We launched a series called Generation NEXT, about up and coming Japanese actresses who have been on the spotlight lately. This 5-part series features Mayu Matsuoka, Tao Tsuchiya and Suzu Hirose [Part 1], Hana Sugisaki [Part 2], Mitsuki Takahata [Part 3] and the trio of Fumika Shimizu, Mizuki Yamamoto and Yuina Kuroshima [Part 4]. The final part will feature another list of 4 or even 5 young talents and the update of the Top 15 Most Promising Japanese Actresses hitlist.
A separate series on the actors is also in the works. Expect some discussions on Kento Yamazaki, Taiga, Shuhei Nomura and Taishi Nakagawa.
Plus, a final part on #DeadFishEyes series, which is quite popular since it talks about Yamapi & Sota Fukushi.
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.
Did you ever wonder why there seems to be a "connection" between Light and L already? Aside from their names starting with the same letter of course! While Light has some pals to speak of, since he's studying and therefore, has classmates, he remains quite a loner. L, on the other hand, only has a butler for companion, and drawing parallels to the famous Batman who, incidentally is also quite a loner himself, I would have to say, rivals or not, even when murder and conspiracy are involved, it seems our two main characters intend to reach out to each other.
4 out of 5 stars
So when the investigation involving the identity of Kira fell into the hands of L, it seems but natural for the famous investigator to become curious, perhaps even intrigued that maybe there is a "friend" in the horizon. Thus, we leave Episode 4 on a bright note - as the story progresses to my own delight and as the drama (as a whole) seems to finally pick up a pace worthy of the hype.
In Episode 5, we continue with the surprising appearance of Misa as she invited herself into the Yagami household. As the second Kira, Misa (Hinako Sano) likes nothing but to get closer to the original god-like figure, and since Light is his personification, there is nothing better for Misa than to have an intimate relationship with the young man.
I'm pretty sure by now that the drama version doubters either left the show or were finally convinced it is still worth checking out. Whatever is the case, the subtle or obvious departures from the original source material are really keeping viewers interested (and curious). I think that for those who have seen the movies or read the manga, predicting the outcome of a certain scene is like a game, and just like the cat and mouse relationship *** established by the author for our two main characters, this is definitely a major selling point.
*** Cat and Mouse game - A relationship in which two parties closely monitor and challenge one another in a suspicious or self-protective manner, often because each party is attempting to gain an advantage over the other. [ The drama version seems to intensify this cat and mouse play since there are full frontal attacks between Light and L, to the point that L is mocking Light. ]
I don't write long reviews - it would seem 'annoying' to reveal important scenes. I would think the narrative above is enough to say the intensity of last episode is not only sustained here, but even heightened.
Hinako Sano, as with our main protagonists, also suffers from comparison. The fact that it was Erika Toda who played Misa in the movies is more than enough to intimidate. But to my satisfaction, I believed that she is showing her potential - this episode's "watch-ability" factor can also be credited to her.
Anyway, Kento Yamazaki's L (as I have stated in Ep4 Review) has finally established his own unique characteristics. While Masataka Kubota's character changes - from a timid young man to an assertive, almost malicious and daring serial killer has yet to reach his peak, Yamazaki is starting to catch up. Kento is simply too attractive, thus the disheveled hair and makeup to somehow lessen the impact.
While Yuya Yagira is world- renowned for winning the Best Actor at Cannes Film Festival, Masaki Suda is fast becoming his generation's foremost dramatic actor and perhaps Yagira's rival in acting versatility. Both are known for exceptional dramatic and comedic performances. In probably one of the year's most awesome casting news, Yagira and Suda will play the lead roles in Tetsuya Mariko's silver screen comeback entitled Destruction Babies (Disutorakushon Beibizu).
Reports have it that Mariko asked for Yagira (he will play Yasuyoshi Ashihara) to take on the lead role since "He is one of the few actors with an enigmatic presence" and that he was cast "precisely because the role is difficult". For Suda (his movie role coincidentally is named Yuya Kitahara), the casting news is said to be "one of his biggest acting breaks".
Nijiro Murakami, who recently grabbed a high-profile role in Ano Hana will play Shota Ashihara (Yagira's brother). Nana Komatsu, who had an excellent debut role in The World of Kanako, will play someone who is "a bad girl from the bottom of her heart". Except for that dreadful movie, Close Range Love, Komatsu has quite an amazing acting year herself.
