Welcome to PsychoDrama! This site contains movie and drama reviews, casting news, trailers, movie posters and information about the latest Japanese productions, including profiles of established and aspiring young actors and actresses. We also feature the hitlist - rankings of the hottest Japanese talents and actors' bias articles - where we discuss prominent talents including Satoshi Tsumabuki, Ryuhei Matsuda, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Mao Inoue, Yu Aoi, Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka and many others. Join in our discussion and let us know what you think! Started in March 2012, you can find out more about us here. By the way, we don't do gossip - we don't know who is dating who nor feature anyone who went to this or that motel. We could not care less. While we may appear to be movies fans, we feature more than news, but also opinion. We are also not a database since we feature selectively.
100 Yen Love, featuring Sakura Ando who plays a boxer, is Japan's official entry to the 88th Academy Awards' Best Foreign Film.
I actually did about a year of boxing when I was 14. The reason why I did it was because there was a boxing gym in my neighbourhood that was filled with Yakuza-type people (laughs) so I was curious to see what it was like to do it. That was when I enjoyed doing boxing and really liked the sport.
The transformation physically, the appearance, that had a lot of affect on the actual character. So that played a large part in creating the character. Because the training was done in a very limited, short time to actually to be able to reflect on yourself and your body it was a very precious experience to have. About my character Ichiko I was drawn to it when I was reading the script particularly how she was fighting, how she was battling. It’s not necessarily the most beautiful thing she gets really gruesome she gets hit a lot she gets knocked down. It doesn’t look attractive. Even when she knows she’s losing she still gets up and keeps fighting, and thats the factor that I was drawn to in the character... [ source ]
That's Sakura Ando explaining how she plays her character Ichiko in Masaharu Take's acclaimed sports-drama film.
[ There's a video clip over at EasternKicks where Ando and filmmaker Take answered questions from the media ]
The movie already won a number of awards, including acting trophies for Ando:
The film won the Japanese Cinema Splash Award at the 27th Tokyo International Film Festival. It was in competition at the 15th Japanese Film Festival Nippon Connection for the Nippon Connection Award and was chosen for third place in the Nippon Cinema Award.
At the 88th Kinema Junpo Awards, the film was chosen as the 8th best Japanese film of the year and Sakura Ando won the Award for Best Actress.
At the 57th Blue Ribbon Awards, Sakura Ando won the Award for Best Actress. At the 24th Japan Film Professional Awards, the film won the Award for Best Film and Masaharu Take won the Award for Best Director.
We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh, 1849
Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the intentional act of swearing a false oath or of falsifying an affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to an official proceeding.
On a cold December morning, a 14-year-old boy was found dead beneath the snow inside the school premises. Ryoko Fujino and Kenichi Noda (Koki Maeda) found the lifeless body of their classmate Takuya Kashiwagi (Ayumu Mochizuki). Takuya is a soft-spoken yet determined student and little is known of him except from the narrative of his classmates and from his ghost-like appearances to Ryoko - like a conscience reminding her that justice delayed, is justice denied. Why justice, when it was reported that he took his own life? Even the police announced it was suicide from which his parents agreed.
Well, that's the official version and as we continue watching Solomon's Perjury: Suspicion, there are enough hints and clues that everything is not what it seems.
4 1/2 stars out of 5
An anonymous note was received by the police. The note claims that the sender was a witness to the boy's death. The note also claims the boy was killed by three troubled students who seldom go to school except to brag and bully. The confession was written by Juri Miyake (Anna Ishii), accompanied by her friend, Matsuko Asai (Miu Tomita) who went out of their way to drop the letter in a mailbox. These two girls may only be exacting revenge from the 3 troubled youths who bullied them mercilessly, but Juri may also be telling the truth, as she narrates seeing them throwing Takuya from the rooftops.
The death, as in many other similar cases, can rock the school and bring it to its knees, with the possibility of its administrators and teachers out of work. To prevent such a catastrophe, the dead boy is forsaken.Read more...
Japanese movie sites are once again ablaze with Attack on Titan (Shingeki no kyojin: Attack on Titan - End of the World) buzz as Part 2 of the live-action adaptation just got a trailer!
Part 1 already secured its place in the box office records:
The first part of the two-part live-action film adaptation of Hajime Isayama's mega hit manga series Attack on Titan finally released on 427 screens in Japan last Saturday. Despite its mixed reviews, the Shinji Higuchi-directed film managed to take top place with 603,466,200 yen and had a narrow win over another newcomer Minions with 545,989,900 yen in second in its first weekend. [ source ]
The always reliable Fuku-shuu who maintains a lively tumblr account with lots of exclusive AoT info has made the below screencaps and the trailer attached to it.
