Saturday, September 30, 2017

FujiTV announces its decision to postpone the first O.A. of "Minshuu no Teki" due to upcoming election

FujiTV announced on 30 September that they will be pushing back the broadcast of upcoming Autumn 2017 drama "Minshuu no Teki ~ Yo no naka, okashikunai desuka!? ~" which was originally slated to begin its run from 16 October. In the announcement, the TV station said that in view of the upcoming House of Representatives election due to take place on 22 October and that there are scenes of an election in the first episode of the drama, the decision was made to do so due to the sensitivity of the content and that the first OA date coincides with the election's public notice date. As such, the first episode will be postponed to a week later i.e. 23 October. As for what programme to show in the now-vacated timeslot, FujiTV will make an announcement on a later date.

This drama features Shinohara Ryoko as the lead character Sato Tomoko who lives with her husband and only child who is attending nursery. When Tomoko was in senior high school, her parents disappeared one after another which led to her quitting school. She then switched jobs many times before deciding to live a serious life unlike her parents. Tomoko got married to her husband who she met at her part-time job but he continues to keep switching jobs as a freeter. As such, she has to chip in to the household finances by taking on part-time jobs. Unfortunately, she got fired when she rebelled against rules in her company. Now in her 40s without a decent education and qualifications, Tomoko becomes attracted to the prospect of becoming a city councilor after watching a feature on a corruption scandal and how much a city councilor earns. After conducting research on her chances of being elected are as high as over 80 percent, Tomoko decides to give it a shot despite being a greenhorn in politics and has no backing from a political party. Right from the start, she is faced with difficulties such as making her PR poster and writing her street rally speeches but with the help of her husband and fellow mothers at the nursery, Tomoko gradually begins her journey to stand for election. Her rival in the election Toudou Makoto will be played by Takahashi Issei who comes from a family of politicians and highly regarded to become a potential Prime Minister while Ishida Yuriko will play Hirata Kazumi whose child also attends the same nursery as Tomoko's and her biggest supporter who graduated from a top-notch university and was a reporter covering political news at a news agency. Other co-stars include Furuta Arata, Maeda Atsuko, Chiba Yuudai, Tanaka Kei and Saito Tsukasa.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Sponichi

Preview of "Chinmoku Houtei" (WOWOW) - Summer 2017

Title: Chinmoku Houtei 沈黙法廷 (The silent court)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 24 September 2017
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 5
Original novel by: Sasaki Jou
Cast: Nagasaku Hiromi, Ichihara Hayato, Ookura Koji, Usuda Asami, Fujimoto Izumi, Judai Satoshi, Komoto Masahiro, Kaneda Akio, Kitamura Soichiro, Sugimoto Tetta & Tanaka Tetsushi

Completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Chinmoku Houtei"

The completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Chinmoku Houtei" was held on 21 September which was attended by cast members Nagasaku Hiromi, Ichihara Hayato and Tanaka Tetsushi. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Naoki Award winner Sasaki Jou, will begin its run from 24 September in the Sundays 10pm timeslot and consists of 5 episodes.

The story starts off with the discovery of the body of an elderly person living alone in Akabane, Kita Ward of Tokyo who was strangled to death. While conducting investigations into the murder, the police detectives at Akabane Police Station and those from the Metropolitan Police Department get a tip-off from nearby residents that a woman had been visiting the victim's apartment often. It was later found that the woman named Yamamoto Miki (Nagasaku) is the sole owner of a household chores helper business. When the police officers head to Miki's office, they are surprised to see the Saitama Prefectural Police already there to investigate a series of unnatural deaths supposedly linked to her. Through the trial, it is slowly revealed who Miki is and the truth behind these cases starts to unravel as media attention heats up to label her as a serial murderer even before the verdict is out. However, Miki clams up during the trial when it is her turn to testify instead of trying to clear her name. Ichihara plays Miki's boyfriend Takamizawa Hiroshi while Tanaka plays Miki's lawyer Yatabe Kan.

With regard to the scenes where Miki and Hiroshi went on dates, Nagasaku recounted that everyone seemed to be giggling as they watched the filming which made her feel even more shy and self-conscious. On the other hand, Ichihara said that their first scene together was the dating scene and he felt that Nagasaku was very cute when she said that she was shy about acting in such scenes. As his character is deeply in love with Miki, Ichihara said that he also felt happy about meeting Nagasaku on the set whenever they met. In response, Nagasaku said that there are a number of scenes showing the pure love between Miki and Hiroshi so she apologised to Ichihara's fans in advance if these scenes might make them feel uncomfortable. She then praised Ichihara for being very delicate and detailed despite his macho image. However, it seemed that he had vastly different sides in his character where he would get into trouble when he was drunk but he was also capable of doing very "quiet" things such as taking a lot of nice photographs during their filming breaks.

As for her character who chooses to maintain her silence most of the time, Nagasaku commented that it had been a while since she felt scared by the small number of lines as the weight of every word spoken by Miki and her facial expressions were more significant than any of the characters she had ever played before. In addition, she commented that since Sasaki hardly writes anything in excess of what's needed, she wondered if she could be up to the challenge of playing Miki in the drama.

As for Tanaka, he revealed that he was brought to tears after reading the novel and that was before he got the offer. As his impression of Yatabe was that the character was a very cool lawyer, he wondered if he could do it. However, after looking at the script, he found that the lawyer had become slightly less cool than he assumed so he was relieved in the end. Tanaka then revealed that he had a scene the day after the event where he had to say a lot of lines and wondered if he spoke too soon about the difficulty of playing his character. Upon hearing this, Nagasaku and Ichihara laughed at his remarks.

Sources: Crank In / Cinema Today / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon /

Preview of "Warotenka" (NHK morning drama)

Title: Warotenka わろてんか (Please laugh)
Official website: here
Official blog: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 2 October 2017
Timeslot: Mondays to Saturdays at 8am
Broadcast by: NHK
Theme song: "Ashita wa doko kara" by Matsu Takako
Narrator: Ono Fumie (NHK announcer)
Cast: Aoi Wakana, Matsuzaka Toori, Hamada Gaku, Takahashi Issei, Endo Kenichi, Suzuki Honami, Takeshita Keiko, Chiba Yuudai, Hotta Mayu, Tokunaga Eri, Suzuki Kyoka, Okamoto Rei, Hirose Arisu, Ono Takuro, Maeno Tomoya, Fujii Takashi, Edamoto Moe, Hyoudou Daiki, Uchiba Katsunori

Tsutsumi Shinichi & Okada Masaki to star in new WOWOW drama "Meishi Game"

Tsutsumi Shinichi will be starring in the upcoming WOWOW drama "Meishi Game" (Namecard Game) which is based on the same-titled novel by Suzuki Osamu and marks the first leading role for Tsutsumi in a WOWOW drama. He will be working with Okada Masaki in this human suspense drama which consists of 4 episodes and will be shown from 2 December in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot.

