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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Arimura Kasumi to be the lead in new NHK morning drama "Hiyokko"


Arimura Kasumi will be the lead in the upcoming NHK morning drama "Hiyokko" (Young Bird) which will begin its run from 3 April 2017 at 9pm from Mondays to Saturdays. This will be her second appearance in a NHK morning drama since "Ama-chan" in 2013. During the announcement press conference on 29 June, Arimura commented that she hopes to bring in a fresh feeling to the morning drama timeslot and that she is feeling differently now as compared to "Ama-chan" where she played a supporting role. When first told of the offer in the middle of March, Arimura was very surprised and speechless but she is eagerly anticipating the start of the filming. It was also revealed that Arimura didn't have to go through an audition and was picked directly to play the heroine in this drama. She was the second to be handpicked after Yoshitaka Yuriko who played the heroine in 2014's "Hanako to Anne". Filming is due to begin this autumn.

"Hiyokko" is written by Okada Yoshikazu which is set in 1964 i.e. the year when the Tokyo Olympics was held. Arimura plays the role of a young woman named Yatabe Mineko from Ibaraki Prefecture whose father disappears after she graduates from high school. In a bid to find him, Mineko joins the mass wave of youngsters leaving their hometowns to work in Tokyo. While working at a factory, Mineko overcomes various difficulties and grows as an adult. The drama will feature Mineko's life from the age of 18 to 30 so there will be no child actor playing her role thus Arimura will appear from the first episode.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo

Preview of "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako" - Summer 2016

Title: ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako ON 異常犯罪捜査官藤堂比奈子 (ON Abnormal crimes investigator Toudou Hinako)
Official website: here
Official Facebook page: here
Official Twitter page: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 July 2016
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV / Kansai TV
Original novel by: Naito Ryo
Theme Song: Swan by Alexandros
Cast: Haru, Yokoyama Yu, Kaname Jun, Takahashi Tsutomu, Saito Shinji, Momose Saku, Sato Rei, Hayashi Kento, Okunuki Kaoru, Mitsuishi Ken, Harada Mieko & Watabe Atsuro

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Preview of "Suki na hito ga iru koto" - Summer 2016

Title: Suki na hito ga iru koto 好きな人がいること (Having someone I like)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 July 2016
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme Song: Suki na hito ga iru koto by JY
Cast: Kiritani Mirei, Yamazaki Kento, Miura Shohei, Nomura Shuhei, Ohara Sakurako, Hamano Kenta, Sano Hinako, Iitoyo Marie, Nanao and Yoshida Kotaro

Suzuki Honami to star in FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "Non Mama Hakusho"


Suzuki Honami will be starring in the upcoming FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "Non Mama Hakusho" (The Non Mama White Paper) which will begin its run from 13 August in the Saturdays 11.40pm timeslot. This will be her first leading role in a drama in 18 years since 1998's "News no Onna".

 Non Mama refers to women around the age of 50 who have no children. Suzuki plays the role of 49-year-old Reiko who was divorced once but has no children, is working at an advertisement agency and about to become the first female manager in her company. However, with many working mothers becoming the trend and having to cope with prejudices about people like her, Reiko fights a lonely battle to survive in society. Co-stars include Takahashi Katsunori who plays her ex-boyfriend and colleague and her best friend played by Kikuchi Momoko who is single and also a Non Mama.

Suzuki commented that the timing of this drama's start coincidentally falls on the day before her 50th birthday so she feels that it's somewhat fated that she is taking up the leading role now but doesn't want to give herself too much pressure about it.

Source: Sanspo

Nakatani Miki to star in TV Tokyo drama SP "Mohouhan"

Nakatani Miki will be starring in the new TV Tokyo drama SP "Mohouhan" (Copycat Criminal) which is due to be shown within the year and is the first part of the commemorative project to mark the TV station's impending move from Toranomon to Roppongi this autumn. The drama SP which is based on the long mystery novel by Miyabe Miyuki, sold more than 4.2 million copies and had been made into a movie in 2002 starring SMAP's Nakai Masahiro as the criminal Peace a.k.a. Amikawa Koichi. In the 2016 version though, it will be from the perspective of Nakatani's character Maebata Shieko who is a report writer and had also appeared in Miyabe's spin-off novel "Rakuen",

Maebata Shigeko is a housewife of a family which owns a factory and works part-time as a report writer. However, she doesn't have any famous stories to her name yet. By chance, she comes into contact with the people involved in a serial murder case such as the teenage boy who was the first to find the body and an old man whose granddaughter was killed. While trying to find the truth behind the murders, she wonders if she is qualified and able to report on this case from the viewpoint of an ordinary housewife.

Nakatani commented that although this is the first time she is acting in a drama based on Miyabe's work, she had read the novel more than 10 years ago and was impressed by how Miyabe showed the beautiful and ugly sides of human beings. At that time, she already thought that it would be a great challenge to adapt the novel into a drama or movie so she is very happy to be offered the role this time. Although this is the first time she is playing a report writer, Nakatani said that she can be quite inquisitive and persistent such as reading about other people's lives in the articles they wrote or eavesdropping on conversations at bar counters. Since she is constantly in the world of fiction due to her acting career, she wanted to stay connected to the real world by hearing things from other people.

Sources: Sanspo / Yomiuri Hochi

Izumo Sakino to sing the theme song for NTV Summer 2016 drama "Isan Sozoku Bengoshi Kakizaki Shinichi"

Newcomer Izumo Sakino will be singing the theme song for NTV's Summer 2016 drama "Isan Sozoku Bengoshi Kakizaki Shinichi" which will begin its run from 7 July in the Thursdays 11.59pm timeslot. This will be her first drama theme song and she wrote the song titled "Sekai no Shikake" specially for the drama.

Izumo made her debut with the single "Touryuu Onna" in April this year and the music video for it was played more than 100,000 times. She commented that she is extremely honoured to be offered the chance to sing the drama's theme song and was inspired to write it as soon as she finished reading the script.

