Clockwise from top left: Fujiki Naohito, Tamaki Hiroshi, Takenouchi Yutaka, Kagawa Teruyuki, Nakamura Toru, Shiina Kippei, Abe Hiroshi
It’s pretty obvious from this blog that Tamaki Hiroshi is my favourite actor, but this post will also feature actors whom I enjoy seeing regularly on my screen and whom I think deserve a shout-out. Currently, I have a “super seven” group of Japanese actors whom I hope will team up together in a big drama that will be the most kickass one in Japan ever, haha. They include Tamaki, Fujiki Naohito, Shiina Kippei, Nakamura Toru, Takenouchi Yutaka, Abe Hiroshi and Kagawa Teruyuki. These are all solid actors and I’ve generally enjoyed watching the stuff they’re in.
I might as well toss in some drama recs while I’m at it. For Tamaki, definitely check out Nodame Cantabile, Shikaotoko Aoniyoshi and Love Shuffle. Fujiki was awesome in Love Revolution and Hotaru no Hikari. Shiina is incredibly versatile, check him out in Antique and Over Time. Nakamura and Takenouchi were both in Koori no Sekai, but also give Soratobu Taiya and Suteki na Sen Taxi a spin while you’re at it. As for Abe, definitely Kekkon Dekinai Otoko, but I also liked him tons in Shinzanmono and Hero. Kagawa was excellent in Double Face and pretty much the only saving grace in MOZU (which was incredibly tedious).
As for Hong Kong actors, I’m very fond of Miu Kiu Wai, who is pretty versatile and a really nice guy in real life. I’ve watched most of his stuff and like his range – he’s done everything from the good guys and baddies, to comedies and serious stuff. And this section would not be complete without the two Tony Leungs – both big Tony and small Tony are awesome, although their careers have branched out in different ways. I haven’t always liked small Tony’s recent film choices – Lust, Caution was pretty mehhh – but he remains one of the standout actors of his generation. I also like Lee Jung-jae and Kim Kang-woo even if their recent works haven’t been particularly interesting.
From left: Jessica Hsuan, Ueno Juri, Esumi Makiko, Ayase Haruka, Jeon Ji-hyun
I have to admit I’m hard-pressed to select an outright favourite actress, but I’ll just name five ladies of whose works I’ve seen at least two and whom I’d want to grace my screen again: Jessica Hsuan, Ueno Juri, Esumi Makiko, Ayase Haruka and Jeon Ji-hyun. They are all solid and versatile in their own ways and have proven chemistry with the male co-stars they’ve worked with over the years. Jeon is actually more of a film actress (even if she did have a ratings hit drama last year), and she is especially memorable for her earlier works Il Mare and My Sassy Girl, both of which I recommend (Il Mare does have the edge, though). Ayase does need more challenging projects and co-stars who can bring out the best in her, while Esumi just needs a new drama, stat. Maybe it’s time for Ueno, Esumi and Ayase to team up with my “super seven” for a truly blockbuster J-drama to own all J-dramas (yes, one can dream!).