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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Matsuyama Kenichi & Saotome Taichi to work together in new WOWOW drama "Futagashira"

Matsuyama Kenichi will be starring in the new WOWOW drama "Futagashira" which will begin its run from June. This will be Matsuyama's first period drama in three years since his NHK Taiga "Taira no Kiyomori".

The drama set in the Edo era features Matsuyama as Benkei and Saotome Taichi as Soji who both work at a courier service in Hachioji and have double identities as members of a theft group named Akame which steals money from the evil. One day, when their respected leader Tatsugoro is on his death bed, he tells Benkei and Soji that he will leave Akame to them but Tatsugoro's will states that the designated leader will be Kanzaburo instead. The duo refuse to accept this and set out on a trip to do something big.

Source: Eiga.com

Top 10 celebrities with the highest CM exposure in 2014 (Video Research)

Numbers in brackets refer to the positions held in 2013 and the time presented here is the total amount of CM airtime in seconds:

1) Ueto Aya - 257,770 secs (2)

2) Sakai Masato - 256,500 secs (40)

3) Matsuoka Shuzo - 219,165 secs (30)

4) Nishijima Hidetoshi - 184,900 secs (59)

5) Takei Emi - 171,990 secs (5)

6) Horikita Maki - 158,165 secs (26)

7) Abe Hiroshi - 153,645 secs (15)

8) Ayase Haruka - 152,835 secs (21)

9) Honda Tsubasa - 138,360 secs (25)

10) Sakurai Sho - 135,645 secs (17)

Source: Video Research

Kuriyama Chiaki to be the heroine in TBS Spring 2015 drama "Algernon ni Hanataba wo"

Kuriyama Chiaki will be playing the heroine in the upcoming TBS Spring 2015 drama "Algernon ni Hanataba wo" starring Yamashita Tomohisa which will begin its run from April in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. She will be working with Yamashita for the first time and plays Mochizuki Haruka who falls for his character Sakuto.

Other supporting cast members include Kubota Masataka and Kudo Asuka who play Sakuto's colleagues Yanagikawa Ryuichi and Hiyama Kosuke, Sexy Zone's Kikuchi Fuma who plays Asuka's colleague, Tanimura Mitsuki who plays Kawaguchi Rio, an university student who is physically-handicapped and likes Sakuto as well as Omasa Aya who plays Koide Mai, a good friend of Rio. Ishida Issei, Hagiwara Masato, Ishimaru Kanji, Kaai Gamon, Kusakari Tamiyo and Nakahara Takeo will also be in the cast.

Source: Sponichi / My Navi

The 38th Nippon Academy Awards (2015)

Best Movie: Eien no Zero

Best Director: Yamazaki Takashi (Eien no Zero)

Best Leading Actor: Okada Junichi (Eien no Zero)

Best Leading Actress: Miyazawa Rie (Kami no Tsuki)

Best Supporting Actor: Okada Junichi (Higurashi no Ki)

Best Supporting Actress: Kuroki Haru (Chiisai Ouchi)

Best Script: Dohashi Akihiro (Chou Kousoku! Sankin Koutai)

Best Photography: Shibasaki Kozo (Eien no Zero)

Best Lighting: Ueda Nariyuki (Eien no Zero)

Best Artistic Direction: Jojo Anri (Eien no Zero)

Best Sound: Fujimoto Kenichi (Eien no Zero)

Best Editing: Miyajima Ryuji (Eien no Zero)

Best Music: Suo Yoshikazu (Maiko wa Lady)

Best Foreign Movie: Frozen

Best Animated Film: STAND BY ME Doraemon

Newcomer Awards: Ikematsu Sosuke, Kamishiraishi Mone, Komatsu Nana, Tosaka Hiroomi, Nonen Reina, Fukushi Sota

Popularity Award: Rurouni Kenshin Kyoto Inferno / Rurouni Kenshin The Legend Ends / Okada Junichi (Eien no Zero)

Source: Eiga.com

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Special Feature - TV Stations' Merchandise Shops ~ Part 2: TBS

Following the first report on FujiTV's shop at Tokyo Station, here comes the next feature on TBS. Compared to the other TV stations' shops which tend to sell the "in-season" goods, there is a fair mix of merchandise from older and new dramas' which is good news to fans especially if the goods from past seasons' dramas are difficult to find. In addition, there is a more balanced mix of merchandise from dramas, variety programmes and anime as compared to other shops which tend to be from one particular programme or genre. On the other hand, due to the limited shop space, you will notice that the number of items per title is rather small which can't be helped. It's a delicate balance between shop space and variety and extensiveness of the product range so each TV station has their own way of deciding what's more attractive to customers but it may or may not suit your own needs. If you can't find what you want here, you can choose to head to TBS' headquarters in Akasaka or try your luck on their website's store.

First of all, let's take a look at the "in-season" dramas i.e. Autumn 2014. When I was there in Dec, it was towards the end of the autumn dramas so the top level of the shelf was reserved primarily for them. Ever since the success of the Baegashi Manju from "Hanzawa Naoki", it seems like every other TV station is bent on doing the same to replicate the success of that. Of course, because "Hanzawa Naoki" was a TBS drama, the TV station will continue to produce manju for the dramas in the hope that that success will come again. However, "Hanzawa Naoki" was a rare hit in this era of low ratings which led to the high demand for its manju. Honestly, I don't think the manju will sell like hot cakes unless the drama is a runaway success. Having said that, it doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't buy the manju. When I tried the Baegashi Manju in spring 2014, it tasted quite ordinary to me so I suppose people bought it for the sake of the drama's popularity rather than for its taste. It's a nice memento to buy back if you like the drama but don't expect too much of the taste. "Gomen ne Seishun" seems to be the hotly-promoted drama in the Autumn season with a pretty extensive range of manju, towels, plastic folders, stationery bags and handphone accessories. I don't know if you can still find these by this time though. Comparatively, "N no tame ni" only had two items i.e. the novel by Minato Kanae and handphone accessories on display.

