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Monday, July 29, 2013

Takenouchi Yutaka to star in new movie "Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bouken" with 7 actresses

Takenouchi Yutaka will be taking the lead role in a new movie titled "Nishino Yukihiko no Koi to Bouken" (The Love and Adventure of Nishino Yukihiko) which is due to be shown in Japan next February. The movie which is based on the 2003 same-titled short stories compilation novel by Akutagawa Award winner Kawakami Hiromi, features Takenouchi as the lead character Nishino Yukihiko who is described as a hard-to-come-by handsome man who treats women well and is great at work and sex but somehow always gets dumped by the women he dates. 7 actresses in their teens to 50s will be Nishino's love interests in the movie including Ono Machiko who is his superior at work and dates him secretly, his female neighbours Narumi Riko and Kimura Fumino, Honda Tsubasa as his ex-girlfriend, Asou Kumiko as the married woman he was having an affair with 10 years ago, Nakamura Yuriko as Asou's teenage daughter and Agawa Sawako as a housewife who falls for Nishino after meeting him at cooking school. Filming will last till the end of this month.

Takenouchi said that he tried to understand from the women around him on what it meant to be the perfect man in order to play Nishino and expressed his joy at being surrounded by so many beautiful actresses during the filming. There was a scene where he and Ono had to film a bed scene but the director kept asking them to make it look more intense than what they had rehearsed so Ono and he had to make sure that the scene would not cause the movie to earn a R-15 rating while making sure they met the director's requirement.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Sunday, July 28, 2013

International premiere of movie "Nazotoki wa dinner no ato de" held in Singapore

The international premiere of movie "Nazotoki wa dinner no ato de" was held at Marina Bay Sands' The Sands Theatre on 27 July which was attended by the cast Sakurai Sho, Kitagawa Keiko, Shiina Kippei and the director Tsujikata Masato. The movie is due to be shown in Japan from 3 August. Prior to the screening, about 2,000 fans had gathered for the red carpet event where Sakurai sung "Meikyuu Love Song", the theme song by Arashi with them. During the event, Sakurai greeted the audience in English, Japanese and Malay where he expressed his thanks for the help given when the crew was in Singapore last year for the filming by saying "terima kasih" in Malay. He also promised to visit the country again in future. On the other hand, Kitagawa mentioned that the date of the movie's release in Singapore coincides with her birthday i.e. 22 August and thanked the audience in English when they congratulated her. As for Shiina, he said that he was very surprised at seeing the big Merlion statue on Sentosa.

On the other hand, Sakurai who had stayed in Raffles Hotel this time for two nights and one night last year during the filming, will be appearing in the hotel's Hall of Fame which shows the photographs of the famous who had stayed in the hotel throughout its 127 years history. Sakurai will be the 128th celebrity to put his photo there (the 6th Japanese celebrity and the first Japanese actor to do so) and it will be placed on permanent display opposite the photo of Prince William and his wife Catherine.

Source: Sanspo

Time for Sho fans to rush down to Raffles Hotel to catch a glimpse of his photo??? ^__^

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Kurashina Kana, Narumi Riko, Kimura Tae, Takanashi Rin and Hirosue Ryoko star in WOWOW new drama "Kagi no nai yume wo miru"

Kurashina Kana, Narumi Riko, Kimura Tae, Takanashi Rin and Hirosue Ryoko will be the leads for WOWOW's new drama "Kagi no nai yume wo miru" (Seeing a dream without keys) which is due to be shown from 1 September at 10pm on Sundays. The drama which consists of 5 episodes, is based on the Naoki Award-winning novel by Tsujimura Mizuki which talks about the darkness hidden within women's hearts.

The first episode features Kurashina as a senior high school teacher who continues to stand by her boyfriend despite him being named as a possible suspect in a murder case. Narumi takes over from the second episode as a freeter who suffers domestic violence inflicted by her boyfriend but finds it difficult to leave him. Kimura then appears in episode three as a OL who is proud and doesn't want to bow down to others while Takanashi plays a primary school teacher who gets too caught up with comparing her own life to that of her ex-classmate. Hirosue will then round up the series as a mother who buckles under the pressure of aiming to be a perfect mother but does not get any support from her husband nor the community.

Source: Sponichi / Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Friday, July 26, 2013

Top 10 artistes with the most TV CM exposure in the Kanto region for the first half of 2013 (Video Research)

Note that the time in the brackets indicate the amount of time they appeared in CMs during the first half of 2013:

1) Gouriki Ayame (47 hours 46 minutes and 45 seconds)
2) Ueto Aya (37 hours 26 minutes and 30 seconds)
3) Takei Emi (29 hours 42 minutes and 45 seconds)
4) Morisanchuu (28 hours 51 minutes and 30 seconds)
5) Igawa Haruka (28 hours 24 minutes and 30 seconds)
6) Maeda Oushiro (26 hours 49 minutes and 15 seconds)
7) Shinoda Mariko (26 hours 44 minutes and 30 seconds)
8) Takada Junji (26 hours 6 minutes and 45 seconds)
9) Maeda Atsuko (26 hours and 4 mins)
10) Oshima Yuko (24 hours 56 minutes and 45 seconds)

Source: Video Research / Sponichi

Osawa Takao to star in movie adaptation of novel "Kaze ni tatsu Lion"

Osawa Takao will be starring in the movie adaptation of singer Sada Masashi's novel "Kaze ni tatsu Lion" (The lion that stands in the wind) which is the third Sada-related movie Osawa has appeared in since 2004's "Gege" and 2007's "Bizan". Sada's novel was based on the same-titled song lasting 8 minutes and 50 secs which he released in 1987 about a young doctor Shibata Koichiro (Sada's father's friend) who went to Kenya, Africa to be a volunteer doctor and wrote a letter to his lover who he left behind in Japan where he talks about his worry for Japan as seen from overseas. Osawa was one of those who felt strongly about the song and had asked Sada to consider writing a novel based on the song so as to elaborate on the feelings of the lead character and his life. Due to Osawa's strong enthusiasm for the story, Sada began writing the novel 5 years ago with the intention of letting Osawa play the lead character one day in a movie adaptation. There were many times when Sada wanted to give up on the novel but he managed to persevere after coming into contact with the volunteers he met after the 2011 tsunami crisis. Sada also changed the setting of the story to that of a young man saved by a Japanese doctor in Africa who later becomes a doctor himself and comes to Tohoku to help the victims of the tsunami crisis. After finishing the novel, Sada then sent the manuscript to Osawa first.

