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Oct 16 10 10:25 PM
Nov 9 10 2:41 PM
Nov 10 10 10:33 PM
The 3D conversion of the movie "Battle Royale" (directed by the late Kinji Fukasaku) was shopped at the recent American Film Market (November 3-10). It drew attention from more than 50 distributors in 13 countries, and among them was Anchor Bay Entertainment, which has picked up the U.S. distribution rights and is planning a 2011 release. The violent but controversial film was a hit in Japan when it was originally released in 2000. Although it found popularity among fans around the world, it was never picked up for release in the U.S., partly due to events such as the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Now, ten years later, the film has finally secured U.S. distribution with the 3D conversion overseen by Fukasaku's son Kenta. Kenta also directed the poorly-received sequel "Battle Royale II: Requiem" in 2003, and that film (in 2D) will reportedly get U.S. distribution through Anchor Bay Entertainment as well. The 3D version of "Battle Royale" opens in Japan on November 20.
Nov 18 10 8:08 PM
Monday 15th November, 01:00 PM JST
Actress Chiaki Kuriyama, 26, put in a surprise guest appearance Sunday night at the 45th Annual Marching Band Baton Twirling Championships in Saitama at which she performed her first ever live performance in front of around 10,000 people.
Kuriyama performed her new single “Possibility Girl” that was made in collaboration with producer Tomoyasu Hotei and is scheduled for release on Wednesday. Wearing the same marching band jacket she sported for the single cover, Kuriyama told the crowd, “From next year, I’m going to change direction and put my energy into the music business. I want you to get excited about this and to see yourself as members of the Chiaki Kuriyama band.”
Other treats for attendees included a screening of the music video for Kuriyama’s new single and an appearance by the Yokohama Robins marching band.
Nov 19 10 12:32 PM
Mar 4 11 9:21 PM
The plot lightens, dramatically. I got this information from the misses in regards to Chiaki's album, posting it here & hoping for a positive result & why? Because it will be interesting to see how all of this pans out. This entire affair is now even more interesting than before & I can't wait to see how the public reacts to her record, especially with such hot American & Australian production added to the mix! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA! ENJOY! OH!? And I've seeen the cover of the album too, AND!? That's all, there is no more, LATER PEOPLE! Kuriyama Chiaki collaborates with members of Jet, Third Eye Blind– MARCH 2, 2011POSTED IN: J-POP NEWS
In just two more weeks, actress Kuriyama Chiaki (26) will release her first full album as a singer. Titled “CIRCUS,” the album was already known to feature collaborations with several top Japanese artists, but it has now been revealed that the album also includes a couple of songs created by overseas artists.“Kuchi ni Shita LOVE” is a track produced, composed, and arranged by Chris Cester and Mark Wilson of the Australian band Jet. The lyrics were written by Ishiwatari Junji, formerly of the band Supercar.Another track on the album, titled “Ladies Gentlemen,” was produced by Stephan Jenkins of the American band Third Eye Blind. Jenkins and bandmate Kryz Reid composed and arranged the song, and lyrics were again provided by Ishiwatari.Before this announcement, the known tracks on “CIRCUS” included her three most recent singles, which were collaborations with Hotei Tomoyasu, Asai Kenichi, and Shiina Ringo. Other participating artists on the album are9mm Parabellum Bullet, Hoshino Hidehiko and Sakurai Atsushi (of BUCK-TICK), Sato Daiji (of THEATRE BROOK), Ujihara Wataru (of DOES), and Hidaka Toru.“CIRCUS” officially goes on sale on March 16.Source:Natalie
Apr 5 11 8:48 PM
I had a really good forward typed & I literally just erased it, because the fact of the matter is; I have enough problems here in America with what is GOING ON, here in my own country. Whitewashing an actress because she had "the gall" to talk about her own movie negatively? It's interesting how that would be perceived AND TALKED ABOUT if it was Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan or some "Middle Eastern" &/or African nation. Whatever. Here is the article, you'll find certain confirmations, talk to you all later.
She's died on screen almost as many times as she's killed. Western movie fans will know her as Gogo Yubari, the spiked-ball-and-chain-wielding schoolgirl who disembowels men for fun before crying tears of blood in Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill: Vol. 1." In Japan, she's been an actress since the age of 14 and a model since she was 5. Now, she's setting her sights on the pop charts.
Ladies and gentlemen, take cover: We give you Chiaki Kuriyama.
