Friday, November 30, 2012

The 41st Best Dresser Award

Gouriki Ayame and Fujiki Naohito received the 41st Best Dresser Award for the entertainment category and attended the prize-giving ceremony together on 28 November. The award is organised by the Japan Men's Fashion Association. Other winners in the various categories included Nestle Japan's president Takaoka Kozo (political and economic category), Ichikawa Ennosuke (arts and culture category), Nadeshiko Japan's coach Sasaki Norio (sports category), Kyari Pamyu Pamyu (international category), female pro baseball player Kawabata Yuki (special recommendation category) and Shouchi Saburo (special category).

Source: Oricon

Hamada Gaku to star in TBS midnight drama "Shuuden Bye Bye"

Hamada Gaku will star in TBS midnight drama "Shuuden Bye Bye" which will begin its run from 14 January at 12.20am on Mondays. The drama will consist of 10 episodes and features Hamada as a different character in each episode where he misses the last train home and has to wait for the first train in the morning since he has no money to take other modes of transport. Through the experience of trying to find various forms of entertainment to pass the time, the characters go through different adventures during the time period when most people are asleep.

Source: Sanspo

Top 10 faces which men aspire to have (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate positions held last year and dashes indicate that the person did not hold a top 10 position last year:

1) Fukuyama Masaharu (1)

2) Mukai Osamu (2)

3) Kimura Takuya (3)

4) Tsumabuki Satoshi (5)

5) Inaba Koshi (9)

6) Okada Junichi (4)

7) Abe Hiroshi (10)

8) Ikuta Toma (-)

9) hyde (-)

10) Tamayama Tetsuji (-) / Sato Takeru (6)

Source: Oricon

Eita to star in "Saikou no Rikon"

Eita will star in the FujiTV Winter 2013 drama "Saikou no Rikon" (The best divorce) which will begin its run from January in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot along with Ono Machiko, Maki Youko and Ayano Go. The four of them will play two married couples in their 30s living in Naka Meguro whose lives are linked to one another.

Eita plays the role Mitsuo, a shy salaryman who's bad at interpersonal relationships and always quarrels with his wife Yuka played by Ono. Mitsuo feels that marriage life is like a long interrogation and keeps toying with the idea of divorce. Just then, he happens to meet his former girlfriend Akari (Maki), who's  married to a playboy husband Ryo (Ayano) and still loves him despite his philandering ways. Although Akari and Ryo look like a perfect couple, there is a secret behind that facade. While trying to keep his emotions in check when facing Akari, Yuka suddenly initiates a divorce but Mitsuo still ends up living with Yuka under the same roof due to some reason...

Source: Sanspo

Horikita Maki to star in ATARU SP

Horikita Maki will be appearing in the ATARU SP due to be shown on 6 January 2013 at 7pm via TBS. She plays the role of a mysterious woman who also suffers from the Savant Syndrome and used to be trained at the FBI with Ataru. The drama SP which is made up of two 2-hour parts, will feature Horikita in Part 2 which starts at 9pm on the same night. Filming is currently in progress.

Source: Sponichi

Kuroki Hitomi & Aibu Saki to face off in "Otome-san!"

Kuroki Hitomi and Aibu Saki will get involved in a mother-in-law vs. daughter-in-law battle in the TV Asahi Winter 2013 drama "Otome-san!" which begins its run from January via the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. Although the traditional setting of such stories is that the mother-in-law bullies the daughter-in-law, the tables are turned this time in the Inoue Yumiko script where Aibu plays a "scary" daughter-in-law who manages to make her mother-in-law's (Kuroki) life miserable after the latter finds out shocking truths about her daughter-in-law one by one. Kuroki's son played by Kaku Tomohiro and her husband played by Ishida Junichi do not take her side thus she has to fight her daughter-in-law alone in a bid to restore the peace in her family.

Source: Sponichi

Nagase Tomoya & Aibu Saki reported to have broken up

TOKIO's Nagase Tomoya and Aibu Saki are reported to have broken up after dating for the past four years. The couple had been romantically linked together ever since they worked on the 2008 TBS drama "Utahime" which was also months after Nagase had just broken up with Hamasaki Ayumi that summer. Since then, there had been numerous reports of them going their separate ways but this time round, they seemed to have broken up for real in autumn. According to insiders, the couple drifted apart due to their busy schedules and that they parted on amicable terms. They had tried to cool things off last year for a month or so and got back together before deciding to end it for good this time.

When asked about her relationship with Nagase in September, Aibu did not give a clear answer and said that she would leave it to the imagination of everyone. When the same topic cropped up again in late October, she said that marriage would be a long way in the future for her which hinted that she might have already broken up with Nagase at that time.

Source: Sanspo

ISSA breaks off engagement with Fukumoto Sachiko; reported to be dating AKB48's Masuda Yuka

DA PUMP's leader ISSA was reported to have broken off his engagement with model Fukumoto Sachiko and caught spending the night together with AKB48 member Masuda Yuka, according to the 29 November issue of "Shuukan Bunshun". The report mentioned that ISSA, who had announced his engagement to Fukumoto just last December, had ended his relationship with her quietly and started to date Masuda after the two worked together in the musical "Wiz ~ Oz no Mahou Tsukai" from August to September. Both ISSA and Masuda's agencies denied that they are dating but Masuda mentioned in her blog entry that although most of Shuukan Bunshun's report was untrue, she admitted that she did spend the night at ISSA's place for over 20 hours in early November. As a result of this scandal, Masuda indicated her intention to leave AKB48 which has a romance ban on its members but the date for this hasn't been confirmed.

Source: Sanspo, Sanspo

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FUNKY MONKEY BABYS to disband as of 31 March 2013

FUNKY MONKEY BABYS announced via their official website on 29 November that the group will disband as of 31 March next year. According to the statement, it was mentioned that the key reason for the move was due to DJ Chemical having to start preparations to take over the role of abbot at his family's Buddhist temple and it was impossible for him to continue his musical activites. Without DJ Chemical, FUNKY MONKEY BABYs would not be as it is so the decision to disband was made.

The group made its debut in 2006 and has been known for using the images of celebrities such as former comedian and Miyazaki Prefecture mayor Higashikokubaru Hideo and Kitano Kii on its CD jacket covers. They made their appearance on Kouhaku in 2009 and will perform there for the fourth consecutive year. Their last nationwide concert tour which ends at Saitama Super Arena on 31 March 2013, will be held at 11 places and consist of 21 performances.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ichihara Hayato to star in Winter 2013 drama "Karamazov no Kyoudai"

Ichihara Hayato will be starring in the FujiTV Winter 2013 drama "Karamazov no Kyoudai" (The Karamazov Brothers) which will begin its run from 12 January in the Saturdays 11.10pm timeslot. The drama is based on the last long novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky which was published in 1880 and will be the first Japanese drama adaptation of this story. The story talks about 3 brothers who are suspected of killing their father and features Ichihara as the second son who is a lawyer. As for the eldest brother, Saito Takumi will take up the role while Hayashi Kento will be the youngest brother.

