Yamazaki Kento takes center stage as lead of TV Drama ‘Todome no Kiss’

It took Yamazaki Kento 7 years from his first drama as a supporting player to headlining his very own TV series entitled Todome no Kiss (The Kiss That Kills). 

The new NTV drama will broadcast starting January 2018 and also stars Kadowaki Mugi and Arata Mackenyu, with plenty more supporting cast to be announced in succession. Continue reading “Yamazaki Kento takes center stage as lead of TV Drama ‘Todome no Kiss’”

Kamiki Ryunosuke: Catching up with Detective Yugami, Tokyo National Museum’s Shinkai Makoto Exhibit + the Nikkei Actor Index!

It’s been a while since we’ve launched a singular article about Kamiki Ryunosuke (神木隆之介). I practically grew up with my Japanese movie viewing experience filled with Kamiki’s ‘prodigal’ acting – Little DJ, Into the Far Away Sky, The Kirishima Thing, Bakuman, the Kenshin and San gatsu no Lion films to name just a few.

 

It seems fitting to have some updates since PD is coming up with the Top 30 Japanese actors hitlist in a few days.

Continue reading “Kamiki Ryunosuke: Catching up with Detective Yugami, Tokyo National Museum’s Shinkai Makoto Exhibit + the Nikkei Actor Index!”

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!”

Casting News + Scoop! [May 25-31] The continuing saga of Japanese school-youth movies and doramas: Boku-tachi ga Yarimashita + Tomodachi Game + Demekin!

The latest casting news for Kubota Masataka’s Boku-tachi ga Yarimashita, Kentaro’s Demekin, and Yoshizawa Ryo’s Tomodachi Game is up! From One Litre of Tears, Hana Yori Dango and Gokusen to the more recent Suzuki Sensei, 35-Year-Old Highschool Student and Aogeba Toutoshi, Japanese school dramatic saga (not to mention the horror-thriller genre) continues! 

Aside from such a tradition, we have come to expect actors in their early thirties to don the high school uniform and play teens notwithstanding their bulkier physique and matured facial features. But then again, who can argue against the likes of Oguri Shun, Ando Sakura, Tsumabuki Satoshi, Saitoh Takumi, Takei Emi, and Matsuyama Kenichi playing high school students? Is it even fair to ask producers if they could possibly cast younger actors instead? 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [May 25-31] The continuing saga of Japanese school-youth movies and doramas: Boku-tachi ga Yarimashita + Tomodachi Game + Demekin!”

PsychoDrama TalkBack by Jed and Jayi: Mackenyu, Yamapi & the generations of Japanese actors!

Welcome to our first Talkback! In here we talk about up and coming Japanese talents – from the ones ‘on the verge’ to those already making waves in the J-Ent scene! In Part 1, we’re putting the spotlight on Mackenyu. Is he the next big Japanese star?

Jayi: I have heard about Mackenyu for quite a while. Seeing his performance in Chihayafuru, I have a strong feeling he will be huge someday.

Jed: I can’t agree with you more. I have seen him in both Chihayafuru movies, and while some may say Shuhei Nomura is excellent in Part 1, I think Mackenyu made a tremendous impact in Part 2. It’s the kind of performance that gets noticed soon enough.

Jayi: I am moved when he cries or sulks – I also notice how the usual tendency of many of his actor peers to overact is something he (thankfully) didn’t have. He has an acting style, and he manages to transform, I have since tried to see snippets of his acting in his other projects…the boy CAN act.

Continue reading “PsychoDrama TalkBack by Jed and Jayi: Mackenyu, Yamapi & the generations of Japanese actors!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 25-30] A Mackenyu & Mei Nagano appreciation post! What makes them the next big “stars” in Japan!

Mackenyu belongs to Japanese acting royalty, while Mei Nagano’s ‘plain-looking but sympathetic’ appeal may be her ticket to stardom! You may disagree with me, but Mei Nagano is not as ‘kawaii’ as Tao Tsuchiya or Suzu Hirose and that makes her a fantastic candidate to epitomize the regular Japanese school girl – the one many can quickly identify with and not necessarily look up to but feel a real connection.

She did exactly that type of character in My Love Story!! with Ryohei Suzuki and Mackenyu’s ultimate rival, Kentaro Sakaguchi. The same applies to her role in TV Tokyo’s Koe Koi (こえ恋) which is getting a lot of buzz among Japanese dorama lovers. At seventeen, she is currently represented by Stardust – the same agency that handles the careers of Takako Tokiwa, Kou Shibasaki, Kaho, Nana Komatsu and Keiko Kitagawa, among others. 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 25-30] A Mackenyu & Mei Nagano appreciation post! What makes them the next big “stars” in Japan!”

Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru – Review & Reactions to Chihayafuru Kami no Ku + Chihayafuru Shimo no Ku [Part 4 of 4 Parts]

If you’ve watched both live-action Chihayafuru movies, then you know there is another film (or two) coming up. I mean, there’s so much still to be told! But before I get ahead of myself, let’s have a review.

Chihayafuru Kami no Ku (Part 1) – is the First installment of the live action based on the manga series written and illustrated by Yuki Suetsugu. It is about a school girl, Chihaya Ayase, who is inspired by a new classmate – Arata – to take up Hyakunin Isshu karuta competitively. Joining Chihaya is her long-time friend Taishi, and together with Arata, they formed a bond of deep friendship strengthened by the passion for the sport.

Chihayafuru Shimo no Ku (Part 2) – is the Second installment of the live action featuring the struggles of Chihaya and her friends to play competitive karuta. It also involves their personal issues about love, friendship, family, death and loss, loyalty and rivalry. The movie also introduced another major character – the current karuta queen and Chihaya’s thrilling encounter with the queen as they play karuta rivals.

Continue reading “Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru – Review & Reactions to Chihayafuru Kami no Ku + Chihayafuru Shimo no Ku [Part 4 of 4 Parts]”

On Live Action Adaptations: Spotlight on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures – Diamond is Unbreakable [Vol 3, Part 2]

In what can be described as a dream cast, Kento Yamazaki and Ryunosuke Kamiki will be acting together in a live action adaptation that is as bizarre as it is unexpected. Based on the manga series written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険) will take us into a supernatural, action-horror/thriller trip that may defy genre and gender. (it supposedly targetted male manga fans, but it seems that even female manga readers like it too)

A manga series that has over 95 million copies in print making it one of the best-selling manga series in history, and has spawned a large media franchise that includes several novelizations and video games, action figures, a jewelry line, and even snack foods. 

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With such ‘notoriety’ (read: infamously famous), what’s the juice behind it?

The plot across these stories is supplied in multi-chapter arcs detailing precarious, melodramatic conflicts between parties defined both by unique supernatural powers, mainly by the versatile Stand phenomenon, and exclusive ambitions, attitudes or moral standards. These arcs vary in tone, alternating adventure, suspense, mystery, and horror; always through action, often with some embedded comedy. Typically, a race emerges among the heroes of a story to intercept a powerful central antagonist.

Many references to modern film, television, fashion, fine art, and (particularly) popular music are readily identifiable throughout JoJo in many settings and both the characterization and nomenclature of the cast. Examples of physical, mathematical and psychological theory, biology, technology, mythology, natural phenomena, historic events, and segments of other artistic work inform the design and functionality of JoJo ‘s multitude of unique Stands. The series occasionally makes fanciful developments upon contemporary scientific theory in the creation of the routes by which certain Stands and other powers exert their influence on nature. [ read more ]

Continue reading “On Live Action Adaptations: Spotlight on Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures – Diamond is Unbreakable [Vol 3, Part 2]”

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