It’s been a while since we’ve added to our long and clearly never-ending list – I mean, we have four (1/2/3/4) articles filled with them by now + one actress edition – of young Japanese actors, so why not continue with another batch of them?
Uragami Seishuu (’99 – HONEST)
Perhaps a weird choice to start with when you remember the guy left his agency earlier this year, but Uragami Seishuu at least isn’t a new name on the scene. The 21-year-old started his career way back when he was still a tiny Seishuu through a 2009 drama special starring Ninomiya Kazunari, Door to Door.
Most of us who’ve heard his name before, however, likely know him for something a little more recent. Well, ~recent~. Time goes by so fast that even Kazoku Game has already been about eight years now. Seishuu played the younger brother to then agencymate and star of the show – next to Sakurai Sho – Kamiki Ryunosuke. It wasn’t the first time Seishuu went on to join Kamiki, as he also appeared in the short drama, Kogure Shashinkan, which was released little over a week before Kazoku Game started its broadcast. The young actor also managed to leave quite the impression when he joined that other ex-agencymate, Yoshizawa Ryo, in the Tomodachi Game series.
Earlier this year, Seishuu appeared as a part of the main student cast in Yamada Yuki’s Koko wa Ima kara Rinri desu., before he was revealed to have joined the cast of movie HOKUSAI. The latter was released at the end of May.
While he hasn’t mentioned any specific new projects – aside from some small things here and there – since him and Amuse parted ways, it doesn’t seem like he will be leaving the entertainment industry at least. Hopefully new works show up soon!
Endo Kenshin (’00 – Hirata Office)
Meanwhile, if you’ve been watching some drama series lately, Endo Kenshin is probably a slightly more familiar name. The young actor was part of the cast of Colorful Love: Genderless Danshi ni Aisareteimasu, and would every now and then appear on agencymate Kiriyama Renn’s Instagram during its promotions. Talking about the app, if you’re a fan of Shimizu Hiroya, you might have seen Kenshin pop up on his pictures or stories without realizing, as both have been friends since they were in a projects together many years ago.
For me, however, Kenshin’s been on the rookieradarTM since I first spotted him in drama Ashita no Yakusoku in 2017, where he plays the character the whole story kind of revolves around. He had a few more appearances in series afterwards – such as Cheer☆Dan – but it’s probably mostly since he graduated high school that he’s caught a few roles with a bit more weight – or lines – than usual. Think Takane to Hana or the third season of Sakura no Oyakodon.
Though for now, the 20-year-old is still mostly either a supporting character or extra, and the amount times he’s been in series and movies without having been properly credited is probably bigger than his current lists on popular website profiles. If you’d want, you’d be able to spot him here and there in drama Itoshi no Nina, but also alongside Onodera Akira as your local assholes in movie Nozomi. Amusingly, both of those latter projects also have Okada Kenshi on its cast. His most recent casting was as a part of the LA drama Akuma to Love Song.
Moviewise, Kenshin still has very little on his filmography, and if you really want to be able to get a good view of him, then your best bet is Misumisou aka Liverleaf – You know, one of those Hiroya projects. Or perhaps the indie release Irubasho. If you can find it anywhere, that is.
Movie Daiji na Koto Hodo Kogoe de Sasayaku is planned for fall 2022.
Tanaka Taketo (’00 – Andmo)
Did you watch the first Rurouni Kenshin movie? Do you remember little Yahiko? Yes? Then you remember Tanaka Taketo.
It’s kind of a curse, I guess, to get cast as the only child character among a bunch of adults where everyone else can just reprise their role for the next installment while you’ve already grown about half your size by the time production for the new project has even started. As a result, after the release of Rurouni Kenshin back in 2012, Taketo’s career didn’t quite immediately take off. He had a few roles here and there, but it took till end 2017 – and likely end of his high school career – before he started showing up more on cast lists again.
The now 21-year-old had guestings and support roles on series such as Setoutsumi (2017), Kakugo wa Iika Soko no Joshi (2018) – next to Nakagawa Taishi, Keiji Zero (2019), asadora Yell (2020), as well as Anonymous and Ichikei no Karasu, both of which aired earlier this year. His most recent drama casting was in Cinderella Complex, which started airing past July and finished at the end of August.
In the future, Taketo is set to appear in movie Hiraite, which stars Yamada Anna in its lead role. He will also take part in Shichattane, one of the installments of Keikojou, a three part omnibus movie release.
Kura Yuki (’99 – SMA)
If anyone on this list is new, it’s probably Kura Yuki. Though he’s only had about two years of experience, his resume has been filling up nicely with a series of guestings and support roles as well as a few leads which was most recently shown in Ikeda Elaiza‘s directing debut.