Source: Sanspo

Production press conference of "Made In Japan"

The production press conference of upcoming NHK Winter 2013 drama "Made in Japan" was held on 27 November which was attended by cast members Karasawa Toshiaki, Yoshioka Hidetaka, Kunimura Jun, Maiko, Saito Ayumu, Nakamura Yasuhi and Hirata Mitsuru. The drama is scheduled to begin its run on 26 January and will consist of three episodes. Karasawa plays the sales director of a major electronics manufacturer who helps his company escape from the brink of bankruptcy and assembles a team of 7 to work on the restructuring efforts. Takahashi will play a skilled specialist in lithium batteries technology who works for a Chinese company and goes head-on with Karasawa and his team.

Source: Sanspo

Abe Hiroshi welcomes the arrival of his 2nd child

Abe Hiroshi's second daughter was born on 1 November in a Tokyo hospital as reported on 27 November. Abe had married his wife who is 15 years younger than him back in February 2008 and their first daughter was born in June last year. According to the report, the newborn baby weighed 3,054 grams at birth. Abe had been filming his autumn 2012 drama "Going My Home" in Nagano just before the birth and rushed back to Tokyo to witness the arrival of his bundle of joy. When interviewed, Abe expressed his happiness at his family growing bigger and he will work even harder from now for the sake of his family.

Source: Sanspo

Nakazawa Yuko gives birth to first child

Former Morning Musume leader Nakazawa Yuko who got married in April this year, gave birth to her first child, a baby girl, on 25 November as announced through her blog on 27 November. Nakazawa's daughter weighed 2,980 grams at birth and it took Nakazawa about 30 hours before the baby was successfully delivered. Nakazawa said that this was the most touching experience so far in the 39 years she has lived and that she will never forget about it.

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Update to the Autumn 2012 ratings race - 27 Nov 2012

Here are the results of the ranking as of 27 Nov 12:

1) Doctor X - 17.68%
2) PRICELESS - 17.00%
3) Aibou Season 11 - 16.75%
4) Akumu-chan - 11.91%
5) MONSTERS - 11.87%
6) Kekkon Shinai - 11.74%
7) Tokumei Tantei - 10.56%

8) Osozaki no Himawari - 9.92%
9) TOKYO Airport - 9.77%
10) Ooku - 8.96%
11) Going My Home - 8.40%
12) Perfect Blue - 7.96%
13) Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo - 7.87%
14) Resident - 6.93%
15) Koukou Nyuushi - 6.65%
16) Poison - 3.63%
17) PIECE / Girls Talk - 2.21%
19) Sugarless - 1.78%

The number of dramas in the above-10% group has gone down further with Osozaki no Himawari and TOKYO Airport slipping below the mark. However, there is still a chance that they might go back into the other group but that would mean a significant increase in its ratings before that can happen.

Doctor X is going very strongly with four consecutive episodes of above 17% ratings with a 18.6% debut episode. The consistency exhibited by this drama is in stark contrast to PRICELESS which is going through a rollercoaster ride. That's bad news for it especially if it wants to challenge Doctor X for the top spot. Aibou cannot be dismissed as well because it's quite close to PRICELESS and might even overtake it if the action heats up towards the end of the season.

Akumu-chan is also doing relatively well considering that it has overtaken MONSTERS. However, the margin is razor-thin so there is a likelihood for both dramas to keep switching spots until the final whistle. On the other hand, both dramas are simply too far from the Top 3 to pose any serious threats so it's probably going to be a fight for the 4th spot for them. Kekkon Shinai can't be written off as well since it's also in the 11% range but its last episode getting just 10.9% is slightly worrying.

Among the below-10% dramas, Osozaki, Ooku and Tokyo Airport seem like the potential candidates to fight for a Top 3 finish in this group. Going My Home is sinking too quickly with its Ep 6 getting just 5.9%. Likewise for Perfect Blue which is also singing the blues, its recent Ep 7 dropped 2.4% to 6.2% so it's going to be an uphill struggle for both to finish with decent results (especially for Going My Home which has a stellar cast and lots of promotion pre-season).

Eguchi Yosuke to star in Winter 2013 drama "dinner"

Eguchi Yosuke will play the role of a talented chef in the upcoming FujiTV Winter 2013 drama "dinner" which is due to be shown from January in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. The drama is set in a famous Italian restaurant where Eguchi plays a chef who clashes with the people around him in his pursuit for the perfect cuisine. The heroine will be played by Kurashina Kana, the stand-in owner cum manager of the restaurant when her father suddenly falls ill while Yusuke Santa Maria will also be part of the cast.

In preparation for the role, Eguchi who's already well-known for his liking for cooking and collecting kitchen utensils, will start taking cooking lessons from specialists in this field. The drama will also have a tie-up with FujiTV's variety show "Iron Chef" where Eguchi's character will appear after the restaurant's chief accepts the offer to take part in the programme.

Source: Sanspo

Lineup for the 63rd NHK Kouhaku Utagassen

NHK announced the lineup for their annual event, the NHK Kouhaku Utagassen for its 63rd edition on 26 November. The program will be shown on New Year's Eve from 7.15pm to 11.45pm and hosted by Arashi, Horikita Maki and NHK announcer Udo Yumiko. The Red Team won the event last year for the first time in 7 years.

The list of artists is as follows with the number of appearances on Kouhaku as of 2012 indicated in brackets. Those who are making their first appearances are in italics:

Red Team
aiko (11)
ayaka (6)
Ikimonogakari (5)
Ishikawa Sayuri (35)
AKB48 (5)
SKE48 (1st appearance)
Gyariiba Myubamyu (1st appearance)
Kouzai Kaori (16)
Kouda Kumi (8)
Godai Natsuko (19)
Sakamoto Fuyumi (24)
Tendou Yoshimi (17)
Nakashima Mika (9)
Nishino Kana (3)
Perfume (5)
Hamasaki Ayumi (14)
Fuji Ayako (18)
Princess Princess (1st appearance)
Mizuki Nana (4)
Mizumori Kaori (10)
Momoiro Clover Z (1st appearance)
YUI (1st appearance)
YUKI (1st appearance)
Yuki Saori (13)
Wada Akiko (36)

White Team
Arashi (4)
Itsuki Hiroshi (42)
HY (2)
NYC (4)
Kanjani 8 (1st appearance)
Kitajima Saburo (49)
Go Hiromi (25)
Golden Bomber (1st appearance)
Kobukuro (7)
Saito Kazuyoshi (1st appearance)
Sandaime J Soul Brothers (1st appearance)
SMAP (20)
Tachi Hiroshi (2)
TOKIO (19)
Tokunaga Hideaki (7)
AAA (3)
Naoto Inti Raymi (1st appearance)
Hikawa Kiyoshi (13)
Fukuyama Masaharu (5)
Hosokawa Takashi (36)
Porno Graffiti (11)
Miwa Akihiro (1st appearance)
Mori Shinichi (45)

Source: Nikkansports

Monday, November 26, 2012

Preview of "Hitori Shizuka"

Title: Hitori Shizuka
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Timeslot: Sundays 6pm
O.A. start date: 21 October 2012
Number of episodes: 6
Original novel by: Honda Tetsuya
Cast: Kaho, Takahashi Kazuo, Murakami Jun, Arai Hirofumi, Nagatsuka Keishi, Matsushige Yutaka, Nukumizu Yoichi, Kurosawa Asuka, Nikaido Satoshi, Kishibe Ittoku

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sakai Noriko returns to acting after the end of her suspended prison sentence

Sakai Noriko appeared at the production press conference of her new stage play "Aozora no Kyoushikyoku ~ Oichi no Kata Gaiden ~" on 24 November which also doubled up as her return press conference. She had been given a three-year suspended prison sentence back in 2009 for violating the Stimulants Control Act.

