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...

Our previous casting news round-up features both Satoshi Tsumabuki and Masaki Suda but for different projects - Suda, of course, grabbed another role which is now the subject of extensive discussion [ re: his character and what sort of performance he must do in order to do justice to the role. ] I'm talking about Oboreru Knife and I'm inviting you to join in the recent discussion! In today's casting news, Suda may not be playing the lead character, but knowing his ability to steal scenes - I will not be surprised if he overwhelms his co-stars! The movie - Somebody [Nanimono] is all about 5 Uni students whose lives intertwined with both romantic and dramatic colors. Suda's co-stars include Takeru Satoh (lead role), with Masaki Okada, Fumi Nikaido and Kasumi Arimura playing the other main characters. What makes this movie both anticipated and 'problematic' is how the actors can generate interesting chemistry between each other and as a whole.

I know that some of you have seen Mondai no Aru Restaurant, the acclaimed TV drama where Suda and Nikaido played a couple. While I considered the series as one of the best I've seen last year, the interaction between Nikaido and Suda has some unexplored areas, and I am in need of closure. I wish that their characters were explored more... 

I don't know if they will be romantically paired again in this new project, but it seems Arimura is Suda's girlfriend this time around. While both Nikaido (My Man) and Arimura (Biri Gal) both got Best Actress nom at the Japan Academy, Nikaido is miles away when it comes to talent. I'm not trying to insult or belittle Arimura because she can play well herself, but no one can come close to Nikaido. If you have someone like Nikaido and Suda acting together in a movie, you begin to doubt how their co-stars can catch up with them. Of course, Masaki Okada is as talented as one actor can get. [ I enjoyed watching Okada with Yui Aragaki in Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku very much! ]

March 2016 ushers in a fantastic list of casting news! 

Shochiku's The Magnificent Nine (殿、利息でござる!) is the movie that reunites Satoshi Tsumabuki and Eita after Dororo (where they play brothers) and Wakamonotachi (also as brothers). It is also the movie reuniting Eita with Sadao Abe - they were also brothers in No More Cry!!! [ the exclamation points are part of the movie ]. Based on the story “Kokudaya Juzaburo” from the novel "Mushi no Nihonjin" by Michifumi Isoda, The Magnificent Nine is set in an unnamed town where the people are suffering from so much debt. Here are the details from AsianWiki:

Residents in a town have a hard time due to the land tax and forced labor. 9 people, including Juzaburo Kokutaya (Sadao Abe), worry about the future of their town. They then set up a plan to save the town. The plan is to lend large amounts of money to han (historical term for the estate of a warrior) and distribute the interest annually to the residents, but if they're caught they will lose their lives. 

Olympic and world champion ice skater Yuzuru Hanyu also joins the cast.

At this point in their careers, I think Eita lost some points when it comes to leveling up further with his acting career - he needs that elusive leading role that Shun Oguri (and Toma Ikuta) are enjoying with much success. Of course, Eita fans may disagree with me since he rocks in every role whether supporting or main ones. I know how awesome he can be on Tv series and compared to Tsumabuki, he has a more established dramatic presence on television. Speaking of Satoshi, aside from his collaboration with Yoji Yamada, his screen presence in The World of Kanako continues to haunt me - he was crazy in his role as one of the detectives in that movie! If you have not seen it yet, I invite you to do so - Tsumabuki's interaction with Koji Yakusho is just hilarious!

I can't develop feelings. That's how most idiots screw up. - Light Yagami

The dead god of death will disappear, but the DEATH NOTE will remain. The ownership of this DEATH NOTE is usually carried over to the next god of death that touches it, but it is common sense that it is returned to the Great god of death. Only by touching each other's DEATH NOTE can human individuals who own the DEATH NOTE in the human world recognize the appearance or voice of each other's god of death. - Death Note Rule [ quotes taken from Wikiquotes ]

If you cast two of Japan's most exciting and talented actors in one movie, then you would expect a lot of fireworks!

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In the case of the 2016 upcoming Death Note movie, having Sosuke Ikematsu (as Kenichi Matsuyama & Kento Yamazaki's successor to L) and Masaki Suda (as a fervent follower and admirer of Kira; following the footsteps of Tatsuya Fujiwara & Masataka Kubota's Light) then you got an exciting movie in the making.

Takeru Sato and Ryunosuke Kamiki who played roles together in Bakuman and the Kenshin trilogy are once again in the news - as they headline our casting buzz! Acclaimed child actor-performer turned matured young actor Sosuke Ikematsu also grabs the headlines!

I think I've said it many times, it takes a lot of talent to be awesome in both drama and comedy. Ryunosuke Kamiki, through the years, has developed his acting style and can do both types of roles with relative ease. In his latest movie, with Tomoya Nagase and Aoi Morikawa, Kamiki plays a young student who went to hell and meet a rock and roll hell 'god'.