Six-piece rock band High and Mighty Color got a great reception from 2,000 fans Friday at the Shiokaze Con anime festival in Houston, Texas. The event marks their first move into the foreign market, and they performed 8 songs including tracks from their album Goover, which went on sale in the US in March. Their debut single “Pride” is used as the theme for the popular “Kidou Senshi Gundam – Seed Destiny” anime series, which went on the air in the US last month. (See earlier story)
• Johnny’s boy band News insist this is not the end. The group played the last concert in their national tour in Sendai last night, and from today are on a forced sabbatical until the end of the year following a series of underage drinking scandals. The six members, including Yamashita Tomohisa (21), ended up in tears as a full house of 9,000 fans screamed out their support. Yamashita returned the encouragement, saying, “We’re not breaking up. We’ll do our best as solo artists and be back, even stronger, next year.” Koyama Keichiro, who turns 22 today, briefly mentioned an accident that happened on Saturday when a female crew member was seriously injured by a speaker that fell onto the stage. She is said to be in stable condition.
• Rapidly rising young star Yamada Yuu (21) and Matsuda Ryuhei (22), son of the late screen legend Matsuda Yuusuke, are to co-star in a movie about yakiniku. The pair appeared at a pre-production PR event in Tokyo yesterday. It will be the first leading movie role for Yamada, a former model who has been appearing in a number of variety shows and TV commercials.
• Veteran singer Kato Tokiko is a surprise addition to the lineup for this year’s Fuji Rock Festival. The 62-year old Kato is best known as a chanteuse, and voiced the role of Madame Gina in the Studio Ghibli anime classic “Kuranai no Buta” (Porco Rosso). The character appears in the advertising for kato’s latest album of french music. She plans to sing some of her old hits as well as a couple of John Lennon songs at Fuji Rock.