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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nikaidou Fumi to play the heroine in NTV Spring 2017 drama "Frankenstein no Koi"


Nikaidou Fumi will be playing the heroine Tsugaru Tsugumi in the upcoming NTV Spring 2017 drama "Frankenstein no Koi" starring Ayano Go which will begin its run from April in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot. This will be her first collaboration with Ayano.

The drama which is based on an original script by Oomori Sumio, features Ayano as a monster created by the famous Dr. Frankenstein 100 years ago who has an appearance similar to human beings, eternal life and a gentle heart. He falls in love with a young woman Tsugaru but things between them are fraught with difficulties as he has an unspeakable secret as he cannot be touched by human beings. Much as he desires to come into contact with human beings, he is scared of being hurt. Although he wants to love, he is scared of being disliked.

When she first heard about this drama, the first thing which came to her mind was the famous movie "Edward Scissorhands" so she is excited about dealing with a monster where there are many unknowns about him. With regard to her chracter Tsugaru, she is a student at the agriculture faculty in an university who does research on bacteria but has been in poor health since she was a child so there were several close shaves with death in the past. As such, Tsugaru's personality is somewhat cold at times but she gets drawn to the monster played by Ayano without realising his identity.

Source: Oricon

Nakayama Miho to appear in new TV Tokyo drama SP "Kajitsu no nai mori"

Nakayama Miho will be appearing in the new TV Tokyo drama SP "Kajitsu no nai mori" featuring Higashiyama Noriyuki as the lead which will be shown at 9pm on 29 March. This will be the first time that the two of them are acting together even though they both made their debut in 1985 and had met during music TV programmes in the past as singers. At that time, Nakayama was nicknamed as one of the top 4 female singers in the late 1980s along with Kudo Shizuka, Minamino Yoko and Asaka Yui while Higashiyama was part of the popular idol group Shonentai.

Higashiyama plays the role of Umeki Ryusuke, a creative planner working in a IT company who happens to meet a mysterious beautiful woman Eto Miyuki (Nakayama) and her male companion while returning from a drive as they try to hitch a ride from him. However, he finds out that the man died suddenly in a strange way while getting increasingly obsessed with Miyuki. When he realises later that the men around her die one after another under mysterious conditions, Umeki sets out to find the truth out of fear for his own safety.

Nakayama joked that Higashiyama still looks the same as before so she was worried at first about acting with him. On the other hand, Higashiyama said that he was deeply moved to be able to act with Nakayama after a gap of 30 years but it was a pity that they couldn't chat to their hearts' content due to the nature of their characters' relationship in the drama which meant that they had to keep a slight distance from each other.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi / Eiga.com / Oricon

Completion screening event of new movie "Ankoku Joshi"

The completion screening event of new movie "Ankoku Joshi" was held at Shinjuku Wald 9 on 21 February which was attended by the novel's author Akiyoshi Rikako, the director Yakumo Saiji and cast members Iitoyo Marie, Seino Nana, Tamashiro Tina, Kojima Riria, Taira Yuna and Chiba Yuudai. The other lead Shimizu Fumika was absent from the event following her retirement and renouncement announcement recently. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 1 April as scheduled.

The film describes how Shiraishi Itsumi (Iitoyo) the Madonna of an all-girls' senior high school fell to her death under mysterious circumstances with a lily bell flower in her hand which leads to suspicion falling on the five members of the literature club which Shiraishi set up for having caused her death. After taking over the reins, Sumikawa Sayuri (Shimizu) who is Shiraishi's best friend, organises a regular reading session where she engages the rest of the members to talk about Shiraishi's death and the five of them take turns to expose who is the true culprit by mixing lies and truth during the discussion.

The director Yakumo revealed that when he read the novel, he was so excited about it thus prompting his intention to make a movie on it. As such, he was confident about the final product made from the hard work of the staff and cast. Since the cast is largely made up of young actresses, the actresses revealed that the atmosphere felt as if they were indeed in an all-girls senior high school where they did things such as taking videos, dancing "Gangnam Style" and sharing beauty tips together. Upon hearing this, Chiba who was not included in those activities, remarked dejectedly that he knew nothing about what they did. The director then chipped in to reveal that the girls even ate dried shredded cuttlefish which led Iitoyo to exclaim that he shouldn't say that since it will affect their images.

When asked about what dark side they have in their characters, Iitoyo said that when she last worked with Yakumo in the drama "MARS Tada Kimi wo aishiteru", he was very nice and gentle towards her. However, he was very demanding and harsh this time so there were times when Iitoyo tried to avoid meeting the director by arranging for staggered starting times during the filming. Yakumo then joked that Iitoyo was trying to smear his name which led her to remark that she doesn't feel scared of him anymore and likes him a lot now.

Before the start of the event, the host explained that Shimizu was absent as informed by her agency. Although the cast did not speak about Shimizu proactively during most of the event, Iitoyo and Yakumo revealed their thoughts about her towards the end. Iitoyo expressed regret that Shimizu was not there with them and said that even though she does not know how the latter thinks of her, Iitoyo likes Shimizu a lot and they had both pledged to work hard for the movie. As such, Iitoyo hoped that everyone can see their hard work through this film. Yakumo also had nothing but praise for Shimizu who he said was very hardworking and thought a lot about her character so as to make the movie better.