As for the "older" dramas, "SPEC" and "Mozu" have a wider range of items available such as stationery and accessories compared to the other titles. However, the items from "SPEC" aren't entirely from the drama series but from the movies. I bought a plastic folder from the "SPEC" series which had pictures of Toda Erika and Kase Ryo. As for "Mozu", due to the fact that there's a movie version to be made, that is probably why you can still see the drama's items in the store. However, for items which bore pictures other than the drama's logo, you will notice that the image of Nishijima Hidetoshi is printed there rather than those of his co-stars Kagawa Teruyuki and Maki Yoko. This speaks volumes of his popularity and the fact that his face could probably attract female fans to buy those items. One interesting item I found from the older dramas was the prepacked curry from "Kazokugari" which I suppose should be a pun on its name and herb rouge tea from the same drama. TBS seems to be quite keen on developing food items for its drama merchandise.

If you are looking for items from the following dramas which I've not mentioned above, you may also wish to give this shop a visit. Just note that by this time or when you visit, the range of items may have changed again though:
- Roosevelt Game
- S Saigo no Keisatsukan
- Pintokona
- Clover (movie)

Ayano Go to be the guest star in Ep 7 of TBS Winter 2015 drama "Ouroboros"

Ayano Go will be appearing as a guest star in the TBS Winter 2015 drama "Ouroboros". He will play the role of Nachi Sosuke, a strange freelance writer who grew up together with Ryuzaki Ikuo (Ikuta Toma) and Danno Tatsuya (Oguri Shun) in the child welfare facility and holds a secret to knowing the identity of the man who killed Kashiwaba Yuiko. Ayano will appear in the drama from episode 7 (27 Feb) to episode 9 (13 Mar).

Although Ayano had worked with Ikuta and Oguri separately in the past, this is the first time that the trio will be appearing in the same drama. In private, the three of them are also close friends who go drinking together.

Source: Sanspo

Inamori Izumi & AKB48's Watanabe Mayu to co-star in FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Tatakau! Shoten Girl"

Inamori Izumi and AKB48's Watanabe Mayu will be starring in the FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Tatakau! Shoten Girl" (Fight! Bookstore Girl) which will be shown in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot from April onwards. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Aoino Kei, features two bookstore employees who are exact opposites fighting against each other in the workplace. Inamori plays the role of Nishioka Riko, a single 40-year-old employee at a longtime bookstore in Kichijoji who worked up the ranks from a part-timer to become a full-time employee while Watanabe plays a 23-year-old newbie employee Kitamura Aki who enters the company through connections. This drama will feature Watanabe in her first leading role in a drama.

Filming begins in early March and co-stars include Daito Shunsuke, Tanabe Seiichi, Suzuki Chinami and Hey! Say! JUMP's Inoo Kei.

Source: Sanspo

Completion press conference of new WOWOW drama "Garasu no Ashi"

The completion press conference of new WOWOW drama "Garasu no Ashi" was held on 20 Feb at Space FS Shiodome which was attended by the leads Aibu Saki and Ozawa Yukiyoshi. The drama which will begin its run from 21 Feb in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot, features Aibu as a woman who marries her mother's lover and gets involved in an extramarital affair with another man. Although Aibu attracted a lot of attention with her semi-nude pose on the drama's poster, she said that being nude in front of the camera wasn't as much of an issue compared to having to make acrobatic poses which she joked that almost made her body twisted.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kimura Takuya & Ueto Aya to play husband and wife in TV Asahi Spring 2015 drama "I'm Home"

Kimura Takuya will be starring in the TV Asahi Spring 2015 drama "I'm Home" which begins its run from April in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. This will be his first leading role in a TV Asahi drama series as his 18 works after 1996's Long Vacation had all been from FujiTV or TBS only. This drama which is based on the comic by Ishizaka Kei, had been made into a drama by NHK in 2004.

Kimura will play the role of a married salaryman with a son who loses his memory for the past 5 years due to an accident and sees his current wife's face as a mask with no features while being suddenly very concerned about his ex-wife and daughter who he had left 5 years ago. As he tries to regain his memory, he uses the 10 keys in his possession to find out the mysteries behind these keys. Ueto Aya will play the role of his current wife and this is their first collaboration in a drama.

Filming will begin in mid March.

Source: Sponichi

Oshima Yuko to star in TBS Spring 2015 drama "Yamegoku ~ Yakuza yamete itadakimasu ~"

Oshima Yuko will be taking on the role of a police officer for the first time in the TBS Spring 2015 drama "Yamegoku ~ Yakuza yamete itadakimasu ~" which will be shown from April in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. This will also be her first leading role in a drama. She plays an officer in the Metropolitan Polie Department's Organised Crime department who receives calls from gang members wanting to leave their gangs and provides assistance to help them do so. Oshima will also have to take on action scenes in the drama thus in preparation for the start of the filming in mid March, she will be undergoing martial arts training.

Source: Sponichi

Okada Junichi, Abe Hiroshi, Ono Machiko to star in new movie "Everest Kamigami no Itadaki"

Okada Junichi, Abe Hiroshi and Ono Machiko will be starring in the new movie "Everest Kamigami no Itadaki" due to be shown in cinemas next year. The movie which is based on the novel by Yumemakura Baku and preparation work had been going on for the past five years, features Okada as a mountain cameraman who happens to meet a lonely climber (Abe) who had been missing for some time and sets out to conquer Everest with him. Ono plays a woman who loves the climber and tries to find him.

The cast and 40-strong crew will be climbing Everest from the Nepal side in March and are expected to use 10 days to climb to the base camp at 6,000m before spending another 10 days for the filming. Total production costs are estimated at JPY 1.5 billion and special insurance has been purchased for all cast and staff members.

Source: Sponichi

Production press conference of new WOWOW drama "Tenshi no Knife"

The production press conference of new WOWOW drama "Tenshi no Knife" was held on 18 Feb which was attended by the cast members Koide Keisuke, Kurashina Kana, Fujimoto Izumi, Chiba Yudai and LaSalle Ishii. The drama which is based on the debut novel by Yakumaru Gaku that won the 51st Edogawa Ranpo Award, features Koide as Hiyama, a cafe owner whose wife was killed by a group of 13-year-old boys who tries to find out what these people are doing now and if they are truly making amends for what they did. Koide commented as the filming went on, it became tougher emotionally due to the serious theme of the story. On the other hand, there were many scenes which he had to do with a baby who plays his child in the drama but his co-stars teased him for being very poor at playing with and carrying the baby.

The drama will begin its run from 22 February at 10pm on Sundays.