Filming preparations are in progress and the movie is due to be shown in 2015.

Source: Nikkansports

Real-life adaptation movie of novel "Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai" starring Seto Koji & Kitano Kii

Seto Koji and Kitano Kii will be starring in the real-life adaptation movie of popular novel "Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai" (I have few friends) which has accumulated shipment figures of 5.55 million copies and was made into an anime showing on TBS. The movie will feature Seto as the lead character Hasegawa Kodaka while Kitano will play his friend Mikazuki Yozora. Filming was completed in June this year and the film is scheduled to be shown during New Year 2014.

Kodaka, a student who had just transferred to Saint Kuronika three months ago, finds himself still without a friend because of his exotic looks as a half-Japanese, his blond hair and fierce face which makes him look like a bad guy. One day, he meets Yozora who is talking to her imaginary friends in the classroom and she later makes him form the "Neighbours Club" with the aim of helping people like them who don't have friends to make new friends. As more people join the club, they are able to live the lives they want to in the virtual game world but starts to feel a change in their real lives as the line between reality and imagination becomes blurred.

Source: Nikkansports

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ooizumi Yo & Shibasaki Kou to star in Gekidan Hitori's first movie as a director "Seiten no Hekireki"

Gekidan Hitori will be directing his first movie which is based on the adaptation of his second novel "Seiten no Hekireki" and co-write the script for the movie with Hashibe Atsuko, the scriptwriter for "Freeter, Ie wo Kau". His first novel "Kagehinata ni Saku" which sold more than 1 million copies was also made into a movie in 2008 which featured Okada Junichi and Miyazaki Aoi.

This time, Ooizumi Yo and Shibasaki Kou will be the leads in "Seiten no Hekireki" where he plays a lonely and unpopular magician Haruo who goes back into time by accident and finds himself meeting his parents at Asakusa 40 years ago before he was born and allows him to find out his birth secret. Gekidan will play Haruo's father Shotaro during his younger days while Shibasaki will be Shotaro's girlfriend Etsuko who still sticks to him despite the fact that Shotaro has achieved nothing much in life.

Filming will begin in August at Asakusa in Tokyo and Ueda in Nagano and is expected to be wrapped up in September. The movie will be shown nationwide in 2014.

Source: Eiga.com

Hiraoka Yuta reportedly dating model Oishi Eri?

Hiraoka Yuta is said to be romantically linked to model Oishi Eri as reported on 23 July. The two of them are said to have met each other early last year and started dating since then. Over the past 1.5 years, Oishi had been caught visiting Hiraoka's apartment frequently and the couple have been seen on dates too. Hiraoka had been previously linked to singer-model MEG in 2008 and singer Sowelu in 2011.

When asked about the report, Hiraoka's agency said that they will leave things to him since this is a private matter while Oishi's agency only commented that the two of them are good friends.

Source: Nikkansports

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Further cast announcements of NTV's 24 Jikan Terebi drama SP "Kyou no hi wa sayonara"

Further cast announcements for the NTV 24 Jikan Terebi drama SP "Kyou no hi wa sayonara" starring Arashi's Ohno Satoshi were made on 22 July. The drama is due to be shown on 24 August at 9pm. Ohno plays the role of Kouta, a young man who is told that his days are numbered due to blood cancer and how he tries to fight the illness and its subsequent relapse. Miura Tomokazu will play Kouta's father Kenjiro while Kishimoto Kayoko will play his mother Yasuko. Mimura will be his elder sister Koharu while Kouta's girlfriend Tanabe Etsuko will be played by Kimura Fumino. In addition, Yamada Ryosuke from Hey! Say! JUMP will also appear in this drama SP as the character Harada Nobuo who loses his leg due to the side effects of cancer treatment and has to use a prosthetic leg instead.

Source: Oricon

Top 10 most anticipated movies of Summer 2013 (Oricon)

Dates in brackets indicate when they will be shown in Japan:

1) Manatsu no Houteishiki (currently showing)

2) Kaze Tachinu (currently showing)

3) Eiga Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De (3 August)

4) Monsters University (currently showing)

5) The Lone Ranger (2 August)

6) Gacchaman (24 August)

7) Shonen H (10 August)

8) Gekijouban Gintama Kanketsuhen Yorozuya yo Eien Nare (currently showing)

9) World Speed EURO MISSION

10) After Earth

Source: Oricon

Completion press conference of movie "Eien no Zero"

The completion press conference of new movie "Eien no Zero" was held on 22 July which was attended by the lead cast members V6's Okada Junichi and Miura Haruma. The movie which is due to be shown in Japan from 21 December, is based on the bestselling novel by Hyakuta Naoki which broke the 3-million mark in terms of shipment figures. Okada plays the role of Miyabe Kyuzo, a zero fighter plane pilot during World War II who had the reputation of being the most cowardly person in the navy and passed away just before the war ended. The cast had to spend 3 months from June 2012 at Kagoshima Prefecture's Amami Oshima for the filming where Okada had to shave his hair off for the first time in a role and said that he didn't have reservations about this. On the other hand, his co-star Miura commented that as he had appeared in some scenes together with the late Natsuyagi Isao in this film, he remarked that it was great to be able to spend time with him and he was touched to be able to see images of him during the event.

Source: Sanspo

Here's the trailer of the movie if you are interested:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De" International Premiere details

The international premiere of "Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato De" will be held on next Saturday at 7pm, 27 July (this coming Saturday) at Marina Bay Sands' The Sands Theatre. However, it does not look like any tickets will be sold though because MBS said on their Facebook page that they are not the organiser although the event is held at their premises. Sakurai Sho, Kitagawa Keiko and Shiina Kippei are said to be appearing at the premiere. Anyway, there are at least three ways I found which you can try your luck to see if you can get the tickets:

1) Golden Village Movie Club Giveaway
If you are a GV Movie Club member, they are giving away 30 pairs of tickets through their Facebook page. If you aren't a member, I'm not sure if you can sign up immediately and get your card number because that's required for the submission of the lucky draw form.
Closing Date: 24 July 2013, 10am, Wednesday (SG Time)

2) Xinmsn Giveaway
Send an email to the designated email address on this page with the answer and your details.
Closing Date: 22 July 2013 i.e. TOMORROW! (SG Time)

3) U-Weekly Giveaway
Send a SMS or a private message through their Facebook page after you have liked and shared their page.
Closing Date: 24 July 2013 Wednesday (SG Time)

I hope that I'll be lucky enough to get tickets through one of these avenues but assuming if I'm not "fated" to meet Sakurai Sho, I'll just have to wait till the end of August to watch the movie.

