alan sings for Kusanagi’s “Ballad” – Tokyograph

Singer alan (21) will be providing the theme song for Takashi Yamazaki’s upcoming movie, ‘Ballad: Namonaki Koi no Uta’ (opening September 5). Although she sang the theme songs for the two ‘Red Cliff’ movies, this is her first time doing one for a Japanese film.

The movie, which started shooting last year, is an adaptation of the plot in the 2002 animated feature ‘Crayon Shin-chan: Arashi wo Yobu Appare! Sengoku Daikassen.’ Set in the Sengoku era, it tells the love story between a general (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi) and a princess (Yui Aragaki).

alan’s song will share the movie’s title, ‘Ballad: Namonaki Koi no Uta.’ It will be released as a single on September 2.

(Link: alan sings for Kusanagi’s “Ballad” – Tokyograph.)

Following her last appearance in the drama “Smile,” is Yui Aragaki’s first film in 2009. Unfortunately, there’s no trailer up on the official movie website for us to see Yui dollied up as a princess. “Ballad” will begin its roadshow on September 5, 2009.

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Yui Aragaki’s new single to be released on May 27, 2009

Yui Aragaki’s (Gakky) second single release for 2009 has been announced for a May 27 release. The single, her 4th overall, is titled “Utsushi E” is composed by Kenji Kubo of the rock band Merengue and will be used as the insert song for the NTV drama “Aishiteru~Kaiyou~.” The single will have a total of five tracks with the second, “Ienai ‘Suki’,” containing lyrics by Gakky.

Gakky will be on the small screen beginning April 17 for the TBS drama “Smile.”

(Via bounce.com)

Wallpaper: Namie Amuro makes you want to try Coca-Cola zero

We called it, and it happened! (We love it when we’re right. 😀 ) Available as of today, three wallpapers to lovely adorn your Mac/PC with from the Coca-Cola zero website featuring Namie Amuro.

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Also available on the site is the new CM (15 and 30-second spots) and a making of which clocks in at 8 minutes 32 seconds! BTW, the name of the spot is “Wild Training.”

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Thanks to Coca-Cola zero for the great work for their latest ads and I’m almost certain that these wallpapers will be on a lot of desktops around the world. OK, let me put down my Diet Pepsi and grab a zero. 😛

(Via 壁紙fan!)

Namie Amuro to star in Coca-Cola Zero CM

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Namie Amuro has her second CM appearance set for 2009. Like the Vidal Sassoon spot, the upcoming CM (set to air on the 11th of this month) for Coca-Cola zero will feature Amuro in the ad as well as her upcoming single, “WILD,” which will be released on March 18, 2009. The single will be a double A-side one featuring the aforementioned “WILD” and the song “Dr.” which will be the CM song for her Vidal Sassoon spot. Keep your eyes posted on the Coca-Cola zero page as there are links that will be available (perhaps beginning 2/11/09) to view the CM as well as downloadable content. Of course, we’ll be watching it and will be posting if there is a wallpaper or screensaver available for us to download. 😉

(Via bounce.com.)

Namie Amuro continues collaboration with Vidal Sassoon

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Following her breakout hit singles (the album “BEST FICTION” sold 1,700,000 copies) in collaboration with Vidal Sassoon in 2008, Namie Amuro will be continuing onto 2009 with a new song “Dr.” as well as a new CM that debuted today. View the beautiful CM on the Vidal Sassoon site. The single will be released in March 2009.
 

(Link: 安室奈美恵、〈ブルジョワ・ゴージャス〉なヴィダルサスーンとのコラボCM第3弾を披露 – bounce.com [ニュース].)

Meisa Kuroki featured in Tohoshinki’s (DBSK) latest PV

UPDATE:
First of all, thank you to @amy for providing a link (see comments below) to the full PV and after watching it, looks like Meisa’s not in it. I guess we’ll have to wait for the movie to make its road show start to see Meisa in her full ballet glory. 😀

Above clip is just a teaser of the whole PV which will hopefully make it on YouTube soon. The title of the song is “Bolero” and it’s sung by the very popular K-pop group Tohoshinki who will be making their Kouhaku Uta Gassen debut this year. “Bolero” will be the theme song to the film “Subaru,” starring Meisa Kuroki, which is based on a popular manga about ballet.

