And the verdict is… What reviewers have to say about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and Tokyo Ghoul; It’s Kubota Masataka versus Yamazaki Kento once again!

Imagine having two of Japan’s most sought-after actors under one agency – Stardust! In the case of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and Tokyo Ghoul, that’s Kubota Masataka and Yamazaki Kento. A few drama seasons ago, it was the same two actors who revived audience’s interest in Death Note and with that their rivalry. Now they are portraying two of the most interesting characters to ever grace the silver screen – Higashikata Yosuke and Kaneki Ken.

 

What’s the verdict coming from early reviews? 

Continue reading “And the verdict is… What reviewers have to say about Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and Tokyo Ghoul; It’s Kubota Masataka versus Yamazaki Kento once again!”

Tokyo Ghoul – 東京喰種 [Live Action Coverage]

Based on the original work by Ishida Sui, Tokyo Ghoul is one of the most fascinating and original series about seemingly ‘normal’ human beings but in fact are monsters with an insatiable appetite for human flesh. Like vampires who beguile and trick humans, ghouls also hide their true nature. A 12-episode animation series of Tokyo Ghoul was broadcasted in 2014 and Shochiku will take the lead in the production of the LA version – giving the directorial task to newcomer Hagiwara Kentaro. It stars Kubota Masataka who will play the main protagonist Kaneki Ken.

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What the movie is all about: Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, individuals who can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the normal humans in secret, hiding their true nature to evade pursuit from the authorities. The story follows Kaneki Ken, a college student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Kamishiro Rize, his date who reveals herself to be a ghoul. Due to circumstances, he ends up being taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that he underwent a surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul. This was accomplished because some of Rize’s organs were transferred into his body, and now, like normal ghouls, he must consume human flesh to survive. The ghouls who manage the coffee shop Anteiku take him in and teach him to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul.

Continue reading “Tokyo Ghoul – 東京喰種 [Live Action Coverage]”

Casting News + Scoop! [June 1-8] Young romantic love and heartache: Anthem of the Heart and Honey – Hirano Sho, Yuna Taira, Yoshine Kyoko and Nakajima Kento take leads! + Tokyo Ghoul live broadcast event!

Two live action movies that deal with young romance and heartache grab the headlines for our first June 2017 casting buzz – Anthem of the Heart and Honey. Nakajima Kento, Yoshine Kyoko are cast to play the main characters of Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda (心が叫びたがってるんだ。) where the title can also mean ‘Where the Heart Wants to Shout’, aside from the more well-known ‘Anthem of the Heart’. 

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The anime was released in 2015 by Aniplex and centers on a young girl named Naruse Jun who is regarded as a ‘chatterbox’. All things changed when she blurted out something completely accidental yet shatters her family to pieces.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [June 1-8] Young romantic love and heartache: Anthem of the Heart and Honey – Hirano Sho, Yuna Taira, Yoshine Kyoko and Nakajima Kento take leads! + Tokyo Ghoul live broadcast event!”

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!”

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!”

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]”

Masataka Kubota gets ghoulish in Tokyo Ghoul; Fumika Shimizu co-stars as Touka Kirishima!

Live action casting continues to rock the manga/anime scene, and this time, it’s all about Tokyo Ghoul! Here’s a backgrounder first:

Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種トーキョーグール, Tōkyō Gūru) is a media franchise based on the manga series by the same name written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. It was later adapted into an anime produced by Studio Pierrot.

Strange murders are happening in Tokyo. Due to liquid evidence at the scene, the police conclude the attacks are the results of ‘eater’ type ghouls. College buddies Kaneki and Hide come up with the idea that ghouls are imitating humans so that’s why they haven’t ever seen one. Little did they know that their theory may very well become a reality. [ backgrounder @Wikia ]

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Now, a recent article discussing the cast – in my humble opinion, has selected some rather “old” Japanese actors. I mean, Eita and Hikari Mitsushima are not exactly teens. So, seeing that the actual cast took in Fumika Shimizu for one of the major roles is – definitely – perfect for me. 

Now for the more ‘complicated’ part. There was some discussion on twitter as to whether Masataka Kubota is the right actor for the role of the main protagonist – Ken Kaneki. So let’s look at the character first…

Continue reading “Masataka Kubota gets ghoulish in Tokyo Ghoul; Fumika Shimizu co-stars as Touka Kirishima!”

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

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?”

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