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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nanao Tavito to sing the theme song for movie "Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bouken"

Singer-songwriter Nanao Tavito will be singing the theme song "TELE〇POTION" for the new movie "Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bouken" which stars Takenouchi Yutaka and will be shown in cinemas from 8 February 2014. The song talking about a man's search for real love but faces various ironies and sad things along the way, was written by Nanao specially for the movie and will be first heard through the movie's trailers.

The movie features Takenouchi as a "perfect" man Nishino Yukihiko who seems to have it all in work and life but can never hold on to a relationship because his girlfriends dumped him. He will be trying to search for true love through his encounters with various women played by actresses Ono Machiko, Narumi Riko, Kimura Fumino, Honda Tsubasa, Aso Kumiko and Agawa Sawako.

Source: Eiga.com

First-day-screening event of "Gekijouban SPEC Close Kou no Hen"

The first-day-screening event of movie "Gekijouban SPEC Close Kou no Hen" which marks the end of the SPEC series, was held on 29 November at midnight in the TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills which was attended by cast members Toda Erika, Kase Ryo, Arimura Kasumi, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Fukuda Saki, Yasuda Ken, Mano Erina, Okada Koki, Ryu Raita and the director Tsutsumi Yukihiko. A total of 89 cinemas nationwide also held the midnight screening of the movie. During the press conference held just before midnight, Toda who sported a new hairstyle, thanked the fans for supporting SPEC for the past three years and hoped that they will continue loving the series. Kase also thanked the audience for making it to the screening despite it being held so late and was glad that the film could be screened on time because the director had previously said that the movie was far from being completed when they were promoting Part 1 of this final movie.

Part 1 of the movie "Zen no Hen" was screened from 1 November and had accumulated 1.8 million visits and ticket sales of JPY 2.2bn up to 27 November.

Source: Eiga.com

Monday, November 25, 2013

Ishihara Satomi to be the heroine in "Shitsuren Chocolatier"; supporting cast members also announced

Ishihara Satomi will take on the role of the heroine in the upcoming FujiTV Winter 2014 Gekku "Shitsuren Chocolatier" starring Arashi's Matsumoto Jun which will begin its run in January 2014. She will be playing the role of Takahashi Saeko, the senior at school who Koyurugi Souta (Matsumoto) was smitten with and they started dating during Christmas after Souta confessed his feelings to her. However, Saeko dumped Souta suddenly without a reason on the eve of Valentine's Day which led the latter to head to France to learn the art of making chocolates in order to win Saeko back one day. Ishihara and Matsumoto last worked together in this year's "Lucky Seven" drama SP.

It was also announced on the same day that Mizukawa Asami will be playing Souta's business partner who is older than him as they work together to open a chocolate specialty shop. Mizobata Junpei will play Souta's bext friend who he met in France and is half-Japanese and half-French. Souta's sex friend will be played by Mizuhara Kiko while his younger sister will be played by Arimura Kasumi.

Source: Sanspo

"Yamikin Ushijima-kun" to be back as drama series and movie in 2014

"Yamikin Ushijima-kun" starring Yamada Takayuki as Ushijima, the president of an illegal moneylending company, will be back as a drama in the Winter 2014 season and a drama in May 2014. The drama will begin its run on TBS from 16 January at 12.58am on Thursdays with new cast members Ayano Go, Irie Jingi and Takeda Kohei along with existing cast members Sakimoto Hiromi and Yabe Kyosuke.

"Yamikin Ushijima-kun" which is based on the same-titled manga by Manabe Shohei, was first made into a midnight drama in the autumn 2010 season and a movie sequel was released in August last year. It talks about the reality in the illegal moneylending world as it focuses on how Ushijima (Yamada) operates his business and makes his clients pay up, sometimes using the most extreme measures. In the new drama series and movie, there will also be some focus on the cracks appearing in Ushijima's friend network which leads to a crisis for his company. Ayano's role will be Inui, an information provider who is also a childhood friend of Ushijima.

Ayano admitted that he didn't want to take part in the "Ushijima" series at first since it was already so successful prior to his involvement in it and it would be difficult for him to fit in. However, the fact that his buddy Yamada is the lead (they became close friends after working on the 2009 movie "Crows ZERO II") made him reconsider his decision in the end.

Source: Sanspo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NEWS member Tegoshi Yuya to play the criminal in TV Asahi drama SP "Matsumoto Seicho Drama SP San Oku Yen Jiken"

NEWS member Tegoshi Yuya will take on the role of the criminal in the TV Asahi drama SP "Matsumoto Seicho Drama SP San Oku Yen Jiken" which stars Tamura Masakazu and will be shown in January 2014. His role Hamano Kenji will pose as a policeman who was said to have committed the famous JPY 300m robbery. As part of the preparations for this role, Tegoshi had to dye his hair black and his face was merged with the original wanted person's poster to be featured in the SP. Tegoshi commented that he was not used to seeing his black hair but he was very happy to be able to take part in this drama SP especially since this case is such a famous one.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Inohara Yoshihiko & Seto Asaka welcome the arrival of their second child

V6's Inohara Yoshihiko and actress Seto Asaka welcomed the arrival of their second child, a baby girl, on 22 November as announced through a joint fax statement on 24 November. The couple mentioned in their statement that they had wished for their daughter to look more like her mother and were grateful for her arrival. They also pledged to live happily as a 4-member family now.

