It was announced that Morning Musume member Tanaka Reina (23) will graduate from the group and from Hello! Project at the end of the group’s 2013 spring concert tour. At the same time, she will also be launching a new band as a lead vocalist.
The news was announced during Morning Musume’s concert at Nakano Sun Plaza on November 18. Tanaka, who joined the group in 2003 as part of its 6th generation, declared that she will be “taking a journey to a new stage” and taking on the challenge of a true music career.
Tanaka appeared on stage with her band’s three other members. Applications for the audition process were first accepted in June, but no one was chosen, so a second audition process began in August, resulting in the three members, chosen from approximately 4,000 candidates: vocalist Okada Marina (19), guitarist Miyazawa Marin (19), and guitarist Uozumi Yuki (21). The band, which does not yet have a name, is planning to begin performances and other activities around February 2013.
An official website for the band has opened at www.reinaband.com, and submissions for the band’s name are being accepted.
Dec 01 2012
Singer Hamasaki Ayumi (34) has a new boyfriend, reported by Josei Seven. She is currently in a relationship with 28-year-old Uchiyama Maroka, who has performed as one of her backup dancers since a-nation in the summer of 2007. Hamasaki also personally admitted to the relationship in a message to her fan club on Wednesday night.
The message, posted to her blog on her fan club website, read: “I don’t like hiding things from all of you, so I’d like to tell you clearly. I’m in a serious relationship with Maro-chan. But, even from now on, work is work, and personal is personal, and I’ll properly keep the two separate and give you the best performances as always.” Uchiyama also acknowledged the relationship on his own blog.
Hamasaki was previously married to Austrian actor Manuel Schwarz, but they divorced in January after just one year.
The 45th Nihon Yusen Taisho award ceremony was held on Wednesday, and for the 7th time, singer Hikawa Kiyoshi received the grand prize. His song “Sakura” topped a field of 8 nominees, which included AKB48, JUJU, Nishino Kana, Fairies, Otsuki Miyako, Mizumori Kaori, and Kouzai Kaori (who has previously won the grand prize once).
Hikawa previously won the grand prize in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010. No other has won more than three times.
The other award winners were previously announced here.
It was revealed that Utada Hikaru recorded a new song as the ending theme for “Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo” (Evangelion Shingekijoban Q), which opened in Japan this past weekend. Titled “Sakura Nagashi,” this is her first new song since she went on hiatus in 2010, but it has been emphasized that this does not signal her return to her singing career.
Sources say that despite Utada’s hiatus, the movie’s production staff fervently asked her to do the ending theme song, so she agreed and wrote “Sakura Nagashi.” Utada previously sang “Beautiful World” as the “Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone” theme song, and she also sang a remix of that song for “Evangelion: 2.0 You Can.”
“Sakura Nagashi” will be released as a DVD single on December 26, but ringtones for the song became available on November 17. Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, the character designer for “Evangelion,” illustrated the single’s cover jacket (pictured above).
The music video has also been made available online for a limited time.
Dec 01 2012
NHK has announced that Anne will star as the heroine of the 89th Asadora, which will be titled “Gochisou-san.” Morishita Yoshiko (“JIN”) is writing the screenplay.
This will be Anne’s first time appearing in an Asadora, but she was reportedly offered the part without an audition. She has already appeared in many television dramas since making her acting debut in 2007, and last year she got her first starring role in Fuji TV’s “Namae wo Nakushita Megami.” Earlier this year, she played a supporting role in NTV’s “Yokai Ningen Bem,” for which she received an Elan D'Or Award and a Tokyo Drama Award.
The story will involve the themes of food and love. It begins during the Taisho period (1912-1926), where a young girl named Uno Meiko is raised in a family that runs a Western-style restaurant in Tokyo. As a result, she has grown up with a love for food. Later on, she meets a quirky man from Osaka and falls in love, and she ends up moving to Osaka as his wife.
Anne will play the part of Meiko from around the age of 17 to over the age of 40.
Filming is scheduled to ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Actor Kitamura Kazuki (43) and his wife have divorced, it has been learned.
Kitamura and his wife have been married since 1993. According to the magazine, Kitamura left his family’s home around the start of this year and began living on his own somewhere in Tokyo. He reportedly told his friends that he had divorced.
Kitamura has a son named Shousei (17), who is also an actor, but it is said that his ex-wife has parental custody.
The Sankei Sports newspaper confirmed with Kitamura’s agency that the actor has divorced.
Nov 28 2012
One of Japan’s biggest end-of-year concerts, NKH Kohaku Gassen has revealed its lineup for this year’s show and out of about 50 groups, there is not a K-pop group in sight.
