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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Preview of "Ossans Love" - Spring 2018

Title: Ossans Love おっさんずラブ (Middle-aged men's love)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 21 April 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Revival" by Sukima Switch
Cast: Tanaka Kei, Hayashi Kento, Uchida Rio, Kaneko Daichi, Ito Shuko, Kojima Kazuya, Mashima Hidekazu, Ootsuka Nene, Yoshida Kotaro

Supporting cast line-up of TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Ossans Love" announced

The supporting cast line-up of TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Ossans Love" starring Tanaka Kei, Yoshida Kotaro & Hayashi Kento had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 21 April in the Saturdays 11.15pm timeslot, is the continuation of the SP shown at the end of 2016 which attracted a lot of attention for its hillarious yet heart-pounding romance.

Tanaka plays the lead character Haruta Souichi, a 33-year-old man who loves women especially those who are well-endowed and craves to get married one day even though he is not popular with girls. One day, he suddenly finds himself receiving confessions of love from his middle-aged boss Kurosawa Musashi (Yoshida) who is married and his handsome flatmate Maki Ryouta (Hayashi) who is also his junior at work. Although he had never considered the two of them in the romantic sense, he is still greatly disturbed by the revelations and doesn't know how to react because he has never experienced being fought over all this while. Kurosawa is a very serious guy at work and very much admired by his subordinates but has been hiding the fact that he is gay. For the sake of Haruta, he is even willing to divorce his beautiful wife of 30 years and goes all out to win Haruta's heart. As for Maki, he is well-liked by the female staff in the company for his good looks and great qualifications. He didn't actually have the intention of confessing his feelings to Haruta but goes ahead to do so when he gets wind of Kurosawa's advances towards Haruta.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 14th & 15th April 2018

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

1) Meitantei Conan Zero no shikkounin (360)

2) Eiga Crayon Shin-chan Bakumori! Kungfu Boys Ramen Tairan (352)

3) Coco (371)

4) Pacific Rim Uprising (319)

5) The Boss Baby (322)

6) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (351)

7) Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima (370)

8) The Greatest Showman (374)

9) The Post (281)

10) Kusoyaro to utsukushiki sekai (87)

Source: Eiga.com

Ikematsu Sousuke to star in new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Miyamoto kara kimi e"

Ikematsu Sousuke will be starring in the new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Miyamoto kara kimi e" (From Miyamoto To You) which will be shown from 6 April in the 12.52am timeslot. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Arai Hideki serialised between 1990 and 1994 while the theme song "Easy Go" will be sung by Elephant Kashimashi. As Arai is a big fan of the band, the lead character's name was said to have originated from that of the band's vocalist Miyamoto Hiroji. The drama features Ikematsu as Miyamoto Hiroshi, a newbie salesman working for stationery maker Marukita, and how he stumbles in work and love.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shibutani Subaru announces his departure from Kanjani 8 and Johnny's Jimusho to pursue a music career

Shibutani Subaru announced during a press conference on 15 April his impending departure from Kanjani 8 and Johnny's Jimusho within this year so as to pursue a music career. As there are many news articles about this topic, I have summarised the key points as follows

What
Shibutani will leave the group Kanjani 8 before they are supposed to begin their 5 Domes tour on 15 July in Sapporo, Hokkaido. He is expected to leave the agency within the year.

Kase Ryo leaves his agency Anore and sets up his personal agency

Kase Ryo had left his agency Anore as reported by the media on 13 April. When contacted by the media, Anore confirmed the news and said that Kase had left at the end of March. Since a few years ago, they had been in negotiations about his departure from the agency so the process was smooth without any issues. In addition, Kase has set up his personal agency RYO KASE OFFICE in April and his personal website will be up soon.