The story is set in the TV entertainment world where Tsutsumi plays Kanda, a popular TV quiz show' producer who is so obsessed with work and uses his game show to expose the bad deeds of people. One day, Kanda loses consciousness and suddenly finds himself trapped in an underground boiler room with a collar ring around his neck when he comes to. Scattered on the floor are a huge amount of namecards while his daughter (Ootomo Karen) is tied to the wall while wearing the same collar ring as his. Just then, a mysterious man X (Okada) appears in front of Kanda and forces the latter to play a namecard card with a time limit of 2 hours. Kanda will have to search for a namecard which he received and find the owner of that namecard and return it to that person or else his or his daughter's collar ring will explode if time runs out or if he finds the wrong person. In order to save his daughter, Kanda has no choice but to participate in this game and finds that there is a huge secret behind the motive for getting him involved.

Tsutsumi said that Kanda is a typical character in the mass media industry who strives hard to survive among the competition and gradually changes as a result. As for working with Okada, Tsutsumi said that he is looking forward to the collaboration since it had been a long while since they last worked together. He revealed that Okada is one who knows how to separate work from pleasure and hopes that they will be able to have some fun during their breaks and even go drinking together.

As for Okada, he described his character X as someone who may look like a personification of extreme evil at first but will gradually change as the story progresses. As such, he hopes to put in his best effort to play this appealing character who will torment Tsutsumi's character to the fullest.

Co-stars in this drama include Kawai Aoba, Ochiai Motoki, Natsuna, Yanagi Yurina and Taguchi Tomorowo.

Sources: / Oricon

Preview of "Doctor Y 2 ~ Gekai Kaji Hideki ~" - Summer 2017

Title: Doctor Y 2 ~ Gekai Kaji Hideki ~ ドクターY 2 ~ 外科医加地秀樹 ~ (Doctor Y 2 ~ Surgeon Kaji Hideki)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 26 September 2017
Timeslot: Tuesdays
Broadcast by: TV Asahi, au Video Pass, Amazon Prime Video and TV Asahi Douga
Cast: Katsumura Masanobu, Horii Arata, Iitoyo Marie, Hoshida Hidetoshi, Hotta Akane, Noguchi Kaoru, Inagaki Kurumi, Tokui Yu, Iwamatsu Ryo
Guest appearances: Yonekura Ryoko, Kishibe Ittoku, Takito Kenichi

Takito Kenichi to appear in TV Asahi spin-off drama "Doctor Y ~ Gekai Kaji Hideki ~"

Takito Kenichi will be making a special appearance in the TV Asahi spin-off drama "Doctor Y 2 ~ Gekai Kaji Hideki ~" starring Katsumura Masanobu which begins its run from 26 September and is also shown on au Video Pass, Amazon Prime Video and TV Asahi Douga. He will be playing his role from "Doctor X" i.e. Kitano Tooru who used to be looked down as he was an average student despite graduating from the prestigious Toutei University. He left for the US and became a well-known surgeon through his sheer hard work and returned to Toutei University Hospital. However, he was disappointed with the low standards of the professors in the university hospital and went to Shanghai after he was headhunted by an elite international medical group at the end of "Doctor X 4". He is careful and detailed when doing operations but likes to speak weird English for no reason at times.

"Doctor Y" features Kaji who loves to be part of the herd, adores money, uses his skills to get what he wants and is narrow-minded. Last year, when the first spin-off series was shown via the Internet and later shown on TV, it showed how Kaji was sent to a hospital in the countryside and was bewitched and tempted by money when treating his patients but he always managed to achieve his aims in line with the main drama's theme of "never failing". In the second series, he will be at Honokura Hospital which is surrounded by mountains and feels like a place which you would see in horror movies. There is a legend that the hospital is cursed by the spirit of a young girl. From the first night when Kaji reports for work, he goes through a harrowing and comical experience while continuing his stint as a surgeon there.

Takito commented jokingly that he was a bit disappointed that the offer was to appear in "Doctor Y" instead of "Doctor X" but said that he was still motivated and excited after all to be able to participate in this. He also suggested that the story would show the unexpected relationship between Kaji and Kitano and unknown sides in Kitano which had never been featured before.

Source: Oricon

First-day-screening event of new movie "Boukyou"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Boukyou" was held at Shinjuku Musashinokan on 16 Sep which was attended by the director Kikuchi Takeo and cast members Kanjiya Shihori, Daito Shunsuke, Kimura Tae and Ogata Naoto.  The film is based on Minato Kanae's same-titled novel which won the 65th Nihon Suiri Sakka Kyoukaisho Short Story category and is set at Minato's hometown in Innoshima. Of the six stories in the book, two of them i.e. "Yume no Kuni" and "Hikari no Kouro" were selected to be adapted into this movie. The stories talk about the past and present involving two sets of parent-and-child relationships where Kanjiya plays the lead Miyako in "Yume no Kuni" and Daitou plays Wataru in "Hikari no Kouro".

Miyako is a woman who had always felt stifled living on the island where she was born and aimed to form a happy family once she became an adult. However, when "Dream Land", a symbol of freedom for her since she was a child, is about to be demolished, she starts to reveal something which she has always kept to herself all this while. On the other hand, Wataru returns home to the hometown on an island and finds a stranger Hatano claiming to be his late father's student coming to visit him. Through Hatano's revelation, Wataru's misunderstanding about his father is cleared as he finally realises what kind of a person his father was. Kimura plays Miyako's mother while Wataru's father is played by Ogata Naoto.

When asked about their impressions of Innoshima, Kanjiya said that it is a tranquil place with beautiful nature where they enjoyed their time there. Daito revealed that there were traces left from the island's heydays as a shipbuilding hub and he managed to chat a lot with the kids born there which was a valuable experience that can be used in his acting career. He also commented that he attended a strange meal gathering with a farmer's family and their friends where they spent time talking about the future of lemon farmers till 2am in the morning. Daito also jokingly revealed that he had an argument with the director once during the filming but it wasn't for work and was actually due to differing views they had about how to make the island vibrant and prosperous again. It took a local to stop the argument by simply saying that coming to the island is good enough to help them which led the audience to laugh at this exchange.

Towards the end of the event, the cast were asked to leave a message for their co-stars where Kimura expressed her liking for Kanjiya who is hardworking and tried very hard to do her best. Upon hearing this, Kanjiya who was brimming with tears in her eyes, expressed her gratitude to Kimura for helping her whenever she found it hard to immerse herself into her character.

Sources: / Nikkansports

Completion screening event of new movie "Tsuki to Kaminari"

The completion screening event of new movie "Tsuki to Kaminari" was held at Space FS Shiodome on 13 September which was attended by the director Ando Hiroshi and cast members Hatsune Eriko, Koura Kengo, Kusakari Tamiyo, Fujii Takemi and Kiba Katsumi. The movie will be screened in cinemas from 7 October.

