Welcome to PsychoDrama! This site contains movie and drama reviews, casting news, trailers, movie posters and information about the latest Japanese productions, including profiles of established and aspiring young actors and actresses. We also feature the hitlist - rankings of the hottest Japanese talents and actors' bias articles - where we discuss prominent talents including Satoshi Tsumabuki, Ryuhei Matsuda, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Mao Inoue, Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki and many others. Join in our discussion and let us know what you think! Started in March 2012, you can find out more about us here.
You may want to look up our previous article regarding Strayer's Chronicle, after you watch the clip below - firstly because you will be curious about the movie's plot and why there is a red team and blue team... second, you may wonder who are the people behind the film because it seems so damn good!
After seeing some footages of the upcoming Attack on Titan live action, I daresay the special effects for Strayer's Chronicle may be even better - the actors are better too! I mean, Shota Sometani and Masaki Okada !!!
Aside from Masaki Okada and Shota Sometani, the other actors have - indeed - amazing powers. There's someone who obviously has speed (like the Flash perhaps?), another with a deadly metal-like "ala-Wolverine" blade on his hand, one of the girls spit deadly marble-like tiny darts and Riko Narumi can hear from long distances.
There are echoes of X-men... I have no idea about the source (it was supposedly based on the novel "Strayer's Chronicle" by Takayoshi Honda) so it's hard to say it's just an X-Men rip-off for now.
I had an interesting discussion about Masaki Suda in twitter on what sort of roles he may find challenging - since, he's been doing such variety of roles that playing a cross-dresser or a bully - seem so easy already. Some may argue about our assessment that Masaki Suda is one of Japan's best young actors at the moment - in the same league as Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira and Sosuke Ikematsu.
The three young actors we've mentioned have been getting a lot of attention lately - Sometani with high profile movies like Parasyte and Strayer's Chronicles, Ikematsu portraying matured roles in such movies Paper Moon and Love's Whirpool, while Yuya Yagira goes all-out in Crows Explode, Ushijima, the Loan Shark and Again. Of course, one may argue, Suda needs to get more challenging roles to be in the same league as Sometani, et al - perhaps another Tomogui?
Masaki Suda just grabbed numerous acting awards for his role in The Light Shines Only There. His upcoming movies, including Assassination Classroom, Akegarasu and Pink and Gray (together with Yuya Yagira for the first time) may even further his acting horizons.
In a recent interview, Suda was quoted that he enjoyed the company of his co-star Ryosuke Yamada in Assassination Classroom and the "musculine-feminine" nature of humans as explored by their characters. Suda plays Karuma Akabane, one of the students who were forced to train themselves in order to kill the alien who wants to destroy Earth.
Yamasuda♥ "I want to work together again with ryosuke" - masaki suda pic.twitter.com/zBKyHHCwok— 山ニャ❤くるすけ (@ichigo_951) March 13, 2015
The same can be said when he and co-star Aoi Morikawa were asked about their roles in Chokolietta.
Just like our recent article on Shota Sometani, we're answering the same four questions we we're asked before...Read more...
Shuhei Nomura's official website has undergone a number of changes recently - and there are some quality video clips that feature the young actor entitled "Extreme Life" - a day in a life sort of clips featuring activities that he gets involved with his friends or people from the industry. You see, before Nomura aspired to become an actor, he was successful as a BMX daredevil - an extreme sports that requires great agility and control.
Freestyle BMX is bicycle motocross stunt riding on BMX bikes. It is an extreme sport descended from BMX racing that consists of five disciplines: street, park, vert, trails, and flatland. [ the Wiki ]
There was even a short clip where the femaile interviewer got down on the ground, with Nomura riding his bike up in the air. BMX stunts are not only his passion, in fact, he won a number of prizes in snowboarding, and list down both extreme sports - together with skateboard - as hobbies.
Aside from these video clips, another recent project just emerged, entitled Nomura Shuhei in Kinema.
What's the relevance of such activities to Nomura's acting career? Perhaps there is none, but to a careful observer, it revealed a lot about his personality. Tentative, unassuming and to the point of expressing certain "self-deprecating" comments, Nomura is wise and patiently waits for the right time. The tentativeness arise from the fact that he is not sure he can do a task perfectly. As we have observed many times, there is a gradual (almost studied) progression to his acting.
