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Monday, September 30, 2013

First-day screening of movie "Shazai no Ousama"

The first-day screening of movie "Shazai no Ousama" was held on 28 Sep which was attended by the cast Abe Sadao, Inoue Mao, Takenouchi Yutaka, Okada Masaki, Arakawa Yoshiyoshi, the scriptwriter Kudo Kankuro and the director Mizuta Nobuo. This film is the third film which the golden trio of Abe, Kudo and Mizuta have worked on since "Maiko Haaaan!!!" and "Nakumonka" and features Abe as an apology expert who helps people in various situations to apologise in order to get out of the predicaments they are in.

Source: Eiga.com

Completion screening event of WOWOW drama "LINK"

The completion screening event of WOWOW's new drama "LINK" was held at Ebisu The Garden Room on 29 September which was attended by the cast Oomori Nao, Tanaka Rena, Tamayama Tetsuji, Mimura, Tanaka Naoki, Ayano Go, Takeda Tetsuya, Kuroki Hitomi and the director Fukagawa Yoshihiro. The drama which begins its run from 6 October at 10pm on Sundays, consists of 5 episodes and talks about the links between people and repercussions of one's actions on others who seem unrelated after a bombing incident at a trust bank.

This drama is Oomori's first appearance in a WOWOW production since 2008's "Prisoner" and he plays a quiet man Terawara who works at a security company. Oomori commented that as this is a drama involving an ensemble cast rather than a single lead, he had to pay attention to the balance of the story while playing his character. He also acknowledged that this is his most difficult role in the past three years but he was able to accomplish his task with the help of his co-stars.

Source: Eiga.com

Preview of "Dakishimetai! Forever"

Title: Dakishimetai! Forever
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 1 October 2013
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Cast: Asano Atsuko, Asano Yuuko, Ichihara Hayato, Motoki Masahiro (voice acting), Nogiwa Yoko, Kusakari Masao, Iwaki Koichi

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Preview of "Legal High 2" - Autumn 2013

Title: Legal High 2
Official website: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV
O.A. Start Date: 9 October 2013
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Theme song: SLY by RIP SLYME
Opening Theme: Re: by 9nine
Cast: Sakai Masato, Aragaki Yui, Okada Masaki, Koyuki, Taguchi Junnosuke, Kuroki Hana, Furutachi Kanji, Namase Katsuhisa, Koike Eiko, Satomi Kotaro

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preview of "Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyouya e Youkoso" - Autumn 2013

Title: Yorozu Uranaidokoro Onmyouya e Youkoso
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV / Kansai TV
O.A. Start Date: 8 October 2013
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Original novel by: Amano Shoko
Cast: Nishikido Ryo, Kurashina Kana, Chinen Yuri, Kashiwagi Yuki, Suruga Tarou, Miyakawa Ichirouta, Hamada Mari, Fuse Eri, Mieharu, Minamino Yoko, Sugi Ryoutarou

TV Talent Image Survey - August 2013 (Video Research)

The percentages below indicate the popularity percentages of the artistes while numbers in brackets indicate their rankings in the last round i.e. February 2013:

Top 10 Female Celebrities
1) Ayase Haruka - 50.8% (1)
2) Asada Mao - 49.6% (2)
3) Amami Yuki - 46.4% (3)
4) DREAMS COME TRUE - 44.1% (7)
5) Kanno Miho - 42.7% (5)
6) Rola - 41.1% (23)
7) Becky - 40.7% (4)
8) Yoshinaga Sayuri - 40.2% (8)
9) Ikimonogakari - 40.0% (14)
10) Ueto Aya - 38.9% (10)

Top 10 Male Celebrities
1) Fukuyama Masaharu - 54.3% (4)
2) Abe Hiroshi - 54.2% (1)
3) Akashiya Sanma - 51.9% (2)
4) Ichiro - 51.3% (3)
5) Kuwata Keisuke - 49.7% (5)
6) Tadokoro George - 49.0% (10)
7) Ishizuka Hidehiko - 46.7% (5)
8) Samaazu - 46.4% (15)
9) Yuzu - 44.6% (16)
10) Sakurai Sho - 44.4% (30) / Watanabe Ken - 44.4% (9)

Source: Real Life

First-day screening event of movie "Soshite Chichi ni Naru"

The first-day screening event of movie "Soshite Chichi ni Naru" was held on 28 Sep which was attended by cast members Fukuyama Masaharu, Lily Frankie, Ono Machiko, Maki Youko and the 4 child actors who play their children. As for the director Koreeda Hirokazu, he was in Los Angeles and could only join through a teleconference. It was announced during the event that Hollywood would be doing a remake of the same work and Koreeda was in US to sign the contract with Dreamworks just 4 hours before the screening. In response, Fukuyama offered his congratulations to the director.

The movie features Fukuyama and Ono as a couple who find out that their son had been swapped at birth with another family's baby 6 years ago and they had all along been raising a child who wasn't theirs. It depicts their struggles of coming to terms with the truth after knowing about it.

Source: Sponichi

Mizuno Miki & Kuriyama Chiaki to play sisters in Winter 2014 drama "Team Batista 4 - Raden Meikyuu"

Mizuno Miki and Kuriyama will be playing sisters in the upcoming winter 2014 drama "Team Batista 4 - Raden Meikyuu" which begins its run from January 2014 in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. The leads will still be Ito Atsushi who plays Taguchi Kohei and Nakamura Tooru who plays Shiratori Keisuke. This time, the two will be investigating Sakuramiya Iwao (Yanagiba Toshiro),  the director of a suburb hospital involved in terminal care and both Mizuno and Kuriyama will be Sakuramiya's daughters who are also doctors. Mizuno plays the elder sister Sayuri who specialises in palliative care while Kuriyama plays Sumire, a gynaecologist. As this is Kuriyama's first role as a doctor, she commented that it was tough to memorise her lines which were peppered with medical terms. On the other hand, Mizuno said that since she and Yanagiba are not that far apart in age, it feels a bit weird for him to play her father even though he can possibly play her boyfriend in other dramas but she is eagerly anticipating acting with her "young" father.

Source: Sanspo

"Oshin" wins Best Movie award at The 22nd Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival

The movie "Oshin" which is due to be shown in Japan from 12 October, has won the Best Movie award in the international film category at the 22nd Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival on 27 September. The director Togashi Shin attended the award ceremony and cited Hamada Kokone, the child actor who plays Oshin, as the person who the award should belong to since she had to work hard during the filming in Yamagata when it was freezing and without her parents around.