Sources: Eiga.com 1 / Eiga.com 2 / Oricon

Suda Masaki, Kiritani Kenta & Kimura Fumino to star in new movie "Hibana"

Suda Masaki and Kiritani Kenta will be joint leads in the upcoming movie "Hibana" which is based on the 153th Akutagawa Award-winning same-titled novel by comedian duo Peace's Matayoshi Naoki and directed by Itao Itsuji. The actors have experience working together as they both appear in the au Santaro CM series as Oni-chan and Ura-chan. Coincidentally, the two of them are from Osaka so it is expected that they will have no problems with the Kansai-ben lines and comedy skits in the movie.

The novel version of "Hibana" has sold 2.83 million copies to date and describes how Tokunaga, a struggling comedian meets his senior Kamiya who has a strong belief in what he does and tries to overcome the gap between his ideals, talent and reality. The drama version directed by Hiroki Ryuichi was shown via Netflix last June and featured Hayashi Kento as Tokunaga and Namioka Kazuki as Kamiya. As for the movie version, Suda and Kiritani will be playing Tokunaga and Kamiya respectively and Kimura Fumio will play Kamiya's girlfriend Maki. Nichoukenjuu's Kawatani Shuji will be playing Yamashita who is Tokunaga's partner in the comedic duo Sparks while Miura Masaki will be playing Obayashi who is Kamiya's partner in the comedic duo Ahondara.

Suda commented that he can appreciate the difficulties of making people laugh so he feels scared about playing a comedian. However, when he met the director, he began to feel that it was OK to take on this role and it would be very interesting to work with this staff and cast lineup. On the other hand, Kiritani said that he loves comedy since he was a kid as he likes the energy that emerges when people are tickled by the comedians' performances. However, the constant struggle with the fear of being not well-received by the audience is a real concern for these comedians so he feels that this is probably the most frightening for him when he is acting in this movie.

The movie will be shown at cinemas from November this year.

Sources: Eiga.com / Oricon

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kanno Miho to appear in new TBS drama SP "LEADERS II"

Kanno Miho will be appearing in the upcoming TBS drama SP "LEADERS II" which is expected to be shown in March this year. The drama which is basd on the true story of Toyota Motor Corporation's history, describes how the lead character Aichi Saichiro (Sato) devotes his life to making automobiles in Japan and continues from the first part shown in 2014. Kanno will be playing iida Kiyo, the proprietress of a kappo-ryotei restaurant Naritatei which is frequented by Yamazaki Wataru (Uchino Seiyo), the sales manager of Aichi Motors. As she is impressed by Yamazaki's passion about his dream, she supports him silently from the sidelines. Filming was done in Kyoto.

Kanno revealed that she had watched the previous drama SP and was honoured to be given a chance to participate in this sequel. Although she felt sad that the filming ended too quickly, she is eagerly anticipating how the final product will turn out.

Sources: Sanspo / Oricon / Eiga.com

Amami Yuki to star in TV Asahi Spring 2017 drama "Kinkyuu Torishirabeshitsu 2"

Amami Yuki will be starring in the upcoming TV Asahi Spring 2017 drama "Kinkyuu Torishirabeshitsu 2" (Emergency Interrogation Room) which continues from the first series in Winter 2014 and the 2-hour SP in September 2015 and will begin its run from April 2017 in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. The script will be written by Inoue Yumiko and in tune with the times since the law dictates now that all interrogations have to be video-taped, the drama will also introduce this into the story. The theme of the second season focuses on ordinary people being the most frightening when they cross the line to venture into the world of crime.

Amami plays the role of Makabe Yukiko, a police detective who was posted to the Kintori (Kinkyuu Jian Taiou Torishirabehan) which handles tricky interrogations of suspects and criminals within the confines of the interrogation room. As such, they have nothing but their wits to engage in a psychological war with those being questioned. The first series achieved an average rating of 12.9% which led to the production of the SP and now Part 2. Besides Amami, her colleagues in Kintori will also appear in Part 2 including Tanaka Tetsushi, Denden, Oosugi Ren and Kohinata Fumio as well as Hayami Mokomichi and Suzuki Kosuke who form the detective duo nicknamed Motsunabe from the murder investigation unit working with Kintori. Ookura Koji who first appeared in the SP as the director of the criminal investigation unit will also be featured in Part 2.

Although it has been some time since the filming for the last series, the cast including Amami, Tanaka, Kohinata and Hayami meet up several times a year for meals where they constantly talk about doing a Season 2 for the drama and share ideas with one another. As such, Amami commented that they are all very happy to be able to work together again in this drama. In preparation for the filming, Amami who cut her long hair by 20cm for the previous series, went further this time by cutting her hair by 25cm and sporting a fringe so as to project a new image of her character. Amami said that if there is going to be Season 3 in future, she wouldn't mind cutting her hair again for it. Due to the number of interrogation scenes, there are a lot of lines to remember but Amami revealed that the content is so interesting that it will be a breeze going through them.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo

KANA-BOON's bassist Meshida Yuuma admits to his affair with Shimizu Fumika

Rock band KANA-BOON's bassist Meshida Yuma admitted to having an affair with Shimizu Fumika in the past following her revelation about her failed relationship in her tell-all book "Zenbu, Icchau ne" (I will say everything) which was published on 17 February after her retirement and renouncement saga. According to the statement released by Meshida through his agency, the two of them started dating in June 2015 although Meshida got married to his wife in April the previous year and had kept this from the public and Shimizu. It was until September the same year that he first told Shimizu about his marital status and had apologised to her about it but the two of them only broke up in January 2016 as he couldn't give up on his feelings for her and that he took some time to come clean with his wife.

