Mai Kuraki secures perfect top 10 streak, announces new album

On January 11, Mai Kuraki released her 43rd single, “YESTERDAY LOVE”. As in case of Kuraki’s legendary signature song, “secret of my heart”, the track serves as the current ending theme of the anime “Detective Conan“, replacing her own 2016’s cut “SAWAGE☆LIFE“. The release strategy for the single was to make it a DVD / Blu-Ray release only. As a result, the single did not make the Oricon Singles Chart, but it did break the top 10 of the Overall Weekly Blu-Ray chart and the top 3 of the one for music, thus practically securing her unbreakable top 10 streak and further strengthening her record for the most consecutive top 10 single hits for a female solo artist. While there is some room for debate, given the nature of the release, Kuraki’s persistence is admirable. Congratulations!

Meanwhile, Kuraki has announced her 12th studio album, titled “Smile”, which is due February 15. It’s her first original studio album since 2012’s “OVER THE RAINBOW”, making the gap between the album releases her biggest yet, even if her 15th anniversary best album is counted. Both “YESTERDAY LOVE and “SAWAGE☆LIFE” are featured on the upcoming album along with another cut from 2016, “Serendipity”. Have a look at the full tracklist and more detailed description of the album by Mai herself after the jump.

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Shouta Aoi Hopes to Bloom Brilliantly With His New Song “flower”

Singer/voice actor Shouta Aoi released a preview of each track from his new EDM-flavored single “flower”, which will be released next week. The title track is currently being used as the monthly ending theme for the TBS show King’s Brunch.

Check out the previews below the cut!

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“Your Name” (Kimi no Na wa) surpasses “Spirted Away” as highest grossing film in Japan

It looks like the hype for Makoto Shinkai’s “Your Name” won’t be dying down anytime soon, the film has shattered records originally set by Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic 2001 film “Spirited Away“. “Your Name” has currently grossed $331.6 million USD at the box office, simultaneously making it the highest grossing anime film in the world, and the highest grossing film in Japan of all time. “Spirted Away” originally grossed $289.1 million USD. The box office numbers for “Your Name” are expected to dramatically increase over the course of the year as it’s set to hit theaters in over 90 more countries.

“Your Name” made it’s premiere at the 2016 Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles, it later hit Japanese theaters on August 26th 2016. The plot of the film is as follows:

Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl, yearns to live the life of a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo—a dream that stands in stark contrast to her present life in the countryside. Meanwhile in the city, Taki Tachibana lives a busy life as a high school student while juggling his part-time job and hopes for a future in architecture.

One day, Mitsuha awakens in a room that is not her own and suddenly finds herself living the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s body! Elsewhere, Taki finds himself living Mitsuha’s life in the humble countryside. In pursuit of an answer to this strange phenomenon, they begin to search for one another.

Kimi no Na wa (Your Name). revolves around Mitsuha and Taki’s actions, which begin to have a dramatic impact on each other’s lives, weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.

Have you seen the film yet? A trailer for it can be seen below.
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Rookie rap artist CHANMINA to make major debut

18-year-old CHANMINA is an aspiring rapper who has gained popularity for “both excellent rap skills and inappropriate behavior”. She was born in South Korea to a Japanese father and a Korean mother and is currently a high school student based in Japan. CHANMINA made an unofficial debut last year with “Princess” that has garnered about 1,4M Youtube views since July 1. This year she is set to make a major debut with a full album titled “Miseinen” (Minor), which references her age and the fact that she is still 2 years short of achieving coming of age.

The album is scheduled for March 8. It will have 10 tracks in total, including the previously released title track, a remixed version of “Princess” and a new single, “FXXKER”, that will be available for purchasing on iTunes Store starting February.

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Niiyama Shiori, Brian the Sun, and More Perform on Premium MelodiX! for January 16

This week’s guests were Niiyama Shiori, HOWL BE QUIET, Brian the Sun, and Amatsuki.

Niiyama Shiori – Snow Smile

HOWL BE QUIET – Sanakazura

Brian the Sun – Pathos to Ethos

Amatsuki – DiVE!!

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Jin Akanishi to star in Chinese drama based on Sun Wukong

Actor and singer Jin Akanishi is set to appear in a Chinese drama based off of the popular mythical figure Sun Wukong, titled “The Legends of Monkey King”. The plot revolves around a mortal man (played by Hong Kong actor Raymond Lam) who somehow time-travels in the past and finds himself as the famous Sun Wukong. Unwilling to accept this strange fate he sets out to understand why this has happened to him, and restore things back to normal.

Jin will be playing the role of “Erlang Shen”, a god who is one of the fiercest warriors in the land. The exact role “Erlang Shen” will play in this interpretation of the Monkey King hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s been suggested that it will largely have something to do with his sister the “Holy Mother” (played by Jiang Meng Jie) who is also a main character. In traditional Chinese folklore “Elang Shen” is furious that his sister married a mortal, after giving birth he kidnaps her and keeps her hidden in the “sacred mountains”. She’s eventually rescued by her son.

Filming for “The Legends of Monkey King” will last for 5 months, 45 episodes are scheduled to be released via the streaming video service “youku”. The last time Jin was a main cast-member in a drama was nearly 10 years ago, where he played “Miroku Shochikubai” in NTV’s “Yukan Club”. Pictures from the press conference can be seen below!

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