The film which is based on the same-titled novel by Kakuta Mitsuyo, features Hatsune as the lead character Yasuko who had lived with her late father's lover Naoko (Kusakari) and her son Satoshi (Koura) when she was a child. Years later when Yasuko and Satoshi have become adults, they reunite which changes her ordinary and peaceful life drastically.

Hatsune commented that through working on this film, she had come to realise how life can be so short as the seasons pass with each moment moving along as if they are overflowing from a container. As such, she felt that this film is something which will inspire people to embrace their pasts and futures tightly as they come to terms with life, rejuvenation, meeting people and parting with them.

This is the first time that Kusakari is acting in a movie directed by someone other than her husband Suo Masayuki. With regard to playing Naoko who starts drinking during the daytime, constantly smokes and has a bad temperament, Kusakari recounted that there were a number of interviews which mentioned how Naoko was a "dirty" character due to her unkept appearance but she actually didn't think of Naoko in this way and was shocked to know that this was how people saw Naoko. Nonetheless, she was worried about how people may see traces of her true self in her portrayal of Naoko so she tried to make sure that she went all the way in her acting and was glad to have taken on a character which deviated very much from her past roles.

As for Koura, he praised Kusakari for her great acting and that she looked so cool when she immersed herself fully into the role. As such, he learned a lot from her during the filming and even during the breaks where she took the initiative to talk to him and engaged in topics which could interest him. Hatsune also chipped in to say that she had always thought of Kusakari as an elegant and stylish actress before they met but when she saw how Kusakari fitted into the role of Naoko so seamlessly, she was very shocked and impressed with how Kusakari could manage to show such a variety of expressions.

As Koura appeared with his head shaved during the event, the audience were shocked by his new image. Although he did not talk about his new hairstyle on stage, insiders revealed that he cut his hair just to have a change and it was not for any upcoming role. Just 10 days earlier, Koura had appeared in another event but with his hair parted to one side.

Sources: / Sanspo / Nikkansports

Preview of "Kyoaku wa nemurasenai Tokusou Kenji no Hyouteki" (Drama SP)

Title: Kyoaku wa nemurasenai Tokusou Kenji no Hyouteki 巨悪は眠らせない 特捜検事の標的 (Great evil does not go to sleep The target of the prosecutor)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 4 October 2017 at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Original novel by: "Hyouteki" by Mayama Jin
Scriptwriter: Kaneko Arisa
Cast: Tamaki Hiroshi, Katsuji Ryo, Hagiwara Masato, Hada Michiko, Takizawa Saori, Nakamura Shunsuke, Tanaka Tetsushi, Kurokawa Tomoka, Honda Hirotaro, Tamura Ryo, Shiba Toshio, Iwaki Koichi, Okuda Eiji, Natori Yuko

Friday, September 29, 2017

Handover ceremony for NHK morning dramas "Hiyokko" and "Warotenka"

The handover ceremony for NHK morning dramas "Hiyokko" and "Warotenka" was held at NHK Osaka on 15 Sep which was attended by the current drama's heroine Arimura Kasumi and the upcoming drama's heroine Aoi Wakana. During the ceremony, the two actresses exchanged presents where Arimura presented Aoi with pork katsu sandwiches from Suzufuritei and a transistor radio as the heroine in "Hiyokko" had worked in a factory making such radios. Arimura commented that she wouldn't be telling Aoi to "work hard" since she believes that the latter is already putting in her best effort but she would still advise her to take care of herself during the long filming period. Arimura also praised Aoi for being very mature despite her young age of 19 years old and expressed her support for Aoi.

On the other hand, Aoi presented Arimura with a fan bearing the design of a bird of paradise and a hand towel. Aoi expressed her thanks to Arimura for working so hard as the lead of "Hiyokko" and also pledged to do the same with the staff and cast of "Warotenka" and smile till the end of the filming.

"Warotenka" will begin its run from 2 October.

Source: Oricon

Shida Mirai to be the guest star in Ep 1 of TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Kounodori 2"

Shida Mirai will be the guest star in the first episode of upcoming TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Kounodori 2" which begins its run from 13 October in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. This is the second time she is playing a pregnant woman since the 2006 NTV drama "14-sai no Haha".

Shida's role will be Hayami Mana who was born deaf and is married to her husband Kenji (Izumisawa Yuki) who is also hearing-impaired. As such, when her parents knew about her pregnancy, they were very concerned as to whether the couple could cope with parenthood. While struggling with her insecurities and fear about becoming a mother, she is sent to where Sakura (Ayano Go) works at when she suddenly goes into labour.

In order to prepare for the role, Shida spoke to a woman who is hearing-impaired and had given birth before where she realised that the latter didn't find that being deaf was a hindrance to her life. As such, Shida tried to avoid projecting the feel that being deaf was a negative thing to her character. With regard to her previous attempt at playing a mother, Shida recounted that she was only 13 when she took on her first leading role in a drama and had to play someone who had gone through something which she hadn't experienced before. Back then, she spoke to her mother and the people around her who had given birth before and this time, she also had to rely on her imagination to portray her role. 11 years ago, she was advised about her unnatural hand and walking movements while having a cushion stuffed beneath here clothes but this time, she managed to move around more naturally as if the cushion was part of her body. As some of her friends are already mothers, Shida felt that it was timely for her to start thinking about the importance and weight of life as she acted in this drama.

Sources: Sanspo / Sponichi / Oricon / Cinema Cafe

Screening event of new movie "Ernesto"

The screening event of new movie "Ernesto" jointly produced by Japan and Cuba was held at TOHO Cinemas Shinjuku on 13 September which was attended by the director Sakamoto Junji and the lead actor Odagiri Jo. The movie features Odagiri as the Bolivian-Japanese doctor Ernesto Freddy Maemura who fought alongside with revolutionist Che Guevara and died at the young age of 25. As the entire movie is in Spanish, Odagiri spent 6 months to learn the language and had to reduce his weight by 12kg for the filming. This being his 14th movie shot overseas, Odagiri revealed that he took on the role precisely because it was tough and something which he had never attempted before.

Odagiri commented that when he first heard about this movie from the director, he was very eager to take on the role and said that he wanted to step out of his comfort zone and take on a challenge since he has been an actor for 20 years. In the film industry of Japan today, he felt that making this type of movie felt like a revolution to him and he was filled with the strong desire to overcome the odds.

In preparation for the movie, Sakamoto went to see Maemura's classmates and family to gather information about the man himself and why he decided to take up arms even though he wanted to help people. He described Maemura as someone who was quiet but had strong views on what he could and could not tolerate and could interact with people who had opposing views. As such, he thought of Odagiri immediately after hearing about Maemura and approached his drinking buddy to take part in this project. While preparing for the movie, Odagiri made a lot of preparations such as learning Spanish until he was so good at it that the director felt that Odagiri had transformed into Maemura the moment when he first spoke during the filming. Although the director was inspired to learn Spanish as a result of Odagiri, he gave up halfway so couldn't understand what Odagiri was saying during the filming.