Source: Eiga.com

Saito Takumi to star in new FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Ishitachi no Renai Jijo"

Saito Takumi will be starring in the new FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Ishitachi no Renai Jijo" (The Love Affairs of Doctors) which will begin its run from April in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot. He will play the role of Morita Haruki, a 35-year-old surgeon who's so passionate about his work that he has forgotten how to date a woman. At the university hospital he works, Haruki meets Kondo Chizuru (Ishida Yuriko), a 42-year-old surgeon and falls for her thus beginning an office romance in a competitive environment where doctors try to get ahead of one another.

Co-stars include Aibu Saki, a anesthetist who's a single mother and aggressive about love, Hirayama Hiroyuki who plays a surgeon having sex dependency issues, Itaya Yuka who plays an internal medicine doctor undergoing infertility treatment, Ihara Tsuyoshi who's a surgeon and buddy of Haruki and Namase Katsuhisa who is the operating director of the hospital.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The 83rd Drama Academy Awards (Autumn 2014)

Best Drama
1) N no Tame Ni
2) Kyouwa Kaisha Yasumimasu
3) Gomen ne Seishun!

Best Leading Actor
1) Okada Junichi (Gunshi Kanbee)
2) Oguri Shun (Nobunaga Concerto)
3) Nishikido Ryo (Gomen ne Seishun!)

Best Leading Actress
1) Ayase Haruka (Kyouwa Kaisha Yasumimasu)
2) Eikura Nana (N no Tame Ni)
3) Yonekura Ryoko (Doctor X)

Best Supporting Actor
1) Kubota Masataka (N no Tame Ni)
2) Fukushi Sota (Kyouwa Kaisha Yasumimasu)
3) Takenaka Naoto (Gunshi Kanbee)

Best Supporting Actress
1) Mitsushima Hikari (Gomen ne Seishun!)
2) Shibasaki Kou (Nobunaga Concerto)
3) Kimura Yoshino (First Class)

Best Theme Song
1) Silly - Ieiri Leo (N no Tame Ni)
2) Ashiato ~ Be Strong - Mr.Children (Nobunaga Concerto)
3) Itta Janai ka - Kanjani 8 (Gomen ne Seishun!)

Best Script: Kudo Kankuro (Gomen ne Seishun!)

Best Directing: N no Tame Ni

The Television Special Award: Baka Rhythm (Suteki na Sentakushi)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Review of "Kiseijuu Part 1"

Watching this movie while I was in Japan during winter last year was somewhat unplanned. I had some time in the day and wanted to catch a movie but somehow, the offerings were either shows I had watched in Singapore such as "Gone Girl" or films which I wasn't keen on. There were also some Japanese movies which I was very keen on but they either had ended their run or were not screened yet. Although I knew that "Kiseijuu" was going to be shown in Singapore soon, I still went ahead to watch it even though I'm not a fan of the manga, know close to nothing about the story and am more interested in the supporting cast of Fukatsu Eri, Higashide Masahiro and Hashimoto Ai rather than the story or CG effects. If only the movie had been better in various aspects, I wouldn't have regretted paying more money for watching it in Japan.

Due to the fact that I didn't know the source material, I had no prior expectations before watching the movie. Although I know that the manga is said to be very good, I never had the opportunity and time to read it beforehand which on hindsight, is probably a better thing. As such, my review is from the viewpoint of someone who knows close to nothing about the manga so a fan might have an entirely different take on this movie. If you haven't watched this movie and do not want me to spoil the fun for you, perhaps you might want to skip this review.

Before I get started with my views on this movie, here's a summary of the story. The film begins with a parasyte species surfacing from the depths of the sea and infiltrating the human world by entering the ears of a human being and taking over his or her brain. In order to survive, these parasytes eat humans and often leave behind a bloody trail when the remains are found by the authorities.

As this is going on, we are introduced to the lead character of this story i.e. Izumi Shinichi (Sometani Shota), an ordinary high school student who lives with his mother (Yo Kimiko). One night, while he is lying in bed listening to music, the parasyte tries to invade Shinichi's body through his ears but fails because of the earphones. It then attempts to go in through his right arm but this startles him and he manages to tie a rubber rope around his arm to stop the parasyte in time before it attacks his brain. However, when things settle down, Shinichi is left wondering if what he has experienced moments ago was just a dream and doesn't think much of the episode.

Later on, Shinichi discovers what a close shave he had with the parasyte who calls itself Migi (voiced by Abe Sadao) and has taken over his right arm instead. Despite the disbelief and inconvenience of Migi's presence, Shinichi sort of resigns himself to his fate as he tries to conceal its presence from those around him including his childhood friend Satomi (Hashimoto Ai). On the other hand, Shinichi's existence (human and parasyte co-existing in the same human body) becomes something of interest to fellow parasytes including Tamiya Ryoko (Fukatsu Eri) who has appeared as a new teacher in Shinichi's school, Shimada Hideo (Higashide Masahiro) who later becomes a transfer student at the same school and A (Ikeuchi Mansaku). Tamiya in particular seems more intent on studying Shinichi as she is currently pregnant with the offspring of parasytes in a human's body. It would seem like Shinichi would have led an entirely parallel life from the parasytes aiming to take over the human race if not for an unfortunate mishap befalling his mother,

As a result of his mother's body being taken over by A, Shinichi is seriously wounded and on the verge of dying. In a bid to save his life, Migi uses its own cells to help Shinichi recover and this results in him developing new-found powers as a result of this integration with Migi. However, this also causes a drastic change in his personality which does not go unnoticed by Satomi.

Not only does Shinichi have to come to terms with the fact that he has to kill A who resides in his mother's body, he faces a bigger challenge when Hideo's identity as a parasyte is suddenly exposed in school thus resulting in the latter going on a bloody massacre. In order to stop Hideo's rampage, Shinichi uses his newfound physical prowess and powers to overcome Hideo. At the end of Part 1, Shinichi resolves to use his abilities to stop the parasytes from achieving their aim as they are already making inroads into the political arena through one of their comrades Hirokawa Takeshi (Kitamura Kazuki)...

First of all, the uneven pacing of the story was quite obvious. As the movie was around 120 minutes long only, there was a lot of material it had to address within this timeframe e.g. how the parasytes came about, how they invade humans, how Shinichi became drawn into the conflict of humans vs. parasytes, how Shinichi changed as a result of his mother's death. Some things were probably not necessary to describe in detail such as showing how Migi got its knowledge about the human world through the library's books and the Internet while critical parts such as Shinichi's change in personality after Migi's cells were integrated with his were not given due attention especially since this could be used to explain Shinichi's his future actions in Part 2. Due to this, I felt myself getting really bored and sleepy during the first half of the movie as the story seemed to be meandering for no reason and things only picked up after the Shinichi-Migi integration.