The movie is said to be about crime, violence, youth's madness and desires.
Masaki Suda is said to be playing a rather notorious character and is involved in petty crimes. Murakami, who is Yagira's younger brother, is supposedly in search of Yagira's character and is the narrator. Various Japanese entertainment sites mentioned the prevalent violent and fighting scenes in the movie.
Gangs in docks and shipyards have been reported to be involved in violence and crimes throughout history, so expect intense, confrontational scenes between the actors. The hint of Yagira's disappearance may involve one of the characters, most probably Masaki Suda's.
So basically, we have four of the best young actors in Japan working together for Tetsuya Mariko who gained quite a reputation as an indie filmmaker. His last movie, Yellow Kid, released in 2010, was shown in 4 international film festivals. Yellow Kid is about a rookie boxer who serves as a model for a manga character.
Back to the new movie, Mariko will have Kohei Kiyasu as co-writer. Kiyasu is known for his screenwriting work in The Kirishima Thing.
It's August already, and to think that the live action Attack on Titan (Part 1) is still not yet seen by many fans in different parts of the world is like a big wake-up call to me and perhaps to some movie bloggers. Obviously, more updates are needed by just about anyone who are interested in the movie and the cast. Though reviews are coming in, the reactions from fans remain a few weeks (or days) away. At this point, aside from the LA premiere and the plot reveal made by someone who attended the showing at the Egyptian Theater, it was reported that director Shinji Higuchi reacted quite strongly to the harsh review written by Japanese film reviewer, Yuichi Maeda: a 40 out of 100 is the movie's rating.
Maeda also wrote that most of the characters are stupid and that a sex scene should not have been part of the movie at all, citing that it has no relevance to the over-all movie experience. However, there was one reviewer at ConTV who seems to disagree:
The filmmaking itself was amazing. I was worried that there’d be too much CGI and look a bit ridiculous, but Higuchi wisely combined CGI effects and practical effects throughout the film. The titans themselves were significantly horrifying blend of actors in makeup with CGI. Warning, there’s a lot of gore and gross to be had. A lot of it seemingly more realistic because of the practical effects (at one point a lead actor was in a rather large pool of jelly – that’s what I call commitment). The shots looked like an anime panel at several spots. The initial giant titan (who is over 200 feet tall) was terrifying and really well done. There was only a couple spots with the crowd shots of Titans that I was pulled out of the movie for a second going “well, that’s some movie magic there,” but thankfully I got sucked right back in.
While there are some serious divorces from the original storyline, the overall heart and soul of the Attack on Titan remain intact. I was pleased with the amount of humor (the audience laughed out loud more than once at several unexpected moments). You should also see this just for one of the amazingly hilarious awkward sex scenes ever. [ read more ]
Anyway, this is not the first time I read about Maeda's harsh criticism.
In spite of the above, I will be the judge of whether AoT is bad or not. I think all fans, including you and me, are entitled to it.
Moving forward, Satomi Ishihara, who was mentioned by Maeda in his review, is said to be the only capable actor in the live-action. As for the dTV series, it was reported that she is having sleepless nights and is quite nervous about what people will say about it. Here's the video (with some new footages to boot!)
We first reported about the AoT drama series last July:
Adding another layer of excitement in the upcoming August 15 broadcast of the drama series, featuring Satomi Ishihara as Commander Hange. The series is reported to be centered around Hange's Titan research and what that top secret project has discovered. Yuta Hiraoka is also part of the drama cast who will play a new character, Izuru. [ read more ]
The clip above looks very promising, but the one thing that keeps on bugging me on the AoT live action is: Are the cast really stupid, as the critic says?
There are certain news that upon first view I find quite irritating, but then again it turned out to be funny and amusing after all... In the case of a recent article written by Paste Magazine, it took note of US-based comics writers and their failure to cover the news on Attack on Titan's impressive 2.5 million copies in print...