The movie will be shown in cinemas from 6 October.

Sources: Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Sanspo /

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

Nomura Shuhei will be appearing in the upcoming TV Asahi Autumn 2017 drama "Doctor X 5 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko" starring Yonekura Ryoko which begins its run from 12 October in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. He will be playing a newbie surgeon named Ito Ryoji from the yutori generation i.e. those educated under the pressure-free system who is very skillful and looks down on his peers while being unafraid to stand up to his seniors. He sees Daimon as someone who is at the same level as him despite the fact that she is much more senior and experienced than he is.

Nomura commented on his character that Ito is someone who is a bit detestable and talks in a really sarcastic manner. As such, Nomura will try his best to tap on the dark side of his character and exemplify it so as to play Ito. He also had to study a lot in order to look convincing as the very smart and knowledgeable Ito. With regard to working with his seniors, Nomura said that he's still afraid of Nishida Toshiyuki and doesn't dare to get close to the latter but he's excited about Nishida's ad-libs and will try his best to react accordingly.

As it had been 4 years since he last worked with Yonekura (their last drama together was the 2013 NTV drama "35-sai no Koukousei", Yonekura commented that Nomura had changed a lot from the last time they met because he used to be so quiet and observed his surroundings without a word but he takes the initiative to lighten the atmosphere on the set and has matured a lot. On the other hand, Nomura was worried at first whether Yonekura would remember him but was relieved and happy that she did. He also praised her for being very cool and beautiful that he went into a daze while looking at her. However, their characters in the drama can hardly be said to be on good terms despite their good relationship offscreen.

Sources: My Navi News / Oricon

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Saito Takumi's directorial debut long film "blank13" screened at 10th Shitamachi Comedy Eigasai in Taito

Saito Takumi's first long film as the director which is titled "blank13", was screened during the 10th Shitamachi Comedy Eigasai in Taito on 16 September as the opening movie. During the meet-the-audience session, Saito appeared along with his cast members Takahashi Issei, Kanno Misuzu and Kaneko Nobuaki at Asakusa Koukaidou. The movie which also features Lily Franky, Matsuoka Mayu and Sato Jiro, will be screened in cinemas from 3 February 2018.

The movie is based on the true story of broadcast writer Hashimoto Kouji about how a father who had gone missing for 13 years, was unable to mend ties with his estranged family. It was only until his death that his family members find out the truth about what happened during these 13 years from those who attend the father's funeral. Takahashi Issei plays the lead character Hashida Koji while Lily Franky plays Koji's missing father. Kanno Misuzu plays Koji's mother while Matsuoka Mayu plays Koji's girlfriend. Saito himself plays the eldest son of the Hashida family.

When the four actors appeared on stage, they were greeted by loud cheers with Takahashi receiving a very warm response when it was his turn to say hello. During the one-minute phototaking session, the cast waved at the audience who were free to take as many photos as they wished.

During the event, Saito revealed that the movie had entered the competition category of Vladivostok International Film Festival where he received a notification in the wee hours of the previous night that Takahashi, Franky and he had all won the best actor award for their performances in this movie. Saito commented that the Russian audience seemed to like their movie very much and wanted to give them an award even though it was rare for three people to get the same award at the same time. Saito joked that he was probably the extra among the three of them while Takahashi smiled widely as Saito talked about this piece of good news.

Saito also recalled how they announced the making of this movie in the previous year's edition of this film festival so he was especially touched to be able to return to the same place for the screening. He also revealed how he had made seemingly ridiculous to Kaneko who was tasked to make the music for the movie which led the latter to comment that he even had to make trance music using the mokugyo i.e. the wooden gong used by monks in Buddhist temples.


Kurashina Kana to be the guest star in Ep 1 of NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Okusama wa, toriatsukai chuui"

Kurashina Kana will be the guest star in the first episode of upcoming NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Okusama wa, toriatsukai chuui" starring Ayase Haruka which will begin its run from 4 October in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. Ayase plays the lead character Isayama Nami who got married to a man on the spur of the moment after falling in love with him at first sight during a go-kon. Although she is a housewife who is living the good life in a quiet and upscale neighbourhood which is a huge contrast to when she was single, she is actually poor at cooking and cleaning the house and her biggest grouse is that she cannot stand her mundane life as a ordinary housewife. Nami also hates going around the bush and has a strong sense of justice which makes her extremely frightening when she is angered. She sets out to help the housewives living in the same neighbourhood who may look happy on the surface but have various issues hidden within. The reason why she is a thrill seeker will also be what she has been hiding from her husband and this will be gradually revealed as the story progresses. Hirosue Ryoko will be playing Oohara Yuri who is a very knowledgeable housewife and the unofficial leader of the trio including Nami and Sato Kyoko (Honda Tsubasa), a meek and curious housewife. Although the three of them are very different in terms of age and personality, Yuri and Kyoko become Nami's first friends in her life and they will be engaging in light girls' talk in the drama. Nishijima Hidetoshi plays Nami's husband Yuki who operates an IT company with his friend and is a gentle guy who is very accommodating towards his wife. Other co-stars include Ishiguro Ken who plays Yuri's husband Keisuke, Nakao Akiyoshi who plays Kyoko's husband Wataru and Ginpuncho who plays Kyoko's mother-in-law Yoshie.

Kurashina plays the character Mikami Chika who meets Nami and her friends at the cooking school. Soon after, Nami realises that Chika is suffering from domestic violence inflicted by her husband so she resolves to help her new friend resolve this issue.

Source: Oricon

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Completion event of new movie "Poncho ni yoake no kaze haramasete"

The completion event of new movie "Poncho ni yoake no kaze haramasete" was held at Shinjuku Musashinokan on 12 September which was attended by the director Hirohara Satoru and cast members Taiga, Nakamura Aoi and Yamoto Yuma. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 28 October.

The story describes how three senior high school boys Matahachi (Taiga), Jin (Nakamura) and Jumbo (Yamoto) lead meaningless lives and wants to do something to change their situations. They hatch a plan with their friend Nakata (Sometani Shota) to hijack the upcoming graduation ceremony with an impromptu live performance and decide to head out for the last trip of their senior high school days. Things do not progress as they expect but this makes them grow up and they seem to be guided to find their respective paths in life. As Nakata waits for the trio to return before the graduation ceremony, the boys are in for a surprise as to what lies at the end of their journey. Satsukawa Aimi will be playing a gravure idol Ai while Abe Junko plays a sex worker Maria.

Taiga commented that his own experience as a senior high school student was vastly different from Matahachi so he had fun going through a different experience through this movie. Back then, he was already working as an actor so he had to stop himself from going overboard in many aspects. As such, he expressed envy at how Matahachi and his friends could make full use of their youth in such a sparkling and shinning manner. As for how the movie turned out, Taiga said that he was relieved as he was instructed by the director not to worry about the sequence of events since Matahachi is one who doesn't look back and does things on intuition.