For those who are taking part in these giveaways, good luck!

And if anyone does find the way to purchase tickets to this event, please share the information here. ^__^

"Team Batista" series returns for 4th installment next winter

The 4th installment in the Team Batista series will be back next winter as the new drama "Raden Meikyuu" will be shown via FujiTV from January 2014 at 10pm on Tuesdays. Ito Atsushi and Nakamura Toru will reunite as the Taguchi & Shiratori combi in the final sequel of this drama series where they will focus on medical treatment of those terminally ill.

To date, the two of them have appeared in 3 drama serials and 1 drama SP so far under the "Team Batista" series where Ito plays the role of Taguchi Kohei, a psychotherapist, while Nakamura plays Shiratori, a weirdo official from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In this installment, Taguchi gets sent to a hospital in the suburbs where he works with Shiratori to investigate problems involving the terminal care of dying patients. This time, their "enemy" will be Sakuramiya Iwao, the director of the hospital played by Yanagiba Toshiro. What's unique this time is that Shiratori who is also a licensed doctor, will be wearing a doctor's robe for the first time in the drama since the first installment six years ago.

Filming for the drama has already begun.

Source: Sanspo

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Gouriki Ayame & Yamazaki Kento on location filming in Yokohama for movie "L.DK"

Gouriki Ayame and Yamazaki Kento were at an amusement park in Minato Mirai, Yokohama, on 18 July for the location filming of their new movie "L.DK" which will be shown next spring. The movie is Gouriki's first leading role in a film which is based on a shoujo manga currently serialised in "Bessatsu Friend". Gouriki's role is a senior high school student who lives together with the most popular guy in school (Yamazaki) due to an unexpected incident and the scenes at the amusement park are that of their date. For this role, Gouriki has to wear a shoulder-length wig to cover up her short hair which is the first time in two years that she is sporting a longer hairstyle since she cut her long hair down to her waist for the 2011 drama "Taisetsu na koto wa subete kimi ga oshietekureta". With regard to this, Gouriki said that she feels nostalgic about her senior high days while wearing her wig but at the same time shy about her different hairstyle. Her co-star Yamazaki also complimented Gouriki that she looks cute in her new hairstyle.

Source: Sanspo

Kichise Michiko gives birth to baby girl

Kichise Michiko announced through her blog on 19 July that she had given birth to her first child i.e. a baby girl on 17 July. She revealed that the actual delivery date was earlier than expected but she was very touched beyond words to be able to see her child despite feeling apprehensive about her pregnancy at first.

Kichise got married in December 2010 to an entrepreneur 10 years her senior before announcing her pregnancy on 21 February this year.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, July 19, 2013

Screening of drama "I LOVE YOU" at Tokyo Skytree Town

Toda Erika, Tabe Mikako, Maki Youko and BIG BANG's Daesung (D-LITE) appeared at the Tokyo Skytree Town on 18 July for the screening of drama "I LOVE YOU" which will be released exclusively through the smartphone application UULA. The drama is made up of three stories featuring the three actresses. Daesung was a surprise guest during the event where he sang the theme song of the drama "I LOVE YOU", a cover of the late Ozaki Yutaka's hit, in front of the 3000-strong audience.

Source: Sanspo

Kimura Kaela makes her debut as a scriptwriter for TBS drama "Nagasawa-kun"

Kimura Kaela will be making her debut as a scriptwriter through the TBS drama "Nagasawa-kun" which is showing at 11.53pm on weekdays in the Kanto region only. The drama is based on the original manga by Sakura Momoko which talks about the junior high days of Nagasawa-kun from "Chibi Maruko-chan" and she has produced 6 episodes' worth of scripts together with Sakura. The lead character Nagasawa-kun is played by Gekidan Hitori.

Kimura who is expecting her second child in November, was the one who asked for an opportunity to write the script as she is a big fan of "Chibi Maruko-chan" and had appeared in the 2006 FujiTV adaptation as the future version of Maruko-chan. The episode which uses Kimura's script is due to be shown on 29 November.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Completion press conference of movie "Eiga Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de"

The completion press conference of movie "Eiga Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de" was held on 17 July which was attended by the cast members Sakurai Sho, Kitagawa Keiko, Shiina Kippei, Sakuraba Minami, Ookura Koji, Takenaka Naoto, Miyazawa Rie and the director Hijikata Masato. Toho, the movie company which produced and distributes the film, also announced that the movie will be shown in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan progressively after its Japan release. Sakurai said during the event that the movie will be screened in Singapore from 22 August and thanked those who had helped in the filming there. Taiwan will get to see the movie from 9 August while Hong Kong will do the same from 5 September. In addition, there will be an international premiere event held in Singapore.

Besides the upcoming movie, there will be a drama SP featuring Sakurai titled "Nazotoki wa Dinner no ato de SP Senjou Tantei Kageyama" and another SP featuring Shiina "Nazotoki wa Dinner no Ato de SP ~ Kazamatsuri Keibu no Jikenbo" which will be shown between 30 July and 2 August. The movie will be shown in Japan from 3 August onwards.

