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Charts: black enka singer makes big debut

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 09:05 pm
mood: stressed stressed

Arashi may have had their 10th consecutive #1 single with "Step and Go" (324,000), but the big news this week was the debut of Jero, billed as Japan's first black enka singer.

Originally from Pittsburgh, the 26-year-old Jero (whose full name is Jerome White, Jr.) grew up listening to enka due to his Japanese grandmother. He moved to Japan in 2003 after graduating from college, and last week he released his first single, "Umiyuki." It took 4th on the charts with almost 35,000 in sales. Not counting artists that originally were part of a group, this is the highest ranking for a debut single by a solo enka singer.

Shota Shimizu also had his first major-label single, "HOME," appear in the Top 10, right behind Jero at #5. Other entries in the Top 10 were Hikaru Utada (#3), Ken Hirai (#6), and BENNIE K (#9). BoA fell short of the list at #13.

On the albums side, the brilliant green's singles collection held the #1 spot with nearly 92,000 copies sold. Acid Black Cherry came close at #2, while Yuna Ito trailed them both to rank 3rd.

TOKIO (#6), SID (#8), and Quruli (#9) made the Top 10 as well. Buono!'s first album debuted at #11, and SHAKALABBITS' best album managed to reach #16.

* Jero-san sugoi nee.. o koe mo sugoi.. daisuki da yo~n

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Nakama continues reign as CM queen

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 09:00 pm
mood: tired tired

Video Research Ltd. has released its TV commercial data for 2007, which revealed that for the third year in a row, actress Yukie Nakama is the "CM queen" of the Kanto region.

Nakama, whose work includes ads for KDDI, Daihatsu, and Lotte, racked up more than 54 hours of TV time with over 12,000 commercials over the course of the year in the Kanto area. Her closest competitors were Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hiroshi Tamaki, and Takuya Kimura.

Meanwhile, Nakama lost her footing in the Kansai region, where Masami Nagasawa overtook her by just a couple hours. In Nagoya, Nakama only ranked #4, beaten by Aya Ueto (#1), Nagasawa, and Koyuki.

One new face in the rankings is rising star Yu Aoi, who came in at #6 in the Kanto region, #10 in the Kansai region, and #11 in Nagoya.

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"Singing" cat group to debut in Japan

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 08:49 pm
mood: amused amused

Japan's "neko boom" has reached new levels, as the country will soon see the 5-cat group MUSASHI'S release its first digital single. The cats have been signed with major talent agency Stardust Promotion to "sing" a cover of "Hotaru no Hikari," a folk song set to the tune of "Auld Lang Syne" that is commonly sung at graduation ceremonies.

MUSASHI'S - made up of five Norwegian Forest Cats named Musashi, Leo, Luka, Seri, and Marble - gained worldwide internet fame at the end of last year when their owner released a YouTube video (see end of entry) of the cats' rendition of "Jingle Bells."

As the cats have little use for money, their contract with Stardust is said to include about 7,000 yen worth of tuna.

"Hotaru no Hikari" will begin distribution through mobile music site music.jp on March 3. A second single, "Ichinensei ni Nattara" (a song for those entering a new school), will be released on April 7. Future plans include more covers of seasonal tunes as well as original songs. TV appearances and CD releases are also being considered.

* omoishiroi naa kore...

the mentioned vid :

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"Love and Honor" getting U.S. theatrical release

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 08:45 pm
mood: sore sore

Earlier this month, Variety reported that Eleven Arts and Funimation are teaming up to distribute Yoji Yamada's "Love and Honor" (original title "Bushi no Ichibun") in the United States.

According to Nikkan Sports, the final round of negotiations is in progress. If all goes well, the film will be hitting theaters in major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, and Honolulu, starting in April.

"Love and Honor" will be the first feature film starring Takuya Kimura/a> to get a nationwide U.S. release.

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Billboard launches Japan music charts

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 08:12 pm
mood: bored bored

Billboard, best known for its music charts in the U.S., announced on Thursday that it has started providing charts for the Japanese music industry. Rankings will be released on Wednesdays, based on data from more than 3,000 CD shops and 33 radio stations. The charts will be managed by Billboard's partner in Japan, the Osaka-based Hanshin Contents Link.

There are 4 charts in all: Hot 100, Top Albums, Hot 100 Airplay, and Hot Singles Sales. The charts can be publicly viewed at the Billboard Japan site (top 10) or at Tsutaya Online (top 20).

The first set of charts already shows several differences from Oricon's rankings. In particular, the Hot 100 charts do not correspond to any of Oricon's charts, since they are not based only on sales.

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Takeuchi, Nakamura finally divorce

Feb. 29th, 2008 | 08:05 pm
mood: sleepy sleepy

Yuko Takeuchi and Shido Nakamura have finally settled their divorce. Management for both celebrities issued a fax to the media on Friday announcing the news. Earlier that day, Nakamura and his lawyer officially turned in the divorce papers.

Takeuchi and Nakamura starred together in the 2004 film "Ima, Ai ni Yukimasu." They got married the following June, and Takeuchi gave birth to their son five months later.

In 2006, Nakamura was caught for drunk driving. It was later revealed that actress Aya Okamoto was with him at the time, while other rumors linked Nakamura to actress a href="http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Takaoka_Saki">Saki Takaoka on another occasion. With their relationship damaged, Takeuchi began seeking a divorce that October and soon began living separately with their son, who is now in her custody.

* I thought they've divorced long time ago..

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Galileo movie update

Feb. 27th, 2008 | 02:56 am

It was announced on Monday that Shinichi Tsutsumi and Yasuko Matsuyuki have been cast in the movie "Yougisha x no Kenshin," based on an award-winning novel by Keigo Higashino.

The novel is part of the "Tantei Galileo" series, which was the basis of a Fuji TV drama series this past fall. The drama, titled "Galileo," starred Masaharu Fukuyama as the brilliant physicist Manabu Yukawa, who helps a detective (Kou Shibasaki) solve baffling crimes.

Fukuyama and Shibasaki, along with the main cast of the TV series, are reprising their roles for the movie. Matsuyuki plays a suspected murderer, while Tsutsumi plays Yukawa's true opponent, a mathematical genius.

The movie, which was announced in October, is being directed by Hiroshi Nishitani. Filming has been under way since mid-January, and production is expected to be finished in time for a fall release.


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Lee Dong-gun expelled from school

Feb. 25th, 2008 | 09:23 pm

Things aren�t going so well for panda actor Lee Dong Gun. Adding to his split-up with longtime girlfriend Han Ji Hye, he was expelled from Hang Yang University because his low attendance record. He soon enrolled into a cyber university, in hopes of continuing his studies.

more @ popseoul

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Big Bang

Feb. 25th, 2008 | 08:17 pm

Popular boy band Big Bang is under an extreme amount of scrutiny due to sick personal fetishes and extra-circular activities off stage.

Photo's of Big Bang member Seung Ri attending a trans gender strip show at a wine bar owned and operated by G-Dragon's supposed girlfriend, have been popping up all over the internet.

Fans have stated that they do not want to get involved so deeply with Big Bang's personal life, however at this point it is very difficult to not be disappointed with their behavior. In addition, although it isn't fair to judge Big Bang from a few photo's, they wish that when the truth does turn up, that the members do not disappoint them.

more @ allkpop

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Rain starts clothing line

Feb. 25th, 2008 | 08:10 pm

J Tune Entertainment announced that Rain will launch his own clothing line this morning. Based on what Rain has been donning these days, our ambitious ESL student shouldn�t design other people�s clothes.

Rain�s clothes will hit stores Spring of 2009 if you are interested.


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