Archive for December, 2012


This is the Shounen Club (ザ少年倶楽部) Christmas Special for 2012 – a panoply of exactly the kind of energetic and cheerful performances that are perfectly suited to this season, but Johnny’s juniors put on all year long.

The new performances in this episode were recorded in a studio rather than in front of a live audience at NHK Hall, so they have a much more relaxed feel to them than usual. In addition to these new performances, we got recorded messages and recaps of Shounen Club performances from this year from illustrious guests like Yamapi. Hey! Say! Jump introduced everything from what looked like a lobby. I’ll mention but not critique the old performances, and focus on the new ones instead.

HSJ do the title call in front of a live audience in NHK Hall, then the juniors kick things off with introductions while dancing to a light seasonal tune. The juniors were introduced in turn, and I was a bit shocked to learn that Sexy Boyz was still a unit:

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Maybe just for Christmas? Anyway, it’s still Junior Team A (Kishi, Iwahashi, Takahashi) and Team B (Jinguji, et. al.) as far as I’m concerned. They were followed by Travis Japan, which seems to have more members now, what I will call the Masuda-Anderson team, the Chibi team, and Bakaleya Six (though they’re still not called that, and named individually).

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Since Lewis Jesse-kun has dropped the “Lewis” because of complaints that his name was too long (I suppose just in terms of writing it in katakana), I wish they’d at least say “Jesse” right. Whoever said his name when he was introduced made a total mess of it. It’s only two syllables now, dammit, and the average Japanese name is around seven, so come on!

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And so, we finally reach the last episode of “Johnny’s Journey – Hey! Say! JUMP Takaki Yuya & Chinen Yuri Futarikki France Juudan Kakuekiteisha no Tabi” – the trek of HSJ’s Takaki-kun and Chinen-kun from Paris to Nice.

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The two travelers depart from Entrevaux in the morning of the last day, with Takaki-kun already wearing sandals in anticipation of the beaches of the French Riviera.

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At the penultimate station, they’re captivated by the dawn over the mountains while waiting for the train:

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Priceless Ep 04 Review

Priceless (プライスレス) stars Kimura Takuya-san as Kindaichi Fumio, a salary man who suddenly loses everything – job, home, and every yen to his name.

In episode 3, Kindaichi tried to help a ramen shop owner get customers and revive his dying business, but failed. His efforts, though, led the owner to leave him with a legacy:

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It’s a food cart. Will he be able to make use of it to lift himself out of poverty?

First, we get a glimpse of the home life of his spineless former boss, Moai (Nakai Kiichi), who has an overbearing wife and daughter. It looks like they didn’t think much of him before he got his most recent promotion (the one he received to shut him up about what really happened to Kindaichi), but they’re pleased with him now, already making plans on how to spend his new paycheck.

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Back at Grandma Marioka (Natsuki Mari)’s place, Kindaichi decides to keep the food cart on the bet it might be useful.

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Piece Ep 07 Review

When we last left Suga Mizuho (Honda Tsubasa), she had approached emotionally fragile Sugawara (Nozawa Yuki) and discovered that he was the one responsible for angry, stalkerish notes sent to Setouchi (Suzuki Airi). More importantly, he bullied the main tragic figure of the story, Origuchi Haruka (Mizuno Erina). Will this help Mizuho piece together what happened to Origuchi?

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Sugawara said he tormented Origuchi because she defended the gym teacher, Miyamoto, when Miyamoto seemed to never waste a chance to touch Setouchi.

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Not only that, but Sugawara also happened to see Origuchi visiting Miyamoto, leading to all sorts of suspicions about what they might be doing together.

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Drama Ratings Update – to Dec 23rd

Except for Doctor X turning in a whopper of a finale, getting a 24.4% rating, there wasn’t anything spectacular as the most of this season’s dramas concluded. With the new year just around the corner, most of my interest is on the coming season, even as I try to catch up on and wrap up the shows from this season.

You can get information on all of this season’s dramas (and plenty of prime time variety shows) at the most recent of the TokyoHive ratings articles here.

Prime Time Shows

Doctor X  (01-07 avg.) 18.2%, (08 – Finale) 24.4%

Priceless (01-08 avg.) 17.6%, (09) 17.4%

Aibou 11  (01-09 avg.) 16.4%, (10) 17.8%

Akumu-chan  (01-10 avg.) 11.5%, (11 – Finale) 11.2%

MONSTERS  (01-07 avg.) 11.3%, (08 – Finale) 13.5%

Tokyo Airport  (01-09 avg.) 9.0%, (10 – Finale) 10.5%

Ooku  (01-09 avg.) 8.5%, (10 – Finale) 8.3%

Perfect Blue  (01-10 avg.) 8.1%, (11 – Finale) 8.3%

Koukou Nyushi  (01-11 avg.) 6.7%, (12) 8.1%

Resident  (01-09 avg.) 6.4%, (10 – Finale) 8.5%

Late Night Shows

Poison  (01-11 avg.) 3.5%, (12) 4.0%

Piece  (01-11 avg.) 2.1%, (12) 1.7%

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