It seems we need to make separate posts for two of our perennial favorites - Shota Sometani and Kamiki Ryunosuke. Someone asked me a few times already how we compare to top sites like AsianWiki and Nippon Cinema among others - well, we don't feature everyone, and we have strong opinions about the talents we regularly write about. We are not a database, and we often cut and paste from many sites, but we also listen to what our viewers have to say. And we love to critique movies and dramas!

Back to Shota and Kamiki.


The series of articles we have for both should have been done months ago, but there are certain videos featuring some of their acting highlights we have to upload - and now we have them! What's the best way to start? Well, perhaps by showing you a video of their first (and only) drama/acting collaboration so far. [ Update: Someya joins Kamiki and Takeru Satoh in the highly successful Bakuman in 2015 ]

Kokoro no Ito is a low-profile SP drama from Mitsuhiro Higashiyama, who is bestowed upon to direct two of Japan's finest young actors. From the very beginning, you need to understand that this is Kamiki's drama and Shota plays a supporting part, one that is not as meaty as Kamiki's character. But the acting collaboration between the two is not only a fascinating look at both their unique acting talents, but what sort of roles they are best suited for.

Kamiki is Akito Nagakura, a high school student who also trains as a pianist, a career that is thrown at him early on by his deaf mother who works very hard to support him in his training and school. Akito knows it would be a great disappointed to his Mom if he trains half-heartedly so he forced himself into becoming a world-class pianist but soon cracks appear in his pursuit, and he has to realize his limitations. 

Shota Sometani is Tsuzuki Shota. He is a rebel, not fond of schooling and is often involved in fights resulting in violence, juvenile delinquency, and rejection from his family. He often made fun of Akito - giving him a nickname of "Piano" something that the other kid resents because it opens up personal wounds; reminding him of his failures. While Akito appears to be the good boy, and Tsuzuki is the bad apple, both youngsters share something in common - the pressure of having to go through life with people having high expectations. Akito struggles silently, while Tsuzuki faces the pressure by involving himself in gang fights, thus earning a more sinister reputation than Akito.

But Akito is no coward; he's also brave enough to answer Tsuzuki back!

I would think the selected scenes from the video above would be enough to further illustrate the story, so I'll let the video do the talking!


Exploring roles: Shota in A Liar and a Broken Girl and Kamiki in The Kirishima Thing

From the vantage point of this one SP drama, Shota has been consistent with his acting, and when A Liar and a Broken Girl was shown abroad, he was asked about his acting philosophy...

People always tell me that they can’t really tell what I’m thinking, but more often than not, I’m not thinking anything. Says Sometani.

When asked about playing multi-faceted roles, he replied:

Yes, I love complexity, and I also tend to be offered roles that are very complex!

On the other hand, Kamiki continues to play the "good boy," and the same can be said of his character in The Kirishima Thing.

Here's a general observation of Kamiki when it comes to acting:

"Naive and comical, dangerous and friendly, innocent and twisted, There are a superb balance and extensive reach in between his performances, there are a high potential and a wide range to portray separate/different characters." [ source ]

On his role in the award-winning The Kirishima Thing, says Kamiki:

Seeing my work for the first time, I was dazed. I think the film has various messages; there are also many ways of understanding them, for me, its "Do not try to escape your feelings, face it." For me too, when I was in high school "Is school life a waste of time?" or "What will I gain every day, where will I grow?" there was a period of conflict. But you do not want to realize that kind of thought instead it would be "I'm having fun right now, so it's okay." After seeing the film, you would say something like "You have to face this firmly. Face it now." that message is felt with an astounding impact. [ read more ]

Up Next: Shota's journey towards international acting recognition and Kamiki acting adventures into historical (Taiga) drama, and a closer look at both actors' best drama shows.

 

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