PsychoDrama celebrates 3 years this coming March 2015! Time flies when you're having fun, and it's such an awesome feeling that we're celebrating our 3rd year - reviewing Japanese movies and drama shows, announcing casting news, doing actor's bias articles and hitlist. Watch out for some special/exclusive articles and interviews soon! Really like to thank those who commented, liked, shared, tweeted and reacted to our articles, many of whom are already friends! Hoping we can stay online for another 30 years or more! That's quite an ambitious target but who knows?
The word "young" is quite relative. For the sake of argument, we are using it to describe Japanese actresses like Hikari Mitsushima (b. Nov 1985), Sakura Ando (b. Feb 1986) and Ryoko Hirosue (b. July 1980), among others.
One of our flagship articles is the 30 Hottest Japanese Actresses - a ranking of the most accomplished young female talents in Japan - which will be updated for the 2nd time. Hikari Mitsushima and Sakura Ando dominated the previous rankings, grabbing the top 2 spots. In this article, we are celberating their acting careers by talking about some of their best performances!
When was the first time you've seen Hikari Mitsushima? Many would probably name the Sion Sono movie Love Exposure as introduction to this acclaimed actress. Coincidentally, it was the same movie where Sakura Ando also got raves for her acting.
As of this writing, Mitsushima has made more than 15 movies and another 15 drama series, among them the festival favorite Sawako Decides (where she won numerous acting awards and was directed by her husband Yuya Ishii). She also played major roles in the ensemble cast Villain, Smuggler and A Chorus of Angels (the last movie gave her a Best Supporting Actress nom at the Japan Academy). Hikari was also part of Takashi Miike's Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai, the 2011 remake of Masaki Kobayashi's "Harakiri" (Seppuku) released in 1962.Read more...
According to Shojo Manga Reservoir Hiroin Shikkaku (The Disqualified Heroine):
... is the combination of a slapstick comedy and a romance. There a girl recklessly struggles to catch the heart of the boy whom she used to believe hers, after he inclined to another girl who is plain-looking but straightforward, in other words the alpha heroine in the usual shojo manga. [ source ]
A live action adaptation is set for a summer 2015 release featuring Mirei Kiritani as the heroine Hatori Matsuzaki with Kento Yamazaki playing her love interest - Rita Terasaka. Newcomer (and former model) Kentaro Sakaguchi is the most popular student at school Kosuke Hiromitsu who took a fancy at Matsuzaki.
Mirei Kiritani has done some important roles to spice up her acting career - including Arakawa Under the Bridge and Ace Attorney.
Kento Yamazaki is certainly a star on the rise and newcomer Kentaro Sakaguchi is being groomed to become the latest Japanese rom-com prince.
[ via EigaNews ]
There are 2 Shun Oguri shows in our 10 Favorite Dramas for 2014 - Border and Nobunaga Concerto. The thing with Oguri is that he never disappoints - he was a credible investigator who sees ghosts as well as an Oda Nobunaga pretender.
When the news about the new drama featuring Oguri and Toma Ikuta was first announced, I was also wondering (as many others too) what sort of roles they will be playing. Definitely one will be the bad-ass guy and another will be the honest-to-goodness bloke.
Toma Ikuta did some amazing movie roles of late - Brain Man and The Mole Song. Both roles require Ikuta to play tough - in Brain Man, he is a heartless criminal while in Takashi Miike's The Mole Song, he plays an undercover detective - but this movie is not quite serious and required its actors to play for fun and do some over-the-top acting - the kind of overacting that is not irritating. After some pretty dismal performances in recent years, Ikuta has proven himself to be quite a capable actor.
In Ouroboros, Oguri and Ikuta were orphans but eventually grew up to be members of the opposite sectors of society - Ikuta is Ikuo Ryuzaki, a mild-mannered detective with a gift for facial recognition. He is also holds the highest arrest rate in his station. Oguri is Tatsuya Danno, a sleek, shrewd and clever member of the yakuza. The role for Oguri is peanuts - but he still managed to introduced an interesting character worth following in the next episodes.
It would have been awesome if Ikuta plays the yakuza guy. He looks "relaxed" playing the detective, probably because he is confident he knows his character well.Read more...