During the press conference, Sakai was swamped with questions from the media on her case, her drug habit and how she is going to deal with the harsh eyes on her now that she's back in the public eye. She commented that she was grateful for the chance to perform in front of everyone again and said that she didn't think this day would come when she was arrested and subsequently serving the suspended sentence. By being in the public eye again, she knows very well that she might be criticised and be viewed unfavourably but she is prepared for whatever may come. Sakai stressed that she had already kicked her drug habit and has no intention of going back to her old ways. Besides, she has been seeing a doctor and going through counselling which has helped to prevent withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations usually seen in people who try to kick the habit.

When asked about her son, Sakai said that he's old enough to know what happened in the past and she will do her best for the rest of her life to make it up to him for what he had suffered. As for her ex-husband, she said that ultimately, she was the one who made the mistake so she has no intention of blaming him for what happened. Her tattoos on her hand and leg were also erased.

When asked about her studies of welfare and care-giving, Sakai said that she is going to continue with her studies but while going through the process, she realised that she really wanted to be a performer and this was what prompted her to make her return to acting.

Source: Sanspo

Kahara Tomomi to return to singing next month

Kahara Tomomi who was fired by her agency in 2007, will resume her singing career as announced on 23 November by her former agency which has signed on her again. She is scheduled to make her first public appearance on FujiTV's 2012 FNS Kayousai to be broadcast on 5 December at 7pm.

Her agency Production Ogi had terminated Kahara's contract on 28 June 2007 due to the constant problems she caused following her very-much publicised break-up with producer Komura Tetsuya. Since then, Kahara had spent the past 5 years recuperating and working as a volunteer in the Philippines with her father to help refugee children for a year. She now helps out at a welfare facility her elder brother operates in Chiba Prefecture.

Kahara sent a letter to the president of her agency last year and expressed her intention to return to singing. Discussions on this started this summer while Kahara conducted voice training through sessions at the karaoke. The company finally decided to sign her on again and the contract takes effect on 1 December.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Akutou"

Title: Akutou
Official website: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV
O.A. Timeslot: 30 November 2012, 9pm
Cast: Takizawa Hideaki, Kitano Kii, Kaname Jun, Oosugi Ren, Toda Keiko, Okuda Eiji and Watari Tetsuya

Former police officer Saeki Shuuichi (Takizawa Hideaki) is now a private detective at Hope Detective Agency and tasked to conduct an investigation on Sakagami Yoichi (Kaname Jun). The clients are actually a couple whose son was killed by Sakagami 11 years ago and they want to know more about this man before they decide whether to forgive him for his deed. Shuuichi has no choice but to take up this case at the orders of agency boss Kogure (Watari Tetsuya) and the admin staff Someya (Toda Keiko) as the agency is in financial trouble although he would prefer not to.

Shuuichi can understand totally what the couple is going through because he has a similar experience where his beloved elder sister was raped and killed 15 years ago while on her way home after buying a birthday cake for him. The thought of his sister being left to die in a dark and abandoned house with her school uniform ripped to pieces makes it extremely difficult for Shuuichi to forgive those criminals responsible for this. As a result of this deep pain caused to him and his family, Shuuichi's father Junichiro (Oosugi Ren) who used to be a police officer as well, was fired from his job when he got angry at a rapist and shoved his gun into that rapist's mouth.

At the end of his investigation, Shuuichi shares his personal view that Sakagami should not be forgiven with his clients which results in a tragedy just one week later...

Another case comes Shuuichi's way in the form of a young man who wants to find his mother after she left his  younger brother to die when he was just one year old and the young man three years old then. The experience of seeing his brother's corpse while surviving on raw rice and the paper in magazines left the young man so bitter that he wants to see for himself whether his mother can still live happily despite what she had done.

While investigating this case, Shuuichi comes to find one of the culprits for his sister's death i.e. Tadokoro Kenji who now owns a ramen shop. During a visit to a club which Tadokoro frequents, Shuuichi happens to get acquainted with the club's bartender Haruka who becomes a warm presence in his life and even celebrates Shuuichi's birthday with him for the first time since his sister's death.

The following day, Terada, another man involved in the death of Shuuichi's sister, is found dead beside a river. It is later found that Tadokoro had killed Terada because the latter threatened to expose the truth and demanded for money. Just when Shuuichi is satisfied to know that two out of the three men who killed his sister had suffered a tragic fate, he is shocked to find Haruka missing. When Shuuichi decides to leave the agency, Kogure then tells him that he should finish his last job first i.e. look for Enomoto Kazuya, the mastermind in Shuuichi's sister's murder...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Preview of "Saikai" (Reunion)

Title: Saikai (Reunion)
Official website: here
O.A. date: 8 December 2012, 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Main cast: Eguchi Yosuke, Tokiwa Takako, Tsutsumi Shinichi, Kagawa Teruyuki

27 years ago, primary 6 students Tobina Junichi (Eguchi Yosuke), Iwamoto Makiko (Tokiwa Takako), Kiyohara Keisuke (Tsutsumi Shinichi) and Sakuma Naoto (Kagawa Teruyuki)  were childhood friends and teammates in the school's kendo club who were constantly encouraging one another to do well. One day when it was nearing graduation, the four of them came to share a big secret when they got implicated in an incident which changed their lives forever from then on.

27 years since then, the four of them who have all grown up, come to meet again despite not having the intention to do so. To make things worse, one of the four may be a potential suspect for a case and as investigations progress, tragic and shocking happenings become known to all...

Junichi who is a police officer, returns to his hometown which he left since graduating from junior high because he got transferred there and his live-in girlfriend Matsumoto Hiromi (Nagasawa Masami) follows him as well. He is welcomed by Kosugi Fusanori (Kitamura Souichirou) and is then asked to accompany Kosugi to the crime scene of a murder. Surprisingly, the victim turns out to be Sakuma Hideyuki (Sugimoto Tetta) i.e. Naoto's elder brother who worked as the manager of a supermarket and he was found dead with a gunshot wound by one of his employees. The prefectural police sends Nara Ryo (Kitamura Yukiya) who is an expert on criminal psychology to investigate the case and Junichi has to team up with Nara to investigate Hideyuki's murder. During Hideyuki's funeral, he is shocked to see Makiko, Keisuke and Naoto who are in turn even more surprised about Junichi's identity and the fact that he is in charge of the case.

While investigations continue, it is found that the bullet which killed Hideyuki came from a police gun. At the same time, Nara also begins investigations on the case 27 years ago which the four childhood friends are trying to forget...

