Casting News + Scoop! [May 3-10] Spotlight on Aoi Yu, Mitsushima Hikari, Kadowaki Mugi, Nagayama Kento and Ikematsu Sosuke – New and exciting projects!

When it comes to compelling, haunting, sensual, and hypnotic performances, I have come to rely on Aoi Yu, Mitsushima Hikari, and Kadowaki Mugi. These actresses are known for their on-screen collaboration with some of Japan’s best filmmakers, and their latest projects have generated a lot of buzzes – some may be potential award winners!

 

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PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]

When Kinema Junpou announced their 50 names of actors (under 30) to watch out for, the whole PD community was not surprised. I mean, most of the names have been featured on the site – one way or another. Just take a look at the top 30 hit list [ promising | hottest ] and you’ll notice that most of them are included in the Kinema list.

I’d love to open up the discussion on both those who are already part of our list and those who may be considered “under the radar” since I think we have some exciting names in the Kinema Junpou list that need some research. Here’s the rub: If you’re an editor exposed to all the buzz inside the Japanese entertainment industry, you obviously have the advantage (and disadvantage) since – I really believe – we on the outside has a more ‘objective” look. Then again, that’s debatable of course!

Let’s see…. so we have 50 names!

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]”

What’s up with the Kentos? Kento Yamazaki rules the box office; Kento Hayashi + Kento Nagayama battle it out on the drama scene; Kento Kaku aims for comedy! [2016 Edition]

Last April 2015, we launched a 3-part series on the Kentos – Hayashi, Yamazaki, Nagayama, and Kaku – and examined their past projects and future prospects. A lot of things can happen in a year and while Kento Yamazaki proved his ‘most promising’ prediction last year, Kento Nagayama remains the most consistent with notable roles in a number of TV drama series (Ichiro and Juhan Shuttai!). Not to me outdone, Kento Hayashi bounce back with a major role in Netflix Japan’s Spark (Hibana) and a title role in the movie Bittersweet [にがくてあまい]. Kento Kaku headlines the coming of age/drama Moriyamachu Driving School [森山中教習所] with Shuhei Nomura and we expect some awesome showdown between them.

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To make a visually appealing comparison of their careers, we made use of infographics to show their movie and drama projects from the time they started acting to future projects slated for 2016-2017. Between the four of them, about 125 movies and drama series has been released (and about to be released) where the Kentos play both major and supporting roles. A poll [ see above ] is also available for you to participate and determine the community’s collective preferences…

[ see the Infographics after the jump! ]

Continue reading “What’s up with the Kentos? Kento Yamazaki rules the box office; Kento Hayashi + Kento Nagayama battle it out on the drama scene; Kento Kaku aims for comedy! [2016 Edition]”

What’s up with the Kentos? A closer look at Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Kento Yamazaki & Kento Kaku! [Part 3 of 3 Parts]

This is the last part of our ‘What’s up with the Kentos?’ series, and it’s all about the future. [ As a recap, Part 1 is all about Kento Nagayama and Kento Kaku, while Part 2 puts the spotlight on Kento Hayashi and Kento Yamazaki. ]

Japanese actors rely heavily on their talent agencies to provide direction to their careers – what sort of roles they can do, on what particular genre they can shine and which productions they can be a part of. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but most of what they can do depend on their manager. 

At this moment, Kento Yamazaki is reported to be ‘up next.’ It means he’s in the spotlight. After playing intense dramatic roles in movies such as Control Tower and The Wings of the Kirin, most of his recent movies are rom-com, including the upcoming Heroine Shikkaku with Mirei Kiritani. He is also part of the latest asadora “Mare” together with Tao Tsuchiya and most of the young actors featured in morning dramas tend to get more castings right after.

Among the Kentos, he has the most exciting career now, while Kento Kaku seems to be enjoying a resurgence of sorts. Hayashi and Nagayama continue to find notable roles, but it appears to be limited to supporting ones.

Continue reading “What’s up with the Kentos? A closer look at Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Kento Yamazaki & Kento Kaku! [Part 3 of 3 Parts]”

What’s up with the Kentos? A closer look at Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Kento Yamazaki & Kento Kaku! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]

According to one statistics, the name Kento is ranked #18 as a popular name choice in Japan. Yuki, Takumi, and Shota were more famous. In the Japanese movie-drama scene, the name Kento is obviously quite known.

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While there are many other actors with the Kento name (good example might be Kento Nakajima), we will focus on four – Kento Nagayama (Eita’s younger bro), Kento Hayashi (quite popular and acclaimed for Dive! Parade and Blazing Famiglia), Kento Yamazaki (one of today’s toasts of the girl-fan community) and Kento Kaku (maybe considered the group’s senior and is coming up with a resurgence in his career).

How they started acting, what are some of their best roles and what the future holds? Who is the best? Who will be the best in the future? Let’s find out!

Continue reading “What’s up with the Kentos? A closer look at Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Kento Yamazaki & Kento Kaku! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]”

Actors and Their Acting Styles: The Best of Japan [ Part 5/5 ] – Sosuke Ikematsu, Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Masataka Kubota + The Rankings!

