Nuffnang

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hamada Gaku to star in new Amazon Prime Video drama "Nihon wo yukkuri hashittemita yo"

Hamada Gaku will be starring in the new Amazon Prime Video drama series "Nihon wo yukkuri hashittemita yo ~ Ano ko no tame ni nihon isshu ~" (I went around Japan slowly ~ touring around Japan once for the sake of that girl ~) which consists of 14 episodes and will begin its run from 20 October where the first two episodes will be streamed. Subsequent episodes will be uploaded every Friday.

The drama which is based on the true story manga "Nihon wo yukkuri hashittemita yo" by Yoshimoto Koji, features Hamada as Yoshimoto himself who resolves to become a strong man in order to confess his feelings to the woman he loves. As such, he stops his work temporarily and goes on a tour around Japan on his motorbike. The heroine Eri will be played by Motokariya Yuika. Co-stars include Yamazaki Hirona, Iio Kazuki, Kaname Jun, YOU and Muroi Shigeru.

Hamada commented that this drama will be a road movie-style comedy which everyone has never seen before so he's anxious and happy about the drama being about to be released. He also expressed his thanks to the wonderful cast and staff members who went around Japan with him and that if it wasn't for Amazon, they might not be able to make such a drama of this scale.

Source: Natalie

Preview of "Okusama wa, toriatsukai chuui" - Autumn 2017

Title: Okusama wa, toriatsukai chuui 奥様は、取り扱い注意 (Handle this missus with care)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 4 October 2017
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Scriptwriter: Kaneshiro Kazuki
Cast: Ayase Haruka, Hirosue Ryoko, Honda Tsubasa, Nakao Akiyoshi, Ginpuncho, Ishiguro Ken, Nishijima Hidetoshi

IMPORTANT: Regarding the distribution of my posts elsewhere

Hi everyone, I really hate having to write such a post when there is a pile of more important stuff and news to share with you. However, having come across this blatant reposting of my content elsewhere without giving due credit , I have to make this clear once and for all and seek your understanding and attention to this issue.

I found out minutes ago that my posts are appearing on this forum called Jdorama.com and you can see that everything is copied word-for-word without any credit to my blog. Here is an example of one of the pages. What annoys me even further is that this person copied the names of the sources where I got my articles but not the hyperlinks I put there so it's a clear copy-and-paste with minimal effort. The thing is, I don't remember giving permission for my content to be published on this forum.

To date, many of you have taken the courtesy to inform me and ask for permission to reproduce my blog's content elsewhere and I don't think I've ever rejected any of such requests. Retweets and shares on my blog's official Twitter and Facebook pages are also very much welcome since by doing so, whoever sees the post can still see where the information originated so for sharing on these social media platforms, I don't really need you to ask me beforehand. I am very grateful for the respect shown and your effort in informing me beforehand especially since I've spent so much time translating and writing everything I have here.

However, I simply don't have the time to do cyber policing to catch those who copy and paste my stuff elsewhere without linking back to my blog. Even in the example above, much as I am 100% sure that the content was posted without my consent, I can't seem to find a place to contact the forum's administrator to raise my objections and do something about this. I don't even know if I should feel flattered that there are people who want to steal my content.

Going forward, I would really hope to have your cooperation in the following:
- For the reposting of my blog's content elsewhere (be it in English or translated format), please inform me beforehand. I usually wouldn't say no unless there is some reason to object.

- Retweets on Twitter and shares on Facebook do not require prior permission since the original post should appear when you do so. However, please do not copy and paste the content and pass them off as your own in a new tweet or Facebook post.

Thank you very much for your cooperation and please let me know if you ever come across any of my stuff posted elsewhere without due credit to me.

Supporting cast line-up of new WOWOW drama "Ishitsubute ~ Gaimushou kimitsuhi wo abaita sousa nika no otokotachi ~" announced

The supporting cast line-up of new WOWOW drama "Ishitsubute ~ Gaimushou kimitsuhi wo abaita sousa nika no otokotachi ~" had been announced. The drama will begin its run from 5 November in the Sundays 10pm timeslot and stars Sato Koichi and Eguchi Yosuke.

The story is based on a true case which happened in 2001 and involved the defrauding of secret funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The investigation officers faced an uphill task of venturing into the sacred territory of the country and had to fight the forces within the organisation to uncover the truth in this case caused by the "three evil men" i.e. high-ranking officers in the ministry. Sato will be playing Kizaki Mutsuhito who is involved in the investigation while his superior Saimi Teruaki will be played by Eguchi.

Kitamura Kazuki will be playing Mase Kazunori who is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the target of the police investigation while Hagiwara Masato plays the chief of the second section Higashida Masayuki who supports the investigation by his officers. Mase's lover Sugitani Akane will be played by Matobu Sei and Sugata Shun will play Hasama Katsuo who is on bad terms with Kizaki and a veteran police officer. Yajima Kenichi will play Kunitomo Hisanori who is the director of the police investigation department which exerts pressure on the second section while Sano Shiro plays a top-level official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Source: My Navi News

Nakayama Miho & Kim Jae-wook star in new movie "Chou no nemuri"

Nakayama Miho takes on her first leading role in a movie in 5 years when she appears in the upcoming film "Chou no nemuri" (The slumber of the butterfly) which will be having its world premiere at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival's gala presentation category on 12 October. The movie which is directed by Jeong Jae-eun and also stars South Korean actor Kim Jae-wook, will be released in Japan and South Korea next spring.

Nakayama plays the role of a popular female writer in her 50s named Matsumura Ryoko who comes to know that she is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. In order to achieve something in life, Ryoko becomes a lecturer at an university and comes to know a South Korean student Chan Hae in his 20s who becomes her writing assistant. Although the two of them have a huge age gap, they slowly become drawn to each other as time goes by.

Nakayama who filmed the movie in August last year, expressed her joy at the movie being finally ready for release after more than a year. She commented on her character Ryoko as a woman in her 50s who is strong but becomes fragile as time goes by. She hopes that viewers will be touched by the sad story between her and Kim's character which is accentuated by Jeong's directing.

Source: Eiga.com

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Special fan screening of new movie "Ajin" to be held at GV VivoCity on 7 October 2017

For those who are eager to watch "Ajin" starring Sato Takeru and Ayano Go and will be in Singapore on 7 October, you may wish to go for the special fan screening organised by GV. The screening will be at 4pm at GV VivoCity and allows you to get a limited edition Ajin notebook and poster. Of course, the price of the ticket will be more than the usual i.e. SGD 30.

For those who can "afford to wait" till the official release, take note that the movie will be shown in Singapore from 12 October.

"Karera ga honki de amu toki" to be shown in Singapore during GV's Love & Pride Film Festival

For those who are in Singapore, you may wish to take note of the dates 30 Sep i.e. next Saturday and 6 Oct i.e. the Thursday in the week after next. As part of Golden Village's Love & Pride Film Festival which will be held for the 9th time this year, the film "Karera ga honki de amu toki" starring Ikuta Toma and Kiritani Kenta will be shown on these dates. Detailed timing and location of the two screenings are here.

If you are a member of GV's movie club, you can get the tickets at SGD 10 each. Otherwise, the public price is SGD 13.

Do support the movie if you can make it especially if you are a fan of the actors who play lovers in this movie. For more details on the film, you can click on the title tag on the bottom of this post for my past posts on this movie.

