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Saturday, January 20, 2018

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

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

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

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

Friday, January 19, 2018

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

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

Preview of "Kioku" - Winter 2018

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

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

The supporting cast line-up of new FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kioku" which consists of 12 episodes and begins its run from 21 March in the Wednesdays 10pm timeslot, had been announced. The drama which will be shot in 4K format, is a Japanese remake of TVN's 2016 Korean drama "Kieok"(Memory) featuring Lee Sung-min which was the TV station's 10th anniversary commemorative work. Nakai Kiichi will be playing Honjou Hidehisa,  a capable lawyer in his 50s who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and losing his memory bit by bit. In a bid to win the battle of preserving his dignity to the last moment and expose the truth behind his son's death due to a car accident, Honjou comes to realise what is really important in life and treasure the bond with his family members.

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

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

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Winners of the 72nd Mainichi Film Awards (2017)

Grand Prix Award - Japanese Movies:  HANAGTAMI

Excellence Award - Japanese Movies: Aa, Kouya

Best Foreign Movie: I, Daniel Blake

Best Leading Actor: Suda Masaki (Aa, Kouya)

Best Leading Actress: Nagasawa Masami (Sanposuru Shinryakusha)

Best Supporting Actor: Yakusho Koji (Sandome no Satsujin)

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

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

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

Press conference of new BS Japan drama "Inochi Urimasu"

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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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

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

Source: Natalie

Monday, January 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

2) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (369)

3) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

4) DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari (364)

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

6) Gekijouban Mazinger Z INFINITY (151)

7) Renegades (155)

8) Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai (280)

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

10) Murder on the Orient Express (355)

Source: Eiga.com

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Nagano Hiroshi & Shiraishi Miho announce the impending arrival of their first baby

Nagano Hiroshi and Shiraishi Miho who got married on 29 November 2016, announced that they are expecting their baby to be born in early summer this year. In their joint statement sent to the media by their respective agencies, the couple revealed that Shiraishi is currently pregnant and the two of them are filled with joy as they eagerly await the arrival of their child later this year. They asked for everyone's continued warm support going forward. According to insiders, Shiraishi is 5 months pregnant and due to give birth sometime in June. She will continue working in the meantime depending on her condition.

Sources: Sponichi Annex / Nikkansports

Koyuki to play Yoshine Kyoko's mother in FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime"

Koyuki will be playing Yoshine Kyoko's mother in the upcoming FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime" which will begin its run from 15 January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. Koyuki's role will be Miyuki who is the mother of the heroine Kurashita Tsukimi (Yoshine) and started her daughter's fascination with jellyfish when she brought the young Tsukimi to an aquarium. After promising her daughter that she will make a wedding dress like a jellyfish for her, Miyuki passed away due to an illness.

Source: Sponichi

Production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi SEASON II"

The production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "99.9 Keiji Senmon Bengoshi SEASON II" was held on 7 January which was attended by cast members Matsumoto Jun, Kimura Fumino, Kagawa Teruyuki, Katagiri Jin, Magy, Babazono Azusa and Kishibe Ittoku. The drama which is the sequel to the first series shown in Spring 2016, begins its run from 14 January and features Kimura as the new heroine.

Preview of "Kazoku no Tabiji Kazoku wo korosareta otoko to koroshita otoko" - Winter 2018

Title: Kazoku no Tabiji Kazoku wo korosareta otoko to koroshita otoko 家族の旅路 家族を殺された男と殺した男 (A Family Journey The man whose family was killed and the man who killed his family)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 3 February 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 11.40pm
Broadcast by: Tokai TV
Original novel by: Kosugi Kenji
Theme Song: (Title undecided) by Takizawa Hideaki
Cast: Takizawa Hideaki, Tanimura Mitsuki, Yokoyama Megumi, Masuoka Toru, Ishino Youko, Hasegawa Jun, Meguro Yuuki, Kobayashi Takashika, Ishimaru Kenjiro, Asaka Mayumi, Kataoka Tsurutaro, Endo Kenichi

Oricon's most anticipated Winter 2018 dramas ranking

Oricon conducted a survey on 1,364 people from their teens to 50s between 18 December and 25 December whereby they chose which Winter 2018 they are looking forward to watch. Dramas which were not announced by the TV stations before 18 December were not included in this survey and only dramas from the private networks and NHK were considered as candidates in this list.