Source: Sanspo

Production press conference of autumn 2013 drama "Keiji no Manazashi"

The production press conference of autumn 2013 drama "Keiji no Manazashi" was held on 27 Sep at Aoyama Studio in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, which was attended by Shiina Kippei, Kaname Jun, Matsushige Yutaka, Kitamura Yukiya and Ono Yuriko. The drama is scheduled to begin its run from 7 October at 8pm on Mondays and features Shiina in a leading role in a drama for the first time in 14 years. The theme song of the drama "Manazashi" will be sung by 3-member male group Shikuramen.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Danda Rin - Roudou Kijun Kantokukan"

Title: Danda Rin - Roudou Kijun Kantokukan
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Broadcast by: NTV
O.A. Start Date: 2 October 2013
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Original manga by: Tondani Takashi
Theme song: Ima dake wo Kimi dake wo by Matsutoya Yumi
Cast: Takeuchi Yuko, Matsuzaka Tori, Kazama Shunsuke, Mizuhashi Kenji, Triendl Reina, Oshima Yoko, Kaku Chikako, Nishida Naomi, Ishino Mako, Ookura Koji, Sano Shiro, Kitamura Kazuki

Friday, September 27, 2013

Preview of "Hakuba no Oujisama Junai Tekireki" - Autumn 2013

Title: Hakuba no Oujisama Junai Tekireki
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 3 October 2013
Broadcast by: NTV
Timeslot: Thursdays 11.59pm
Theme song: Koi no Ya by Kariyushi 58
Original manga by: Saku Yukizou
Cast: Female lead to be announced in the first episode, Miura Takahiro, Nakamura Shunsuke, Ichikawa Miwako, Yamada Maho, Kawakita Mayuko, Kitarou, Arai Hirofumi

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Preview of "Tokyo Bandwagon Shitamachi Daikazoku Monogatari" - Autumn 2013

Title: Tokyo Bandwagon Shitamachi Daikazoku Monogatari
Official website: here
Broadcast by: NTV
O.A. Start Date: 12 October 2013
Timeslot: Saturdays 9pm
Original by: Shouji Yukiya
Theme song: Sayonara Arigatou by Hottake Band
Ending theme: Searchlight by Tamaki Koji
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Tamaki Koji, Tabe Mikako, Kaga Mariko, Hiraizumi Makoto, Kaneko Nobuaki, Mimura, Taira Airi, Inohara Yoshihiko, Mitsuishi Ken, Katagiri Hairi, Bengal

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Hanzawa Naoki" Baigaeshi Manju to be sold as usual for the time being; Part 3 of "Hanzawa Naoki" novel selling well

TBS announced that the official Hanzawa Naoki "Baigaeshi Manju" will still be on sale at the TBS Store Akasaka even after the drama has ended. The manju which contains 9 pieces per box and is selling at 840 yen, went on sale from mid August and has sold 60,000 boxes to date.

On the other hand, the 3rd novel in the "Hanzawa Naoki" series titled "Lost Gene no Gyakushuu" which describes what happens to Hanzawa after his transfer to a securities company, has just issued its 19th reprint on 24th Sep and broke the 500,000 copies mark.

Source: Sponichi

Maeda Atsuko & Onoue Matsuya reportedly dating?

Former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko and kabuki actor Onoue Matsuya are reportedly dating, according to a report on 24 September. They were supposedly introduced to each other by a common friend and only started dating in March this year. However, it was said that the relationship did not began much earlier even though they were interested in each other. According to insiders, Maeda didn't want AKB48 fans to think that she left the group just to escape the romance ban on its members so they only began dating 6 months after her departure from AKB48. As Onoue is currently acting in the musical "Romeo & Juliet", it was said that Maeda was sighted at the theatre to watch him in action.

Source: Sponichi

Completion press conference and screening of movie "Oshin"

The completion press conference and screening of movie "Oshin" was held at Marunouchi TOEI (1) in Tokyo on 24 Sep which was attended by cast members Hamada Kokone, Ueto Aya, Inagaki Goro, Kobayashi Ayako, Izumi Pinko, Igashira Manami and Guts Ishimatsu. The movie is scheduled to be shown in cinemas from 12 October and is a remake of the drama version shown in 1983 via NHK which registered average ratings of 52.6% and highest moment ratings of 62.9%. During the event which was attended by 500 people, Ueto was asked by the press on her thoughts about her drama "Hanzawa Naoki" being a ratings winner and she expressed her gratitude to all who had watched the drama.

Source: Sanspo

RIP SLYME to sing the theme song for FujiTV autumn 2013 drama "Legal High"

RIP SLYME will be singing the theme song for FujiTV autumn 2013 drama "Legal High" which begins its run from 9 October at 10pm on Wednesdays. The new song titled "SLY" which will be released on 13 November, was created specially for the drama whereby the melody was by DJ FUMIYA while the rest of the members wrote the lyrics. As to why the song title is "SLY", the group explained that the lead character in the drama i.e. Komikado Kensuke is a sly and clever man so they decided to use his image to describe the tactics men and women use in love. RIP SLYME commented that they are honoured to have their song being used for Sakai Masato's drama since the latter is now known as the high ratings actor following the success of "Hanzawa Naoki". In addition, one of the members SU is scheduled to make an appearance in the drama.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Jinsei ga tokimeku Katazuke no Mahou" (drama SP)

Title: Jinsei ga tokimeku Katazuke no Mahou
Official website: here
Broadcast by: NTV
O.A. Date: 27 September 2013 9pm
Original book author: Kondo Marie
Cast: Nakama Yukie, Natsuna, Hayami Mokomichi, Baisho Mitsuko, Fukushi Seiji etc

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Takenouchi Yutaka & Matsuyama Kenichi team up in TV Asahi drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin"

Takenouchi Yutaka and Matsuyama Kenichi will be working together for the first time in the TV Asahi 55th anniversary 2-part drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin" (The Olympic's ransom) to be shown this autumn which is set during the period just before the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The drama SP is based on Naoki Award writer Okuda Hideo's novel and describes how Ochiai (Takenouchi), a police detective in the 1st section of Metropolitan Police Department, strives to ensure that the Tokyo Olympics go on smoothly while hunting down Shimazaki (Matsuyama), an University of Tokyo student who wants to sabotage the Olympics because he thinks that the event is what causes the widening social and financial gap suffered by the general working public.

