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.
Yesterday March 5, 2016 is the 4th year anniversary of PsychoDrama. It's a big deal for me, because on the internet, a year in real life is like 5 times or more. I planned to post daily, but as usual, whenever I made plans, it never actually happens! [ insert crazy boisterous laugh ] There are plenty of articles still in 'work in progress' mode and I have to apologize to some people for the delays.
I want to keep it real - and keeping it real means, I have to be honest. I'm fairly disappointed with the way some people inside the Japanese industry have been treating me, and I'm equally disappointed with the way I treated some of them myself. I guess, these are what you can call growing pains but the 4 years I build up this site is not easy nor was it really hard. When you love doing something, it's not work. It's more than fun - it's a passion. What I'm really trying to say, is that - disappointments will get to me, but it will not defeat me.
I just watched April Fools and I remember the times when I used to admire Tori Matsuzaka, and on equal measure how I despised Erika Toda. But that was a long time ago, now it seems I love to see more of Toda - she was quite good in Kakekomi and in April Fools, she really convinced me that I was biased against her in the first place. Matsuzaka has mellowed as an actor, he has grown tremendously through the years and for my female viewers - he was buck naked in the opening scene!
I also think I've mellowed a bit, and become jaded. There was a time when I would get all worked up not being able to post a daily article. Now it seems I am more assured and that the PsychoDrama community will stay and more will join. I'm a very self-conscious guy and I love the fact that people here have grown to depend on each other for news and enjoy their time sharing their views and opinions.
But the most important thing I've learned after 4 years - people know when you fake it.Read more...
Updates: And so we have the winners! [ in red bold text ] Funny that the locals have finally recognized Hirokazu Koreeda after so many years and his film Umimachi Diary took home the Best Picture of the Year. The internationally respected filmmaker also won Director of the Year. We were just talking about Ninomiya Kazunari and his apparent lack of good acting roles, and alas! he won Best Actor, congratulations! Kudos also goes to Sakura Ando for finally winning Best Actress [ and so happy that Kasumi Arimura did not win! ]
I have no idea if politics, or anything else play in the drafting of nominees for the 2016 Japan Academy Prize, but it seems to me Kengo Kora - is once again - ignored for his superb performance in Being Good. It happened before when Kora was not nominated for his role in The Story of Yonosuke a few years ago.
The good news (for me) is to see Hikari Mitsushima nominated for Best Supporting Actress (Kakekomi) and Shota Sometani (Best Supporting Actor) for Bakuman. Also, well deserved Rookies for Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki.
Here are the list of nominees (with the winners are in bold) for the 39th Japan Academy Prize:
When my friend and fellow blogger Fibi mentioned Kento Yamazaki acting together with Shota Sometani and Fumi Nikaido in a 2010 drama entitled Atami no Sousakan (熱海の捜査官), I began to see him in a different light. You see, his role is both intriguing and interesting since he was supposed to model in the nude for a fellow student who mysteriously disappeared. While Sometani and Nikaido went on to win international recognition for their roles in Sion Sono's Himizu, Yamazaki began to settle down in local movie and drama productions and continue to play both main and supporting parts, including Control Tower (with Ai Hashimoto), The Wings of the Kirin, and Clone Baby among others. Unlike #deadfisheyes who seem to populate Japanese drama, Yamazaki possesses one of the most expressive eyes, with the potential for outstanding dramatic turns in almost all the movies I've seen of him.
Almost a year older than Yamazaki is Shuhei Nomura, who also began to populate this blog when he played a bit part in the Yo-Oizumi/Ryuhei Matsuda detective thriller Phone Call to the Bar back in 2011. Unlike Yamazaki, it is my personal view that Nomura was managed quite properly by his agency, Amuse, to the extent that he was able to explore a variety of roles - horror, teen (coming of age) dramas, even a starring role with Fumi Nikaido in Yu Irie's awesome Hibi Rock.
But who is the better actor? That's the question we're trying to answer...Read more...
I can't develop feelings. That's how most idiots screw up. - Light Yagami
The dead god of death will disappear, but the DEATH NOTE will remain. The ownership of this DEATH NOTE is usually carried over to the next god of death that touches it, but it is common sense that it is returned to the Great god of death. Only by touching each other's DEATH NOTE can human individuals who own the DEATH NOTE in the human world recognize the appearance or voice of each other's god of death. - Death Note Rule [ quotes taken from Wikiquotes ]
If you cast two of Japan's most exciting and talented actors in one movie, then you would expect a lot of fireworks!
In the case of the 2016 upcoming Death Note movie, having Sosuke Ikematsu (as Kenichi Matsuyama & Kento Yamazaki's successor to L) and Masaki Suda (as a fervent follower and admirer of Kira; following the footsteps of Tatsuya Fujiwara & Masataka Kubota's Light) then you got an exciting movie in the making.
Mikikazu Komatsu @Crunchyroll posted the news re: limited issue of Screen Daily distributed at the recently concluded Berlin Festival:
The 66th Berlin International Film Festival was held from February 11 to 21, and Ryuzaki portrayed by Sousuke Ikematsu from the upcoming sequel film Death Note 2016 was featured on the cover of British film magazine Screen International's special issue for the festival. The 10,000-limited issue with the never-seen-before photo was distributed on the first day of the event, along with screening of a special preview for the film. [ read more ]
We have done some extensive coverage of the upcoming Chihayafuru live action movies, and still to post more articles about the cast! Just recently, a new trailer was posted at the movies' official website, and it really captures the look and feel of the anime IMO.
