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, Shota Sometani, Yuya Yagira, Fumi Nikaido, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki 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.
Some of Japan's most prominent filmmakers are participating in the 2015 Cannes International Film Festival. Leading the Japanese delegation is Hirokazu Koreeda and his latest project, Umimachi Diary, which will compete for the biggest honor - the Palm d'Or. Cannes favorites Naomi Kawase, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Miike will join Koreeda and showcase their latest films - Sweet Red Bean Paste, Journey to the Shore and Yakuza Apocalypse respectively.
Koreeda, who won the Jury Prize for Like Father, Like Son in 2013 is back with another family drama - Umimachi Diary. It tells the story of three sister in their 20s (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) who live together in Kamakura, and are joined by their 14-year-old half sister (Suzu Hirose) after their father dies. The film is based on the comics series Umimachi Diary by Akimi Yoshida.
Naomi Kawase won the Cannes Grand Prix back in 2007 for her film, The Mourning Forest. For this year, she competes in the Un Certain Regard section with her latest - Sweet Red Bean Paste - also the opening film. The Asian Project Market has the storyline for the movie:
This story centers on a small shop selling traditional pancakes, known as ‘dorayaki’. They are filled with sweet ‘anko’ (azuki bean paste) and are said to be named after their shape, which resembles a ‘dora’ (gong).Sentaro stands in his tiny shop all day long, making ‘dorayaki’ on a hot plate.
Tokue, a woman in her 70’s with disfigured hands, visits the shop seeking employment there. Surprised by the taste of Tokue’s red bean paste, Sentaro decides to hire her and his shop begins to thrive.
Tokue has lived her whole life under the weight of people’s prejudice against her.Sentaro is searching for a reason to keep on living. Eventually though, they both find their way. An; Sweet Red Bean Paste is a story that lingers in one’s heart, embracing the beauty and mystery of life up to the very end. [ source ]
Kiyoshi Kurosawa joins Kawase in the Un Certain Regard section with the Tadanobu Asano starrer, Journey to the Shore. This is the reunion between Kurosawa and Asano, who played one of the main characters in the filmmaker's previous project, Bright Future (Joe Odagiri, being the other lead actor).Read more...
After an impressive stint in N No Tame Ni, Masataka Kubota joins one of Japan's most acclaimed drama actors, Toshiaki Karasawa in the first ever NTV-produced show to be released via Hulu, the online video on demand service. The said crime-drama is based on an original story first broadcasted in Europe (first in Germany and then in France) about a cop who wakes up after 30 years in a coma.
Karasawa will play the Kosuke, who had an accident years ago during his duty as a detective while Masataka Kubota will become his buddy and partner, Ryota. Kubota's role is that of a patient and reliable partner who will provide the balance to Kosuke's volatile personality. The fact that he just woke up from a coma makes him alienated to his new environment.
Photos released featuring the new crime-drama appears to have both dramatic and comedic scenes!
NTV has recently announced its partnership with Hulu to show topnotch Japanese productions. Recent copyright issues hugged the limelight affecting certain sites that feature Japanese dramas online without proper licenses. This move from NTV only indicates Japanese broadcasters intent to regulate how their productions are shown on the net.
[ Casting news via EigaNews ]
It takes special talent to do voice acting. Aside from Shun Oguri and Ryunosuke Kamiki, it seems Shuhei Nomura wants to prove he can also do voice acting as well. His first venture will also be the directorial debut of former Ghibli animator Yōjirō Arai.
First teaser trailer for exciting-looking anime, The Typhoon of Noruda. Is that product placement I see blowing by? https://t.co/NThUWWxS1j— Film Divider (@FilmDivider) April 15, 2015
AnimeNewsNetwork reported that:
The film takes place on a certain isolated island, at a certain middle school, on the eve of the culture festival. A boy quits baseball after playing his whole life, and has a fight with his best friend. Then they suddenly meet a mysterious, red-eyed girl named Noruda, and a huge typhoon hits the middle school. [ source ]
The teaser looks awesome even though it's too short but managed to provide a glimpse of what it's all about The animation already has an official website, so check it out!