Secondly, there seems to be a gross wastage of talent because some actors hardly get any screentime or their characters are so one-dimensional that they cannot leave an impression on viewers. Hashimoto Ai felt like a weak heroine who can't do anything except to stay behind Shinichi and ask him what's wrong but it could have been due to the way the character is in the first part of the story. Part 2 seems to be hinting that there is more to her than what we saw in Part 1 which I hope does hold true. Likewise for Fukatsu Eri's role of Tamiya Ryoko, I thought she might be a very interesting character to explore further because there wasn't much explained about how she came up with the idea of using human bodies to have sexual intercourse in order to create a baby who could turn out to be human, parasyte or a hybrid or both. Was it purely out of curiousity or was there a motive or mission behind the action? Maybe the original manga would have addressed this point but to me, it wasn't obvious from the movie. It also seems that Tamiya would become more important in Part 2 which leaves with this burning question: if most of the characters are going to become more "prominent" or have significant developments in Part 2, would there be enough time to give each and every one of them due attention? Coupled with the fact that there were some new characters yet to be introduced or explored in detail such as Asano Tadanobu, Omori Nao and Kitamura Kazuki, my concern about the story's uneven focus and assigning sufficient weightage to the characters would inevitably become an issue again in Part 2.

Last but not least, the problem of having multiple installments for a movie can be a double-edged sword. If Part 1 is fantastic, chances are people will be interested to watch Part 2. However, there is also this alternative thinking that the highlights of the story should be reserved all the way to Part 2 so Part 1 becomes nothing more than a mere introduction to the action in Part 2. Personally, I'm of the former opinion i.e. if all parts of the movie don't do well, the entire franchise doesn't. Just because the movie companies want to make more money through having multiple installments or there is indeed a need as to why the story has to be split up, it doesn't mean that the movie-goer should be short-changed by having to accept a less-than-perfect Part 1. Ultimately, Part 1 and Part 2 are standalone films. You can't be telling me that Part 1 is just the introduction and the best is yet to come. If you can't do a decent job for the introduction, how can I be convinced that Part 2 will be something fantastic? Of course, in order to find out about the ending, people might still go ahead to watch Part 2 but there is probably a group of people who would just hop off the bandwagon because of Part 1's lacklustre quality.

And that is what the problem is with this movie. The trailer of Part 2 promises a lot e.g. Shinichi having to deal with stronger powers in the form of parasytes in strategic positions within society, the array of new characters who have yet to see the day in Part 1 and the looming threat of what Tamiya's baby might become. When you compare with the lack of excitement in Part 1, you can't help but wonder if watching Part 1 was a waste of time after all. If the best is yet to come, I might as well watch Part 2 only. Then again, if you look at Part 1, it's filled with problems here and there so my confidence in Part 2 bucking the trend is somewhat affected.

As for the cast's performance, I can't speak in terms of whether they are a match with the characters they play. Sometani Shota, for obvious reasons, has a meaty role because he is the lead. However, the way Shinichi is crafted in the story seems to be that the scriptwriter is not willing to go further in exploring more about Shinichi's personality and was adopting a touch-and-go approach. As such, the only impression I have is that Sometani seems to be able to do more but his hands are tied and Shinichi just doesn't leave an impression on me other than a little bit of angst here and there towards the end. Likewise about Hashimoto Ai and Fukatsu Eri who I talked about in greater detail above. Higashide Masahiro, on the other hand, wasn't as significant than the leads in terms of airtime but he left a deeper impression on me by showing the robotic-like mannerisms of Hideo which reflects the lack of emotions in parasytes. In that sense, he was a match for his character. Other than Higashide, the rest of the cast didn't seem to be able to do much despite their usual acting prowess which I hope would be a different story in Part 2. Worth mentioning would be Abe Sadao though who didn't get to show his face at all but was quite interesting in his voice-over as Migi.

And my ratings for this movie...

Story: 2 out of 10 (It would have been better if Part 1 didn't seem like a mere introduction to Part 2)

Acting: 5 out of 10 (Nobody really failed big time but then nobody impressed me very much too. It felt that the hands of the cast were tied due to the limited development of their characters.)

Theme song/BGM: 2 out of 10 (Not much of an impression though even in climax scenes such as the battle between Shinichi and Hideo)

Visual effects / Scenery: 3 out 10 (Other than the parts where the faces would split up and the fighting scenes, there really isn't much to say about the CG effects. Maybe it would be better in Part 2?)

Teamwork / Chemistry: 2 out of 10 (Bland is an understatement. There wasn't really any tension so as to speak between humans and the parasytes so sparks didn't fly onscreen. Sometani and Hashimoto's relationship wasn't really developed in Part 1 so there's not much chemistry to speak of yet.)

Total: 14 out of 50

2015 Top 10 ranking of most desired male celebrities who you want as a boyfriend (Oricon)

1) Fukuyama Masaharu

2) Fukushi Sota

3) Aiba Masaki

4) Saito Takumi / Nishijima Hidetoshi

6) Matsumoto Jun

7) Ohno Satoshi

8) Sakurai Sho

9) Ninomiya Kazunari / Kamenashi Kazuya

Source: Oricon 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

First-day-screening of new movie "Otoko no Issho"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Otoko no Issho" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 14 Feb which was attended by cast members Eikura Nana, Toyokawa Etsushi, Mukai Osamu, the director Hiroki Ryuichi and JUJU who is the singer of the theme song "Hold me, Hold you". The movie features Eikura as Tsugumi a woman in her 30s who had been working in Tokyo but decides to move in with her grandmother at the countryside due to some problems with her life but ends up living there together with Kaieda, an university professor in his 50s. Despite her reluctance initially, she slowly begins to fall for him after his aggressive advances.

The movie is due to take part in the 4th Toronto Japanese Film Festival in Canada from 11 June and the 9th JAPAN CUTS festival from 11 July. It will also be shown in Taiwan although the release date is not confirmed yet.