First-day screening of "Karasu no Oyayubi"

The first-day screening of movie "Karasu no Oyayubi" was held on 23 November at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills which was attended by cast members including Abe Hiroshi, Ishihara Satomi, Koyanagi Yu, Murakami George and Nounen Rina. This movie also happens to be the third movie starring Abe Hiroshi released in 2012 (the first two were "Kirin no Tsubasa ~ Gekijouban Shinzanmono" and "Terumae Romae"). Abe mentioned that this was the first time he's playing a fraudster and he felt that the viewers will believe in his trickery featured in the movie. As for Nounen, she had been unable to participate in most of the pre-screening promotional events so far due to her busy filming schedule for NHK morning drama "Ama-chan" so she was glad that she could attend the first-day screening with the rest of her co-stars.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Completion press conference of "Akutou"

The completion press conference for FujiTV drama SP " Akutou" was held on 23 November where key cast members including Takizawa Hideaki, Watari Tetsuya and Kitano Kii appeared. This is the first drama in 3 years for Takizawa who last appeared in TBS' 2009 summer drama "Orthros no Inu" and he plays a private detective who is tasked to find information about criminals at the request of the victims' family members. Takizawa remarked that it was tough mentally to handle such a serious role but he regarded this as a challenge to mark the start of his 30s.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ikuta Toma as personality on All Night Nippon GOLD radio show

Ikuta Toma became a one-night-only radio personality on 23 November for Nippon Housou's signature program "All Night Nippon GOLD" which is the first time in 5 years since December 2007. He was joined by his co-stars from the ongoing autumn drama "Osozaki no Himawari ~ Boku no Jinsei, Renewal" including Kiritani Kenta, Emoto Tasuku, Kuninaka Ryoko, Kashii Yui and Kimura Fumino who appeared as guest stars on the radio program and talked about the NG scenes they had during the filming of the drama and how they went on private gatherings to places such as the karaoke lounge.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NHK reveals poster for "Yae no Sakura"

NHK revealed the poster for their 2013 Taiga drama "Yae no Sakura" on 21 November, which begins its run from 6 January at 8pm on Sundays. The poster features the lead Ayase Haruka who plays Yae with a Spencer rifle in order to match the image of Yae being a Joan of Arc in the Bakumatsu era. The poster will be displayed at all NHK broadcast stations nationwide and the drama's shooting locations such as Fukushima Prefecture from December onward.

Source: Oricon

Gouriki Ayame to be the lead in Winter 2013's Gekku "Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou"

Gouriki Ayame will take on the leading role in "Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou" (Biblia Antique Bookstore's Case notebook) the FujiTV Gekku drama for Winter 2013 as announced on 20 November. This is the first time she is playing the lead in a primetime drama and a Gekku. Since her drama debut in January 2011 as a senior high school student in the Gekku drama then "Taisetsu na koto wa subete kimi ga oshiete kureta", this will be the 7th consecutive season she has appeared in dramas.

The drama is based on a mystery novel by Mikami En which has sold 3.1 million copies even though there are only 3 volumes published to date since last year. Gouriki will play the lead Shinokawa Shioriko, the owner of a antique bookstore in a quiet part of Kamakura and helps to solve the mysteries brought by her customers through her extensive knowledge gained from reading old books. Shioriko is an introvert who is shy with strangers but unafraid to argue with others in order to defend her love for books.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mizukawa Asami in first primetime drama leading role for "Sharehouse no Koibito"

Mizukawa Asami will be taking the lead role in a primetime drama for the first time in the NTV Winter 2013 drama "Sharehouse no Koibito" which will be shown from January in the Wednesday 10pm timeslot. She plays a single OL who is about to turn 30 and starts living with two other men in the same house so as to eliminate the loneliness of living on her own. However, as time goes by, a love triangle starts to develop between the trio. Mizukawa last appeared in a lead role for NTV's midnight drama in October 2008 "Yume wo Kanaeru Zou" which was 4 years and 3 months ago.

Source: Sanspo

Nagasawa Masami & Okada Masaki to team up in movie version of "Kiyoku Yawaku"

Nagasawa Masami and Okada Masaki will be co-starring in the romance movie "Kiyoku Yawaku" based on the popular shoujo manga by Ikuemi Ryo which is due to be shown next autumn. The manga which has been released in 13 volumes, achieved sales of 2.5 million copies to date. Filming is due to start in February next year and both Nagasawa and Okada will play the high school versions of their characters as well while wearing school uniforms.

Nagasawa plays Seto Kanna whose childhood friend Haruta passed away due to an accident when she was in the first year of senior high school. After graduating from university, she works in a movie company and happens to meet Akazawa Roku (Okada) who works in a publishing company. Although Roku looks like a cheerful guy, he has a similar experience like Kanna because he is the sole survivor of an accident during his primary school days that caused the death of his childhood buddy. The two of them gradually fall in love while coping with their past traumas.

Source: Nikkansports

Matsuyama Kenichi stars in stage play "Tooi Natsu no Gogh"

The production press conference of stage play "Tooi Natsu no Gogh" (A Far Summer's Gogh) was held on 21 November which was attended by lead actor Matsuyama Kenichi, Minami, Tsutsui Michitaka and the director Nishida Shatona. This is Matsuyama's first attempt at a leading role in a stage play in his 11-year acting career. With regard to this, Matsuyama said that he is nervous about acting on stage because he is a newbie in this area but he is looking forward to working on this page. He plays the role of a cicada named Gogh who strives hard to win the affection of another cicada played by Minami while Tsutsui plays his cicada friend.

The play will be performed at Akasaka ACT Theatre from 3 February 2013 to 24 February 2013 and later at Osaka's Shin Kabukiza from 7 March to 10 March.

Source: Oricon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tokushige Satoshi joins Kekkon Shinai as potential beau of Kanno Miho

Tokushige Satoshi will appear from the 7th episode of autumn 2012 drama "Kekkon Shinai" as a potential marriage partner of Kanno Miho's character Chiharu. Up to the 6th episode, Chiharu and Junpei (Tamaki Hiroshi) are starting to get closer but both of them are slow to take action when it comes to relationships. Tokushige will play the role of Takahara Seiji, an elite salaryman who gets transferred from the HQ to the travel agency branch where Chiharu works at. In stark contrast to Junpei, Seiji is an assertive guy who is confident about himself. Kanno and Tokushige last worked together in the 2004 movie "Lady Joker" but their collaboration was restricted to one scene only as Tokushige played a police detective while Kanno played a crime victim.

Source: Sanspo

Oda Yuji wins GQ Men of the Year 2012

Oda Yuji won the award "GQ Men of the Year 2012" and attended the prize giving ceremony held on 19 November. When asked by the media about his Christmas plans with his wife who he married two years ago, Oda simply smiled and fended off the questions by saying that he doesn't wish to reveal too much of his private life. When a question about how many kids he wishes to have came from one of the reporters, Oda jokingly said that he doesn't have any plans but is open to playing the role of a father in a drama or movie.

