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!

Kento Yamazaki's appearance as a supporting player in 2010 TV sci-fi drama Clone Baby (Kuron Beibi) is a far cry from the Kento of today. As Jotaro, Yamazaki dons curly hair with a hair band, is a computer geek, and looks nerdy (and not so cool). The show stars Ken-On's Tomohiro Ichikawa, Tori Matsuzaka, and Yukari Taki (a rather plain actress with a forgettable performance). Also in the cast are Honoka Miki, Yu Inaba, and Dori Sakurada (who will eventually co-star with Yamazaki in Orange, and is reported to be a close friend).

Hyoka - Casting of Kento Yamazaki, Alice Hirose

Fast forward, Ichikawa is now relegated to playing supporting bit parts (especially when fellow Ken-On talent Sota Fukushi is cast as the main actor). Matsuzaka continues to grab high-profile roles but is not the rom-com prince wannabe anymore. 

Tori and Kento reunite in Love for Beginners, with Yamazaki donning the same curly hair and the same boring supporting character. Which begs the question: Can Yamazaki level up his casting and get those elusive leading roles? Well, a sudden change in appearance seems to do the trick. With a new hairstyle, a "darker" complexion and more intense eyes, Yamazaki makes a double take with Ai Hashimoto in Control Tower and Another.

I want to say the rest is history but, Yamazaki is just warming up.