Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 11-13] Tao Tsuchiya + Shono Hayama; Litchi Hikari Club; a ‘Hint’ of BL in Mubansou (Ikematsu + Saito) and the return of #deadfisheyes on TV shows!

It seems that the likes of Sosuke Ikematsu and Takumi Saito are hard to be typecast because they are just talented and can easily play any characters. Just the same, Ikematsu has been doing a lot of movies where his roles are that of matured (beyond his years), bold, daring type of young men, while Takumi Saito has been doing some rom-com drama shows and even action movies. But Saito, before getting such roles in For Love’s Sake and Ace Attorney, used to play characters in some BL movies. So it is not entirely surprising that there might be some ‘hint’ of BL in their latest film – A Cappella (Mubansou) – 無伴奏 with Riko Narumi.

On the other hand, Tao Tsuchiya and her Mare co-star Shono Hayama are certainly two of Japan’s most sought-after young actors. Teaming up with Ryoma Takeuchi, the trio are the main cast in Yell For The Blue Sky (Aozora Yell) -青空エール.

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The buzz surrounding Litchi Hikari Club remains very high since the movie is about to be released soon in Japan – February 2016. People have been asking me about the ‘intense, intimate’ scenes between the actors and while it would be a big “boo boo” to reveal it all. I can certainly say something about the scenes, without spoiling everyone.

Lastly, the return of #deadfisheyes on TV shows (and movies) are quite alarming this 2016 – Kasumi Arimura (with Kengo Kora in Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau).

Not to mention Ayame Gouriki in Jungle Fever and this news (just in!), Sota Fukushi (with Nana Komatsu) in “Boku wa Ashita, Kinou no Kimi to Date Suru,” slated for a Dec 2016 release.

I like Tao Tsuchiya a lot, more than both Alice and Suzu Hirose combined! I just think she has both dramatic and comedic talents and that she can be more convincing than the Hirose sisters. Having said that, Suzu is certainly getting a lot of good roles lately. But just the same, Tsuchiya also is getting her fair share of high-profile roles.

Tsubasa Ono (Tao Tsuchiya) is in the first grade of Shirato High School in Sapporo, Japan. The high school is famous for its baseball team and brass band. While Tsubasa Ono views a trophy for the brass band, she meets Daisuke Yamada (Ryoma Takeuchi) who is standing next to her and staring at the trophy for the baseball team.

Tsubasa Ono tells Daisuke that she came to Shirato High School after she watched the brass band cheering from the stands during the Koshien baseball tournament. Daisuke is also in the first grade of high school and a member of the high school baseball team. He promises Tsubasa Ono that the team will make it to the Koshien baseball tournament, and she can cheer from the stands there. Tsubasa has difficulties learning to play the trumpet for the brass band, but Daisuke cheers her up. She begins to have feelings for Daisuke, and they go forward with their dream. [ AsianWiki ]

That’s the storyline for Aozora Yell, and while coming of age romance is nothing new in Japanese productions, I’d love to see what sort of chemistry Tsuchiya will have with her co-star Takeuchi, who is certainly unknown to me. 

It seems both of them are in the drama series Shitamachi Rocket which garnered one of the highest ratings in Japan’s fall 2015 season.

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A lot of people are not only curious but excited to watch Litchi Hikari Club. 

I think many will not be disappointed because aside from having a competent director, Eisuke Naito, the actors did justice to their roles. While many of the supporting actors serve as fillers (with little dialogue) some did very well, especially Junya Ikeda, who is also new to me. Ikeda is Niko, the violent and passionate supporter of Zera (Yuki Furukawa) and he is often at odds with Tamiya (Shuhei Nomura) since the latter is always trying to argue with Zera about the way the club is being made into “a-sex-harem-than-normal-boy’s-club” type of thing.

On the Yuki Furukawa-Shotaro Mamiya scenes. Yes, there are some quite intimate ones. Even more revealing than recent Japanese BL movie sex scenes which are tame and unconvincing. Both Yuki and Shotaro made sure what people see in the theater/play version of Litchi Hikari Club are also evident and present in the live action, and boy, did they make it hot! If you’re a big Yuki Furukawa fan due to his role in Itazura na Kiss series, I’m not sure if you’ll be seeing Yuki in the same light as before. In Love in Tokyo, I see Furukawa as a leading rom-com prince candidate, in Litchi Hikari Club, I consider him a potential dramatic actor.

I’m not sure why the spotlight is on Shuhei Nomura. I am a fan of Nomura and is even personally biased towards him, but the movie is Furukawa’s all the way!

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Set in the year 1969 in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

Kyoko Noma (Riko Narumi) is a loving female high school student who takes part in campus protests. One day, she meets university student Wataru Domoto (Sosuke Ikematsu) in the tea cafe Mubansou (“A Cappella”). Kyoko falls in love with him, but they get involved in an incident that leads to a shocking ending. [ AsianWiki ]

As I’ve said in this post’s intro, Ikematsu and Saito are versatile actors and this latest movie set in the late 1960s will be kind of interesting to watch.

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After more than 3 years of blogging about Japanese movies and drama, I have accepted the fact that there will always be actors (who can’t act) getting major roles. Ayame Gouriki and Emi Takei are two of my ‘favorite’ #deadfisheyes and they never disappoint. What can be annoying at first can be quite hilarious the next time I see them. I mean, Takei was not bad in Rurouni Kenshin movies, while Gouriki showed ‘flashes’ of coolness in LDK. But compared to their co-stars like Tao Tsuchiya, Mizuki Yamamoto, and the dazzling Yu Aoi, they look so inferior, bland and boring to me.

Gouriki is the star of NHK’s Jungle Fever while the latest candidate for the #deadfisheyes title is Kasumi Arimura.

It’s just a big surprise why Arimura is in the cast of one of the latest drama, together with Kengo Kora and Mitsuki Takahata. But I’m going to give it a go and watch Itzuka Kono because the other actors are simply amazing.

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