"I've always played really tough women in action-packed settings, so I think people will be surprised to hear me sing," Kuriyama tells The Japan Times as we chat on facing leather sofas in a spacious meeting room at the Tokyo office of Sony imprint DefStar Records. Wearing a black-and-white striped jumper, pink nail polish and hardly any makeup, she looks softer than she is usually presented on screen — but commands your full attention. She adds, "I think my singing voice will catch people off guard."
Of course, it's nothing new for a Japanese tarento (all-round entertainer) to release a CD. TV regular Becky last year started releasing a series of overproduced, vacuous pop singles; professional otaku (fanatic) bait Shoko "Shokotan" Nakagawa has made several albums of anime-friendly saccharine J-pop; and so the list goes on. The videos, photography and packaging are always immaculate; the music often an afterthought.
At first, Kuriyama seemed to be going down a similar route. Debut single "Ryusei no Namida," ("Tears of a Falling Star") released in February 2010, was a cloying ballad with which Kuriyama herself was not particularly happy. Luckily she had the presence of mind and the strength of character to demand a change.
"When I first tried recording a few songs, my voice didn't sound as I'd expected it would," she says when asked why she'd started out with a ballad despite the indisputable fact that all ballads stink [well, I think so anyway]. "I wanted to sing rock songs, but my voice sounded too 'normal' — not husky or cool, as my favorite female rock singers sound. It seemed like rock might not be the best fit for my voice, so we discussed it and I agreed to try something a bit more simple. But after that first single came out, I was like, 'Dammit, I know I'm not a great singer, but I should sing the songs I like!' "
Kuriyama should give herself more credit for her singing voice. Just as her charm as a model and actress lies partly in her unconventional looks, so her voice has an appealing character of its own; she sings as though she enjoys singing, which is more than most J-pop balladeers ever achieve.
Each song on Kuriyama's forthcoming debut album, "Circus," was produced by a different high-profile musician: alt-pop queen Ringo Shiina; stalwart underground hero Kenichi Asai; blustering speed-metal band 9mm Parabellum Bullet; Australian rockers Jet; and so on. Perhaps it's her grounding as an actress — the 26-year-old has appeared in two dozen films since her 1995 debut as an extra in "Toire no Hanako-san (School Mystery)" plus several TV dramas and even the forthcoming Sega video game "Ryu ga Gotoku: Of the End" — but Kuriyama tends to take on the vocal characteristics of each rock-star collaborator, inadvertently making her voice more diverse.
"I listened to Blankey when I was young, and it's a weird thing to say, but it always seemed like those guys didn't really exist as human beings," says Kuriyama. Asai, the frontman of influential 1990s band Blankey Jet City, wrote Kuriyama's aggressive garage-rock single "Cold Finger Girl."
"It was as if they were characters from a manga or anime. So when I met Asai, it was like, 'Woah! He's real!'
"I've always been a huge fan of Ringo Shiina," she continues. Shiina wrote two songs on "Circus," also released as a double A-side single: "Oishii Kisetsu" and "Ketteiteki Sanpunkan." Both are sultry, sexy slivers of Shiina-esque sass. "I have a guitar — I can't play it very well, by the way — and the reason I got it was because she looked so cool when she was singing and playing guitar in her videos."
The album is certainly varied, and there's plenty here for fans of old-guard Japanese rock favorites; other producers include members of Buck-Tick, Boowy and Theatre Brook. Kuriyama says each artist wrote their song according to their image of her; she didn't write or even tweak any of the lyrics or music herself ("I just focused on singing," she wryly asserts), but despite this, she sees her foray into music as a much-needed avenue of self-expression.
"I've been an actress for 12 years and I've played quite a variety of roles — ghouls and ghosts, tough chicks, ordinary girls," she explains. "I still want to act, but I started to feel like there were no new roles for me to try. And just as I was losing my hunger for acting, someone in my management office suggested I try singing. I've always loved music and I've always sung in the bathroom, the toilet, the car. It was an opportunity to try something brand new."
Kuriyama is in a similar position to another all-rounder, Takeshi Kitano. He is best known to Western fans as a director of/actor in brutally violent films such as "Hana-bi" and "Zatoichi," and Kuriyama costarred with him in teenage murder flick "Battle Royale." In fact, Kitano started out as "Beat" Takeshi, part of the Two Beat comedy duo, and, largely unbeknown to his fans abroad, has carved out a distinguished career in Japan as a TV personality and advertising prop.
