January 30th, 2013

Thermae Romae Manga Gets Live-Action Film Sequel


A sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Mari Yamazaki's Thermae Romae manga going into production for next year. The film's main cast members, including star Hiroshi Abe as a Roman who time-travels from ancient times to modern Tokyo via bathhouses, are set to reprise their roles.

The film will begin shooting in April and will open nationwide during Japan's Golden Week string of holidays in spring 2014. The film is being shot on location in Bulgaria and not in Rome's famed Cinecittà film studio like the first film was; this marks the first time a Japanese movie is being filmed in that country.

Thermae Romae II will revolve around Abe's character Lucius being ordered to construct a bath within Rome's famous Colosseum. According to the Sankei Sports newspaper, the film's staff are constructing a full-scale, 50-meter-high (about 160-foot-high) replica set of the Colosseum for the film, at a cost of several hundred million yen (several million US dollars). Hideki Takeuchi is returning to direct the sequel. Masachika Ichimura, Kazuki Kitamura and Kai Shishido will all return to the film as ancient Romans, and Aya Ueto, Riki Takeuchi, and Takashi Sasano will return to the film as modern Japanese people.

The first film opened in Japan on April 28 and has earned 5.98 billion yen (US$66 million), making the film the second-highest grossing film in Japan in 2012. (Box Office Mojo lists that the film has earned US$74 million.)

The original manga is a comedy about Lucius — an architect of public bath houses (thermae) in ancient Rome — who time-travels to various modern-day baths in Japan. Through manga and essay passages, Yamazaki explores the two cultures in the world "that have loved baths the most: the Japanese and the Romans!" Yamazaki launched the manga in 2008, and the fifth compiled book volume shipped in September. Yen Press released the first omnibus volume in North America in November.

The work won the Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) award in 2010, followed by the Short Work Prize in the 14th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes. Although Yamazaki was born in Tokyo, she now lives in Chicago.


First teaser for "Kencho Omotenashi-ka" starring Ryo Nishikido and Maki Horikita

The official website for Yoshishige Miyake’s upcoming movie Kencho Omotenashi-ka, starring Ryo Nishikido and Maki Horikita, has been updated with a new 30-second teaser trailer.

Those hoping for a romance drama will probably be disappointed to find out the entire story actually revolves around prefectural bureaucrats attempting to overcome the stagnation of progressive thought in their agency.

Nishikido plays Kakemizu, a young member of Kochi Prefecture’s “Hospitality Division” which was founded to promote local tourism. Most of Kakemizu’s co-workers would rather just maintain the status quo, so he creates a bit of a stir when he appoints sharp-tongued Kochi novelist Kyosuke Yoshikado (Kengo Kora) as a special envoy for tourism.

Needing advice, Kakemizu teams up with like-minded part-time worker Miyojin (Maki Horikita) and the pair go on a trip to find a legendary former employee who was fired for pushing innovative ideas. Unfortunately, the man’s daughter Sawa (Megumi Seki) still holds a grudge against the entire Hospitality Division.

“Kencho Omotenashi-ka” will be released by Toho in Japan on May 11, 2013.


  • aibada

Momusu tops Oricon Single Chart for the first time in 3 years and 8 months!

Idol group Morning Musume’s latest single “Help me!!” (released on January 23rd) sold 93,000 copies in the first week, and topped Oricon’s weekly single chart. This marked the first time for their single to top the charts in 3 years and 8 months since they last accomplished it with “Shouganai Yume Oibito” (released in May of 2009).

This has also become their 52nd single overall to rank in the TOP 10, thus they updated their own record for “the total number of singles
ranked in the TOP 10.” 

“Help me!!” was their first single since 11th generation member Oda Sakura joined the group, and also the first No.1 single after Michishige Sayumi became their 8th leader. Michishige commented happily, “I am extremely happy that our first single in 2013 brought us this result! This is the first time topping the Oricon chart for our 9th, 10th and 11th generation members. I hope more people get to know about the current iteration of Morning Musume with this result.

This single also allowed Morning Musume to be the 3rd female artist to have topped the chart in each of the past 3 decades. They accomplished this in the 1990s (with “Daite HOLD ON ME!” & “LOVE Machine”), in 2000s (with “Happy Summer Wedding” & “I WISH”), and 2010s (with “Help me!!”). The only other 2 female artists to accomplish this are Nakajima Miyuki and Hamasaki Ayumi.



so happy for my bbs, congrats!!!

AKB48’s Minegishi Minami spent the night at GENERATIONS' Shirahama Alan’s place


On the latest issue of “Shukan Bunshun” (BUNGEISHUNJU Ltd.) that was published on January 31st (JST), it was reported that AKB48’s Minegishi Minami spent the night at Shirahama Alan’s place on the 17th of this month.