Inohara and Seto got married in September 2007 and had mentioned during their marriage announcement press conference that they hoped to have three children. Their first son was born in March 2010 and is now three years old.

Source: Sanspo

Kato Ai gets married on 22 Nov 2013

Kato Ai and her husband registered their marriage on 22 November which is commonly known as "Iifufu no Hi" (Good couple's day) at a ward office in Tokyo. Kato will continue her acting activities and commented that she hopes to be able to play married roles better in future after her marriage. The couple started dating this spring and announced their marriage on 13 Nov. Their wedding is expected to be held after spring next year.

Source: Sponichi

Red carpet event of movie "Kuroshitsuji"

The red carpet event of new movie "Kurotsuji" was held on 20 November which was attended by cast members Mizushima Hiro, Gouriki Ayame, Yuka, Yamamoto Mitsuki and the director Sato Keiichi. This marked the first public appearance of Mizushima in two and a half years and about 1,000 fans gathered for the event. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 18 January 2014.

Source: Eiga.com

Fukushi Sota, Yamazaki Hirona and Kamiki Ryunosuke to star in movie "Kamisama no Iu Toori"

Fukushi Sota, Yamazaki Hirona and Kamiki Ryunosuke will be starring in the movie adaptation of "Kamisama no Iu Toori" (As God says it) based on the bestselling manga by Kaneshiro Muneyuki and Akeji which had sold more than 1.5 million copies to date. The movie will be directed by Miike Takashi and due to be shown next autumn.

Fukushi will play the role of Takahata Shun, a year 2 senior high school student who has been living an ordinary life but suddenly finds himself embroiled in a life-and-death series of games. His childhood friend Akimoto Ichika will be played by Yamazaki while Kamiki will play Amatani Takeshi, a problematic classmate of Shun who's quick to resort to violence. The script will be written by Yatsu Hiroyuki who was involved in this year's top-rating drama "Hanzawa Naoki". Filming will begin in June next year and wrap up in October.

Source: Eiga.com

Sometani Shota, Fukatsu Eri and Hashimoto Ai to star in adaptation of "Kiseijuu"

Sometani Shota, Fukatsu Eri and Hashimoto Ai will be the main cast members in the upcoming real-life adaptation movie of "Kiseijuu" (Parasite) based on the popular manga which was serialised between 1990 and 1995. The movie will be directed by Yamazaki Takashi who is famous for his works such as "ALWAYS 3-chome no Yuuhi" and filming is due to start in January 2014. The film will be split into two parts where part 1 will be shown in December 2014 while part 2 is due to be shown in 2015.

The story features Sometani as the lead Shinichi, an ordinary senior high school student who gets attacked by a parasite that gets washed up onto the shore one night. However, the parasite named Migi fails to take over Shinichi's brain and becomes an helper to Shinichi instead. While other parasites try to attack Shinichi and Migi who are slowly becoming friends, he and his childhood friend Satomi (Hashimoto) meet a school teacher Tamiya Ryoko (Fukatsu) who believes in the possibility of human beings and parasites being able to co-exist rather than be at each other's throats.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Sugimoto Tetta & Furuta Arata to star in TBS Winter 2014 drama "Inpei Sousa"

Sugimoto Tetta and Furuta Arata will be the joint leads in the upcoming TBS Winter 2014 drama "Inpei Sousa" which will begin its run from 13 January 2014 at 8pm on Sundays. The drama is based on the bestselling police detective novel by Konno Bin which had sold more than 1.3 million copies to date and describes the story about a group of elite police officers involved in a power struggle. There had been 2 drama SP adaptations of the same novel in 2007 and 2008 starring Jinnai Takanori and Yanagiba Toshiro and another stage play adaptation in 2011 starring Kamikawa Takaya and Nakamura Senjaku.

Sugimoto plays the role of Ryuzaki, an elite officer who graduated from Tokyo University and has a strong belief in his values. On the other hand, his colleague Itami who is played by Furuta, is good at human relations and sometimes holds vastly different views from Ryuzaki. Namase Katsuhisa will play their colleague while Ryuzaki's wife will be played by Suzuki Sawa.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Saturday, November 23, 2013

TV Asahi to show "Trick SP 3" before the release of TRICK's final movie next January

TV Asahi will be showing "TRICK SP 3" in January 2014 as a prelude to the finale movie "Trick Gekijouban Last Stage" which will be released in cinemas from 11 January 2014. The TRICK series first started in 2000 as a midnight drama starring Nakama Yukie and Abe Hiroshi and will wrap up its 14-year history through the movie.