"I'm sure those fans (outside of Japan) have no idea about his 'Comanechi' comedy routine," laughs Kuriyama. "He makes fantastic films and also does those other things, and there's a gap between his two identities — but that's a good thing."
Given the huge global popularity of Kuriyama's character in "Kill Bill" — she was one of the movie's most-loved baddies, her violent showdown with Uma Thurman proving an enduring and iconic piece of classic cinema — it seems bizarre that a Hollywood career didn't follow. Kuriyama blames her poor grasp of English, but also says she felt the timing was all wrong.
"I started acting when I was 14, and when we made 'Kill Bill' I was 17," she says. "I feel like I should earn a reputation in Japan from my fellow Japanese before I start to work abroad. It's nice to have acclaim from fans in other countries, but it feels like the wrong way round." She laughs, adding, "It's like getting pregnant before you're married."
There could conceivably be more to it than that. Japanese talent agencies are notorious for the control they wield over their stars, deciding on their behalf what shape their career will take. This approach is not always compatible with the practices of overseas filmmakers or record labels. And anyway, one need only look at the recent furor surrounding Erika Sawajiri — who spoke ill of her own movie, "Closed Note," in 2007 and was subsequently blacklisted from the entertainment industry until she apologized tearfully in late January this year — to see that in Japan, where a star is never bigger than the system that made them, you speak your mind at your own peril.
But that's just conjecture, and Kuriyama claims not to have encountered such friction in her career. After all, she got her way with "Circus," shunning the boring ballads for the spirited rock sound she loves. She seems naturally optimistic and eager to try new things while youth is on her side, so the issue of whether or not she's allowed to say "No" is apparently semantic.
"Who am I to refuse work?" she says. "I have work because people want me to work for them. Let's say I want to act, but no one will offer me a role; that's the end of the road. I want to improve bit by bit through experience, and in turn my opportunities will grow. And anyway, if I was offered something that might not be right for me, my management would turn it down right off the bat."
Kuriyama is currently fighting back her natural stage fright for occasional live performances, including in-store shows at branches of Tower Records in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on March 5, and Osaka on March 21. She also has a supporting role as Hitomi Mimura in "Rebound," a new weekly TV drama about obesity that airs from April 13 on the Nippon Television Network (Wednesdays, 10 p.m.).
With a lifetime in the limelight, does Kuriyama have a shred of privacy left? Can she visit the convenience store like anyone else?
"Oh, I'm totally normal — sorry if I create any impression to the contrary!" she laughs. "I go everywhere by myself, to a ramen shop or a yakitori restaurant. I walk along Takeshita-dori in Harajuku or around (teen mecca) Shibuya. I like to go places by myself.
"I usually wear a hat," she concedes. "But not as a disguise; I just like hats."
Apr 18 11 10:38 PM
Apr 22 11 1:25 AM
Fans of boy band JYJ are outraged as the group has suffered yet another setback in their career in the past week.In a notice on its website, Japan’s Oricon chart has announced that it would be excluding JYJ’s “Memories in 2010” DVD and “Thanksgiving Live in Dome” album from the charts due to AVEX agency’s decision last year to suspend the activities of JYJ in Japan.AVEX suspended JYJ’s Japanese activities and instead gave its full support to the TVXQ duo Yunho and Changmin.The Oricon notice said that AVEX agreed to release the two albums on the condition that no promotion and advertisement by JYJ will be done in Japan.Fans are accusing AVEX of profiting from JYJ’s music and yet preventing the trio from doing their activities in Japan.After the JYJ trio (Xiah Junsu, Micky Yoochun and Youngwoong Jaejoong) sued SM Entertainment in 2009, they signed up with AVEX as a new group to promote their music in Japan.However, AVEX suspended JYJ’s activities last year and then expressed its alliance with SM Entertainment.The move by Oricon has been met with online protests by fans.“Can you see the AVEX’s true intentions, wanting profits using the three members’ name while avoiding the promotion of their status or popularity in Japan?” one fan with the username ZAI263 posted on the JYJ thread on Soompi.com.JYJ is also suffering in South Korea. The trio cannot promote on TV shows in South Korea due to the ongoing lawsuit between JYJ and SM Entertainment.A cable channel recently cancelled the airing of JYJ’s reality show. The internet broadcast station set up by fans was also shut down due to internal problems...... -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wait fans, this gets better & better! Now? I decided to look into SM Entertainment & I found this lovely little tidbit that honestly talks about some of the "things" that go into a "Korean" entertainment contract, wow... When you make Hollyweird look safe, that's just craziness...
