Nuffnang

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Dorama World's 2017 in Retrospect

As we bid farewell to 2017, it's high time for a look at the key highlights here at Dorama World and in the J-ent world.

First of all, the top 3 most viewed blog posts of 2017 are as follows:

1) Maki Youko quitting from the movie "SUNNY Tsuyoi kimochi tsuyoi ai"
2) Kubota Masataka & Mizukawa Asami's dating news
3) Takenouchi Yutaka taking on the lead role in NHK drama "Kono koe wo kimi ni"

Coincidentally, these three posts all came from the second half of the year i.e. November, December and July. That's not to say that there wasn't many things happening in the J-ent world in the first half of the year but rather, the significant increase in readership of the blog and followers on the Facebook and Twitter accounts probably contributed to the spike in the access numbers.

There were also a number of key milestones on Dorama World this year:
- The 1st Dorama World Awards which wouldn't have been a success if not for your participation and support
- Celebrating the 11th anniversary in August

On the other hand, the most unpleasant thing to deal with would have been the content thieves. No doubt it was an unwelcome thing to happen, it was a timely wake-up call to tighten security and protect my work. There were many of you who gave me very useful advice and tips as well as alerted me to the content thieves. Thank you once again for your help in this!

2017, just like other years, saw a mix of good and bad dramas. Personally, among the dramas I've watched this year, "Quartet" was my No.1 even though it didn't do so well in terms of ratings. However, that's not to say that my opinion won't change since I have yet to watch some of this year's dramas which I intended to but haven't had the time to do so. I'll look forward to seeing which are the ones you consider to be the best in 2017 when the voting activity for the 2nd Dorama World Awards starts in January.

This year saw a number of actors and actresses hog the limelight such as Takahashi Issei, Takeuchi Ryoma, Suda Masaki, Hirose Suzu and Yoshioka Riho. Whether you like them or not, you can't deny that they are everywhere this year and it's hard to ignore their presence. Next year might see them continue their blazing trails in showbiz or a new batch of names may become the new hot shots of 2018.

While there are good news such as new couples formed (be it dating or married), there were also others who went their separate ways. Here's a list of news which I covered this year so you may click on the links to read the posts:

New dating couples (those who admitted or did not deny the news)
Kubota Masataka & Mizukawa Asami
Nakai Masahiro & Takeda Maika
Sakurai Sho & Ogawa Ayaka
Tanaka Daiki & Hirose Arisu

New couples who said "I do"
Okada Junichi & Miyazaki Aoi
Miyaji Mao
Wada Masato & Yoshiki Risa
Fujisawa Ema
TAKAHIRO & Takei Emi
Kikukawa Rei
Murata Mitsu & Kanda Sayaka
Watabe Ken & Sasaki Nozomi
Saotome Yuuki & Shimabukuro Hiroko
Nakamura Aoi
Okamoto Reiji & Usuda Asami

Couples who said sayonara to each other
Matsuda Ryuhei & Ota Rina
Misaki Ayame
Yui
Hakamada Yoshihiko & Kawanaka Ai
Mitsushima Shinnosuke
Ono Machiko
Tanaka Naoki & Kohinata Shie
Suneohair & Tomosaka Rie
Fukushi Seiji & Higa Manami
Fukikoshi Mitsuru & Hirota Reona
Tosaka Hiroomi & Rola

And there were many celebrities who welcomed new arrivals to their families such as Hirayama Hiroyuki, Nakamura Shido, Higashide Masahiro & An, Nakamura Aoi, Aibu Saki, Suenaga Haruka, Takashima Masanobu, Kato Takako, Mizuno Miki, Harada Natsuki, Kubozuka Yosuke, Kaku Kento & Eikura Nana, Akanishi Jin & Kuroki Meisa, Nagai Masaru & Nakagoshi Noriko, Dean Fujioka, Emoto Tasuku & Ando Sakura, Endo Kumiko, Oguri Shun & Yamada Yu and Suzuki Ami.

2017 saw a continuation of the furin 不倫 trend i.e. having extramarital affairs from 2016 with big names like Watanabe Ken and even "repeat offenders" like Itao ItsujiSaito Yuki and Tanaka Tetsushi making the news for this reason. The details got as sordid as they could in some instances e.g. Uehara Takako & Abe Tsuyoshi's affair possibly leading to the suicide of Uehara's late husband TENN or her fellow SPEED member Imai Eriko's alleged affair with another politician but probably suggests that this issue is so deep-rooted in the entertainment world. Following her retirement announcement, Shimizu Fumika was also exposed to have had an affair with Meshida Yuuma.

Retirement also seems to be a buzzword for 2017. In the second half of the year, Amuro Namie dominated the headlines for a while with her surprise announcement to retire next year. However, you might not remember that the first half of the year saw a series of retirements from actors/actresses with the most prominent examples being Horikita Maki, Esumi Makiko and Shimizu Fumika. In Shimizu's case, it was extremely messy because she was so heavily involved in many projects and her sudden move was made more controversial due to the religion factor.