Chris Butcher, the manager of Toronto comic shop The Beguiling, recently wrote an insightful essay regarding this “Othering”—of comics aimed at young readers, manga, anything that doesn’t fit into the comics industry’s definition of what is and is not mainstream. He lays the blame at comics snobbery—people who wrote off the influx of manga because of the audiences it brought in, and then subsequently wrote off every kind of book that catered to that audience. He writes:
So how did the rest of the comics industry react to this sea-change? In the pettiest way possible of course, by othering the success of that material as much as they could. “Manga aren’t comics,” went the discussion. They were, and are in many ways, treated as something else. The success that they had, the massive success that they continue to have, doesn’t ‘count’. All those sales and new readers were just ‘a fad’, and not worthy of interest, respect, or comparison to real comics. It was the one thing that superhero-buying-snobs and art-comics-touting-snobs could agree on (with the exception of Dirk Deppey at TCJ, bless him): This shit just isn’t comics, real comics, therefore we don’t have to engage it.
The avoidance to cover Attack on Titan’s success can well be seen as a result of this long-term othering, and it’s just the most recent manifestation of the way in which superheroes are inflated as the most popular comics genre, regardless of what the evidence says. This phenomenon is ultimately myopic, and it maintains harmful stereotypes about who reads comics and who doesn’t. For the comics industry to grow further, it must reconcile itself to reality. [ read more ]
In the case of Star Wars shipment of 1 million copies, it was reported by Paste, as being "big news" from the same writers who follow this principle of "Othering".
I don't know about you, but this is just plain and simple discrimination. If manga is not comics, then what is it?
One of the replies to the article says it all:
I think it says a lot more about the comics REPORTING industry than the comic industry itself, but yeah you hit the nail on the head. Then again, if we do compare sales of popular manga and American comic books, we'll never hear about American comic books in the press again! When was the last time American comics sold millions without actually gaming the system like Star Wars did? For manga, it's a typical Wednesday.
Anyway, I would like to leave it at that since it would be futile to argue about manga and comics when you're arguing with people who think of comics as exclusively about superheroes.
Ah, and yes - Attack on Titan has surpassed 50 million copies in print worldwide...
The Japanese entertainment news website Eiga.com reported on Saturday that Hajime Isayama's Attack on Titan manga has surpassed 50 million copies in print worldwide. Kodansha Comics had revealed last month that the English-language edition of the manga has 2.5 million copies in circulation. The Japanese version of the manga had 44 million copies in print as of April.
Eiga.com also reported that TOHO is estimating that the first Attack on Titan live-action movie will earn a total of 5 billion yen (about US$40.3 million) in Japan. By comparison, last year the top domestic film in Japan was Eien no 0 (The Eternal Zero), which earned 8.76 million yen. The two live-action Rurouni Kenshin sequel films, Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends, earned a combined total of 9.57 billion yen. The top-grossing anime film of 2014 was Stand By Me Doraemon, which earned 8.38 billion yen. [ article from ANN ]
ANN also reported that a new consortium will invest about $3 million and...
...plans to use the investment to expand to "value-added anime contents," while collaborating with various anime studios, gave developers, publishers, merchandise companies, and other companies who own rights to anime franchises in Japan.
Hmmm, will these developments still be considered "otherings" as far as news is concerned?
A few days ago, the Crows Zero tandem of Shun Oguri and Takayuki Yamada joins the cast of Terra Formars, with Hideaki Ito, Rinko Kikuchi and Yamapi. Just now, we have 9 pretty boys - much younger than Shun taking on Lychee Light Club (Raichi☆Hikari Kurabu) so you can just imagine the excitement this news has brought to the J-movie community. In a sense, it's the battle between the veterans and the up and coming, with Yuki Furukawa, Shotaro Mamiya and Shuhei Nomura leading the pack for the junior guys...
Here's what we have so far...
In Lychee Light Club, we have 9 pretty boys who refused to grow up. They devised a way to create a god-like machine powered by lychee fruit (what an absurd idea!) which can keep their youth and give them absolute power. There is but a side effect to this supposedly powerful machine - it makes them crazy. Created by manga author Usamaru Furuya, the series has spawned anime versions in 2012 where
... the machine eventually becomes self-aware "and is soon equally capable of measuring beauty and executing justice." [ source ]
For those who have read the manga or have seen the anime versions, you may want to watch this 30-second teaser above.
Unlike the author of Attack on Titan who personally requested for script and character changes for its live-action adaptation, the author of Lychee Light Club was quoted as saying:
"I think the contents will not betray fans of the original work."
