Nuffnang

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fukushi Souta rumoured to be dating Instagram celebrity MISATO

According to the 1st Feb issue of "Josei Seven", Fukushi Souta is said to be dating Instagram celebrity MISATO who is 3 years older than him. Her Instagram account which focuses on fashion, is said to have been deleted following the revelation. According to the magazine who took photos of the two of them while they were out on dates on 26th and 27th January, the couple went for dinner at a yakitori restaurant in Roppongi before heading to a karaoke. By the time they came out, it was already past 3am and Fukushi was holding on to the drunk MISATO as they made their way back to his apartment. The following day, the two of them went to a kappo restaurant and left at 11am when they were caught hugging each other on the streets. Fukushi and MISATO were said to have known each other through mutual friends at the beginning of this year and started dating soon after.

Source: News Post Seven 

Johnny's Jimusho's statement regarding the removal of its ban on photos of its artistes appearing on online news articles

As you would have already read from my posts on Twitter and Facebook, today marks the day when Johnny's Jimusho finally removed the ban on photos of its artistes appearing on online news articles. This has been a huge issue for both fans and the media because fans can never see photos of their idols in the news articles and it's especially annoying and silly when the artiste who is the lead of a drama or movie "disappears" from the group photo of the cast. For the media, it's very troublesome for them to take "web-approved" versions of the group photos without the Johnny's artist. Considering the proliferation of social media and the Internet, Johnny's approach aimed to protect the copyright of its artistes' photos and prevent the misuse has long been criticised for falling behind the times. Although there has been a slight relaxation in recent years where you can see photos of their artistes on official websites of dramas and movies, the ban about online news articles was something which didn't seem to be making any headway. Even the photos of their artistes couldn't be posted on official social media channels of the dramas and movies. Although there are rumours speculating that this move was somewhat in retaliation against the former SMAP members who left the company and managed to make a mark for themselves through online portals and social media, I think it is still well-received by everyone because it means the removal of an archaic rule which is clearly out of tune with the times and less trouble especially for the media outlets.

Completion screening event of new movie "Funouhan"

The completion screening event of new movie "Funouhan" was held at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills on 21 December which was attended by the director Shiraishi koji and cast members Matsuzaka Toori, Sawajiri Erika, Arata Mackenyu, Mamiya Shotaro, Ashina Sei and Yada Akiko. The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 1 February, is based on the ongoing same-titled manga by Miyatsuki Arata and Kanzaki Yuuya. It features Matsuzaka as Usobuki Tadashi who is a mysterious man with red eyes, wears black suits with a wine-red shirt and possesses a special power which will drive people to their death through methods such as curses and brainwashing. However, it is impossible for his crimes to be proven in court thus Usobuki cannot be taken to justice for the killings he did on behalf of his clients. Sawajiri plays the role of Tada Tomoko who is a police detective and the only person who cannot be controlled by Usobuki. She is the number one beauty in the police station who hates lies and beating around the bush. Although she may speak harshly, she's actually very caring towards her subordinates and even the criminals. In the original manga, this character is actually a man but it was decided to change this to a female instead so as to contrast against the evil and bewitching Usobuki.

Tsumabuki Satoshi to star in new WOWOW Winter 2018 drama "Innocent Days"

Tsumabuki Satoshi will be starring in the new WOWOW Winter 2018 drama "Innocent Days" based on the same-titled novel by Hayami Kazumasa which consists of 6 episodes and will begin its run from 18 March in the Sundays 10pm timeslot. The drama marks Tsumabuki's first appearance in a drama series in three and a half years since "Wakamonotachi 2014" and his first in a WOWOW drama. The novel which had won the 68th Mystery Writers of Japan Award's long and serial short-stories category, sold more than 340,000 copies to date and the drama will be directed by Ishikawa Kei who had worked with Tsumabuki before in the movie "Gukoroku".