Source: Oricon

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Preview of "Shitsuji Saionji no Meisuiri" - Spring 2018

Title: Shitsuji Saionji no Meisuiri 執事西園寺の名推理 (Butler Saionji's Famous Reasoning)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 April 2018
Timeslot: Fridays 8pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Cast: Kamikawa Takaya, Yachigusa Kaoru, Sato Jiro, Okamoto Rei, Iketani Nobue, Hirayama Yusuke, Satomi Kotaro, Asari Yosuke & Furuya Ikko

Oosugi Ren's last leading role in a movie "Kyoukaishi" to be shown from 6 October 2018

"Kyoukaishi" (Prison Chaplain), the last movie featuring the late Oosugi Ren in a leading role, will be screened in cinemas from 6 October 2018. He was also the executive producer of this movie. The director Sako Dai revealed that he was the one who brought up the proposal for this movie to Oosugi at a small cafe three years ago which the latter agreed to taking on the leading role on the spot. Sako said that he still found it difficult to accept Oosugi's sudden demise and commented that he was reminded again of how good Oosugi's acting was through this movie. As such, he felt that everyone would probably feel the same way after watching this movie. He also talked about how Oosugi tried to keep the morale during the filming high and even went to the extent of arranging for catering services for 10 days on his own expense and shouldered part of the production costs. For one of the cast members who had to play someone from Tokushima, Oosugi whose hometown was in Tokushima, even recorded the lines in the dialect for the actor and became the dialect advisor. When Oosugi saw the preview of the movie in December last year, he was very pleased with the result and had told the director that they should start thinking of their next project.

The movie features Oosugi as a chaplain named Saeki who strives to instill a sense of right and wrong and give emotional relief to the prison inmates. He will be counselling 6 death row inmates who live in single cells in this story largely made up of conversations. Co-stars include Karasume Setsuko, Gozu Takeo, Ogawa Noboru, Furutachi Kanji, Mitsuishi Ken and Tamaoki Reo.

Sources: Natalie / Yomiuri Hochi  / Nikkansports / Eiga.com

Oricon's most anticipated Spring 2018 dramas ranking

Oricon conducted a survey on 1,364 people from their teens to 50s between 6 March and 12 March where they chose which Spring 2018 they are looking forward to watch. Dramas which were not announced by the TV stations before 6 March were not included in this survey and only dramas from the private networks and NHK were considered as candidates in this list.

There are two rankings here i.e. the primetime (7pm to 10pm) and midnight categories (shown after 11pm). Numbers in brackets indicate the overall weighted score in terms of anticipated ratings, leading actor/actress, supporting cast and content which account for 20 marks each. As such, the maximum score a drama can get is 80. The asterisk indicates dramas which are based on novels/manga.

Top 10 actors and actresses in Next Break Ranking 2018 (Oricon)

Oricon conducted a survey on 1,000 respondents in their teens to 50s where they chose the actor and actress who they felt would scale new heights in 2018. Arata Mackenyu and Aoi Wakana were the overwhelming favourite across all age groups:

Here are the lists of the top 10 actors and actresses who were chosen:

Top 10 actors
1) Arata Mackenyu

2) Kitamura Takumi

3) Mitsushima Shinnosuke

4) Nakagawa Taishi

5) Takasugi Mahiro

6) Wada Masato

7) Yoshizawa Ryo

8) Nakamura Tomoya / Hamada Tatsuomi

10) Suga Kenta

Top 10 Actresses
1) Aoi Wakana

2) Hirose Arisu

3) Hashimoto Kanna

4) Nakajo Ayami

5) Hamabe Minami

6) Adachi Rika

7) Uchida Rio

8) Iitoyo Marie

9) Shishido Kavfa

10) Taira Yuna

Sources: Oricon 1 / Oricon 2

Friday, April 13, 2018

Preview of "Kaseifu no Mitazono 2" - Spring 2018

Title: Kaseifu no Mitazono 2 家政夫のミタゾノ 2 (Male housekeeper Mitazono 2)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 20 April 2018
Timeslot: Fridays 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Zaregoto" by Shima Shigeko (Joshima Shigeru)
Cast: Matsuoka Masahiro, Gouriki Ayame, Tsubaki Oniyakko, Naitou Risa, Yo Kimiko

Oda Kazumasa to sing the theme song for TBS Spring 2018 drama "Black Pean"

Oda Kazumasa will be singing the theme song for TBS Spring 2018 drama "Black Pean" starring Ninomiya Kazunari which will begin its run from 22 April in the Sundays 9pm timeslot. The song titled "Kono michi wo" is Oda's first theme song for a TBS drama in 8 years since 2010's "Juui Dolittle" starring Oguri Shun. and his 15th drama theme song to date.

