whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:30 PM

Japanese Entertainment News & Info HERE! [part V]

“Taira no Kiyomori” female cast led by Fukada Kyoko, Takei Emi
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


NHK’s 2012 taiga drama “Taira no Kiyomori” already has an impressive male cast lined up, who were announced two weeks ago. Today, NHK held a press conference to reveal the main female cast, adding nine more big names to the roster. At the top of the list were actresses Fukada Kyoko and Takei Emi, playing important roles as partners of lead actor Matsuyama Kenichi.

The drama revolves around the life of the 12th century general Taira no Kiyomori (Matsuyama). Fukada plays his wife, Taira no Tokiko. Meanwhile, Takei plays his concubine, Tokiwa Gozen, who was also a lover to Kiyomori’s rival Minamoto no Yoshitomo (Tamaki Hiroshi).

Out of the nine actresses revealed today, only Fukada and Wakui Emi have appeared in one of NHK’s taiga dramas before. The announced roles are:

Fukada Kyoko – Taira no Tokiko
Takei Emi – Tokiwa Gozen
Narumi Riko – Taira no Shigeko
Kato Ai – Takashina no Akiko
Wakui Emi – Fujiwara no Muneko
Tanaka Lena – Yura Gozen
Dan Rei – Fujiwara no Tamako
Ryo – Horikawa no Tsubone
Matsuyuki Yasuko – Fujiwara no Nariko

“Taira no Kiyomori” premieres in January 2012 and will run for 50 episodes.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:32 PM

Natsuki Mari officially marries
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


Actress and singer Natsuki Mari (59) is now officially married. Her management agency announced that she and percussionist Saito Nobu (60) registered their marriage earlier this month.

The two became close as members of a band that formed in 2006, and they started dating the following year. In October 2007, there were reports that they were going to marry, but they decided not to file an official marriage registration and continued their relationship as common-law partners until now.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:32 PM

Hasebe Hitomi returns to show business
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


Actress Hasebe Hitomi (26) revealed yesterday on her official blog that she is re-entering show business. She has been on break since April 2010, and in October she got married. But now that she has had more time to think about her career in entertainment, she decided that she wants to give it another shot.

Hasebe debuted in 2001 at the age of 16, and she started acting with the movie “Battle Royale II” in 2003. She acted in several TV dramas, including “Ultraman Max,” and also appeared on a few variety shows. She later began rethinking her entertainment career, and she let her contract with Stardust Promotion expire last year as she put her acting on hold.

As of May 1 of this year, Hasebe has been signed with management agency Hirata Office, which also represents stars like Miyazaki Aoi, Tabe Mikako, and Mori Kanna. No specific plans for her career have been announced yet.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:34 PM

“Yarisugi Companion to Atashi Monogatari” live-action movie announced
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


A live-action movie based on Hiramoto Akira’s gag manga “Yarisugi Companion to Atashi Monogatari” has just been announced.

The manga was originally serialized in Kodansha’s Young Magazine in 2007-2008, and it finished with one completed volume. The story is set in a hot-spring town, where a young girl named Yarisu has started working as a companion. It follows the comical misadventures of Yarisu, who is prone to overdoing her job, and a more reliable companion named Shizuka.

Gravure idols Morinaga Maaya (19) and Marutaka Manami (20) will play Yarisu and Shizuka, respectively. Idols Ito Emi (27) and Tani Momoko (26) have also been cast.

Filming will be done entirely on location starting in June. Post-production is planned to be quick, as the movie’s theatrical release is currently set for September.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:35 PM

Aragaki Yui stars in Fuji TV’s next “Getsu 9" with Nishikido Ryo
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph

http://www.tokyograph.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/aragaki_yui.jpg http://img3.lln.crunchyroll.com/i/spire2/04122008/8/2/a/b/82abd73e1f3020_full.jpg

Aragaki Yui (22) will star in Fuji TV’s next Monday night drama series, tentatively titled “Zenkai Girl.” The show is described as a romantic comedy with NEWS and Kanjani8 member Nishikido Ryo (26).

“Zenkai Girl” is the first time that Aragaki is playing the main character in a television series, though she has previously had several roles as major secondary characters. In the series, she plays Wakaba, an ambitious international lawyer with dreams of rising to the top. After finding a job at a law office, her boss (Yakushimaru Hiroko) gives her an unexpected assignment: to take care of the boss’s 5-year-old daughter.


