Wakamonotachi 2014: First Impressions + Episode 1-6 Review

I recently asked the question: Can Wakamonotachi compete with the best Asian drama during its broadcast? After watching the first six episodes, I have to say the 2014 version of the 1966 original FujiTV drama has a lot of good things to offer – particularly in the acting department – Hikari Mitsushima, Yu Aoi, Eita and Shuhei Nomura were standouts. There are also some dramatic scenes that tug at the heart and an equal measure of fun and comedy to keep the drama interesting.

But some scenes may appear incredulous – particularly those involving Satoshi Tsumabuki’s character as it seems to be someone drawn from yesteryears. Nobody wants to watch a moral, idealistic, highly-strung character in the majority of the episodes.It’s the first time I felt disappointed with Tsumabuki as an actor.

While I may seem critical of the drama, I highly recommend it. Our reviews have been performance oriented since the beginning, and there are a lot of acting highlights here.

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Can Young People (Wakamono Tachi) compete with the best in Asian drama? Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima reunite as one family!

Japanese drama addicts are probably looking forward to the July 2014 broadcast of Young People (Wakamono Tachi) starring Satoshi Tsumabuki, Eita, Hikari Mitsushima, Masami Nagasawa and Yu Aoi among its star-studded cast. The fact that the cast is not only “stars” but talented and critically acclaimed actors make all the difference. Can it duplicate the success of the 1966 original drama? Will there be deviations to the original story? Will the characters be altered to suit the modern times?

These questions will have answers soon, but let’s focus on one issue here: How was the on-screen chemistry between our talented cast? Have they been together before in a drama or a movie perhaps? What sort of roles did they play together?

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Satoshi Tsumabuki leads powerhouse cast for Wakamonotachi (The Youngsters); Hikari Mitsushima, Eita & Shuhei Nomura co-star!

Award-winning dramatic actor Satoshi Tsumabuki will join forces with Hikari Mitsushima, Eita, Tasuku Emoto and Shuhei Nomura in the upcoming drama “Wakamonotachi” (The Youngsters). The five stars will play siblings who lost their parents early in their childhood, and together they struggle to live – with several emotional clashes due to their different dreams and aspirations. These emotional confrontations and their various relationships will be the focus of the drama first aired in 1966.


Tsumabuki and Mitsushima were in the award-winning movie Villain (Akunin), which won for Tsumabuki, the Best Actor trophy at the Japan Academy Prize back in 2011. Mitsushima was also in the award-winning drama Soredemo, Ikite Yuku, this time with Eita as the leading man. In essence, we have three of the best dramatic actors working in Japan together in this drama which will also commemorate FujiTV’s 55th anniversary.

The show is reported to be ready for broadcast this coming July. Also in the show are Yu Aoi and Ai Hashimoto, Yu Aoi also figured prominently with Tsumabuki in Tokyo Family.

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30 Essential Japanese Coming-of-Age Movies (Part 1)

Inspired by the recent Cannes Film Festival win of Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Like Father, Like Son”, we are compiling 30 of the best Japanese movies dealing with the coming-of-age theme! Think Billy Elliot, Pretty in Pink, Stand by MeStrayed, Dead Poets’ Society and Good Will Hunting in different lights, settings, and circumstances and with English subtitles!

In a country where family dramas rule TV and plenty of exciting young talents, movies about the joy of growing up are meant to be celebrated. But some of the movies also deal with the dark side of society and of the family – bullying, incest, suicide, abandonment, and separation.

The aim is to compile a diverse list of not only critically acclaimed titles but also ordinary moviegoers’ favorites. Part 1 after the jump!

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Countdown to the Top 30 Hottest Japanese Actresses (2013 Edition)

Young, talented, charming, controversial, popular – just a few to describe our list of 30 hottest Japanese actresses today. While it took years and years before America’s Oscar awards took notice of young Japanese talent in the person of Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), young actresses in Japan have been charming their way into the hearts of Japanese and worldwide audiences.

In our introduction (countdown) to the top 30 list, we’re featuring four amazing actresses who are already household names in Japan. Get to know them and why they ought to be in the hot list!

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