Source: Sponichi

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top 10 bestselling music DVDs in the first half of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold:

1) Sandaime J Soul Brothers LIVE TOUR 2015 [BLUE PLANET] - Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (482,980)

2) ARASHI BLAST in Miyagi - Arashi (282,193)

3) Sayonara Sensation - Sensations (214,913)

4) Hey! Say! JUMP LIVE TOUR 2015 JUMPing CARnival - Hey! Say! JUMP (191,775)

5) 2015 CONCERT TOUR KIS-MY-WORLD - Kis-My-Ft2 (183,505)

6) EXILE LIVE TOUR 2015 "AMAZING WORLD" - EXILE (167,807)

7) Kanjani 8 Recital Omae no Heart wo Tsukandaru!! - Kanjani 8 (148,856)

8) V6 LIVE TOUR 2015 - SINCE 1995 ~ FOREVER - V6 (138,387)

9) namie amuro LIVEGENIC 2015-2016 - Amuro Namie (96,004)

10) BIGBANG WORLD TOUR 2015-2016 [MADE] IN JAPAN - BIGBANG (69,891)

Source: Oricon

Top 10 bestselling albums in the first half of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold:

1) THE JSB LEGACY - Sandaime J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (619,158)

2) Ano Hi Ano Toki - Oda Kazumasa (337,962)

3) Sorezore no Isu - Nogizaka 46 (300,008)

4) Fuku no Oto - Fukuyama Masaharu (299,480)

5) E.G.SMILE - E-girls BEST - E-girls (276,198)

6) Cho Ikimonogakari ~ Tennen Kinen Members BEST Selection~ - Ikimonogakari (269,154)

7) Butterflies - BUMP OF CHICKEN (264,514)

8) KAT-TUN 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST 10Ks! - KAT-TUN (204,969)

9) METAL RESISTANCE - BABYMETAL (197,029)

10) MADE SERIES - BIGBANG (194.992)

Source: Oricon

Top 10 bestselling singles in the first half of 2016 (Oricon)

Numbers in brackets indicate the number of copies sold:

1) Tsubasa wa iranai - AKB48 (1,479,562)

2) Kimi wa Melody - AKB48 (1,289,671)

3) Harujion ga saku koro - Nogizaka 46 (825,450)

4) I seek / Daylight - Arashi (805,751)

5) Fukatsu LOVE - Arashi (540,910)

6) Silent Majority - Keyakizaka 46 (349,233)

7) Chikin LINE - SKE48 (322,258)

8) Shinken SUNSHINE - Hey! Say! JUMP (290,843)

9) Amigami Hime - NMB48 (281,513)

10) 74 Oku bun no Ichi no kimi e - HKT48 (281,239)

Source: Oricon

Superfly to sing the theme song and image songs for new "Yamikin Ushijima-kun" movies

Superfly will be singing the theme song and image songs for the two new movies "Yamikin Ushijima-kun Part 3" and "Yamikin Ushijima-kun The Final" which will be shown this autumn. This is the third time that Superfly is collaborating with the "Yamikin Ushijima-kun" series after she sang the theme songs for the first movie "Yamikin Ushijima-kun" in August 2012 and the second movie in May 2014. The theme song "Kokoro no Yoroi" (The Heart's Armour) for Part 3 is a rock number which has been arranged in a Western way while the song "Goodbye" is a ballad for "The Final". The image song is titled "Tenjou Tenge Yuiga Dokuson" (I am the centre of the universe).

Superfly commented that she has been able to explore new musical possibilities through her collaboration with the movie series and is thankful for the opportunities given to her.

Source: Oricon

Narimiya Hiroki & Nanao to be back in "Futagashira 2" as Jinzaburo and Okon

Narimiya Hiroki and Nanao will be back in the sequel "Futagashira 2" which begins its run from 17 September in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot. The drama consists of 5 episodes and features Matsuyama Kenichi and Saotome Taichi as the leads. Narimiya and Nanao will reprise their roles as Jinzaburo and Okon respectively who went missing after being defeated by Benzo (Matsuyama) and Soji (Saotome). Although Jinzaburo and Okon had a romantic relationship in the first season, there aren't any intimate scenes involving them in this sequel. However, since Narimiya had done a good job in leading her when they first worked together in the previous season, Nanao commented that she allowed him to do the same this time which allowed her to put in her best too.

Source: Oricon

First-day screening event of new movie "TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Wakakushite Shinu"

The first-day screening event of new movie "TOO YOUNG TO DIE! Wakakushite Shinu" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 25 June which was attended by the director Kudo Kankuro and cast members Nagase Tomoya, Kamiki Ryunosuke, Ono Machiko, Morikawa Aoi, Kiritani Kenta, Seino Nana, Furutachi Kanji and Minagawa Sarutoki. The movie features Kamiki as a senior high school student Daisuke who ends up death in a bus accident while on a school trip and falls into hell. While there, he joins a hell's band made up of devils played by Nagase, Kiritani and Seino.

The movie was originally scheduled to be screened from 5 February but due to the ski bus accident in Nagano Prefecture on 15 January, the screening was postponed. As such, the cast were especially happy that the movie can finally be seen by viewers. Nagase recounted that the filming was done exactly one year ago from the screening date and he was very glad to see that the movie can be screened now especially since he thought that they had a wonderful crew and cast to make this possible. Kudo addressed the full-house audience that as the movie is based on the hell depicted in Buddhism, he jokingly called upon them to view this movie multiple times so as to do a good deed for them.

When asked who they thought was a devil among them, Kiritani said that Kamiki was very much like one. He explained that when they were having curry one day during the filming, everyone was shocked to see Kamiki putting just one teaspoon of the curry sauce with the rice on his plate even though everyone else had equal portions of the rice and curry sauce on their plates. As such, they all thought that he was abnormal from that point onwards. Nagase also recounted one incident when Kamiki had to be tied and hung up in the air during an interrogation scene, he told the staff not to let him down during the filming breaks and smiled to them that he was fine being hung up as it was. As such, they thought that he seemed to relish being tied up and hung in this manner and concluded that he was abnormal after all.

When asked who they wanted to be if they went through reincarnation, Kamiki said that he wanted to become Nagase as he was very impressed with how the latter played the guitar. Nagase recounted that this is the first time in a long while since he and Kamiki worked together and he was especially happy to see how much Kamiki had grown over the years.

Source: Eiga.com

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kubota Masataka & Shimizu Fumika to star in the real-life movie adaptation of "Tokyo Ghoul"

Kubota Masataka and Shimizu Fumika will be starring in the real-life movie adaptation of popular manga "Tokyo Ghoul" by Ishida Sui which had sold more than 18 million copies to date. Kubota will be playing the lead character Kaneki Ken while the heroine Kirishima Touka will be played by Shimizu. The movie to be directed by Hagiwara Kentaro will be shown in summer 2017.

The story is set in Tokyo where ordinary people and ghouls who look like humans but need to eat human flesh in order to survive live together. While on a date with a ghoul Rize, Kaneki meets with an accident which results in him being sent to hospital for surgery using Rize's organs. When Kaneki recovers, he discovers that he has become a half-ghoul and must cope with the changes in his body while from keeping the truth from the people he loves and his friends and evading the pursuit of CCG i.e. Commission of Counter Ghoul, the government agency which deals with crimes related to ghouls.

The manga's author Ishida was full of praise for the actors and revealed that he became impressed with Kubota when he was in the midst of work and happened to see a CM then, At that time, he was surprised by Kubota's acting skills and felt that he would be like Kaneki if the character did exist in the real world. Although he thinks that many people would have already known about Kubota's acting prowess, Ishida feels that more people would come to know about his strengths through this movie. As for Shimizu, she was chosen at the recommendation of Ishida who revealed that he made a rather tough demand on her before the offer was made officially but she still accepted the challenge. As such, Ishida realised how strong her willpower is and thought that she is a good match for Touka's role.

