Arashi New Single, “Calling/Breathless”, Hits March 6th

Arashi’s new double A-side single “Calling/Breathless” will be released on March 6th.

“Calling” has been chosen as the theme song for Fuji TV drama “Last Hope” starring Aiba Masaki which will start airing on January 15th. The song is said to talk about important themes such as equality, life and hopes with nostalgic melodies in background.

For their upcoming work, 2 limited editions and a regular edition will be available.

Arashi hosting “24-Hour Television 36 Ai wa Chikyuu wo Sukuu”

Arashi has been chosen to be the main personality for this year’s charity telethon "24-Hour Television 36 Ai wa Chikyuu wo Sukuu".

The charity program started in 1978 for NTV’s 25th anniversary and has become a yearly tradition for the network, raising awareness and money for various causes over the years.

The theme for this year’s program will be "What is Japan…? ~The shape of this country~" which focuses on educating people about the negative aspects of Japan while also displaying the good the country has and is doing.

"We have a huge responsibility serving as the show’s main personality for 2 consecutive years. We want to spend lots of time preparing this year’s 24-Hour Television theme. We want to make this a program that encourages the viewers," Arashi stated.

Arashi has served as the main personality for the TV special 3 times in the past. The announcement marks the first time anyone has hosted the show 2 years in a row.

Arashi announces the big Dome tour + New album

On September 20th, popular group Arashi held the first day of their 2-day live “AraFes” at the National Olympic Stadium.  

70,000 fans were in attendance for the opening show. The “AraFes” concert is different from Arashi’s regular concerts, as its set list was based on fans’ requests – about 270,000 of them.  

Arashi performed about 40 songs that were ranked top among their singles, tracks from albums, as well as the coupling songs.

The biggest announcement though was that they would be releasing a new album “Popcorn” on October 31st, and holding a big Dome tour.

Starting at Kyocera Dome Osaka on November 16th, Arashi will make the rounds in the 5 big Domes of Japan (Kyocera Dome Osaka, Sapporo Dome, Fukuoka Yahoo! JAPAN Dome, Tokyo Dome, and Nagoya Dome).

And as Matsumoto Jun declares “Arashi’s summer never ends.”

“Mou Yuukai Nante Shinai” to star Arashi’s Ohno Satoshi

Arashi member Ohno Satoshi (30) will star in a New Year’s drama special on Fuji TV, titled “Mou Yuukai Nante Shinai.” The drama is based on a popular novel by Higashigawa Tokuya, the same author who wrote the “Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de” novel that was adapted as a drama series (currently airing) starring fellow Arashi member Sakurai Sho (29).

Like “Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de,” the story combines comedy and mystery. Ohno plays the role of Tarui Shotaro, an ordinary guy who dreamed of becoming a hero when he was a child, but now gets by as a part-time worker. The unexpected story unfolds when one day, the daughter of a yakuza boss asks him to plan a make-believe kidnapping.

Sato Ryuta plays Shotaro’s co-worker who helps him with the kidnapping. Kanjiya Shihori plays Satsuki, the eldest daughter of the Hanazono yakuza clan, while Narimiya Hiroki plays Satsuki’s college senpai who joined the Hanazono clan after graduation. Takahashi Katsumi plays the head of a rival organization who has fallen in love with Satsuki. Kitaoji Kinya plays Satsuki’s father and the head of the Hanazono clan.

Filming will start at the end of this month. The drama will be aired during the New Year period, but a specific time and date have not been announced.

Arashi’s Aiba Masaki hospitalized due to a collapsed lung

Management agency Johnny’s Jimusho has announced that Arashi member Aiba Masaki (28) is currently in the hospital due to spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung). On the night of June 28, Aiba complained of chest pain after finishing a recording for the television show “Arashi ni Shiyagare.” He was taken to a hospital for examination, where the doctor diagnosed the pneumothorax and had Aiba immediately admitted.

Aiba was re-examined the next morning, and it was determined that he indeed had a collapsed left lung. He was advised to remain hospitalized for about a week.

As a result of Aiba’s hospitalization, he has canceled some scheduled interviews. He will also be absent from Arashi’s rehearsals on June 30 and July 1 for their upcoming tour that kicks off on July 24.

This is the second time that Aiba has suffered from pneumothorax. In March 2002, he had a collapsed right lung as a result of practicing the saxophone too hard for a television show project. He underwent surgery as part of his treatment at that time, but it appears that surgery will not be necessary this time.

Oricon 2010 Rankings: AKB48 and Arashi control Top 10 singles chart

Oricon is beginning to release its cumulative sales data for 2010. So far, it has announced the Top 50 in singles and albums, as well as the Top 5 in total sales. As predicted, the singles rankings were dominated by AKB48 and Arashi, who together held all of the Top 10 spots.

This is the first time in the ranking’s history that the Top 10 has been occupied by just two artists. Before this, the record was five artists in the Top 10, which happened in 1989 with Princess Princess, Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, Hikaru Genji, Wink, and Shizuka Kudo.

AKB48 had the top 2 singles with "Beginner" and "Heavy Rotation." They are only the third female artist to hold the top 2 singles of the year, a feat previously accomplished by Princess Princess in 1989 and Pink Lady in 1978.

Arashi, who had the top 2 singles in 2008 and the top 3 singles in 2009, settled for taking 6 of the top 10 spots this year.

