Monday, July 29, 2013

Sakurai Sho Gets in Line in Raffles Hotel’s “Hall of Fame”

Singapore- Arashi‘s Sakurai Sho recently attended the premier of his upcoming movie, “Nazo toki wa dinner no ato de“, which was held in Marina bay Sands Theater. 1,500 fans attended the event where fans even sang “Meikyu Love Song” while the cast was walking on the red carpet. Together with Sakurai is Kitagawa Keiko and Shiina Kippei.

Sakurai did the stage greeting with a mixture of Malay and Singlish (Singapore-English), which was received greatly by the audience.

Aside from the movie’s premier, Sakurai’s photograph was also inducted in Raffles Hotel’s “Hall of Fame”, which includes VIPs who have stayed in this globally distinguished hotel, like: Charlie Chaplin and the British Royal Family.

Sakurai’s usual calm demeanor was broken after seeing his photograph, “I- oh–George Lucas! Err, to be with someone so amazing, it’s unbelievable.” The said hall in the hotel consists of VIP photographs who have stayed in Raffles Hotel. Sakurai used his mobile phone to take a picture of his own photograph in the hall.

“This is something I can boast to my child and grandchild. Raffles Hotel is a place basked with history and dignity; I must work harder so I can catch up with this photograph,” he commented.

There are a total of 128 photographs in the said hall, Sakurai is the second Japanese entertainer to be inducted in the hall of fame after Japanese actress, Fuji Sumiko. Sakurai stayed at the hotel for 1 night during the filming for Nazodi last year and 2 nights this time around.

Nazo toki wa dinner no ato de” will hit the theaters in Singapore on Aug 22nd, Taiwan on Aug 9th, and Hong Kong on Sept 5th.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Arashi's Matsumoto Jun to star in NHK drama for the first time

On July 14, it was announced that popular Arashi member Matsumoto Jun will star in the NHK drama "Hajimari no Uta" that will begin airing on September 23.

Though Matsumoto, as a member of Arashi, has served as the host for NHK's Kohaku Uta Gassen for 3 consecutive years, this is actually the first time for him to have a leading in a drama on NHK. This is also the first time in 15 years for him to appear on an NHK drama since his last one aired back in 1998 which was even before he made CD debut as Arashi.
 The motif of the drama is "Furusato" which was the song made for the special corner in 2010's Kohaku Uta Gassen. Arashi members sang it on the Kohaku not only in 2010, but also in 2011, and in 2012. 

The song was written by Koyama Kundo, and it expresses the nobility of hometown. The song has also been chosen as the compulsory song in the NHK National School Music Contest for this year (for Elementary School division). As this year will be the 80th anniversary year for the music contest, the drama adaptation has been planned.

In the drama, Matsumoto plays a young man named "Wataru" who left his hometown to Tokyo. Wataru once had a dream to be a teacher, but he could not make it come true, and became a freelance photographer for a travel magazine. The drama starts where Wataru returns to his hometown after he is given an order to take photographs in there.

By meeting with the local elementary school kids who are aiming to participate in the choir competition, his ex-girlfriend (played by Eikura Nana) who is an elementary school teacher, his old classmates, and family, he eventually regains his old dream to be a teacher.

Reportedly, there is a scene where Matsumoto plays a piano in the drama, so he is currently practicing for it. He left a comment, "Though my role is a photographer, there will be a scene I have to play piano, so I would like to prepare well for both before I attend the filming. I will do my best so that the viewers could find a delight in chorus, and also feel the power of music."

Source: Sanspo (1+2+3)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Which celebrities had the most CM contracts in the first half of 2013?

The media analysts at Nihon Monitor have released their half-yearly list that breaks down which celebrities had the most commercial contracts in the last six months of the whole year.

For the male celebrity ranking, it's absolutely no surprise to see pro golfer Ishikawa Ryo at the top again, topping the list for the fourth consecutive time. However, this time he had to share first place with Arashi's Sakurai Sho and actor Mukai Osamu. Are those two going to threaten his throne in the coming rankings? Child actor Suzuki Fuku also proves to be one of the few exceptions when it comes to the fading popularity of child actors in the commercial sector.

The female celebrity ranking experienced a remarkable change of order compared to the previous year. In the 2012 ranking, the complete top 4 was claimed by current and former members of AKB48 and their sister groups. This year the idols have lost a lot of ground to actresses and other talents again, with the young actress Takei Emi snatching the crown all by herself. Her total amount of 15 CM contracts even makes all the top male celebrities look like amateurs this time.

Last year's CM Queen Shinoda Mariko ranked second this time, followed by Rola and Goriki Ayame on the third place. Of course, there is also still very high demand for Takei and Goriki's agency senior Ueto Aya.

As for the second half of the year, it will be interesting to see how long the child actors Suzuki Fuku and Tani Kanon will be able to maintain their high popularity. Fellow child actress Ashida Mana, who had 15 contracts last year, already didn't make it into the ranking this time. Will Ishikawa Ryo catch up with Kimura Takuya and top the ranking for five consecutive times? Moreover, AKB48 will have to push new members to become their CM queens after the graduation of Shinoda Mariko and Itano Tomomi later this year.

