PsychoDrama celebrates 3 years this coming March 2015! Time flies when you're having fun, and it's such an awesome feeling that we're celebrating our 3rd year - reviewing Japanese movies and drama shows, announcing casting news, doing actor's bias articles and hitlist. Watch out for some special/exclusive articles and interviews soon! Really like to thank those who commented, liked, shared, tweeted and reacted to our articles, many of whom are already friends! Hoping we can stay online for another 30 years or more! That's quite an ambitious target but who knows?
Will you choose rom-coms (Five Minutes to Tomorrow and Au Haru Ride) over a sports-movie featuring Kame and Satoshi Tsumabuki? Or will you settle for an anime like Naruto? How about Rena Nounen's Princess Jellyfish?
Some exciting new movies for the locals this December!
[JMovie in December] Vancouver no Asahi | 20th December 2014 | Satoshi Tsumabuki, Kazuya Kamenashi, etc /ND pic.twitter.com/Nk03g8DY7M— JapaneseDorama&Movie (@JDoramaID) December 10, 2014
[JMovie in December] Five Minutes to Tomorrow | 27th December 2014 | Haruma Miura, Liu Shishi, Joseph Chang /ND pic.twitter.com/Nkr9B51DuZ— JapaneseDorama&Movie (@JDoramaID) December 10, 2014
[JMovie in December] Ao Haru Ride | 13th December 2014 | Tsubasa Honda, Masahiro Higashide, Yua Shinkawa, etc /ND pic.twitter.com/NR9SRcuWAh— JapaneseDorama&Movie (@JDoramaID) December 10, 2014
Let's take a closer look at these movies...
Haruma Miura's Five Minutes to Tomorrow appears to be highly-anticipated in local theaters and early box office returns (in China) shows the movie has earned ¥8.35 million (roughly) 1.3 million USD.
Last October, we reported that Miura was praised for his performance in the movie. Miura is probably one of the most inconsistent Japanese actors today, and while his performance in a previous movie, The Eternal Zero, lacked both conviction and authenticity, reviewers of this movie, were inclined to say he did a reverse and performanced quite well. I guess, we'll be the judge of that!Read more...
Having the awesome opportunity to start an acting career via a high-profile Hollywood film - The Last Samurai and the chance to star with Tom Cruise and some of Japanese movie industry's best talents, Sosuke Ikematsu is also destined to become one of Japan's dramatic young actor by virtue of his movie role choices alone.
One of his most recent films, Yuya Ishii's Our Family - serves as one of his launch pads to work with one of Japan's premiere dramatic actor Satoshi Tsumabuki. Says Maggie Lee @Variety:
A harder-hitting companion piece to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Tokyo Sonata” that might well have been titled “Tokyo Requiem,” “Our Family” depicts a Japanese household imploding under the strains of a crumbling economy. Yuya Ishii’s first serious drama in a career consisting primarily of satirical dramedies demonstrates a new gravitas and compassion:
Ikematsu enlivens the intense drama with a dash of youthful restlessness. [ read more ]
After my first view of the film, I have to say, Ikematsu lives up to his reputation as a scene stealer. No wonder he stars in not one but two of Yuya Ishii's recent works - Our Family and The Vancouver Asahi. While his roles in both movies are supporting parts, he was given enough space to work his magic and shine.Read more...
If you've seen the 2011 movie Life Back Then, you'll remember Masaki Okada's most challenging role to date as the bullied Kyohei who began a lonely existence as a cleaner of dead people's homes. Among his co-stars is Shota Sometani. Fast forward to 2014 and you'll wonder how much acting mileage 3 years could do to Sometani's career as both share top billing in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Strayer's Chronicle.
4 out of 5 stars
With a teaser trailer up, giving us an exciting glimpse into what the movie is all about, the movie's production commitee has also came up with an amazing poster - making use of both actor's expressive eyes! In what maybe considered another high-profile role for Sometani, he shares the spotlight with his former co-star and play rivals as both possess extraordinary powers in this movie adaptation of a Takayoshi Honda novel.
The big difference between mainstream actresses like Juri Ueno, Aya Ueto and even Maki Horikita to Chizuru Ikewaki is the latter's apparent lack of pretense when it comes to image building. Chizuru who portrayed one of the most memorable movie characters in contemporary Japanese movies - Josee - in the bittersweet and moving story of two young lovers in Josee, The Tiger and The Fish - has built up an acting resume by playing unconventional, dark and oftentimes unflattering characters. She also opted to play supporting parts that, most often than not, steal scenes from the main stars simply because she can.
5 out of 5 stars
Her previous small (yet notable) role in The Great Passage reminds us that she is still around. It's just a matter of time when we shall wonder with awe watching her once again on the big screen - and playing the major role. It takes less than a year to do so and what a character it was!
It was the relatively new filmmaker Mipo O who put Ikewaki back into the glare of the spotlight with an uncompromising performance in the director's award-winning film, The Light Shines Only There (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku). There are glimpses of Josee in her character, but as Chinatsu Oshiro, we are to witness the birth of a new fictional character out to haunt us long after we've seen the movie.
Skeptical yet willing to fall in love, Chinatsu is a young woman who knows herself inside and out. As the older sister of Takuji (Masaki Suda), she finds hope and the bliss of a promising relationship when her brother introduced her to Tatsuo Sato (Gou Ayano). Currently struggling to make ends meet, Chinatsu is single handedly supporting her family composed of their Dad who suffers from sexual addiction as a result of his medical confinement. Her Mom, who is obliged to take care of him, while being subjected to sexual advances and Takuji composed this family who live on the outskirts of the city.Read more...
