Monday, September 30, 2019

Preview of "G Senjou no Anata to Watashi" - Autumn 2019

Title: G Senjou no Anata to Watashi G線上のあなたと私 (You and I on the G String)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 15 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original manga by: Ikuemi Ryo
Cast: Haru, Nakagawa Taishi, Sakurai Yuki, Suzuki Nobuyuki, Mao, Takizawa Karen, Morioka Ryu, Nagano Munenori, Konishi Haru, Iketani Nobue, Hino Yojin, Nagano Satomi, Shida Masayuki, Yazaki Yusa, Ogi Hiroaki, Natsuki Yoko & Matsushita Yuki

Sunday, September 29, 2019

TOKIO's leader Joshima Shigeru holds a press conference to announce his marriage to Kikuchi Risa

Following news of TOKIO's leader Joshima Shigeru's marriage to Kikuchi Risa yesterday, he held a press conference in Tokyo on 28 September where he revealed all the details about his relationship with his wife and touched on topics such as whether and when TOKIO will resume its band activities.

Here are the highlights from the press conference today:

- Before the press conference started, TOKIO's songs were played in the background until Joshima appeared on stage. The songs were also played when Joshima left the venue after the press conference.

- He began by thanking the media for coming to the press conference at such short notice and apologised that despite his marriage being a private matter, he wanted to make the announcement to everyone through this event.

- Kikuchi is currently 4 months pregnant and due to give birth in March 2020. The couple are already living together.

- The couple filed their marriage application today with the help of a representative.

- Joshima admitted with a smile that having been in Johnny's Jimusho for more than 30 years, this press conference was the most nerve-wracking for him to date.

- The marriage proposal to Kikuchi was made at her family home early this year when he visited her family during the New Year holidays. While out on a walk with her, he said "幸せにするので結婚してください" (I will make you happy so please marry me) to which she said yes.

- The couple met through mutual friends in autumn 2015 when they were dining at a restaurant. They started off as friends before going into a relationship later that year. However, he was conscious of how young she was and decided that they should take things slow. Nonetheless, there was a period of time when they decided to go their separate ways but reconciled later because they still had feelings for each other.

- As for plans to hold a wedding and banquet, Joshima said that they didn't have any firm dates in mind. Since he felt that the star of the wedding should be the bride, he will respect her wishes as to when they would do this. He revealed that they would probably just have an intimate gathering with their families for the wedding.

- As for the wedding ring, he admitted that he hasn't prepared that yet and even flashed his left hand to the media to show that he wasn't wearing a ring, much to their amusement.

- When asked about how he felt about his child going to be born next spring, Joshima said that it was an indescribable feeling because he is an only child and had wanted siblings. He never expected that he would become a father one day so he is just very happy about the impending arrival of his child.

- When asked if he would allow his child (assuming it's a boy) to join Johnny's Jimusho in future, Joshima said that he didn't even know whether the baby is going to be a boy or girl so he will think about that after the baby is born. However, he joked that if it's a boy, he would most likely recommend his son to be in a band rather than be in a dance group because "bands would last longer in showbiz compared to idols".

- As for his 24-year age difference with Kikuchi being the talk of town (Joshima is turning 49 in November so the actual age difference should be 25 years old), he said that she is mature beyond her age and he hardly felt their age gap during their daily interactions. He praised his wife for being a great cook especially when cooking dishes with a Kansai style (Joshima was raised in Nara). In fact, Joshima joked that the only time when he felt their age difference was how his body would ache after work.

- When asked about the ages of his in-laws, Joshima said that he didn't want to touch on that but still revealed that his mother-in-law is younger than him while his father-in-law was about the same age as him.

- Joshima revealed that he announced his marriage to his TOKIO members at the same time when they were together and was greeted by cheers of "Wa!" because they were so surprised. The members even joked to him that they are relieved because they would no longer have to take care of Joshima in his old age now that he's married.

- In the congratulatory comments released by the members, Kokubun Taichi said that he never imagined that there would be a day when they could congratulate Leader for getting married while Matsuoka Masahiro joked that his marriage is a huge relief for them. Nagase Tomoya reminded Leader not to push himself too hard since he has a family now and that he should take good care of his health.

- When asked about TOKIO's activities as a band, Joshima said that when something starts, there will come a day when it ends but it is not easy to end things. The challenge is how to continue when faced with difficulties. The band do feel that they want to continue their music activities even in the 30th or 40th year of their career. He revealed that they have been talking about this especially with Nagase who has been their music producer for a while on how they want to make a comeback, in what format and when. However, rather than rush into things, they would like to let nature run its course because this is not something as simple as just writing a new song. In the meantime, it's best that they try to improve themselves and make a great comeback when it's the right time.

