Based on the novel “Gukoroku” by Nukui Tokuro, the live-action adaptation (also entitled like the novel) is a clash of two acting giants in Japanese cinema – Tsumabuki Satoshi and Mitsushima Hikari, playing siblings.

Acting extravaganza aside, it’s also the debut full-length film of Ishikawa Kei, who took film directing in Poland under a scholarship from the Japanese government. Continue reading “Traces of Sin – ‘Gukoroku’ [Movie Review]”

Casting News + Scoop! [July 18-26] Updating Japanese-Korean movie collaboration hitlist + The buzz on Eita, Mitsushima Hikari and Tsumabuki Satoshi + Ikuta Toma’s Sensei!

There are plenty of casting news featuring Japan’s more established actors, including Tsumabuki Satoshi, Eita, Mitsushima Hikari, Aragaki Yui, and Ikuta Toma. This post is dedicated to their new movies and TV drama and more!

One Hitoshi’s latest project – Okuda Tamio ni Naritai Boy to Deau Otoko Subete Kuruwaseru Garu – features the unlikely ‘team-up’ of Tsumabuki Satoshi and Mizuhara Kiko as ‘lovers’ or are they? 

 

The story centers on Kōroki, a 35-year old man who uses the life of Japanese singer and songwriter Tamio Okuda as a guide for his own life. He works as an editor at the lifestyle magazine “Mare,” where he meets Akari Amami, a mischievous fashion press writer, and falls in love with her at first sight. The manga chronicles the joy and sadness of his relationship.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [July 18-26] Updating Japanese-Korean movie collaboration hitlist + The buzz on Eita, Mitsushima Hikari and Tsumabuki Satoshi + Ikuta Toma’s Sensei!”

Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]

Does it matter if the powerful production committees in Japan cast the right actors in our favorite manga, anime or light novels? The question appears either valid or invalid to fans since no one could do anything about it anyway, but still – what have we got to lose? 

 

It is equally relevant to say that – some of us – can also make accurate ‘predictions’ as in the case of Kento Yamazaki and Ryunosuke Kamiki grabbing some noted roles of late. I say it’s delightful since it only means ‘we get it!’ And the people in these committees do too! Though I question their choices most of the time. The fact remains that the members of these committees and not artists or filmmakers, but are businessman and they are tasked to make sure that the funds put into these films will earn them a reasonable ROI (return on investment).

Let me get back to that later.

Continue reading “Does it matter if they cast the right actor on Live-action adaptations? A list of the best and worst casting choices! [Part 1 of 3 Parts]”

2017 Most Anticipated Japanese Movies: Traces of Sin (Gukoroku) – 愚行録 [Kei Ishikawa]

Gukoroku (also known as Traces of Sin) is the reunion of Satoshi Tsumabuki and Hikari Mitsushima on the big screen. Both award-winning actors play siblings in the Tv series Wakamonotachi (together with Eita, a frequent co-star of both).  The movie is the first full-length film of Kei Ishikawa and tackles the issue of a brother-sister relationship in an atmosphere of mystery and crime. Based on the novel “Gukoroku” by Tokuro Nukui, the film also explores social elites in Japan.

Tsumabuki is the kind of actor who does his best when acting together with equally competent players. He did an acting showdown with Kenichi Matsuyama in My Back Page (he plays a journalist, while Matsuyama is an activist during late 1960s Tokyo), this time he’s (once again) a reporter and the trailer already shows some intense moments between him and co-star Hikari Mitsushima.  The film premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival, with Mitsushima showing her fashion flair!

Continue reading “2017 Most Anticipated Japanese Movies: Traces of Sin (Gukoroku) – 愚行録 [Kei Ishikawa]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 8-14] Ghost in the Shell; The “Museum” trio of Shun Oguri, Satoshi Tsumabuki & Shuhei Nomura + Amane Okayama’s Poetry Angel

Scarlett Johansson figured prominently in the latest trailer for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell, enhanced to a certain degree by the music inspired by Depeche Mode ‘Enjoy the Silence’. Beat Takeshi, as to be expected, is shown to maximum impact. 