The new rom-com movie featuring Mirei Kiritani looks ready to become a smash! The poster is quite simple, yet those who knew Kiritani and her co-stars Kento Yamazaki and Kentaro Sakaguchi can feel it will be a level above the usual romantic comedies.
4 out of 5 stars
Based on the manga series "Hiroin Shikkaku" by Momoko Koda, Hatori Matsuzaki (Mirei Kiritani), likes Rita Terasaka (Kento Yamazaki) a lot and thinks they can become a couple someday. However, Terasaka took a different girl to have a romantic relationship with. But things started to get rosy when the most popular boy Kosuke Hiromitsu (Kentaro Sakaguchi) began to pursue Hitori.
A bonafide journalist is one who is not only interested in answering the "what and when", but also the "why and how" of certain events. It begins with being curious and having the drive to place the missing pieces of a puzzle, thus said someone I know. In the case of Mayu Matsuoka's new drama entitled "She", such characteristics maybe what Ryoko Nishikawa aspires for. But aside from that, Ryoko also appears to be not timid at all, and has the guts to ask difficult and often controversial questions.
Ryoko Nishikawa (Matsuoka) belongs to a group of third year students at Shueikan High School, who have interest in pursuing the case of their missing classmate, the beauty and brains, Azusa Ogiwara (Ayami Nakajo). At the opening of the new school year, Azusa has disappeared leaving her mother worried. Certain personalities in the class (and outside their class) appear to be involved.
Is Asuza into drugs? Is she a victim of a kidnapping syndicate? Or perhaps is this a problem involving love and intimate relationships - perhaps a crime of passion or jealousy and hatred as in a love triangle?
Questions and speculation began to accrue, as Azusa remains missing. It is said that she has a boyfriend and that perhaps someone has stolen him from her, thus the love triangle angle. Someone also said, she might be involved in the recent test leakage...Read more...
One of the most popular manga ever - Death Note - has spawned yet another installment in its saga with the launch of a drama series to open in July. It would be hard to imagine Tatsuya Fujiwara and Kenichi Matsuyama reprising their roles since it was 9 years ago and I would assume the producers would want a much younger cast.
Before we get further into the Death Note saga, let's have a summary of the plot to give newcomers a sort of intro...
Says David Cirone in his review of the movie adaptation:
Overachieving highschool student and future prosecutor Light Yagami (Tatsuya Fujiwara) discovers a magical notebook cast down to Earth by the death-god Ryuk. Just by writing a victim’s name, Light can cause the deaths of anyone he chooses. With Ryuk’s aid, he uses the Death Note to anonymously bring justice to criminals who cheat the legal system. Light’s actions become noticed by the world’s media and law enforcement agencies, who bring in an equally mysterious genius code-named “L” to capture the supernatural vigilante. [ read more ]
AnimeNewsNetwork, one of the first to announce the drama show, reported that:
The staff of the Death Note television drama adaptation revealed on Monday that the cast for the drama will differ from the previous live-action film adaptations. The TV series will also include N (Near). The previous live-action films and the musical did not include the character.
The drama will also feature an original story not featured in the anime or movies. [ source ]
Death Note also had a musical, with both a Japanese and South Korean versions.
It would be very hard to duplicate Kenichi Matsuyama's performance as "L" since he's just an awesome actor. In the movies, he completely obliterated Tatsuya Fujiwara on the acting front. The South Korean version with Junsu Kim pales in comparison. No amount of platinum blond or slick production values can replace an authentic, heathfelt performance.
For the upcoming new drama series, a new character will be introduced named "N". It would be pure speculation for now what sort of character he (or she) is, much less who can play the character...Read more...
April 2015 is becoming a month where awesome trailers are released! Aside from the new Star Wars movie and Batman v. Superman, the second teaser trailer for the live action adaptation of Attack on Titan was also released.