Another type of retirement, or rather breaking up in a professional manner, was also common this year. Besides the trio of Inagaki Goro, Kusanagi Tsuyoshi & Katori Shingo breaking away from Johnny's Jimusho and becoming new Internet sensations in the second half of the year, Takki & Tsubasa also parted (not sure for how long) and will concentrate on their solo careers. Yamamoto Yusuke was fired by his agency for contract violations but there were no details on the nature of such violations while Ikimonogakari suspended their group activities.

Celebrities also got trouble with the law such as Kimura Takuya's traffic accident in June or Koide Keisuke's scandal of drinking and having sex with an underage girl or Tanaka Koki caught for marijuana possession, On the other hand, family members of celebrities also created issues of their own such as Asano Tadanobu's father caught for drug consumption and Hashizume Isao's actor son caught for drug possession,

Some celebrities had issues with their health such as Domoto Tsuyoshi's sudden hearing loss back in summer and Nakamura Shido's cancer while some celebrities passed away such as Nogiwa Yoko, Kobayashi Mao, Inoue Takashi, Watase Tsunehiko, Fujimura Shunji and Matsukata Hiroki.

How was 2017 for you? Please feel free to share your comments on what news stories or drama or movie was especially memorable for you. ^__^

Preview of "Kodoku no Gurume Oomisoka SP ~ Tabeosame! Setouchi Shucchou Hen ~" (Drama SP)

Title: Kodoku no Gurume Oomisoka SP ~ Tabeosame! Setouchi Shucchou Hen ~ / 孤独のグルメ 大晦日スペシャル ~ 食べ納め! 瀬戸内出張編 ~ (The Solitary Gourmet New Year's Eve SP ~ the last meals to end the year! Business trip to Setouchi ~)
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 31 December 2017 @ 10pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Original manga by: Kusumi Masayuki & Taniguchi Jirou
Cast: Matsushige Yutaka
Guest Stars: Emoto Akira, Kimura Midoriko, Dankan, Yamamura Momiji & Takehara Shinji

Preview of "Kakegurui" - Winter 2018

Title: Kakegurui 賭けグルイ (Compulsive Gambler)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. 14 January 2018 (MBS) / 16 January 2018 (TBS)
Timeslot: Sundays 12.50am (MBS) / Tuesdays 1.28am (TBS
Broadcast by: MBS & TBS
Original manga by: Kawamoto Homura & Naomura Toru
Cast: Hamabe Minami, Takasugi Mahiro & Morikawa Aoi

Morikawa Aoi to appear in new MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakegurui"

Morikawa Aoi will be appearing in the new MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakegurui" starring Hamabe Minami which will begin its run from January 2018. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Kawamoto Homura and Naomura Toru currently serialised in "Gan Gan JOKER". The O.A. start dates and timeslots for MBS and TBS will be from 14 Jan at 12.50am on Sundays and from 16 Jan at 1.28am on Tuesdays respectively.

Preview of "BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~" - Winter 2018

Title: BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~ / BG ~ 身辺警護人 ~ (Bodyguard)
Official website: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 January 2018
Timeslot: Thursdays 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast: Kimura Takuya, Eguchi Yosuke, Saito Takumi, Nanao, Mamiya Shotaro, Ishida Yuriko, Kamikawa Takaya, Nagashima Toshiyuki, Ukaji Takashi, Abe Shinnosuke, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Tanaka Kanau

New supporting cast announcement for TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~"

A new batch of supporting cast announcements for TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~" starring Kimura Takuya had been made. The drama which begin its run from 18 January in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot, features Kimura as the lead character Shimazaki Akira who starts work as a bodyguard in a private security company and doesn't hold any guns or weapons in the course of his work. Shimazaki used to be a capable bodyguard but quit and became a security guard at a construction site. While hiding his past, Shimazaki becomes a bodyguard again and goes through his daily work with other newbie bodyguards. As such, he will have to depend on his skills and quick thinking to assess the situation while ensuring the safety of his clients and not going overboard beyond the line of self-defense. In addition, he has to obey the orders of his clients and protect anyone who becomes his client regardless of their identities. At home, he is a single father to a junior high school boy and has communication issues with his son.

