The 100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies - Psycho Drama is launching an ambitious project to compile 100 of the best modern-day Japanese movies from the last 2 decades or so. Featuring the best young actors of their generation - from Joe Odagiri, Takako Matsu and Tadanobu Asano, to Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Mao Inoue, Ryuhei Matsuda, Shun Oguri and Masanabu Ando to the current crop of exciting young talents - Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Sosuke Ikematsu, Kento Yamazaki, Fumi Nikaido and Ai Hashimoto. [ click here ]
Based on a novel by Kei Nakazawa, When I Sense the Sea (Umi wo Kanjiru Toki) is a tale of love and obssession, featuring Sosuke Ikematsu and Yui Ichikawa.
This is one of our most anticipated Japanese movies for 2014, and is slated for release on September 13. Ikematsu has been given a lot of challenging roles this year, and he's getting raves for both his TV and movie performances!
The trailer above features some steamy, intimate scenes between our characters.
A Best Actor trophy is long overdue for Ryuhei Matsuda and last year that recognition was made possible via Yuya Ishii's The Great Passage (Fune wo Amu). While it was a hot debate as to who fared better - Kengo Kora in Story of Yonosuke or Matsuda in the said film, different award giving bodies in Japan bestowed acting honors to both. However, the Japan Academy Prize, considered as the most prestigious of these awards, gave Matsuda the Best Performance from a lead Actor trophy.
The Great Passage was adapted from a novel by Shion Miura, the same author who wrote Mahoro ekimae Tada Benriken which incidentally also had Ryuhei Matsuda as one of the leads in the movie version. The story revolves around Majime (Matsuda), a lexicographer who has a gift for comprehending different languages. He was originally from another department but was chosen to become part of the team tasked to produce a dictionary called 'The Great Passage". This new "living" dictionary is being compilled, indexed and edited before there was google and wikipedia, and the team relies on excel files and index cards to complete the tedious process. The 240,000 word Japanese dictionary also includes slang - everyday words used by teens and students and basically everyone else (Boy's Love was included while Majime observes young girls inside a fastfood resto).
If someone else was cast to play Majime, I don't think the movie will have this kind of soothing, blissful, enjoyable impact. Ryuhei Matsuda played geeky, nerdy cool to the hilt, and you will forget his other famous movie characters - that young Samurai in Gohatto, the nightmare detective, Gyouten in Mahoro and the ill-fated Jun Ariyoshi in Big Bang Love Juvenile A. He is Mitsuya Majime. [ read more ]
Can he duplicate this feat? Probably not, but being fan of the actor it's not hard to think there is such a possibility...Read more...
There are some pretty amazing movie posters starring Ryuhei Matsuda and it's perfect timing to feature them now. We've launched Part 1 of Ryuhei Matsuda actor bias yesterday and will have 2 more parts coming up. As you can see, Ryuhei did a lot of awesome movies even when he was just starting in the industry...
Of course, Mahoro has to be first! More posters after the jump...Read more...
Ryuhei Matsuda comes from a family of artists. I guess if you're a fan you'll know that already. For the uninitiated, Ryuhei Matsuda is the son of the late actor Yusaku Matsuda (The senior Matsuda was the charismatic anti-hero who starred in such films as Yoshimitsu Morita's ``Kazoku Gemu' (Family Game, 1983) and Ridley Scott's 1989 ``Black Rain,' which he completed just months before dying of cancer. source ). His Mom is also a noted figure in movies, Miyuki and his younger brother is the famous actor Shota.
You might be nodding your head as you realize the relationship between Ryuhei and Shota, and might even be surprised since they don't really have that "striking similarity" factor.
In fact, the brothers took different career paths - Shota concentrated more on TV dramas, while Ryuhei's approach to acting is in movies. Another important distinction is Ryuhei's preference for playing unique yet low-profile characters. But playing non-challant, geeky-nerdy, unassuming characters has a certain twist, and we'll focus on that later.
What makes him a gifted actor and the subject of discussion among Japanese movie fans? Simple - all of his acting performances are extraordinary. He dives into a movie character like a kid who loves to swim in the sea.Read more...
EigaNews just posted the news about acclaimed director Hirokazu Koreeda's new movie entitled Umimachi Diary.
A translation of the storyline was posted at AsianWiki, indicating that there are 4 lead roles up for grab!
There are three sisters: 29-year-old Sachi Kouda, 22-year-old Yoshino Kouda and 19-year-old Chika Kouda. They live at a house in Kamakura, Japan. Their house was left by their grandmother.
One day, they receive news of their father's death. When the sisters were young, their parents divorced and their father left them. They haven't seen their father in 15 years. Upon hearing the news on their father's death, the younger sisters, Yoshino and Chika, do not feel anything, because they hardly have any memories of him. Oldest sister Sachi is different. She can't forgive her father, because she remembers him clearly. Sachi decides not to attend her father's funeral and asks her two younger sisters to attend.