Personally, I'm keen to watch this movie but the days, location and timing aren't that suitable for me. Will have to see if I can do something about it.

Guest stars line-up of new WOWOW & Hulu drama "Cote d' Azur No.10" announced

The guest stars line-up of new WOWOW & Hulu drama "Cote d' Azur No.10" has been announced. WOWOW will be showing 5 episodes from 20 November in the Mondays 12 midnight timeslot while Hulu will show the remaining 4 episodes from 28 November on every Tuesday. Each episode will be 30 minutes-long and features the two of them playing different characters every time such as friends who meet at another friend's funeral, a pair of private detectives, a social dance teacher and student and a guitar player and regular customer at a bar.

The list of the episodes and the guest stars are as follows:

WOWOW
20 November - Ep 1: Mukashi no tomodachi (Friend from the past) - Matsu Takako
27 November - Ep 2: Shinonome (Daybreak) - Kaneko Nobuaki
4 December - Ep 3: Ongaeshi (In return for kindness) - Bengaru
11 December - Ep 4: Sentimental Journey - Emoto Tokio
18 December - Ep 5: Hakucho Dance Academy (White Bird Dance Academy) - Mitsuishi Ken

Hulu
28 November - Ep 1: Aru bukken (One particular property) - Katagiri Hairi
5 December - Ep 2: Undoujo (Sports Stadium) - Kana & Sasaki Haruka
12 December - Ep 3: Snack Arigasaki (Snack bar Arigasaki) - Kudo Kankuro & Ise Shima
19 December - Ep 4: Bench ni te (At the bench) - Motai Masako

Sources: Eiga.com / Oricon / Natalie

Kawaei Rina to take on her first leading role in new movie "Koi no Shizuku"

Kawaei Rina will be taking on her first leading role in the new movie "Koi no Shizuku" which will be filmed at Saijo in Hiroshima Prefecture, one of the top 3 brewery locations in Japan. The story will feature the charm of Japanese wine as an agricultural university student falls in love for the first time. The movie will be shown next year.

Kawaei plays the lead character Tachibana Shiori who aspires to go to a winery for her internship but gets sent to a traditional Japanese wine brewery in Hiroshima. She meets the brewery owner's son who has no motivation to work in the family business while the owner is hiding his sickness. Under the strict supervision of the master brewer and experiencing how the brewery grows and harvests the rice for the wine it makes, Shiori keeps making mistakes during the process. When the owner passes away, his son finally wakes up to the crisis facing the family business and she later falls in love with him. Co-stars include Gekidan EXILE's Onozuka Hayato who will play Kawaei's love interest, Miyaji Mao, Aoki Tsunenori, Warabino Tomoya, Tsuda Kanji and Koichi Mantaro.

The director Segi Naoki explained that the process of making wine where rice and water are combined is similar to when a man and a woman meet and fall in love. As both processes are partly dependent on the will of God, he hopes that the movie will let the viewers know more about the world of making Japanese wine and be in the mood for drinking and love after leaving the cinema.

Source: Eiga.com

Friday, September 22, 2017

Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Katori Shingo begin their comeback online with their official website & fanclub

For the fans of Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Katori Shingo who are concerned about their latest movements after leaving Johnny's Jimusho, you will be pleased to know that the trio have begun their comeback first with their new official website and various SNS channels. The new website titled "Atarashii Chizu" which means new map in Japanese, is set to be launched officially from 16 October but the presite is already up as of today. There is a 50-sec video which doesn't actually feature the trio but talks about making a fresh start and breaking free from old restrictions. Part 2 of this video will be up with the official launch of the website. You can choose to view the language in 4 other languages besides Japanese i.e. English, Chinese (both simplified and traditional), French and Korean.

If you click on the "JOIN" button on the right side of the page, you will be led to the official fanclub signup page. Regardless of where you stay, you can join their fanclub which is separated into those living in Japan (Atarashii Chizu NAKAMA) and those living outside Japan (Atarashii Chizu NAKAMA WORLD MEMBER). For those who are interested in knowing more about this fanclub membership, here are some key highlights but please refer to the website for the details:

Atarashii Chizu NAKAMA (for Japanese residents regardless of nationality)
- Annual membership fee of JPY 4,500 + entrance fee of JPY 1,000 + processing fee of JPY 200 (tax included)
- Official member's card
- Quarterly newsletter delivered by postal mail
- Greeting card sent to you on New Year and your birthday
- Priority sales of tickets
- The priority to attend events
- Invitations to events and viewing of programme production
- Access to members-only site
- Latest information via email magazines
- Access to merchandise sold to members only
- Registration to be done online and payment made by credit card

Atarashii Chizu NAKAMA WORLD MEMBER (for overseas residents)
- Annual membership fee of JPY 4,500 + processing fee of JPY 200 (tax included)
- Quarterly newsletter to be viewed online only
- Greeting card to be viewed online only
- Priority sales of tickets
- The priority to attend events
- Invitations to events and viewing of programme production
- Access to members-only site
- Latest information via email magazines
- Access to merchandise sold to members only
- Registration to be done online and payment made by credit card

Here is the list of SNS channels which the trio has set up so you can "follow" or "like" them if you wish to be updated on their latest movements:

Facebook
Instagram
LINE
Twitter
Weibo
YouTube

Hamano Kenta to star in new NHK drama "Otoko no Misao"

Musician-cum-actor Hamano Kenta will be starring in the new NHK drama series "Otoko no Misao" (A man's chastity) which will begin its run from 12 November in the Sundays 10pm timeslot. The drama which consists of 7 episodes, is based on the same-titled manga by Gouda Yoshiie about how a struggling enka singer and single father tries to raise his only daughter and realise their family's dream of him performing on the NHK Kouhaku show. Filming will be done between mid September and early December.

Hamano plays the lead character Itsuki Misao while his late wife Junko will be played by Kurashina Kana. His only daughter Aware will be played by Awano Sari and their neighbour Manda will be played by Kawaei Rina. Adachi Yumi will play the boss of the agency which manages Misao. Co-stars also include Sato Ryuta.

Hamano commented that he is very humbled about being given the chance to play the lead character even though he doesn't look like leading man material. However, he will try his best to play this character in this wonderful story and hopes to convey the happiness which many fellow musicians experience as they begin their careers.

The theme song "Otoko no Misao" will be featured as an insert song in the drama. The lyrics are written by Gouda while the melody is composed by Tsunku who was asked to do so at the request of Gouda. Tsunku commented that he used to immerse himself fully into the world of singing before he made his professional debut so he could identify with the theme of the story. He said that he was honoured to be selected to write the melody and is confident that the song will be a perfect match for the drama especially since Hamano himself is a musician in a band.

Sources: Oricon / NHK

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Preview of "Sakura no Oyakodon" - Autumn 2017

Title: Sakura no Oyakodon さくらの親子丼 (Sakura's Oyakodon)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 October 2017
Timeslot: Saturdays 11.40pm
Broadcast by: Tokai TV / FujiTV
Cast: Maya Miki, Yoshimoto Miyu, Motokariya Yuika

Yoshimoto Miyu & Motokariya Yuika to appear in Tokai TV / FujiTV Autumn 2017 drama "Sakura no Oyakodon"

Yoshimoto Miyu and Motokariya Yuika will be appearing in the upcoming Tokai TV / FujiTV Autumn 2017 drama "Sakura no Oyakodon" which will begin its run from 7 October in the Saturdays 11.40pm timeslot. The original story features Maya Miki as the lead character Tsukumo Sakura who owns a secondhand bookstore. Legend has it that she will cook free oyakodon for anyone who is hungry and has nowhere to go to so that they can face up to their problems and try to move on. Actually, Sakura had a 17-year-old son who died 16 years ago due to being involved in an incident which then led to her suffering huge emotional trauma and the divorce with her husband. She raised her daughter Kyoko single-handedly and firmly believes that people who are hungry tend to think of the worst and go on the wrong path. That is why she decided to carve out a space at the back of her bookstore and offer oyakodon for anyone who comes without questioning their backgrounds or circumstances. With the appearance of a young girl Ninomiya Asami, this happens to bring back Sakura's bad memories of the past and forces her to face up to her own trauma.

