Old Fart Who Loves Japanese Pop Culture 日本の大衆文化を愛する中年

Japanese Dramas, Manga, Anime and Japanese Movies, Jpop, and anything else about Japanese pop culture that I find interesting.

日本のドラマ、マンガ、アニメ、J-POP、その他私がおもしろいと思った日本の大衆文化について

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Location: Akihabara@DEEP, NY, Christmas Island

contact me at kevn57ATgmail.com friend me on goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1660832-kevin

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Do As Infinity reuniting

This was the first jpop band I ever loved and still my favorite.

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via Tokyograph on 8/30/08
The popular band Do As Infinity is getting back together, it was announced on Saturday. The group made a surprise appearance at a-nation to break the news, though it was also revealed on their official website.

Led by vocalist Tomiko Van, the group was active between 1999 and 2005. This past spring, the group's members and staff met again, and they began discussing the possibility of a reunion. They have chosen September 29 as the date they officially resume activities, starting with a free show at Yoyogi Park on September 30.

The band plans to focus on live performances in the future, but they also aim to release new material next spring.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Ponyo Could Be Biggest Film Ever in Japan

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via Slice of SciFi by Sam Sloan on 8/29/08

The animated movie, "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" from anime filmmakerHayao Miyazaki is well on its way to becoming the most successful box office film in the country of Japan.

Now passing over $109 million (12 billion yen), the film is on track to surpass current champ "Spirited Away," also from Miyazaki. First Ponyo must overcome the third and second place animated films "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Princess Mononoke," and that seems very likely to occur by as early as this upcoming weekend.

"Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" is very popular with entire families coming together to view the movie.


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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oguri to pass torch to Mizukawa for TV drama

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via Tokyograph on 8/27/08
NTV has announced an interesting experiment with one of its drama series for next season. "Yume wo Kanaeru Zou," which was previously announced as a one-shot drama, will also be getting a series, though with a different star. Instead of Shun Oguri, actress Asami Mizukawa will be taking the lead.

"Yume wo Kanaeru Zou" is based on a best-selling comedic novel by Keiya Mizuno. In the original story, Kouhei is an unsuccessful salaryman who encounters a Kansai-ben-speaking manifestation of the Hindu deity Ganesha, and eventually finds happiness in life under Ganesha's guidance.

NTV's 2-hour adaptation of the story stars Oguri as Kouhei and Arata Furuta as Ganesha. Broadcast has been scheduled for October 2 at 9:00pm. But just before midnight on the same day, the network will premiere the serialized version, which is partly a continuation of the tale.

Unlike the original story, the "Yume wo Kanaeru Zou" series will have a female lead. Mizukawa plays Asuka Hoshino, who gets dumped by her boyfriend on her 25th birthday and is forced to temporarily move into a small apartment due to a fire at her old place. While crying and wishing for happiness, she is suddenly confronted by Ganesha, who happened to live in that same apartment with Kouhei several years earlier. Arata Furuta will play Ganesha for the series as well.

The drama's official time slot is 11:58pm on Thursday nights, beginning on October 2.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mamoru Oshii directing live-action "Kill"

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via Tokyograph on 8/23/08
Mamoru Oshii is overseeing a new live-action work titled "Kiru ~ KILL." He will be one of four directors participating in the omnibus film, which is said to themed around swordfight scenes set up as if they were the climax of longer dramas.

Oshii's segment, called "ASSAULT GIRL2," stars Rinko Kikuchi and Yoko Fujita as two women, dressed oppositely in black and white, silently battling on an open field. Oshii previously worked with Kikuchi when she provided a voice for his latest animated film, "The Sky Crawlers."

Kenta Fukasaku is one of the other directors. The film opens on December 6.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

VOTD: Japanese Harry Potter TV Show | /Film

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via www.slashfilm.com on 8/22/08

VOTD: Japanese Harry Potter TV Show

Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 am by: Peter Sciretta

Japanese Harry Potter TV Show

The Pitch: What would Harry Potter look like if it was a weekly Japanese television show? Check out the video above created by konoko3939. The music and style is from a famous Japanese TV show called "Magic Sentai Majiranger".


