Once again Oricon confused me with the use of the term "breakthrough" as if they don't even know what it means. For 2016, they declare that Mitsuki Takahata tops the ranking as 'breakthrough' actress. So what exactly does 'breakthrough' means?

a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development; an instance of achieving success in a particular sphere or activity.

Mitsuki Takahata Oricon Ranking

How can you include Fumi Nikaido as a breakthrough actress when she already made more than 25 movies and about a dozen dramas since 2009? The fact that she has won a major acting award in a prestigious film festival counts more than getting a local acting trophy from one of Japan's redundant award-giving bodies! Ridiculous!

Rie Miyazawa wins her third Best Actress trophy at the 41st Hochi Film Awards for Yu wo wakasu hodo no atsui ai (translated into English as "Her Love Boils Bathwater" which will, most probably, be retitled to something either silly or inappropriate later, I hope not!). 

Rie Miyazawa and Hana Sugisaki in Yu o Wakasu Hodo no Atsui Ai

Hana Sugisaki beats Mayu Matsuoka, Haru Kuroki, and Fumi Nikaido, among others, to grab the Best Supporting Actress.

Sang Il-Lee (Anger - Ikari) wins Best Director. 

The latest casting news and buzz from Japan reveal the massive shift that continues with the extended exposure of Masaki Suda and Kento Yamazaki and the rise of Kentaro Sakaguchi. But Shota Sometani steals the thunder with 'Kukai' - how about that! On the girl's side, Mayu Matsuoka's acting award at TAMA New Wave serves notice of her ascent to the top - even without an asadora to her credit. Alice Hirose who was almost on 'semi-hiatus' has two projects up her sleeve, eclipsing her younger sister Suzu. 

Here are the top buzzes right this minute!

Kento Yamazaki and Alice Hirose will play Hotaro Oreki and Eru Chitanda respectively in the live-action adaptation of  Honobu Yonezawa novel, Hyoka (氷菓). The said manga was turned into anime in the Spring of 2012 by Kyoto Animation, the same animator who made Beyond the Boundaries (Kyōkai no Kanata) one of my favorites. 

 Taishi Nakagawa is soon emerging as Japan's shoujo prince with the main lead in Today's Kira-kun (きょうのキラ君) after playing second fiddle to Kento Yamazaki in Your Lie in April. A lot can happen in a day, and in the case of Japanese movie casting news, there's plenty to talk about right this minute! I just posted casting news previously!

A teaser trailer showing students reacting to Taishi and co-star Marie Iitoyo romantic overtures in the movie says it all.

Scarlett Johansson figured prominently in the latest trailer for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell, enhanced to a certain degree by the music inspired by Depeche Mode 'Enjoy the Silence'. Beat Takeshi, as to be expected, is shown to maximum impact. 

Ghost in the Shell is an upcoming American science fiction film directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss, based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. Cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander The Major (Scarlett Johansson), and her task force Section 9 thwart cyber criminals and hackers. Now, they must face a new enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage Hanka Robotic's artificial intelligence technology [ Wiki ]

I would have appreciated seeing Rinko Kikuchi in the title role (or even Fumi Nikaido, or any newly discovered aspiring Japanese actress for that matter), but this is a Hollywood produced movie after all. [ First trailer after the jump! ]