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1 more week to the concert, yeah! Finally 4-nin NEWS get themselves a new album. The concert theme can't be cheesier than that, 'NEWS makes you happy! Makes the world happier!' XD but this is NEWS and NEWS does make me happy! Light and fluffy happy to be exact, and how will they do this concert with the new set of songs?

The new songs are well... so NEWS. Light and fluffy are good stuffs, they make you giddy and happy, but if we're talking about concerts from the whole setlist, it'll make me wonder, which song will they choose as the main dance performance routine that they usually perform towards end of the show, the wow-ing factor performance. But it also makes me think that maybe this time they change the format? All the possibilities suddenly pouring in. Will they just go blasting the fireworks with Matsuri theme? Afterall their main song from the album is Nagisa no One Summer, complete with those pink satin sakura yukata. Or will they do it a darker way with Dancing in the Dark (literal song title XD)? Gah, I can't imagine it at all, and all the more I'm curious what kind of performance they're going to pull hence the temptation to go and find tickets for Osaka show.

So, let's get started with my faves:

Nagisa no One Summer ~ This song really marks that summer has started and it's time for some fun. So light, pastel color, glittering, sparkling. It's really anything about Johnny's that we all like, glitters & sparkles. I see the beach, the sea, people playing beach volleyballs, digging those shaved ice desserts, playing with water, splashing it at each other, all those Summer Getsu9 typical scenes. Hint: what Summer Nude should be LOL. If you want to add some love story, let's do this, the girl is too shy to go to have a splash of the sea and the boy with the kakkoi typical shoujo manga scene, giving out his hand 'Let's go!' and the summer love song typical PV scene starts and it sounds like I'm playing too much otome game, which I don't and will never do LOL. As mentioned before, we shouldn't forget the performance, Tego with his glittering hair ornament, ready for some Tanabata matsuri, the glittering pink sakura yukata, plus the happy slutty fan services. That's NEWS, and it makes fans (including me) HAPPY!

Koi Matsuri ~ They better do this song with a blast during the concert! Seriously, they should have a camp fire there and complete with tamanokoshi, and more important, HANABI (fire works), lots of them, period. I wouldn't be surprise if they use this as the main climax for the concert. Very summery, very NEWS, and very traditional but at the same time, bold. And they better wear glittery yukata, with feathers, or whatever sparkles available. It's matsuri for goodness sake! I'll brick the producer if they just do the song during the member get into cart and circling the stage (you know what I mean) and worse, no fireworks.

Besame Mucho ~ If they're going for the regular pattern for concert, I'd think this song is a candidate for the main performance. It's sexy and it has the expressive desire like how those Latin dance performance and it has the Latin beat that Johnny's love to have in the any group songs set list. It's not the regular loud and parade mode Latin song, it's more to the melancholic sappy Latin mode, which is makes me feel this song is not that strong if you compare it to the likes of Bambina, but hey, you never know XD. If talking about the PV, it'll be exactly something like V6's Jou setting with more chandeliers and the lighting is a bit dimmer and redder and we have series of dancers dance Bolero or Flamenco (complete with the red and black feathers, I have the thing with Johnny's and feathers, ok?). NEWS can mingle with those dancers and masking their face with the masquerade masks and the ladies don't know who they dance with (yeah right, as if) and the the night is still young.

Dance in the Dark ~ Another candidate for the main event. It has more punch than Besame Mucho and the beat is more like Bambina. I'd think this song is a mix of 80s remix with some Latin beat and it has a super catchy song. But I can't get rid of the title song, WHY it has to be Dance in the Dark, they already have Dancin' in the Secret, how many songs with 'dance' they want to have?

Solo part, I have 2 faves, Koyama's Beautiful Rain and Massu's Remedy. Very different songs and very typical songs from each of them, nothing new actually, but after couple of replays, Koyama's win!

