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, Yu Aoi, Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka 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. By the way, we don't do gossip - we don't know who is dating who nor feature anyone who went to this or that motel. We could not care less. While we may appear to be movies fans, we feature more than news, but also opinion. We are also not a database since we feature selectively.
My first article at PsychoDrama is a profiler of Johnny's Ryo Nishikido since I was so impressed with him in A Boy and His Samurai (Chonmage Purin). That was 3 years ago, and like a blast from the past- Ryo is back and playing a similar role in the new TV Asahi show Samurai Sensei. This time, he is not a samurai turned chef who developed emotional attachments with a mother-son (Rie Tomosaka- Fuku Suzuki), but an activist from 18th century Japan.
Here's the plot:
In 1865, Hanpeita Takechi (Ryo Nishikido) belongs to political activist group Shishi. He is then imprisoned and ordered to kill himself for disrespecting the Lord. When Hanpeita Takechi is about to carry out the suicide, he suddenly finds himself asleep in the middle of a country road. He is now in present day Japan, but he has no idea how he got here.
Hanpeita Takechi wants to go back, but he is stuck in the remote rural area. Meanwhile, villagers are embarrassed by Hanpeita’s appearance. Haruka Saeki (Manami Higa) works at a public office there and she hears about Hanpeita Takechi. Haruka Saeki finds him at the supermarket. [ source ]
It takes time to get used to Japanese movies, TV shows and their actors. If Yamapi is now a #deadfisheyes to me, he was not like that during first impressions. With Ryo, it's like having the same kind of reaction to Haruma Miura's inconsistent acting. I guess both Miura and Nishikido require a capable director to give them the right amount of guidance to come up with amazing acting.
I really hope this new show will give Ryo the acting mileage he deserves!
The biggest casting news in August were: (1) the Ken Watanabe-led all-star cast from Sang Il-Lee entitled Anger about a man who brutally murdered a couple and underwent plastic surgery. In 3 different settings, a stranger appeared and get involved with the locals. Who among these strangers is the killer? The cast includes Satoshi Tsumabuki, Gou Ayano, Kenichi Matsuyama and Mirai Moriyama. (2) Lychee Light Club starring Yuki Furukawa in, perhaps, his most challenging role as Zera, a young man who employed psycho-games among middle school boys and created an AI to abduct girls. What's interesting and intriguing about this adaptation is that it is based on a lot of boys-on-boys sexual acts. Shuhei Nomura, Shotaro Mamiya and 6 other young actors complete the cast. (3) Destruction Babies featuring a guaranteed acting showdown between Yuya Yagira and Masaki Suda.
... this latest movie from Tetsuya Mariko, was reported to be hyper-violent, with the director himself asking for Yuya Yagira to play the lead role. Both actors were quoted as saying, their roles may be considered career highlights and that both of them will act together in some dramatic scenes critical for the ultimate success of the movie. Nijiro Murakami and Nana Komatsu also stars...
Other casting buzz worth mentioning are (4) Orange - a rom-com time travelling story with a twist featuring Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya, in a reunion of sorts, as both actors also play a couple in the asadora, Mare. (5) Chihayafuru - coming of age tale featuring the card game karuta with Suzu Hirose, Shuhei Nomura and Mackenyu.
Now, what's interesting is that Fumi Nikaido is playing a goldfish who can transform into a young woman...
Entitled Mitsu no Aware from famed author, poet and artist Muro Saisei. Nikaido plays Akago who lives with an old writer (Ren Osugi) whom she calls “Ojisama.” Other characters in the story are Yoko Maki, who plays Yuriko and appears as a ghost, same with Kengo Kora.
I made some research about Saisei and his bio is quite interesting:
Muro Saisei was a Japanese novelist and poet born in Kanazawa (on the Noto Peninsula of Western Japan). At age 21 he moved to Tokyo. Eventually, he became known for his role in helping to introduce Western-style free verse poetry into mainstream Japanese poetry. In Kanazawa city, effort to preserve Muro Saisei's legacy has been huge. There is a museum built on his birthplace, a literary monument, as well as a literature museum near downtown.
Saisei's early life is rather interesting. He was the adopted son of a Buddhist priest and so grew up in a temple in Kanazawa City, on the banks of the Saigawa River. He quit high school and began working as an apprentice in a city court, where he first began writing haiku and published his first collection of poems. From there he moved to Tokyo to live as a writer. [ read more ]
Ah, before I forget Ryunosuke Kamiki (with lead star Tomoya Nagase playing the devil himself) in Kankuro Kudo's Too Young to Die will be released next year - February 2016. That's one amazing new movie coming up!
“If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.” [ source ]
Well, Light Yagami did not hold back and he's very much the cause of L's demise.