Oda revealed that when he got the offer to write the theme song, he already decided on which style to use for the melody. However, he was unsure of what lyrics to write until he repeatedly read the information he received and came up with the final concept which aims to convey the passion which the staff and cast have for the drama.

Preview of "60 Gohan Taisakushitsu" - Spring 2018

Title: 60 Gohan Taisakushitsu / 60 誤判対策室 (60 The Wrong Judgment Countermeasure Office)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 6 May 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 5
Original novel by: Ishikawa Tomotake
Cast: Tachi Hiroshi, Furukawa Yuuki, Hoshino Mari, Murakami Jun, Akahori Masaaki, Hamakawa Fumie, Sakai Wakana, Takehara Pistol, Wakamatsu Takeshi, Kobayashi Katsuya, Kan Suon

Supporting cast line-up of new WOWOW drama "60 Gohan Taisakushitsu" announced

The supporting cast line-up of new WOWOW drama "60 Gohan Taisakushitsu" starring Tachi Hiroshi, Furukawa Yuuki and Hoshino Mari had been announced. The drama is based on the same-titled original mystery novel by Ishikawa Tomotake which was published on15 March and will be directed by Kumakiri Kazuyoshi.

Tachi plays Arima Eiji, a police detective nearing retirement, who belongs to the Gohan Taisakushitsu and had the experience of arresting the wrong person for a crime he did not commit. As such, when he is tasked to investigate the likelihood of wrong judgments given out to criminals on death row along with young lawyer Sera Shoichi (Furukawa) and prosecutor Haruna Misuzu (Hoshino), Arima takes this on with the intention of repenting for his past mistake. On the other hand, although Sera is suspicious of Arima's actions, he is pushed along by the latter's passion to assist in the re-investigations while Haruna just wants to get back to the prosecutors' office as soon as possible so she has no choice but to obey the orders of her superior to cooperate with Arima and Sera.

Preview of "Keishicho Sousa Ikkacho season 3" - Spring 2018

Title: Keishicho Sousa Ikkacho season 3 警視庁捜査一課長 season 3 (Metropolitan Police Department Head of First Investigation Department season 3)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 April 2018
Timeslot: Thursdays 8pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "All Of Us" by GLIM SPANKY
Cast: Naitou Takashi, Adachi Yumi, Honda Hirotaro, Yano Koji, Suzuki Hiroki, Hanawa Nobuyuki, Tokoshima Yoshiko, Kaneda Akio

Naitou Takashi & Adachi Yumi reunite in TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Keishicho Sousa Ikkacho season 3"

Naitou Takashi will be starring in the new TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Keishicho Sousa Ikkacho season 3" which begins its run from 12 April in the Thursdays 8pm timeslot. This season, Adachi Yumi will become one of the regular cast members which marks a reunion of the two in 23 years since they last worked together in the hit NTV dramas "Ienakiko" back in 1994 and 1995. At that time, Adachi was just making her debut as a child actor while Naitou played her alcoholic and abusive father.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

First-day-screening event of new movie "Ramen Kuitee!"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Ramen Kuitee!" was held at Shinjuku Musashinokan on 3 March which was attended by the director Kumagai Yuuki, music director Oh Joon Sung and cast members Nakamura Yurika, Aoi Wakana and Ishibashi Renji. 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.

This heartful story describes how four people find renewed hope in life through their love for ramen. Akahoshi (Katagiri Jin), a cuisine commentator, is lost on the highlands of Kyrgyzstan and about to die when he screams to declare his desire to eat Seiran's ramen before he dies. He musters his last ounce of energy in order to save himself and head towards Seiran. At the same time, Akashi (Ishibashi) the owner of a ramen restaurant, has no desire to continue with the shop after his best partner i.e. his wife passed away. Marie (Nakamura), a senior high school student and the granddaughter of Akashi, is driven to commit suicide due to some groundless rumours about her circulating online and her best friend's betrayal. When Marie survives the suicide, the goal of taking over her grandfather's ramen shop becomes her new purpose in life and she tries to learn the ropes from him along with her buddy Kojima (Aoi) after they reconcile. Co-stars include Takuma Takayuki, Morio Yumi, Mizuhashi Kenji, Kataoka Reiko, Nagaoka Tasuku and Kuroba Mario.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Preview of "Seigi no Se" - Spring 2018