映画『ライチ☆光クラブ』キャスト発表されたものの気になる配役は未発表だが特報の声からゼラは古川雄輝でほぼ確定の模様 ちな他配役はキャスト発表名前順で割り振るとこうなるが写真だけ見るとなかなか合ってる pic.twitter.com/gaD3IrQKDf— ゆ (@kurumi4415) July 29, 2015
Aside from the leading cast (Nomura, Mamiya and Furukawa), there are 6 more actors in Lychee:
Okayama is part of the upcoming Yuya Yagira-Koji Seto headliner, Gassoh while Reiya Masaki has shown an incredible ability to play different roles.
Bookmark this Tumblr account for more of this live action movie.Read more...
There are a few major points why Omotesando Koukou Gasshoubu! may interest J-dorama fans:
Music has a universal appeal - this drama is about the struggles of a choir and the side stories of the choir members and their conductor. Will this be a Japanese version of Glee - less hype and more drama? Perhaps or perhaps not.
Everyone loves an underdog, especially if the villains/bullies are pretty cruel, Kyoko Yoshine, the undergo, has a certain 'Mao Inoue appeal' which fans can recollect and relate to - the Hana Yori Dango punch was imitated but only half-way - there's the jump, but the punch turned out to be a war cry. The water splash and the dumping of dirt were copied in full;
The lead villain, Miyu Yoshimoto, is particularly effective that upon first viewing you may want to slap her face yourself, or perhaps push her on a rushing train. Equally effective (and maybe the real star of the drama) is Aoi Morikawa who shed tears as if its the most natural thing to do...
There are some amazing supporting cast: Jun Shison (though his acting remains tentative) and Mahiro Takasugi, who is definitely going to rock the scene in the next few episodes, as he plays another underdog and does the Hikikomori.
That's 4 good enough reasons already why you have to sample this show.
3 1/2 stars out of 5
Anyway, Kyoko Yoshine plays Makoto Kagawa - a naive but enthusiastic transfer student who dreams of joining the famous Omotesando High School choir. But the once fabulous choral is no more - her former teacher and choir adviser (Yuu Shirota) lost all semblance of normalcy and does nothing but debauchery. Students are tentative to join and the music choir itself may soon get abolished.
While the story maybe a bit predictable - I can see more bullying and perhaps some catfights but I would think our heroine would be suffering some more before she gets the chance to shine in the choir. So yeah, that's about it. But then again, the cast is just superb!
If you plan to be entertained, and witness some of Japan's most promising young stars - don't linger over Koinaka, head on over to Ometesando. There is a new love team in town (Shison and Yoshine also stars in a rom-com movie entitled Senpai to Kanojo) and this show is out to get more than just your sympathy.
A rom-com with a dash of time travel... Is that how we can describe Orange?
Everyone has regrets in life. So who wouldn't take the chance to change the past if given the opportunity? When sixteen-year-old Takamiya Naho receives a mysterious letter, claiming to be from her twenty-seven-year-old self, her life is suddenly thrown into flux. The letter tells her that a new transfer student by the name of Naruse Kakeru will be joining her class, and to keep her eye on him. But why? Naho must decide what to make of the letter and its cryptic warning, and what it means not only for her future, but for Kakeru's as well. [ source ]
4 out of 5 stars
The Kento Yamazaki-Tao Tsuchiya love team has shown their drawing power already in the asadora Mare and in this latest movie, I'm pretty sure they will once again attract their usual fans and perhaps more moviegoers since the current trend is all about rom-coms anyway.
More about the movie here.
I don't know if you're big on cats or dogs for that matter, but movies featuring men's best friends can go either way. In Teacher and Stray Cat, Issey Ogata returns to the big screen, with Shota Sometani and a cat, as his co-stars. I don't know Ogata, so I got curious and found out that he is quite an acclaimed actor in Japan.
Yoko Hani at Japan Times' wrote a piece:
Issey Ogata is nothing if not versatile. Alone on an empty stage, he has audiences in fits as he performs his seriously funny one-man shows portraying characters as diverse as a classic sarariman (office worker) and a folk-song diva — one after another.
In the past 25 years, his hilariously insightful shows have won him legions of Japanese fans, as well as devoted followings abroad gained through simultaneously translated performances in New York, London, Dublin and Munich.
Not only that, but Ogata also directs others’ productions. Oh, and he writes books and short stories as well. [ read more ]
AsianWiki said about this live action movie:
Based on the novel "Maigo no Mi chan - Chiiki Neko to Shotengai Saisei no Monogatari" by Chiaki Kizuki (published July 7, 2009 by Fusosha Publishing). Novel is based on a true story with fictional characters and stories added to it.
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.