Kubota commented that he is fully aware that many fans of this manga would have strong feelings towards the characters and expectations of the actors who are going to play them so there is a certain degree of pressure for him to play the leading role. However, the letter from Ishida with lots of encouraging words for him is a great boost to his morale and he pledged to do his best to play Kaneki as he is also a fan of the manga. As for Shimizu, she pledged to do her best so that the people who offered this role to her would not regret their choice.

Source: Eiga.com

First-day screening event of new movie "Fukigen na Kakko"

The first-day screening event of new movie "Fukigen na Kakko" was held at Theatre Shinjuku on 25 June 2016 which was attended by director Maeda Shiro and cast members Koizumi Kyoko, Nikaidou Fumi, Koura Kengo and Itao Itsuji. Koizumi and Nikaidou who play mother and daughter in the movie, had nothing but praise for each other. Nikaidou commented that she was very happy to be able to spend time with Koizumi and learnt many things from her. In return, Koizumi also complimented Nikaidou for being a reliable and attractive actress and even revealed that when they met up recently, the latter was dressed in a slightly revealing outfit so Koizumi couldn't help but touch her bare skin.

Koura joined in by praising the two actresses for being able to breathe life into any character they play and aims to be like them in future. However, he admitted to being very nervous when Koizumi was around because he was in awe of her. Koizumi then joked that he must have been frightened of her because she is a scary person which led Koura to deny this quickly.

Source: Eiga.com

Ayase Haruka, Tsutsumi Shinichi & Hamada Gaku to star in new movie "Honnouji Hotel"

Ayase Haruka, Tsutsumi Shinichi and Hamada Gaku will be starring in the new movie "Honnouji Hotel" directed by Suzuki Masayuki which will be shown next year. The actors and Suzuki last worked together in the 2011 movie "Princess Toyotomi" which achieved 1.62 billion yen in box office takings. In this film which is an original story, it will depict what happened one day before the Honnouji Incident which is said to be the largest mystery in Japanese history. It will begin from present-day Kyoto where Mayuko (Ayase) is troubled over marriage and incidentally goes to the Honnouji Hotel to stay where she meets Oda Nobunaga (Tsutsumi) and his guard Mori Ranmaru (Hamada) from the Warring Era.

Ayase commented that as she had worked with Tsutsumi and director Suzuki many times, she is eagerly awaiting the filming taking place this summer and will work hard with the cast and crew to deliver an entertaining and funny film to the viewers. As for Tsutsumi, he praised Ayase for being a wonderful actress and with the addition of good actors like Hamada and Kazama Morio, he is confident that the movie will turn out well. Last but not least, Hamada commented that he is honoured to be playing Ranmaru who was said to be a very good-looking man and thinks that people might be disappointed at first to hear that he is playing this character but he will do his best to make his character come alive and impress the viewers.

Other members in the cast include Kazama who plays the hotel's manager and Hirayama Hiroyuki who plays Mayuko's boyfriend. Filming is going to start in the beginning of July, expected to wrap up by late August and will be done entirely in Kyoto.

Source: Eiga.com

Completion screening event of new movie "Himitsu THE TOP SECRET"

The completion screening event of new movie "Himitsu THE TOP SECRET" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 22 June which was attended by the director Otomo Keishi and cast members Ikuta Toma, Okada Masaki, Matsuzaka Tori, Oda Risa, Kuriyama Chiaki, Shiina Kippei, Omori Nao, Okura Koji, Kinami Haruka and Hirayama Yusuke. The movie features Ikuta as the chief of a special department named "Daikyuu" (No.9) in the police which investigates unresolved cases. Okada plays a newbie officer sent to this department which is working on a case where they are trying to visualise the left-over images in people's minds to find a missing woman (Oda) but this leads them to be embroiled into a serious case. Through the investigation, the chief's past is also exposed.

As the red carpet event was held at Moa 4-bankai which is an open cafe space, the female fans who had gathered there were squealing in joy upon seeing the cast arrive. Ikuta commented that he was happy to be able to walk in the middle of Shinjuku while Okada said that he was so nervous that he was sweating. In response, Ikuta and Okura both revealed that Okada's ears would turn red once he is nervous.

During the event, Ikuta was asked about a secret he has not revealed before which he said that although everyone thought that he had never made his CD debut, he actually did form a band called Strawberry Parfait with Wentz Eiji and Maeda Aki in the past when they appeared in the programme "Tensai Terebi-kun". In that band, Ikuta played the guitar while Wentz and Maeda played the bass and keyboard respectively.

The movie is scheduled to be participating in the competition category of the 20th Fantasia International Film Festival taking place on 14 July at Montreal, Canada and will be shown in Japan from 6 August.

Source: Eiga.com

Production press conference of FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako"

The production press conference of FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako" was held on 24 June which was attended by cast members Haru, Watabe Atsuro, Harada Mieko, Hayashi Kento and Kaname Jun. The drama which will begin its run from 12 July in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot, features Haru in her first leading role in a private network drama as a newbie police detective who investigates strange cases.

As her character has a strange eating habit of putting shichimi in everything she eats, Haru was asked if she has a similar habit which she revealed that she would never finish her drinks and leave about 2 to 3cm of the beverage for some reason. Haru has been busy since she made it big in the NHK morning drama "Asa ga kita" and revealed that she has been able to cope with this by ensuring that she gets enough sleep once she's off work.

Source: Sanspo

First-day screening event of new movie "Nijuu Seikatsu"

The first-day screening event of new movie "Nijuu Seikatsu" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 25 June which was attended by the director Kishi Yoshiyuki and the cast Kadowaki Mugi, Hasegawa Hiroki, Suda Masaki and Lily Frankie. Kadowaki plays the role of a graduate student who is instructed to tail someone by her professor for the sake of philosophy research. When asked to comment on the film, Kadowaki said that this is a story which will exceed expectations and highlighted the scenes when she was tailing Hasegawa's character as very interesting. With regard to this, Hasegawa commented that it got quite creepy for him as he constantly felt as if he was being watched. Lily Frankie plays the university professor of Kadowaki's character while Suda plays her boyfriend.

Source: Sanspo

First-day screening event of new movie "Iya na Onna"

The first-day screening event of new movie "Iya na Onna" was held on 25 June which was attended by the director Kuroki Hitomi and the cast members including Kimura Yoshino, Yoshida Yo, Nakamura Aoi, Furukawa Yuta and LaSalle Ishii. The movie is Kuroki's directorial debut and is based on the same-titled novel by Katsura Nozomi. As Kuroki was a fan of the novel, she acquired the rights to adapt it into a movie. Kuroki recounted that it had been a tough journey all this while and she had thought of giving up many times. However, she managed to persevere in the end and was very touched to be able to hold the first-day screening event now.

