The splash by the hugely different and quite erotic Scum's Wish may finally put a small crack in the 'glass ceiling' of conservative Japanese television. It's about time that provocative and modern TV series are shown. It's about time Japanese TV producers and casting managers realize the lethargic effects of their own mediocrity. It's about time they show something with oomph!

Taishi Nakagawa promoting Today's Kira-kun

Case in Point: Korean and Thai coming of age, youth drama are fast becoming de rigueur - with interesting plotlines, excellent production values, but not necessarily breakthrough and acclaimed acting. After Solomon's Perjury, Korea is adopting Little Forrest, and the Thai's are now the gold standard when it comes to BL.

Case in point: Real life situations are not limited to being kawaii. Shows need to be more than about being 'cute'. There is more to young lives than bullying and romantic issues because there are also sex, identity crisis (read: gay), and intrigue. 

I have yet to see excellent performances from Asian actors who can match that of the French and some British, Dutch, and Hollywood young talents when it comes to romance and beyond (torrid kissing, sex, and more). Imagine anyone from Asia who would do a Dimitri Durdaine (Gael Morel's Notre Paradis), Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila (in Andre Techine's Quand on a 17 ans) and do full-frontal nudity in movies.  

Wow, and such wishful thinking!

Even the previously shown Prison School was so 'harang!' (ridiculously bland and censored). But then again, let's see some of the 'usual stuff' here... 

Provocative manga that made its ways into anime and even live-action adaptations are rare. In the case of Scum's Wish (Kuzu no Honkai - クズの本懐), watching the anime simultaneously with the live-action Tv drama is - indeed - a rare feat and a cause for celebration. I'll tell you why.

Scum's Wish - Live action

First of all, the story may not be original, but the way it's being told - based on the first two episodes of the anime at least -  showcase something provocative and enticing. There are, of course, 'for adults only' anime, but to have a series that is readily available and aired on Fuji TV's Noitamina block means a lot. Think of the plot for a second:

Popular highschool freshman Hanabi Yasuraoka has been in love with her older childhood friend, now her homeroom teacher Narumi Kanai. But upon seeing Narumi's eyes after seeing the new music teacher Akane Minagawa, Hanabi instantly knows that he is in love with Akane. That's when she met Mugi Awaya, another popular student who is in love with Akane, who was his tutor at middle school. The two made a pact and form a fake relationship to satisfy each other's sexual desire and made a (another) pact that they wouldn't genuinely fall in love with each other. [ Wiki ]

There is already a lot of things going on, just by reading the plot itself. Here we have two attractive and popular students who are in a serious, intimate relationship notwithstanding that they agreed on this 'arrangement' for the sake of satisfying their 'sexual desires'. I get it that each of them is transfixed and obsessed with someone else (the elder love interest), but to stay close together, revealing intimate thoughts and desires, and even engaging in the actual sexual act - they are bound to fall for each other right? Of course, as many young people do, they would deny what is already obvious.

A few days ago, Makoto Shinkai's Your Name (Kimi no na Wa) grabs the #1 spot as the world's highest grossing anime, surpassing Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away. The total worldwide gross amounts to US$331.6 million compared with Spirited Away at US$289,096,544 which was released in 2001. 

Kimi No Na Wa - 'Your Name' by Makoto Shinkai

I have not heard of a 'backlash' yet since any movie who has received such "universal acclaim" will always have some critics or even just anime observers/fans who will not feel satisfied. I read about a recent survey where Japanese anime fans were asked about their favorite themes and that they abhor time travel, body swap and the rest of the storyline promoted in Your Name. 

Shinkai was saying that he hope people will soon stop watching Your Name because it's not really that good. However, when a mangaka criticized the anime - that it's not really 'interesting', Shinkai reacted:

Well, maybe they’re exactly right [about Your Name not being very good. But at the same time, if it’s that easy for them to make a successful anime, by all means, they should go right ahead and make one too. I didn’t aim for the big box office numbers; those are just the result of the movie being what it is. After all, it’s hard to sell something that’s specifically created to be sold. [ source ]

Well, if that is not jealousy from the mangaka (who was reported to be involved in another fight), then I don't know what it is! 

Updated! Nominations are in! 

The Japan Academy Prize will celebrate its 40th-year-anniversary come awards time next year in March.

Picture of the Year
What a Wonderful Family
Shin Godzilla
Her Love Boils Bathwater
64: Part 1

Best Animation
Kimi no na wa
A Silent Voice
In This Corner of the World
Rudolf the Black Cat

More of the nominees after the jump!

The 90th edition of the Kinema Junpo awards is announced with some very interesting results! Considered as one of the most prestigious film awards in Japan, Kinema Junpo was founded by a group of four students, including Saburō Tanaka, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. It was the oldest Japanese film magazine established in 1919 and known for the Kinema Junpo Top 10.

Kinema Junpo Awards - In This Corner of the World - Best Picture of 2016

For the 90th anniversary, KineJun announces their Top 10 Japanese movies of 2016:

In This Corner of the World

Shin Godzilla


Destruction Babies

Long Excuse

The Bride of Rip Van Winkle

Her Love Boils Bath Water


Over the Fence


Major acting awards after the jump!