A Classy New Year in 5…

It is a New Year’s tradition by now.

Every year since 2007-into-2008, I spend New Year’s with people both in and not in my immediate family. If I’m lucky, like this past year, I will even avoid spending it with my immediate family entirely and instead do something with my friends. If I’m unlucky, like this past year, I will also shell out money for snacks that mean little in the face of drunken gaming festivities, but c’est la vie.

Also every year since 2007-into-2008, I will download the Johnny’s Countdown without fail at some point in the following week and proceed to officially kick off my New Year with Japanese men in make-up and fashion failures. Then if I’m lucky, I make a post on it for the blog. If I’m unlucky, like in 2010, I will also work on said post for months on end, and in the end fail to update the blog altogether for the entirety for the year.

Let’s see what kind of year this one will be, shall we?

It’s actually been so long since I’ve done one of these posts that I’ve – ashamedly – forgotten entirely how to really write one. In fact, I’ve even deleted the post for 2009-2010’s Countdown because I just couldn’t deal with it (and my writing then). I know, I know. Artists. Those silly beings and their search for perfection.

I’ll still make a game attempt, though. That said… KinKi Kids are back in Tokyo Dome this year, and Tsuyoshi and Koichi introduce that Johnny’s Countdown live concert to the roar of a happy fangirl audience. Side note here: the Japanese use the term “live” for “concert” or “performance,” and so it still throws me off whenever I hear “nama live” and immediately think “live live.” ARGH.

Backstage we see TOKIO – I think it’s a law that Yamaguchi is never allowed to cover his arms. I fully approve of that law. – facing off against V6. More specifically, Inocchi is going head to head with… Joshima, oddly enough. Sakamoto in the back of the pack is grinning his ass off.

Switch to KAT-TUN minus their A and NEWS minus their Chomping Osaka Man intermingling in their little section of backstage and OH MY GOD NEWS. YOUR CONCERT COSTUMES. THEY’RE SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIE. Actually KAT-TUN and NEWS have remarkably similar concert costumes on right now between long coats and gold accents and black boots – but NEWS also has giant fluffy white half boas. They’re not even full feather boas, just only around half the body. And it is ridiculous. To be fair, KAT-TUN may also have them in red, but the sponsors are blocking my view. (I have never been so thankful for the sponsor announcements before.)

Back onstage, KinKi has a ridiculously awesome sloped stage and are getting into their debut song, Garasu no Shounen. There is the full cast of Johnny’s juniors dancers, in front rather than in back. And most importantly, even KinKi is not exempt from the ridiculous concert costumes now – Tsuyoshi has a ridiculous white cravat (or is it actually part of his collar?) that looks to be made of the paper links one creates paper chains out of. To match him, Koichi is wearing a pair of fuzzy mice in his breast pocket. Yes, you read right. My sister said feathers. And then changed her mind to match mine.

TOKIO comes out to join at the end, and we go into their debut song, LOVE YOU ONLY. My sister notes Joshima’s hair has gotten fluffier since she saw him in DERO!. Taichi is up to his camera hog tricks again. (He can’t ever do enough of them. This is not a slight.) If there’s anything wrong with TOKIO’s costumes other than their silliness, I can’t tell. In the back, V6 has come out – split into two groups of three – to join Koichi and Tsuyoshi on their platforms. Go is immediately identifiable on Koichi’s side by his hat. And then come to think of it, even in the distance shot I’m looking at, I can probably identify all the members of V6. What have I turned into?

Speaking of identifying V6, they’re in silver suits. Ken is identifiable by the random junk on his. There are two smiley face badges, an 8-bit Mario badge, a heart, and a giant-ass pale pink round thing that reads “QUEEN” in a cutesy bubble font. All on his jacket lapel. Just. If ever there were a time to call ridiculous on the Johnny’s stylists, that round thing would be it. I can even take the feather boas now. I don’t understand the round thing that is the size of his face. Moving on, they perform their debut song, MUSIC FOR THE PEOPLE.

