Last Sept 19th (Hawaii, US time;Sept 20 in Japan), popular group Arashi celebrated their 15 years anniversary of debut live from Ko Olina resort in Hawaii, USA. The group have fond memories of Hawaii as they debuted in Waikiki aboard a luxury liner last Sept 1999.



A “storm” of excitement arises with the upscale resort at the background that can be reach 50 minutes by car inside of Honolulu. 150 bus units with Arashi’s logo brought fans to and from the venue that includes Japanese fans. The streets of Oahu, particularly along Kalakaua Ave., was lined with 113 Arashi flags and some fans shared that those in immigration bureau would ask them if they are in Hawaii for Arashi concert upon their arrival. A local paper reported that their arrival brought Hawaii US$20.7 million in economic revenue.



Arashi arrived via helicopter that left 15,000 audiences stunned. Ninomiya Kazunari shouted, “the storm has arrived!”, and charmed the audience in quick succession with their hit songs, which includes their debut song, “A · RA · SHI“. The group also performed with a local Hawaiian band with the setting sun as the backdrop.



Fans stirred with admiration for Arashi as they have gone a long a way, overcoming hurdles as 5-members, and now they are a group who represents Japan. Arashi’s leader, Ohno Satoshi said that even though there was sad feeling 15 yrs ago, he can no longer feel that [sad feeling] from that time. Sakurai Sho added, “With pride and affection, I was able to return with  Arashi on the Hawaiian ground”. “Thank you members, these five people are impressive,” Matsumoto Jun said with deep emotion as the rest starts crying.






A special stage was set-up for the venue that is twice the size of Tokyo Dome. Transported from Japan via sea are 16 container vans for stage equipment ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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It was announced that Arashi‘s Ninomiya Kazunari will star in Fuji TV’s drama special, “Murder on the Orient Express“, which will be shown for two consecutive nights in New Year 2015.



The said special drama is based from the bestselling novel of the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie, which was published in 1934. Mitani Koki will worked on the script for the Japanese adaptation that will be set in early Showa era in contrast to the original setting in London. “Murder on the Orient Express” is about a murder that occurred while on a luxury sleeper train called Orient Express. The first night of the drama SP will be faithful to the original while the second night will be reconstructed from the murderer’s point of view.



Kyogen actor Nomura Mansai will play the role of the famous detective Suguro Takeru (Hercule Poirot in original) while Ninomiya will play the role of victim’s head secretary named Makuuchi Heita (Hector  McQueen in original). It will be Ninomiya’s first time to work with Mitani and he was surprise to be chosen. Mitani commented that he saw Ninomiya’s works in the past and thinks that he’s good.

Joining the rest of the cast, are: Matsushima Nanako, Anne, Sawamura Ikki, Tamaki Hiroshi, Sasano Takashi, Nishida Toshiyuki, Ikematsu Sosuke, Yagi Akiko, Aoki Sayaka, Fujimoto Takahiro, Fuji Sumiko, Kobayashi Takashi, and Kusabue Mitsuko.





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Nakama Yukie and Tanaka Tetsushi got married on 18 September as announced through a fax statement from their agencies. The couple first got to know each other through working on the 2003 FujiTV drama "Kao" and reunited on the set of 2007 TBS drama "Joshideka!" when they reportedly started dating the following year. They were first romantically linked in a 2009 Nikkansports report but had denied being an item in consideration of their fans and sponsors. Instead, they continued dating in secret for the past 6 years before finally tying the knot. At present, there are no plans for a wedding or press conference.

Nakama also released her statement where she confirmed that she and Tanaka had registered their marriage today. They started off as friends back in 2007 and later began dating and things progressed naturally thus leading to their marriage. She also expressed her wish to continue working and hopes that the synergy between the two of them will lead to even greater success for them in terms of work and their private lives.

As Tanaka was starring in the stage play "Haishin" which had its first performance today, the press were gathered at Tokyo Geijutsu Gekijo after the performance ended so that they could interview him. Tanaka thanked the press for their congratulations and revealed that he had submitted the marriage application alone around 9am today. He also apologised to his stage play co-stars for the inconveniences caused to them as a result of his marriage announcement. When asked about how he proposed to Nakama, Tanaka said that there was no formal proposal but since a year ago, marriage was part of their plans and he gave her a ring around the same time. He didn't really select a special day to give her the ring which ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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It has been announced that NEWS will be hosting Nippon TV’s variety special, titled: “4 x 9” starting this October. This is the group’s first variety show as a 4-nin group.



The program contents will be have the members interact with 9 unique members of  public via the internet from the studio to their homes. There will be a certain theme to talked about each week and NEWS will be divided into 2 sets where one will go on location to do a “force house investigation”.

Masuda Takahisa says that the show is an “epoch-making” system in an uncanny time while Koyama Keiichiro is glad for the opportunity for the show to become a regular and to increase the group’s activity.



“4 x 9″ will start airing on Oct 6th at 23:59 (JST).





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The Japanese actor's latest movie poster for The Crossing dispelled rumours that age took a toll on him


40-year-old Japanese actor-singer Takeshi Kaneshiro was said to have a rounder face and receding hairline after his last appearance in movie Wu Xia (2011). However, a recent release of his poster for new Chinese film The Crossing dispelled these rumours.

In the movie which cost NT$2 billion (approximately S$84 million) to produce, Takeshi plays a military doctor and the charisma he exuded through the poster captured the hearts of many like before.

The Crossing will be split into two parts which will be shown in Taiwan in this December and next May.