Yoshimoto plays the role of Ninomiya Azami, a young delinquent who has left home and meets Sakura when she eats at the latter's bookstore. She commented that this is the first time she is playing such a character who doesn't believe in anyone and reacts sensitively at the mention of her mother. As such, she finds this to be a challenge and meaningful character to play.

On the other hand, Motokariya plays the role of Kyoko who supported her mother through the toughest days in their lives and is working as a freelance writer now. She hopes that the viewers will be able to feel and identify with the pain and trauma which the Tsukumos have been grappling with and the conflict in their parent-and-child relationship through this drama.

Source: Oricon

Yamamoto Maika to appear in new movie "Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai"

Yamamoto Maika will be appearing in the new movie "Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai" starring Nakajima Kento, Taira Yuna and Chinen Yuri. The film is based on the same-titled manga by Minami Kanan published in Sho-Comi Flower Comics as the first commemorative work marking their 50th anniversary and will be shown in cinemas from 23 December this year.

Taira plays the role of Oriyama Karin who is an innocent girl from a rich family and in the first year of senior high school. On her 16th birthday, the birthday present given by her parents is a marriage partner Tsurugi Nao (Nakajima), a third-year student in the same school who also happens to be her first love and the most popular guy in school. However, Nao's intention is for the Oriyama family's fortune thus Karin is stuck in a one-sided love marriage. Just then, Ebina Izuzu (Chinen), a first-year student who is a rich guy and in love with Karin, comes to know about her secret marriage to Nao and presses the latter to divorce Karin.

Yamamoto plays the role of Matsui Saya who is Tsurugi's ex-girlfriend and will become Karin's strongest rival in love. Yamamoto commented that her character has a strange possessive streak over her former boyfriend despite the fact that they had already broken up so she found that it was refreshing and interesting to play such a character. She called upon everyone to check out the battle between the wife (Karin) and ex-girlfriend (Saya) in the movie which is very enjoyable and interesting to watch.

Sources: Sanspo / Eiga.com

Preview of "Keiji Yugami" - Autumn 2017

Title: Keiji Yugami 刑事ゆがみ (Police detective Yugami)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 October 2017
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme Song: "Human" by WANIMA
Cast: Asano Tadanobu, Kamiki Ryuunosuke, Inamori Izumi, Nishina Takashi, Hashimoto Atsushi

Thoughts about Amuro Namie's impending retirement and her top 10 bestselling singles to date

Following the surprise announcement from Amuro Namie about her impending retirement next year, it was expected to see so many news articles about this since last night. Honestly, even after a night, the impact of this piece of news hasn't quite sunk in for me. A retirement is so "final", taking a hiatus or indefinite break would have softened the blow a little. The sole consolation is that she has announced this a year in advance so that fans can prepare for the inevitable well ahead rather than a surprise announcement like what some actors and actresses had done earlier this year.

Nikkansports listed her top 10 bestselling singles and most of them were from the 90s thus reflecting how influential and popular she was during that era. To me, Amuro was one of the first few Japanese singers I listened to when I started getting into Jpop. SPEED is long gone, SMAP has disbanded and now Amuro is going to retire. This is a stark reminder of how much time has gone by since then and the end of the 90s golden era for Jpop.

Much as it is a pity that I may never get to see her live at a concert and she probably won't be releasing any more songs after her retirement, considering how long she has worked and that it's probably high time for her to start a new life now that her son is already in university, I have nothing but the best wishes for her that she will be happy after she sheds her role as a top singer.

Here is the top 10 list of bestselling singles with their release dates. Numbers in brackets indicate the number of units sold.

This song list brings back so many memories for me ~

1) CAN YOU CELEBRATE? - 19 February 1997 (2.296m)
2) Don't wanna cry - 13 March 1996 (1.39m)
3) Chase the Chance - 4 December 1995 (1.362m)
4) You're my sunshine - 5 June 1996 (1.099m)
5) a walk in the park - 27 November 1996 (1.067m)
6) Body Feels EXIT - 25 October 1995 (882,000)
7) How to be a Girl - 21 May 1997 (772,000)
8) TRY ME ~ Watashi wo shinjite ~ - 25 January 1995 (733,000)
9) I HAVE NEVER SEEN - 23 December 1998 (657,000)
10) NEVER END - 12 July 2000 (640,000)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Preview of "BORDER Shoudou ~ Kenshikan Higa Mika ~" (Drama SP)

Title: BORDER Shoudou ~ Kenshikan Higa Mika ~ / BORDER 衝動 検視官比嘉ミカ (BORDER Impulse Coroner Higa Mika)
Official website: here
O.A. Dates: 6th & 13th October at 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Kaneshiro Kazuki
Cast: Haru, Kudo Asuka, Ishimaru Kanji, Kiyohara Kaya

Haru to star in 2-part TV Asahi drama SP "BORDER Shoudou ~ Kenshikan Higa Mika ~"

Haru will be starring in the 2-part TV Asahi drama SP "BORDER Shoudou ~ Kenshikan Higa Mika ~" (BORDER Impulse ~ Coroner Higa Mika ~) which will be shown at 11.15pm on 6th and 13th October. This will be the first spin-off SP from the drama series "BORDER" starring Oguri Shun.

The story talks about six months before Higa (Haru) became a special coroner and was still a forensic medicine assistant at Eisei University when she encountered a serial murder case that took place in a quiet residential neighbourhood. Higa behaves like a man and is always cool and collected. She clashes with the forensic medicine professor who is her teacher over the cases and tries to carve a niche for herself in this male-dominated industry with her beliefs and strong sense of justice. Co-stars include Kudo Asuka who Haru has worked with multiple times in the past and Ishimaru Kanji. Kudo plays Nakazawa Fumiaki who is a police detective struggling with the slow progress of the investigation while Ishimaru plays Asakawa Toru who is Higa's boss and a sly man out to make use of her abilities. Last but not least, Kiyohara Kaya plays a student at the junior high school where the murder victims studied at.

Scriptwriter Kaneshiro Kazuki revealed that Higa was actually supposed to be a news reporter and Ishikawa Ango's girlfriend (Oguri Shun) in his original setting but thanks to Haru's hard work in the drama series, her character had become so well-loved and significant until they could do a spin-off story for Higa. Haru commented that she was very grateful for the opportunity to playing Higa again.

Sources: Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon

Abe Hiroshi to star in new comedy movie "Nomitori Samurai"

Abe Hiroshi will be starring in the new movie "Nomitori Samurai" directed by Tsuruhashi Yasuo and filming is currently in progress in Kyoto and expected to wrap up by mid October. Co-stars include Terajima Shinobu, Toyokawa Etsushi, Saito Takumi, Kazama Morio, Ootake Shinobu, Maeda Atsuko and rakugo artist Katsura Bunshi VI who makes his appearance in a movie for the first time in 15 years since "Ashita ga arusa THE MOVIE". The movie will be shown in cinemas next year.