*For those who are in Singapore and wish to go to the premiere event, rumour has it that it will be held at Marina Bay Sands. However, there's no mention of it on the MBS website yet so you may wish to keep a lookout for updates there. I will also post the information here if I come across it. I doubt I'll be going for the event especially if it's going to be on a weekday (new movies usually start screening from Thursdays) and I probably don't have the stamina and power to jostle with Arashi fan girls. :-p Frankly speaking, I've not been able to finish the drama but will probably go for the movie since it looks like a standalone story without the need for prior knowledge of what went on in the drama and as a show of support for Sakurai. ^__^

Source: Eiga.com

Mayday and flumpool in first collaboration song to be used as theme song of movie "Oshin"

Japanese rock band flumpool and Taiwanese rock band Mayday will be releasing their first collaboration song titled "Belief ~ Haru wo matsu kimi e" which is due to be released this autumn. The song which features twin vocals from Mayday's A-shin and flumpool's Yamamura Ryuta, will also be used as the theme song for the movie "Oshin" which is going to be shown from 12 October and consists of Hamada Kokone, Ueto Aya and Inagaki Goro in its cast lineup.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

100th anniversary ceremony of Takarazuka Music School

The 100th anniversary ceremony of Takarazuka Music School was held on 17 July in Takarazuka City which was hosted by OG Dan Rei and attended by 2,200 alumni and industry insiders including Yachigusa Kaoru and Amami Yuki. 5 of the school's past top stars including Yachigusa went on stage to share their memories in the school and related what led to them applying to enter the school. Besides the speeches, there were performances by current students of previous popular songs in the Takarazuka musicals and a mass singing of the school song.

Source: Sanspo

CHEMISTRY's Douchin Yoshikuni & Takanashi Rin to star in Tsuji Hitonari's new movie "Samenagara Miru Yume"

CHEMISTRY's Douchin Yoshikuni and Takanashi Rin will be starring in Tsuji Hitonari's new movie "Samenagara Miru Yume" (The dream you see while awake) which will be released next year. Douchin had appeared in the stage play version of this story back in 2011 which marked his debut in a stage play and will sing the theme song written by Tsuji for his second movie since 2009's "Manatsu no Orion". Other than Douchin and Takanashi, co-stars in the film include Ishibashi Anna, Murai Ryota and Matsuoka Mitsuru. Filming has already begun.

Douchin plays a director of a theatre group who gets married to a former actress in the same group secretly but something happens which causes their relationship to swing between reality and fantasy. Due to rave reviews for the stage play, this led to the movie version's production.

Source: Sponichi

"Gekijouban ATARU - THE FIRST LOVE & THE LAST KILL - " in collaboration with Universal Studios Japan

ATARU and Universal Studios Japan will be involved in a collaboration project where there will be a ATARU-themed attraction in the amusement mark which will be open to the public from 1 August to 30 September only. The movie "Gekijouban ATARU - THE FIRST LOVE & THE LAST KILL -" is due to be released in cinemas from 14 September thus the new attraction at USJ titled "ANOTHER MISSION - Madoka kara no chousenjo" will be part of the promotional efforts to promote the film which features SMAP's Nakai Masahiro as ATARU and his rival Madoka played by Horikita Maki. The new attraction is set under the premise that Madoka planted a bomb inside USJ and players have to solve the hints given by ATARU in order to detonate the bomb within a limited time period. This will be the first mystery-solving game for USJ as well since it opened its doors in March 2001.

In addition, there will be a special exhibition about ATARU inside the theme park where the clothes and props used in the movie will be displayed. Limited edition goods from the film including ATARU's favourite hot dogs will be on sale as well. On 11 September, there will be a pre-film release event at USJ where cast members will appear. Details will be announced on a later date via the USJ website.

Source: Sanspo

Completion press conference of movie "Gacchaman"

The completion press conference of movie "Gacchaman" was held on 16 Jul in Tokyo which was attended by the cast members Matsuzaka Tori, Gouriki Ayame, Ayano Go, Suzuki Ryohei and Hamada Tatsuomi. The movie is scheduled to be shown in cinemas from 24 August and features Matsuzaka as the lead character Owashi no Ken. Matsuzaka revealed that this movie marked his first attempt at wire action which was tough but very exciting to him. On the other hand, Gouriki who plays Shiratori no Jun reflected on her first action scenes and said it was very fun. In the original anime, Jun is always featured wearing mini-skirts to fight but in this movie, Gouriki had a special pants-suit designed for her.

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Matsumoto Jun to star in NHK drama SP "Hajimari no Uta"

Arashi's Matsumoto Jun will be starring in the NHK drama SP "Hajimari no Uta" which will be shown on 23 September at 7.30pm. The drama SP is based on Arashi's song "Furusato" (Hometown) which the group sang during the 2010 and 2011 Kouhaku Utagassen and talks about the feelings one has for his hometown. "Hajimari no Uta" also marks the first NHK drama which Matsumoto has a leading role and his first NHK drama appearance in 15 years since 1998's "Hitsuyo no nai hito" (The unnecessary person).

Matsumoto plays the role of Wataru, a freelance cameraman who works for a travel magazine in Tokyo. In actual fact, he had aimed to be a teacher when he was in his hometown but failed to achieve his goal and left home to go to Tokyo. However, he does not do well in Tokyo and has to return to his hometown at the orders of his superior for a travel feature of his hometown. Wataru reunites with his former girlfriend played by Eikura Nana who is a primary school teacher now and through his interaction with his family, friends and a group of primary school students who want to take part in a choir contest, he begins to take steps to resurrect his dream of being a teacher.

Co-stars include Toda Naho who plays Wataru's elder sister, Kunimura Jun who plays his father as well as Onoue Hiroyuki, Ishida Takuya and Tokunaga Eri who play Wataru's ex-classmates and Yuki Saori who plays his teacher. Filming will wrap up in the beginning of August.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Tamaki Hiroshi stars in TV Asahi drama SP "Jiken Kyuumeii ~ IMAT no Kiseki ~"

Tamaki Hiroshi takes on the lead role in TV Asahi's new drama SP "Jiken Kyuumeii ~ IMAT no Kiseki" which will be shown in September this year. The story is based on the Incident Medical Assistance Team (IMAT for short) which is a medical despatch unit consisting of doctors from Nippon Medical School Hospital formed last September at the request of the Metropolitan Police Department to handle emergency cases where medical treatment is needed. As the IMAT members have to wear the full set of uniform and accessories including gloves, helmets and bulletproof vests at the crime scene while rendering medical assistance, Tamaki remarked that it was very tough to do that during the filming process due to the hot weather. This is the first drama based on IMAT and the first doctor role for Tamaki. As the entire filming has to be done on location, the process lasted a full month which is twice as long than usual for a drama SP.