Source: Eiga.com

First-day-screening event of new movie "Itamu Hito"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Itamu Hito" was held at Marunouchi TOEI 1 on 14 February which was attended by cast members Kora Kengo, Ishida Yuriko, Kanjiya Shihori, Shiina Kippei, Iura Arata, Otake Shinobu and the director Tsutsumi Yukihiko. The movie which is based on Tendo Arata's Naoki Award-winning novel, features Kora as a young man who goes on a journey to mourn the dead while Ishida plays his travel companion who is a former convict that had killed her husband. Through their journey, they gain new perspectives of life and death and family bonds.

As this movie is the first work of Kora in his 10th anniversary as an actor, he commented that it was a tough filming period for him so he is especially glad to see that the film is finally released. As for Ishida who had made a direct request to participate in this film because she is a fan of the novel, she also expressed her joy at the movie being available for the public to see.

As the first-day-screening coincided with Valentine's Day, the cast members all gave Kora chocolates which was a surprise to him. He expressed his thanks and gratitude to his co-stars about how much he was loved by them and apologised for his relatively mild reaction because he had never expected this and was too stunned.

Source: Eiga.com

Valentine's Day event for FujiTV Winter 2015 drama "Date ~ Koi to wa donna mono kashira ~"

A Valentine's Day event for FujiTV Winter 2015 drama "Date ~ Koi to wa donna mono kashira ~" was held on 14 Feb at Yokohama Akarenga Warehouse which was attended by the leads An and Hasegawa Hiroki. As the drama is largely shot in Yokohama, it was thus decided that the event was to be held there as well. When asked about their memories of Valentine's Day, An revealed that she had made chocolates bearing her friends' faces to them in the past but on hindsight now, it should have been a weird experience for them to eat chocolates with their own faces on it. As for this year, An said that as she received many mandarin oranges from Fubuki Jun who plays Hasegawa's mother in the drama, she made chocolates with orange peel this year to be given out. However, as An thought that Hasegawa should be receiving many chocolates on V-Day, she decided to give him his favourite salad dressing sauce instead of chocolates. As for Hasegawa, he said that as he was in boys' schools all along, he never thought that he would receive any chocolates on V-Day and even ran away from someone who had called out to him when he was in junior high. However, he still received about 5 to 6 chocolates on that same day from different girls.

As part of the event, messages from both actors were included in the laser-mapping show where An's version was "3.14 mo owasurenaku" while Hasegawa's message was "Love & Peace" which will be appearing in the 5th episode of the drama to be shown on 16 Feb.

Source: Sponichi

First-day-screening event of new movie "Little Forest Fuyu / Haru"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Little Forest  Fuyu / Haru" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 14 February which was attended by the cast members Hashimoto Ai, Matsuoka Mayu, Miura Takahiro, Nukumichi Yoichi, Kirishima Karen and the director Mori Junichi. The movie consists of two parts i.e. "Fuyu / Haru" (Winter / Spring) and "Natsu / Aki" (Summer / Autumn) and is based on the manga by Igarashi Daisuke which features Hashimoto as the lead character Ichiko who left her hometown to seek greener pastures in the city but failed to get what she wants and returns to her hometown in the Tohoku region where she tries to be self-sufficient through growing her own food despite the challenges of nature. As a result of the experience, she learns to understand herself better.

During the event, the cast and crew also celebrated Matsuoka's 20th birthday in advance. Hashimoto who is a close friend of hers, commented that although they have worked together three times to date, this is the first time when their characters could smile at each other so the both of them are very happy to see the film finally being released. Hashimoto also credited Matsuoka's presence as a driving force and form of support which allowed her to overcome the tough filming period.

The movie was screened at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival's Culinary Cinema category on 10 Feb and Hashimoto and Director Mori were also there to meet the media.

Source: Eiga.com

"Ten no Chasuke" takes part in the 65th Berlin International Film Festival

Matsuyama Kenichi, Ono Ito and director SABU were in Berlin on 13 Feb for the screening of their movie "Ten no Chasuke" at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival as the film is one of the 19 titles shortlisted for the competition category. Matsuyama plays the role of an angel who is a tea server in heaven and comes down to Earth to save the woman he loves from her destined fate. The fantasy-comedy movie is based on SABU's novel and was shot entirely in Okinawa.

After the screening, Matsuyama commented that he was glad that the audience laughed along at the parts which he also felt was funny while SABU was clearly elated at his film being selected as this is his 8th entry in the film festival to date. Results will be announced on 14 Feb (local time).

Source: Yomiuri Hochi / Nikkansports

Abe Sadao, Mizuhara Kiko, Fujiki Naohito & Yamaguchi Tomoko star in FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Kokoro ga Pokitto ne"

Abe Sadao, Mizuhara Kiko, Fujiki Naohito and Yamaguchi Tomoko will be starring in the new FujiTV Spring 2015 drama "Kokoro ga Pokitto ne" (The Heart Snaps) which is due to be shown from April in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The drama which is written by Okada Yoshikazu known for his works such as "Saigo kara nibanme no Koi", features four men and women who have to cope with their own emotional wounds and are caught in a messy love web.

Abe plays the role of Kojima Haruta, a divorcee who was forced to quit his job in a major corporation due to a psychological ailment caused by overwork and stress from the people around him. Haruta became a homeless man after losing his job and family but is trying to get back on his feet again after being taken in by Otake Shin (Fujiki Naohito), the owner of an antique furniture shop in Tokyo. He works as a furniture repairman in the shop but keeps to himself all the time and tries hard to keep himself calm in order to prevent a relapse. Just then, Haruta meets Hayama Miyako (Mizuhara Kiko), a woman who totally loses herself whenever she falls in love and tries too hard to stick to her men to the extent of being a stalker thus landing herself into trouble with the police. As a result of this encounter, Haruta finds himself struggling to maintain his inner peace due to her unpredictable behaviour. Miyako is besotted with Shin after he saved her once in the past by chance but he already has a beautiful and smart girlfriend Kamoda Shizuka (Yamaguchi Tomoko) who happens to be Haruta's ex-wife. However, Shizuka cannot bring herself to tell Shin about this fact.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Fukushi Seiji & Higa Manami admit to being an item

Fukushi Seiji and Higa Manami are said to be dating, according to the 13th Feb issue of FRIDAY. The couple were seen having dinner at a French bistro on an evening in early February and went back to Higa's apartment after the meal. Fukushi left her place only after noon the following day. With regard to the news, both actors' agencies did not deny the report and said that they will leave things to the actors themselves since they are already adults.

