Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru - Chihaya and Arata v Taishi: Who are you rooting for? [Part 3 of 4 Parts]
- Written by Jed
- Category: Hitlist
- Hits: 1341
The release of the first Chihayafuru movie offers viewers a glimpse of the complicated relationship between Chihaya with Taishi and Arata. While the first film puts the spotlight on Taishi's side, with love that seems to overflow and can sometimes be heartbreaking, Arata's story is yet to unfold.
I'm pleasantly surprised with the changes (alterations) the live action movie has made. Of course, watching the anime episodes, you begin with the premise that this is more than just a love story, it's also about friendship and connection, of camaraderie and teamwork, of competition and rivalry. Most important, it promotes the sport of karuta - a contest that has a long history and is uniquely Japanese. But we'll get into that later. I just want to say, the karuta tournament scenes are thrilling to watch. [ special mention to Yuki Morinaga who plays Komano and yes! Hiroya Shimizu as Akihito Sudo for excellent acting! ]
If you've read Part One (about our main characters, Chihaya, Taishi and Arata), then you are aware that there is a rivalry between Taishi and Arata - a battle for Chihaya's love and affection. Though you can hardly tell if there is any competition at all - you can just feel the tension and that there is something bubbling - just underneath the surface.
Which gives me the chance to ask you - our viewers - one of the most universal of questions:
Will you choose the one who loves you or wait for the one you love?
When Chihaya called Arata after many months of separation, it was with Taishi's 'blessings.' Chihaya is eternally grateful to Arata for introducing her to karuta and with that - the chance to find something worthwhile to pursue. It shaped her world in ways she could not imagine. Arata, at a young age, is already a legend amongst karuta players. With such a reputation, Chihaya is in awe, looking up to Arata as if he's an idol or a young god.
Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru Casting: Mone Kamishiraishi as Kanade Oe, Mayu Matsuoka as Shinobu Wakamiya + Exploring the Hyakunin Isshu (百人一首) [Part 2 of 4 Parts]
- Written by Jed
- Category: Hitlist
- Hits: 1231
This is Part 2 of our Live Action Buzz featuring Chihayafuru. [ Part 1 talks about the three major characters - Chihaya, Taishi and Arata and the live action cast ]
- - -
Another interesting character of Chihayafuru is the traditional, yet fiery and strict Kanade Oe.
Kanade often has her short brown hair in two neat and low pig tails. Her bangs are separated, half at the right of her face and a half at the left, exposing her wide forehead. She has round brown eyes, single eyelids and only three eyelashes on each eye. She usually wears her uniform which consists of a tucked in white shirt with a bow, a green and red plaid mini-skirt, black knee-socks and brown loafers. Sometimes she wears a t-shirt with the Oe Traditional Clothing Shop logo. Kanade gets her looks from her mother. Oe is a female high school student who loves traditional Japanese culture. Kanade has shown a great love for Japanese poems and traditional clothing. She is in the karuta club that Chihaya and Taichi created and is the third member to join after being persuaded by Chihaya. [ source ]
Kamishiraishi is the lead star/heroine of the movie Lady Maiko. Kamishiraishi is among 800 applicants who took part in auditions over a six month period and it was one of the best performances from a newcomer (the other being Ryoko Fujino in Solomon's Perjury). The lead role required her to wear traditional Japanese kimono, which is what she will do in Chihayafuru. What's interesting, aside from wearing traditional Japanese clothes, is her reciting some of the poems from the Karuta tournament and explaining the history of the poems.
Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru - Can Suzu Hirose play a good (if not outstanding) Chihaya Ayase? Shuhei Nomura gets tag as #SecondLeadSyndrome while Mackenyu gears up as Arata Wataya! [Part 1 of 4 Parts]
- Written by Jed
- Category: Hitlist
- Hits: 1518
The first of three Chihayafuru movies has been released outside Japan - it's time for some discussion! This report is part one of a 4-part series featuring the live-action movies Chihayafuru.
