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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Preview of "Hanasaki Mai ga damatte inai" - Spring 2014

Title: Hanasaki Mai ga damatte inai
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Broadcast by: NTV
O.A. Start Date: 16 April 2014
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Original novel by: Ikeido Jun
Cast: An, Kamikawa Takaya, Tsukaji Muga, Enoki Takaaki, Komoto Masahiro, Osugi Ren, Namase Katsuhisa, Kimura Yoshino (First episode's guest)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Romaji lyrics of "Bittersweet" by Arashi (Theme song of "Shitsuren Chocolatier")

Title: Bittersweet
Artist: Arashi
Lyrics and Melody by: 100+
Theme song of FujiTV Winter 2014 drama "Shitsuren Chocolatier"

yume no naka de kimi to waraeru nara
ari no mama wo
tsutaetakute wakaranakute tada kimi dake wo mitsumeteta

hanareta basho kara todoku kara ima doko ka de
shiawase wo hakobu amaku setsunai kimi no uta

meguri aeta kiseki ga hora kono mune wo tataita
umareteku sekai wa tamerai mo naku tada kimi de somatte yuku

koi wa amakute nigai toketeku you na wasurenai kaori bakari
kanawanai kedo itooshii boku wo tsuyoku saseru
shiritai kienai omoide nara ano hi no mama tsutsumi konde
kimi wo tsuyoku dakishimetara tokete yuku hodo yasashiku

fushigi na hodo kimi ga hanarenai kara akogaredemo
todoketakute modokashikute yawaraka na itami no naka de

kobore ochita kisetsu ni tomodoeba mata doko ka de
kimi wo sagashiteru todoku koto nai boku no uta

namida iro ga nijimu sora ni omoide wo ukabete
wasuretakunai kara hari sakeru hodo mata kimi de afurete yuku

soshite meguriaitai tatta hitotsu no omoigakenai  kiseki bakari
kimi igai kawari no nai mabushii hodo no hikari
setsunai ienai kimochi wa mada mune no sukima shimikonde
boku no subete nagareru you ni kimi wo kanjiteiru kara

kimi ni moshi mo deawanakereba marude chigau sekai ga mieteitanda
tashikana koto ga areba kimi ga iru kara koko ni boku wa iru yo dare yori mo kimi wo

koi wa amakute nigai toketeku you na wasurenai kaori bakari
kanawanai kedo itooshii boku wo tsuyoku saseru
shiritai kienai omoide nara ano hi no mama tsutsumi konde
kimi wo tsuyoku dakishimetara tokete yuku hodo yasashiku

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Preview of "Tokusou" - Spring 2014

Title: Tokusou
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
O.A. Start Date: 11 May 2014
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Original novel by: Yura Hideyuki
Cast: Yoshioka Hidetaka, Matobu Sei, Yoshizawa Hisashi, Fukami Motoki, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Sano Shiro, Yajima Kenichi, Denden, Saiki Shigeru, Matsushige Yutaka, Miura Tomokazu

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Top 10 celebrities who you would want as your superior at work (Oricon)

Top 10 male celebrities
1) Tadokoro George

2) Tamori

3) Akashiya Sanma

4) Kitano Takeshi

5) Sakai Masato

6) Ikegami Akira

7) Fukuyama Masaharu

8) Ichiro

9) Hoshino Senichi

10) Sato Koichi

Top 10 female celebrities
1) Amami Yuki

2) Esumi Makiko

3) Maya Miki

4) Shinohara Ryoko

5) Yonekura Ryoko

6) Wada Akiko

7) Matsushima Nanako

8) Agawa Sawako

9) Hisamoto Masami

10) Koizumi Kyoko / Matsuko Deluxe

Source: Oricon

First-day-screening of movie "Kamisama no Karte 2"

The first-day-screening of movie "Kamisama no Karte 2" was held at TOHO Cinemas Scala Za on 21 March which was attended by the cast members Sakurai Sho, Miyazaki Aoi, Kaname Jun and Ichige Yoshie as well as the director Fukagawa Yoshihiro. Towards the end of the event, Sakurai wanted to thank the audience but messed up his words which led to his co-stars laughing at his mistake.

The movie which is based on the bestselling novel by Natsukawa Sosuke, is the continuation from the first movie and will be screened at 325 cinemas nationwide. The first-day-screening event was broadcast live to 110 cinemas nationwide at the same time and there was a discussion time with medical students from Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture, where the movie was shot at.

Sakurai plays the role of Kurihara Ichito, a doctor who starts to wonder if he should be spending all his time on his patients or focus more on his wife (Miyazaki) and family when his ex-classmate Shindo Tatsuya (Fujiwara Tatsuya) comes to work at the same hospital he is at. Shindo is very particular about work-life balance and would refuse to work after-hours because he wants to spend time with his family.

Sakurai admitted that he was apprehensive about doing a sequel of the movie but he expressed confidence that people would be touched by the movie after watching it. As for whether there would be a Part 3 to this movie, Sakurai said that it was difficult to imagine Ichito being a father in Part 3 but he has the confidence to get along well with kids since he likes children. Director Fukagawa commented that he made this movie under the premise that there was no predecessor in the first place since it had been said that sequels rarely surpass the original. He hoped that the movie would be memorable to all those who watch it and hoped to go back to Matsumoto City for Part 3 if it materialises.

Source: Eiga.com

Kishidan to sing the theme song for FujiTV Spring 2014 Gekku "Gokuaku Ganbo"

Kishidan will be singing the theme song for FujiTV's new Spring 2014 Gekku "Gokuaku Ganbo" which stars Ono Machiko. The song titled "Kenka Joutou" (Bring It On) is Kishidan's first theme song for a terrestrial station's drama and will be released on 21 May. The vocalist of the band DJ Ozma commented that it had always been his dream to sing the theme song of a gekku drama so he is extremely happy about it.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Preview of "BORDER" - Spring 2014

Title: BORDER
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
O.A. Start Date: 10 April 2014
Timeslot: Thursdays 9pm
Original work / Scriptwriter: Kaneshiro Kazuki
Opening theme song: evils fall by MAN WITH A MISSION
Cast: Oguri Shun, Aoki Munetaka, Haru, Endo Kenichi, Furuta Arata, Takito Kenichi, Nomaguchi Toru, Hamano Kenta