As for Nakamura, he said that he spent part of his senior high school days in Fukuoka before he moved to Tokyo in the second year. As he didn't have many friends then, he couldn't really say much about that period in his life so he was glad to be able to relieve that period through this movie. Last but not least, Yamoto revealed that after reading the script, he made an effort to act cute for this role although he was shy about doing so among his peers.

When asked about their senior high school lives, Yamoto was proud to declare that he was a regular player in his school's well-known tennis club and very popular with the girls then. He joked that he was the exact opposite of Nakamura who expressed jealousy at seeing someone like Yamoto. As for Taiga, he revealed that he used to key his best friend's number in his handphone with the name Aoi Yu since he is a big fan and got really excited whenever he saw a missed call entry with her name. He even keys his parents names as George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson till today. However, he didn't have time to join any club activities during senior high school and talked about making a movie with his classmate i.e. Sometani back then. They wrote their scripts together and shot their movies on their own but only Sometani managed to come up with an end product but he didn't succeed in the end. As such, he found it very gratifying to be able to work with Sometani in this movie which reminded them of what they did back in senior high school.


Supporting cast line-up of NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Ima kara anata wo kyouhaku shimasu"

The supporting cast line-up of NTV Autumn 2017 drama "Ima kara anata wo kyouhaku shimasu" had been announced. The drama which is based on the same-titled novel by Fujiishi Namiya, will begin its run from 15 October in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot.

The story features Dean Fujioka as the professional threatening specialist Senkawa Kanji who is great at investigating cases and solving them using his intimidating techniques to force criminals into a corner but he has a strange fashion sense. On the other hand, Takei Emi plays Kanesaka Mio who is a kind university student from a rich family and will do anything to help anyone who is in trouble. The two of them who are polar opposites i.e. a professional baddie vs. an extremely kind soul will come together to solve various cases which the police have engaged Senkawa to handle. Miyake Hiroki will be playing Senkawa's buddy Meguro who is a professional burglary expert and can pick any lock within seconds although he hardly looks like it with his usual warm and quiet appearance. As for Shimazaki Haruka, she will play Tochiotome who looks like any other young girl on the street but is actually a professional "searcher" who can get any information through a computer with her superior hacking skills and works with Senkawa.

Kondo Masaomi will be playing Mio's grandfather Todoroki Yuunosuke while Suzuki Nobuyuki will be playing Kyouda Kaoru who moves to the apartment beside Mio's. Ebisu Yoshikazu will play Robin, a staff member at BAR Seiryuu where Senkawa and his buddies frequent and Yamaga Kotoko will play Kan-chan who is a good friend of Mio and attends the same university as her. Sato Ryo will play Paruko who is also a good friend of Mio while Naitou Risa will play Rachel, another employee at BAR Seiryuu.

Sources: Cinema Cafe / Oricon /

Preview of "Ashita no Yakusoku" - Autumn 2017

Title: Ashita no Yakusoku 明日の約束 (Tomorrow's promise)
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 17 October 2017
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: Kansai TV / FujiTV
Cast: Inoue Mao, Oikawa Mitsuhiro, Kudo Asuka, Shirasu Jin, Shinkawa Yua, Sakuma Yui, Endo Kenshin, Aoyagi Sho, Kamio Yu, Mabuchi Erika, Nakabayashi Daiki, Omiya Taro, Haba Yuichi, Tezuka Satomi, Nakama Yukie etc.

Ishihara Satomi to star in TBS Winter 2018 drama "Unnatural" as a forensic pathologist

Ishihara Satomi will be starring in the TBS Winter 2018 drama "Unnatural" which will begin its run from January next year in the Fridays 10pm timeslot. The original story will be written by Nogi Akiko who was responsible for the hit drama "Nigeru wa haji daga yaku ni tatsu".

The drama will be set at the newly-established UDI Laboratory which is tasked to investigate unnatural death cases. Ishihara plays a 33-year-old forensic pathologist Misumi Mikoto who specialises in investigating the death causes of corpses brought to UDI and is a very rational person who thinks that death means the end of everything and there is no such thing as a beautiful death in the world.

Ishihara revealed that she has always loved watching medical dramas since she was a child and is very excited about acting in this original story from Nogi. As such, she will try her best to take on the filming and show the struggles her character is facing due to her pride and difficulty in relying on others.

Co-stars will include Iura Arata who plays a fellow forensic pathologist Nakadou Kei and has a bad attitude, Kubota Masataka who plays a part-time record assistant Hisabe Rokurou and is very skillful when it comes to the Internet and gadgets, Ichikawa Mikako who plays Shouji Yuko, a lab technician and good friends with Mikoto and Matsushige Yutaka who plays the director of the laboratory Kamikura Yasuo and struggles to control his team members. Among her co-stars, Kubota is the only one who has never worked with Ishihara but she is confident and reassured that they will work well together along with Iura, Ichikawa and Matsushige.

Sources: Oricon / Sponichi /

Yoshioka Riho to appear in FujiTV drama SP "Yo ni mo Kimyou na Monogatari Autumn 2017"

Yoshioka Riho will be appearing in the new FujiTV drama SP "Yo ni mo Kimyou na Monogatari Autumn 2017" which will be shown at 9pm on 14 October. This will be her first appearance in this series and she will be acting in the psycho-thriller "Terashima" from the third volume of manga "Tousou Tetsuba Bison" by Kasagi Hiroshi.

Yoshioka plays the character Terashima Hina who gets introduced to a manga artist Yamazaki (Mineta Kazunobu) by his editor Eda (Fukuda Atsuko) as his assistant has suddenly quit when his manga is about to be serialised. As he observes Terashima's beautiful side profile while she's working, Yamazaki starts to draw her face on his sketchbook. This leads Terashima to start talking about her childhood friend Kobayashi Mako (Oogo Suzuka)...

Yoshioka revealed that she is a big fan of the series and would always record the drama when it's shown. As such, to be able to act in this series, she was very happy about it. She also found out through working on this drama that the production crew actually gather weekly for meetings to come up with ideas for the SPs which are only shown twice a year. With regard to the story, she revealed that seemingly meaningless dialogue and expressions actually do lead to something which will be fully explained and shown to the viewers. As such, she hopes that viewers will pay close attention to every detail which will allow them to enjoy the climax in a better way.

Sources: Cinema Cafe / Nikkansports / Oricon

Completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Yochou Sanposuru Shinryakusha"

The completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Yochou Sanposuru Shinryakusha" was held on 11 September which was attended by the director Kurosawa Kiyoshi and cast members Kaho and Sometani Shota.