My head is spinning as I glimpse at the list of live action adaptations coming up in the next few months or so... I know the manga to anime to movie adaptations/productions have been going on for years, but since we're so much into the younger generation of Japanese actors and actresses, I just can't help but feel excited and incapable of covering everything. Just like the more than dozens of J-doramas coming up every season, a reviewer/blogger has to make a choice - either cover just 1 or 2 or get overwhelmed with the pressure to post a review of everything.
I am not only fascinated with Chihayafuru (the anime version is beautiful and heartbreaking and just brilliant!) but also the Japanese sport of karuta which is just unique to me.
Also, the primary thing you always read on this blog - actor bias and their acting style. So the fundamental questions - Can Suzu Hirose play an excellent Chihaya Ayase? Is Shuhei Nomura bitten by the bug called "Second Lead Syndrome" and is suffering from such casting? Is Mackenyu gearing up for a reliable Arata Wataya and come up with some heartbreaking dramatic acting?
Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 20-22] Sakurada Reset pairs Shuhei Nomura with Yuina Kuroshima; School gang actors through the years: Nijiro Murakami + Takumi Kitamura + Mackenyu!
- Written by Jed
- Category: News
- Hits: 1462
It seemed just yesterday when Satoshi Tsumabuki and Masanobu Ando taunted US servicemen in the coming of age Sang-il Lee movie 69 (2004). The same with Shun Oguri and Takayuki Yamada in the Crows Zero (2007-2009) movies as they fight it out for gang leader supremacy in said Takashi Miike films. Yes, more recent when Masaki Suda, Shuhei Nomura, and Mahiro Takasugi bullied their way into their high school class targeting with delight and amusement the "old lady" - the great Daimon Michiko of DR. X fame, Ryoko Yonekura in 35 Year Old High School Student (2013) drama.
While Japanese movies (of the so-called 'golden era') are all about the Samurai (Kurosawa) and family (Ozu), today's drama are all about youth, romance, bullies, time travel, and superpowers. What a drastic change, right?
The just concluded Aogeba Toutoshi ( 仰げば尊し) continues the tradition of school life-adventures, bullying, angst and more (band music, familial dramatics, anyone?). I failed to mention that this tradition follows such favorite high-rating shows as Great Teacher Onizuka - GTO (1998-2004) and Gokusen (2002-2009), among others. The young cast is now Nijiro Murakami, Mackenyu, Anna Ishii, Taiga, Gaku Sano, Kentaro and Takumi Kitamura. Here's the story:
Hikuma Koichi was a saxophone player, but he suffers from the after-effects of an accident. Due to that, he turned his back on music. Hikuma Koichi finds hope in the high school brass band. The band consists of problem students. Koichi struggles to instruct the brass band and to give them hope.
I'm tempted to write a review (not episodic review) and will post if I decided to.
One of the primary goals of our site is to feature and celebrate young Japanese actors. Personal preferences aside – we all have our things – we believe that these are the most promising talents that will represent the future of Japanese cinema. On many occasions, some of our readers will disagree with us on who stand out with potentials and who do not. Of course, good acting or not will remain personal and subjective. However, we want to take this chance to review some of the current thinking about acting. The purpose is not to make you all agree with us, but to offer our justifications based on current aesthetic values.
First, let’s try to answer “what is great acting?” Rinko Kikuchi has some say in it:
What is a great actor? What is a real actor? What are the criteria for a great actor? Nobody knows. Nobody can decide those criteria.
Well, not very helpful. Or according to William Esper, an ‘authentic protégé’ of Sanford Meisner which was one of the most influential pioneers of current American acting
Good acting – real acting – is impossible to spot. Great talents make the art look simple. When master actors act, their craft becomes invisible. Their art becomes artless. Real acting can never be pegged because it cannot be differentiated from real life.
To be honest, I don’t completely buy what he said so we can’t look there either. Successful acting must reflect society’s current beliefs and aesthetic values. What is considered as great acting today might not be the same as that a hundred years ago. To have a better perspective, let’s revisit some historical context.
Much of the theater in the 19th century was concerned with imitations of French plays and theatrically unreal depiction of life and character. Actors followed a director’s dictate, declaimed in artificial voices, didn’t communicate with each other and employed ham acting, cliché, easy-to-learn tricks, and indicated feelings.