The drama SP is set in a secluded village in the forest where a family of three sisters are fighting for the family fortune but are embroiled in a serial murder case. Yamada Naoko (Nakama Yukie) and Ueda Jiro (Abe Hiroshi) happen to be at the village and get involved in solving the case. The three sisters in the drama are played by Kokusho Sayuri, Fujita Tomoko and Iijima Naoko while Iijima's son is played by Fukushi Sota and the family maid is played by Asakura Aki.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Takahashi Katsunori to join "Iryu 4 ~ Team Medical Dragon ~" as new cast member

Takahashi Katsunori will be joining the cast of FujiTV Winter 2014 drama "Iryu 4 ~ Team Medical Dragon ~" which begins its run from January 2014 in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot. The drama which features Sakaguchi Kenji as the lead Asada Ryutaro, describes the reunion of Team Dragon as they are faced with the task of creating the ideal hospital. Takahashi will play the role of Okamura, a consultant who has been involved in many hospital restructuring projects in the United States and returns to Japan to scout the members from Team Dragon to go to India to provide high-level medical treatment there. Okamura has a lot of medical knowledge and his past is shrouded in secrecy.

Takahashi described that the biggest hurdle for him was the amount of medical terms he had to say in his lines and there was little possibility for him to avoid these terms even though he would have wanted not to memorise them if he had the choice.

Source: Sanspo

The 5th TAMA Movie Awards

Best Movie: Sayonara Keikoku / Yokomichi Yonosuke

Special Award: Hajimari no Michi / Koi no Uzu

Best Actor: Matsuda Ryuhei (Fune wo Amu / Tantei wa BAR ni iru 2 / Kita no Kanariyatachi)

Best Actress: Maki Youko (Sayonara Keikoku / Soshite Chichi ni naru / Su-chan Mai-chan Sawako-chan / Tsuya no Yoru)
Yoshitaka Yuriko (Yokomichi Yonosuke / Manatsu no Houteishiki)

Best New Director: Nakano Ryota (Chichi wo tori ni) / Shiraishi Kazuya (Kyoaku)

Best New Actor: Hoshino Gen (Hakoiri no Musuko no Koi / Jigoku de naze warui / Sei Oniisan)
Ikematsu Sosuke (Yokomichi Yonosuke / Joukyou Monogatari)

Best New Actress: Kuroki Hana (Shanidar no Hana / Fune wo Amu / Sougen no Isu)
Kariya Yuiko (Shanidar no Hana / Chuugakusei Maruyama / Suzuki Sensei)

Source: Tama Cinema Forum

Nakamura Aoi, Hongo Kanata & Sakurai Minami to star in Iwai Shunji's drama "Nazo no Tenkousei"

Nakamura Aoi, Hongo Kanata and Sakurai Minami will be the joint leads in the upcoming TV Tokyo Winter 2014 drama "Nazo no Tenkousei" (The Mysterious Transfer Student) which is produced by director Iwai Shunji and to be shown from 10 January 2014 at 12.12am on Fridays. The drama features Nakamura as Iwata Koichi, a second-year senior high school student who is a science-fiction fan. This production will also mark Sakurai's drama debut.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Completion screening event of movie "Kanojo wa uso wo aishi sugiteru"

The completion screening event of new movie "Kanojo wa uso wo aishi sugiteru" was held on 20 November where cast members including Sato Takeru, Ohara Sakurako and Miura Shohei also held two live performances for the 1,600-strong audience as two bands featured in the story. The movie which is due to be shown in cinemas from 14 December features Ohara as the vocalist of 3-member band MUSH & Co. after she was picked from an audition involving 5,000 people and the band will release their insert song "Ashita mo" on 4 December. On the other hand, Miura will lead 4-member band CRUDE PLAY to release the single "Sayonara no Junbi wa, mou dekiteita" on 27 November and the band also performed the song during the event. At the end of the screening, Sato joined CRUDE PLAY as its bassist and performed the theme song "Sotsugyo".

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ishihara Satomi to play the heroine of drama SP "Shinzanmono Kaga Kyoichiro Nemuri no Mori"

Ishihara Satomi will take on the heroine role in the TBS drama SP "Shinzanmono Kaga Kyoichiro Nemuri no Mori" starring Abe Hiroshi which is due to be shown on 2 January 2014 at 9pm. She plays the role of a talented ballerina Mio who is the best friend of the suspect involved in a murder case. Despite having learnt ballet for two years during her primary school days, Ishihara had to undergo formal training by professional ballet dancer Kumakawa Tetsuya whose ballet company "K Ballet Company" is also taking part in this drama SP. Ishihara is due to take part in the ballet performances in the SP e.g. playing Black Swan in "Swan Lake" and "Sleeping Beauty".

With regard to the training, Ishihara commented that it was very tough but fun. She found the last scene of the SP especially memorable. Her co-star Abe also praised Ishihara for taking on such a difficult role and described her as a reliable partner to work with.