Title: Seigi no Se 正義のセ
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 April 2018
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Original novel by: Agawa Sawako
Theme Song: "Shippaigaku" by Fukuyama Masaharu
Cast: Yoshitaka Yuriko, Yasuda Ken, Miura Shohei, Hirose Arisu, Hirano Kinari, Shukugawa Atomu, Ohno Takuro, Tsukaji Muga, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Terawaki Yasufumi & Namase Katsuhisa

Haru & Suzuki Kyoka to star in new TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Mikaiketsu no Onna Keishicho Bunsho Sousakan"

Haru and Suzuki Kyoka will be starring in the new TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Mikaiketsu no Onna Keishicho Bunsho Sousakan" (The unresolved woman Metropolitan Police Department Records Investigator) which will begin its run from April in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot. This will be the actresses' first collaboration in this mystery drama where they play very different police detectives who work together as buddies to crack unresolved cases. The script will be written by Oomori Mika who last worked with Haru in the NHK morning drama "Asa ga kita".

Haru plays the hot-blooded detective Yashiro Tomo who is confident about her physical fitness and judo skills especially since her father is a karate expert. She is burning with a sense of justice and uses her gut feel to conduct investigations. On the other hand, Suzuki plays Narumi Risa who is the intellectual detective and can read between the lines in records and documents to deduce the character and thinking of whoever wrote them. However, she is poor at dealing with other people and prefers words rather than human beings. Although Tomo and Risa are polar opposites, the two of them work well together to take on the unresolved cases when they are posted to the special investigation office's 6th section.

Preview of "Miss Devil Jinji no Akuma Tsubaki Mako" - Spring 2018

Title: Miss Devil Jinji no Akuma Tsubaki Mako / Miss デビル 人事の悪魔・椿眞子 (Miss Devil Devil of Human Resources Tsubaki Mako)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 April 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Theme Song: "Body Feels Exit (from AL [FINALLY])" by Amuro Namie
Cast: Nanao, Sato Shori, Kimura Yoshino, Wada Masato, Shiraishi Sei, Moro Morooka, Mizusawa Erena, Yamada Kinuo, Maeda Kouki, Yamamoto Naohiro, Ino Manabu, Seto Saori, Sekiya Riho, Yamashita Yorie, Tsurumi Shingo, Funakoshi Eiichiro & Nishida Toshiyuki

Utada Hikaru to sing the image song for TBS Spring 2018 drama "Hana nochi hare ~ Hanadan Next Season ~"

Utada Hikaru will be singing the image song for TBS Spring 2018 drama "Hana nochi hare ~ Hanadan Next Season ~" which will begin its run from 17 April in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot. This is the first time in 11 years since Utada sang an image song for the Hanadan series since 2007's "Flavor of Life - Ballad Version -". Utada who is a fan of the original manga, was approached by the drama's producer to write and sing the image song which will be revealed for the first time in the pilot episode.

Source: Natalie

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 7th & 8th April 2018

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

1) Coco (371)

2) The Boss Baby (322)

3) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (351)

4) Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima (370)

5) The Greatest Showman (374)

6) The Post (281)

7) Chihayafuru - Musubi - (307)

8) Kusoyaro to utsukushiki sekai (87)

9) Eiga Puri Kyua Superstars! (213)

10)  Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor (120)

Source: Eiga.com

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Asami Reina announces her first pregnancy

Asami Reina announced via her official Instagram on 5 April that she is currently pregnant with her first child. She mentioned in her statement that as reported by some media outlets, she is already pregnant. However, she had planned to make the announcement personally later and apologised for the premature revelation of the news. Although she is worried and nervous about this, she is also very happy and excited as each day progresses. With regard to work, she will continue with her activities as much as her condition allows and called for everyone's continued warm support in future.

Asami got married and announced the news in February 2018.