Top 50 Singles:

1. Beginner – AKB48 – 954,283

2. Heavy Rotation – AKB48 – 713,275

3.Troublemaker – Arashi – 698,542

4.Monster – Arashi – 696,022

5. Ponytail to Chouchou – AKB48 – 659,959

6. Hatenai Sora – Arashi – 656,343

7. Love Rainbow – Arashi – 620,057

8. Chance no Junban – AKB48 – 596,769

9. Dear Snow – Arashi – 591,207

10. To be free – Arashi – 516,142

TOKIO, Arashi to host New Year’s special

TOKIO and Arashi will be hosting back-to-back special programs on NTV on New Year’s Day, totaling five and a half hours in length. TOKIO will kick things off with the tentatively-titled "THE Ultraman DASH: Kiseki no 3-punkan wo Mokugekiseyo" (6:00pm-8:54pm), then pass the spotlight to Arashi for their "Arashi ni Shiyagare Ganjitsu 2-jikanhan SP" (9:00pm-11:24pm).

"THE Ultraman DASH" is a separate project from TOKIO’s current show "The! Tetsuwan! Dash!!" (Sundays 7:00pm). In "The Ultraman DASH," TOKIO will meet with experts of activities such as skydiving, tightrope walking, and bungee jumping, who will attempt incredible feats. For example, one will change outfits while skydiving, while another will neatly slice a raw egg in half while bungee jumping.

Arashi’s special will be an extended version of their show "Arashi ni Shiyagare," which has been on the air since April. It is reported that they will bring on two big-name guests, though their identities are currently being kept secret even from Arashi.

Although the two shows are separate, the ten members from both groups will assemble before each show for a short talk session together.

Arashi’s 30th single, “Monster,” set a new record sales chart!

Arashi’s 30th single, “Monster,” set a new record on the sales charts this week. At 543,000 copies sold, it barely surpassed their previous single “Troublemaker” (542,000 copies) to achieve the highest opening-week sales so far this year. It is Arashi’s second consecutive single to break the half-million mark in the first week.

Kana Nishino’s latest single earned her the #2 spot with 39,000 in sales, while Korean group FTIsland ranked 4th. TETSUYA also made the top ten at the #8 spot.

With no major album releases this week, #1 was claimed by the EXIT TUNES album “Vocalogenesis” with virtual idol Hatsune Miku, which sold 23,000 copies. No other new release broke the top ten, except for the latest character album by “Prince of Tennis” character Kuranosuke Shiraishi at #6.

Japan’s Gold Disc Awards Winners

The 24th Japan Gold Disc Awards were presented in Tokyo on Wednesday. If, you haven’t heard of them they are like the Japanese version of the Grammy awards or the MTV music awards. Boy band Arashi stole the show with a total of 10 awards across the multiple categories. It was a precedent setting night as the band took home more awards than ever received before.

Arashi’s awards spanned Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Music Video. They were among the top selling artists of 2009, with 2.45 million singles and 1.77 million albums sold. They also sold 1.14 million videos and 3.07 million digital downloads.

Below is a complete list of the honors and awards presented.

Artist of the Year

New Artist of the Year

Best 5 New Artists
Erina Mano

Best Enka Artist
Kiyoshi Hikawa

Song of the Year
GReeeeN, “Haruka”

Best 5 Songs
GReeeeN, “Haruka”
JUJU with JAY’ED, “Ashita ga Kuru Nara”
B’z, “Ichibu to Zenbu”
Yusuke, “Himawari”

Single of the Year
Arashi, “Believe / Kumori Nochi, Kaisei”

Best 5 Singles
Arashi, “Ashita no Kioku / Crazy Moon”
Arashi, “Everything”
Arashi, “Believe / Kumori Nochi, Kaisei”
Arashi, “My Girl”
KAT-TUN, “Rescue”

Album of the Year
Arashi, “All the BEST! 1999-2009”

Best 5 Albums
Ayaka, “ayaka’s History 2006-2009”
Arashi, “All the BEST! 1999-2009”
EXILE, “Aisubeki Mirai e”
GReeeeN, “Ima Made no A-men, B-men Desuto!?”
GReeeeN, “Shio, Kosho”

Instrumental Album of the Year
Taro Hakase, “My Favorite Songs”

Soundtrack Album of the Year
Nodame Cantabile, “Nodame Cantabile Saigo Gakusho”

Animation Album of the Year
Gintama, “Gintama BEST”

Traditional Album of the Year
Hideki Togi, “Chikyu Yo”

Project Album of the Year
Takeshi Tsuruno, “Tsuruno Uta”

Best Music Video
Arashi, “5×10 All the BEST! CLIPS 1999-2009”

Special Award

Foreign Artists
Artist of the Year
The Beatles

New Artist of the Year
Lady Gaga

Best 3 New Artists
Keri Hilson
Susan Boyle
Lady Gaga

Song of the Year
Backstreet Boys, “Straight Through My Heart”

Single of the Year
Slash, “Sahara” feat. Koshi Inaba

Album of the Year
Michael Jackson, “This Is It”

Classical Album of the Year
Sarah Brightman, “Amalfi – Sarah Brightman Love Songs”

Jazz Album of the Year
Norah Jones, “The Fall”

Best Music Video
TVXQ, “All About TVXQ Season 3”