Friday, March 21, 2014

Preview of "MOZU Season 1 ~ Mozu no Sakebu Yoru ~" - Spring 2014

Title: MOZU Season 1 ~ Mozu no Sakebu Yoru ~
Official website: here
Official Facebook page: here
Official Twitter page: here
Broadcast by: TBS / WOWOW
O.A. Start Date: 10 April 2014
Timeslot: Thursdays 9pm
Original novels by: Osaka Go
Cast: Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kagawa Teruyuki, Maki Yoko, Namase Katsuhisa, Yoshida Kotaro, Ito Atsushi, Arimura Kasumi, Ikematsu Sosuke, Okunuki Kaoru, Toda Masahiro, Tsurumi Shingo, Sometani Shota, Taguchi Hiromasa, Tanaka Yoji, Horiuchi Keiko, Sugisaki Hana, Otozuki Kei, Abe Tsuyoshi, Hasegawa Hiroki, Ishida Yuriko, Kohinata Fumio

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Top 10 most desired female celebrities who you want as a girlfriend (Oricon)

1) Ayase Haruka

2) Aragaki Yui

3) Horikita Maki

4) Ishihara Satomi

5) Arimura Kasumi

6) Kitagawa Keiko

7) Miyazaki Aoi

8) Nagasawa Masami

9) Honda Tsubasa

10) Ueto Aya

Source: Oricon

Top 10 most anticipated movies during the 2014 spring break (Oricon)

1) Frozen

2) Gin no Saji Silver Spoon

3) Kamisama no Karte 2

4) Majo no Takkyubin

5) Team Batista Final - Kerberos no Shouzou

6) Shirayuki Hime Satsujin Jiken

7) Idai Naru, Shurarabon

8) 12 Years A Slave

9) Saving Mr. Banks

10) Robocop

Source: Oricon

Completion premiere event of new movie "Team Batista Final - Kerberos no Shouzou"

The completion premiere event of new movie "Team Batista Final - Kerberos no Shouzou" was held on 20 March which was attended by the cast members Ito Atsushi, Nakamura Toru, Nishijima Hidetoshi, Kiritani Mirei, Matsuzaka Tori and Kuriyama Chiaki as well as the director Hoshino Kazunari. The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 29 March, is based on the novel by Kaido Takeru but will have an original storyline which differs from the original. Ito plays the role of Taguchi Kohei, a nice guy-doctor specialising in psychosomatic medicine, who teams up with the weirdo official Shiratori Keisuke (Nakamura) from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, to solve difficult cases.

Nakamura commented that it has been a long six years since the first drama series started in 2008 and he was glad that the final movie is ready to be seen by everyone although he was also sad about the Batista series ending. Ito also revealed that when he did the first drama, he never expected that there would be sequels and said that he was a bit worried about the last movie when he got the offer. However, he thinks that it is a good thing that the final work will be shown on a theatre screen.

Nakamura also praised co-star Nishijima for looking very cool as a genius doctor in the final movie and expressed his jealousy about this. In return, Nishijima revealed that he had wanted to become buddies with Nakamura in the movie although he never made it known in the past but it was just too bad that the bond between Nakamura and Ito was so strong that he could not come between them. Upon hearing this, Ito jokingly apologised for "hogging" Nakamura but it couldn't be helped since they are the Batista partners.

Source: Oricon 1 /  Oricon 2

TOKIO to celebrate its 20th anniversary with appearance in Natsu Fes, best hits album and concert tour

TOKIO which will be celebrating its 20th anniversary on 21 September, will be taking part in the annual Natsu Fes held during July and August thus being the first artiste from Johnny's Jimusho to do so. The members had a discussion among themselves last summer on what they should be doing to commemorate their 20th aniversary and decided to challenge themselves by taking part in the Natsu Fes which is a series of outdoor concerts involving various artistes held during summer. First of all, they will be appearing on one of the two-day concerts "JOIN ALIVE" held at Iwamizawa City, Hokkaido, on 19th and 20th July and will also take part in the two-day "Summer Sonic" held at Chiba's QVC Marine Field, Makuhari Messe and Osaka's Maishima on 16th and 17th August.

At the same time, the band will be releasing a 2-CD best hits album titled HEART in summer whereby the track list will be decided by fans. They will get to choose from 71 singles released to date which will be included in disc 1 while disc 2 will contain tracks from 146 coupling songs and album songs. TOKIO commented that they won't be able to decide on what songs to include so they decided to let fans make the choice.

Last but not least, the band will embark on their nationwide tour consisting of 13 concerts in 12 cities and the last one will be held at Nippon Budokan on 2 November. This was the same venue where they made their debut 20 years ago so it will be a memorable day for the members and fans alike. The commemorative 20th anniversary logo was designed by vocalist Nagase Tomoya and will be used in the album and concert tour.

Source: Sanspo

Mayday to sing the theme song of FujiTV Spring 2014 drama "Bitter Blood"

Taiwanese band Mayday will be singing the theme song of FujiTV Spring 2014 drama "Bitter Blood" which stars Sato Takeru and Watabe Atsuro. The drama will begin its run from 15 April in the Tuesdays 9pm timeslot. This marks Mayday's first attempt at singing a Japanese drama's theme song and the track titled "Do You Ever Shine?" will be a fast number written by music producer Kobayashi Takeshi who is known for his works for artistes such as Mr.Children. As Mayday is a fan of Mr.Children, they approached Kobayashi to write the song which will be entirely in English when played during the drama's broadcast and is the first work from him for a non-Japanese artiste. There will be a Japanese version to be released in early summer which is also written by Kobayashi.

Mayday commented that they are deeply honoured by Kobayashi writing the song for them while the latter praised the band for possessing the kind of power which is gradually being lost by the Japanese. Meanwhile, Sato who has already heard the song, said that he was very excited to hear it and thought that it had a speedy and stylish feel which matched the drama.