Source: Oricon

Preview of "Headhunter" - Spring 2018

Title: Headhunter ヘッドハンター
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 16 April 2018
Timeslot: Mondays 10pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Theme Song: "Baby don't cry ~ Kamisama ni fureru kuchibiru ~" by Beverly
Cast: Eguchi Yosuke, Koike Eiko, Sugimoto Tetta, Hirayama Hiroyuki, Tokunaga Eri, Yamaga Kotoko, Okada Ryutaro

Production press conference of new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Headhunter"

The production press conference of new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Headhunter" was held at the TV station on 26 March which was attended by cast members Eguchi Yosuke, Koike Eiko and Sugimoto Tetta. The drama begins its run from 16 April in the newly set-up drama timeslot "Dorama Biz" at 10pm on Mondays which is meant to present dramas about working adults. Once the drama has finished its run on TV Tokyo, it will be shown on BS Japan. It will also be streamed on paid video streaming service Paravi from April 2018.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Preview of "Tokusou 9" - Spring 2018

Title: Tokusou 9 特捜9 (Special Investigation 9)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 April 2018
Timeslot: Wednesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Theme Song: "Crazy Rays" by V6
Cast: Inohara Yoshihiko, Hada Michiko, Tsuda Kanji, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Taguchi Hiromasa, Yamada Yuki, Nakagoshi Noriko, Hara Sachie, Ito Shiro, Satomi Kotaro, Terao Akira

Tanaka Kei to star in new TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Ossans Love" along with Yoshida Kotaro & Hayashi Kento

Tanaka Kei will be starring in the new TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Ossans Love" (Middle-aged men's love) which will begin its run from 21 April in the Saturdays 11.15pm timeslot. The drama series is the continuation of the SP shown at the end of 2016 which attracted a lot of attention for its hillarious yet heart-pounding romance. Besides Tanaka, Yoshida who also appeared in the SP will continue to appear in the drama series while Hayashi Kento joins the cast for the first time.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Preview of "Monte Cristo Haku - Karei naru Fukushuu -" - Spring 2018

Title: Monte Cristo Haku - Karei naru Fukushuu - モンテ・クリスト伯 - 華麗なる復讐 - (Count Monte Cristo - The Splendid Revenge -)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 19 April 2018
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original novel by: Alexandre Dumas
Theme Song: "Echo" by Dean Fujioka
Cast: Dean Fujioka, Ookura Tadayoshi, Yamamoto Mizuki, Takasugi Mahiro, Hayama Shono, Kishii Yukino, Sakurai Yuki, Miura Masaki, Shibukawa Kiyohiko, Arai Hirofumi, Tanaka Min, Fubuki Jun, Kinoshita Houka, Yamaguchi Sayaka, Ibu Masato, Inamori Izumi & Takahashi Katsunori

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Supporting cast line-up of FujiTV Spring 2018 drama "Monte Cristo Haku - Karei naru Fukushuu -" announced

The supporting cast line-up of FujiTV Spring 2018 drama "Monte Cristo Haku - Karei naru Fukushuu -" starring Dean Fujioka had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 19 April in the Thursdays 10pm timeslot also features Kanjani 8's Ookura Tadayoshi, Arai Hirofumi, Takahashi Katsunori and Yamamoto Mizuki in its cast. The story is based on the novel "The Count of Monte Cristo" by French writer Alexandre Dumas but will have its setting changed to modern-day Japan.

Fujioka plays the lead character Saimon Dan who got framed for a crime he didn't commit and served 15 years in prison and lost the woman he loved i.e. Meguro Sumire (Yamamoto). Upon his release, he sets out to take revenge on the three men who were responsible for his plight. Ookura plays Nanjo Yukio who is an unpopular actor and was jealous of Dan even though he had offered his blessings to the latter and his fiancee while Arai plays Kagura Kiyoshi who was Dan's senior at the fishery company where they worked at and has a flawed viewed towards love. Last but not least, Takahashi plays Iruma Kohei, the police officer who concealed Dan's innocence and sent him off to prison.

Preview of "Itsumademo Shiroi Hane" - Spring 2018

Title: Itsumademo Shiroi Hane いつまでも白い羽 (Always white feathers)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 April 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 11.40pm
Broadcast by: Tokai TV
Original novel by: Fujioka Youko
Theme Song: "Isshun mo issho mo subete watashi nanda" by Kankaku Pierrot
Cast: Shinkawa Yua, Ito Sairi, Sakai Miki, Satou Honami, Seto Toshiki, Kiyohara Sho, Yanagisawa Shingo, Sakakibara Ikue, Kato Masaya

Supporting cast line-up of Tokai TV Spring 2018 drama "Itsumademo Shiroi Hane"

