Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru – Chihaya and Arata v Taishi: Who are you rooting for? [Part 3 of 4 Parts]

The release of the first Chihayafuru movie offers viewers a glimpse of the complicated relationship between Chihaya with Taishi and Arata. While the first film puts the spotlight on Taishi’s side, with love that seems to overflow and can sometimes be heartbreaking, Arata’s story is yet to unfold.

I’m pleasantly surprised with the changes (alterations) the live action movie has made. Of course, watching the anime episodes, you begin with the premise that this is more than just a love story, it’s also about friendship and connection, of camaraderie and teamwork, of competition and rivalry. Most important, it promotes the sport of karuta – a contest that has a long history and is uniquely Japanese. But we’ll get into that later. I just want to say, the karuta tournament scenes are thrilling to watch. [ special mention to Yuki Morinaga who plays Komano and yes! Hiroya Shimizu as Akihito Sudo for excellent acting! ]

If you’ve read Part One (about our main characters, Chihaya, Taishi and Arata), then you are aware that there is a rivalry between Taishi and Arata – a battle for Chihaya’s love and affection. Though you can hardly tell if there is any competition at all – you can just feel the tension and that there is something bubbling – just underneath the surface.

Which gives me the chance to ask you – our viewers – one of the most universal of questions:

Will you choose the one who loves you or wait for the one you love?

When Chihaya called Arata after many months of separation, it was with Taishi’s ‘blessings.’ Chihaya is eternally grateful to Arata for introducing her to karuta and with that – the chance to find something worthwhile to pursue. It shaped her world in ways she could not imagine. Arata, at a young age, is already a legend amongst karuta players. With such a reputation, Chihaya is in awe, looking up to Arata as if he’s an idol or a young god.

Continue reading “Live Action Buzz on Chihayafuru – Chihaya and Arata v Taishi: Who are you rooting for? [Part 3 of 4 Parts]”

PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 2 of 4 Parts]

To discuss the merits (or demerits) of 50 Japanese actors requires more than a singular post, hence Part 2 continues our discussion previously from Part 1 of Kinema Junpou 50 actors (under 30) worth watching out.

Yuki Furukawa at 28 almost did not make the cut, but the Litchi Hikari Club lead actor has been in the limelight from the time he took on the role of Naoki in Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo. If you recall, he made headlines when he remarked on the way Japanese shows are casting idols just for the heck of it. Let’s hear it from Furukawa directly:

 “Nobody in Japan cares if you’re successful overseas unless you’re already established here”

The article, written by The Hollywood Reporter’s Gavin J. Blair, explained further:

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 2 of 4 Parts]”

Japan’s Best Actors – The Promising List [Top 15 – 2016 Edition]

The 2016 Edition of Japan’s Best Actors – Promising List has evolved from a mere listing of actors – both known and unknown to movie fans outside Japan, to become quite ‘inclusive’ of what the locals also consider as their best, most sought-after newcomers. The list is very exclusive in the sense that only those who are below the age of 30 are considered, thus we are putting the spotlight on talents who are really grabbing the most challenging and fresh roles in both movies and doramas right this minute.

[ Note that this is the Promising list, there are 15 more names for the hottest ranking coming up next ]

As we have noted in the first edition of the Most Promising Young Japanese actors hitlist: Every successful actor in Japan started somewhere – a supporting role in a prime time TV series or portraying one of the country’s beloved Kamen riders or starring in a dramatic movie by a well-known filmmaker or simply working his way up from bit roles until getting that much-coveted leading part…[ 2013 Edition ]

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The Year in Review – 2015 Breakthrough Japanese Actors & Actresses- Who will rock the scene in 2016 and beyond?!!

Funny (really) how time flew when we were just raving about Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mao Inoue, Hikari Mitsushima and Masanobu Ando way back in 2012, and now three years later, we are celebrating the young acting careers of boys and girls who are so much younger than Tsumabuki, et al.

2015 saw a lot of breakthrough actors in the Japanese movie and drama scenes that it’s hard to narrow it down to 10, but then again, we’ll be seeing them very soon as they all seem to be grabbing upcoming projects sooner than later. Hoping that their talent agencies are as committed as these young guys and gals!

Continue reading “The Year in Review – 2015 Breakthrough Japanese Actors & Actresses- Who will rock the scene in 2016 and beyond?!!”

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