Clicking on the countdown clock on the website’s right menu, a new window would pop up with the number “4” changing from the colour black to purple, yellow, pink, or green.
“It became news on some websites, and then too many people tried to access the website when the countdown finished at 00:00 on April 15. Even though it was the middle of the night, for a while it was hard to get access to the website, or sometimes the sound wouldn’t come on. In that sense I think it attracted more attention than the agency had expected,” said one source.
So what was the countdown for? When the clocked struck “00:00:00”, the silhouette for four men appeared along with a short burst of music, then the silhouette would fade…and just at the height of excitement, the silhouette would come back up and the music would repeat again.
It has been reported some fans were disappointed, and others had complained the countdown did not live up to their expectations. Nonetheless, the shapes of the men in silhouette, the number four, and the image colours of Keiichiro Koyama (purple), Takahisa Masuda (yellow), Shigeaki Kato (green), and Yuya Tegoshi (pink) have made it quite clear it has something to do with the new NEWS.
To add to the anticipation, it has been reported all four NEWS members will be on Koyama’s radio show “K-Chan NEWS” on April 17. A number of things have been happening on the show which have hinted at some NEWS announcement, including a K-Chan NEWS staff member tweeting about the countdown, and a comment Koyama had made in mid-March about the four.
“All four of us in NEWS are muscle sore for the same reason,” he said.
The comment had got some fans guessing whether it was because the group are working on new dance routines, or if they are going to start a new variety series where they have to run a lot.
Either way, it does not seem long until an exciting announcement will be made this week.
Johnny’s group Sexy Zone’s new song “キミのため ボクがいる (Kimi no tame Boku ga iru)” will be the theme song to volleyball’s final qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympics, the group announced in Tokyo on April 15, reports Sankei Sports and Nikkan Sports.
The group are special supporters for the final qualifiers and group member Shori Sato had written the lyrics to the new song.
It has been reported the song had been finished earlier this month and the group gave it’s first performance yesterday. One keyword in the song is “勝利 (Shori, Victory)”, which is also Sato’s first name.
“It was embarrassing for me to put it in, but it does mean a lot,” Sato said.
Group member Marius Yo had said his favourite volleyball player was Yoshie Takeshita.
“She’s small physically, but she has a big heart. It’s inspiring to see her fight for her dream,” he said.
The other members teased Marius, saying, “you like her don’t you”.
“As an athlete I…like her,” he said.
Fourteen Olympic qualifying matches for men’s and women’s volleyball will be broadcast on TBS and Fuji TV in Japan between May 19 and June 10.
Johnny’s talent Jin Akanishi had been cast as the lead for a drama scheduled to start in July but has been dropped, it was revealed on April 14, reports Nikkan Sports.
It has been reported Akanishi’s agency Johnny’s & Associates had asked producers to drop him, and it is another punishment for the talent’s sudden marriage to Meisa Kuroki. It is another blow to the talent, who has already had his national tour cancelled.
The drama in question is a remake of the highly-popular “GTO” series, a live action drama made in 1998 based on the popular manga series about an ex-gang member who becomes a high school teacher. Akanishi had been cast as the lead character before he and Kuroki announced they had gotten married on February 2.
It has been reported Johnny’s had talked to the drama’s producers at Kansai TV early last month, and after some discussions between the two parties they had made their final decision by the end of March. When Nikkan Sports reporters went to ask for an interview, a Kansai TV representative had said they had nothing to comment about, neither denying or confirming the news. However, it has been reported a source within the TV company had said the report was true.
“I had heard Akanishi-san was one of the leading candidates for the role, but it’s been made quite clear he’s out of the picture now,” the source said.
“GTO” would have been Akanishi’s first leading drama role since “Yukan Club” five years ago. It has been reported the TV company is moving ahead with production, and have already started auditioning actors to play school students.
Now, Akanishi’s schedule for the near future is blank. For the 27-year-old talent who said he left KAT-TUN because he hated how his own ambitions were causing the others trouble, this could be his toughest lesson yet.
Meisa Kuroki makes it official that she is pregnant
Actress Meisa Kuroki made an official announcement on April 14 saying her baby is due around mid-October, reports Sports Hochi.
“I hope my husband and I can work together to give our baby as much love as possible,” she said.
It has been almost two months since Kuroki and Johnny’s talent Jin Akanishi had gotten married, but finally the actress had sent out a handwritten statement to media companies by fax.
“I would like to report that I have been gifted with a new life and am now four months pregnant.”
It has been reported Kuroki’s agency had not made any announcements until now, but have now said she is in a stable period. Kuroki had been having trouble coping with morning sickness, and after discussing things over with her doctor, they had decided not to make an official statement until she was feeling better.
Now feeling a lot better physically and mentally, Kuroki had said she was looking forward to becoming a mother.
“I’m very sorry for not being able to explain myself properly until now. I feel full with a sense of responsibility (for my baby),” she said.
It has been reported the time Kuroki will take a break from work has not been finalised, but for now she will appear in a stage play in Tokyo on May 12 and 13, and then work mainly on commercials until her baby is due.
Johnny’s & Associates have also admitted Akanishi is the father, but have said they and Akanishi will not release a formal statement for the time being.