Catching up on news from Tokyograph

I’m catching up on articles from the awesome website Tokyograph of mostly film and TV news. Click on the links to read the full articles on Tokyograph’s website.

The original show starred Ueto as rookie detective Sakuragi Izumi, who worked on difficult unsolved cases as part of a Special Investigations Office (based on an actual division established by Japan in 2009). This time takes place half a year later, after Sakuragi has been transferred to a different division that deals with current crimes.
Ueto Aya returns in ‘Zettai Reido’ sequel

The “Shinzanmono” drama series is getting a movie next year. Doi Nobuhiro is directing the film, which is tentatively titled “Kirin no Tsubasa: Gekijoban Shinzanmono.” Abe Hiroshi (46) will return in the starring role, along with Mizobata Junpei (21) and Kuroki Meisa (22).
‘Shinzanmono’ movie announced for 2012

“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.
Aragaki Yui stars in Fuji TV’s next ‘Getsu 9’ with Nishikido Ryo

[…] 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.
Hamada Gaku, Taira Airi lead suspense drama ‘Piece Vote’

Kuroki Meisa (23) and Tabe Mikako (22) are acting together for the first time, co-starring in a drama series this summer called “Jiu: Keishichou Tokushuhan Sousakei.” The two will play police detectives on the same special investigation team, though their differing personalities lead them to constantly clash with each other.
Kuroki Meisa, Tabe Mikako co-star in suspense series ‘Jiu’

Okinawa’s Tokusatsu Hero: Ryujin Mabuyer


“Ryujin Mabuyer (琉神マブヤー)” is a Tokusatsu TV series made in Okinawa. The 13-episode series aired in 2008 from October 4th to December 27th. The series will be made into a movie titled, Ryuujin Mabuyaa THE MOVIE Nanatsu no Mabui (琉神マブヤー THE MOVIE 七つのマブイ),” and star Shintaro Yamada as Ryujin Mabuyer and ISSA (from DA PUMP) as Ryujin Ganasea (龍神ガナシー). It’s scheduled to be released in theaters this fall.

Continue reading “Okinawa’s Tokusatsu Hero: Ryujin Mabuyer”

Yukie Nakama to star in the upcoming NHK period drama “Tempest”


Pictured is the cast for the stage play of “Tempest” starring Yukie Nakama in the main role of Mazuru/Neion Son (真鶴・孫寧温). The play, based on the novel by Naha-born author Eiichi Ikegami, will become a 10-episode BS period drama (BS時代劇) on NHK that is projected to start airing in July 2011.

Synopsis of the stage play from Tokyograph:
“The Tempest” is based on a 2008 bestselling novel by writer Eiichi Ikegami. The story takes place in the late 19th century, during the reign of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Nakama plays a young woman who, for the sake of her country, poses as a eunuch to become an elite bureaucrat, while also dealing with problems as a woman. This is her first time having to play both a male and female character. Her supporting cast includes Yamamoto as her lover and Namase as her enemy.

Continue reading “Yukie Nakama to star in the upcoming NHK period drama “Tempest””

Spring 2011 J-dramas to watch

I haven’t done one of these in a long time so here we go! There are two (maybe more) J-dramas beginning this month for the Spring 2011 season that star actresses from Okinawa.

The first one starts on the 18th is titled “Shiawase ni Narou yo (幸せになろうよ)” and stars Meisa Kuroki in the role of Haruna Yanagisawa.