Source: Sanspo

Press conference of NHK drama "Silent Poor"

The press conference for new NHK drama "Silent Poor" was held on 19 March which was attended by the cast members Fukada Kyoko, Kitamura Yukiya and Kagawa Kyoko. The drama which will be shown from 8 April in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot, features Fukada as a community social worker who reaches out to people alienated from society such as the homeless and those cooping themselves at home. Fukada commented that she hopes that this drama will spur more people to work in this line and help others who are in the same predicament to change their current situation. As to how she prepared herself for this role, Fukada revealed that she had to make sure that she shouldn't view herself as being superior to those who needed help and learned how to interact with people in a better way through playing this character.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Bitter Blood" - Spring 2014

Title: Bitter Blood
Official website: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV
O.A. Start Date: 15 April 2014
Timeslot: Tuesdays 9pm
Original novel by: Shizukui Shusuke
Cast: Sato Takeru, Watabe Atsuro, Takahashi Katsumi, Kutsuna Shiori, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Tanaka Tetsushi, Minagawa Sarutoki, KEIJI, Hirosue Suzu, Kusamura Reiko

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Completion event of new movie "MONSTERZ"

The completion event of new movie "MONSTERZ" was held on 19 March which was attended by the cast members Fujiwara Tatsuya, Yamada Takayuki, Ishihara Satomi and the director Nakata Hideo. The movie which is a remake of a hit Korean movie, will be shown in cinemas from 30 May. Fujiwara plays a man who can control everyone with his eyes but Yamada plays a man who is the sole exception. Ishihara plays the heroine of this movie. Fujiwara recounted that when they were filming the movie, there were many scenes focusing on his eyes only so he joked that he could go home in the early afternoon and leave the rest of the filming to Yamada. During the event, the two actors also had a finger-guessing match where Fujiwara won two games out of three and was presented with a flower garland by Ishihara.

Source: Sponichi

Press conference of WOWOW drama SP "Umoreru"

The press conference of WOWOW's new drama SP "Umoreru" was held on 19 March which was attended by the lead actor Kiritani Kenta and the director Yoshida Yasuhiro. The drama SP will be shown on 20 March at 9pm and is based on the award-winning work in the 6th WOWOW Original Scenario Award. Kiritani commented that when he saw the screening of this drama SP, he was convinced that this would become his signature work and believes that people would see him in a different light from his usual hyperactive and passionate guy roles after watching this SP. As Kiritani's character would reunite with his first love played by Kuninaka Ryoko in this drama, he was asked about his first love but Kiritani said that he probably wouldn't be able to recognise his first love i.e. his kindergarten teacher even if they walk past each other on the street now.

Source: Sanspo

Preview of "Black President" - Spring 2014

Title: Black President
Official website: here
Broadcast by: FujiTV / Kansai TV
O.A. Start Date: 8 April 2014
Timeslot: Tuesdays 10pm
Theme song: Hidamari no Michi by Kobukuro
Cast: Sawamura Ikki, Kuroki Meisa, Kuninaka Ryoko, Kadowaki Mugi, Nagase Tasuku, Takada Sho, Takatsuki Sara, Sawabe Yu, Aoki Sayaka, Nagai Masaru, Shirakawa Yumi

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mizukawa Asami to return in the last episode of "Iryu 4 ~ Team Medical Dragon"

Mizukawa Asami will make her return to the Iryu series in the final episode of "Iryu 4 ~ Team Medical Dragon" which will be shown on 20 March. She will reprise her role as Satohara Miki, the talented nurse who is a great surgical assistant that can keep up with Asada Ryutaro's (Sakaguchi Kenji) pace. This is the first time in 7 years since Mizukawa is acting in the Iryu series where she was last seen in the second series back in 2007 and she revealed that she is happy but also worried about whether she can handle the operation scenes after such a long break. In the final episode, Miki is described as having returned from Germany and rejoins the team.

Source: Sanspo

Perfume to sing the theme song for NHK drama "Silent Poor"

Perfume will be singing the theme song for new NHK drama "Silent Poor" which begins its run from 8th April in the Tuesdays 10pm timeslot and stars Fukada Kyoko. The theme song titled "Hold Your Hand" was written by Nakata Yasutaka specially for this drama.

Fukada plays a community social worker in the drama who helps people facing various social problems. In contrast with the heavy theme of this drama, the theme song has a light and cheerful feel. Fukada commented that she feels that the lyrics fit the theme of the drama perfectly while Perfume said that they hope to get Fukada to sing the cute theme song with them if there is an opportunity.

Source: Sanspo

NHK morning drama handover ceremony - from "Gochisousan" to "Hanako to Anne"

The NHK morning drama handover ceremony was held at Midoriyama Studio in Yokoyama on 18 March where An, the lead of current morning drama "Gochisousan", presented strawberries and flowers to Yoshitaka Yuriko, the lead of upcoming morning drama "Hanako to Anne". On the other hand, Yoshitaka gave a book cover made of deer leather and the original novel of her drama to An. The latter drama will be shown from 31st March onwards.

An and Yoshitaka had last worked together in the movie "Manatsu no Houteishiki" and became close friends. An commented that she has lots of confidence that Yoshitaka being a bright and cheerful person, will be able to complete her 10-month long filming which will last till August this year with ease. In return, Yoshitaka said that she remembered when An first started her filming for "Gochisousan", she was amazed that An had 5 or 6 volumes of the script in her bag all the time so Yoshitaka said that she is a bit intimidated by the fact that she has to go through so many volumes of the script now.

Source: Sanspo

Nishihara Aki announces her marriage and pregnancy

Nishihara Aki announced through her blog on 18 March that she married her boyfriend on the previous day and is currently pregnant. She will be due in August this year. In her statement, Nishihara revealed that she and her husband were friends since their teens and had been dating for a long time. In addition, she commented that she is really happy to feel the growth of their child within her every day and asked for everyone's blessings.

Nishihara was a magazine model before becoming an actress and had appeared in dramas such as "Oto no nai Aozora", "Hana Yori Dango", "Last Friends", "Wataru Seken wa Oni Bakari" and "Ume-chan Sensei".

Source: Oricon

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Further cast announcements for TV Asahi Spring 2014 drama "Shinigami-kun"

Further cast announcements for TV Asahi Spring 2014 drama "Shinigami-kun" which is starting its run from 18th April in the Fridays 11.15pm timeslot, were made on 14th March. Kiritani Mirei will be playing the inspector of Shinigami-kun  (Ohno Satoshi) who appears in the form of a crow when she comes to earth and would always scold him harshly due to his lacklustre work performance. On the other hand, Suda Masaki will play the Devil who is Shinigami-kun's rival while the supervisor of all reapers will be played by Matsushige Yutaka.

