Saturday, January 20, 2018

King & Prince major debut with Johnny's Universe

Announced January 17th, 2018 Johnny's will be having a new group, King & Prince (Kinpuri for short), getting a major debut. There is no set date yet for their debut CD but the time frame that was announced is that it should be sometime in Spring. The group will be debuting with a new record label that will be a collaboration between Johnny's and Universal Music Japan, that will be named Johnny's Universe.

News Article Oricon (Japanese only)
News Article Arama Japan

Honestly the part of this debut that has me the most interested is the creation of Johnny's Universe. Universal Music Japan is one of the more international friendly Japanese music companies, with full music videos being posted on Youtube and music on iTunes outside of Japan for example. Things international Johnny's fans would love to have for any and all the groups they follow. With the presence of Johnny's on Netflix recently, with Johnny's West getting a drama on the platform and Marius Yo having a role in the Netflix produced sitcom Fuller House there are signs that Johnny's is starting to think about letting the rest of the world know that they exist instead of staying in Asia. And if they want to go international then a partnership with Universal would be a good idea, as I doubt they would have what they would need to have in place for a venture with their own labels.

Outside of that the only Juniors in this group that I am interested in are Hirano Sho and Nagase Ren, as liked them as members of KinKan and Naniwa Oji. I have to get back into watching Shounen Club again to get a feel for the rest of the members as it has been a long time since I paid any attention to the Juniors outside of SixTONES. 

In the end it is going to depend if I like their songs if I will follow them, though if they do release songs on iTunes I might just get those as they would be far easier to afford than a CD import. Plus it might finally help bring Johnny's closer to the modern day if this group does well with digital sales, which I am all for. I could get back to following more groups if I had to pay the usual iTunes prices for songs than importing.

Also for anyone who may want to doubt if this is more than a one shot single debut I would like to point out that a new music label has never been created for one of those. Music labels have been created for new debuted units, like Kinki Kids and KAT-TUN, so it is safe to assume Kinpuri is here to stay.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NEWS LPS single track hype

I honestly cannot recall the last time I felt so hyped up about a new release as I do with NEWS' upcoming single LPS. And it is not that I did not like their recent releases, just with my depression so much of my excitement about what I love felt muted. Now that I am in a much better place I have the feelings I used to have coming back and they are so here with this release.

It comes out in Japan in about a week and I have the limited editions pre-ordered so I will probably get my copies of those by the end of the month.

Since I watched the Johnny's Countdown concert for 2017-2018 I did see the group's performance of LPS and I really enjoyed it. Even though I know I could probably hunt down a radio rip or something for it I am going to wait until I get my CDJapan order to keep my excitement up for it.

What really has me excited about this single release are the re-recorded songs on the LE type B. NEWS has slowly been releasing new versions of their older songs, basically just updated with the vocals of the remaining four members of the group. And the two songs that are getting this treatment are Cherish and Mafuyu no Nagareboshi. Cherish is one of my all time favorite NEWS songs so I am really looking forward to having the 4-nin version of it, especially since it was originally released when the group still had 8 members. I know I will play this version of the song to death and look forward to doing so. Mafuyu no Nagareboshi is a song that I do not feel strongly about either way but I am always happy to have another older song with updated vocals.

Only thing that brings me down is the fact that I could not afford to get all three versions so I will have to wait to pick up the regular edition and listen to the exclusive B-side to that, madoromi. Hopefully I can afford to pick it up with my next CDJapan order. But at least unlike the LEs I do not have to worry about it selling out if I have to wait to pick it up.

I am so glad I have stuck with NEWS throughout all the years. They have brought me so much joy even if there was some heartbreak as well. But by now it seems safe to say I will be with them until the end.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

30JUN2016 CDJapan unboxing

In this order:

Kis-My-Ft2 - I Scream LE 4 Cups CD album
Guilty Kiss - Strawberry Trapper CD single
Re:vale - Silver Sky CD single

Saturday, January 6, 2018

01APR2016 CDJapan Unboxing

In this CDJapan order:
A.B.C-Z - Hanakotoba DVD single limited edition
Country Girls - Boogie Woogie LOVE / Koi wa Magnet / Ranrarun - Anata ni Muchu - CD single regular edition type C
KAT-TUN - UNLOCK CD single regular edition

Kis-My-Ft2 - Gravity CD single regular edition

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Good-Bye to the Duu

I confess I have had this sitting for the past couple of days in a window, not really wanting to write this. The rational me knowing that I am being silly and waiting longer makes no sense. But this graduation is one of the hardest for me yet.

Haruka Kudo was one of my favorite members of Morning Musume so this graduation hit harder than the others. She was a member that stood out to me early on when I was learning about the group and remained in my top tier of girls from the group that I liked. Her personality and look really added something to the group and while it took years for her to get a decent push in the group when she had it she shined. 

I also loved her voice, both speaking and singing. She may not have had the strongest vocals in the group but I loved her tone and will miss hearing it with new songs. At least even though she did not get a solo song for her graduation there are other songs in MM's discography I can hear her well in.

There is no way to truly express how much I will miss seeing her with the group. It felt like she was just getting started with being pushed to the front and being a more visible part of the group. But at least I could enjoy that push while it lasted as sadly not all members of the group get that before they leave.

I do wish her success in acting. A part of it is selfish as if she does well with this career path than it will not be difficult to keep tabs on her and continue following her journey. But it is also mixed with the greater desire to simply want her to succeed in whatever she does next, which I hold for all who graduate or leave from idol groups. With how quickly she was moved to Up-Front's website for their non-Hello! Project talents, like days before her graduation concert, and the fact that she has already mentioned there is already work lined up for her I really do not have to worry. She is set to follow her new path and it is one that fans can still follow along with her. 

In the end MM will continue with its ever changing nature of members joining and leaving and I will appreciate that because of this I got to be introduced to this shining star that I hope will capture hearts as easily as an actress as she did an idol.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

NEWS set for January releases

After about 10 months since their last release NEWS has a couple of new releases set for January of 2018.

First up is a single to be released January 17th titled LPS. There will be three versions, two limited and one regular. One LE will be the usual CD with DVD release. The other LE will have bonus tracks only available on that version, which will be new versions of their songs Cherish and Mafuyu no Nagareboshi. Then the regular edition will have a bonus song not included in the LEs.

Then there will be a home video release of the group's most recent concert tour Neverland with the footage used coming from their Tokyo Dome concert and Osaka-jo Arena. It will come out on DVD and BD versions with each having a regular and limited edition. The regular edition has the talk segments and the limited edition has more concert footage.

As a NEWS fan I am so happy with this news. I have already pre-ordered the limited editions of the single and hope to pick up the regular edition the next time I can afford a CDJapan order. Ten months feels far too long to wait between releases, though I guess for fans in Japan they at least had the concert tour to help tide them over. And now they have the home video release to revisit it for 2018, as it is going to be a while before we get a new album from the group.

Though honestly I was expecting to have Kato Shigeaki announcing that he finished writing another novel during this break time for the group. Of course I would not be surprised if that still happens.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ensemble Stars - The Colored Flower Cards Gacha Scouting

I try to get some cards to help out in the Adam debut event, as my vocal team needs all the help it can get.