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Autumn Drama Series Expectations Ranking (秋ドラ期待度)
Dear Friends,

Oricon announced the most highly anticipated dramas among viewers.

According to the survey the most highly anticipated drama is “ Liar Game Season 2(ライアーゲーム シーズン2 )“, starring Erika Toda (戸田 恵梨香) and Shota Matsuda(松田翔太). The first season broadcast in the spring of 2007 received rave reviews and became a big hit. Since “Liar Game Season 2 ” is the direct sequel to the popular season 1, viewers are expecting a lot from the upcoming drama.
Photo: Liar Game

“Tokyo DOGS (東京DOGS )” came in at No.2. Shun Oguri (小栗 旬) and Hiro Mizushima(水嶋ヒロ), who are easily the most popular of all young actors, will play the main characters. Mariko Yoshitaka (吉高由里子)will become the heroine. “Tokyo DOGS” also stoked interest by becoming the first serious detective drama to be broadcast from 9 o'clock in the evening on Mondays(月9), which is usually the time that the most popular dramas are broadcast. Viewers are looking forward to seeing the popular actors in action.
The abovementioned two dramas practically dominated the charts, with the two titles becoming the most popular among both male and female viewers, and also people in their teens, 20s and 30s.

Photo:Tokyo DOGS

“Fumo Chitai [lit. Barren Land] (不毛地帯)” took the No.3 spot. The drama has a gorgeous cast with Toshiaki Karasawa (唐沢寿明) playing the lead role alongside a team of accomplished actors. The large scale drama's filming was conducted overseas for an extended period of time. It perked the interest of people in their 20s or above, and was No.3 among viewers in their 20s and 30s, and No.1 for people in their 40s. The viewers are especially excited about the deliberate, serious storyline.

Photo: Fumo Chitai

For No.4, the 8th installment of the popular drama series “Aibo [Partner] season8 (相棒 season8) ” ranked in. ‘Aibo' was followed by two other sequels, “Otomen 〜Autumn〜(オトメン(乙男) 〜秋〜)” and “THE NEGOTIATOR (交渉人)”. Arashi (嵐) member Masaki Aiba (相葉 雅紀) will star in his first lead role for “My Girl(マイガール)”, popular young actor Haruma Miura (三浦春馬) changes into a samurai in “Samurai High School (サムライ・ハイスクール)”, and the list goes on.


As a whole, dramas featuring up and coming young actors and sequels of popular series ranked high. On the other hand, dramas gearing toward a more mature audience are equally popular. “Fumo Chitai” and “Aibo season8” are cases in point. They deal with social issues and other realistic issues concerning life. Recently in Japan dramas referred to as “real dramas” are in high demand. They depict the bonds shared between people and portray complex human relationships. Today's ranking reflected those trends.

Makoto Kurita

 2009/09/30 21:39  この記事のURL  / 
YouTube webcasts news programs of TV Asahi, TBS
Dear Friends,

U.S. search engine giant Google said it has concluded license agreements with two Japanese commercial broadcasters -- TV Asahi (テレビ朝日)and Tokyo Broadcasting System Holdings (TBS) -- to webcast their news and other programs through its YouTube video sharing site.

TV Asahi, also known as EX and Tele-Asa (テレ朝), is a television network headquartered in Roppongi (六本木), Minato, Tokyo. The company writes its name in lower-case letters, tv asahi, in its logo and public-image materials.

Tokyo Broadcasting System Television or TBS is a television network headquartered in Akasaka(赤坂), Minato, Tokyo.

TV Asahi and TBS began offering their news programs in accordance with the deals, which are said to be the first of their kind involving major Japanese TV stations and YouTube.

Faced with slumping advertisement income, TV stations are looking for new revenue sources and are diversifying into new forms of media services. They can be expected to offer more of their programming via the Internet.

Makoto Kurita

 2009/09/30 16:09  この記事のURL  / 
Namie Amuro shines for Vidal Sassoon
Dear Friends,

Namie Amuro (安室奈美恵) continues to shine in her fourth installment of commercials for hair care brand Vidal Sassoon(ヴィダルサスーン)which will air will air Oct 1.

Photo: Namime Amuro

Namie Amuro (born September 20, 1977) is a Japanese singer, dancer, and former child actor/singer

The first one sees Amuro reborn in space before floating back down to Earth, her hair shining in the glow of the sun and flowing freely in the vacuum of space.

The second one features Amuro decked out in Russian, Los Angeles and British fashion and airs from Oct 15. Amuro said on the latter commercial: “We tried to project the flavor of each area in both the hairstyle and the fashion. I don’t dress up like this often, so it was very refreshing.”

Two new songs by Amuro - “My Love” and “Copy That”- play in the commercials and are scheduled to be on her new album due out at the end of the year.