Filming will be done at various locations mainly within Japan as well as Busan, South Korea, which has some places resembling how Japan looked like back in 1964.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Top 10 dramas with the highest single episode ratings since 1980 (Kanto region)

Figures in brackets refer to the ratings for that episode:

1) Tsumiki Kuzushi - Oya to ko no 200 nichi sensou Finale / 29 March 1983 / TBS (45.3%)

2) Hanzawa Naoki Finale / 22 Sep 2013 / TBS (42.2%)

3) Beautiful Life Finale / 26 March 2000 / TBS (41.3%)

4) Kaseifu no Mita Finale / 21 December 2011 / NTV (40.0%)

5) 3-nen B-gumi Kinpachi Sensei Finale / 28 March 1980 / TBS (39.9%)

6) Hitotsu Yane no Shita Ep 11 / 21 June 1993 / FujiTV (37.8%)

7) GOOD LUCK!! Finale / 23 March 2003 / TBS (37.6%)

8) Ienakiko Finale / 2 July 1994 / NTV (37.2%)

9) HERO Ep 8 & Finale / 19 March 2001 / FujiTV (36.8%)

10) 101-kaime no Proposal Finale / 16 Sep 1991 / FujiTV (36.7%)
Long Vacation Finale / 24 June 1996 / FujiTV (36.7%)

Source: Sponichi

"Hanzawa Naoki" soars to new heights with 42.2% in Kanto for its finale

TBS summer 2013 drama "Hanzawa Naoki" which has been a ratings winner this season, finished on a high note with a rating of 42.2% in the Kanto region for its finale shown on 22 Sep. It got an even higher figure of 45.5% in the Kansai region as announced by Video Research on 24 Sep. With this result, "Hanzawa Naoki" is No.4 in terms of top average ratings for dramas in the Kanto region since ratings monitoring began in September 1977 and has grabbed the No.1 spot in Kansai, beating "Mito Komon" which had held the title since 1981. Amid low ratings plaguing Japanese dramas in recent years, "Hanzawa Naoki" has managed to buck the trend thus making it a rare ratings winner.

As for the highest single moment rating, "Hanzawa Naoki" scored 46.7% in Kanto and 50.4% in Kansai at the point right after the episode ended.

Source: Sanspo

Filming resumes for "Dokushin Kizoku"; Tsugawa Masahiko to take over Ishida Taro's role

Following the sudden death of actor Ishida Taro on 21 Sep while on the set of FujiTV autumn 2013 drama "Dokushin Kizoku", the drama's lead actor Kusanagi Tsuyoshi released a statement through FujiTV's PR department on 23 Sep. In it, Kusanagi revealed that this was the first time he worked with Ishida and everyone was very impressed by Ishida's acting. The crew and cast will endeavour to make this drama a success and he ended the statement by offering his condolences to Ishida's family.

Filming of the drama had been suspended on 21 and 22 Sep but it was resumed on 23 Sep after Ishida's family requested FujiTV to continue with the filming so as not to delay the progress. There will be no changes to the story and Tsugawa Masahiko who belongs to the same agency as Ishida will be taking over the latter's role.

Kusanagi plays the role of a movie production company's CEO who's a swinging bachelor while Ito Hideaki plays his younger brother. Kitagawa Keiko rounds up the cast as an aspiring movie scriptwriter who chooses work over romance.

Source: Sponichi

Kitajima Kosuke & Chisa get married

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Kitajima Kosuke and girl next door's vocalist Chisa registered their marriage on 22 Sep as announced through a fax statement from their agencies. That day was also Kitajima's birthday.

The couple announced their engagement on New Year's Eve last year and Chisa will be stopping her showbiz activities after the last concert on 8 December.

Source: Sanspo

Zaizen Naomi & Sawamura Ikki to star in FujiTV autumn 2013 drama "Gisou Kazoku"

Zaizen Naomi and Sawamura Ikki will be the co-leads in FujiTV's autumn 2013 drama "Gisou Kazoku" (Fake Family) which is due to be shown in its new drama timeslot of 8pm on Fridays from 25 October. This is the fourth time that Zaizen and Sawamura are working together but this is the first time that they are playing a married couple.

The story is set in the suburbs of Tokyo where a couple (Zaizen and Sawamura) who had been childhood sweethearts with different characters, operate a restaurant and appear to be living a happy life. However, with the sudden appearance of their eldest son's girlfriend and the disappearance of the wife's mother, it exposes the secrets hidden within the family and cause their family bond to be tested through tough times.

UPDATE: Note that the name of this drama has been changed to "Kazoku no Urajijo" (The Family's Hidden Circumstances") as on 2 October.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Kurokochi" - Autumn 2013

Title: Kurokochi
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Official YouTube channel: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 October 2013
Broadcast by: TBS
Timeslot: Fridays, 10pm
Original manga by: Richard Wu & Kouno Kouji
Theme song: Hontontoko by TOKIO (to be released on 30 October 2013)
Cast members: Nagase Tomoya, Gouriki Ayame, Kashii Yui, Rijuu Gou, Koichi Mantaro, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Kitamura Yosuke, Endo Kaname, Kawakita Mayuko, Azuma Mikihisa, Kaneko Ken, Daichi Yasuo, Kazama Morio, Watabe Atsuro

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Preview of "Umi no ue no Shinryojo" - Autumn 2013

Title: Umi no ue no Shinryojo
Official site: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Start Date: 14 October 2013
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Theme song: Taiyo no Megami by Ieiri Leo
Cast: Matsuda Shota, Takei Emi, Fujiwara Norika, Fukushi Souta, Arakawa Yoshiyoshi, Tsuchiya Yuichi, Toda Erika, Terajima Susumu, Asou Yumi

Production press conference of NTV autumn 2013 drama "Tokyo Bandwagon Shitamachi Daikazoku Monogatari"

The production press conference of NTV autumn 2013 drama "Tokyo Bandwagon Shitamachi Daikazoku Monogatari" was held on 22 September. During the event, it was announced that KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya and Tamaki Koji will be forming a new unit "Hottake BAND" (The Hotta family band) and sing the theme song "Sayonara Arigatou" for the drama. The song will be released as a single on 6 November. Kamenashi commented that as a child, he bought Tamaki's CDs so it was a nerve-wracking and exciting experience for him to work with Tamaki. Although they took 10 times to finish recording the whole song, it actually lasted for less than an hour. Tamaki also revealed that he didn't think the song met his expectations at first and he actually rewrote it three times before the recording.