Maki Youko leaves her agency after the end of her contract this month

Maki Youko has left her agency Flying Box as per the announcement by the latter on its official website on 30 January. In the statement, the agency addressed recent media reports alleging a controversy between Maki and them over remuneration issues and said that they were deeply troubled by the untrue reports. The reason why they parted ways after the end of her contract was that Maki and the agency had differing ideas on how to manage her career going forward and was totally unrelated to money issues. The agency also stressed that it will continue to manage the existing CM deals and movie work that Maki had taken on before her departure until they are completed. As for her activities after leaving the agency, it stated that they haven't heard about her concrete plans at the moment. Last but not least, the agency thanked everyone for their support to date and apologised for causing concern and worry due to not being able to announce the news earlier.

Sources: Oricon / Nikkansports

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sawajiri Erika to star in new movie "Neko wa dakumono"

Sawajiri Erika will be starring in the new movie "Neko wa dakumono" (A cat is meant to be hugged) which is directed by Inudo Isshin and will be shown in cinemas from 23 June. The story which is based on the same-titled novel by Ooyama Junko, features Sawajiri as the lead character Ooishi Saori who is a 33-year-old woman working at a supermarket in a suburban city. She used to be a member of the idol group Sunnies but failed to make it as a singer and literally escaped from the city. Her only solace in life is the male Russian Blue cat Yoshio which is the "leftover" in the pet shop and has not been bought by anyone yet. Through the daily interactions with Saori, Yoshio starts to think of himself as a human being and wants to become her lover thus bringing about extraordinary changes in their plain lives.

Shinohara Ryoko & Nishijima Hidetoshi to star in new movie "Ningyo no nemuru ie"

Shinohara Ryoko and Nishijima Hidetoshi will be working together for the first time in the new movie "Ningyo no nemuru ie" (The house where the mermaid sleeps in) which is based on the same-titled novel by Higashino Keigo that marked his 30th anniversary as a writer in 2015 and sold more than 270,000 copies in the first month after it was released. The movie which will be directed by Tsutsumi Yukihiko, will be shot between Jan and Feb 2018 and released in cinemas in November this year.

Matsushita Nao & Furuta Arata to reunite in new WOWOW drama "Yami no Bansosha 2 ~ Henshuuchou no Jouken"

Matsushita Nao and Furuta Arata will be back in the new WOWOW drama "Yami no Bansosha 2 ~ Henshuuchou no Jouken" (Partner in Darkness 2 ~ The terms of the chief editor) which will consist of 5 episodes and begin its run from 31 March 2018 in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot. The first series of this drama was shown in spring 2015. The sequel is a suspense story based on the novel "Henshuuchou no Jouken - Daigo Shinji no Hakuran Suiri File -" by Nagasaki Takashi and features Matsushita as an investigator-cum-former police officer Mizuno Yuki working with freelance manga editor Daigo Shinji (Furuta) again to investigate the strange death of a manga editor named Nanbu which is somewhat linked to the Shimoyama incident (the disappearance and death of Shimoyama Sadanori, the first president of Japanese National Railways, in 1949).

Completion screening event of new movie "Uso Happyaku"

The completion screening event of new movie "Uso Happyaku" was held at Iino Hall on 17 December which was attended by the director Take Masaharu and cast members Nakai Kiichi, Sasaki Kuranosuke, Tomochika, Morikawa Aoi, Maeno Tomoya, Horiuchi Keiko, Sakata Toshio, Kinoshita Houka, Tsukaji Muga, Ashiya Kogan and Kondo Masaomi. The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 5 January 2018, features Nakai in the role of an antique dealer Norio from the Kanto region who hasn't been able to get much work and meets a ceramic artist Sasuke (Sasaki) by chance. While trying to lay their hands on a legendary tea set of Rikyu, they get embroiled in a battle of wits involving their families, appraisers and the Cultural Agency.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 27th & 28th January 2018

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

1) Inori no maku ga oriru toki (334)

2) Geostorm (348)

3) Uso wo aisuru onna (284)

4) Paddington 2 (317)

5) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

6) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (369)

7) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

8) DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari (364)

9) Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2202 Ai no Senshitachi Dai 4 Sho Tenmei Hen (29)

10) The Dark Tower (235)

Source: Eiga.com

Winners of the 39th Yokohama Film Festival (2017)

Best Movie: Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da

Best Director: Shiraishi Kazuya (Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi / Mesunekotachi)

Best Newcomer Director: Ishikawa Kei (Gukoroku) / Morigaki Yukihiro (Ojiichan, shinjattatte)