Beautiful Rain ~ If you think about it again, this sort of melancholic tune is something in similar line with Yamapi's Loveless. But what's different it sounds sadder and it's more catchy with a touch of k-pop sounds. It rings in your head afterwards, and although this song is quite upbeat to be a ballad, I can feel the emotion, the longing and sadness of the parting, and I haven't really read the lyrics yet. If you're talking about a PV, maybe a scene of a couple parting in the middle of the quiet street at night and it starts to rain and Koyama just saw the back of the girl getting further and further in the midst of the rain. XD

Remedy ~ I'd expect Massu to dance hard, really hard plus sexy (can Massu do sexy look? Yeah, I think he can pull it off brilliantly) for this tune. And for once he wear something more fitting, though the chance is very very slim. The tune is catchy, a total dance song, and something to look forward to in terms of performance. Then, it comes to the hard part because I can't imagine the equation of Massu's face plus the saucy lyrics LOL. I can imagine it if it's Yamapi (it's not that sensitive issue anymore, yes?) as he got a slightly bad boy image, but Massu... hm... difficult, too clean LOL.

There are songs that I'm not sure whether I like them or not:

Greedier ~ something different from NEWS but surprisingly, the song fits them but it's not something that catch my attention. It's a nice song and that's it.

Overall, I like the whole arrangement of the albums. It's NEWS album, definitely, and with 4-nin, I'd think they have a firmer identity, which involves lots of sparkles and glitters, and I like the direction that they're taking because it sets them apart from other groups.
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NEWS - World Quest

I've been listening to this single since yesterday, and love all the songs in it. I'd think it's NEWS' best single so far and I'd think they won't be this way if Ryopi is still with NEWS now. Their sound is clearer and definitely better (much lesser trebbles) and I'd think they finally settle with their song style/color (whatever). The single is neatly package with light but catchy and inspiring songs, and you'll say 'ahh, this is NEWS.' when you listen to it. But, I'm not gonna deny that I can trace hint of k-pop in the songs, but if it works, I'm totally OK with it because music is universal and if k-pop can influence you to make a better song and it works for you, why not? And NEWS totally take this aspect to their advantage because the songs are great.

World Quest - it's the FIFA World Cup theme song... I like the lyrics because it's glorifying how you play soccer and it's inspiring, as what a sports event theme song should be, and Tegoshi's solo at the bridge takes the song to a higher note. I like that NEWS is given a chanse to sing this song because they totally work it.

Pokoponpekorya ~ ポコポンペコーリャ - After Chankapana, now we have another weird title, Pokoponpokorya. I was brainwashed for a moment by this song because of the 'papipupepo' on it's chorus. It's a very fun song, light and fluffy and makes Chankapana sounds heavy in comparison (*gasp* how can that be!*). I'd think 4-nin NEWS fits this type of song the best because I seriously can't imagine Yamapi singing this type of song and I don't think it'll happen too if he's still in NEWS. I wish they make a PV for this song because it'll be kawaii to the extreme. O yeah, the song is all about food because it's Shige's drama OST (it's food drama, but I'm not watching it). And what'll happen after you eat all those food? Yep, you'll get sleepy LOL... it cannot be cuter than that, no?

36°C - My fave song in this album. This song sounds sappy but actually the lyrics is not sappy at all, but I was moved by this song from the start, so it's love on the first hearing haha. The song is all about how a man yearn to be there for you, not really a love song, but it's more of a support song (?), regardless, the melody is soothing.

Hello - Similar to 36°C but somehow I don't feel as moved as 36°C when I listened. It's a nice song with nice lyrics as well, but I guess it's a matter of preference. The song also works as a support song of World Quest because the lyrics sort of correlate to it as well. I guess they try to package the song flow in lyrics as well (?).

Quntastic - well we're going back to the roots, Johnny's standard song LOL. The timeless song. I want to see them perform this in their concert with the colorful ala Johnny's (be it furry, full of glitter and sparkles, whichever works) because this song is made for it anyway.

So, I'll keep listening to this single for awhile now until my Eropi DVD arrived (Mr postman, where's my box of DVD, it's been 3 days since release date!).

*Guess Youtube police only have a keen liking to take down Arashi PVs only... -__-"

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 I usually write on my FB account, but since I open a LJ account, I thought why not write here too. Recently I've been devouring lots lots of old drama, not sure why but guess, drama is a good way to release stress so the equation goes to more stress = more drama.

** I still haven't master how to align the pics on the left-hand side of the article, notice this LJ setting is very similar to blogspot which is not very user-friendly to me OR I'm just so used to FB notes style.

