I was made aware of this rumor about 22 hours ago on twitter and decided to do some research. I know people are expecting more than just taking note of the source but also what sort of live action adaptation this is going to be. You see, when we announced that Kento Yamazaki is the hottest Japanese actor right this minute, some have reservations, while others adamantly disagree with our list. [ see top 15 hottest actors list ] But then Orange became a huge box office hit, which followed Heroine Disqualified - making Yamazaki a surefire box office attraction in Japan. 

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That is not all- a recent survey conducted revealed that most of the respondents (all over Asia) consider Yamazaki a personal favorite. While others are still catching up with the Kento-craze (starting with Control Tower and Another) and others already into his Death Note phase. Still, there are others already looking into the 'near' future.

Why the emphasis on Kento Yamazaki's surging appeal? Well, the lead cast for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure - Stardust Crusaders requires an attractive leading man...

... and while rivals like Sota Fukushi, Shuhei Nomura or even the younger batch of actors like Taishi Nakagawa or even peers like Ryo Yoshizawa have all the looks and even the talent (some but not Fukushi, of course!) it's just that Yamazaki got the box office record to speak of.

I wanted to post this casting news way back, but a lot of things are happening in RL at the moment, so please bear with me.

The live action report is still underway and the countdown to the top 30 hottest Japanese young actresses are also in the works! Speaking of which, we're featuring three of the top contenders - Mirai Shida, Mitsuki Takahata, and Fumi Nikaido in this edition of the casting buzz! Also in the news are the Kentos - Yamazaki and Hayashi.

This is our second reminder just how much Mirai Shida is admired by the psychodrama community! I was told that the trailer for Nakimushi Pierrot no Kekkonshiki [ 泣き虫ピエロの結婚式 ] is up already and it's just awesome! Shida's co-star who happens to be managed also by Ken-On may have been under the radar, but no more! Hopefully, he can be a better alternative to the lifeless Sota Fukushi. Ryusei is the second lead guy in Orange (the Tao Tsuchiya-Kento Yamazaki box office hit) and this time, he grabs the main role opposite Shida.

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Also in the news (as usual) is Kento Yamazaki while doing the rounds to promote his latest movie, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, with the incomparable Fumi Nikaido. Not far behind, and certainly making his own set of waves is his namesake, Kento Hayashi, who remains one of the most under-rated Japanese actors around.

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! ]