With the mass of Johnny’s onstage at the moment (TOKIO+V6+KinKi = 13, and then there are the dancing Juniors…) there is a lot of camera zooming. Tainocchi take the moment to wave like a happy idiot couple at the camera. Nagase doesn’t even look at the camera, he’s so busy reaching for something that Koichi is clearly not so pleased about. Mabo strikes a pose and Gussan shares a bonding moment with Sakamoto.

Off in Kyocera Dome Osaka (only 3 more months until we can say just regular Osaka Dome again?), Kanjani8 is having their concert… but who are we to cut them off from the annual Countdown? Not us fans! And our first shot in-stadium is… a hat of Kyocera Dome Osaka. Worn by none other than Hina. Welcome to the world of Kanjani8. It’s a whole ‘nother universe. They sing Naniwa Iroha Bushi, wearing rainbow varsity jackets… but Hina comes off as in a Mexican poncho with his hat and bandana/scarf. Ryo swings around like a girl in his little seat going down into the arena and all of Kanjani are camera happy.

Tackey, once again, is off on his separate stage at the Teikoku Gekijou/Imperial Theater while Tsubasa is in Tokyo Dome. To be fair, Tackey’s backdrop is very pretty if flail-y. Their costumes, less so. Tackey is still going for sparkly pirate and Tsubasa for sparkly military dictator. I’m sure their fans still wish Tackey & Tsubasa had sung Sotsugyou ~Sayonara wa Ashita no Tame ni~ together.

Tsubasa announces NYC boys with their debut song NYC and cues groaning on this side of the laptop. Their costumes aren’t so bad, but I have quite the bias against their “New York City boys” line. I would mock the song but it’s actually par for the course with a Johnny’s debut song. And hey, Yuma looks less likely to suck your soul!

Naturally the next one up, as if the stage isn’t overcrowded (it actually isn’t, since some of them are in the center platform), is Hey! Say! JUMP with Ultra Music Power. My sister counts them off – “1… 2… 3… […] 9… and Chinen.” Who makes a good effort for his “Kaze wo kire” line given he’s hit puberty.

“ONE… To north!” Annnnnnnnnd so comes my least favorite debut song amongst the many in Johnny’s. Oh, look – surprise! It’s actually a NEWS & KAT-TUN collab! The collaboration kicks off with – of course – NEWS NIPPON. They’re on the carts, NEWS on one and KAT-TUN on the other, and we get a cutaway to Kyocera Dome where the missing member (Ryo) with Kanjani8 and the Kansai Juniors flailing behind him.

This switches into Real Face which not only sounds a bit odd without Akanishi doing the opening harmonization (I’ll grow used to it eventually, I guess), but also has the misfortune to have some NEWS member (Ryo?) forget his mic was on as he tells someone that the next part is “FLY AWAY! FLY AWAY!” (I am ashamed to say that I actually remembered the whole lyrics following that while trying to figure out what song it belonged to.) KAT-TUN and Kame, like true professionals, continue on as if nothing happened.

After which we are at 3 minutes to the new year, and back to NEWS NIPPON. And Tegoshi duck lips. KAT-TUN come off their cart looking slightly jarred by the mishap that just happened (“Did those NEWS bitches just try to cut into our time? AW HELL NO.”), but Nakamaru notices the camera and gamely puts on a smile. Off in Osaka, the land of rainbows and prancing Baru, everyone is still going crazy. I don’t think there’s even a pattern to the “dancing”. I also just noticed that Tegoshi’s earpice is leopard-print patterned. If you ever questioned whether Tegoshi Yuya was actually a girl (and who hasn’t), there is your answer.

Back to KAT-TUN, making their way to the main stage under Nakamaru’s beatboxing and the ominous guitar of Real Face‘s opening. I’m happy to announce that while they may have rags attached to their jackets – oh look, NEWS is walking to the stage too – KAT-TUN does not have feather boas. Just Koki’s very questionable fur patch shoulder. Kame spares the fangirls a kiss sound and wink. The stadium goes wild.

