April 16th, 2013

Ikimono-gakari to Perform New Pokémon Movie's Main Theme


It was announced on Monday that band Ikimono-gakari (Naruto Shippūden, Bleach theme songs) will be performing the main theme song for Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Shinsoku no Genesekuto (Pokémon the Movie: ExtremeSpeed Genesect), the next film based on Satoshi Tajiri's Pokémon games which will open July 13, 2013. The theme song is titled, “Egao” (Smile), and is described as an upbeat, positive song. The composition and the lyrics of the song were written by Ikimono-gakari leader Yoshiki Mizuno, while the arrangement was handled by Seiji Kameda. Vocalist Kiyoe Yoshioka commented on the collaboration, saying,

I think it's an honor to be involved with Pokémon, which is so loved by people throughout Japan. I am hoping that our song "Egao" will reach those who listen, along with the world and loving, brave characters in the movie.

A single containing the song is scheduled to be released on July 10.

The film will open on July 13 along with the "Pikachu to Eevee Friends" short starring Pikachu and a new friend, the Sylveon evolution of Eevee.


Tokyo Disneyland celebrates 30th anniversary with ‘Happiness Year’


Disneyland, or TDL to many Japanese, is celebrating its 30th year anniversary today with a commemorative ceremony featuring performances from Disney’s many signature characters including Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck. The entire year, until March 20, 2014 will also be declared “The Happiness Year” with the revival of the daily daytime parade of characters plus extravagant floats that will go around the park.

Oriental Land Co., which operates Tokyo Disneyland, said that they are investing $1.5 billion to TDL and its neighbor, Tokyo Disney Sea, between 2011 and 2020 to bring in more people to the park, which already had a record-topping 27.5 million visitors last year alone. While other older theme parks are struggling to just break even, TDL brought in 45% of theme park sales in 2010 according to a government report. TDL is seen as the most creative and most aggressively marketed among all the Disneylands in the world, with some even saying it is better than the original one in Anaheim, California. The fact that 80% of its visitors each year have been there before and returned to enjoy the park again is a testament to TDL’s drawing power. It is also famous for maintaining a reputation for cleanliness, something that is very uncommon for amusement parks, for obvious reasons.

A little known fact is that Tokyo Disneyland is independent from the global Disneyland franchise and is run by an Oriental Land team that was trained by “imagineers” from the original Disneyland on how to come up with “Disney Magic”. But since then, it has been all Japan, and maybe that’s why it stands out from the other Disneylands. And customers are also willing to spend almost a fortune when in that “magical place”. A TDL customer spends an average of $12,700 per visit, excluding souvenirs and take-homes. The more than 500 million visitors, Japanese and foreigners, that have trooped to TDL for the past 30 years have (mostly) gone home happy and satisfied customers, with most coming back for more.


Haruki Murakami's novel benefits music industry


The demand for copies of a new novel by best-selling author Haruki Murakami is having a ripple effect on the music industry.

Universal Music LLC on Friday hastily decided to reissue CDs of "Years of Pilgrimage," a set of three piano suites composed by Franz Liszt.

The musical work plays a major role in Murakami's latest book, "Shikisai o Motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to Kare no Junrei no Toshi" (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage).

A flood of inquires from record stores and others prompted the record company to hop on the bandwagon.

The main character of the novel, Tsukuru Tazaki, listens over and over to Russian pianist Lazar Berman's renditions of Liszt's compositions. Universal Music plans to reissue a three-CD box set of "Years of Pilgrimage" performed by Berman on May 15.

A CD recording of the same work performed by another pianist will be repressed and put on sale later this month.

Universal Music's list of CD releases includes other recordings of "Years of Pilgrimage" played by several different pianists, but all of them are sold out, the company said.

Meanwhile, the novel's publisher, Bungeishunju, decided Friday to print an additional 100,000 copies after it sold out at many bookstores on the first day. The book had been reprinted three times prior to its release. The latest reprinting will boost the number of copies in print to 600,000.


oh my! ♥ ai kago

Sony Blows Doors Off Google Fiber, Launches Ultra-Fast Internet In Japan

Traffic on the highways in Japan often moves along at a snail’s pace most of the day and is total gridlock at rush hour. However, the country does know a thing or two about moving along at high speeds. Japan’s Skinkansen – or bullet train – remains one of the fastest in the world and last year the island nation’s Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) unveiled a prototype of what promises to deliver even faster train service to Japan. Moving people is one thing, but the country also is looking to move data at ever-increasing speeds.
Collapse )


Castle of Illusion remake announced for PSN, XBLA, and PC


Sega and Disney Interactive Studios are developing a high-definition remake of the Mega Drive / Genesis side-scrolling 1990 classic Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse for release on PlayStation Network, Xbox LIVE Arcade, and PC this summer.

