Gocchin Attends Her Mother’s Funeral

29 01 2010

On Thursday, Maki Goto and her family buried her mother after her death last Sunday night. It was good to hear that several of her ex-colleagues at H!P attended to pay their respects for her. From reports it seems that Tsunku, Mari Yaguchi, Mikitty, Makoto Ogawa, Ai-chan and Gaki-san all came and probably some more as well. Investigators are still unsure what really happened on that fateful night. I hope that Gocchin can find the strength to carry on at this difficult time.

Oricon Top 30 Charts 2010 – Week 4

27 01 2010

This week’s charts saw the return of  idol group 9nine with their latest single called Hikari no Kage. Really nice song which I recommend. For idol fans there is also Mano Ogawa as Mimi Kitagawa which entered the charts at no.11 with Genki ni Nare!. Ogawa is such a great singer. Cute PV to accompany the song. Guardians 4 managed to crack the Top 10 with Going On! I’ve really enjoyed all of Guardians 4 releases so far, they seem to be doing really well.

Nana Mizuki’s reign at the top only lasted 1 week as she dropped to no.5. The top 4 consisted entirely of new entries with an anime song at no.4, Mika Nakashima at no.3 and Koda Kumi who a lot was expecting to go to no.1 only got to no.2 with Can We Go Back but it was YUI who stormed to the top spot with Gloria – her 4th no.1 song in a row. She sold nearly 3 times as much of her single compared to Kumi. I thought it would have been a bit closer between the two.

The chart rundown in full:

30 Sachi Tainaka – disillusion -2010-
29 Ayumi Hamasaki – You were… / BALLAD
28 9nine – Hikari no Kage
27 Ikimono Gakari – YELL / Joyful
26 Aya Shimazu – Onkochishin
25 Motohiro Ato – Ai
24 Saburo Kitajima – Fuufu Isshou
23 Kaori Uesugi – Hiuchinada
22 FLOW – Sign
21 Fuyumi Sakamoto – Mata Kimi ni Koishiteru / Asia no Kaizoku
20 Sachi Tainaki – Voice ~Tadoritsuku Basho~
19 Toshimi Tagawa – Kita no Minatoeki
18 Sakanaction – Walk Around
17 Ryuichi Kawamura – Dakishimete
16 Fairlife – Tabiseyo Wakoudo feat. Okano Akihito from Porno Graffitti
15 John Hoon – Rainy Flash
14 Masaharu Fukuyama – Hatsukoi
13 Mari Yaguchi with Straw Hat – Kaze wo Sagashite
12 the pillows – Rodeo star mate
11 Mimi Kitagami (CV Ogawa Mana) with MM Gakuen Gasshoubu – Genki ni Nare!
10 Do As Infinity – Kimi ga Inai Mirai ~Do As x InuYasha Special Single~
09 Choshinsei – Last Kiss
08 Guardians 4 – Going On!
07 Kalafina – Hikari no Senritsu
06 Nakano Fujoshi Sisters – Honey Bee~
05 Nana Mizuki – PHANTOM MINDS
04 Russia (Yasuhiro Takato) – Hetalia Character CD Vol. 7 Russia
03 Mika Nakashima – ALWAYS
02 Koda Kumi – Can We Go Back
01 YUI – Gloria

And also here’s the fan-made RASC Top 30 video countdown

AKB48 in Majisuka Gakuen Ep 2 Short Review

25 01 2010

After my initial disappointment with the opening episode, Episode 2 was more like what I was expecting from the trailers I saw before the series aired. A big improvement. It had a little bit more character development and it featured an awesome full on scrap between Tomomi Kasai and Acchan. Kasai is delightful as the vicious one half of the Kabuki Sisters (the other sister being Kuramochi) who really gives Nachu a hell of a pasting before Acchan goes medieval on her. Many fans have commented how great Kasai is in her role – a character that’s completely different from the sweet persona in AKB48.  I’m starting to warm up to Nachu’s character now – she sure is a sucker for punishment! We also get more background on Yuko’s character who seems to be in the hospital a lot. I’m sure we’ll find out eventually what’s the story behind that. I’m sorry to say that Kojima looks totally out of place as a yanki. You’re too nice to look bad!