With one minute left, the Debut Single Medley ends (did you not realize that’s what it was?), and we prepare to yell out numbers. KinKi is back onstage to talk (well, Koichi is) and have changed costumes into pink jackets. Tsuyoshi’s got some color going on under his, while Koichi looks ready to break out into BAD DESIRE beneath his band jacket. You can also see they’ve got the pouches from the phi concert on. Is the crowd over where Kanjani8 is all fired up? Yeaaaah. Over at the Imperial Theater, Nishikiori (of Shounentai) has joined Tackey… who has changed into an eye-jarring sparkly checked jacket. Nishikiori is as always, classy in a black suit with a black shirt and a black hat… and a bandana around his head. Whatever, you look less painful than Tackey. Tsubasa, we are told, is making his way over to be by his partner’s side. (I bet he was just afraid of being replaced by Nishikiori.)

Then over to Arashi. Yes, they have finally literally become the rainbow the fangirls always dreamed they would be.

Or more practically, there was obviously no response – Inocchi covers for them. (“Kouhaku’s just ended…”)

With less than 10 seconds, we count down. In the Imperial Theater, Tackey’s juniors of choice, A.B.C., are all ready with giant party poppers. And then… HAPPY NEW YEAR! Some confetti gets into Tackey’s face – mostly because he decides he wants to star in a golden streamer bukkake video (read: pours it all over himself).

Nagase Tomoya – in the advent of his ex-girlfriend’s engagement – would like to remind us all that it is the birthday of his not-entirely-a-girl girlfriend, the Toilet On A White Horse, Domoto Koichi. Who turns 32 this year. Holy crap, he’s 32. 2010 was a good year for him. While off in Osaka, Kanjani are bowing away at each other, Koichi thanks everyone for the birthday wishes, congratulates us on surviving another year, and avoids a birthday kiss again. He’s a bit too old for these antics, see.

This leads into the announcement of the Johnny’s Shuffle Unit Medley! We get told that this year’s shuffle medley has an original lineup. Honestly, with the storied history of Johnny’s and the many members, every year is probably original.

This starts with Kondo Masahiko’s Midnight Shuffle (pun intended?) – featuring Koichi, Nagase, Ueda, Nakamaru, the Voltronites old enough to hang on past midnight, and the appearance of Uchi Hiroki. Behind them, the next bunch are visibly waiting, Koyama ready to groove but Koki and Kame not entirely in the mood.

Nakamaru lets us know they’ll be singing Aishuu Date (NEW YORK CITY NIGHTS), originally by Tahara Koshihiko. …what? I don’t name old Japanese pop stars. Kis-My-Ft2, as a mark of their rising popularity, I suppose, get to sing alongside Shige, Koyama, Koki, and Kame – the latter of which is now totally into it and even holds up a little note reading “A Happy New Year” to the camera when not posing flirtatiously.

Next, Koyama tells us, is Leader (being TOKIO’s Leader Joshima – none of the other “leaders” really get called “leader” and if you’re thinking Ohno, he’s not there), Inocchi, Tsuyoshi, and Okada with Otokogumi’s DAYBREAK. As a side note, I think Koyama is the only one who actually mentions the following group’s members by name. Behind them, the next group walks up, Sakamoto’s permed hair and growing-in mustache managing to appear in half the shots. (For an outlaw, Zorro seems to have no qualms about showing up all over television.)

Following this, Inocchi announces, is SMAP’s DYNAMITE, performed by Yamaguchi, Sakamoto, Taichi, and Nagano. He says this while holding what HAS to be parts of Tsuyoshi’s collar from before. Almost immediately, Mabo, Go, and Ken have lined up behind them, but in the minute we’re focusing on them, it’s clear to see these 4 members of Heikeha are enjoying themselves. Seriously, Gussan’s grin practically covers his whole face.

Taichi happily announces next is Hikaru GENJI’s PARADISE Ginga, and Kis-My-Ft2 get a rollerblading bit in the center stage as the accessorized trio (Mabo has earrings, Go has a hat, and Ken has his… random junk) make their way through their song. I think it might actually be Kis-My-Ft2’s fault that this doesn’t sound like it was sung by ten year olds.