Shirahama is a popular member of GENERATIONS that made a major debut last year as EXILE’s “little brother” group. He has appeared on some dramas like “GTO” and “Rokudenashi BLUES” last year, and he also starred in late-night drama “Sugarless.”

Minegishi and Shirahama co-starred together in a reading drama “Moshimo Kimi ga.” back in 2011.


Speaking of Minegishi, she is known for her “unpopular character” as she states on the media how she is unpopular with guys even though she is one of the more popular members in AKB48. Thus, the fans of both Minegishi and Shirahama are agitated by the report.

Both Minegishi and Shirahama’s agencies did not make a comment regarding this issue, but they explained that “We heard they’ve been friends ever since they co-starred together.”

Though AKB48 is known for their “no romantic relationship allowed” rule, AKS’s answer was that “We have not yet fully assessed the current situation.

Source & Image: Shukan Bunshun WEB + Matome NAVER + RBB TODAY + Tokyohive

Wait, Sakurai Sho, isn't he too fat?

Right after News zero was aired last monday people at 2channel started commenting like:

'When I saw Sakurai I had to laugh, he is too fat'

'My sister watches this show, but lately she stopped watching because Sakurai turned into a fat middle aged guy'

'Sakurai sho has double chin'

'I think he's becoming fat because he is a middle aged guy already'

After that, six new threads were started at 2channel, discussing Sakurai-san’s recent weight gain. Among them, there were also remarks like:

'I don’t know when he started to gain weight, but maybe the weight everybody puts on over the New Year’s holidays hasn’t gone back yet?'

'When you’re becoming an Ossan, somehow your face will get rounder'

'He’s 30 already, isn’t he? It wouldn’t be attractive if a man in his thirties was all skin and bones!'


'His face is really swollen'

'Sho-san really got fat'

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Source 1, 2


What is the obstacle preventing Crystal Kay from success?

In Japan there is an artist who goes by the name of Crystal Kay. Some of you J-Pop aficionados may have heard of her. Signed to Sony at the tender age of 13 and still releasing music now.

Crystal Kay shares the same linguistic trait as Hikaru Utada in that she speaks fluent English and Japanese. But unfortunately Crystal has not reached anything even remotely close to the meteoric levels of success that Hikaru has enjoyed, despite being active for the same amount of time, embarking on more tours, starring in a J-drama and releasing more material. Fans have spent many years speculating as to why Crystal's success has not been bigger than it probably should be. But after 12 years, a label change and an amazing album which fell to the bottom of the charts quicker than a cinder block in the Yokohama bay we need to address the elephant in the room and ask the question: Is Crystal Kay's lack of success in Japan down to her ethnicity?

It's unfortunate that not every artist who puts out consistently solid music (I will cross Spin the music off the discography) gets the recognition and sales that their fans feel they deserve. I'll give you a Western example of a non-seller I love. Brandy. I love her. But she's constantly been a commercial flop for 7 years straight despite releasing stellar albums and showing a clear form of evolution between each release. All the while lesser talented chicks like Rihanna manage to be one trick ponies, exhibit lesser musical talent and yet get hit singles, hit albums and enjoy global stardom in a third of the time. The examples are interchangeable. But everybody in music knows that talent does not equate to success. There are many other factors which fall into the equation of an artists success. But in this case, you cannot help but wonder if Crystal Kay's lack of success is down to the colour of her skin, seeing as she's not faltered with her image and music in the time she's been active.

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source: Random J Pop

Opinions? Agree? Disagree? I always thought it was a mixture of promotion, image and style of music. I think she did accomplish a lot.

Also for curious people, her best selling single is Koi ni Ochitara (2005.05.18) with 295,456 copies. The song was the theme for the drama of the same name that starred SMAP's Kusanagi.
  • yukkiz

Soundscan : 2012 Yearly CDs sales ranking is out !!


SoundScan Japan ,has recently revealed the report for music sales in 2012 .This ranking is base on the each version sales for CDs (both Singles & Albums) .
SoundScan doesn't count the sale number for own label stores such as Avex shop (Mumo) and AKB48 's Chara-ani since 48 groups and Avex artists are not selling much in this ranking

According to SoundScan ,top total artist sales in 2012 is popular rock band Mr.Children who sold over 8.8 billion Yen .They also dominated Top 3 the highest selling album .Moreover , all their 5 albums were in top20. Besides ,popular idol group AKB48 ,who ranked No.1 for last year, ranked No.2 in this year .They topped the most selling single as well.

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Single chart have actually dominated by Idol .It has only 2 artists in TOP20 ,lol
Anyway, Misuchiru is very strong with 1 edition XD