Lose control
nari hibiku tokei no hari wo tomete yo tomete yo

Countdown Countdown wake mo wakarazu
Hold on Hold on hiki yoserareru
Secret Secret kimi wa maka fushigi sugao misenai mama Escape

(wow...) tsugi no kiseki wa (wow...) yosoku fukanou
(wow...) kagi ga hirakeba (wow...) Bye Bye Bye

mayowazu himitsu no uragawa wo shiritakute tobira aketa nara
dokka de mita youna deja vu ga nando mo Upside down

mayonaka ni zawameku kokoro
chikazuku hodo mienai Poker face
gomakashi no imitation made mo
keshiteyo  keshiteyo

Liar Liar uso mo makoto mo
Tell me Tell me mienaku naru yo
Secret Secret kimi wa dare nano ka?
kage mo nokosazu ni Escape

(wow...) iro wo nakushita (wow...) kodoku na yume ni
(wow...) kagi wo kaketara (wow...) Bye Bye Bye

makkura na sora
tsukamou ga
It's like a supernova
next to the door

kawaki iyasu tame ni sara ni mau
yami wo ukeire futatabi asa kuru
dakiau kagi ga...
pump it up

Countdown Countdown wake mo wakarazu

Hold on Hold on hiki yoserareru
Secret Secret kimi wa maka fushigi sugao misenai mama Escape

Liar Liar uso mo makoto mo

Tell me Tell me mienaku naru yo
Secret Secret kimi wa dare nano ka?
kage mo nokosazu ni Escape

Ienu kizuato ni ame ga furi sosogeba
mezameteku sono Memory
tsugi no door no sono saki e to

(wow...) iro wo nakushita (wow...) kodoku na yume ni

(wow...) kagi wo kaketara (wow...) Bye Bye Bye

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 14 May 12

Here are the ratings of dramas shown on Friday and over the weekend:

Kazoku no Uta Ep 5 - 3.3%
Mirai Nikki Ep 4 - 6.7%
Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri Ep 5 - 12.9%
Toshi Densetsu no Onna Ep 5 - 8.6%
Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose - 8.3%
ATARU - 14.5%

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Review of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri Ep 2

I'm not sure how I should describe my feelings after watching the 2nd episode. In my last review, there were some things which I liked about the drama but this episode seemed to be headed in a different direction from what I was expecting so I'm starting to wonder if how long I can persist in watching this.

Harumi brings Yoshitaro to a romance seminar in order to help him get over his phobia over women. As the lecturer goes through tips to get closer to the opposite sex and build a romantic relationship, Yoshitaro dismisses the advice as highly ineffective and can't be bothered to pay much attention to the session. What would have been an uneventful day goes the opposite way when the audience finds the lecturer murdered after the screening of a DVD. The baffling thing is, the audience had been hearing the lecturer's voice until the lights came on in the room again so it would have been near impossible for anyone to have killed the lecturer. What's more surprising is that someone had gone to the session and signed her name as that of a woman who committed suicide! As usual, Yoshitaro faints at the sight of blood on the victim and is lectured by his colleague Nemoto.

Now this is where I have my first complaint. This case is highly similar to what I've seen in a HK drama years ago. There are some subtle differences between the two but at first glance, it was easy to see that these cases were the same. I don't know if it's just a plain coincidence or who actually thought of this idea first. It doesn't really bother me here whether there is an issue of copying one another's ideas but this signifies that I already know the trick behind this seemingly difficult case. Even before we get to the resolution of the case, I already know who was the killer and how it was done. The mystery being too simple to guess is a big taboo in a suspense thriller story. As a result, I was more or less "switched off" as the story progressed. I didn't feel interested enough to follow what was going and it felt like a long journey to get to the end. There was a lot of time spent on Yoshitaro's strong belief that Ryoko (Takimoto Miori) was not the murderer but frankly speaking, it didn't matter to me at all.

In my last review, I mentioned that it was quite interesting to see Aiba's scenes with the cat. That being the first episode, it was no wonder that the drama had to spend a lot of time describing Yoshitaro's meeting with Holmes and how they came to get together. However, this episode didn't really show much of an interaction between the two and I simply don't find the scenes when Holmes turns into a human funny at all. There is a strong lack of chemistry between human and human compared to when Yoshitaro was facing the cat-form of Holmes. I really wonder if this drama has the intention to show how Holmes' "intervention" or so-called hints is of use to Yoshitaro because I somehow get the feeling that his own siblings play a more active role in the case solving compared to Holmes.