Wakaba is eager to do the task well in order to advance her career. While taking the girl to nursery school, she encounters a young man (Nishikido) who is raising a son after being divorced from his wife. As they both struggle in watching over the kids, love gradually blossoms between them.

http://www.askactor.com/images/casts/Japan/hirayama_hiroyuki.jpg http://pics.livejournal.com/riko_narumi/pic/000351eq

Hirayama Hiroyuki (33) and Renbutsu Misako (20) will also appear in the show. Filming begins in early June, and the series will start in July in Fuji TV’s Monday 9:00pm time slot.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:36 PM

“Phoenix Wright” movie confirmed, starring Narimiya Hiroki, Kiritani Mirei, Saito Takumi
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


The rumored live-action “Gyakuten Saiban” (“Ace Attorney”) movie is now confirmed. As initially believed, Miike Takashi will direct the film, with Narimiya Hiroki starring as the protagonist Naruhodo Ryuichi (known as Phoenix Wright in the English version of the games). Narimiya’s supporting cast includes Kiritani Mirei as Ayasato Mayoi (Maya Fey) and Saito Takumi as rival Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth).

The courtroom-based mystery/adventure series got its first game ten years ago in 2001, initially for the Game Boy Advance. Since then, the series has extended to multiple games, covering the Nintendo DS and Wii platforms as well.

The story for the film is described as being set in Japan in a parallel world, where an increase in brutal crimes has led to the establishment of a new type of courtroom system. Speed has taken priority over hard evidence, as the prosecutor and defending lawyer directly face off in a public courtroom to determine the accused’s guilt within 3 days. As a result, the two sides are racing to conduct their investigations alongside the trial’s 3-day span, much like the original video games.

In order to liven up the courtroom scenes, Toei will be using lots of CG and visual effects. The company has also created a large-scale courtroom at its Kyoto studio. Filming is expected to wrap up in late June.

The movie will be released around the start of 2012.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:37 PM

AKB48's Fujie Reina stars in 3D horror film
Posted on May 26, 2011 by tokyograph


AKB48 member Fujie Reina (17) has her first starring role in a 3D horror movie called “Enkiri-mura: Deadend Survival.” Her co-star is actor Yagami Ren (25), also known for being in the “Prince of Tennis” musicals.

The story is set in an underpopulated village on the western edge of the Tokyo prefecture, where pilgrims from all around the country come to visit a shrine known for being able to sever connections with evil. One day, a TV crew arrives from Tokyo, looking to shoot some footage for a show about local cuisine. The producer (Okada Mayuka) has her crew guided around by a young villager (Yagami), but they soon become entangled in a plot by the village elders (including the chief played by Saiki Shigeru). Consequently, a curse involving an evil spirit known as Enkiri-sama (Fujie) results in the crew’s members dying one by one.

The rest of the cast includes Ishikawa Ryoma, Takai Maho, Yamamoto Saori, Kawaguchi Takahiro, Okamura Yoichi, Iijima Yukari, Takahashi Aya, Saburo, Kitatani Yuri, Hamada Mitsuo, Isomura Midori, and Kasahara Ryoji.

Tsubaki Koichi is directing the film for an October 2011 release. An official website was launched today.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:38 PM

Emi Takei draped in Y60 mil worth of jewelry

Saturday 28th May, 06:18 AM JST



Actress and model Emi Takei, 17, was the guest of honor this week at an event to launch the Leather Collection at Tiffany’s of Ginza. For the occasion, Takei was draped in 60 million yen worth of jewelry.

When a reporter asked Takei if she had ever received jewelry from a man, she replied, “Only Santa. I’d like to be given jewelry in a place where you can see lots of stars in the sky.”

Also in attendance were actress Rie Hasegawa, 37, girlfriend of Masaki Kanda, 60, as well as model and actress Reiko Takagaki, 31. Hasegawa hinted at the possibility of marriage in the near future, telling press, “I hope to be able to report a special event soon.”

Source: http://www.japantoday.com/

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:40 PM

SKE48 moves to Avex, new single scheduled for July
Posted on May 28, 2011 by tokyograph


Idol group SKE48 announced on Saturday that they are changing record labels to Avex, and their first single after the move will be titled “Pareo no Emerald,” scheduled for a July 27 release (which happens to be the birthday of member Matsui Rena).

The news came just before the encore at Team S’s performance in Aichi, as well as Team KII’s performance in Tokyo, which was held at the same time on May 28. 18 members of the group also answered questions at a press conference held in the morning.

SKE48 made their debut in 2009 under the label Lantis, and they moved to CROWN GOLD starting with their second single in March 2010. “Pareo no Emerald” will be their sixth single.