The first episode of the drama will be shown on 12 October at 9pm.

Source: Oricon

First-day screening of movie "Kyoaku"

The first-day screening of movie "Kyoaku" was held on 21 September at Shinjuku Picadilly which was attended by cast members Yamada Takayuki, Pierre Taki, Lily Frankie and Ikewaki Chizuru. The movie will be showing in 78 cinemas nationwide.

The movie is based on a non-fiction story titled "Kyoaku aru Shikeishu no Kokukatsu" (Confesssion of a violent death roll convict) where Yamada plays a magazine reporter by the name of Fujii who receives information from a death roll convict (Taki) about three other murders which were unknown to police and begins the hunt for the mastermind named Sensei (Lily). While chasing after the truth, Fujii finds himself sinking deeper into the world of evil.

Yamada revealed that when he first got the script, he was so interested in the character and agreed to the offer immediately. He also expressed his thanks for the original's author Miyamoto Taichi who wrote a letter praising him for his performance in the movie. Taki said that he was extremely reluctant to play the role of the convict especially since this character is modelled after a living person who is still in jail. However, he got persuaded by Lily to take on this role in the end. Lily then jokingly said that he didn't want to be the only person playing a baddie so he decided to get Taki to join him. The director Shiraishi commented that it was difficult to make a story about true events and in Japan, the conditions aren't that encouraging for such movies. As such, he hopes that the movie will do well and in turn bring about more variety in the world of Japanese films.

Source: Eiga.com

SPEC's PR press conference at Namco Nanja Town Gyoza Stadium

The PR press conference for new movie "SPEC" was held at Namco Nanja Town Gyoza Stadium in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, on 21 September which was attended by Toda Erika, Arimura Kasumi and the director Tsutsumi Yukihiko. As Toda's character in the SPEC series is a gyoza lover, this was why the event was held at the gyoza stadium. Toda revealed that during the filming of the movie, she had asked the crew what they wanted to eat so that she could make it for them but she was shocked when they asked her to prepare 1,000 pieces of gyoza. Toda said that as a result of making the huge amount of gyoza, her fridge smelt of garlic chives for the whole week. When asked about the taste of Toda's gyoza, Arimura replied that she wasn't on the set when Toda brought the gyoza so it was a pity that she couldn't taste it.

The final two movies in the SPEC series i.e. Zen and Kou will be shown in cinemas from 1 November and 29 November respectively.

Source: Sanspo

Ishida Taro passed away during the filming of FujiTV autumn 2013 drama "Dokushin Kizoku"

Actor Ishida Taro lost consciousness during the filming of FujiTV's autumn 2013 drama "Dokushin Kizoku" on 21 September in a studio at Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. He was later sent to a hospital within the city and was pronounced dead at 4.24pm on the same day. Ishida was 69 years old and the cause of his death is unknown.

According to FujiTV, Ishida had been in the studio for a filming of one scene in "Dokushin Kizoku" starring SMAP's Kusanagi Tsuyoshi which is scheduled to begin its run from October. Ishida was the guest star for the first episode and played a famous scriptwriter. In the scene filmed around 1pm which involved Kusanagi and Ishida, Kusanagi who plays the CEO of a movie production company tried to persuade Ishida's character to write a script for his movie but kept getting rejected. When Kusanagi found Ishida at a swimming pool, he dived into the pool which was 92cm deep and tried to get Ishida to change his mind. The scene lasted for about 2 minutes. After the filming, Ishida who was dressed in his swimming trunks, was walking to the side of the pool and about to get out when he suddenly lost consciousness. The staff then got Ishida out of the pool and tried to perform first aid on him while waiting for the ambulance to come but the latter still passed away a couple of hours later at the hospital. According to FujiTV, Ishida had performed warm-up exercises before entering the pool and the temperature of the pool water was at 27 degrees Celsius which was neither too cold or too hot. The police has ruled out the likelihood of this being a criminal case or accident since it was likely that Ishida passed away due to some medical condition.

Filming for "Dokushin Kizoku" was suspended on the day of the incident as well as on 22 September. As for what needs to be done for the first episode, there are no concrete plans yet. According to the producer-in-charge, Kusanagi was very shocked to hear about Ishida's demise.

As Ishida was also scheduled to act in NHK's 2014 Taiga "Gunshi Kanbee" as Ogou Yoshitoshi who served the same master as Kanbee during the warring era and that filming is supposed to start from October, NHK has said that they will be making plans in response to Ishida's passing which suggests that they may find another actor to play the role.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Tamaki Hiroshi's credit card details exposed via Twitter

Tamaki Hiroshi had his credit card details exposed via Twitter after a recent purchase at Narita Airport's duty-free shop on 16 September. According to the record, Tamaki who was scheduled to fly to Southeast Asia for work on the 16th, visited a duty-free souvenir shop within Narita Airport and had used his credit card to pay for his purchase. However, one of the female shop assistants who worked at that shop took a photo of Tamaki's credit card charge slip bearing his signature and credit card number (last three digits not revealed) using her smartphone and sent it to a colleague. On the same night, the colleague uploaded the photo onto Twitter with the message that Tamaki had visited their store. Soon after the message went online, fans of Tamaki warned the person who posted it to remove the tweet and photo immediately as it was a criminal act to reveal such personal information.

According to NAA Retailing which manages the stores in Narita Airport, the employees concerned have been suspended from work and they have also apologised to Tamaki and his agency for what they did. NAA Retailing stressed that they will do their best to prevent an recurrence and will step up employee education in order to achieve this.

According to Tamaki's agency, there are no financial losses suffered by Tamaki at the moment and they have no plans of blowing up the matter since the employees concerned have already apologised. However, they hoped that no other customer at the airport's shops will face this problem again in future.

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review of Legal High (Spring 2012)

I know, this isn't exactly a new drama but amid all that hype over Legal High during spring last year about it being good but not necessarily considered a winner in terms of ratings, I just never got the time to finish this. Or maybe I was too caught up with Kagi no Kakatta Heya to squeeze some time for this drama? :-p Whatever it is, I finally got the chance to finish this recently and see for myself if it's really as good as its reputation suggested. Honestly speaking, if I had watched this with a lower level of expectation, I might have enjoyed it better.