- When asked to comment on his still-single band members Matsuoka & Nagase, he began by saying that meeting the right person is sometimes dictated by destiny and hoped that they would find someone in future.

- Joshima had declared in the past that he would be the last in the band to marry after everyone else got hitched. When asked by the media that he had gotten married ahead of the two youngest members in TOKIO and "went back on that promise", he commented that he was young then and felt that work was more important than marriage at that time. As for being told by the media that he is the first and only leader of a still-active Johnny's group to get married, Joshima said that he didn't realise this though but joked that he will leave it to Kishi Yuuta of King & Prince (the newest group in Johnny's to have made their major debut) to break this jinx in future.

- Joshima had also informed his seniors such as Kondo Masahiko, Higashiyama Noriyuki, Kimura Takuya & Nakai Masahiro and juniors in the agency about his marriage. However, he hasn't had the chance to tell V6's Sakamoto Masayuki who is about the same age as him because he feels a bit sorry for "leaving him behind in bachelorhood" and will contact him after the press conference. Joshima joked that he will probably "poke fun" at Sakamoto since he will be experiencing marriage life and fatherhood ahead of the latter.

- At the end of the 1-hour-long press conference, Joshima went to the venue's exit and greeted every single member of the media while passing them a souvenir which contained a message card about his marriage announcement and Japanese sweets from Nagaokake in Namie-machi, Fukushima Prefecture which had the words "kansha" (gratitude) and "J" printed on them. Fukushima Prefecture is the place where the DASH Village from NTV variety show "The Tetsuwan Dash" was located at.

Sources: Natalie / Oricon 1 / Oricon 2

Preview of "4 Punkan no Marigold" - Autumn 2019

Title: 4 Punkan no Marigold 4分間のマリーゴールド (Marigold in 4 Minutes)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Fridays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original manga by: Kirie
Cast: Fukushi Souta, Nanao, Yokohama Ryuusei, Nishimura Motoki, Ito Asahi, Sekimizu Nagisa, Suzuki Yuuka, Asou Yumi, Miura Masaki, Nishio Mari, Hashimoto Jun & Kiritani Kenta

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Preview of "Motokare Mania" - Autumn 2019

Title: Motokare Mania モトカレマニア (Ex-boyfriend Mania)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original manga by: Takinami Yukari
Theme Song: "Revival Love" by Choutokkyuu
Opening Theme: "Asymmetry" by Yasuda Rei
Cast: Araki Yuuko, Koura Kengo, Hamano Kenta, Tanaka Minami, Yoshiko, Morita Kanro, Sekiguchi Mandy, Kato Toranosuke, Daichi, Inoue Shota, Kote Shinya & Yamaguchi Sayaka

Friday, September 27, 2019

Preview of "Mada Kekkon Dekinai Otoko" - Autumn 2019

Title: Mada Kekkon Dekinai Otoko まだ結婚できない男 (The man who still can't get married)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 8 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: Kansai TV
Theme Song: "Mada Swimmy" by Mochida Kaori
Cast: Abe Hiroshi, Yoshida Yo, Fukagawa Mai, Tsukamoto Takashi, Sakihi Miyu, Taira Yuna, Anan Atsuko, Nao, Arai Atsushi, Onodera Zuru, Fuwa Mansaku, Miura Rieko, Omi Toshinori, Inamori Izumi & Kusabue Mitsuko

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Preview of "Sherlock: Untold Stories" - Autumn 2019

Title: Sherlock: Untold Stories シャーロック アントールドストーリーズ
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original novel by: Arthur Conan Doyle
Theme Song: "Shelly" by Dean Fujioka
Cast: Dean Fujioka, Iwata Takanori, Yamada Maho, Yuutarou & Sasaki Kuranosuke

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Preview of "Rika" - Autumn 2019

Title: Rika リカ
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 5 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Saturdays 11.40pm
Broadcast by: Tokai TV / FujiTV
Original novel by: Igarashi Takahisa
Theme Song: "STRIP" by Kouda Kumi
Cast: Takaoka Saki, Koike Teppei, Ootani Ryohei, Natsuna, Tokunaga Eri, Kashiwabara Shuji & Nishioka Tokuma

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 21st & 22nd Sep 2019

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas showing the movie:

1) Kioku ni gozaimasen! (351)