Yoshida who marks her first leading role in the drama, remarked with teary eyes that the audience was like angels to her and thanked them for their support. As she reflected on the filming last August, she said that Kuroki was quite demanding on the details which she sometimes could not grasp fully. In response to this, Kimura also agreed that Kuroki had high expectations of them but she was honoured to have participated in this film and learnt a lot through the experience.

It was also announced during the event that the film will be taking part in the 21st Busan International Film Festival in October this year.

Source: Sponichi

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Former actor Takachi Noboru arrested for possession of stimulants and marijuana

Former actor Takachi Noboru who is also the husband of actress Takashima Reiko, was arrested on 24 June for possessing 4g of stimulants, 2g of marijuana and equipment used to consume the drugs at a room in a Yokohama love hotel along with a 33-year-old club hostess. According to media reports, the arrest was conducted in the morning at 9.30am. The two testified that the drugs were for their own consumption. The authorities also found drugs in the woman's car at the hotel's carpark and are looking into where they got the drugs from. Takachi and the woman checked into the hotel around 2am on the same day and the authorities entered their room at 8.30am.

Takachi made his debut in 1993 as an actor using the name Takachi Tokyu but was sued by Tokyu Corporation under the Unfair Competition Prevention laws and had to change his name to Takachi Noboru. He was previously married to another celebrity Aida Momo between 1991 and 1996 and remarried Takashima in 1999. Takachi has been out of the limelight for some time and retired from showbiz last autumn. He was said to be caring for Takashima's father who is suffering from Parkinson's and had also opened a estellon in Yokohama City.

In response to her husband's arrest, Takashima released a fax statement through her agency where she apologised for the inconvenience and worry caused by her husband's case. She revealed that she only knew about the arrest through the media reports and was in shock over this. As the facts of the case will be known gradually as the investigation progresses, she called upon everyone to wait over them in the meantime and apologised for this note she had to write at such short notice.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2 / Sanspo 3

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Kodoku no Gurume SP! Tohoku Miyagi Shucchou Hen" to be shown this summer

TV Tokyo will be showing the latest instalment in the "Kodoku no Gurume" series this summer. In the SP titled "Kodoku no Gurume SP! Tohoku Miyagi Shucchou Hen", Matsushige Yutaka who plays the lead character Igashira Goro, will be going on a business trip to Miyagi City in the Tohoku region and continue his journey as a "food terrorist". (Note: Kodoku no Gurume is regarded as a food terrorist drama because it is shown late in the night and the food featured will make the viewers crave for something to eat even though the broadcast time is way too late at night for them to be eating. As such, it is "torture" to the viewers to be fighting their desire and hunger pangs while watching this drama. ^__^)

"Kodoku no Gurume" which is based on the same-titled manga by Kusumi Masayuki, has seen five seasons made to date. Of these, Season 5 got the highest average ratings  and a New Year SP in Asahikawa, Hokkaido was aired this year on 1 January. In the upcoming SP, Goro will be visiting Sendai City and Onnagawa-cho and pass by Ishinomaki City and try the local delicacies. Filming has already been completed.

Matsushige commented that even though the Kodoku no Gurume series has seen many instalments to date, this is the first time that they are introducing delicious food from Tohoku and he is confident that viewers will be feeling hungry while they watch this. Especially since this is the first time he has set foot on this region since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, he was reminded of what happened because of the lingering after-effects still visible there. However, the locals have remained at their hometowns and are still producing really tasty cuisine so he hopes to see more people visiting the area after watching this SP.

Source: Dwango

Nikaidou Fumi as the heroine of NTV Summer 2016 drama "Soshite, Dare mo inakunatta"

Nikaidou Fumi will be taking on the heroine role in a private network drama for the first time when she appears in the NTV Summer 2016 drama "Soshite, Dare mo inakutta" starring Fujiwara Tatsuya. The suspense drama which begins from 17 July in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot, features Fujiwara as the lead Toudou Shinichi who finds his life being taken over by someone while Nikaidou will play his fiancee Sanae. While witnessing how her boyfriend's life gets messed up, the dark side to Sanae also gets exposed gradually as the story progresses.

As part of the filming, Nikaidou wore a wedding dress for the first time and remarked that she was very pleased to be able to dress up like this. She also expressed anticipation at how the story will turn out and is looking forward to receiving her scripts.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Alexandros to sing the theme song for FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako"

4-member male rock band Alexandros will be singing the theme song for FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako" starring Haru which will begin its run from 12 July in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. The song titled "Swan" will be released as a single on 24 August.

Alexandros made their major debut in March last year and their three singles to date have all been used as drama theme songs. They had also performed in Austin, Texas in March this year. For this latest theme song, it was written by the vocalist cum guitarist Kawakami Yohei after he read the original novel.

Source: Sanspo

Yonekura Ryoko to be back in TV Asahi Autumn 2016 drama "Doctor X 4 - Gekai Daimon Michiko ~"

Yonekura Ryoko will be back in the TV Asahi Autumn 2016 drama "Doctor X 4 - Gekai Daimon Michiko ~" which will begin its run from October in the Thursdays 9pm. The story will continue from the latest SP which is due to be shown on 3 July.

In the new drama series, Yonekura will reprise her role as Daimon Michiko who will work at an university-affiliated hospital which has its reputation affected by medical mistakes and cover-ups. Besides the regular cast featuring Uchida Yuki, Kishibe Ittoku and Katsumura Masanobu, Nishida Toshiyuki will be the new director of the hospital and Daimon's biggest rival.

As Nishida was hospitalised in April and May due to cervical subluxation and cholecystitis, Yonekura, Kishibe and the producer met him at the hospital to discuss the drama ahead of the filming's start in August and also watched the DVD from the second series together so as to come up with points for improvement. Yonekura recounted that it was amusing that the doctors at the hospital made fun of her by calling her "Daimon-sensei" but she was also touched by the extent which the drama series had influenced the viewers.

Sources: Sanspo / Sponichi

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yoshida Yo to star in WOWOW Autumn 2016 drama "Cold Case ~ Shinjitsu no Tobira ~"

Yoshida Yo will be taking on her first leading role in a drama when she stars in the upcoming WOWOW Autumn 2016 drama "Cold Case ~ Shinjitsu no Tobira" which will begin its run from October. The drama which is the Japanese version of the popular US series and the 2nd commemorative drama for WOWOW's 25th anniversary, features Yoshida as Ishikawa Sayuri, a police detective in the Kanagawa Prefectural Police who works on unresolved cases with her colleagues.

Yoshida who is celebrating her 20th anniversary since her acting debut, revealed that she accepted the offer quickly and is very thankful for the chance to act in this drama. Although she last played a police detective in the TBS drama "Ouroboros ~ Kono ai koso Seigi", this drama would be different as she has to lead the cast. As part of the preparation for this drama, she also cut her hair in layers rather than the straight cut she has been sporting all this while.