To begin with, let me give you a brief summary of this story. We have a group of main/regular characters in this drama which is episodic in nature. On one side is Komikado Kensuke (Sakai Masato), the eccentric lawyer who can rattle off long sentences at one go without batting an eyelid, has never lost a lawsuit and refuses to work if there is no monetary benefit for him. He crosses paths with Mayuzumi Machiko (Aragaki Yui), a newbie lawyer who works at Miki Law Firm initially but later joins Komikado's solo law practice by the end of the first episode after working together on a case. She's one who believes in ideals and justice and cannot stand Komikado's ways especially when he always chides her for bringing in cases which are not profitable. Supporting this mismatched duo (or are they actually a perfect match?) are Hattori (Satomi Kotaro), the butler of Komikado's household who can seem to do everything from serving restaurant-level gourmet cuisine to self-defense martial arts but is humble about his abilities and Kaga Ranmaru (Taguchi Junnosuke), an aspiring actor who does part-time detective or rather spy work for Komikado.

At the other end is Miki Choichiro (Namase Katsuhisa) who has a strong hatred of Komikado for some reason even though he used to treat the latter very well when Komikado was working in his law firm. His sidekicks include the beautiful secretary Sawachi Kimie (Koike Eiko) who uses her looks to get her way and Ide Takao (Yano Masato), a lawyer in Miki's firm who follows his orders blindly but always ends up fumbling at crucial moments when facing Komikado and Co. There seems to be some bad blood between Komikado and Miki especially since the latter seems bent on destroying Komikado's career but it is only until the final episode that you realise what the whole hoo-ha was all about.

In every episode, there is a case whereby Komikado takes one side and Miki naturally takes on the opposing side. Komikado doesn't seem interested in fighting Miki at all but their paths always cross, thanks to Miki's insistence of destroying Komikado personally. What I found interesting initially was their witty and fast-paced exchange of words and how they tried to outsmart each other with their little antics which may appear as petty or despicable at times but as the drama progressed, it got a bit dry at certain junctures especially if the case itself wasn't engaging enough. I also didn't like the fact that the last three episodes were somewhat built on one case or should I say largely related to one another and it was certainly too draggy for me. I would have expected a more interesting case for the finale so it was terribly disappointing not to see the drama go out on a high note. Last but not least, the supposed bad blood between Komikado and Miki was simply too silly and makes the viewer wonder if it was worth going through all that trouble just to do someone in. Granted that this drama is a legal comedy, I get the reasoning that there must be a funny motive but I really can't fathom someone holding grudges for something as trivial as this. And to think that it is not just one person being swept into this nonsense, that makes it even more illogical and hard to believe.

I can't speak for everyone though but I think if the characters in this drama had been less interesting, Legal High might have been less of a success. Episodic stories tend to have a harder time maintaining viewer interest throughout the entire season and like I said above, not all of the cases presented in this drama were interesting. I have to admit, Komikado is indeed one colourful character brought to life by Sakai who is usually known for more of his serious roles in past dramas or movies. That hairstyle of his, his exaggerated mannerisms, his way of arguing through a situation where he looks to be at at fault are all key factors that contributed to Komikado leaving a strong impression on viewers. I believe that this role should open up new opportunities for Sakai to do more comedic performances in future. However, it's hard to imagine that anyone in Komikado can survive in the real world without having people to help him and Lady Luck on his side. In some of the cases, Komikado didn't actually win the lawsuit but rather things sort of worked out on their own without affecting adversely in any way. The story aspect is what I hope will be beefed up in the new season because I think no matter how interesting Komikado can be, a lacking storyline will drag down the figures anyway. Riding on the wave of Hanzawa Naoki's success, expectations of Sakai in the new season of Legal High are sure to be sky high too so the quality of the acting and script have to match up to those expectations.

On the other hand, Aragaki Yui did seem overwhelmed by Sakai's prowess initially and honestly did not match up well. It was like seeing a one-sided ping pong match where Aragaki looked like she couldn't handle Sakai's waves of attack but couldn't do anything to counter him. It got slightly better towards the end when Aragaki finally found the tempo to make Mayuzumi's retorts to Komikado sound more like a normal conversation rather than a scripted one. As such, it will be worth checking out in next season's sequel if Aragaki will continue to maintain the momentum or be outshone by Sakai again. Interestingly, when you contrast this with how Sakai and Suzuki Kyoka did as a divorced couple, the chemistry and ability to return the other party's attacks skillfully showed their capabilities as established and experienced actors. Considering that Suzuki was merely a guest star but managed to leave a deeper impression with less than 45 mins of screentime, Aragaki has got to put in more effort to match up to Sakai especially in the new season where the presence of new supporting actors in the past may take away more of the limelight from her. Mayuzumi has got to change in one way or another and stop the idealistic character from taking centrestage again.

Something which I felt was a pity would be Miki's position in the drama. He is supposed to be the arch rival of Komikado or perhaps it should be the other way round since I feel that Miki's dislike for Komikado is somewhat stronger. However, by letting Komikado "win" in every single case, it sort of undermines Miki's abilities to be a worthy rival and portrays him as a loser who just wants to sabotage Komikado for some petty reason. It is a waste of Namase Katsuhisa's talent to play such a role because he could have done more without the restraints of the script so I look forward to him becoming a stronger enemy in the new season rather than be beaten by Komikado every time. There should also have been more explained about Miki's relationship with Sawachi Kimie (Koike Eiko) who seems to be an aide and enemy of Komikado at the same time. I would have wanted to find out more about Sawachi and the nature of her relationship with Miki because no secretary would share an onsen bath with her boss no doubt she wasn't naked. If there was indeed anything romantic going on between Miki and Sawachi, why did she introduce Mayuzumi to Komikado in the first place and sometimes helped Komikado "unwittingly"? More to be explored here but I don't think the new season might offer any useful answers.

In contrast to most legal dramas, Legal High is very different. I would say that the legal action actually takes up a pretty small portion of the story and most of the work is done outside the courtroom. For those who are seeking the traditional courtroom or legal dramas, this will probably not suit you. On the other hand, if you don't mind having humour as a spice in legal dramas to lighten things up, you might be tempted to give this drama a try. However, one word of caution is that the humour might go slightly overboard at times and feel rather silly so it might just turn people off. If you are approaching this drama with minimal expectations and simply wish to have a good time watching something lighter than most legal dramas, this might just be the thing for you.