Yuki started out as a part of the Trace: Kasouken no Otoko cast back in January 2019. He went on to join EBiSSH/ONE ‘N ONLY’s Kusakawa Naoya as the lead in BL-drama His – Koisuru Tsumori Nante Nakatta. The drama was a prequel to the movie of the same name starring Fujiwara Kisetsu and Miyazawa Hio, but didn’t get a release outside of the Tokai Region. If you’re an asadora watcher on the other hand, Yuki has probably crossed your path playing the younger brother of Sugisaki Hana‘s character in the recent Ochoyan. He is also set to appear in the upcoming installment of Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari, which will air sometime this fall.
Moviewise, the 21-year-old has managed to gather about seven projects in the past two years, three of which he is the lead for. His most recent works on that end include Umibe no Onnanoko – starring Ishikawa Ruka and Aoki Yuzu – and the omnibus movie Spaghetti Code Love.
Konishi Eito (’00 – Horipro)
Since his debut in 2018, Eito has been flip-flopping between the theater stage and TV screen. Currently 21-years-old, the actor started off his career as an extra in Koi Toka Ai Toka. He followed it up with a lead in a special based on the same work, and also joined the cast when it got adapted for the stage. It was the start of a career which has been filled with a variety of works in barely a few years time.
I personally saw him for the first time when he was a bit of a comic relief of sorts, added to the cast of YouTube drama Shujinko. A good-natured boyfriend to the lead boy’s (Kamio Fuju) younger sister (Deguchi Natsuki). It immediately set the vibe and had me realize that Konishi Eito has an ~entertainer~ gen hidden within him. He reminds me of a small Nissy, from time to time. Maybe it’s just the big smile though.
Fast forward a little and we see that Eito isn’t shy of diving into established series either, next to being a part of the Touken Ranbu stage universe as Horikawa Kunihiro, he was also cast as Ciel Phantomhive in the most recent musical run of the Kuroshitsuji, aka Black Butler, series. Just last month he joined a star-studded cast for Japan’s version of musical Jamie. It’ll finish its run in a few weeks.
On the drama side, Eito had his first lead together with Ihara Rikka in Donburi Iinchou, an LA drama adaptation of a manga of the same name. The food-drama aired at the end of 2020. Earlier this year he also had his movie debut in Bittersand, starring Inoue Yuki, Hagiwara Riku, and Kinoshita Ayane. Eiga Engeki Sakusesu So will release later this year.
Suzuki Jin (’99 – Amuse)
Amuse has a lot of young ones on their roster, but one of those whose name has been on quite some castings in the past year or so is definitely Suzuki Jin. The actor joined the agency after becoming one of the finalists of its 2014 audition – Kiyohara Kaya, Hotta Mayu, and Kaneko Daichi entered Amuse through different sections of the same audition!
Jin got his debut through 2017 drama Reverse, and went on to join the cast of many senpai in Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu the same year – Kiyohara Sho, Daigo Kotaro, and Kamio Fuju, were also among them, actually. It was likely only in 2018, however, that his name started going around as he got cast in the second season of Hana Yori Dango called Hana Nochi Hare. Early 2019 only added to that as the actor joined many agemates in Suda Masaki’s 3 Nen A Gumi classroom.
Some guestings and small roles here and there eventually bring us to January 2021, when Jin appeared as Ishikawa Toru in the LA drama and movie adaptation of romance slice-of-life Horimiya, followed up with his first lead role as Ritsuka in an adaptation of fan-favorite BL manga Given. Joining him for the latter were Amuse/A-sketch artist Sanari, as well as actors Inowaki Kai, and Yanagi Shuntaro. He was also cast alongside Ito Marika and Igeta Hiroe for the TV Tokyo x Spotify collaboration drama Omimi ni Aimashitara.
Moviewise, the rookie actor has mainly taken on smaller roles in productions such as Saiki Kusuo no Psi-nan – with agencymate Yoshizawa Ryo on the cast – 4-gatsu no Kimi, Spica., Chiisana Koi no Uta, and of course the more recent Brave: Gunjou Senki, for which Arata Mackenyu was its lead.
Jin’s future schedule is slowly getting filled as he is on the main cast for the upcoming Kieta Hatsukoi LA drama adaptation, as well as murder mystery drama Bokura ga Koroshita, Saiai no Kimi.
Suzuka Oji (’00 – FOSTER)
If we mention Jin in Horimiya, we obviously can’t forget to mention its lead boy cast, Suzuka Oji. While his – bad – wig for the drama was a topic of conversation more times than I’ve been able to count, it also confirmed that Oji will probably start to appear in a variety of projects more and more as he’s definitely been gathering attention.
But first we go back to where it all started, as the actor has quite the original ~origin story~. After having participated as an extra in the filming of 2017 movie Sensei! …Suki ni Natte mo ii Desuka?, Oji found himself scouted by actress Hirose Suzu. Hirose, who was cast as its female lead, found Oji so interesting she told her manager to get him to join her agency. Fast forward to 2018 and Oji’s taken up the offer, resulting in him using Suzu’s name in his own stage name as a form of gratitude. The same year he was also the winner of the Grand Prix at the 33rd MEN’S NON-NO Exclusive Model Audition.