Synopsis via Tokyograph:
The story involves Katori playing a successful advisor at a marriage consultation agency that aims to bring together people looking for partners. Kuroki plays one of the agency’s clients, who is “so beautiful” that the manual he uses doesn’t apply to her, while Fujiki plays a rich and handsome lawyer who is also a client. Katori starts to fall for Kuroki, but as a professional, he pairs the two together. Continue reading “Spring 2011 J-dramas to watch”

What to look forward to for this year’s 61st Kouhaku Uta-Gassen

Ah, I remember years past when we could expect to see several artists from or with ties to Okinawa on NHK’s annual music show, “Kouhaku Uta-Gassen” (Red & White Song Battle). For last year’s (60th) show, a lone artist Yusuke Kamiji (performs under his first name, Yusuke) with ties to Okinawa performed and we were fortunate to have actress Yukie Nakama host the show for her third time (2006, 2008 and 2009). Flashback to the 50th show (1999) and the artists who performed included: MAX, Kiroro, SPEED, Namie Amuro, and DA PUMP. And one of my favorites was the 56th (2005) with its Okinawa-theme. Enka singer Yoko Nagayama sang “Bashoufu,” folk singer Ryoko Moriyama sang “Satoukibi Batake,” comedian Gorie (performing with the Red Team) sang “Pecori♥Night,” Rimi Natsukawa returned to sing “Nada Sou Sou” again (she performed the song the previous year), and R&B duo D-51 sang “NO MORE CRY.”

So for this year’s 61st show, who can we look forward to watching? Performing 4th (White Team) is NYC who has a member with ties to Okinawa in Yuri Chinen. Performing 10th (White Team) is the previously mentioned Yusuke. And the band I’m most looking forward to watching this year is HY who are making their first appearance on the show with the powerful song “Toki o Koe.” They’ll be performing 17th (White Team) and I heard they’ll also have eisa drummers backing them up (their website has a link to a live performance of the song). Should be a very good show.

This may end up being our last post for 2010 so we’ll take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!! Take care everyone and see you in 2011!

Tokyograph: Manami Higa to star in “Dondo Bare” sequel

NHK is reviving its 2007 morning drama series “Dondo Bare” with a sequel that will be aired as a special program next year. Production on the show was announced at a press conference on Wednesday, attended by the drama’s lead actress, Manami Higa (24). […] (Via Tokyograph.)

We’re big fans of Manami Higa and it’s great that she will be reprising her role in “Dondo Bare.” Thinking back, there was another actress who was the star of an NHK morning drama series (“Churasan” anyone?) who reprised her role several times. (Yep, it’s Ryoko Kuninaka.)

Aya Ueto in “Juunen Saki mo Kimi ni Koishite” – Tokyograph

Aya Ueto (24) will star in a short drama series this fall, titled “Juunen Saki mo Kimi ni Koishite.” This will be her first time leading a series on NHK.


The story focuses on 26-year-old Rika (Ueto), a single editor who is unskilled in love. The story starts when a man (Uchino) appears before her, telling her that he is her husband from 10 years in the future. He informs her that she will meet the young version of himself in a few days, but begs her not to marry him.

Both Ueto and Uchino will have double roles, playing their characters in the present and 10 years in the future.


(Via Tokyograph.)

More on Aya Ueto here.

Meisa Kuroki to star in TBS’s April 2010 drama “Shinzanmono”

Meisa Kuroki will be starring in the drama “Shinzanmono” which will begin airing on the TBS network from April 18, 2010. “Shinzanmono” will be Meisa’s first renzoku drama for 2010.

Synopsis (from DramaWiki):

Based on the popular novel by best-selling author Higashino Keigo, Kato Kyoichiro is a new detective who is assigned to solve the mystery case of a 40-year-old woman found murdered in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district.


Yukie Nakama to star in the TBS’s “Japanese Americans”

This autumn, TBS plans to broadcast a five-episode drama series titled “Japanese Americans.” The drama, an original work by veteran screenwriter Sugako Hashida, focuses on a Japanese family who emigrated to the United States a century ago and lived through World War II. […]

Yukie Nakama (30) plays the heroine as Ichiro’s love interest Shinobu. […]

Filming starts in the next few days and is expected to last five months, including two months of filming in the U.S. Broadcast dates have not yet been set, but it will air this fall as five two-hour episodes on consecutive nights, which is a first for the network. The drama is being labeled as a special project in honor of TBS’s 60th anniversary.

(Via Tokyograph.)