Casting News + Scoop! [July 12-17] Higashide Masahiro’s casting domination – Sanposuru Shinryakusha, Netemo Sametemo and Overdrive + Nakajo Ayami’s flicks! + Spotlight on Awesome CMs!

Taking on lead and supporting roles, Higashide Masahiro dominates casting news for the week! Let’s see, what’s new for the model turned actor?

Overdrive (2018)
Netemosametemo (2018) – Baku / Ryohei
Before We Vanish | Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (2017) – pastor
Sanposuru Shinryakusha (2017) – Drama series WOWOW
Sekigahara (2017) – Hideaki Kobayakawa

Let’s start with Overdrive. Director Hasumi Eiichiro reveals that Overdrive will be the first its kind – a rich human drama that depicts the world of car racing.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [July 12-17] Higashide Masahiro’s casting domination – Sanposuru Shinryakusha, Netemo Sametemo and Overdrive + Nakajo Ayami’s flicks! + Spotlight on Awesome CMs!”

Live action Coverage: Timeline + Buzz for Death Note! Kenichi Matsuyama & Tatsuya Fujiwara returns!

The Death Note movies of Kenichi Matsuyama and Tatsuya Fujiwara serve as my introduction to Japanese live-action movies. Matsuyama is especially memorable in Death Note for the perfect combination of subtle, thrilling and comedic acting. I saw the first Death Note movie after I watched Matsuyama in Norwegian Wood. Somebody told me about his almost perfect portrayal of the world’s “greatest detective.” Matsuken’s L is what I imagined the fictional character would be in real life.

That was late 2011, a few years after the first Death Note movie was released. Five years later, we’re into the fifth live-action adaptation of the manga made famous by Tsugumi Ohba, with illustration by Takeshi Obata. 

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Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 10-12] Of Love, Birthday Cards, Death Notes, and Late-night diners!

Alice Hirose takes the spotlight in the fairy tale/romantic mystery mashup L-エル- (from filmmaker Ten Shimoyama who previously helmed Shinobi starring Joe Odagiri and Yukie Nakama).

As we previously reported, the cast includes Yuki Furukawa and Ryo Narita. 

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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 3 of 4 Parts]

What I like about the 50 young Japanese actors list from Kinema Junpou is the variety of the talents. Many have taken significant roles in movies and drama series. Some have won acting awards – both local and abroad and some also made box office records. Some started as male models and were given supporting, bit parts only to become the lead after a few tries. 

As expected, there will be idols, a majority of whom came from Johnny’s and finally there are some newcomers. It’s a bit of an issue to consider someone as a newcomer. For instance, is Hiroya Shimizu and Nijiro Murakami and Takumi Kitamura newcomers? Maybe, but Kitamura is also part of a J-pop band, so that makes him more than just a “pure” actor in a sense. Murakami and Shimizu, therefore, are the newcomers in the strict meaning of the term. That’s not a big issue – I think they deserve to be on the list, in as much as, Yuto Nakajima or Kento Nakajima or Ryosuke Yamada – who all belong to Johnny’s.

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 3 of 4 Parts]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Mar 13- Apr 27]: Mirai Shida + Taishi Nakagawa; Death Note 2016; Natsumi Firefly + Japanese movies about ‘unrequited’ love!

It’s been a while since I posted a casting news/scoop, but there is a reason for that. I’m doing an extensive research on live action adaptation (Japanese, American and French) so it has taken almost all of my time. But it is definitely worth it! I’ll be posting Part 1 of the series very soon, please stay tuned!

I browse some of my favorite Japanese entertainment portals and was happy to note that Mirai Shida is – once again – active on the scene. I always love watching her and I think she deserves the spotlight and the raves that many of the ‘veteran’ J-ent watchers are bestowing on her. If you have not seen her yet, try one of her most important movies – Nobody to watch over Me – where she plays the sole survivor of a family haunted by tragedy. She also made waves in Yoji Yamada’s Kabei: Our Mother, and to think that both movies were more than 5 years old makes me sad.

How come ‘talents’ like Ayame Gouriki, Emi Takei, and Kasumi Arimura get to play significantly important roles while an amazing and definitely more talented actress like Mirai Shida only gets to play supporting parts? Now, that’s the greatest tragedy of them all.

The tradition of playing supporting roles for Shida continues, but this time, she will play second lead to Tao Tsuchiya.

Not bad, considering that Tsuchiya is pretty much a competent actress herself. I’d love to see Shida on the big screen anyway, so I’m happy she’s back! The pair of Tsuchiya and Shono Hayama is a reunion of their Mare (asadora) casting where both play the siblings of Yo Oizumi and Takako Tokiwa. I fondly remember Tokiwa as the young mother of Yuya Yagira from an earlier movie, Shining Boy and Little Randy – so having Yagira also in that popular asadora is another reunion of sorts. 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Mar 13- Apr 27]: Mirai Shida + Taishi Nakagawa; Death Note 2016; Natsumi Firefly + Japanese movies about ‘unrequited’ love!”

