The Eight Year Engagement: A roller-coaster ride between tragedy and romance!

In the Eight Year Engagement, a couple, Hisashi (Satoh Takeru) and Mai (Tsuchiya Tao), is about to get married when the girl fell into a coma. 

Instead of abandoning her, the boy remains at her side. When Mai wakes up, she fails to recognize Hisashi and so the story continues.

Following the tradition of undying love – as exemplified by April Bride (Eita + Eikura Nana) and Koizora: Sky of Love (Miura Haruma + Aragaki Yui ), Shochiku ventures into the romantic drama genre. While April Bride tackles cancer, and so is Koizora, among others, The Eight Year Engagement brings the complication of disease with lapses in memory. The movie revolves around the loyalty and steadfast duty of a man waiting for his loved one to recover from an illness.

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Live-action movie of My Little Monster with Suda Masaki and Tsuchiya Tao launched! Full cast announced today!

The romantic team up of Suda Masaki and Tsuchiya Tao is a surprising casting choice for My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun).

I’m not surprised that the film partners for this LA chose Tsuchiya Tao. The big surprise is that we often watch Sudacchi play weird, dark, even disturbing characters. So, the transition can be fascinating. A role reversal for Tsuchiya appeals to me since I want Tao to play dark, even seductive types in the tradition of her Suzuki Sensei character. I also welcome Suda in Yamazaki Kento’s playing field that’s why this role would showcase a different Suddachi.

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Award Season Begins for 2017! Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s ‘Before We Vanish’ & Ishii Yuya’s ‘The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue’ win Best Picture at TAMA Film Awards!

TAMA New Wave, on its 9th year of giving awards, honors Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s sci-fi thriller Before We Vanish and Ishii Yuya’s romantic-drama The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue as the year’s Best Picture winners. Last year, we reported the award-giving body has recognized Yamashita Nobuhiro’s Over the Fence and Sakamoto Junji’s Danchi as 2016’s best.

TAMA New Wave started in 2000 for the purpose of discovering new talents to bring fresh perspectives into the Japanese film industry. In 2009, it introduces the movie awards to appreciate talents that are “full of vitality” thus connecting movie fans and filmmakers together. [ Official Website ]

Here’s the complete list of recipients after the jump!

Continue reading “Award Season Begins for 2017! Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s ‘Before We Vanish’ & Ishii Yuya’s ‘The Tokyo Night Sky Is Always the Densest Shade of Blue’ win Best Picture at TAMA Film Awards!”

Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 12-18] Odagiri Joe’s Ernesto + Spotlight on Suga Kenta + Romancing Tsuchiya Tao + Mrs. GREEN Apple’s ‘Poetry Angel’ video + Yoshizawa Ryo and his brand of ‘comedy’!

We’re more than halfway in September, with plenty of articles to celebrate Food month still, and the casting news keeps on coming! Third Window Film’s Love and Other Cults is a special viewing event with an upcoming review – just have to say Suga Kenta and Itoh Sairi deserve all the raves they get from critics and reviewers. We’ll have more of Suga Kenta later, and a definite top placement for Itoh at our upcoming Top 30 hottest Japanese actress list. 

We begin our casting buzz with Ernesto, starring Odagiri Joe, Nagayama Kento, and Juan Miguel Valero Acosta. Odagiri plays a Japanese-Bolivian citizen named Freddy Maemura Hurtado who travels to Cuba to study medicine. He meets Che Guevarra. Years later, he joins Guevarra’s army in Bolivia’s civil war and was nicknamed Ernesto Medico. Nagayama plays a news reporter.

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 12-18] Odagiri Joe’s Ernesto + Spotlight on Suga Kenta + Romancing Tsuchiya Tao + Mrs. GREEN Apple’s ‘Poetry Angel’ video + Yoshizawa Ryo and his brand of ‘comedy’!”

Tori Girl – トリガール! [Live Action Coverage]

Showgate and Heroine Shikkaku director Hanabusa Tsutomu collaborate for the live-action feature Tori Girl – トリガール!, based on the novel of Nakamura Kou. The comedy is about Yukina who enters a science university, fell for a senior student but became distracted with another young man whom she dislikes. The screenplay is written by Izumi Takahashi, known for his work in Runaway beat and Solanin. Tsuchiya Tao headlines the movie as Yukina, with Mamiya Shotaro and Takasugi Mahiro playing major roles.

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What the Movie is all about: Based on the novel “Tori Garu!” by Kou Nakamura, the LA is about Yukina, a University freshman who fell in love with a senior student named Kei (Takasugi Mahiro). To get closer to him, Yukina joins the “human-powered flight” club and is then required to learn how to fly. A contest ” “Tori Ningen Contest” was an opportunity to her to team up with Kei but was assigned to compete with another guy, Sakaba (Mamiya Shotaro). What could have been a romantic moment for the girl turned into something else? 

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Casting News + Scoop! [July 1-11] The Buzz on Tsuchiya Tao and Hirose Suzu + Yamazaki Kento’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure wins in France! + Yoshizawa Ryo’s “Deadly games with friends” and new project “Anoko no, toriko”! + new movie releases!

July 2017 promises to be an exciting month for movies! Gintama, The Anthem of the Heart, I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, The Time of Backlights, Love and Other Cults, Her Sketchbook, and Mitsushima Hikari’s ‘Umibe no Sei to Shi’ are all set for release.

On the international front, Yamazaki Kento’s latest film, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable wins the Audience Award at the 17th Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival. 