The supporting cast line-up of Tokai TV Spring 2018 drama "Itsumademo Shiroi Hane" starring Shinkawa Yua had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 7 April in the Saturdays 11.40pm timeslot, is based on the same-titled novel by Fujioka Youko and set in a nursing school. Shinkawa plays the lead character Kizaki Rumi who barely scraps through to enter the nursing school after failing her university entrance exams. She has never had the intention to become a nurse and is actually poor at interacting with others. While pondering over when to quit school and whether to retake the national university entrance exam, she goes ahead with the 3-year-long practical training where she meets various people that makes her change her mind about being a nurse. Ito Sairi plays Yamada Chinatsu who is in the same team as Rumi during the training and very clumsy at work. Saeki Noriko, a housewife and Endo Touka, a quiet and mysterious woman, who have their reasons for wanting to become a nurse are also members of the same team. Other cast members include Kato Masaya who play Bansho Kotaro, the director of the school.

TOKIO's Joshima Shigeru to sing the theme song for TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Kaseifu no Mitazono 2" in his female persona

TOKIO's Joshima Shigeru will be singing the theme song for TV Asahi Spring 2018 drama "Kaseifu no Mitazono 2" starring fellow member Matsuoka Masahiro which will be shown from 20 April in the Fridays 11.15pm timeslot. However, he will be appearing in his female persona Shima Shigeko who is a 47-year-old singer created last August when "she" sang the song "Onna no sakamichi" written by "herself" which was the coupling song for TOKIO's single "Kumo". The theme song "Zaregoto" (Nonsense) will be included in "her" same-titled solo debut DVD to be released on 16 May and the first press limited edition comes with a calendar featuring her photos. For the first press normal edition, the Shigeko Zaregoto Sugoroku board game will be included.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

AKB48's Yokoyama Yui to star in new Kansai TV Spring 2018 drama "Hannari Girori no Yoriko-san"

AKB48's Yokoyama Yui will be starring in the new Kansai TV Spring 2018 drama "Hannari Girori no Yoriko-san" (The elegant & glaring Miss Yoriko) which will begin its run from 24 April 2018 in the Tuesdays 1.25am timeslot. The drama which consists of 4 episodes, is based on the same-titled manga by Asano Yukiko. She plays the lead character Shindo Yoriko who works at a cigarette shop in Kyoto located 2 mins away from a World Heritage site and looks scary with her glaring expression but actually has a heart of gold and is just awkward in front of others. Through the eyes of Yoriko, the famous sights of Kyoto and the little-known culture and habits of Kyoto are introduced in a heartful manner. Nakao Masaki will play Yamada Yuichi who is a magazine editor transferred to the Kyoto office and meets Yoriko when he becomes the neighbour of her childhood friend.

Production press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kioku"

The production press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kioku" was held at Yokohama on 9 March which was attended by cast members Nakai Kiichi, Yuka, Matsushita Yuki, Izumisawa Yuki and Imada Mio. The drama begins its run from 21 March in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot. The drama which is shot in 4K format, is a Japanese remake of TVN's 2016 Korean drama "Kieok"(Memory) featuring Lee Sung-min which was the TV station's 10th anniversary commemorative work. Nakai Kiichi plays Honjou Hidehisa,  a capable lawyer in his 50s who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and losing his memory bit by bit. In a bid to win the battle of preserving his dignity to the last moment and expose the truth behind his son's death due to a car accident, Honjou comes to realise what is really important in life and treasure the bond with his family members.

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 31st March & 1 April 2018

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

1) Coco (371)

2) The Boss Baby (322)

3) Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima (370)

4) Chihayafuru - Musubi - (307)

5) The Post (281)

6) The Greatest Showman (374)

7) Red Sparrow (318)

8) Eiga Puri Kyua Superstars! (213)

9) honey (145)

10) The Commuter (196)

Source: Eiga.com

Monday, April 02, 2018

Cast & character mapping between Korean and Japanese versions of "Signal"

For those who may be interested in knowing who plays which character in the Japanese remake of Korean drama "Signal", this is the list with the actors' names in brackets based on the descriptions of the characters and information announced so far with the Korean version preceding the Japanese version. After looking at this list, how do you feel about the casting decisions and has it affected your willingness to watch the Japanese version in any way?