Oji properly started his own acting career in 2019 with the release of movie Mitsubachi to Enrai, which is also known in English as Listen to the Universe. The young actor received various rookie awards for his portrayal as a lead next to Matsuoka Mayu, Matsuzaka Tori, and Morisaki Win.
After a series of smaller roles, Oji eventually ended up as lead boy Miyamura Izumi in the earlier mentioned Horimiya LA adaptation, and also joined Dragon Zakura for the series’ second season. The future looks bright as well, as movies Hoshizora no Mukou no Kuni – in which he takes the lead – and Kasokeki Sankayo are seeing their release later this year.
Inoue Yuki (’96 – Horipro)
Hah, you thought we’d have ended it with a Horimiya duo? No, it’s a Horimiya trio. Inoue Yuki played Shindo Koichi, the middle school friend of our lead boy, though it’s definitely not only that which his name has shown up in.
When he was in his third year of university, he applied for the 42nd Horipro Talent Scout Caravan on the recommendation of a friend and ended up winning the Judges’ Special Award. It seems that since then, Horipro is set on promoting the hell out of him whenever he ends up in a drama or movie, as I’m pretty sure that by now I can recall what he looks like in just about anything he’s done so far.
Yuki #2 of our 4th batch of young actors started off as an extra in the Nisekoi LA movie back in 2018, but quickly caught his first role with a small part in Oshii Keiji in 2019 and, eventually, the lead of that year’s Ultraman series, Ultraman Taiga. When the project ended at the end of the year, Yuki went on to join the casts of multiple drama series for 2020, including Himawari ~Kenichi Legend~, 13, and Dakara Watashi wa Make Suru. Early 2021 he then showed up as a part of the Horimiya LA cast, joining in as an old middle school friend of Miyamura – played by the earlier mentioned Suzuka Oji. He is currently acting in the drama adaptation of manga Chijou no Seppun.
What somehow stuck with me the most of all his castings, though, is the one where he dyed his hair salmon-pink and somehow managed to look good with it. Don’t ask me how he did it. He just somehow does. Titled No Call No Life, the movie was based on a novel of the same name by Kabei Yukako, and was Yuki’s first lead aside from Ultraman. A few months after its release, he followed it up with yet another lead role in a movie, Bittersand.
Later this year, we will be seeing Inoue Yuki alongside Kitamura Takumi and Kuroshima Yuina in Akegata no wakamonotachi.
Nakagawa Daisuke (’98 – KEN ON)
Nakagawa Daisuke took the Tokusatsu route to kickstart his career. The young actor found his way in through the Kamen Rider franchise as Jin in Kamen Rider Zero-One. Upon the series’ finale in August 2020, Nakagawa appeared in the LA drama adaptation of Gokushufudou – also known as The Way of the Househusband.
While there isn’t much on his filmography so far but several works related to Kamen Rider, it must be noted that Nakagawa somehow got himself cast as a teacher in 2019 drama Ore no Sukato, Doko Itta?. With most of the student cast being around his age, one can wonder how he ended up in front of the classroom, and not as a part of it.
For 2021, however, Daisuke seems to have been able to gather quite a few roles as he wasn’t only just part of the cast for winter season’s Uchi no Musume wa, Kareshi ga Dekinai!!, but could also be spotted in Colorful Love: Genderless Danshi ni Aisareteimasu, as well as Voice: 110 Emergency Control Room 2.
Starting November he is set to appear in Asagaya Shimai no Nohohon Futarikurashi.
Hyodo Katsumi (’98 – Amuse)
While Katsumi has been interested in appearing on TV since the end of his elementary school days, the young actor’s teen days were mostly filled with baseball, as he was a pitcher on his school’s team. During Katsumi’s last year in high school, they even made as far as second place in Fukuoka prefecture. Though he was supposed to pitch during the tournament – and his coach had high hopes for him – it seems he was unable to take the position as he wasn’t performing as well as he wanted to, to the point the pressure became too much. He eventually decided to quit baseball after graduation, and instead went for a new dream of acting, even moving to Tokyo on his mother’s recommendation.
Katsumi has only been acting since the very end of 2018, making him one of the more recent Amuse debuts alongside Watanabe Keisuke and Fujiwara Taiyu. Tokusatsu fans likely know him best for his role in Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulger, where he played Ryusoul Gold. Despite initially getting demotivated upon realizing the audition wasn’t for Ryusoul Red, the staff mentioned he worked hard and made a positive impact on the role.
In 2020, the young actor found his way to regular drama series, as he joined Katakoi Gourmet Nikki, as well as Shanai Marriage Honey – the latter of which had Itagaki Mizuki on the main cast. Earlier this year Katsumi was also a part of the cast of LA drama DIVE!! while most recently, he could be seen playing Kamio Fuju‘s best friend in Black Cinderella.
Kesenai Kioku, his first try at a leading role for a movie, will be released in 2022. Mikami Ai was cast alongside him.