Source: Sanspo

* On a side note, other winners of this award included Maeyamada Kenichi, Ariyoshi Hiroiki, Shinoyama Kishin, Kitajima Kosuke and Murata Ryota.

YUI to go into second suspension of her music career

Singer-songwriter YUI announced on her official site on 19 November 2012 that she will be suspending her music career activities for an undecided period of time by the end of the year. In her statement, YUI said that she has found something that she would like to challenge and the period of rest will help her to prepare for that.

Since her debut in February 2005, this is her 2nd self-imposed suspension of her career. The first time was in August 2008 where she abstained from public appearances and performances so as to concentrate on writing her songs. She returned to singing in June 2009 and scored her bestselling single "again" with 111,000 copies sold.

YUI is expected to perform in TV Asahi's Music Station on 23 November and talk about her decision during the program.

Source: Oricon

Nagase Tomoya to star in Winter 2013 drama "Nakuna, Hara-chan"

TOKIO's Nagase Tomoya will be starring in the NTV Winter 2013 drama "Nakuna, Hara-chan" (Don't cry, Hara-chan) which will begin its run from January 2013 in the Saturday 9pm slot. Nagase plays a comic character Hara-chan who gets out of his manga world and comes into reality where he falls in love with the female manga artist who drew his manga. The drama's script will be an original work written by Okada Yoshikazu who was known for his works such as 2001's "Chura-san". This will also be the first drama leading role which Nagase has undertaken since 2010's "Unubore Keiji".

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Naka Riisa & Nakao Akiyoshi reported to be dating?

Naka Riisa and Nakao Akiyoshi are reportedly dating, according to the 16th November issue of FRIDAY. The magazine published pictures of the two on a late dinner date with other friends in the beginning of November and were caught going to Naka's apartment after the meal. Naka and Nakao last worked together in the NHK drama "Tsurugame Jousanin" shown from August 2012 and had spent three months together in Okinawa while on location shooting.

Nakao recently revealed in July this year that he had broken up with his girlfriend while Naka was recently reported to have gone separate ways with fellow actor Asano Tadanobu in October.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 16, 2012

Update to the Autumn 2012 ratings race - 16 Nov 12

Here is the ranking based on the average ratings:

1) Doctor X - 17.87%
2) PRICELESS - 17.33%
3) Aibou Season 11 - 16.82%
4) MONSTERS - 12.48%
5) Akumu-chan - 12.08%
6) Kekkon Shinai - 12.0%
7) Tokumei Tantei - 10.82%
8) TOKYO Airport - 10.12%
9) Osozaki no Himawari - 10.08%

10) Ooku - 9.32%
11) Going My Home - 8.90%
12) Perfect Blue - 8.25%
13) Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo - 8.00%
14) Resident - 7.48%
15) Koukou Nyuushi - 6.50%
16) Poison - 3.53%
17) PIECE - 2.25%
18) Girl's Talk - 2.23%
19) Sugarless - 1.74%

PRICELESS has overtaken Aibou to occupy the No.2, thanks to its huge jump from 15.2% (Ep 3) to 18.4% (Ep 4). However, Doctor X maintains its lead with a 17.4% for its third episode so in terms of consistency, this drama seems to have an edge over PRICELESS for the time being. Aibou is not doing too badly as well but it's been on a downward trend and picked up slightly for its 5th episode.

MONSTERS stays afloat in the 11% region thus manages to keep its average of 12.08%. Akumu-chan went up quite a bit for its 5th episode (from 10.4% to 12.8%) and has swopped positions with Kekkon Shinai which had also gone back to the 12% region in its 5th episode. At the moment, it looks like these three dramas might be shuffling their positions in the No.4 to No.6 range if their averages continue to be so close to one another.

Tokumei Tantei, TOKYO Airport and Osozaki no Himawari are the next group of 10% contenders with the latter two in serious danger of slipping out of the above-10% category if their single-ratings streaks continue. TOKYO Airport scored its lowest to date i.e. 8.3% for its 5th episode while Osozaki picked up from 8.0% to reach 8.9% in its 4th episode.

As for the below-10% group, there aren't any significant changes but Going My Home looks like it might be losing steam very quickly with its 5th episode getting just 6.5%. Considering the lineup and credentials of its director, it's quite alarming to see such figures. And not surprisingly, fingers are being pointed at Yamaguchi Tomoko who made her return to dramaland with this production but honestly, this genre is something which doesn't attract everyone so I don't think she's solely responsible for the slump. Besides, reviews of her performance and chemistry with Abe Hiroshi have been generally favourable so far.

Before the autumn season began, I had hoped to see improved ratings compared to the sluggish summer season but as you can see, the above-10% group is actually smaller than the below-10s and looks set to get worse if those borderline cases slip further down. It's very disappointing to see this despite seeing a bit of action in the above-10s where we don't have a runaway winner and everything else lagging behind. I just hope that things in the above-10s can get more exciting to make up for the lacklustre drama scene in general.

Abe Hiroshi participates in bank transfer fraud prevention and awareness campaign

In conjunction with the launch of his new movie "Karasu no Oyayubi" (Glass Thumb) where he plays a fraudster and his role as the CM personality of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, Abe Hiroshi took part in a bank transfer fraud prevention and awareness campaign held at the bank's Marunouchi HQ on 15 November where he distributed flyers to the public. When Abe was first told about the fact that there were 1,770 fraud cases involving JPY 6.5bn in losses this year to date, he remarked that he worries for his elderly father too and thinks that constant communication is a key point to preventing such fraud cases.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mori Mitsuko passes away at the age of 92

Actress Mori Mitsuko passed away at the age of 92 due to heart failure caused by pneumonia on 10 November as announced by Toho on 14 November. Her private funeral was held on 14 November which was attended by her family members only. According to her nephew Yanagida Toshiro, Mori had been admitted to a hospital since September but passed away during the hospitalisation period.

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ishida Yuriko to act alongside Suzuki Kyoka in "Yakou Kanransha"

Ishida Yuriko will be joining Suzuki Kyoka in the upcoming TBS Winter 2013 drama "Yakou Kanransha" as a perfectionist housewife, as reported on 12 November. The drama which is based on a novel by popular writer Minato Kanae, features Suzuki as a housewife who takes a second look at her family ties after a murder happens in a picture-perfect family living opposite her in a high-class neighbourhood. Ishida plays the housewife in that family where her husband was suspected to have been killed by one of his sons. This will be the first time which both actresses are working together since Ishida's debut in 1988 and Suzuki in 1989.

Source: Sanspo

Kitamura Kazuki ends his 19-year marriage

Kitamura Kazuki is reported to have ended his 19-year marriage according to the 13th November issue of Shuukan Josei. The couple got married in 1993 and they have a son Shosei who's also an actor. The magazine reported that Kitamura moved out of his family's apartment early this year and began living on his own since then. As Shosei is still underage (he's currently 17), his custody rights are with his mother. When asked about the report, Kitamura's agency confirmed the divorce.