Now check out the rankings below!

CM Ranking First Half of 2013 - Male Celebrities

01 - 10 Contracts - Ishikawa Ryo
01 - 10 Contracts - Sakurai Sho (Arashi)
01 - 10 Contracts - Mukai Osamu
02 - 9 Contracts - Suzuki Fuku
03 - 8 Contracts - Aiba Masaki (Arashi)
03 - 8 Contracts - Ohno Satoshi (Arashi)
03 - 8 Contracts - Ninomiya Kazunari (Arashi)
03 - 8 Contracts - Matsuoka Shuzo
04 - 7 Contracts - Ichiro
04 - 7 Contracts - Kimura Takuya (SMAP)
04 - 7 Contracts - Kokubun Taichi (TOKIO)
04 - 7 Contracts - Matsumoto Jun (Arashi)
05 - 6 Contracts - Kamenashi Kazuya (KAT-TUN)
05 - 6 Contracts - Tsumabuki Satoshi
05 - 6 Contracts - Nagase Tomoya (TOKIO)
05 - 6 Contracts - Nishikido Ryo (Kanjani8)
05 - 6 Contracts - Matsuzaka Tori
05 - 6 Contracts - Yamaguchi Tatsuya (TOKIO)

CM Ranking First Half of 2013 - Female Celebrities

01 - 15 Contracts - Takei Emi
02 - 13 Contracts - Shinoda Mariko (AKB48)
03 - 12 Contracts - Goriki Ayame
03 - 12 Contracts - Rola
04 - 10 Contracts - Ueto Aya
04 - 10 Contracts - Becky
04 - 10 Contracts - Horikita Maki
05 - 9 Contracts - Amami Yuki
05 - 9 Contracts - Itano Tomomi (AKB48)
05 - 9 Contracts - Kiritani Mirei
05 - 9 Contracts - Kojima Haruna (AKB48)
05 - 9 Contracts - Shimazaki Haruka (AKB48)
05 - 9 Contracts - Tani Kanon
06 - 8 Contracts - Ishihara Satomi
06 - 8 Contracts - Kyary Pamyu Pamyu
06 - 8 Contracts - Sasaki Nozomi

Inquiry Period: January 1st ~ June 30th
Important Note: As usual, self-promotions for CDs, DVDs/Blu-rays, video games, digital music, movies, and performances in PVs have been excluded!

Source: N-Monitor

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Arashi announces 'ARAFES' at National Olympic Stadium & 5-Major Dome tour + new album

On June 30th, Arashi held an event titled, "Arashi no Wakuwaku Gakkou ~Mainichi ga Kagayaku 5-tsu no Jugyou~" at the Tokyo Dome, and made some surprise announcements which shook the entire venue with loud cheers from the audience of 45,000.

It was near the end of the event when Aiba Masaki began to speak, "Attention please. We have an announcement to make." Then, "ARAFES" showed up on the big screen, and it was announced that there would be a 2-day live concert at the National Olympic Stadium on September 21st and 22nd. 
"ARAFES" is a type of live concert in which the set list is based on the fans' requests. Ninomiya Kazunari stated, "We will perform 10 songs from our singles, 10 songs from our albums, and 10 songs from our coupling songs." This will be the 6th consecutive year for the group to hold a live concert at the venue.

As it was an unexpected announcement, the shouts of joy from the audience did not stop. However, it wasn't the only surprise. The second announcement was that Arashi's 12th album was set for release this fall. Aiba told the audience, "We just started working on it, so it's not even titled yet, but please look forward to it everyone."

Leader Ohno Satoshi followed up by saying, "We made an announcement about our album release, which means..." It was the cue to the announcement of their 5-major dome tour. There will be a total of 16 stages for the dome tour, and including the 2-days live at the National Olympic Stadium, 870,000 fans are expected to be attending their live concerts. The dome tour will kick off on November 8th, and will end on December 22nd.

Matsumoto Jun said to the audience, "It's great to see you guys excited. We will work hard on the preparation, so please look forward to it."

At the end of the event, Sakurai Sho shouted, "We'll see you again at the National Olympic Stadium!"

Source: Sanspo (1+2), Daily Sports Online

Monday, July 1, 2013

Arashi Big News!!!!

 So it's official!

Arashi just announced at Waku Waku Gakkou tonight that the dates for AraFes have been decided! They are September 21st and 22nd, both starting at 5:30.

The balloting for AraFes will begin on July 1st at 12:00. Check Johnnys web for details. They did mention that you would be able to choose more songs from each category this time though.

The second bit of big news would be A NEW ALBUM!

The release date and title are still in the works, so look we'll hear more news about that later.

BUT that didn't stop them from announcing a new ALBUM TOUR! It'll begin in Nagoya in November (8, 9,10), continue to Sapporo, Osaka, Tokyo, then Fukuoka, ending in December (20, 21, 22).

Look forward to hearing more about all of this from Johnnys soon!

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