Source: Mantan Web

SKE48's Matsui Jurina to appear in "Kagi no Kakatta Heya SP"; guest lineup also announced

SKE48 member Matsui Jurina will be appearing in the "Kagi no Kakatta Heya SP" due to be shown via FujiTV on 3 January 2014 at 9pm. The SP is a continuation of the hit drama series shown during the spring 2012 season and features Arashi's Ohno Satoshi as a security systems expert Enomoto Kei who works with lawyers played by Toda Erika and Sato Koichi to solve difficult mysteries.

Matsui who is only 16 years old, will be playing the new secretary of Serizawa (Sato) who is 21 years old. She commented that it was rare for her to wear such clothes typically worn by OLs and that it was difficult to say lines containing words which she doesn't say normally. However, it was a great experience to work with the crew and cast.

The guest lineup for the drama SP was also announced where Fujiki Naohito, Kuroki Hitomi, Sano Shiro and Okada Yoshinori will appear in the sequel.

Source: Sponichi

Takenouchi Yutaka appears at the screening and talk event of TV Asahi drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin"

Takenouchi Yutaka appeared at the screening cum talk event of his new TV Asahi drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin" held on 19 November. The drama SP which will be shown over two nights on 30 November and 1 Dec at 9pm, features Takenouchi as a police detective who attempts to stop an university student played by Matsuyama Kenichi from sabotaging the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Takenouchi revealed that there was a scene where he had to be at the Kokuritsu Kyogijo's Olympic cauldron for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games and it was such a memorable experience for the cast that they took pictures together there. When asked about which athlete he felt could do well in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, he named short-distance runner Kiryu Yoshishide as the latter would only be 24 years old in 2020 and that would probably be the prime time of his running career. During the screening event, Takenouchi also presented bouquets of flowers in Olympic colours to 1988 Seoul Olympics synchronised swimming bronze medalist Kotani Mikako and 1992 Barcelona Olympics swimming gold medalist Iwasaki Kyoko.

Source: Sanspo

NHK's new morning drama "Massan" to look for a non-Japanese actress to play its heroine

NHK Osaka announced on 18 November that it will be producing a new morning drama titled "Massan" which will begin its run from 29 September 2014. The story will feature NHK's first non-Japanese heroine in a morning drama as it talks about the struggles of how Taketsuru Masataka and his wife Rita worked to make the first whisky to be produced in Japan. Taketsuru was the heir to a Japanese traditional brewery but became mesmerised with whisky. He then headed to Scotland to learn how to make whisky where he met his wife Rita. Later, they returned to Osaka and Hokkaido to make the first domestic whisky in Japan between the Taisho and Showa eras.

The heroine of this morning drama will be chosen through an audition and the final decision will be announced by March next year.

Source: Sanspo

Beat Takeshi, Eita & Takeuchi Yuko work together in TV Asahi 55th anniversary drama SP "Kuroi Fukuin"

Beat Takeshi, Eita and Takeuchi Yuko will be working together for the first time in the TV Asahi 55th anniversary Matsumoto Seicho drama SP "Kuroi Fukuin" which will be shown in January next year. The drama SP is based on an unsolved case during the Showa era where an air stewardess flying the international route was killed. The lead will be played by Beat Takeshi who plays the role of Fujisawa, a police detective in the first section of the Metropolitan Police Department, in charge of the case while Eita plays his partner at work Ichimura. As for Takeuchi, she will play the role of Yasuko, a church member who holds the key to the mystery. This will be the first Matsumoto Seicho work which Eita and Takeuchi is appearing in.

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Romaji lyrics of "Sayonara" by Nishino Kana (Theme song of NHK drama "Garasu no Ie")

Title: Sayonara
Artiste: Nishino Kana
Lyrics: Kana Nishino / SAEKI youthK (RzC)
Melody: SAEKI youthK (RzC)

kimi no saigo no kotoba ni
tachi tsukusu watashi ga ita
[dare mo warukunai]
[kirai ni natta wake janai]
[ima made arigatou] danante

futari no daiji na mono ga
itsuno mani ka sure chigatte
onaji toki wo sugoshi nagara
watashi hitori dake ga isoide itanda

juunen go mo aeru yo
onaji basho de aeru yo
omoi doori ni wa ikanai kamoshirenai kedo
itsuka mata
guuzen demo aeru yo
kitto koko de aeru yo
futari ga egaiteita
ano hi no mirai ga
kitto kanau you ni

kimi ni wa sou yume ga atta
kawarenai watashi ga ita
saki no mienai
zutto mattemo wakaranai
ato sukoshi no shinbou nante

sabishikute honno sukoshi no
jikan ga itsumo shiawase datta yo
onaji michi wo arukinagara
miteiru mirai ga chigatte itanda

juunen go mo aeru yo
onaji basho de aeru yo
omoi doori ni wa ikanai kamoshirenai kedo
itsuka mata
guuzen demo aeru yo
kitto koko de aeru yo
futari ga egaiteita
ano hi no mirai ga
kitto kanau you ni

ah suki to iu kimochi dake ja
dame nante shinjitakunai kedo
mou doushoumonai no sou sou...