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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Japanese voice actors line-up for new movie "KU-KAI Utsukushiki Ouhi no Nazo" announced


The Japanese voice actors line-up for new movie "KU-KAI Utsukushiki Ouhi no Nazo" had been announced. The movie which is directed by Chen Kaige, features Sometani Shota as the younger version of monk Kukai who was sent from Japan to the Tang Dynasty as an envoy. The story is based on the novel "Shamon Kukai Tou no Kuni nite Oni to udagesu" by Yumemakura Baku and talks about how the young Kukai and poet Bai Letian (Huang) try to solve a huge mystery affecting the Tang Dynasty's capital at Chang-an.

Asano Yuuko announces her marriage

Asano Yuuko announced through her official website on 11 January that she had gotten married to her husband who is about the same age as her at the end of last year. In her statement, Asano apologised for the sudden announcement and revealed that even though both of them are already in their 50s, they still decided to get married so as to take care and support each other in the years ahead. She pledged to continue working hard as an actress and called upon everyone to give their continued support and advice to her. As her husband is not a celebrity, she also asked for the media for their understanding that she will not be revealing further details about him.

Source: Oricon

Preview of "Kansayaku Nozaki Shuhei" - Winter 2018

Title: Kansayaku Nozaki Shuuhei 監査役野崎修平 (Bank Auditor Nozaki Shuuhei)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 14 January 2018
Timeslot: Sundays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Original manga by: Shuu Ryouka and Noda Shigeru
Cast: Oda Yuji, Kishitani Goro, Matsushima Nanako, Furuya Ikkou, Yusuke Santa Maria, Takimoto Miori, Suruga Taro, Kobayashi Katsuya, Miura Masaki, Rijuu Gou, Matsuo Satoru, Koichi Mantaro, Honda Hirotaro, Katsube Nobuyuki, Tajima Reiko, Yamamoto Kei, Komoto Masahiro, Nishida Naomi, Ukaji Takashi & Mitsuishi Ken

Production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Unnatural"

The production press conference of TBS Winter 2018 drama "Unnatural" was held at Space FS Shiodome on 9 January which was attended by the director Tsukahara Ayuko, scriptwriter Nogi Akiko and cast members Ishihara Satomi, Iura Arata, Kubota Masataka, Ichikawa Mikako and Matsushige Yutaka. The drama begins its run from 12 January at 10pm.

The drama will be set at the newly-established UDI Laboratory which is tasked to investigate unnatural death cases. Ishihara plays a 33-year-old forensic pathologist Misumi Mikoto who specialises in investigating the death causes of corpses brought to UDI and is a very rational person who thinks that death means the end of everything and there is no such thing as a beautiful death in the world. Iura Arata plays a fellow forensic pathologist Nakadou Kei and has a bad attitude, Kubota Masataka plays a part-time record assistant Hisabe Rokurou and is very skillful when it comes to the Internet and gadgets, Ichikawa Mikako plays Shouji Yuko, a lab technician and good friends with Mikoto and Matsushige Yutaka who plays the director of the laboratory Kamikura Yasuo and struggles to control his team members.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Preview of "Haru ga kita" - Winter 2018

Title: Haru ga kita 春が来た (Spring has come)
Official website: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 January 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 10pm
Broadcast by: WOWOW
Total number of episodes: 5
Original novel by: Mukoda Kuniko
Theme Song: "Lovin' You Mo'" by EXO
Cast: Kai, Kurashina Kana, Furuhata Seika, Kentaro, Takada Shoko, Takahata Atsuko, Sano Shiro

Completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Haru ga kita"

The completion screening event of new WOWOW drama "Haru ga kita" was held on 9 January which was attended by cast members EXO member Kai, Kurashina Kana, Takahata Atsuko and Sano Shiro. Furuhata Seika was absent from the event as she was ill. The drama which consists of 5 episodes, will begin its run from 13 January in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot.