Source: Sanspo

Completion press conference of NHK drama SP "Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de Special"

The completion press conference of NHK drama SP "Itsuka Hi no Ataru Basho de Special" was held on 12 March which was attended by the leads Ueto Aya and Iijima Naoko. The SP will be shown via NHK on 1 April at 10pm and is the sequel to the series which was shown during winter 2013. The SP will show how the two leads who play former convicts, get on with their lives after the end of the series. Ueto revealed that it had been a long time since she met up with Iijima even though they continued to keep in touch via email and said that she confides in the latter with regard to various issues such as family and cooking. On the other hand, Iijima commented that she would like to see an continuation of the series either next year or the year after.

Source: Yomiuri Hochi

Kawaguchi Haruna opens up about her thoughts regarding the poor performance of "Otto no Kanojo"

Kawaguchi Haruna appeared on NTV's talk show "Another Sky" shown on 14 March where she first talked about the TBS autumn 2013 drama "Otto no Kanojo" which fared badly in terms of ratings. Kawaguchi had her first leading role in this drama which got an average rating of just 3.87% over 8 episodes and made it the worst-performing primetime drama this century, beating the last record holder i.e. FujiTV's "Kazoku no Uta" starring Odagiri Jo.

Kawaguchi admitted that even though she said in public that she didn't mind the low ratings of her drama, she was actually very affected by it. She felt even worse when people around her tried to soften the impact of the bad press surrounding the ratings. However, she tried to be positive about it because it wasn't as if there was nobody watching the drama so she decided to work hard for the small number of viewers who were still watching the drama faithfully.

Kawaguchi also mentioned that it was the very first time she felt unsure about her future as an actress but she was encouraged by her mother jokingly telling her that things will work out somehow. On the other hand, she felt a little indignant that people were saying all sorts of bad things about the drama just because of its low ratings so Kawaguchi had hoped that people would actually watch the drama right to the end before passing judgement.

Despite the controversy over the low ratings, Kawaguchi felt that it was a hurdle she had to overcome as an actress and vowed to do even better this year.

Source: Sponichi

Completion press conference of movie "Haru wo Seotte"

The completion press conference of movie "Haru wo Seotte" was held on 13 March which was attended by the cast members Matsuyama Kenichi, Aoi Yu, Toyokawa Etsushi, Dan Fumi, Arai Hirofumi and the director Kimura Daisaku. The movie which will be shown in cinemas from 14 June, talks about the bond between father and son set in the background of the Tateyama mountain range in Toyoma Prefecture at 3,000 metres above sea level. Due to the tough conditions such as having to climb to the filming set, Matsuyama commented that it was really cold and his knees felt as if they were about to give way. However, being able to shoot at the mountain range also made the movie more realistic so he felt that it was worth the hardship after all. The male cast also praised Aoi for being able to climb the mountain as well as the men which led her to reveal that she was nicknamed "Masaru" (another reading for the kanji "yu" which is used as a male name) by them.

Source: Sanspo

Friday, March 14, 2014

Uchino Seiyo to star in FujiTV's 55th anniversary drama SP "Jikan no Shuzoku"

Uchino Seiyo (formerly known as Uchino Masaaki) will be starring in the FujiTV's 55th anniversary drama SP "Jikan no Shuzoku" (The habit of time) which is based on Matsumoto Seicho's hit novel. The drama SP will be shown on 10 April at 9pm and features Uchino and Tsugawa Masahiko as police detectives Mihara and Torigai who have to investigate the murder of a news reporter. Although they suspect the murderer to be Mineoka (Kato Masaya), who is a member of parliament, he has the perfect alibi to prove that he was not responsible for the murder so the detectives must prove it otherwise.

Filming is currently in progress at Kitakyushu.

Source: Sanspo

Ichikawa Ebizo joins the cast of NTV Spring 2014 drama "Yowakutemo Katemasu Aoshi-sensei to Heppoko Koukou Kyuuji no Yabou"

Kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo will be acting in a drama for the first time in 5 years as he plays a former baseball player-turned-coach and the rival of Ninomiya Kazunari's character in the NTV Spring 2014 drama "Yowakutemo Katemasu Aoshi-sensei to Heppoko Koukou Kyuuji no Yabou". The drama will begin its run from 12 April at 9pm on Saturdays.

Ichikawa plays the role of Yachida Kentaro who was the former ace of Doutou Senior High School's famous baseball team which won the Koshien. At that time, Yachida also beat Tamo Aoshi (Ninomiya) during one of the matches in the tournament. After graduation, Yachida became a professional player but had to retire due to a shoulder injury. He returns to his alma mater to become the special coach of the baseball team and reunites with his old-time rival as Tamo is the coach of the weak baseball team from Odawara Jotoku Senior High School which is trying to win the Koshien as well.

Ichikawa's signature work was the 2003 Taiga "MUSASHI" and he last appeared in the TBS 2009 drama "MR. BRAIN". He commented that it has been a long time since he appeared in a TV drama and he is happy at the thought of working with Ninomiya and hopes to make the drama interesting together with the young cast. On the other hand, Ninomiya said that although they play rivals in the drama, he thinks that everyone will get along very well on the set.

Source: Sanspo

Utsui Ken passes away at the age of 82 due to chronic respiratory failure

Actor Utsui Ken passed away at 6.05pm on 14 March due to chronic respiratory failure. He was 82 years old. Utsui was said to have been on regular visits to the hospital recently due to pulmonary emphysema.

Utsui entered an actors' academy in 1952 and got his first leading role in the movie "Shishun no Izumi". He had been seen in many movies and dramas over the years e.g. Kurosawa Akira's "Shichinin no Samurai" and the TBS Akai series from 1974 which he co-starred with Yamaguchi Momoe. Utsui also took over the leading role in TBS drama "Wataru Seken wa oni bakari" from the late Fujioka Takuya in 2006 when the latter was sick. Even though his wife died in 2006 due to cancer, he didn't reveal the news to his co-stars and continued with the filming so as not to cause any delays to the schedule. In a bid to maintain his figure and health, Utsui stopped smoking when he turned 50 and stopped drinking alcohol at the age of 60. He also brought dumbbells to the set in order to do some exercise in his free time.