Filming is currently in progress in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Source: Sanspo

Ono Machiko & Eguchi Yosuke film wedding scene for TV Asahi Summer 2016 drama "Hajimemashite, Aishiteimasu"

Ono Machiko and Eguchi Yosuke filmed a wedding scene for their TV Asahi Summer 2016 drama "Hajimemashite, Aishiteimasu" on 17 June which was open to the media. The drama which will be shown from 14 July in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot, features the actors as a couple who have been married for 10 years so the wedding will be a flashback scene as at when they first got married.

Ono revealed that as compared to the wedding dress, she was more excited about wearing the veil. Upon seeing Ono being dressed up, Eguchi praised her for looking good. On the other hand, Eguchi said that although he thought that he looked fine in the tuxedo, he was actually quite embarrassed about wearing a bridegroom's suit and having to take photos in various lovey-dovey poses with Ono since the two of them had only started filming recently and were just getting to know each other better. Nonetheless, he thought that it was good that they filmed these scenes at this early stage.

Source: Modelpress

Further cast announcements for new movie "Karera ga honki de amu toki wa"

The announcement for the cast lineup of new movie "Karera ga honki de amu toki wa" was made on 20 June. The film which will be shown from 25 February 2017, features Ikuta Toma as Rinko, a transgender who lives together with his lover Makio (Kiritani Kenta) to take care of the latter's niece Tomo who was abandoned by her mother.

Mimura will play Hiromi, Makio's elder sister and Tomo's mother who loves her daughter but finds it difficult to cope with being a single mother so decides to abandon her. Tanaka Misako will play Fumiko who is Rinko's mother while Koike Eiko will play Naomi who is the mother of Tomo's classmate Kai and tries to keep her son away from Tomo who has complicated family circumstances. As for Lily, she will play Sayuri who is the mother of Makio and Hiromi. Last but not least, Kadowaki Mugi will play Yuka who is Rinko's colleague but has a masculine character unlike Rinko and is about to get married.

Source: Modelpress

Horikita Maki & Yamamoto Koji expecting their first child

Horikita Maki announced through her agency on 20 June that she is currently pregnant with her first child and due to give birth in January next year. Rumours of her pregnancy first surfaced in the 21 June issue of "Josei Jishin" where she was caught seeing a famous gynecologist in early June. As such, in response to the report, her agency confirmed the news but called upon the media not to disturb Horikita at the moment as she is in the early stage of her pregnancy.

Horikita got married to actor Yamamoto Koji in August last year and has always expressed her wish to be a mother soon. Soon after the filming for NTV Winter 2016 drama "Higanbana ~ Keishicho Sousa Nanaka ~" wrapped up in March 2016, Horikita has been taking time off work to prepare for pregnancy. At present, she can only be seen in CMs from three companies and rumours of her planning a retirement from showbiz were rife as she did not renew the contracts for more than 10 CM deals which she had been holding. There are also no plans for her to appear in any dramas, movies or stage plays for now.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / Sponichi

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tiffany to work with TBS Summer 2016 drama "Seiseisuru hodo Aishiteru"

Tiffany will be working with TBS on their Summer 2016 drama "Seiseisuru hodo Aishiteru" starring Takei Emi and Takizawa Hideaki which begins its run from 12 July in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. This is the first time that the premium jewellery brand is involved in a collaboration with a Japanese drama.

In the drama, Takei will play an employee working in Tiffany Japan's PR department while Takizawa will play the vice president of the same company. As such, filming will be done in Tiffany's shops and during an actual Tiffany event where the cast and crew were surrounded by JPY 4.6bn worth of jewellery. The cast will also get to wear the brand's products during the filming.

In response to this, Takei commented that she was thrilled at being able to do filming inside Tiffany and wear their jewellery as she has been a fan of the brand all along. The producer Iyoda Yoshinori also revealed that he was excited about the filming and hoped to be able to show the sparkling and glamourous sides of the leads through the support of Tiffany.

Co-stars in this drama include Nakamura Aoi, Mizusawa Erena, Triendl Reina, Nakamura Hayato, Yokosawa Natsuko, GENKING and Matsudaira Ken.

Source: Modelpress

Preview of "Kibougaoka no Hitobito" (Summer 2016)

Title: Kibougaoka no Hitobito 希望ヶ丘の人びと (The people of Kibougaoka)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 July 2016
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Original novel by: Shigematsu Kiyoshi
Scriptwriter: Okada Yoshikazu
Cast: Sawamura Ikki, Wakui Emi, Sakurada Hiyori, Ninomiya Keita, Ito Kazue, Rokkaku Seiji, Miyakawa Ichirota, Nakajima Hiroko, Yatsui Ichirou, Iwamoto Masuyo, Hiraizumi Sei and Terawaki Yasufumi 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Preview of "Ie uru Onna" (Summer 2016)

Title: Ie uru Onna 家売るオンナ (The woman who sells houses)
Official website: here
Official Twitter page: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 July 2016
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Theme Song: beautiful days by GReeeeN
Cast: Kitagawa Keiko, Kudo Asuka, Chiba Yudai, Imoto Ayako, Suzuki Hiroki. Araki Yuko, Honda Chikara, Usuda Asami, Kajiwara Zen, Nakamura Tooru


Higashide Masahiro to act as shogi player Habu Yoshiharu in the new movie "Satoshi no Seishun"

Higashide Masahiro will be playing shogi player Habu Yoshiharu in the new movie "Satoshi no Seishun" which is due to be shown this autumn. The film features Matsuyama Kenichi as the talented shogi player Murayama Satoshi who died at the young age of 29 and achieved 7 championship titles by 1996 which nobody had achieved before then while Higashide will play the 25-year-old Habu who was the biggest rival of Murayama at that time. Higashide commented that he was very happy and motivated about participating in this movie even before filming began especially since he is a shogi lover himself and had played against professional shogi player Watanabe Akira in a TV programme before. In preparation for the role, Higashide borrowed the same pair of spectacles used by Habu when he won his 7th title and had spent a lot of time studying the famous shogi games played by Habu and observing his mannerisms and gestures.

Co-stars in this movie include Lily Frankie, Takeshita Keiko and Sometani Shota.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jiyoung to sing the theme song for FujiTV Summer 2016 Gekku "Suki na hito ga iru koto"

Jiyoung who goes by the name of JY in her singing career, will be singing the theme song for the FujiTV Summer 2016 Gekku "Suki na hito ga iru koto" starring Kiritani Mirei. The song which has the same title as the drama, will be released as a single on 31 August and is JY's second single release. The music video was shot in Guam by Ninagawa Mika. Jiyoung commented that it is a great honour to be seeing a Gekku theme song and she was in disbelief when first told of the news.