Preview of "Boukyaku no Sachiko" (Drama SP)

Title: Boukyaku no Sachiko 忘却のサチコ (A meal makes her forget)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 2 January 2018 @ 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Original manga by: Abe Jun
Theme Song: "Repeat" by edda
Cast: Takahata Mitsuki, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Fuse Eri, Aizawa Rina, Shigeoka Hiroshi, Ookata Hisako, Kaga Takeshi

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Preview of "Heisei Sasameyuki" - Winter 2018

Title: Heisei Sasameyuki 平成細雪 (The Heisei era's light snowfall)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 January 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Total number of episodes: 4
Original novel by: Tanizaki Junichiro
Cast: Nakayama Miho, Takaoka Saki, Ito Ayumi, Nakamura Yuri, Fukushi Seiji, Emoto Tasuku, Komoto Masahiro, Kamio Yu
Guest Stars: Mizuhashi Kenji, Nagatsuka Kyouzou (Ep 1), Matsuo Suzuki (Ep 2), Ishiguro Ken (Ep 3) & Muro Tsuyoshi (Ep 4)

Press conference of NHK Winter 2018 drama "Heisei Sasameyuki"

The press conference for new NHK drama series "Heisei Sasameyuki" was held at the TV station's HQ on 25 December which was attended by the cast members Nakayama Miho, Takaoka Saki, Ito Ayumi and Nakamura Yuri who appeared in kimonos. The drama which consists of 4 episodes, will begin its run from 7 January 2018 in the Sundays 10pm timeslot. The story is based on the novel "Sasameyuki" by Tanizaki Junichiro and begins in the spring of the 4th year of the Heisei era i.e. 1992 where the famous Makioka family in Osaka's Senba district, sells off their company which had been around since the Genroku era. The four sisters who had been living a privileged and carefree life so far, must face a new future due to the change in their circumstances. The eldest sister Tsuruko (Nakayama) remembers her past life with pride and tries to live on with this in mind but reality hits hard and reminds her that things have changed. The second sister Sachiko (Takaoka) is dissatisfied with her meek and gentle husband and constantly being troubled by her two younger sisters' antics. The third sister Yukiko (Ito) bears the high hopes of everyone who wants to see her get married but her tendency to focus on people's weak points makes her unable to get hitched despite having gone for more than 20 matchmaking dates so far. Last but not least, the youngest sister Taeko (Nakamura) hates her family's intrusive ways and has had many relationships to date. When a typhoon hits the Kansai region one night, Taeko who gets embroiled into the aftermath, causes huge changes to everyone's lives.

Preview of "Todome no Kiss" - Winter 2018

Title: Todome no Kiss トドメの接吻 (The kiss which delivers the final fatal blow)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 January 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Theme Song: "Sayonara Elegy" by Suda Masaki
Cast: Yamazaki Kento, Kadowaki Mugi, Arata Mackenyu, Araki Yuuko, Sano Hayato, Shison Jun, Miyazawa Hio, Hotta Akane, Karata Erika, Yamamoto Ai, Mitsuishi Ken, Okunuki Kaoru, Okada Yoshinori, Yuge Tomohisa, Yamada Meikyou, Takahashi Hitomi, Koichi Mantaro, Suda Masaki

Shison Jun to appear in NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss"

Shison Jun will be appearing in the upcoming NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" starring Yamazaki Kento which will begin its run from 7 January 2018 in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot. He will be playing Osanai Kazuma, a host who is Outarou's (Yamazaki) junior and the latter's best supporter as Outarou goes through the repeated time leaps and tries to find out the truth behind the mysterious woman (Kadowaki Mugi) who keeps killing him.

Supporting cast line-up of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" announced

The supporting cast line-up of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 7 January in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot, features Yamazaki Kento as Doujima Outarou, the No.1 host in a host club who doesn't believe in love after an incident which happened to him 12 years ago. Since then, he only has eyes for money and power while manipulating women with his good looks and gentle pretense. When he tries to approach a rich man's daughter Namiki Mikoto (Araki Yuuko) with ulterior motives, he is stopped by a mysterious woman (Kadowaki Mugi) looking pale but with bright red lips who offers a kiss to Outarou. Unexpectedly, this causes Outarou to have breathing difficulties and he dies after experiencing convulsions. When Outarou comes to later, he realises that he has been sent back to 7 days ago and goes through the same period repeatedly due to the mysterious woman who keeps appearing in front of him. The supporting characters include Namiki Takauji (Arata Mackenyu) who is the elder brother of Mikoto and from a top-notch hotel group and Hasebe Hiroyuki (Sano Hayato) who is the heir of a big name cruise company and in love with Mikoto.

Alternate story of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" to be streamed via Hulu after each episode's broadcast

The alternate story of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" starring Yamazaki Kento will be streamed via Hulu after each episode's broadcast. The main drama will begin its run from 7 January in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot. This original story features Yamazaki as Doujima Outarou, the No.1 host in a host club who doesn't believe in love after an incident which happened to him 12 years ago. Since then, he only has eyes for money and power while manipulating women with his good looks and gentle pretense. When he tries to approach a rich man's daughter Namiki Mikoto (Araki Yuuko) with ulterior motives, he is stopped by a mysterious woman (Kadowaki Mugi) looking pale but with bright red lips who offers a kiss to Outarou. Unexpectedly, this causes Outarou to have breathing difficulties and he dies after experiencing convulsions. When Outarou comes to later, he realises that he has been sent back to 7 days earlier and goes through the same period repeatedly due to the mysterious woman who keeps appearing in front of him. The supporting characters include Namiki Takauji (Arata Mackenyu) who is the elder brother of Mikoto and from a top-notch hotel group and Hasebe Hiroyuki (Sano Hayato) who is the heir of a big name cruise company and in love with Mikoto.

