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?

Park Hae-young (Lee Je-hoo) vs. Saegusa Kento (Sakaguchi Kentaro)

Cha Soo-hyun (Kim Hye-soo) vs. Sakurai Misaki (Kichise Michiko)

Lee Jae-han (Cho Jin-woong) vs. Ooyama Takashi (Kitamura Kazuki)

Kim Bum-joo (Jang Hyun-sung) vs. Nakamoto Shinnosuke (Watabe Atsuro)

Ahn Chi-soo (Jung Hae-kyun) i.e. the crooked cop working for Kim Bum-joo vs. Iwata Kazuo (Komoto Masahiro)

Kim Gye-chul (Kim Won-hae) i.e. the veteran cop who is a specialist in searching for people vs. Yamada Tsutomu (Kimura Yuichi)

Jung Hun-gi (Lee Yoo-joon) i.e. the cop in Hae-young and Soo-hyun's team who is an expert in forensics vs. Kojima Shinya (Ikeda Tetsuhiro)

Oh Yoon-seo (Jung Han-bi) i.e. an assistant professor in pathology who is Soo-hyun's buddy and informs her whenever an unidentified body is found vs. Anzai Rika (Aono Kaede)

Park Sun-woo (Kang Chan-hee) i.e. Hae-young's late elder brother vs. Kato Ryota (Kamio Fuju)

Personally, as "Signal" is one of the few Korean dramas I like, there are big shoes to fill for the Japanese version in order for the latter to impress me in the same way. And I know that I'll probably keep comparing between the two which is probably better if you haven't watched the Korean version and can enjoy the Japanese version for what it's worth. Especially since the Korean version's ending was rather open-ended, I wonder how the Japanese version will be wrapped up.

Casting-wise, I don't have much issues with it but Kichise has never had a role so far which truly caught my eye other than the straying housewife in "Hirugao". As such, I have reservations about whether she can cope with this difficult role who is the bridge between Saegusa and Ooyama and has serious emotional acting to tackle. And because Kitamura and Kichise had such a sizzling chemistry in "Hirugao", it might be a bit difficult to stop myself from remembering those "hot" scenes when I see them together in this drama. Watabe as the villain should be nothing challenging for him because he's great at such roles as always.


astromantic said...

To answer your question, it has -- a bit! I had no idea Watabe Atsuro was in this drama, so I've gone from "meh" to "okay, I'll watch a few episodes" lol. To me the most memorable role was that of Ahn Chi-soo ("evil", but also tragic/monster created by a corrupt system, and I think the guy playing him in this version will do well. I just hope he's as nuanced as the original. I almost wish Watabe Atsuro had this role instead, but oh well.

Even though Lee Je-hoon was not as experienced as Jo Jin-woong and Kim Hye-soo, I had no doubt he had the skill to hold his own against several veteran actors. The guy can act his face off. I'm just not sure I can say the same about Sakaguchi Kentaro yet... but it could be because I haven't seen him in much. Who knows. I'm hoping to be impressed. (Loved him in Juhan Shuttai tho.)

junny said...

I'd have thought either Suzuki Kyoka or Koizumi Kyoko would be more suitable for Kim Hye-soo's role. Kichise is okay, but she tends to get typecast and isn't normally an actress I'd watch just for her - that said, I'm not particularly fond of Kim Hye-soo either and was a bit meh about Cha Soo-hyun, so there's that.

I haven't seen anything by Sakaguchi Kentaro, so I don't know if he can do it. No issues with Kitamura Kazuki for Jo Jin-woong's role. Watabe Atsuro is a class act as always.

astromantic said...

Oh man, now that you put Suzuki Kyoka's name into the universe now I wish this is something they'd have considered! Darn.

I do like Kim Hye-soo a lot, but I don't think Kichise Michiko is the first person I would have thought of to take on such a role though.

Tia said...

I'll try to catch this up when it airs but tbh, the original Kdrama didn't impress me much aside from the acting and only acting. It has a great idea but fell flat at many spots. And the loopholes, oh man let's not talk about the loopholes. It feels like the Kdrama thinks that the viewers are dumb or something.

But enough about the original, I do have many gripes about it and I really really hope that the Jdrama can improve on the many things the original lacks.

junny said...

Have to agree with Tia that the k-drama wasn't all that. I thought Jo Jin-woong was solid, but the storyline wasn't anything I hadn't seen, and I didn't understand all the hype and fuss about it.

V said...

I have seen the original and I regard that as one of the best kdrama since it served the watchers with distinguished storyline among the general kdrama that usually glossed over with over the top and pretentious romance. Yet for jdrama, this type of bizarre drama is no stranger though.

The only qualms that I have about the casting is Kichise. Park Hae Young represents the youth; fiery but willing to learn new things. I think Sakaguchi can pull this off, but I don't know if he can tackle the emotional side of PHY towards the middle of the drama. Kitamura comes off too strong (for me) when it was first announced, since I have only seen him in villainy roles. Again, I do hope he can play the emotional part of Lee Jae Han, since that's what made the role was intriguing. A little tug on your heartstrings by his action. But Kichise... the roles that I witnessed from her previous works mostly cool and polished high-class woman, and here she has to tackle the young and later the adult CSY with stark difference in characteristics. The actress that I can picture in this role is Yoshino Kimura or Miki Nakatani (but she is currently on the other drama). No comment on Watabe Atsuro, an absolute delight.