Meshida apologised for his actions having hurt both his wife and Shimizu and the inconveniences caused to the people around him and Shimizu as well as his fans as a result of this affair. He revealed that he had apologised to his wife and her parents and that things are fine between them at the moment.

Source: Oricon

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 18th & 19th February 2017

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

1) Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale (151)

2) Aibou Gekijouban IV Shuto Crisis Hitojichi wa 50-man nin! Tokumeigakari Saigo no Ketsudan (347)

3) Isshukan Friends (305)

4) Survival Family (267)

5) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (350)

6) Kiseki Ano Hi no Sobito (171)

7) Doctor Strange (350)

8) Kimi no na wa (296)

9) Kono sekai no katasumi ni (68)

10) Allied (150)

Source: Eiga.com

Monday, February 20, 2017

Supporting cast lineup for new movie "Ajin" announced

The supporting cast lineup for new movie "Ajin" starring Sato Takeru was announced. "Ajin" was first seralised in the manga magazine "good! Afternoon" from 2012 and has released 9 volumes to date which has accumulated sales of more than 5.4 million copies. The anime movie version was screened in November 2015 while the TV anime series was shown from January 2016. The title "Ajin" refers to a group of people who look like ordinary humans but will not die even if they sustain life-threatening injuries.

In the movie version, Sato will play the lead character Nagai Kei who is a 26-year-old medical intern although the manga's setting is that Kei is a 17-year-old senior high school student. One day, he gets knocked down by a truck but is shocked to see his body recovering instantenously on its own which makes him realise that he is an Ajin. As a result, Kei is kept under custody at the Ajin Research Institute where he is subjected to inhumane tests by the researchers. Just then, a Ajin terrorist Sato who wears a cap comes to rescue Kei but this is actually with the intention of getting Kei to join him in a mass massacre to take revenge against the non-Ajins. Kei then has to fight Sato and his accomplices even though he is the weakest Ajin who has yet to master how to control his power and IBM well.

Ayano Go will be playing Sato, a former military man who tries to overturn the country by conducting a large-scale massacre. Due to his Ajin abilities, Sato is able to regenerate his body even after suffering life-threatening injuries. In order to prepare for this role, Ayano had to stick to a strict diet, dye his hair silver and do muscle training which made the staff exclaim as if his muscular body was the result of CG. Ayano revealed that there was one scene where he had to appear naked so he started physical training 4.5 months before the filming started in order to make himself appear as close as the Sato in the manga and show respect to the author, fans and all those who love "Ajin". In fact, the director Motoki Katsuyuki was so impressed with the result of Ayano's hard work that he used the image of his naked upper body as his mobile phone's wallpaper.

Sato's accomplices Tanaka Koji, Okuyama Masumi and Takahashi Kotobuki will be played by Shirota Yu, Chiba Yuudai and Yamada Yuki. As for the role of Tosaki Yu who is the head of Ajin Research under the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and wages war against the Ajin organisation, he will be played by Tamayama Tetsuji. Tosaki's bodyguard-cum-secretary Shimomura Izumi who is also a Ajin will be played by Kawaei Rina. Kei's younger sister Eriko will be played by Hamabe Minami.

Filming started in November last year and was concluded in Tokyo on 10 January this year while post-production works are expected to be completed in July. The movie is scheduled to be screened in cinemas from 30 September.

Sources: Natalie / Cinema Cafe / Nikkansports / Sanspo / Eiga.com

Kamenashi Kazuya, Kimura Fumino & Yamashita Tomohisa to star in NTV Spring 2017 drama "Boku, Unmei no hito desu"

Kamenashi Kazuya, Kimura Fumino and Yamashita Tomohisa will be starring in the upcoming NTV Spring 2017 drama "Boku, Unmei no hito desu" (I am your soulmate) which begins its run from April in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot. The story features Kamenashi as a company employee Masaki Makoto who goes all out to woo the women who he thinks of as his soulmate despite being rejected all the time. When he meets a practical OL (Kimura) named Kogetsu Haruko who doesn't believe in destiny, he confesses his love for her but to no avail because she wants to have a relationship which is safe and fail-proof. Just then, a mysterious man calling himself as God (Yamashita) appears and offers him advice on how to woo his soulmate.

Kamenashi and Yamashita will also be forming the special unit Kame to YamaP to sing the theme song for the drama which marks their first collaboration in 12 years. The duo had worked together in the NTV drama "Nobuta wo Produce" back in 2005 and formed the unit Shuuji to Akira (their character names in the drama) to sing the theme song "Seishun Amigo" which sold 1.626 million copies then.

Kamenashi commented that he is eagerly anticipating working together with the staff and co-stars this time. In particular, he praised Kimura for being a good and charming actress. As for Yamashita, he pledged to work hard at playing his character who is unpredictable and full of mysteries. With regard to the collaboration between them, Kamenashi revealed that he had talked about working together with Yamashita in the past so to be able to do that again now in this format, they are both very happy about it. Yamashita echoed this and said that since the two of them had known each other since they were in junior high school, he believes that they will be able to bring out an unique blend of warmth, danger and security through their work as a special unit this time.