Source: Sanspo

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Preview of "Hanako to Anne" - NHK morning drama

Title: Hanako to Anne (Hanako and Anne)
Official website: here
Broadcast by: NHK
O.A. Start Date: 31 March 2014
Theme song: Nijiiro by Ayaka
Narrator: Miwa Akihiro
Cast: Yoshitaka Yuriko, Nakama Yukie, Suzuki Ryohei, Ihara Tsuyoshi, Muroi Shigeru, Kaku Kento, Kuroki Haru, Tsuchiya Tao, Kubota Masataka, Matsumoto Akiko, Cunning Takeyama, Nakajima Ayumu, Yoshida Kotaro, Asada Miyoko, Tomosaka Rie, Fujimoto Takahiro, Takanashi Rin

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Preview of "Konya wa kokoro dake daite"

Title: Konya wa kokoro dake daite 今夜は心だけ抱いて (Hugging the heart only tonight)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 4 March 2014
Timeslot: Tuesdays 11.15pm
Total number of episodes: 8
Theme song: Kazaranai Ai by Ide Ayaka
Cast: Tanaka Misako, Tsuchiya Tao, Nakagawa Taishi, Tamaru Maki, Iida Kisuke, Inoue Waka, Murata Takehiro, Otomo Kohei

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tsumabuki Satoshi, Eita, Mitsushima Hikari, Emoto Tasuku & Nomura Shuhei to play siblings in FujiTV summer 2014 drama "Wakamonotachi"

Tsumabuki Satoshi, Eita, Mitsushima Hikari, Emoto Tasuku and Nomura Shuhei will be playing siblings living under the same roof in the upcoming FujiTV 55th anniversary commemorative summer 2014 drama "Wakamonotachi" (The Youngsters) which begins its run from July. The drama will be directed by Sugita Shigemichi who is known for his work in the "Kita no Kuni kara" series.

"Wakamonotachi" was first made in 1966 which featured Tanaka Kunie, Hashimoto Isao, Sato Orie, Yamamoto Kei and Matsuyama Seiji as five siblings who lost their parents at a young age and how they struggled to live in the midst of various social problems such as poverty. The 2014 version will feature the 5 actors facing loneliness, employment woes and discrimination as they try to deal with the gap between their ideals and reality. Co-stars also include Aoi Yu, Hashimoto Ai and Yoshioka Hidetaka.

As for the theme song "Kimi no yuku michi wa hateshinaku tooi" which was sung by Broad Side Four, the new version will be sung by Moriyama Naotaro.

Source: Sponichi / Sanspo

Preview of "Sono hi no mae ni" (NHK drama SP)

Title: Sono hi no mae ni その日の前に (Before that day)
Official website: here
Broadcast by: NHK
O.A. Date: 23rd and 30th March 2014, 10pm
Original work by: Shigematsu Kiyoshi
Cast: Sasaki Kuranosuke, Dan Rei, Hayashi Kohei, Sawada Riku, Miyazaki Yoshiko, Yoshida Kotaro, Kondo Yoshimasa

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Preview of "Pandora - Eien no Inochi" (WOWOW)

Title: Pandora - Eien no Inochi パンドラ 永遠の命
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
O.A. Start Date: 27 April 2014 at 10pm
Cast: Sakai Masato, Ono Machiko, Ishiguro Ken, Suzuki Kosuke, Ito Ayumi, Takahashi Rai, Kaku Tomohiro, Nakamura Atsuo, Ibu Masato, Takahashi Katsumi

Story
Suzuki Hajime (Sakai), a very talented doctor, discovered a revolutionary cloning technique but was chased out of the university's research lab due to clashes with his boss Sakakibara Michitaka (Ibu) over ethical concerns about the technology. 7 years later, Suzuki has become a doctor at a town in the outskirts. He has been hiring a private investigator to look for a woman named Tashiro Megumi (Ito) but she has been found dead and left behind a six-year-old son Shinji (Takahashi) who is now in the care of Megumi's younger sister Natsumi (Ono) even though they have not been in touch for the past 10 years.

Suzuki suddenly shows up in front of Natsumi and claims to be Shinji's father. She is only too glad to give up the child to him because of her financial difficulties and inability to get used to the idea of taking care of a child. However, Natsumi's suspicions are aroused when she finds that Suzuki seems to be overly possessive about Shinji and decides to go with Suzuki to see what kind of place he will be bringing Shinji to.

At the same time, a police detective Kuroiwa Tadatsugu (Takahashi) suspects foul play in Megumi's death and turns his attention to Suzuki who had been searching for her. When he goes to Sakakibara to find out more about Suzuki, the latter is aghast to know about Shinji's existence and strongly suspects that Shinji could be the product of Suzuki's controversial cloning technique created 7 years ago...

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Sawajiri Erika returns to the drama scene in FujiTV Spring 2014 drama "First Class"

Sawajiri Erika will make her return to the drama scene in eight years through the FujiTV Spring 2014 drama "First Class" which begins its run from 19 April in the Saturday 11.10pm timeslot. Her last private network drama was TBS' "Taiyou no Uta" in 2006.

This time, Sawajiri will play the role of Yoshinari Chinami, a salesgirl working in a suburb clothing store who gets the chance to work in the editorial department of a fashion magazine. However, as she immerses herself in the dazzling world of fashion, she also finds herself as the target of bullying and discrimination due to her background as she tries to defy all odds to become the chief editor.

Co-stars include Itaya Yuka who is the chief editor, Sasaki Nozomi who plays a top model, Nanao who plays an editor educated abroad, Miura Rieko as the assistant chief editor, KAT-TUN's Nakamaru Yuichi as an assistant photographer who is Sawajiri's love interest and only supporter and the most popular stylist in the industry played by Hirayama Hiroyuki.