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [July 1-11] The Buzz on Tsuchiya Tao and Hirose Suzu + Yamazaki Kento’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure wins in France! + Yoshizawa Ryo’s “Deadly games with friends” and new project “Anoko no, toriko”! + new movie releases!”

The Battle for the next Top Japanese Dramatic Actress: Tao Tsuchiya, Mayu Matsuoka, Suzu Hirose [ Part 1 of 6 Parts ]

Let’s see. There was a time when Hikari Mitsushima and Sakura Ando were just starting to make a name for themselves in the Japanese movie industry (watch Sion Sono’s Love Exposure to get an idea.). Then there was Chizuru Ikewaki wowing audiences in Josee, The Tiger and The Fish and of course who can forget Mao Inoue in Hana Yori Dango, one of the ultimate J-drama ever! Other big names include Takako Matsu who made waves on the international scene via the school-thriller Confessions and Erika Toda capturing a different set of audience as a top female detective/agent in SPEC. Previously there was Ryoko Hirosue in the Luc Besson-produced Wasabi and the Academy Award-winning Japanese film Departures. 

But more than anyone, it will always be Sayuri Yoshinaga who will best exemplify the Japanese actress ideal.

Yoshinaga Sayuri was born in March 1945, five months before World War II came to an end. She is a movie star whose career can be said to have followed the footsteps of postwar Japan. Although she will soon reach the age of 68, she still projects a youthful image and has an active career as an actress, performing the lead role in a film every two years or so.

Thus far Yoshinaga has acted in more than 100 movies and has fans of all ages. She has won four Japan Academy Prizes for the best actress in a leading role, more than any other actress, and in 2010 she was designated a Person of Cultural Merit, one of Japan’s highest cultural honors. Both in name and in reality, she is one of the foremost stars in the postwar world of film.

[ read more: Last of the Silver Screen’s National Heroines ]

Finally, this list will not be complete if we fail to mention Fumi Nikaido, who at the age of 20, has been nominated for Best Actress already. (She won a major acting award in Venice at the age of 16)

There were many others, but in today’s popular drama and J-movie scenes, we have a completely different set of names competing for high-profile roles. In Part 1 of this 5-part series, we’re putting the spotlight on three who have the greatest potentials.

Continue reading “The Battle for the next Top Japanese Dramatic Actress: Tao Tsuchiya, Mayu Matsuoka, Suzu Hirose [ Part 1 of 6 Parts ]”

Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 14-19] Spotlight on Tao Tsuchiya’s movies – P and JK, Tori Girl & Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu!

I can still remember the first time I saw Tao Tsuchiya, and nope it’s not in Mare, the asadora that she headlined. It was a supporting role but with huge impact – on all the senses! She was an alluring, mysterious, charming young student with a sparkle in her eyes, and an attitude that borders from girlish to a grown up lady who is about to discover the world. As Somi Ogawa in TV Tokyo’s Suzuki Sensei, Tao Tsuchiya was a sight to behold!

A few years later, and she is stepping it up – climbing the Japanese movie casting ladder like a veteran and amassing a list of memorable and beloved characters to her acting resume. Is she the next Yui Aragaki? Aoi Miyazaki? Masami Nagasawa? Or perhaps someone who will follow the career path of Hikari Mitsushima? Sakura Ando? I think her casting situation is still liquid – but one thing is sure – moviegoers and the Japanese general public love her. 

Since I’m given this chance to start working as an actress, I encounter many different works. I, too, also have things that are becoming (un)clear as I face those challenges. There were times when I thought, “How did I say this line before?” and would become confused as things get mixed up. However, by valuing those works one by one, I think it is important to jive in with the directors and co-stars at that time from the main parts of those works. Therefore, I personally want to do more things such as reading more newspapers and books, or climbing a mountain. Aahh, I suddenly want to go to the beach. (LOL) [ source ]

I watched her in a lot of TV appearances and one thing that always come across – her honest, unassuming demeanor. I wish she would do a hundred more movies with Kento Yamazaki, but reality bites – she is cast with other actors now and in the future. What I do hope is that there will be a magical movie that will put them back together, and I hope it will be sooner rather than later.

Whew, that was a long intro! So what sort of movies she’s doing currently?

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Sept 14-19] Spotlight on Tao Tsuchiya’s movies – P and JK, Tori Girl & Ani ni Aisaresugite Komattemasu!”

Orange (Orange -Orenji-) orange-オレンジ [Movie Review]

When we regret something in the past, we did not regret it before it happened. We had no thoughts or feelings about it then. By utilizing this resource from the past and bringing it back into the now, we can stop being concerned. – A paragraph from Time Travelling into the Past to Eliminate Regret.

Often, a movie trailer can exceed our expectations, and the movie itself could be a big disappointment. In the case of Orange – notwithstanding the over-sentimental play of dramatic music – it’s the other way around. Based on the manga series “Orange” by Ichigo Takano, the movie is about love, regrets, camaraderie, friendship and the will not to let go of someone even if destiny seems to favor a negative, tragic result.

Naho Takamiya (Tao Tsuchiya) is a 2nd-year high school student. On the way to school one Spring day, she noticed an envelope inside her bag – it contains a letter addressed to her and sent by herself ten years into the future. Surprised and confused, she got no time to reflect as she’s already late for school.

Continue reading “Orange (Orange -Orenji-) orange-オレンジ [Movie Review]”

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