2) Kaguyasama wa kokurasetai Tensaitachi no renai zunousen (290)

3) Ad Astra (354)

4) Tenki no Ko (358)

5) Ningen Shikaku Dazai Osamu to Sannin no onnatachi (320)

6) HELLO WORLD (254)

7) Gekijouban Ossans Love LOVE or DEAD (313)

8) The Lion King (372)

9) Mienai Mokugekisha (248)

10) Annabelle Comes Home (169)


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 14th & 15th Sep 2019

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas showing the movie:

1) Kioku ni gozaimasen! (351)

2) Kaguyasama wa kokurasetai Tensaitachi no renai zunousen (290)

3) Tenki no Ko (358)

4) Ningen Shikaku Dazai Osamu to Sannin no onnatachi (320)

5) The Lion King (372)

6) Gekijouban Ossans Love LOVE or DEAD (313)

7) A Dog's Journey (254)

8) Violet Evergarden Gaiden Eien to jidou shuki ningyou (83)

9) Gekijouban ONE PIECE STAMPEDE (352)

10) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (282)


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

And so, this is probably why the ending of "Anata no ban desu" was "incomplete"...

If this article is to be believed, there is a valid reason why the ending of "Anata no ban desu" was "incomplete". I have highlighted the key points here and tried to avoid posting any spoilers so you can read this without any worries:

- Despite the high rating achieved by the finale, NTV has been flooded with complaints on the phone and online because of many unanswered questions in the ending. It was estimated that more than 90% of posts and comments online were from dissatisfied viewers.

- Despite the real killer being arrested, the final moments of the finale hinted at more new mysteries and the presence of yet another mastermind.

- Apparently, this was done on purpose by NTV because there is supposed to be another 2-part special episode which will be streamed via its affiliate company Hulu on 23rd and 29th September. Akimoto Yasushi who conceptualised the story, will answer all the questions from the viewers in this programme.

- The producer of "Anata no ban desu" initially wanted to add a telop at the end of the finale saying that "the story will be continued on Hulu" but the NTV director in charge of programming was furious about this and objected to the idea. This was because this producer had created a big fiasco back in 2017 when the "real ending" of Summer 2017 drama "Aishitetatte, Himitsu wa aru" starring Fukushi Souta was shown on Hulu after the airing of the final episode. The director concerned was said to have scolded the producer for ignoring the interests of viewers and that this was wrong morally.

- Due to the absence of such a telop, the viewers were left with an "incomplete" ending with many unanswered questions causing a lot of confusion.
However, if the telop was included, this could have caused a bigger outburst from viewers and get NTV into trouble with BPO (Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organisation) for its overly aggressive tactics to make people sign up for Hulu just to watch the full ending.

- NTV is said to be bidding its time to find the right moment to make the announcement about the SP. Although fans would probably be glad to have the complete answer, they would probaly be eager to flood NTV with criticism over the way it is done as well.


Apparently, NTV still hasn't learned its lesson from 2017 when it was scolded for airing the real ending of Fukushi Souta's drama on Hulu. At that time, they even tried to argue their way out by saying that the Hulu episode was not the true ending but the explanation was hardly believable. Anyway, NTV has never been afraid of courting controversy and this probably won't be the last time it will pull a publicity stunt and have it backfire on them.

To me, a TV drama is meant to be shown entirely on TV. If you want to have alternative content like "Tobira no mukou" which explains more about the stories behind the characters, that's fine because I see it more as "enrichment" content which I can choose to view or not and probably doesn't matter so much to the main story. By showing the drama on a free-to-air channel, everyone should be entitled to watch it without having to pay extra unless you are subscribing to a cable network like WOWOW. And mind you, I am actually paying subscription fees to watch Gem which is related to NTV so I am not getting access for free.

As such, when it's a critical part of the story such as the ending that is deliberately shown elsewhere for no apparent reason other than to compel people to sign up for a paid service, I find this rather immoral. If you have no intention of delivering the full deal, I probably wouldn't have bothered watching the drama from the start if you tell me this upfront. After 6 months of following this drama, you are telling people that you have to pay to watch the ending? And so what if I do sign up for Hulu? When not all of the content can be viewed by international viewers due to region restrictions, it is meaningless for me to pay for such an "incomplete" service because I don't get all of what I want. And this is precisely why I still do not want to sign up for Netflix or other similar services even though there are some Japanese content which I want to watch.

