Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 19-26] What’s up with Satoh Takeru, Yamazaki Kento, Suda Masaki, Yoshizawa Ryo and Kamiki Ryunosuke? + Spotlight on Taiga, Suga Kenta, and Yamada Ryosuke!

Give or take, we have 8 of the hottest young actors around in this edition of our casting news and scoop! [in no particular order] Suda Masaki, Satoh Takeru, Yamada Ryosuke, Taiga, Suga Kenta, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Yoshizawa Ryo, and Yamazaki Kento. I’d love to add Fukushi Sota, but while he’s ‘hot’, I don’t think his acting has improved at all, unlike Yamada who is doing a few acting milestones of his own.

But why special attention with these guys?

Aside from capturing the imagination of movie fans and critics, they have the charisma to be a level above their peers. Their roles in movies and doramas are not necessarily the main role, but they dive into these characters and made it their own. Most of them have some box office clout, but more importantly, a select list of their movies make sense. These movies have a purpose and people are moved. Their movies are meant to be cinematic experiences but are also fun. (Of course, not everyone likes serious, thought-provoking films, people like to laugh and feel romantic too!). These actors possess a bit of everything and they have exciting future projects people are looking forward to.

Let’s start with Oryo [that’s how his fans call Yoshizawa Ryo, right?] 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 19-26] What’s up with Satoh Takeru, Yamazaki Kento, Suda Masaki, Yoshizawa Ryo and Kamiki Ryunosuke? + Spotlight on Taiga, Suga Kenta, and Yamada Ryosuke!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 14-18] Updates on Coming of Age/Youth movies & drama: Poncho & Mob Psycho 100; Job hunting movie Shukatsu + Hyouka Making-Of photos!

We’re more than halfway through October, with plenty of casting buzz including live-action adaptation for Mob Psycho 100, Flower’s Bloom (BL) and Poncho, the job-hunting movie Shukatsu. Updates on Hyouka and Matsuoka Mayu’s Tremble All You Want.

From the same author who created One Punch Man, former child actor (he’s now 17) Hamada Tatsuomi headlines the live-action adaptation of Mob Psycho 100 -モブサイコ100. He is cast to play the main character, Kageyama Shigeo.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 14-18] Updates on Coming of Age/Youth movies & drama: Poncho & Mob Psycho 100; Job hunting movie Shukatsu + Hyouka Making-Of photos!”

Pumpkin and Mayonnaise – 南瓜とマヨネーズ [Live Action Coverage]

Stardust Pictures collaborates with Dias Police director Tominaga Masanori for the live-action adaptation of Nananan Kiriko’s manga ‘Pumpkin and Mayonnaise‘ –  南瓜とマヨネーズ, about an unemployed and aspiring musician whose girlfriend works as a club hostess unbeknownst to him. Upon his discovery, he searches for work while his girlfriend met an ex-lover, complications ensue. Taiga and Asami Usuda play the couple, while Odagiri Joe is the ex.

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What the Movie is all about: Miho and Sei are living together. She works at a boutique while he tries to make it as a songwriter and musician. Even though Miho still can’t forget about Hagio, her ex-lover, she is happy in her relationship with Sei. However, all is not well for the young couple. Struggling to make ends meet, Miho decides to take a second job as a bar hostess. As she becomes increasingly desperate for money, Miho eventually gives in to one of her client’s sexual advances. When Sei finds out about this he begins to distance himself from her. Things get even more complicated for Miho when Hagio suddenly reappears in her life.

Continue reading “Pumpkin and Mayonnaise – 南瓜とマヨネーズ [Live Action Coverage]”

Tokyo Sunrise, a film about the close friendship between Ren (Taiga) and Kaoru (Kobayashi Ryuju), is subtle and powerful in its depiction of a brotherly love that may be more than what it seems. 

Written and directed by Nakagawa Ryutaro under Tokyo New Cinema, the movie encompasses the slice of life genre due to the mix of certain story elements that makes it part road trip, part romance, and part mystery.  Continue reading “Tokyo Sunrise – ‘Hashire, Zetsubo ni Oitsuka Renai Haya-sa de’ [Movie Review]”

Casting News + Scoop! [May 11-16] Spotlight on Taiga’s “Pumpkin and Mayonnaise”, Kentaro’s “Demekin” and Kubozuka Yosuke’s “Alley Cat” + “I Hear the Sunspot” BL movie updates!

This week’s casting news roundup features the up and coming Kentaro, the super-talented Taiga, and one of Japan’s best actors, Kubozuka Yosuke and their latest projects, plus updates on the latest Japanese BL entitled I Hear the Sunspot with Stardust’s Onadera Akira and Tawada Hideya.

First off, a new movie starring Odagiri Joe, Usuda Asami and Taiga is the latest in Japan’s slice of life genre.

 

Based on the manga Kabocha to Mayonezu (Pumpkin and Mayonnaise) by Nananan Kiriko, the movie tells the story of an aspiring musician, Seiichi (Taiga), and his relationship with his girlfriend Tsuchida (Usuda Asami) who unbeknownst to him is working in a bar and maybe engaged in prostitution. Their relationship is complicated by his lack of a job and the entrance of Tsuchida’s former boyfriend, Hagio (played by Odagiri Joe). 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [May 11-16] Spotlight on Taiga’s “Pumpkin and Mayonnaise”, Kentaro’s “Demekin” and Kubozuka Yosuke’s “Alley Cat” + “I Hear the Sunspot” BL movie updates!”