The drama is based on the same-titled short story in the last book "Tonari no Onna" written by Mukoda Kuniko who passed away in 1981 and features on human nature, love and the subtleties of the heart. The theme of the drama will focus on the regeneration of the family and deviate from the original story with newly-added developments. Kai plays the role of Lee Ji-won, a cameraman from South Korea who meets Kishigawa Naoko (Kurashina Kana), a 31-year-old single lady who works as a saleswoman at the lingerie department of a departmental store. Due to Ji-won's presence, Naoko's family slowly goes through a change which leads to the exposure of secrets which the family members are hiding from one another. This ultimately leads to the breakdown of the family and a sad romance between Naoko and Ji-won. Naoko's father Shuji and mother Sue are played by Sano and Takahata respectively while Naoko's younger sister Junko is played by Furuhata.

Winners of the 91st Kinema Junpo Best Ten & Individual Awards (2017)

Top 10 Japanese movies
1) Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da
2) HANAGATAMI
3) Aa, Kouya Parts 1 & 2
4) Osanako warera ni umare
5) Sanposuru Shinryakusha
6) Bangkok Nites
7) Kanojo no jinsei wa machigai janai
8) Sandome no Satsujin
9) Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi
10) Karera ga honki de amu toki wa

Top 10 foreign movies
1) I, Daniel Blake
2) Paterson
3) Manchester By The Sea
4) Dunkirk
5) The Woman Who Left
6) Silence
7) The Other Side of Hope
8) Hidden Figures
9) Moonlight
10) La La Land

Best Leading Actor: Suda Masaki (Aa, Kouya / Hibana / Teiichi no Kuni / Kiseki - Ano hi no sobito)

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

Best Supporting Actor: Yang Ik-Joon (Aa, Kouya)

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

Best Male Newcomer: Yamada Ryosuke (Namiya Zakkaten no Kiseki / Hagane no Renkin Jutsushi)

Best Female Newcomer: Ishibashi Shizuka (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da / PARKS / Misshi to bannin)

Best Director: Obayashi Nobuhiko (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Best Scriptwriter: Ishii Yuuya (Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da)

Best Foreign Director: Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake)

Source: Kinema Junpo

Preview of "Mobusaiko 100" - Winter 2018

Title: Mobusaiko 100 モブサイコ 100 (Mob Psycho 100)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 12 January 2018 / 18 January 2018
Timeslot: Fridays / Thursdays 1am
Broadcast by: Netflix / TV Tokyo
Original manga by: ONE
Theme Song: "Ai wa kiseki janai" by Thinking Dogs
Cast: Hamada Tatsuomi, Namioka Kazuki, Yoda Yuuki, Mochizuki Ayumu, Arai Atsushi, Yamaya Kasumi, Nagahama Shin, Shirato Tatsuya, Moro Morooka & Ootsuka Akio (voice)

Special screening event of MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakegurui"

The special screening event of new MBS / TBS Winter 2018 drama "Kakegurui" ws held at Gaga's HQ on 8 January which was attended by Hamabe Minami, Takasugi Mahiro and Morikawa Aoi. The drama begins its run from 14 January and 16 January via MBS and TBS respectively. The story is set in the prestigious private school Hyakkaou Gakuen where its students' hierarchy are decided by how well they gamble. The victors will be able to get control over others while the losers will be subjected to harsh treatment and lose their money. Jabara Yumeko (Hamabe) is a new transfer student at Hyakkaou who looks pure and innocent on the surface but is actually someone who relishes in the thrill of taking on risks through gambling. As a result of her sharp observation powers and memory, she disrupts the hierarchy within the school as she overcomes the challengers sent by the student council to defeat her and drives them to destruction. Takasugi plays a student in Hyakkaou named Suzui Ryota who is meek and doesn't have any talent to speak of. As such, he is at the lowest end of the hierarchy for domestic animals known as Pochi. When Yumeko transfers to the school, Ryota becomes her partner and is saved from his terrible fate in school thanks to her presence. He is also the only person who is not caught by the madness engulfing the students who are obsessed with gambling. Morikawa plays Yumeko's rival Saotome Meari who later becomes her ally. Meari behaves over-bearingly towards others and is the top gambler in her class Year 2 Hana. She is the one who defeats Suzui and gives him his Pochi tag before taking on Yumeko when she just transfers to their school.

Okada Yoshinori & Tabata Tomoko announce their marriage

Okada Yoshinori and Tabata Tomoko announced through their respective agencies on 9 January that they had gotten married on New Year's Day. The couple released a joint statement written by Tabata where they said that after many twists and turns in their six and a half years relationship, the two of them managed to reach where they are thanks to the help and support of many people around them. Although the two of them are still immature, they will join forces to build a happy family. According to their agencies, the couple registered their marriage at Tabata's hometown in Kyoto City and there are no plans for a wedding and honeymoon at the moment. They are already living together and Tabata is not pregnant at the moment. There will not be any press conference held with regard to this matter.

