Archive for August, 2014

HERO 2014 Ep 02 Review

It looks like episodes of HERO 2014 are longer than just the normal hour block. I didn’t make a note of it in the first episode because premieres are often extended beyond the standard time slot, but this second episode is also longer – 57 minutes of program time, so probably an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half with commercials. I’m not complaining, though – as long as they can keep the pace up, the more entertainment the better.

This episode begins with the chief (Matsushige Yutaka) valiantly trying to assign cases to each prosecutor. However, they seem to just decide for themselves – all except Kiryuu (Kimura Takuya), who gets the leftover. The last two cases are sexual assaults where the offender gropes the victim, and Baba Reiko (Yoshida Yo) takes the repeat offender, leaving Kiryuu with the rich offender.

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As is often the case in Hero, there’s a focus on how justice differs for people from different classes. Kiryuu takes particular pleasure in making sure the rich guy doesn’t get away with things just because he can afford lawyers. So, how will he ensure this guy pays for his crime?

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Katsumata doesn’t deny that he grabbed a woman named Miyahara from behind, for which he was arrested. Fortunately, Miyahara fought back and was able to disable him until a nearby police officer could help. Katsumata still bears a bruise on his face and a pain in his ribs thanks to Miyahara’s efforts.

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The guest team for this VS Arashi (VS 嵐) is one of those prefecture teams with a mishmash of talents. In this case, the team members were all from Hiroshima, and they were the three members of Perfume (Nocchi, A~chan, and Kashiyuka), 9nine’s Nishiwaki Sayaka-san (the younger sister of A~chan), and the two members of Ungirls (Tanaka and Yamane). So, as far as prefecture teams go, this was a pretty close-knit bunch. I’m curious to see how Perfume does. We’ve seen Ungirls plenty of times, and so with them I’m just wondering what sort of antics they’ll pull.

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Actually, Perfume has been on VS Arashi as well – all the way back in 2008, six years ago. Sakurai-san brings this up.

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Next, they talk about how Nishiwaki-san is A~chan’s younger sister and how the main resemblance between them is their voices.

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At the conclusion of the first episode of Kinkyori Renai (近キョリ恋愛), Ririko (Adachi Rika) asked stepbrother Haruka (Abe Aran) if she could stay with him after getting into a fight with her boyfriend. Considering Ririko moved all the way from New York back to Japan in order to be with this boyfriend, she is necessarily confused and distraught.

Also at the end of the previous episode, we saw a preview of scenes involving adult Haruka (as played by Yamashita Tomohisa-kun) which I took to be part of this series. Thankfully (since those scenes deal with issues I don’t find entertaining), that’s all going to be part of a movie that I’ll never watch (not my kind of thing). This series is actually the prequel to that movie. That relieves the worry I had about Yamashita-kun’s part in this series – he in fact has no part except in the intro.

So, that leaves us with these three fun-loving characters:

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This installment begins with Mirei (Ishibashi Anna) and Kanata (Kishi Yuta) being concerned after hearing how Ririko had to seek refuge at Haruka’s place. Even though they just met Ririko, they’re worried about her and the possibility that, after falling out with the boyfriend she had done so much to be with, she might do herself harm.

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Kishi-kun was especially brilliant at injecting over-the-top dramatics to this possibility to keep it from being too morbid.

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The top single for the past week was EXILE TRIBE’s “The Revolution” which sold 321,879 copies. Now, I hate to be suspicious or anything, but that’s around three times what the group normally manages on a single, so either this is a whopper of a song (I haven’t heard it), or I have to suspect something fishy is going on. I probably wouldn’t be as suspicious if not for that blatantly manipulated single from EXILE last year. If you know the story behind this single, please provide details in the comments.

Facing the opposite situation, Golden Bomber did worse than they normally do on their New Year’s singles, though we haven’t seen a single from them released on a date other than January 1st since November 2011. “Roller no Kizudarake” (ローラの傷だらけ) sold 42,845 copies to take #2.

At #3, “Get Away/The Jolly Roger” from VAMPS sold 35,777.

Tackey & Tsubasa got #4 with “Dakinatsu” (抱夏-ダキナツ-) seeing 29,246 sold.

S/mileage was at #5 with their new single “Aa Susukino/Chikyu wa Kyo mo Ai o Hagukumu” (嗚呼 すすきの/地球は今日も愛を育む) selling 28,051.

The second week of sales for Kis-My-Ft2’s “Another Future” brought it to #6 with a very strong 26,997 copies sold for a total of 241,679.

“A-ha-ha! ~Chouzetsu Bakushou Ondo~” from Super Girls took #18, tacking on 6,984 to bring its two-week total to 48,369.

Taking #23 in its third week, “ER2” from Eight Ranger – the alter-ego of Kanjani8 – sold an additional 5,084 and now has a total of 231,889.

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This Sexy Zone Channel episode is the second half of the physical aptitude test challenge, in which the guys had to pick six tests of fitness and try to beat the average for seventeen year-olds (the average age of the group).

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They’ve already done three tests – grip strength, the cobra (I have no idea what to call it otherwise), and the standing long jump . . .

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. . . and after the (very long) recap in which we saw everything from the first episode, we continued with test number four – shuffling, as Matsushima-kun demonstrates here:

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The average for seventeen year-olds is 58 times in 20 seconds. One thing we found out from the last episode is that while Sou-kun is flexible, there are definitely some areas in which he could improve. Will he be able to beat the average here?

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