AKB48's sub-units French Kiss and DiVA are also signed with Avex. However, SKE48 is the first full group from the AKB48 family to move to that label.

It was previously announced in April that AKB48 and its related groups are performing in this year’s a-nation tour. SKE48 is scheduled for the August 13 event in their home of Nagoya, Aichi.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:40 PM

Matsushita Nao stars in new drama adaptation of “Kurumi no Heya” (Updated)
Posted on May 28, 2011 by tokyograph


Actress Matsushita Nao (26), who became a household name last year with her role in the hit drama series “Gegege no Nyoubou,” will star in another NHK series called “Kurumi no Heya.”

The drama is based on a novel by the late screenwriter Mukoda Kuniko that was already adapted for television in 1982 (starring Ishida Ayumi) and in 1989 (starring Takeshita Keiko). The story is set in Tokyo around 1980, where the serious young woman Momoko struggles to shoulder the burden of keeping her family intact after her father gets laid off and then disappears.

NHK will broadcast the drama on Tuesdays at 10:00pm, for a total of six episodes between July 26 and August 30. Mukoda’s 30-year death anniversary is on August 22.

The supporting cast features Kanie Keizo, Takeshita Keiko, Igawa Haruka, Usuda Asami, Seto Koji, Harada Taizo, and Nishida Naomi.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:41 PM

Kanda Sayaka dating opera singer Tashiro Mario?
Posted on May 28, 2011 by tokyograph


Actress and singer Kanda Sayaka (24) is said to be in a relationship with actor and tenor Tashiro Mario (27), according to the most recent issue of FRIDAY. Their agencies both denied the story, saying that the two are just friends. The same day, both Kanda and Tashiro apologized on their blogs for causing a fuss in the media, though Kanda personally neither confirmed nor denied the rumor.

FRIDAY reported that the two of them had dinner together at a yakiniku restaurant on May 18, and then held hands as they headed back to Kanda’s apartment, where Tashiro spent the night. They apparently first met last year while working on the musical “The Fantasticks,” performed in October.

FRIDAY goes on to say that Kanda’s mother, singer Matsuda Seiko (49), has approved of the relationship, though there has been no other confirmation of this.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:42 PM

Yamamoto Taro leaves agency after tweet causes trouble
Posted on May 28, 2011 by tokyograph


Actor Yamamoto Taro (36) announced on Friday that he has left his management agency SIS Company after 13 years. In a statement regarding the decision, he said that he did not want to cause any more trouble to the company and his colleagues, after one of his messages on Twitter caused an uproar.

On May 25, Yamamoto indicated on his Twitter account that he was originally planned to be in a television drama, but he was forced to withdraw after the media reported on his participation in an anti-nuclear demonstration on May 23. That tweet led to a lot of noise online, and it apparently brought trouble to SIS Company.

The agency issued a statement on Friday, May 27, saying that Yamamoto’s tweet about being dropped from a drama was incorrect and was due to a misunderstanding, but Yamamoto sent out another tweet later that day announcing that he had decided to quit.

“I can’t cause any more trouble than this,” he wrote. “The president and everyone on the staff asked me many times not to quit. In the end, they listened to my selfishness.” He also praised SIS Company for being “serious” and having a “strong sense of justice,” and he pleaded, “I’m not connected with them anymore, so don’t call them. It’ll cause problems for the other actors.”

Yamamoto is currently rehearsing for his role in Miyamoto Amon’s musical “Taiheiyou Jokyoku,” being performed in Kanagawa starting on June 17. The incident is not expected to have any impact on his part in the musical.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:43 PM

AKB48 to hold first dome concerts in Saitama this July
Posted on May 28, 2011 by tokyograph


Popular idol group AKB48 will finally perform their first dome concert. At an event on Sunday, they announced that they will hold a total of 5 shows at the Seibu Dome in Saitama on July 22-24.

Since their start in 2005, AKB48's goal has been to hold a concert at Tokyo Dome, so these shows at Seibu Dome are another step building up towards that goal.

It was also announced that the group will hold a nationwide tour for the third year in a row, starting in Fukuoka on August 1 and ending in Kobe on August 30-31, including a show in tsunami-stricken Sendai on August 12. The tour will span 15 concerts in 13 cities.