Fukushi and Higa worked together multiple times in the past including playing colleagues in the 2012 and 2013 TBS drama "Hanchou" and a married couple in FujiTV's 2013 drama SP "Bakken Record wo Koete". It was said that they started dating after working on the stage play "Sanada Juyushi" in January last year.

Source: Sanspo / Modelpress

Hoshino Mari announces her first pregnancy

Hoshino Mari announced through her blog on 12 Feb that she is currently 5 months' pregnant with her first child. The actress who got married to TBS announcer Takano Takahiro in September 2011, is due to give birth in July. In her statement, Hoshino commented that she has not experienced severe morning sickness thanks to the baby making things easier for her during this period and that she and her husband are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their child while being fully aware of the responsibilities they bear in time to come. As for her work, Hoshino's agency said that she will continue with her activities depending on her health condition.

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, February 07, 2015

The 88th Kinema Junpo Movie Awards (2014)

Top 10 Japanese movies
1) Soko nomi nite Hikari kagayaku

2) 0.5mm

3) Kami no Tsuki

4) Nono nanana noka

5) Bokutachi no Kazoku

6) Chiisai Ouchi

7) Watashi no Otoko

8) Hyakuen no Koi

9) Mizu no koe wo kiku

10) Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bouken / Higurashi no Ki

Top 10 Foreign Movies
1) Jersey Boys

2) Boyhood

3) A Touch of Sin

4) The Dust of Time

5) Blue Jasmine

6) Interstellar

7) The Dance of Reality

8) Inside Llewyn Davis

9) The Wolf of Wall Street

10) Rush

Individual Awards
Best Leading Actor: Ayano Go (Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken / Soko nomi nite Hikari kagayaku)

Best Leading Actress: Ando Sakura (Hyakuen no Koi / 0.5mm)

Best Supporting Actor: Ikematsu Sosuke (Ai no Uzu / Umi wo Kanjiru Toki / Otona Drop / Kami no Tsuki / Vancouver no Asahi / Bokutachi no Kazoku)

Best Supporting Actress: Kobayashi Satomi (Kami no Tsuki)

Best Male Newcomer: Higashide Masahiro (Ao Ha Ride / Kiseijuu / Crows Explode / 0.5mm)

Best Female Newcomer: Kadowaki Mugi (Ai no Uzu / Shanty Days 365-nichi / Yamikin Ushijima-kun Part 2)

Best Director: Oh Mibo (Soko nomi nite Hikari kagayaku)

Best Scriptwriter: Takada Ryo (Soko nomi nite Hikari kagayaku)

Best Director for a Foreign Film: Clint Eastwood (Jersey Boys)

Kuroki Hitomi to star in WOWOW Spring 2015 drama "Scapegoat"

Kuroki Hitomi will be starring in the WOWOW Spring 2015 drama "Scapegoat" which begins its run from 12 April in the Sundays 10pm timeslot. The drama which consists of four episodes and is based on the novel by Koda Main, features Kuroki as the lead character Misaki Hiroko, an university professor who is contacted by Yagizawa Shun (Ishimaru Kanji), her ex-boyfriend cum director of a TV station one day and asked to become a minister of the cabinet to be formed by Yamashiro Taizo (Furuya Ikko) who aims to wrest power from the ruling party in the upcoming election. However, due to Hiroko's past differences with her father, she has deliberately avoided the path of being a politician and doesn't want to take on the post. To her surprise, news of her impending appointment as a minister are splashed across the media and she has no choice but to become a politician after getting her husband Nobuaki's support (Kobayashi Takashi). Soon after her appointment, an unthinkable crisis strikes and Hiroko finds herself caught in the spiral of politics and rivalry.

Co-stars include Sasaki Nozomi who plays the daughter of Hiroko, Yamaguchi Sayaka who plays a news reporter, Koichi Mantaro, Aijima Kazuyuki, Mitsuishi Ken, Jinbo Satoshi and Nishioka Tokuma.

Source: Eiga.com

Yamashita Tomohisa to star in TBS Spring 2015 drama "Algernon ni Hanataba wo"

Yamashita Tomohisa will be starring in the TBS Spring 2015 drama "Algernon ni Hanataba wo" (Flowers for Algernon) which will begin its run from April in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. The drama which is based on the same-titled 1959 novel by the late Daniel Keyes who passed away in June last year, features Yamashita as a 28-year-old man named Shiratori Sakuto working at a florist who has the intelligence of a 6-year-old but miraculously becomes a genius after an operation. However, as a result of this, Sakuto gets caught in a dilemma due to the problems presented by the gap between his originally innocent nature and new-found intelligence because he starts to see everyone as being inferior to him and experiences the loneliness of being isolated. The drama's script will be supervised by Nojima Shinji who is known for his past hits such as "Koukou Kyoushi".

In preparation for his role, Yamashita spent a day at a labour support centre for the intellectually-challenged where he filled balloons into boxes with the employees there and had lunch with them. Yamashita also watched the movie adaptations in 1968 and 2006 and is trying to read the original novel in English so as to understand his role better.

There was an earlier drama adaptation of the same novel made by FujiTV in 2002 which featured Yusuke Santa Maria as the lead and a stage play made in 2012 by Gekidan Caramel Box.

Source: Sanspo

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Higa Manami & Mitsushima Shinnosuke to play a divorced couple in NTV Spring 2015 drama "Renai Jidai"

Higa Manami and Mitsushima Shinnosuke will be playing a divorced couple in the new NTV Spring 2015 drama "Renai Jidai" (Love Generation) which will begin its run from 2 April in the Thursdays 11.59pm. This will be Higa's first leading role in a private network drama since she made her debut in the 2007 NHK morning drama "Dondon Hare".

The drama which consists of 12 episodes, is based on the late Nozawa Hisashi's novel which won the 4th Shimase Renai Bungaku Award in 1997 and had been adapted into a Korean drama starring Son Yejin in 2006. The drama's script will be written by Fujii Kiyomi who was known for her work in the "Rurouni Kenshin" movies.

Higa plays the role of Eto Haru who works in a sports gym and has a strong sense of duty but finds it difficult to pay attention to detail. Mitsushima plays the role of Hayase Riichiro who works in a bookstore and has an artistic temperament and argumentative by nature. The two of them were briefly married for one and a half years but divorced due to an unknown reason. However, they still remain on good terms with each other to the extent of being weird because they still celebrate their wedding anniversary every year and go to karaoke sessions together. One day, they get into an argument and decide to find a new boyfriend and girlfriend for each other.