The game, in development at Sega Studios Australia, will be “completely rebuilt from the ground up,” and offer “stunning visuals” and “new gameplay mechanics.” The original storyline will stay in tact as players help Mickey save Minnie from the evil witch Mizrabel.

“The original Castle of Illusion was tremendously entertaining and has a well-deserved reputation as a Sega classic,” said Chris Olson, vice president of Digital Business at Sega of America. “Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse brings this great game to a new generation. Mickey is back and he looks fantastic.”


popcorn.gif ♥ oshima yuuko

'Iron Man 3' to Become First Film to Play in 4DX Format in Japan

The film will be shown with tilting seats, blowing wind and fog and odor effects via technology that is expected to come to the U.S. this year.

TOKYO -- Iron Man 3 will be shown from April 26 in 4DX at a theater in Nagoya, central Japan, operated by the Korona World chain, which plans to screen 12 titles a year using the new format.

"Fourth dimension" effects utilized by the system include strobe lights and equipment in the ceiling that can drop bubbles down upon the audience, who will pay a $13 (1,300 yen) premium for 3D versions and $10 for 2D films, on top of the regular ticket price. Average admission price in Japan last year was $12.50.

“It was really a matter of timing that Iron Man became the first title for 4DX in Japan, though we were looking for a blockbuster action film, as that is what works best with the system,” Tagiki Ishiguro, a spokesperson for Korona World, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The 4DX system is already in use in theaters in China, South Korea, Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Israel and a number of countries in South America. The first film to be shown in the format was Avatar in 2009, in Seoul, where the company behind the system, CJ Group is headquartered.

“The programming for the various effects is done in advance by CJ,” explained Ishiguro, who said that Korona World was currently negotiating with Hollywood and Japanese studios on the next 4DX releases.

CJ Group is reported to be moving ahead with plans to bring 4DX to the U.S. this year, with a view to equipping 200 theaters over the coming five years. (source)

to be honest, i'm not so sure since usually people i talk to don't like 3d effects? i don't know :\ what do you think? do you think 4d will actually enhance the movie experience? (ack! sorry about that, mods! i thought i had the source link there!)
IchigOhchan 1

Love trumps Pollitics: 101st Marriage Proposal movie remake is a hit in China

With relations between the two countries deteriorating, a Chinese film remake of Japanese TV drama series wasn't exactly a safe bet.
But the movie "Say Yes," based on the Japanese series "101st Marriage Proposal" from the early 1990s, has become a smash hit in China, attracting 6.48 million moviegoers and taking in 2.9 billion yen ($30 million) in its first 23 days. It was released in more than 100 theaters on Feb. 12 and grossed more than 600 million yen on Valentine's Day alone.

Even without the issue of politics, it is rare for a love story to be so popular, experts say. The fact that the original Japanese series is so well known in China made the project even more of a gamble, according to Kosuke Hosokai, a Fuji Television Network Inc. employee who was involved in the film's production.
The project was green lighted two years ago, but since then, the territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands struck a major blow to Japan-China relations.
Hosokai paid close attention to reactions from audience members because he was concerned Chinese moviegoers might be put off by the film's Japanese connection.

Happily, love trumped politics.

Collapse )

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Haven't watched the original series, tbh. Only know the fame. Shall I put it on my drama-to-watch list?


Psy 'Gentleman' Gets Mixed Feelings From Japan


Last year when the rest of the world was riding on invisible horses and rocking out to the international hit "Gangnam Style," the Japanese appeared almost untouched by the magically infectious tune. The Japanese, who generally are very big consumers of Korean pop music, were not taking the bait.

Throughout the rest of the world "Gangnam Style" was hitting the tops of the music charts and people everywhere were glued to their computer screens to watch the music video over and over again on YouTube. But not the Japanese.

For some bizarre reason, Psy's popular 2012 single was not nearly as successful in Japan as it was everywhere else in the world. It was almost as if the Japanese were immune to its satirical lyrics and silly dance moves. In fact, they were generally pretty darn negative about it.

When Psy appeared on a popular Japanese talk show to talk about the song last year, the viewer and netizen response was all around not very favorable at all.

