Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 11-13] Tao Tsuchiya + Shono Hayama; Litchi Hikari Club; a ‘Hint’ of BL in Mubansou (Ikematsu + Saito) and the return of #deadfisheyes on TV shows!

It seems that the likes of Sosuke Ikematsu and Takumi Saito are hard to be typecast because they are just talented and can easily play any characters. Just the same, Ikematsu has been doing a lot of movies where his roles are that of matured (beyond his years), bold, daring type of young men, while Takumi Saito has been doing some rom-com drama shows and even action movies. But Saito, before getting such roles in For Love’s Sake and Ace Attorney, used to play characters in some BL movies. So it is not entirely surprising that there might be some ‘hint’ of BL in their latest film – A Cappella (Mubansou) – 無伴奏 with Riko Narumi.

On the other hand, Tao Tsuchiya and her Mare co-star Shono Hayama are certainly two of Japan’s most sought-after young actors. Teaming up with Ryoma Takeuchi, the trio are the main cast in Yell For The Blue Sky (Aozora Yell) -青空エール.

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The buzz surrounding Litchi Hikari Club remains very high since the movie is about to be released soon in Japan – February 2016. People have been asking me about the ‘intense, intimate’ scenes between the actors and while it would be a big “boo boo” to reveal it all. I can certainly say something about the scenes, without spoiling everyone.

Lastly, the return of #deadfisheyes on TV shows (and movies) are quite alarming this 2016 – Kasumi Arimura (with Kengo Kora in Itsuka Kono Koi wo Omoidashite Kitto Naite Shimau).

Continue reading “Casting News + Scoop! [Jan 11-13] Tao Tsuchiya + Shono Hayama; Litchi Hikari Club; a ‘Hint’ of BL in Mubansou (Ikematsu + Saito) and the return of #deadfisheyes on TV shows!”

The Year in Review: Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2015 Among Leading Japanese Actresses?

2015 is a big year for women in Japanese movies. Aside from Koreeda’s Umimachi Diary (starring Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho and Suzu Hirose), there’s Hikari Mitsushima and Erika Toda in Kakekomi, a historical movie dealing with divorce and the Tokeiji which is a Buddhist temple where women seek comfort from their husbands and undertake the process of separation. 

There were also a good number of TV dramas were the spotlight centered on strong (yet challenged) and authentic female characters – Yoko Maki, Miki Nakatani, Mayu Matsuoka, Anne, Tao Tsuchiya, Mitsuki Takahata and Mao Inoue, played such parts in these shows. 

The overlapping broadcast of the two asadoras – Tao Tsuchiya’s Mare [まれ] and Haru’s Asa ga Kita [あさが来た] – also paved the way for more opportunities to discuss young women regarding their relationships with their families, lovers, and friends as they seek to fulfill personal ambitions and goals. NHK’s taiga drama, Hana Moyu is all about Mao Inoue’s Fumi.

Just like our list of leading Japanese actors, we have an equalizer for the actresses.

Continue reading “The Year in Review: Who Made the Biggest Headlines in 2015 Among Leading Japanese Actresses?”

The Year in Review – 2015: Japanese Dramas that made waves during the year + Favorite dramatic scenes & performances! [ Spring Shows – Part 2/4]

Unpredictable, concise, exciting – these are some of the adjectives most often used to describe Japanese dramas.  I often smile when I read that someone who has left the J-dorama scene and went over to Korean dramas would exclaim that they have been “far removed” from such shows that they felt elated and happy to be back. On the other hand, those who left the scene (for good) would often complain about the lack of originality and the over-acting of most Japanese drama performers. I guess we have to follow what we like and never settle for anything less. 

Spring 2015 Japanese drama list is one filled with many notable (and otherwise) titles and the case of loving (or hating) as describe above continues.

Continue reading “The Year in Review – 2015: Japanese Dramas that made waves during the year + Favorite dramatic scenes & performances! [ Spring Shows – Part 2/4]”

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