Back on the main stage, Tegoshi, Massu, Yamapi, Junno, and Uchi have gathered to perform Arashi’s truth. Since Arashi wasn’t available, they decided to find relative equivalents in their kouhai. To tell truth (pun unintendend), other than Tegoshi and Nino both being the respective females, everyone could possibly play dual role. Massu has perfected his creeper faces this year. Pi honestly doesn’t seem to give a crap. Or maybe that’s his default face by now. Um, less negative… I like the big swirling fire wheel on screen?

Arashi themselves didn’t exactly like this lackluster performance of truth either, it seems. It was enough to summon them on screen – along with Nino’s face of glaring unhappy I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL AND STEAL YOUR MONEY doom. Obligatory New Year Greeting over, Nino tells us they’re still at NHK (wait, doesn’t Countdown air on a different channel…?) and tells us that SPOILER ALERT the White Team won Kohaku. (Actually, no, seriously, you knew they would win anyways because they had EFFIN’ ARASHI why is that a spoiler.) Some talk about their first time hosting Kohaku, and then Koichi points out – “Wait, Taichi, you were together with them, weren’t you?” “Yeah, yeah I was… WHY ARE YOU STILL AT NHK NOW?!?!” Jun says “We wanted to go…” and then it gets dropped. Boo, I wanted to hear this whole story.

So Arashi performs a special medley – really, it’s called Arashi NEW YEAR MEDLEY – on the NHK rooftop or plaza or something. Complete with rainbow platform. Smack in the middle of the Johnny’s Shuffle Unit Medley. Respect for tradition – Arashi has none of it. Then again, they have rainbow band-aids, those make everything better. (I kid, I kid.) This medley on the brightly lit area (it’s like NHK grabbed all their Christmas decoration lights and threw them in Arashi’s performing arena!), shows us that either snow is falling outside or Arashi is letting loose a lot of dust and dandruff. It also begins with Love Rainbow.

I have never seen or heard this song prior to this performance, so here is my reaction to the dance: They are not dancing. Well they don’t even look like they’re trying to dance, but it’s basically the little grooving motions that I do to random music. And now, thanks to Arashi, my sister can never mock my little grooving motions ever again, hahaha. To be fair, they do look like they’re having fun – Aiba is as hyped up as always, Ohno is as low-key as always, and Sho has the scared look on his face that happens when he thinks he’ll pee his pants from excitement. Jun rather likes the cool image he has despite his fauxhawk and maintains it. Nino just wants to eat your soul from the other side of the camera.

Next is Troublemaker, which, surprise surprise, I have heard. Favorite Arashi single of the year, yo. Considering they released this at the beginning and that they had a shitton of releases this year, though… Nino starts us off with a little “Whoo!” in case we weren’t fired up enough – and soon the sparks fly. Literally. Seeing as they actually perform the Troublemaker dance, I’m going to assume that it was actually the Love Rainbow dance before. Sho gives Taichi yet more to fear – he’s making wide-eyed freaky faces too! Then again, all of Arashi is messing with the camera except Ohno by the end of the chorus.

One medley later, Arashi is significantly cheered that they have made up for their kouhai’s lackluster performance of their song. And are also in weird poses. That’s it for Arashi this year, see you Arashi fangirls next time!

Back in Tokyo Dome and the Shuffle Unit Medley (poor Jun tries his best to announce it but the mic is a bit wonky), they are now performing Shuji to Akira’s Seishun AMIGO. Any Johnny’s fan who has watched prior countdowns knows that duo songs are done in pairs, and we get a lovefest. Well, the fact that the first pair shown on-camera is Taichi and Inocchi on the crane platforms should tell you something. The other pairs are Massu and Ueda and Shige and Koki. Both NEWS and KAT-TUN have changed outfits by now, the former into hot pink jackets with black pants and the latter into… I don’t even know if there’s a theme. Ueda’s got a long denim vest and lacy black cardigan, and Koki has stripes.

The most important part is this little scene of love, anyways.

