In recent years, there has been a rise in young Japanese actors with good potential. Compared to the more well-known ones like Haruma Miura (三浦春馬), who starred in movies like Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人), and Takeru Satoh (佐藤健), who is famous for his roles in Rurouni Kenshin (るろうに剣心), these young Japanese actors add a refreshing outlook to the acting industry of Japan.
Among them are relatively new faces like Sota Fukushi (福士蒼汰), Masaki Suda (菅田将暉), Masataka Kubota (窪田正孝), and Tori Matsuzaka (松坂桃李), just to name a few. In particular, Kento Yamazaki (山﨑賢人) stands out more with the number of live-action films he starred in and will be starring in. Let’s take a look at Yamazaki’s roles in these recent and upcoming live-action films!
Released in Japanese cinemas 19 September 2015, No Longer Heroine is a story about Hatori (はとり), a female high school student who has a crush on Rita (利太), her childhood friend. She believes that she will be his heroine but as it turns out, Rita begins dating a plain-looking girl instead. Meanwhile, Hiromitsu (弘光), the school’s most popular guy, starts approaching Hatori. In this love triangle, who will be Hatori’s real hero?
In this live-action film adapted from a shoujo manga (少女漫画), Yamazaki plays the role of the cool-looking Rita.
— 映画「orange-オレンジ-」 (@orange_letter_) October 8, 2015
Orange is a tear-jerking love story, which was released in Japanese cinemas December 12, 2015. What if you received a letter from your future self? What if you found out you are going to lose an important person? This live-action film illustrates the kind of regret Naho (菜穂) has, at various points of time, of things she should have done to save Kakeru (翔), a transfer student who holds deep wounds in his heart.
Also adapted from a shoujo manga, Orange features Yamazaki as the melancholic Kakeru.
Something worthy of note is that Yamazaki was awarded the Rookie of the Year in the 39th Japan Academy Prize (第39回日本アカデミー賞 新人賞受賞) for this film and No Longer Heroine, which is a sure sign of his abilities and potential.
㊗『オオカミ少女と黒王子 DVD プレミアム・エディション』が、10/17付オリコン週間DVDランキングで総合１位に初登場‼ みなさま応援いただき、ありがとうございます? pic.twitter.com/jTowZrVtDD
— 映画『オオカミ少女と黒王子』 (@ookamishojo_m) October 14, 2016
A comical, shoujo live-action film that opened in Japanese cinemas May 28 2016, Wolf Girl and Black Prince speaks of the story between Erika (エリカ) who lied about having a boyfriend, and Kyouya (恭也), the school’s most handsome guy, but with a sadistic and mean personality. Packed with dokidoki (ドキドキ; heart-pounding) situations, it is curious how the relationship between the two develops.
See the cheeky side of Yamazaki as he takes on the role of the black prince.
Based on the popular manga-turned-anime of the same title, Your Lie in April is a story about youth, music, and romance. Kousei (公生) was known as the human metronome with his perfect skills in rendering a music piece on the piano. But since his mother’s death, he became unable to hear the notes he plays and eventually stopped touching the piano. Upon meeting a lively violinist named Kaori (かをり), and under her influence, Kousei picks up piano again. But Kaori has been hiding a secret about her health…
Yamazaki stars as Kousei in this touching live-action film, which was released in Japanese cinemas on September 10 2016.
One Week Friends, which will be released in Japan cinemas 18 February 2017, is a special love story about Kaori (香織) who has a memory span of only one week, and Yuki (祐樹), who decides to be her friend every week. They begin exchanging diaries, closing the distance between them. But one day, a transfer student who knows about Kaori’s past appears.
Based on the bestselling manga that was adapted to anime and stage play, One Week Friends was finally made into a movie as well, featuring Yamazaki as Yuki.
Opening in Japan cinemas 4 August 2017, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is a live-action film collaboration between Toho and Warner. It is a story about Josuke (仗助), the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar. He has a supernatural power termed as “Stand” called Crazy Diamond, which can restore objects to their original form, including other people’s injuries.
A character strikingly different from his usual ones, Josuke (a.k.a. JoJo) is played by Yamazaki.
— 映画『斉木楠雄のΨ難』 (@saikikusuomovie) July 31, 2016
Scheduled to be released in 2017, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is about Saiki (斉木), a 16-year-old high school student with psychic powers. He tries to distance himself to hide his ability, but can he really maintain his ordinary daily life?
There has not been much information on this, but Yamazaki will be playing the role of Saiki.
As illustrated above, we have seen seven live-action films where Yamazaki takes the lead role, including One Week Friends which is now showing in Japanese cinemas, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, and The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, which are scheduled to release later this year. With his consistent reign over films adapted from manga, Yamazaki is indeed a prince of live-action films!