Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name) is shortlisted for the Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards (Oscars) in the US. FUNimation officially confirms the news:

“We’re thrilled to have ‘Your Name.’ on the list of contenders for a Best Animated Feature nomination,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of Funimation. “It is a masterpiece of animation from director Makoto Shinkai and is definitely worthy of Oscar consideration. We look forward to releasing it in theaters in 2017.” [ read more ]

More of the process and the complete list of contenders after the jump!

So Death Note: Light Up the New World failed to maintain #1 after a week. I guess, there is less light than darkness perhaps? Or is it because Makoto Shinkai's Your Name (Kimi no na Wa) is just too good for second place? 

I have not read any reactions yet from Japanese film critics, but a review @Yahoo by Marcus Goh gave the film 3.5 out of 5:

“Death Note: Light Up the New World” is probably one of the most anticipated live-action manga adaptations this year, especially since it’s the continuation of an insanely popular series ten years ago. It leverages on the nostalgia of the original “Death Note” but adds a few new twists and updates, mainly to the level of technology, to account for how it interacts with the titular Death Notes. It’s more of the same but lacks the spark that made the original so fascinating. [ source ]

Mr. Goh added that there is a strange relationship (a bromance) between Sosuke Ikematsu and Masahiro Higashide characters.

Three live action adaptations that star Takeru Satoh, Mahiro Takasugi, and Ryo Yoshizawa are creating a lot of buzz in the J-ent universe! One of Japan's biggest box office draw - Takeru Satoh - has just been reported to be playing the leading role in the manga-based series "Ajin" by Gamon Sakurai. Mahiro Takasugi who was such a terrific actor in Bon Lin has added a new project - Gyakkou no Koro, while Ryo Yoshizawa takes on the lead in Tomodachi Game (a 3-part movie (?) and drama).

After the critical success of Bakuman, Takeru Satoh takes on the role of Kei Nagai, a mysterious immortal human:

Mysterious immortal humans known as "Ajin" first appeared 17 years ago in Africa. Upon their discovery, they were labeled as a threat to mankind, as they might use their powers for evil and were incapable of being destroyed. Since then, whenever an Ajin is found within society, they are to be arrested and taken into custody immediately. Studying hard to become a doctor, Kei Nagai is a high schooler who knows very little about Ajin, only having seen them appear in the news every now and then. Students are taught that these creatures are not considered to be human, but Kei doesn't pay much attention in class. As a result, his perilously little grasp on this subject proves to be completely irrelevant when he survives an accident that was supposed to claim his life, signaling his rebirth as an Ajin and the start of his days of torment. However, as he finds himself alone on the run from the entire world, Kei soon realizes that more of his species may be a lot closer than he thinks. [ source ]

The live action will "mature" the main character and will be a medical intern instead.

The box office buzz surrounding Death Note: Light Up The New World is something that is to be expected - its Holloween and no one can doubt the box office appeal of its lead stars - Masaki Suda, Sosuke Ikematsu, Masahiro Higashide, with special appearances from Kenichi Matsuyama and Tatsuya Fujiwara.

Released on 364 screens by Warner, the film earned $4.37 million on 342,000 admissions. This was early 40% less than the opening weekend take of the previous series entry, the 2006 “Death Note: The Last Name,” which finished with $49.5 million. The box office leader for the past nine weekends, Toho’s animation “Your Name,” slipped to number two, but is still on track to finish near the $200 milestone. [ Variety, report by Mark Schilling ]

Speaking of Masaki Suda, we'll have more about him later. There's also a LINE special talk scheduled on November 6th with Alice Hirose and Yuki Furukawa. 

Also on the news is the new Alice Hirose- Yuki Furukawa movie, L, with a new teaser trailer [ watch after the jump ]

Mackenyu belongs to Japanese acting royalty, while Mei Nagano's 'plain-looking but sympathetic' appeal may be her ticket to stardom! You may disagree with me, but Mei Nagano is not as 'kawaii' as Tao Tsuchiya or Suzu Hirose and that makes her a fantastic candidate to epitomize the regular Japanese school girl - the one many can quickly identify with and not necessarily look up to but feel a real connection.

She did exactly that type of character in My Love Story!! with Ryohei Suzuki and Mackenyu's ultimate rival, Kentaro Sakaguchi. The same applies to her role in TV Tokyo's Koe Koi (こえ恋) which is getting a lot of buzz among Japanese dorama lovers. At seventeen, she is currently represented by Stardust - the same agency that handles the careers of Takako Tokiwa, Kou Shibasaki, Kaho, Nana Komatsu and Keiko Kitagawa, among others.