Screening event of new NHK morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi"

The screening event of new NHK morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi" was held at the TV station's HQ in Tokyo on 9 March which was attended by the scriptwriter Kitagawa Eriko and cast members Nagano Mei, Matsuyuki Yasuko, Takito Kenichi and child actor Yazaki Yusa. The drama begins its run from 2 April in the Mondays to Saturdays 8pm timeslot. Nagano plays the heroine Suzume while Takito and Matsuyuki play her parents. Yazaki plays the childhood version of Suzume at 9 years old. The heroine Nireno Suzume (Nagano Mei) lost hearing in her left ear due an illness she had when she was a child and the drama describes her turbulent life and the process of building an electrical appliances manufacturing company over half a century from 1971 to the present era which will be set in Gifu, her birthplace, and Tokyo.

Preview of "Signal Chouki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sousahan" - Spring 2018

Title: Signal Chouki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sousahan シグナル 長期未解決事件捜査班 (Signal Investigation unit for long term unresolved cases)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 10 April 2018
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Broadcast by: Kansai TV / FujiTV
Original drama by: tvN
Theme Song: "Don't Leave Me" by BTS
Cast: Sakaguchi Kentaro, Kitamura Kazuki, Kichise Michiko, Kimura Yuichi, Ikeda Tetsuhiro, Aono Kaede, Kamio Fuju, Komoto Masahiro, Watabe Atsuro

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Supporting cast line-up of Kansai TV Spring 2018 drama "Signal Chouki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sousahan" announced

The supporting cast line-up of Kansai TV Spring 2018 drama "Signal Chouki Mikaiketsu Jiken Sousahan" starring Sakaguchi Kentaro had been announced. The drama is a remake of the original Korean series from tvN which was inspired by the Hwaseong serial murders and starred Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo and Cho Jin-woong.

Sakaguchi plays the lead character Saegusa Kento, a police officer who manages to connect to another police officer living in the past through a disposed walkie talkie and the two of them work together to crack unresolved cases. Saegusa works at Josai Police Station and learnt criminal profiling on his own. When he was a child, there was a kidnap-cum-murder case involving his classmate and his elder brother committed suicide due to a past case. This led Saegusa to be scarred emotionally and he has a deep distrust for the police even though he became a police officer to find the truth behind his brother's death.

Sakaguchi Kenji announces an indefinite suspension of his acting career

Sakaguchi Kenji announced through his agency K Dash on 31 March that he will be suspending his acting career indefinitely as he is currently suffering from idiopathic osteonecrosis of femoral head. In conjunction with this move, he will be quitting K Dash by the end of May when his contract expires. Sakaguchi started to complain of pain in his right hip joint since three years ago and had been taking a break from work during this period.

This is the first time that Sakaguchi has revealed the exact name of his medical condition which is an incurable illness designated by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The illness which is also known by the name avascular necrosis (AVN) of the femoral head, is a pathologic process that results from interruption of blood supply to the bone. It is said that there are about 11,000 patients and another 2,000 to 3,000 cases are found each year. As there is no effective cure for this illness, patients may have to go through surgery to get an artificial hip joint if necrosis of the bone takes place and affects the ability to walk along with extreme pain experienced by the patient. An alternative is to cut off a part of the bone and do correction surgery on the joint. People in their 30s to 50s form the bulk of the patients and men are more likely to get this. It's been said that one of the reasons leading to this illness was the use of steroids and excessive drinking. Besides Sakaguchi, RYOJI of Ketsumeishi announced in 2016 that he was suffering from this while the late Misora Hibari was also diagnosed with this in the last years of her life.

Mimura announces a change in her stage name to Mimura Rie

Mimura announced through her official website on 27 March 2018 that she will change her stage name from Mimura to Mimura Rie (美村里江). According to Mimura, she had used this name when she made her debut because she is an avid fan of the cartoon character Mimura-neesan in "Moomins" and wanted to boost awareness of the latter. Although it may seem that her name change is a sudden decision, this had actually been on her mind for several years. She finally decided to discuss this with her agency last year and got the approval to do so after the number of strokes in her new name was assessed by fortune-telling professionals.