In addition to these announcements, AKB48 thanked their fans for making their latest single, “Everyday, Kachusha,” reach 1 million in sales in its first two days.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:44 PM

Ai Haruna, Angelica Michibata solve Shibuya mysteries

Monday 30th May, 12:00 PM JST



Transsexual “talent” Ai Haruna and model Angelica Michibata participated in “Real Mystery Solving,” a promotional event for the hit movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” on Sunday at Shibuya’s club Camelot. During the event, where guests took part in “mystery solving” around Shibuya, Michibata, 25, appeared dressed in a sexy outfit resembling that of Angelica (played by Penelope Cruz), Jack Sparrow’s new flirt in the movie.

“I’m so excited and happy that the role of Angelica was played by Penelope Cruz,” said Michibata of the coincidence that she and Cruz’s character share the same name.

Meanwhile, Haruna, 38, interrupted the event by making a sudden surprise appearance. “I am ‘AIgelica,’ Jack’s ex-girlfriend,” she told the audience with a laugh and added that she feels “like a real mermaid,” referring to the movie’s plot.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is currently in theaters in Japan.

Source: www.japantoday.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:45 PM

L’Arc~en~Ciel announces 20th anniversary tour, 2012 world tour
Posted on May 29, 2011 by tokyograph


Over the weekend, rock band L'Arc~en~Ciel performed their two 20th anniversary concerts at the Ajinomoto Stadium. After the show, they announced that they will be doing a 20th anniversary tour later this year, followed by a world tour in 2012.

The “20th L’Anniversary Tour” schedule is as follows:

September 9 – Saitama Super Arena (Saitama)
September 10 – Saitama Super Arena (Saitama)
September 17 – Marine Messe Fukuoka (Fukuoka)
September 18 – Marine Messe Fukuoka (Fukuoka)
October 1 – Sapporo Kitayell (Hokkaido)
October 2 – Sapporo Kitayell (Hokkaido)
November 2 – Nihon Gaishi Hall (Aichi)
November 3 – Nihon Gaishi Hall (Aichi)
December 3 – Kyocera Dome (Osaka)
December 4 – Kyocera Dome (Osaka)

The band’s world tour in 2012 does not have an exact schedule yet, but they plan to play in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Bangkok, New York, London, and Paris.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:46 PM

Yoshiki and Stan Lee’s comic book collaboration to debut at Comic Con
Posted on May 29, 2011 by tokyograph


During Yoshiki’s panel at FanimeCon on Saturday, May 28, he announced that his comic book collaboration with Stan Lee will have its debut “issue #0? released at this year’s Comic-Con International in San Diego (July 21-24, 2011).

The project was first announced last October at the New York Anime Festival/New York Comic Con, where both Yoshiki and Stan Lee together revealed the news. The two are working on a “music superhero comic book series” based on Yoshiki, and they also said that it would be translated into multiple languages and adapted as a motion comic.

Yoshiki already revealed earlier this month that he and Stan Lee will hold a press conference at Comic-Con International.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:47 PM

Tsunku announces new member auditions for S/mileage
Posted on May 29, 2011 by tokyograph


On Sunday, Hello! Project idol group S/mileage held an event to celebrate the 1-year anniversary of their major label debut. During the event, a video message from producer Tsunku announced that the group will hold an audition for a new member, limited to girls in junior high or high school.

In the video message, Tsunku congratulated the four S/mileage members on their anniversary, but then he suddenly declared that “S/mileage is missing something.” As a result, he decided to hold the group’s first new member audition. The news came as a surprise to all of the fans, and apparently to the group’s members as well. He further added that there is a possibility of a demotion as well, causing an uproar among the crowd.

The number of new recruits has not yet been decided, but they may be added as early as September. Interview rounds for the audition will be held in Shibuya on three weekends in June (June 4-5, 11-12, 18-19). The passing applicants are planned to be announced on August 14. It is said that Tsunku and the current members may be present at the interviews.

S/mileage currently consists of Ogawa Saki, Maeda Yuka, Wada Ayaka, and Fukuda Kanon. The group launched in 2009 and released their first single that year, then went major in May 2010. Their next single, “Uchoten LOVE,” is being released on August 3.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:48 PM

Hamada Gaku, Taira Airi lead suspense drama “Piece Vote”
Posted on May 29, 2011 by tokyograph


Young actor Hamada Gaku (22) has landed his first starring role in a television drama, after more than a decade of acting experience. He will play the main character in NTV’s “Piece Vote -Touhyou no Kakera-” (tentative title), while Taira Airi (26) will take on the heroine role.

The suspenseful story revolves around 7 young men and women leading ordinary lives, who are suddenly rounded up on a ship called the “Piece Vote” (an apparent pun on “Peace Boat”). Similar to the movie “Se7en” which was themed around the seven deadly sins, the drama’s motif will be the “seven modern sins” which Japan’s youths are unknowingly guilty of. The 7 passengers on the ship are accused of crimes they are unaware of, and they are forced to stake their lives in a deadly game played out on the boat.

Hamada’s character is a college student named Wakiya, though he has been nicknamed “Wakiyaku-kun” (“supporting role”) when compared to his successful older brother, a well-known businessman. However, after his brother suddenly dies, a mysterious man appears before Wakiya accusing him of causing the death, then takes him onto the Piece Vote.

Meanwhile, Taira plays Iwami Saki, an office worker who hates conflict with other people, so she always ends up holding back her own opinions and ingratiating herself with others.

The series is being directed by Ochiai Masayuki (“Kansen,” “Parasite Eve”). Screenwriters include Mizoi Eiichi Davis (“Sandaime Akechi Kogoro”) and Yamaoka Junpei (“Majisuka Gakuen”).

NTV will broadcast “Piece Vote” on Mondays at 11:58pm, starting on July 4 (first episode begins at 12:18am). The time slot is currently held by the travel variety show “Tabizaru,” but it will be converted into a drama time slot after “Tabizaru” wraps up its run at the end of June. Along with “Meitantei Conan: Kudo Shinichi e no Chousenjou” and “Rokudenashi BLUES,” this will be NTV’s third late-night drama series this summer.

Source: www.tokyograph.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:49 PM

Synthesizer godfather is feted by a new generation

Wednesday 01st June, 04:15 AM JST

By Don Crispy



In the last decade, the newfound ability to mix electronic music on a compact laptop has been a godsend for thousands of bedroom producers and world-weary DJs on shoestring budgets. But as any club-goer can attest, the spectacle of them staring into a screen while operating a mouse is often less than inspiring.

Watching Hideki Matsutake work his massive Moog 3-C analog synthesizer, on the other hand, is bewitching. Thumbing his nose at the PC revolution, Matsutake aka Logic System continues to stubbornly hew to his beloved 3-C, the instrument that earned him his moniker as the “fourth member” of famed ele-pop group Yellow Magic Orchestra for the seminal work he did with them in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Through albums like “Yellow Magic Orchestra” and “Solid State Survivor,” Matsutake launched Japan’s torrid, unabated love affair with the synth, and as chairman of the Japan Synthesizer Programmers’ Association, he continues to be an ambassador for the instrument.

Matsutake recently lugged his 3-C to the Freaks Music Festival that took place in Kanagawa on May 7, sharing the stage with veteran cult UK house DJ Harvey and other dance music exponents influenced by him. Some of them, including Harvey, have also recently contributed to “Rmxlogix,” an EP of remixes of Logic System’s influential 1981 track “Clash” issued on his new Motion± imprint.

With re-envisionings ranging from Harvey’s swirly, squelchy house to young Japanese electro duo 80kidz’s hands-in-the-air, crescendo-filled outing, the album traces the line from early synth-pop directly to today’s dance music in a way that makes that history immediately understandable.

“It has been 30 years since I started Logic System,” says Matsutake about his new label. “There was an innovative evolution from analog to digital technology for electronic instruments, which is a part of my blood in music production. I have produced a variety of work in both analog and digital. The only universal thing during the process of progression is that electronic instruments consist of the logic of plus and minus.”

* June 24 @Unit. 5:30pm, ¥3,500 (adv)/¥4,000(door). Nearest station: Daikanyama. Tel: 03-5459-8630.
* Rmxlogix is available on Motion±. Info: www.music-airport.com/logic-system.

Source: www.japantoday.com

whitedove Publish time 1-6-2011 11:50 PM

Shoko Nakagawa dresses as barrista for coffee event

Tuesday 31st May, 04:24 AM JST



Model, actress, singer, voice actress and illustrator Shoko Nakagawa, 26, was the guest of honor at “Latte study” event at Cafe Nescafe in Harajuku to share her interest in coffee with attendees. Dressed as a coffee shop barrista, Nakagawa—popularly known as Shokotan— told reporters that her nickname when she was 8 years old was “Pelican Babaa.”

When the conversation turned from coffee to dating, Nakagawa said that she was once the subject of a tearful confession of love from her university boyfriend. “It was the first time I’d had a man cry while confessing undying love for me,” she said.

On the subject of her 26th birthday she said, “It’s time to start living a bit more of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. I’d like to have someone around to confess his love for me again.”

Source: www.japantoday.com
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View full version: Japanese Entertainment News & Info HERE! [part V]