Best Script: Ishii Yuya (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Best Cinematography: Kamakari Youichi (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Best Leading Actor: Ikematsu Sousuke (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Best Leading Actress: Aoi Yu (Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi)

Best Supporting Actor: Shiomi Sansei (Outrage Saishusho) / Matsuzaka Toori (Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi)

Best Supporting Actress: Usuda Asami (Gukoroku) / Matsumoto Wakana (Gukoroku)

Best Newcomer: Ishibashi Shizuka (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da) / Kishii Yukino (Ojiichan, shinjattatte)

Judges' Special Award: Romance Porno Reboot Project

Special Award: Nishida Toshiyuki

Source: Crank In

Preview of "Konda Teru no Gouhou Recipe" - Spring 2018

Title: Konda Teru no Gouhou Recipe 紺田照の合法レシピ (Konda Teru's Legal Recipes)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: Spring 2018
Broadcast: Amazon Prime Video
Original manga by: Umada Isuke
Opening theme song: "boys" by Brian The Sun
Cast: Ryuusei Ryo & Yamamoto Maika

Ryuusei Ryo to star in new Amazon Prime Video drama "Konda Teru no Gouhou Recipe"

Ryuusei Ryo will be starring in the new Amazon Prime Video drama "Konda Teru no Gouhou Recipe" (Konda Teru's Legal Recipes) which will be streamed via the portal from spring 2018. The drama which combines the theme of the underworld, school life and food, is based on the same-titled manga by Umada isuke and directed by Horai Tadaaki who is famous for other food-themed works such as "Kodoku no Gurume", "Onnakudokimeshi" and "Hokusai to meshi sae areba".

Preview of "Attamaru Utopia" (Drama SP)

Title: Attamaru Utopia あったまるユートピア
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 24 January 2018 at 10pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Theme Song by: Maeno Kenta
Cast: Kurashina Kana, Hori Haruna, Ayaka Wilson, Watabe Gota, Andrew Elphinston, Hirahara Tetsu, Komaki Megumi, Ueda Haruka, Kawamo Chiaki, Kiuchi Yoshikazu, Maeno Kenta & Sagawa Mitsuo

Screening event of new NHK drama SP "Attamaru Utopia"

The screening event of new NHK drama SP "Attamaru Utopia" was held at NHK's HQ in Tokyo on 17 January which was attended by cast members Kurashina Kana, Hori Haruna, Ayaka Wilson, Watabe Gota and Maeno Kenta who sings the theme song. The drama will be shown at 10pm on 24 January and is set at Kinosaki Onsen which is featured in the short story "Kinosaki nite"by Shiga Naoya where there is a line saying that there is hardly any difference between living and dying despite the impression that they are at two ends of the spectrum. The drama will also feature the Kinosaki Onsen Kaidan Matsuri which is a horror event held at Toyooka in September.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Nagasawa Masami, Higashide Masahiro & Kohinata Fumiyo to star in FujiTV Spring 2018 drama "Confidence Man JP"

Nagasawa Masami will be starring in the new FujiTV Spring 2018 drama "Confidence Man JP" which will begin its run from April 2018 in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. Co-stars include Higashide Masahiro and Kohinata Fumiyo. This will be Nagasawa's first leading role in five and a half years since 2012's "Koukou Nyuushi" and the drama will be written by Kosawa Ryota.

m-flo to sing the theme song for new movie "Kyounen no Fuyu, Kimi to wakare"

m-flo will be singing the theme song for new movie "Kyounen no Fuyu, Kimi to wakare" starring Iwata Takanori. The new song titled "never" marks the return of their former member LISA and was specially written for the movie. m-flo commented that even though the title appears unrelated to the movie, the song is different from the usual ballads and contains many elements of m-flo's style so they hoped that the viewers can get to hear the song as soon as possible.

Winners of the 2018 Elandor Award

Please note that even though the award is tagged as 2018, the actual qualifying period is from 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017 so the winners were based on the works in 2017. In addition, those who win the "Newcomer" award are picked for their fresh and outstanding performance in their works for the year and regarded as promising new and upcoming actors so this has nothing to do with whether they are actually new to acting. As such, people like Takahashi Issei who has been acting for a long time can still get this award.