The comedy movie is based on the compilation of short stories by Komatsu Shigeo from which the director rearranged the story and wrote the script. The original meaning of "nomitori" was the business of removing fleas from cats which did exist during the Edo era but the movie will change this to a double-meaning word where a nomitori's work at night is to "deliver love to women on the floor". Abe plays the elite samurai Kobayashi Hironoshin who becomes a nomitori against his will because he offends the feudal lord and gets ordered to remove fleas from cats as his official day job. Despite having lost his residence, he is helped by the people living at the tenement house. When he meets a woman Omine (Terajima) who looks exactly like his dead wife Chizuru, she becomes his first partner in the nomitori trade but is scolded by her for being lousy in bed. Just when he is in low spirits after this unexpected blow, Hironoshin meets Seibei (Toyokawa) who fears his wife but is honest about his sexual desires. Hironoshin then learns techniques of how to please a woman from Seibei and becomes so good at it.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / Eiga.com

Saito Yuki admits to her affair with her doctor following previous denial at press conference

Saito Yuki finally admitted through a fax statement sent to the media on 11 September that she had been having an affair with her doctor despite earlier denials through statements and a press conference. The two of them are said to have already ended their affair when news of it first came to light. (For my earlier report on this, please go to here.) Saito's admission was believed to be in response to her doctor going on TV earlier on the same day to talk about the affair.

Saito said in her statement that she had come to rely too much on her ex-lover as an actress and woman and stressed that the relationship had already ended. She apologised to him and his family for the hurt that she had caused to them. Saito also said that she couldn't speak the truth in public and during the press conference she held as she was fearful of her children seeing it.

In relation to her affair reports, there had been requests made to expel her and her husband from the Mormonism church in her neighbourhood as the religion has strict rules banning sexual relationships with any member of the opposite sex other than your spouse. Even though the church does not seem to be going to expel her, Saito hinted at the possibility of leaving on her own as she didn't think it was good for her to take advantage of the church's kindness. As for the impact on her career, Saito commented that she was prepared for whatever penalties that may come as a result of her actions. At the moment, Saito's CM for Emi-net's "Tenshi no rara" was taken off the company's website from 7 September and her colleague from the same agency Hano Aki has taken over as the new CM personality. Other CM deals and work arrangements are currently being reviewed such as her nomination as the promotion ambassador for Kanagawa Prefecture's sign language campaign in May 2017 and her radio show on Nippon Housou. She is expected to continue with her appearance in the NHK Taiga drama "Segodon" which will be shown next year.

Saito's ex-lover i.e. her family doctor appeared on NTV's morning programme "Sukkiri!!" to talk about their 5-year-long affair. The interview was said to have been filmed on 10 September where the doctor talked about being a longtime fan of Saito since she was a teen idol and how they met 7 years ago as doctor and patient. Their affair was said to have lasted for 5 years until they were caught by the tabloids. The doctor spoke of how he would have loved to continue protecting Saito but couldn't do it anymore which suggested that he still had lingering feelings for her.

Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2 / Yomiuri Hochi

First-day-screening event of new movie "Sanposuru Shinryakusha"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Sanposuru Shinryakusha" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 9 September which was attended by the director Kurosawa Kiyoshi and cast members Nagasawa Masami, Matsuda Ryuhei, Hasegawa Hiroki, Takasugi Mahiro and Tsunematsu Yuri. The movie is adapted by Kurosawa from the same-titled 2015 stage play from theatre group Ikiume. Matsuda plays the role of Kase Shinji who has the habit of going on daily walks every evening but disappears without a trace for a few days. When he returns home, it is as if he has become an entirely different person which makes his wife Narumi (Nagasawa) shocked at his changes especially when he becomes very gentle and nice to her. Suddenly, Shinji tells Narumi that there will be an attack on Earth which is then followed by a series of strange happenings such as the mass killing of a family in the town they live in and the happening of weird events that disrupts the peaceful life they once had. Hasegawa Hiroki plays the role of a journalist Sakurai who follows the "invader" around as part of his job.

With regard to working with Nagasawa for the first time, Kurosawa revealed that he wasn't sure what to make of her responses whenever he gave her instructions during the filming. Most people would usually say yes or show their dislike for being told what to do but Nagasawa had a long pause before she said yes each time and her facial expressions didn't show how she felt about it so Kurosawa wasn't sure what to make of it. In response, Nagasawa said that the pause was because she was thinking about and digesting what had been said to her.

As for Matsuda, Kurosawa revealed that when he first met the actor, he didn't give very specific instructions on how to play an alien and that there were no specific characteristics in the role. When he asked Matsuda if he was OK and knew what to do, the latter simply smiled and replied in the affirmative. It turned out that Matsuda did a brilliant job in playing his character so Kurosawa was very satisfied with his performance.

Hasegawa who admitted to being a big fan of Kurosawa, said that he talked to the director a lot about his past works to the extent that he worried if Kurosawa found him to be a nuisance. The director said that it was rare for him to engage in casual talk on the filming set because he usually has a lot to think about during the filming which led Hasegawa to apologise for being an over-zealous fan.

The movie will be taking part in the 22nd Busan International Film Festival's The window of Asian movies category as announced during the event.

Source: Eiga.com

Amuro Namie announces her impending retirement in 2018 on her 40th birthday

Amuro Namie who is celebrating her 40th birthday today i.e. 20th September, made a surprise announcement on her official website that she will be retiring from showbiz as of 16 September 2018. Here is the translation of her statement:

To all my fans, thank you for supporting me all this while.

I was able to reach my 25th debut anniversary on 16 September without a hitch. With everyone's support and encouragement, I am grateful to be able to reach this milestone and would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much.

Today, I would like to write about my thoughts which I had been having for a long while on this special day.

I, Amuro Namie, have decided to retire as of 16 September 2018 and would like to make use of this channel to announce this to everyone.

In this year until my retirement, I will do my best for my album and concerts so as to spend the time in the most meaningful way. In this way, I will then be able to head towards 16 September 2018 in the best way which represents who I am.

Everyone, I hope that you will continue to support Amuro Namie's last year in showbiz.

Amuro Namie

Amuro made her debut in 1992 as a member of the group Super Monkeys before she made her solo debut in 1995 with the song "TRY ME". She has released many million-sellers over the years and was awarded with the Nippon Record Taisho in 1996 for her song "Don't wanna cry" which made her the youngest winner then. She managed to get the same award in 1997 with her hit song "CAN YOU CELEBRATE?" which was released before she married trf's dancer SAM in the same year and gave birth to their son. The couple divorced in 2002.

Sources: Sanspo / Oricon

Preview of "Kangoku no Ohimesama" - Autumn 2017

Title: Kangoku no Ohimesama 監獄のお姫さま (The Princess of the Prison)
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 September 2017
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Scriptwriter: Kudo Kankuro
Theme Song: "Showtime" by Amuro Namie
Cast: Koizumi Kyoko, Mitsushima Hikari, Iseya Yuusuke, Kaho, Tsukamoto Takashi, Nekoze Tsubaki, Ikeda Narushi, Sakai Maki, Morishita Aiko, Kanno Miho

NTV clarifies the decision to show the ending of "Aishitetatte, Himitsu wa aru" on Hulu

NTV clarified its decision to show the "real" ending of its Summer 2017 drama "Aishitetatte, Himitsu wa aru" on Hulu from 17th and 24th September amid strong criticism about the move by viewers especially those who do not have access to Hulu. The PR department explained that the two episodes to be shown on Hulu are actually a continuation of what happens to the lead character Okumori Rei played by Fukushi Souta and not the "real ending" to the drama series which ended its run on 17 September as reported in some media sources. It stated that it was aware of the misunderstanding caused by the choice of words used and will take the comments from everyone into consideration for future purposes.