Source: Sanspo / Eiga.com

Narimiya Hiroki to leave "Aibou" after the end of Season 13

Narimiya Hiroki will be leaving the cast of the "Aibou" series after his last appearance in Season 13 which will begin its run from March as announced by TV Asahi on 3 Feb. Narimiya joined the series' Season 11 in October 2012 as Kai Toru, the third generation partner of the lead played by Mizutani Yutaka after the first and second partners played by Terawaki Yasufumi and Oikawa Mitsuhiro left the series. In actual fact, the initial agreement was that Narimiya would stay with the series for two years only but he was persuaded by the production crew to stay on for another year. However, it is not known yet what kind of reason will be given for Narimiya's departure from the series as Terawaki's character was described as having quit the police force while Oikawa's character was said to be transferred to another department.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Eien no Zero" (drama SP)

Title: Eien no Zero 永遠の0
Official website: here
Official Facebook page: here
Official Twitter page: here
O.A. Dates: 11th, 14th and 15th February
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Theme song: Sakura Hitohira by MISIA
Cast: Mukai Osamu, Tabe Mikako, Nakamura Aoi, Watanabe Konomi, Nakao Akiyoshi, Chihara Seiji, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Ishiguro Hideo, Sawabe Yu, Kaku Kento, Kanai Yuta, Kinoshita Takayuki, Kudo Asuka, Owada Kensuke, Onoue Matsuya, Watanabe Dai, Kiritani Kenta, Hirosue Ryoko, Harada Taizo, Ito Shiro, Takahata Atsuko, Sasano Takashi, Ishibashi Renji, Yamamoto Kei, Emoto Akira, Ryu Raita etc.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Production press conference of TV Asahi Winter 2015 drama "Second Love"

The production press conference of TV Asahi Winter 2015 drama "Second Love" was held at the TV station on 2 Feb which was attended by the leads Kamenashi Kazuya and Fukada Kyoko. The drama which begins its run from 6 Feb at 11.15pm on Fridays, is written by Oishi Shizuka and features Kamenashi as a talented dancer who gets into a passionate relationship with a senior school teacher who's older than him (Fukada). However, things get complicated as she is also involved in an extramarital affair with her colleague.

Oishi complimented Kamenashi for being very sexy in the drama while he commented that he was shocked each time when he got the scripts because the story is very intense and there are many scenes where he has to appear topless. As such, Kamenashi jokingly said that he hopes to become know as the sex symbol in Johnny's Jimusho through this drama. On the other hand, Fukada who also has many intimate scenes, commented that the lines in the drama are very provocative and she hoped that she will achieve new heights in her career through this drama.

Source: Sanspo / Sponichi

Nakama Yukie to star in new NHK Spring 2015 drama "Bijo to Danshi"

Nakama Yukie will be starring in the new NHK Spring 2015 drama "Bijo to Danshi" (A Beauty and a Man) which will begin its run from 14 April in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. This will be the longest-running drama in this timeslot to date as it will consist of 20 episodes. Nakama plays the role of Ichiko who gets transferred to work as a celebrity manager and tries to help a newbie actor Ryo (Machida Keita) who she scouted to become a big star. Despite her capabilities, Ichiko is not a popular person in the entertainment world due to her arrogance and unwillingness to compromise and ask others for favours in a humble manner. As such, she and Ryo will have to fight an uphill battle in order for him to become successful and they transform from arch enemies to lovers as time goes by. Co-stars include Segawa Ryo, Tokunaga Eri, Maekawa Yasuyuki, Azuma Mikihisa, Takahashi George, Morimoto Leo and Kusakari Masao. The scriptwriter will be Tabuchi Kumiko.

Nakama commented that as this is the first time she is taking on a NHK Tuesdays 10pm drama as the lead and this is the longest-running drama to date, she is very honoured to be given the leading role but also worried at the same time. However, as the story is about the entertainment world and she plays such an interesting character, Nakama said that she is very excited about the filming.

Source: Model Press

Tokushige Satoshi announces his marriage to his girlfriend of 20 years

Tokushige Satoshi announced through his official blog on 3 Feb that he had married his girlfriend of 20 years at the end of last year. In his statement, he revealed that he and his wife were classmates since senior high school and had been dating for 20 years before they got married. He described her as a cheerful person and believed that they would be able to build a happy family together. Tokushige ended the statement by asking for the support of everyone as he continues to work hard in his acting career.

Source: My Navi News

Preview of "Kuroha - Kiso no Josei Sosakan" (drama SP)

Title: Kuroha - Kiso no Josei Sosakan クロハ - 機捜の女性捜査官
Official website: here
Official trailer: here
O.A. Date: 22 Feb 2015, 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original Novel: Pla Baroque by Yuki Mitsutaka
Theme song: Kimi wo matsu by Aimer
Cast: An, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, Konishi Manami, Nakamura Tomoya, Mashima Hidekazu, Fukushi Sota, Nomura Masumi, Kobayashi Naoki, RED RICE, Yoshida Kotaro, Danda Yasunori, Nakamura Toru

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Preview of "Fukushu Hotei" (drama SP)

Title: Fukushu Hotei 復讐法廷 (Revenge Court)
Official website: here
Official trailer: here
O.A. Date: 7 Feb 2015, 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast: Tamura Masakazu, Takeuchi Yuko, Yagyu Miyu, Ichige Yoshie, Watanabe Dai, Tezuka Satomi, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Nakao Akiyoshi, Mizuhashi Kenji, Takahashi Mitsuomi, Tanaka Tetsushi, Ono Takehiko, Morimoto Leo, Hiraizumi Sei, Kishibe Ittoku

Monday, February 02, 2015

Aiba Masaki to star in FujiTV Spring 2014 Gekku "Youkoso, Wagaya e"

Arashi's Aiba Masaki will be starring in the FujiTV Spring 2014 Gekku drama "Youkoso, Wagaya e" (Welcome to My Home) which will begin its run from April in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. He is the third Arashi member to take on a Gekku drama after Matsumoto Jun and Ohno Satoshi. The drama is based on the same-titled suspense novel by Ikeido Jun whose works have been made into dramas like "Hanzawa Naoki" and "Roosevelt Game" and has accumulated sales of 500,000 copies to date. Although the lead character in the novel is the father of the Kurata family, the focus of the drama version will be the son and there will be some changes to the story and addition of original characters.