Ghost in the Shell is an upcoming American science fiction film directed by Rupert Sanders and written by Jonathan Herman and Jamie Moss, based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow. The film stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. Cyborg counter-cyberterrorist field commander The Major (Scarlett Johansson), and her task force Section 9 thwart cyber criminals and hackers. Now, they must face a new enemy who will stop at nothing to sabotage Hanka Robotic’s artificial intelligence technology [ Wiki ]

I would have appreciated seeing Rinko Kikuchi in the title role (or even Fumi Nikaido, or any newly discovered aspiring Japanese actress for that matter), but this is a Hollywood produced movie after all. [ First trailer after the jump! ]

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Nov 8-14] Ghost in the Shell; The “Museum” trio of Shun Oguri, Satoshi Tsumabuki & Shuhei Nomura + Amane Okayama’s Poetry Angel”

Celebrating the stars and the films at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival! Satoshi Tsumabuki, Godzilla, Mitsuki Takahata & Makoto Shinkai get ‘Arigato’ awards!

A lot of buzz in this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. Aside from the appearance of Meryl Streep and major stars from Asia, the festival is celebrating its 29th edition this year.

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We previously posted a few excellent Japanese movies that deal with youth, a slice of life drama.

This time we join the film festival community in celebrating the winners of the Arigato award (its second edition only).

Continue reading “Celebrating the stars and the films at the 29th Tokyo International Film Festival! Satoshi Tsumabuki, Godzilla, Mitsuki Takahata & Makoto Shinkai get ‘Arigato’ awards!”

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!”

100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies – [3] Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (ジョゼと虎と魚たち)- Chizuru Ikewaki’s performance is timeless!

Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (Joze to tora to sakana tachi) is an almost weird, yet endearing love story between an impressionable young man (Satoshi Tsumabuki) and a disabled, jaded young lady named Josee (Chizuru Ikewaki – in a career-defining performance).

What the Movie is all about: Directed by Isshin Inudo, Josee, the Tiger and the Fish centers on the Tsuneo, a curious, but otherwise typical, college student. When a baby carriage careens down a hill and crashes in his path, Tsuneo comes face to face with Josee, a charming young woman who, despite being disabled, is capable of most anything, least of all a mean breakfast. Though Tsuneo’s initial visits to her were made out of sympathy, it doesn’t take too long until he falls for her. [ Narrative by Tracie Cooper ]

Tsuneo is a university student working part-time in a mah-jong parlor. Lately, the customers have been talking about an old lady who pushes a baby carriage through the streets. They say she is carrying something for a crime syndicate, and they wonder what it is she has in the carriage… Money? Drugs? One day, the owner of the mah-jong parlor sends Tsuneo out to walk his dog. A baby carriage comes rolling down a hill and crashes into a guard rail. The old lady asks him to look into the carriage, where he finds a young woman clutching a knife. This is how Tsuneo first meets the girl who calls herself Josée. Her real name is Kumiko, and she is unable to walk, so her grandmother takes her out early every morning in the old baby carriage. To thank Tsuneo for his help, they offer him breakfast, and he begins to fall under the spell of the young woman’s unusual charm. Kumiko has named herself after the heroine of a novel by Françoise Sagan, and Tsuneo comes to call this strange girl by that name. He grows more and more attracted to her. [ AsianWiki ]

Why you should watch this movie: Aside from being one of Satoshi Tsumabuki’s biggest movies, this is also Chizuru Ikewaki’s most memorable performance to date.

The amazing on-screen chemistry between the two lead actors – Tsumabuki and Ikewaki – is so authentic, you can even sympathize with them as they make love after years of being apart. The poignant, truthful and matter-of-fact narration of the story is something that will keep you remembering the movie even after months.

Continue reading “100 Best Contemporary Japanese Movies – [3] Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (ジョゼと虎と魚たち)- Chizuru Ikewaki’s performance is timeless!”

Vancouver Asahi (Vancouver no Asahi ) – バンクーバーの朝日 [Movie Review]

When it was first announced way back in 2013 that The Vancouver Asahi will have Satoshi Tsumabuki and Kazuya Kamenashi among the cast, I am quite confident I will do whatever it takes to watch this movie. I am aware that many sports drama films (coming from Hollywood and elsewhere) are – more often than not – glossed over to highlight particular sport’s milestone. I would not be bothered if this movie follows the formula, just to watch this latest directorial attempt from Yuya Ishii is already enough for me. 

Reports have it that it was only Tsumabuki who has no prior knowledge of the sport and has to undergo training. I am thinking this would not be a big deal since the spotlight might be on Kame, but I was dead wrong. I’m happy (ecstatic even) that it was Tsumabuki who grabbed the biggest share of the movie – his scenes were not only important and telling, his character runs the show!

Continue reading “Vancouver Asahi (Vancouver no Asahi ) – バンクーバーの朝日 [Movie Review]”

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