Archive for the ‘ J-Actors/Actresses Spotlight ’ Category

People To Watch: Sawajiri Erika

I may be a bit biased since I’m a guy, but Sawajiri Erika really gets to me, in a good way (at least in her early career, as of now).  She’s a rare example of an idol that I cannot dislike, despite her poor reputation.  Why am I writing this?  I felt like it.  It came to me easily.  I also believe that Sawajiri Erika is one of Japan’s gems, an actress that may be able to successfully cross over to the West at some point (barring English proficiency).  As long as she fixes her image and gets back into acting, she could quickly rise up the ranks as one of Japan’s best young actresses once again. Continue reading

Advertisements

Contemporary J-Actors/Actresses: Separating the “Actors” From the “Idols”

A characteristic issue in Japanese cinema today is the massive popularity of “idols,” controlled by talent agencies.  Idols, to me, are defined as multi-talented, young, cute, cuddly, and pure (appearance-wise) media sensations.  They often go through expansive, quick, and tough training brought about by their talent agency so they are ready to be worked to the bone doing various publicity stunts such as appearing on variety shows, looking good in photoshoots, acting in TV dramas, and possibly joining boy or girl idol bands.  The main draw of idols is how they look, not how they act or how well they sing.  Most of them have a very short span of popularity and often fall from glory once they age a bit.  There are, however, exceptions to this; notably the most famous guys coming out of the talent agency Johnny’s Entertainment.  SMAP, consisting of 5 members who are currently some of the most famous people in Japan, debuted in 1991 and continue to be mega-popular.  Arashi, again from Johnny’s Entertainment, is set up to remain popular for a while as well. Continue reading