A star-studded cast for Takeru Satoh's new movie entitled Inuyashiki ( いぬやしき) was recently announced to the delight of both fans and movie lovers. At the same time, it would allow the famous Japanese actor (and box office draw) to portray a different role - that of a teen with superpowers and with a tendency to kill anyone who annoys him. Veteran actor Noritake Kinashi will play an elderly man who 'suffered' the same fate as Satoh's character.

Inuyashiki cast - live action: Takeru Satoh

Inuyashiki Ichiro is an elderly, friendless man with an uncaring family. One fateful day he is struck by a mysterious explosion in a public park, hinted to be of extraterrestrial origin, his body is replaced by an incredibly powerful, but still outwardly human, mechanical body. He quickly realizes the extent of his body's powers, and after saving a homeless man being beaten by a pack of teenagers, he decides to dedicate himself to doing good, using his powers to heal those with incurable diseases and fight crime. However, a teenager who was with him at the time of the explosion, Shishigami Hiro, had the same fate as Ichiro, but unlike Inuyashiki, Shishigami becomes a sociopath who uses his new found abilities to murder classmates he dislikes and innocent people, including young children, just for amusement. His acts of cruelty bring him the attention of the police, who can do nothing to stop him, and it does not take long for Hiro to become the most wanted criminal in the country. The series then keeps following these two different individuals who once shared the same, bizarre experience, as their paths are destined to clash. [The Wiki ]

Satoh has continued to evolve as an actor, with different movie and drama roles - a chef, a postman with a terminal illness, a dedicated man whose wife suffered an amnesia, a young career professional, a dangerous 'ajin' and terrorist, among others.

Instinct tells us when something is good or bad. In the case of March Comes In Like a Lion, there is no denying that it's good - great even. Of course, we have yet to watch the movie, but the anticipation is just as intense. There is a firm belief that this 2-part movie will be Ryunosuke Kamiki's biggest role to date, maybe even worthy of acting awards.

Masaki Suda, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Shota Sometani - Casting News

Speaking of intense, the recently released trailer for Teiichi no Kuni is worth a watch, even more, just for the scene reveals. With five movie projects alone for 2017, Masaki Suda is - once again - dominating the casting news. Having multiple projects may be bad for one's health, but I have yet to see a bad performance from Suda. My only problem is overexposure, but then again why would you complain if you're seeing the future of Japanese acting in Suda's enigmatic presence?

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! 

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