Source: Sanspo

Nakama Yukie in TV Asahi drama SP "Akujotachi no Mesu episode 2"

Nakama Yukie will be starring in TV Asahi drama SP "Akujotachi no Mesu episode 2" which is due to be shown on 21 December at 9pm. The drama SP was first shown last December and featured Nakama as the cold and unfeeling neurosurgeon Hiyama Fuyumi. This time round, she will be joined by three other actresses i.e. Ootsuka Nene who plays a doctor suspected of malpractice, Yamaguchi Sayaka who plays a doctor aiming for Ootsuka's post and Kimura Fumino who is a medical coordinator tasked to investigate the malpractice case at the hospital which Hiyama is newly assigned to.

Source: Sanspo

An to be heroine of 2013 autumn morning drama "Gochisousan"

NHK announced on 12 November that An is going to be the heroine in their next morning drama "Gochisousan" to begin its run from 30 Sep 2013. The drama is set in Osaka during the Taisho and Showa eras where An plays Uno Meiko, a Tokyo-born girl who marries a man from Osaka and moves there with him. While trying to cope with her family's problems, she becomes a housewife who supports her family members through the problems with her homecooked dishes. This will be the first time An is acting in a NHK morning drama. Filming will begin in May next year.

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Production press conference of "Toshokan Sensou"

The production press conference of movie "Toshokan Sensou" was held at Joso City in Ibaraki Prefecture which was attended by cast members Okada Junichi, Eikura Nana, Kuriyama Chiaki, Tanaka Kei, Fukushi Sota and Ishizaka Kouji. The movie is scheduled to be shown in cinemas from 27 April. Okada plays the role of Doujou Atsushi, the trainer of newbie Kasahara Iku who enters the Library Special Forces. During the filming, there were scenes where Doujou had to slap Iku which made Eikura cried as a result because she had never even been slapped by her own parents.

Source: Sanspo

Movie version of "Strawberry Night"

The movie version of "Strawberry Night" starring Takeuchi Yuko will be screened nationwide from 26 January 2013. In preparation for the launch, the trailer of the movie was recently revealed and features Himekawa (Takeuchi) kissing Makita, an executive member of a gang played by Osawa Takao.

In the movie, there will be a total of four serial murder cases handled by Himekawa and her team. While trying to investigate the cases, they face pressure internally as the police is trying to cover up the cases. Meanwhile, Himekawa and Makita get involved in a forbidden relationship between a police officer and a gang member while Kikuta continues to stay by Himekawa's side all this while without revealing how he feels about her.

For those who are interested to see the trailer, you may go to this site.

Source: Oricon

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Additional cast announcements for "Platina Data"

The cast lineup for suspense thriller movie "Platina Data" starring Ninomiya Kazunari and Toyokawa Etsushi has been expanded to include Suzuki Honami, Namase Katsuhisa, An and Mizuhara, as announced on 7 November.

Ninomiya plays Kagura Ryuhei, a genius scientist at the Special Analysis Research Centre, who helps the police solve a number of complicated cases but suddenly finds himself being fingered as the culprit of a series of murders when his DNA is found to be a match with that left by the criminal at the crime scene. Toyokawa plays Asama Reiji, the police detective who is in charge of tracking down Kagura who goes on the run to prove his innocence.

Suzuki Honami plays Mizukami Eriko, a doctor who is an expert in genetics. In the original novel by Higashino Keigo, this character is a man but has been changed in the movie. Namase plays Shiga Takashi, the chief of the research centre and works closely with Kagura. Mizuhara plays a genius mathematician Tateshina Saki while An plays Shiratori Risa, a newbie researcher in the research centre.

The novel "Platina Data" was actually meant to be a story which could be adapted into a movie but Higashino stopped working on the novel for a while before resuming work on it in 2006 and releasing it as a novel in June 2010. To date, the novel has sold more than 1 million copies as of November 2012.

Source: My Navi

I am in the midst of reading this novel and I must say, it does look like a promising piece of work! If handled properly, I'm sure the movie will turn out to be quite good. I don't think I've seen Shiratori so far in the novel so I'm wondering if she's a newly-added character. Maybe she will appear in the later part of the story? As for Suzuki Honami's role, the character is supposed to be a guy but I think there will be different sparks now that the setting has changed. Namase playing the role of Shiga looks like a pretty good match for now and I think his interaction with Ninomiya and Toyokawa should be worth checking out. What intrigues me most is Mizuhara playing the role of Tateshina Saki especially since Saki is described to be a fat and physically very unattractive woman who's absorbed in her mathematical research. However, the trailer seems to hint at a romantic line between her and Kagura!

For those who are interested, here is the trailer of the movie (not sure how long it will stay on YouTube though):

Uchino Masaaki & Sato Takeru in Winter 2013 drama "Tonbi"

Uchino Masaaki will be starring in the TBS Winter 2013 drama "Tonbi" which is due to begin its run in January next year in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. The story is based on a novel by Naoki Award author Shigematsu Kiyoshi published in 2008 and features Uchino as Ichikawa Yasuo, a single father who works as a truck driver and has to raise his only son Akira alone during the Showa era after his wife passed away due to an accident when Akira was just 3 years old. The teenager and adult version of Akira from 16 to 30 years old will be played by Sato Takeru while Yasuo's wife will be played by Tokiwa Takako. The drama which will be produced by the same crew that worked on TBS hit drama "JIN",  will adopt Akira's viewpoint when he becomes an employee at a publishing company and his father's life is shown in the form of flashbacks. Co-stars of this drama also include Fukiishi Kazue and Emoto Akira.

Source: Sanspo

Premiere screening of "Sono Yoru no Samurai"

The premiere screening of movie "Sono Yoru no Samurai" (The Samurai of That Night) was held at United Cinema Toyosu on 7 November which was attended by key cast members Sakai Masato, Yamada Takayuki, Ayano Go, Tanimura Mitsuki and Arai Hirofumi. Sakai plays a man out for revenge against the culprit (Yamada) of a hit-and-run accident which killed his wife. Reflecting on the filming process, Sakai said that it was such an intense filming period which made him feel as if he had already worked with Yamada for three years so he commented jokingly that he would not want to see Yamada's face for some time from now on. During the press conference, Ayano Go collapsed due to anaemia and had to take a break offstage before returning to greet the audience.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Story outline of "Yakou Kanransha"

The story is set in a luxury residential estate Hibarigaoka and focuses on three families living there i.e. the Endo, Takahashi and Kojima households. Endo Mayumi (Suzuki Kyoka) is thrilled that her dream of living in a house at Hibarigaoka has finally come true although it is quite a strain on her family's finances. However, following the failure of her daughter Ayaka to pass the junior high entrance exams, she starts to display a violent streak which becomes an openly-known fact in the neighbourhood.

On the other hand, in stark contrast to the Endo household, there is the Takahashi family who lives opposite the Endos and looks like the perfect model family. The husband is an elite doctor, the wife is a beauty, their daughter gets into the famous private high school which Ayaka failed to get in, their eldest son lives alone in the Kansai region while studying in the medicine faculty and their younger son is a natural-born athlete.