Usuda Asami announces her first pregnancy

Usuda Asami announced on 26 March 2018 that she is currently pregnant with her first child and due to give birth in early summer. In the statement released through her agency, Usuda revealed that she is already 8 months' pregnant and savouring the joy of impending parenthood with her husband Okamoto Reiji, the drummer from rock band OKAMOTO'S. With regard to her future plans, Usuda said that she will try her best in her acting career as per before while monitoring her condition and called for everyone's continued support.

Usuda has two movies coming up this year i.e. "honey" which will be shown from 31 March and "Owatta Hito" which will be shown from 9 June.

Sources: Natalie / Oricon

Inagaki Goro to star in new movie "Hansekai" along with Hasegawa Hiroki, Ikewaki Chizuru & Shibukawa Kiyohiko

Inagaki Goro will be starring in the new movie "Hansekai" (Half World) directed by Sakamoto Junji which is an original story about 3 men at the age of 39 who are faced with the dilemma of how to live the rest of their lives at this halfway point. Co-stars also include Hasegawa Hiroki, Ikewaki Chizuru and Shibukawa Kiyohiko. Filming began on 14 February.

Inagaki plays the lead character Hiroshi who makes a living by producing Bincho charcoal in a beautiful town located within the mountains. When his junior high school friend Eisuke (Hasegawa) who used to be a Self-Defense Forces officer comes back to their hometown, Hiroshi is struck by how he had never given a thought about inheriting the family business until the latter makes a remark about how he couldn't fathom why Hiroshi would do such a thing. His other ex-classmate Mitsuhiko (Shibukawa) also points out how Hiroshi doesn't care for his wife Hatsuno (Ikewaki) and son by leaving her to take care of the child alone. When Hiroshi comes to know about Eisuke's past, he makes up his mind to treat his work and family seriously.

Saito Takumi & Nikaidou Fumi to star in new TV Asahi drama SP "Tantei Monogatari"

Saito Takumi and Nikaidou Fumi will be starring in TV Asahi's remake of the drama SP "Tantei Monogatari" based on the same-titled novel by Akagawa Jiro. The last adaptation movie was 34 years ago in 1983 which featured Yakushimaru Hiroko and the late Matsuda Yusaku and had accumulated box office takings of JPY 5.1bn. The new drama SP will be shown at 9pm on 8 April and is the first production to be shown in the TV station's new timeslot for drama SPs on Sundays.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Imai Tsubasa announces the suspension of his work activities again due to Ménierè's disease

Imai Tsubasa will be taking a break from work for the time being due to Ménierè's disease as announced on 28 March. According to his agency, Imai complained of repeated and serious bouts of giddiness and was diagnosed with a relapse of Ménierè's disease which led to his immediate hospitalisation on the same day. His agency apologised to fans and work-related personnel for the worry and inconvenience caused as a result of this sudden situation.

Top 10 favourite and disliked actors in 2018 (Shukan Bunshun)

In this year's ranking, more than 5,200 votes were received from Shukan Bunshun's readers who chose their favourite and disliked actors. The number of votes received is reflected in brackets while their positions in 2017 are presented in italics and those outside of the top 10 get a dash:

Top 10 favourite and disliked actress in 2018 (Shukan Bunshun)

In this year's ranking, more than 5,200 votes were received from Shukan Bunshun's readers who chose their favourite and disliked actresses. The number of votes received is reflected in brackets while their positions in 2017 are presented in italics and those outside of the top 10 get a dash:

Friday, March 30, 2018

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 24th & 25th March 2018

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

1) The Boss Baby (322)

2) Coco (371)

3) Eiga Doraemon Nobita no Takarajima (370)

4) Chihayafuru - Musubi - (307)

5) The Greatest Showman (374)

6) Eiga Puri Kyua Superstars! (213)

7) Tomb Raider First Mission (314)

8) Kita no Sakuramori (350)

9) Kyounen no fuyu, Kimi to wakare (329)

10) Black Panther (355)

Source: Eiga.com

Top 10 favourite and disliked actors in 2017 (Shukan Bunshun)

Shukan Bunshun conducts an annual survey on its email magazine subscribers to find out which actress and actor they like or dislike that year. In the recently concluded survey, 6,900 responses were received and here is the list of the top 10 favourite and disliked actors in 2017. The number of votes received is reflected in brackets while their positions in 2016 are presented in italics and those outside of the top 10 get a dash: