I find FUNimation's synopsis of Donten ni Warau to be just exactly right, for both fans and the uninitiated.

When swords were outlawed in the eleventh year of the Meiji Era, the mighty samurai population began to dwindle. Those who rejected the ban on blades rebelled, causing violent unrest to erupt throughout the countryside. To combat the rise in criminal activity, an inescapable lake prison was constructed. Three young men, born of the Kumoh line, were given the duty of delivering criminals to their place of confinement—but could there be more to their mission than meets the eye?

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You see, I watched this anime when I was very much into the supernatural genre and I really had a great time watching the episodes. I'm not much of a manga reader, so my timeline is quite different from those who became loyal to Donten via the original source. What I like most about it is the interaction between the Kumoh brothers - they have such distinct personalities. Even the supporting characters can be quite fascinating - the Yamainu Squad and of course, Shirasu Kinjo.

When the casting of Sota Fukushi as Tenka Kumoh was announced, it was such a disappointment! [ Read Kaye casting news here

I dunno really why they could cast such an incompetent actor to play such an intriguing lead, but hey, it's a done deal. Johnny's Yuma Nakayama & Kirato Wakayama are to play the two other brothers. Nakayama is just Ok for me, have seen him in a few shows (Pin to Kona, being one of them). The casting of Yuki Furukawa is great news, though his role may be quite limited...

So what's the biggest casting news worth the buzz? Let's see... there's actually plenty!

While we're still in the process of posting Parts 2-3 of the Kinema Junpou for the young men, the succeeding issue of Kinema for the young women is already at hand and it has Suzu Hirose on the cover.

I would have appreciated it more if they put Tao Tsuchiya on the cover though but with so much buzz on Hirose, I'm not surprised at all. In terms of acting, I would prefer Tsuchiya or Mayu Matsuoka (Hirose's co-star in Chihayafuru, who have been very consistent in all her shows) or Hana Sugisaki or Mitsuki Takahata, but let's get to that later (I'm just happy they did not put Tsubasa Honda on the cover!)

So, the buzz on Your Lie in April is reaching fever pitch as the release date is coming soon (September 10 to be exact). I did some sampling of the anime and I can visualize the cast from the first episode...

I know how much attention Kento Yamazaki is getting from manga/anime fans and even from regular J-movie fanatics, and the main complaint is how come he gets similar roles all the time? Well, as Don Brown has explained to me (the interview will be posted soon!), when someone is so in demand, his agents will try their best to get as many roles as possible, never mind the over-exposure.

We’re halfway 2016 but I can’t help but feel I’ve missed a memo at some point. I mean, live action adaptations have been a constant thing in the Japanese movie industry, but with over a 35 of those projects having been released or announced in these first six months I feel like we’ve hit a new height.

You could say that it’s a thing for a lot of romance series to get adapted when they’re nearing the end, but this time around it’s the big names such as Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, Gintama, Tokyo Ghoul, Isshuukan Friends (One Week Friends), and Sangatsu no Lion (March Comes in Like a Lion) that are on the schedule. When it comes to the big ones you can debate that most of them were somewhat expected, but there’s a lot of random stories that have seemingly slipped under the radar only to suddenly show up in front of us with announcements. This time around, we’ll be laughing under the clouds.

Donten ni Warau(Laughing Under the Clouds) is a six-volume manga series which started in October 2010, and ended May 2013. It received an anime adaptation nearly a year and a half later, as well as a stage play which debuted February 2015 and got a second run recently. Earlier this year, the next part of the project was officially revealed to be a live action adaptation.

Live action casting continues to rock the manga/anime scene, and this time, it's all about Tokyo Ghoul! Here's a backgrounder first:

Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種トーキョーグール, Tōkyō Gūru) is a media franchise based on the manga series by the same name written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. It was later adapted into an anime produced by Studio Pierrot.

Strange murders are happening in Tokyo. Due to liquid evidence at the scene, the police conclude the attacks are the results of 'eater' type ghouls. College buddies Kaneki and Hide come up with the idea that ghouls are imitating humans so that's why they haven't ever seen one. Little did they know that their theory may very well become a reality. [ backgrounder @Wikia ]

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tokyo ghoul masataka kubota

Now, a recent article discussing the cast - in my humble opinion, has selected some rather "old" Japanese actors. I mean, Eita and Hikari Mitsushima are not exactly teens. So, seeing that the actual cast took in Fumika Shimizu for one of the major roles is - definitely - perfect for me. 

Now for the more 'complicated' part. There was some discussion on twitter as to whether Masataka Kubota is the right actor for the role of the main protagonist - Ken Kaneki. So let's look at the character first...

Long time without a casting news! But I promise to get on with the Top 30 hottest list for the actresses in a few days, and also to finish the series on live action adaptation. Things are a bit rough with work, thus, the lack of regular updates...

In this casting news - we're into Yamada's Ushijima and the family drama featuring Yasuko Matsuyuki and Ai Hashimoto.

The black market, the different tales of desperate people who are willing to take out money from the loan sharks and the loan shark himself - Kaoru Ushijima - are back in the third installment of the highly successful Ushijima the Loan shark live action. Based on the manga series "Yamikin Ushijima-kun" by Shohei Manabe (first published 2004 by Weekly Magazine Big Comic Spirits), this is one of the most engaging and enjoyable series I've watched. The previous movies cast the likes of Yuya Yagira, Masaki Suda, and Masataka Kubota altogether, and you can imagine how crazy it was! Of course, all three young actors have different and separate stories - Yagira plays a sexual predator, while Suda gets himself all tied up and beaten while Kubota is involved in some 'failed' relationship, being a male host.

In the third installment of Ushijima, the gang returns - Gou Ayano continues to blow bubbles with Ushijima (Yamada), and the duo of Hiromi Sakimoto (he needs more roles!) and Kyosuke Yabe are back as Yamada's sidekicks.