Aiba plays the role of Kurata Kenta, a meek commercial designer who finds himself becoming harassed by an unknown stalker after warning a man about his action of jumping queue at a train station. At the same time, his father Taiichi played by Terao Akira who is a salaryman, finds out about a wrongdoing in his company and has to deal with the pressure of being forced to keep quiet about it while his mother Keiko played by Minami Kaho becomes embroiled in a jealousy spiral among the students in a pottery class she is attending. His younger sister Nana played by Arimura Kasumi is being relentlessly pursued by a former boyfriend. With the entire family being subjected to harassment from an unknown stalker (s), Kenta tries to find out who exactly is responsible for it and combat the horrors of dealing with the stalker's antics.

Aiba commented that he is deeply honoured to be able to act in a Gekku drama and to take part in a production based on Ikeido's novel. Ikeido who is having his novel made into a drama shown on FujiTV for the first time, stated that as the drama is not restricted by the novel's structure and has introduced new characters and developments, he hopes that this will bring an improved and more interesting drama for the viewers.

Filming begins in early March.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2 / Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi

Suzuki Kyoka to star in new movie "Okaasan no Ki"

Suzuki Kyoka will be starring in the new movie "Okaasan no Ki" which is due to be shown in cinemas from 6 June. The movie which is based on a folk story written by Okawa Essei in 1969 and published in the Primary 5 Japanese textbook between 1977 and 2009, features Suzuki as a mother named Tamura Mitsu staying in Nagano during WWII who raised her 7 children alone after her husband passed away. However, as the war progressed, she had to send them away as soldiers one by one and planted a paulownia tree each time in the hope of seeing them return safely. Co-stars include Miura Takahiro who plays the second son, Tanabe Seiichi who plays Mitsu's husband's friend and Shida Mirai who plays Mitsu's daughter.

Filming began from 22 Jan.

Source: Sanspo

Winners of the 36th Yokohama Film Festival (2015)

Top 10 movies of 2014
1) Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku
2) Kami no Tsuki
3) 0.5mm
4) WOOD JOB!
5) Watashi no Otoko
6) Bokutachi no Kazoku
7) Ai no Uzu
8) Ieji
9) Nono nanana noka
10) Hotori no Sakuko

Individual Award Winners
Best Movie: Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku

Best Director: Oh Mibo (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku) & Ando Momoko (0.5mm)

Morita Yoshimitsu Memorial Best New Director: Kubota Nao (Ieji)

Best Scriptwriter: Takada Ryo (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku & Gin no Saji ~ Silver Spoon)

Best Photography: Kondo Ryuto (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku & Watashi no Otoko)

Best Leading Actor: Ayano Go (Soko nomi nite Hikari Kagayaku)

Best Leading Actress: Miyazawa Rie (Kami no Tsuki)

Best Supporting Actor: Ikematsu Sosuke (Kami no Tsuki & Bokutachi no Kazoku)

Best Supporting Actress: Kobayashi Satomi (Kami no Tsuki) & Oshima Yuko (Kami no Tsuki)

Best Newcomer
Kadowaki Mugi (Ai no Uzu, Yamikin Ushijima-kun Part 2, Shanty Days 365-nichi Shiawase na Kokyu)
Seino Nana (TOKYO TRIBE, Shoujo wa Isekai de tatakatta)
Sakura Ema (Bon to Rin-chan)
Takasugi Mahiro (Bon to Rin-chan)

Special Award: Tsugawa Masahiko

Preview of "Kuroi Kangofu" (drama SP)

Title: Kuroi Kangofu 黒い看護婦 (The Black Nurse)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 13 Feb 2015, 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original Novel by: Mori Isao
Cast: Otake Shinobu, Terajima Shinobu, Sakai Maki, Mashima Hidekazu, Kino Hana, Shirakawa Kazuko, Morimoto Leo, Riju Go, Hirooka Yuriko, Maruyama Tomomi, Okata Hisako, Matsushige Yutaka, Terajima Susumu, Kimura Tae, Yoshiyuki Kazuko

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Osawa Takao, Maki Yoko & Ishihara Satomi star in new movie "Kaze ni tatsu Lion"

The movie "Kaze ni tatsu Lion" directed by Miike Takashi and based on Sada Masashi's same-titled song and novel about the true story of a Japanese doctor working in Kenya to provide mobile medical aid, will be shown in cinemas from 14 March. Osawa Takao takes on the leading role as Koichiro who is sent to work at a research institute in Kenya from an university hospital and leaves behind his girlfriend Takako (Maki Yoko) in Japan. While in Kenya, he receives a request to work at the local Red Cross Hospital for a month where he comes into contact with young men who get seriously injured due to war and are forced to go back to their combat positions after being injected with anesthesia, Ishihara Satomi plays a Japanese nurse named Wakako who is initially at loggerheads with Koichiro but later changes her opinion of him.

Source: Eiga.com

Nakamura Shido announces his re-marriage

Nakamura Shido announced that he had married his girlfriend of 5 years on 31 Jan through a handwritten fax statement to the media the following day. In his statement, Nakamura revealed that the couple had been dating in 2010 and for the past 5 years, she had been supportive of him through the highs and lows in his life. As such, he hopes to build a happy family together with her from now on.

Nakamura got married to Takeuchi Yuko in 2005 and their son was born in November of the same year. However, they went their separate ways in 2008. It was said that Nakamura and his wife had planned to get married as early as April last year but due to the demise of his mother in December 2013, the marriage plan was postponed till the end of the mourning period. When Nakamura was interviewed in October last year, he revealed then that he had plans to get married early this year.

Source: Sponichi / Yomiuri Hochi

First-day-event of new movie "Joker Game"

The first-day-event of new movie "Joker Game" was held on 31 Jan which was attended by cast members KAT-TUN's Kamenashi Kazuya, Fukada Kyoko and Iseya Yusuke as well as the director Irie Yu. During the event, the cast threw sour plums to the audience in advance of Setsubun on 3 Feb when people throw beans to drive away evil. As to why sour plums were used instead of beans, Kamenashi explained that the Japanese word for "sour" resembles the word "spy" which is what their characters are in the movie. During the pre-screening which took place days earlier, Kamenashi recounted the episode of his intimate scene with Fukada where a cow standing beside them got too excited that they had to stop the filming. He was told not to talk about it again but could not bear not to share it with the audience which led them to laugh at his remarks.

Source: Sponichi