4 stars out of 5
I've read a lot of books through the years - from bestselling novelists and lately manga authors - and I seldom get impressed with the preaching about humanity, of good and evil, of getting rid of criminals, of love conquering all. The same can be said of Light and L's arguments about justice and mercy, of following the law and taking the law into one's hand.
Death Note is, after all, the struggle between good and evil, of defining what justice is, how man gets affected by evil and power and that in every struggle one has to die in order for the other to live.
With L's death, there is a need to fill the void - so Near takes us to a whole new battle.
Mio Yuki emerges as the new heroine (or hero for that matter). The ugly and terrifying (yet somewhat hilarious) doll also takes center stage as the "Jekyll and Hyde-inspired" dual personality takes over from L... Yuki looks serene and innocent, even naive then takes on a cross-over personality and acts with malevolence. I'm loving her acting so far...
Kento Yamazaki's take on L is over - at least as lead investigator, but looking back at the young man's career (re-watched Control Tower last night, and saw a few Mare episodes), I have to say he has grown tremendously and this rather challenging role has taken a lot from him. He is not yet a Yagira or a Sometani, but he certainly is way-way above a Fukushi, even a Nomura at this point.
I agree on the notion (perhaps even a stated fact) that the director and scriptwriter are responsible for the change in Kubota's acting style. Gone is the subtlety - what we see is over-the-top acting, unadulterated even and it either turns you off or inspires you and entertains you. I guess, after an Ep 8 re-watch I got the point. They obviously want viewers to gain more sympathy of the fallen private detective and transform the timid young man that is Light into the epitome of evil.
We're into Episode 8 of Death Note drama and after what I may say as a relapse in Episode 7 (my opinion), the drama picked up not just pace and performance, but the overall look and feel- which to me is a proclamation of what the drama is all about - and what it will be in the future. Light Yagami (played by Masataka Kubota) will always be my villain while detective par excellence L will always be my hero. I don't know about you, and let's see what we have so far (oh, yes there is already a summary of Episodes 1-6 here)
The synopsis available from DramaWiki is a collective summary of what the drama is all about:
Yagami Light, (Kubota Masataka), is an ordinary University student. One day, he receives a death note which changes his life. The death note awakens his warped sense of justice and genius. He becomes murderer Kira and punishes criminals.
L, (Yamazaki Kento), is a well-known private detective. L appears in front of Light. L defines Kira as evil and decides to catch Kira. Then N (Yuki Mio), who has a beautiful appearance but dangerous existence, appears.
The scorecard [ who rules the acting showdown at this time? ] after the jump!Read more...
Ryohei Suzuki is such a versatile actor that he was equally awesome in Hentai Kamen, Tokyo Tribe and even in the upcoming My Love Story (Ore Monogatari) even though I have yet to see that movie! If you've seen the last 2 movies then you will see a tremendous transformation from Suzuki - from the appealing super hero and lead star to a heavy weight high schooler who has a big heart.
Watch the trailer above to see what I mean...
Here's the synopsis -
Gouda Takeo (Suzuki) is a freshman in high school. (Both estimates) Weight: 120kg, Height: 2 meters. He spends his days peacefully with his super-popular-with-girls, yet insensitive childhood friend, Sunakawa (Kentaro Sakaguchi). One morning, on the train to school, Takeo saves a girl, Yamato (Mei Nagano), from being molested by a pervert. Could this be the beginning of spring for Takeo?
I stopped with my regular review of Akagi because it took me a lot of time to get used to *** bloodletting. I had personal experience of donating blood and also had a rather severe problem wanting blood transfusion myself due to an accident. These sort of personal experiences are too real for me in relation to watching Akagi. I was also wondering, will a previous blood transfusion affect a person who is forced to have his blood taken?
4 1/2 stars out of 5
The big question I had throughout watching Episodes 1-4 is that - how can Akagi survive after giving up more than 1200 cc of blood? The answer was given by Akagi himself who said he had blood transfusion before the mahjong battle with Washizu - therefore wasting all the blood he let from previous losses to keep challenging the old geezer was in itself a trap. Until this time, I have not read any scientific explanation if having blood transfusion could actually increase the volume of blood a person has - in turn allowing him to survive giving up blood later on. If there is someone with an explanation, then I invite you to let us know.
*** Bloodletting (or blood-letting) is the withdrawal of blood from a patient to cure or prevent illness and disease. Bloodletting was based on an ancient system of medicine (Ayurveda) in which blood and other bodily fluid were regarded as "humors" that had to remain in proper balance to maintain health. It is claimed to have been the most common medical practice performed by surgeons from antiquity until the late 19th century, a span of almost 2,000 years
Episodes 4-7 is somewhat a see-saw battle between Akagi and Washizu, with Akagi still holding the edge - actually he is way above Washizu in that the old man has to withdraw funds from elsewhere to compensate for his losses. The almost overwhelming display of millions of Yen is now almost gone while Akagi continues to tease and enrage Washizu with his blunders...
