Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 15-16] Spotlight on Taishi Nakagawa (Today’s Kira-kun), Masaki Suda (Teiichi No Kuni), Ryosuke Yamada (Fullmetal Alchemist) & Masataka Kubota’s gender-bender roles!

 Taishi Nakagawa is soon emerging as Japan’s shoujo prince with the main lead in Today’s Kira-kun (きょうのキラ君) after playing second fiddle to Kento Yamazaki in Your Lie in April. A lot can happen in a day, and in the case of Japanese movie casting news, there’s plenty to talk about right this minute! I just posted casting news previously!

A teaser trailer showing students reacting to Taishi and co-star Marie Iitoyo romantic overtures in the movie says it all.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 15-16] Spotlight on Taishi Nakagawa (Today’s Kira-kun), Masaki Suda (Teiichi No Kuni), Ryosuke Yamada (Fullmetal Alchemist) & Masataka Kubota’s gender-bender roles!”

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. 

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

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. 

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

The Battle for the next top Japanese Dramatic Actor! Can Anyone beat Shota or Yuya? + The Cast of High&Low [Part 1 of 5 Parts]

Yeah right, some people may be asking,

…but I only knew of Hidetoshi Nishijima, Shun Oguri, Eita, Kenichi Matsuyama and Satoshi Tsumabuki?” I don’t know these new actors you’re talking about!

To think that Yuya Yagira and Shota Sometani have to reach their acting ‘peaks’ yet (and become household names themselves)… But the thing is, the current drama trends are geared towards the next generation already, and there is no stopping this ‘roller coaster ride.’ But are they doing a damn good job? I’m hoping, but I’m not too sure.

 

The current IT boys of Japanese drama/movie scenes + the buzz on High&Low after the jump!

Continue reading “The Battle for the next top Japanese Dramatic Actor! Can Anyone beat Shota or Yuya? + The Cast of High&Low [Part 1 of 5 Parts]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 23-27] It’s Ryo Narita vs. Yuki Furukawa for Alice Hirose in “L”; Masaki Suda boxes with Yang Ik-June + Ryunosuke Kamiki’s singular photo buzz for March Comes in Like a Lion!

A single photo of Ryunosuke Kamiki for March Comes in like a Lion has sent buzz over the net as the young actor is put on spotlight once again. Considered as one of the most interesting characters to portray in live action, it marks an acting milestone for Kamiki who got a Rookie from the Japan Academy (The Great Yokai War) eleven years ago. As Rei Kiriyama, Kamiki will play a young shogi player who questions his capacity to play competitively and faces both family and relation issues.

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His latest voice acting perf for Makoto Shinkai’s ‘Your Name’ has already sent the film to the list of the most successful anime (of all time). Is he ready for a major acting award this time?

“I don’t see Kamiki Ryunosuke” is what I want people to say about my acting. To be the kind of actor – who only shows the character and makes people see only that – is the kind of powerful performance I aim for.

That’s what he said a year ago and it sure applies now!

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 23-27] It’s Ryo Narita vs. Yuki Furukawa for Alice Hirose in “L”; Masaki Suda boxes with Yang Ik-June + Ryunosuke Kamiki’s singular photo buzz for March Comes in Like a Lion!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Aug 7-29] Donten ni Warau’s casting buzz; Masaki Suda’s Drowning Love has a trailer!

I find FUNimation’s synopsis of Donten ni Warau to be just exactly right, for both fans and the uninitiated.

When swords were outlawed in the eleventh year of the Meiji Era, the mighty samurai population began to dwindle. Those who rejected the ban on blades rebelled, causing violent unrest to erupt throughout the countryside. To combat the rise in criminal activity, an inescapable lake prison was constructed. Three young men, born of the Kumoh line, were given the duty of delivering criminals to their place of confinement—but could there be more to their mission than meets the eye?

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You see, I watched this anime when I was very much into the supernatural genre and I really had a great time watching the episodes. I’m not much of a manga reader, so my timeline is quite different from those who became loyal to Donten via the original source. What I like most about it is the interaction between the Kumoh brothers – they have such distinct personalities. Even the supporting characters can be quite fascinating – the Yamainu Squad and of course, Shirasu Kinjo.

When the casting of Sota Fukushi as Tenka Kumoh was announced, it was such a disappointment! [ Read Kaye casting news here

I dunno really why they could cast such an incompetent actor to play such an intriguing lead, but hey, it’s a done deal. Johnny’s Yuma Nakayama & Kirato Wakayama are to play the two other brothers. Nakayama is just Ok for me, have seen him in a few shows (Pin to Kona, being one of them). The casting of Yuki Furukawa is great news, though his role may be quite limited…

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Aug 7-29] Donten ni Warau’s casting buzz; Masaki Suda’s Drowning Love has a trailer!”

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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Casting News + Scoop! [Mar10-13]: Masaki Suda dominates casting news + Romancing Yu Aoi; Is Satoshi Tsumabuki her ideal on-screen partner? DISH//’s Takumi Kitamura rocks!

Our previous casting news round-up features both Satoshi Tsumabuki and Masaki Suda but for different projects – Suda, of course, grabbed another role which is now the subject of extensive discussion [ re: his character and what sort of performance he must do in order to do justice to the role. ] I’m talking about Oboreru Knife and I’m inviting you to join in the recent discussion! In today’s casting news, Suda may not be playing the lead character, but knowing his ability to steal scenes – I will not be surprised if he overwhelms his co-stars! The movie – Somebody [Nanimono] is all about 5 Uni students whose lives intertwined with both romantic and dramatic colors. Suda’s co-stars include Takeru Satoh (lead role), with Masaki Okada, Fumi Nikaido and Kasumi Arimura playing the other main characters. What makes this movie both anticipated and ‘problematic’ is how the actors can generate interesting chemistry between each other and as a whole.

I know that some of you have seen Mondai no Aru Restaurant, the acclaimed TV drama where Suda and Nikaido played a couple. While I considered the series as one of the best I’ve seen last year, the interaction between Nikaido and Suda has some unexplored areas, and I am in need of closure. I wish that their characters were explored more… 

I don’t know if they will be romantically paired again in this new project, but it seems Arimura is Suda’s girlfriend this time around. While both Nikaido (My Man) and Arimura (Biri Gal) both got Best Actress nom at the Japan Academy, Nikaido is miles away when it comes to talent. I’m not trying to insult or belittle Arimura because she can play well herself, but no one can come close to Nikaido. If you have someone like Nikaido and Suda acting together in a movie, you begin to doubt how their co-stars can catch up with them. Of course, Masaki Okada is as talented as one actor can get. [ I enjoyed watching Okada with Yui Aragaki in Okitegami Kyoko no Biboroku very much! ]

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Mar10-13]: Masaki Suda dominates casting news + Romancing Yu Aoi; Is Satoshi Tsumabuki her ideal on-screen partner? DISH//’s Takumi Kitamura rocks!”

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