Source: Sponichi Annex

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Yamada Takayuki & Nakamura Yuri to star in new short film "Ten"

Yamada Takayuki and Nakamura Yuri will be starring in the new short film "Ten" which will be shown at Cinem@rt Shinjuku for one week only from 23 September. The theme song of the movie will be sung by girls' band yonige which is from Neyagawa, Osaka. Yamada and yonige had been interacting via SNS previously so when yonige approached him to star in their music video for their major debut single "One Room" to be released on 20 September, Yamada made a counter offer to make a short movie inspired by the song.

The story features Yamada as a barber named Takashi who owns a barber shop in a rural town and meets his childhood friend and ex-girlfriend during his senior high school days Tomoe (Nakamura). The movie shuttles between the past and present as Tomoe asks Takashi to shave her nape as her wedding ceremony is coming up. Although he is unsure how he should interact with her, Takashi still invites her into his shop.

Yamada explained that the idea to make the movie from the song came about in the autumn of 2016 and they wanted to do something different from the usual promotion video. As it took time to prepare and assemble the production team, the filming was done on 9 August this year from morning to night even though he had another movie's filming starting on the following day. Despite doing the filming in a limited time, Yamada said that the whole team worked hard to elevate the charm of yonige's song in this movie.

In conjunction with the release of the movie, there will be an event held on 25 September which will be attended by Yamada, yonige and the director Ishikawa Kei.

Source: Crank In

Suenaga Haruka announces her first pregnancy

Suenaga Haruka who is married to 2004 Olympic judo gold medalist Izumi Hiroshi, announced her first pregnancy through her blog on 11 Sep. In her statement, she revealed that she is already 7 months' pregnant and her condition has been fine so far without severe morning sickness nor discomfort and thanked her child for being kind to her during this period. She is due to give birth in December this year and said that she and her husband are looking forward to the baby's arrival as they prepare for parenthood in the meantime.

Izumi and Suenaga got married on 22 February 2014 after dating for three and a half years. Suenaga started as a child actress and has appeared in many dramas and movies to date.

Sources: Sponichi / Oricon

Kazama Shunsuke, Baba Tooru, Katsura Jakujaku to appear in TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikuou"

Kazama Shunsuke, Baba Tooru and Katsura Jakujaku will be appearing in the upcoming TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikuou" starring Yakusho Koji which will begin its run from October 2017 in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Ikeido Jun, features Yakusho as the lead character Miyazawa Koichi who is the 4th generation president of Japanese socks manufacturer Kobaseya based in Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, which has been in business for more than 100 years. With the decline in demand for its products, the small company which has only 20 employees, strives to rejuvenate its business by entering the field of producing running shoes which feel as if you are barefooted. However, as the industry is very competitive and the company does not have sufficient funds, Kobaseya is faced with various challenges along its journey but Miyazawa strives on with the help of the people around him as they take on the bigwigs.

Kazama will be playing Sakamoto Taro, an employee in the financing department of Saitama Chuo Bank who suggests that Kobaseya start a new business line due to dwindling demand for its socks. Regardless the size of his corporate customers, Sakamoto tries to put the interpersonal ties between people first instead of business benefits and is frank enough to speak his mind and point out the weak points in his clients' businesses. In preparation for the role, Kazama was requested to cut his hair so that they would not cover his ears. He commented that he will try his best for this drama just like how every character in the story tries their best in their respective work fields.

Baba will play Oohashi Hiroshi who is the section chief of the financing department and views Kobaseya's efforts to start a new business line unfavourable. However, when he sees how Miyazawa and his allies try to come up with the Rikuou running shoes, he is gradually won over by their enthusiasm and passion. Baba commented that Oohashi is a typical bank employee who places his prospects above everything else but he has a sense of justice deep within. As such, he hopes to explore various possibilities while playing this character and hopes that viewers will enjoy his performance.

Last but not least, Katsura will play Ienaga Tooru who is the branch manager and looks down on small and medium businesses. As such, he keeps clashing with Sakamoto over Kobaseya's new business and will try his best to obstruct their progress. This will be Katsura's first appearance in a private network drama.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sponichi / Oricon

Supporting cast line-up of TV Tokyo Autumn 2017 drama "Shinjuku Seven" announced

The supporting cast line-up of TV Tokyo Autumn 2017 drama "Shinjuku Seven" starring Ueda Tatsuya had been announced. The drama will be starting from 13 October 2017 in the Fridays 12.12am timeslot.

The drama which is based on the same-titled manga currently serialised in "Manga Goraku Special", is set at Kabukicho in Shinjuku where the lead character Nanase (Ueda) owns a pawnshop and is known for having a keen eye to determine whether an item is the real thing or a fake and its value. While appraising these items, he also gets involved in various incidents and trouble due to his clients. This will also be one of the rare instances where a TV Tokyo drama will head overseas for filming.

Nakamura Tomoya will be playing Ohno Kenta, an intern learning the appraisal trade from Nanase while Ohno Ito will be playing Mizuki Hana who appears before Nanase and Kenta after she has lost her memory. Natsuki Mari will play Shinobu, the owner of the gyoza restaurant which Nanase frequents and Nonami will play Hosho Erika, the mamasan of a Korean bar named Erudorado. Kudo Ayano plays Kaede who works at the bar while Shimada Kyusaku plays Wang, a gangster who takes charge of the Kabukicho area. Last but not least, Tanaka Tetsushi will play a police detective Kondo Akihito who will do anything to achieve his aim.

Sources: Oricon / Eiga.com

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 16th & 17th Sep 2017

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of cinemas showing the movie:

1) Alien: Covenant (369)

2) Dunkirk (346)

3) Sandome no satsujin (313)

4) Sekigahara (338)

5) Despicable Me 3 (359)

6) Okuda Tamio ni naritai Boy to Deau otoko subete kuruwaseru Girl (256)

7) Kimi no suizou wo tabetai (319)

8) Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution 1 (107)

9) Wonder Woman (338)

10) Uchiage hanabi, shita kara miruka? Yoko kara miruka? (298)

Source: Eiga.com

Monday, September 18, 2017

Preview of "Minshuu no Teki - Yo no naka, okashikunai desuka!? -" - Autumn 2017

Title: Minshuu no Teki - Yo no naka, okashikunai desuka!?- 民衆の敵 - 世の中、おかしくないですか!? (Public Enemy ~ Isn't the world strange?")
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 October 2017
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme Song: "LIFE" by AAA
Cast: Shinohara Ryoko, Takahashi Issei, Furuta Arata, Maeda Atsuko, Chiba Yuudai, Saito Tsukasa, Wakadanna, Hosoda Yoshihiko, Imada Mio, Yo Kimiko, Oosumi Kenya, Tanaka Kei & Ishida Yuriko

Takeuchi Ryoma to appear in TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikuou" & other supporting cast announcements

Takeuchi Ryoma will be appearing in the upcoming TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Rikou" starring Yakusho Koji which will begin its run from October in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Ikeido Jun, features Yakusho as the lead character Miyazawa Koichi who is the 4th generation president of Japanese socks manufacturer Kobaseya based in Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, which has been in business for more than 100 years. With the decline in demand for its products, the small company which has only 20 employees, strives to rejuvenate its business by entering the field of producing running shoes which feel as if you are barefooted. However, as the industry is very competitive and the company does not have sufficient funds, Kobaseya is faced with various challenges along its journey but Miyazawa strives on with the help of the people around him as they take on the bigwigs.

