56th Kohaku Uta Gassen

The annual Japan red & white festival is airing locally now. My fav site for Japan TV online no longer has the files section so I don’t have a convient online source for it. As such and since Risu is under the weather, guess I’ll be commenting and doing this the old fashioned way through broadcast TV. As such, comments may not be as detailed and will prob miss a bunch of performers since I’ve already missed the first twenty minutes missing a bunch of the youth oriented groups and will eating dinner soon. Unfortunately missed HKT48 opening the show with their can’t help thinking naughty thoughts lyriced Melon Juice.  The staging looks fairly pared down again this year.

Tendo Yoshimi – An always good performer. Perhaps not as powerful a performance as in past, but still good.

Youkai Watch & Ararshi – Yikes! Looks like a group production number. 5 giant headed characters with, ack, don’t rap pretty boys. You sound okay when you all sing together, but the rapping is bad. Uh oh, King Cream Soda is doing their Get a Bone song. No, that’s not the real title, but that’s what I think every time I hear them on radio. Hm, not as good live, although they seem to be warming up.

Sakamoto Fuyumi – A clean enka performance with Momoiro Clover Z providing backup antics. They’re not being as silly as I’ve seen, but they are waving vegetables around.

WTH? Those interperformance commentators, scary!

Mori Shinichi – Nice job, he’s still going strong.

Wada Akiko- the literal giant enka woman. Oops, a little off there in the low registers, but  her performance this year seems more on. Not as much partying the night before?

Dinner time, it’s V6 not sounding too solid when they aren’t in the chorus and I’ve missed the early TLA48 groups so as good a time for dinner!

Now that I’m fueled up with kani nabe and sake, where are we? Oh looks like I missed Perfume, Momoiro Z, Kiyoshi and May Js song from some animated movie thing, joy. There was Sekai no Owari, Golden Bomber, Kanjani8 too, doesn’t look like I missed too much.

Itsuki Hiroshi is on now, doing a very solid enka number.

Who’s the gaijin? Her Japanese was better than me! They seem to be from some morning dorama.

Ikimonogatari. Not a big fan and this didn’t help much. The chick’s stage presence is better than ELT chick.

Karyy Pamyu Pamyu – uh oh, it’s the *. U. C. K. song. I think everyone who hears this the first time thinks they’re spelling that. OK, she’s even scarier live, and totally lipsincing. The only thing good about her is her heavily produced videos anyway. I like the inazuma minions.

Tokio – Oh yikes, even their chorus is bad. Holy crap, we’re they always this bad? Guys, its time to give it up! My ears, no amount of sake and imperial stout is fixing this! Oh lord, I hope there’s something to get this taste out of my ears. AKB48 is yet to come, so there’s hope.

Next production number. Let’s all sing? Damn it, can’t get away from the evil animation empire. Hey, it’s those guys. At least this chick doing the Japanese singing is pretty good and matches the style of the American version well. Well now, the American singing seems to be going kinda long.

That’s some sparkly vest thingies, SMAP. Hey, my ears aren’t bleeding. Where’d everyone get the mini lightsabers? Uh oh, that solo was pretty bad. OK, second guy not bad. Skinny guy a little shaky there. Sorry, I don’t know who’s who in SMAP.

Hey, pretty good guitar work there. Oh, pretty horrible vocal work there! Who’s that guitarist? I have a feeling I should know him.

Shiina Ringo – well that was a naughty look. What’s with the funky should be goose stepping backup dancers? Oh, she actually does do something with that guitar. Woaaah, the voice is going all over the place now. So is this a Nationalist pop anthem song?

So which Exile is this? I guess this is the male equivalent of the girl mega groups? That first solo was pretty shaky. With the second guy things get a little better. I guess all the other guys in the group just dance around? They’ve got lazers so I guess they’re not that bad.

Yakushimaru Hiroko – She looks like she could be someone’s milfy mom. Nice performance, although occasionally the backing music threatened to over come her. Nice but unmemorable.

Ishikawa Sayuri – Nice staging. Nice punch. Classic solid power enka. That was good.

Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi – this years inspirational message reading. Your singing’s pretty good, but aren’t those pants squeezing your nuts? Or maybe that’s why you can sing like that? Oh, maybe you should keep those shades on. Now the harmonica? We’ll cut you some slack since you can belt out a pretty darn good song.

Who’s this up? This sounds like it should be some anime theme song. A pretty boring one. Are there more than three notes? We need to intercut stock footage of city skyline and African animals to make it more interesting?

Yay, next up is one of the myriad 48’s!

Ohh, little puffy skirts…. I’m sure something will happen with those. Maid uniforms everywhere….  OK, it wasn’t the skirt, it’s flip out chest pieces! Aaaah, Funashi and squid man?!

Hey, did something get cut there by Kiku for time, no intro.

Fukuyama Masaharu – It’s old fart rock band time? Decent but unmemorable number that sounded kinda like a Japanese U2 song. Guess he rates a medly, he’s doing another number now.

Uh oh, it’s the mugi song next. I’ve been wondering about this propaganda march sounding song, what’s the deal? Nakajima Miyuki, I invisioned her in some kinda beige uniform singing this, not the chiffon dress. Uh oh, is the gaijin woman being moved to tears?

Miwa Akihiro seems to be doing a theme from another morning dorama. Super tremolo is kinda funky. I can’t get into this song. With the staging, I’m expecting him to sprout wings and float away at any moment though.

WTF is that on your lip, Southern All Stars dude?! 31 times on the Kohaku, holy cow they’re still going strong! I guess I can excuse him for using autotune on the latest song I’ve been hearing on the radio, but from hearing this performance, he doesn’t need it. Oh, now they’re going to do the song with the autotune, but they didn’t use it for the live, yay! Kinda amusing seeing the salaryman rocking out in the audience from where SAS were performing. Good to see the old farts still keeping the energy going.

Arashi “boy” band. They’ve been around and aren’t boys no more. Hey, finally some floaty wire stuff! They need production to be who they are, so it’s good they get some elaborate staging.

Matsuda Seiko, don’t know about that bride of Frankenstein do. She’s been around for a while too so gotta cut her some slack.

White wins, not that it means a whole lot. So that wraps another year. Missing Kitajima Saburo, not missing Hamasaki Ayumi. WTF, where’d that clown get in from?!

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