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A.B.C-Z member injured but more than ready for stage show

11:13 JST September 4, 2012 1 comment

One of Johnny’s Jr. group A.B.C-Z’s members might be injured, but yesterday the group had showed they were staying positive for the start of their new stage show season, reports Sankei Sports.

 

It is the second year in a row A.B.C-Z take the lead roles in “少年たち (Shonen-tachi)“, which starts its season in Tokyo on September 4.

 

It has been reported group member Ryoichi Tsukada, who specialises in acrobatics, had tore a ligament in his left leg during rehearsals last month.  Although this means he can’t perform any stunts until his leg recovers, the A.B.C-Z member said he was optimistic about the situation.

“I might not be able to do acrobatics, but I’m more enthusiastic than ever!”

 

Fellow group member Ryosuke Hashimoto had joked it could be worth coming to see the show while Tsukada is recovering.

“This might be the only time you’ll ever see Tsuka-chan not doing acrobatics.”

 

It has been reported Kansai Johnny’s Jr. member Akito Kiriyama said their talents were worth seeing as well.
“The Kansai team have come back better than last year, I think we’ll be some fierce competition for the other [Johnny's Jr. from Tokyo],” he said.

“Yeah, but one of ours is injured…,” A.B.C-Z member Fumito Kawai said.

Johnny’s Jr. talent Jesse Lewis gets first drama lead role

11:37 JST August 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Johnny’s Jr. talent Jesse Lewis will play a university student taking part in a bloody quiz show where contestants are killed off one by one, reports Cinema Today on August 23.

 

The cast of special drama The Quiz held a press conference on August 21, where Lewis, and other Johnny’s Jr. talents Keigo Hagiya and Hikaru Iwamoto talked about their upcoming show.

 

The drama is based on a horror mystery novel where 10 contestants compete in a quiz show to win 100 million yen.  But it is not as easy as it seems, because for every question one contestant is killed off.

 

It has been reported Lewis will play the lead character, Shota, a third-year university student.

“I’m so surprised I got my first lead.  I hope I can convince people that I can pull off roles like this.  I hope I get them sitting on the edge of their seat when they watch this show,” he said.

 

The talent had also said he had never thought he would be able to be in so many dramas this year, from 私立バカレア高校 (Shiritsu Bakarea Koukou), Sprout, and now The Quiz.

 

For his co-star Hagiya, who plays a cold-hearted Tokyo University graduate student, the whole drama experience is completely new to him.

“This is my first drama.  There are so many things I don’t know but I’ve been getting through it all thanks to the advice the director has been giving me,” he said.

 

Iwamoto, who plays a national karate champion Riku, said he had a lot in common with his character.

“Riku has a bright personality like me so it’s easy to get into character.  I hope we can have fun making this into a great show,” he said.

 

The three talents also talked about what they would do if they themselves got their hands on the 100 million yen cash prize,

“I’d build a movie theatre inside my house!  I watch DVDs with my family when I have a day off so I want to watch it on a big screen,” Lewis sad.

“I’d build a sound-proof room at home and put a drum kit and karaoke machine there,” Hagiya said.

“I’m really into designing lately so I’d like to open up my own apparel shop,” Iwamoto said.

 

The Quiz goes on air in Japan on September 1.

Koki Tanaka’s little brother gets first commercial with other Johnny’s Jr. talents

17:27 JST July 19, 2012 1 comment

Johnny’s Jr. talents Jyuri Tanaka, Lewis Jesse, Keigo Hagiya, Kentaro Yasui, and Taiga Kyomoto will star in the latest commercial for Baskin Robbins ice cream, reports Nikkan Sports on July 19.

 

Baskin Robbin’s summer snowman campaign commercial goes on air on July 21, and will show the five talents walking in a parade surrounded by snowmen.

 

Apart from Kyomoto, this will be the first commercial for the Jr. talents.

“Although I would like to say that the first person I want to see this commercial in my big brother, really it’s my junior high school teacher,” said Tanaka.

Hokuto Matsumura the next Johnny’s talent to keep an eye on

15:58 JST June 14, 2012 Leave a comment

screenshot of Hokuto Matsumura during a TV show guest appearance

Johnny’s Jr. talent Hokuto Matsumura has only had one drama role to date, but now he is being given the supporting role for upcoming drama series “黒の女教師 (Kuro no Onna Kyoshi)“, it was announced on June 13, reports Sankei Sports.

 

It has been reported actress Nana Eikura will play the lead role in the drama, a chemistry teacher at a well-respected school by day, but at night becomes a problem-solver who helps students in trouble with bullies or drugs in return for a big payout.  16-year-old Matsumura will play a mysterious new student at Eikura’s character’s school.

“I want to put everything on the line for this drama.  I want to become a pop star who can act,” he said.

 

The Johnny’s Jr. talent had made his drama debut in “私立バカレア高校 (Shiritsu Bakarea Koukou)”.  It has been reported Matsumura said acting in this drama made him realise he wanted to continue acting and performing, just like his seniors Kazunari Ninomiya or Tomohisa Yamashita.

 

It has been reported Johnny’s president Johnny Kitagawa had brought Matsumura the news without warning, saying, “I’ve got a huge role for you, do your best”.  This role was a supporting actor role in a golden hour drama playing a character with a difficult family background.

“Hearing him say that put me under pressure, and when I read the script I felt even more pressure.  It looks difficult, but it’s definitely worth doing,” Matsumura said.

 

Matsumura is no stranger to working hard.  Before joining Johnny’s he had been a keen karate athlete, already earning his black belt and second place in the Shizuoka prefectural karate tournament when he was in the sixth grade.

“I’m used to working hard.  I look at this drama like it’s my next game, and winning it will lead me to bigger opportunities.”

A.B.C-Z national tour and events are a desperate act to boost sales?