Then is Tackey & Tsubasa’s Venus, and again the first pair on screen are established senpai duo Sakamoto and Joshima in a corner stage. Sakamoto isn’t quite enjoying the dance, probably because he’s forgotten half of it, but Joshima’s having so much fun that he goes along. Awww. Elsewhere are the feminine duo of Tegoshi (still with hair clips!) and Junno (who is wearing a white leisure suit with a shiny – and possibly leopard-patterned – jacket lapel), and the Shounen Club duo of Koyama and Nakamaru. Nakamaru is also wearing white with shiny, so now I have no idea what the theme of KAT-TUN’s concert costumes are this round. Happy times all around! Also quick craziness from Taichi and Inocchi, getting off their cranes.

In center stage are Nagano, Mabo, Okada, Go, Nagase, and Ken with Nishikiori over at the Imperial Theater, singing Shounentai’s Kimi Dake ni. Well, most of the focus is rightfully on Nishikiori for this song, as he gets to stroll down steps amidst pretty ladies.

Astute readers/viewers will notice that we haven’t seen Kanjani8 in a while now. Here we find out why – costume change! Quite literally. Here comes Sushi Chef Hina! And the Kanjani Sushi set, singing Shibugaki-tai’s SUSHI Kuinee! – one of my favorite songs from past countdowns for the sheer happiness it always seems to be performed in. Maru the Tuna, Ohkura the Egg Omelet, Yasu the big pink Shrimp, Ryo the Monster from the Depths of the Unknown Salmon Roe, and Baru a very unhappy Futomaki. Oh, and Yoko, the even unhappier Soy Sauce bottle. And then Yoko gets to “pour” shoyu all over Tuna!Maru… the Countdown is worth watching for this performance alone.

Moving on, in Tokyo Dome it’s time to sing KinKi Kids’ FLOWER. In the pink rabbit cart… Gussan, Yamapi, and Inocchi! Inocchi is barely keeping himself up on the stair barrier rails, and Gussan decides there is no better time to mess with him. Can you blame him?

On the main stage, it’s SMAP’s $10 by KinKi Kids and their backdancers.

Off to the white rabbit cart, it’s time for Yamapi’s Daite SENORITA. Yes, $10 was performed that fast. Uchi, Kame (who is in a gray vest – no, I still can’t figure out KAT-TUN’s costume theme), and a number of Juniors decked in white grace the white rabbit cart, but it’s obviously only Uchi and Kame who get to do the camera kiss.

Next, from both Tokyo Dome and Kyocera Dome, a performance of Arashi’s Love so sweet. (Is it just me, or does Uchi’s voice get more grating every year?) In Kyocera Dome, Hina is… making a sushi delivery? Okay, back to normalcy in Tokyo Dome, where NEWS, KAT-TUN, (later Uchi,) and various Juniors also in white are singing. And possibly the older members of Hey! Say! JUMP, who have gone to harass their younger brethren in the audience. Nakayama apparently got a hold of Kame’s Happy New Year paper.

As Koyama, Massu, and Shige flail to the chorus, the rabbit carts slowly meet in the background. In Kyocera Dome, a befuddled Hina has completed his sushi delivery… to the cannibalistic Kanjani Sushi. Who aren’t even bothering to sing in favor of eating sushi. Yoko duitfully provides more soy sauce.

TOKIO and V6 follow this up by joining KinKi Kids in singing their song Zenbu Dakishimete on the main stage. Sadly, the stanzas of this song doesn’t quite work with many voices at once, but they make a good effort and we love the senpai. It gets better in the chorus.

In the Imperial Theater, Tackey performs his song Ai Kakumei. Apparently Tsubasa still has yet to arrive… or is cross dressed as one of the female dancers on Tackey’s pirate ship. Once again, there is a rain curtain. Once again, there is monologuing that is made sillier by the hand motions accompanying it.