The story describes how Yamagiwa Etsuko (Kaho) brings her colleague Asai Miyuki (Kishii Yukino) to the hospital where her husband Tatsuo (Sometani) works at after Miyuki tells her that there is a ghost in her house. However, when Etsuko pays a visit to Miyuki's place, she finds his father to be the only person with her. Miyuki is then diagnosed with a psychological deficiency in her mental concept of a family. Just then, Etsuko also meets a new surgeon Makabe Shiro (Higashide Masahiro) at the hospital and finds him strange for some reason. When explainable things start happening around Etsuko and Tatsuo is stressed psychologically for some reason, she starts to suspect Makabe for having a part to play in this especially after he tells her that he is here to invade Earth. Co-stars also include Nakamura Eriko, Yasui Junpei, Ishibashi Kei, Yoshioka Mutsuo, Otsuka Hirota, Chiba Tetsuya, Suwa Taro, Watanabe Makiko, Nakamura Makoto and Oosugi Ren.

Kurosawa revealed that the drama was recently completed and he didn't know how much to say about it since the screening event only featured the first episode out of five. As such, he would try his best to hide the key developments while keeping the audience engaged and interested to find out how the drama progresses.

Kaho who worked with Kurosawa for the first time through this drama, revealed how she was very nervous about their collaboration and had to brace herself to do better especially after her first day of filming didn't go so well. However, she felt that the tension she felt also helped her in doing a better job and enjoy the filming process eventually. As for Sometani who worked with Kurosawa before, he said that he was happy and satisfied about the interesting filming process.

As the filming period was a mere 3 weeks, Kaho revealed that she was expecting to have a punishing schedule. However, it turned out that she could knock off early enough i.e. sometimes by 6pm to have dinner at home every night so she was surprised by how smoothly things went. Sometani also echoed her view that it's rare to have a filming process where they get to eat dinner off the set while Kurosawa commented nonchalantly that this was perfectly normal to him because his filming is well-known for never going beyond 12 midnight.

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Preview of "Ame ga furu to kimi wa yasashii" - Summer 2017

Title: Ame ga furu to kimi wa yasashii 雨が降ると君は優しい (You are gentle when it rains)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 September 2017
Broadcast by: hulu
Scriptwriter: Nojima Shinji
Theme Song: "We're All Alone" by Boz Scaggs
Cast: Tamayama Tetsuji, Sasaki Nozomi, Okina Megumi, Fueki Yuko, Abe Tsuyoshi, Yoshida Oolongta, Maeda Kouki, Nao, Masaki Reiya, Furuya Ikko, Kimura Tae, Jinnai Takanori

Screening event & press conference of new hulu drama "Ame ga furu to kimi wa yasashii"

The screening event and press conference of new hulu drama "Ame ga furu to kimi wa yasashii" was held on 12 September which was attended by the scriptwriter Nojima Shinji and cast members Tamayama Tetsuji and Sasaki Nozomi. The drama which consists of 8 episodes, will be streamed on hulu from 16 September where 2 episodes will be uploaded weekly.

Tamayama plays Tachiki Nobuo, the assistant editor of a monthly literature magazine while Sasaki plays his wife Aya who used to be a model for a magazine and works at an old folks' home after getting married. Although the couple seem to be having a happy life, Aya is actually suffering from sexual dependency. She would wear red clothes which she usually doesn't wear whenever the weather is sunny and these are the days when she has the uncontrollable urge to sleep with other men. While trying to put on a pretense in front of Nobuo, Aya tries to seek treatment and goes for counselling. However, things start to get out control when Aya has sex with a man she comes to know from a dating site and he turns out to be Nobuo's colleague.

Sasaki commented that she was troubled over having to play such a character but felt that she could improve as an actress if she managed to overcome this challenge. In the end, she was glad that she had taken this up and that this was a drama she could be proud of. When asked how her values towards marriage had changed as a result of playing this character, Sasaki said that it hadn't been that long since she got married so it was difficult to say if anything had changed. However, she felt that if a couple could believe wholeheartedly in each other and accept each other's faults, she thought that this would mean that they have a strong bond and expressed envy towards such a relationship. With regard to Tamayama who plays her husband, she praised him for being a gentleman who was considerate and even helped her up after they filmed a bed scene. Upon hearing this, Nojima said that he didn't know about this which led Tamayama to comment that it was natural for him to do that. He also revealed that Sasaki seemed so at ease while filming that she felt asleep during the filming break while wearing a bathrobe. Tamayama then said that Sasaki was so courageous to take on such a controversial role and Nojima also praised her for being able to switch between pitiful at one moment and being wildly beautiful in the next moment.

Tamayama said that even though the trend these days seem to be all about extramarital affair stories, he believed that viewers will be able to go through a simulated experience of tragic pure love by watching this drama.

Sources: Nikkansports / Sanspo / Oricon /

Otoha to appear in TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Kangoku no Ohimesama" as Iseya Yusuke's wife

Otoha will be appearing in the upcoming TBS Autumn 2017 drama "Kangoku no Ohimesama" starring Koizumi Kyoko which will begin its run from 17 October in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. This will be her first appearance in a drama in 11 years since the 2006 NHK Taiga drama "Komyou ga tsuji" and her first regular drama series since she became a mother.

The drama is a comedy set in a female's prison about 5 women prisoners and their warden who get together to take revenge on a certain man. The story begins in the present when 5 women get together to abduct a handsome company president for the sake of taking revenge for one of them. However, things do not proceed as they imagined and there are many hiccups along the way. It is then revealed that these women had already planned this six years ago when they met in a female's prison. Koizumi plays the lead character Baba Kayo, a career woman who had a younger husband and a child but stabbed him out of anger when she found out that he was having an affair. As a result, she is serving a 5-year sentence for the conviction of attempted murder. Kanno Miho plays a charismatic housewife Katsuda Chinatsu who was caught for tax evasion and is regarded as the leader among the female inmates while Sakai Maki plays Daimon Yoko who resorted to embezzlement and fraud to get money for the purpose of supporting her favourite actor. Kaho plays Edogawa Shinobu who is the daughter of a dairy products manufacturing company's president and was framed for the killing of the vice president's lover and Morishita Aiko plays Adachi Akemi who took the rap for her gangster husband and ended up in jail for possession of illegal drugs. Mitsushima Hikari rounds up the cast as the female prisoners' strict warden Wakai Futaba who has a strong sense of justice and later participates in the revenge plot. Iseya Yusuke will be playing a baddie named Itabashi Goro, the handsome company president who the main characters want to abduct.

Otoha will be playing Harumi, the wife of Itabashi, and supports her husband wholeheartedly until their only son gets embroiled in the abduction. Otoha commented that she was very happy to be able to reunite with the staff and director who she had worked with before and that they were very welcoming of her. Although it had been almost 11 years since she focused entirely on raising her child, she didn't feel that so much time had passed. Since this is her second time participating in a Kudo Kankuro work, she is eagerly anticipating how the drama will turn out and believes that everyone, regardless of age, will enjoy the story with its mix of comical and thought-provoking elements.

Source: Oricon

Premium screening event of TV Asahi drama SP "BORDER 2 Shokuzai"

To commemorate the impending broadcast of TV Asahi drama SP "BORDER 2 Shokuzai", a premium screening event of the last episode from the first drama series in 2014 was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 21 September which was attended by cast members Oguri Shun, Haru, Aoki Munetaka and Endo Kenichi. The new drama SP will be shown at 9pm on 22 October while the spin-off "BORDER Shoudou ~ Kenshikan Higa Mika ~" will be shown over two nights at 11.15pm on 6th and 13th October.

