The ‘Formidable’ Nikaido Fumi: Actor Bias Series [Part 1/3]

Nikaido Fumi’s long overdue ‘Actor’s Bias’ article is here! It’s not just a single article, but a series that can go as many as 5 parts. We’d like to begin with some history and come up with a profile that takes account of her early beginnings until today. 

In Part 1, we’ll talk plenty of Himizu, and a few more movies. Plus her role in Mitsushima Hikari’s drama Woman and why every Nikaido Fumi fan must watch (or re-watch) these gems. Continue reading “The ‘Formidable’ Nikaido Fumi: Actor Bias Series [Part 1/3]”

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Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 27-Nov 11] Updates on ‘River’s Edge’ and ‘Kids on the Slope’ + Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi + State of ‘Fandom’ now!

It’s been a while since my last casting news post. I’m enjoying the Fall 2017 drama season so much that I hardly had time to catch up with the news and consolidate them here. However, if you’re following our Twitter account, you’ll get the latest updates on all fronts – movies, drama, even some anime.

In this edition, we got details on River’s Edge, Nakagawa Taishi’s Kids on the Slope LA (with Chinen Yuri and Komatsu Nana), plus: updates on Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi (who recently celebrated his 20th birthday), and much more!

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 27-Nov 11] Updates on ‘River’s Edge’ and ‘Kids on the Slope’ + Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi + State of ‘Fandom’ now!”

Nikaido Fumi and Yoshizawa Ryo headline Okazaki Kyoko’s River’s Edge live-action!

In what can be described as a casting scoop for Yoshizawa Ryo, the up and coming Japanese actor – once again – teams up with the acclaimed Nikaido Fumi, but this time as her co-lead in Okazaki Kyoko River’s Edge. 

Okazaki’s previous manga – Helter Skelter – was adapted into film and stars Sawajiri Erika – her return to the big screen after a long hiatus. While there is no hiatus for Nikaido and Yoshizawa, the characters they are supposed to play are not ordinary in every sense of the word.

Continue reading “Nikaido Fumi and Yoshizawa Ryo headline Okazaki Kyoko’s River’s Edge live-action!”

Food Month celebration continues with Mondai no Aru Restaurant, Hondana Shokudo, and Mi wo Tsukushi Ryouricho!

Food month continues – perhaps for another 2 or 3 weeks – and I have very good reasons why. There are plenty of excellent foodie drama, and anime I wish to review and rave about. Of course, there are a few more movies I want to mention too!

 


Before I discuss any further, I’m inviting you to join our quiz above! Correct answers are highlighted in green.

Continue reading “Food Month celebration continues with Mondai no Aru Restaurant, Hondana Shokudo, and Mi wo Tsukushi Ryouricho!”

JAPAN’S BEST YOUNG ACTRESSES [2017 Edition]: Spotlight on Kadowaki Mugi, Nikaido Fumi, Mitsuki Takahata, Matsuoka Mayu, Sugisaki Hana and Kuroki Haru!

Making bold statements by way of portraying strong, independent and unique female characters, Japanese actresses like Nikaido Fumi, Kuroki Haru, and Kadowaki Mugi lead the pack as we prepare for the 2017 edition of our annual Top 30 hottest Japanese talents! While we are not discounting such names as Aoi Yu, Mitsushima Hikari, and Yuriko Yoshitaka, among others the younger set of actresses seem to be at the forefront nonetheless. Why is that? Let’s see…

Continue reading “JAPAN’S BEST YOUNG ACTRESSES [2017 Edition]: Spotlight on Kadowaki Mugi, Nikaido Fumi, Mitsuki Takahata, Matsuoka Mayu, Sugisaki Hana and Kuroki Haru!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Apr 28-May 17] What’s up with the Kentos? (Hayashi + Yamazaki); Hero Mania + Mirai Shida & Mitsuki Takahata!

I wanted to post this casting news way back, but a lot of things are happening in RL at the moment, so please bear with me.

The live action report is still underway and the countdown to the top 30 hottest Japanese young actresses are also in the works! Speaking of which, we’re featuring three of the top contenders – Mirai Shida, Mitsuki Takahata, and Fumi Nikaido in this edition of the casting buzz! Also in the news are the Kentos – Yamazaki and Hayashi.

This is our second reminder just how much Mirai Shida is admired by the psychodrama community! I was told that the trailer for Nakimushi Pierrot no Kekkonshiki [ 泣き虫ピエロの結婚式 ] is up already and it’s just awesome! Shida’s co-star who happens to be managed also by Ken-On may have been under the radar, but no more! Hopefully, he can be a better alternative to the lifeless Sota Fukushi. Ryusei is the second lead guy in Orange (the Tao Tsuchiya-Kento Yamazaki box office hit) and this time, he grabs the main role opposite Shida.

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Also in the news (as usual) is Kento Yamazaki while doing the rounds to promote his latest movie, Wolf Girl and Black Prince, with the incomparable Fumi Nikaido. Not far behind, and certainly making his own set of waves is his namesake, Kento Hayashi, who remains one of the most under-rated Japanese actors around.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Apr 28-May 17] What’s up with the Kentos? (Hayashi + Yamazaki); Hero Mania + Mirai Shida & Mitsuki Takahata!”