HY’s “366日” used as the theme song to “Akai Ito”

If you should know the name of at least one indie label band from Okinawa along with all of the other things you’ve accumulated in your mind for 2008, know HY. The band, despite their continued popularity, remain unsigned to a major label (by choice) and have released a total of five albums in a range of eight years (2001-2008). Their latest album, “HeartY,” includes the song “366 Nichi” which is currently featured on the J-drama and the film version of “Akai Ito.”

It’s a wonderful ballad sung by Izumi Nakasone (the band has two main vocals, the other is Hideyuki Shinzato) and it’s currently streaming on the band’s official website or check it out on YouTube (you’ll have to do a little searching around to find it tho). Also check them out on MySpace.com.

Gackt backs “Kamen Rider” – Tokyograph

The next ‘Kamen Rider’ series, titled ‘Kamen Rider Decade,’ premieres on TV Asahi on January 25. During a press conference for the show on Thursday, it was announced that Gackt will be providing the theme song.

The title of the song was not announced, but the single’s release has been scheduled for the spring. This is Gackt’s first time singing for a tokusatsu series.

(Link: Gackt backs “Kamen Rider” – Tokyograph.)

Gackt’s latest single, “Jesus,” was released on November 26, 2008. Check the PV for “Jesus” on YouTube.

Stereo Pony steps up from “Bleach” to “Gundam” – Tokyograph

The new Okinawan girls band Stereo Pony is on a roll. Last month, they released their debut single ‘Hitohira no Hanabira,’ which was used as the ending theme of the hit anime series ‘Bleach.’ Now, they will be doing the theme song for the ‘Mobile Suit Gundam 00’ series, starting on January 11.

The ‘Gundam’ franchise has not used a new artist for a theme song since Hitomi Takahashi sang ‘Bokutachi no Yukue’ in 2005 for ‘Gundam SEED Destiny.’ Like Takahashi, the three members of Stereo Pony are all in their teens.

Many ‘Gundam’ theme songs have become hit singles in the past, which means high hopes for Stereo Pony’s tune, titled ‘Namida no Mukou.’ The single will go on sale in February.

(Link: Stereo Pony steps up from “Bleach” to “Gundam” – Tokyograph.)

Wow. This is really big news for them and I think, in a way, Stereo Pony (ステレオポニー) may fill the void left by the exit of vocalist Maakii of HandMC. (That’s not to say that I’m dismissing the group altogether, but Maakii leaving them has a much larger effect than the exit of drummer Katchan from ORANGE RANGE who have managed to remain popular since.) The YouTube clip above is from the band’s PV for their debut single “Hitohira no Hanabira” (11/5/08) which is a very catchy tune that’s worth checking out.

Stereo Pony’s official website and official blog.

Stereo Pony to be the next big artist out of Okinawa?

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I’ve seen a few of them come and go but can J-rock girl band Stereo Pony be the next big artist out of Okinawa in following the gigantic footsteps of ORANGE RANGE (OR) and HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR (HandMC)? If history is any indication, the answer should be a resounding yes, they can and that’s all due to having their debut single, “Hitohira no Hanabira” as the ending theme to the popular manga/anime series BLEACH.

Can you correctly guess the name of the artists who had their single featured as a theme song on BLEACH? If you guessed OR and HandMC, you’re right and you’re awesome for knowing that. 😉 OR’s single “*~Asterisk,” the band’s 9th release, was the first opening theme song (episodes 1-25) for the anime and HandMC’s “Ichirin no Hana,” the band’s 6th single, was featured in episodes 52-74 and we already know how popular these bands have become. I should also mention Kousuke Atari’s single “Tane o Maku Hibi” which was the ending theme song for episodes 144-154.

Another factor that should help Stereo Pony make the jump to the mainstream is that they’re backed by Sony Records, just as OR and HandMC are, so promotion of the trio shouldn’t be a problem. The band, who are all 18 year-olds, are AIMI (vocals/guitar) from Naha, NOHANA (bass) from Nagasaki, and SHIHO (drums) from Nago. The single hits store shelves on 11/5/08.

A live performance of Stereo Pony performing “Hitohira no Hanabira” can be viewed on on YouTube.

The band’s official website: Stereo Pony (ステレオポニー).

(Via bounce.com.)