Takeuchi was selected during an audition held 6 months ago to play the role of long-distance runner Mogi Hiroto and has been going through running training since then despite his busy schedule. However, Mogi has been struggling to improve and even injures his knee just after joining a professional sports team as an athlete. It is later found that his running method caused the injury so while trying to correct his form, he comes across the Rikuou brand of running shoes from Kobaseya.

Takeuchi who used to be a soccer player, said that he felt as if it was fated for him to be playing Mogi in this drama. As he was one of the many sportsmen who had to retire due to injuries, he can identify with the feelings which Mogi has and thinks that he can tap on his experience to play this character. In order to train his body to look like a real running athlete, Takeuchi is going through a strict diet which also involves eliminating sugar from his drinks and abstaining from alcohol.

Other co-stars in this drama include Terao Akira who plays Iiyama Haruyuki who was the president of now-bankrupt Iiyama Sangyo which made silk lei that is an essential material in the Rikuou running shoes and Otoo Takuma who plays Kido Akihiro, the coach of Daiwa Foods' athletics team which Mogi belongs to. Shiga Kotaro plays Tomishima Genzou, the head clerk for Kobaseya while Mitsuishi Ken who plays Arimura Tooru who is a sports equipment shop owner and offers lots of useful advice to Miyazawa. Last but not least, Kimura Midoriko plays Motoko who is the wife of Iiyama and supports him during good and bad times.

Sources: Oricon / Sponichi / Sanspo / Eiga.com

Supporting cast line-up of Kansai TV / FujiTV Autumn 2017 drama "Ashita no Yakusoku" announced

The supporting cast line-up of Kansai TV / FujiTV Autumn 2017 drama "Ashita no Yakusoku" starring Inoue Mao had been announced. It will begin its run from 17 October 2017 in the Tuesdays 9pm timeslot.

This original story features Inoue as the 29-year-old lead character Aizawa Hinata who works as a counsellor at Tsubakigaoka Senior High School and aims to be the last adult who the students can depend on other than their parents and teachers. However, while devoting herself to the pyschological care of her students who are struggling with problems in school or at home, she is troubled by her own relationship with her hysterical and emotional mother who intervenes too much into her life. Just then, Hinata gets a confession of love from a male student who had been skipping school and was being counselled by her but is shocked to find out on the following day that he died under mysterious circumstances. While trying to find out the truth behind this case, she comes face-to-face with the darkness of human beings and discovers what is most important about living and how a parent-and-child relationship should really be like.

Hinata's student Yoshioka Keigo who commits suicide, will be played by Endo Kenshin while his mother Yoshioka Makiko will be played by Nakama Yukie. Being too much in love with her son, Makiko puts too much pressure on Keigo until he starts skipping school. When Hinata comes to their house to visit Keigo, Makiko treats Hinata with distrust while Hinata can see herself in Keigo as she is also suffering from her mother's over-intervention into her life. Following Keigo's death, Makiko uses all ways possible to attack the school and Hinata so as to seek revenge. Nakama commented that she hopes to show the loneliness, love and strength which a mother has to struggle with in order to raise her child through her acting. This will be the first time that Nakama is working with Inoue.

Oikawa Mitsuhiro will be playing Kirishima Naoki who is Keigo's form teacher and helps Hinata in investigating Keigo's death while Kudo Asuka will be playing Honjou Kazuhiko who is Hinata's boyfriend and works as a salaryman struggling with his own family problems. Shirasu Jin plays Kitami Yujiro who is the form teacher of Class 2A but doesn't know how to observe his surroundings and Shinkawa Yua plays Oomiya Nao who is a part-time teacher and constantly confides in Hinata about her problems in love. Tezuka Satomi will play Naoko who is Hinata's mother and has such serious mood swings that she gets hysterical and hurts her daughter with her autocratic ways. Last but not least, Aoyagi Sho will play Kojima Shuhei who is a journalist looking into Keigo's death.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Mitsushima Shinnosuke confirms his divorce in June this year


Mitsushima Shinnosuke confirmed news of his divorce in June this year through his agency as reported in the 7th September issue of "Shuukan Bunshun". He got married to his elder sister Mitsushima Hikari's former manager who is 7 years older than him about 3 years ago at the end of 2014.

According to the report, Mitsushima and his ex-wife Tamai finalised their divorce on 17 June this year. Although there were suggestions that their divorce was partly due to Mitsushima being reported in the media in March 2017 for having supposedly visited a love hotel with a prostitute in February this year, the fact that he had moved out of their home back in February last year with the reason that he couldn't continue with the marriage suggested that the breakdown of their relationship should be due to other reasons. When Mitsushima's agency was asked about the separation and subsequent divorce, they said that Mitsushima had commented at the time of the divorce that it would have been better if they had taken the time to know each other better before rushing into marriage.

Tamai had been the manager of Mitsushima Hikari for a long time and were close friends while her elder sister is actress Tamai Yuumi. However, Tamai was said to have quit her job after her marriage at the request of her husband and is working part-time at a confectionery shop now. When the magazine interviewed Tamai's mother, she didn't go into details what led to the breakup but commented that her ex-son-in-law was probably looking for someone who could take care of him like a mother and that there might have been some changes in his environment brought about his expanding social circle and his flourishing career.

Mitsushima had no plans to become an actor initially when he came to Tokyo from Okinawa after graduating from senior high school. However, after touring around Japan on bicycle, he came to know about his sister's success as an actress and decided to follow in her footsteps. His most recent movies include "Sandome no Satsujin" and "Sanposuru Shinryakusha" which are currently being screened in cinemas.


Sources: Bunshun Online / Oricon

Iwata Takanori to appear in FujiTV drama SP "Yo ni mo Kimyou na Monogatari Autumn 2017"

Iwata Takanori will be appearing in the upcoming FujiTV drama SP "Yo ni mo Kimyou na Monogatari Autumn 2017" which will be shown at 9pm on 14 October. This will be the first time that he is appearing in the series.

Iwata stars in the story titled "Unmei Tanchiki" (Destiny Detector) along with Ishibashi Anna who plays the heroine. Iwata's character Izumi Ryohei is a 29-year-old single man who believes strongly in everlasting love with the woman he's destined to meet. One day, he happens to pick up a device which looks like a watch which leads him to meet a  woman Kitazawa Yuki in the worst way when he gets splashed with a bucket of water by her. However, they meet each other by chance again and things develop like a romance drama to the extent that Ryohei starts to believe that Yuki is the person he is destined to fall in love with. Co-stars include Asaka Koudai, Hyunri and Maruyama Tomomi.