The prize giving ceremony will be held at 6.30pm on 1 February 2018 in Shinjuku Keio Plaza Hotel's Minami Building Eminence Hall.

Winners of the 29th Japan Best Jewellery Wearer Awards (2017)

Teens category: Okada Yui

20s category: Nanao

30s category: Ueto Aya

40s category: Ryouga Haruhi

50s category: Asano Yuuko

60s and above category: Ootake Shinobu

Male category: Fukushi Souta

Special Award (Female): Asaoka Ruriko

Special Award (Male): Murata Ryouta

Source: International Jewellery Tokyo

First-day-screening event of new movie "Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa" was held at Marunouchi Picadilly on 16 December which was attended by the director Zeze Takahisa and cast members Sato Takeru, Tsuchiya Tao, Yakushimaru Hiroko, Sugimoto Tetta, Hamano Kenta and Nakamura Yuri. The movie is based on a true story about Nakahara Takashi and his wife Mai who live in Okayama. At the end of 2006 which was 3 months before the Nakaharas' wedding, Mai was diagnosed with the rare illness anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis which has an occurrence rate of 1 in 3 million people and fell into a coma for an extended period of time. However, Takashi did not give up and continued waiting for Mai to recover. When Mai resumed consciousness, she lost her memories of Takashi who did not give up which led to a miracle happening to them 8 years later when they finally got married in December 2014. The video of their wedding was recorded by the wedding hall's company and uploaded to YouTube in February 2015 thus attracting a lot of attention from the netizens. The Nakaharas' story was also published as a book in July 2015 with the title "Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kimi no me ga sameta nara". Sato plays the role of Takashi while Tsuchiya plays Mai in this movie.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Kamikawa Takaya to star in new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Shitsuji Saionji no Meisuiri"

Kamikawa Takaya will be starring in the new TV Tokyo Spring 2018 drama "Shitsuji Saionji no Meisuiri" (Butler Saionji's Famous Reasoning) which will begin its run from April in the Fridays 8pm timeslot. This will be Kamikawa's first leading role in a TV Tokyo drama and his first as a butler. He plays the lead character Saionji Hajime who works as a butler for the rich widow of an entrepreneur named Ijuuin and solves murder cases at the same time with his reasoning powers, wealth of knowledge, sharp observation and ability to assess the situation quickly.

Preview of "Mikaiketsu Jiken Sekihoutai Jiken" (Drama SP)

Title: Mikaiketsu Jiken Sekihoutai Jiken 未解決事件赤報隊事件 (Unresolved case The Sekihoutai Case)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 27 January 2018 at 7.30pm
Broadcast by: NHK
Cast: Kusanagi Tsuyoshi, Kamiji Yusuke, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Maruyama Tomomi, Horiuchi Keiko, Nakagoshi Noriko, Matsuzawa Kazuyuki, Miyagawa Ichirota, Murata Takehiro etc.

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi to appear in new NHK documentary-drama SP "Mikaiketsu Jiken Sekihoutai Jiken"

Kusanagi Tsuyoshi will be appearing in the new NHK documentary-drama SP "Mikaiketsu Jiken File 06 Sekihoutai Jiken" (Unresolved Case File 06 The Sekihoutai Case) which will be shown in two parts at 7.30pm on 27 January and 9pm on 28 January. The programme talks about the unresolved murder of an Asahi Shimbun journalist who was allegedly murdered in May 1987 by the Japanese right-wing extremist group, Sekihoutai who barged into the newspaper's Hanshin Office and fired shots at the staff. Although a total of 500,000 people were involved in the investigation, the case reached its statute of limitations 13 years ago without a clue as to who the murderer could be.