My first article at PsychoDrama is a profiler of Johnny's Ryo Nishikido since I was so impressed with him in A Boy and His Samurai (Chonmage Purin). That was 3 years ago, and like a blast from the past- Ryo is back and playing a similar role in the new TV Asahi show Samurai Sensei. This time, he is not a samurai turned chef who developed emotional attachments with a mother-son (Rie Tomosaka- Fuku Suzuki), but an activist from 18th century Japan.
Here's the plot:
In 1865, Hanpeita Takechi (Ryo Nishikido) belongs to political activist group Shishi. He is then imprisoned and ordered to kill himself for disrespecting the Lord. When Hanpeita Takechi is about to carry out the suicide, he suddenly finds himself asleep in the middle of a country road. He is now in present day Japan, but he has no idea how he got here.
Hanpeita Takechi wants to go back, but he is stuck in the remote rural area. Meanwhile, villagers are embarrassed by Hanpeita’s appearance. Haruka Saeki (Manami Higa) works at a public office there and she hears about Hanpeita Takechi. Haruka Saeki finds him at the supermarket. [ source ]
It takes time to get used to Japanese movies, TV shows and their actors. If Yamapi is now a #deadfisheyes to me, he was not like that during first impressions. With Ryo, it's like having the same kind of reaction to Haruma Miura's inconsistent acting. I guess both Miura and Nishikido require a capable director to give them the right amount of guidance to come up with amazing acting.
I really hope this new show will give Ryo the acting mileage he deserves!
The biggest casting news in August were: (1) the Ken Watanabe-led all-star cast from Sang Il-Lee entitled Anger about a man who brutally murdered a couple and underwent plastic surgery. In 3 different settings, a stranger appeared and get involved with the locals. Who among these strangers is the killer? The cast includes Satoshi Tsumabuki, Gou Ayano, Kenichi Matsuyama and Mirai Moriyama. (2) Lychee Light Club starring Yuki Furukawa in, perhaps, his most challenging role as Zera, a young man who employed psycho-games among middle school boys and created an AI to abduct girls. What's interesting and intriguing about this adaptation is that it is based on a lot of boys-on-boys sexual acts. Shuhei Nomura, Shotaro Mamiya and 6 other young actors complete the cast. (3) Destruction Babies featuring a guaranteed acting showdown between Yuya Yagira and Masaki Suda.
... this latest movie from Tetsuya Mariko, was reported to be hyper-violent, with the director himself asking for Yuya Yagira to play the lead role. Both actors were quoted as saying, their roles may be considered career highlights and that both of them will act together in some dramatic scenes critical for the ultimate success of the movie. Nijiro Murakami and Nana Komatsu also stars...
Other casting buzz worth mentioning are (4) Orange - a rom-com time travelling story with a twist featuring Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya, in a reunion of sorts, as both actors also play a couple in the asadora, Mare. (5) Chihayafuru - coming of age tale featuring the card game karuta with Suzu Hirose, Shuhei Nomura and Mackenyu.
Now, what's interesting is that Fumi Nikaido is playing a goldfish who can transform into a young woman...
Entitled Mitsu no Aware from famed author, poet and artist Muro Saisei. Nikaido plays Akago who lives with an old writer (Ren Osugi) whom she calls “Ojisama.” Other characters in the story are Yoko Maki, who plays Yuriko and appears as a ghost, same with Kengo Kora.
I made some research about Saisei and his bio is quite interesting:
Muro Saisei was a Japanese novelist and poet born in Kanazawa (on the Noto Peninsula of Western Japan). At age 21 he moved to Tokyo. Eventually, he became known for his role in helping to introduce Western-style free verse poetry into mainstream Japanese poetry. In Kanazawa city, effort to preserve Muro Saisei's legacy has been huge. There is a museum built on his birthplace, a literary monument, as well as a literature museum near downtown.
Saisei's early life is rather interesting. He was the adopted son of a Buddhist priest and so grew up in a temple in Kanazawa City, on the banks of the Saigawa River. He quit high school and began working as an apprentice in a city court, where he first began writing haiku and published his first collection of poems. From there he moved to Tokyo to live as a writer. [ read more ]
Ah, before I forget Ryunosuke Kamiki (with lead star Tomoya Nagase playing the devil himself) in Kankuro Kudo's Too Young to Die will be released next year - February 2016. That's one amazing new movie coming up!
“If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.” [ source ]
Well, Light Yagami did not hold back and he's very much the cause of L's demise.
4 stars out of 5
I've read a lot of books through the years - from bestselling novelists and lately manga authors - and I seldom get impressed with the preaching about humanity, of good and evil, of getting rid of criminals, of love conquering all. The same can be said of Light and L's arguments about justice and mercy, of following the law and taking the law into one's hand.
