Just as any other season and year change, ModelPress puts together lists with their “next break” or “hit” predictions. Going from 2019 to 2020 is no different as they shared their latest top on the 1st of January.
More often than not the lists just pass with me looking at them for a bit, wondering why some names are mentioned and others aren’t, but this year seems to be different. With guys like Yoshizawa Ryo and Yokohama Ryusei having found their place under the spotlight already, we get a rather interesting top 10 with names that have been on Psycho-Drama’s own hitlist for a while now.
#10 Furukawa Tsuyoshi (’00, SUPER★DRAGON – EBiDAN/Stardust)
Number 10 on ModelPress’ list goes to one of SUPER★DRAGON’s vocalists. When it comes to combining a singing career with acting, Tsuyoshi is no different than many of his EBiDAN peers – think DISH//’s Kitamura Takumi or M!LK’s Sano Hayato. Despite that though, he’s without a doubt the name that’s been sticking around the most when it comes to his own fellow group members.
The soon-to-be 20-year-old might not have a lot on his filmography yet, but he’s been steadily adding projects since his debut alongside agencymate Yokohama Ryusei in 2018’s Ani Tomo. If you’d want to catch him in a more recent thing, he’s actually part of the currently airing Nee Sensei, Shiranai no? cast, once again alongside an agencymate, Miyase Ryubi (M!LK).
When it comes to movies, Tsuyoshi will be back to the big screen early February, with the release of Shimizu Takashi’s next horror Howling Village, also known as Inunaki Mura. It stars Miyoshi Ayaka and Bando Ryota.
#9 Katayose Ryota (’94, GENERATIONS – LDH) – last year #10
I’ll have to admit that when he got his first main role in the adaptation of Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu, I was incredibly skeptical. Would he be able to do it without being totally awkward? If his group’s MVs are anything to go by, there wasn’t much to anticipate. Surprisingly though, Ryota totally proved me wrong. Sure, it was clear that he was still a rookie when it came to acting, but a lot of his scenes were actually fairly natural and at least amusing enough to watch.
The pop group vocalist has since starred in various projects, including LDH’s own Prince of Legend as well as a leading role in last year’s 3 Nen A Gumi – the latter of which he reprised for a cameo in the more recent Nippon Noir. His latest movie – Gozen 0-ji, Kiss shi ni Kite yo – was released just last month.
Ryota’s next drama involvement comes in the form of medical drama Byoshitsu de Nembutsu wo Tonaenaide Kudasai which starts January 17th.
#8 Kiyohara Sho (’93 – Stardust)
At first Kiyohara Sho’s inclusion in this list seemed a bit odd. Hasn’t he been around longer than most of these guys? But perhaps my mind is playing tricks on me and making me think of other, older actors with similar attitudes or something – think Ayano Go and the likes. After all, Sho has only been acting since HIGH & LOW Season 2 which aired in 2016. He has, however, been gathering roles right and left with about 20 drama and 7 movie appearances from his debut up till now. In 2019’s fall season he even participated in three different drama series – Cheat, Doctor X, and Shiyakusho.
There hasn’t been much news concerning 2020 plans, but the actor is already set to appear in medical drama Alive: Gan Senmon‘i no Karute later this month. Movie Sayonara Made no 30 pun on the other hand – starring Arata Mackenyu and Kitamura Takumi – will have its premiere on January 24th. Kiyohara plays a band member alongside Uesugi Shuhei and Hayama Shono.
#7 Okada Kenshi (’99 – Spice Power) – last year #6
Okada Kenshi is a somewhat weird phenomenon. Spice Power’s new it boy – after Takasugi Mahiro – debuted in 2018’s Chugakusei Nikki, a teacher-student romance drama, with lots of hype as a result. But despite only getting his first role in fall season 2018, ModelPress already named him one of their “next hit” predictions for 2019.
He continued his hype through the year with leading roles in Hakataben no Onnanoko wa Kawaii to Omoimasen ka? and Follow Saretara Owari, as well as a guesting in Doctor X.
Okada’s first movie, Yayoi, Sangatsu: Kimi o Ai Shita 30nen, will release March 20th. Haru and Narita Ryo are leading.
#6 Kamio Fuju (’99 – A-Team)
Amusingly, every single actor on this list so far has been linked to another one through at least one project. Fuju isn’t any different as the first time I ever saw him pop up was when he appeared as one of Tsuchiya Tao’s crushes in Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu. The manga adaptation project wasn’t his debut, however, since the 20-year-old had his first role as an extra in Yamada Ryosuke (HSJ)’s TV movie Okaasan, Ore wa Daijoubu in 2015.
Currently Fuju has piled up about 20 drama series and five movies, nine of which saw their release in 2019. Among those latter ones are his first leading roles in Hidarikiki no Eren – alongside Ikeda Elaiza – and Shujinkou – a webdrama in which he had the opportunity to act with close friend, Onodera Akira. Just as Furukawa Tsuyoshi, Fuju reprised his 3 Nen A Gumi role for the more recent Nippon Noir run.
In 2020 we will be seeing the young actor take part in the drama adaptation of manga Ii ne! Hikaru Genji-kun. The series will be led by Chiba Yudai and is set to start airing in April. Moviewise, he has been cast in Korogaru Bidama, a slice-of-life scenario surrounding roommates presented with eviction throughout Tokyo Olympics preparations.
#5 Kaneko Daichi (’96 – Amuse)
From Fuju we head to Amuse’s next it boy, Kaneko Daichi – who actually also starred in the same TV movie in 2015. While he had his acting debut around the same time, it wasn’t with the same project. Kaneko’s first TV appearance happened in January of the year, guesting in drama Kasane‘s first episode. Surprisingly, his actual proper role debut wasn’t as a regular actor – as you’d expect – but as a voice actor in an anime movie called Taifuu no Noruda. He joined agencymates Nomura Shuhei and Kiyohara Kaya for the project. Fun fact: Kaneko and Kiyohara Kaya actually entered Amuse through the same auditions in 2014!
A variety of 21 drama and 17 movie appearances later, Kaneko seems to be headed to a path of recognition, though this might be in part due to having been cast in the popular Ossan’s Love. 2019 also saw the actor’s first drama leading role in NHK’s Fujoshi, Ukkari Gay ni Kokuru where he played a closeted gay high school student with a fujoshi classmate. He received praise for his portrayal.
At the moment, Kaneko is preparing for the role of Thomas Cranmer in the 35th Edition of Aya no Kuni’s Shakespeare Series “Henry VIII”. The stage play will run from February 14th till March 22nd. Last year’s Sarugakucho de Aimashou indie movie will also see its official release later this year.
#4 Arata Mackenyu (’96 – TOP COAT) – last year #8
Mackenyu is probably the biggest name on this list for now, having been making rounds in not only drama and movie castings, but also with his big friend circle reaching from pop and rock stars – both foreign and national – to many fellow actors. And let’s not forget about his role in Pacific Rim 2 either.
The Los Angeles born actor has been in the business for a while now, but it wasn’t till he took on one of the leading roles in the movie adaptation of Chihayafuru that his name became more widespread. He subsequently asked for permission of the project’s mangaka to use the character’s name as his own stage name, and changed from being known as just Mackenyu to Arata Mackenyu.
For 2020, Mackenyu will be busy with the releases of movies Kaiji: Final Game as well as Sayonara Made no 30 pun. Filming for 2021’s Gunjou Senki should take place this year too. It will be his first big solo main movie lead. Miura Haruma, Yamazaki Hirona, and Matsuyama Kenichi are also part of the cast.
#3 Matsumura Hokuto (’95, SixTONES – J&A)
After SUPER★DRAGON’s Furukawa Tsuyoshi and GENERATIONS’ Katayose Ryota, we’ve arrived at the third acting-singer on the list. The now 24-year-old had his TV acting debut alongside his – at the time – future group members in 2012’s Shiritsu Bakaleya Koukou, with a movie sequel released later the same year.
After a quiet few years, his acting career was somewhat revived in 2018, with an inclusion in the LA adaptation of Sakamichi no Apollon as well as an appearance in the fall ’18 installment of horror stories series Yonimo Kimyona Monogatari. Add to that his role in last year’s Perfect World drama, as well as the Shounentachi movie which stars both his own group SixTONES as well as agencymates Snow Man, it is somewhat clear that it was likely to coincide with the start of his group’s debut preparations.
Hokuto also seems to be a favorite at the ModelPress headquarters since it’s definitely not the first time he’s been mentioned in one of their prediction lists. Next to his group’s official music debut later this month, he will also be appearing in 10 no Himitsu. The drama starts airing on January 14th.
#2 Sugino Yosuke (’95 – TOP COAT) – last year #9
Ah, another Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu alumni – there’s apparently four on this list, would you know.
Sugino is part of the same agency that manages Mackenyu and they’ve been doing a good job if we can go by his filmography so far. The 24-year-old boasts 27 drama and nine movie appearances since his debut in 2016. The last few of which even include his first proper leading roles in both the drama – Scams, which is available on Netflix worldwide – and movie world – Hitsuji to Okami no Koi to Satsujin.
I guess to many people their first encounter with the actor was likely 2017’s Kiseki: Ano Hi no Sobito. Did you know the movie was actually his first one? After Kiseki co-stars Matsuzaka Tori, Suda Masaki, Narita Ryo, and last year’s popularity gatherer, Yokohama Ryusei, it might finally be Sugino’s time to shine in 2020.
While there hasn’t been much news concerning new projects for the coming year, Sugino was cast alongside Morinaga Yuki as a lead of the new Sabu adaptation. The special drama episode is set to air on January 11th and lasts about two hours.
#1 Ito Kentaro (’97 – aoao) – last year #2
As mentioned before in our first batch of next generation actors, Kentaro is an odd one for me as well. He was suddenly there one day and it felt like everyone just accepted it as if he’d been at some level of popularity for quite a while before. I’m still partly blaming – though I guess that might be a wrong choice of words – his participation in Terrace House and its accompanying popularity. To this day I still occasionally see people mention him as being The Kentaro from Terrace House after all.
But that’s of course not all he is. The young actor has been at it for about six years now, and has been gaining quite a bit of popularity in the past few years. Aside from that he’s also starting to become known as someone who does well on variety as well as the radio shows he’s hosted. People claim to like his natural flow, both in acting and talking, adding to the list of reasons for fans to follow his every move.
Though he was only active in one movie and one drama throughout 2019, Kentaro already has four projects ready for the new year. Next to a role in the new asadora, Scarlet, he is set to star in the Noboru Kotera-san movie adaptation alongside Kudo Haruka. Kyou Kara Ore Wa!! was also revealed to be receiving its own movie later this year. From July till September, Kentaro will be a part of the Ganryuujima stage play cast as Sasaki Kojiro.
His popularity is set to rise throughout 2020 for sure!
Additionally, ModelPress gave another three names of young actors they seem to think will be getting their name out in 2020.
#1 Mizusawa Rintaro (’03 – KEN ON)
Mizusawa is easily the most experienced. While he technically started acting at the end of 2017, every single role he’s had so far aside from his debut in drama Okusama wa, Tori Atsukai Chui has been projects released in 2019. With eight drama appearances last year alone, he’s right on track to let his name be known.
Most recent drama series on his list include Black Kousoku – and its movie – Ore no Hanashi wa Nagai, and a guesting in the first episode of Re:Follower.
#2 Takahashi Fumiya (’01 – A-Plus)
Fumiya is likely most known for leading the currently airing Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Zero One, but the young actor is also a licensed chef. Till July last year – right before the start of the KR season – he occasionally updated his own food blog, but it’s likely he’s been too busy lately to continue.
#3 Michieda Shunsuke (’02, Naniwa Danshi – J&A)
While Mizusawa might have the most projects on his list, Michieda is the one who’s been acting the longest among these three new young faces – though barely longer than the aforementioned. He had his first acting experience being part of the cast of 2017 drama Haha ni Naru.
Since end 2018 the Johnny Jr. has been part of Kansai group Naniwa Danshi. He and fellow group member Nagao Kento appeared on agencymate Nagase Ren (K&P)’s Ore no Sukato, Doko Itta? last year.
For 2020, he’s set to appear as one of the main characters in movie 461ko no Obento.
Do you guys agree with ModelPress’ predictions, or do you have any tops of your own to add?