The drama will begin its run from 11 July.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Friday, June 17, 2016

Haru celebrates her 25th birthday on the set of "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako"

Haru had a surprise birthday celebration on the set of her new Summer 2016 drama "ON Ijou Hanzai Sousakan Toudou Hinako" on 17 June where she was presented with a shichimi tower made from 300 cans of shichimi and a cake bearing the drama's title. Haru plays a newbie police detective in the drama and carries a can of shichimi left behind by her late mother which bears the words "Susume! Hina-chan". In line with this, the cans of shichimi all bear the words "25-sai mo susume! Haru-chan". Co-stars including Yokoyama Yu, Kaname Jun and Watabe Atsuro were also at the celebration.

Haru commented that this is the first time that she has received a shichimi tower. As she feels that 25-years-old is a turning point in adulthood and she feels the responsibility as the lead of the drama, she will do her best to create a good atmosphere on set. Haru revealed that she has always celebrated her birthday while working and that she was in Osaka last year for the filming of "Asa ga kita" so her private life seems to be taking a back seat to her work most of the time.

The drama begins its run from 12 July in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot on FujiTV / Kansai TV.

Source: Sanspo

TOKIO's Kokubun Taichi announces that he will be a father soon

TOKIO's Kokubun Taichi announced during the 17th June broadcast of TBS morning programme "Hakunetsu Live Vivit" that he will be a father soon. At the end of the show, Kokubun revealed that he is about to be a father by the end of October which was greeted with applause from his co-host Maya Miki and guests. Kokubun commented that although he had hoped for twin girls, he has found out that it won't be the case this time but he still does not know the gender of the baby yet.

When asked about being a father soon, Kokubun admitted that it was quite conflicting for him. Even though he has always wanted children, the feeling of impending father hasn't sunk in yet. In response, one of the guests Hiromi said that it takes time for men to accept the fact that the baby is on the way but it will happen naturally overtime. Kokubun's junior NEWS' Kato Shigeaki suggested that if it's a baby boy, he can join Johnny's in future while other guests suggested that if it's a girl, she can join Takarazuka when she grows up. This led Kokubun to express surprise at the suggestion and he said that he should probably start thinking about it now.

After the end of the programme, Kokubun also sent a fax statement to the media where he revealed that his wife is already 6 months' pregnant and is due to give birth in the end of October. He was surprised at first when told of the news but is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the child. He pledged to work harder in his career and asked for the warm support of everyone around him.

Kokubun got married to a former employee of TBS in September last year and this will be their first child.

Source: Nikkansports

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sakamoto Fuyumi to sing the theme song for TBS Summer 2016 drama "Kami no shita wo motsu otoko"

Sakamoto Fuyumi will be singing the theme song for the upcoming TBS Summer 2016 drama "Kami no shita wo motsu otoko" which will begin its run from 8 July in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. When asked about why he approached Sakamoto to sing the theme song, the director Tsutsumi Yukihiko revealed that he wanted to play an enka in the drama thus decided to approach Sakamoto directly. The theme song titled "Onna wa dakarete ayu ni naru" will be released on 17 August. Sakamoto will also be appearing in the drama along with the leads Mukai Osamu, Kimura Fumino and Sato Jiro who play characters on a journey to various onsen resorts to find the legendary onsen geisha Miyabi.

This is the first time since 1990 that an enka was used as the theme song for a TBS Friday drama. As such, Sakamoto commented that she felt honoured to be given the chance this time but wondered at first why she was chosen as she was surprised by the offer. Nonetheless, she was very happy about it and thinks of it as a memorable gift to commemorate her 30th anniversary in showbiz.

Source: Oricon

Shirakawa Yumi passes away due to heart failure

Actress Shirakawa Yumi passed away on 14 June due to heart failure at the age of 79 years old. Shirakawa whose real name was Nitani Akiko, was the wife of actor Nitani Hideaki who passed away in 2012 due to pneumonia and leaves behind their daughter Yurie who is the president of Try Group and used to be an actress.

Shirakawa became an actress in 1955 and made her debut in the movie "Narazumono". She married Nitani in 1964 and they were known as a model couple. Shirakawa had appeared in many dramas and movies such as "Majo no Jouken", "Ohisama", "Kaseifu no Mita", "GTO" and "DOCTOR X".

The wake will be held on 17 June while the funeral will be on the following day.

Source: Daily Sports

Matsuyuki Yasuko to play twin sisters in new movie "Koto"

Matsuyuki Yasuko will be playing twin sisters for the first time in the new movie "Koto" (Ancient Capital) which is based on Kawabata Yasunari's novel and was made into movies in 1963 and 1980 which featured Iwashita Shima and Yamaguchi Momoe respectively. The 1963 version was nominated for the Best Foreign Movie category in the Academy Awards while the 1980 version was Yamaguchi's retirement work. In this latest version, it will feature the story about the adult lives of the twin sisters who were separated at birth which was not mentioned in the novel.

The movie will be set in Kyoto where the elder sister Chieko is the heir of a traditional kimono shop while the younger sister Naeko lives in the mountains and works in the forestry industry. While living lives dedicated to traditional trades, their lives are portrayed through their interaction with their daughters played by Hashimoto Ai and Narumi Riko. Hashimoto plays Chieko's daughter who is troubled over whether to take over the kimono shop from her mother while Narumi plays Naeko's daughter who is studying art in a Paris university.

Filming began in November last year at Kyoto with the support of the Kyoto Prefectural and Kyoto City governments and at Paris. The movie is directed by Yuki Saito who learned film production in Hollywood and will be screened in Kyoto first from 26 November before its nationwide release from 3 December.

As preparation for the filming, the staff prepared tea ceremony equipment and kimonos which are worth more than JPY 20m. Matsuyuki and Hashimoto also had to begin training in learning how to wear the kimono, the Kyoto dialect and the tea ceremony one month before the filming started. Narumi recounted that she had enjoyed the filming in Paris and was glad to have worked with the local staff.

Source: Oricon

Ozawa Maju announces her 2nd pregnancy

Ozawa Maju announced through her Facebook page on 15 June that she is currently 5 months pregnant with her second child and due to give birth in autumn. In her statement, Ozawa revealed that she had chosen to make the announcement now since she has entered a more stable stage of her pregnancy and that her morning sickness has subsided. Along with her statement, she included a photo of her with her elder daughter and said that she will continue to work depending on her condition. Ozawa ended the statement by pledging to work hard in her acting career and being a mother.

Ozawa married a dentist in February 2014 who is 8 years younger than her and gave birth to their first daughter in August the same year.