Tackey takes a dropping spin dive down at the end, as the camera focuses on A.B.C. dancing to the opening bits of Tackey & Tsubasa’s Yume Monogatari. Oh, hey, look, Tsubasa has arrived, and the two are now in flimsy harnesses ready to swing about the theater. It does not need to be said that this performance is considerably happier than any that have previously been performed in the Imperial Theater during Johnny’s Countdowns. Everyone’s where they belong! All is right with the world! It’s like a great comedy musical! Oh, wait…

Then a dramatic twist! Nishikiori wants in on the happy! Out he comes for Shounentai’s Kamen Butoukai, again with a legion of pretty ladies… and I suppose Tackey & Tsubasa shouldn’t count as pretty ladies. They’re replacement the Uekusa and Higashiyama, then. Tackey may as well be the latter.

Off to Tokyo Dome and the announcement of the Johnny’s Group Change Medley!

KAT-TUN performs NEWS’ Koi no ABO on the white rabbit cart. While Junno and Nakamaru are happily fistpumping away, Ueda sits like the pretty princess he knows he is in the center. NEWS marks their approval of this performance from the sidelines.

In Kyocera Dome, Kanjani8 have changed into plaid with gold suits to perform KAT-TUN’s Keep the faith. Lots of gesturing abound.

Back in Tokyo Dome, NEWS finishes the YOU & J cycle by performing Kanjani8’s ZUKKOKE Otokomichi. They’re in balloons! A sad 6th one stays sitting closer to the ground because Ryo is in Osaka. Speaking of Osaka, in the corner, Kanjani is camwhoring and singing along.

Along comes V6 performing HONEY BEAT. The little thing in the corner has changed from “Johnny’s Group Change Medley” to “Johnny’s Big Gathering! End of Year Live Broadcast,” so I guess the Group Change Medley is over. I honestly don’t mind. Because it’s V6. ♥ “I wanna make you shining smile…♪” V6 hasn’t changed outfits once, just to point it out. But with the exception of (and perhaps even with) Ken’s random junk, they look just fine in these silver suits anyway. Ken looks happiest he’s been all Countdown (and he’s been very good about smiling, too) while performing this.

TOKIO performs advance, which makes me very happy as it’s my favorite song by them this year, along with  being one of my karaoke favorites. Unlike V6, they have changed into black and white outfits with some fur? feather? accents.  Whatever, they look good in these too. Now that the instruments have been broken out, they’ve got their game faces on – even Taichi isn’t camera mugging. Perfect performance means it works.

KinKi Kids walks out from behind Nagase to perform Family ~Hitotsu ni Naru Koto. Nagase makes sure to tell us “It’s a message to everyone!” They’re wearing lovely white suits with gold accents – and yes, I can even let go of the giant golden grapes “corsage” on Koichi. It works. KinKi’s got their costume groove back.

Everyone else in Tokyo Dome slowly spreads out on the platforms moving to bridge the gap between the main stage and the center one, like walls as KinKi walk down to the center stage. It’s all very grand and moving and ALL HAIL KINKI (Koki even bows) THE GREAT… until you see Nagano, Koki, Uchi, and Junno smile their asses off as the Domoto Kyoudai walk past them.

Taichi has decided to fall  into the middle of the path as the Kings KinKi walk along. (If you go back, you’ll see him stretching out into the center as Koyama even bends down in a slight panic to make sure that he’s okay. Speaking of NEWS mmembers, NEWS has also changed into black and white checked jackets. When KinKi is in charge things get classy.) Koichi is only slightly fazed and laughs it off, “It’s Taichi,” as they walk on, followed by the rest of the Johnny’s across to the other side.

Tsuyoshi knows what fangirls want and provides a little KinKi moment.

The juniors are slowly following as the Tokyo Dome Johnny’s greet to each other, and we cut off to the Imperial Theater, where Nishikiori shows off his juggling skills. With eyes closed. Tackey fake-doesn’t notice until just then.

In Kyocera Dome, Kanjani8 and the Kansai Juniors are swaying to the song. Or swaying in fear given how high up they are.

We also get another shot of Arashi’s first greeting to the Domes – no longer live, but for the sake of sweetness in the song. Okay, now we’re done with Arashi for the year. Or Countdown.