More Chihayafuru buzz coming up!
This will be my first 'open-ended' blog post - which means, it will be updated to reflect progress in watching dramas belonging to the Winter 2016 J-dorama season. I am not yet sure if I want to cover any particular drama since some of them look fairly boring already, and also the fact that they cast some of the industry's most over-rated actors (who I also happen to dislike). I'm not going to lie to you and I guess if you're a regular of this blog, you know already that we feature selectively. In this season, both Ayame Gouriki and Emi Takei return to the small screen, which automatically means I'm not going to watch their shows.
In as much as I want to try Kasumi Arimura, I already had some very disappointing experience with her - from MOZU to that omnibus drama (featuring Masataka Kubota and Kento Yamazaki pre: Death Note broadcast). She's the poor version of Maki Horikita, and Horikita has shown tremendous improvements already while Arimura lacks even the charm. I am aghast with the news that this #deadfisheyes is getting acting awards from Biri Gal. But to be fair, I have not watched it yet - perhaps there is still some redemption for her? I'll let you know as soon as I finished the movie.
And I watched Biri Gal! I believed that many of those who've watched it got impressed with Arimura and I think she did an amazing job playing the role. My only problem is that I find her reason for "going for broke" to get to University a bit flimsy. She was both funny and dramatic, with a select number of scenes really showcasing her acting. But for her to be nominated for Best Actress? I don't think so...
So, Winter 2016 J-dorama season... which shows have I seen so far and could make some "first impression" reaction already?
- - -
MARS ~ Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru [ MARS ~ ただ, 君を愛してる]
What the drama is about: Based on the manga series "Mars" by Fuyumi Soryo, it revolves around three young individuals who are said to have suffered some 'tragic' events from their past. Kira (Marie Iitoyo) is a shy yet talented young girl who loves to draw and paint while Rei (Taisuke Fujigaya) is a confident and popular young boy who took interest in Kira's art. Makio (Masataka Kubota) is a transfer student who was once connected with Rei. He supposedly just came out of a hospital, after recovering from injuries, the background of which may be related to violence and bullying. Their lives soon intersect as the past seems to have caught up to their present and they are forced to face the truth and the consequences of their actions.
Notable Cast:Taisuke Fujigaya, Masataka Kubota, Marie Iitoyo
First Impressions: I have not seen Fujigaya and Iitoyo before and while their acting seem tentative, they have some on-screen chemistry - not the kind that ignites the screen or produces fireworks, but a mellow sort of vibes - which is actually a good thing. Fujigaya is charming and has notable screen presence, and his role as a confident young guy seems perfectly fit. Iitoyo also shows certain "glow" to her on-screen personality, which makes her quite interesting, and her vulnerable appearance as the shy little girl clicks with the young main character. Masataka Kubota, if his other co-stars will not be alert and prepared, can eat them alive in terms of acting. His intense eyes alone are enough to cut like laser beam, and as reported by many who have read the manga, his character is a gay guy who has traumatic experiences in the past.Read more...
Veteran filmmaker Ryuichi Hiroki's work includes some of the most endearing (and intense) love stories in Japanese movies - April Bride (Eita + Nana Eikura), The Lightning Tree (Masaki Okada + Yu Aoi), The Egoist (Kengo Kora + Anne Suzuki) and the more recent Sayonara Kabukicho (Sometani + Atsuko Maeda). For 2016, he's doing Wolf Girl and Black Prince with Kento Yamazaki and Fumi Nikaido.
I would consider the pairing to be quite unexpected (even odd) since I always think of Nikaido as more of a dramatic actress in the same vein as Sakura Ando, Hikari Mitsushima and Aoi Miyazaki (who many considered as her doppelgänger or vice versa). AND that she would venture on playing quirky and dark characters rather than rom-com. But on second thought, playing Erika Shinohara may provide her fans with a new side of her. On the other hand, Kento Yamazaki has been grabbing these rom-com roles of late, but there was a time when he was playing characters completely different - especially his two movies with Ai Hashimoto (Control Tower and Another). This is not the first time they will be seen together - in 2010, they were cast in Satoshi Miki's TV mystery thriller Atami no Sousakan as school mates, so this new movie is like doing a full circle. What sort of on-screen chemistry will they have? Now, that's the reason for much of the anticipation for this movie!Read more...
The photos you can see at the top of this blog represent the 10 most anticipated Japanese films of 2016. In as much as we want to make a full coverage of upcoming movies, there will always be announcements that could rock the list and put us on a spin. In the case of Death Note 2016, it has happened! But a more provocative, sexually-charge movie was also left out - A Cappella (無伴奏) and then there is Setoutsumi - which incidentally features Sosuke Ikematsu. Yes, he's cast in all the three movies mentioned!
Mr. Ikematsu, unlike Masaki Suda and Kento Yamazaki and the more 'junior' actors like Taishi Nakagawa, Mahiro Takasugi, Hiroya Shimizu and Nijiro Murakami, has already taken hold of an acting style - one that can be characterized as bold and intense. With 18 movies from 2013 until this year, Ikematsu has made a tremendous impact on the Japanese movie scene - yes, you read that right - he did 18 movies in the span of 3 years! These movies include Undulant Fever (Kinema Junpo's top movie pick for 2014), Pale Moon, The Vancouver Asahi and Our Family. Is he the most talented and consistent Japanese actor today? Our upcoming Top 30 hottest Japanese actors will address just that!Read more...
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Drama Max - Japanese movie and drama reviews from a different perspective. Connected with Resonance Media, a management company handling Japanese musical talents.
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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.