As I said before, I am not keen on episodic stories so it takes a lot of effort and enough pull power to make me stay throughout the whole season. I like Aiba and can see that he's trying hard to make things work. However, if the drama is going to give me really "juvenile" suspense/investigative stories throughout its run, I don't think my interest in him is strong enough to keep me invested in the show. I know that this Saturday timeslot is supposed to be a family-friendly one where kids can enjoy the drama as well but if the drama doesn't find its footing soon enough and decides whether it wants to focus more on its case-solving side or the family-friendly developments, it runs the risk of ending up as a drama which cannot make an impression on its viewers. And another bugbear I find with this drama is, Yoshitaro keeps getting scolded in the harshest way possible (just like Himekawa in Strawberry Night which I stopped watching after Ep 7...not that keen to continue for now) and I really don't think it will make him improve in any way. It just irks me to see people screaming at the top of their voices for no apparent purposes. Anyway, I'll try to give this drama another chance and hope that the next episode can convince me to stay on.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Update to the ratings race - 12 May 12

Here are the ratings of the recent episodes shown last week:

Hanchou Ep 5 - 12.3%
Kagi no kakatta heya Ep 4 - 15.5%
Legal High Ep 4 - 12.3%
37-sai de Isha ni natta boku Ep 5 - 13.6%
Answer Ep 4 - 8.1%
Cleopatra na Onnatachi Ep 4 - 7.5%
W no Higeki Ep 3 - 8.6%
Papadoru! Ep 3 - 8.1%
Kaeru no Oujosama Ep 5 - 9.1%

As a result, here is the ranking based on average ratings so far:

1) Kagi no kakatta heya - 16.31%
2) ATARU - 15.76%
3) Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri - 13.75%
4) 37-sai de Isha ni natta boku - 13.58%
5) Legal High - 11.97%
6) Hanchou - 11.14%
7) Answer - 10.38%
8) W no Higeki - 9.92%
9) Toshi Densetsu no Onna - 9.80%
10) Kaeru no Oujosama - 9.47%
11) Papadoru! - 9.43%
12) Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose - 8.49%
13) Cleopatra na Onnatachi - 7.84%
14) Mirai Nikki - 7.27%
15) Kazoku no Uta - 4.18%

Looks like Kagi is a serious contender for the top spot if ATARU doesn't increase its share of ratings soon to narrow the gap. Mikeneko and 37-sai are also quite close to each other so they will probably be fighting for a place in the Top 3. More than half of the spring offerings are actually below the 10% line which seems to suggest that there is a lack of interest in most of the dramas. As to whether this means that these below-10% dramas are really that bad in terms of quality, that remains to be seen.

Inoue Mao starring in summer drama "Tokkan Tokubetsu Kokuzei Choushuukan"

Inoue Mao will be starring in the NTV summer drama "Tokkan Tokubetsu Kokuzei Choushuukan" due to be shown from July in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The story is based on a novel with the same title. Inoue plays a tax officer Suzumiya Miki who becomes a civil servant due to some family issues and is in charge of chasing after people who deliberately default on their tax payments.
Source: Sports Hochi

Kitano Kii deny rumours of her marriage to Miura Shohei

Kitano Kii posted a message through her blog denying rumours on the Internet which claimed that she has married actor Miura Shohei. Kitano also stressed in her post on 11 May that she is not dating Miura who is also working with her in the drama "Cleopatra na Onnatachi". Kitano mentioned that she had no idea where that kind of rumour came from and why it was being spread so she wanted to clarify things in case it caused any unintentional problems for anyone.

Source: Sports Hochi

"Kazoku no Uta" shortens its run

FujiTV announced on 12 May that its spring drama "Kazoku no Uta" will end its run prematurely on 3 June with a total of 8 episodes. The drama had been plagued with plagiarism claims and low ratings since it started showing in April 2012.

