Only 7 actors from the beloved musicals are moving and shaking in Japan, so here comes your first of two updates!
First, we’ll start with the heroes!
Anza Ooyama Continues to Rock!
Anza Ooyama (Sailor Moon from 1993-1998) continued to rock all through Japan with her band HEAD PHONES PRESIDENT this summer. On their recent “Fuse the Soul” tour across the country, one of their featured openers came from this side of the pond! That band was Canada’s Domenica, another metal band fronted by a female singer (Bekki). The band commended HPP on their facebook page, telling their fans to check out the band and that “they are definitely a live show to be reckoned with.” On the last day of this tour (September 12th), Anza wore a gold bustier with a brown skirt that was a little hard to see in the dark, and she addressed the audience a lot.The writer of this article also noted that Anza has definitely improved on her emotional expression skills and provokes the audience to feel a whole range of different emotions during her concerts. At the end of the show, she wanted a photo of her band with the audience, and even invited Domenica to join them on stage as well! On September 19th, they also played at another event called “Abstinence’s Door”, which was organized by another Japanese metal band called D’erlanger. The band released a statement to the press saying that they were deeply and greatly moved to be joining such a renowned rock band on stage, and that they had hoped to connect with other bands that are pulling the rock scene in Japan with all of their sounds to have a great time! HPP also just released their latest album Pobl Lliw on September 3rd, and fans can listen to tracks from the album via the band’s official MySpace.
Manna in New Horror Film!
Many fans probably remember Kasumi Suzuki as the cute Manna from Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady. Well, she has grown up! She is now starring in a horror movie called Kai-Ki: Tales of Terror From Tokyo. The movie’s world premiere was in Los Angeles last July, and has since been going around the indie circuit. The horror movie is the last of 3 movies based on the TV show of the same name, all telling different horror stories. This movie in particular has two stories in it, “Possessed” and “Nozomi”, both starring Japanese idol Erina Mano (but our Kasumi stars right alongside her). “Possessed” is a story about a hiccuping epidemic among college students turning them into enraged, murderous, monsters. “Nozomi” is about a young girl that is haunted by a ghost that may hold the key to a dark family secret. All of the press surrounding this movie is surrounding Erina’s debut, but we’re pretty sure that this is Kasumi’s first time starring in a Japanese movie that is making it big across the globe. While we couldn’t find any comments from her in the press, we were able to find a photo of her from the Japanese premiere in Shibuya on September 4th! She is in the front row on the left… see how Manna has grown?
Kimi no Todoke Premiere Makes Waves in Japan (and Moves Sailor Star Healer to Tears)!
The highly anticipated Kimi no Todoke (From Me to You) live-action movie finally premiered in Japan last week. Mikako Tabe (Yaten Kou/Sailor Star Healer from 2003-2004) plays the leading role of Sawako in this film alongside Haruma Miura who plays Shota (the guy she falls in love with). The press has been featuring stories about this movie for the last few weeks, and both have said that they were really proud of their work and this film, and hoped that the public would also be able to enjoy it. Mikako was also worried that she wouldn’t be able to play the role, since after she saw the anime she wondered if any human could actually play these roles. At a test screening last week, both of them were asked what types of people they would like to fall in love with, and Mikako said she prefers guys that who have an abundance of knowledge, where Haruma said that he likes girls who are just like Sawako – black hair, with the motto to do one good deed every day. This screening was done for teenagers, and set in a classroom much like the one used in the movie, and everyone loved it! At the end of the screening, Mikako was moved to tears by the movie feeling touched by the music, and by the support so many had for her character. Mikako and Haruma were moved to tears again at the movie’s premiere on September 25th at the TOHO Cinemas in Roppongi Hills! Mikako’s eyes were red and swollen as she told the audience “I appreciate it all” in gratitude for the audience’s support. We wish this movie continued success in Japan (and abroad too, since these movies are sometimes licensed for distribution here)! The movie’s theme song “Reaching You” is performed by Japanese rockband Flumpool, and the single was just released a few days ago in Japan.
Tae Kimura Helps Out Some Very Special Causes (While Still Finding Time to Play a Rock Star)!
Tae Kimura (Fisheye) is still receiving a lot of buzz surrounding her movie from last summer, Tokyo Island (we covered this earlier here). And, she is also appearing at some events for some very special causes. On October 1st the famous manicure hotspot Nail Art Collection in Omotesando Hills, opened up a special auction as part of its pink ribbon campaign for breast cancer. Tae’s nails are one of many celebrity nail works by the manicurist with all proceeds going towards breast cancer research. From November 26th-December 3rd, there will be a special Disability Film Festival which will feature her as a guest. Many Ghibli movies will be a part of this festival including Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns. Audience members will also be encouraged to express sound effects that are displayed in the subtitles!
Tae is also starring in a new drama special on WOWOW in Japan called Nazekimi. The first part aired on September 25th. Tae also has an upcoming movie next year where she plays an oddball divorcee who forms a rockband with 3 other moms at her kids’ school! The movie is called Utahime☆ and the band will play “Smoke on the Water” at a school festival. Everyone had a lot of fun learning how to rock for this movie – and it looks like it will be a hit next summer!
Part Two features all men who have played the same role! It will be posted later this week. Who do you think is the character and which actors are we going to tell you about? Make your guesses below!