First-day-screening event of new movie "Tantei wa BAR ni iru 3"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Tantei wa BAR ni iru 3" was held at Marunouchi TOEI on 1 December which was attended by the director Yoshida Teruyuki and cast members Ooizumi Yo, Matsuda Ryuhei, Kitagawa Keiko, Maeda Atsuko, Shison Jun and Suzuki Sawa. Ooizumi commented enthusiastically that the feeling of seeing the film's release was as if he had raised a son and was about to send him off to be on his own while Matsuda was his usual subdued self which made Ooizumi poke fun at the latter for being an interesting person. Ooizumi then said that although he thought that he was funnier than Matsuda, he was jealous of Matsuda's ability to make people laugh just by speaking in a dazed state but he had to wear just underwear in the freezing Otaru winter to achieve a similar effect. However, he went on to praise Matsuda for being such a reliable partner and regarded it as his luck to be able to do something so happy with the latter.

Preview of "Hima na Joshidaisei" (Drama SP)

Title: Hima na Joshidaisei 暇なJD (The bored female university student)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 27 December 2017 @ 12.30am
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original story inspired by Hima na Joshidaisei's Twitter account 
Cast: Ikeda Elaiza, Masaki Reiya & Akimoto Ryutarou

Ikeda Elaiza to star in new TV Asahi drama SP "Hima na Joshidasei"

Ikeda Elaiza will be starring in the new TV Asahi drama SP "Hima na Joshidasei" (The bored female university student) which will be shown on 27 December 2017 at 12.30am. The original story is inspired by the same-titled Twitter account boasting of 360,000 followers to date after it was started in November last year. The account is owned by a female university student who is in her final year where she describes her amorous affairs with various elites boasting of stellar qualifications in a humourous way and uses the term "victory" whenever she manages to sleep with such a guy.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Preview of "Tonari no kazoku wa aoku mieru" - Winter 2018

Title: Tonari no kazoku wa aoku mieru 隣の家族は青く見える (The family next door looks better than ours)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 18 January 2018
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme song: "here comes my love" by Mr.Children
Cast: Fukada Kyoko, Matsuyama Kenichi, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Takahashi Maryjun, Kitamura Takumi, Mashima Hidekazu, Matobu Sei, Nomaguchi Tooru, Suga Kenta, Ito Sairi, Maehara Kou, Judai Satoshi, Harumi Shihou, Ito Kazue, Takahata Atsuko

Supporting cast line-up of Tokai TV Winter 2018 drama "Kazoku no Tabiji Kazoku wo korosareta otoko to koroshita otoko" announced

The supporting cast line-up of Tokai TV Winter 2018 drama "Kazoku no Tabiji Kazoku wo korosareta otoko to koroshita otoko" starring Takizawa Hideaki had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 3 February 2018 in the Saturdays 11.40pm timeslot, is based on the 2003 novel "Chichi to ko no tabiji" by Kosugi Kenji.

Matsuda Ryuhei & Ota Rina announce their divorce

Matsuda Ryuhei and Ota Rina announced their divorce through a fax statement from his agency to the media on 28 December. They stated that they had come to this decision after repeated discussions. Even though their circumstances as a three-member family had changed, they will still be considerate of and help out one another as usual in future. They also apologised for causing worry as a result of this decision but asked for everyone to look upon them favourably and support them going forward.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

About comments and sharing of views

I have been thinking for a long time about whether to post this but I guess the situation has gotten rather tricky of late especially as the community accessing my blog and the affiliated social media channels has expanded quite a lot over the past year. Before things get out of hand, I think I need to speak up now. Especially for those who are new here, please take a moment to read the following.

When it comes to posting your comments, please abide by the following principles:
1) Everyone is entitled to their views - please show respect for others as you would like others to do the same to you
2) Agree to disagree - acknowledge the fact that people will have differing views from you but you can choose to disagree and don't have to insist on others changing their perceptions to match yours
3) No heckling or insulting - when in disagreement, avoid using words which put down others or may come across as degrading. heckling of the winners is also uncalled for even if you don't agree with the choices.

The reason why I am saying this is that there have been some comments of late which are bordering on offensive or insulting especially when the topic in question is controversial or subjective. During this year-end period in particular, there are so many types of rankings and awards announcements. We all know that these results will never please everyone. As such, there are bound to be disagreements when A wins the title but some people feel that B deserves it more. However, some people seem to be taking these results so personally to the extent that they literally "pounce" on others who question the legitimacy of the winners or suggest alternative views which is often done in a bid to defend their favourites. I can understand that perfectly because I disagree with some of these results too and feel that others are more deserving of the titles. Not everyone sees things in the same way as I do but I just put out my views anyway and I don't have to force you to agree with me.

