10 Most Anticipated Japanese Movies 2016 – A Man Called Pirate -海賊とよばれた男 (Takashi Yamazaki)

While some consider the work of Takashi Yamazaki as being the voice of Japan’s conservative right wing politicians, no one can deny the quality and innovation of his films. He has introduced spectacular special effects in most of his projects – from Returner (starring Takeshi Kaneshiro) to the more recent The Eternal Zero (which won Best Picture at the Japan Academy and also stars Junichi Okada) and Parasyte (Part 1 and 2, with Shota Sometani).

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There’s a new project at hand – and Yamazaki cast some of Japan’s biggest names, including Junichi Okada, Haruka Ayase, Kaoru Kobayashi and Shota Sometani.

A Man Called Pirate (Japanese: kaizoku to yobareta otoko) is a best-selling Japanese historical novel by Naoki Hyakuta. As of January 2014, it had sold over 1,700,000 copies. In April 2013, it won the Japan Booksellers Award.

It is loosely based on the story of Sazō Idemitsu, the founder of Idemitsu Kosan, a Japanese oil company. The story begins on August 15, 1945, the day Japan loses World War II. Set in 1945-47, the protagonist, Tetsuzo Kunioka, is an owner of a company that sells oil. Most of his company is either missing, in the army, or otherwise not available. The fate of the company’s network of overseas offices is also unknown. Not fazed by the defeat of Japan, he is determined that Japan will rise again, and is driven to create a large oil company.

The book has patriotic themes that would more commonly be associated with the Japanese right-wing but has been popular with the mass market. 

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Shota Sometani is future perfect in the acting world! “Seeks complete art” says Associated Press!

There was a fabulous article written by Yuri Kageyama on Shota Sometani published under the Associated Press’ The Big Story series last year. I had some interaction with Ms. Kageyama regarding the article in which they did an interview with the actor. It was great that I could share my thoughts on Sometani and his future in the acting world. The article entitled “Award-winning Japanese actor seeks complete art” talks about Sometani’s views on acting and his most current roles – specifically in Parasyte. 

He was also quoted as saying:

“I want to do the kind of acting that’s convincing and complete, just by standing there, even without any words. It’s a mystery. I don’t have a method, even in myself. You have to believe in the role, the blood that’s flowing in the character, the basics.” [ read article in full ]

I was also asked some questions regarding the young and talented actor, and my answers were based on the numerous movies and drama shows I’ve seen, coupled with certain articles/interviews I’ve read. 

Read them after the jump!

Continue reading “Shota Sometani is future perfect in the acting world! “Seeks complete art” says Associated Press!”

My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – A Final look at the talented young actor [ Part 3 of 3 parts ]

If you want to celebrate Shota Sometani’s acting career, then there is no better way but to head over to 13oys and Men as the top 10 Shota Sometani countdown continues. In our last part of Shota’s “Actor’s bias,” we are taking a closer look at one of his upcoming films – which complements the celebration at our companion site. It’s like we’re covering Sometani’s career in full circle!

Like some of Japan’s most accomplished actors, Sometani 

“got his start in the film industry at the age of 9, playing a young boy being eaten by zombies in Naoyuki Tomomatsu’s 2001 satirical zombie film Stacy.” [ source ]

While some concentrated on a show business career performing on stage for fans or joining a boy band and becoming an idol, Sometani took a less traditional route that demands a more challenging outlook. Short, supporting roles pave the way to meatier parts and in 2011, ten years after his acting debut, Sometani grabbed one of the most prestigious acting awards for newcomers in the global film festival circuit – the Marcello Mastroianni Award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival for Sion Sono’s Himizu. The film was the subject of Part 2 of this series.

Continue reading “My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – A Final look at the talented young actor [ Part 3 of 3 parts ]”

My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – Another look at the talented young actor [ Part 2 of 3 parts ]

Some viewers of this site have been asking “Why is Shota Sometani such an amazing actor?” If you’ve only seen him in supporting parts, then you will not be able to understand the passion and the interest we have of him. PsychoDrama has a companion site – 13oys and Men – which also celebrates the works of the young actor. We share the same passion and we both promote Sometani’s film projects and even his work outside of movies.