kimi to deaeta
kimi wo aishita
sono kotoba ni wa hitotsu mo uso wa nai kara
itsuka mata
guuzen demo aeru yo
kitto koko de aeru yo
futari ga egaiteita
ano hi no mirai ga
kitto kanau you ni

Ayase Haruka to star in new movie "Bannou Kanteishi Q - Mona Lisa no Hitomi"

Ayase Haruka will be starring in the movie "Bannou Kanteishi Q - Mona Lisa no Hitomi" which will be shown during summer 2014. The movie is based on a mystery novel series by Matsuoka Keisuke which has sold 3.1 million copies to date and features Ayase as an all-rounder appraiser Rinda Riko who can appraise anything from art works to daily necessities. As the story is set in Japan and France, there are plans for part of the filming to be done in Paris. Filming began in mid October which was after Ayase finished the filming for her Taiga drama "Yae no Sakura". Ayase said that it took a while before she got used to acting in this movie because she was subconsciously saying the Fukushima dialect and had to remember to use French instead.

Co-stars include Matsusaka Tori who plays a magazine reporter in charge of interviewing Riko as well as Hatsune Eriko and Murakami Hiroaki.

Source: Sponichi

Takimoto Miori, Hongo Kanata & Big Bang's Seungri in online drama "Yubikoi ~ Kimi ni Okuru Message"

Takimoto Miori, Hongo Kanata and Big Bang's Seungri will be starring in the online drama "Yubikoi ~ Kimi ni Okuru Message" (Finger Love ~ Message sent to you) which will be distributed via online service UULA from 4 December. The drama features Takimoto as an university student who holds a torch for her classmate (Hongo) but later also finds herself drawn to an overseas student played by Seungri. As the three of them are around the same age, Takimoto said that it was almost as if they are real schoolmates so it was an enjoyable experience to work with them.

Source: Sponichi

Miura Haruma to star in FujiTV Winter 2014 drama "Boku no Ita Jikan"

Miura Haruma will be taking on the lead role in the FujiTV Winter 2014 drama "Boku no Ita Jikan" (The time when I was around) which will begin its run from January 2014 in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. This will be Miura's first leading role in a FujiTV drama and he plays the role of an university student who suffers from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) which causes him to have breathing difficulties due to the deteoriation of his muscles and has to rely on the respirator in time. As the character has lived his life without a purpose all the time, he starts to find out what he can do with his remaining time after being told about his illness.

Co-stars include Tabe Mikako, Saito Takumi, Yamamoto Mizuki, Nomura Shuhei and Asada Miyoko.

Source: Sponichi

Kuriyama Chiaki & Tanaka Kei in NHK drama SP "Shikeidai no 72 Jikan"

The screening of new NHK drama SP "Shikeidai no 72 Jikan" (72 Hours on The Gallows) was held at NHK's HQ in Shibuya, Tokyo, on 15 November which was attended by the leads Kuriyama Chiaki and Tanaka Kei. The drama which is based on a comic by Shinohara Rie, talks about the story of 5 men and women who are invited to a Western-style building owned by a woman but finds themselves being trapped there as the truth behind the owner's son's suicide a few years ago becomes known. The owner will be played by Daichi Mao. Filming was done in Yamanashi Prefecture over 2 weeks in October and the drama SP will be shown on 26 November and 3 December at 11.15pm.

Source: Sponichi

"Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo Gokumonjuku Satsujin Jiken" on location shooting in Malaysia

The cast and crew of "Kindaichi Shonen no Jikenbo Gokumonjuku Satsujin Jiken" including Yamada Ryosuke, Kawaguchi Haruna, Narimiya Hiroki and Wu Zun went on location shooting in Malaysia recently. The drama SP which will be shown during New Year 2014, features the characters in a Malaysian jungle where a series of murders take place. When asked to reflect on his first experience of filming in a jungle, Yamada commented that although it was natural for various types of animals to exist in the jungle, he couldn't help but be startled at times by these animals. Narimiya also recounted that he saw a 2-metre long kodomo dragon and ran away because he heard that they were poisonous.

It was also announced that Korean male group 2PM's Nickhun will also be making his first appearance in a Japanese drama through this SP where he will play a key person who is linked to the truth behind the case.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

"Legal High 2" talk event at Waseda University

"Legal High 2" had a talk event held at Waseda University on 12 November which was attended by its lead cast members Sakai Masato, Aragaki Yui and Okada Masaki who met 700 Waseda University students in the Okuma Lecture Theatre. Sakai who used to study at Waseda in the Faculty of Letters until he quit in Year 2 to focus on acting, called the university his origin and was visibly happy at being able to speak at the Okuma Lecture Theatre's stage which he never got to do so during his student days. Before the event, the cast also got to eat lunch at a Waseda canteen and Sakai commented that he was having problems eating proper meals when he was in Waseda (not having enough money) so he was glad to be able to come back and eat all he wants now.