Makoto Kurita

 2009/09/30 10:06  この記事のURL  / 
'Tora-San' Park in Vienna
Dear Friends,

About 100 people gathered in the district of Floridsdorf to celebrate the opening of the “Tora-San Park, (寅さん公園)” .
Photo:Tora-San Park in Vienna

The 3,000-square-meter park signals friendship and cooperation between Japan and Austria(オーストリア), especially between Floridsdorf and Tokyo’s Katsushika ward(葛飾区).
The home of Tora-san(寅さん), a traveling salesman in the movie series, “Otoko wa tsuraiyo (男はつらいよ)”, is in Shibamata, Katsushika.

Photo:Otoko wa tsurai yo

“Otoko wa tsuraiyo (男はつらいよ)” is a Japanese film series starring Kiyoshi Atsumi (渥美清) as "Tora-san" , a kind-hearted vagabond who is always unlucky in love. All of the films were directed by Yoji Yamada (山田 洋次), who also wrote all the screenplays.

Makoto Kurita

 2009/09/29 15:51  この記事のURL  / 
Interview with Aural Vampire
Gothic and Music pass across the border!

Aural Vampire, a typical artist of “Cool Japan”Now in the spotlight in the fashion of Gothic-kei


Laforet Limited Collection was given on Laforet Harajuku, with the array of 30 popular models on Sep, 20.

In front of the shop of ATELIER PIERROT, there was a photography event by Aural Vampire, now increasingly popular band, which already established a genre “etectrogos Pop” characterized by Gothic-Kei fashion.

Aural Vampire is the band by Vampire Vocal EXO-CHIKA and Masked D.J. RAVEMAN.
The band expresses the violent and sexual energy of the horror movies of seventies and eighties years with bizarre electronic sounds and emotional melodies.

Its characteristic melodies and the visual effect of the vocal “EXO-CHIKA” produce unique, explosive vision of the band.

Not only domestic media but also overseas media play up this band. It often makes live tour to America and Europe to enjoy popularity for its mysterious live performance.

We had chance to hear directly from the vocal EXO-CHIKA of Aural Vampire on fashion and Cool Japan overseas.

1.On fashion

Would you tell us the background how and why you appear to the event of Laforet Harajuku this time?

The fashion which I prefer for my performance is “Gothic fashion”, and this time ATELIER PIERROT, related shop, invited us to appear for this event.

When have you got to be conscious about Gothic-Kei fashion, and what has triggered it?.

In the beginning not knowing even the name “Gothic-Kei fashion” I have decorated myself as I pleased, and afterward I have come to realize that everybody calls this style so.

I hear that the fangs are your own idea, but, have you made improvements any other thing when you dress yourself with Gothic-Kei fashion?

My principle is, as it is adaptable for all dressers, you always have to have firmly your own ideal how you want to present yourself visually.
The ideal form is not necessarily the same every day. Various art and other things influence me every day. So I dress myself in Gal-fashion and kimono too.

Would you tell us the name of your familiar shops or brands?

I have no especially favorite brand or shop. The chance and the feeling will be more important than the brand name.

What is Gothic-Kei fashion for you EXO-CHIKA?

An everyday thing! .It is not bad for some to enjoy it as an extraordinary thing. But for me it is a natural dressing.


2.Popularity and reactions overseas

I hear you have overseas live performances many times. How is the reaction of audience overseas as against the Japanese fans?

I feel horrible power. Generally in Japan the audience is waiting to be pleased. On the other hand, the overseas audience is ready to please themselves, that I can feel standing on the stage.

EXO-CHIKA, what do you think is the phenomena “Cool Japan” overseas, which a Japanese himself does not become aware of, but rather popular there?

It may be the temperament itself of the Japanese. Japanese culture in terms of gal-culture, anime-culture, cuisine culture, and amenity is all unique. It is a Japanese tendency to do same things as others, and that may be a kind of charm point of Japanese for them.

Why do you think why Japanese pop culture attracts many people overseas?

Probably it may be because of a kind of sympathy to otaku tendency. I was surprised to know that there are many Otakus overseas. (laugh)

3.On Aural Vampire in the future

I hear that the Japanese music market stays stagnant now. How do you think of your overseas activities?

Thanks to the popularity of the internet, now the music are more close to everybody’s heart in the world. In spite of the stagnation of the music market, music itself is more intimately existing in everybody. Overseas music activities may be accessed from some different angle. We will try and find how we can bring music to them in the world, where the Web connecting everybody.

To end this interview, tell us your purpose of music activities in the future.

We will exert ourselves to make more people hear our music performed with my friend RAVEMAN.

Thank you for your encouragement!

Thank you very much!
 2009/09/29 11:50  この記事のURL  / 
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栗田 亮(Makoto Kurita)
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