Some of these old drama probably are just drama that everybody already watch but for some reason I never be bothered to watch or got preoccupied with other stuff or just happen to be on the bottom of the list. Another thing that you might catch on is that there'll be repeated names w/in the series again and again. That's because I'm going down my old drama list by JE boys and looking back, over 80% of dramas from year 1998 (that's my cut off) has JE boys on them in 1 way or another. I just pick those where they are the lead and looks interesting (there are also lots of crappy ones but let's not go there). I'll start the Part 1 w/ Family-themed drama. So, now let's the list begin:

Dare Yori Mo Mama Wo Aisu ~ This is a family drama but with a twist and no JE boys in it (that I know of). The parent in this family has a reversed role, the father is a house-husband and the wife is the bread maker. The family has 3 children. The oldest son is a guy who somehow always running away from relationship. The second daughter is a girl who thinks marriage as an escape from working life. And the youngest son is rather embarrassed of having his dad coming to the PTA meeting. So, what's so special about this drama? First, because I like the father (he's also the father in Mukodono). He's a veteran actor and his acting is very good, you can feel the fatherly love in the family and though silly on the face value, he's the one who's working the hardest in keeping the family together. Second, this is the first family drama ever that actually bring up the topic of homosexual and the best thing is that in this drama, the family is the one who support the son to actually admit that he's gay (even American drama will never do this). Third, eye candy factor, the eldest son is the ex-EXILE member, which is an ikemen too *wink*. Too bad he's a gay here, but he acted the gayness in full fledge including the love confession scene etc, very different from his role in 'Tengoku Matteru' (a movie that I'm still searching on for the subbed version and also has Inohara (V6) in it). Overall, it's a refreshing and fun drama to watch, it also teaches you the value of family and what makes you happy the most.

Atashinchi No Danshi ~ This is a drama that everybody watch and I'm the late bloomer just watched it some months ago which starts this old drama re-look trend. The story is outrageous but the moral of the story is about family, again this is a family drama but very not normal family. I mean, it's a dream family for a fangirl because in that family there's 6 adopted sons which are all ikemen (except the youngest one). Most notable ones are the first (Kaname Jun), third (Mukai Osamu aka Seno!), fourth (Yamamoto Yusuke aka the aura reader from Hana Kimi), fifth (Seto Koji from Koizora). The story starts when the homeless girl have to marry an oji-san in order to pay her debt. Upon the death of the oji-san, she has to take care of his 6 adopted children which definitely not accepting her as the okaa-san. So, this drama is about how the girl manage to pull together these 6 ikemen as a family. Lots of fun, touchy moments and also LOTS of fan service (you'll know what I mean if you watched it already). Most notable acting in here is Mukai because his character is the one with lots of problem (single dad taking care of the son that's not even his). Plus point, for those Kamen Rider fans, this is a drama to watch because there're 3 Kamen Rider in here.

Yasashii Jikan ~ This 2005 drama is actually in a human drama genre, but still family themed. Basically it's about how time heals the wound of those who are left behind and time allows us to forgive those who we feel have wronged us. In this case, it's about how long a father (a very stubborn one in deed) takes to forgive his son for taking away the wife that he loves so much. I love this drama to the bits of it. It's a very slow pace (even the OST is killing the time with its slow tempo) but well thought drama with location setting in Furano, one of the very beautiful small town in Hokkaido. The seasons that they're portraying are autumn and winter. So you'll see lots of orange, red, green which basically are the autumn color and beautiful white for the winter. There're only 3 major set for this drama, the dad's cafe (which is very tasteful), the dad's friend cafe (which is very homey), and Takuro's workshop. Aside from the set, I like the dad's acting, played by Terao Akira. His character is always seemed so calm on the surface but he carries lots of pain and hatred toward his son and when he gaze with his pained eyes, you can't help but feeling sorry for him although you want to rip his head off for being so stubborn for closing his heart while his own son is reaching out for him. I also like Nino's acting here. He depicts the child with a very troubled past. His dad is never around because of his business trip and he has no role model to look up to (his mom is always there but the boy still needs his father, right?). He tried to reach out to his dad after the accident but was shut up clearly (take up to 8th episode for the stubborn dad to notice). One of the bawling moments is one night when Takuro missed his dad and peeking from behind the trees to see him, and just start crying there. A beautiful scene, and I cried along with Takuro.

