In what appears to be a most anticipated drama coming up, Shohei Miura did a crossover to the younger batch of actors led by Kento Yamazaki and Shuhei Nomura for a squaring off [ as opposed to love 'triangle' ] with Mirei Kiritani.

Incidentally, Kiritani was Yamazaki's love interest in the box office hit Heroine Disqualified. Miura is the eldest among three siblings, with Nomura and Yamazaki playing the other two. Mirei Kiritani is an aspiring chef while Miura is her first love in high school. Their lives crossed path a few years later as Miura is now embarking on a career as a restauranteur with his brothers Nomura and Yamazaki. As the drama unfolds, Kiritani's character will have romantic episodes with the brothers.

As the more senior J-drama watchers are aware, Shohei Miura belongs to Haruma Miura's batch of actors and has been known to play both leading and supporting parts, with some surprising (and disappointing) results. Shuhei Nomura, on the other hand, is steadily gaining a lot of momentum as he gets to play diverse roles (Litchi Hikari Club, Chihayafuru, and Moriyamachu Driving School, among others).

It's been a while since I posted a casting news/scoop, but there is a reason for that. I'm doing an extensive research on live action adaptation (Japanese, American and French) so it has taken almost all of my time. But it is definitely worth it! I'll be posting Part 1 of the series very soon, please stay tuned!

I browse some of my favorite Japanese entertainment portals and was happy to note that Mirai Shida is - once again - active on the scene. I always love watching her and I think she deserves the spotlight and the raves that many of the 'veteran' J-ent watchers are bestowing on her. If you have not seen her yet, try one of her most important movies - Nobody to watch over Me - where she plays the sole survivor of a family haunted by tragedy. She also made waves in Yoji Yamada's Kabei: Our Mother, and to think that both movies were more than 5 years old makes me sad.

How come 'talents' like Ayame Gouriki, Emi Takei, and Kasumi Arimura get to play significantly important roles while an amazing and definitely more talented actress like Mirai Shida only gets to play supporting parts? Now, that's the greatest tragedy of them all.

The tradition of playing supporting roles for Shida continues, but this time, she will play second lead to Tao Tsuchiya.

Not bad, considering that Tsuchiya is pretty much a competent actress herself. I'd love to see Shida on the big screen anyway, so I'm happy she's back! The pair of Tsuchiya and Shono Hayama is a reunion of their Mare (asadora) casting where both play the siblings of Yo Oizumi and Takako Tokiwa. I fondly remember Tokiwa as the young mother of Yuya Yagira from an earlier movie, Shining Boy and Little Randy - so having Yagira also in that popular asadora is another reunion of sorts. 

We tweeted about the "China casting" of Kento Yamazaki previously, and the buzz surrounding his role were speculated and known in record time.

Just like Kingdom, the Japanese manga adapted into a live action clip, which holds a Guinness World Record for manga written by the most people. The said clip stars Kento Yamazaki as Xin, a war orphan who rises from humble beginnings to become a great general during China's Warring States period. It was shot at Hengdian World Studios in Dongyang, Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, China. It was directed by Hiroki Ohno, and it also stars Chihiro Yamamoto as Qiang Hui and Kenji Gojo as Pang Nuan. The music for the film was produced by Thomas Suess and composed by Robster Henke, and the narration is provided by Koichi Yoshinaga.

With box office hits (Heroine Disqualified, Orange) to his credit and a growing reputation as a serious, dramatic actor, Kento Yamazaki is without a doubt, one of Japan's most sought-after talents. This new casting development is just a 'sample' of what's to come! [ Video clips after the jump! ]

With 3 full-length films to his credit and a dozen or so TV drama and movies, Ryosuke Yamada recently received the Rookie of the Year from the Japan Academy. Said Rookie was for his role in Assassination Classroom. He is joined by Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya for their work in the futuristic-coming of age movie, Orange. Now comes one of the biggest highlights of his acting career - to play the title role of Edward Elrich in the live action Full Metal Alchemist.

Is he the right actor to play the role? What sort of scenario took place during the actual casting? Who is Edward Elrich and why is his character such an interesting role to play?

Now, having launched our yearly Japan's Best Actors list, it seems like a coincidence that the casting buzz took place just a few days after. I think I have some other actors on my mind to play the role... but let's have a backgrounder first:

Taishi Nakagawa has grown (both physically and in terms of acting style) during the past 2 years that die-hard J-drama fans can't help but notice. After headlining the live action Prison School on television, he also managed to grab the lead role (previously played by Nino) in My Little Lover. Now, a role that adds up to the romantic characters he has begun to master, Nakagawa headlines Ken Iizuka's My Nickname is Butatchi.

The movie is about two childhood friends, Nomura (Sairi Itoh) and Satake (Taishi Nakagawa) and tt was Nomura who gave Satake his nickname Butatchi. But the relationship of being "friends" might go a little further, if Nomura can have her way...