Preview of "Hakujitsu no Karasu" (Drama SP)

Title: Hakujitsu no Karasu 白日の鴉 (The crow of broad daylight)
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Date: 11 January 2018 at 8pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original novel by: Fukuzawa Tetsuzou
Cast: Ito Atsushi, Endo Kenichi, Fukuda Saki, Kitarou, Masuoka Tooru & Terao Akira

Ito Atsushi, Endo Kenichi & Terao Akira star in new TV Asahi drama SP "Hakujitsu no Karasu"

Ito Atsushi, Endo Kenichi and Terao Akira will be starring in the new TV Asahi drama SP "Hakujitsu no Karasu" (The crow of broad daylight) which will be shown at 8pm on 11 January. The drama is based on the 2015 novel by Fukuzawa Tetsuzou whose past works such as "Tokyo Nanmin" was made into an anime in 2014 and "Otokomeshi" was made into a drama series in 2016.

First-day-screening event of new movie "DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari" was held at TOHO Cinemas Nichigeki 1 on 9 December which was attended by the director Yamazaki Takashi and cast members Sakai Masato, Takahata Mitsuki, Tsutsumi Shinichi, Ando Sakura, Tanaka Min and Nakamura Tamao. The film which is based on the manga "Kamakura Monogatari" by Saigan Ryohei, features Sakai in the role of Isshiki Masakazu who is a 35-year-old mystery novel writer living in Kamakura and likes to wear traditional Japanese clothing. He also has varied interests such as collecting railway models, plastic models and antiques, criminology research and investigation of supernatural phenomenon. Isshiki lives with his newly-married wife Akiko (Takahata) who is only 23-years-old. One day, Isshiki is approached to investigate a murder case involving a rich man which is suspected to be due to supernatural forces. At the same time, Akiko who is a newcomer to Kamakura, realises that the place is full of supernatural beings even though this is seen as perfectly normal to the locals.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

First-day-screening event of new movie "Vigilante"

The first-day-screening event of new movie "Vigilante" was held at Theatre Shinjuku on 9 December which was attended by the director Irie Yu and cast members Oomori Nao, Suzuki Kousuke, Kiritani Kenta and Shinoda Mariko. The movie is set in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture which is Irie's hometown and features an original script written by him. Oomori, Suzuki and Kiritani play brothers where the eldest Ichiro (Oomori) disappeared for 30 years since senior high while Jiro (Suzuki) is a city councillor who owns a printing company and is the chief of the local vigilance committee and Saburo (Kiritani) manages a prostitution business. Due to the death of their father (Sugata Shun) who they detested, the trio reunite thus setting off a chain of events which will turn their lives upside down. Shinoda plays Jiro's wife Shindo Miki who appears to be a virtuous wife on the surface but has a sly character and uses her good looks to twist men around her little finger. She treats Jiro like her child and manipulates him to get power and the inheritance left behind by her father-in-law.

Premiere screening event of new Netflix drama "Boku dake ga inai machi"

The premiere screening event of new Netflix drama "Boku dake ga inai machi" was held at United Cinema Aquacity in Tokyo on 8 December which was attended by the director Shimoyama Ten and cast members Furukawa Yuuki Kurotani Tomoka, Yuuki Mio, Shirasu Jin and child actors Uchikawa Reo and Kakihara Rinka. An unexpected happening took place at the beginning of the event when the lights suddenly went off while the cast was getting onto the stage. The MC explained that the blackout was due to the electrical switch's breaker and spotlights were used to light up the place which was still rather dimly lit. Although this is the third adaptation of the same story (there were a movie and anime versions made), Furukawa expressed his confidence that the viewers will be hooked to this drama right from the first episode.

Preview screening event & press conference of new movie "Aku to kamen no ruuru"

The preview screening event and press conference of new movie "Aku to kamen no ruuru" was held at Umeda Burg 7 in Osaka on 8 December  which was attended by the lead actor Tamaki Hiroshi. The movie will be released in cinemas from 13 January and is based on the same-titled novel by Akutagawa Award-winning writer Nakamura Fuminori.

