Having a group named after one of Okinawa’s most well-known sweets, Saataa Andagii is a trio led by Shintaro Yamada (actress Yu Yamada’s younger brother). Formed from the variety show “Quiz! Hexagon II,” one wonders if they’ll become as popular as Shuchishin — also a product of the show. The trio’s first single was released on 2/10/10 from Pony Canyon and is titled “Yanbaru Kuina ga Tonda.” The song’s lyrics feature Okinawan words and things from Okinawa. You’ll also hear the sound of a synthesized sanshin in the background. Yanbaru Kuina, used in the title of the song, is a bird that is endemic to Okinawa.
Sports Hochi reports that kabuki actor Shido Nakamura (37) and actress Meisa Kuroki (21) recently started dating. The unexpected couple met when they worked together in the play “Akai Shiro, Kuroi Suna” this past April.
Sources say that Nakamura began approaching Kuroki shortly after it was decided that they would be acting together. However, they reportedly started dating barely a month ago. […]
MAX, reunited with the return of MINA in October of last year, will be releasing a new single called “Rough Cut Diamond” on July 22nd. The single, the group’s 30th, will be their first in three years and will have a tie-up with the TV Tokyo drama “Kariyushi Sensei Chibaru! (かりゆし先生 ちばる!).” The afternoon drama will begin airing on June 29th with Shinobu Miyara (formerly of DA PUMP) set to star in it.
Newlywed singer Rimi Natsukawa is ready to make her acting debut. She has been cast in ‘Minami no Shima no Furimun,’ a movie starring and directed by comedian Gori of Garage Sale.
The movie is Gori’s first full-length directorial effort. The story is a comedy set in Okinawa, where both he and Natsukawa are originally from. Natsukawa plays the part of a mysterious fortune teller.
Natsukawa is also singing the film’s theme, titled ‘Unju no Furusato.’ Gori wrote the lyrics, while Kiroro’s Chiharu Tamashiro (also an Okinawan) composed the music.
‘Minami no Shima no Furimun’ will have its first screening at the Okinawa International Movie Festival, organized by Yoshimoto Kogyo. The festival runs from March 19 to March 22.
(Link: Rimi Natsukawa becomes an actress.)
Near the end of last year, Oricon conducted a survey of 1,200 men and women, asking them which celebrities they considered as the ‘face of 2008,’ based on activity. The #1 man was Yusuke Kamiji, who mainly rose to fame as part of the boy band Shuchishin, while the #1 woman was young actress Aoi Miyazaki, the star of the NHK taiga drama ‘Atsuhime.’
On the men’s list, musician DAIGO ranked #2, followed by Olympic medal-winning swimmer Kosuke Kitajima. The rest of the list were Masaharu Fukuyama, golfer Ryo Ishikawa, comedian Sekai no Nabeatsu, Shuchishin (as a group), Masahiro Nakai, Arashi, and Yutaka Mizutani.
The women’s list placed comedienne Harumi Edo at #2 and softball pitcher Yukiko Ueno at #3. Suzanne, Maki Horikita, Thelma Aoyama, Yukie Nakama, Namie Amuro, Aya Ueto, and Perfume also made the rankings.
While it’s great to see an Uchinanchu male at the #1 spot, there are three—count ’em three—female in the list: Nakama, Amuro and Ueto.
Fuji TV revealed in October that it is producing a special documentary drama titled ‘Kamiji Yusuke Monogatari,’ based on the life of rising male idol Yusuke Kamiji. The lead actor playing Kamiji has now been decided.
19-year-old Yuki Yoshida, a second-year student at a university in the Shiga prefecture, was chosen by audition for the role. About 1,500 pros and amateurs had tried out for the part, but Yoshida managed to come out on top and make his dreams of show business come true.
The special is scheduled to air sometime during next spring. Kamiji will be singing the theme song, making his solo debut under the name ‘Yusuke.’ The song, titled ‘Himawari,’ is being released as a single on March 11.
Popular talento Yusuke Kamiji, part of the trio Shuchishin, will be featured in a special program on Fuji TV next year. The show is part documentary, part drama, and is based on his autobiographical essay ‘Kamiji Yusuke Monogatari’ that was published in August.
The majority of the program will focus on Kamiji’s days in middle school, when his life revolved around baseball. The show will also feature people close to him talking about his life, and Kamiji will of course make an appearance as himself. The actor playing his childhood self will be chosen by audition in December, with Kamiji participating in the selection.
Fuji TV plans to broadcast the special sometime next spring.
Popular talento Yusuke Kamiji will be joining the Hey! Say! JUMP boys on NTV’s upcoming drama series ‘Scrap Teacher.’ He will play the role of a teacher for the first time.
The series was first announced earlier this month. The show stars Yuto Nakajima, Ryosuke Yamada, Yuri Chinen, and Daiki Arioka as four junior high students who take on the task of reforming their unreliable teachers.
‘Scrap Teacher’ premieres in October.
With confirmation of the relationship coming from the man himself, it’s official that Yu Yamada (23) and Shun Oguri (25) are a couple. Both recently starred in the J-drama “Binbo Danshi” and were in relationships that ended “around last summer.” As a result, Yu’s blog shot up to the top spot of Ameba’s ranking unseating talento (and fellow Uchinanchu) Yusuke Kamiji’s popular blog.
All of the attention definitely came at the right time with the May 14 release of Yu’s debut album, “MYUSIC.” Next up for Yu is the lead role in the film “Kanna-san, Daiseikou desu!” which is scheduled to be released in the fall of this year. The film is based on the manga by Yumiko Suzuki and follows the popular 2006 Korean film release called “200 Pounds Beauty” which, by the way, I highly recommend watching.
Musician Gackt will act in his first Hollywood film. The movie, titled ‘Bunraku,’ is an action film written and directed by Guy Moshe, starring Josh Hartnett and Demi Moore.
The film is named after a type of traditional Japanese puppet theater, but the universe it is set in also draws inspiration from origami, video games, and other sources. Hartnett plays a drifter on a quest for revenge. Gackt will play his companion, a samurai named Yoshi.
This is Gackt’s first movie role since he starred with hyde in the 2003 film ‘Moon Child.’
Filming began in Romania during the middle of this month. The movie is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters in 2009, but no release information for Japan has been announced yet.
(Link: Gackt’s Hollywood debut – Tokyograph.)
Count me as one who has yet to see Gackt in “Moon Child” (although it’s been on my list since it became available on DVD) but this Hollywood flick will be pretty interesting to see Gackt acting alongside Demi Moore and Josh Hartnett.
Below is from an MTV.com interview with actor Josh Hartnett:
“I’m going to Romania to shoot this film called ‘Bunraku,’ ” Hartnett revealed to MTV News, invoking a title based on a 400-year-old form of Japanese puppet theater. “All the cast isn’t set yet, but it’s going to be a lot of really interesting actors, in this weird kind of papier-mâché world.”
So, I guess Gackt must be one of those “really interesting actors,” huh? And perhaps now is a better time than any to get into his music before we lose him to the Hollywood masses: Gackt’s music at the iTunes Store.