Sources: Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Aiba Masaki to star in new FujiTV Spring 2017 drama "Kizoku Tantei"

Aiba Masaki will be starring in the new FujiTV Spring 2017 drama "Kizoku Tantei" (Detective Noble) which will begin its run from April in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the suspense novels "Kizoku Tantei" and "Kizoku Tantei tai Onna Tantei" by Maya Yutaka, features Aiba as a mysterious man who calls himself a noble but his name, age and background are all unknown and has an interest in solving cases but does not actually do the reasoning himself because he is more keen to talk to the women he meets at the crime scenes. Due to his status as a nobleman, he behaves very gentlemanly towards women and is unafraid of standing up against those in power. With the help of his servants i.e. driver Sato (Takito Kenichi), maid Tanaka (Nakayama Miho) and butler Yamamoto (Matsushige) who helps him to inspect the crime scenes and look for clues, he is able to assist the police in solving their cases with his strong observation power. Co-stars also include Takei Emi who plays Takanori, a newbie police detective at loggerheads with the nobleman while solving the cases, police detective Hanagata (Namase) who works with the nobleman at the orders of his superiors, Igawa Haruka who plays a female detective Kitami who teaches Takanori about detective work and is regarded as her idol and Nakama Yukie whose character details are not known at the moment.

As this drama happens to be the 30th anniversary commemorative work of the Getsuku timeslot, Aiba expressed anticipation and excitement at playing this type of character for the first time although he was also apprehensive about having such wonderful actors play his servants in the drama.

Filming is expected to begin in early March.

Sources: Oricon / Sanspo

Aragaki Yui & Eita to star in new movie "Mix" as mixed doubles table tennis players

Aragaki Yui and Eita will be starring in the new movie "Mix" which is written by Kosawa Ryota and directed by Ishikawa Junichi. The comedy movie describes how the heroine (Aragaki) used to be a genius at table tennis when she was a child but suffers setbacks in love and work as an OL. In order to resurrect the table tennis club owned by her late mother, she forms a mixed doubles team with a former boxer (Eita) to take part in the All Japan table tennis tournament and get back at her ex-boyfriend (Seto Koji) and his girlfriend (Nagano Mei). Co-stars include Hirosue Ryoko, Endo Kenichi, Tanaka Misako, Sano Yuto, Aoi Yu, Morisaki Hiroyuki, Yoshida Kotaro, Namase Katsuhisa, Yamaguchi Sayaka, Saito Tsukasa, Kumada Rinka, Suzuki Fuku, Tani Kanon, Maki Youko and Kohinata Fumio.

Aragaki who is working with Eita for the first time, commented that her impression of her co-star when they first met for table tennis training was that he is very passionate about his work and good at livening up the atmosphere. In response, Eita said that he wasn't sure if he should call her Gakki (her nickname) or by her surname so he was trying to hide his shyness in front of her. He expressed his anticipation at getting better in table tennis so as to look convincing as players who can compete at the national level and looks forward to the filming. Although both Aragaki and Eita have no experience in table tennis, the two of them have picked up the sport relatively quickly and are trying hard to practice as much as possible since they started training from the beginning of this year.

The movie will be shown from the middle of this month and is expected to be shown in cinemas this autumn.

Sources: Eiga.com / Nikkansports

Mano Erina to star in new NHK drama "Kono yo ni tayasui shigoto wa nai"

Mano Erina will be starring in the new NHK drama series "Kono yo ni tayasui shigoto wa nai" (There is no easy job in the world) which begins its run from 6 April in the newly set-up timeslot at 11pn on Thursdays. The drama which consists of 8 episodes, is Mano's first leading role in a NHK drama.

Mano plays the 28-year-old lead character Kirinaka Kasumi who realised her childhood dream to become a primary school student. Despite her passion for teaching, Kasumi had to quit because she was overworked and suffers from the burnout syndrome. However, she cannot stop working because she has to support herself so in order to prepare herself for that, she undergoes rehabilitation and meets an unusual employee at Hello Work named Masakado (Asano Atsuko) who introduces a series of strange jobs to her. Even though Kasumi wants to try her best in everything she does and feels uneasy at first about taking on jobs which seem like what anyone else can do, she starts to enjoy the process and becomes aware of the joy from various jobs through her communication with the people she meets. At the same time, she makes a decision about her relationship with her boyfriend (Tsukamoto Takashi) and finds meaning as to what it means to work. Mano commented that she hopes that through this drama, people will be able to realise the importance of working and love for the job and will try her best to play the lead character in this drama.

Source: Oricon

Sawajiri Erika to star in new NTV Spring 2017 drama "Haha ni naru"

Sawajiri Erika will be starring in the upcoming NTV Spring 2017 drama "Haha ni naru" (Being a mother) which will begin its run from April in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The drama features Sawajiri as the lead character Kashiwazaki Yui whose son was kidnapped at the age of three on the way home from nursery just because she failed to pay attention for a brief moment. This led to the breakdown of her marriage and Kashiwazaki has been living on her own since then. 9 years later, she gets reunited with her son who has now turned 13 years old and needs to deal with how to interact with her son again and regain the lost years and her broken family. Co-stars include Koike Eiko who plays Kadokura Asako, the woman who had kidnapped Kashiwazaki's son and taken care of him as a mother for the last nine years and Itaya Yuka who plays Nishihara Risako, Kashiwazaki's friend who has been supporting all this time while her son was missing.

