A New Group Rises Out of SMAP’s Ashes

Last year, SMAP disbanded after being together for over 20 years. On September 8, Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, and Katori Shingo left Johnny & Associates. That trio has now launched a new fansite titled “Atarashii Chizu”, ran by the management company Culen.

Upon going to the site, it’s very noticeable that this trio has stepped into the present, leaving behind the dinosaur days of Johnny & Associates. This group will have its own accounts on FaceBook, Instagram, LINE, Twitter, Weibo, and YouTube. And not the only is the page available in Japanese, but also English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French, and Korean. The site also features links to join the trio’s fanclub, which is accepting members from all around the world, not just Japan. Joining the fanclub will keep members in the know about the trio’s future activities, which are said to launch on October 16.

In addition to the “Atarashii Chizu” site, a video was released on YouTube today. In the clip, men and women from around the world are shown walking. Messages are also shown, which are translated as “Let’s run away,” “From things that tie you down,” “Let’s go beyond borders,” and “We love freedom and peace, armed with ideas and charm.”

Check out the video and site below!

Atarashii Chizu


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Gesu no Kiwami Otome. to Release New Digital Single “Anata ni wa Makenai”

On October 10, Gesu no Kiwami Otome. will release a new digital single “Anata ni wa Makenai.” The band debuted the song at the final show of their tour at Tokyo’s Hibiya Open Air Concert Hall.

Besides the A-side, the single will feature a new B-side and two remixes of older songs, one by PARKGOLF and the other by mabanua.

Gesu no Kiwami Otome. has released the music video for “Anata ni wa Makenai.” The song is a display of the band’s more electronic side. “Anata ni wa Makenai” features more prominent vocals by the members of the band besides Kawatani Enon. The video itself is a mixture of militaristic uniforms and video game destruction. Check it out below, along with more information on the new digital single!

1. あなたには負けない (Anata ni wa Makenai)
2. まだ生きれるだろ (Mada Ikireru Daro)
3. 私以外私じゃないの (Remix by PARKGOLF) (Watashi Igai Watashi Janai no (Remix by PARKGOLF))
4. ロマンスがありあまる (Remix by mabanua) (Romance ga Ariamaru (Remix by mabanua)) (iTunes only)


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[#SOS] Namie Amuro to retire next year

Popular singer Namie Amuro has shocked the world by announcing her plans to retire from the industry next year on September 16th, 2018.

In a letter to her fans, Namie wrote:

Dear all fans:

Thank you very much for your continuous support.

September 16 marked the 25th year since my debut.
I could not have gone 25 years without your support, for which I am
eternally grateful.

Thank you!

Today, I would like to write about something that I have carried on my
mind and have decided on the 25th anniversary of my debut.

I, Namie Amuro, would like to take this opportunity to inform all of my
fans of my decision to retire as of September 16, 2018.

I plan to make the last year of my music career meaningful by focusing
my full attention on creating a final album and performing at concerts.

Then, I will welcome the date of September 16, 2018 in the best way I can.

I hope this year will be filled with wonderful memories for me and the
fans together.

Together, let’s make this coming year the best one possible!

Namie Amuro

Amuro just recently successfully finished two concerts in her native Okinawa, celebrating her 25th anniversary in show business. Her new song titled Showtime will be used as the theme for the Fall TBS Drama series Kangoku no Ohimesama. Additionally, another song called Hope will be used as the opening for the anime series One Piece.

(via facebook)

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Fullmetal Alchemist Anime Director: “It was a bad idea to only use Japanese actors.”

On September 16th at Nikufes (Meat Festival) Tokyo 2017, a roundtable with Fullmetal Alchemist anime director Seiji Mizushima and anime producers Hiroshi Kanemaru and Tomoki Misawa was held to discuss the latest trend of anime and manga live action adaptations.

Mizushima worked as the director and storyboarder in the 2003 anime adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga.  When asked about the upcoming Fullmetal Alchemist live action movie, Mizushima criticized the casting by stating “It was a bad idea to only use Japanese actors”.  Mizushima went on to explain his thoughts on the film by expressing: “If you asked me whether I think the cast could pull it off, I’d say that no, they can’t” and “It’s hard for actors to capture the look and feel of the original manga”.

Mizushima continued to jab at other live action adaptations such as Gintama, unabashedly asserting “Gintama just looked stupid”, despite the film’s recent success.  Kanemaru and Misawa also included Terraformars as another bad adaptation film to add to the list.  Ultimately, the trio agreed that 2D animation allows for more freedom and expression than live action.

However, despite all the complaints, Mizushima is still rooting for the film and sees potential, particularly mentioning interest in the use of 3DCG in the film.  The three concluded that although they prefer animation, they approve of and appreciate how live action adaptations bring attention to manga and anime from the general population.

The Fullmetal Alchemist live action adaptation is set to premiere as the opening film of the 30th Tokyo International Film Festival on October 25.  The film is directed by Fumihiko Sori and stars Ryosuke Yamada as Edward Elric.

Yamada and Sori has addressed the concerns of an all-Japanese cast in the past.  In the March issue of CUT, when asked about the hurdles faced during filming, Yamada answered:

 First of all, Edward Elric isn’t Japanese, right? Playing [the role] while figuring out how to digest that within myself was something I really struggled with. I thought of how I could show that without making it feel out of place. I think that was a difficult problem that the rest of the cast probably struggled with too. Each one of us prepared for these roles with all our might, facing them earnestly, and I think we completely cleared [the hurdles]. I think that fans of the manga are still in a state of ‘how, how?’ so in regards to that, I think that’s what I want them to feel reassured about.

(translation credit: hagarenmovie.tumblr.com)

Personally, as someone that is adamantly against the whitewashing seen in the U.S, I can understand the criticism  towards the decision of an all-Japanese cast based on visual concerns.  However, I think we must also acknowledge the vastly different circumstances between a Hollywood production and a Japanese production.  In the U.S, there are Asian actors readily available to star in movies that feature Asian characters.  In the case of Japan, I am not sure whether the same can be said about Caucasian actors that are fluent in Japanese.  One fact that is important to remember is that Fullmetal Alchemist is a Japanese film made for a Japanese audience. 

(via animenewsnetwork)

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Inoue Yoshio, Kiyozuka Shinya, and Tanaka Yukiko Perform with Kanjani8 on KanJam Kanzennen SHOW for September 17

This week’s guests were NAOTO, Hyadain, Inoue Yoshio, Kiyozuka Shinya, Tanaka Yukiko, Takahashi Shigeo, and Kojima Ruriko. Yoshio, Shinya, and Yukiko also performed with Kanjani8.

Inoue Yoshio x Kiyozuka Shinya x Tanaka Yukiko x Kanjani8 – ANNIVERSARY (Yumi Matsutoya cover)


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