The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is one of the three (and counting) live-action adaptation with Kento Yamazaki as lead. Though the other two, most notably Jojo's Bizarre Adventures which is such a high profile role, I still believe playing Kasuo is Kento's most challenging yet. Based on the manga series "Saiki Kusuo no Sainan" by Shuichi Aso, the movie version has a 2017 release date.

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Kento's reported 'over-exposure' is the subject of discussion among fans and haters. The big issue is whether he can deliver performances that show the individual differences of these characters. There was a time when Masaki Suda was doing 5-6 movies at the same time, but he never encountered the same hate. If only Kasuo could speak telepathically to them and say "fuck off!" that would be all right would you say? 

A few days ago, there was some buzz about the live action adaptation of Jojo's Bizarre Adventures (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険 ダイヤモンドは砕けない 第一章). The new Takashi Miike film will allow Kento Yamazaki a first-hand experience of what it feels like to be directed by a foremost filmmaker - something that would lend more credibility to his position as one of Japan's most exciting young actors. 

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As I said many times, Yamazaki is destined to travel this route precisely because he has the talent and the looks to handle roles usually reserved for the likes of Satoshi Tsumabuki and even Shun Oguri, though the matured, career climbing and romantic roles are still a few years from now. With less than 20 full-length features to his credit, Yamazaki's climb to the Japanese acting scene is nothing but both guarded and surprising.

Five years is not long considering how some actors spent a quarter of their lifetimes learning the craft. In celebration of our 5th year anniversary, I am tasked to come up with a list of actors who I consider the best representative of Japanese movies and drama - yesterday and today. Unlike the 100 Contemporary Japanese movie list, there is a ranking here, and an acknowledgment of each actor's contribution to cinema - as inspiration, as role models, as provocateurs, as spokesmen for worthy causes or simply for the ability to make people laugh, happy, angry, and cry. 

Toshiro Mifune

While some who are new to the Japanese movie/drama scenes are aghast, surprise, shock, annoy and amuse on the seemingly "overacting" nature of certain Japanese performers, it says a lot also about the other side - the subtle and understated acting of some of its best.

In this 100 list, we have both and #deadfisheyes too!

Through the years I have been asked to make recommendations on a "verified, authentic list" of Japanese films that one may want to see, as a way of introduction. Many times, I failed to come up with such a list because I don't think I have seen enough. I'm celebrating five years of blogging Japanese movies this coming March 2017 and I thought it would be nice to restart my ambitious 100 contemporary Japanese movie list.

100 Contemporary Japanese Movies 

'Contemporary' as many knows refers to movies produced and released recently - perhaps only as "old" as 1996. That means titles such as Tokyo Story, Seven Samurai, Rashomon, The Family Game, and even Harakiri and Cruel Story of Youth will not be included. 

Cats appear - more often in Japanese movies - as constant, loveable companions or a symbol of luck and good harmony or both. While dogs [we'll talk about them in Part 2] are considered more popular (a poll shows dogs are preferred by 49.8% versus 27.9% for the feline creatures), the Japanese is reputed to be one of the most passionate cat lovers in the world.

Cats in Japanese Movies

Tashirojima Island in Ishinomaki City located east of Sendai City is known as the ‘Cat Island’. Cats come to welcome the boats at the port. Many cats wait patiently around the fishing port for fishermen to return. Neko-jinja or the cat shrine is located in the central area of the island and it enshrines a “cat god” in hope of a good catch and safety of the fishermen. Cats have been worshiped as gods for several hundred years when people began forecasting the outcome of fishing based on cats’ behavior. Tashirojima Island was damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011, but many of the cats survived, evacuating to the area around Neko-jinja. [ read more ]

Aside from the cat island described above, it is in Japan where "Hello Kitty" originated (by Sanrio Co. Ltd.), Kroochi, the stray cat, and the now popular cat cafes and of course, the Maneki-neko (welcoming cat and lucky charm). 

Subcategories

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