Sawajiri commented that although she finds this story refreshing and interesting, it is very difficult for her to be playing a mother since she has no experience in real life. However, the producer assured her that she will manage fine because her character Kashiwazaki has to learn how to be a mother from scratch after the reunion with her son anyway. Although being a mother is probably the biggest issue for a woman in her lifetime, Sawajiri felt that women learn how to become mothers through child-rearing and hopes to convey the warmth of family through this drama. As for working with Koike for the first time and with Itaya again, Sawajiri commented that she feels relaxed working with them and hopes to do a good job. Koike and Itaya both echoed the view that they are looking forward to working with one another through this drama.

Filming begins at the end of February.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi / Oricon

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Theme Song

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Koi - Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
2) Suna no Tou - THE YELLOW MONKEY (Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~)
3) Give Me Love - Hey! Say! JUMP (Cain to Abel)

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Koi - Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
2) Give Me Love - Hey! Say! JUMP (Cain to Abel)
3) one chance - Johnny's WEST (Rental Kyuuseishu)
4) Jukai no Ito - Cocco (Unmei ni, nita koi)
5) Suna no Tou - THE YELLOW MONKEY (Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~)

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Koi - Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
2) Suna no Tou - THE YELLOW MONKEY (Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~)
3) Give Me Love - Hey! Say! JUMP (Cain to Abel)
4) Susume, tama ni nigetemo - Charan-Po-Rantan (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
5) Heaven's Door ~ Hi no ataru basho ~ - Kanna Chise (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko) / Jukai no Ito - Cocco (Unmei ni, nita koi) / 12gatsu no ame - chay (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Koi - Hoshino Gen (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)
2) Smile for me - Matsutoya Yumi (Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~)
3) Heaven's Door ~ Hi no ataru basho ~ - Kanna Chise (Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko)
4) Ikiteitandayona - Aimyon (Kichijoji dake ga sumitai machi desuka?)
5) Suna no Tou - THE YELLOW MONKEY (Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~) / Give Me Love - Hey! Say! JUMP (Cain to Abel) / Susume, tama ni nigetemo - Charan-Po-Rantan (Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu)

Source: The Televison

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Supporting Actress

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Ishida Yuriko - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Nagasawa Masami - Sanadamaru
3) Matsushima Nanako - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Ishida Yuriko - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Shida Mirai - Rental Kyuuseishu
3) Nagasawa Masami - Sanadamaru
4) Matsushima Nanako - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~
5) Kurashina Kana - Cain to Abel

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Ishida Yuriko - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Matsushima Nanako - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~
3) Nagasawa Masami - Sanadamaru
4) Takeuchi Yuko - Sanadamaru
5) Shida Mirai - Rental Kyuuseishu / Tsuchiya Tao - IQ246 ~ Karei naru Jikenbo ~

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Nagasawa Masami - Sanadamaru
2) Shimizu Fumika - Kaseifu no Mitazono
3) Matsushima Nanako - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~ / Eguchi Noriko - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko / Mizuno Miki - Kuroi Juunin no Onna

Source: The Televison

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Supporting Actor

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Hoshino Gen - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Kusakari Masao - Sanadamaru
3) Ooizumi Yo - Sanadamaru

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Hoshino Gen - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Fujii Ryuusei - Rental Kyuuseishu
3) Suda Masaki - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko
4) Kubota Masataka - THE LAST COP
5) Ooizumi Yo - Sanadamaru

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Hoshino Gen - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Kusakari Masao - Sanadamaru
3) Ooizumi Yo - Sanadamaru
4) Suda Masaki - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko / Dean Fujioka - IQ246 ~ Karei naru Jikenbo ~ / Muro Tsuyoshi - Yuusha Yoshihiko to Michibikareshi Shichinin

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Hoshino Gen - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Kusakari Masao - Sanadamaru
3) Kohinata Fumio - Sanadamaru
4) Suda Masaki - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko / Dean Fujioka - IQ246 ~ Karei naru Jikenbo ~

Source: The Televison

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Leading Actress

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Aragaki Yui - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Ishihara Satomi - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko
3) Yonekura Ryoko - Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Aragaki Yui - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Ishihara Satomi - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko
3) Yonekura Ryoko - Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~
4) Amami Yuki - Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~
5) Kuriyama Chiaki - Copyface Kesareta Watashi

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Aragaki Yui - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Ishihara Satomi - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko
3) Kanno Miho - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~
4) Yonekura Ryoko - Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~
5) Yoshida Yo - Lady Da Vinci no Shindan

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Aragaki Yui - Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu
2) Yonekura Ryoko - Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~
3) Ishihara Satomi - Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko
4) Harada Tomoyo - Unmei ni, nita koi
5) Amami Yuki - Chef ~ Mitsuboshi no Kyuushoku ~ / Kanno Miho - Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~ / Shimazaki Haruka - Keishicho Nashigorenka

Source: The Televison

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Leading Actor

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Sakai Masato - Sanadamaru
2) Yamada Ryosuke - Cain to Abel
3) Matsuoka Masahiro - Kaseifu no Mitazono

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Sakai Masato - Sanadamaru
2) Yamada Ryosuke - Cain to Abel
3) Sawamura Ikki - Rental Kyuuseishu
4) Yamada Takayuki - Yuusha Yoshihiko to Michibikareshi Shichinin
5) Matsuoka Masahiro - Kaseifu no Mitazono