The Japanese TV network hosting the show defended its decision, saying, “It wasn’t political or related to the two nations’ feud over Dokdo.”
An NHK spokesperson told Sankei Sports yesterday that this year’s omission was “simply because Korean singers didn’t do so well on the charts this year.”
Last year, the same festival invited TVXQ, Girls’ Generation and KARA to perform.
Even before the lineup was released by NHK on Monday, various media speculated that no Hallyu stars would be present.
The main reason cited was the tension over the Dokdo islets. Several K-dramas were canned in Japan this year.
Kim Tae-hee saw her planned visit to Japan canceled by the Japanese cosmetic brand with which she had an endorsement deal.
Big Bang kick starts Japan Dome tour with 100,000 fans in attendance at 2-day concert at the Kyocera Dome
Nov 25 2012
On November 23rd and 24th, Big Bang began their 3 Dome concert tour in Japan with a great start. Over 100,000 fans were reported to have attended the 2-day concert at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan.
The 3 Dome concert tour is part of Big Bang's world tour, "Alive Galaxy Tour 2012."
According to reports, the Kyocera Dome was filled with golden crown rods held by thousands of Japanese fans. Intense cheers greeted the popular male group in the venue as live music began to play, indicating the start of the concert.
Big Bang previously held the 1st leg of their Japan tour earlier this year in May and June, following the opening concerts of their world tour in Seoul. At the time, their initial Japan tour attracted 150,000 fans. The current 3 Dome tour is expected to attract even more fans with an estimation of 305,000 fans, making the total of 455,000 Japanese fans met for their "Alive Galaxy Tour 2012."
Big Bang has shown remarkable growth in popularity since their official debut in the country in July 2009. After just a short 3 years, Big Bang has become one of the few artists to perform in three Dome venues, a remarkable feat for any artist.
Due to strong requests for tickets from fans during the group's Arena tour, the 3 Dome tour arose. Over 1 million requests for tickets for Big Bang's concerts were made.
Meanwhile, Big Bang will be wrapping up their "Alive Galaxy Tour 2012" in January 2013 in Seoul. The official date has not been revealed yet, but it is expected that a ticket purchase war will occur between fans once more information has been released.
Source: read full article...
Nov 03 2012
The short film “Mr. Jeong-hoon! My Star Is a Chicken-Man?!”, starring Kim Jeong-hoon, a well-known singer and actor in Korea, has been released for five days from October 31 in major five cities in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sendai.
On October 31, the first day of release, an onstage event was held with the hero Kim Jeong-hoon and director Okamoto at Doho Cinema’s Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. At the event, director Okamoto said, ”While we were filming, I felt somewhat sorry for Kim Jeong-hoon, but thanks to his ideas and suggestions, we produced a wonderful work could be produced thanks to our synergy.” And Kim Jeong-hoon commented, ”I was afraid what would happen if you would regard me as a real chicken-man. However, I did my best to raise such an atmosphere in the movie.”
This is a comedy film that shows in documentary style the conflicts and dilemmas between Kim Jeong-hoon and his manager that had happened during Kim Jeong-hoon’s activities in the process of live performances, recordings, film shoots and interviews. Kim Jeong-hoon introduced the movie's title song “MESSAGE”, which was released on the same day as the premiere was held, saying, “This song was produced by Kawamura Ryuichi of the popular group Luna Sea. It is a love song that reflects the heart of a lover who cannot express his pure heart to the woman he loves.” As for the music album “Voice 2” that was simultaneously released with the single album on the day of the premiere, he remarked, “I have remade the hit songs of the male singers and I studied very hard about how to add my own color.” Concerning the future plans, Kim Jeong-hoon said,” I will ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
TBS has announced that it will bring back the popular mystery drama series “ATARU” for a special episode early next year. The drama has SMAP’s Nakai Masahiro playing an autistic savant named Ataru (also known as Chokozai) whose incredible memory is the key to solving various crimes. The series got ratings as high as 21.7% during its broadcast from April to June of this year.
The main cast will naturally stay the same, as Nakai once again teams up with police detectives played by Kitamura Kazuki and Kuriyama Chiaki. The episode’s guest stars have not yet been announced.
At the end of the original series, Chokozai returned to New York, but when his younger brother Tasuku (who did not appear in the original show) becomes the suspect of a series of murders, Chokozai heads back to Japan to clear his brother’s name. Although he will be reunited with the two detectives, Chokozai will also have to deal with his toughest opponent yet – someone who has the same mental abilities as him.
TBS plans to broadcast the episode during the New Year’s period in 2013, but the specific date and time are still to be determined.