Japanese Actors Who Can Actually Act

April 1, 2010 — 13 Comments

Excuse me as I’m totally biased.

Where’s Yu Aoi? xD

CNN Go [new brand?] has an article about 7 not-so-known Japanese actors outside of Japan. Obviously there’s the mention of everyone’s favorites like Ken Watanabe [who is like the go-to Japanese guy in Hollywood now], Rinko Kikuchi, Tadanobu Asano, Rie Miyazawa, and Koji Yakusho.

Of course, don’t forget Hiroyuki Sanada ;P

Some not so surprising choices, some… or I mean, I got surprised by one xD

The best choice? A mention for Ryo Kase…
and a cool mention of Sakura Ando. =D

Also… why 7? 7 is a weird number for a TopList. It’s like the writer couldn’t come up with 10 names, so he did 7. So… I wonder what 10 Japanese Actors not so known outside of Japan… or I mean, outside Asia would you choose?

I’ll comment on this later…

13 responses to Japanese Actors Who Can Actually Act

  1. Should have been mentioned:

    Teruyuki Kagawa
    Miki Nakatani
    Yûsuke Iseya
    Mikako Ichikawa

    And of course, YU AOI!

  2. Hiroyuki Sanada…Twilight Samurai! I also just saw him last night in the latest film from James Ivory called The City of Your Final Destination. Great!

  3. Craig, great to have you here =D

    I loved Twilight Samurai, thanks to Acerk’s suggestion ;P

    Acerk! Mikako Ichikawa! I can’t believe she’s like 30!
    She’s so underrated… even in Japan.
    She’s got a gorgeous face when she pulls her hair. Amazing!

    And Yusuke Iseya is… intense.

    Were you surprised to see Ninomiya? I haven’t seen him in much, I thought he was kinda good on Letter from Iwo Jima… but really?

    I also would pick Joe Odagiri, hmm… perhaps Eita [it;s like I just mentioned all of Memories of Matsuko’s cast in here]. Also… I mean, if you are adding Ninomiya… what about Ayumi Ito, Aoi Miyazaki… Kenichi Matsuyama? They’re all in a similar age range…

  4. I’ve really only seen Ninomiya in Letters from Iwo Jima and heard him in Tekkonkinkreet, so I don’t know what to think about his inclusion. He did a pretty decent job though in Iwo Jima. I forgot about Odagiri, he should have definitely been included. And also, Aoi Miyazaki can definitely act.

    Don’t know about Eita, Kenichi Matsuyama, and Ito though. Haven’t really seen enough from them in challenging roles.

  5. I would have thought they were going to include people 30 and up, but the inclusion of Ninomiya made it seemed 20-somethings were game too. I think Matsuyama is in the same range as Ninomiya, and I always thought of Nino as a member of Arashi (even if I’ve never listened to them)… I don’t even know if Matsuyama sings or just models and acts like Yu.

    I didn’t know Ryo Kase, Ayumi Ito and Rinko Kikuchi are all on the same agency, headed by Tadanobu Asano’s father. Yu should’ve signed on to them LOL

    Rinko Kikuchi seems to be more popular outside of Japan though… or maybe it’s because I move around places where there’s a lot of talk about idols… but I never thought of her as an idol. Aoi Miyazaki, however, seems to lead each and every silly popularity poll there is online in Oricon and those places. Every time among the Top10, no matter what the subject LOL

  6. I thought Teruyuki Kagawa was great in Tokyo Sonata. Eita is likeable, a kind of John Cusack type. The only thing I knew about Kazunari Ninomiya was that he was in a boy-band and that he can do card tricks. He can act too? Good for him.

  7. Your comments about Ninomiya made me burst out laughing. I didn’t know he did card tricks~ xD

    And yeah! How can we forget Teruyuki Kagawa~~~

  8. The problem of such lists is that they generally follow either current (and ephemeral) trends and/or the personal views of some self-proclaimed “expert” on “rest of the world” topics. Whether it’s Fox News or CNN, there’s not much difference, those guys have a knowledge and understanding of what is Asian Cinema and non-Hollywoodish acting skills that is near my own understanding of politics in 17th century Switzerland.

    Japanese cinema is cram full of excellent thespians, you can add up to at least twenty names. On a personal note, the absence of Japanese Academy Award winner Miki Nakatani tells everything about that Channel of Neutered Numbskulls.

  9. I wonder how do CNNGo chooses its writers/bloggers. Maybe it’s the whole
    “Oh my daughter follows this Japanese group, I’ll ask her if she wants to write an article”

    Because as far as the comments on that site goes, they seem to agree with the article… and besides Ninomiya, users are suggesting more members of Arashi and other younger idols.

  10. Well, as the writer of this article seemed to suggest, he was mainly focusing on people who act in Japanese drama series (as he said if you turn on the TV many actors can’t really act, so I’m assuming he’s focusing on dorama instead of Japanese movies). I like Terajima Shinobu and Kase Ryo, but that’s about it on the list. Ninomiya gives off a natural aura that doesn’t make it seem like he’s forcing his expression, but I’m not particularly impressed.

    If they’re talking about people under 30 years of age, where is Ueno Juri? I mean, they can say that Yu doesn’t really act in dorama, as her focus is J-movies, but Ueno Juri has starred in several high-profile dorama, and she’s not there…

  11. But Ryo Kase focus on films too, right?

    If you’re right on the selection of only jdrama actors, I agree about Juri Ueno.
    Plus, she’s about to star on her own Taiga drama xD

  12. Haha. I agree. Actually now that I think about it, this author doesn’t seem to follow any trend; it seems like he was just writing about people he knows. If it’s under-30, dorama focused, then Ueno Juri for sure; if it’s just anyone in general, well let’s just say Ninomiya and Yoshitaka Yuriko are promising, but there are others who are more qualified to be on the list xD.

    Yes I’m excited for Juri taiga!!! And I’m sooo excited that Yu has so many projects recently (just fingers crossed that they’re decent -_- )

  13. Raiou seems to be a good one, mostly because there’s loads for her to do on screen.

    I’m still on the fence about FLOWERS.

    And I’m wishing for the best on her Shunji Iwai project…

    I think Juri has her broad range as far as TV work matters… she’s a total hoot as Nodame, she can totally break your heart when she played Ruka, and now she’s about to take a historic figure with a lot of drama and class, since she’s playing a princess. That’s a lot of gamut in between those roles.

    I’m just looking forward to seeing her on my TV screen next year, properly… but of course I will have to download because NHK doesn’t broadcast with subtitles here.

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