In late July 2009, three of the TVXQ members; Hero, Micky and Xiah, submitted an application to the Seoul Central District Court to determine the validity of their contract with SM Entertainment. Through their lawyers, the members stated that the 13-year contract was excessively long and that the group's earnings were not fairly distributed to the members. Early termination penalty of their contract will cost them 2 times the profit that the group is estimated to earn for rest of the contract period (over ₩11 billion, or around US$9.2 million). The news was enough to cause SM Entertainment's stock price to drop over 10% on the KOSPI.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled in favor of the three members. They have claimed that the contract was unfair and the members were left out of proper profit distribution. In response, SM Entertainment called a press conference and claimed that the lawsuit a fraud, stating that the lawsuit was not about unfair contracts or human rights but a scam motivated by the three members’ greed over their cosmetics business. The three members remained silent except to say through their lawyers that they hoped SM Entertainment would respect the court’s decision.
In response to the lawsuit, 120,000 members of TVXQ fan club, Cassiopeia, filed a petition against SM Entertainment’s long-term contracts to the Seoul District Court. Cassiopeia also filed for compensation from SM Entertainment for the cancelled SM Town Live Concert, as both SM and TVXQ initially stated that the concert would go on as planned; the concert was cancelled a week before its scheduled date. It was later announced in early May 2010 that the three members of TVXQ (Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu) will return to the stage as a sub-group. Their group is called JYJ representing the first letter of each of their names.
On December 21, 2009, Han Geng of Super Junior filed for contract termination from his former company SM Entertainment. The following day, December 22, 2009, Han Geng's lawyer released the reasons for the contract termination: it contained provisions in SM Entertainment's favour, the 13-year contract length was unlawful, it would take an unfair sum of money to end the contract, he was not allowed to request to revise his contract, he was forced to do things that were not in his contract, he was forced to do things against his will, he was fined if he disobeyed the company, missed any events or even was late, and there was unfair profit distribution. Along with this, it was disclosed that because of SM Entertainment's refusal to give him a day off in over two years, he had developed gastritis and kidney disease.
Han Geng's best friend and now current manager, Sun Le, also submitted a statement to the Korean courts citing SM Entertainment's violation of Han Geng's rights. This statement was later leaked to the public via the internet. Though many suspected the statement to be fan created, it was later confirmed as true. Sun Le's statement contended that: Han Geng was forced to wear a mask due to SM Entertainment's ill handling of the visa issue, SM Entertainment purposely discriminated against Han Geng and his family, including financially, SM Entertainment refused to cooperate or listen to any of Han Geng's suggestions, SM Entertainment purposely turned down individual activities for Han Geng (including Ariel Lin's "Fireflies" music video, which later starred two other Super Junior members,) and SM Entertainment treated Han Geng's potential endorsers poorly.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________So according to just these two instances alone, destroying someone's career is well within the deck of dealings, which is nothing new because it happens here too. But because it is coming from what would essentially be the "low end" of American entertainment, it's just bizarre. The talent is just cattle to be herded back & forth & their real purpose is to make money for whomever they work for & if they happen to get large enough to take home a cut, good for them. The creepy part is the cooperation that Japanese Oricron has put in where this has to do with record sales, not promotion, blocking how much their record sold? Craziness & I hope those of you out there living here in the States & wherever else where reading this makes you say "WTF?" Everything, has a price. While I MOST DEFINITELY APPLAUD THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN HANDLING THE NUCLEAR DISASTER WITH DIGINITY & GRACE! I also know that they don't have half the rights in even the most basic of instances when it comes time to come before a judge/court/whatever, never mind Japanese police will f**k your ass up if you start runnin around rioting & looting & rest assured, Johnny Cochran of Japan is NOT SAVIN YOUR RIOTING ASS! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Crass, BUT TRUE! Japanese law is NOT American law, just as Japanese customs & cultures are not ours either. But to rape & pillage your own "talent"? That's got nothing to do with customs/cultures, that has everything to do with right & wrong. Period. NO AMOUNT of claiming culture is gonna remove human greed from an obvious equation of exploitation.LATER!
