“Higurashi no Ki” to star Yakusho Koji & Okada Junichi

Yakusho Koji and Okada Junichi will be teaming up in the period movie “Higurashi no Ki” based on the 146th Naoki Award winner novel by Hamuro Rin which sold 200,000 copies to date. They will be joined by co-stars Harada Mieko and Horikita Maki who plays Yakusho’s wife and daughter respectively. This is the first time Yakusho and Okada are working together and they both commented that they are looking forward to the filming. As for Horikita and Okada, they last worked together in the 2003 movie “COSMIC RESCUE” which also happens to be her debut movie.

The movie is set in the later part of the Edo era where Okada plays the character Danno Shozaburo who had been involved in a bloodshed incident with his longtime friend but was left off the hook and did not get punished. In return, a minister of the feudal lord orders Danno to keep tabs on Toda Shuukoku (Yakusho), a man who had been ordered to kill himself three years later after he was caught committing adultery with a nobleman’s concubine seven years ago. As Shuukoku used to be a feudal lord and had been tasked to finish the family register of the aristocrats, Shozaburo’s mission is to make sure Shuukoku doesn’t run away with the secrets he knows and he has to kill him and his wife Orie (Harada), son Ikutarou and daughter Kaoru (Horikita) if Shuukoku tries to escape. While living in confinement with Shuukoku’s family, Shozaburo happens to see Shuukoku’s diary i.e. Higurashi no Ki and is touched by the latter’s dedication to finishing the family register despite being on death row so he decides to find out the truth behind the adultery case 7 years ago.

Filming is scheduled to be done from late April to late June at 10 different places in Iwate and Nagano Prefectures. The filming of the other scenes will be completed by end September and the movie is due to be released in 2014.

‘Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo’ Wins “Picture of the Year”, “Director of the Year” and More

On March 8, the awarding ceremony for the “36th Japan Academy Prize” was held at Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa, Tokyo, and Kamiki Ryunosuke’s starring movie “Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo” was the big winner, being selected for the “Picture of the Year”, “Director of the Year”, and “Outstanding Achievement in Film Editing.”

The movie also received the popularity award (for the picture category), and Hashimoto Ai and Higashide Masahiro who both appeared in the film, have been chosen as two of the winners for the “Newcomer of the Year.”

The director of the film Yoshida Daihachi shared his delight, “Thank you. I’m really surprised at this since I never expected to receive this much. I was able to film it freely with the way I wanted, and first of all, I would like to thank the producer for that. Then the young actors, as well as the staff members who let those young actors have the place to work to their complete satisfaction. I feel gratitude toward all of them from bottom of my heart.”

When the announcement for the Picture of the Year was made, Hashimoto Ai shed tears, and said, “I’m happy to see the director’s joyful face.” Higashide who made his acting debut with the film, also said, “Kamiki-kun, the lead of this movie, could not attend today because of his work. It would have been great if all of us were here, but our hearts are one, so we will have a dinner party at my place later.”

“Kirishima, Bukatsu Yamerutteyo” is based on Asai Ryo’s award-winning novel of the same name, and the story starts where the most popular student at the school, and the captain of the school volleyball team, “Kirishima” suddenly quits the team. This news about Kirishima shocks the entire school, and it also causes distortion among students which brings a disruption of the hierarchy at the high school.

Miss Universe Japan 2013, Yukimi Matsuo, Aspiring Manga Artist

Yukimi Matsuo, the winner of the Miss Universe Japan (MUJ) 2013 beauty pageant on Monday, revealed in press interviews that since she had achieved the title, she now wants to become a serialized manga artist. She told reporters that she had been drawing manga since quite a few years ago, such as illustrations and four-panel comics. However, due to her modeling, she knew that she would not have any time to serialize a manga in a magazine.

However, last summer, an editor at a web manga magazine invited her to work with him with the aim of her final goal of serialization. She told reporters that she had completed her goal of modeling by winning the pageant, and wanted to take on being a manga artist as her “final challenge” in life, as she is already 25 years old.

She pointed to Ai Yazawa (NANA, Paradise Kiss) and Moyoco Anno (Sakuran, Sugar Sugar Rune) as role models for drawing the beauty of women. When asked what type of person she likes, she said it would be someone who likes manga. Using manga as an example, she specifically called out Leorio from Hunter X Hunter as her type.

Read the rest of the story: Miss Universe Japan 2013 Is Aspiring Manga Creator.

Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” DVD of 1963 U.S. visit footage available

Rare 1963 video footage of singer Kyu Sakamoto, known outside Japan for his U.S. hit song “Sukiyaki,” will be released on DVD.