Source: Sponichi / Sanspo

Winners of the 37th Nippon Academy Awards 2014

Best Movie: Fune wo Amu
Best Animation Movie: Kaze Tachinu
Best Director: Ishii Yuya (Fune wo Amu)
Best Scriptwriter: Watanabe Kensaku (Fune wo Amu)
Best Leading Actor: Matsuda Ryuhei (Fune wo Amu)
Best Leading Actress: Maki Youko (Sayonara Keikoku)
Best Supporting Actor: Lily Frankie (Soshite Chichi ni naru)
Best Supporting Actress: Maki Youko (Soshite Chichi ni naru)
Best Music: Hisaishi Joe (Kaze Tachinu)
Best Photography: Kasamatsu Norimichi (Yurusarezaru Mono)
Best Lighting: Watanabe Koichi (Yurusarezaru Mono)
Best Artistic Work: Yoshida Takashi (Rikyuu ni Tazuneyo)
Best Sound: Kato Hirokazu (Fune wo Amu)
Best Editing: Fushima Shinichi (Fune wo Amu)
Best Foreign Movie: Les Miserables

Newcomer Award
Kutsuna Shiori (Yuruzarezaru Mono / Tsuya no Yoru / Onnatachi no Monogatari)
Kuroki Haru (Fune wo Amu / Sougen no Isu)
Dan Mitsu (Amai Muchi)
Hamada Kokone (Oshin)
Ayano Go (Yokomichi Yonosuke / Natsu no Owari)
Suda Masaki (Tomogui)
Hoshino Gen (Hakoiri Musuko no Koi / Jigoku de naze warui)
Yoshioka Tatsuki (Shounen H)

Chairman's Special Award
Oshima Nagisa (director)
Takano Etsuko (cinema manager)
Kumagai Hideo (lighting specialist)
Mikuni Rentaro (actor)
Natsuyagi Isao (actor)

Association's Honour Award: Takakura Ken

Popularity Award
Movie: Manatsu no Houteishiki
Actor: Wakabayashi Masayasu (Himawari to Koinu no Nanokakan)

Source: Nippon Academy

Preview of "Watashi to iu unmei ni tsuite" (WOWOW)

Title: Watashi to iu unmei ni tsuite 私という運命について (About the destiny named "me")
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
O.A. Start Date: 23 March 2014
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Total number of episodes: 5
Original novel by: Shiraishi Kazufumi
Cast: Nagasaku Hiromi, Eguchi Yosuke, Miyamoto Nobuko, Ikeuchi Hiroyuki, Miura Takahiro, Ota Rina, Fujisawa Ema, Shiomi Sansei, Moriyama Ryoko

Friday, March 07, 2014

Preview of "Umoreru" (WOWOW drama SP)

Title: Umoreru 埋もれる (Buried)
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
O.A. Date: 16 March 2014, 10pm
Script by: Kosaka Takafumi (winner of the 6th WOWOW Scenario Awards)
Cast: Kiritani Kenta, Kuninaka Ryoko, Mizuhashi Kenji, Ochiai Motoki, Ito Ayumi, Otomo Kohei, Saiki Shigeru, Midori Mako

Story
Kitami Toru, an employee at a major foodstuff company, decides to be the whistleblower after finding out about his company's unethical practice of misrepresenting the source of its products. However, this leads to him being fired from his company and he feels bad about affecting his fellow colleagues' lives even though his action was intended at protecting the interests of the consumers. Kitami ends up getting a divorce and returns to his hometown where he becomes a part-time employee at the local city office. Unknown to him, there are lots of unspeakable things going on under the table due to the strong influence of the mayor (Otomo).

One day, Kitami is ordered by his superior to visit the "rubbish house" of Kumazawa Kayo (Midori) and get her to clear the rubbish on her own accord. However, Kumazawa refuses to communicate with Kitami nor do anything about the overwhelming rubbish in her house. Nonetheless, Kitami finds a silver lining in this whole incident as he reunites with his first love Asao Yoko who is living beside Kumazawa and is a single mother with a 13-year-old son. As Kitami tries to persuade Kumazawa to agree to clearing the rubbish, the city office decides to issue an enforcement order to clear the rubbish without waiting for Kumazawa's consent...

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Top 20 artistes with the most CM exposure in 2013 (Video Research)

Figures in brackets indicate the ranking held in 2012.

Top 20 artistes in the Kanto region
1) Gouriki Ayame (3)
2) Ueto Aya (1)
3) Igawa Haruka (53)
4) Oshima Yuko (6)
5) Takei Emi (2)
6) Morisanchuu (486)
7) Takada Junji (7)
8) Shimazaki Haruka (164)
9) Yakusho Koji (43)
10) Sasaki Nozomi (4)
11) Watanabe Mayu (15)
12) Maeda Oushiro (707)
13) Shinoda Mariko (8)
14) Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (65)
15) Abe Hiroshi (23)
16) Bananaman (271)
17) Sakurai Sho (22)
18) Mukai Osamu (12)
19) Kojima Haruna (12)
20) Takahashi Keiko (28)

Top 20 artistes in the Kansai region
1) Gouriki Ayame (4)
2) Ueto Aya (1)
3) Takei Emi (2)
4) Aibu Saki (31)
5) Igawa Haruka (57)
6) Oshima Yuko (5)
7) Takimoto Miori (16)
8) Yakusho Koji (37)
9) Karasawa Toshiaki (9)
10) Morisanchuu (476)
11) Shimazaki Haruka (188)
12) Watanabe Mayu (12)
13) Ayase Haruka (3)
14) Becky (6)
15) Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (53)
16) Maeda Oushiro (851)
17) Shinoda Mariko (8)
18) Matsuoka Shuzo (13)
19) Sakurai Sho (27)
20) Takada Junji (22)

Top 20 artistes in the Nagoya region
1) Gouriki Ayame (3)
2) Ueto Aya (2)
3) Igawa Haruka (45)
4) Takei Emi (1)
5) Morisanchuu (476)
6) Oshima Yuko (5)
7) Kiritani Mirei (81)
8) Yakusho Koji (50)
9) Takimoto Miori (23)
10) Maeda Oushiro (777)
11) Abe Hiroshi (15)
12) Kyary Pamyu Pamyu (44)
13) Shimazaki Haruka (89)
14) Kichise Michiko (28)
15) Watanabe Mayu (11)
16) Ayase Haruka (4)
17) Mukai Osamu (13)
18) Becky (29)
19) Sakurai Sho (30)
20) Kojima Haruna (20)

Preview of "Hitojichi no Roudokukai" (WOWOW drama SP)

Title: Hitojichi no Roudokukai 人質の朗読会 (The hostage's recital)
Official website: here
Broadcast by: WOWOW
O.A. Date: 8 March 2014, 8pm
Original novel by: Ogawa Yoko
Cast: Sato Ryuta, Haru, Nishida Naomi, Otani Naoko, Hasegawa Tomoharu, Hara Hideko, Anan Kenji, Miura Takahiro, Washio Machiko, Tokunaga Eri, Leo K, Hidari Tokie, Sasaki Sumie

Story
A terrorist attack takes place in a South American country which leads to the death of 6 Japanese hostages as the negotiations for their release take longer than expected...