And my reviews for this drama:

Story: 6 out of 10 (Uneven quality among the cases - the ones I liked are from Eps 1, 2, 6 and 8)

Acting: 7 out of 10 (Yes for Sakai Masato and Suzuki Kyoka - the rest of the cast were either under-utilised or did not perform up to expectations)

Theme song: 2 out of 10 (Practically no impression of it even after watching the whole drama)

Visual effects / Scenery: 6 out 10 (Most of the scenes were indoors e.g. Komikado's home, Miki's office, the courtroom and there were some scenes at the countryside. A bit lacking in variety though.)

Teamwork / Chemistry: 6.5 out of 10 (Sakai is too overwhelmingly powerful compared to Aragaki but luckily she regained some points towards the end. Namase could have been a stronger rival to Sakai if only the script allowed the rivalry between them to become more intense and nail-biting rather than a landslide victory for Komikado.)

Total: 27.5 out of 50

Production press conference of TBS drama SP "Tsuki ni inoru Pierrot"

The production press conference of TBS drama SP "Tsuki ni inoru Pierrot" was held on 20 September in Tokyo which was attended by Tokiwa Takako, Tanihara Shosuke and the scriptwriter Kitagawa Eriko. The SP will be shown on 5 October at 2pm and features Tokiwa as a 41-year-old single woman who lives in her hometown in Gifu with her mother and grandmother who later comes to know a man (Tanihara) in Tokyo through an Internet auction. Even though the two of them never meet, they become closer to each other through the mails they exchange. Tokiwa commented that the story has a lot of reality in it and is sure to strike a chord with adults especially those in the age group as her character.

Source: Sponichi

Screening of NHK drama SP "Hajimari no Uta"

A screening event of NHK's drama SP "Hajimari no Uta" starring Arashi's Matsumoto Jun was held in Tokyo on 19 September. The drama SP is a commemorative work to mark the 80th anniversary of NHK's Gakkou Ongaku Contest and is based on Arashi's song "Furusato" first sung during the 2010 NHK Kouhaku. Matsumoto plays a freelance camera who works in Tokyo and is sent to his hometown on an assignment where he reunites with his ex-girlfriend and meets a group of primary school students who work hard towards entering a choir contest which gives him the motivation to chase after his dream again. In the drama SP, Matsumoto has to play the piano but he said that it was tough to use both hands at the same time so he also practiced on the piano at the hotel he was staying in while on location shooting.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Serena to sing the theme song for TBS autumn 2013 drama "Otto no Kanojo"

Serena who made her debut this summer with the theme song of FujiTV's summer drama "Shomuni 2013", will be singing her second consecutive drama theme song this autumn. She will be releasing a new single "CHANGE!!"  on 13 November which is to be used as the theme song of TBS autumn 2013 drama "Otto no Kanojo" which begins its run from 24 October. For a newcomer to sing theme songs for two consecutive seasons is said to be rare. The song "CHANGE!!" is a up-tempo number which talks about dreams and hopes for the future.

Source: Sanspo

Cast-lineup announced for FujiTV drama SP "Hasegawa Machiko Monogatari ~ Sazae-san ga umareta hi"

Filming for the FujiTV drama SP "Hasegawa Machiko Monogatari ~ Sazae-san ga umareta hi" starring Ono Machiko began recently. The SP is due to be shown in November and features Ono as Hasegawa Machiko, the creator of the popular anime series "Sazae-san" which has been running for 45 years. Machiko's elder sister Mariko will be played by Hasegawa Kyoko while her youngest sister Yoko will be played by Kimura Fumino. Machiko's mother Sadako will be played by Matsuzaka Keiko while Miura Tomokazu will play Machiko's teacher.

In order to portray the close relationship between the sisters, Ono revealed that she tries to stay close to Hasegawa during the filming. They even joked that their names when combined together will become Hasegawa Machiko so this sort of helped them to bond faster even though this is the first time they are working together.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, September 20, 2013

Wishing ceremony campaign for the movie "Jinrui Shikin"

The wishing ceremony campaign for the movie "Jinrui Shikin" was held on 17 September at Osaka Stock Exchange which was attended by Sato Koichi and Moriyama Mirai. As the movie has to do with the M-money rumoured to have been left behind by the Imperial Army after WWII, the media asked Sato if he had invested in stocks before but Sato said that he doesn't have an idea on how to build a fortune even though he thinks that people in showbiz ought to plan ahead. Besides, looking at his late father Mikuni Rentaro as an example, Sato didn't really see the need to take any concrete action in this aspect.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association Awards 2013 - Drama Category

Here are the winners of this year's The Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association Awards 2013's drama category:

Winner - Saikou no Rikon (FujiTV)

Excellence Awards
Akumu-chan (NTV)
Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi (TV Tokyo)
Double Face Gisou Keisatsuhen (WOWOW)
Kibou no Tsubasa ~ Ano toki bokura wa 13-sai datta (TV Kanagawa)
Naitara Akande Tsuutengaku (Yomiuri Housou)


Nakama Yukie to play the best friend of Yoshitaka Yuriko in NHK morning drama "Hanako to Anne"

Nakama Yukie will be taking the role of Yoshitaka Yuriko's best friend when they work for the first time in the NHK morning drama "Hanako to Anne" starting its run from 31 March 2014. The rest of the co-stars including Ihara Takeshi, Muroi Shigeru and Suzuki Ryohei were also revealed through a press conference held at NHK's HQ on 18 September. Yoshitaka commented that she isn't someone who is on her best behaviour all the time nor does she pay attention to manners so she felt that she might be a burden to NHK who selected her to play the lead role in a morning drama. However, she still hopes to do her best in return for their faith in her.

Source: Sanspo

Completion screening of movie "Kiyoku Yawaku"

The completion screening of movie "Kiyoku Yawaku" was held in Tokyo on 18 September which was attended by its leads Nagasawa Masami and Okada Masaki as well as Koura Kengo, Haru, Nakamura Aoi and a 1,100-strong audience. The movie is scheduled to be shown in cinemas from 26 October and is based on the popular manga by Ikuemi Aya. When asked about if they had experience of being unable to convey their feelings, Nagasawa revealed that when she first entered showbiz, she had to greet the people in her agency but just couldn't do it properly as she was too nervous and she even burst out crying. On the other hand, Okada said that he had been secretly in love with someone for 4 years since he was in primary 1 but he didn't tell her about it even though he had to move house and transfer to another school.

Source: Sanspo

Koyuki to be regular cast member in "Legal High"; other supporting cast members and guest stars also announced

Koyuki returns to her first drama series through the new installment of "Legal High" in autumn following the birth of her second child in January this year. The drama will begin its run via FujiTV from 9 October in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot and still features Sakai Masato as the lead Komikado Kensuke with his partner Mayuzumi Machiko to be played by Aragaki Yui.

Koyuki will be playing the role of Ando Kiwa, a convict on death roll after she was sentenced for the murders of her company's president and his daughter in order to receive their insurance payouts. Ando had been married twice but both her husbands died under suspicious conditions (second husband supposedly killed himself) so her case is one that enjoys high media attention. Koyuki commented that it has been a long time since she acted in a drama serial and hopes to work with everyone to produce something enjoyable.

FujiTV also announced other supporting cast members and guest stars in the new drama including Furutachi Kanji and Kuroki Hana who play lawyers in the law firm NEXUS which is also a rival of Komikado and Matsudaira Ken who appears in the first episode as a special guest and plays the chief prosecutor for Ando's case.

Source: Sponichi

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Kagi no Kakatta Heya" to make its return as a drama SP next year

"Kagi no Kakatta Heya", the drama series starring Arashi's leader Ohno Satoshi which aired last spring, will be back as a drama SP next year, as announced on 15 September. The main cast of Ohno, Toda Erika and Sato Koichi will remain for the drama SP which is based on Kishi Yusuke's new novel under the Kagi series i.e. "Kagami no Kuni no Satsujin" (due to be published on 12 November) and another story "Futatsu no Mitshitsu" which has never been released before.

The "Kagi" drama series won many awards last year and had even received the Gold Award in US International Film and Video Festival 2013's entertainment category. After the drama ended last June, FujiTV was flooded with many requests for a continuation of the series thus leading to the decision to make a drama SP.

Filming will begin soon. Ohno who plays the lead character Enomoto Kei, expressed his excitement about acting in the SP and promised to memorise his long lines in order to solve the case.

Source: Sanspo

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review of Garasu no Ie Ep 1

After the hugely successful and somewhat controversial "Second Virgin" 3 years ago, NHK is dishing out something which is again rather contrary to its prim and proper image as the national broadcaster. Actually, in recent years, it has been producing quite a number of dramas which have very controversial and/or realistic themes that have earned a fair bit of critical praise. In the past, NHK was known more for its Taiga and period dramas but it seems to have secured its position in the competitive drama landscape with offerings that are rarely found elsewhere. There have been views offered about how NHK and WOWOW are the only ones which can afford to do things their way because NHK is a national broadcaster which gets its funding from the government and subscription income while WOWOW depends more on subscribers rather than advertisers. As such, without having to cater to the whims and fancies of ad agencies, advertisers or talent agencies, NHK and WOWOW seem to have no qualms doing things which will be avoided by the private networks. The trend these days for private networks is the clear preference for sequels of their popular franchises or stick to tried-and-tested formulas e.g. medical, legal or detective dramas. Casting choices are also limited to the same group of people even though some of them are known as "ratings poison". In this sense, I really appreciate the fact that we have dramas which try to break out of these boundaries or else the J-drama scene will definitely be doomed. I

Considering the fact that "Second Virgin" and "Garasu no Ie" are both from Oishi Shizuka, there are bound to be some similarities between these two dramas which talk about forbidden love. However, there are some differences as well based on my observations from the first episode.

First of all, let me introduce the key characters in this drama. The focus of the story is on the Shibusawa family made up by the father Kazunari (Fujimoto Takahiro), who's the director of the Budget Bureau in the Ministry of Finance. He's a widow who had to raise his two young sons alone since 23 years ago after his wife died in a plane crash in France. His eldest son Hitoshi (Saito Takumi) admires his father and followed in his footsteps to join the Ministry of Finance. However, Hitoshi also strongly supports a revolutionary young politician Muraki Yosuke (Kataoka Ainosuke) and hopes to work for someone like him one day since Hitoshi's not able to realise his ideals in his current job. The baby of the family is Kenji (Nagayama Kento) who had graduated from law school but is retaking the bar exam now. In contrast with Hitoshi's serious character, Kenji is the moodmaker of the family but he too admires his father for having brought up the brothers singlehandedly. In what appears to be a close-knitted family, the arrival of a woman shows that the bonds between them aren't as strong as they seem and the family is somewhat like glass i.e. easily breakable.

One day, Kazunari announces to his sons that he plans to marry Tamaki Rei (Igawa Haruka), the daughter of the victims of the air crash which also killed the brothers' mother. Rei had lost her parents through the accident and met Kazunari by chance when she went to the crash site for the first time in 22 years to mourn. Since then, they started dating and are contemplating marriage now. The brothers are visibly surprised by this turn of events since they haven't heard anything about Kazunari seeing anyone but welcome the idea since their father has been single all this while. When the brothers meet Rei for the first time during dinner, Hitoshi's gaze is fixated on Rei but he doesn't think much of it yet.

Soon after the marriage is finalised, Rei moves into the Shibusawa family. However, the presence of a woman for the first time in 23 years makes it a bit uncomfortable for the brothers. For example, they have been used to eating breakfast which is something they can finish quickly or can pack on the go. However, when Rei sets out a full-course breakfast, this causes the brothers to panic and they try to hide their uneasiness by leaving the house without having breakfast. Meanwhile, Kazunari tries to assure Rei that the brothers are not disliking her in any way but they just need a bit of time to adjust to her presence as the stepmother.

However, things start to spiral downwards very quickly as Hitoshi's ideas at work get shot down by his superior and colleagues who prefer to stay the course rather than rock the boat. Moreover, due to his father's position, people seem to look at Hitoshi as somewhat like a young master who's not really taken seriously. To make things worse, his boss even tells tales to Kazunari about what happened and this obviously does not go down well with Kazunari.

The main reason for Kazunari and Hitoshi's relationship to deteoriate quickly looks set to be Rei rather than anything else. Kazunari notices that Hitoshi seems to be behaving awkwardly in front of Rei and has a hunch that his son may feel something for his stepmother. His jealousy streak gets the better of him and Kazunari becomes very possessive of Rei to the extent of being unreasonable at times. However, Rei doesn't think much about this situation and does Kazunari's bidding. Things are likely to blow up as time goes by if Hitoshi stands up for Rei because this will only fuel Kazunari's jealousy even more. Kenji seems rather oblivious to what's going on at the moment but there may be a stage where he's likely to take sides regarding this issue about Rei.

In contrast to "Second Virgin", the viewpoint of the story is from a man's perspective i.e. Hitoshi rather than a woman's view. As such, it is rather refreshing to hear about the feelings of attraction that Hitoshi start to feel for Rei because most love stories depict the women falling head over heels in love with men who don't seem to go gaga for the women in the same manner. Of course, at this stage, Hitoshi isn't really deeply in love with Rei so I believe there will be more descriptions on his turbulent feelings about Rei torn between love and morals in the episodes to follow.

As this is touted as an adults' love story, the sexual element is more prominent compared to other romance dramas. Hitoshi gets visibly nervous when he happens to see Rei's cleavage or her underwear being hung to dry. I've read some views online that it's a bit unrealistic for Hitoshi to react so strongly as if he never had any romantic experience (he supposedly has this irritating girlfriend who is a writer but I just don't see him loving her in any way) because the character's age is supposedly 30 years old. However, if we look at it from this viewpoint, the Shibusawa family has been without the mistress of the household for a long time and the brothers would not have been used to the idea of having a woman around. No doubt Hitoshi may have been in contact with female friends and colleagues outside, I think the initial attraction he had for Rei is the reason why he's reacting more strongly that he should or would have in normal circumstances. And that is precisely why Kazunari banned Rei from wearing anything which may show off her assets unknowingly although she wasn't wearing a revealing outfit at all.

At the moment, Rei doesn't seem to be feeling anything for Hitoshi but as Kazunari's obsessive streak gets more serious, the consolation and solace she gets from Hitoshi will probably get her started very soon. Unlike "Second Virgin" which dives into the sexual tension and attraction between the leads rather quickly, the layer of family relations bonding Rei and Hitoshi will no doubt make it a bit more difficult for them to start their romance quickly.

There has been talk about the camera angles being focused on Igawa Haruka's body so often that it may turn off female viewers but draw in the guys to tune in. Traditionally, love stories are watched by female viewers but it looks like there are some deliberate efforts made to differentiate this drama from "Second Virgin". Since the story is told from Hitoshi's viewpoint, it's not surprising that the camera angles will be from his eyes as how he sees Rei. Conversely, that was how Suzuki Kyoka was doing when she was sizing Hasegawa Hiroki in "Second Virgin" so I have no particular issues with this focus on Igawa.

Of course, it's too early to tell from just one episode if this is going to be a favourite of mine. However, the first episode looked quite engaging so I think I will stick to this a little longer just to see how this forbidden love with work out in the end. I certainly hope that it will be different from "Second Virgin" though.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

First-day screening of movie "Gekijouban ATARU THE FIRST LOVE & THE LAST KILL"

The first-day screening event of movie "Gekijouban ATARU THE FIRST LOVE & THE LAST KILL" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 14 September which was attended by cast members Nakai Masahiro, Horikita Maki, Kitamura Kazuki and Kuriyama Chiaki as well as the director Kimura Hisashi. The movie is now showing at 304 cinemas nationwide.

Nakai revealed that when he first started filming the drama series back in April last year, it took him at least 20 seconds to get into the mood but he can do it in 2 seconds now. However, he lamented that age is catching up on him and he doesn't feel that he has that innocence trait present in Ataru so the filming of the movie made him feel that it was getting more difficult to act as Ataru. As this is the first movie adaptation from a drama for Nakai, he also expressed his view that this movie should be the last in the ATARU series especially since the sub title of the movie also said so. However, when faced with cries of disappointment from the audience about the impending end of the series, Nakai said that there might be a chance that ATARU may follow the Umizaru pattern i.e. saying that a movie is the last installment of the series but still coming up with a sequel later which made the audience clap and cheer.

Source: Eiga.com

Fukushi Souta to join the cast of FujiTV autumn 2013 Gekku "Umi no ue no Shinryojo"

Fukushi Souta will be joining the cast of FujiTV autumn 2013 Gekku drama "Umi no ue no Shinryojo" which begins its run from 14 October at 9pm. He will be playing the role of Misaki Noboru, a nurse who works on the hospital ship that Sezaki Kouta (Matsuda Shota) joins and admires the latter to the extent of listening to Sezaki's useless advice on how to woo Togami Mako (Takei Emi) despite it not working every time. This is the first time that Fukushi is appearing in a Gekku.

Source: Sanspo

Ieiri Leo to sing the theme song for FujiTV autumn 2013 Gekku "Umi no ue no Shinryojo"

Singer-songwriter Ieiri Leo will be singing the theme song for FujiTV's autumn 2013 Gekku "Umi no ue no Shinryojo" starring Matsuda Shota which begins its run from 14 October at 9pm on Mondays. The song titled "Taiyo no Megami" (Sun Goddess) will be released on 6 November and Ieiri's third drama theme song and the first for a Gekku. Ieiri who had graduated from senior high school this spring, revealed that she wrote the song based on her impression of Seto Inland Sea during a school trip.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Premiere event of "Gekijouban ATARU" held at Universal Studios Japan

The premiere event of movie "Gekijouban ATARU" was held at Universal Studios Japan on 11 September which was attended by Nakai Masahiro, Horikita Maki and Kitamura Kazuki. The movie is due to be shown in cinemas from 14 September. At the event venue, the longest red carpet ever used in USJ (70m) was laid out for the cast who walked in with characters such as Snoopy and Elmo while waving to the 5,000-strong crowd who had gathered despite the over-30 degrees heat. To commemorate their visit, the cast also had their hand prints made at USJ which will be displayed at the ATARU special exhibition hall until 30 September. Last but not least, 40 guests were selected out of 3,000 who gathered at the special reception area for a ride on the limited edition attraction "ANOTHER MISSION - Madoka kara no Chousenjo" which will be open until 30 September and uses footage from the movie.

Source: Oricon