Source: Nikkansports

Friday, May 11, 2012

Suzuki Kyoka as guest star in Legal High

Suzuki Kyoka will be the guest star in Ep 6 of Legal High to be shown on 22 May. She plays the ex-wife of Komikado (Sakai Masato) who faces off with him again in court during the divorce proceedings of a celebrity couple. Keiko (Suzuki) used to work in the same law firm as Komikado but their marriage lasted only a few months and she is now working as a lawyer in the US.

This is Suzuki's first time working with Sakai in 8 years ever since they last appeared together in 2004 Taiga drama "Shinsengumi". Suzuki remarked that she had to speak very quickly for her role as Keiko but enjoyed working with Sakai again.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Toyokawa Etsushi and Ashida Mana in FujiTV summer drama "Beautiful Rain"

Toyokawa Etsushi and Ashida Mana will be starring in FujiTV summer drama "Beautiful Rain" which takes over the Sundays 9pm timeslot from "Kazoku no Uta" in July. Toyokawa plays a middle-aged single father whose wife passed away and he has to take care of his daughter in primary 2 (Ashida) while working in a factory. He realises that he's becoming extremely forgetful and keeps repeating the same actions which leads to him to discover that he's down with Alzheimer's disease. Co-stars include Miura Shohei, Tenden and Kanie Keizo. Given that competition is stiff in this timeslot and the current offering for this season i.e. "Kazoku no Uta" has been doing badly in its ratings, FujiTV hopes that this summer drama will be successful in turning the tide for the TV station.

Source: Sponichi Annex

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Miyazawa Rie in preparations to get divorced

Actress Miyazawa Rie has announced through a fax statement via her agency on 8 May that she is in the midst of preparations to get divorced. With regard to the reason for this, Miyazawa explained that there are major differences in thinking between her husband and her and it has reached the point when they can no longer spend their lives together. The couple had got married in February 2009 and have a daughter who is about to turn three years old.

Source: Oricon Style

Asou Kumiko gives birth to her first child

Actress Asou Kumiko gave birth to her first child (a girl) on 7 May as announced by her agency via fax on 8 May. She mentioned that although she's new at raising a child, she will try her best and aims to return to acting in movies depending on her condition. Asou had married stylist Iga Daisuke in December 2007 and announced her pregnancy last November when she was five months' pregnant.
Source: Oricon Style

Seto Asaka stars in drama SP "Onna Hitoku Sousakan Hara Maki Ageha"

Seto Asaka will be starring in her first role as a police detective in FujiTV drama SP "Onna Hitoku Sousakan Hara Maki Ageha" due to be shown in June in the Friday 9pm slot. This will also be her first leading role ever since she gave birth to her son in March 2010. The story is based on the same-titled suspense novel by Yoshikawa Eri and features Seto's character as a police detective who seeks out the kidnapper of her children. Co-stars include Zaizen Naomi.

Source: Sanspo

Monday, May 07, 2012

Update to the Spring 2012 ratings race - 7 May 12

Here are some updates to the recent episodes shown during the later part of Golden Week:

ATARU Ep 4 - 13.8%
Mou Ichido Kimi ni, Propose Ep 3- 8.3%
Toshi Densetsu no Onna Ep 4- 9.7%
W no Higeki Ep 2- 10.0%
Answer Ep 3- 9.3%
Kazoku no Uta Ep 4 - 3.1%
Mirai Nikki - ANOTHER WORLD- Ep 3 - 6.1%
Mikeneko Holmes no Neko Ep 4 - 13.1%
Kaeru no Oujosama Ep 4 - 9.0%

Mukai Osamu starring in TBS summer drama "Summer Rescue - Tenkuu no Shinryoujo"

Mukai Osamu will be starring in the TBS summer drama "Summer Rescue - Tenkuu no Shinryoujo" (Summer Rescue - Sky Clinic) starting in July on Sundays at 9pm where he plays a promising doctor who gets despatched to a clinic located at a mountain 2000 metres over sea level. He has to cope with a lack of medical equipment and medicine while treating his patients. Filming for the drama will be starting at the end of this month. In preparation for the role, Mukai will be coached by Juntendo University professor Amano Atsushi who was part of the team who operated on the Japanese Emperor in February this year.