Source: Sponichi Annex

Further cast announcements for FujiTV Summer 2016 drama "Eigyou Buchou Kira Natsuko"

FujiTV announced the cast list of their Summer 2016 drama "Eigyou Buchou Kira Natsuko" on 12 June. The drama which features Matsushima Nanako as Kira Natsuko, a mother who returns to work after her 3-year maternity break. Neptune's Harada Taizo will play Kira's husband Kotaro who is very supportive of her but their relationship undergoes changes due to her work while Ito Ayumi plays their babysister who tries to seduce him. Upon hearing that he is to play Matsushima's husband, Harada admitted that he was grinning about it and is looking forward to working with her for the first time. Other co-stars include DAIGO, Okada Yoshinori and Nakamura An who play the members of Kira's sales development department and Matsubara Chieko who plays Kira's mother-in-law.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

SKE48's Matsui Jurina to be the lead for TBS Summer 2016 drama "Shihei"

SKE48's Matsui Jurina will take on her first leading role in a drama when she appears in the TBS Summer 2016 drama "Shihei" (Death Cash) which begins its run from 13 July 2016 in the Wednesdays 12.10am timeslot. She plays the role of Minami Yuka, an university student who has the power to see other people's deaths through her strong sixth sense. When she happens to witness the death of her friend who had used a cursed 10,000 yen note with the eyes of Fukuzawa Yukichi being stained black, she is embroiled in a series of strange incidents involving the people around her who die under questionable circumstances. With the help of police officer Wakamoto Takeshi played by Totsugi Shigeyuki, they try to find out the truth behind the "death cash".

Co-stars include Kakei Toshio who play Yuka's professor Zaitsu Taichiro, Hayama Shono and Nishida Mai who plays Yuka's classmates, Nakamura Yurika who plays Yuka's senior and Shirasu Jin who plays her senior and a javelin athlete. Yamada Yuki will play Yuka's senior who she admires while Yoshioka Riho will play Yuka's best friend.

This is the first time that Matsui is playing an university student and she is taking over the same timeslot as her senior Maeda Atsuko who appeared in this season's "Busujima Yuriko no Sekirara Nikki". As such, although she is happy about being able to be the lead, she is also feeling the pressure but will work hard with her co-stars who are more experienced than her.

Source: Crankin

Fujiwara Tatsuya announces the birth of his first baby

Fujiwara Tatsuya released a statement to the members of his official fanclub "DRAGON aRRROWS" on 16 June that his wife has given birth to their first baby. In the statement, he revealed that the baby is healthy and that he will work harder in his acting career now that his family has grown bigger. He asked for the continued support of his fans in future.

Fujiwara married his girlfriend in 2013 after dating for 9 years. Due to privacy reasons, his agency said that Fujiwara will not reveal details about his baby including the name, gender and date of birth and there will be no press conference to be held regarding this.

Source: Oricon

WAKUWAKU JAPAN's meet-and-greet event with Miura Shohei in Singapore

If you are a subscriber of WAKUWAKU JAPAN, the cable TV channel offering various Japanese dramas, movies and variety shows and a fan of Miura Shohei, here is a chance to get up close and personal with him in Singapore.

WAKUWAKU JAPAN is organising a meet and greet event for 30 viewers to meet Miura on 25 June at Clarke Quay Central as he will be here to promote the drama "Dame na watashi ni koishite kudasai" which is currently airing on the channel so if you are keen to apply for this, please go to Starhub's website. Besides meeting Miura, you will get to have his signature and take a group photo with him.

For your convenience, this is the press release from WAKUWAKU JAPAN:

WAKUWAKU JAPAN Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan; President & CEO: Masafumi Kawanishi) will have an event in Singapore on Saturday 25 June with StarHub TV, the leading pay TV provider with a strong market presence in Singapore. Popular Japanese artiste Shohei Miura, currently starring in drama “PLEASE LOVE ME!” will visit Singapore for a meet and greet event. A press conference will also be held at the same time.

The event aims to inspire Japanese drama fans along with the Singapore premiere of popular Japanese drama “PLEASE LOVE ME!” (Produced by TOHO/Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc.). WAKUWAKU JAPAN has arranged for the lead actor in “PLEASE LOVE ME”, Shohei Miura, to meet and greet WAKUWAKU JAPAN subscribers at the event. In his first overseas event, Shohei Miura will share his behind-the-scenes stories and talk about the highlights of the drama.

In the Meet and Greet session, 30 WAKUWAKU JAPAN subscribers selected through StarHub TV website contest will stand to meet him up close and personal, including a photo opportunity. In addition, some lucky winners will have a chance to act out some of the popular scenes from “PLEASE LOVE ME” with Shohei Miura.

WAKUWAKU JAPAN has been broadcasting the latest Japanese drama in “Drama NEO” slot every Friday and Saturday to cater to the needs of Singaporean audiences. Using this opportunity to introduce Singaporean viewers to Japanese drama, WAKUWAKU JAPAN achieves greater awareness of the channel. WAKUWAKU JAPAN will continue to endeavor on delivering the charms of Japanese entertainment through various promotional activities covering all facets of Japan.

■Event Outline
- Title:Shohei Miura Meet & Greet
- Date:Saturday 25 June, 2016 at 5.30pm
    ※Press Conference will also be held at the same time
- Venue:The Atrium, Clarke Quay Central
     6 Eu Tong Sen Street Singapore 059817
- Guest:Japanese TV star Shohei Miura
- Applications will be available through StarHub TV website.
 StarHub TV Contest Page:www.starhub.com/wakuwakujapan
 ※Meet and greet will only be available to WAKUWAKU JAPAN subscribers.

Source: WAKUWAKU JAPAN

Romaji lyrics of "Mint" by Amuro Namie (Theme song of "Boku no Yabai Tsuma")

Title: Mint
Artiste: Amuro Namie
Lyrics: Maria Marcus / Andreas Oberg / Emyli / TIGER
Melody: Maria Marcus / Andreas Oberg / Emyli
Theme song of FujiTV & Kansai TV Spring 2016 drama "Boku no Yabai Tsuma"

Day and night sou katadoki mo
watasenai no no dare ni mo
You know I'm watching every breath you take, move you make

suteru wa puraido arittake no
shikata nai mou dounatte mo
You know I hate that I love you wherever you are, near or far

hitomi wa straight at me
Cannot fight karada ga freeze
Let me taste your lips now please

mitsumeraretara saigo
hanarerarenai no
He's mint
He's mint
tsumeta me no taido
sore sura mo saikou
He's mint
He's mint
Don't you break my heart onegai
sono egao chocolate chip
motto wanna taste it
hoshii no wa ai yo
oboretetai no
He's mint
He's mint

taegatai fuan mo koukai mo
taema nai kairaku e no kairou
You blow my mind babe, you just turn me on, on and on

dakishimetara saigo
iki mo dekinai no
He's mint
He's mint
nani mo kamo saijo
suki sugiru I know
He's mint
He's mint
Don't you break my heart onegai
sono koe wa honey milk
motto wanna drink it
abiru hodo no ai wo
toroketetai no
He's mint
He's mint

mitsumeraretara saigo
hanarerarenai no
He's mint
He's mint
tsumeta me no taido
sore sura mo saikou
He's mint
He's mint
Don't you break my heart onegai
sono egao chocolate chip
motto wanna taste it
hoshii no wa ai yo
oboretetai no
He's mint
He's mint

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Terao Akira to star in TBS Summer 2016 drama "Aogeba Totoshi"

Terao Akira will be the lead in the upcoming TBS Summer 2016 drama "Aogeba Totoshi" which will be shown from July in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. This is his first appearance in a Sunday 9pm drama in 28 years and he is the eldest lead in this timeslot since its inception in 1993. The drama will be written by Izumi Yoshihiro and Hirakawa Yuichiro who worked together on "ROOKIES".