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Sakai Masato - Sanadamaru
2) Yamada Takayuki - Yuusha Yoshihiko to Michibikareshi Shichinin
3) Matsuoka Masahiro - Kaseifu no Mitazono
4) Yamada Ryosuke - Cain to Abel
5) Oda Yuji - IQ246 ~ Karei naru Jikenbo ~

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Sakai Masato - Sanadamaru
2) Abe Hiroshi - Sniffer Kyuukaku Sousakan
3) Matsuoka Masahiro - Kaseifu no Mitazono / Oda Yuji - IQ246 ~ Karei naru Jikenbo ~
5) Yamada Takayuki - Yuusha Yoshihiko to Michibikareshi Shichinin

Source: The Televison

The 91st Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2016) - Best Drama

Overall Ranking Top 3
1) Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu (TBS)
2) Sanadamaru (NHK)
3) Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko (NTV)

Voters Ranking Top 5
1) Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu (TBS)
2) Rental Kyuuseishu (NTV)
3) Cain to Abel (FujiTV)
4) Sanadamaru (NHK)
5) THE LAST COP (NTV)

TV Reporters Ranking Top 5
1) Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu (TBS)
2) Sanadamaru (NHK)
3) Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko (NTV) / Suna no Tou ~ Shirisugita Rinjin ~ (TBS)
5) Yuusha Yoshihiko to Michibikareshi Shichinin (TV Tokyo)

Judges Ranking Top 5
1) Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu (TBS)
2) Sanadamaru (NHK)
3) Jimi ni sugoi! Kouetsu Girl Kouno Etsuko (NTV)
4) Doctor X ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~ (TV Asahi) / Kuroi Juunin no Onna (NTV)

Source: The Television

Hirose Arisu & Tanaka Daiki admit to being in a relationship

Hirose Arisu and basketball player Tanaka Daiki have admitted to being an item as reported on 8 February. The couple reportedly met in September 2016 when Hirose and her younger sister Suzu took on the role of broadcast supporters for the opening match of the pro-basketball B-league which Tanaka plays in as a member of Alvark Tokyo. They were said to have started dating in December the same year after bonding over their common interest of basketball as Hirose used to play the sport for 6 years at her hometown in Shizuoka since primary 3.

News of the couple being an item were first published in the 9th Feb issue of "Shuukan Bunshun" to which Hirose's agency commented that this is her private matter so they will leave things to her. They also revealed that Hirose herself informed her agency about this matter in December last year. At the same time, Tanaka's management company also confirmed the news.

Source: Sanspo

Completion press conference of new movie "Mugen no Juunin"

The completion press conference of new movie "Mugen no Juunin" was held on 15 February which was attended by the director Miike Takashi and cast members Kimura Takuya, Sugisaki Hana, Fukushi Souta, Toda Erika and Ichihara Hayato. The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 29 April, was shot mainly in Kyoto between November 2015 and 17 January 2016 when news of SMAP's impending disbandment first broke on 13 January. This led to an influx of the media to the shooting location so as to catch a glimpse of Kimura and interview him. Although Kimura did not comment specifically on this topic, he expressed gratitude to the staff and cast for their great teamwork and that he was glad to be a part of Miike's team.

The movie which is based on the manga by Samura Hiroaki, features Kimura in the leading role of a samurai Manji who is renowned for having killed 100 people and becomes immortal when a mysterious old lady gives him eternal life.  One day, he is engaged by a young girl named Asano Rin (Sugisaki) to be her bodyguard and take revenge against Itto-Ryu which is a group of skilled swordsmen. He accepts the job reluctantly because Rin looks similar to his late younger sister.

In the scene where Kimura had to fight against 300 people with his right eye concealed, he went ahead with the filming with no-stand-in. During the filming, he slipped on the gravel and suffered a serious injury to his right knee's ligament so he had to get painkillers injected in order to continue with the shoot. Having seen that the director continued with his work despite suffering a fracture in his right ankle during the filming, Kimura was impressed with his dedication and wanted to continue with the filming. Even during scenes which did not involve him, Kimura was always on the set and even brought massage machines to give massages to the cameramen.

After the filming concluded, the cast exchanged their LINE account details so as to stay in touch with one another. However, Kimura found that Ichihara did not even read, not to mention respond to his messages which made him quite puzzled. When they met before the press conference, Kimura found out that Ichihara's previous phone was spoilt and he changed to another type of phone thus this was why Ichihara did not respond to Kimura's messages. In response, Ichihara commented that he had never met any leading actor like Kimura who showed so much consideration to everyone around him and even spent time for the sake of others instead of thinking of himself. As such, he was thankful to Kimura's actions which made the latter blush in embarrassment.

Source: Nikkansports 1 /  Nikkansports 2 / Sanspo

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kanjiya Shihori & Kishitani Goro to star in TV Asahi drama SP "Kurobara Keijika Kyoukouhangakari Kamiki Kyoko"

Kanjiya Shihori and Kishitani Goro will be starring in the TV Asahi drama SP "Kurobara Keijika Kyoukouhangakari Kamiki Kyoko" (Black Rose Criminal Investigation Division Enforcement Section Kamiki Kyoko" which will be shown at 9pm on 19 March. The drama SP is based on the same-titled novel by former police detective Futagami Go who used to work in the Osaka Prefectural Police. The novel which was written after he left the police force won the 2nd Honkaku Mystery Veteran Shinjin Hakkutsu Project organised by Kodansha. This will be the first time that Kanjiya and Kishitani are working together.