Haikei, Chichiue-sama ~ This drama is about a family who owns a Ryoutei (a high class Japanese style restaurant) with a long tradition. Located in Kagurazaka, a small town in Tokyo, which houses lots of geishas, and still in existing as of now. In the midst of it, the plot leads you to see how the town is changing.And on top of this is the main lead, a struggling cook's story. Ippei, the cook, doesn't know who his dad is and always wonder if so and so is his dad and what his life would be like. In the midst of his wondering, lots of things happen, both funny and heartwarming, including him falling in love with the girl who speaks French 3 days a week (this is the funny part to the point of annoying when she speaks French, but she's Kuroki Meisa and she's forgiven). No bawling moment here, but I like the way the story goes and all the side stories surrounding it and how the old Japanese tradition should be passed over or not is interesting. Also, I like how every episodes starts off with the narration, basically recaping the previous episode and wonder what will happen next, and always citing 'Haikei, Chichiue-sama' on the beginning. And lastly, off course, other than Nino, there's another JE boys here, Yokoyama from Kanjani8.

Yamada Taro Monogatari ~ This is a happy family drama. The story is about the poor boy, Yamada Taro (and called An-chan by the siblings) who goes to elite school but everybody thought he's rich and he hangs out with the richest boy in school. What special about this boy? He has 6 little siblings, a loving but useless mom and a wanderer father, and they are all squeezed in a hut (in the middle of Tokyo). The absurdity of this drama is to the level of Hana Kimi, and its set up also reminds you of Hana Kimi minus the gender bending character. What's charming about this drama is the way An-chan character is portrayed, he's so loyal to his family that he's willing to sacrifice everything just to see his family smile. Example, in Ep 2, An-chan takes part time job as a maid in Takuya's house complete with the maid costume (fan service, much?) to buy the younger brother baseball gloves. And the way An-chan gaze when he see the siblings smile and laugh with happiness will melt any fangirls away (including me). Bonus point, 2 JE boys here, Nino and Sho from Arashi. And the OST is Happiness (Arashi) --> see how convinient this is?

OK *pause* you do realize by now what I'm listing dramas which has Nino keyword in it? Yep, that's because I'm running down Ninomiya Kazunari's drama list. He just happened to be in LOTS of good family drama. Even his latest one, now currently on air, 'Freeter Ie Wo Kau', is another family drama <-- a must watch because it has Takenaka Naoto, Stressman in Nodame.

Ryusei No Kizuna ~ This is one drama that I misjudged big time. I've been putting this one off since it's on air in 2008 because of : 1. See the poster? Oh so gloomy and dark 2. Read the synopsis on mysoju? Oh so depressing, it's about 3 siblings whose parents are murdered and they plan to kill the culprit for revenge 3. See Nishikido Ryo in there? He's so good in phsychotic roles (refer to Orthros no Inu and Last Friends) that if you combine point 1 & 2, you'll see all the gloominess in this drama. BUT, boy I was wrong. This drama is nothing but gloomy. Yes, it's sad and touchy to see the parents killed in a cold blooded way, but the way the story goes is nothing but it. Turn up the 3 siblings grow up just fine with the oldest working in curry restaurant (serving Hayashi No Rice), the 2nd one is running an adult video store and spending his money at host club, and the 3rd one just quit her job and got conned by some auntie. Shii (the sister) couldn't accept that she's been conned, so the eldest, Koichi, came up with the plan to con back the auntie. And the drama starts from here. Many hilarious moments especially on the conning skit and also when Sagi (Nakashima Mika) shows up. I particularly like Nino's acting in Ep 9 when Koichi realize who killed his parents and he portraying his anger very well there. Off course here there's 2 JE boys, Nino and Ryo-chan (Kanjani8 & NEWS, take your pick) and OST is by Arashi (Beautiful Days) and Nakashima Mika (Orion). Another convinient case of, you star, you sing, you promote, ne?

OK, I promise, last one from Nino's list (that of family-themed)

Marathon ~ A drama SP, means only 1 episode (yey). Marathon is similar to Door To Door (another bawling section drama) which is why I don't include Door To Door here. The main point to cross here is how big a mother's love is. This story is based the true story of an autistic marathon runner. While the boy end up not winning the marathon, but the hard work, patience and the tears that the mom put into raising him up then showering him with love until she find that his son has a keen in running and then training him to do marathon, is very touching and basically I just bawl and bawl because it reminds me of my late mom, and bawl again.

And now, stay tuned for Part 2 (it'll misc genre... anything thrown in, maybe there will be part 3, too)


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