The drama which is based on a true story in 1980 at Kanagawa Prefectural Yokohama Nanryo Senior High School and its brass band and their advisor Nakazawa Tadao, features Terao as a former saxophone player Higuma Koichi who suffers from side effects due to an accident thus stopped having anything to do with music. He is then hired to manage a small brass band in a senior high school which is to be closed down and has to deal with a group of problematic students who behave violently at times and their parents also giving him a hard time because they do not want to let their children become musicians. Nonetheless, he refuses to give up on his dream of leading the band to take part in the national championship. Co-stars include Tabe Mikako who plays Higuma's daughter Natsuki, Ishizaka Koji, the principal of the senior high school who hires Higuma to be the advisor of the brass band while Mackenyu, Murakami Nijiro, Kitamura Takumi, Taiga and Sano Gaku will play students in the school.

Terao commented that he will be working with many young actors this time who are about 50 years younger than him but he is looking forward to the filming and the chemistry that will evolve between them. It was reported that Terao was selected for the role not just for his acting but also for the fact that he had won the Nippon Record Taisho before with his hit song "Ruby no Yubiwa" since he needs to play musical instruments in the drama.

Sources: Yomiuri Hochi / TBS / Sponichi / Oricon

Matsuzaka Tori & Suda Masaki to play brothers in new movie "Kiseki - Ano hi no Sobito-"

Matsuzaka Tori and Suda Masaki will be the leads in the new movie "Kiseki - Ano hi no Sobito -" (Kiseki - The Sobito of That Day) which is due to be shown during New Year 2017. The movie which describes the journey of 4-member vocal group GReeeeN before they released their 2008 hit song "Kiseki", will feature Matsuzaka as JIN, the group's producer and Suda as HIDE, the group's leader and JIN's younger brother. Although Matsuzaka and Suda have worked together thrice so far, this is the first time that they are playing brothers. The movie is based on true happenings and includes conflicts between family members and friends. The word "Sobito" is a word created by GReeeeN which means an amateur or person of the sky who attempts new challenges freely.

GReeeeN made their debut in 2007 as a group who did not show their faces. Other than the fact that the members are all registered dentists, there is little known about them. The song "Kiseki" was the most downloaded single in Japan which made it to the Guinness Book of Records and was the theme song for TBS drama series "ROOKIES".

Matsuzaka revealed that he didn't know what to expect at first when told about the movie offer but after meeting JIN and HIDE during a meal in early May, he became intrigued and was touched by their story. As he has to sing in the movie, Matsuzaka admitted that he was worried but JIN assured him that he'll be fine if he sings in an enjoyable way. As for Suda, he was impressed by how the members managed to juggle being dentists and musicians at the same time and is eager to express their story through the movie.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Oricon

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Yuka & Aoki Munetaka announce their impending marriage

Yuka and Aoki Munetaka announced in a joint statement through their respective agencies on 13 June that they will be getting married. The couple are already living together but there are no plans yet for a wedding.

Aoki and Yuka met while shooting the NHK period drama "Chikaemon" starring Aoki in October last year and started dating when filming wrapped up at the end of the year. The couple did not reveal when they are going to submit their marriage application but it is believed that they plan to do so on Yuka's birthday i.e. 27 June.

In their statement, the couple mentioned that they started dating at the beginning of the year and it was a natural progression for them to get married. They pledged to build a family full of smiles and asked for the support of everyone around them.

Yuka made her debut as a gravure idol in 1997 and her stage name was selected through an open survey with 17,000 responses. Later, she became an actress and host and was recently seen in the FujiTV drama "Hi no Ko" and NTV's "Rinsho Hanzai Gakusha Himura Hideo no Suiri". Aoki made his debut in 2002 through the movie "Muscle Heat" and has been in various dramas and movies such as "Ryomaden" and "Rurouni Kenshin". He can be seen in the ongoing TBS drama "99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi" and his new movies "Ame ni yureru onna" and "Nihon de Ichiban warui yatsura" will be screened this year.

Source: Oricon

Former Morning Musume leader Niigaki Risa & Kotani Yoshikazu to get married in July

Former Morning Musume leader and actress Niigaki Risa and actor Kotani Yoshikazu announced through their blogs on 13 June that they are to get married in July this year. In their statement, they thanked everyone for their support all this while and revealed that they met through the stage play "Zettai Kareshi" in 2013 and have been dating for the last two years. They pledged to build a happy family together and will continue to work hard in their acting careers as well.

Niigaki joined Morning Musume in 2011 and became its 7th generation leader in 2011. She left the group the following year to embark on her solo career. Kotani was ranked in the top 6 of the 12th Junon Super Boy Contest held in 1999 and began his acting career after that before beginning his music career in 2008.

Source: Sponichi Annex

Monday, June 13, 2016

Completion screening event of Netflix drama "Hibana"

The completion screening event of Netflix drama "Hibana" was held on 2 June which was attended by comedic duo Peace's Matayoshi Naoki and cast members such as Hayashi Kento, Namioka Kazuki, Kadowaki Mugi, Yoshii Masao, Murata Hideaki, Nahana, Tokunaga Eri, Takahashi Maryjun and the directors Hiroki Ryuichi, Shiraishi Kazuya, Okita Shuichi, Kuma Shinji and Mouri Yasutaka. The drama which is based on Matayoshi's same-titled novel that had won the 153th Akutagawa Award and achieved accumulated sales of 2.51 million copies, consists of 10 episodes and is shown via Netflix in 190 countries from 3 June. As the screening event was held on the same day as Matayoshi's 36th birthday, he commented that he felt as life had given him a reward for his book to be dramatised and for such a wonderful cast and crew to produce it. Matayoshi revealed that before the event, he saw a a cake being brought out and thought that they were going to celebrate his birthday but realised that it was to commemorate the screening of the drama.

In the drama, Hayashi plays the newbie manzai performer Tokunaga and he commented that he was confident about his performance since this was built on his experience as an actor for the last 10 years. He was also very happy and proud to be able to participate in this production which will be shown overseas.

Source: Sponichi / Oricon

Shaku Yumiko announces the birth of her first son

Shaku Yumiko announced through her blog that she had given birth to her first son on 12 June which also happens to be her birthday. In her statement, she revealed that her son weighed 2,890g at birth and it felt like it was a double birthday celebration for her as she was also celebrating her 38th birthday that day. She was having a checkup the previous day when the doctor suggested that she should be warded immediately that evening as she was showing signs of labour. Despite this being her first time, the delivery process was very smooth and didn't take a long time.

Shaku got married to her husband who is of the same age to her in October last year.

Source: Sanspo