Death Note is, after all, the struggle between good and evil, of defining what justice is, how man gets affected by evil and power and that in every struggle one has to die in order for the other to live.
With L's death, there is a need to fill the void - so Near takes us to a whole new battle.
Mio Yuki emerges as the new heroine (or hero for that matter). The ugly and terrifying (yet somewhat hilarious) doll also takes center stage as the "Jekyll and Hyde-inspired" dual personality takes over from L... Yuki looks serene and innocent, even naive then takes on a cross-over personality and acts with malevolence. I'm loving her acting so far...
Kento Yamazaki's take on L is over - at least as lead investigator, but looking back at the young man's career (re-watched Control Tower last night, and saw a few Mare episodes), I have to say he has grown tremendously and this rather challenging role has taken a lot from him. He is not yet a Yagira or a Sometani, but he certainly is way-way above a Fukushi, even a Nomura at this point.
I agree on the notion (perhaps even a stated fact) that the director and scriptwriter are responsible for the change in Kubota's acting style. Gone is the subtlety - what we see is over-the-top acting, unadulterated even and it either turns you off or inspires you and entertains you. I guess, after an Ep 8 re-watch I got the point. They obviously want viewers to gain more sympathy of the fallen private detective and transform the timid young man that is Light into the epitome of evil.
We're into Episode 8 of Death Note drama and after what I may say as a relapse in Episode 7 (my opinion), the drama picked up not just pace and performance, but the overall look and feel- which to me is a proclamation of what the drama is all about - and what it will be in the future. Light Yagami (played by Masataka Kubota) will always be my villain while detective par excellence L will always be my hero. I don't know about you, and let's see what we have so far (oh, yes there is already a summary of Episodes 1-6 here)
The synopsis available from DramaWiki is a collective summary of what the drama is all about:
Yagami Light, (Kubota Masataka), is an ordinary University student. One day, he receives a death note which changes his life. The death note awakens his warped sense of justice and genius. He becomes murderer Kira and punishes criminals.
L, (Yamazaki Kento), is a well-known private detective. L appears in front of Light. L defines Kira as evil and decides to catch Kira. Then N (Yuki Mio), who has a beautiful appearance but dangerous existence, appears.
The scorecard [ who rules the acting showdown at this time? ] after the jump!Read more...
Ryohei Suzuki is such a versatile actor that he was equally awesome in Hentai Kamen, Tokyo Tribe and even in the upcoming My Love Story (Ore Monogatari) even though I have yet to see that movie! If you've seen the last 2 movies then you will see a tremendous transformation from Suzuki - from the appealing super hero and lead star to a heavy weight high schooler who has a big heart.
Watch the trailer above to see what I mean...
Here's the synopsis -
Gouda Takeo (Suzuki) is a freshman in high school. (Both estimates) Weight: 120kg, Height: 2 meters. He spends his days peacefully with his super-popular-with-girls, yet insensitive childhood friend, Sunakawa (Kentaro Sakaguchi). One morning, on the train to school, Takeo saves a girl, Yamato (Mei Nagano), from being molested by a pervert. Could this be the beginning of spring for Takeo?
Celebrate with PsychoDrama as we discuss the best actors Japanese cinema has produced for the past 50 decades or so... Our latest series takes us to Toshiro Mifune and Ken Takakura - Part 1 | Part 2. Our actor's bias series continues with Kanata Hongo, Yuya Yagira, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Sosuke Ikematsu, Shuhei Nomura, Masaki Suda and Shota Sometani
Actors and Acting style series is a must-read! Part 1 [ Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Ryuhei Matsuda & Kenichi Matsuyama ] Part 2 [ Shun Oguri, Takayuki Yamada, Kengo Kora, Gou Ayano ] Part 3 [ Mirai Moriyama, Yuya Yagira, Shota Sometani,Ryunosuke Kamiki, Masaki Suda ] Part 4 [ Tatsuya Fujiwara, Haruma Miura, Takeru Sato, Hoshi Ishida, Yosuke Kubozuka ] Part 5 [ Kento Nagayama, Masataka Kubota, Kento Hayashi, Sosuke Ikemtsu ]
13oys and Men - Promoting the awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming young talents.
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
Drama Max - Japanese movie and drama reviews from a different perspective. Connected with Resonance Media, a management company handling Japanese musical talents.
Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.
My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas, with music news and movie reviews.
Ritsu No Dorama Land - J-dorama reviews with a difference, complete with recaps that really complements the review.
OtherWhere - Excellent and varied trailer showcase, insightful reviews of Japanese movies (both indies and mainstream), and a great resource for news on Studio Ghibli too!
The Corner of the Mind - Drama reviews (with detailed analysis of up and coming dramas via first impressions) and anime spotlights.