Archive for July, 2014


SHARK 2 Ep 11-12 Review

Note: this was a double episode, and is alternately referred to as Ep 11 as well as Ep 11 and 12.

So this is it – the last hour of SHARK Season 2. Right at the end of the previous episode and going into the beginning of this one, we get the ridiculous setup for the climactic battle between BtS and Cloud5 – that the two bands will face-off in front of fans again, and if Cloud5 loses, they’ll have to disband.

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Now, even the most gullible viewer would have to scratch their heads at this. How can a record company force a band to disband? Even if the band is under contract, nothing in that contract could ever allow the company to compel the members to disassociate. At the most extreme (and I can’t think of a case of this) the group might have to change its name, but it’s relatively common for bands to switch labels. There are some peculiar situations – like Johnny’s – where everything is vertically integrated, but that’s not how it works when a label signs an independent rock group. The group retains certain rights – like the right to exist and to freely assemble.

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Apparently, Matsuyuki wants to produce just one new group, and the company is willing to lose the potential profits from Cloud5 on his whim. First of all, what a lazy bum, not to mention a liar. But in any case the situation then should be that Cloud5 simply gets dropped from the company roster and becomes an independent band. I wonder if any other record company might want to take a chance on a popular young group that was just dumped by a label because their producer was an asshole?

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And at what point do the members of Cloud5 all walk into Matsuyuki’s office and tell him to shove it? If, after having been manipulated as they have been, they are just going to be thrilled to be under Matsuyuki’s umbrella again, what sympathy do they deserve?

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The top single for the past week was “NEW HORIZON” from EXILE, which sold a respectable 147,572 copies.

Taking the second spot was the second single from Busaiku – “Ti-Ti-Ti-Terette Teretititi ~Dare no Ketsu” (or something like that) – which sold 77,381.

Nogizaka46’s “Natsu no Free & Easy” got #4 in its third week, adding 16,155 copies sold to bring its total to 455,478.

Right behind was SMAP’s “Top of the World/Amazing Discovery” with 14,339 sold in week two, now with a total of 137,189.

“Cling Cling” from Perfume took #14, selling 7,055 to push its two-week total to 80,480.

King Cream Soda’s “Geragerapo no Uta” was at #22 and now has 84,733 copies sold after thirteen weeks.

Taking #26 in its third week was “KiRa-KiRa Sensation!/Happy maker!” from μ’s, which managed 3,253 in sales to get its total to 57,772.

Rounding out the singles was Kanjani8’s “Omoidama” at #30, with a new four-week total of 189,405 copies sold.

The album side continues to have a lot of substance to it. At the top this week was Shoujo Jidai’s “THE BEST”, which saw 74,921 copies sold.

At #2 was Ketsumeishi’s “KETSUNOPOLIS 9”, with 50,225 in sales.

The Frozen soundtrack popped back up to #4, partly because some of the new albums last week lost ground this time. It added 16,008 to its substantial total to breach the 900k mark. Its twenty-four week total is now at 900,315.

Oda Kazumasa-san’s “Oda Hiyori” was at #5 in its fourth week, selling 11,127 to bring its total to 133,830.

Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi-san was once again right behind Oda-san, and his “All Time Best 2014” sold 9,948 for a four-week total of 113,226.

“HEART” from TOKIO got #8, and saw a strong second week with 9,178 copies sold. Its fresh total id 50,334.

Finally, taking #9 in week five was Chris Hart’s “Heart Song II”, which added 8,576, bringing its total to 93,771. There’s a chance it’ll break gold next week.

Gamushara 2014.07.06 Review

In this edition of Gamushara (ガムシャラ), we continue to follow the four teams as they practice for their various performances. Thankfully, they decided to switch up the order, so we didn’t start with the basketball trick team this time, and instead began with the breakdancing team – Iwahashi Genki, Takahashi Fuu, Takahashi Kaito, Matsuda Genta, and Hayashi Ren.

It looks like everyone is together on the basic choreography, but as the announcer said, they’re Johnny’s after all.

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It was three minutes of very quick footwork, though, so they’re all spent by the end of it.

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The staff notes that they’re a bit short on the muscle (and certainly weight training is not part of the normal Johnny’s regimen) . . .

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After completing their fishing challenge unsuccessfully in the previous episode of Sexy Zone Channel, the members of SZ waved goodbye to the audience, then were accosted by the staff and told that there was another location shoot to do. Well, it’s a good thing fishing isn’t an especially taxing activity and the SZ guys never seem to run out of battery.

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The boys raise a token fuss before Matsushima Sou-kun asks where the location shoot is going to be.

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As usual, they try to guess what the challenge will be (and try to squeeze in a proper opening to the show) . . .

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. . . and as usual, they’re wrong. Rather than a challenge, this is more of a fun episode, and the setting for their amusement is a safari park. Apparently they’ve seen the ads for the Fuji Safari Park, but most or all of them haven’t been there before, so they’re totally excited (Marius-kun was hopping around and running ahead).

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This episode of Gamushara J’s Party!! (ガムシャラ J’s Party!!) started with a long opening as usual, but with strange credits this time – they were apparently trying to imitate Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou based on the background music, but having the names of the juniors on black background instead of directly on their images was unhelpful and choppy.

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The Dramatis Personae this time were Jesse, Morita Myuto, Nozawa Yuki, Morohoshi Shoki, Kyomoto Taiga, Kouchi Yugo, Tanaka Juri, Morimoto Shintaro, Haniuda Amu, Nagata Jiei, and Matsumura Hokuto. So, pretty much the usual number of participants. I’m having trouble separating who has appeared in Gamushara versus who has performed in J’s Party, but I think the newbies in this one are Kyomoto Taiga-kun, Kouchi Yugo-kun, and Nagata Jiei-kun (who is in because of the pole dancing challenge).

Just in case the opening credits were inadequate, they took the liberty of identifying everyone during the opening. Each performer got to greet the audience during the Overture. Interesting to note that the poles for that challenge were already up, and presumably had to be there for the entire concert.

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Haniuda-kun and Nagata-kun were not on stage for the opening and the first song – “Luv Sick” – but everyone else was present.

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