The new trailer reveals more about the giant humanoids out to eat humans, while Haruma Miura, Kanata Hongo and Kiko Mizuhara figure prominently as they get into training for the impending attacks on the giants. If you've seen the anime version, then you know that after the giant's invasion, those who lost their loved ones will join the military force and undergo a difficult and challenging training. Haruma Miura's character - Eren Yaeger saw how one giant humanoid eat and killed his mom. He will also face his own personal tragedy later, and become a titan himself.
It is to be expected that the story might change as there are new characters introduced in the movie who are not in the anime version. Even the original filmmaker (Tetsuya Nakashima who did The World of Kanako, Confessions and Memories of Matsuko) resigned out of "creative differences".
More promo materials are also released including another poster and a pamphlet.
So far the 2 teasers appear more than promising - they were awesome! Shinji Higuchi, so far, is doing an excellent job as both director and special effects supervisor.
I think much of the excitement is due to Higuchi. He has quite a reputation - being one of the founders of Daicon Films (now Gainax), along with Hideaki Anno, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Takami Akai. Some of his most notable works (or collaboration) include Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995), Casshern (2004) and Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (2008).
I'm really looking forward to this 2-part movie!
The Spring 2015 Japanese drama season has already started, and in Part 2 of this series, let me mention a few more promising, potentially-good drama shows like the ones in Part 1. Though, to be very frank and honest, I have no high expectations - except for the Rinko Kikuchi-Nana Komatsu drama and perhaps "She" starring Mayu Matsuoka and the drama-thriller of Erika Sawajiri (which is listed and mentioned here)
But it's quite hard to just rely on the story and the cast, sometimes when a drama appears to be mediocre or even boring, it proved to be such an excellent show after all.
13.0% ratings for first episode of Getsu 9 'Yokoso, Wagaya e' starring Aiba Masaki & Sawajiri Erika. pic.twitter.com/00KS00l22V— unleashthegeek (@unleashthegeek) April 14, 2015
Fuji TV's Yokoso, Wagaya e stars Masaki Aiba, a struggling artist who works in the production of commerical ads, simply wants to do his work and not worry about others. His attitude is similar to his dad who also wants to conform and never to 'rock the boat'. However, recent events show that Kenta Kurata (Masaki) can also be quite assertive and speak his mind and use language he thought he was not capable of. Thus began a bizarre and somewhat terrifying follow up events that maybe the work of a stalker. Erika Sawajiri plays a reporter who investigate what is happening to Kenta and his family.
Not really buying the story, but I just want to see Erika Sawajiri doing a different role. Reporters are known to push the boundaries - some even ignore ethical considerations. I just hope Sawajiri's role will be challenging for her.
As shown in the tweet above, it seems the show has a very good start already!
The drama starring Mayu Matsuoka entitled She has a separate post here.
Morikawa Aoi, Nakajo Ayami, Seika, Shimizu Kurumi, Narita Ryo, Shirasu Jin to join Matsuoka Mayu in drama "SHE" ~~ pic.twitter.com/TyhA4FqhZi— Jpop Lovers Fanbase (@Jpoplovers) April 9, 2015
Just an update, the supporting cast was recently announced and I was really happy to see the name of Aoi Morikawa, simply because she's another awesome young actress! The show gets more interesting with this casting news.
Nakama Yukie & Machida Keita to star in NHK drama Bijo to Danshi, a love comedy about a manager & her young actor. pic.twitter.com/fU8lFSoVtj— unleashthegeek (@unleashthegeek) February 3, 2015
Lastly, I am a bit interested in this light drama entitled Bijo to Danshi, starring Keita Machida and Yukie Nakama. Machida was in a movie about a young peeping tom and he was also in the WOWOW drama Tenshi no Naifu.
Machida plays an aspiring young actor who is managed by Nakama's character (Ichiko Sawatari). Sawatari is resented by others in the entertainment industry and is unpopular. Ryo Sakisaki (Machida) was not into the acting biz at the beginning, but he started to get excited by his work and the inherent challenges of playing different characters. The actor and his manager began to get closer...
How about you? Do you have any particular drama you are excited to see this season? Let us know what you think!
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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.
Asian Addicts Anonymous - Comprehensive reviews and recaps of exciting Japanese drama, including interesting post on Asian music and movie news.
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.