Kanjiya plays the lead character Kamiki Kyoko while her supervisor Orihara Keisaku is played by Kishitani. While investigating a murder case, Kamiki finds out the truth behind the death of her father who was a police officer which leads her to the dark secrets within the police force. In order to solve the case and take revenge for her father, Kamiki and Orihara must battle the odds against the strong forces trying to cover up the truth.

Kanjiya commented that she tends to do a lot of clumsy and cheerful characters so this character is a refreshing change for her although she had her doubts whether she could handle playing Kamiki. As for the charm points of this drama, she cited the development of Kamiki's character and how the story is interesting and easy to understand although it will also keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Kishitani echoed the view that this drama is quite unlike the usual 2-hour detective dramas and praised his co-star for doing very well especially in the second half of the drama as Kamiki comes to know how her father died.

Co-stars in this drama include Nogiwa Yoko who plays Inui Shigemi, a mysterious old lady who loves black roses, Tsugawa Masahiko who plays the mastermind Sena Eiichiro as well as Nakamura Shunsuke, Nishioka Tokuma, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Denden and Oka Mitsuko.

Source: Oricon

Kuroki Haru to star in new NHK drama "Mi wo tsukushi ryourijou"

Kuroki Haru will be starring in the upcoming NHK drama "Mi wo tsukushi ryourijou" (Devoted Cookbook) which begins its run from 13 May in the Saturdays 6.05pm timeslot. The drama which consists of 8 episodes, is based on the period novel series set during the Edo era by Takada Kaoru which has sold more than 3 million copies to date and marks Kuroki's first leading role in a NHK drama and a period drama. The script will be written by Fujimoto Yuki who won the Mukoda Kuniko award for her period drama "Chikaemon" last year and will feature a creative Edo dish during the climax of each episode.

In the story set during the Edo period when the 11th shogun Tokugawa Ienari was in power, Kuroki plays the lead character Mio who is an orphan born in Osaka and heads to Edo (Tokyo) with nothing but her cooking skills. After overcoming various difficulties, she becomes a top-notch chef. Kuroki commented that she is impressed with Mio's never-say-die attitude and how she strives to do things well with the utmost sincerity so she hopes to be able to do her best in this drama.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon

Mizukawa Asami to appear in new FujiTV Spring 2017 drama "Hito wa mitame ga 100 percent"

Mizukawa Asami will be appearing in the upcoming FujiTV Spring 2017 drama "Hito wa mitame ga 100 percent" beginning its run from April in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled manga by Okubo Hiromi, features a group of women working in the scientific field who are so caught up with their work that they forget how it is to pay attention to their attention thus earning them the nickname "Joshi Modoki (JSM)" (fake women). This will be the first time in 8 years that the actresses are working together.

Kiritani Mirei plays the lead character Jonouchi Jun who is a researcher working in a paper manufacturing company and has been pouring all her energy into her work that she totally ignores what it means to dress up like a woman and care for her looks. As such, she has had little luck with men all along. However, when she realises that she is in danger of becoming a JSM, she gets together with her fellow female researchers to make an effort in changing their appearances and make themselves more beautiful. Mizukawa will play her colleague Maeda Mitsuko who is married with kids thus she is too busy with work, household chores and childcare to bother about her looks.When she was much younger, she used to be a go-gyaru by wearing mini-skirts, loose socks and heavy make-up but her fashion and beauty sense is somewhat different from the trends. Mizukawa commented that it may be embarrassing to play a woman who doesn't behave like one but as an actress, she finds this to be an interesting challenge.

Co-stars include Muroi Shigeru who plays Matsuura Eiko, an employee at a major cosmetics company which has dealings with Jun and Mitsuko's company and Suzuki Kosuke who plays Kunikida Osamu i.e. Eiko's assistant and feeds Jun and Mitsuko with the latest fashion and beauty advice.

Sources: Sanspo / Oricon

Completion party of new movie "P to JK"

The completion party of new movie "P to JK" was held at Marunouchi Picadilly on 7 February which was attended by the director Hiroki Ryuichi and cast members Kamenashi Kazuya, Tsuchiya Tao, Takasugi Mahiro, Tamashiro Tina, Oomasa Aya, Nishihata Daigo and Murakami Jun. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 25 March.

This is Kamenashi's first appearance in a romance movie where he plays the police officer Sagano Kouta who falls for and marries a senior high school student Motoya Kako. In order to look convincing as a police officer, Kamenashi revealed that he had to conceal some parts of his usual image and tone down on the sexiness. In response, Tsuchiya who plays Kako, praised her co-star for being a cool and charming gentleman and commented that this must be the same feeling experienced by Kako who meets her Prince Charming. Murakami who plays Kako's father, also chipped in to say that although he didn't appear in that many scenes with Kamenashi in the movie, he was impressed with his high level of concentration and cited the scene where he had a drink with his "son-in-law" as his No.1 favourite in the movie.

During the opening ceremony, Kamenashi and Tsuchiya were dressed in wedding wear and recited a pledge to make everyone happy through this movie and hoped for the film's success.

Sources: Nikkansports 1 / Nikkansports 2 / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Nakai Kiichi & Sasaki Kuranosuke to star in new movie "Uso Happyaku"

Nakai Kiichi and Sasaki Kuranosuke will be starring in the new comedy movie "Uso Happyaku" set in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture. The movie will be directed by Take Masaharu and written by Adachi Shin who last worked together in the movie "Hyakuen no Koi".