Two years later, a radio station's news reporter Nakahara (Sato) is contacted by Hitomi (Haru), the daughter of one of the hostages who died. Hitomi tells Nakahara that the military which had tried to rescue the hostages then had planted bugs at the terrorists' bases and this allowed them to record the voices of the hostages. At that time, the hostages were taking turns talking about their backgrounds and how they lived through the hostage crisis before they were killed. Hitomi gets the tapes which contained these "recitals" by the hostages and wants Nakahara to make them known to the public...

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Preview of "Miyamoto Musashi" (drama SP)

Title: Miyamoto Musashi
Official website: here
Official blog: here
O.A. Dates: 15th and 16th March 2014, 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast: Kimura Takuya, Sawamura Ikki, Maki Youko, Yusuke Santa Maria, Kagawa Teruyuki, Matsuda Shota, Nakatani Miki, Baisho Mitsuko, Takeda Tetsuya, Yachigusa Kaoru, Nishida Toshiyuki, Aoki Munetaka, Azuma Mikihisa, Imai Masayuki, Ukaji Takashi, Guadalcanal Taka, Kaho, Sasano Takashi, Shinozuka Masaru, Suzuki Fuku, Takaoka Saki, Takasugi Wataru, Tsuruta Shinobu, Tsurumi Shingo, David Ito, Hakamada Yoshihiko, Hiraizumi Sei, Hiruma Yoshinori, Morimoto Reo, Ryu Raita, Watanabe Dai

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Cast announcement press conference of NHK morning drama "Massan"

The press conference to announce the cast of NHK's new morning drama "Massan" starting in September was held at NHK Osaka on 4 March which was attended by Charlotte Kate Fox and Tamayama Tetsuji. Fox is NHK's first non-Japanese heroine and she was selected from auditions involving 232 applicants in Japan and 289 from overseas.

Fox who doesn't know any Japanese, has a Scottish grandmother and was born in New Mexico, United States. As she has no knowledge of the Japanese language, Fox will have to take intensive lessons during this period until filming starts in late May. Fox revealed that since young, she had never been able to watch any TV as her parents were hippies so she learnt to use her imagination to play because there wasn't much entertainment in the countryside too. Later on, she became interesting in acting and started learning it in the university. After graduation, she acted in the local runs of musicals like "Chicago" and was active in indie movies and TV dramas as well. Fox first came to Japan for the last audition at the end of January and had returned to Japan 2 days before the press conference.

Fox will be playing the role of Eri while her husband Massan will be played by Tamayama. The two of them had only met just one day before the press conference and Tamayama revealed that he was taken by surprise by Fox's hug when she greeted him.

When asked by the press if she has a boyfriend, Fox revealed that she is seeing someone but she will be too busy during the 10-month shooting period to feel lonely. However, she has plans to invite her family to come and visit her in Japan once things settle down.

Source: Sanspo / Nikkansports

Ono Machiko to star in FujiTV Spring 2014 Gekku "Gokuaku Ganbo"

Ono Machiko will be taking on her first leading role in a FujiTV Gekku when she appears in the Spring 2014 drama "Gokuaku Ganbo" which begins its run from April. The drama which is based on the comic by Tajima Takashi and Kochi Takahiro who are known for their works such as "Kabachitare!", will be set in a fictitious town named Kanekure (sounds the same as give me money in Japanese) located in Hiroshima Prefecture, where the male lead character Kanzaki Mamoru will be changed to a woman named Kanzaki Kaoru for Ono's sake. The word "ganbo" in the title means gangster in the Hiroshima dialect.

Kanzaki came from a family which had operated an okonomiyaki restaurant but it went bust and caused her family to slip into poverty. After junior high school graduation and having switched many jobs, she was deceived by her colleague which led to her being straddled with a huge debt. As a result, she decides to join the "black business" named Koshimizu Management Consultant where she solves problems which the police nor lawyers would not want to dabble in. The people also working in this company will be played by actors such as Shiina Kippei, Kobayashi Kaoru and Miura Tomokazu.

Source: Sanspo

Hamasaki Ayumi announces her marriage to her American husband

Hamasaki Ayumi announced through the website of her fanclub "Team Ayu" at 5pm on 3 March with the title "Just married" to inform her fans that she has gotten married. Hamasaki who last appeared in public on 1 March during the Tokyo Girls Collection, is now in Los Angeles and had asked her representative i.e. her mother to submit the marriage application at 4.30pm on 3 March. The marriage registration was also completed in the US at the end of February.

Hamasaki had announced on 13 December 2013 that she was engaged to an American who is currently a medical student at UCLA.

Source: Sanspo

Press conference of NHK morning drama "Hanako to Anne"

The press conference of NHK's new morning drama "Hanako to Anne" was held on 3 March at NHK's headquarters in Shibuya, Tokyo which was attended by cast members such as Yoshitaka Yuriko, Ihara Tsuyoshi and Muroi Shigeru. The drama will begin its run from 31 March and be shown via NHK from Mondays to Saturdays at 8am. Filming began from November and has been going on for about four months by now.

Yoshitaka admitted that she was not used to the filming at first but has gradually grasped the pace and tries to think positive every day in order to cope with the filming. As for Ihara who plays Yoshitaka's father in the drama, he commented that as the filming went on, he started to view her as his daughter and would be ready to protect her for bad men if they approach. Muroi Shigeru who plays Yoshitaka's mother, also spoke of how they've gotten closer during this time and even expressed confidence that she will be invited to Yoshitaka's actual wedding when the day comes.

Source: Sanspo

Karasawa Toshiaki & Eguchi Yosuke reunite in TBS Spring 2014 drama "Roosevelt Game"

Karasawa Toshiaki will be starring in the upcoming TBS Spring 2014 drama "Roosevelt Game" based on "Hanzawa Naoki" author Ikeido Jun's novel which will be shown in the same timeslot (Sundays 9pm) from April onwards. The production staff behind "Roosevelt Game" will be the same as "Hanzawa Naoki" in a bid to recreate the success of the latter in terms of ratings.

