What do Japanese people think of Caucasian—not Asian—actors being cast in Hollywood adaptations of Japanese anime?
It’s the year 2015, and you all know what that means: self-tying shoes, flying cars, hoverboards… and a visit from Marty, Doc, and Jennifer! While they weren’t supposed to arrive until October, sightings of the DeLorean in Akihabara lead us to believe that Marty McFly and the gang have changed their travel plans to make their appearance a couple of months early!
If there’s one thing Japanese people love more than Hollywood celebrities visiting Japan, it’s Hollywood celebrities visiting Japan and doing Japanese things.
Japanese Twitter user @syerinngamu recently posted a collection of photos of international celebrities doing just that. From wearing yukata to beating taiko drums to breaking open barrels of sake with a hammer and more, the pictures prove that nothing warms Japanese people’s hearts more than seeing someone internationally famous doing something cultural in their homeland.
Following the success of other popular toy franchises turned Hollywood films such as Transformers and G.I. Joe, Paramount Pictures has announced that they have acquired the rights to make a live-action Beyblade film.
Followers of Japanese manga and anime will no doubt be aware that Death Note has been a highly successful franchise. The story has been made into a series of movies that were big hits here in Japan as well as a musical that was performed at the Nissei Theater in Tokyo this month, and there’s also a TV drama scheduled for broadcast in July this year.
But that’s not all. We still have the Hollywood live action film of Death Note to look forward to, and the recent news is that the movie now has a new director!
You might think that after Keanu Reeves’s 2013 movie 47 Ronin – very loosely based on the Japanese story Chūshingura – became the second biggest box office bomb ever, Japanese people’s opinion on the actor would go down a little bit.
Well, you’d be wrong! On February 11, Keanu Reeves was spotted just walking down the street in Akihabara like any other tourist, and he was instantly mobbed by fangirls and fanboys alike, each one clamoring for the best “Keanu selfies” that they could get.
If you’re feeling under the weather or just wanting to relax after a hard day, there are two things that can certainly pick you up and remind you of the bright side of life again: a Hollywood musical from the golden era, and a good animated cartoon from Japan. It’s amazing how warm, animated tones and catchy tunes can capture your senses and hug you like an old friend just when you need it the most.
Now, a Japanese animator has melded the two feel-good genres with a short, two and a half-minute animation that pays homage to a Gene Kelly tap dance routine from the 1952 american musical Singin’ in the Rain. It’s proving to be so cute that it’s attracting attention from around the world. We take a look at the video and see why this cute girl is gathering so many admirers.
After being completely suspended in 2012, it seems like plans for the Akira live action movie are finally moving forward again. The Warner Brothers movie will be a Hollywood retelling of the 1988 cult anime classic, with original writer and director Katsuhiro Ohtomo acting as executive producer. This will perhaps assuage some fans’ fears that Hollywood will turn the dark, complex narrative into just another generic guns-and-explosions blockbuster.
Hollywood is carrying on its tradition of making white people the lead protagonists in movies about samurai with the 2013 47 Ronin, headed by Keanu Reeves.
But while the Japanese didn’t seem to bat an eyelid when it was revealed (spoiler) that Tom Cruise was literally the last samurai, the 47 Ronin trailer is raising eyebrows in Japan for its weird comic book treatment of the famous national legend that is said to be the most revered example of the samurai code of bushido.
Commercials: a lot of celebrities in the west won’t touch them with a borrowed pole. After working hard to build up their portfolio and making themselves a household name, for many professional actors the mere thought of putting their face on an advertisement is completely abhorrent.
In Japan, however, it’s a very different story. TV celebrities, singers and sports stars are a common feature on commercials, whether they be on television, magazines or even hanging over our heads as we take the train to work each morning. Watches, skin cream, beer, anti-hair loss, cars, language courses; you name it, someone famous is smiling and pretending they love it in exchange for a few extra yen.
This time it’s the turn of hollywood heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio to take the cash and smile for the camera. Because, as we all know, DiCaprio never shuts up about how much he loves Jim Beam whiskey usually…