Nakai plays the role of an antique dealer Norio from the Kanto region who hasn't been able to get much work and meets a ceramic artist Sasuke (Sasaki) by chance. While trying to lay their hands on a legendary tea set of Rikyu, they get embroiled in a battle of wits involving their families, appraisers and the Cultural Agency.

Although Nakai and Sasaki are both in the cast of another movie "Hanaikusa" which will be shown in cinemas from 3 June, this is actually the first time that they are acting together and participating in the director's works. Nakai commented that he accepted the offer because he felt that Take is especially good at his portrayal of humans due to his experience of working up the ranks from an assistant director. In order to prepare for his role, Nakai read books regarding ancient art and antiques and hopes to make an enjoyable movie along with the director and his co-star. Likewise for Sasaki, he expressed anticipation at making an interesting movie set and called upon everyone to look out for the film.

Filming will begin at Osaka in February and the movie is scheduled to be screened in 2018.

Sources: Nikkansports / Eiga.com

Screening event & press conference of new NHK dramas "Thrill! ~ Aka no Shou / Kuro no Shou ~"

The screening event and press conference of new NHK dramas "Thrill ~ Aka no Shou / Kuro no Shou" (Aka no Shou Keishicho Shomugakari Hitomi no Jikenbo / Kuro no Shou Bengoshi Shirai Shinnosuke no Daisainan) was held on 6 February which was attended by the main cast members Komatsu Nana, Yamamoto Koji and Koide Keisuke. The dramas which are written by Makita Mitsuharu, marks the first synchronised drama between the NHK general and BS channels. "Aka no Shou" starring Komatsu consists of 4 episodes and will begin its run on the general channel from 22 February in the Wednesdays 10.25pm timeslot while "Kuro no Shou" starring Yamamoto also consists of 4 episodes and begins its run on the BS channel from 26 February in the Sundays 10pm timeslot.

For Komatsu, this is her first leading role in a drama so she was very happy when she first got the offer. As this is a detective drama, she had to memorise many lines so it was tough during the filming. However, she was thankful for the support from the people around her which allowed her to cope with the challenge. Usually, detective dramas tend to have a dark and gloomy image but this drama tries to explain things in a simple manner and allows viewers to think along as the story progresses. Komatsu also revealed that she had come to realise the good points of a drama through this production as she had worked mainly on movies to date.

Sources: Oricon / Eiga.com

"CRISIS Kouan Kido Sousatai Tokusouhan" to be shown in Cannes before its Japan broadcast

FujiTV Spring 2017 drama "CRISIS Kouan Kido Sousatai Tokusouhan" starring Oguri Shun and Nishijima Hidetoshi will be shown officially at the world's largest international visual contents market MIPTV on 4 April 2017 before its first broadcast in Japan the same month. This is the first Asian drama to be shown during the event since it started in 1963. Traditionally, only dramas from the US and Europe were featured during the event. The last edition of the event involved 3,750 companies from 97 countries and more than 10,000 participants.

The drama written by Kaneshiro Kazuki features Oguri in the leading role of Inami Akira who belongs to the secret team within the police force named Kouan Kido Sousatai Tokusouhan (special investigation unit of the public security department's riot squad). The team is tasked to handle the "dirty jobs" of the country and government and consists of police officers who have unspeakable pasts and secrets which they have to struggle with while handling the critical issues facing the country on a daily basis such as terrorism, new religious groups, military spies and drug peddling organisations. Nishijima plays his colleague Tamaru Saburo who also belongs to the same team. Inami is always resorting to unthinkable measures to overcome the criminals while Tamaru is the exact opposite and the epitome of calmness. Co-stars include Tanaka Tetsushi, Nomaguchi Toru and Araki Yuuko.

Oguri commented that he is very happy about the drama being the first to be selected among Asian works for the screening. Nishijima echoed the view that even before the filming started, it was already anticipated that their drama will be one which has broken the traditional boundaries of Japanese dramas. As such, they are both hopeful that the drama will be well-received by the international audience.

Sources: Sanspo / Oricon / Eiga.com

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kishii Yukino to star in new FujiTV drama SP "Juukyuusai"

Kishii Yukino will be starring in the new FujiTV drama SP "Juukyuusai" (19 years old) which will be shown at 1.25am on 5 April. The drama is based on the winning work by music university student Aoyama Nanami in the first "Dorama Koshien" contest which had been held three times to date for aspiring scriptwriters in senior high school. Aoyama wrote the script "Juunanasai" (17 years old) when she was a senior high school student. The drama will be directed by Takano Ai who has worked on dramas such as "Hirugao" and "Itsuka kono koi wo omoidashite kitto naite shimau".

The drama describes how the lead character Yoshiko (Kishii) who is an arts university student, behaves in a rebellious way towards her mother Asako who behaves as she pleases and how she falls for a man Aoba (Mashima Hidekazu) who her mother used to love.

Aoyama commented that the story is set at in the suburbs which has a nostalgic feel and hopes that the viewers will enjoy watching how a young person copes with confusion in her life and grows in the process. As for Kishii, she praised Aoyama for being mature beyond her actual age and that the script is hardly anything you would expect from someone who's just 19 so she was very eager to act in this drama after reading the script. The drama should be interesting to viewers of all ages be it those who are about to turn 19 or those already in their 30s or 40s and beyond who can look back fondly to the time when they were 19.

Source: Sanspo