Casting News + Scoop! [June 19-Aug 6] Aozora Yell, The Kinema Junpou 50 list for young actresses, Gintama and Your Lie in April

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.

Your Lie in April synopsis follows:

Music accompanies the path of the human metronome, the prodigious pianist Kousei Arima. But after the passing of his mother, Saki Arima, Kousei falls into a downward spiral, rendering him unable to hear the sound of his own piano.

Two years later, Kousei still avoids the piano, leaving behind his admirers and rivals, and lives a colorless life alongside his friends Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari. However, everything changes when he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who stirs up his world and sets him on a journey to face music again.

Based on the manga series of the same name, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso approaches the story of Kousei’s recovery as he discovers that music is more than playing each note perfectly, and a single melody can bring in the fresh spring air of April. [ source ]

Taishi Nakagawa, who is our spotlight of the month, is also part of the cast, together with Ana Ishii.


On Tao Tsuchiya, who I happen to consider to be the perfect ideal for Yamazaki, is also making waves for Aozora Yell, with the charming Ryoma Takeuchi.

The manga has the following storyline, which is also the same story adapted in the live-action version:

Aozora Yell centers on Tsubasa, a girl who saw an inspirational brass band performance at the finals of the Japanese high school baseball championships one summer. Tsubasa vows to join the band when she enters high school, and she happens to meet a certain boy there.

I’m pretty sure there will come a time when Tao Tsuchiya and her generation will have more challenging roles to play, in the same vein as Mao Inoue who did those amazing characters in Rebirth and Snow White Murder Case (or perhaps even the ones played by Sakura Ando), but for now, I’m quite satisfied that she plays romantic tearjerkers – no matter how “similar’ these characters are.

Shun Oguri continues to grab high-profile characters in the live-action adaptation scenes. Aside from Nobunaga Concerto and Lupin the III, Oguri will soon include the main character in the Gintama series as one of his own.

The Amanto, aliens from outer space, have invaded Earth and taken over feudal Japan. As a result, a prohibition on swords has been established, and the samurai of Japan are treated with disregard as a consequence.

However one man, Gintoki Sakata, still possesses the heart of the samurai, although from his love of sweets and work as a yorozuya, one might not expect it. Accompanying him in his jack-of-all-trades line of work are Shinpachi Shimura, a boy with glasses and a strong heart, Kagura with her umbrella and seemingly bottomless stomach, as well as Sadaharu, their oversized pet dog. Of course, these odd jobs are not always simple, as they frequently have run-ins with the police, ragtag rebels, and assassins, oftentimes leading to humorous but unfortunate consequences. [ source ]


The Gintama cast:

Shun Oguri – Gintoki Sakata
Masaki Suda – Shinpachi Shimura
Kanna Hashimoto – Kagura
Masami Nagasawa – Tae Shimura
Masaki Okada – Kotaro Katsura
Tsuyoshi Muro – Gengai Hiraga
Yuya Yagira – Toshiro Hijikata
Ryo Yoshizawa – Sogo Okita
Kankuro Nakamura – Isao Kondo

I’m glad that Masami Nagasawa is part of the cast as well as Sudachi, Ryo Yoshizawa and of course Yuya Yagira. I have done some research of his character and I think Yagira’s character – Toshiro Hijikata is a perfect fit:

He appears as a very handsome and attractive man. He’s pretty flexible. Hijikata has short, dark green hair (black in the manga) and gun-metal blue eyes (although his eyes are red in the manga version). His usual attire is a Shinsengumi uniform, and on his days off he can be seen with a dark yukata & sandals. As his otaku alter-ego, Tosshi, he wears a light-blue, ragged vest, a red shirt underneath, a red headband and black pants. [ source ]

As many considered Yagira’s expressive eyes to be one of his best features, I just hope he gets enough scenes for viewers to appreciate the role.

Ryo Yoshizawa who appeared in the spotlight the same time as Sota Fukushi is quite under-rated as an actor. I would love to see him play more than secondary characters.


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