I think we all need a gentle reminder that the results won't change just because we are arguing over it. However, we can still share insights or our views in a bid to give a possible explanation as to why the results are as such. It is then up to the individual reading such views to see if they agree or not. Even if you don't agree, there is no need to tear the other party to pieces because honestly speaking, how others think shouldn't have an impact on your view anyway. It may be that you change your view if you get more information from a different perspective through the discussion though.

I really hope that this blog will be a place where people can feel free to raise their views without feeling intimidated or uncomfortable in case their comments differ from others. After all, a community will thrive only if we share our differing perspectives in a cordial manner and pick up new insights along the way, not fight each other to death just because we don't agree. Two people may watch the same drama or movie and develop different views and conclusions at the end because our experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are not the same. As such, I sincerely ask of everyone to be a bit more conscious about avoiding unintended misunderstandings or sparking unnecessary arguments when you post your comments or views and be more accommodating of one another's differences.

Thank you very much for your attention regarding this.

Winners of Nikkansports Dorama Grand Prix (Autumn 2017)

There were 1,055 valid responses for this round of voting and the numbers in brackets indicate the number of votes received for the drama or actor/actress:

Takeuchi Yuko & Kanjiya Shihori to play the Japanese version of Holmes & Watson in new HBO Asia & Hulu drama "Miss Sherlock"

Takeuchi Yuko and Kanjiya Shihori will be playing the Japanese version of Holmes and Watson in the new HBO Asia & Hulu drama series "Miss Sherlock" as announced during a press conference held in Singapore on 30 November. The two actresses attended the event with Hulu's executive producer Nagasawa Kazufumi and HBO Asia's CEO Jonathan Spink. To date, there have been many dramas and movies about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson but this will be the first time where the two characters are set as women.  The drama which consists of 8 episodes, will be streamed via Hulu from April 2018 and shown from the same day in 19 countries via HBO Asia.

First-day-screening event of new movie "Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi" was held at Marunouchi Picadilly on 2 December which was attended by the director Sori Fumihiko and cast members Yamada Ryosuke, Honda Tsubasa, Dean Fujioka, Renbutsu Misako, Hongo Kanata, Uchiyama Shinji, Sato Ryuta, Kohinata Fumio, Matsuyuki Yasuko and Mizuishi Atomu. Yamada commented that the filming was done about one and a half years ago so he was very excited that the film was finally released. The director also commented that he was very touched and close to tears upon seeing the packed cinema hall and said that they had tried their best to convey the essence of the original manga through this movie.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Takasugi Mahiro to appear in new MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakegurui"

Takasugi Mahiro will be appearing in the new MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakeguri" starring Hamabe Minami which will begin its run from January 2018. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Kawamoto Homura and Naomura Toru currently serialised in "Gan Gan JOKER". The O.A. start dates and timeslots for MBS and TBS will be from 14 Jan at 12.50am on Sundays and from 16 Jan at 1.28am on Tuesdays respectively.

Hirayama Hiroyuki announces his marriage and arrival of his child belatedly

Hirayama Hiroyuki announced through his agency's official website on 26 December that he had gotten married a year ago and that his child had been born. In the statement, Hirayama explained the main reasons for the delay being that his wife is not a celebrity and that an unfortunate thing had happened to his ex-agency boss Yoshizawa Toyohiko. He pledged to continue working hard as an actor and asked for everyone's continued support going forward.

Preview of "Boku wa ai wo shoumei shiyou to omou" (Drama SP)

Title: Boku wa ai wo shoumei shiyou to omou ぼくは愛を証明しようと思う。(I think I want to prove love)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 28 December 2017 @ 12.20am
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Fujisawa Kazuki
Cast: Takito Kenichi, Horii Arata, Uchida Rio, Satsukawa Aimi, Kakei Miwako, Marin, Ono Nonoka, Iriki Mari, Mamiya Yuki & Koyama Mayu

Takito Kenichi & Horii Arata to star in new TV Asahi drama SP "Boku wa ai wo shoumei shiyou to omou"

Takito Kenichi and Horii Arata will be starring in the new TV Asahi drama SP "Boku wa ai wo shoumei shiyou to omou" (I think I want to prove love) which will be shown on 28 December at 12.20am. The story is based on the same-titled novel published by Fujisawa Kazuki and was made into a manga in 2016. It describes the concepts of "love engineering" which encompasses methods of how to woo a woman.

TBS to show new Spring 2018 drama "SICK'S Jo no Shou ~ Naikaku Jouhou Chousashitsu Tokumu Jikou Senjuugakari Jikenbo ~"

TBS will be showing the new Spring 2018 drama "SICK'S Jo no Shou ~ Naikaku Jouhou Chousashitsu Tokumu Jikou Senjuugakari Jikenbo ~" (SICK'S ~ The Cabinet's Information Investigation Department Special Affairs Specialist Case Files ~) which will be shown exclusively via video streaming website Paravi from April 2018. The platform is a joint venture by TBS, The Nikkei, TV Tokyo, WOWOW, Dentsu and Hakuhodo DY Media Partners which was launched in July this year and charges a monthly subscription fee of 999 yen (inclusive of tax) for videos which can be streamed on TV as well.

