Johnny's perennial idol and superstar Takuya Kimura will be collaborating with Takashi Miike for the first time in the live-action, The Blade of the Immortal. Based on the manga series "Mugen no Junin" by Hiroaki Samura, the movie is about revenge and immortality.

A lot has been said about Takashi Miike state of filmmaking recently. While his previous projects - Thirteen Samurai, Harakiri: Death of a Samurai and Ace Attorney were appreciated by both fans and critics, his more recent films were not. He has been doing movies since 1991, and it seems he's getting tired? Or it has something to do with the creative juices running out?

Last October 4, Taishi Nakagawa announced on his official blog that he'd be playing the central role in Re: LIFE. Re: LIFE is an ongoing Japanese science fantasy drama (web based) manga series written and illustrated by Yayoiso. It's being published by NHN PlayArt on the comico website since October 12, 2013, and already has six volumes compiled by chapters and published by Earth Star Entertainment. The anime version was aired on television on July 2, 2016, composed of thirteen episodes. We posted the casting news last September.

 

The movie is reported to have an original ending, which may depart (or not) from the original intention of the writer.

March Comes in like a Lion (3月のライオン San gatsu no Lion) is an upcoming two-part Japanese film directed by Keishi Ōtomo, starring Ryunosuke Kamiki and based on the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Chica Umino.

The film will be released in Japan by Toho and Asmik Ace in 2017 in two parts, with the first part scheduled for March 18 and the second planned for April 22.

The Death Note movies of Kenichi Matsuyama and Tatsuya Fujiwara serve as my introduction to Japanese live-action movies. Matsuyama is especially memorable in Death Note for the perfect combination of subtle, thrilling and comedic acting. I saw the first Death Note movie after I watched Matsuyama in Norwegian Wood. Somebody told me about his almost perfect portrayal of the world's "greatest detective." Matsuken's L is what I imagined the fictional character would be in real life.

That was late 2011, a few years after the first Death Note movie was released. Five years later, we're into the fifth live-action adaptation of the manga made famous by Tsugumi Ohba, with illustration by Takeshi Obata. 

If you've watched both live-action Chihayafuru movies, then you know there is another film (or two) coming up. I mean, there's so much still to be told! But before I get ahead of myself, let's have a review.

Chihayafuru Kami no Ku (Part 1) - is the First installment of the live action based on the manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate - Arata - to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. Joining Chihaya is her long-time friend Taishi, and together with Arata, they formed a bond of deep friendship strengthened by the passion for the sport.

Chihayafuru Shimo no Ku (Part 2) - is the Second installment of the live action featuring the struggles of Chihaya and her friends to play competitive karuta. It also involves their personal issues about love, friendship, family, death and loss, loyalty and rivalry. The movie also introduced another major character - the current karuta queen and Chihaya's thrilling encounter with the queen as they play karuta rivals.

There were some issues raised about the casting of Suzu Hirose playing the main character. Most of the argument is all about Hirose's lack of "personal vibes" to play a credible Chihaya since the character is a  " tomboyish, outgoing and ambitious" girl and that Hirose may not be able to project herself like that. However, for me, I think Suzu rose to the occasion and played a credible Chihaya. The character is not difficult to play. 

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Psycho Drama list of 100 favorite Japanese films through the years.