At the funeral, the two younger sisters meet their stepsister Suzu Asano. She is a middle school student. Yoshino is aware that her father's wife is not Suzu's real mother and Suzu's future is uncertain. Yoshino sends a letter about Suzu to her oldest sister Sachi. After reading the letter, Sachi attends the funeral. Soon, Sachi invites Suzu to live with and Suzu accepts. The four sisters begin to live together.[ source ]
Anime News Network puts the emphasis on the 2nd sister (Yoshino Kouda) saying:
The story takes place in Kamakura, and revolves around Yoshino, the middle of three sisters. One morning, after she wakes up in a man's room, her father's obituary is delivered to her. Yoshimi hadn't met her father in a long time, since her mother divorced him. After not seeing him for so long, she doesn't know how to feel at the announcement of his death. Only at her father's funeral do the sisters meet their half-sister whom they had never met. [ source ]
I would expect another powerhouse cast for the new movie, and with such high expectations for Koreeda, there is a big possibility that he'll cast some of Japan's best actresses...
I wonder if he'll get Fumi Nikaido to play the role of the middle sister? How about Hikari Mitsushima for the role of the eldest? Or perhaps Aoi Miyazaki?
The movie is based on a manga by Akimi Yoshida ans is slated for release in 2015.
Kento Yamazaki, who is becoming known for intense dramatic acting, will team up (again) with Johnny's Yuto Nakajima in a new drama series entitled Water Polo Yankees (Suikyu Yankisu). They will be joined by another Johnny's, Yuya Takaki, who will play Takajima's rival. Of course, Nakajima takes the lead role in this new drama from Fuji TV.
GirlChannel posted some photos covering the new series where Nakajima is to play Naoya Inaba, a young Japanese who grew up abroad and admires Yankees. The term is to be differentiated from "yankee" which
...usually refers to people from the north, largely those who fought for the regions in the Union side of the American Civil War, but also those with New England cultural ties, such as descendants from colonial New England settlers, wherever they live. Its sense is more cultural than literally geographic. The speech dialect of New England is called "Yankee" or "Yankee dialect."
Yankees in this case refer to heroes from manga sources.
Kento Yamazaki's photo wearing only his swimming trunks was posted by Amoeba as the Japanese portal announced the new drama. As usual, promotional photos of Johnny's talents are restricted, but some photos scanned by these Japanese portals were made available.Read more...
A new TBS drama entitled "My Father's Back" (Oyaji no Senaka ) will star Hikari Mitsushima playing an aspiring Olympic boxer, with Koji Yaskusho as her father. Also playing pivotal parts are Yo Oizumi, Masakazu Tamura, Tsunehiko Watase, Kankuro Nakamura and Toshiyuki Nishida.
Many Japanese drama lovers surely remember Mitsushima in Woman, where she plays a single Mom who was forced to raise her children when her husband (Shun Oguri) died in a train accident. That drama also stars Fumi Nikaido and Yuko Tanaka as Hikari's sister and mother, respectively.
Koji Yakusho who was superb in many of his previous movies, including Chronicle of my Mother and The Woodsman and the Rain, will play her father who was a former Olympian.
Also playing a prominent role is Yo Oizumi, who maybe in another of the drama's episodes. Oizumi did a great job playing a detective in the two Phone Call to the Bar movies, with Ryuhei Matsuda as his sidekick.
Someone asked me why Rena Nounen is not on PsychoDrama's hitlist of young actresses and I responded that being quite popular in the asadora Amachan is simply not enough, given the quality of the line-up. For instance, Kaho and Ai Hashimoto who both ranked in the list- have amazing acting resume with starring roles in such movies as The Kirishima Thing and Control Tower (Hashimoto) and Sing, Salmon Sing and A Gentle Breeze in the Village (Kaho).
But this impression might change as Nounen gets another acting vehicle (Hot Road) to prove she has what it takes to become a credible dramatic actress. Aside from Nounen, Hiroomi Tosaka was also given quite a challenging role to play. Tosaka plays Hiroshi Haruyama, a member of the motorcycle gang "Nights" who eventually had an affair with Nounen's character and thus, began their stormy relationship.
More photos after the jump!Read more...
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
D-Addicts - Great and insightful discussions about Japanese dramas, English subtitles of the latest and previously released dramas, and torrents.
Dorama Doll - a new blog that will feature recaps of selected Japanese dramas, most probably related to Johnny & Associates talents, with some great recommendations on what to watch if you're new to the J-drama scene.
Genkinahito's Blog - Reviews, news, box office results & some amazing insights into Japanese films, including manga and anime.
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.
My Drama Tea - Honest and insightful reviews of Japanese drama, also reviews of Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese dramas, with music news and movie reviews.
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!
Twitch Films - Extensive coverage of film events, with an amazing spotlight on Japanese movies.