Source: Sponichi Annex

Yoshitaka Yuriko & Koura Kengo work together again in 5 years

Yoshitaka Yuriko and Koura Kengo are working together for the first time in 5 years ever since they appeared in "Hebi ni Pierce". In that movie, Koura played a man who had tattoos all over his body and 15 piercings on his face while Yoshitaka became well-known for her acting skills in a number of nude scenes in the film. The two will be starring in the 80s movie"Yokomichi Yonosuke" due to be shown next year and filming is scheduled to be completed on 9 May.

Source: Nikkansports

Saturday, May 05, 2012

EXILE's AKIRA to take on the leading role in GTO remake

EXILE member AKIRA will be taking on the lead role in the remake drama of GTO due to be shown from July 2012 on FujiTV at 10pm Tuesdays. The role had initially been given to Akanishi Jin but he was dropped due to his surprise marriage announcement to Kuroki Meisa. According to insiders, AKIRA was selected not only for his wild image but also because of the manga author's wishes. AKIRA made his debut as an actor in 2008 and this is his first leading role in a drama.

Source: Nikkansports

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Konno Mahiru announces her first pregnancy

Actress Konno Mahiru announced her pregnancy through her official homepage on 2 May. This is her first child since her marriage four years ago to an junior high school ex-classmate who now works as a pilot for JAL and she is due to give birth in August. Konno mentioned in her statement that she hopes to continue her acting career and will return to work after childbirth depending on her condition.
Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Review of Kagi no Kakatta Heya Ep 2

Looks like the beginning of each episode is going to be marked by this "standard" introduction where the main trio gets all serious in a typical mystery-thriller style setting as Enomoto goes through the key points of what the mystery is all about. It may seem rather ironic as he does this play-act like a famous detective but this way of "delivering" the case in question is exactly what Serizawa dislikes the most about holding people in suspense instead of revealing the truth immediately! It was rather funny to imagine Serizawa having to bear with Enomoto's "performance". The contrast with the lighter mood of the drama itself on the whole really cracks me up when I see this intro scene. Actually, Serizawa and Aoto do not speak at all during this opening scene so this is pretty much an one-man show for Enomoto. Not that I think Ohno fans would mind this though. :-)

It's pretty much like any other day for Serizawa  as we get introduced to his high-class and luxurious lifestyle. He lives in a nice apartment and sips espresso while reading the newspapers so you get the drift that he's really living it up because he can afford to. However, Serizawa is horrified when he suddenly realises that there is a big hole in his glass window and finds that his apartment has been burglarised.

Enomoto comes to the rescue, well, it isn't exactly so because he's not here to help Serizawa find his missing branded watches. It almost feels like a sales talk as Enomoto explains the security measures Serizawa should have implemented to prevent such a theft. According to him, it is extremely easy for someone to rappel down from the rooftop to the unit on the highest floor and commit a burglary, contrary to what Serizawa's thinking that his unit should be the safest. Enomoto prepares to leave after leaving the brochures behind for Serizawa to consider when Aoto asks how they should pay him for helping to solve the previous case. He doesn't want any money since that was done outside of his working hours but agrees to take up the offer that Serizawa will help him if there's a need in future.

Not long after, Enomoto shows up at Serizawa's office with someone else in tow. I think Serizawa and even Aoto were probably thinking that Enomoto would never ever need that offer he just accepted so they were surprised by his sudden appearance. Serizawa may have thought that he would never need to make good his promise. Anyway, it's actually Enomoto's friend Aida (Nakamura Shido) who needs help so he's here to introduce both parties to each other.

To cut the story short, Aida's nephew passed away recently in an apparent suicide so he wants Serizawa to help with investigating this. Given Serizawa's interest in only things which would benefit him, he wants to turn down Aida. Moreover, Serizawa views Aida with a wary eye because he became a victim of burglary recently and the latter happens to be an ex-convict caught for being a repeat burglar. However, Aoto jumps the gun again and takes it up enthusiastically, much to her boss' reluctance. Frankly speaking, without Aoto, there would never have been a connection between Enomoto and Serizawa and the cases they are looking at so she should be irritating Serizawa with her enthusiasm even more from now on! Aida suspects that his elder sister's current husband may have killed his stepson for the inheritance and that his niece Miki (Fukuda Mayuko) may also be in danger.