With 8 minutes left, Koichi announces that we’ve hit the climax of the Johnny’s Countdown. Out comes Kondo Masahiko – the great Matchy himself – to perform his single MOTTO. A shot of the floor leading shows apparently Kame’s Happy New Year paper was not one of a kind but confetti. If KinKi was grand, Matchy is even grander as he walks amidst the juniors and then his own kouhai towards the other side of the Dome. Okada and a bunch of others get to be in the balloons during this.

In Kyocera Dome, Kanjani and the Kansai Juniors are dancing along, and in the Imperial Theater… Nishikiori is still juggling. Huh. Man’s definitely got skills. At least his eyes are open. Tackey is dressed in a giant pink rabbit costume with a box of pink confetti, which he and Tsubasa gladly throw at the camera.

We get a surprise visit from Sato Atsuhiro at the end of the song, though he doesn’t do much of anything, there is a greeting, and hey, look, New Year’s talk time. Matchy insists he’s not going to rest in 2011. Taichi still manages to camwhore. Some girls in the audience are embarrassed when they see themselves on the big screen.

Because this coming year is the year of the Rabbit (starting February 3rd), we get an introduction to the Rabbit 3 by Inocchi. What else did you think all those rabbits during Countdown were for? As yet another aside, I am also a Rabbit baby, and now feel sufficiently old. The Rabbit 3, by the way, are Tegoshi Yuya (NEWS), Kato Shigeaki (NEWS), and Fujigaya Taisuke (Kis-My-Ft2 – yet another indication of their popularity). All of them are wearing rabbit ears with their hakama. Tegoshi naturally hams up the bonus chance to be cute. Shige’s nervous and tries to get away with imitating Tegoshi, but Inocchi makes him say a bit more. Fujigaya intends to be even more popular.

Post-commercial break is Koichi with TOKIO for their talk. “So what kind of year will you have?” Nagase gets “pissed” then promotes TOKIO’s tour starting in March.

Off in Kyocera Dome, Hina tells us Kanjani plan to work their asses off even more in 2011. Taichi still camwhores it up in the corner.

Tsuyoshi hangs out with V6, who promote Okada’s movie (SP) and Sakamoto’s stageplay (Zorro).

In the Imperial Theater are of course Tackey & Tsubasa with various Johnny stageplay posters being waved behind them. (In clear view – Kame’s Dream Boy, Tackey’s Takizawa Kakumei, and Koichi’s Shock). The two go “we’ll do our best” and turn to Nishikiori… who goes “I’ll cheer on Uekusa,” to much laughter in both the Theater and Tokyo Dome. Why? “Because he’s single now.” (While Higashi recently got married, Uekusa recently got divorced. I guess it’s not so taboo among Shounentai to bring it up.)

Koichi is now with KAT-TUN – aww, look, the mad scientist and his Frankenstein. Missing a nose. Or something like that. Nakamaru tells us about KAT-TUN’s concert tour, and Kame harasses him to the joy of many fangirls while blocking Junno. Koki plays the good prince to Ueda’s princess. (No, really, Koki looks really really good here.) Yep, all is right with the world.

Right next door is NEWS, missing a… mouth? What does Ryo count for? Tegoshi, still in the bunny ears and hakama, continues to play it up. What kind of year will they have? All Pi’s got to say is… they want a passionate year. Very very impassionately.

Last is KinKi Kids, who say they’ll be good as long as they create something together. A quick cut away to the Imperial Theater – where Nishikiori is juggling again. I am growing to love this man more and more. “Nishikiori-san… again? You’ve been juggling all this time, haven’t you?” Tackey & Tsubasa confirm this for us. Koichi apparently just wants to wish Tackey and his stageplay well, and back to Dome where we say a farewell, get one last shot of the kiddies in the audience, and Taichi wishes Koichi happy birthday. Apparently it’s the first time Taichi’s ever told him that properly… well, Koichi said that as a joke, but Taichi took it pretty seriously.

And so with one final shot of Nishikiori juggling… see you in the rest of 2011!

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