Career-wise, he just grabbed two new roles - one in the ensemble cast drama entitled Ai wo Tsumu Hito where he is paired with rising star Hana Suguisaki and a supporting part in Biri Gal where he dons blond hair, and plays the role of the lead star's classmate.Read more...
Kento Hayashi and Kento Yamazaki represent different generations of Japanese actors - Hayashi started out earlier, and has been one of the leads in the coming of age movie Dive! (together with Sosuke Ikematsu and Junpei Mizobata), while Yamazaki started with some notable dramatic roles in such movies as Control Tower, The Wings of the Kirin and Another (with Ai Hashimoto). [ As recap, Part 1 is all about Kento Nagayama and Kento Kaku]
Kento Hayashi (b. Dec 1990) As of today, Kento Hayashi has accomplished a well-rounded acting resume that includes the usual youth-oriented movies - he was Takumi Harada, the baseball ace in the movie adaptation of The Battery and as the aspiring diver who aims to become an Olympic champion in Dive! But it was in the 2010 movie Parade, where he plays a gay prostitute that really made big buzz for him. The ensemble cast that includes Keisuke Koide, Karina and Tatsuya Fujiwara were able to play their characters convincingly, but it was Hayashi who made the biggest impact.
While TV dramas tend to be "lame" in terms of showing anything that deals with sex and intimate relationships, a lot of Japanese movies were able to have the sort of "freedom" to show exactly what is needed. There were a few scenes in Parade that Hayashi did - and it would not be possible if it was in a drama show. If you have not seen this movie, then I suggest you do...
Hayashi went on to play another gay role, this time in Takashi Miike's Lesson of the Evil. It was - once again - a short role for the notable young actor but it matters not a single bit. Not that he's been typecast to play gay roles. In fact, it made him more versatile.Read more...
A few days ago, we posted the news about Third Window Films' venture into independent film production. The new movie, entitled Lowlife Love, is to be directed by Eiji Uchida. I asked Mr. Adam Torel, the Managing director at Third Window a question, on his feelings regarding this exciting new project
I understand that you have to let go of certain personal collection to finance the project and the kickstarter campaign is also helping in the financing... Excited? Nervous? Let us know!
Yes, I had to sell a bunch of incredibly rare records from the 1960s (some of which there were only a handful known copies in existence) plus run the crowd funding campaign (which is not easy as fulfilling everything afterwards is very tough and time consuming), but it has allowed us to have 100% control and keep the film very tight and give full freedom to the director, whom I respect a lot. It's a low budget film, with a crew of only 6 people, but the crew are very talented and professional, plus we're shooting with a RED DRAGON camera, so the film will look much better than one would think from the budget. That coupled with a great script and super cast gives me a lot of confidence for the film's success and that it will be a worthwhile project.
If you have seen Sion Sono's TV series, All Esper Dayo! , Adam plays Sergey, one of the students and he was hilarious! He's from London, but he managed to play a Russian student. (I hope I got that right!)
While the drama starring Shota Sometani shows Mr. Torel's comedic side, his serious venture into filmmaking is one to anticipate.
Let's see what's happening with the film-making process for Lowlife Love, just after the jump!Read more...
I know, the description of the cover image is actually quite inaccurate - the cast composed of Masaki Okada, Shota Sometani, Riko Narumi, Mayu Matsuoka and Hiroya Shimizu among others are not playing superheroes, but are actually kids who developed special powers as the result of genetic manipulation. They are also working for a powerful politician as assassins. There is nothing noble about that!
Anyway, FilmBiz Asia reported that the same team who produced the award-winning The Kirishima Thing - Kohei Kiyazu and Takahiro Sato joined forces with filmmaker Takahisa Zese to produced this scifi-dramatic thriller...