Iwata who revealed that he has been a fan of the long-running series, said that he is really happy to be able to take part in this drama but admits that he doesn't believe in destined love even though he had acted in many love stories to date. However, it will be nice to bump into someone who is his destined lover and he will definitely follow the instructions from the destiny detector if there is something like this in real life. He called upon the viewers to check out the drama to find out what happens in the end and hopes that they will enjoy watching this.

Source: Oricon

Completion screening event of new movie "Koi to Uso"

The completion screening event of new movie "Koi to Uso" was held at Iino Hall on 6 September which was attended by the director Furusawa Takeshi and cast members Morikawa Aoi, Kitamura Takumi from DISH// and Sato Kanta from Gekidan EXILE. The movie is based on the same-titled manga by Musao which is currently serialised in manga mobile app "Manga Box" and describes how the heroine Nisawa Aoi lives in a world where there is no freedom to love. In this era where the Japanese government collects and analyses the genetic information of its citizens, it decides the best marriage partner for everyone based on their genetic traits so as to reverse the tide on its shrinking population. However, the heroine is faced with the ultimate dilemma of choosing between two men i.e. her childhood friend Shiba Yuuto (Kitamura) who has been holding a torch for her and Takachiho Sosuke (Sato) who is chosen as her best marriage partner by the government.

The three actors who worked together for the first time in this movie, revealed how they had become closer during the filming. Kitamura described how Sato was like a primary school student and the moodmaker on the set while Morikawa said that Sato looked like a cool guy as he was reading books during the filming breaks but she found that he wasn't like that at all after she came to know him better. Sato also admitted that he talked a lot during the filming so he agreed with his co-stars' remarks. In addition, they also teased Sato for being someone who's very easy to get touched as there was a scene when Morikawa was supposed to cry but had to hold back her tears. However, the moment when the scene was finished, Sato exclaimed to the director that he was so touched by the scene and he actually cried for an hour after that.

The movie will be shown in cinemas from 14 October.

Source: Eiga.com

Preview of "BORDER 2 - Shokuzai" (Drama SP)

Title: BORDER 2 - Shokuzai / BORDER 2 - 贖罪 (BORDER 2 - Atonement)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 22 October 2017 at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Scriptwriter: Kaneshiro Kazuki
Cast: Oguri Shun, Aoki Munetaka, Haru, Endo Kenichi, Furuta Arata, Takito Kenichi, Nomaguchi Toru, Hamano Kenta, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Nakamura Yurika, Oomori Nao & Kunimura Jun

"Real" ending of NTV Summer 2017 drama "Aishitetatte, Himitsu wa aru" to be shown exclusively on Hulu

NTV Summer 2017 drama "Aishitetatte, Himitsu wa aru" starring Fukushi Souta which ended its run on 17 September, will have its real ending shown exclusively on Hulu in two installments. Part 1 is already available for viewing while Part 2 will be released for viewing from 24 September.

The ending titled "Boku wa dare da?" (Who am I?) will continue from the drama's last episode shown on TV where Rei (Fukushi) is found to be suffering from dissociative identity disorder and has two characters within him i.e. Rei and Saku. The new story will describe the conversations he has with his inner self after he turns himself in for the murder of his father and the outcome of his relationship with his girlfriend Sawa (Kawaguchi Haruna).

Fukushi commented that the new ending offered a very different challenge for him as he had to speak 30 pages of lines all on his own during the conversation between Rei and Saku. However, it was worthwhile doing it especially as Rei and Saku finally come face to face with each other. As such, he hoped that everyone will be able to watch this new story to see how the drama finally ends.

Source: Oricon

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Preview of "Kounodori 2" - Autumn 2017

Title: Kounodori 2 コウノドリ 2
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 October 2017
Timeslot: Fridays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Official manga by: Suzunoki Yuu
Cast: Ayano Go, Matsuoka Mayu, Yoshida Yo, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Asano Kazuyuki, Eguchi Noriko, Hoshino Gen, Oomori Nao, Sasaki Kuranosuke (guest in Ep 1)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Completion screening event of new movie "Ringside Story"

The completion screening event of new movie "Ringside Story" was held at Shinjuku FACE on 6 September which was attended by the director Take Masaharu and cast members Eita, Sato Eriko, Arizono Yoshiki, Takeru and Kuroshio Ikemen Jiro. Guest stars who made surprise appearances included the Kameda brothers i.e. Kameda Kouki and Kameda Daiki as well as Mutou Keiji who also acted in this movie. The film will be shown in cinemas from 14 October.

 The movie features Sato as Enoshima Kanako who is living with her boyfriend of 10 years Murakami Hideo (Eita), a struggling actor. When she gets fired from the bento factory she works at, she becomes a staff member in the professional wrestling group WRESTLE-1 and becomes deeply drawn to the sport. On the other hand, Hideo who is literally sponging off Kanako, misunderstands that she is seeing someone else when Kanako gets too engrossed in her new job and he causes a very serious incident as a result of his jealousy.

Eita described his character Hideo as being more than a lousy man living off his woman and tried to show his daring and pure sides through his acting even though the people around him don't see him in the same way. As current K-1 champion Takeru is making his acting debut in this movie, he said that it was a fulfilling experience since he has been interested in acting and learnt a lot through the director. In response, co-stars Sato and Eita praised Takeru for his natural acting skills and Eita even said that he might win the newcomer's award with this movie. Upon hearing this, Takeru asked them to stop as he was feeling embarrassed by the compliments. In response, Takeru suggested that Eita can come to fight in the K-1 championships since he found the latter to have potential when they were training at his gym. However, Eita said that he couldn't handle the fighting and thanked Takeru for thinking so highly of him.

Source: Eiga.com

Screening event & press conference of NHK morning drama "Warotenka"

The screening event and press conference of new NHK morning drama "Warotenka" was held on 6 September at the TV station's HQ in Tokyo which was attended by cast members Aoi Wakana, Matsuzaka Toori and child actor Arai Miyu. The drama will begin its run from 2 October at 8am from Mondays to Saturdays.

The drama is set during the late Meiji era to post-World War II period at Osaka featuring the lead character Fujioka Ten who is modelled on Yoshimoto Sei, the founder of Yoshimoto Kogyo and a female show promoter. Fujioka was born into a family managing a drug wholesale business in Kyoto and meets Kitamura Fujiyoshi (Matsuzaka)who is the son of a family in the rice dealing business at Osaka. When they fall in love, Fujioka goes against her parents' wishes to marry Kitamura who is a big lover of comedy. Subsequently, after her husband's family goes bust, she unwittingly becomes the owner of a vaudeville theater with her husband. This then leads to her becoming the first person in Japan to make comedy into a business and transforming Osaka into a capital of comedy.

As the story will begin with the childhood days of Ten, Arai will appear in the first week's 6 episodes while Aoi will only appear from the end of the 6th episode. Aoi praised her young co-star for being very cute and has a charming smile and hopes that viewers will find her and Arai convincing as the adult and child versions of the same character. Matsuzaka remarked that amid the laughter in the story, there is a lot of warmth and gentleness so he hopes that the viewers will support the drama and find it interesting and energising when they watch it in the morning.

Although filming begun three months ago, Aoi said that she feels her inadequacy every day and hopes to be able to catch up in the remaining 10 months with the help of everyone around her. Especially since the schedule is rather tight, she was thankful that the story's comedic elements have helped to make the filming process even more enjoyable. However, she "complained" that Matsuzaka always makes funny faces at her or plays tricks whenever the camera doesn't show his face so she has learnt to keep a straight face through his antics which in turn made Matsuzaka burst out laughing. In response, Matsuzaka said that he just wants to make the atmosphere lively by making people laugh.

