Arata Mackenyu: When English and ‘Hollywood’ acting experience has little to do on the way to stardom!

As of May 2017, he is officially known as Arata Mackenyu – not ‘Chiba’ or ‘Maeda’ as he was previously called by the Japanese media. He also announced that Top Coat will handle all his acting commitments. If previous performances in Chihayafuru, WOWOW’S Yume wo Ataeru (with Komatsu Nana), and Aogeba Toutoshi are any indication of his competence and commitment to his acting career, then we’re all in for an adventure!

While it seems that the locals (including his co-stars in TBS drama Aogeba Toutoshi: Murakami Nijiro, Taiga, and Kitamura Takumi) were fascinated with his command of the English language, and amused with his Beverly Hills high school education, any ‘special treatment’ – if any – ends there. [see interview excerpts in this video.]

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

I find it funny that Oricon would consider Masataka Kubota as having a breakthrough year, since, in all aspects, Mr. Kubota is already an accomplished actor who have been playing in movies and dramas since 2006. That means he’s in the industry for more than nine years already. You consider someone was having a breakthrough year if he is only ‘involved’ in the biz for two years or less. The term “breakthrough” may apply to the likes of Kentaro Sakaguchi or Mackenyu Chiba, or even to the more established Taishi Nakagawa – all three had a breakthrough year in 2015. [ that’s a separate post here, with an equalizer for the girls as well ]

There is always this ‘loss in translation’ issue when it comes to Japanese to English. Take the case of AoT (Attack on Titan, which should be Attack of the Titans) or the Takashi Miike movie Lesson of the Evil (with the totally inappropriate use of ‘the’). 

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Let’s have a short recap. Last year, it was Sosuke Ikematsu who topped our list, followed by Shota Sometani, Masaki Suda, Masataka Kubota and Yuya Yagira. This year, it’s all about grabbing those high profile roles in cinema, as well as, the biggest TV dramas! 

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