As it had been three years since the end of the drama series, Endo expressed his concern about whether they would still look the same as they did then in terms of their faces, figures and hairstyles and revealed that Oguri went through a diet back before filming the last episode then so as to project the haggard and skinny look of his character. Haru also echoed his view and commented that she was wondering if she could still fit the mini skirt which her character Higa used to wear which made everyone laugh. Oguri then said that he was not very enthusiastic about playing his character again when he heard about the sequel especially since he was so immersed into the character that it had an impact on his personal life.

Endo also commented about how Oguri had grown as an actor over the years compared to when he first worked with him in the movie "Crows Zero" and that the latter had drunk too much before when he was 19 and needed Endo to take care of him. Upon hearing this, Oguri who seemed embarrassed to be praised by Endo, revealed that he was very happy when he heard Endo's compliments at the end of the filming for the first episode of the drama series and became more confident in playing his character.

With regard to the script by Kaneshiro Kazuki, Haru said that the lines were peppered with a lot of cool words and jargon so it was difficult for them to use these words without the necessary background knowledge. On the other hand, Endo who had a lot of lines meant to explain the story, "complained" about his long lines and wondered if there could have been other words to replace the jargon whenever he stumbled on his lines.

Sources: Natalie / Oricon

Monday, September 25, 2017

Preview of "Temisu no Tsurugi" (Drama SP)

Title: Temisu no Tsurugi テミスの剣 (The sword of Themis)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 27 September 2017 at 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Funakoshi Eiichiro, Takahashi Katsumi, Ito Shiro, Maeda Atsuko, Yo Kimiko, Nakamura Tomoya, Takahashi Tsutomu, Nonami Maho, Bengaru, Sugawara Daikichi

Utada Hikaru to sing the ending theme song for new movie "Destiny Kamakura Monogatari"

Utada Hikaru will be singing the ending theme song for new movie "Destiny Kamakura Monogatari" starring Sakai Masato and Takahata Mitsuki which will be shown in cinemas from 9 December. The theme song will be available for streaming via online portals from 8 December.

Sakai will play the role of Isshiki Masakazu who is a 35-year-old mystery novel writer living in Kamakura and likes to wear traditional Japanese clothing. He also has varied interests such as collecting railway models, plastic models and antiques, criminology research and investigation of supernatural phenomenon. Isshiki lives with his newly-married wife Akiko (Takahata) who is only 23-years-old. One day, Isshiki is approached to investigate a murder case involving a rich man which is suspected to be due to supernatural forces. At the same time, Akiko who is a newcomer to Kamakura, realises that the place is full of supernatural beings even though this is seen as perfectly normal to the locals.

The director Yamazaki Takashi approached Utada as he wanted to find an artiste who could resonate with all generations. As the movie's release date coincided with Utada's debut anniversary, she agreed to the offer readily. The song titled "Anata" was written after Utada read the original manga and movie's script and recorded this summer. Utada said that the idea for the medium-tempo ballad came from the supernatural world featured in the manga and the term "gouka" which means flames from hell and she's eager to find out how everyone feels about the song after hearing it.

Sources: Sanspo / Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi

Video Research TV Talent Image Survey Top 50 Celebrities (August 2017)

Video Research conducts a survey twice a year i.e. February and August where they provide respondents with a list of 500 male and 500 female celebrities for them to choose the celebrities who they like. In this edition of the survey, 1,130 people from 10 years old to 69 years old living within a 30km radius of Tokyo Station were polled.

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

Top 50 male celebrities
1) Akashiya Sanma (54.7%)
2) Abe Hiroshi (52.6%)
3) Matsuko Deluxe (51.3%)
4) Hakata Hanamaru Daikichi (47.6%)
5) Uchimura Teruyoshi (46.7%)
6) Ichiro / Tokoro George (46.4%)
8) Sandwich Man (44.2%)
9) Abe Sadao (43.9%)
10) Tamori / Okada Junichi (43.7%)
12) Fukuyama Masaharu / Ooizumi Yo (43.5%)
14) Summers (43.4%)
15) Yamada Takayuki (42.7%)
16) Aiba Masaki (42.3%)
17) Degawa Tetsuro (41.9%)
18) Taka And Toshi / Oguri Shun (41.2%)
20) Nagase Tomoya (40.9%)
21) Nishikori Kei (40.7%)
22) Endo Kenichi (40.2%)
23) Shimura Ken (40.0%)
24) Matsumoto Hitoshi (39.6%)
25) Yamazaki Hironari (39.3%)
26) Nishijima Hidetoshi (39.1%)
27) Fujiwara Tatsuya / Ohno Satoshi (38.9%)
29) Miyagawa Daisuke (38.6%)
30) Hanyuu Yuzuru / Sakai Masato (38.4%)
32) Tsutsumi Shinichi (38.2%)
33) Takada Junji (38.1%)
34) Matsuoka Shuzo (37.9%)
35) Shofukutei Tsurube (37.7%)
36) Sakurai Sho (37.3%)
37) Beat Takeshi (37.2%)
38) Ninomiya Kazunari (36.3%)
39) DAIGO / Kuwata Keisuke (36.1%)
41) Mukai Osamu (35.8%)
42) Nakai Masahiro / Ishizuka Hidehiko (35.6%)
44) Ariyoshi Hiroiki / Yanagisawa Shingo (35.4%)
46) Muro Tsuyoshi (35.2%)
47) Yamashita Tomohisa (35.0%)
48) Wakabayashi Masayasu (34.9%)
49) Kagawa Teruyuki (34.3%)
50) Inohara Yoshihiko / Ayano Go (34.2%)

Top 50 female celebrities
1) Aragaki Yui (52.2%)
2) Asada Mao (49.4%)
3) Amami Yuki (48.8%)
4) Ayase Haruka (45.3%)
6) Fukada Kyoko (42.7%)
7) Ishihara Satomi (41.2%)
8) Watanabe Naomi (40.9%)
9) Imoto Ayako (40.5%)
10) Kitagawa Keiko (39.5%)
11) Yoshinaga Sayuri (38.9%)
12) Ikimonogakari (38.2%)
13) Ueto Aya (38.1%)
14) An (37.5%)
15) Itou Asako (37.2%)
16) Yonekura Ryoko (37.0%)
17) Yoshida Yo (36.8%)
18) Arimura Kasumi (36.5%)
19) Ishida Yuriko (35.8%)
20) Rola / Utada Hikaru (35.2%)
22) Matsu Takako (35.0%)
23) Kanno Miho (34.9%)
24) Koizumi Kyoko (33.8%)
25) Yanagihara Kanako / Shinohara Ryoko (33.6%)
27) Takeuchi Yuko (32.9%)
28) Kondo Haruna (32.6%)
29) Kiki Kirin (32.0%)
30) Nakama Yukie (31.5%)
31) Amuro Namie (31.3%)
32) Fukatsu Eri (31.0%)
33) Fukuhara Ai (30.8%)
34) Shibasaki Kou (30.6%)
35) Matsushima Nanako (30.4%)
36) Tomochika / Nagasaku Hiromi (29.9%)
38) Miyazaki Aoi / Hirose Suzu (29.7%)
40) Kiritani Mirei / Kimura Yoshino (29.4%)
42) Nakajima Miyuki (29.2%)
43) Nagasawa Masami (29.0%)
44) Tsuchiya Tao / Takahata Mitsuki (28.7%)
46) Takei Emi / Yamaguchi Tomoko (28.5%)
48) Buruzon Chiemi / Mori Izumi / Sasaki Nozomi (28.3%)