Some actors are known for studying their characters and looking for ways to understand them up close and personal. Satoshi Tsumabuki says of his role in Villain:

I don’t want to have any fixed limitations or expectations regarding my selection of work, and I want to try any roles offered to me that arouse my interest. The role of the hero, or antihero, in “Akunin” (“Villain”) directed by Lee Sang-Il, was one of the most important jobs in my career. As I got deeply involved in playing Yuichi, a lonely outcast who murdered a woman and was on the run with a social misfit named Mitsuyo (Eri Fukatsu) who he’d met through an online dating site, I thought about the character every moment of the day and I was totally burned out when the filming finished. [ read more ]

Masanobu Ando made similar remarks:

No matter what role I play, I try to devote myself to it completely, and it’s that focus that is the reason for those side effects. I am attracted to more difficult roles, parts that are quite heavy psychologically. Probably I enjoy the experience of devoting myself to the character entirely. That’s how I feel that I’m truly playing that character, it’s where I find the satisfaction in my job. Also, I want to return all the love that the director gave me when he chose me for the part. [ source ]

Quotes above bring us to the last part in this series. While it’s almost academic that Shota Sometani and Yuya Yagira will play major, vital movie roles in future Japanese films, the same can be said of the actors we have in this final part – let’s start with Sosuke Ikematsu.

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Sosuke Ikematsu started his movie career via Tom Cruise’s The Last Samurai where he plays Higen, that young boy who is also the nephew of samurai leader Katsumoto played by Ken Watanabe. More movies and dramas followed but his role as the ambitious diver co-starring Junpei Mizobata and Kento Hayashi in Dive!! is most probably the next movie he is best known.

Since 2013, Ikematsu’s casting buzz remains consistent -Our Family, Love’s Whirpool, When I Sense the Sea, The Vancouver Asahi, Pale Moon, SetoUtsumi, and Death Note represent a big chunk of his acting resume, where he play major, significant roles. He is also known for his dual characters in the drama-thriller Mozu.

Continue reading “Actors and Their Acting Styles: The Best of Japan [ Part 5/5 ] – Sosuke Ikematsu, Kento Nagayama, Kento Hayashi, Masataka Kubota + The Rankings!”

Countdown to the 10 Best Japanese Movies of 2012 – Part 3

Part 3 of our countdown to the Top 10 Japanese movies of 2012 features an anime, a detective thriller, and two distinctly unique coming of age movies starring 2 of today’s most promising actors with the same first names – Kento Nagayama and Kento Hayashi. Nagayama is the younger brother of Eita and just like his older brother, can act with passion and intensity. In The Cowards Who Looked Up to the Sky, he plays a lonely youth who had an affair with an older woman, which turned into something deeper, and ended in tragedy.

Kento Hayashi, from Lesson of the Evil, plays the son of a motorcycle gang leader who has grown old of his nasty ways in Blazing Famiglia. However, certain incident in the present compelled the father to go back to his group of gangsters to take revenge against an old rival.

As you may have guessed it already, the detective thriller is Ace Attorney, from Takashi Miike. Many have considered it a big success in adapting the highly entertaining Nintendo Game Boy video game “Gyakuten Saiban” into a live action movie. While the anime is Wolf Children which happens to be one of the most endearing anime to be released during the year. It features the voice of Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa, Haru Kuroki and Shota Sometani, among others.

More of these films after the jump!

Continue reading “Countdown to the 10 Best Japanese Movies of 2012 – Part 3”

Kento Nagayama enters the bold territory in ‘The Cowards Who Looked Up to the Sky’

The Cowards Who Looked Up to The Sky is supposed to be released across Japan on the 17th of this month, and it will mark a further step forward in the acting career of Kento Nagayama (Eita’s younger brother). Shown recently at the Toronto International Film Festival, it garnered various reactions from the audience and generated mixed reviews.

Giovanna Fulvi relates:

Based on the award-winning novel of the same name, director Yuki Tanada’s The Cowards Who Looked to the Sky is a boldly erotic yet movingly tender portrait of a group of damaged people — mothers, sons and lovers — whose intersecting stories yield both sorrow and a fragile, yet enduring, hope for a brighter future. Anzu (Tomoko Tabata) is a depressed housewife whose days are spent undergoing fertility treatments and enduring her mother-in-law’s nagging and her husband’s indifference. Channelling her dissatisfactions into rabid anime fandom, she attends a convention costumed as her favourite character. There, she meets a handsome high-school boy named Takumi (Kento Nagayama), whom she seduces (while still in her character’s outfit). The two begin an affair, and the secret trysts with her young lover become Anzu’s only escape from her grim reality. After a classmate confesses that she is in love with him, Takumi resolves to not see Anzu anymore — but he soon realizes that the attraction he feels for Anzu might very well be true love. He and Anzu resume their affair, but when one of their secret encounters is filmed and uploaded to the internet, the consequences for both could be disastrous. [ read more ]

Continue reading “Kento Nagayama enters the bold territory in ‘The Cowards Who Looked Up to the Sky’”

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