16:57 JST April 5, 2012 1 comment

While A.B.C-Z will go down in history as the first Johnny’s group to make a DVD debut, they are now struggling to keep sales up, reports Cyzowoman.

 

A.B.C-Z’s DVD “Za ABC ~5 stars~” made its debut on the DVD charts at No.1 in February and their debut event had attracted more than 15,000 fans in Tokyo.  A bright start, but a Cyzowoman source paints a not-so-bright journey of the group’s activity since.  Even though the group had started at the top, the DVD has only sold about 56,000 copies so far.

 

“They’re going around Osaka, Sendai, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Sapporo right now.  Following on from the Osaka leg, it had been decided to squeeze in a hand-shaking event at every other venue.  Of course admission isn’t free, only the people who buy a copy of the DVD at the venue get to take part.  You get a free A.B.C-Z hand towel as well, but it looks more like a desperate act to boost sales.

“Of course, choosing a DVD debut was probably favoured over a CD debut.  Right now the group does not have what it takes to compete against other artists.  But even so, these sale numbers are disappointing…  After the Osaka event, sales did go up a little, but I doubt they’ll go over the 100,000 mark.  If they were to make a CD debut, I think they would be the worst-selling Johnny’s group to date,” said one source.

 

It has been reported a number of Johnny’s fans like to buy the debut single of groups other than the one they support, a kind of way to say congratulations.  In this sense A.B.C-Z should have a large number of supporters since they have been back dancers for a number of Johnny’s groups.  But if the sales to date include the copies bought by these supporters, what is going to happen next?  But most importantly, asking fans to buy several copies of a product might not be the best way to open up a future for A.B.C-Z.

Categories: Johnny's Junior Tags: ,

“JOHNNY’S World” stage show to be biggest Johnny’s-produced show yet

11:12 JST March 23, 2012 1 comment

Hey! Say! JUMP, Sexy Zone, A.B.C-Z, Koichi Domoto (KinKi Kids), Hideaki Takizawa (Tackey & Tsubasa), Kazuya Kamenashi (KAT-TUN) are among the 100 cast members to be in the largest Johnny’s stage show starting in November, reports Sponichi Annex and Daily Sports Online.

 

It has been reported Guinness World Record-holding producer Johnny Kitagawa is making his largest show yet to celebrate his records for producing the most number of concerts and most number of No.1 singles in the world.

 

Set to be performed in Tokyo’s Imperial Garden Theater in November and December this year, “JOHNNY’S World” will feature Hey! Say! JUMP as the main characters.  They will be supported by other younger Johnny’s groups, as well as supporting talents including Koichi, Tackey, and Kamenashi.  The story looks at youngsters going on an adventure to find a utopia in outer space, but in the process they realise how special their home on Earth is.

“I want the younger juniors to take on what their seniors have already accomplished.  Maybe we’ll need Higashi (Noriyuki Higashiyama) to give them some advice,” Mr Kitagawa said.

 

Members from Kis-My-Ft2 will take turns every day as they also join the 100 or so Johnny’s talent cast.  Mostly all of the younger Johnny’s groups will take part in what is set to be the largest Johnny’s production to date.

 

Mr Kitagawa has said the show will feature a mash up of things seen in past stage shows like “PLAYZONE”, “SHOCK”, and “DREAM BOYS”.  These include flying stunts and water fountain sets.

“3D is in fashion right now, but I’m keen to test ‘4D’ fragrance tricks,” he said.

 

It has been reported Mr Kitagawa has promised every minute of the show will be exciting, and although he has plans to send the show overseas, he wants to start in Japan, the country where he managed to set his two world records.

Johnny’s Jr. baseball match attracts 45,000 fans

10:54 JST March 19, 2012 1 comment

Tokyo Dome sign on Sunday (photo source: http://yfrog.com/ocl5qljj)

Hey! Say! JUMP and Kis-My-Ft2 members were among the 200 Johnny’s talents playing sports on March 18 to a stadium full of fans, reports Sankei Sports and News 24.

Hey! Say! JUMP, Kis-My-Ft2, A.B.C-Z, Sexy Zone and Johnny’s Jr. talents were divided into two groups, J-RED and J-WHITE, who competed against one another in baseball, soccer, marathons, and relays in Tokyo Dome yesterday.  In front of 45,000 fans J-RED captain Yuri Chinen (Hey! Say! JUMP) and J-WHITE captain Ryosuke Yamada (Hey! Say! JUMP) swore they would do perform their best against one another.

Special guests joined in for part of the event, including Hideaki Takizawa (Tackey & Tsubasa), Kazuya Kamenashi (KAT-TUN), and Koki Tanaka (KAT-TUN).

It has been reported J-RED won the baseball and relay games while J-WHITE won the soccer and marathon games.  The game point total at the end declared J-RED the winners and the group’s captain Chinen was crowned the event’s best player.

“I’m excited we won.  I’m happy that everyone in our team gave it everything they had.  I also have the fans to thank for their support.  Thank you so much,” Chinen said.

“Unfortunately we lost today but it’s not about winning or losing.  It was great to have shared today with you all and thank you very much,” J-WHITE captain Yamada said.

The best players for individual games were J-WHITE’s Yuma Nakayama (NYC) for baseball, J-WHITE’s Hiromitsu Kitayama (Kis-My-Ft2) for soccer, J-WHITE’s Shori Sato (Sexy Zone) for the marathon, and J-WHITE’s Kento Nakajima (Sexy Zone) for the relay.  Shota Totsuka (A.B.C-Z) also received a special award.

It has been reported after the match, Tomohisa Yamashita and Hiroki Uchi made a special guest appearance in the live performance.  After each group performed their own songs, all of the talents sung “勇気100% (Yuuki 100%)” together to finish off.

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