Ichihara Hayato to star in TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Asu no kimi ga motto suki"

Ichihara Hayato will be starring in the new TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Asu no kimi ga motto suki" (I will like tomorrow's you more) which will begin its run from January 2018 in the Saturdays 11.05pm timeslot. This will be his first leading role in a private network drama in 5 years since FujiTV Winter 2013 drama "Karamazov no Kyoudai". The story written by Izawa Mann describes the love story involving 5 men and women with special circumstances and regard being in love as a troublesome thing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Preview of "Musume no Kekkon" (Drama SP)

Title: Musume no Kekkon 娘の結婚 (My daughter's marriage)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 8 January 2018 at 8pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Original novel by: Shouji Yukiya
Cast: Nakai Kiichi, Haru, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Mitsuishi Ken, Okunuki Kaoru, Kimura Midoriko, Danta Yasunori, Harada Mieko etc.

Arimura Kasumi & Kunimura Jun to star in new movie "Kazoku Iro"

Arimura Kasumi and Kunimura Jun will be starring in the latest installment of the "RAILWAYS" movie series titled "Kazoku Iro" (Family Colour) which will be shown next year. The movie series features people in the suburbs whose lives are linked to the railways. To date, there were 2 movies i.e. "RAILWAYS 49-sai de densha no untenshi ni natta otoko no monogatari" starring Nakai Kiichi which was shown in May 2010 and "RAILWAYS Ai wo tsutaerarenai otonatachi e" starring Miura Tomokazu which was shown in December 2011.

Preview of "Nemurenu Shinju ~ Mada koi shitemo ii desuka? ~" (Drama SP)

Title: Nemurenu Shinju ~ Mada koi shitemo iidesuka? ~  / 眠れぬ真珠 ~ まだ恋してもいいですか? ~ (The sleepless pearl ~ can I still fall in love? ~)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Dates: 21 December 2017 at 11.59pm (Part 1) / 28 December 2017 at 11.59pm (Part 2)
Broadcast by: YTV / NTV
Original novel by: Ishida Ira
Theme Song: "I'll Light You" by TOC
Cast: Fujiwara Norika, Suzuki Nobuyuki, Mizusawa Erena, Sano Hinako, Asaka Mayumi & Masu Takeshi

Guest line-up from TBS Winter 2018 dramas for Tokyo Friend Park New Year SP 2018

The following cast members from TBS Winter 2018 dramas i.e. "99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi Season II", "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita" and "Unnatural" will be appearing in the TBS game show "Tokyo Friend Park New Year SP 2018" to be shown from 7pm on 8 January 2018 so do check out this programme especially if your favourites are in the lineup:

Nakamura Yurika & Aoi Wakana to star in new movie "Ramen Kuitee!"

Nakamura Yurika and Aoi Wakana will be starring in the new movie "Ramen Kuitee!" (I want to eat ramen!) which will be shown in cinemas from 3 March 2018. The movie is based on the same-titled Internet manga by Hayashi Akiteru that has achieved more than 1 million page views to date on "Moai" since February 2015 and was directed by newbie Kumagai Yuuki. Co-stars also include Ishibashi Renji and Katagiri Jin.

Ozawa Kenji to sing the theme song for new movie "River's Edge"

Singer-songwriter Ozawa Kenji will be singing the theme song for new movie "River's Edge" starring Nikaidou Fumi and Yoshizawa Ryo. This will be Ozawa's first movie theme song and the movie will be released in cinemas from February 2018. The song titled "Arpeggio (Kitto mahou no tunnel no saki)" was written specially for this movie after he was approached by the movie company and Okazaki Kyoko, his close friend of more than 20 years who is also the author of the original manga. Although the release date for the song is not confirmed, the lyrics are already available for viewing on Ozawa's official website "Hifumiyo" from 1 December. It was also revealed that the leads would be involved with the song in one way or another but the details have not been announced.

Sources: Sponichi / Eiga.com

Top 10 movies with the most tweets in 2017 (Eiga.com)

Eiga.com released a top 10 ranking of the movies shown in Japan this year with the most tweets between 1 January 2017 and 3 December 2017 as a reflection of which movies were mentioned or talked about the most online. One trend noted was that none of the movies in this year's ranking reached the same kind of online exposure compared to past year's number ones i.e. "Frozen" (753,913 tweets) in 2014, "Bakemono no Ko" (522,538 tweets) in 2015 and "Zootopia" (765,638 tweets) in 2016. It was also pointed out that the extensive promotional campaigns of non-Japanese movies was a key factor leading to them hogging the top spots in this ranking. Last but not least, it is also worth mentioning that the box office hits may not necessarily translate to an equal amount of online popularity and exposure or vice versa as seen from the Japanese films in this ranking where only "22 Nenme no kokuhaku Watashi ga satsujinhan desu" is the sole movie which was both in the top 10 Japanese box office hits ranking and here. Even the top 3 bestselling films from Hollywood i.e. "Beauty and the Beast", "Despicable Me 3" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" all failed to make it to this list.

