Japan Academy Prize 2015: The Eternal Zero wins Best Picture; Junichi Okada grabs Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor; Sosuke Ikematsu, Sota Fukushi, Nana Komatsu – Rookies!

The Eternal Zero wins Best Picture, while lead star – Junichi Okada – took home two awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (for A Samurai Chronicle). Rie Miyazawa is Best Actress (beating out Sakura Ando, Mao Inoue, and Chizuru Ikewaki), while Haru Kuroki grabbed Best Supporting Actress!

The 38th Japan Academy Prize (第38回日本アカデミー賞) is the 38th edition of the Japan Academy Prize, an award presented by the Nippon Academy-Sho Association to award excellence in filmmaking. It awarded the best films of 2014, and it took place on February 27, 2015, at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in TokyoJapan

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Junichi Okada and Mao Inoue in The Eternal Zero, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, Toho, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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Shota Sometani, Takahiro Miura, and supporting cast in The Eternal Zero, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, Toho, Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved.

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Continue reading “Japan Academy Prize 2015: The Eternal Zero wins Best Picture; Junichi Okada grabs Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor; Sosuke Ikematsu, Sota Fukushi, Nana Komatsu – Rookies!”

Wakamonotachi 2014: Ep 7-11 Review + Afterthoughts

Update: The final episode of Wakamonotachi is a bit of an anti-climax with most of the scenes in Episodes 9-10 already summing up the drama. 

With one final episode to be released soon, the Japanese drama Wakamonotachi continues to reveal new twists and turns as the stellar cast put on a show that is not perfect, yet can be quite a thrilling ride with dramatic and comedic scenes out to impress (or depress) the viewers.

The Story so far: Asahi (Satoshi Tsumabuki) raised his younger brothers and sister due to the deaths of their parents. Satoru (Eita), the second son, was incarcerated for swindling an old lady of her millions. Hikari (Hikari Mitsushima) is the only girl among the five – is having an affair with a married man, who happens to be the Doctor she works with at the ICU for pediatric patients.

The other members of the family Haru (Tasuku Emoto) and Tadashi (Shuhei Nomura) are both students, with Haru still clinging to his theater club instead of looking for a job while Tadashi is on the verge of manhood, discovering his first love.

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Wakamonotachi 2014: First Impressions + Episode 1-6 Review

I recently asked the question: Can Wakamonotachi compete with the best Asian drama during its broadcast? After watching the first six episodes, I have to say the 2014 version of the 1966 original FujiTV drama has a lot of good things to offer – particularly in the acting department – Hikari Mitsushima, Yu Aoi, Eita and Shuhei Nomura were standouts. There are also some dramatic scenes that tug at the heart and an equal measure of fun and comedy to keep the drama interesting.

But some scenes may appear incredulous – particularly those involving Satoshi Tsumabuki’s character as it seems to be someone drawn from yesteryears. Nobody wants to watch a moral, idealistic, highly-strung character in the majority of the episodes.It’s the first time I felt disappointed with Tsumabuki as an actor.

While I may seem critical of the drama, I highly recommend it. Our reviews have been performance oriented since the beginning, and there are a lot of acting highlights here.

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Can Young People (Wakamono Tachi) compete with the best in Asian drama? Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima reunite as one family!

Japanese drama addicts are probably looking forward to the July 2014 broadcast of Young People (Wakamono Tachi) starring Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Masami Nagasawa and Yu Aoi among its star-studded cast. The fact that the cast is not only “stars” but talented and critically acclaimed actors make all the difference. Can it duplicate the success of the 1966 original drama? Will there be deviations to the original story? Will the characters be altered to suit the modern times?

These questions will have answers soon, but let’s focus on one issue here: How was the on-screen chemistry between our talented cast? Have they been together before in a drama or a movie perhaps? What sort of roles did they play together?

Continue reading “Can Young People (Wakamono Tachi) compete with the best in Asian drama? Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima reunite as one family!”

Satoshi Tsumabuki leads powerhouse cast for Wakamonotachi (The Youngsters); Hikari Mitsushima, Eita & Shuhei Nomura co-star!

Award-winning dramatic actor Satoshi Tsumabuki will join forces with Hikari Mitsushima, Eita, Tasuku Emoto and Shuhei Nomura in the upcoming drama “Wakamonotachi” (The Youngsters). The five stars will play siblings who lost their parents early in their childhood, and together they struggle to live – with several emotional clashes due to their different dreams and aspirations. These emotional confrontations and their various relationships will be the focus of the drama first aired in 1966.

 

Tsumabuki and Mitsushima were in the award-winning movie Villain (Akunin), which won for Tsumabuki, the Best Actor trophy at the Japan Academy Prize back in 2011. Mitsushima was also in the award-winning drama Soredemo, Ikite Yuku, this time with Eita as the leading man. In essence, we have three of the best dramatic actors working in Japan together in this drama which will also commemorate FujiTV’s 55th anniversary.

The show is reported to be ready for broadcast this coming July. Also in the show are Yu Aoi and Ai Hashimoto, Yu Aoi also figured prominently with Tsumabuki in Tokyo Family.

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Japan Academy Prize 2014: The Great Passage & Like Father, Like Son dominate award ceremony!

FINAL UPDATE: As predicted, the two most acclaimed pictures we have listed below grabbed the most number of awards in the 37th Japan Academy Prize held 7th of March 2014.

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Ryuhei Matsuda + Aoi Miyazaki in The Great Passage, directed by Yuya Ishii,  Asmik Ace Entertainment, Shochiku 2013, All Rights Reserved. 

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Here are the nominees and the winners of the major categories:

Picture of the Year:

The Devil’s Path
A Boy Called H
Like Father, Like Son
Tōkyō Kazoku
The Great Passage – winner
Ask This of Rikyu

Animation of the Year:

The Tale of Princess Kaguya
The Wind Rises – winner
Space Pirate Captain Harlock
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion
Lupin the 3rd vs. Detective Conan: The Movie

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13 Modern Japanese Samurai Movies [Part 2 of 3 Parts]

Part 2 of our 13 Modern Japanese Samurai Movies list features two different kinds of comedy, a dark, gloomy but poignant tale of a young Samurai still on the verge of manhood, and the story of a fearless, independent lady who rules Samurai and commoners in an era of death and disease.

People usually expect Samurai movies to have flashy and violent fight scenes – with dismembered limbs and lots of blood and gore. But there are also a good number of films that deal with these amazing warriors that look closely at their daily lives.

Part 2 of our Samurai movie list after the jump!

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Favorite Tsumabuki Satoshi Movies – Waterboys [Vol. 1 Part 1]

With more than 35 feature films to his credit, Satoshi Tsumabuki is one of Japan’s most accomplished young actors. We are having this blog-a-thon to showcase 10 of his best movies to date. Our first post features the movie Waterboys – the same film that gave him Rookie of the Year award at the Japanese Film Academy.

Satoshi is best known for his dramatic performances, but before he became the acclaimed actor that he is, he started getting raves when he was cast in the youth-oriented movie Waterboys.

More after the jump!

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Satoshi Tsumabuki in an amazing article & interview!

This is why Satoshi Tsumabuki is currently numero uno in our Top 30 hottest Japanese young actors! Nobuko Tanaka wrote an article/interview about the young actor and listed down some of his outstanding performances on film, and also announced Tsumabuki’s latest role, this time in a play entitled Egg.

The article also explored the actor’s entry into the movie scene and the subsequent interview reveals some amazing insights into Tsumabuki’s ideals, perceptions and opinions about his movie career and life in general. 

Continue reading “Satoshi Tsumabuki in an amazing article & interview!”

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