Waseda was chosen as the event venue because of Sakai's affiliation with the school and the fact that Mayuzumi (Aragaki) was said to have graduated from Waseda in the drama. After watching the 6th episode with the students, they then asked questions to the cast. When asked about his role Komikado, Sakai said that he just acted as any ordinary adult would have behaved where they had to make use of their positions in society to do their work so Komikado's way of doing things wasn't as rare as it seemed to be. In addition, when asked about his image of lawyers, Sakai said that lawyers are in a tough position at times because they have to face evil right in the face while they work which led the law professor to comment that this should be something that all legal students should hear because it was an apt way of describing this line of work.

Sakai also commented that although he stopped studying in Waseda in just two years, he actually stayed in the campus for 6 years because he was in the acting club. As such, Sakai said that he owes his current success to Waseda as he could allow himself to develop his interest freely and called upon his juniors to continue doing what they believe in.

Aragaki expressed surprise at how popular Sakai was welcomed by the students and apologised for being unable to share anything related to Waseda. However, she asked the legal students to help her in future if she needs legal advice which was met with a resounding yes. As for Okada who was also asked the question about his image of lawyers, he expressed worry for lawyers who may be so involved in their clients' cases that they neglect their private lives which led the audience to laugh.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Tamura Masakazu starring in TV Asahi 55th commemorative work "Matsumoto Seicho Drama SP San Oku Yen Jiken"

Tamura Masakazu takes on the leading role in the TV Asahi drama SP "Matsumoto Seicho Drama SP San Oku Yen Jiken" (The 300m yen Case) which will be shown next January. This is the first drama adaptation of Matsumoto Seicho's novel based on the real-life case and features Tamura as Takeda Hideya, an investigator working for an American insurance company who would also reunite with his mother for the first time in 25 years old through working on the case.

Recently, the filming was opened to the media for the first time when the cast and crew were in Niigata along a road outside the Niigata Prison to shoot how the case happened outside Fuchu Prison back in 1968. In Matsumoto's novel, it was set in 1977 which was one year after the statute of limitations for the JPY 300m case ended when the insurance company Tamura works for, decides to launch its own investigation in order to have the culprits of the robbery pay for the compensation to the victim bank even though the insurance company had already paid JPY 200m by then.

Tamura revealed that as his health condition hasn't been so good these two years (he turned 70 years old in August), he expressed his fear about growing old because his voice had undergone some changes and there were times when he sounded really hoarse or he could not even speak up. It was also getting difficult for him to say lines as quickly as before. He was also worried about delaying the progress of the filming due to his NGs but not working for an extended period of time also made him uneasy so he decided to bite the bullet and do this drama SP as if it is his last work even though he may suffer some embarrassment on set due to his condition.

Filming of this drama had been wrapped up recently.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Amami Yuki & Matsuyama Kenichi to play a married couple in stage play "Ao no Ran"

Amami Yuki will be making her return to a stage play when she takes on the lead role in the play "Ao no Ran" which begins its run from 27 March 2014. The last time she was involved in a play in May 2013, Amami had to quit halfway due to a sudden health condition. This time, she will play a married couple with Matsuyama Kenichi who is 18 years younger than her in real life, and the couple will strive hard to create a new country amid the chaos. Matsuyama commented that it is a rare coincidence to play another member of the Taira clan i.e. Masakado since he played Kiyomori in the 2012 NHK Taiga "Taira no Kiyomori" and expressed surprise at his "affinity" with the Taira clan. As for Amami, she said that even though she is older than Matsuyama, she believes that there will be times when he will be the one leading her along during the perfromance and expressed faith in his acting. Other co-stars include Saotome Taichi and Taira Mikijiro.

The play will begin its run from 27 March to 26 April at Tokyu Theatre Orb in Shibuya, Tokyo, while its Osaka leg will last from 8 May to 27 May at Umeda Geijutsu Gekijou.

Source: Sanspo

Taiga handover ceremony for "Yae no Sakura" and "Gunshi Kanbee"

The Taiga handover ceremony for this year's "Yae no Sakura" and next year's "Gunshi Kanbee" was held on 15 November which was attended by the leads Ayase Haruka and Okada Junichi. The last episode of "Yae no Sakura" will be shown on 15 December while the first episode of "Gunshi Kanbee" will be shown on 5 January. When asked for advice that she can give to Okada, Ayase said that it would be best to take naps during the filming breaks as the filming schedule for a Taiga drama can be very packed even though it stretches for a whole year. The leads also exchanged gifts from the hometowns of their characters i.e. Ayase giving Okada gifts from Fukushima Prefecture while he gave her items from Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kato Ai to get married to her boyfriend on 22 November

Kato Ai is going to get married to her boyfriend who is 7 years older than her and a company director on 22 November (Iifufu no Hi - Good Couple Day), as reported on 13 November. According to the report, the couple only started dating this spring and Kato revealed that her husband-to-be resembles a cute bear whose interests include boxing and triathlons. The two got to know each other through mutual friends some years ago but only became closer this year.

Kato had gone to New York for language studies earlier this year and met up with her fiance as he was working there as well. During that period, they got to know each other better and started dating after realising that they had similar tastes in food and travelling. When Kato was due to return to Japan in spring, her fiance asked to start dating with the aim of marriage which led to the start of their relationship. The couple was also caught by the paparazzi in October while on a date.