The Best 10 & Worst 10 Japanese movies in 2017 as chosen by movie magazine "Eiga Geijutsu"

Best 10 Japanese movies in 2017
1) Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da
2) Osanako warera ni umare
3) Bangkok Nites
4) Kanojo no jinsei wa machigai janai / Aa, Kouya
6) Zen to Hone
7) Okuda Tamio ni naritai Boy to deau otoko subete kuruwaseru Girl / Yochou Sanposuru Shinryakusha Gekijouban / Ernesto
10) Tsuki to Kaminari

Worst 10 Japanese movies in 2017
1) Sandome no Satsuji
2) Sekigahara / Aa, Kouya
4) Kanojo no jinsei wa machigai janai
5) Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi
6) Ernesto / Utsukushii Hoshi
8) Poncho ni yoake no kaze haramasete / Tsuioku
10) Vigilante

Source: Natalie

Friday, January 26, 2018

Winners of the 10th Confidence Award Drama Prize (Autumn 2017)

Here are the winners of the 10th Confidence Award Drama Prize for the Autumn 2017 season:

Best Drama: Keiji Yugami

Best Leading Actor: Asano Tadanobu (Keiji Yugami)

Best Leading Actress: Ayase Haruka (Okusama wa, toriatsukai chuui)

Best Supporting Actor: Kamiki Ryuunosuke (Keiji Yugami)

Best Supporting Actress: Tezuka Satomi (Ashita no Yakusoku)

Best Script: Fukuda Yasushi (Saki ni umareta dake no boku)

Best Newcomer: Sakuma Yui (Ashita no Yakusoku)

Source: Confidence Award Drama Prize

Thursday, January 25, 2018

FujiTV's "Set Design no Himitsu Ten 2 ~ Getsuku Dorama 30 nen no Kiseki ~"

FujiTV will be holding a free exhibition titled "Set Design no Himitsu Ten 2 ~ Getsuku Dorama 30 nen no Kiseki ~" (The secrets of set design 2 ~ The 30-year tracks of Getsuku Dramas) at Housou Library (Broadcast Library / 放送ライブラリー) in Yokohama from 10am to 5pm between 23 February and 8 April. This exhibition is meant to showcase its set designs and art works created for its Getsuku (Mondays 9pm) dramas over the past 30 years after the first exhibition with a similar theme about various types of TV programmes was held last year and received rave reviews. As this year is the 30th anniversary of the Getsuku timeslot, the exhibits will be exclusively from the 126 dramas shown in this timeslot including the ongoing "Kuragehime" this season. Besides the actual sets used in the dramas, props, costumes, scripts, models, image drawings, rough sketches etc. will be displayed along with the explanations by the art designers.

Some of the dramas featured in the history section include (not exhaustive list though):
- Love Generation (1997)
- Saiyuuki (2006)
- Nodame Cantabile (2006)
- HERO 2 (2014)

The following dramas will have special feature corners:
- Kizoku Tantei (2017)
- Code Blue 3 (2017)
- Minshuu no Teki (2017)
- Kuragehime (2018)

For more details, please refer to the official announcement below (in Japanese only).

Source: FujiTV

Preview of "Shiro to Kiiro Hawaii to Watashi no Pankeeki Monogatari" - Winter 2018

Title: Shiro to Kiiro Hawaii to Watashi no Pankeeki Monogatari しろときいろ ハワイと私のパンケーキ物語 (White and Yellow My pancake story with Hawaii)
Official website: here
Official Facebook: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 28 February 2018
Broadcast by: Amazon Prime Video
Cast: Kawaguchi Haruna, Yokohama Ryuusei, Yoshikawa Ai, Oda Risa, Yakumaru Sho, Yoshizawa Hisashi, Maiko, Koichi Mantaro, Tomita Yasuko, Fuse Eri, Godai Takayuki, Yanagisawa Shingo, Tokito Saburo & Zaizen Naomi

Completion screening event of new movie "Hitsuji no Ki"

The completion screening event of new movie "Hitsuji no Ki" was held at Yomiuri Hall on 13 December which was attended by the director Yoshida Daihachi and cast members Nishikido Ryo, Kimura Fumino, Yuka, Ichikawa Mikako, Mizusawa Shingo, Tanaka Min and Matsuda Ryuhei. The movie will be screened in cinemas from 3 February and is based on the same-titled manga by Yamagami Tatsuhiko and Igarashi Mikio where it describes how former offenders of serious crimes are allowed to live at a seaside town but face conflicts with the local residents after various cases happen after their arrival. The manga won the 2014 Agency for Cultural Affairs' Excellence Award in the Media Arts Awards.