Collapse )


Japan steps up security in light of Boston Marathon bombing


Japan is keenly monitoring the latest developments in the Boston Marathon bombing which occurred near the finish line Monday afternoon. The attack has already claimed the lives of 3 people and injured 144, with 17 of them being in critical condition. As of this time, the Japanese government is still gathering information on the whereabouts of the Japanese citizens who participated in the marathon.

As part of precautionary measures, the National Police Agency has stepped up security at key areas in the country, including the US Embassy in Tokyo, US military bases in Okinawa, nuclear power stations, airports, train stations and other critical and crowded areas. While no viable threat has been received, these are just standard procedures in light of the events in the United States, a key ally of Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the parliamentary session this morning about the security measures the country is taking. Defense minister Itsunori Onodera also said, “The entire international community should send a firm message” that they are not tolerating violence of any kind against innocent civilians.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said they are closely coordinating with the organizers and relevant agencies to assure that all 238 Japanese nationals who participated in the marathon are accounted for. According to the Boston Marathon website, 179 of the runners were able to cross the finish line before the race was stopped. Japanese travel agencies who organized tours for the event said their participants have been confirmed safe.


Miori Takimoto gets her first starring film role in the sequel to “Sadako 3D”


Following on the success of last year’s smash hit horror film Sadako 3D, which earned over 1.5 billion yen at the box office, director Tsutomu Hanabusa and writer Koji Suzuki quickly got to work on a sequel. On Monday, it was recently revealed that the new film will star Miori Takimoto (21), who’s best known for playing heroine Akari Murakami in the NHK drama “Teppan” (2010-2011). This will mark her first starring film role and first film appearance since Higanjima: Escape From Vampire Island in 2009.

The film is set five years after the events of the original, which starred Satomi Ishihara and was itself a continuation of the popular Ring horror franchise. Takimoto will play protagonist Fuuku Ando, a 24-year-old graduate school student studying clinical psychology while raising her 4-year-old niece. When inexplicable incidents begin occurring around Ando’s niece, it’s soon revealed to be related to the events of the first film involving a cursed video.

Collapse )



Momoiro Clover Z’s 1st and 2nd album dominate Oricon’s weekly album chart

Popular idol group Momoiro Clover Z’s second album “5TH DIMENSION” (released on April 10th) sold 180,000 copies in the first week, and topped Oricon’s weekly album ranking. This is the very first time for the group to top the chart, including both single and album charts, since they made their indie debut back in August of 2008.

Additionally, their first album “Battle and Romance” (released in July 2011) also sold 38,000 copies (156,000 copies in total), and was ranked in No.2 (when the album had been at 138th place in the previous week) allowing the group to dominate the weekly album chart.

Momoiro Clover Z is the 4th female artist to dominate the No.1 and 2 of the album chart, as it was previously accomplished by Fuji Keiko (August in 1970), Hamasaki Ayumi (March in 2007), and JUJU (November, in 2012). They are also the first female group to achieve it.

Along with the hit of these two albums, 6 of their singles released in the past also soared to TOP 100.

Source & Source's source

Not their die-hard fan but this is amazing, never expected it to be so much. Congrats to the girls! The concept is really eye-catching.
  • fma245

Masaki Suda to star in live-action “Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou”

On Wednesday, Japanese movie company Showgate announced that Yasunobu Yamauchi’s popular gag manga Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou (Daily Lives of High School Boys) will get a live-action film adaptation directed by Daigo Matsui (Afro Tanaka).

Following up on his starring role in last year’s The Boy Inside and Shinji Aoyama’s upcoming film Tomogui (out in September), Masaki Suda will star as protagonist Tadakuni. Shuhei Nomura and Ryo Yoshizawa will play Tadakuni’s high school classmates Yoshitake and Hidenori. Louis Kurihara will play an original character named Saino.

The film’s story revolves around a school festival being organized in a collaboration between Tadakuni’s all-boys school and a nearby all-girls school. Like in the original manga, the boys are clueless about how to deal with girls and wind up putting their stupidity on display in various humorous ways.

The main female students will be played by Anri Okamoto, Mizuki Yamamoto, and Mio Uema. Additional co-stars include Kumiko Shiratori, Sara Takatsuki, Yui Koike, and Eita Okuno.

The manga reached a total circulation of 2.2 million copies and was adapted into an animated series in 2012.

Filming began in Mitaka, Tokyo on January 4 and later moved to Numazu, Shizuoka and Kanazawa-Hakkei, Kanagawa before it wrapped.

“Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou” will be released in Japan in fall 2013.