Perhaps this goes to show that box office takings don't really translate to whether people want to talk about or post anything about a movie? Reminds me of how "Quartet" was doing pretty badly in ratings but so talked about and praised online.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Preview of "FINAL CUT" - Winter 2018

Title: Final Cut
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 9 January 2018
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: Kansai TV & FujiTV
Cast: Kamenashi Kazuya, Fujiki Naohito, Kuriyama Chiaki, Hashimoto Kanna, Hayashi Kento, Takagi Yuuya, Yatsui Ichirou, Sugimoto Tetta, Yuuki Nae, Tsurumi Shingo, Masu Takeshi, Mizuno Miki & Sasaki Kuranosuke

Kamenashi Kazuya suffers a fracture to his left index finger during the filming of Kansai TV / FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT"

Kansai TV and FujiTV made an announcement on 3 December  to reveal that Kamenashi Kazuya suffered a fracture to his left index finger during the filming of its Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT" two days earlier. In the statement, the TV stations apologised to Kamenashi and all related parties for the accident which happened around 11.30am at a park in Tokyo. Kamenashi was filming an acrobatic scene when he got injured and was sent to a hospital where he was diagnosed to have suffered a fracture which would take four weeks to recover. Nonetheless, he returned to the filming from 6pm that day and there were no expected changes to the subsequent filming schedule. He was also advised to avoid any strenuous actions in the meantime. The TV stations pledged to take extra precaution going forward to prevent the recurrence of such an incident and hoped for the quick recovery of Kamenashi.

Sources: Oricon / Nikkansports

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

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

1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

2) Eiga Yokai Watch Shadowside Oni Ou no Fukkatsu (367)

3) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

Kuriyama Chiaki to be the heroine in Kansai TV / FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT"

Kuriyama Chiaki will be the heroine in the upcoming Kansai TV / FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT" starring Kamenashi Kazuya which will be shown from January in the Tuesdays 9pm timeslot. In the original story written by Kaneko Arisa, Kamenashi plays the lead character Nakamura Keisuke whose mother was treated as the murderer of a young girl when he was still in senior high school. In order to prove his mother's innocence and seek revenge for her, he uses various techniques to gather footage of his targets and confronts them with the "final cut" i.e. a clip of the edited footage with his signature line "kore ga anata no finaru katto desu" (this is your final cut).

Preview of "99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi Season II" - Winter 2018

Title: 99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi Season II / 99.9 刑事専門弁護士Season II (99.9 Criminal Case Specialist Lawyer Season II)
Official website: here
Official LINE: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 January 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 9pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Cast: Matsumoto Jun, Kagawa Teruyuki, Kimura Fumino, Aoki Munetaka, Katagiri Jin, Maggy, Babazono Azusa, Baba Tooru, Emi Kurara, Ikeda Takafumi, Kishii Yukino, Watanabe Makiko, Fujimoto Takahiro, Shuto Yasuyuki, Okuda Eiji, Shofukutei Tsurube & Kishibe Ittoku

Kudo Asuka to star in FujiTV TWO Winter 2018 drama "The Black Company"

Kudo Asuka will be starring in the new FujiTV TWO Winter 2018 drama "The Black Company" which will begin its run from February next year (timeslot undecided). The story which is based on the same-titled novel by Egami Gou, features Kudo as the lead character Nagano Gouta who aspires to be a musician but hasn't made much progress in this area while making ends meet as a part-timer in a convenience store. When he loses his job suddenly, he is faced with the prospect of a bleak future. By chance, he enters a hamburger shop named Yanky Burger and is making comments about their products when the president of the company offers him a job as permanent employee. Little does he know that this is the beginning of his nightmare as he goes through a demanding training and faces problems like power harassment and long working hours. This will be Kudo's first leading role in a drama series.

Preview of "Tochou Bakuha!" (Drama SP)

Title: Tochou Bakuha! 都庁爆破! (Blow up the Metropolitan Government Building!)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 2 January 2018 @ 9pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original novel by: Takahashima Tetsuo
Cast: Hasegawa Hiroki, Kikkawa Koji, Yuka, Wada Masato, Hayami Akari, Maiguma Katsuya, Hirasawa Kokoro, Lily Franky, Ozawa Yukiyoshi, Terajima Shinobu & Watabe Atsuro

Supporting cast line-up of TBS New Year drama SP "Tochou Bakuha!" announced

The supporting cast line-up of TBS New Year drama SP "Tochou Bakuha!" starring Hasegawa Hiroki had been announced. The drama SP which will be shown at 9pm on 2 January 2018, also features Kikkawa Koji, Watabe Atsuro, Terajima Shinobu and Lily Frankie in its cast and is based on the same-titled novel published by Takashima Tetsuo in 2001 and describes a terror incident which happens in Tokyo.