Red carpet event and completion press conference of new movie "Inori no maku ga orirutoki"

The red carpet event and completion press conference of new movie "Inori no maku ga orirutoki" was held at COREDO Muromachi 2 Yoko no nakadoori on 12 December which was attended by the director Fukuzawa Katsuo and cast members Abe Hiroshi, Matsushima Nanako, Mizobata Junpei, Tanaka Rena, Shunputei Shota, Iitoyo Marie, Ito Ran and Kohinata Fumiyo. The movie will be shown in cinemas from 27 January and is the final installment of the "Shinzanmono" series by Higashino Keigo.

Production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita"

The production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kimi ga kokoro ni sumitsuita" was held on 13 January which was attended by Yoshioka Riho, Kiritani Kenta, Mukai Osamu, Seto Asaka, Ishibashi Anna, Nakamura An, Suzuki Sarina and Muro Tsuyoshi. The drama begins its run from 16 January in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot and is based on the same-titled manga by Tendou Kirin. Yoshioka 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.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Winners of the 60th Blue Ribbon Awards (2017)


Best Japanese Movie: Aa, Kouya

Best Foreign Movie: Hidden Figures

Best Director: Shiraishi Kazuya (Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi)

Best Leading Actor: Abe Sadao (Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi)

Best Leading Actress: Aragaki Yui (Mix)

Best Supporting Actor: Yusuke Santa Maria (Aa, Kouya / Dorobo Yakusha)

Best Supporting Actress: Saito Yuki (Sandome no Satsujin)

Best Newcomer: Ishibashi Shizuka (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Press conference of TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Denei Shoujo VIDEO GIRL AI 2018"

The press conference of TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Denei Shoujo VIDEO GIRL AI 2018" was held at its HQ on 12 January which was attended by cast members Nishino Nanase, Nomura Shuhei, Iitoyo Marie, Shimizu Hiroya and Ootomo Karen. The drama begins its run from 13 January in the Saturdays 12.20am timeslot. It is based on the manga "Denei Shoujo" by Katsura Masakazu but will have an amended setting different from the manga. The theme song and BGM will be sung by tofubeats.

New supporting cast announcement for upcoming NHK morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi"

The new announcement for the supporting cast of upcoming NHK morning drama "Hanbun, Aoi" had been made. The drama which is based on Kitagawa Eriko's original script, features the heroine Nireno Suzume (Nagano Mei) who lost hearing in her left ear due an illness she had when she was a child and 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. It will begin its run from 2 April in the Mondays to Fridays 8am timeslot. The characters announced in this round are those who Suzume meets in Tokyo as she aims to become a shoujo manga artist.

Production press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime"

The production press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime" was held on 11 January which was attended by cast members Yoshine Kyoko, Seto Koji, Kudo Asuka, Kaname Jun and Kitaoji Kinya. The drama begins its run from 15 January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. The story features Yoshine as the 20-year-old lead character Kurashita Tsukimi who is an otaku and hardcore lover of jellyfish after she was brought to the aquarium by her late mother when she was a child. Although she doesn't think that she will ever have any luck in romance due to her thick spectacles and nerdy appearance, she suddenly finds herself caught in a love triangle with two brothers after moving from Kagoshima to Tokyo to pursue her dream of being an illustrator. This leads her to discover a new way of living and a new side to herself. Her love interests will be Koibuchi Kuranosuke (Seto), the younger brother who looks gorgeous when he dresses as a woman and is actually a playboy and Shuu (Kudo), the elder brother who is the secretary of his politician father and a virgin with limited experience in dealing with women.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Praying ceremony & press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Tonari no kazoku wa aoku mieru"

The praying ceremony and press conference of FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Tonari no kazoku wa aoku mieru" was held at Suitengu in Tokyo on 10 January which was attended by the cast members Fukada Kyoko, Matsuyama Kenichi and Takahata Atsuko. The drama begins its run from 18 January at 10pm on Thursdays.