Kato commented that compared to relationships when she was younger which felt more exciting and emotionally draining, she was happy to have a stable relationship and reliable partner who made her feel very secure. She also revealed that her fiance proposed in August at a beach when they were in Hawaii for a holiday. Although the marriage registration will be on 22 Nov which is an easy date to remember, the wedding will only be held next spring.

Source: Sanspo

Japan premiere event of movie "Subete wa kimi aeta kara"

The Japan premiere of new movie "Subete wa kimi aeta kara" was held at Tokyo Dome City Hall on 13 November which was attended by the cast Tamaki Hiroshi, Takanashi Rin, Kimura Fumino, Higashide Masahiro, Baisho Chieko, Kobayashi Nenji, Otsuka Nene, Yamazaki Ryutaro, Tokito Saburo and singer JUJU who sings the insert song "Mamotte agetai". The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 22 November, features the love stories of 10 men and women set against the JR Tokyo Station just before Christmas. During the event, Tamaki was asked if he believes in fate and he replied in an affirmative tone before adding that he would take the initiative to confess his feelings if he meets someone like this because he would not want to lose his chance. As for Takanashi who plays a couple with Tamaki, she revealed that there was a scene where Tamaki was holding a glass of white wine in his hand and she thought he really looked like Prince Charming at that moment.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 08, 2013

"Team Batista" drama series to end with the movie "Team Batista Final - Kerberos no Shouzou"

There will be a movie "Team Batista Final - Kerberos no Shouzou" (Kerberos' Potrait) which will wrap up the "Team Batista" drama series that will show its final drama instalment on TV this coming winter. The movie which will be shown from 29 March 2014, will feature not only the leads Ito Atsushi and Nakamura Toru but also past characters in previous series such as Nishijima Hidetoshi and Matsusaka Tori as well as new members to the lineup including Kuriyama Chiaki  and Namase Katsuhisa. The final drama series "Raden Meikyuu" will be shown via FujiTV from January 2014 at 10pm on Tuesdays.

The movie's story starts with a threatening letter sent to the hospital where Taguchi (Ito) works in which leads to the biggest crisis facing Taguchi and Shiratori (Nakamura). The development of the storyline will be different from the original novel after discussions with the author Kaidou Takeru.

Source: Sanspo

Monday, November 04, 2013

Arashi's Matsumoto Jun to star in Winter 2014 Gekku "Shitsuren Chocolatier"

Arashi's Matsumoto Jun will be starring in the FujiTV Winter 2014 Gekku "Shitsuren Chocolatier" (The out-of-love chocolatier) which begins its run from January 2014 in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. The drama is based on the same-titled shoujo manga by Mizushiro Setona which has sold more than 1 million copies to date and won the 36th Kodansha Manga Sho (shoujo manga category).

Matsumoto plays the role of Koyurugi Souta who was attending a confectionery school during his senior high school days and had fallen in love at first sight with his senior Saeko. The two of them began dating near Christmas but Souta was suddenly dumped by Saeko one day before Valentine's Day even though he had been preparing some handmade chocolate for his girlfriend who loves chocolate. In order to win Saeko back, Souta decided to head to France to learn how to become a chocolatier and later becomes known as the Prince of Chocolate.

Matsumoto expressed excitement at learning the various techniques to making chocolate and hopes to have enough time to make full preparations for it. He also commented that since the theme of the drama was being out of love, he hopes to convey the joy of being in love and the sadness of being out of love at the same time through this drama.

Source: Sanspo

Sunday, November 03, 2013

First-day-screening event of "Gekijouban SPEC Close"

The first-day-screening event of "Gekijouban SPEC Close" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 1 November which was attended by the cast members Toda Erika, Kase Ryo, Ryu Raita, Mukai Osamu, Oshima Yuko and the director Tsutsumi Yukihiko. The cast were asked to write a Kanji character each to represent their thoughts about the end of the SPEC series. Toda wrote the word "Shuu" (End) which represented the end of the series and the first stage of her career. She related that she was having second thoughts about her acting career just before she took on the role of Toma Saya and she was glad to have done so because it made her become more focused in her acting career and found new motivation to move on to the next stage of her career, As such, she regards "SPEC" as her signature work and a very important thing to her. As for Kase, he chose the word "Han" (Half) to represent his feelings of half-sadness that the series is ending but at the same time, he's happy to have wrapped things up.

The 2-part SPEC movies will be shown in 290 cinemas nationwide with Part 1 starting on 1 Nov and Part 2 from 29 November.