Co-stars include Tanaka Kei, Takahashi Katsunori, Kanjiya Shihori and Mizuno Miki.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Inoue Mao & Ayano Go to star in new movie "Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken"

Inoue Mao and Ayano Go will be working together as the leads of the new movie "Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken" (The Murder Case of Snow White) which is based on the novel published last year by Minato Kanae. Inoue plays the role of Jono Miki, an  boring and plain-looking OL in a cosmetics company, who is viewed suspiciously by the media as the possible murderer of her beautiful colleague. Ayano Go plays the role of Akaboshi Yuji, the director of a variety show, which treats Jono as the possible suspect in its reports about the murder case. Filming began on 9 July and the movie will be screened in spring next year.

Source: Nikkansports

Sunday, July 14, 2013

To read or not to read? - the decision which affects whether you enjoy adapted dramas or movies

Whether you are new to watching Japanese dramas or movies, you will have noticed that the number of dramas and movies adapted from novels and movies is on the rise. And due to this trend, it always makes me wonder: should I read the novel or manga before watching the adaptation?

What led me to write this was due to my viewing of "Aku no Kyoden" in the cinema yesterday. Boy, that was one horrible rollercoaster ride with lots of gore and pardon me for saying this, senseless violence which made me weak and my stomach churning. On hindsight, I should have known that Miike Takashi's movies have a reputation for being generous with gore and stay away from his films because I'm not one who likes and can tolerate such stuff. Then again, hearing good reviews of the original novel by Kishi Yusuke made me curious over how Ito Hideaki can shed his Umizaru-style righteous image to be a psychopath. Bad decision, I must say. More on my review of this movie in another post.

Another instance was a couple of months ago when I watch "Platina Data" in the cinema. This time, I had finished the novel before the screening and was so impressed with it that I hoped that the movie would at least be on par. Sadly, it went the other way but the saving grace was the acting which prevented the movie from being a complete flop. Again, more about this movie in the review which I'm still stuck at because I am having a hard time trying not to bash the movie until I sound like a hysterical freak. I think you can imagine how disappointed I was because I had the urge to leave the cinema when the so-called climax came about.

Of late, I keep wondering. If I had not read the novel/manga prior to watching the adaptation, would it have helped? If this is a situation which can be easily solved by not reading first, I would have done it readily. Unfortunately, that's not the case. If the original is well-structured and engaging, viewers would expect the adaptation to live up to the original's reputation. If the adaptation is going to be largely different from the original, the production crew should have marketed it as "loosely based on" rather than adaptation. When you say "adaptation", people who have read the original and /or are fans will be scrutinising the adaptation to make sure that it gives them the same vibe they got when they read the original. That's why people complain when actors and actresses selected to play roles of such adaptations do not match what's being projected in the original material. That's why they make noise if the execution of the material is slipshod. That's why people kick up a fuss if the ending is different from the original. To put it simply, most fans would want to see a close representation of the original material rather than seek major deviations. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. And if you are going to do a vastly different piece of work but using the same set of characters or background setting, perhaps it will be better to manage expectations by saying that it is merely a loose adaptation.

On the other hand, what if I go in blindly to watch an adaptation and know nothing about the original story? Well, the drama or movie is supposed to be a standalone production in the first place. If there is a prerequisite of the viewers needing to read the original before watching the adaptation, say so earlier. Otherwise, there is no excuse for the adaptation to cut out essential background introductions or information and expect viewers to make sense of the story. I get terribly annoyed when the production crew assumes that people should know what is going on and cuts corners here and there so that they can focus on the parts that they think are important. It alienates between those who are in the know and those who aren't which is totally unfair.

Conversely, there are times when I watched an adaptation first and read the original later. Somehow, I find that this approach works better in a sense because the original usually turns out to be better-structured and engaging. Given that an author can have hundreds of pages to develop his/her story which is squeezed into 2 hours for a movie or 11 or less hours for a drama, the novel/manga has an advantage in winning over viewers than the other way round. However, it just so happens that at times, the adaptation is based on something which I read well before the adaptation was announced e.g. Death Note, Nodame Cantabile and Hachimitsu to Clover, I can't reverse the clock and do anything about it.

Of course, there are times when I think the adaptations are on par with their originals e.g. the movie "Yogisha X no Kenshin" because of Tsutsumi Shinichi and Matsuyuki Yasuko's brilliant acting, Death Note (except for the ending, it is a pretty faithful adaptation), Nodame Cantabile's drama series (very enjoyable for fans of the manga because minor details or seemingly not so important scenes were also included) and Byakuyakou. At least I didn't feel like bashing the adaptations after watching them. It is with the hope of discovering more gems like these that I continue watching adaptations, irregardless of whether I have read the originals or not. I just hope to have better luck in coming across good pieces of work than those which do a huge disservice to their source materials.

Tokiwa Takako to act in her husband Nagatsuka Keishi's stage production "Macbeth"

Tokiwa Takako will be acting in her husband Nagatsuka Keishi's stage production for the first time, as reported on 14 July. She will be co-starring with Tsutsumi Shinichi in the play "Macbeth" where he will play Macbeth and she will play his wife. The play is due to be performed at Theatre Cocoon in December this year and marks the first stage collaboration between Tokiwa and Nagatsuka although they had worked on a 2003 movie "Geroppa!" together which led to them dating. Although Lady Macbeth had always been painted as an evil woman, Nagatsuka said that there will be a new angle introduced in the play which suggests that she might have been a victim of her husband's contagious desire.

Source: Nikkansports

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kazama Shunsuke announces that he got married in May 2013 - UPDATED

Kazama Shunsuke who is known for his recent role as Itoshi in NHK's morning drama "Jun to Ai", announced through his agency Johnny's Jimusho that he got married to his longtime girlfriend of 10 years in early May this year. According to the statement, Kazama chose to get married this year as he turned 30 on 17 June. He met his wife in 2004 through mutual acquaintances and they dated for 10 years before making it to the altar. In contrast with Akanishi Jin's marriage to Kuroki Meisa in February last year where Johnny's Jimusho wasn't informed beforehand, it was emphasized in the statement that he let his agency know about his plans thus leading to the announcement through the agency.

Kazama made his debut as an actor in 1999's TBS drama "3nen Bgumi Kinpachi-sensei" and had been in the same group named FOUR TOPS along with Yamashita Tomohisa, Ikuta Toma and Hasegawa Jun during his days as a Johnny's Jr.