The footage was taken during the singer’s trip to the United States in 1963 when the song, whose Japanese title is “Ue o Muite Aruko” (“Let’s Walk Looking Up”), topped the U.S. charts, sources said Thursday.

The footage, missing for many years, turned up last fall in the vault of Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc.

The two-disc set titled “1963 Ue o Muite Aruko,” to be released by TBS on April 24, also includes rare footage, including a Japanese drama featuring the singer that was previously unavailable in DVD format.

Read the rest of the story: “Sukiyaki” singer’s 1963 U.S. visit footage now on DVD.

BREAKERZ members going solo

BREAKERZ has announced some upcoming solo performances.

There will be a birthday event for vocalist DAIGO. The live will be held at Zepp DiverCity on April 8th. Moreover DAIGO☆STARDUST will return! They’ve announced their live at Shibuya Koukaidou on July 12th.

Guitarist AKIHIDE will release a new album titled “AMBER” in June. But there are no more details available yet. Furthermore, he will go on his first solo tour.

Guitarist SHINPEI revealed that he has started his solo project “MUSCLE ATTACK”. His first live is at Roppongi morph-tokyo on May 11th.

BOOM BOOM SATELLITES to Return to the Stage in May

On February 26th, BOOM BOOM SATELLITES made a live appearance on ‘Nico Nico Namahousou‘ and announced that they would be resuming their activities with a live concert on May 3rd at Nippon Budokan.

The band canceled their nationwide tour from January to March due to member Kawashima Michiyuki’s brain tumor treatment. Kawashima, who made his first public appearance after his surgery on January 15th, apologized to their fans, saying, “I am very sorry to have caused you to worry by canceling the concerts due to my illness.”

The concerts on April 23rd in Nagoya and on April 25th in Osaka were also canceled as Kawashima will not be able to make a comeback by then.

While Kawashima is still required to undergo rehabilitation, he declared, “We were able to make preparations to hold a live at Nippon Budokan on May 3rd.” He expressed, “For those who have supported us these past 15 years, I want to make this a live you will not forget.“

The Sequel to ‘Marmalade Boy’ will be a New Series Starting March 28th

It was announced that the sequel to Yoshizumi Wataru’s popular manga “Marmalade Boy“, titled “Marmalade Boy little” will begin serializing with the May issue of monthly manga magazine “Cocohana” (Shueisha).

“Marmalade Boy” is a love story between Miki and Yuu who happen to start living together after both of their parents divorce and remarry by swapping partners.

It was previously serialized on Ribbon (Shueisha) during 1992 ~ 1995, and it also received TV anime adaptation in 1994. There was also a live-action drama adaptation in Taiwan in 2001.

The sequel “Marmalade Boy little” will be set 13 years later from the last episode of the “Marmalade Boy”. It will feature Miki and Yuu’s little sister and brother. Reportedly, the characters from the previous series, including Miki and Yuu will gradually be making appearances in the sequel.

The May issue of Cocohana will be released on March 28th.

ORANGE RANGE New Single – “Oboro na Ageha”

ORANGE RANGE has announced that they will releasing a new single, “Oboro na Ageha / Moshimo”, on April 17th.

The band’s upcoming single will be its first new single in nearly 4 years. Their last single, “Hitomi no Saki ni”, was released on July 8th, 2009.

The single release announcement was made during the band’s Tokyo performance of their nationwide tour in front of an audience of 2,700 people who immediately began screaming in excitement at their announcement.

“Oboro na Ageha” will be an upbeat song with quick, deep beats. The song was composed by the band’s bassist, YOH. “Moshimo” will be a slower-paced love song composed by the band’s guitarist, NAOTO.

The double A-side single will come in a regular edition and a limited edition. The limited edition version will include 3 extra tracks, all of which are live recordings from their tour “ORANGE RANGE LIVE TOUR 012 ~NEO POP STANDARD~”.

Jackman Injured in Car Accident

Visual Kei band Jackman was involved in a car accident last Saturday, on February 23rd.

The band was on the way to Urawa when the accident happened. Fortunately it seems like the band and staff members are safe and have only minor injuries.

Due to the accident they had to cancel their show at Urawa Narciss that evening. The members also announced that they won’t cancel the performance in Shinjuku today but it seems like bassist Yu-ta won’t be able to perform.

Taito, New Member Joins AYABIE

Two months ago AYABIE announced the end of their hiatus. Now they have more interesting news for their fans: They revealed that they won’t be a 4 member band when they’ll come back on March 19th but a 5 member band! A new member joined AYABIE. His name is Taito and he plays the keyboard.

Intetsu pointed out that they were searching for a new member since their ANSWER-tour last year. After some rehearsals with Taito the members decided that he will be AYABIE’s new member.

They hope their fans accept him and continue to support the band.