The Year in Review – 2016: Who Made the Biggest Headlines Among Leading Japanese Actors?

A precursor to our upcoming Top 30 Hottest Japanese actors list, the 2016 newsmakers reflect the current state of ‘acting’ in Japan and the names of those who are given opportunities to follow in the footsteps of the greats – Mifune, Takakura, Yakusho, Watanabe. While senior actors like Tadanobu Asano, Joe Odagiri, Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Mirai Moriyama, Shun Oguri continue to pay major roles, our contenders have captured a sizeable portion of the casting pie among themselves.



Are they the best actors Japan could offer? Apparently, the answer is yes! 

Before that, let’s see who are the frontrunners for acting awards this year:

Tomokazu Miura (Katsuragi Case);

Joe Odagiri (Over the Fence);

A few more names will soon appear as the Japan Academy Prize nominees are announced later. Kinema Junpo’s list is still being considered, with readers participating in the annual survey.

Continue reading “The Year in Review – 2016: Who Made the Biggest Headlines Among Leading Japanese Actors?”

Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 20-22] Sakurada Reset pairs Shuhei Nomura with Yuina Kuroshima; School gang actors through the years: Nijiro Murakami + Takumi Kitamura + Mackenyu!

It seemed just yesterday when Satoshi Tsumabuki and Masanobu Ando taunted US servicemen in the coming of age Sang-il Lee movie 69 (2004). The same with Shun Oguri and Takayuki Yamada in the Crows Zero (2007-2009) movies as they fight it out for gang leader supremacy in said Takashi Miike films. Yes, more recent when Masaki Suda, Shuhei Nomura, and Mahiro Takasugi bullied their way into their high school class targeting with delight and amusement the “old lady” – the great Daimon Michiko of DR. X fame, Ryoko Yonekura in 35 Year Old High School Student (2013) drama. 

While Japanese movies (of the so-called ‘golden era’) are all about the Samurai (Kurosawa) and family (Ozu), today’s drama are all about youth, romance, bullies, time travel, and superpowers. What a drastic change, right?

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The just concluded Aogeba Toutoshi ( 仰げば尊し) continues the tradition of school life-adventures, bullying, angst and more (band music, familial dramatics, anyone?). I failed to mention that this tradition follows such favorite high-rating shows as Great Teacher Onizuka – GTO (1998-2004) and Gokusen (2002-2009), among others. The young cast is now Nijiro Murakami, Mackenyu, Anna Ishii, Taiga, Gaku Sano, Kentaro and Takumi Kitamura. Here’s the story:

Hikuma Koichi was a saxophone player, but he suffers from the after-effects of an accident. Due to that, he turned his back on music. Hikuma Koichi finds hope in the high school brass band. The band consists of problem students. Koichi struggles to instruct the brass band and to give them hope.

I’m tempted to write a review (not episodic review) and will post if I decided to. 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 20-22] Sakurada Reset pairs Shuhei Nomura with Yuina Kuroshima; School gang actors through the years: Nijiro Murakami + Takumi Kitamura + Mackenyu!”

PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 2 of 4 Parts]

To discuss the merits (or demerits) of 50 Japanese actors requires more than a singular post, hence Part 2 continues our discussion previously from Part 1 of Kinema Junpou 50 actors (under 30) worth watching out.

Yuki Furukawa at 28 almost did not make the cut, but the Litchi Hikari Club lead actor has been in the limelight from the time he took on the role of Naoki in Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo. If you recall, he made headlines when he remarked on the way Japanese shows are casting idols just for the heck of it. Let’s hear it from Furukawa directly:

 “Nobody in Japan cares if you’re successful overseas unless you’re already established here”

The article, written by The Hollywood Reporter’s Gavin J. Blair, explained further:

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 2 of 4 Parts]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 1-10] Fumi Nikaido’s Mitsui no Aware + Masaki Suda & Tori Matsuzaka reunites in FujiTV show “Era of Us”!

Our first casting buzz for 2016 is all about reunions and first encounters. Take the case of Tori Matsuzaka, Fumi Nikaido and Masaki Suda.

In 2012, Matsuzaka, Nikaido and Suda played childhood friends in The Boy Inside (Osama to Boku) with Suda’s character Morio getting confined in the hospital due to an accident and in coma. I did not particularly buy the story since the chances of someone in “vegetative state” recovering and getting back on his feet is almost nil, but watching the actors together is simply worth my while. Nikaido was doing a bit of over-acting thanks to director Tetsu Maeda, but Suda was just phenomenal that Matsuzaka was obviously trying very hard to match his performance. While both Matsuzaka and Suda appeared in recent movies, being together in “Era of Us” looks interesting. They are joined by another amazing actor, Taiga (who incidentally played Nikaido’s lover in Au revoir l’ ete.) The said show features topics that the actors are supposed to ‘discuss’ about.

UPDATE: ‘Era of Us’ from FujiTv is not a new show as corrected.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 1-10] Fumi Nikaido’s Mitsui no Aware + Masaki Suda & Tori Matsuzaka reunites in FujiTV show “Era of Us”!”

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