As expected, the alien-invasion sci-fi-thriller/drama starring Shota Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, Ai Hashimoto and Masahiro Higashide tops the Japanese box office during its first week of showing. Directed by Takashi Yamazaki, who also made the highly-popular Always: Sunset on Third Street (Parts 1-3) and the more recent The Eternal Zero (which also stars Sometani, together with Junichi Okada, Mao Inoue and Haruma Miura), This is part one of a two-part series, the second installment of which is slated for a 2015 release.
【最新映画情報】 11月29～30日の国内映画ランキング（全国週末興行成績・興行通信社提供）が発表された。年末に向け、映画が盛り上がってきた。今週、初登場で首位に立ったのは「寄生獣」。オープニング2日間の成績は、... http://t.co/tDdcOIP8TC— love ☆ movies (@yagie_m) December 2, 2014
The movie centers on Sometani's character, Shinichi, who was invaded by an alien (in the form of a worm like creature) but his mind and body were not entirely controlled. Instead of having the alien control him, they managed to co-exist and agreed to survive amidst the chaos and danger posed by fellow aliens who have started to murder humans indiscriminately.
MovieWalker's latest box office list puts Parasyte (Part 1) at the top, followed by two Hollywood films - Fury and Interstellar. Another high-profile Japanese production, Pale Moon (starring Rie Miyazawa, who is grabbing acting trophies left and right and Sosuke Ikematsu) is at number 6.
Just like Shota Sometani, Kanata Hongo and Ryunosuke Kamiki, Sosuke Ikematsu was a child actor - but on a grander scale. Perhaps the only one who started with more buzz is Yuya Yagira who won Best Actor in Cannes at the age of 14 for Koreeda's Nobody Knows.
When the production staff of The Last Samurai was looking for someone to play a young Japanese boy, Ikematsu got the role. As Higen, Ikematsu stole some scenes and it made him such an endearing member of the cast which also includes Ken Watanabe and the beautiful actress-model Koyuki.
It's no wonder, The Last Samurai was well-received in Japan, more so than in the US. Some Japanese film critics even praised the movie - saying it was a welcome departure from previous depiction of Japanese life, particularly that of the Samurai who are often portrayed as "idealistic" and "romanticized", even when the fact remains the Samurai warriors can be deceiving and not the ideal men Hollywood like to portray them.
Ikematsu's charm from the boy in The Last Samurai remains, but as an adult actor, his appeal to the opposite sex can only be described as "hotter than ever". You can see the apparent transformation from some screenshots in The Last Samurai to a recent tweet (as shown above) with Ikematsu as cover of a magazine.
As he reaches 20, his roles get bolder, more challenging.
How else can he be cast in roles that romances older women (ie. Pale Moon) or get someone like Yui Ichikawa fall head over heels (ie When I Sense the Sea). The latter movie required both actors to do some torrid sex scenes where both appear in the nude.Read more...
Not all actors are created equal. Even those who started acting as child performers eventually lose their magic and are relegated into bit, supporting roles. But Sosuke Ikematsu is unique. After playing an important role in Tom Cruise's The Last Samurai, Ikematsu never looked back.
The 23-year old actor from Dazaifu City, Fukuoka, Japan has already made 25 full-length films including the more recent (and critically acclaimed) Our Family, Pale Moon, The Vancouver Asahi and A Story of Yonosuke. While he did movies every year since 2003, he did just a few drama series. But hey, when someone gets to play a dual role - one of whom is a cross-dressing, psychopathic killer, then quantity is never an issue.
In Mozu, there is a scary character from a terrific actor! Sosuke Ikematsu takes us out of the ordinary and into something violent yet sublime and exquisite. As Kazuhiko Shingai, he redefines what is a serial killer.
But as Shingai in Mozu his career-defining role? Probably not. Ikematsu, as already mentioned, has amassed a good number of movies, from prominent Japanese filmmakers. Compared to our previous Actor's Bias articles (Sometani and Matsuda), Ikematsu is as capable as both with a slight advantage (if that can be considered as such).
Find out why after the jump!Read more...
It seems someone was quite "prophetic" when she predicted that Hiroya Shimizu will one day make it really big in Japanese movies! That was 2012 when the young actor was given a supporting role in the drama (youth-thriller) Koko Nyushi (High School Entrance Exam) topbilled by Masami Nagasawa and stars fellow young actors Reiya Masaki and Mahiro Takasugi (who also stars in Hiroya's career defining movie The World of Kanako).
While Masaki and Takasugi grabbed the spotlight earlier than Shimizu, it was the 15-year old aspirant who trailblazes his way into the spotlight by the visually arresting movie from Tetsuya Nakashima, who also paved the way for Yukito Nishii, Ai Hashimoto and Kai Inowaki in the prolific director's previous movie (and surefire box office hit) Confessions.
Nakashima certainly has the magic to cast the right actors in his movies - Eita got one of his big breaks in Nakashima's Memories of Matsuko (topbilled by Miki Nakatani) while Satoshi Tsumabuki headlines another Nakashima movie - Paco and the Magical Picture Book.
But while the young stars of Confessions get to play nasty and evil and (eventually ended up dead), Hiroya has to face a more challenging role in the character of Boku. Not only was he bullied and made a punching bag by his tormentors, he also gets drugged and sodomized and humiliated all at the same time. Of course, his character has a certain redeeming value, but I will get ahead of the story if I say more.
The World of Kanako which stars newcomer Nana Komatsu complemented the perfect mix of innocence and mischief exhibited by Shimizu, who outshines his fellow young stars.Read more...
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Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
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.
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.