Before I list our best and worst casting choices, let me mention some issues related to the cast of Japanese live-action movies of late.

There were a lot of discussions related to the actors chosen for the Ghost in the Shell movie, and just a few months ago, a writer at Fusion, Charles Pulliam-Moore, was happy to note that the actors for Fullmetal Alchemist will have 'no white people' and called it a 'beautiful thing.'

Does it matter if the powerful production committees in Japan cast the right actors in our favorite manga, anime or light novels? The question appears either valid or invalid to fans since no one could do anything about it anyway, but still - what have we got to lose? 


It is equally relevant to say that - some of us - can also make accurate 'predictions' as in the case of Kento Yamazaki and Ryunosuke Kamiki grabbing some noted roles of late. I say it's delightful since it only means 'we get it!' And the people in these committees do too! Though I question their choices most of the time. The fact remains that the members of these committees and not artists or filmmakers, but are businessman and they are tasked to make sure that the funds put into these films will earn them a reasonable ROI (return on investment).

Let me get back to that later.

Gukoroku (also known as Traces of Sin) is the reunion of Satoshi Tsumabuki and Hikari Mitsushima on the big screen. Both award-winning actors play siblings in the Tv series Wakamonotachi (together with Eita, a frequent co-star of both).  The movie is the first full-length film of Kei Ishikawa and tackles the issue of a brother-sister relationship in an atmosphere of mystery and crime. Based on the novel "Gukoroku" by Tokuro Nukui, the film also explores social elites in Japan.

Tsumabuki is the kind of actor who does his best when acting together with equally competent players. He did an acting showdown with Kenichi Matsuyama in My Back Page (he plays a journalist, while Matsuyama is an activist during late 1960s Tokyo), this time he's (once again) a reporter and the trailer already shows some intense moments between him and co-star Hikari Mitsushima.  The film premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, with Mitsushima showing her fashion flair!

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.


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