The story features Fukada as the 35-year-old lead character Igarashi Nana who works as a scuba-diving instructor, is a cheerful person. In contrast, her 32-year-old Daiki (Matsuyama) who works as an employee in a mid-size toy manufacturing company, is a gentle but not very reliable. The couple finally buy a house in a cooperative housing estate where the families living there come together to give their views on various issues regarding their estate and try to reach a consensus. The move leads Daiki's mother (Takahata) to expect the couple to be able to make some progress in starting a family but things do not go as they wish. In addition, even though they may not want to get close to their neighbours, the couple has to maintain friendly relations with them who have their own set of problems reflective of this era such as an once-divorced husband with his wife who doesn't want kids, a housewife who is bent on projecting a perfect image to everyone but her husband has resigned from his company and a gay couple who is thinking of having kids.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 20th & 21st January 2018

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

1) Geostorm (348)

2) Uso wo aisuru onna (284)

3) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

4) Paddington 2 (317)

5) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (369)

6) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

7) DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari (364)

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

9) Gekijouban Mazinger Z INFINITY (151)

10) Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai (280)

Source: Eiga.com

Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Boku no Yabai Tsuma" to be remade in Turkey and China as announced by Kansai TV

Kansai TV announced during their New Year press conference on 19 January that they have sold the remake rights to their Spring 2016 drama "Boku no Yabai Tsuma" to the Turkish company MF YAPIM which is also known for its remake of NTV's drama "Mother". According to the CEO Fukui Sumio, they actually didn't think that there would be a business opportunity of selling remake rights to their dramas so with this deal, he felt that it would bring interesting business opportunities in future and help them to improve on original drama scripts. As Japanese dramas tend to be rather short, here is a tendency for the Turkish production companies to extend the length of the dramas more than double of the original length. It was also revealed that the remake rights to the same drama had also been sold to a Chinese company.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Komuro Tetsuya announces his retirement following his alleged infidelity scandal

Music producer Komuro Tetsuya announced during a press conference on 19 January that he will be retiring from showbiz following a report in "Shuukan Bunshun" on 18 January that he is having an affair with a nurse. Komuro denied that report and said that his move is to bring closure to this scandal. In addition, a variety of factors led to his decision such as his wife KEIKO's health condition following her collapse due to a  subarachnoidal hemorrhage in October 2011, his health issues and his realisation that his music career had reached its limits. Here are the key points which Komuro made during his press conference and I have summarised them below:

Takanashi Rin to get married to national team & Urawa Reds soccer player Makino Tomoaki

Takanashi Rin and Makino Tomoaki, a professional soccer player who is part of the Japanese national team and J-league team Urawa Reds, announced via their respective Instagram accounts on 20 January that they will be getting married. However, there are no details on when they will be filing their marriage application and if they will be holding a wedding. The couple met in early June 2016 by chance at a restaurant and started dating soon after. Makino reportedly proposed to Takanashi late last year.

Hirose Arisu & Suzu apologise for their elder brother's drink-driving scandal

Hirose Arisu and her younger sister Suzu updated their respective Twitter accounts on 17 January in response to their elder brother Oishi Kouya who was arrested on 15 January for alleged drink driving in Shizuoka Prefecture. In Arisu's tweet, she apologised for the concern and inconvenience caused to everyone due to her brother's case and pledged to continue working hard for the filming of NHK morning drama "Warotenka" as usual. Suzu also posted a similar apology tweet and stated that she will focus on her work and do her best.

Supporting cast line-up of new movie "Shounen" announced

The supporting cast line-up of new movie "Shounen" starring Matsuzaka Toori had been announced. The story which is based on the same-titled Naoki Award nominee novel by Ishida Ira, features the lead character Morinaka Ryo (Matsuzaka)who is bored with his life as an university student and works without an aim in his part-time job at a bar. One day, his friend from junior high Tajima Shinya who works as a host, brings his customer Midou Shizuka to the bar where Ryo works at. Although Ryo is disinterested in love and women, he accepts the challenge by Shizuka to work at the secret members-only boys' club "Le Club Passion" which she owns. Although Ryo is at a loss as to what to do at first, he gradually comes to realise the depth and strength of the desires hidden in the female customers he comes across and finds meaning in his job as a call boy. In addition, he finds himself falling for Shizuka who is much older than him.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Production press conference & screening event of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~"

The production press conference and screening event of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "BG ~ Shinpen Keigonin ~" was held on 15 January which was attended by 500 guests and cast members Kimura Takuya, Eguchi Yosuke, Kamikawa Takaya, Saito Takumi, Ishida Yuriko, Nanao and Mamiya Shotaro. The drama begins its run from 18 January in the Thursdays 9pm timeslot.