Sources: Eiga.com / Oricon

Daichi Mao to appear in TV Asahi Autumn 2017 drama "Doctor X 5 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~"

Daichi Mao will be appearing in TV Asahi's Autumn 2017 drama "Doctor X 5 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~" starring Yonekura Ryoko which will begin its run from October in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. This will be her first collaboration with Yonekura although they both coincidentally learn from the same voice trainer.

Daichi plays the role of Shimura Madoka, who becomes the first female director of "Totei University Hospital" without pulling strings and aspires to transform the hospital from one which places the medical department first to placing patients above anything else. She has high regard for Daimon's skills and hires the latter against objections from everyone around her. Although it appears initially that the two of them will get along well with their similar ideals of placing the patients on top priority, Shimura's ideal of the best way of doing things does not necessarily mean the same idea which Daimon has in mind so the two of them soon become loggerheads.

Daichi described Shimura as somewhat similar to Daimon but Shimura takes a high-handed approach towards the latter who is a freelancer. In response, Yonekura said that Daichi is a perfect fit for the role of Shimura and her screen presence built up on her past experience of being a former Takarazura top star shines through very easily. As such, Yonekura is eagerly looking forward to working with her and praised her co-star for looking very beautiful just like Audrey Hepburn.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo

Supporting cast line-up of new movie "Korou no Chi" announced

The supporting cast line-up of new movie "Korou no Chi" had been announced. The movie is based on the same-titled novel by Yuzuki Yuko that had won the 69th Nihon Suiri Sakka Kyoukai Sho.

The story is set during the Showa era before the anti-gang laws were enacted. Yakusho Koji plays a police detective Ogami Shogo who is rumoured to be on good terms with gangsters while Matsuzaka Toori plays a newbie detective Hioka Shuichi who is assigned to work with him on a case about the disappearance of an employee in a finance company rumoured to be a gang affiliate. While having reservations about Ogami's way of investigation which is bordering on being illegal, Hioka learns many things from Ogami. As the investigation develops, it results in a battle between gang members which causes Ogami to take drastic measures to resolve the situation. Maki Youko will play Takagi, the mamasan of a club named Riko while Ishibashi Renji plays Isogo Shohei, the leader of Isogo-kai and Eguchi Yosuke plays Ichinose, the young leader of Otani-gumi. Other co-stars include Takito Kenichi, Suruga Taro and Yajima Kenichi and Taguchi Tomorowo.

Nakamura Shido will be playing Takasaka Takafumi who is a reporter of Aki Shimbun and has a bad reputation for sniffing out the most dangerous and evil stories. Pierre Taki will play Takii Ginji who is an old friend Ogami and is the representative of the All-Japan Save the country association. Otoo Takuma will play Yoshida Shigeru who is a member of the gang Kakomura-gumi which is a rival of Otani-gumi while Nakamura Tomoya plays Nagakawa Kyoji who is a member of Otani-gumi.

The movie will be shown in cinemas from 12 May next year.

Source: Eiga.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

Filming wraps up for NHK morning drama "Hiyokko"

Filming for the NHK morning drama "Hiyokko" was completed at the TV station's HQ at Shibuya, Tokyo, on 4 September where Arimura Kasumi and Isomura Hayato finished the last scene. Fellow cast members who had already finished their filming i.e. Sawamura Ikki, Kimura Yoshino, Mineta Kazunobu, Miyahara Kanau, Takahashi Rai, Sakuma Yui, Izumisawa Yuki, Sasaki Kuranosuke, Yatsui Ichirou, Furutachi Yutaro, Matsumoto Honoka and Fujino Ryoko also made a surprise appearance at the wrap-up ceremony where the staff prepared a video of the filming process to date.

The drama started on 29 June 2016 with the announcement of the heroine while the early filming began from 27 September and the full filming started from 2 November. Arimura commented that it had been about a year that she had become Yatabe Mineko and spent the whole time thinking about the drama. Although she had been worried about being the heroine of a morning drama, she was eagerly anticipating the start of the filming. Arimura remarked that she managed to get through the past year not by her own effort only but with the help of everyone around her so being able to be in the world of "Hiyokko" and become Mineko was something she was proud of and thankful for.

The ratings of the drama did not start off on a high note with the ratings of its first episode going below 20% as compared to the past 9 works. However, the ratings went up gradually and passed the 20% mark eventually. The last episode will be shown on 30 September.

Sources: Sanspo / Sponichi / Eiga.com / Oricon

Yokohama Ryuusei to star in new real-life adaptation movie "Anitomo"

Yokohama Ryuusei will be taking on his first solo leading role in a movie when he stars in the new real-life adaptation movie "Anitomo" (My brother's friend) which is based on the same-titled manga by Akagawara Modomu. The movie will be shown in cinemas in spring next year.

The movie features Yokohama as the lead character Nishino Souta who is very good-looking but not very comfortable when dealing with the opposite sex. When he meets his buddy Nanase Yukihiro's younger sister Mai, the two of them fall in love with each other and begin a relationship.

With regard to his first leading role in a movie, Yokohama said that he is naturally very stressed about this but hopes to be able to enjoy the experience of playing Nishino. When asked to comment about his character, he described Nishino as a character who is not typical of the Prince Charming in most shoujo manga as he's very shy in front of girls. As such, the viewers will probably find his interaction with Mai quite mushy and embarrassing yet fun to watch as they gradually get closer. He hoped that the audience will like and support Nishino as he steps out of his comfort zone for the sake of the girl he likes.

Sources: Eiga.com / Sanspo

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nishijima Hidetoshi to appear in NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Okusawa wa, toriatsukai chuui"

Nishijima Hidetoshi will be appearing in the upcoming NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Okusawa wa, toriatsukai chuui" starring Ayase Haruka which will begin its run from 4 October in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The drama is an original story written by Kaneshiro Kazuki who specialises in cutting-edge suspense and action stories.

Ayase plays the lead character Isayama Nami who got married to a man on the spur of the moment after falling in love with him at first sight during a go-kon. Although she is a housewife who is living the good life in a quiet and upscale neighbourhood which is a huge contrast to when she was single, she is actually poor at cooking and cleaning the house and her biggest grouse is that she cannot stand her mundane life as a ordinary housewife. Nami also hates going around the bush and has a strong sense of justice which makes her extremely frightening when she is angered. She sets out to help the housewives living in the same neighbourhood who may look happy on the surface but have various issues hidden within. The reason why she is a thrill seeker will also be what she has been hiding from her husband and this will be gradually revealed as the story progresses. Hirosue Ryoko will be playing Oohara Yuri who is a very knowledgeable housewife and the unofficial leader of the trio including Nami and Sato Kyoko (Honda Tsubasa), a meek and curious housewife. Although the three of them are very different in terms of age and personality, Yuri and Kyoko become Nami's first friends in her life and they will be engaging in light girls' talk in the drama.

Nishijima will be playing Nami's husband Yuki who operates an IT company with his friend and is a gentle guy who is very accommodating towards Nami. Although they met at a go-kon, they got married after dating for just three months as he had fallen in love with her at first sight. He commented that it had been a while since he last worked with Ayase and this is the first time that they are playing a married couple. When he heard that Kaneshiro is writing a story about women, he was very interested to find out what kind of drama will be produced and hopes that viewers can look forward to and enjoy this drama.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon