Archive for August, 2012


Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan (浪花少年探偵団 – Naniwa Juvenile Detective Team) is a mystery series with a humorous bent starring Tabe Mikako-san as mystery-obsessed elementary school teacher Takeuchi Shinobu. Unfortunately, recent episodes have been less than stellar, and for a few weeks, the thought of the series didn’t muster enough energy in me for a review. Let’s see if episode 7 is interesting enough that I’ll be encouraged to catch up.

Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan Title

As usual, the episode begins with Shinobu facing domestic issues – this time getting mad at her mother and telling her mother to leave (they have separate homes, but Shinobu’s mother has been staying with her).

Domestic Issues 1Domestic Issues 2

While these bits are funny (especially thanks to the voice-over narration provided by Maeda Oshiro-kun, who plays the younger Harada kid) and give texture to the story, they’ve had a bad habit of stealing time from the mystery.

Maeda-kun’s voice-over moves from Shinobu’s issue to a general observation about what people consider precious.

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This was a special live episode of Arashi ni Shiyagare, reformulated as part of the 24-hour TV charity telethon hosted by NTV and combined with variety show Shabekuri 007. For more information, see the article on the first part of the telethon here. The second part of the telethon was Ninomiya-kun’s drama, and this was the third part.

This review will focus on the two hours that were Arashi-centric. Part four of the telethon was more on the Shabekuri side of things, and will be covered in the next article on the 24-hour TV event.

Instead of the usual arrangement, the members of Shabekuri 007 welcome Arashi as the guests onto the Arashi ni Shiyagare set:

2012 24Hr TV Part 3 0012012 24Hr TV Part 3 002

Sakurai-san looks positively stunned. I think he expected to be handling the MC duties as usual:

2012 24Hr TV Part 3 0032012 24Hr TV Part 3 004

The main personalities on Shabekuri 007 are the Neptune trio (Nagura Jun-san, Harada Taizo-san, and Horiuchi Ken-san), the Cream Stew duo (Ueda Shinya-san and Arita Teppei-san), and the Tutorial duo (Tokui Yoshimi-san and Fukuda Mitsunori-san). Ueda-san handled the MC duties . . .

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These are the notable single and album releases for the next month (in other words, releases from groups that I recognize). My apologies if your favorite artist is not included – please mention the artist and title in a comment and I’ll update the list if it’s someone I should have included.

More complete listings are available on merchant websites (I use CD Japan’s list). For my part, I think there’s some value in also having a shortlist (especially for my own reference), so I’ll stick with this format.

September 5th

Kanjani8 – Aoppana

EXILE TRIBE – 24 karats TRIBE OF GOLD

Kobukuro – All Singles Best 2

Cute – Aitai Aitai Aitaina

Aqua Timez – Because You Are You

September 11th

Tackey & Tsubasa – TEN

September 12th

KAT-TUN – Fumetsu no Scrum

Morning Musume – Colorful Character

Perfume – Perfume Global Compilation “Love the World”

T.M. Revolution – T.M.R. Live Revolution 11-12 – Cloud Nine –

SCANDAL – Pin Heel Surfer

Bump of Chicken – firefly

Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Landmark

September 19th

SKE48 – Kiss Datte Hidarikiki

SKE48 – Kono Hi no Chime wo Wasurenai (First Album)

Porno Graffitti – Kage Boushi

Superfly – Force (5th Anniversary Edition)

Dragon Ash – Run to the Sun / Walk with Dreams

September 26th

Fukuyama Masaharu – Beautiful Life / Game

Momoiro Clover – Ikuze! Kaito Shojo

Sukima Switch – Sukima Switch Tour 2012 “musium”

SCANDAL – Queens are trumps – Kirihuda wa Queen

October 3rd

Domoto Koichi – Gravity

Sexy Zone – Sexy Summer ni Yuki ga Furu

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This week’s number one single was “Hashire! Bicycle” (走れ! Bicycle) from Nogizaka46 (乃木坂46), with 186,613 copies sold, which is an improvement on the first week performance of their previous single “Oide Shampoo,” though still far from the sales that we should expect from the “official rival” of AKB48.

At number two was “Sexy, Free & Single” from Super Junior, selling 109,821. This is a significant drop from their previous Japanese single release – “Opera” – which sold 159,789 in its first week (back in May). I have to say, the title of the single seems so desperate that I’m sort of glad it didn’t perform well. Apologies to Super Junior fans, but my gut reaction is that song titles like this merit punishment.

Kis-My-Ft2’s “Wanna Beeee!!!/Shake It Up” was at #6 in its second week, reaching a total of 315,242 sales. Second week sales were above my standard benchmark of 10%.

Perfume also beat the 10% mark in the second week of “Spending all my time” sales, now totaling 94,587 at #12. I would be surprised if it doesn’t pass 100,000 before dropping out of the top 30.

The 三代目 J Soul Brothers single “O~Zero~” made #15, and the 7,290 fresh sales gave it a three-week total of 124,385.

NEWS‘s “Chankapaana” held #22 with total of 291,238 copies sold.

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Due to 24-hr TV, Sprout and Ghost Mama Sousasen didn’t air episodes this week, so the only drama I’m tracking that might have been affected was Summer Rescue. Otherwise, the drama ratings shouldn’t be too skewed by extrinsic effects.

A complete account of the weekend shows, including variety shows, can be found at the usual bi-weekly TokyoHive rundown. The most recent of those is here. I’m only keeping track of my slate of dramas (the ones I’ve considered doing reviews for) for this season.

Prime Time Shows

GTO  (01) 15.1%, (02) 13.3%, (03) 12.3%, (04) 13.9%, (05) 11.5%, (06) 12.1%, (07) 13.5%, (08) 15.1%

Iryu Sosa 2  (01) 13.3%, (02) 13.7%, (03) 11.6%, (04) 10.1%, (05) 12.9%, (06) 12.7%

Ghost Mama Sousasen  (01) 15.2%, (02) 11.0%, (03) 11.0%, (04) 9.5%, (05) 10.3%, (06) 9.5%

Kuro no Onna Kyoushi  (01) 12.9%, (02) 10.4%, (03) 8.8%, (04) 9.4%, (05) 10.4%, (06) 9.9%

Summer Rescue  (01) 14.7%, (02) 11.6%, (03) 10.1%, (04) 6.8%, (05) 10.4%, (06) 9.0%

Beginners!  (01) 8.5%, (02) 9.9%, (03) 5.9%, (04) 7.0%, (05) 8.1%, (06) 7.6%

Naniwa Shounen Tanteidan  (01) 7.8%, (02) 6.0%, (03) 5.6%, (04) 7.1%, (05) 5.5%, (06) 6.4%, (07) 6.6%, (08) 5.7%

Boys on the Run  (01) 7.5%, (02) 5.4%, (03) 7.3%, (04) 3.9%, (05) 4.1%, (06) 6.1%, (07) 6.4%

Late Night Shows

Sprout  (01) 02.4%, (02) 02.5%, (03) 2.9%, (04) 2.6%, (05) 2.1%, (06) 2.9%, (07) 3.0%

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