Tamaki plays the lead character Kuki Fumihiro who was born into a rich family. The story begins at the time when Fumihiro was only 10 years old and came to know about the secret behind his birth and upbringing. His birth father who was the head of the household told him how he had raised his son with the aim of turning the latter into a personification of evil and "promised" to show him hell on his 14th birthday. However, one year before that, he was made to see hell first hand when Kaori, his father's adopted daughter and whom he liked, was raped in front of him. In order to protect his beloved, Fumihiro killed his father which meant that he was one step closer to the evil which his father wanted him to become. He then disappeared from Kaori's side and took on a new identity as Shintani Koichi who protects Kaori from the shadows over more than ten years. While doing so, he comes into contact again with the evil in the Kuki family which is now headed by Fumihiro's elder brother Mikihiko, a greater personification of evil. Araki Yuuko will be playing the role of Kaori.

Sakuma Yui to star in new NHK Saitama drama SP "Koshigaya Saikou"

Sakuma Yui will be starring in the new NHK Saitama drama SP "Koshigaya Saikou" (Koshigaya is the best) which is her first leading role in a NHK drama and will be shown on 28 February at 10pm. The press conference for the drama was held on 8 January which was attended by Sakuma, Takeshita Keiko and Sato Jiro.

Sakuma plays the lead character Kanako who works at a real estate company in Koshigaya City and lives with her 77-year-old grandmother Yoshie (Takeshita) who owns a sundry shop. One day, Kanako happens to meet her ancestor Densuke's spirit (Sato) at an old warehouse. Kanako who desires to leave her hometown and her traditional family behind, makes use of Densuke to sell her own house but things do not go as she expects.

Source: Oricon

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Preview of "Byplayers Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara" - Winter 2018

Title: Byplayers Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara バイプレイヤーズもしも名脇役がテレ東朝ドラで無人島したら (Byplayers What if the famous supporting actors film a TV Tokyo morning drama and live on an uninhabited island)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 7 February 2018
Timeslot: Wednesdays 9.54pm
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Opening theme song: "Fin" by 10-FEET
Cast: Endo Kenichi, Oosugi Ren, Taguchi Tomorowo, Matsushige Yutaka, Mitsuishi Ken, Kita Kana

10-FEET to sing the opening theme song for TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Byplayers Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara"

10-FEET will be singing the theme song for new TV Tokyo Winter 2018 drama "Byplayers Moshimo meiwakiyaku ga Teleto asadora de mujintou seikatsu shitara" which will begin its run from 7 February. This will be the second time where the rock band is singing the opening theme for "Byplayers". The new opening song titled "Fin" was released in November 2017 within 10-FEET's latest album. 10-FEET expressed their gratitude and joy to be able to sing the opening theme for the drama again and joked that they are waiting to be invited to be appearing as supporting actors in this drama.

Preview of "Denei Shoujo VIDEO GIRL AI 2018" - Winter 2018

Title: Denei Shoujo VIDEO GIRL AI 2018 電影少女
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 13 January 2018
Timeslot: Saturdays 12.20am
Broadcast by: TV Tokyo
Original manga by: Katsura Masakatsu
Cast: Nishino Nanase (Nogizaka46), Nomura Shuhei, Iitoyo Marie, Shimizu Hiroya, Ootomo Karen, Totsugi Shigeyuki, Murakami Jun

Top 10 movies box office ranking for the weekend of 6th & 7th January 2018

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

1) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (377)

2) Kingsman: The Golden Circle (369)

3) DESTINY Kamakura Monogatari (364)

4) Hachinengoshi no Hanayome Kiseki no Jitsuwa (320)

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

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

7) Murder on the Orient Express (355)

8) Uso Happyaku (73)

9) Miseinen dakedo kodomo janai (280)

10) Kamen Rider Heisei Generations Final: Build & Ex-Aid with Legend Rider (331)

Source: Eiga.com

Monday, January 08, 2018

Preview of "Holiday Love" - Winter 2018

Title: Holiday Love ホリデイラブ
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 26 January 2018
Timeslot: Fridays 11.15pm
Broadcast by: TV Asahi
Original manga by: Koyama Yukari and Kusakabe Eliza
Cast: Naka Riisa, Tsukamoto Takashi, Nakamura Tomoya, Matsumoto Marika, Yamada Yuki, Iijima Hiroki, Okada Ryuutarou, Dan Mitsu, Hiraoka Yuta