Regardless of when NTV makes the announcement about the SP, they will surely suffer a backlash. Sooner or later doesn't make much of a difference. As far as I am concerned, I will be done with this drama when I watch the finale on Gem tonight. No way am I going to sign up for Hulu just to see Akimoto tell me the answers. Oh well, I probably won't be able to see it even if I do sign up because of region restrictions again! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Preview of "Aku no Hadou Satsujin Bunsekihan Spinoff" - Autumn 2019

Title: Aku no Hadou Satsujin Bunsekihan Spinoff 悪の波動 殺人分析班スピンオフ (The wave motion of evil - Murder analysis section spinoff)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 6 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Sundays 10.30pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 5
Original novel by: Asami Kazushi
Cast: Furukawa Yuuki, SUMIRE, Fukazawa Tatsuya, Hirano Kinari, Chiba Tetsuya, Anan Kenji, Nikaidou Satoshi, Tsurumi Shingo, Ikeda Tetsuhiro & Kimura Fumino

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 7th & 8th Sep 2019

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas showing the movie:

1) Kaguyasama wa kokurasetai Tensaitachi no renai zunousen (290)

2) Tenki no Ko (358)

3) The Lion King (372)

4) Gekijouban Ossans Love LOVE or DEAD (313)

5) Gekijouban ONE PIECE STAMPEDE (352)

6) Violet Evergarden Gaiden Eien to jidou shuki ningyou (83)

7) Hikkoshi Damiyo! (323)

8) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (282)

9) Kono subarashii sekai ni shukufuku wo! Kurenai Densetsu (100)

10) Toy Story 4 (369)


Sunday, September 08, 2019

Preview of "Top League" - Autumn 2019

Title: Top League トップリーグ
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 5 Oct 2019
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 6
Original novel by: Aiba Hideo
Cast: Tamayama Tetsuji, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, Sakuma Yui, Koyuki, Jinnai Takanori, Kobayashi Kaoru, Mitsuishi Ken, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Hashimoto Manami, Kuroba Mario, Nakamura Eriko, Nomaguchi Tooru & Sano Shiro

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Preview of "Scarlet" (NHK 2019/2020 morning drama)

Title: Scarlet スカーレット
Official website: here
Official blog: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 30 Sep 2019
Timeslot: Mondays to Saturdays at 8am
Broadcast by: NHK
Total number of episodes: 150
Theme Song: "Flare" by Superfly
Narrator: Nakajo Seiko (NHK announcer)
Cast: Toda Erika, Kawashima Yua, Kitamura Kazuki, Tomita Yasuko, Sakuraba Nanami, Fukuda Mayuko, Sato Ryuuta, Ooshima Yuko, Hayashi Kento, Zaizen Naomi, Maggy, Mizuno Miki, Mizobata Junpei, Kimoto Takehiro, Hano Aki, Mitsubayashi Kyoko, Nishikawa Takanori etc.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Preview of "Rinshou Hanzai Gakusha Himura Hideo no Suiri 2019" (Drama SP)

Title: Rinshou Hanzai Gakusha Himura Hideo no Suiri 2019 臨床犯罪学者火村英生の推理2019
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 29 Sep 2019 at 10.30pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Original novel by: Arisugawa Alice
Cast: Saito Takumi, Kubota Masataka, Yamamoto Mizuki, Makita Sports, Matsunaga Nagisa, Yamamoto Ai, Hasegawa Kyoko & Natsuki Mari
Guest Stars: Takahashi Maryjun, Emoto Tokio, Maeda Gouki, Namioka Kazuki, Hamada Mari, Hasegawa Hatsunori & Sato Ryuta

Monday, September 02, 2019

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 31st Aug & 1st Sep 2019

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas showing the movie:

1) Tenki no Ko (358)

2) The Lion King (372)

3) Gekijouban Ossans Love LOVE or DEAD (313)

4) Gekijouban ONE PIECE STAMPEDE (352)

5) Hikkoshi Damiyo! (323)

6) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (281)

7) Toy Story 4 (369)

8) Kono subarashii sekai ni shukufuku wo! Kurenai Densetsu (100)

9) Rocketman (319)

10) Ninokuni (320)


Sunday, September 01, 2019

Preview of "Kizuna no Pedaru" (Drama SP)

Title: Kizuna no Pedaru 絆のペダル (The Pedal of Bonds)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 24 Aug 2019 at 9pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Cast: Aiba Masaki, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Tanaka Kei, Haru, Sakai Wakana, Fujii Takashi, Hiraoka Yuuta, Takahashi Tsutomu, Koyanagi Yu, Takahashi Kyohei, Imai Yuuki, Horike Kazuki & Tagawa Shunji