However, the unthinkable happens when the husband in the Takahashi family gets murdered and the police believes that it is the act of someone close to him. As investigations progress, it becomes known that the younger son had disappeared since the day of his father's mother which leads everyone to suspect if the younger son had indeed killed his father...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Update to the Autumn 2012 ratings race - 6 Nov 2012

Here is how the rankings look like this week:

1) Doctor X - 18.10%
2) Aibou Season 11 - 17.18%
3) PRICELESS - 16.97%
4) MONSTERS - 12.80%
5) Kekkon Shinai - 11.95%
6) Akumu-chan - 11.90%
7) Osozaki no Himawari - 11.70%
8) Tokumei Tantei - 10.88%
9) TOKYO Airport - 10.58%
10) Going My Home - 10.10%

11) Ooku - 9.43%
12) Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo - 8.70%
13) Perfect Blue - 8.18%
14) Resident - 8.10%
15) Koukou Nyuushi - 6.62%
16) Poison - 3.38%
17) PIECE - 2.20%
18) Girls Talk - 2.16%
19) Sugarless - 1.62%

Doctor X didn't air its third episode last week thus it is still unclear if it will maintain its lead for the rest of the season or will falter as the drama progresses. Both PRICELESS and Aibou fell in their ratings but the former took a deeper dive of 3.6% while Aibou just dropped 1.5%. It leads people to wonder if the 18.8% achieved by PRICELESS is merely an anomaly and is a sign of highly erratic ratings if the trend continues to go up-down like a rollercoaster ride. In contrast, Aibou's descend seems a bit more gradual. This could be the deciding factor as to who gets a shot at No.1 (assuming Doctor X loses its lead) because consistency is usually better in the long run.

MONSTERS tumbled 2.2% downwards but there is still a bit of a gap between it and Kekkon Shinai which is hovering just above the 10% mark. Thanks to its above-13% ratings in the first two episodes, I don't suppose Kekkon Shinai will fall out of the above-10% group anytime soon unless anything out of the blue happens. Akumu-chan's average is quite close to Kekkon Shinai and may overtake it anytime.

Osozaki no Himawari goes down to below-10% in its 2nd episode which is pretty normal for a drama to register lower ratings in the 2nd week. However, it will depend on the 3rd episode to see if this is a mere freak result or a sign of more worrying times ahead. Tokumei Tantei is hanging on well in the bottom pack of the above-10% group while TOKYO Airport surged a bit higher in its 4th episode to maintain its status in the group. Going My Home goes further down in its ratings and if it doesn't buck up soon, it will go into the other group fairly soon. I've only watched a bit of Going My Home so far and I have to admit, it does take a bit of time to adjust to. It's most likely the type of drama where viewers either love it or hate it to the core and unfortunately, this type of dramas tend to have low ratings despite a stellar cast.

In the other end of the spectrum, the under-10s seem to be a mixed bag with some improving their ratings and some continuing to swim in the single-digit waters. Perfect Blue, Tokyo Zenryoku Shoujo and Resident all jumped higher with the latter two doing even better than their first OAs. Koukou Nyuushi also flew higher by 2.3% to get close to its first OA high. As for the below-5s, they are all late-night offerings so you can't really expect them to compete on the same level as the primetime dramas. It's not often that you get a runaway hit like Jikou Keisatsu which was elevated to primetime status after it did very well in a midnight slot.

Fukada Kyoko and Igarashii Maasa still dating?

Fukada Kyoko and Igarashii Maasa are reported to be still in a relationship, according to the 6th Nov issue of "Josei Jishin". The magazine reported that Igarashii, who is 3 years younger than Fukada and holds a chef licence, brought groceries and party goods to Fukada's apartment on 2 November before she returned home later that evening to celebrate her 30th birthday with him. The couple were first romantically linked in a Josei Jishin report back in October 2010.

Source: Sanspo

Tamura Masakazu & Yonekura Ryoko to star in 2-part Matsumoto Seicho drama SPs

Tamura Masakazu and Yonekura Ryoko will be the leads of a 2-part Matsumoto Seicho 20th death anniversary drama SP series which will be shown via TV Asahi on 15th and 16th December at 9pm.

Tamura who last appeared in a Matsumoto Seicho drama 2 years ago, stars in the first story titled "Juumanbun no ichi no guuzen" (The one in a hundred thousand coincidence) as a reporter who has been so absorbed in his work and raised his child alone after his wife's demise. However, the ironic thing is that he only realises his daughter's death one month after she died from a tragic traffic accident. When he sees a photo in the media of the accident which is said to be a one-in-a-hundred-thousand coincidence, he seeks out the truth for his daughter's sake. This story was first released as a novel in 1980 and made into a drama back in 1981 starring Takahashi Keiko. Co-stars in this SP include Nakatani Miki, Takashima Masanobu and Uchiyama Rina.

As for Yonekura, she plays a housekeeper who has no confidence in her looks despite being very pretty. As a result, she tries to conceal her beauty through various disguises and works as a housekeeper. She relishes in seeing the families who she works for suffer as a result of unfortunate happenings and is a curious onlooker about what happens in these families.

Source: Sanspo

Kimura Yoshino expecting 2nd child; due to give birth in summer

Kimura Yoshino is currently 3 months' pregnant with her 2nd child as revealed by insiders on 5 November just one year after giving birth to her first daughter with Higashiyama Noriyuki on 4 November. According to reports, Kimura is expected to give birth early summer next year. As a result, Kimura rejected an offer to star in a spring drama next year and has started to scale back on her showbiz activities soon after she knew about the pregnancy.

Higashiyama and Kimura started dating in 2008 after working together on a stage play and got married on 23 October 2010 before their daughter was born on 4 November last year. Kimura returned to work after childbirth in NHK's drama "Hatsukoi" which ran from May to July and also starred in FujiTV summer drama "Iki mo dekinai natsu" as Takei Emi's mother.

Source: Sanspo

Top 30 songs with the most copyright fees between 1982 and 2011 (JASRAC)

Here are the top 30 songs with the most copyright fees between 1982 and 2011:

1) Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana - SMAP
2) Izakaya - Itsuki Hiroshi / Kinomi Nana
3) Futari no Osaka - Miyako Harumi / Miyazaki Miyabi
4) Evangelion BGM
5) Nada Sousou - Natsukawa Rimi
6) TSUNAMI - Southern All Stars
7) Kawa no nagare no you ni - Misora Hibari
8) Kita Kuukou - Hama Keisuke / Kae Eunsuk
9) I LOVE YOU - Ozaki Yutaka
10) Sake yo - Yoshi Ikuzo

11) Kanpai - Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi
12) Kita no tabibito - Ishihara Yuujirou
13) Ginza no koi no monogatari - Ishihara Yuujirou / Makimura Junko
14) Zankoku na tenshi no deeze - Takahashi Yoko
15) Hanamizuki - Hitoto Yo
16) Everything - Misia
17) CAN YOU CELEBRATE? - Amuro Namie
18) Pocket Monster BGM
19) Kiseki - GReeeeN
20) Geba Geba 90-pun! Theme

21) Nirinsou - Kawanaka Miyuki
22) Amagigoe - Ishikawa Sayuri
23) Sekaichuu no dare yori mo kitto - Nakayama Miho & WANDS
24) Dragon Ball Z BGM
25) Choo Choo Train - ZOO / EXILE
26) Yozora no Mukou - SMAP
27) SEASONS - Hamasaki Ayumi
28) Automatic - Utada Hikaru
29) Sakuranbo - Ootsuka Ai
30) Kido Senshi Z Gundam BGM

Source: JASRAC

The 30th JASRAC Award Ceremony

The 30th JASRAC Award Ceremony was held at Keyaki Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo where JASRAC gave out awards to the creators and record companies of the top 3 songs which earned the most copyright fees between 1982 and 2011. The No.1 song went to SMAP's "Sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana" released in 2003 thus its composer Makihara Noriyuki and Johnny's Publishing's CEO Kitagawa Johnny received awards for the song. However, as Kitagawa was unable to attend the ceremony, SMAP member Inagaki Goro accepted the award on his behalf and read out a speech from Kitagawa.

