Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 27-Nov 11] Updates on ‘River’s Edge’ and ‘Kids on the Slope’ + Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi + State of ‘Fandom’ now!

It’s been a while since my last casting news post. I’m enjoying the Fall 2017 drama season so much that I hardly had time to catch up with the news and consolidate them here. However, if you’re following our Twitter account, you’ll get the latest updates on all fronts – movies, drama, even some anime.

In this edition, we got details on River’s Edge, Nakagawa Taishi’s Kids on the Slope LA (with Chinen Yuri and Komatsu Nana), plus: updates on Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi (who recently celebrated his 20th birthday), and much more!

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Oct 27-Nov 11] Updates on ‘River’s Edge’ and ‘Kids on the Slope’ + Mackenyu, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Takumi + State of ‘Fandom’ now!”

Kitamura Takumi: A Guide on How to Maximize an Actor’s dramatic potentials!

What would compel Japanese entertainment site The TV to publish an 18-episode (and counting) Kitamura Takumi (北村匠海) special coverage other than to promote the popular DISH// boy band leader? With three major movie projects in 2017, Kitamura is already poised to take his place as one of Japan’s rising stars.

Aside from playing the narrator-friend of the ill-fated Sakura (Hamabe Minami) in I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, the 19-year old actor is also the lead star in yet another dramatic film Love and Lies. Looking back, it was in 2013 when Kitamura was cast to play the unassuming, yet ambitious student leader in TV Tokyo and Kadokawa Pictures’ Suzuki Sensei.

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Casting News + Scoop! [July 12-17] Higashide Masahiro’s casting domination – Sanposuru Shinryakusha, Netemo Sametemo and Overdrive + Nakajo Ayami’s flicks! + Spotlight on Awesome CMs!

Taking on lead and supporting roles, Higashide Masahiro dominates casting news for the week! Let’s see, what’s new for the model turned actor?

Overdrive (2018)
Netemosametemo (2018) – Baku / Ryohei
Before We Vanish | Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (2017) – pastor
Sanposuru Shinryakusha (2017) – Drama series WOWOW
Sekigahara (2017) – Hideaki Kobayakawa

Let’s start with Overdrive. Director Hasumi Eiichiro reveals that Overdrive will be the first its kind – a rich human drama that depicts the world of car racing.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [July 12-17] Higashide Masahiro’s casting domination – Sanposuru Shinryakusha, Netemo Sametemo and Overdrive + Nakajo Ayami’s flicks! + Spotlight on Awesome CMs!”

I Want to Eat Your Pancreas – 君の膵臓をたべたい [Live Action Coverage]

Based on the novel “Kimi no Suizo wo Tabetai” by Yoru Sumino, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas is one of the latest Japanese Toho drama that tackles the issues of incurable disease and romantic intimate relationships. Tsukikawa Sho (who will also direct the Suda-Tsuchiya LA My Little Monster) will direct the film and stars Hamabe Minami and Kitamura Takumi as the ill-fated lovers. Oguri Shun and Kitagawa Keiko will play pivotal parts.

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What the Movie is all about: Based on the novel “Kimi no Suizo wo Tabetai” by Yoru Sumino, the movie tells the tale of a boy (Kitamura) who discovered the diary of a girl named Sakura (Minami Hamabe). The diary tells of the girl’s apparent tragedy. She suffers from a pancreatic disease. Thus she died early. But the boy was able to spend some time with her and in the process inspired him to become a teacher. Fast forward 12 years later, the teacher (now played by Oguri) remembers the dead girl and also became involved with her friend (played by Kitagawa).

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Love and Lies – 恋と嘘 [Live Action Coverage]

Furusawa Takeshi (Another, ReLIFE) takes the directorial seat for the LA of manga artist Musawo’s Love and Lies – Koi to Uso (恋と嘘), a tale about forbidden love and living under the watchful eyes of an overzealous Japanese government. Showgate will distribute the film and also employs the writing services of Yoshida Erika to translate Musawo’s work into the silver screen. Morikawa Aoi headlines the LA, with Kitamura Takumi and “Gekidan EXILE” member Sato Kanta playing rivals. The release is tentatively announced for Fall 2017.

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What the Movie is all about: Lies are forbidden and love is doubly forbidden. In the near future, when young people in Japan turn sixteen, they are assigned a marriage partner by the government. People don’t have to go through the trouble of looking for someone, and everyone accepts that the government will find a suitable partner to make them happy. Aoi Nisaka (Morikawa Aoi) is a high school student. She is in a love triangle with childhood friend Yuto Shiba (Kitamura Takumi) and Sosuke Takachiho (Sato Kanta). Sosuke Takachiho is appointed by the government to become her husband.

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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!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 9-13] Eating Pancreas, Second Summers, Destruction Babies & Yuya Yagira’s acting!

Another milestone appears on the Japanese casting horizon! With the likes of Masaki Suda, Yuya Yagira and Sosuke Ikematsu taking on the more challenging, complex roles previously awarded to such actors as Satoshi Tsumabuki, Masanobu Ando, and even Joe Odagiri, there is now a sort of “void” being filled up by younger, fresh players. This time, we have Takumi Kitamura and Nijiro Murakami hugging the headlines. Remember, they are not the only ones getting the prized roles – Taishi Nakagawa (it seems he’s about to challenge Kento Yamazaki and Sota Fukushi?), and before him Hiroya Shimizu (remember The World of Kanako and Solomon’s Perjury?).

And what a movie title it is! I Want to Eat Your Pancreas ( Kimi no Suizo wo Tabetai – 君の膵臓をたべたい) stars Kitamura with new actress Minami Hamabe (yes, the girl who played Menma in Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day). If you think about it, Kitamura and fellow actor Nijiro Murakami switch places! Murakami was cast in Anohana with Hamabe, and this time, Kitamura was the main character who will narrate and bring back the memories of Hamabe’s character. Keiko Kitagawa and Shun Oguri are playing present-day characters to fill up the story.

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PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]

When Kinema Junpou announced their 50 names of actors (under 30) to watch out for, the whole PD community was not surprised. I mean, most of the names have been featured on the site – one way or another. Just take a look at the top 30 hit list [ promising | hottest ] and you’ll notice that most of them are included in the Kinema list.

I’d love to open up the discussion on both those who are already part of our list and those who may be considered “under the radar” since I think we have some exciting names in the Kinema Junpou list that need some research. Here’s the rub: If you’re an editor exposed to all the buzz inside the Japanese entertainment industry, you obviously have the advantage (and disadvantage) since – I really believe – we on the outside has a more ‘objective” look. Then again, that’s debatable of course!

Let’s see…. so we have 50 names!

Continue reading “PsychoDrama [Talkback]: Kinema Junpou No 1722. Issue features 50 actors under 30 to look out for + Did they get everyone right? [Part 1 of 4 Parts]”

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