Based on articles today, there is more information about Kazama's marriage and his wife:

1) His wife is currently 35 years old i.e. 5 years older than him. She is not pregnant.

2) They filed their marriage application together at the government office in early May i.e. during Golden Week.

3) There are plans for a wedding and honeymoon although the timing is undecided as yet.

Source: Daily Sports / Sanspo / Nikkansports

Yamashita Tatsuro to sing theme song for movie "Hidamari no Kanojo"

Yamashita Tatsuro will be singing the theme song of upcoming movie "Hidamari no Kanojo" starring Matsumoto Jun and Ueno Jun which will be shown in cinemas from 12 October. The song titled "Hikari to Kimi e no Requiem" is the first movie theme song in three and a half years from Yamashita and his previous hit "Suteki janai ka" will also be an insert song in the movie. The theme song is scheduled to be released as a single near the movie's release date.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Friday, July 12, 2013

Preview of "Kyou, Koi wo hajimemasu" (movie)

Title: Kyou, Koi wo hajimemasu (Today, I begin to love)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Original manga by: Minami Kanan
Theme songs:
1) Happy Collector - SCANDAL
2) Natural ni koi shite - PERFUME
3) Ekurea - bomi
4) NAGISA - LGMonkees
5) Bokuno - Tamurapon
6) Star Light Parade - CAN'T SLEEP FANTASY NIGHT Version - SEKAI NO OWARI
7) Diamond - MAY'S
8) Kimi ni, Naritai - Sayonara Ponytail
9) Egao - back number
10) Hatsukoi - Nakashima Mika
11) Nagai Mabataki - Negoto
12) Yowamushi-san - 7!!
Cast: Takei Emi, Matsuzaka Tori, Kimura Fumino, Aoyagi Sho, Takanashi Rin, Donkeys Erina, Takaoka Saki, Hasegawa Hatsunori, Asou Yumi, Murakami Hiroaki

Top artistes with the most CM deals in the first half of 2013 (Nihon Monitor)

The number in brackets indicate the number of CM deals the artiste/celebrity had in the first half of 2013:

Top Male Celebrities
1) Ishikawa Ryo / Sakurai Sho / Mukai Osamu (10)

4) Suzuki Fuku (9)

5) Aiba Masaki / Ohno Satoshi / Ninomiya Kazunari / Matsuoka Shuzo (8)

9) Ichiro / Kimura Takuya / Kokubun Taichi / Matsumoto Jun (7)

13) Kamenashi Kazuya / Tsumabuki Satoshi / Nagase Tomoya / Nishikido Ryo / Matsuzaka Tori / Yamaguchi Tatsuya (6)

Top Female Celebrities
1) Takei Emi (15)

2) Shinoda Mariko (13)

3) Gouriki Ayame / Rola (12)

5) Ueto Aya / Becky / Horikita Maki (10)

8) Amami Yuki / Itano Tomomi / Kiritani Mirei / Kojima Haruna /  Shimazaki Haruka / Tani Kanon (9)

14) Ishihara Satomi / Kyary Pamyu Pamyu / Sasaki Nozomi (8)

Source: Nihon Monitor

V6's Inohara Yoshihiko & Seto Asaka expecting their second child

V6 member Inohara Yoshihiko and actress Seto Asaka are expecting their second child, as reported on 12 July. Seto is currently 5 months' pregnant and is due to give birth within the year. According to her agency, Seto will continue her work depending on her condition. Currently, she is mainly seen in magazines and CMs while her new movie "Joukyou Monogatari" is due to be shown in cinemas from 24 July. As to when she will begin her maternity break, it is still undecided at the moment.

Seto and Inohara got married in 2007 and their first son was born in March 2010. She returned to work in the drama SP "Akujotachi no Mesu" in December 2011 and was last seen in her  first drama series since becoming a mother i.e. TOKYO Airport ~ Tokyo Kuukou Kansei Hoanbu" in autumn 2012.

Source: Cinema Today

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top 10 actors who have made a breakthrough in the first half of 2013 (Oricon)

1) Fukushi Souta

2) Ookura Tadayoshi

3) Hoshino Gen

4) Tamamori Yuuta

5) Sometani Shouta

6) Ayano Go

7) Miura Haruma

8) Hamada Gaku

9) Suzuki Fuku

10) Suda Masaki

Source: Oricon

Uchino Masaaki changes his name to Uchino Seiyou

Uchino Masaaki announced on 9 July that he is changing the pronunciation of his stage name from Masaaki to Seiyou although the Kanji characters will remain the same. According to him, many people have been reading his name as Seiyou rather than his real name of Masaaki. Even he himself prefers to be called Seiyou and feels that it will be easier for everyone to read his name as such rather than having to remember the reading of Masaaki. Uchino commented that his career as an actor had been built upon the name Uchino Masaaki but he hopes that this move will also bring about some much-needed change to his career thus allowing him to start afresh. His first production after the name change will be the stage play "True West" where he plays a rough and uneducated elder brother who develops an inferiority complex when compared to his younger brother who is a honest scriptwriter and will be played by TEAM NACS' Otoo Takuma.

Source: Sports Hochi

Sawamura Ikki reportedly on a date with a single OL?

Sawamura Ikki was said to be on a date with a single OL as reported in the 10th July issue of "Shukan Bunshun". The article states that Sawamura met the OL who resembled actress Konishi Manami at the end of May in a bar he frequents and even went to her place late at night in late June where he spent three hours there. His agency denied that there is anything between him and the woman and said that they are merely good friends but when the reporters interviewed Sawamura at the woman's apartment block, he reportedly said that his wife is the most important to him and if he has to think of someone who's No.2, it would be this woman.

Sawamura got married in 2000 to a former model who is 5 years younger than him and they currently have 3 sons.

Source: Sanspo

Tsumabuki Satoshi & Kitagawa Keiko to be a fake couple in new movie "Judge!"

Tsumabuki Satoshi and Kitagawa Keiko will be a fake married couple in the upcoming movie "Judge!" which is due to be shown from January next year. Tsumabuki plays a newbie employee Ota in an advertising firm and is selected to be one of the judges to pick the No.1 commercial in the world through a CM festival. However, there is a condition that he has to bring a partner so he resorts to asking his colleague played by Kitagawa who shares the same surname as him to act as his wife. However, when he attends the CM festival, he realises that there is this hidden rule where he has to pick his own company's work as the winning CM or else he would be fired.