In Part 2 of this actor’s bias – let me invite you to watch Himizu, a film by prolific director Sion Sono, about the story of two young Japanese, both of whom have been rejected by their parents and live in a gloomy, almost dystopian existence.

Continue reading “My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – Another look at the talented young actor [ Part 2 of 3 parts ]”

My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – A Closer look at the talented young actor [ Part 1 of 3 parts ]

If you’re new to PsychoDrama, then you’ll be surprised at the volume of articles/posts featuring Shota Sometani (or Someya as some people call him). If you’re a regular reader, then seeing him periodically is a normal occurrence. There were some discussions regarding this site and its readers’ bias towards the young actor, so what better way to introduce Sometani to those who asked by featuring him more?

Let me start by updating our readers on his latest movie – Wood Job! The said film is supported by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture for the honest and positive depiction of agriculture and forestry.  This field of study has not generated interest by today’s young generation of Japanese; thus the government is promoting it in any way they can.

Continue reading “My Shota Sometani “Actor Bias” – A Closer look at the talented young actor [ Part 1 of 3 parts ]”

A Tale of Two Best Young Actors – Shota Sometani & Kamiki Ryunosuke – Part 2

We’ve shown you the acting collaboration between Shota Sometani and Kamiki Ryunosuke in Part One, and their individual acting highlights in Parts Two (Sometani), Three & Four (Ryunosuke), now in the last part of this series, we want to focus on their essential dramas and movies – in particular for the uninitiated. We’ll also concentrate on future roles and what to expect in the next few seasons.

It has been quite a ride – the video clips and the time it took to review previous drama episodes were a blast! Just a reminder of how awesome they both are!

The Essential Guide to Kamiki and Shota’s movies and dramas after the jump!

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A Tale of Two Best Young Actors – Shota Sometani’s Acting Career (so far…)

Getting international recognition is a big issue for aspiring actors, and that includes everyone in Japan who would love to add to their acting resume a trophy/award from a prestigious international film festival. While it is not an assurance that a critical acclaim or recognition would bring in more casting scoops, it is an important factor in pushing one’s career into higher gear.

Think of the young Yuya Yagira after winning the Best Actor trophy at Cannes. The same can be said of Shota Sometani’s win at Venice with an equally prestigious acting award – the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor for Sion Sono’s Himizu.

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A Tale of Two Best Young Actors – Shota Sometani & Ryunosuke Kamiki – Part 1

It seems we need to make separate posts for two of our perennial favorites – Sometani Shota and Kamiki Ryunosuke. Someone asked me a few times already how we compare to top sites like AsianWiki and Nippon Cinema among others – well, we don’t feature everyone, and we have strong opinions about the talents we regularly write about. We are not a database, and we often cut and paste from many sites, but we also listen to what our viewers have to say. And we love to critique movies and dramas!

Back to Shota and Ryunosuke.

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xxxholic Episode Eight: “Butterfly” – The Inevitable Ending + Yuko versus the Jorogumo!

xxxHolic live action eight and final episode is packed with a lot of punches! Continuing from the previous episode, Watanuki and Domeki begged Yuko to help in rescuing Himawari from the lair of the Jorogumo, but she refused.

Watanuki left in haste while Domeki stayed on feeling weak and confused.

Echoing the reasoning of her friend, the Rain child, Yuko argued:

Why would someone like me rescue a human?

But then again, she has changed so much, right? She continues to spell out her outlook about relationships, but Domeki cut to the chase.

Suffering for the ones we loved, that’s the ties that bind us!

Menawhile, Himawari continues to suffer at the hands of the Jorogumo, who enjoys taunting her –

You are not worthy of love!

Is Watanuki already too late to rescue her? Can Domeki help and eliminate the wasp spider? Will Yuko even bother to do something about the dire situation or remain just a passive observer of events?

Continue reading “xxxholic Episode Eight: “Butterfly” – The Inevitable Ending + Yuko versus the Jorogumo!”

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