Apr 26 11 6:55 AM
Good Morning from Philadelphia!FIRST!? Wanna thank my woman for finding the record sales information & droppin it in my inbox for me, THANK YOU! MWAH! Yes, I just gave my woman a kiss on a forum, you'll be okay, so will I & so will she. And now? For our feature presentation......OMFG!These sales are so low, even Crazy Eddie would come back from the dead & say these record sales are!? INNNNNNNNNSANNNNNNNNNNNNNE! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc-Mhynh_pgHere are the weekly DVD & CD rankings for March 28th - April 3rd.
DVD*1, 7,794 7,794 IS: Infinite Stratos vol.1 DVD ver.*2, 7,436 7,436 Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi DVD Box vol.1*3, 6,581 6,581 Hetalia World Series vol.5 Limited Edition*4, 5,512 5,512 Manga Nihon Mukashi Banashi DVD Box vol.2*5, 2,727 2,727 Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu: Matsuri vol.2 DVD ver.*6, 2,062 2,062 Freezing vol.1 DVD ver.
Blu-ray*1, 22,000 22,000 IS: Infinite Stratos vol.1
Single CD*8, 3,785 143,857 Nintama Rantarou Movie: Ninjutsu Gakuen Zenin Shutsudou! no Dan "Yumetamago"14, 2,468 102,302 Beelzebub "Answer"15, 2,417 **2,417 PSP game Hetalia Portable OP & ED16, 2,366 *56,232 Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica "Connect"27, 1,640 **5,574 One Piece 3D: Mugiwara Chase "Break into the Light ~Yakusoku no Boshi~"28, 1,629 *37,582 Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica "Magia"32, 1,481 *14,919 Gintama "Sakurane"33, 1,474 *13,014 Suite Precure♪ "LaLaLa Suite Precure" & "Wonderful Powerful Music!!"39, 1,262 *25,451 IS: Infinite Stratos"Super∞Stream"44, 1,108 *12,014 Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto "Shining☆Star"Album CD*5, 10,472 58,953 Bakemonogatari etc. "Today is A Beautiful Day" by supercell*4, *7,438 75,574 Macross Frontier: Sayonara no Tsubasa "netabare album ~ the end of triangle"18, *4,401 25,746 Otome Youkai Zakuro etc. "Spring is here" by sphere21, *3,894 16,547 Megpoid "EXIT TUNES Presents GUMism"40, *1,728 *8,515 Level E etc. "Circus" by Kuriyama Chiaki46, *1,599 *5,978 Inazuma Eleven Song Collection vol.148, *1,540 67,136 Hatsune Miku "EXIT TUNES Presents Vocalonexus"
Sources: Oricon Youtaiju, MainichiWell? To date? Her album has sold 8,515 copies. And I'm sorry that was from end of March to top of April, first week of April. 8,515 copies? Damn. I mean seriously, someone honestly thought they should continue with her original release date even with the fact that the nuclear crisis took place literal days before? Uhhhhhhhhhhh-yeah. Uh-huh, sooooooooooh, yeah. Now what? They couldn't hold the release for a month & then drop the album? The Album is/WAS #40. So now what? And as I said before, how long can Spacecraft keep taking hits like this from failed Chiaki Projects before they FINALLY, have to tell her, you don't bring in enough money to justify the amount we provide for you. They couldn't hold the album for another 15 days & give the country a chance to catch its breath from something far more serious? I wonder how much all of the "producers" for her album got, while the album is clearly triple wood with a bullet. When exactly are her Japanese peers going to give her respect, when the real issue is about THE JAPANESE AUDIENCE WANTING TO SEE HER PROJECTS & MAKING THEM SUCCESSFUL! WHO IS DRIVING THIS THING!? But seriously? Without demand from an audience, no amount of stalling is going to keep the inevitable from happening. While her industry may be driven by the people within the business, at the end of the day it is the consumer buying into & purchasing her projects & products that will determine whether or not she is anywhere near as important as the people ALREADY WITHIN ENTERTAINMENT ARE CLAIMING. This kind of cart before the horse is the real reason why Japan hasn't escaped their recession. And that same mentality is taking place here in America where worrying about people who are already in a secure position, is more important than the actual people who drive the economy, buy the products & determine whether or not the country as a whole sinks or swims. You cannot ignore public reaction or lack thereof forever, no matter how hard you try. 8,515 people have purchased her album, that is a grim statistic that shows her actual "star power".
Jun 2 11 9:00 AM
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