Just like Jake Gyllenhaal, who many critics believed, delivered a career-defining performance in Nightcrawler, Gou Ayano was also robbed of the Best Actor trophy (perhaps even for the nomination) for The Light Shines Only There (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku). As the temperamental and fatalistic Tatsuo Sato, Ayano gave the movie one of its most important characters, perfectly matched by Chizuru Ikemaki's Chinatsu Oshiro.
The same can be said of Tadanobu Asano in My Man, but Asano was never treated fairly by award-giving bodies anyway. Satoshi Tsumabuki had, at least, two potential nominations in Our Family and Vancouver Asahi and a Best Supporting in The World of Kanako, but none was realized.
Oso de Plata a la Mejor Actriz: Haru Kuroki por su papel en "Chiisai Ouchi" ("The Little House") pic.twitter.com/1oKcXGAEYD— Lourdes Diaz Arteaga (@luludiazarteaga) February 16, 2014
Haru Kuroki who won the prestigious Silver Bear (for Best Actress) at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival was also snubbed by the Academy voters for her performance in Yoji Yamada's The Little House, as co-star Takako Matsu.Read more...
Final Nominations for the 38th Japan Academy Prize has been announced! - For Best Picture, The Light Shines Only There - Japan's entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars was not nominated, and so is Mipo O, the film's director.The World of Kanako is also not nominated for the highest prize.
I have no particular interest which movie will get the highest honor but The Eternal Zero might get it. Just a hunch!
The most exciting category has to be Best Actress, with Chizuru Ikewaki, Mao Inoue, Sakura Ando competing for the top prize. Fumi Nikaido definitely one of the youngest to get the nomination also competes for her role in My Man, but her co-star Tadanobu Asano was snubbed. Veteran actress Sayuri Yoshinaga gets another nomination, while Rie Miyazawa, who figured prominently in recent awards gets the nod for Paper Moon.
I would be very ecstatic if Chizuru Ikewaki gets the prize. Her performance in The Light Shines Only There is truly exceptional, but Mao Inoue is also impressive in Snow White Murder Case. Sakura Ando will be playing the dark horse as usual, while Fumi Nikaido has a longshot chance of winning. While these are simply my expectations, I would not be surprised if they give the award to Rie Miyazawa, since she's the frontrunner at this moment.
Hot Road figured quite prominently with Rena Nounen and her co-star Hiroomi Tosaka both getting Rookies. Sosuke Ikematsu also gets a much-deserved Rookie of the Year. Sota Fukushi also gets his Rookie!
Here are the nominees:
Best Picture of the Year
The Eternal Zero
A Samurai's Chronicle
When Marnie was There
Stand by Me Doreamon
Buddha 2: Tezuka Osamu no Budda - Owarinaki tabi
Izuru Narushima - Cape Nostalgia
Daihachi Yoshida - Paper Moon
Takashi Yamazaki - The Eternal Zero
Takashi Koizumi - A Samurai's Chronicle
Katsuhide Motoki - Samurai Hustle
Abe Hiroshi - Cape Nostalgia
Junichi Okada - The Eternal Zero
Kuranosuke Sasaki - Samurai Hustle
Koji Yakusho - A Samurai's Chronicle
Kiichi Nakai - Snow On The Blades
Sakura Ando - 0.5mm
Chizuru Ikewaki - The Light Shines Only There
Mao Inoue - Snow White Murder Case
Fumi Nikaido - My Man
Rie Miyazawa - Paper Moon
Sayuri Yoshinaga - Cape Nostalgia
Best Supporting Actor
Abe Hiroshi - Snow on the Blades
Ito Hideaki - WOOD JOB!
Junichi Okada - A Samurai's Chronicle
Shôfukutei Tsurube - Cape Nostalgia
Haruma Miura - The Eternal Zero
Best Supporting Actress
Yuko Oshima "Paper Moon "
Hana Kuroki " the Little House "
Satomi Kobayashi "Paper Moon "
Yuko Takeuchi " mysterious cape of the story ."
