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 feature the hitlist - rankings of the hottest Japanese talents and actors' bias articles - where we discuss prominent talents including Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka, Mitsuki Takahata, Aoi Morikawa, Hiroya Shimizu, Nijiro Murakami, Hana Sugisaki 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.
I understand that there is always the need to inject comedic relief especially so when the subject matter is serious. That may be the case in 35-sai no Koukousei (35歳の高校生 35-Year-Old High School Student). But I would prefer comedic relief with a certain finesse since I hate the over-acting variety. There were talks about the difference between acting in a movie and a TV series on this site a few times already. I think actors including those who are playing roles in a theatrical play (where exaggerated facial expressions are a given) - there is one particular requirement: authenticity. An authentic (or truthful) performance even in science fiction or fantasy in that we (the audience) can still accept.
And the fact that some people accepting TV shows where the director and scriptwriter are conniving to bring out the over-acting as being the norm are just unacceptable (insert a barbaric yawp!). Why would we settle for something inferior when we know there can be better alternatives? Well, I blame these directors - Noriyoshi Sakuma, Seiichi Nagumo, Maki Nishino and their scriptwriters - Masahiro Yamaura, Yuya Takahashi for the crime. But blaming them when I have yet to finish the show? Yes, there are a lot of instances when they redeemed themselves!
I finished re-watching episodes 4-11 in a marathon and while the tragedy of the suicidal teacher gets to me (Chapter 4), the spotlight remains with the students and the adventures outside the school where teams 1, 2 and 3 are pitted against each other. The caste system may be cruel, but I think it brings something to the table - it tests student's resolve. Life and the world outside school are tough and it's the duty of the school administrators and the teachers to prepare their students to face to reality. But...
Students will never admit to being bullied, let alone report on the bullies themselves. It would practically trigger more bullying since "rat"-ting on a fellow classmate is "worst" than being the bully [ that's debatable of course if you're the parent or someone who never had to endure the pain and humiliation of being bullied]
The whole social structure or the caste system in high school is there - in my opinion - to develop friendships. These are the kind of life-long friendships that you develop until you get old. Unlike in a college or University setting where students are required to attend classes from one subject to another. The high school caste system is rigid, and each member of the class is "forced" to come up with a buddy system or become a loner. Of course, you may gain more friends in college too, but the kind of relationships you have during high school are quite different and very unique. As in the case of bullying, I think it's more dangerous and cruel when the bullies are quite impressionable and not yet matured to develop their own sense of "decency".Read more...
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children (which also applies to adults) involving a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically, psychologically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. [ source ]
I've waited for a long time to tackle this issue and review this particular drama because I know what it feels like to be bullied (and do the bullying too). The fact that the show features some of Japan's most promising young actors and actresses is just another reason to give it the spotlight it deserves. Let me just do an introduction first...
35-sai no Koukousei (35歳の高校生 35-Year-Old High School Student?) is a 2013 NTV Japanese television drama, starring Ryoko Yonekura. It aired from 13 April 2013 to 22 June 2013 with a total of 11 episodes.
In April, a beautiful and mysterious woman suddenly appeared at Kunikida High. She is a new student and will become part of a class for 3rd-year high school.
Her classmates are surprised and intrigued - wondering who she truly is and what are her real intention for going back to school at such an age. She did what ordinary high school students are expected to do - wear school uniform, participate in classes and do homework. She went to school in an expensive car and during break time, she smoked with a teacher. After school, she drank beer. No one knows what she is up to, but they know, she can change people. She questioned the system and fought to change it. She tried to solve the problems faced by high school students - bullying in particular.
But who is she? What has happened in her past that she seems so obviously affected by what her classmates are going through?
Now, I don't know about you but I felt a lot of conflicting emotions watching each episode. Let me explain...Read more...
Seeing Kento Kaku looking pensive and serious can drive any fangirl (or fanboy for that matter) crazy. In the teaser trailer for Moriyamachu Driving School - Moriyamachu Kyoshujo [Japanese: 森山中教習所], his team up with Shuhei Nomura (who is just perfect being the playful friend) is fun to watch!
PsychoDrama has not been covering Kento Kaku with the kind of spotlight he deserves, but there is certainly time for atonement! I know that during his N no Tame Ni run, he was overshadowed by Masataka Kubota's intense, dramatic performance, but I guess Kaku is an actor who grows on you - he strikes me as a sensitive performer, yet you need to see him more to appreciate more. But that's just me, and in this movie, I think I'm 'sold' on his acting.
While the team up of Sosuke Ikematsu and Masaki Suda in the upcoming Setoutsumi looks super fun and super entertaining, the duo of Nomura and Kaku may steal the thunder with the kind on-screen chemistry they showed together in the select scenes above. Nomura has always been so consistent - be it a horror/thriller or slice of life and he has been in the spotlight from the word go!
In Moriyamachu Driving School, Kento Kaku works for the yakuza while Shuhei Nomura is a former classmate whom Kaku (who plays Todoroki) hits accidentally. They immediately strikes a friendship during their time at the driving school.