The first part will revolve around three couples ' Takeshi and Japanese actress Masami Nagasawa, Chinese actor Huang Xiaoming and on-screen wife Song Hye-kyo, as well as Chinese actors Zhang Ziyi and Tong Dawei.

Director John Woo shared he decided to shoot the film after hearing the plot from scriptwriter Wang Hui-Ling in 2008, but was unfortunately diagnosed with a tumour in his neck.

He said, 'When I was receiving treatment in the States, I watched a lousy film and realised I cannot die without shooting a film that is perfect to me,' and began filming right after he recovered.


Masami Nagasawa (left), Zhang Ziyi (right)


Huang Xiaoming (left), Song Hye-kyo (right)


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On Wednesday, Japanese-Taiwanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro took on the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and funds for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig's disease.

In the video, the 40-year-old did not utter a single word and expressed his thoughts via subtitles. His manager later explained that Takeshi used water from a dehumidifier for the challenge, so that clean water would not be wasted. With hopes that everyone would take initiative to care for the less fortunate in society, the actor chose not to nominate any celebrity.

At the same time, many artistes around the globe have also taken part in the charitable cause. Dressed in an extravagant fur jacket, Hong Kong actress Carina Lau was complimented by netizens on her poise, even after getting drenched by a bucket of ice water.

Another celebrity who gained widespread attention for the Ice Bucket Challenge is Hong Kong singer-songwriter G.E.M Tang. As the 23-year-old wore a white t-shirt, the bikini under her top was 'exposed' after she got soaked with water. The video on YouTube earned over 650,000 views in less than 24 hours.




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It was revealed that actor Toma Ikuta has been cast in the lead role of Yoshihiro Nakamura's upcoming live-action adaptation of Tetsuya Tsutsui's manga Yokokuhan.


Ikuta will play a man named Gates who hides his face with a mask made of newspaper and heads an organization called "Shinbunshi". Shinbunshi is responsible for a series of internet videos giving the public advance notice of crimes in which people the group deems guilty of transgressions not punishable by law are victimized.


The other members of Shinbunshi have also been revealed. Gaku Hamada will play Nobita, Ryohei Suzuki will play Kansai, and YoshiYoshi Arakawa will play Metabo


Additionally, actress Erika Toda will play Erika Yoshino, an elite inspector from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's cyber crime division who's attempting to track down the members of Shinbunshi and put a stop to their crimes.


The original manga was serialized in Shueisha's JumpX from 2011-2013. As the story progresses, Shinbunshi gradually wins over the support of the public even as they're pursued as terrorists. Meanwhile, their true motives remain a mystery to police.


Filming of "Yokokuhan" will begin this fall. A release is planned for sometime in 2015.




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Sota Fukushi and Kasumi Arimura have been cast in a live-action movie adaptation of Io Sakisaka's manga Strobe Edge directed by Ryuichi Hiroki. This marks the fourth time they've worked together, having both recently appeared in the TV dramas Amachan, Starman: Kono Hoshi no Koi, and Yowakutemo Katemasu.


Sakisaka's Strobe Edge manga was originally serialized in Bessatsu Margaret from 2007-2009 and has sold over 4.5 million copies. It's classified as a school romance story themed around the idea that everyone has an unrequited love in their life.


Arimura will play Ninako Kinoshita, a high school freshman with no experience in love. Fukushi will play Ren Ichinose, a boy from Kinoshita's school who's popular with all the girls. After Ninako meets Ren on a train during their commute home, she starts encountering him more regularly and gradually develops feelings for him. However, Ren already has an older girlfriend. While the story centers on the growing relationship of these two main characters, it also depicts several unrequited crushes involving their friends.


Additional co-stars include Yuki Yamada as Ren's popular friend Takumi Ando, Arisa Sato as Ren's girlfriend Mayuka Korenaga, Jingi Irie as Ninako's childhood friend Daiki Korenaga, and Yuina Kuroshima as younger student Mao Sugimoto.




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Kanjani8 member Maruyama Ryuhei will be taking on his first leading role in a primetime drama when he appears in the NTV Autumn 2014 drama "Jigoku Sensei Nube" which begins its run from October in the Saturdays 9pm timeslot. The drama is based on the same titled manga by Makura Sho and Okano Takeshi that was serialised between 1993 and 1999. Maruyama will play the role of a senior high school teacher by the name of Nueno Meisuke who uses his supernatural powers to protect his students from evil spirits. Even though he is clumsy most of the time, he is well-liked by his students and his left hand is nicknamed "Oni no Te" for its power to ward off evil spirits. Co-stars include Kiritani Mirei, Hayami Mokomichi, Yamamoto Mizuki and Takahashi Hideki.




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Sawajiri Erika's Spring 2014 drama "First Class" will be making its return in just three months since it ended in June with its sequel due to be shown in the Autumn 2014 drama. The FujiTV drama will also enjoy an elevation in status from late night on Saturday to primetime at 10pm on Wednesdays.

The sequel "First Class 2" will feature Yoshinari Chinami (Sawajiri) who has become a new designer at a fashion brand but the people who will attempt to stop her climb to the top will be changed. Nonetheless, cast members from the first series including Sasaki Nozomi, Nanao and Itaya Yuka will make appearances in the new drama although details have not been finalised. Sawajiri expressed her happiness at being able to work on this drama again and revealed that her character will also become an evil woman in order to overcome her enemies who will be even more malicious and powerful than those in the original series.




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