Source: Video Research

Kuninaka Ryoko announces her second pregnancy

Kuninaka Ryoko who is married to Mukai Osamu, announced her second pregnancy through her official website on 25 September and revealed that she had just passed her first trimester. Mukai also followed up with a message on his agency's Facebook page announcing the news. Their joint statement mentioned that Kuninaka is doing well but it is an important period for her so they called for everyone's continued warm support and advice going forward.

Mukai and Kuninaka got married in December 2014 and their first son was born in September 2015.

Sources: Sanspo / Nikkansports / Yomiuri Hochi / Oricon

Preview of "Black Revenge" - Autumn 2017

Title: Black Revenge ブラックリベンジ
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 5 October 2017
Timeslot: Thursdays 11.59pm
Broadcast by: Yomiuri TV / NTV
Theme Song: "Yami ni saku hana ~ The Catastrophe ~" by SING LIKE TALKING feat. Sarah Alainn
Cast: Kimura Tae, Sato Jiro, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Horii Arata, Okano Shinya, Nakamura Eriko, Takeuchi Manabu, Ishida Takumi, Takahashi Mitsuomi, DAIGO, Suzuki Sawa

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 23rd & 24th Sep 2017

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

1) Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki (341)

2) Asahinagu (148)

3) Dunkirk (346)

4) Sandome no satsujin (313)

5) Alien: Covenant (369)

6) Sekigahara (338)

7) Despicable Me 3 (359)

8) Yurigokoro (294)

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

10) Scramble (152)


Sunday, September 24, 2017

Maeda Atsuko, Miura Touko & Ono Machiko to appear in new movie "Suteki na Dynamite Scandal"

Emoto Tasuku will be starring in the new movie "Suteki na Dynamite Scandal" (The splendid dynamite scandal) directed by Tominaga Masanori and based on the same-titled essay by Suei Akira. The movie will be shown in cinemas in March 2018. Co-stars include Maeda Atsuko, Miura Touko and Ono Machiko.

The story is based on the essay compilation about the life of Suei Akira who is a writer and had been the chief editor of publishing house Byakuya Shobou. It will describe the turbulent and eventful life of Suei to date such as how his birth mother committed suicide when he was a child after an extramarital affair with the son from their neighbours' family, his resignation from the factory he worked at after senior high school and moving to Tokyo as well as how he set up the legendary erotic magazines "Weekend Super" and "Shashin Jidai" with photographer Araki Nobuyoshi in the 1980s.

Maeda will play Suei's innocent and naive wife Makiko while Miura plays Suei's lover Fueko. As for Ono, she will be playing Suei's mother Tomiko. Emoto commented that he was surprised and honoured by this star-studded lineup of actresses playing women linked to him. He revealed that most of his filming was with Maeda and Miura since Ono's character was supposed to have "exploded" in a dynamic manner.

Maeda commented on her character as someone who is very accommodating towards her cheating husband and only just complains verbally when she finds out about the affair. As such, she thought that Makiko is actually a very wonderful woman who has strong self-confidence in herself and is very independent. As for working with Emoto, she said that since Emoto is her senior in acting, she admired him for his ability to fit into his character very easily and that he is a perfect fit for the role.

As for Miura, she said that as the filming progressed, there were many ideas which came up so her character was evolving at the same time. She described Fueko as someone who has a tough life but has a lot of charm which she hopes that her acting could convey this.

Last but not least, Ono described her character as a mother who seemed unlikely to have existed in real life so she was worried when she read the script as she found the story to be quite unbelievable. However, she is confident that the viewers will be able to accept her way of portraying this character after watching this movie and be convinced that such a person did exist in Suei's real life.


Nagayama Kento, Jinnai Takanori & Kusakari Masao to appear in TV Asahi Autumn 2017 drama "Doctor X 5 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~"

Nagayama Kento, Jinnai Takanori and Kusakari Masao will be appearing in the upcoming TV Asahi Autumn 2017 drama "Doctor X 5 ~ Gekai Daimon Michiko ~" which stars Yonekura Ryoko and will begin its run from 12 October in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot.

Kusakari will be playing Uchikanda Kagenobu who is the chairman of the Japanese Doctors Club and schemes to restore the old system of power being gathered by the top management in Totei University Hospital. Even Hiruma Shigekatsu (Nishida Toshiyuki) is scared of Uchikanda who will be clashing with Daimon (Yonekura) who has totally different ideals.

As for Nagayama, he will be playing a newbie doctor Nishiyama Naoyuki who seems disinterested and wants to stay out of conflict as much as possible unlike Daimon but is secretly impressed with her surgical skills. Last but not least, Jinnai will play the vice director of Totei's surgical department Inomata Takashi who is shrewd and cunning thus allowing him to survive in the competitive world of surgeons in the hospital.

Sources: Nikkansports / Oricon

Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Katori Shingo set up their individual social media accounts

Seems like the trio of Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi and Katori Shingo are raring to go and using the Internet very well to reach out to their fans. Due to Johnny's Jimusho restrictions on online activities, their artistes only have their official blogs restricted to fan club members. However, since the trio already left the agency, they seem to be making long overdue inroads into the online world which I personally feel is a wonderful thing to do. Rather than wait for the agency to speak for them, what's better than hearing it from the artistes themselves?

So if you are a fan of the trio, do check out their individual social media accounts on Twitter, Ameblo and Instagram. They don't seem to have posted anything yet at the moment though.

In relation to this move, the three of them will be appearing on Internet broadcaster AbemaTV's 72-hours live programme "72 Jikan Honne Terebi" from 9pm on 2 November where their activities as Instagrammer Katori, blogger Inagaki and YouTuber Kusanagi will be featured.

Wonder if this will make Johnny's Jimusho finally wake up and be more open about their online policies rather than still confine themselves to the domestic market? The money is literally out there for them to grab and yet nobody seems to be willing to change the current situation?

Inagaki Goro

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi

Katori Shingo

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

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

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

Source: Natalie

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

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

IMPORTANT: Regarding the distribution of my posts elsewhere

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: My Navi News

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

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

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

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