So far the bigger picture of the dorama hasn’t really unfolded, it’s still Acchan taking on  opponents, each visibly getting stronger each week. The 3rd episode is something that I’ll watch very soon as the ‘Genking’ Sae makes her first appearance and judging by her mean looks at the end of the 2nd episode she’s not at the school to make friends!

The Pick Of Last Week’s J-Pop Releases

25 01 2010

1. Yui – Gloria

Yui’s excellent new single is similar to a past song of hers from 2005  called “Tomorrow’s Way”. Both songs displaying Yui’s incredible vocal talents to the fore.

2. Do As Infinity – Kimi ga Inai Mirai

DAI’s 22nd single is a special tie-in song with the InuYasha:The Final Act anime series.

3. Koda Kumi – Can We Go Back

Kumi’s latest single before the release of her new album called Universe is a cover of a Kelly Clarkson song. This song is also used to celebrate Kumi’s 10 years in the music business. Can it be 10 years already? She’s come a long way since her debut and I’m finding that her albums just keep getting better with each new release. I’m really looking forward to Universe which comes out on February 3rd. (Out of all the PV’s on this posting, this is the likeliest to be deleted soon by AVEX).

and finally

4. Saori@destiny – Ethnic Planet Survival

I don’t think there’s a PV for this as it’s a Tower Records only limited single. I’m very much into the Japanese electropop scene and Saori@destiny is one of the best artists in the genre.

Tragic News For Gocchin

25 01 2010

I was reading this terrible news on Hello!Online about Maki Goto’s mother who sadly passed away on Saturday night. 55 year old Tokiko Goto fell from a 3rd floor window around 10.30pm but despite her family rushing her to hospital she died due to the severe injuries she had.  Apparently Gocchin was with her mother when it happened. Alcohol was apparently involved with Tokiko having returned from her local izakaya the worse for wear.  Fuji TV interviewed somebody that worked in the local izakaya and said that because she could not be with her son she wanted to kill herself. That’s not to say that what happened on Saturday night was suicide. In all fairness I think this is just a tragic accident more than anything.

Already several of her ex-colleagues have sent messages of condolences to Gocchin.

This news bulletin below is just one of several from yesterday that was covering what happened.

My heart goes out to Gocchin on her tragic loss. Rest In Peace Tokiko.

Oricon Top 30 Charts 2010 – Week 3

20 01 2010

We’re into week 3 of the Oricon Charts for 2010. AKB48 continue to do well and are still in the Top 30 with River. It’s been 13 weeks now for them and with their new single coming out next month it bodes well for the idol group. There’s a lot of fans who are looking forward to their chart battle with Morning Musume on the 17/2/10 – myself included!

After topping the charts last week, Ayu drops out of the Top 10 to no.13 with You Were…/BALLAD. Not one of her strongest singles and maybe that shows with the steep drop this week.  Mari Yaguchi comes in at no.2 with her Quiz Hexagon related single Kaze wo Sagashite. I’m a little bit non-plussed about this song, I mean it’s OK and it’s certainly better than her last single which was more about Mari shouting than anything else. For her next single I would really like her to sing a proper pop song.

Abe Mao’s song at no.12 – Itsu no Hi Mo caught my attention this week. I like the feel of that song a lot. At no.1 is Nana Mizuki with Phantom Minds who seems to be going from strength to strength. I noticed last year that her popularity was gaining pace. It’s a great song which deserves to be at the top.

Here’s the chart rundown in full:

30 AKB48 – River
29 Ken Aoto – Sake Goyomi
28 Kana Nishino – Dear… / MAYBE
27 Hilcrhyme – Shunkashuutou
26 FUNKY MONKEY BABYS – Hero / Ahita e
25 Yutaka Oe – Yuuyake Taishou
24 Yuki Nagaho – Kisoji no Ame
23 Ayaka Hirahara & Norisama Fujisawa – Sailing My Life
22 ARASHI – My Girl
21 Aobozu – Dengon
20 Gackt – Stay The Ride Alive
19 LANDS – Bandage
18 Ikimono Gakari – YELL / Joyful
17 Saburo Kitajima – Fuufu Isshou
16 °C-ute – SHOCK!
15 9mm Parabellum Bullet – Inochi no Zenmai
14 Fuyumi Sakamoto – Mata Kimi ni Koishiteru / Asia no Kaizoku
13 Ayumi Hamasaki – You Were… / BALLAD
12 Mao Abe – Itsu no Hi mo
11 SunSet Swish – Sakurabito
10 The Birthday – Muddy Cat Blues / Kuruccha Ina Ze
09 The Birthday – Digzero
08 STRAIGHTENER – Man-Like Creatures
07 Masaharu Fukuyama – Hatsukoi
06 Kiyoharu – LAW’s
05 Motohiro Hata – Ai
04 FLOW – Sign
03 Sakanaction – Walk Around
02 Mari Yaguchi to Straw Hat – Kaze wo Sagashite
01 Nana Mizuki – Phantom Minds