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"Galileo" gets SP on same day as film's release

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via Tokyograph on 8/21/08
Fans of the drama series "Galileo" have one more thing to look forward to. Anticipation is already high for the "Yougisha x no Kenshin" movie, opening in theaters on October 4. Now, Fuji TV is turning it into a double dose: a one-shot special titled "Galileo: Episode Zero" will be aired on the same day as the film's release.

The special is set 3 years prior to the drama series, with the story being related to a murder case that was partly referenced in the original show. Detective Kusanagi (Kazuki Kitamura) is looking to solve a murder mystery, and he gets back in touch with his former badminton teammate, the brilliant professor Manabu Yukawa (Masaharu Fukuyama).

The special will also portray an incident from Yukawa's college days. Popular teen actor Haruma Miura plays the young Yukawa.

Other cast members include Masami Nagasawa as a student lab assistant and Karina as a mysterious woman tied to the murder case. Fuji TV will broadcast the drama at 9:00pm on October 4.

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Eguchi, Yoshioka, Ito team up for police drama

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via Tokyograph on 8/21/08
Yosuke Eguchi, Hidetaka Yoshioka, and Hideaki Ito are co-starring in a TV Asahi drama special. The show will be a big-budget production directed by Yasuo Tsuruhashi, who handled last year's television remake of Akira Kurosawa's "High and Low."

Titled "Keikan no Chi," the drama is adapted from a Jo Sasaki novel that placed 1st in this year's "Kono Mystery ga Sugoi!" rankings and was nominated for the Naoki Prize. The story spans three generations of policemen, starting with Seiji (Eguchi), a Pacific War veteran who becomes a cop but dies in a fire near his home. His son Tamio (Yoshioka) follows in his footsteps as a police officer, but he is killed in the line of duty by a drug addict. Ito plays the third generation, a cop assigned to a secret investigation that leads him to the mysteries behind his father's and grandfather's deaths.

Filming started in mid-August and is expected to run for 3 months, with locations ranging from Kyushu to Hokkaido. TV Asahi will broadcast the special in 2009.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Maki Horikita's "Innocent Love"

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via Tokyograph on 8/19/08
Popular actress Maki Horikita has picked up her next lead drama role. She will star in the tentatively-titled "Innocent Love," scheduled to air in Fuji TV's flagship Monday night time slot this fall. As the title suggests, the show will be a romance story.

The script is an original work written by Taeko Asano, whose most recent hit was "Last Friends" this past spring. Like that show, "Innocent Love" will focus on the lives of modern youths. The shows also share a director (Yusuke Kato) and a producer (Toshiyuki Nakano).

The story centers around the tragic heroine Kanon Akiyama (Horikita). As a child, she lost both her parents to a murderer, and her older brother was arrested as the prime suspect. Shunned by her town as the sister of a killer, she heads to Tokyo and picks up a job as a housecleaner. There, she has a fateful encounter with a man, but the road to romance is fraught with difficulty.

This will be Horikita's first time starring in Fuji TV's key time slot. Last year, her popularity skyrocketed due to a starring role in "Hanazakari no Kimitachi e." Currently, she appears in the NHK taiga drama "Atsuhime." That series doesn't finish filming until the end of September, so she will briefly be shooting simultaneously for "Atsuhime" and "Innocent Love."

"Innocent Love" will premiere in October.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Den-O" concludes with third movie

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via Tokyograph on 8/18/08
The popular "Kamen Rider Den-O" series, which ended in January of this year, is getting its third and final theatrical film in October. No other "Kamen Rider" series has had more than two movies released in theaters.

Most "Kamen Rider" incarnations in recent history have had only a single movie during the summer while the show was on the air, but "Den-O" broke that trend with a second film this past April. Now it will have a third, titled "Kamen Rider Den-O: Final Countdown." Osamu Kaneda is again directing.

Takeru Sato will of course reprise his lead role as Ryotaro Nogami. Dori Sakurada has been cast as a grandchild of Nogami who transforms into a different Kamen Rider. Other confirmed cast members include Sayaka Kanda and Yuki Matsumura. The film opens on October 4.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yusuke Kamiji cast in "Scrap Teacher"

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via Tokyograph on 8/13/08
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.

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