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

During our first rankings, it was Satoshi Tsumabuki who ruled! Aside from winning Best Actor at the Japan Academy for Villain, Tsumabuki dominated the casting buzz – with back to back roles, including lead roles for My Back Page (with Kenichi Matsuyama), Smuggler and Fly With the Gold. A year later, it was Ryuhei Matsuda’s turn  – he also won Best Actor and had a string of amazing films. On our third year, it was Shota Sometani who dominated the rankings.

Sometani went on to top the rankings 2 years in a row, with Yuya Yagira closing in at 2nd place… This year is very different!

 

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Death Note 2016: “Consummate” actors Sosuke Ikematsu & Masaki Suda battle for supremacy; Masahiro Higashide, the casting’s weakest link?

I can’t develop feelings. That’s how most idiots screw up. – Light Yagami

The dead god of death will disappear, but the DEATH NOTE will remain. The ownership of this DEATH NOTE is usually carried over to the next god of death that touches it, but it is common sense that it is returned to the Great god of death. Only by touching each other’s DEATH NOTE can human individuals who own the DEATH NOTE in the human world recognize the appearance or voice of each other’s god of death. – Death Note Rule [ quotes taken from Wikiquotes ]

If you cast two of Japan’s most exciting and talented actors in one movie, then you would expect a lot of fireworks!

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In the case of the 2016 upcoming Death Note movie, having Sosuke Ikematsu (as Kenichi Matsuyama & Kento Yamazaki’s successor to L) and Masaki Suda (as a fervent follower and admirer of Kira; following the footsteps of Tatsuya Fujiwara & Masataka Kubota’s Light) then you got an exciting movie in the making.

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Casting News + Scoop! [Dec 21- 31] Masataka Kubota dominates casting buzz; The Rise & Rise of Shuhei Nomura + The Emergence of Yuta Koseki; Why the push on Kasumi Arimura?

Being recognized (finally!) as one of Japan’s best dramatic actors, Masataka Kubota headlines 2015 with an acting win for the TV series Death Note and a double whammy in the movies and drama fronts as well. – 64 Rokuyon and Hero Mania: Life (movies) and Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa and Mars (drama shows). 

Recently, he created a splash by teaming up with Masato Yano and did a quasi-BL part in April Fools (starring Tori Matsuzaka, Erika Toda in the lead). Among his new projects, it’s Mars that caught my attention, and his venture into something fresh and challenging is not a surprise, but what a casting scoop!

Kira Aso (Marie Iitoyo) and Rei Kashino (Taisuke Fujigaya) meet when Rei asks Kira for directions to a local hospital one day in the park, but instead of telling him the directions she draws him a map and hands it to him without saying a word. On the back of the directions is a picture Kira drew of a mother and child. On the first day of school, they are both surprised to find that they are in the same class. Later, Rei walks in on their teacher sexually harassing Kira. Rei promises to protect Kira in exchange for a painted version of the sketch that was on the back of the map. He also offers to “lend Kira his body,” and she asks him to model for her. Thus began a relationship that is opposed by the world in general. They draw on their love for each other to heal the wounds the world has left on them; Rei, the scars from his twin’s suicide over something Rei told him, and Kira, her hatred of men due to her stepfather taking advantage of her.

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And Kubota’s character:

Masao Kirishima (桐島 牧生 Kirishima Masao?) is an effeminate sociopath who was often bullied by his only friend, Yuji Aoki. Rei had saved Masao from being beaten to death at one point in time, but he barely remembers this event as the action was impulsive because Rei was still in shock over Sei’s death. Soon after this incident, Masao kills Aoki. Masao admits to having a crush on Rei, but he also claims to have a crush on Kira.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Dec 21- 31] Masataka Kubota dominates casting buzz; The Rise & Rise of Shuhei Nomura + The Emergence of Yuta Koseki; Why the push on Kasumi Arimura?”

Favorite Japanese Actors and their Fashion Style: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! – (Part 2) – Tori Matsuzaka, Shohei Miura, Masahiro Higashide

Part Two of our 10 favorite fashion-savvy Japanese actors features relative newcomers, compared to Part One. But being new to the movie industry only add to their star value, so to speak – Tori Matsuzaka is beginning to level up his acting and is now a threat to grab roles usually reserved to Osamu Mukai and Haruma Miura…

Shohei Miura may be regarded as a favorite among fangirls for his ‘pin-up’ appeal but an acting award proved there is more to the young actor than a pretty face. Finally, a model turned actor and who was personally handpicked to lead the 3rd movie of the Crow Zero franchise, Masahiro Higashide.

Who says only Joe Odagiri and Shota Matsuda rule the fashion scene?

Continue reading “Favorite Japanese Actors and their Fashion Style: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly! – (Part 2) – Tori Matsuzaka, Shohei Miura, Masahiro Higashide”

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