The film represents Zeze's first commercial film since Life Back Then アントキノイノチ (2011), starring Okada as a young man suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after being bullied in high school. Earlier this year, he directed indie erotic drama マリアの乳房. [ read more ]
According to the official movie website from Warner Bros. Japan, the film is based on the 3-part book written by Takayoshi Honda, published just recently in 2012. The books' page at Amazon show nothing but raves from its Japanese readers.
Zese who did the movie Life Back Then back in 2011, also features Masaki Okada as the lead with Nana Eikura, Tori Matsuzaka and Shota Sometani among the cast. The movie won the Innovation Award at the 35th Montreal World Film Festival. Definitely the award-winning production team and the critically- acclaimed actors are surefire ingredients for a quality movie.
In Life Back Then, Zese made Masaki Okada sit at the top of a roof completely naked, staring at the sky as his character is that of a young boy who got bullied at school. In Strayer's Chronicle, he plays Subaru who possessed special powers - he is very strong with super accurate vision. Shota Sometani, on the other hand, will play another kid possessing superpowers but is stuck in a wheelchair. Sometani described his role as someone who is "emotionally unstable" so expect a lot of fireworks just from the two leads!Read more...
Newcomer Suzu Hirose is in for a treat (and possibly a triple treat) as she stars in Umimachi Diary, the latest movie from acclaimed filmmaker Hirokasu Koreeda. Her co-stars - all beautiful and talented actresses - Kaho, Masami Nagasawa and Haruka Ayase play her step-sisters who were re-united with her upon the death of their father.
I would be looking forward to this film, precisely because it's from Koreeda! His previous movie "Like Father, Like Son" is one of the most dramatic family movies I have seen in years. It centers on the inter-relationships between the members of two families who were torn apart as a result of baby switching. In Umimachi Diary (rough translation: Diary from a Seaside Town) the story is all about four sisters and their tentative relationships as the youngest among them moves in (she was their father's child from another woman).
AsianWiki is quick to point out that:
Based on the manga series "Umimachi Diary" by Akimi Yoshida (first published August, 2006 in Japanese monthly josei manga magazine Flowers). "Umimachi Diary" won the 6th Manga Taisho in 2012 and the Excellence Prize for manga at the 2007 Japan Media Arts Festival Awards. [ source ]
The trailer above is heartwarming to say the least. I would hope the group dynamics as quite apparent in the trailer would be sustained for the entire film.
Earlier this year Third Window Films released Eiji Uchida's original take on the slasher genre with GREATFUL DEAD, a film which was called "Amelie meets Battle Royale" (as original mixup if ever there was one) by The Geek Show and was included in many Top 10 lists of 2014 including Twitch and Film Bizarro among others, so when the director came to us with a new project we were more than eager to help out!
Lowlife Love (tentative title - Japanese title is 下衆の愛 - Gesu no Ai) is a slacker comedy about Tetsuo, a film loving, though up his own ass low-life whose bitterness about a failed career as a director is taken out on those around him. He makes porn films to keep money in his pocket, but won't go against his 'artistic integrity' which he uses as a tool to exploit women and others. One day he comes across a perfect script and a young, fresh actress, but will he be able to make the film which will reignite his career as a director, or will his past exploits catch up on him?
The lead character of Tetsuo is played by Kiyohiko Shibukawa who is one of Japan's leading independent actors. He has had a long career starring in films across the board, always popping up in those from Toshiaki Toyoda (9 Souls, Blue Spring, I'm Flash, etc), but also has main parts in films such as Yoshihiro Nakamura's Golden Slumber, Yu Irie's Joker Game, Sion Sono's upcoming Love & Peace, Sogo Ishii's latest That's That and much more.
Third Window Film fans will also recognise him from our releases of And the Mud Ship Sails Away, Isn't Anyone Alive and Fish Story.Read more...
13oys and Men - Promoting the awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming young talents.
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.
My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas, with music news and movie reviews.
Ritsu No Dorama Land - J-dorama reviews with a difference, complete with recaps that really complements the review.
OtherWhere - Excellent and varied trailer showcase, insightful reviews of Japanese movies (both indies and mainstream), and a great resource for news on Studio Ghibli too!
The Corner of the Mind - Drama reviews (with detailed analysis of up and coming dramas via first impressions) and anime spotlights.