By now, I think it's quite clear how the case is going to proceed because we know the story won't hold itself if it is proven to be a suicide after all. From the looks of it, we are going to get an obvious suspect each time so the enjoyment in watching this drama will be more on seeing how Enomoto solves the closed-room mystery. Apparently, how the culprit is also not of concern here because we don't get to see whether the person is nabbed by the police, he turns himself in or Serizawa & Co. informs the police to come and get their guy. This is in line with Enomoto's philosophy that he just wants to crack the closed-room mystery and doesn't bother himself with the criminal side of things. I don't mind that though so I'm OK with not seeing how the culprit gets punished by the law since this isn't a legal drama after all.

It's a pleasant surprise to see Fukuda Mayuko after some time. I get the impression that she's not as active as before during her child actor days so she could be busy with her studies or in movie works. Anyway, her role this time is extremely small so there's not much of a development here but still, I'm happy to see her again just like a long friend whom I've not seen for ages. As for Nakamura Shido, I don't remember watching any of his recent works except for Red Cliff (the Chinese hit starring Tony Leung and Lin Chi-ling)  so it's been ages since I saw him in Ima Ai Ni Yukimasu with Takeuchi Yuko. He seems to have aged considerably and sports a more scruffy image these days.

This time round, there's quite a bit of scientific talk surrounding how the culprit went to lengths to create the perfect "suicide" so it does get a bit mind boggling at times. Nonetheless, I think it was a well-crafted scheme so you won't feel as if there's a big hoo-ha over nothing.

What's more intriguing to me this time is, we get to know something more about Enomoto. Serizawa was asking Aoto if she found it strange that Enomoto would have a friend like Aida who was a perpetual burglar and they simply laughed it off when the notion of Enomoto being a burglar himself was brought up. However, when the scene switched to Enomoto next, the viewers were shown how he was picking the lock of an apartment's main door but in the end, it was just a scare because he was helping a client to open her door since she lost her key. No doubt I don't think Enomoto was a burglar, I think his fascination with locks and association with a burglar do bring up a lot of questions. Maybe he got to know more about lock-picking from the "professionals" i.e. burglars so that's why he became friends with them? Looks like we can only get a teaser lead about Enomoto with each episode we watch until we find out his background and past at the end of the drama's run!

The second episode was fun to watch without the lengthy introductions at the beginning of Ep 1 but I really dislike the blankout screens when there is a transition of scenes. It cuts off the momentum built up by the previous scene and I have to adjust to the tempo of the story again in the next scene. It does take a bit of time to get accustomed to this so I wish there would have been a smoother transition of scenes rather than the abrupt stops.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Update to Spring 2012 ratings race - 1 May 12

The weekend figures have come in with a mixture of increases and decreases. The biggest drop has got to be ATARU which plunged 6% to just 10.9% for its third episode and I guess it has got more to do with the Golden Week holidays rather than the drama losing so many of its viewers in just one week. The coming Sunday would probably reflect whether this theory holds true.

Mou ichido Kimi ni, Propose went down to 8.3% and it's a such a small drop that I think it may remain around this range for the rest of the season if nothing special happens. Mirai Nikki sheds 4.1% and gets 5.8% for its 2nd episode but then again, the holidays may also have a hand in this. Moving on to those which bucked the holiday curse, Toshi Densetsu no Onna climbs back to 10% for its 3rd episode while Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri also increases slightly to reach 12.7%.

Despite losing 2.1% of viewers compared to last week (again due to the holidays), Kagi no Kakatta Heya manages to get 14.4% for its OA yesterday and overtakes ATARU for the first time in terms of average ratings. Kagi's average is 16.56% while ATARU has 16.34% at the moment. This is such a small margin so the next episode could prove to be crucial in setting the trend for the rest of the season. Technically, the holidays would extend till this Sunday thus Kagi has an upper hand come next Monday which is when everyone should be back at work or school and can tune in to the dramas as per normal.

Kazoku no Uta goes further down to 3.4%

FujiTV spring drama "Kazoku no Uta" dropped to 3.4% for its broadcast in the Kanto region on 29 April which is 0.2% lower than the previous week. In response to the low figures, FujiTV president Toyoda Go commented during the TV station's regular press conference on 26 April that the production crew will be making adjustments in order to boost the ratings and support from the viewers.

Source: Nikkansports