This week's casting news roundup features the up and coming Kentaro, the super-talented Taiga, and one of Japan's best actors, Kubozuka Yosuke and their latest projects, plus updates on the latest Japanese BL entitled I Hear the Sunspot with Stardust's Onadera Akira and Tawada Hideya.
First off, a new movie starring Odagiri Joe, Usuda Asami and Taiga is the latest in Japan's slice of life genre.
Based on the manga Kabocha to Mayonezu (Pumpkin and Mayonnaise) by Nananan Kiriko, the movie tells the story of an aspiring musician, Seiichi (Taiga), and his relationship with his girlfriend Tsuchida (Usuda Asami) who unbeknownst to him is working in a bar and maybe engaged in prostitution. Their relationship is complicated by his lack of a job and the entrance of Tsuchida's former boyfriend, Hagio (played by Odagiri Joe).
I don't mind having to repeat myself but people need to take note of Taiga - Au revoir l' ete, Kinki, and the drama Aogeba Toutoshi are some samples of his best work. The actor joins the likes of Ishida Hoshi and Okayama Amane as well by collaborating with independent Japanese filmmakers, and being involved in both mainstream and indie projects.
Japan's love and fascination for the feline creature continues with Alley Cat starring Kubozuka Yosuke and Furuya Kenji.
Directed by actor-writer Sakaki Hideo, Kubozuka plays a former boxing champ who now works as a bodyguard. Due to injuries he sustained while boxing, he suffers from both motor and behavioral impairments. An alley cat sustains some semblance of normalcy for the lonely guy.
Looking back, it was the movie Go! (co-starring Shibasaki Kou) that put the spotlight to Kubozuka's acting with the actor winning a Best Actor and a Rookie award from the Japan Academy Prize for said Yukisada Isao movie. Incidentally, he also plays a boxer in the film, but with a romantic twist.
A few months ago, we declared Kentaro as one of last year's breakout actors, and just a few days ago, it was announced that he is cast in his first main role as Sata Masaki in the live-action adaptation of Demekin.
In the first years of elementary school, Sata Masaki was bullied and called "demekin" (pop-eyed goldfish). Ｈe became conscious of his strength from the 3rd year on, started looking up to delinquents and now he's about to make his middle-school debut...!? [source]
Kentaro is also part of the ensemble cast in the two-movie installment Sakurada Reset.
Coming up this June is a live-action movie entitled Hidamari ga Kikoeru (I Hear the Sunspots) starring Onadera Akira and Tawada Hideya.
Fumino's manga has received much praise for its realistic depiction of the characters. Readers have also been noted to be happy about how disability (hearing impairment) is treated through the story by the author.
College student, Kouhei is hard of hearing and so he distances himself from those around him. He then meets Taiichi, a classmate who's got a bright personality and speaks his mind. "It's not your fault that you can't hear." When Taiichi speaks these words, Kouhei is suddenly saved by those words... More than friends. Less than lovers. His meeting with Taiichi will change him. [source]
While the Chinese and Thai have been making their way into the Boy's Love arena with popular productions as of late, the Japanese are still ahead since BL-anime (Or at least those with hints) get the most buzz. The recent Yuri on Ice and Super Lovers 2 are good examples.
BL-themed Japanese movies, on the other hand, are hard to come by, or perhaps they just still lack a little buzz on the more recent productions? However, we have yet to hear of any scoop after Seven Days which starred Yamada James Takeshi, and Hirose Tomoki.