"I was fooled by your silly act!" says the old man, as he soon discovered that Akagi's supposedly numb hand is just a ploy.
But are we, the audience, also fooled by the notion that having a previous blood transfusion can actually save someone when he let go of his blood?
By this time, Akagi continues to play mahjong using psychological warfare. Even his team up with his police mentor will have no adverse effects on his winnings since they were also kept in the dark by Akagi on having blood transfusion before the game. Washizu is slowly doubting himself and his ability to win, so will we see a powerful millionaire turned into a hopeless miser? There are about 3 more episodes left and the quality of the drama - performances and the twist and turns remain top notch!
The 54th Japan Science Fiction Convention announced the winners of the 46th Seiun Awards at Yonago City on Saturday. Aoi Honoo, starring Yuya Yagira, is one of the big winners. The comedy semi-auto bio of Kazuhiko Shimamoto joins Orbital Cloud, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Odyssey of the Celestial Ark, Moyashimon big winners in the said awards.
ANN further explains:
"Seiun Shō" literally translates to "nebula awards," but the Japan SF Con's Seiun Awards are more akin to Worldcon's Hugo Awards, in that the members of each respective convention vote on the winners. There is another set of awards, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan's Nihon SF Taishō honors, that are the rough Japanese equivalent of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Awards. Like the Hugo Awards, the Seiun Awards honor all forms of speculative fiction — including but not limited to science fiction — and related materials. [ source ]
Aoi Honoo is Yuya Yagira's first TV drama lead role, and what a performance! I would have to say, it is definitely his performance that made people choose this show, among the many TV shows and adaptations which are also quite good and entertaining. [ Aoi Honoo is ranked among our top 10 drama shows for 2014 ]
A mix of rom-com productions in both television and movies dominate casting news - featuring Ryusei Yokohama, Yudai Chiba, Kento Nakajima and Nana Komatsu, Yuna Taira.
A 4-episode TBS drama about a high school boy. Snow women and their romantic relationship will be the subject of JK is a Snow Woman, with Ryusei Yokohama playing one of the lead roles. Yuna Taira and Junki Tozuka also stars. Yokohama who figured prominently in the Kamen Rider series is also a model and it's just about time they put the spotlight on this young aspiring actor. He has some Kento Yamazaki vibes in him and his co-star Junki Tozuka who is also in Kamen Rider plays his rival. Yuna Taira is the snow woman, who gets infatuated with Yokohama's character.
A more pronounced romantic rivalry exists between Yudai Chiba and Kento Nakajima - this time in relation to Nana Komatsu's character in the live action adaptation of Kurosaki kun no Iinari ni Nante Naranai:
Yu Akahane (Nana Komatsu) moves to a dormitory room after her father's transfer from work. She is excited that she will live in the same dorm as Takumi Shirakawa (Yudai Chiba) aka "White Prince." Yet, Haruto Kurosaki (Kento Nakajima) aka "Black Devil" kisses her as punishment for going against him. It is Yu Akahane’s first kiss. Since then, she becomes obedient to Haruto Kurosaki.
Kaede Aono will play Major Motoko Kusanagi in the Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive stage play. Reports ComicBook:
Ghost in the Shell Arise: Ghost is Alive will “for the first time in Japan” integrate 3D videos into the show. Audiences will wear 3D glasses, and the cast will interact with the videos to enhance their performance. [ source ]
Celebrate with PsychoDrama as we discuss the best actors Japanese cinema has produced for the past 50 decades or so... Our latest series takes us to Toshiro Mifune and Ken Takakura - Part 1 | Part 2. Our actor's bias series continues with Kanata Hongo, Yuya Yagira, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Sosuke Ikematsu, Shuhei Nomura, Masaki Suda and Shota Sometani
Actors and Acting style series is a must-read! Part 1 [ Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Ryuhei Matsuda & Kenichi Matsuyama ] Part 2 [ Shun Oguri, Takayuki Yamada, Kengo Kora, Gou Ayano ] Part 3 [ Mirai Moriyama, Yuya Yagira, Shota Sometani,Ryunosuke Kamiki, Masaki Suda ] Part 4 [ Tatsuya Fujiwara, Haruma Miura, Takeru Sato, Hoshi Ishida, Yosuke Kubozuka ] Part 5 [ Kento Nagayama, Masataka Kubota, Kento Hayashi, Sosuke Ikemtsu ]
13oys and Men - Promoting awesome and talented young Japanese actors, with lots of screenshots and insights into the careers of top and upcoming Japanese talents.
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
Drama Max - Japanese movie and drama reviews from a different perspective. Connected with Resonance Media, a management company handling Japanese musical talents.
Film Beats (From the East) - Asian American / East Asian Film Reviews and Announcements in Montreal
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 series, 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 - Comprehensive 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.