Preview of "Kioku" - Winter 2018

Title: Kioku 記憶 Memory
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 21 March 2018
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV / J:COM
Original drama by: TVN
Cast: Nakai Kiichi, Yuka, Izumisawa Yuki, Imada Mio, Moro Morooka, Maruyama Tomomi, Miura Takahiro, Aijima Kazuyuki, Kusamura Reiko, Ishimaru Kenjiro & Matsushita Yuki etc.

Supporting cast line-up of new FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kioku" announced

The supporting cast line-up of new FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kioku" which consists of 12 episodes and begins its run from 21 March in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot, had been announced. The drama which will be 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 will be playing 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.

Shinchosha & Shimizu Kiyoshi file request asking for the withdrawal of Amazon Prime Video drama "CHASE" due to plagiarism controversy

Publisher Shinchosa and journalist-writer Shimizu Kiyoshi have filed a request to Amazon and JokerFilms (the company which made the drama) on 17 January with respect to their drama series "CHASE" and asked for the immediate cessation of its streaming on Amazon Prime Video due to the controversy over the drama suspected of being based on Shimizu's non-fiction book and the dramatisation made without his nor the publisher's permission.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winners of the 72nd Mainichi Film Awards (2017)

Grand Prix Award - Japanese Movies:  HANAGTAMI

Excellence Award - Japanese Movies: Aa, Kouya

Best Foreign Movie: I, Daniel Blake

Best Leading Actor: Suda Masaki (Aa, Kouya)

Best Leading Actress: Nagasawa Masami (Sanposuru Shinryakusha)

Best Supporting Actor: Yakusho Koji (Sandome no Satsujin)

Best Supporting Actress: Tanaka Rena (Osanako warera ni umare)

Sponichi Grand Prix Male Newcomer: Takasugi Mahiro (Sanposuru Shinryakusha)

Sponichi Grand Prix Female Newcomer: Itou Aoi (Shimajima Kaisha)

Press conference of new BS Japan drama "Inochi Urimasu"

The press conference of new BS Japan drama "Inochi Urimasu" was held on 9 January which was attended by cast members Nakamura Aoi, Maeda Oushirou, Taguchi Hiromasa, YOU, Tanaka Min and Wajima Shinji. The drama begins its run from 13 January in the Saturdays 9pm timeslot.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Takehara Pistol to sing the ending theme song for TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Byplayers ~ Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara ~"

Takehara Pistol will be singing the ending theme song for the upcoming TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Byplayers ~ Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara ~" starring Endo Kenichi, Oosugi Ren, Taguchi Tomorowo, Matsushige Yutaka and Mitsuishi Ken which will begin its run from 7 February. This is the second time that Takehara is singing the ending theme for the drama series as his song "Forever Young" was also used in the first series. This time, his new song titled "Gomibako kara, Blues" will be performed in front of the main cast members during the ending credits. Takehara expressed his gratitude to be given the chance twice to sing the ending theme song for this drama series and said that the ending credits clip is meant to project the idea of singing this song about not giving up in front of a group of men who have never given up. The song will be released via online streaming portals from the same day the drama is broadcast.

Source: Natalie

Monday, January 15, 2018

Excellence award winners for the 41st Nippon Academy Awards (2017)

Unlike other movie awards which tend to refer to those in the running as nominees, the Nippon Academy Awards gives them excellence awards instead and chooses the best among them which will be announced during the prize giving ceremony. Effectively, this means that every nominee actually gets to be presented with an excellence award although there is only one in each category to be crowned the best. In this list announced for the 41st Nippon Academy Awards, "Sekigahara" and "Sandome no Satsujin" are the biggest "winners" with 10 awards with Yakusho Koji picking up two best supporting actor awards in these two movies.

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 13th & 14th January 2018

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

1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

2) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (369)

3) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

4) DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari (364)

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

6) Gekijouban Mazinger Z INFINITY (151)

7) Renegades (155)

8) Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai (280)

9) Eiga Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai! Take On Me (72)

10) Murder on the Orient Express (355)

Source: Eiga.com