10 Most Anticipated Japanese Movies 2016 – Wolf Girl and Black Prince – オオカミ少女と黒王子 (Ryuichi Hiroki)

Veteran filmmaker Ryuichi Hiroki’s films include some of the most endearing (and intense) love stories in Japanese movies, including April Bride (Eita + Nana Eikura), The Lightning Tree (Masaki Okada + Yu Aoi), The Egoist (Kengo Kora + Anne Suzuki) and the more recent Sayonara Kabukicho (Sometani + Atsuko Maeda). For 2016, he’s doing Wolf Girl and Black Prince with Kento Yamazaki and Fumi Nikaido.

I would consider the pairing to be quite unexpected (even odd) since I always think of Nikaido as more of a dramatic actress in the same vein as Sakura Ando, Hikari Mitsushima, and Aoi Miyazaki. Many also considered Miyazaki as her doppelgänger or vice versa. AND that she would venture on playing quirky and dark characters rather than rom-com. But on second thought, playing Erika Shinohara may provide her fans with a new side of her. On the other hand, Kento Yamazaki has been grabbing these rom-com roles of late, but there was a time when he was playing characters completely different – especially his two movies with Ai Hashimoto (Control Tower and Another). This is not the first time they are paired together – in 2010; they were cast in Satoshi Miki’s TV mystery thriller Atami no Sousakan as school mates, so this new movie is like doing a full circle. What sort of on-screen chemistry will they have? Now, that’s the reason for much of the anticipation for this movie!

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Based on the manga series “Okami Shojo to Kuro Oji” by Ayuko Hatta, the story centers around Erika Shinohara, a 16-year-old girl who tells her friends’ tall tales about her romantic exploits, but she has no boyfriend. She says that a handsome boy in a candid photo is her boyfriend, but it turns out that boy is a schoolmate named Kyōya Sata. She has no choice but to make him her fake boyfriend. However, Sata may look like a sweet person, but he is an ultra-black-hearted sadist. Sata takes advantage of Erika’s weakness and treats her like his dog.

I watched the anime in a marathon because it’s the kind of show where you get hooked by the story and become curious about the characters as the episodes roll. For me, Erika appears to be a naive girl at first, but then she showed flashes of intensity and assertiveness that make her more endearing in the end. She may seem to be “weak”, but she can be a bulldog sometimes, especially when she wants something. 

Continue reading “10 Most Anticipated Japanese Movies 2016 – Wolf Girl and Black Prince – オオカミ少女と黒王子 (Ryuichi Hiroki)”

Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 1-10] Fumi Nikaido’s Mitsui no Aware + Masaki Suda & Tori Matsuzaka reunites in FujiTV show “Era of Us”!

Our first casting buzz for 2016 is all about reunions and first encounters. Take the case of Tori Matsuzaka, Fumi Nikaido and Masaki Suda.

In 2012, Matsuzaka, Nikaido and Suda played childhood friends in The Boy Inside (Osama to Boku) with Suda’s character Morio getting confined in the hospital due to an accident and in coma. I did not particularly buy the story since the chances of someone in “vegetative state” recovering and getting back on his feet is almost nil, but watching the actors together is simply worth my while. Nikaido was doing a bit of over-acting thanks to director Tetsu Maeda, but Suda was just phenomenal that Matsuzaka was obviously trying very hard to match his performance. While both Matsuzaka and Suda appeared in recent movies, being together in “Era of Us” looks interesting. They are joined by another amazing actor, Taiga (who incidentally played Nikaido’s lover in Au revoir l’ ete.) The said show features topics that the actors are supposed to ‘discuss’ about.

UPDATE: ‘Era of Us’ from FujiTv is not a new show as corrected.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 1-10] Fumi Nikaido’s Mitsui no Aware + Masaki Suda & Tori Matsuzaka reunites in FujiTV show “Era of Us”!”

The Year in Review: Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2015 Among Leading Japanese Actresses?

2015 is a big year for women in Japanese movies. Aside from Koreeda’s Umimachi Diary (starring Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho and Suzu Hirose), there’s Hikari Mitsushima and Erika Toda in Kakekomi, a historical movie dealing with divorce and the Tokeiji which is a Buddhist temple where women seek comfort from their husbands and undertake the process of separation. 

There were also a good number of TV dramas were the spotlight centered on strong (yet challenged) and authentic female characters – Yoko Maki, Miki Nakatani, Mayu Matsuoka, Anne, Tao Tsuchiya, Mitsuki Takahata and Mao Inoue, played such parts in these shows. 

The overlapping broadcast of the two asadoras – Tao Tsuchiya’s Mare [まれ] and Haru’s Asa ga Kita [あさが来た] – also paved the way for more opportunities to discuss young women regarding their relationships with their families, lovers, and friends as they seek to fulfill personal ambitions and goals. NHK’s taiga drama, Hana Moyu is all about Mao Inoue’s Fumi.

Just like our list of leading Japanese actors, we have an equalizer for the actresses.

Continue reading “The Year in Review: Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2015 Among Leading Japanese Actresses?”

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