Previously I’ve been posting the CDTV Top 30 video countdown up on my blog but I’ve had enough of it as it’s so different from the Oricon charts with too much enka for my liking so I’ve decided to put up the fan-made RASC Top 20 video instead. It’s got a good selection of songs.

Favorite AKB48 Members 2009 – The Fans Vote

18 01 2010

Over at  Stage 48, the forumites had the chance to vote for their favorite AKB48 members in 2009 and now the results are in. These are the Top 20 members as voted by the fans:

20. Matsui Rena
19. Watanabe Mayu
18. Maeda Atsuko
17. Ono Erena
16. Miyazaki Miho
15. Urano Kazumi
14. Katayama Haruka
13. Masuda Yuka
12. Kojima Haruna
11. Matsubara Natsumi
10. Ohori Megumi
09. Minegishi Minami
08. Sashihara Rino
07. Itano Tomomi
06. Miyazawa Sae
05. Kasai Tomomi
04. Kashiwagi Yuki
03. Takahashi Minami
02. Akimoto Sayaka
01. Oshima Yuko

The top 3 more or less mirrors my own favorite members except that Takamina and Sayaka have swopped places. I think this Top 20 makes for very interesting reading as it’s vastly different from the Japanese Mixi ratings. In that one we’d expect Acchan and Mariko to be in the Top 2 places but here they’re not even close to being in the Top 10.  Acchan is at no.18 and Mariko way down in no.36. I never expected Meetan to be in the Top 20, that surprised me a little bit. I guess Western fans have different tastes to their Japanese counterparts.

Now if we look individually at each team the votes go like this:

AKB48 Team A
17. Suzuki Mariya
16. Maeda Ami
15. Nakata Chisato
14. Nakaya Sayaka
13. Iwasa Misaki
12. Ooya Shizuka
11. Shinoda Mariko
10. Nakagawa Haruka
09. Oota Aika
08. Kuramochi Asuka
07. Takajo Aki
06. Maeda Atsuko
05. Katayama Haruka
04. Kojima Haruna
03. Matsubara Natsumi
02. Sashihara Rino
01. Takahashi Minami

No surprises to see Takamina at the top but to see Kojima at no.4 is rather unexpected. Sashihara at no.2 is a bonus. I’m beginning to like her even more these days.

AKB48 Team K
16. Kikuchi Ayaka
15. Nakatsuka Tomomi
14. Nonaka Misato
12. Uchida Mayumi
12. Matsui Sakiko
11. Yonezawa Rumi
10. Tanabe Miku
09. Fujie Reina
08. Nito Moeno
07. Umeda Ayaka
06. Ono Erena
05. Minegishi Minami
04. Itano Tomomi
03. Miyazawa Sae
02. Akimoto Sayaka
01. Oshima Yuko

I kinda expected the Top 4 of Team K to look like this and I couldn’t see anybody else other than Yuko at the top. Sayaka wasn’t very far off from grabbing that spot from Yuko.

AKB48 Team B
15. Kobayashi Kana
14. Komori Mika
13. Ishida Haruka
12. Oku Manami
11. Chikano Rina
10. Sato Natsuki
09. Sato Sumire
08. Hirajima Natsumi
07. Kitahara Rie
06. Sato Amina
05. Watanabe Mayu
04. Miyazaki Miho
03. Masuda Yuka
02. Kasai Tomomi
01. Kashiwagi Yuki

Yuki Kashiwagi seems to have a lot of fans as I expected Tomomi Kasai who is always popular would have nicked the no.1 spot. I always thought Mayuyu would be in the Top 3 but to see Miho Miyazaki beating her is surprising.