2016 Japanese movie casting is already dominated by 2 actors - Kento Yamazaki and Masaki Suda. In yet another casting scoop, Suda will play the main character in Teichi no Kuni (Teiichi’s Country- 帝一の國, 帝一之国), the school life drama from the author of Litchi Hikari Club, Usamaru Furuya.
A lot has been said (both positive and negative) about Litchi Hikari Club and the live action version - mainly about the acting from Yuki Furukawa (who plays Zera), Shotaro Mamiya and Shuhei Nomura. This time, there is universal praise for having Suda play the main protagonist... However, I have no idea if there is already a "backlash" towards the young actor for getting so many roles in so short a time. Recent discussion at the site centers on how Suda can differentiate his roles and how much time he can dedicate towards developing the characters.Read more...
I daresay Distraction Babies is the most anticipated Japanese movie for 2016! The previously released teaser trailer lacks the intensity and flow of the updated trailer below, and here you can see how Yuya Yagira and Masaki Suda interact with each other. As the two main leads, both guys are supposed to be prone to violence, with Yagira's character more intense, yet Suda has shown a certain malicious, creepy side to his character.
Nana Komatsu, who failed to follow up her crazy, fierce acting in The World of Kanako, by taking part is some forgettable movies may be back for good here. Seeing her with Nijiro Murakami and Takumi Kitamura is just thrilling to watch. Some of you have indicated that Murakami maybe Sometani's 'successor', this is an amazing opportunity for him to expand on his acting craft and play Yagira's younger brother.
Now, with this trailer I believe what the filmmaker has said all along:
The most extreme 108 minutes in Japanese film history? - that's what they said about Distraction (Destruction) Babies [ (Disutorakushon Beibizu- ディストラクション・ベイビーズ)] , the upcoming movie featuring Yuya Yagira, Masaki Suda, Nana Komatsu and Nijiro Murakami from the direction of Tetsuya Mariko. [ read more of our film profile ]
With 3 full-length films to his credit and a dozen or so TV drama and movies, Ryosuke Yamada recently received the Rookie of the Year from the Japan Academy. Said Rookie was for his role in Assassination Classroom. He is joined by Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya for their work in the futuristic-coming of age movie, Orange. Now comes one of the biggest highlights of his acting career - to play the title role of Edward Elrich in the live action Full Metal Alchemist.
Is he the right actor to play the role? What sort of scenario took place during the actual casting? Who is Edward Elrich and why is his character such an interesting role to play?
Now, having launched our yearly Japan's Best Actors list, it seems like a coincidence that the casting buzz took place just a few days after. I think I have some other actors on my mind to play the role... but let's have a backgrounder first:
Fullmetal Alchemist takes place in an alternate Edwardian Era-themed history, in the fictional country of Amestris (アメストリス Amesutorisu?). In the world, alchemy is one of the most-practiced sciences; Alchemists who work for the government are known as State Alchemist (国家錬金術師 Kokka Renkinjutsushi?), and automatically are given the rank of Major in the military. Alchemists have the ability, with the help of a Transmutation Circle, to transmute almost anything they desire via their souls. However, when they do so, they must also give up something physically personal of theirs, as stated under the Law of Equivalent Exchange. The only thing Alchemists are forbidden from transmuting are humans. Doing so will not only cost a person a part of their body and create a black, inhuman mesh, but also be confronted by Truth, a God-like being who tauntingly regulates all alchemy use.Read more...
During our first rankings, it was Satoshi Tsumabuki who ruled! Aside from winning Best Actor at the Japan Academy for Villain, Tsumabuki dominated the casting buzz - with back to back roles, including lead roles for My Back Page (with Kenichi Matsuyama), Smuggler and Fly With the Gold. A year later, it was Ryuhei Matsuda's turn - he also won Best Actor and had a string of amazing films. On our third year, it was Shota Sometani who dominated the rankings.
Sometani went on to top the rankings 2 years in a row, with Yuya Yagira closing in at 2nd place... This year is very different!
The 2016 Edition of Japan's Best Actors - Promising List has evolved from a mere listing of actors - both known and unknown to movie fans outside Japan, to become quite 'inclusive' of what the locals also consider as their best, most sought-after newcomers. The list is very exclusive in the sense that only those who are below the age of 30 are considered, thus we are putting the spotlight on talents who are really grabbing the most challenging and fresh roles in both movies and doramas right this minute.
[ Note that this is the Promising list, there are 15 more names for the hottest ranking coming up next ]
As we have noted in the first edition of the Most Promising Young Japanese actors hitlist: Every successful actors in Japan started somewhere - a supporting role in a prime time TV series or portraying one of the country's beloved Kamen riders or starring in a dramatic movie by a well-known filmmaker or simply working his way up from bit roles until getting that much-coveted leading part...[ 2013 Edition ]
|JAPAN CUTS: Festival of New Japanese Film, the largest celebration of new Japanese cinema in North America, is 11 days of blockbusters, documentaries, animations, new classics and avant-garde from Japan’s latest and most exciting directors, writers, and actors. Many films will be making their United States premiere. A few will even be having their international and world debuts. And, in celebrating the JAPAN CUTS’ 10th anniversary, an unprecedented number of screenings will feature exclusive introductions and Q&A’s by special guest filmmakers, stars, and artists.|
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