Source: Eiga.com

Nanao as "Snow White" in the new movie "Shirayuki Hime Satsusjin Jiken"

Nanao will be "Snow White" in the upcoming movie "Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken" (The Murder Case of Snow White) which stars Inoue Mao and Ayano Go and will be shown in cinemas from 29 March 2014. Nanao plays the role of Miki Noriko, who is regarded as the Snow White of the cosmetics company she works for and is a colleague of plain-looking Miki (Inoue). However, when Noriko suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances, it causes Miki to become a suspect. As the story progresses, Miki undergoes immense pressure from excessive media reports, brickbats online and hearsay as Yuji (Ayano) tries to piece together the truth based on the testimonies of the people around Miki. As this is Nanao's first movie, she commented that she was very glad and honoured to be given such an important role and asked everyone to view the movie when it's released.

Source: Eiga.com

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Video Research TV Talent Image Survey Top 20 Artistes (August 2013)

Note that the figures in brackets indicate the popularity percentage of the artiste:

Top 20 Male Artistes
1) Fukuyama Masaharu (54.3%)
2) Abe Hiroshi (54.2%)
3) Akashiya Sanma (51.9%)
4) Ichiro (51.3%)
5) Kuwata Keisuke (49.7%)
6) Tadokoro George (49.0%)
7) Ishizuka Hidehiko (46.7%)
8) Samaazu (46.4%)
9) Yuzu (44.6%)
10) Sakurai Sho / Watanabe Ken (44.4%)
12) Sekine Tsutomu / Oizumi Yo (44.2%)
14) Abe Sadao (44.1%)
15) Taka And Toshi / Mr.Children (43.7%)
17) Ariyoshi Hiroyuki / Aiba Masaki (43.0%)
19) Takada Junji / Tsutsumi Shinichi (42.8%)

Top 20 Female Artistes
1) Ayase Haruka (50.8%)
2) Asada Mao (49.6%)
3) Amami Yuki (46.4%)
4) DREAMS COME TRUE (44.1%)
5) Kanno Miho (42.7%)
6) Rola (41.1%)
7) Becky (40.7%)
8) Yoshinaga Sayuri (40.2%)
9) Ikimonogakari (40.0%)
10) Ueto Aya (38.9%)
11) Matsushima Nanako (38.4%)
12) Koizumi Kyoko (38.2%)
13) Amuro Namie / Shinohara Ryoko (38.1%)
15) Aragaki Yui (37.0%)
16) Yuka (36.8%)
17) Horikita Maki (35.8%)
18) Nakama Yukie (35.4%)
19) Yanagihara Kanako (35.2%)
20) Yonekura Ryoko (34.9%)

Source: Video Research

Sakaguchi Kenji makes a comeback in "Iryu 4"

Sakaguchi Kenji will play the character Asada Ryutaro again in the new sequel "Iryu 4" which will be shown via FujiTV from January 2014 at 10pm on Thursdays. This time, the focus of the drama will shift from medical treatment to the medical business as Team Dragon gathers again to try to create the perfect hospital. There have been three parts in the Iryu series (2006, 2007 and 2010) and everyone thought that they were done with this series by the time Part 3 was completed.

Part 4 will be set against the backdrop of Japanese hospitals purchasing overseas hospitals with the hope of making entry into the global market but within Japan, the local hospitals have been closing one after another due to problems such as lack of doctors. In such a situation, members of Team Dragon come together again to create an ideal hospital.

Sakaguchi who counts "Iryu" as his signature work, expressed joy at being able to act in the sequel but commented that he did feel intimidated at having to act in long operation scenes again.

Co-stars in "Iryu 4" include previous Team Dragon members Inamori Izumi, Koike Teppei, Abe Sadao and Sasaki Kuranosuke as well as Hira Mikijiro who will act as Asada's teacher.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, November 01, 2013

Tanihara Shosuke to star in WOWOW's new drama "Chi no Wadachi"

Tanihara Shosuke will be the lead in the WOWOW drama "Chi no Wadachi" to be shown from 19 January 2014 at 10pm on Sundays. The drama which consists of 4 episodes, is based on the same-titled novel by Aiba Hideo and features Tanihara as a police detective in the criminal investigation department who is embroiled in a power struggle with his former buddy played by Neptune's Harada Taizo who is in the public security department after they cross paths again due to a former police officer's murder case. Harada's character's superior will be played by Takashima Masanobu while model TAO will play the role of an investigator from the special investigation division.

Source: Oricon

Production press conference of TV Asahi 55th anniversary drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin"

The production press conference of TV Asahi's 55th anniversary 2-part drama SP "Olympic no Minoshirokin" was held in Tokyo on 31 October which was attended by cast members Takenouchi Yutaka, Matsuyama Kenichi, Kuroki Meisa, Izumiya Shigeru, Emoto Akira, Osugi Ren, Kurokawa Tomoka, Saito Takumi, Sasano Takashi, Sawamura Ikki, Hayami Mokomichi and Hara Sachie. The drama SP will be shown on 30 November and 1 December at 9pm.

When asked about his thoughts of working with Matsuyama for the first time, Takenouchi commented that although his co-star may seem like any young man of his age off screen, Matsuyama is able to act so well the moment they start filming. On the other hand, Matsuyama said that he had the impression all along that Takenouchi was no ordinary human being and reaffirmed this while working on this SP which led everyone to laugh at this comment.

Source: Sanspo