Tsumabuki and Kitagawa last worked together in the 2006 American movie "World Speed X3 TOKYO DRIFT" but did not have any scenes together. As such, this is considered their first collaboration in a movie. Filming begins in the beginning of August.

Source: Sanspo

Production press conference of summer drama "Star Man Kono Hoshi no Koi"

The production press conference of summer drama "Star Man Kono Hoshi no Koi" was held on 8 July which was attended by cast members Hirosue Ryoko, Fukushi Souta, Koike Eiko, Yoshiyuki Kazuko, KENCHI, Arimura Kasumi, Igarashi Hinata who wore summer yukatas and the scriptwriter Okada Yoshikazu. The drama which begins its run from 9 July at 10pm on Tuesdays, features Hirosue as a single mother of three boys whose husband disappeared without a trace and later falls in love at first sight with a younger man (Fukushi) who lost his memory. They then live together like a family. This is Hirosue's first leading role in a drama for the first time in 17 years. During the event, Hirosue who will turn 33 years old on 18 July, was presented with flowers by her co-star Fukushi who said that he hoped to deliver some happiness to her through the bouquet which led Hirosue to exclaim that this gesture made her very touched. Koike also praised Fukushi for becoming more charming when Fukushi declared that he is going to be a star through this drama.

Source: Sanspo

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Preview of "Tenma-san ga yuku" - Summer 2013

Title: Tenma-san ga yuku
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 15 July 2013
Timeslot: Mondays 12.28am
Broadcast by: TBS
Scriptwriter: Fukuda Yuichi
Cast: Doumoto Tsuyoshi, Kawaguchi Haruna, Minagawa Sarutoki, Serina, Kamakura Tarou, Morisaki Hiroyuki, Sato Jirou

Monday, July 08, 2013

Completion screening of movie "Shiren to Ragi"

The completion screening of movie "Shiren to Ragi" was held on 7 July which was attended by the lead actor Fujiwara Tatsuya and 150 fans. The movie which is an adaptation of Gekidan Shinkansen's stage play, features Fujiwara and Nagasaku Hiromi in a tragic love story. Among the cast members, Nagasaku gave birth to her second child in June while co-star Kitamura Yukiya also got married recently so the media attention was naturally on Fujiwara who also announced on 31 May his plan to get married within the year. However, Fujiwara said that there had been no action taken since his press conference and apologised for the sudden timing of his announcement.

Source: Sanspo

Open interview session of NHK morning drama "Gochisousan"

The open interview session of NHK morning drama "Gochisousan" was held on 7 July at NHK Osaka which was attended by An, Higashide Masahiro, Zaizen Naomi, Kato Ai, Harada Taizo and Inowaki Kai. Filming began two months ago. An revealed that in order to eliminate the distance among the cast members, she resorted to playing small tricks like placing fake cockroaches or farting cushions in order to generate some humour during the filming breaks. As such, she stressed that the teamwork and atmosphere at the filming set has been great.

Source: Sponichi

The 17th Nikkansports Drama Grand Prix - Spring 2013

Best Drama: Kazoku Game

Best Leading Actor: Sakurai Sho (Kazoku Game)

Best Leading Actress: Nounen Rena (Ama-cha)

Best Supporting Actor: Kamiki Ryuunosuke (Kazoku Game)

Best Supporting Actress: Suzuki Honami (Kazoku Game)

Source: Nikkansports

Preview of "Summer Nude" - Summer 2013

Title: Summer Nude
Official site: here
Official blog: here
O.A. Start Date: 8 July 2013
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme song: Summer Nude '13 by Yamashita Tomohisa
Cast: Yamashita Tomohisa, Karina, Toda Erika, Katsuji Ryo, Kubota Masataka, Sato Shouri, Yamamoto Mizuki, Chiba Yuudai, Hashimoto Nanami (Nogizaka 46), Nakajo Ayami, Nagasawa Masami, Saiki Shigeru, Itaya Yuka, Takahashi Katsunori

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Igawa Haruka & Saito Takumi to star in NHK drama "Garasu no Ie"

Igawa Haruka will be taking on her first leading role in a drama when she appears in NHK's new drama "Garasu no Ie" (Glass House) which begins its run from 3 September at 10pm on Tuesdays and consists of 9 episodes. The drama which is written by Ooishi Shizuka who was known for her hit drama "Second Virgin", will feature Igawa and Saito Takumi in a forbidden relationship as Saito plays Igawa's stepson. Igawa's character is Tamaki Rei who lost her parents due to a plane crash when she was a child and happened to meet Shibusawa, a widower who had lost his wife through the same accident when she revisited the crash site in her mid 30s. After marrying Shibusawa, Rei then finds herself attracted to his son Hitoshi (Saito) who works in the Ministry of Finance.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Oh, My Dad!!" - Summer 2013

Title: Oh, My Dad!!
Official website: here
Official blog: here
O.A. Start Date: 11 July 2013
Timeslot: Thursdays 10pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Theme song: Itoshi Kimi e by GReeeeN
Cast: Oda Yuji, Tanaka Kanau, Hasegawa Kyoko, Yashima Norito, Suzuki Anju

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Top 10 dramas with the highest single episode rating in the first half of 2013

1) Galileo Ep 1 - 22.6%

2) Ama-chan Ep 65 - 22.2%

3) Yae no Sakura Ep 1 - 21.4%

4) Aibou season 11 Last Episode - 20.7%

5) Tonbi Last Episode - 20.3%

6) Jun to Ai Last Episode - 20.2%

7) Specialist (drama SP) - 19.4%

8) Last Cinderella Last Episode - 17.8%

9) Kazoku Game Last Episode - 16.7%

10) Taxi Driver no Suiri Nishi (drama SP) - 16.2%

Source: Oricon

Top 10 actresses who have made a breakthrough in the first half of 2013 (Oricon)

1) Nounen Rena

2) Hashimoto Ai

3) Honda Tsubasa

4) Maeda Atsuko

5) Natsuna

6) An

7) Gouriki Ayame

8) Mizuhara Kiko

9) Kawaguchi Haruna

10) Dan Mitsu

Source: Oricon

Kato Rosa reportedly 2 months pregnant with her second child

Kato Rosa is reportedly 2 months pregnant with her second child as reported on a leading soccer website Ekstraklasa.net from Poland. According to the article where the reporter had interviewed a representation of Kato's husband i.e. soccer player Matsui Daisuke, he will be joining the Polish soccer club Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdarisk in October and that the couple is anticipating the birth of their second child now that Kato is already 2 months pregnant. The article also mentioned that Matsui's decision to go to Poland was partly in view of his wife's input.