Karasawa will play the role of Hosokawa Mitsuru who is suddenly selected to be the president of a precision parts manufacturer on the brink of bankruptcy by the founder of the company played by Yamazaki Tsutomu. In a bid to restructure the company, Hosokawa decides to dismiss their corporate professional baseball team despite its longstanding fame and good results thus pitting him against his biggest rival i.e. the managing director who rose through the ranks played by Eguchi Yosuke. This marks Karasawa's and Eguchi's reunion for the first time in 10 years since they last worked in the drama "Shiroi Kyoto".

Co-stars include Dan Rei who plays Hosokawa's secretary that supports him in his restructuring efforts, Ishimaru Kanji who plays the baseball team's director cum general affairs department's director and Tatekawa Danshun who plays the president of a rival company.

Source: Sanspo 1 / Sanspo 2

Preview of "Specialist 2" (drama SP)

Title: Specialist 2
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 8 March 2014, 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast:
Takuma Yoshito (Kusanagi Tsuyoshi)
Anekouji Chinami (Minami Kaho)
Matsubara Yuiko (Ashina Sei)
Inokuma Sachio (Satoi Kenta)
Kitamoto Masaki (Saito Takumi)
Muromachi Miyako (Konno Mahiru)
Higurashi Yusuke (Nakamaru Shinsho)
Kinugasa Tetsuya (Haruta Junichi)
Omiya Toshiro (Tokui Yu)
Anekouji Akane (Miyatake Mio)
Horikawa Kohei (Hiraoka Yuta)
Anekouji Sae (Enami Kyoko)
Takakura Kiichiro (Osugi Ren)

Guest Stars:
Yoshino Sumika (Kurotani Tomoka)
Kiyotaki Etsuko (Maeda Bibari)
Onchi Yukihiko (Hasegawa Hatsunori)
Demizu Noburo (Nadaka Tatsuo)
Sagami Wakahiro (Kamikawa Takaya)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Preview of "Leaders" (drama SP)

Title: Leaders
Official website: here
Broadcast by: TBS
O.A. Dates: 22nd and 23rd March at 9pm
Official Facebook page: here
Official Twitter page: here
Cast: Sato Koichi, Kagawa Teruyuki, Miyazawa Rie, Yoshida Eisaku, Hagiwara Masato, Takahashi Kazuya, Hida Yasuhito, Kaneko Ken, Enari Kazuki, Fukikoshi Mitsuru, Kaneda Akio, Ito Shiro, Harada Taizo, Musaka Naomasa, Mizobata Junpei, Maeda Atsuko, Ichikawa Ukon, Nakamura Hashinosuke, Shiina Kippei, Yamaguchi Tomoko, Hashizume Isao

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Preview of "Kaseifu wa Mita!" (drama SP)

Title: Kaseifu wa Mita! (The housekeeper saw it!)
Official website: here
O.A. Date: 2 March 9pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Cast:
Sawaguchi Nobuko (Yonekura Ryoko)
Nakamura Akemi (Kitano Kii)
Uehara Michiko (Matsushita Yuki)
Uehara Natsuo (Omi Toshinori)
Uehara Keiko (Kitagawa Hiromi)
Uehara Yujiro (Hasegawa Tomoharu)
Kitamura Taizan (Sano Shiro)
Takasugi Denkichi (Musaka Naomasa)
Somei Akiko (Tsutsui Mariko)
Okano Hiroko (Muroi Shigeru)
Hirata Makiko (Azuma Chizuru)
Yamao Gentaro (Hashizume Isao)
Uehara Hidemitsu (Ito Shiro)

Akanishi Jin leaves Johnny's Jimusho officially after the expiration of his contract

Akanishi Jin has left Johnny's Jimusho officially as of the end of February after his contract expired. According to the agency, both parties decided not to renew the contract.

Akanishi was part of 6-member boy group KAT-TUN which made its debut in March 2006 but he left the group for a while to pursue language studies in the United States before officially breaking off in July 2010. Later, Akanishi got married to actress Kuroki Meisa in February 2012 without informing the agency in advance which led to him being suspended for work for a period of time and his nationwide concert tour being cancelled. Although he managed to release two new songs and an album last year, the controversy over his marriage limited his activities to a certain extent. Last autumn, Akanishi was involved in discussions with his agency and expressed his wish to pursue his interests freely thus both sides decided not to renew the contract when it expired.

Nonetheless, despite Akanishi's departure from the agency, his concert DVD to be released in April will still be sold on schedule but there are no plans for further music releases at the moment according to his record company Warner Music Japan.

Source: Sanspo

First-day screening of movie "Ieji"

The first-day screening event of movie "Ieji" was held at Shinjuku Picadilly on 1 March which was attended by the cast Matsuyama Kenichi, Tanaka Yuko, Uchino Masaaki, Ando Sakura and the director Kubota Nao. The movie talks about a family which has to move away from their hometown due to the nuclear crisis after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and stay at temporary housing. Just then, the younger brother of this family (Matsuyama) returns home from Tokyo and this shakes up the family as they try to find hope in returning home one day.

The movie was first shown during the Berlin International Film Festival in February. Matsuyama who last appeared in a first-day screening event two years ago, commented that he was extremely happy about seeing the film being released and feels at ease about doing movies all this while as if it was his home. He also recounted that when he was offered the role, he was attracted by the fact that the movie isn't about a past event nor a period drama but actually talks about an ongoing story in the present. The filming which took place entirely in Fukushima, was also a period Matsuyama missed because the farmers who they had borrowed premises from to do the filming, treated them to meals with the local produce and he hopes that the movie will be able to convey to viewers the message that the produce were all grown with lots of love from the farmers.

When asked about his fighting scenes with his elder brother played by Uchino, Matsuyama said that Uchino is so passionate and immersed in his acting that he really felt like he was being strangled and thrown around for real so Matsuyama couldn't help but feel that he had to protect himself in order not to get hurt in the process. As for the scenes where he had to work on the fields with his mother (Tanaka), Matsuyama said that it was a happy sight because it showed how the family members were able to get through to each other via communication. As Matsuyama's interview took longer than expected, the other cast members didn't have the time to talk much so he apologised for it. After the photo-taking session, Ando finally got a chance to praise her onscreen husband Uchino for his great figure and nice body scent when they filmed an intimate scene together (edited from the movie though) to which Uchino replied that he was glad that he didn't smell like an old man to Ando.

Source: Eiga.com