Source: Sanspo

The 10th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2012

The prize presentation ceremony of "The 10th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2012" (The 10th Clarino Beautiful Legs Award) was held on 6th November where various female artistes were crowned winners in their respective age categories. In the teenagers category, Miyazaki Karen took the title while newly-married Ueto Aya was No.1 in the 20s age group. Kichise Michiko was the winner in the 30s age group while Kaku Chikako rounded up the list with a win in the over-40s group.

Source: Nikkansports

Past year winners of this award are listed below (for those who may be interested to know):

1st Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2003
20s category: Shaku Yumiko
30s category: Nakamura Eriko
40s category: Kuroda Chieko

2nd Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2004
20s category: Aizawa Sayo
30s category: Iijima Naoko
40s category: Takagi Saya

3rd Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2005
20s category: Sato Eriko
30s category: Kanda Uno
40s category: Mii

4th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2006
20s category: Hoshino Aki
30s category: Sugimoto Aya
40s category: Akimoto Naomi
Sportsman category: Asagoe Shinobu

5th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2007
20s category: Tamaru Maki
30s category: Mizuki Arisa
Over 40s category: Akiyoshi Kumiko
Sportsman category: Takeda Miho

6th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2008
20s category: Hirosue Ryoko
30s category: Seto Asaka
Over 40s category: Maya Miki
Sportsman category: Sugayama Kaoru

7th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2009
20s category: Nagasawa Masami
30s category: Shaku Yumiko
Over 40s category: Makoto Tsubasa
Sportsman category: Urata Satoko

8th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2010
20s category: Kuroki Meisa
30s category: Yuka
Over 40s category: Takashima Reiko
Men's category: Fukunishi Takashi

9th Clarino Bikyaku Taisho 2011
Teenagers category: Kutsuna Shiori
20s category: Ishihara Satomi
30s category: Yonekura Ryoko
Over 40s category: Toyota Maho

Source: Clarino

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Cha Seung Won working together in stage play

SMAP member Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Korean actor Cha Seung Won appeared at the pre-performance press conference of their stage play "Boku ni Honoo no Sensha wo" on 3 November which began its run on the same day and will run till 1 December. The stage play is set in the 1920s when the Korean peninsula was under Japanese rule. As Kusanagi plays a teacher who goes to Korea at that time, half of his lines will be in Korean. This is the second time that both actors are working together since they last appeared on a TV programme together 5 years ago. Co-stars of this play include Hirosue Ryoko and Kagawa Teruyuki.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 02, 2012

Suzuki Kyoka to star in TBS winter 2013 drama "Yakou Kanransha"

Suzuki Kyoka will be starring in the TBS winter 2013 drama "Yakou Kanransha" (Night Ferris Wheel" which is due to begin its run from January 2013 in the Friday 10pm timeslot. The drama is based on a novel by Minato Kanae and features Suzuki as an ordinary housewife who looks like she has the perfect life with a nice house although her husband is not actively involved in the family. However, she starts to experience hell after her daughter fails the junior high entrance exam and starts to use domestic violence on her mother. At the same time, a murder case happens in their neighbour's house which causes Suzuki's character to wonder what a perfect family should be since their neighbours appeared to be as such but had problems within that led to the murder. In the drama, Suzuki's character keeps bearing with her daughter's outburst but finally loses her patience and even has scenes such as where she forces mud into her uncontrollable daughter's mouth.

*Photo features Suzuki Kyoka and the author Minato Kanae.

Source: Nikkansports

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Aiba Masaki to star in winter 2013 drama "Last Hope"

Arashi member Aiba Masaki will be starring in the FujiTV winter 2013 drama "Last Hope" which begins its run in January in the Tuesdays 9pm timeslot. He will play the role of a doctor for the first time in this drama set in an advanced medical centre.

Aiba plays the lead role of a doctor who can tell how his patients are feeling emotionally just by listening to their heartbeats. He also insists on having his 3pm teatime snack no matter what happens. However, behind that happy-go-lucky appearance, he actually has a secret from his childhood that he is not even aware of. Co-stars include Tabe Mikako, an ER doctor who looks cool on the surface yet has a boring life, Tanabe Seiichi as a playboy surgeon who is highly skilled, Kohinata Fumio as a specialist who is absorbed in his research as well as Kitamura Yukiya, Sakuraba Nanami, Takashima Masahiro and Hirata Mitsuru.

Source: Sanspo

The 16th Nikkansports Drama Grand Prix - Summer 2012

Here are the results of the 16th Nikkansports Drama Grand Prix for the summer 2012 season (numbers indicate votes received):

Best Drama
1) Ume-chan Sensei / NHK / 351
2) Rich Man, Poor Woman / FujiTV / 156
3) GTO / FujiTV / 131
4) Kuro no Onna Kyoushi / TBS / 75
5) Tokkan / NTV / 62

Best Leading Actor
1) Oguri Shun / Rich Man, Poor Woman / 279
2) AKIRA / GTO / 217
3) Matsuyama Kenichi / Taira no Kiyomori / 180
4) Toyokawa Etsushi / Beautiful Rain / 158
5) Watase Tsunehiko / Keishicho Sousa Ikka 9 Kakari / 134

Best Leading Actress
1) Horikita Maki / Ume-chan Sensei / 496
2) Inoue Mao / Tokkan / 140
3) Eikura Nana / Kuro no Onna Kyoushi / 124
4) Nakama Yukie / Ghost Mama Sousasen / 118
5) Ashida Mana / Beautiful Rain / 99

Best Supporting Actor
1) Takahashi Katsumi / Ume-chan Sensei / 220
2) Matsuzaka Tori / Ume-chan Sensei / 171
3) Iura Arata / Rich Man, Poor Woman / 74
4) Kitamura Yukiya / Tokkan / 72
5) Eguchi Yosuke / Iki mo dekinai natsu / 64

Best Supporting Actress
1) Ishihara Satomi / Rich Man, Poor Woman / 246
2) Minami Kaho / Ume-chan Sensei / 173
3) Suzuki Sawa / Tokkan / 75
4) Saito Yuki / Iryu Sousa / 72
5) Nakatani Miki / Beautiful Rain / 68

Source: Nikkansports