Archive for May, 2013


Since the last episode of “A.B.C-Z オーストラリア縦断 資金0円 ワーホリの旅” (A.B.C-Z’s working holiday trip through Australia with 0 yen) left the guys with only a bit of spare change, they need to spend this time looking for work.

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They seem pretty relaxed as they drive into Gold Coast (again going “umi da!” – “it’s the sea!” – as if that’s a surprise at a place called ‘Gold Coast’).

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They even spend a bit of the morning at the beach, though Tsukada-kun seems to be the only one willing to spend time in the water. Thankfully, they eventually pull themselves away from the water to search for work.

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The last episode of Bad Boys J ended with yet another aborted confrontation between Kiriki Tsukasa (Nakajima Kento) and Danno Hidenori (Nikaido Takashi). Can we look forward to a more innovative storyline this time, now that the writers clearly want to delay the whole #1 versus #2 thing?

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The opening looks very promising. In my last review, I wondered where all the other members of Gokuraku Chou were, since only the four principals seemed to be doing battle against BEAST. Well, the writers neatly anticipated that reaction (I love when they do that) and started this episode with Gokuraku Chou holding new member auditions.

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This was just a brilliant bit of humor, putting things on a good track. The first guy looked the part, but got the name of the group wrong, constantly saying “chu” instead of “chou”.

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In an unexpected disqualifying factor, the next guy pissed off Eiji (Fukusawa Tatsuya) because he didn’t know anything about volleyball.

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I’ll leave off the third one because it served as the ultimate punchline to the skit, and I don’t want to ruin it for you.

The net result was that the three foot-soldiers of Gokuraku Chou – Youji (Iwamoto Hikaru), Eiji, and Hisao (Watanabe Shota) – were left dispirited, wondering if it would be better to just accept all comers to increase their numbers. Youji doesn’t like that idea, though, insisting that the people they accept should be friends they would be willing to defend with their lives. Since that didn’t seem to be true of the Gokuraku Chou we saw in episode one, I think Youji might have gotten this from Tsukasa – seeing how Tsukasa gets fired up against overwhelming odds because he wants to defend his friends. Maybe, maybe not.

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Last week in singles sales, AKB48 topped the charts with “Sayonara Crawl” (さよならクロール) selling a whopping 1,762,873 copies – their best result yet. Thanks to ryusenkai for explaining that the title is a swimming term in Japan. To be sure, this result sure bursts any talk that AKB is on a decline (and therefore the most obvious joke regarding the title). Even though this number comes with some asterisks – it was an election single and sales were phenomenally front-loaded – it’s a big enough spike to put me on notice and make me wary of any more talk of the group’s demise.

Tegomasu took #2 with “Neko Chudoku” (貓中毒 – Cat Addiction) doing remarkably well with 95,659 copies sold. Coming so close to gold in the first week (and being guaranteed it in the second week) is really a big deal for the duo (I think, but am not 100% sure, that this is their best first week result), and makes me wonder where they go from here.

At #3, Perfume’s “Magic of Love” sold 66,094. This is their weakest result since 2008.

SCANDAL’s “Awanai Tsumori no, Genki de ne” (會わないつもりの、元気でね) saw their best result yet, taking #4 and selling 32,533. I’ve sort of had a passing interest in the group, and maybe this is a good time to look into their work a bit more.

So we got three best singles this week (assuming I’m right about the Tegomasu one). That’s . . . a pretty amazing week.

Taking #8 in its second week, the collaboration between T.M.Revolution and Mizuki Nana-san – “Preserved Roses” – added 22,507 in sales to bring its total to 137,581.

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It’s taken me a while to get to this review of “A.B.C-Z オーストラリア縦断 資金0円 ワーホリの旅” (A.B.C-Z’s working holiday trip through Australia with 0 yen), but that’s not from lack of interest. It doesn’t look like the place I was going to was keeping up with it (at least, not within two weeks, which is my normal limit), and I had to find a different source. In this case, you may notice Chinese subs in the screenshots. I hope the subtitling group in question doesn’t mind me basing this review on the video they uploaded – it doesn’t violate any of the normal rules, but it’s all down to the preferences of the people who share the video, and I can’t read Chinese.

When we last left A.B.C-Z, they were on their way to Lady Musgrave Island – an uninhabited spot of land amidst the Great Barrier Reef.

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They sure are a boisterous bunch as they make landfall.

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This is the island:

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Looks sort of small, but very tropical.

I’m not too sure what they were supposed to be doing on the island, and I’m not sure they knew either, but they did a good job of looking like they had a purpose and were having fun.

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Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is an hour-long variety show that features Arashi and famous guests from a range of backgrounds who share their expertise with the five hosts. This time, the guest is transvestite make-up artist IKKO-san, so whatever the Arashi guys are going to have to do, we know they’re going to look good doing it.

Indeed, they take the stage in spiffy black-and-white uniforms:

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The opening talk was about Aiba-kun’s baseball team and Ninomiya-kun’s participation in it. Apparently, Aiba-kun gets him up pretty early in the morning (5:30) because otherwise they don’t have time, with work and all.

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After the baseball talk, they bring out IKKO-san. I’ll refer to IKKO-san as a female throughout the article based on her preferences, but that’s somewhat complicated by the fact that the guest is supposed to be an “aniki” (big brother), and are consistently male. This point is the second one the Arashi guys take advantage of for laughs – the first one was the funky boys replacing the usual funky girls.

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