Matsui and Kato got married in June 2011 and she gave birth to their first son in December the same year in France.

Source: Cinema Today

Eikura Nana reportedly dating a FujiTV employee?

Eikura Nana is reportedly dating an employee of FujiTV, according to the 5th July issue of FRIDAY. The magazine reported that the two of them went on a date to a yakitori restaurant and were holding hands on the way back to Eikura's apartment. When asked about the article, Eikura's agency denied the rumours and said that they are just good friends.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Saitou-san 2" - Summer 2013

Title: Saitou-san 2
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 July 2013
Timeslot: Saturdays 9pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Cast: Mizuki Arisa, Kiritani Mirei, Tanabe Seiichi, Seto Koji, Nekoze Tsubaki, Kitarou, Sakai Wakana, Hayami Akari, Katsumura Masanobu, Minami Kaho

Friday, July 05, 2013

Production press conference of summer 2013 drama "Tenma-san ga yuku"

The production press conference of TBS summer 2013 drama "Tenma-san ga yuku" was held on 4 July which was attended by cast members such as Domoto Tsuyoshi and Kawaguchi Haruna as well as the scriptwriter Fukuda Yuichi. The drama will begin its run from 15 July at 12.28am on Mondays. Domoto plays the role of Tenma, the president of a exorcism company who is actually scared of the supernatural and Kawaguchi plays his subordinate. Due to his fear of the spirits, Tenma has to resort to persuasion instead to convince the ghosts to enter Nirvana rather than through exorcism. Fukuda revealed that in order to convince Domoto take on the role, he had to promise the latter that he will arrange for Shinto exorcist rites at every shooting location they go to which Domoto stressed that it was very important to him. Domoto also revealed a little-known fact about his co-star Kawaguchi who keeps performing imitations of Ayase Haruka etc in front of the cast and crew even if they don't ask to see it which made him feel that she was like a newbie comedian.

Source: Sanspo

Fukuyama Masaharu attends premiere event of movie "Manatsu no Houteishiki" in Taipei

Fukuyama Masaharu attended the Taiwan premiere of his movie "Manatsu no Houteishiki" held at Taipei on 4th July. He had been greeted by cheers from 500 fans who had gathered at Taoyuan Airport at 2pm on the same day and responded by greeting them in Mandarin. At the premiere event, Fukuyama walked along a 100-metre long red carpet and commented that it had been a long wait before he could come to Taipei again. Two years ago on 24 March 2011, he had been scheduled to announce that he would hold a concert in Taiwan that year but due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crisis just two weeks before, he had to cancel those plans. As such, Fukuyama commented that he was really glad to be back in Taiwan and expressed joy at meeting everyone.

Source: Sponichi

Production press conference of summer 2013 drama "Naru you ni Naru sa"

The production press conference of TBS summer 2013 drama "Naru you ni Naru sa" was held on 3 July which was attended by the cast members Tachi Hiroshi, Asano Atsuko, Izumi Pinko and the scriptwriter Hashida Sugako. The drama will begin its run from 12 July at 10pm on Fridays (first episode starts at 9pm) and also includes Shida Mirai, Yasuda Shota and Konno Mahiru in the cast. Tachi and Asano who last worked together 8 years ago are playing a married couple this time. As Hashida's scripts are known for their long lines, Tachi jokingly commented that he kept messing up his lines as much as 52 or 53 times while Asano only did so twice. Izumi also "complained" that Tachi kept changing the lines at will which led Hashida to say that she looks forward to seeing how Tachi will "destroy" her script with these changes.

Source: Sanspo

Production press conference of "Pan to Soup to Neko Hiyori"

The production press conference of WOWOW drama "Pan to Soup to Neko Hiyori" was held on 4 July 2013 which was attended by cast members Kobayashi Satomi, Minami, Kana, Motai Masako and Shiomi Sansei. The drama will begin its run from 21 July at 10pm on Sundays and is based on the same-titled novel by Mure Youko about a woman (Kobayashi) who operates a canteen. When asked about her meals since she divorced scriptwriter Mitani Koki two years ago, Kobayashi said that she no longer sets the table nicely since she eats alone. When reporters probed her about the possibility of remarriage, she simply smiled and said that she has no idea.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Nanao & JOY reportedly dating?

Model Nanao and celebrity JOY are reportedly dating according to an article in the 4 July issue of "Josei Seven". The report mentions that the two of them went for a massage together at the end of June and met friends such as actor Koide Keisuke at an Italian restaurant for dinner before returning to JOY's apartment. According to acquaintances, Nanao and JOY started dating in April this year. Their agencies have both denied the rumours and said that they are just good friends.

Nanao last dated T.M. Revolution a.k.a. Nishikawa Takanori for three years before they broke up in February 2013.

Source: Sanspo

Production press conference of summer 2013 drama "Namonaki Doku"

The production press conference of TBS summer 2013 drama "Namonaki Doku" was held on 2 July in Yokohama City which was attended by Koizumi Kotaro, Fukada Kyoko, Maya Miki, Kuninaka Ryoko, Muroi Shigeru, Minamisawa Nao, Sugisaki Hana and singer-songwriter Kondo Akihisa. The drama will be shown from 8 July at 8pm on Mondays and is based on mystery novels by Miyabe Miyuki. The theme song "Ai" will be sung by Kondo. As this drama is Koizumi's first leading role since TV Asahi's "Call Centre no Koibito" in 2009 and his birthday is on 10 July, he commented that this drama is like a birthday present for him. In addition, he revealed that while he was acting in NHK's Taiga drama "Yae no Sakura", his co-stars for six months were all men so he feels good about being surrounded by many actresses this time.

Source: Sponichi