Supporting cast line-up of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Holiday Love" announced

The supporting cast line-up of TV Asahi Winter 2018 drama "Holiday Love" starring Naka Riisa had been announced. The drama which will begin its run from 26 January in the Fridays 11.15pm timeslot, is based on the manga "Holiday Love ~ Fuufukan Renai" by Koyama Yukari and Kusakabe Eliza. Naka plays the lead character Takamori Azu who is a 30-year-old nail artist living with her husband and child. Her peaceful life takes a sudden turn when she finds out about her husband having an affair and is filled with anguish over his betrayal. However, Azu chooses to believe him and overcome their problems together so as to keep their marriage going. Things do not go as planned though as her husband's lover keeps thwarting her efforts with various traps laid around the unsuspecting Azu so this process would be fraught with danger as she realises the meaning of what it means to be a partner in a marriage and tries to save her marriage.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Top 10 most anticipated new adults of 2018 (Oricon)

This is a survey done by Oricon every year where respondents are asked who among the celebrities who have gone through the Coming-of-Age ceremony that year they expect to do well going forward. This year's survey had 1,000 respondents in various age groups from teens to 50s:

1) Uno Shoma (figure skater)

2) Sugisaki Hana (actress)

3) Fujita Nicole (model / talent)

4) Matsushima So (Sexy Zone member)

5) Kamishiraishi Mone (actress)

6) Fujita Nanako (jockey)

7) Sakurai Hinako (actress)

8) Iitoyo Marie (model / actress)

9) Nakamoto Suzuka (BABYMETAL member)

10) Inoue Sonoko (singer)

Source: Oricon

Preview of "anone" - Winter 2018

Title: anone あのね
Official website: here
Official Instagram: here
Official LINE: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 10 January 2018
Timeslot: Wednesdays 10pm
Broadcast by: NTV
Scriptwriter: Sakamoto Yuji
Cast: Hirose Suzu, Kobayashi Satomi, Abe Sadao, Eita, Hino Shohei & Tanaka Yuko

Kitagawa Hiromi announce her first pregnancy

Kitagawa Hiromi announced through her blog on 6 January that she is currently pregnant with her first child. In her post, Kitagawa said that she has passed the first trimester and her condition has stablised by now. She will continue with her work depending on her condition and hopes that everyone will continue to support her as usual. Kitagawa got married to her husband on her birthday i.e. 2 February in 2016.

Sources: Oricon / Nikkansports

Preview of "Kuragehime" - Winter 2018

Title: Kuragehime 海月姫 (Princess Jellyfish)
Official website: here
Official Twitter: here
O.A. Start Date: 15 January 2018
Timeslot: Mondays 9pm
Broadcast by: FujiTV
Original novel by: Higashimura Akiko
Theme song: "A New Day" by Beverly
Opening theme: "Go sign wa 1 coin" by Cafeteria Funsui Kouen
Cast: Yoshine Kyoko, Seto Koji, Kudo Asuka, Kinami Haruka, Matsui Rena, Uchida Rio, Tomiyama Eriko, Izumi Rika, Yasui Junpei, Kaname Jun, Tokoshima Yoshiko & Kitaoji Kinya

Beverly to sing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime"

Beverly who is from the Philippines and made her debut in May 2017, will be singing the theme song for FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime" starring Yoshine Kyoko which will begin its run from January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. This will be her first attempt at singing a theme song for a Getsuku drama but her 5th drama theme song to date even though she debuted less than a year ago. The ballad titled "A New Day" is based on the theme of love and will be released as a single on 28 February.

Sources: Sanspo / Sponichi

Production press conference of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Momikeshite Fuyu ~ Wagaya no mondai nakatta koto ni ~"

The production press conference of NTV Winter 2018 drama "Momikeshite Fuyu ~ Wagaya no mondai nakatta koto ni ~" was held at Akagi Shrine in Kagurazaka, Tokyo, on 4 January which was attended by the cast members Yamada Ryosuke, Haru, Ozawa Yukiyoshi, Nakamura Baijaku and Chiba Yuudai. The drama begins its run from 13 January in the Saturdays 10pm timeslot.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Kitaoji Kinya to appear in FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime"

Kitaoji Kinya will be appearing in the FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime" starring Yoshine Kyoko. Having been an actor for 52 years and appearing in more than 100 dramas to date, this is his first appearance in a Getsuku drama and a romance comedy. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Higashimura Akiko which was made into an anime in 2010 and a real-life movie starring Nounen Rena, Suda Masaki and Hasegawa Hiroki in 2014.

