Hikari Mitsushima, Yu Aoi, Mao Inoue, Aoi Miyazaki, Yoko Maki, Yuriko Yoshitaka have, indeed, already graduated from playing teen/youth-oriented roles. You can also add the names of Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Maki Horikita, Erika Toda, Juri Ueno (even Aya Ueto) and Erika Sawajiri to the list, so are we supposed to watch mediocrity, bland, uninspired acting from now on?

Certainly not in the case of a few outstanding newcomers (i.e. those who came after the names of the actresses above) - Fumi Nikaido, Ai Hashimoto, Erina Mizuno to name just a few. But to endure J-doramas starring Emi Takei and Ayame Gouriki? Hey Japanese talent agencies, are there no one else to rock the scene and make us happy? 

People keep asking me, is Emi Takei, a good actress? Labeling someone as capable of good acting and starring in good J-dorama are still subjective, but when many people complain, I guess it's about time we re-examine how we look at good and bad actresses. In the case of Takei, while she managed to portray her Rurouni Kenshin character, it's one of the easiest roles to play  - what Yu Aoi did is even more challenging.

If you want to celebrate Shota Sometani's acting career, then there is no better way but to head over to 13oys and Men as the top 10 Shota Sometani countdown continues. In our last part of Shota's "Actor's bias," we are taking a closer look at one of his upcoming films - which complements the celebration at our companion site. It's like we're covering Sometani's career in full circle!

Like some of Japan's most accomplished actors, Sometani 

"got his start in the film industry at the age of 9, playing a young boy being eaten by zombies in Naoyuki Tomomatsu’s 2001 satirical zombie film Stacy." [ source ]

While some concentrated on a show business career performing on stage for fans or joining a boy band and becoming an idol, Sometani took a less traditional route that demands a more challenging outlook. Short, supporting roles pave the way to meatier parts and in 2011, ten years after his acting debut, Sometani grabbed one of the most prestigious acting awards for newcomers in the global film festival circuit - the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival for Sion Sono's Himizu. The film was the subject of Part 2 of this series.

Some viewers of this site have been asking "Why is Shota Sometani such an amazing actor?" If you've only seen him in supporting parts, then you will not be able to understand the passion and the interest we have of him. PsychoDrama has a companion site - 13oys and Men - which also celebrates the works of the young actor. We share the same passion and we both promote Sometani's film projects and even his work outside of movies.

In Part 2 of this actor's bias - let me invite you to watch Himizu, a film by prolific director Sion Sono, about the story of two young Japanese, both of whom have been rejected by their parents and live in a gloomy, almost dystopian existence.

If you're new to PsychoDrama, then you'll be surprised at the volume of articles/posts featuring Shota Sometani (or Someya as some people call him). If you're a regular reader, then seeing him periodically is a normal occurrence. There were some discussions regarding this site and its readers' bias towards the young actor, so what better way to introduce Sometani to those who asked by featuring him more?

Let me start by updating our readers on his latest movie - Wood Job! The said film is supported by the country's Ministry of Agriculture for the honest and positive depiction of agriculture and forestry.  This field of study has not generated interest by today's young generation of Japanese; thus the government is promoting it in any way they can.

Shintaro Anzai is an unknown talent for most Japanese dorama fans, but maybe some of the most avid ones knew him (which I'm not sure myself). I noticed Anzai in the current medical drama-thriller Alice's Thorn (Alisu no Toge ) as the younger version of Joe Odagiri's character - who is himself doing multiple roles this season. Anzai plays the supposedly investigative reporter Yusuke Nishikado who is directly connected to our heroine - Alice - played by Juri Ueno.

The young actor first appeared on the drama during one flashback as Alice and her Dad enjoy the shade from the cherry blossoms inside the hospital premises. But the more dramatic scene is when Yusuke (Shintaro) wrote a piece in the newspaper, accusing Alice's Dad of being a drug dealer, thus affecting the state of health of his sister.