Casting News + Scoop! [Mar 13- Apr 27]: Mirai Shida + Taishi Nakagawa; Death Note 2016; Natsumi Firefly + Japanese movies about ‘unrequited’ love!

It’s been a while since I posted a casting news/scoop, but there is a reason for that. I’m doing an extensive research on live action adaptation (Japanese, American and French) so it has taken almost all of my time. But it is definitely worth it! I’ll be posting Part 1 of the series very soon, please stay tuned!

I browse some of my favorite Japanese entertainment portals and was happy to note that Mirai Shida is – once again – active on the scene. I always love watching her and I think she deserves the spotlight and the raves that many of the ‘veteran’ J-ent watchers are bestowing on her. If you have not seen her yet, try one of her most important movies – Nobody to watch over Me – where she plays the sole survivor of a family haunted by tragedy. She also made waves in Yoji Yamada’s Kabei: Our Mother, and to think that both movies were more than 5 years old makes me sad.

How come ‘talents’ like Ayame Gouriki, Emi Takei, and Kasumi Arimura get to play significantly important roles while an amazing and definitely more talented actress like Mirai Shida only gets to play supporting parts? Now, that’s the greatest tragedy of them all.

The tradition of playing supporting roles for Shida continues, but this time, she will play second lead to Tao Tsuchiya.

Not bad, considering that Tsuchiya is pretty much a competent actress herself. I’d love to see Shida on the big screen anyway, so I’m happy she’s back! The pair of Tsuchiya and Shono Hayama is a reunion of their Mare (asadora) casting where both play the siblings of Yo Oizumi and Takako Tokiwa. I fondly remember Tokiwa as the young mother of Yuya Yagira from an earlier movie, Shining Boy and Little Randy – so having Yagira also in that popular asadora is another reunion of sorts. 

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Japan’s Best Actors – The Promising List [Top 15 – 2016 Edition]

The 2016 Edition of Japan’s Best Actors – Promising List has evolved from a mere listing of actors – both known and unknown to movie fans outside Japan, to become quite ‘inclusive’ of what the locals also consider as their best, most sought-after newcomers. The list is very exclusive in the sense that only those who are below the age of 30 are considered, thus we are putting the spotlight on talents who are really grabbing the most challenging and fresh roles in both movies and doramas right this minute.

[ Note that this is the Promising list, there are 15 more names for the hottest ranking coming up next ]

As we have noted in the first edition of the Most Promising Young Japanese actors hitlist: Every successful actor in Japan started somewhere – a supporting role in a prime time TV series or portraying one of the country’s beloved Kamen riders or starring in a dramatic movie by a well-known filmmaker or simply working his way up from bit roles until getting that much-coveted leading part…[ 2013 Edition ]

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Taishi Nakagawa expands his acting horizon via My Nickname is Butatchi!

Taishi Nakagawa has grown (both physically and in terms of acting style) during the past 2 years that die-hard J-drama fans can’t help but notice. After headlining the live action Prison School on television, he also managed to grab the lead role (previously played by Nino) in My Little Lover. Now, a role that adds up to the romantic characters he has begun to master, Nakagawa headlines Ken Iizuka’s My Nickname is Butatchi.

The movie is about two childhood friends, Nomura (Sairi Itoh) and Satake (Taishi Nakagawa) and tt was Nomura who gave Satake his nickname Butatchi. But the relationship of being “friends” might go a little further, if Nomura can have her way…

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Looking Back & Moving Forward: Spotlight on Taishi Nakagawa [Part 3 of 4 Parts]

PsychoDrama tagged him as future JDrama Prince, right after Yuki Furukawa. But it seems Taishi Nakagawa has exceeded even our expectations. We first featured Nakagawa 2 years ago while he’s making waves in Yakou Kanransha | 夜行観覧車 (NTV/ 2013). 

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While Yuki Furukawa looks like a 16-year-old young boy (but is actually 26 years old – as of our previous writing), Taishi Nakagawa is just 15 years old but already cast in 7 Japanese dramas since 2011. His roles in GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka) and Perfect Blue paved the way to a more important (and meatier role) in Yakou Kanransya (Ferris Wheel at Night) where he pit talents with the likes of Karen Miyazaki, Shota Yasuda, Hana Sugisaki and Riko Yoshida. As the tormented high school student Shinji Takahashi, accused of a crime he may or may not commit, Taishi was just perfect – he was sensitive and charming, vulnerable and rebellious, hopeful and pessimistic – such range of contradictory emotions he was able to show at ease. This kind of acting versatility he also showed when he played the young Minamoto no Yoritomo (later on played by Masaki Okada) in the historical drama Taira no Kiyomori. 

Playing supporting parts and also being tagged with the ‘second lead syndrome’ (he’s part of Your Lie in April, where Kento Yamazaki takes the lead), Nakagawa nonetheless had a banner year in 2015…

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The Year in Review – 2015 Breakthrough Japanese Actors & Actresses- Who will rock the scene in 2016 and beyond?!!

Funny (really) how time flew when we were just raving about Satoshi Tsumabuki, Mao Inoue, Hikari Mitsushima and Masanobu Ando way back in 2012, and now three years later, we are celebrating the young acting careers of boys and girls who are so much younger than Tsumabuki, et al.

2015 saw a lot of breakthrough actors in the Japanese movie and drama scenes that it’s hard to narrow it down to 10, but then again, we’ll be seeing them very soon as they all seem to be grabbing upcoming projects sooner than later. Hoping that their talent agencies are as committed as these young guys and gals!

Continue reading “The Year in Review – 2015 Breakthrough Japanese Actors & Actresses- Who will rock the scene in 2016 and beyond?!!”

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