Production press conference of Kansai TV Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT"


The production press conference of Kansai TV Winter 2018 drama "FINAL CUT" was held in Tokyo on 6 January 2018 which was attended by cast members Kamenashi Kazuya, Fujiki Naohito, Kuriyama Chiaki, Hashimoto Kanna, Hayashi Kento, Takagi Yuuya, Yatsui Ichirou, Mizuno Miki and Sugimoto Tetta. The drama begins its run from 9 January in the Tuesdays 9pm timeslot.

Press conference of TV Tokyo drama SP "Musume no Kekkon"

The press conference of new TV Tokyo drama SP "Musume no Kekkon" was held at the TV station's HQ in Roppongi, Tokyo, on 5 January which was attended by the cast members Nakai Kiichi, Haru and Mitsushima Shinnosuke. The drama SP will be shown at 8pm on 8 January.

The story is based on the same-titled novel by Shouji Yukiya where Nakai plays the lead character Kunieda Takahiko who raised his daughter Miki (Haru) singlehandedly after his wife Yoshimi (Okunuki Kaoru) passed away. When Miki tells her father that there is someone she would like him to meet, Takahiko tries to avoid this meeting for some reason. The man who Miki wants to let Takahiko meet is actually her fiance Shin (Mitsushima) who was her childhood friend and is the son of their former neighbours Furuichi Toshiyuki (Mitsuishi Ken) and Keiko (Kimura Midoriko). The issue is, Keiko is a well-known troublemaker in the neighbourhood and seemed to have some disagreement with Yoshimi in the past so Takahiko is troubled over how to tell Miki about it. Just then, Takahiko meets his ex-girlfriend Kataoka Ayano (Harada Mieko) back in university by chance and discovers an unexpected connection with her as he grapples with the reality of his daughter's impending marriage.

Kudo Asuka to appear in new FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime"

Kudo Asuka will be appearing in the new FujiTV Winter 2018 drama "Kuragehime" starring Yoshine Kyoko which will begin its run from January in the Mondays 9pm timeslot. The drama is based on the same-titled manga by Higashimura Akiko which was made into an anime in 2010 and a real-life movie starring Nounen Rena, Suda Masaki and Hasegawa Hiroki in 2014.

The story features Yoshine as the 20-year-old lead character Kurashita Tsukimi who is an otaku and hardcore lover of jellyfish after she was brought to the aquarium by her late mother when she was a child. Although she doesn't think that she will ever have any luck in romance due to her thick spectacles and nerdy appearance, she suddenly finds herself caught in a love triangle with two brothers after moving from Kagoshima to Tokyo to pursue her dream of being an illustrator. This leads her to discover a new way of living and a new side to herself. Her love interests will be Koibuchi Kuranosuke (Seto Koji), the younger brother who looks gorgeous when he dresses as a woman and is actually a playboy and Shuu, the elder brother who is the secretary of his politician father and a virgin with limited experience in dealing with women. The age difference between Kuranosuke and Shuu will be adjusted to just one year in the drama as compared to the setting in the manga due to the 3-year age gap between Seto and Kudo (Seto is 29 while Kudo is 26).

Nominees for the 60th Blue Ribbon Awards (2017)

Here is the list of nominees for the 60th Blue Ribbon Awards (2017) in Japanese alphabetical order:

Best Japanese Movie
Aa, Kouya
Outrage Saishusho
Osanako warera ni umare
Kanojo ga sono na wo shiranai toritachi
Karera ga honki de amu toki wa
Kiseki - Ano hi no sobito -
Kimi no suizou wo tabetai
Gukoroku
Sangatsu no Lion
Sandome no Satsujin
Sanposuru Shinryakusha
Sekigahara
Tantei wa BAR ni iru 3
Tsuioku
Teiichi no Kuni
22 nenme no kokuhaku Watashi ga satsujinhan desu
Hikari
Hanabi
Mix
Yozora wa itsudemo saikou mitsudo no aoiro da
Last Recipe ~ Kirin no shita no kioku ~
Warau Manekineko