Sumiko Fuji " Maiko is ready"
Rookies of the Year
Mone Kamishiraishi - Lady Maiko
Nana Komatsu - The World of Kanako
Rena Nōnen - Hot Road
Sosuke Ikematsu - Paper Moon, Vortex of Love, Our Family
Hiroomi Tosaka - Hot Read
Sota Fukushi - In The Hero, As the God's Will, Say "I Love You"
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Sites and blogs dedicated to award-watching in Japan may not be as popular as the Oscar-watchers (those who dedicate analysis, statistics and reporting on the Oscar Race) In fact, we maybe one of the few doing that. Last year, we made our first predictions focusing on the Best Picture and Best Performances. For 2014 (38th Japan Academy Prize, which will be announced on March 2015), we'll begin by listing down potential Best Picture nominees.This year, a few Japanese movies garnered prestigious awards from international film festivals, and some acting awards too - particularly the big win by Haru Kuroki at Berlin, where she distinguished herself as Best Actress, the 4th Japanese to win in said festival.Read more...
When you cast Yuya Yagira (youngest winner of Best Actor at Cannes) with Masaki Suda (multiple acting awardee in various Japan acting bodies) and Kaho (really, really competent and talented young actress), you better prepare who ever takes the lead. In this case, Yuto Nakajima of Hey! Say! JUMP has the difficult task of playing the main character in the new movie Pink and Gray.
Isao Yukisada (Five Minutes to Tomorrow, Crying out Love, in the center of the World, Into the far Away Sky) is tasked to direct the new movie.
Based on the novel "Pinku to Gure" by Shigeaki Kato, the movie is about unpopular actor Daiki Kawata (Yuto Nakajima) who takes the spotlight after the sudden death of popular actor named Rengo Shiraki. There is speculation as to whether Rengo committed suicide or was murdered. Kawata is at the center of the controversy...
From the looks of it, this may entail some heavy drama and thrilling scenes - both requiring competent actors to make it real and convincing. Knowing Suda and Yagira, there is no iota of doubt they can deliver.
Yuto Nakajima has proven himself capable of playing some light to moderate drama in a number of drama shows, including Yowakutemo Katemasu and the more recent Waterpolo Yankees, but to take on this character? We'll just have to wait and see..
Ryunosuke Kamiki's new drama - Gakko no Kaidan - should be a lesson on humility for some of his co-stars. The 22-year old young actor can teach many of his co-stars lessons in acting - both the subtle kind and the hysterical. While Suzu Hirose managed to carry her own scenes and even managed to deliver a heartfelt performance at the end of Episode 1, it is Kamiki who ruled the show.
As Kei Shizukui, Kamiki showed a variety of emotions - malevolent and malicious, mischievous and mysterious, revealing and secretive, powerful and helpless. I think he will definitely be enjoying playing this character.
Co-stars Shotaro Mamiya, Jin Shirasu and Kentaro can learn a lot of acting techniques from Kamiki - especially the art of subtle acting. As the powerful members of “Platina 8″ who reign over Meiran Academy, where the unassuming Tsubame Haruna (Suzu Hirose) attends, they need to show a lot of confidence - even arrogance. They all look afraid... somehow.!?!
As mentioned to me a while ago, Suzu Hirose is also part of the new Koreeda movie - Umimachi Diary - and the acclaimed director never cast boring actors! I am looking forward to see Hirose in this drama. Definitely one show worth watching out this season!
What makes Japanese drama shows different, likeable, more interesting, compared to other Asian drama productions? Perhaps one of the best features of J-dramas is the duration - most are produced to deliver 8-10 episodes, compared to its Korean counterparts which usually run double. I really have to say, having an average of 10 episodes is more than enough to cover most stories/plots, provide adequate character development and maintain audience interest.
Some dramawatchers believe that being able to identify oneself with one of the drama characters may result in "emotional attachment", thus increasing show loyalty (or patronage, for that matter).
Statistical-wise, there were 17 shows aired during winter, a whopping 41 dramas during spring, another 41 productions in summer and 36 shows during the fall. That means 135 J-dramas were shown during the year.
Naming your favorite drama shows remain subjective. If you happen to love crime-dramas, then you will prefer shows covering this genre. The ultimate success of rom-coms, family drama, school and coming of age, medical, police and detective, horror, comedy, sci-fi and many other genres depend on a number of factors - storyline, lead actors, topnotch technical features that further highlight the show, even theme song.
Here are PsychoDrama's 10 favorite dramas in 2014...Read more...
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.
Dorama Doll - a new blog that will feature recaps of selected Japanese dramas, most probably related to Johnny & Associates talents, with some great recommendations on what to watch if you're new to the J-drama scene.
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.