Yonezu in Miyazaki movie, Shohei Otani too…? NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen with no main attraction: “Unexpected big names whispered to be in the special slots | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Yonezu in Miyazaki movie, Shohei Otani too…? NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen with no main attraction: “Unexpected big names whispered to be in the special slots

No former Johnny's, no Akina, no B'z, and no highlights!

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Yonezu Genshi] Yonezu cut his long bangs and lifted the ban on showing his face in June this year. If Yonezu is selected to participate in this year’s festival, it will be the second time in five years that he has taken part.

Less than a month remains in the year 2023. The TV stations are busy preparing for their year-end special programs, and it seems that the trend away from TV will accelerate this year.

The 44 contestants for NHK’s Kohaku Uta Gassen were recently announced, with K-pop rising to the top, replacing the talents from the former Johnny’s agency, which has not received a slot in the competition for the first time in 44 years. The rest are familiar faces, including Hiromi Go (68), Masaharu Fukuyama (54), and Sayuri Ishikawa (65). On the other hand, the lineup lacked any major standouts, with no participation by King Gnu or Vaundy (23), both popular among young people and signature artists at music festivals.

The viewer rating for “Kohaku” is whispered to be 30% every year, but it is said to be lower than that this year. In recent years, there has been a tendency to select contestants based on their influence on social networking sites, and this year, many artists who have created buzz through K-Pop and TikTok were selected. However, the trends among young people have been diversifying in recent years, and buzz is only a localized fad,” said a source from a record company.

In the midst of all this, attention has been focused on the special slots that are usually revealed after the contestants are announced. Last year, in addition to the regular contestants, seven groups including Kiyoshi Hikawa (46) and “back number” made surprise appearances.

The names of Yonezu Genshi (32) and Masaki Suda (30) are among the surprise acts. This year, after a 10-year absence, Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film “How Do You Live?” will be released, and Yonezu will sing the theme song. Sugata and Aimyon (28), who has already been announced as a contestant, are also participating as voice actors, and the three of them will probably sing together,” said a source from a commercial TV station.

In addition, there will surely be several memorial events this year.

In memory of Yukihiro Takahashi and Ryuichi Sakamoto of YMO, who passed away this year, a collaboration between Gen Hoshino (42) and Haruomi Hosono (76) is expected. The two are close friends and have performed together on Hoshino’s crown jewel program broadcast on NHK. I have also heard that there is a plan to have Mamoru Miyano (40), a voice actor who performed with Hoshino on the same program, join them to sing YMO’s hit song “Kimi ni, mune kyun. I hear that there is a plan to sing “Kimi ni, Hittokyun,” a hit song by YMO, with voice actor Mamoru Miyano (40), who co-hosted the show.

Many other celebrities have also passed away, including HEATH of “X JAPAN,” Makoto Ayukawa, and Junko Ohashi.

One that is said to be a sure thing is a memorial service for Shinji Tanimura. It is rumored that Yuzo Kayama (86), who retired with a flourish last year, will make a one-night-only comeback and will be joined by Takao Horiuchi (74) and others to sing “Subaru” together. Other extravagant performances are also possible, such as “Godaigo” singing “Galaxy Express 999” in mourning for manga artist Leiji Matsumoto.

Another attraction of “Kohaku” is the collaboration not only with famous artists but also with popular content such as “Evangelion.

The “Kohaku” may have no choice but to rely on “Disney” now that it has lost the old “Janitare,” which has fans in all age groups. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ‘Walt Disney Company.

The theme song singers of movies, including Takako Matsu (46), will sing, and popular NHK characters such as Domo-kun, Chikochan, and Wan Wan will appear with Mickey and others to perform the popular “Jambori Mickey! Let’s Dance! which has been popular since last year.

YMO] From right, Hosono, Takahashi, and Sakamoto. Hosono encouraged Gen Hoshino to make his debut as a singer, and Hoshino looks up to Hosono as his mentor.
Shinji Tanimura] Shinji Tanimura passed away in early October. He regretted not being able to perform “Sarai” at this year’s 24-hour TV program.

Unexpected big names participating from overseas

This year, baseball was in full swing with the WBC championship. One player who was particularly active was that superstar.

There are rumors that Shohei Otani, 29, will participate in the production of “Yuzu. It is said that Otani will appear on the stage while looking back on famous scenes from the WBC to the tune of ‘Bridge of Glory.

Another Japanese who has been mentioned as a participant in Kohaku from overseas is Hikaru Utada (40).

Utada is a Japanese artist who rarely performs on TV,” said a source at an entertainment agency. Just this year, Utada sang the theme song for the live-action “Kingdom” movie. She is unquestionably rare and well-known, plus she has a hit song this year, so she has the trifecta. She has also had a hit song this year, so she has the trifecta.

According to some reports, young artists such as Aimyon will be chosen for the last performer, and it is expected that the big-name artists will concentrate on the special slot.

It seems that “Southern All Stars” will appear in this slot. Celebrating the 45th anniversary of their debut this year, their year-end and New Year’s schedule has not yet been announced; NHK has certainly made an offer. Another proposal is to revive the flamboyant costume duel between Sachiko Kobayashi (69) and Kenichi Mikawa (77), who have been increasing their exposure in variety shows.

The host, Hiroyuki Ariyoshi (49) and Fumiya Fujii (61) are expected to sing “Like a White Cloud,” Tsuyoshi Kusanagi (49) who appeared in the morning drama, Ran Ito (68) and Shuri (33), and Yutaka Mizutani (71) are also expected to make an appearance.

Will they be able to make it through the Kohaku without the old Johnny’s with a surprise?

Utada and Ringo, 44, who has already been announced as a contestant, are good friends. Some fans are hoping for a collaboration between the two.
Southern All Stars] This year marks the 45th anniversary of Southern’s debut. Their anniversary live concert this fall drew 270,000 people. Chigasaki was enveloped in a whirlpool of excitement.

From the December 1, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Yuri Adachi, Kyodo News, Getty

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