Sano Hayato to appear in NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss"

Sano Hayato will be appearing in the upcoming NTV Winter 2018 drama "Todome no Kiss" starring Yamazaki Kento which will begin its run from January 2018 in the Sundays 10.30pm timeslot. This original story features Yamazaki as Doujima Outarou, the No.1 host in a host club who doesn't believe in love after an incident which happened to him 12 years ago. Since then, he only has eyes for money and power while manipulating women with his good looks and gentle pretense. When he tries to approach a rich man's daughter Namiki Mikoto (Araki Yuuko) with ulterior motives, he is stopped by a mysterious woman (Kadowaki Mugi) looking pale but with bright red lips who offers a kiss to Outarou. Unexpectedly, this causes Outarou to have breathing difficulties and he dies after experiencing convulsions. When Outarou comes to later, he realises that he has been sent back to 7 days ago and goes through the same period repeatedly due to the mysterious woman who keeps appearing in front of him. The supporting characters include Namiki Takauji (Arata Mackenyu) who is the elder brother of Mikoto and from a top-notch hotel group and Hasebe Hiroyuki who is the heir of a big name cruise company and in love with Mikoto.

Preview of "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita" - Winter 2018

Title: Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita きみが心に棲みついた (You always inhabit my heart)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 January 2018
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: TBS
Original manga by: Tendou Kirin
Theme Song: "Pain, Pain" by E-girls
Cast: Yoshioka Riho, Kiritani Kenta, Ishibashi Anna, Muro Tsuyoshi, Suzuki Sarina, Seto Asaka & Mukai Osamu

Supporting cast line-up of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita" announced

The supporting cast line-up of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita" starring Yoshioka Riho, Kiritani Kenta and Mukai Osamu had been announced. The drama which is based on the same-titled manga by Tendou Kirin, will feature Yoshioka in a "horror" love triangle where she plays the lead character Ogawa Kyoko who is nicknamed Kyodoko and thinks very lowly of herself. She works in a lingerie manufacturer and is in charge of selecting and procuring materials to be used for the company's products. Although she is usually meek and timid, she becomes a changed person when it comes to her work. When she meets a manga editor Yoshizaki Kojiro (Kiritani), she is attracted to his honest and good personality immediately. However, Kyoko has a secret to hide as she used to be manipulated by her senior in university Hoshina Ren (Mukai) who was the first man to accept her despite her shortcomings. Although Hoshina has good looks and behaves like a nice guy, he had made Kyoko become so dependent on him and unable to leave him while always ordering her in a cruel manner to do his bidding. Kyoko is bent on putting her past behind her and start a relationship with Yoshizaki but the reunion with Hoshina at her company marks the start of her troubles. Hoshina is fixated on getting the old Kyoko back so that she will do his bidding and depend on him again and does everything possible to control her.

Merry Christmas!


Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

The Kamishiraishi sisters to appear in new movie "Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori"

The Kamishiraishi sisters i.e. Kamishiraishi Mone and Moka will be appearing in the new movie "Hitsuji to Hagane no Mori" starring Yamazaki Kento and Miura Tomokazu which will be shown in cinemas from June 2018. The movie based on the same-titled novel by Miyashita Natsu which won the 2016 Honya Taisho, 2016 Kino Best! No.1 and 2015 Brunch Book Award. Yamazaki plays the lead character Tomura Naoki, a 20-year-old guy who lives in Hokkaido and just graduated from a piano tuning school. When he was a high school student, he met a piano tuner Itadori Souichiro (Miura). Intrigued by the sound of the piano after it was tuned by Itadori and having the feeling that the sound has the smell of the forest, Tomura starts working at Itadori's musical instruments shop. Through the piano, he comes into contact with various people such as the pianist sisters Kazune and Yuni and grapples with his own worries, doubts and setbacks in life.

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


The first-day-screening event of new movie "Hikari" was held at Shinjuku Musshinokan on 26 November which was attended by the director Omori Tatsushi and cast members Iura Arata, Eita, Hasegawa Kyoko and Hashimoto Manami. The movie is based on the theme of violence in daily life and describes how Nobuyuki, a junior high school student who lives on Mihamajima, a remote island in Tokyo, commits a crime when he tries to protect his classmate and girlfriend Mika. On the following day, the island is struck by a huge disaster thus leaving a few survivors including Nobuyuki, Mika, their childhood friend Tasuke and a few others. 25 years on, Tasuke appears again in front of Nobuyuki who is already married and reveals that he has a secret about the latter. Iura will play the 39-year-old Nobuyuki while Eita plays the role of Tasuke. Hasegawa will play Mika who tries to bury her past and survive in showbiz and Hashimoto will play Namiko who is Nobuyuki's wife.